Archive for February, 2007

This time this Sunday I will heading to Matei Pointe, Fiji- Is it still raining in Vancouver?

Some of the tough country we will have to endure


Roughing it on our porch


And the boring flights – let me tell you. Plus its densely populated


The end to another tough day


Supposedly I will really miss work.

The folks there have posted some photos to make sure we do not get our hopes up too much

The betting at Rocket Builders is that I may never come home.

Maximium Influence. The 12 universal laws of power persuasion. Kurt W. Mortensen

Maximium Influence. The 12 universal laws of power persuasion. Kurt W. Mortensen. 2004. ISBN 0814472583. An Amacom publication. A very practical book that seems to have pretty well everything you would want to know about persuasion in one easy to read volume. His 12 laws make sense as well as his checklist to ensure you have the best chance to persuade your audience. Definitely a library keeper, especially if you are a salesperson, in marcomm, or a speaker/presenter. Lesson reinforced, information helps persuade, emotion sells the deal. The twelve power laws are:




Social Validation


Verbal Packaging







You’ve Got to be Believed to be Heard. Reach the first brain to communicate in business and in life. Bert Decker

You’ve Got to be Believed to be Heard. Reach the first brain to communicate in business and in life. Bert Decker. 1992. ISBN 0312099495. This is a classic. Well written, clear and full of very useful tips that you can put into effect today. Lesson learned. The words you use only convey 7% of your message., yet we sweat bullets over the words, neglecting how we deliver it. If you have to communicate in your life, you need this book. I found it in bargain bin, but its a treasure. He has had over 35 yrs experience helping people become better and more spontaneous speakers. Recommended.

Applying the Science of Six Sigma to the Art of Sales and Marketing. Michael J. Pestorius

Applying the Science of Six Sigma to the Art of Sales and Marketing. Michael J. Pestorius. 2006. ISBN 13-9780873896962. There is a society for Six Sigma in Sales and Marketing that is now five years old. Yet there is an element in the group, that still does not “get it”. An example is found in this book. The title says sales and marketing, but only 1/3 of one of the 9 chapters deals with any kind of marketing at all. And that bit deals with using “spiffs” in the sales process. One thing we have learned at Rocket Builders in this Six Sigma journey is that marketing is a huge deep money hole for most organizations. Until a company realizes how much time, money and effort they are wasting in sub optimized sales and marketing they will continue to have sub optimal revenue and market results. Lesson learned, the book contains some decent collections of attributes and data to be used to select and measure sales guys in new product sales, sales competency, field-visits, territory planning and promotions. Get it from the library.

Purpose. The Starting Point of Great Companies. Nikos Mourkogiannis

Purpose. The Starting Point of Great Companies. Nikos Mourkogiannis. 2006. ISBN 139781403975812. How to restore confidence and make money at the same time. A very insightful book on people and companies. well written, clear ,very well researched, with valuable appendices. Lessons learned? Not all companies have a Purpose – but enduringly successful ones do. And the essential question,” what are we competing for?”

Lunar New Years Greetings From Rocket Builders

Lunar New Years Greeting from RocketBuilders

Share of Wallet , a sales metric you need to know, to improve the value of your company

I was recently reminded about the importance of share of the wallet. I.e. How much of your clients dollars (and need) available for what you are selling are you getting? I learned that a prospective client has sold (years back) a six seat licence of their software product to Microsoft. He was pleased to have Microsoft as a “client”. Think about it, only 6 people in a 71 000 man company “need” this product. A local (and younger) competitor has recently sold their similar product to Microsoft, but they have sold 100’s of seats, and continue to sell more. The prospect client should not be at all content with his penetration of Microsoft, and especially not with his share of Microsofts’ wallet. Share of wallet metrics are dear to savvy entrepreneurs’ and investors’hearts. (This is a part of selling that IBM did very well. ) Growth companies should have a handle on the share of wallet they are getting from every customer and “what they intend to do to increase it on a regular basis”. This is also an inexpensive way to increase sales. 6 seats out of 71 000 is nothing to be content about, nor does it do anything to continue to add to company value. A serious symptom of many things wrong in the sales and marketing process.

Reg Nordman (facing another (k)night on the road!)

Made to Stick. Chip Heath & Dan Heath. Why some ideas survive and others die

Made to Stick. Chip Heath & Dan Heath. Why some ideas survive and others die. 2007.ISBN 1400064281. A book to make better communicators of us all. One of the better marketing and sales communication books I have ever read. It may even turn out to be the best this year. The two authors came to these ideas from two very different directions which makes the impact even stronger. Lesson learned, the impact of clear stories is profound and underrated. Its true whether its an Aesop fable, a classic style like David and Goliath, the Good Samaritan or Newton and his apple. Anyone who has to “tell others” about a project, a goal, a report, anything that needs to be easily understood and remembered, will benefit from reading this book. And the listeners will benefit too! Early in my career I learned it takes really smart people to find the simple clear explanation. This book is proof of that! Quick read, easy to understand, a lifetime to get it right. Deserves to be on every CEOs’ bookshelf. Get their manifesto

AIESEC talk- BC chapter of tomorrows leaders

AIESEC – This is a special organization

What a cool idea to let young adults “do” something worthwhile and apply and learn. I will look for this on resume.

I am between you and dinner- never a good place for a speaker.

About me:

  1. Collector of 3 degrees, coach, mentor
  2. Read 100s ofbooks -1 a week all year
  3. Four sons
    1. 28 Michael- Construction – working with strong people .Wants his own business
    2. 26 Joel- Mechanical engineer –
      New Zealand

      and mountain climbing. Work wind turbine company
    3. 21 Brock- 3yr Forestry UBC,

      now, Be independent in 15yrs.
    4. 23 Kyle -3rd start-up- Hiring M.CSc To new grads: Do you know what’s going on around you?

So a good talk =strong beginning – strong end and a short interval between.

Lets talk about:

  1. Education
  2. Career
  3. Leadership
  4. Habits of excellence

Continue Reading »

I am going Live tonite! Speaking to tomorrows leaders of industry

Tonight I am speaking to group of students from all over North America at a conference put on by AIESEC the world’s largest student organization. It is the international platform for young people to discover and develop their potential so as to have a positive impact on society.

In addition to providing over 5,000 leadership positions and delivering over 350 conferences to our membership of over 22,000 students , AIESEC also runs an exchange program that enables over 4,000 students and recent graduates the opportunity to live and work in another country . (from their website)

This is a really cool organization. What an innovative idea. Take students out at 3rd year and send them off to other countries to do real work that is really needed. Also give them a method to hook up with each other and share their ideas.

My topic? Life lessons learned over 35 years, 3 degrees, 4 boys, on leadership, education, and personal development.I gave a related alumni talk on the value of an education to the UBC Mining Engineering students a few years back. Funny they never asked me back!