Purpose and Priority – Getting Clear to Get Productive

My tagline for a long time has been “sleep is for the weak,” but the truth is, I love to sleep. I have to make myself get up and get rolling every morning, and I have to fight the urge every night to call it a day and turn in early. There’s nothing I love […]

Don’t Paint in Seagulls

This is another commonly used analogy from Sandler selling, equally applicable to any other conversation you might have. Again, I’m doing this from memory, so maybe they teach it better than I do. The Story A little girl comes rushing in to the kitchen to show her father a painting she’s just done. It’s a […]

Leave Out The Ball Bearings

This is a common story they tell at Sandler sales training, but I’m repeating it here from memory – I might have some of the details wrong. The Story A nice young couple walk into a furniture store. They’re looking for a desk. They’re approached by a salesman on the floor. He’s helpful, he’s informed, […]

The Open/Closed Principle – Good for Code, Better for Questions

A protocol for asking and answering questions, gathering information, and getting to the best decisions faster. The SOLID principles of object oriented design, includes a principle that’s often overlooked in application and library design, which is the “Open/Closed Principle“. The basic premise is that you should design systems and organize classes in such a way […]

The Five-Phase Consulting Apology

How my client taught me to be a better consultant by showing me how to own my mistakes. I have a client who runs a marketing and customer engagement strategy consulting company that focuses on delivering brand loyalty programs for retail shopping chains. One of the largest of such programs is for an international brick-and-mortar […]

Pick Up The Phone!

Why, When, and How to Escalate Communication Channels One of Headspring’s distinguishing characteristics as a provider of professional services to enterprise organizations is that we don’t always have a heavy on-site presence. Where most of our competitors establish relationships and maintain “stickiness” with their clients by being omni-present inside their clients’ organizations, we deliver solutions […]

Getting All The Liars in One Room

When is it time to “Call the Meeting?” TL;DR If you have more than two people involved in making a decision, and it’s not happening on its own, don’t try to get it done by having a series of 1×1 conversations. Get everybody together in one place, looking at one common goal and one complete […]

Managing the Emotion Pendulum

How to help clients feel good about a project because it’s their idea to feel good about it. This is a mental model I’ve found useful when interacting with clients, especially in situations where things aren’t going as well as we’d like (or as they’d like), or when we need to deliver bad news. Those […]

Teach Like a Boy Scout (or waitress) — The WEDGE Method for Instructing

The Why Teaching others is the best way to confirm that you actually know something. It’s also a great way to re-cement a skill for yourself. Approaching a topic in a deliberate, thoughtful manner, with enough focus and detail to be able to equip someone else with that knowledge, can have a profound effect on […]

Up-Front Contracts — My First Consulting Tool

Adapted from material I’ve used for coaching our staff at Headspring, where I equip our teams to build great software that transforms organizations. I’ve noticed recently, as I’ve sat with some of our team during 1:1’s and with client calls — especially introductory sales calls and project review and requirements gathering meetings, that we hadn’t been reinforcing […]