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  • Bob Burg

“[Burg] has demonstrated that adding value to people's lives is the way to climb the ladder of financial success.”

~ Fran Tarkenton, Hall of Fame Quarterback and Founder/CEO GoSmallBiz.com

Don’t Let Yourself Be “Chris Matthews-ed”

July 25th, 2014 by Bob Burg

Chris MatthewsA large part of influence is believability. Believability inspires trust. If you are believable once, you’ll get a shot at being believable again. If you are not believable just once, however (especially if it’s someone’s first exposure to you), the chances are excellent that you will not be considered such from that point on.

I recently witnessed a person make a somewhat dogmatic statement during a discussion. When asked to cite his source he began to hem and haw. When further pressed he grumbled something or other and got mad at the person who questioned him. Whether his statement was right or wrong, his lack of even basic source knowledge made him…unbelievable. In this case, “UN-believable” was not a good thing. :-)

The incident immediately brought to mind an interview conducted in May, 2008 by MSNBC TV Hardball host, Chris Matthews. In this segment, one of his guests was Los Angeles-based Radio Talk Show Host, Kevin James. As James began to bring up British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain’s well-known appeasement of Hitler during the lead-up to World War II, Matthews asked him to explain what he meant. In other words, how exactly did Chamberlain appease Hitler?

Beginning at 4:10 of the video and all the way through the 7:05 mark, James danced around the issue. Matthews, of course, refused to let him off the hook. Finally, it was determined that James wasn’t able to cite anything specific, most notably the infamous Munich Agreement.

Now, does that mean that Mr. James was wrong? Not at all. Chamberlain certainly did appease Hitler. And, if you listen to that part of the interview, James wasn’t incorrect in anything he said.

However, the fact that he couldn’t cite an example of this appeasement — one of the most famous in history — simply took away any type of credibility he might have had with Mr. Matthews’ audience.

Personally, being a Libertarian and believing in both free minds and free markets, I certainly don’t agree with most of the political ideas Mr. Matthews advocates. Nor do I enjoy his communication style. He’s an interrupter who at times can even be insulting.  But, you know what else Mr. Matthews is? He’s very intelligent; he’s very sharp. And, he’s not about to let someone get away with “not backing up their statements.”

I learned a hugely important lesson from that interview: to never place myself in a position where I can be “Chris Matthews-ed.”

In other words, if we’re going to make a statement of fact or attempt to persuasively advance our idea, we need to not only know what we’re talking about, we need to be able to communicate that we know what we’re talking about. Especially, if pressed to do so.

Of course, I believe we should do this with tact, kindness and respect for the other person, even if we do not agree. Part of being able to do that effectively is knowing — really knowing — from whence we speak.

Your thoughts?

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Very soon we’ll be re-opening our Certified Go-Giver Speaker Program to 12 more speakers. We limit it to 12 so that each new Speaker can receive the attention and teaching they need and deserve and be ready to hit the ground running in their business. Want to be alerted when we re-open? Visit www.GoGiverSpeaker.com.

The Next Best Thing to Controlling Our Brand

July 16th, 2014 by Bob Burg

To What Degree Can We “Control” Our Brand?At our recent Speaker Certification Training for a group of our Certified Go-Giver Speakers, the following was pointed out:

“Bob, you are really protective of your brand.”

All heads nodded in agreement…including mine.

Allow me — if I may — to set the stage: On the day that our speakers were giving their presentations, whenever there was a statement that could possibly be misunderstood, I would, afterwards, gently (yes, gently) point it out and explain why.

I’m also known to politely email bloggers and those on Social Media platforms who take the philosophy of The Go-Giver out of context or misquote. And, it happens often.

Does it drive me a little bit nutty keeping on top of it? Sure, to a certain point. Fortunately, it also teaches me two very valuable lessons:

  1. To the degree you can care without emotional attachment to the results, that’s the degree to which you’ll have peace of mind.
  2. You can manage your brand, but you can’t really control it.

We, as business people in today’s environment, cannot control it any more than we can really control anything that is outside our direct influence. We can manage it by taking all the steps that are within our influence. That begins by communicating our message correctly, always doing our best to provide an exceptional customer experience and being ultra-responsive to our customer’s needs.

Along with that, we can utilize various Internet and social media “alerts” to let us know when something about our brand is positively or negatively mentioned, stolen (accidentally or…”accidentally on purpose”) :-) or simply misinterpreted. People who are “watching our backs” will also let us know, and this includes customers, clients and friends.

There are major corporations that — especially in their utilization of social media — do this extremely well. Others? Not so much. And, we continue to see examples of both.

Regardless, whether huge or mid-sized companies or small entrepreneurial firms, none are actually controlling their brands. Those days are along gone. We can manage our brands; not control them.

Wisdom is knowing the difference.

Success is doing it effectively.

How do you do in that regard? And, do you agree with my premise or have I missed the mark?

Agreement and disagreement are both welcome, as I hope you know.

Beware The Manipulative Frame

July 11th, 2014 by Bob Burg

Beware The Manipulative FrameIn my book, Adversaries into Allies, the fourth principle of Ultimate Influence™ is “Set the Proper Frame.”

A frame is the foundation from which everything evolves. Set a frame of kindness, cooperation, win/win and benevolence and a very mutually beneficial result will most likely occur.

It’s powerful. Set the proper frame and you are 80 percent of the way to a successful outcome for everyone involved.

On the other hand, be wary of those who use this concept in order to manipulate you.

I was recently watching an advertisement. After a clever opening, the presenter made a statement that was a bit surprising. In a rather offhand, very informal way, he said (slightly paraphrased to disguise the actual company)…

“Of course, everyone knows that every six months you should
recheck your Widget.”

Immediately, I thought, “Hmm, I didn’t know that. Good to know.”

Then, returning to “consciousness mode” (i.e., “thinking”) I wondered, “Did he just set a frame intending to manipulate me into believing something he wants me to believe?”

It was now time to check premises. This begins by asking ourselves questions. In this case, they included, “Why is that statement true?” “Does everyone really know that?” “Does everyone agree with that statement?” “Is this a proven fact?” “Why does he want me to think it’s obvious” (he said, “of course”)? “What would happen if I didn’t recheck it?” “Why six months and not three months or nine months or a year?”

And, one more question I asked myself. This is key and something to always keep in mind whenever you feel manipulation might be at play:

“Is this a frame that — later on — is somehow going to show up as an important reason for taking the suggested action?”

And, indeed, it absolutely did.

Several times he referred to how his product will specifically allow you to check every six months in order to…

Now, the point of this isn’t whether or not his product was good, worthwhile, or even necessary every six months.

It’s simply to be aware that when someone states something as fact, and in such a way that you suddenly feel compelled to believe it, consider whether or not they might have an agenda. And, how this new “fact” might actually be a frame; a frame intended to move you to an action that benefits them and not you. What they say might be true. Just be sure that you are consciously making that decision.

Yes, as an Ultimate Influencer you will always set a frame for mutual benefit. However, not everyone will.

But, you already know that. Now you know one way to spot it.

Getting Rid of Our Mental ANTS

July 1st, 2014 by Bob Burg

Getting Rid of Those Mental ANTSMy great friend, author and Certified Go-Giver Speaker, Corey Jahnke (whom I call the “Zen Pharmacist”) often writes about an affliction called “ANTS.”

ANTS stands for “Automatic Negative ThoughtS.”

According to Corey, we human beings have thousands of random thoughts per day. Thus, “the more of those thoughts we allow to be negative, disempowering, and judgmental, the more the ANTS eat our brain alive.” Yuck…but still! :-)

So, I’d like to ask you: If you have ever suffered from ANTS (as I’d imagine we all have and we all continue to from time-to-time), how do you get rid of them so that you can tap into your TRUE authentic nature, which is absolutely…positively… ANTS-free.

If you’d like, check out Corey’s more in-depth and very insightful post on the topic and and see what he suggests.

Sally Hogshead’s… How The World Sees YOU

June 24th, 2014 by Bob Burg

If you’re a fan of Sally Hogshead — like I am — you were captivated by her first book, FASCINATE. Sally, a former award-winning copywriter and advertising agency owner, provided the reader with an in-depth and complete look at what triggers fascination and how companies tapped into these concepts in order to make their products and ideas irresistible to consumers.

In her newest book, How The World Sees YOU, she applies that wisdom as it relates to your personal brand. And, this is key because, as Sally says, “the greatest value you can add is to be more of yourself.”

How The World Sees You As she explains, “once you know what makes you valuable to others, you’re more authentic and confident, and more able to make a positive impression. It all begins with understanding how the world sees you — at your best.”Sally Hogshead

In Sally’s always fascinating way she outlines how you can tap into your greatest of strengths, create better relationships, grow your business, and become distinctly valuable to those who matter most.

Enjoy the chat!

Wow — I guess “fascinating” doesn’t even begin to describe her, does it? So, what is your…anthem? Take whatever time you need to figure it out. It’ll be well worth your while. And, of course be sure and pick up her book.

Discover Your Fascination Advantage™

Here’s the link to take the complimentary Fascination Advantage Assessment: HowToFascinate.com/You

Enter the book code: SUCCESS14


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