Five Ways to Make 2014 Your Worst Year Ever

Lance has put many of these year-ruining tips into practice
Lance now serves as a very different type of inspiration to millions

Tired of all those inspiring, motivational ring-in-the-new-year articles by happy, successful people? Had enough of all that pressure to make next year arbitrarily “better,” just because the Earth has finished another lap as defined by a very clever, very dead pope? Tell me about it. Follow these five simple steps to make sure that your 2014 feels like Blackberry plus JC Penney, raised to the power of Kozlowski. Maybe we’ll see you soon on the outside, Dennis!

  1. Surround yourself with people who share your worldview and skill set, but are less capable. Along with shielding you from any diversity of thought or challenging new ideas, this tactic will minimize the risk of receiving any feedback that could result in a beneficial learning experience.
  2. Sleep briefly and erratically, after consuming way too much fried food and beer. Not only will this strategy reduce your life expectancy, you will also put many others around you in harm’s way by increasing your accident risk.
  3. Devote a few hours each month to making random strangers feel frustrated. Buck the trend of increasing volunteerism in America by performing random acts of savagery. Push yourself to go beyond driving rudely into the realm of vandalism, and see how many bad days you can leave in your wake.
  4. Publicly humiliate your family and alienate your longtime friends. Take a page from the Book of Spitzer or channel DSK to see if you can flush your professional and personal relationships through a series of short-sighted, self-indulgent choices.
  5. Clean out your savings and destroy your credit to speculate on cryptocurrency and foreign exchange trading. After ruining your health, family, friendships, career, and community, the final step in ensuring 2014 is your worst year ever is to gut your financial standing. Rely on your deeply rooted mammalian instincts to chase returns, sell in a panic on price dips, and get cleaned out by well-researched, professional traders on high speed platforms.

No matter how 2013 treated you, this advice will guarantee 2014 feels like moving to Greece in comparison. Thanks to everyone who has followed Leadertainment so far, and have a terrible year!

Three steps to grow faster in the Information Economy

Behind barriers are new markets for growth
Behind barriers are new markets for growth

One of the key components in my career search has been joining an organization with a high growth rate. This has prompted me to think about what steps businesses can take to scale a “killer” idea into new markets. Below is a loose framework with a couple examples. Does it resonate with you? What examples come to mind to strengthen or disprove the theory? I look forward to your comments, and I hope that my lesson for success doesn’t sound too much like the Underpants Gnomes.

1. Generalize your competitive advantage. Start by making an abstraction of what makes your businesses viable. Like any tough problem, the answer will be obvious in retrospect. It might be helpful to answer key questions on your strategy first and then generalize it. Also Jim Collins has written some great books comparing companies and what contributes to their success or failure.

2. Translate across barriers to new markets for growth. What are the barriers that stand between your strategic advantage and new growth? These barriers could be functional (e.g., moving from finance to HR), geographic, or up/down the supply chain. Peapod by Stop & Shop, salesforce.com, Lean/Six Sigma as management fads, and Starbucks VIA/Verismo are all examples that spring to mind.

3. Deploy with operational excellence. Regardless of the market you choose (or create), your team will need to expand with speed and efficiency. Michael Porter argues that operational excellence is a prerequisite, not a strategic advantage. Jack Welch reminds us to “pick a general direction and implement like hell.”