Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Week in SmallBiz

I never cease to be amazed when I interview high-powered, high-profile individuals who can't readily spit out a three- or four-word description of who they are or what they do without hemming, hawing or resorting to jargon.

Honestly, it happens more often than not. "How shall I identify you in the interview?" is not infrequently met by an embarrassed admission that the person "doesn't really have a title" or isn't quite sure what his/her title is.

"What does your company do, in a nutshell?" often elicits stammering or - worse - a regurgitated sound byte so twisted with marketing lingo that it makes no sense.

If you can't fluidly describe you or your company in simple, engaging language, you can't get customers, investors or potential partners interested. And you certainly can't impress the press.

Last week, I attended a competition in which start up firms give the "fast pitch" their best shot. Read about it in my Smart Answers column.

In my Smart Answers podcast, I interview a fascinating guy who has written a book about how brain research should change the way we manage people and relate to clients.

I really liked his observation that thinking new thoughts actually changes our brains physically, as new neural pathways are forged.

Guess what? New ideas really can change us - and change the world!


  1. For many the answer to "who are you?" and "what do you do?" is an organizational title. But I don't find much about "manager", "director", "VP", "president" or "CEO" very informative.

    Bill Matthies
    CEO leader of Coyote Insight whose mission is helping clients develop strategies and tactics for new profitable growth (as opposed to unprofitable growth which any dolt could do) while at the same time making sure Tags gets her bi-weekly bath which probably should be weekly were it not for the fact that I am busy being father to adult sons Kyle and Derek regardless of how much fathering they want, not to mention what their mother/my wife Bonnie thinks


  2. Right, Bill. Those organizational titles could stand to be expanded upon, because oftentimes they're bland and meaningless.

    But when people can't even give me THAT much, I'm always surprised.

  3. Re-reading my title I probably errored on the side of insufficient information. How about "CEO/Imperial Leader of Coyote Insight whose mission . . ."

    "Imperial" has a nice ring to it don't you think??

  4. Yes!

    I always like "Dear Leader" myself. ;-)