Monday, March 16, 2015

MikkiLeaks by Phil Liebman

A new column for my eZine written by my dear friend, fellow Vistage Chair, Phil Liebman from my home city of New York... because I adore his writing style and his infinite wisdom I “volun-told” him, to become my newest monthly columnist.
Classy-Fide Information - Available on a “Need-to-Know” Basis...
That YOU need to know!
by Phil Liebman   

For years I wrote a weekly piece - Monday Morning CEO - Confessions of an Accidental Success. I had come to understand that many people who run companies were like me. They stumbled their way into success, if they were lucky enough to survive the fall to the top. They perhaps bootstrapped a worthy idea for a business, or may have even been a member of the lucky DNA club and taken over a family business, or even bought an existing one and were lucky enough to have purchased the right company at just the right time...but like me, had no clue what it would take to build a sustainable businesses going forward. (I was fortunate to get out alive when mine crashed and burned twenty years ago.)  
We assume that what got us here will get us there. And then there’s that terrifying reality that often lurks in our heads at around 3:30 AM suggesting, “What if that’s not true?” So, I began to think: we need to expose the truth! But look what happened when Edward Snowden tried that. He’s shivering in an old army blanket in a perfectly damp and chilly caviar and vodka crypt somewhere under the Kremlin. All Putin has to say is, “It’s nice work if you can get it.”
The secret is learning how to become a deliberate leader rather than an accidental success. And how does one find such secrets? Well, continuing my own string of improbable luck, I happened upon one of Mikki’s Ezines boasting that she was a member of, and pretty darn high up, with the NSA! And when I discovered that she meant the "other” NSA - I thought my luck had finally run out. There would be no way to wiretap the phones and intercept the private emails of the greatest business and thought leaders from around the world.  
But as luck would have it the search for truth and the unearthing of secrets wouldn’t end there. Mikki graciously offered me this spot each month to share with you the secrets of what it might take to deliberately lead a successful business and a successful life. She told me I could do this as long as I like, with the possibility I could bust out early with good behavior. (OK, so I’m doomed.)  
Each month I will share my personal truths about deliberate leadership, secrets stolen from the news, heavily guarded ideas that only a very select few people ever get to see (well, until the authors’ publishers made them available for purchase on Amazon) and occasional home-movies posted on YouTube. So, in the meantime I recommend you read “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson. That should keep you busy until next time.  
And it may inspire you to see how such a deeply flawed human being can create a company that sought to, and then did, change the world. There is hope for me yet.
In order to hide my true identity  I am pretending to be myself. No one will ever think of looking for me here.

Phil Liebman is the CEO, Founder and Chief Leadership Catalyst at The BullFrog Group, where he has the privilege to work with heroic leaders to help create a world that is made better through the efforts of the men and women who lead and run successful businesses. He is also a freelance writer, speaker, Vistage Chair and a Fellow at the Thayer Institute for Leadership Virtuosity.

Friday, March 13, 2015

All Stressed Up and No Place to Go

Stressed spelled backwards is desserts.

Stress is nothing new, we all have it - whether it's good stress (no, that's not an oxymoron) or bad stress, it's part of life. As we work faster, longer, harder, and juggle the demands of work/life balance, stress is  a topic of necessity and interest. 
Much of it is about how we look at can be undone by stress or you can use it to your advantage; use it as the impetus to move forward, or to stay still for a moment. 

Some stress relieving tips:
1. Read any book by Hans Selye, the "father of stress management."
2. Meditate
3. Take yoga
4. Take Fridays off for a personal day
5. Take a bubble baths
6. Get some exercise
7. Volunteer - helping someone else is a great stress-reliever
8. Paint, sculpt, something creative

If all else fails, here are my three favorite tips:
1. Use your master card to pay off your visa
2. Make a to do list of things you've already done
3. When someone says, "have a nice day," tell them you've made other plans

Monday, March 9, 2015

Should Your Business Go the Way of Google+?

Another great article from my good friend, speaker and social media guru, Dave Nelsen. 
He's so smart!!

On a single day in early March, two compatriots independently sent me different articles about Google+. The story from CNN Money was titled, “Google+ is about to be broken up.” The piece from The Independent (a UK publication) was titled, “Google Plus might be dead, as ‘Streams’ and ‘Photos’ take its place.”
As a devoted Apple fan I find it rather odd to be helping tout Google, Apple’s archenemy in mobile. Google ‘stole’ countless ideas from Apple’s iOS (aka iPhone operating system) for their Android operating system and today powers more than 6-times as many smartphones globally as Apple. Of course tablets (iPads, which also run iOS) are a different story, still favoring Apple.
For whatever reason - probably because everybody likes to see big successes (people or companies) stumble - these articles present the Google+ “evolution" as negative news. The Germans have a specific word for the secret delight that we all take in seeing another’s misfortunes: Schadenfreude.
But is Google+ really failing?
Perhaps you’re familiar with (aka an independent, third-party measurement service) that tracks unique monthly visitors to virtually all websites. According to between February 2014 and January 2015 (the most recent data available as I write) Google+ ( grew by almost 40% and now exceeds 65 million monthly users (about 20% of the US population).
Also according to, after peaking in March 2014 visitors actually declined by 4% through January 2015. It now looks like a definite down trend. Yes, according to these stats Facebook is still 2.5 times larger than Google+, but a year ago Facebook was more than 3.5 times bigger. Of course this is just one measure; it doesn’t tell the whole story (level of engagement, etc.). Still, Google+ doesn’t exactly look dead to me.
Breaking up is not the same thing as being dead. In fact, it looks like Facebook is breaking up too. Have you noticed that Facebook never integrated Instagram (a $1B purchase) or WhatsApp (a $22B acquisition)? At the same time Facebook now offers an enhanced news feed as a separate app (Paper) ... and their texting function as yet another separate app (Messenger). I now use these various apps far more than
Facebook and Google+ are both doing essentially the same thing ... not because they’re failing, but because all businesses must adapt to the mobile revolution. They’re being driven by the tsunami of smart mobile devices, which now outsell traditional computers by 6-1 (and are pulling away). I predict that someday Google+ and Facebook will be held up together as models of leaders that made the early transition - from the web to mobile - that all winning companies will make to survive.
Google clearly cares deeply about succeeding in “social” (Google+ is their fourth try, following Orkut, Wave, and Buzz) and they have awesome market power. You would ignore Google+ (or the resulting collection of social/mobile/communication apps that evolve from it) at your company’s peril because Google also dominates mobile (Android), search and video, services that are together evolving under a new umbrella called Google “My Business.”
Remember that half of all Internet traffic starts with a search. Google will happily send traffic to your competitors if not to you. Even as an Apple fan, I plan to be Google’s friend too.

You can find more formal details here: 

To contact Dave directly: