Message in a Bottle; The Laws of Inbound Marketing; “Oil and Water;” Seagulls and Forgiveness; Econ Recon: Recession? Inflation?

“Some people give time, some money, some their skills and connections, some literally give their life’s blood.
But everyone has something to give.”

Barbara Bush

Message in a Bottle

From 1983-1985 I served in the Submarine Operations Directorate at the Pentagon. One of my collateral duties was to oversee the training program for newly commissioned submarine-designated officers who were temporarily assigned to the Pentagon awaiting class openings at Nuclear Power School (affectionately referred to as “stash Ensigns.” Over the previous years of my career I had put together several pages of “axioms,” “proverbs,” and lessons learned. I shared those thoughts with these young men to help them prepare for their first operational assignment. Two weeks ago they came back to me via LinkedIn. I had no idea and was honored that my musings had been “passed down the line” over the years. I find there are still some pretty good rules here.

What are the timeless lessons learned in your business? How are you sharing them with your new hires, codifying them and living them as part of your culture and on-going success story?

The Laws of Inbound Marketing

Peter Drucker once remarked that the best business in the world was a mailbox to which people sent money. While this may be ideal, most businesses require some intermediate steps; such as lead generation.

Historically, lead generation required many outbound activities by sales and marketing. Social media has turned that on its head and now inbound marketing is the most likely way to ultimately get that check in the mailbox. This short article from the Vistage Research Center, “The Four Essential Laws of Inbound Marketing,” can help you start thinking about inbound marketing if you’re not already doing it…or provide a guide to assessing your current efforts. Be sure to register for the Vistage webinar on this topic at the end of the article.

“Oil and Water”

In one of the Godfather movies, Michael Corleone is presented a problem involving a business transaction between friends. He sighs and says “Friendship and money….like oil and water.” The same is true when it comes to hiring. This blog post from HBR offers some advice on “What To Consider Before Hiring a Friend.” Reading it may preserve a friendship.

Seagulls and Forgiveness

Mel Brooks once said that “comedy is tragedy plus distance.” The truth of that statement is reflected in this story of unintended consequences of a hotel guest leaving a window open and going for a walk, only to return to find his room occupied by 40 uninvited guests. Sometimes bad things happen as a consequence of good intentions; but this story does have a happy ending….and, in retrospect, paints an hilarious picture.

Econ Recon

The Fed is raising interest rates and inflation may be near as the economy heats up. A classic signal of an impending recession is an inverted yield curve, one in which short term rates exceed long rates. Is this happening? Some economists say yes, but economist Brian Wesbury says in his latest Wesbury 101 video (5 min) “the yield curve will NOT invert” and why he thinks the stock market is as much as 30% undervalued.

And speaking of inflation, the ITR Economics blog offers some cautious optimism regarding price levels but also points out three risks to the inflation outlook that executives should plan for.

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