“Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which,
if persevered in, they must lead,” said Scrooge.
“But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change.”

Ebenezer Scrooge to the ‘Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come’
From Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”

Click Here for this week’s dose of  Holiday Cheer!

Why Women Aren’t Joining YOUR Company

It may be called the “War” for Talent but like any war it’s a series of battles. One of these battles is recruiting women. A short blog posting from HBR will help you quickly assess why you may be failing to attract, or possible even unknowingly repelling, women who could make a real difference at your company. Find out How to Recruit More Women to Your Company.”

  Fed Ex, RIP?

One of the great success stories of the 1980’s was Federal Express. Fred Smith saw an opportunity for overnight delivery that was just waiting to be met. You know a company is successful when its name becomes a verb the way Google’s did. “I’ll FedEx this to you”

But now it appears that this epitome of a disruptive business is itself being disrupted.

Last week Amazon banned it’s merchants from using Fedex, demonstrating that anyone, even FedEx can be disintermediated in a heartbeat. As one writer put it  Amazon did a Jedi mind trick last week. Banning merchants from using FedEx convinced the markets, with a single press release, that FedEx has regressed from “growth” to “mature” to a declining firm.” That same writer sees several ways FedEx might avoid demise by seeking safety in the arms of a strategic inquirer and explores several intriguing options. That writer is Scott Galloway in his most recent “No Mercy, No Malice” blog, which had earlier this year predicted the mess that WeWorks would becomeI encourage you to review his analysis of what lies ahead for the iconic Federal Express.

FOMO and FOBO and Your New Year

If you are contemplating New Year’s resolutions, some of them no doubt involve changing something about yourself. No matter how smart or experienced we are, understanding and managing our fears are important keys to getting what we want. 

Five years ago, a Harvard Business School student, Patrick McGinniss coined the terms FOMO  (“Fear of Missing Out”) and later FOBO (“Fear of a Better Option”) to describe internal conflicts that can prevent leaders from making the right decision at the right time (after all, NOT making a decision, is itself a decision)

This one page posting will provide an overview of FOMO and FOBO. If  the article resonates with you, check out a 35 minute podcast featuring Mr. McGinniss that offers a deeper dive into these two fears that if understood and managed correctly, may give you a leg up in 2020.

Your Team has the Words. Do They Have the Music?

The art of persuasion has several dimensions. What we say is of course of paramount importance, but if not said the right way, we may leave our listener with a different message than intended.

This article from a Wharton marketing professor urges leaders to consider not only the content (the “words” ) of the message) but also the confidence (the “music” with which it is delivered) with which your sales and customer services teams are delivering their messages to your customers. Take a few minutes for “Finding Your Voice: Why Confidence is Key to Persuasion.”    

And here’s a tip, have anyone interacting with customers role play those interactions and be sure to video them and then debrief while watching. The camera never lies.

Econ Recon:

Red, White and Green: The economy is always a key issue in elections and as 2020 is a presidential election year, every candidate will have a prescription on how to fix what they see as wrong with our economy. Alex Chausovsky of ITR Economics offers a quick study on which party, when occupying the White House,  has the most positive impact. His analysis may make you look at the 2020 election landscape differently, regardless of  your political preference. Check out his recent blog posting Red or Blue, You Can Still Make Green”.

Merry Christmas to all!