If you follow my blog then you know that I am a bit of a geek and someone who is always looking for better ways to build relationships, stay in touch and do it more effectively.   I recently stumbled across a new cloud based platform called “Cloze“.  I happen to have tried out the 14-day free trial of the software, then purchased the software for my personal use.

So what makes Cloze different from all the thousands of CRM systems out on the internet?  Simply stated is aggregates data and information about your friends, clients and prospects from across several social media platforms and has a user friendly user interface that really makes is intuitive to use and become more productive.  Believe me this cloud based system is not like any other CRM you have encountered, but once you give it a whirl you will see what I am speaking about.

In this interview with Alex Cote one of the founder of Cloze we discuss the differentiators in the software and some of the new things in development.  I know everyone who enjoys staying on the cutting edge of technology, and wants to start using as system to make them more productive then you will certainly appreciate Cloze.

If you want to download the 14-day free trial please click here, ( for a 10% discount when you are ready to purchase, please use this code tun3pam2ok6wyb9n) if you want to read some of the Tweets click here to be directed to the organization’s Twitter page and read what users are raving about!!!!

I hope you enjoy this great interview with Alex Cote co-founder of Cloze.

I certainly review a variety of books for my podcast interviews, and I am always looking for authors and content that can be applied to real work applications.

I have to say that Bill Cates  and his new book entitled ” Beyond Referrals” is one of those books that almost anyone in the business world can read and gain useful insight into building relationships, and getting referrals to perpetuate their business.

Bill speaks with me in our interview about building what he refers to as a “Referral Mindset”  Bill states that beliefs and awareness of referrals is ultimately what will determine your success in obtaining more referrals.  If you believe something is possible, then you will see the opportunities.

Bill asks the reader to ask themselves three (3) questions: 1) Are you committed to referrals?  2) Do you believe asking for referrals is safe?  3) Do you have a process to generate referrals?  In our interview together we explore these questions and more about building a business based on referrals.

I hope you enjoy this wonderful interview with the master of referrals Bill Cates about his new book “Beyond Referrals” , if you want more information about his book please click here to be taken to his website, or click here to go to his Twitter landing page.

Every organization today is attempting to get the greatest engagement and productivity from their employees.  In my recent interview with author Joan Kingsley the author of ” The Fear-Free Organization” we discuss the important characteristics required to create a fear free organization.

Leadership and trust are obviously a key characteristics that that help to build confidence in the employees, but  neuroscience shows that individuals and organizations are more successful when people are encouraged to take risks, to explore new ideas, and to channel their energies in ways that work for them.  In my interview with author Joan Kingsley we explore how to make your organization less fear driven and more fearless.

I hope you enjoy this wonderful interview with Joan Kingsley about her new book entitled ” The Fear-Free Organization”  You can learn more about Joan and the book by clicking here to be taken to her consulting organization website.

I recently interviewed my good friend and awesome author Steven Kotler.  Steven has co-authored another book with Peter Diamandis which pushes the needle, and really gets the reader to think and take action.  BOLD: How To Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact The World instructs the reader on the new exponential growth  in technologies and how to play the game with the best of the best.  As Bill Clinton states ” This book is a visionary roadmap for people who believe they can change the world–and offers invaluable advice about bringing together the partners and technologies to help them do it.”  

In my interview with Steven we discuss the current technologies which are revolutionizing how we work and function as a society.  We talk about everything from 3D printers to the advancement in robotics and artificial intelligence.  These technologies and many others will shape the world as we know it, and the best part about the development of these technologies is that it is moving faster and faster, and we can all play in the game if we choose.  I must admit I have never felt so encouraged after an interview as I did with my interview with Steven– these are exciting times we live in; and BOLD is a must read for anyone wanting to make a difference in our world.

BOLD provides an easy to follow roadmap because it is divided into three parts: BOLD Technologies, BOLD Mindset and BOLD Crowd.  These are the three fundamentals that the authors state are required to create change and participate in the exponential revolution in new technologies.  It is also loaded with great stories from the leaders in the industry, Larry Page, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Elon Musk and others.  I highly recommend this book it is chock a block “full” with advice, stories and practical applications on how to proceed to become a BOLD leader in the technology revolution.

If you want more information about Steven Kotler and his Flow Genome Project please click here, if you want to receive his newsletter just click the link.  A great video about the book, click here.  I hope you enjoy my interview with Steven Kotler.

If all salespeople would follow the philosophy of Lisa Earle McLeod the author of “Selling with Noble Purpose” our world would be a better place.  Let’s face it we are all consumers of goods and services, and much of the time we are interacting with salespeople to purchase  goods and services.   We all have our horror stories of incredibly bad or dishonest salespeople, and it is never pleasant.

Lisa’s approach is so refreshing and needed in our world of commerce today.  As Lisa states ” Our deepest desire is to make a difference in the world–and our darkest fear is that we won’t.”   A Noble Sales Purpose is the secret of igniting a higher level of thinking and acting so that we are focused on the big picture.  What is our purpose, and are we fulfilling it by providing our products and services to our clients?  When you come from purpose is is proven that you outperform the market by 15:1, organizations that center their business on improving people’s lives have a growth rate triple of their competitors.

Having a focus on something greater than money itself will lead to greater performance, and more satisfied customers.

If you are interested in turning your organization into a purpose driven sales team then I would recommend reading Lisa new book, and listening to the podcast.

You can visit Lisa’s website by clicking here or you can visit her Facebook page.  Enjoy this wonderful interview with Lisa Earle McLeod.

You might be familiar with all the buzz around something called the “Business Model Canvas”.  There are currently three books in the series which started with “Business Model Generation” then “Business Model You” now a new book ” Value Proposition Design“.  So why the interest from the business communities in this interesting way of developing a business model.  Simply put, it is engaging, inclusive ,compelling and it works.

Authors Alex Osterwalder, Yves Pingeur, Greg Bernarda and Alan Smith are the dynamic team behind the business model canvas.  I recently had the pleasure of having a dialogue with Alex Smith the brains behind the book designs, which I might add are a big reason for the success of the books.

During our dialogue we discuss the key elements in creating a great value for customers, we also get into the steps necessary to create the value proposition canvas: Customer Profile, Value Map and Fit all  extremely important considerations in the developing a any new product design.  Alan and his colleagues refer to gain creators, and pain relievers as one of the most important elements in developing great designs.

While this all might sound simple it is daunting to create a new product, test it and know that you are creating something that is really needed and wanted by your customers.  Developing something in a vacuum is crazy,  where your perception of what will relieve your customers pains is exactly that a perception and not the reality of the situation.  Developing then testing your product is so important, I speak from experience I have developed a few products and testing is so important so you can gain feedback.

Alan and his team have recently released a cloud based software system allowing teams to collaborate on developing a business model canvases, it is called Strategyzer.  In my humble opinion I have never seen software as simple as Strategyzer, providing results in minutes.  If you work with a team and you are in the process of developing a new product or service I would highly recommend checking out this amazing new cloud based software.

I encourage you to listen closely to Alan Smith as he guides the listener to a better understanding of Business Model Canvas and Value Proposition Design.  If you want to just click on the links provided below that will take you to the related websites associated with Value Proposition Design.

Value Proposition Design

Strategyzer

I happen to be listening to a podcast that the Robert Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership was hosting , and I heard an interview with author Ari Weinzweig the author of a trilogy of books entitled ” A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Managing Ourselves”, “Being a Better Leader” and “Building a Great Business” all in the Lapsed Anarchist’s series. I was so taken by Ari’s approach to how he built and ran his organizations that I invited him to be on Inside Personal Growth. In this interview about his book “Managing Ourselves” Ari and I discuss the 12 Tips for more effective self-management, which are truly gems and so important to learn on our path of self discovery and personal growth. Tip one (1)  is “Get to Know Yourself”, now while this seems simple most of us spend a lifetime going deep into our soul seeking to better understand our best attributes and qualities as well as how to improve the ones that frequently get in the way and don’t serve us as becoming better human beings. The second Tip Ari speaks about is “Honoring Your Emotions.” We all know the line “leave your emotions at the door” when you go to work. As Ari states that is utterly impossible—our emotions go with us wherever we go but we can learn to monitor and manage them so they don’t get in the way of what we are trying to accomplish. The entire list of 12 tips are in his book, as well you can go to his website to learn more. I know that you will receive a lifetime of personal and business wisdom from my interviews with Ari. I highly encourage purchasing Ari’s trilogy of books and to  learning more about his organization Zingerman’s by clicking on the link here. He has also created Zing Train a training organization based in Ann Arbor, MI with a mission to help organizations better serve both their customers and employees. To learn more click here to be directed to the Zing Train website, or click here to be directed to the Zingerman’s Facebook page.

 

Erica WoolwayIn my interview with co-author Erika Woolway we discuss her new book entitled ” Practice Perfect-43 Rules for Getting Better at Getting Better“.  We have all heard the old adage “practice makes perfect”, and Erika and her other co-authors Doug Lemov and Katie Yezzi have studied and observed some of the best in the educational fields, authors, lawyers and surgeons in ascertaining  what makes people pros in their respective fields.

The “how to” rules are outlined in “Practice Perfect”, such as the counterintuitive rule that says: don’t concentrate on your weakness, practice what you are good at.   The authors state that effective practice requires a systematic attentiveness to participants rate of success.  “You haven’t taught it until they’ve learned it.” Coach Wooden like to say, and the best teachers test to see how much student have learned–a process called “checking for understanding”–every few seconds. They realize that lack of understanding builds on itself and get harder to fix the longer you wait, so they are always asking themselves, “Are students getting it?”

The authors borrow a term that is utilized in Dan and Chip Heath’s book entitled “Switch” and this concept is called Bright Spots.  This concept refers to the often overlooked and under-leveraged power of  what works.  It’s easy, they note to bewail what’s wrong rather than see the power of what’s right.  The authors utilize this term to remind us that in a practice setting, immense value can be realized by focusing on things participants are already good at– and making them even better.

If you are interested in learning all of the rules of getting better I encourage you to click here to be directed to the author website, or click here to watch to a wonderful Youtube video with author Doug Lemov, Erica Woolway and Katie Yezzi discussing the rules.

Enjoy this wonderful interview with co-author Erica Woolway.

 

Michael HollaufI have recently been doing podcasts with organization and authors that have productivity tools that I believe are excellent personal growth and mastery applications.  I was introduced to Michael Hollauf the founder of MindMeister through Gerald Aquila the founder of FireTask, and we speak in this podcast  about an amazing cloud based application for mind mapping that he developed with his team called MindMeister.  This application is  so popular that within less than 6 years his user base has grown to over 1.6 million users.

If you are not familiar with mind mapping, it was made popular by British psychologist Tony Buzan.  What is important to remember about mind mapping is that it allows our non-linear brains that normally  think randomly to be able to capture the wonderful ideas, thoughts and inspirations on paper or the computer in a visual map.

Mind Mapping and the use of computer technology over the last 10 years had really excelled, and the cloud based application that Michael and his team has developed is a wonderful example of a collaborative cloud based application that makes the job of capturing ideas and thoughts with a team of people a snap.

A mind map starts usually with one central word or idea, then branches out from this initial concept. The branches then turn into sub-branches and you continue to develop the mind map as your thoughts flow and are recorded onto the mind map. It is like a cognitive map of sorts.  I have links to some of the samples that MindMeister clients have shared just to give you an idea of what is possible using the MindMeister cloud based application. Just click here for a few examples.

The practical tools that would not be available using paper vs a cloud based system are that you can link notes, hypertext links to website, video, graphics, pictures almost anything that will help you in developing your brainstorming session and making it more comprehensive in nature.   The best part about MindMeister is the ability to share your ideas with others on a team and publish your map for their feedback.

If you are in business or a student, then utilizing a cloud based mind mapping software is a wonderfully practical tool.  I highly recommend the MindMeister cloud based system.  If you want more information or would like to watch a few training videos about how to use the system please click here.  You can also download a 30 day free trial by clicking here.

I hope you enjoy this great interview with the founder of MindMeister Michael Hollauf.