The 7 Habits Recap

We are speeding toward the fourth quarter and managers at all levels are wondering if the company will reach its 2015 goals. To better understand where you are—and what you need to do in the fourth quarter—ask yourself these questions: What are the year-to-date numbers and what is in the funnel for the last part of 2015? Will you reach your sales goals? What projects did you commit to finishing in 2015 that might slip into 2016? What relationships did you commit to develop that have been put on the back-burner? What strategic initiatives have you committed to starting that
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I Bought a Truck and Learned a Lesson About Business Intelligence Analytics

Sometimes things happen in life that allow my business world and personal world to collide. Recently I was asked by my neighborhood Boy Scout Troop to be the Scoutmaster. I have been a lifelong supporter of the ideals and values that Scouting teaches boys and I am an Eagle Scout. I also have always wanted to get a big truck, and saw this as a perfect convergence of truck-justification and a chance to give something back to the community. The truck-buying journey drilled home a lesson in business intelligence analytics which was unexpected. Luckily my terrific wife also allowed the
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ShoreTel Bets the Farm on Cloud UC but Will Fail Without This Key Component

As a unified communications wonk, I recently attended the ShoreTel conference excited to glean some intel about trends in UC, and especially cloud UC. As the ShoreTel conference was reconvening for the first time in almost 30 months, I was also expecting some huge announcements or product unveiling. Unfortunately, from that perspective the conference was underwhelming. That said, I was particularly interested in the comments by ShoreTel President and CEO Don Joos, who clearly stated in his keynote that the target market for ShoreTel is the SMB market—specifically 5,000 seat deployments and below. But the other clear message from the
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Habit #7 Sharpen the Saw – part 2

Yesterday, we took a look at Stephen Covey’s Habit #7—Sharpening the Saw. We explored how important exercise is for not only your own personal health, but also how it impacts the overall wellbeing of your company, and your staff members. Physical activity gets the blood flowing and the brain activated, but what about when that brain is just dead tired? What if you’ve simply hit the wall. That’s where some mental recharging becomes crucial. Mental recharging is critical to any busy executive or manager. This is another area where just shutting out the office is not nearly good enough. You
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Habit #7 Sharpen the Saw

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Ferris Bueller, 1986 According to Stephen Covey, “Sharpen the Saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have–you. It means having a balanced program for self-renewal…” Sharpen The Saw for many stressed out managers means simply taking time away from work to rest and recharge their batteries. But this is not the intent of Stephen Covey’s seventh habit, because each of his habits build upon each other to create a transformational and permanent change in how we function. Step one
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HABIT 6 Synergize

syn·er·gy: verb \ˈsin-ər-jē\ the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements, contributions, etc.; synergism. Said another way “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts”. In my mind I think of a box of Legos – each individual Lego is a pretty amazing invention but taken together you can create almost anything you can imagine. A Team is More Than Great Team Members This past NBA season, everyone expected the Miami Heat to win a third straight World Championship. The combination of the “Big 3”
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How to Deliver UC to your Customers: Sell Lync

“Why am I writing about Lync?” you ask? “Because I hate being lied to…”It is probably my least favorite thing in the whole world. Most of you probably feel the same way. But, somewhere along the line, we were all lied to about Unified Communications. UC was supposed to be easier, faster, less expensive, and just as robust as my old copper lines and simple phone system. And along with all those benefits I was supposed to have better communications, because my phone, PC, and mobile devices were all going to interact so seamlessly I would have an amazing “George
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Big Data is not as important as UCC Analytics

There is a lot of buzz about Big Data. It’s awesome for some applications but sometimes I wonder if Big Data is simply an outgrowth of the fact that we have so much data available to us these days. Like we are finding a way to justify the existence of it all. Finding patterns in massive data sets has tremendous value. But in a practical sense it is often more valuable to drill into the data analytics. This is where UCC Analytics come in. UCC Analytics and Big Data I have a friend suffering from heart disease at a pretty
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HABIT #5 – Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

This is the fifth post in our 7 Habits for Highly Successful Communication Managers. As we work to be less reactionary (Habit #1 – Be Proactive), have a clear strategy (Habit #2 – Begin with the End in Mind), and work to prioritize tasks (Habit #3 – Putting First Things First), we must have an overarching goal for everyone to win (Habit #4 – Think Win-Win). From Habit #4, Think Win-Win, we move to Habit #5, Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. According to Steven R. Covey, “Communication is the most important skill in life.” You spend years learning
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Telarus Partner Summit 2014 Keynote Highlights

Recently I attended the Telarus Partner Summit 2014. It was a great opportunity to learn more about what is going on in the carrier world and network with some terrific partners in the bandwidth channel. Telarus put on an amazing event. There were two amazing keynote speakers: David Arvin and Dale Murphy. One of the highlights was a keynote presentation by David Arvin. He has written a book called “It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows You” where he gives advice on how to build your business by building your brand in the social media age. His keynote was
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Habit 4 Think Win Win

This is Habit 4 Think Win Win, the 4th post in our 7 Habits for Highly Successful Communication Managers. As we work to be less reactionary (Habit #1 – Be Proactive) and have a clear strategy (Habit #2 – Begin with the End in Mind) and work to prioritize tasks (Habit #3 – Putting First Things First),we must have an overarching gold for everyone to win. Habit #4 says Think Win-Win. Think Win-Win isn’t about being nice, nor is it a quick-fix technique. It is a character-based code for human interaction and collaboration. Technology for the masses is fascinating. Most of
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HABIT #3 – Putting First Things First – Make sure you prioritize tasks

I love to watch M*A*S*H. One common scene in M*A*SH was triage. The doctors and nurses would quickly assess the wounded soldiers and rank them based on the severity of their injuries; life threatening, critical, stable, or minor. Those classifications would determine the order the soldiers were brought to the operating room.  It was interesting to note that often the soldier that was making the most noise wasn’t necessarily the soldier that had the life-threatening injuries. While our daily tasks aren’t comparable to soldiers on a battlefield, the concept of quickly doing a triage on the tasks that make up
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UC Strategy – Habit #2, Begin with the End in Mind

So to dovetail into Habit #1, Be Proactive, you need to know where you are going or you will never be able to be strategic – you will spend all day every day putting out fires and dealing with what comes up never moving toward an overall UC Strategy. If you do end up accomplishing something strategic, it will have been because of luck and not because of pre-planning. The Cheshire Cat said it best when he was talking with Alice in Wonderland. ALICE: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” CHESHIRE CAT: “That
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Habit 1 – Be Proactive in UC Strategy

Be Proactive in your UC Strategy & Roadmap “Over 80% of enterprise investments in UC [Unified Communications] component projects will not be guided by a governing UC strategy and roadmap.”  Gartner, November 2011 “Predicts: 2012: Successful UC Deployments Depend on Defining Organizational Objectives and Understanding Challenges” After you get over your disbelief of that statistic and let it marinate a bit, think about your own work and your own projects.  Is there an overall UC Strategy? How many of your projects bubbled to the top of the list because of some sort of urgent need from the C-Suite? How many
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