Scott Van Roekel

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9 Habits That Lead to Terrible Decisions

Several years ago we came up with a great idea for a new leadership-development offering we thought would be valuable to everyone. We had research demonstrating that when people embarked on a self-development program, their success increased dramatically when they received follow-up encouragement. …

You Perform Better When You’re Competing Against a Rival

A runner can be expected to finish a 5 kilometer race about <b>25 seconds faster</b>, on average, if a personal rival is also running, according to a study by Gavin J. Kilduff of New York University of 184 races conducted by a running club. Although past research has shown that competition imposed on …

The Corporate Folklorist’s Credo

Storytelling is key to a strong brand and culture — if it’s done right. Having a corporate folklorist on staff helps to convey an organization’s purpose and values through stories and artifacts. But since it’s a relatively new function, it could use a credo to inform and inspire good …

How to Market Test a New Idea

“So,” the executive sponsor of the new growth effort said. “What do we do now?”<p>It was the end of a meeting reviewing progress on a promising initiative to bring a new health service to apartment dwellers in crowded, emerging-market cities. A significant portion of customers who had been shown a …

Your Company’s Purpose Is Not Its Vision, Mission, or Values

We hear more and more that organizations must have a compelling “purpose” — but what does that mean? Aren’t there already a host of labels out there that describe organizational direction? Do we need yet another?<p>I think we do, and I’ve pulled together a typology of sorts to help distinguish all …

Annihilation at Tannenberg

<i>The First World War was an unprecedented catastrophe that shaped our modern world. Erik Sass is covering the events of the war exactly 100 years</i> …

10 things you (probably) didn’t know about the First World War

Lang, a senior lecturer in history at Anglia Ruskin University, is the author of <i>First World War for Dummies</i>.<p>Advertisement<p>Produced in conjunction with …

Kindle Fire

7 Types of Leadership Intentions and Impacts

In work and leadership, we get into conversations about intent. Some phrases like these appear:<p>“Even though what he did was wrong, his intentions …

Should You Put World of Warcraft on Your Resume?

Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are famous for their love of and prowess in bridge. Harvard has used high-stakes poker as a real-world game theory laboratory for strategic thinking. For sheer bonhomie and bonding, golf remains a global opportunity for American, Asian, and European executives to mix …

The Benefits of Male Small-Talk

In a hypothetical scenario, research participants were willing to pay <b>6%</b> more for a parcel of land if the male seller engaged in friendly small-talk before negotiating the deal, demonstrating that men benefit from striking up casual conversation before negotiations, says a team led by Brooke …

The Most Productive People Know Who to Ignore

A coaching client of mine is managing partner at a very large law firm, and one of the issues we’ve been working on is how to cope more effectively with the intense demands on his time—clients who expect him to be available, firm partners and other employees who want him to address their concerns …

3 Behaviors That Drive Successful Salespeople

Most people consider selling to be an art rather than a science: some people have it and some people don’t. But this leaves a lot of uncertainty in what is often a company’s most profitable department, and it makes managing a high-functioning sales force notoriously difficult. The prevailing …

How to Present to a Small Audience

It’s easy to associate delivering presentations with standing in front of an audience and gesturing toward projected slides. However, many meetings or pitches involve fewer than ten participants in a room, where everyone remains seated and walks through the same slide deck together. This is quite a …

The Better You Know Your Customer, the Better You Can Position Your Brand

Marketing should begin and end with your customer, and the same could be said for developing your brand’s positioning statement. How you position your brand should begin and end with your customer.<p>That’s why the classic positioning statement we are de-constructing in this series of articles starts …

Why Going All-In on Your Start-Up Might Not Be the Best Idea

Entrepreneurs who give up their day jobs in stages are <b>33% less likely</b> to fail in their start-ups than those who leave their jobs precipitously to run their new businesses full-time, according to a study of thousands of Americans by Joseph Raffiee and Jie Feng of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. …

Online Shopping Isn’t as Profitable as You Think

When I argue that e-commerce isn’t likely to destroy innovative omnichannel retailers, I typically receive passionate responses. Am I really suggesting that the growth of e-commerce will slow before it annihilates most physical retailing? And how could I possibly argue that the economics of …

Publishing Is Not Dying

If marketers want to produce content, they need to think like publishers. After all, content isn’t an extension of marketing, it’s an extension of publishing.<p>I am hardly the only one to make that case, but skeptics are still vocal in their disagreement. “Aren’t publishers failing?” they say. How …

8 Questions Business Leaders Should Ask Themselves Every Day

WDM Group Editorial Director, Business Writer and Strategist<p>Opinions expressed by <i>Entrepreneur</i> contributors are their own.<p>Leadership is not prescriptive and what works for one person may not work for another. There is one trait, however, that many successful business leaders and entrepreneurs share: …

Entrepreneurship

Driving Innovation With Crowdsourcing

CTO, Dell Boomi<p>Opinions expressed by <i>Entrepreneur</i> contributors are their own.<p>Technical innovation over the past few decades has been staggering. How people communicate is being transformed every few years by changes in computing, mobile devices and digital media.<p>Most of these innovations seem to …

Crowdsourcing

20 Great Pieces Of Advice For Entrepreneurs

We have done over a thousand interviews here on IdeaMensch. If you have the time, I recommend you read them all. I did. You are going to learn so …

Why Certain Managers Thrive in Tough New Jobs

Why do some managers seem to enjoy unpleasant on-the-job learning experiences while others just want to quit? Emotional intelligence has something to do with it, according to a study of managers by Yuntao Dong of the University of Connecticut. The researchers found that a highly unpleasant …

Networking for Introverts

The night before a conference where I was scheduled to speak, I found myself in a crowded bar just south of Greenwich Village. The organizers had arranged a VIP reception, and — having just moved to New York — I figured I should attend. Indeed, I had good conversations with four interesting people …

How Type-A People Can Play Nice with Others

People have always commented on the fact that I am highly driven – a “Type A” to a T. I set personal goals, manage multiple projects at once, and run at the speed of light. Sometimes, I feel like I am already in 2015<b>.</b> But what comes with this high-performing personality is the tendency to – let’s …

10 golden rules of fitness for First World War soldiers

In his new book, <i>Fighting Fit 1914</i>, Adam Culling, curator of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps Museum, explores the equipment and training …

Kindle Fire

When Misfortune Happens to Us, We Believe We Deserve It

Research participants who were informed they had gotten an unlucky break and would have to forfeit <b>£3</b>, rather than win the same amount, subsequently viewed themselves significantly <b>more negatively</b> and believed they were more deserving of bad outcomes, showing that random misfortune damages people’s …

Marketers, Don’t “Join the Conversation” — Lead It

Why are some brands able to be at once both global and local — to successfully seize the energy of grassroots movements and at the same time leverage corporate assets on a massive scale — while others only come off as artificial and pandering?<p>The web did not invent community-driven brands – just …