Monthly Archives: December 2021

Can the “Great Resignation” Become the “Great Elevation”? It’s Up to You.

The data is clear: one of the consequences of the Pandemic is that people are leaving their jobs. From my perch, the patterns are clear. I see it when I work with CEOs who lead multi-million dollar companies and share their thoughts and feelings with other Vistage members in order to be more effective leaders for themselves, their employees and companies and communities with which they work. I see it when I work with the Age Brilliantly community where adults share their questions and potential solutions on our interactional platform with peers, experts and service providers, who share our common mission: to lead long, fulfilling lives (to 100+).

It’s happening across almost all demographic groups for a simple reason: staying in a job that doesn’t meet some of their essential needs for a fulfilling life doesn’t make sense. The Pandemic which disrupted so many aspects of life, destroyed our allegiance to inertia: the reluctance to change. It moved workers from offices to home; it forced people to restructure how and when the use time to do jobs and reallocate it to relationships, passion and purpose. 

It challenged workers’ beliefs that they had to sacrifice some aspects of life for others. We learned that we no longer have to commute an hour a day to do your daily job, nor spend a day traveling back and forth for a meeting that could be done via Zoom. We learned that we have 12-18 hours during which we can work and spend time with our children and parents -often with more positive results for everyone. With a far more fulfilling life, why return to the old way of sacrificing “self” for the “job”. 

As humans continue to evolve, we’re motivated less by fears driven by our reptilian brains and more by the positive outlook of opportunities by our “sage” (frontal neocortex) brains. (See  Positive Psychology and Positive Intelligence to learn more.)  For emerging and young adults, the discovery happens early in their careers; for middle and later stage adults who are questioning what a potential 80 year adult life really means, this is the opportunity to stop living the “default” life and start leading an intentional life.

If they work for a company, this is the time to reflect on what they really want to do for the rest of their life. Resignations allow some to focus on GROWTHH time (i.e., Goal Re-orientation with Time for Health and Happiness) and launch their Future Selves. Young people can start careers that are more challenging and lucrative, and uses their time well. Middle and later stage adults can change careers, start businesses, and serve as SharExers (Sharing Experience and Expertise) to advise companies, mentor younger people, etc.) CEOs who resisted retirement because the company produces many values (e.g., identity, income, relationships), can identify inertia’s opportunity costs, and focus on life’s wonders, gifts and opportunities that they are missing

Since the beginning of the pandemic, McKinsey and others noted that it accelerated trends already in place. Experts have been sharing with us the impact of automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the job market: we’re going to lose between 25-40+% of jobs manual and routine jobs that Robots (physical machines) and Bots (software robots). At the same time, it creates new job and industries. Remember, digital transformation, telehealth, RPA (robotic process automation), etc. are all in their infancy. 

Thus, rather than lament the labor shortages that the “great resignation” has produced, we should focus on the opportunities it creates. Let the “robots and bots” free people from jobs that are routine and boring; and let’s enable those people who want to support companies’ vision and mission to increase their contribution! Let people acquire the soft- and hard-skills necessary to take on elevated work with interesting teams of other people who share that vision. 

One of the Vistage member CEOs with whom I work leads a unique firm. While many of the larger RPA firms develop tools that they help customers adopt, Simple Fractal focuses on diagnosis of client’s needs to develop customized bots (cRPA). As part of tits needs assessment process, it not only identifies where its bots can generate more revenue, more profit, better customer experiences, more efficiency, etc., but also challenges the client to think about how to use the enormous ROI that cRPA can produce to look at its future workforce and “elevate human capital”.

As individuals make better decisions concerning the jobs they want to own during the next decade while they also lead a more fulfilling lifestyle, they need to elevate their capabilities to take on these jobs. At the same time, companies and schools need to increase their commitment to helping people upskill their talents and capabilities to take on more interesting careers during next few decades.

Together, as individuals, schools, and companies, we can turn the Great Resignation into the Great Elevation.  Are you up to the challenge? Let’s get started, now!

For more information, contact: or 

Think Like a BUYER to Design and Deliver Winning Sales Presentations

Do you want to sell your company (or an important product or service) for maximum value and quickly? Then, you need to think like the BUYER before you design the presentation.

This message has been reinforced recently, as several CEOs who are selling their companies share with me how they are struggling with sales presentations designed for them by investment banking and related firms. Why are they’re struggling? While the banker-types do a decent job collecting the information that needs to be presented, they turn the design job to junior analysts who “fit” the data into an evergreen sales template. This process generates several problems:

  • The templates often are not designed from the perspective of a BUYER but rather reflect the “data-dump” of the data collected to make the sake. A BUYER presentation focuses on:
  • What the BUYER needs to know (and what should be deleted),
  • How the facts and data should be presented to be compelling, 
  • How to structure the entire presentation to guide the BUYER to reach the conclusion: “I really want this!”
  • The potential BUYER is part of an extended team that has to pull the trigger on buying.  This includes people in the company, investors and advisors. Therefore, a key goal of the presentation is to enable the person to share the information with others!  Like the game of telephone, as it gets communicated from one person to another, pieces get lost and confused. Therefore, the presentation must make crystal clear at the end WHY this is an incredible deal and do it in a way that the BUYER can share it completely with others!
  • Most analysts shouldn’t be expected truly understand the BUYER context.  He/she only recently graduated a (often top) college which taught how to do financial modeling and make presentations. These are key technical skills. But, as Google’s research demonstrated, the soft-skills often count more today than the hard skills. That the template may not include the right facts in the right offer and therefore eliminate the right flow to persuade a BUYER is something not yet experienced. As a mentor once shared with me, don’t expect someone who drives used cars to be a powerful new luxury car sales person.
  • All too often the person who presents to potential buyers is given the mandate to present this less-than-ideal-templated presentation” to potential buyers by going from over-stuffed- slide-to-slide. Instead, the seller should be presenting his/her persuasive, memorable STORY, filled with passion, purpose and vision and supported by informative and engaging slides within a powerful, flowing presentation. Only then can a deal proceed at full value and at full value. (The gap between reading the slides and presenting a powerful story is the largest reason that potential deals don’t advance.)

For over thirty years, my teams at Presentation Excellence and its predecessor Brilliant Image, have been telling our over 5000 customers to follow a simple formula that almost always enable them to win: ADAP – Audience-Driven, Authentic Presentations. Understanding the buyer context is KEY. One of my clients once raised $100M Opportunity fund with a 20 minute stand-up presentation at tall tables in bars. Another CEO had trouble selling a company which sold at retail dressy dresses ; once we realized that the Buyer-Reps were all men – who often bought tuxedos that they wore over and over again, we realized changing the mindset immediately was key to revealing Company’s real value. Finally, I wrote this blog in response to a third CEO who told to present their hot-off-the-press presentation the next day (for the first time) while he was uncomfortable with the flow and style, but was willing to go along with the (expensive) experts.

So, if you’re one of the millions of owners and managers who have critical sales planned for 2022, THINK LIKE THE BUYER, before you design and deliver the presentation!  

(For more information, call or 800 493 1334

that can only be worn once is not the same as selling Tuxedos which may be work countless times.

 Think Like the Buyer, BEFORE You Design the Presentation

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December 2021