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The DLTS is a profiling of the most influential people in Chicago's digital technology community.
I wish I knew, from the beginning...
Two things. First, the importance of statistics. Of all the college courses that I took and now wish I had taken more seriously, statistics is at the top of the list.
Second, the importance of active listening. Successful communication requires much more than emails, tweets, or even talking to someone. Successfully communicating is all about listening. Actively listening. In active listening you may be starting a conversation or responding but in either case you always provide conversational feedback. Let me clarify with and example. Jill describes to you a problem or asks you a question. You respond with Jill, just to make sure I heard you correctly let me tell you what I heard. In this response you begin by assuming full responsibility for potentially misunderstanding. You never imply that the other party in the conversation was unclear, only that you may not have understood or internalized the conversation. Then by repeating the key facts you ensure 360 degree communications.
This technique also applies to written communications such as email. When you send a critical email call the recipient to ensure that what you wrote was understood by the recipient. Clear active communications is a critical skill for any business leader.
The best advice I ever received was…
In 1987, I met with John McKinnon at that time an Executive Vice President of American National Bank after an introduction from Harvey Miller one of the founders of Quill Corporation and both a friend and an exceptional business leader. I asked American National Bank for a line of credit to help support growth at my company Metamor Technologies. John asked me how I was going to pay back the loan if my plans for Metamor Technologies did not work.
While an entrepreneur must be passionate about the potential for their business as a prudent business professional they must have plans for when things go wrong. They must be highly flexible.The lesson I learned in 1987 has helped me build multiple successful businesses my forcing me to plan for both success and setbacks, since few businesses progress exactly as planned. It is the ability to redirect a business, reset goals, and reposition an organization that sets apart exceptional entrepreneurs that succeed in building solid businesses.
Future Simple is a startup everyone should know about
I am very impressed with the user interface and ease of the small business products at Future Simple, Uzi Shmilovici's company.