January 29, 2013 | Tom Suddes


I love FAST COMPANYI’m grateful everyday for Alan Webber and Bill Taylor for acting on their entrepreneurial instinct that there was a ‘market’ for this type of resource.

And, to Joe Mansueto for picking up this ‘torch’ (as well as Inc. magazine) and continuing to fuel it.

If you are in any way connected to the For Impact world or consider yourself to be a For Impact leader or social entrepreneur, you need to read this article from this month (February 2013) Fast Company.

10 Conversations That Changed the World contains 10 great examples of  “dialogue that inspired innovation”.

Here’s my shorthand:

  1. The Birth of Silicon Valley.  A ‘traitorous’ group of eight young geniuses create first venture back start-up, Silicon Valley and more.

    Note:  One of our current partners/coaching clients is Education Pioneers.  They’re awesome.  One of their funders, Art Rock, is part of this group of E-8!

  2. Zuckerberg Bets On Social.  An IM conversation with a high school friend clarifies his priorities! 

  3. Consumer Electronics Get Sexy.  Great conversation around ‘design’.

  4. Steve Jobs Goes To The Movies.  Killer line. “Everything we were … was about the presentation and storytelling.”  This is why Jobs bought into Pixar.

  5. Reading, Writing And Education Reform.  100% true or not, this is incredible story re: Wendy Kopp, Teach for America!

  6. Mass Retail Meets High-End Design.  Target and Michael Graves, the designer. “I don’t copy. I create.”

  7. Absolut Brilliance.  TBWA\Chiat\Day Agency creates bottle-centric ad campaign. “It was the very fact of the SIMPLICITY (of the campaign) that would make this thing take off.”

  8. Starbucks Saves The Modern Organization.  CEO Howard Schultz comments to an investor’s request to slash Starbucks benefits. “After all these years, if you believe the financial crisis should change our principles and core purpose, perhaps you should sell your stock!  I’m not building a stock.  I’m trying to build a great, enduring company. We are a performance-driven organization, but we have to lead the company through the lens of humanity.”

  9. Funny Goes Viral.  The two founders of CollegeHumor.
    Best line: “I’d love to say I had this vision of changing how comedy worked.  It was really, I don’t want to have a job that sucks.”

  10. Zappos Kicks Off Internet Shoe Sales—AND EVERYTHING ELSE.  1999.  “5% of sales in the $40 billion shoe industry were through paper mail-order catalogs.” “I’d tell them again: 5% of shoes were sold through mail-order catalogs.” Read this conversation and you’ll get it. (Another great line from Zappos founder Nick Swinmurn to investor, now CEO, Tony Hsieh: “We assume that for the foreseeable future, everyone will continue to wear shoes.”

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January 22, 2013 | Tom Suddes

I Have A Dream Speech

Just in case you haven’t heard this today.

I Have a Dream.
Martin Luther King – I Have A Dream Speech – August 28, 1963

30,000′ memorable message that captures a vision and a movement in 4 words:

How does your message, tagline, battle cry match up?

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January 22, 2013 | Tom Suddes


I shared the attached article from Harvard Business Review’s John Kotter (big-time leadership guru) with our Senior Team this weekend.

Harvard Business Review

The more I thought about it, the more I felt the article could offer huge benefits to the For Impact ‘tribe.’ It’s titled “Management Is (Still) Not Leadership.”

Kotter goes into strong but simple definitions around the difference between Leadership and Management. Clearly, every For Impact organization needs both.

If you don’t think you need to read the article, I would simply ask if you’re making, as Kotter describes it:

    “Mistake #1: People use the terms ‘Management’ and ‘Leadership’ interchangeably. This shows that they don’t see the crucial difference between the two and the vital functions that each role plays.”

There are two other ‘mistakes’ Kotter spells out that will grab your attention.

If you’re thinking about changing the world, it’s pretty important that you understand the difference between ‘Leadership’ and ‘Management’ … and position yourself and your organization to do both.

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January 21, 2013 | Tom Suddes

What Would You Do With $1M?

I recently read about a GREAT question being posed to Amazon job candidates by CEO Jeff Bezos. (“Top 25 Oddball Interview Questions of 2012″ from glassdoor.com).

“You can have $1 million to spend on your best entrepreneurial idea. What is it?”

This is a very powerful question for every FOR IMPACT LEADER!

Not as a interview question … not about Bezos … but a question you should be able to answer EVERY DAY, any day, for anyone walking into your office or where ever you deliver your service.

The most important point here is that if you don’t know what you’re going to DO with a
$1 Million Transformational Gift … you’ll never GET one!

Read this great story from one of my top five favorite books, THINK & GROW RICH, called
It illustrates the point perfectly.

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January 21, 2013 | Tom Suddes

Why Aren’t You Delegating

I got some interesting feedback from my recent post on DO/DELEGATE/DUMP.

Over the weekend, I came across a ‘Best Practice’ article at Harvard Business Review on “Why Aren’t You Delegating?”

It offers some really good stuff, including a few key Principles to Remember:

  • Take note if you’re overwhelmed and your team members don’t have enough to do.
  • Keep a visual reminder of your team’s goals so you can easily identify opportunities to delegate.
  • Ask your team/direct reports to call you out when you haven’t delegated enough. (This tip alone could help a lot!)
  • And, don’t give someone else responsibility for something … and then micromanage the task to death(!)

Read the full article here.

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January 15, 2013 | Tom Suddes


I’ve been reflecting… and trying to get my life/act together for 2013.

I went back to something from a 2003 Journal:

  • DO: Stop trying to ‘do‘ everything! “I can’t let go.” “I micro-manage.” “Easier to do it myself.”
    The goal is to ONLY DO WHAT ONLY YOU CAN DO.
    To get the best example of this concept in action, read Michael Gelb’s (one of my favorite authors) wonderful book, INNOVATE LIKE EDISON. In essence, Edison believed his ‘job’ was to THINK and CREATE. He brought on hundreds of super-talented people to help EXECUTE.
    *This book also reinforces that EVERYTHING’S A PROJECT! And, EVERY PROJECT HAS A TEAM, LEADER, a TEAM, etc.
    Sounds simple, but always hard to figure out WHAT (to delegate) and to WHOM.
    What could you DELEGATE immediately that would free you up to ONLY DO WHAT ONLY YOU CAN DO.
    I cut this quote out of Success Magazine on the 19th of July, 2012. I think it captures the big idea. It’s from Richard Branson. Chief Virgin. 300 companies. 34 countries. $2.1B in revenue.
    “One of the best bits of advice I can give other leaders is to try to put yourself out of business.
    Try to find people to take over 99% of what you do, which will then free you up to THINK about the bigger picture.”
    DELEGATE… 99% of what you do!
    Small example: 2013 marks the 30th Anniversary of The Suddes Group. In all those years, I can count the number of checks I’ve written on probably one hand. (And that was only in an emergency.) I hate accounting, accounts payable, accounts receivable. I’m no good with money. (It just doesn’t mean that much to me.) So… there’s always been somebody to take care of this. My company role is to to think and make rain/generate revenue through IMPACT and VALUE.
    Note: Jim Collins uses this same mindset to help him research and analyze his concepts, hiring a bunch of the ‘best and brightest’ to help him.
  • DUMP.
    I know. Again, way easier said than done. Stephen Covey created his brilliant ‘Quadrants’ and made Quadrant IV all about DUMP. (Not Important. Not Urgent.)
    Here’s another way to look at ‘DUMP’.
    Create 3 lists:
      1. Things I WANT to do.
      2. Things I HAVE to do.
      3. Things I neither WANT to do nor HAVE to do.
    Throw away the third list.

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January 11, 2013 | Tom Suddes

Death of the (Predatory) Salesman

You know our FI | TSG line:

Dan Pink has written this amazing book called To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others.

I will keep encouraging you to order this book on amazon.com or buy it in a real bookstore immediately. (Read the book this weekend!)

Here’s a link to an article at NPR that gives you another flavor on why Dan thinks “We’re all in sales!”

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January 11, 2013 | Tom Suddes

The World’s First Elevator Pitch

To Sell is Human By Dan Pink

I urge to order Dan Pink’s new book, TO SELL IS HUMAN!

Go immediate to Page 155 and read about Elisha Otis… and the world’s first elevator pitch!

Teaser: It involved him climbing on top of one of the world’s first elevators and taking an axe and slashing the rope that is suspending it in mid-air!

I love Dan’s thinking as he goes into the 6 Successors to the Elevator Pitch.

    1. The One-Word Pitch (IMPACT!)
    2. The Question Pitch (JUST ASK!)
    3. The Rhyming Pitch (LIVE TO GIVE. GIVE TO LIVE.)
    4. The Subject Line Pitch (YOU JUST WON $1M FROM NIGERIAN LOTTERY.)
    6. The Pixar Pitch!!! (Page 170. THIS ALONE IS WORTH THE PRICE OF THE BOOK.)

Pink reinforces everything I’ve read about Pixar, John Lasseter and his team, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney Company and more.


    Once upon a time there was _________. Every day _________.
    One day ________ and _________. Because of that _________ .
    Because of that __________. Until finally _________

To every For Impact organization out there… fill in the blanks and you have your STORY!

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January 8, 2013 | Tom Suddes

Make 2013 a year to remember!

This comes from For Impact’s own motivator, cross fitness trainer and coach, and good friend, Steve ‘Wolfie’ Wolf.

Sign up for a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)!

There’s nothing wrong with returning to events (challenges) you know and enjoy, but it’s difficult to sustain passion and inspiration from those events. Go out on a limb and sign up for something exciting, scary, intimidating, or exotic! If you’re not excited and nervous about it, how are you going to commit 100% to preparing for it?

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January 3, 2013 | Tom Suddes


Here’s a very interesting thought from Forbes blogger, Tom Watson, on re-examining the idea of ‘scale’.

Gives strong credence to a re-focus on IMPACT… which is what this tribe is all about!

Still 3 days ‘left’ to do some planning and goal setting before next Monday (which kicks off the work year… and BCS National Championship game. GO IRISH!)

Note: Order Dan Pinks new book TO SELL IS HUMAN. Just came out. Trust me on this one. I will tell you why it’s so important on Monday.

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