Author Archives: Brendan

  “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence.”   So said Calvin Coolidge – 30th President of the US.  He was in office nearly a century ago – 1923-1929 – but what he said is timeless.   A few weeks ago Ireland played Germany – the worthy World Cup Champions this past summer in Brazil.   So here’s the scene : After the regulation 90 minutes we are losing 1:0.  4 minutes of added time are announced.   The team is wrecked physically and mentally after 90 minutes of trying to counter a superior … Continue reading

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  I’m guessing that once or twice you’ve shared my irritation at being asked to answer bad questions?   There I was one Friday a few weeks ago – answering a phone survey on banking services for small businesses.   The guy was asking me to what extent I’d consider choosing particular providers.  The first provider he mentioned was my own business banking provider – Bank Of Ireland.  I said the question wasn’t applicable to me as I was already with them.  He said that unfortunately there was no “not applicable”  or “they’re already my provider” options. … Continue reading

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  Recently I was on my way to a meeting with my accountant.  The meeting wasn’t boring at all – and included two lovely homemade coffees!   Anyway, on my way to the meeting I was driving around Kilkenny’s ring road – a ring road that has a footpath and cycle path alongside it.   A woman was jogging – and pushing a baby’s buggy as she jogged.  Now I hope the buggy was sturdy and well-oiled – otherwise she was risking dislocating her shoulder and/or bouncing her baby out of the buggy!   Fair play to … Continue reading

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  If you are in a room with 22 other people there is a slightly greater than 50% chance that at least 2 of you will share the same birthday.   Do you doubt that?   It would be natural if you did.  It’s counter-intuitive.   However, stay with me a little as I explain it.   If you are on your own in a room, the chances of you having a birthday unique to yourself is 100% – or 365/365.   If a 2nd person enters the room, the chances of them having a birthday unique … Continue reading

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  A few years ago I was in BNI – a referral-based networking group.  At every meeting you did a pitch to the members in the room – and indirectly to their networks.   One week I asked the people in the room to raise their hands if they felt they were delivering excellent customer service to their customers.  17 out of 21 raised their hands.  One of the 4 who kept their hands down intrigued me.  Let’s call him “John”.   John intrigued me because, without prompting , he offered the comment : “No WAY can … Continue reading

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  The problem with memories is that they’re often false.   Let me explain…  You’ve probably heard about what can happen to a “true” story if John tells it to Mary and Mary then tells Patrick and Patrick then tells …..  until someone tells the story back to John.  The story will probably have changed substantially.   But that’s not the only problem.  As individuals we revise our memories over time.  Totally innocently.  And we can do so with conviction.  As Elizabeth Loftus said in a TED talk in Edinburgh last year, memory works “more like a … Continue reading

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  “I want to do an online survey of my customers.”   That’s a statement I’ve heard many times from people.  However, it might not be the best thing to do.  Or it might not be sufficiently well defined.   People are always surprised when I don’t immediately say – “Ok – let’s do it”.  Maybe they’re wondering : “Why is this guy talking himself out of a possible sale?”   The reason is simple.  I’ll only do an online survey for people if it is what’s best for them.  And, to determine what is best, we … Continue reading

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  I typically tell you a story in these posts.   The recent feedback has been interesting.  To give you a flavour:   Seán said he had noticed a distinct lack of so-called “calls to action”. Mary wondered what I was selling as she thought what I was writing was, though interesting, rhetorical “social commentary”. Jimmy says the posts are very good – but don’t relate to what I sell.   So I’ve been making a mistake.  I’ve been guilty of telling and not selling.  So today let me do something a little different and describe something … Continue reading

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  I was at a networking meeting last week.   One of the elements of the meeting was that we were split into small groups at different tables to brainstorm on how we could improve the network.   Each small group spent 20 minutes brainstorming.   Then each table in sequence, through their spokesperson, summarised their findings.   We were the last table.   When it came to us, our spokesperson Ana said (truthfully) that all our ideas had been covered by the other tables.  She was right to not trot out the same stuff other people … Continue reading

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  How about this for a depressing description of a career:   “There was comfort in filing divorces and personal bankruptcies and doing an occasional will or deed. Little in the way of fees, but he and most of the other lawyers in Clanton could eke out a living while avoiding almost all risk.”   Imagine it.   Boring.   Indistinguishable from your competitors.   Probably competing purely on price.   Thankfully the above is fictional.  It’s a description of a character (Mack Stafford) in a John Grisham short story I just finished – “Fish Files“.   … Continue reading

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