Being a frequent traveller, (and often travelling to new places, and places that are served by multiple airports) I was looking for a site that would help me figure out the closest airport to the city I was travelling to.  I found a really great site in travelmath.com.

If you travel for business OR pleasure, this is a site that you should DEFINITELY add to your travel favorites both for long-term planning, and short term reference.

From their website description:

“This site provides an online travel calculator to help you find answers quickly.  If you’re planning a trip, you can measure things like travel distance and travel time. To keep your travel budget under control, use the travel cost tools.

You can also browse information on flights including the distance and flight time.  Or use the section on driving to compare the distance by car, or the length of your road trip.

Finally, use the map below or the links on the lower right to lookup an airport, hotel, city, state, country, or zip code. You can use the bookmark button at the top to save any page, or try searching for your exact destination.”

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”

-Theodore Roosevelt

Happy New Year!  This time of year is the time when we all start off strong – hopefully with good, organized, written goals and a plan to execute on them.  What are your goals?  What are your top areas of focus for this year?  Most importantly, how will you make sure that you continue to execute on them?

I read a great blog yesterday on Creating a Personal Masterplan from personalmba.com that I thought was very insightful and concise.  Josh Kaufman talks about building and prioritizing your goals, states of being and habits and creating your own Masterplan.  I’d highly recommend reading it.

I am re-reading “The Effective Executive” by Peter Drucker.  It’s amazing to go back to a book first published in 1966 and recognize that, even with the tremendous technology advances we have made, the principles are still relevant and pertinent today.  There’s a quote in the first chapter that I highlighted, and really sums up my commitment to 2012.  “Knowledge work is not defined by quantity.  Neither is knowledge work defined by its costs.  Knowledge work is defined by its results.”

The best thing you can do to establish and maintain relevancy and build your personal value is by doing whatever it takes to deliver results.  Affect real change and real  results, and do it today.  Then do it every single day in your personal and professional life.  Start every day with a purpose and execute on it.  Then keep on executing, and don’t get lost in the analysis.

“Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.”  – R. Buckminster Fuller

2012 for me is the year of results.  It’s going to be my best year yet – what about you?

Just like laying out an outfit the night before a big meeting saves time in the morning, so does laying out your schedule on Friday for the next week.

If you know on Friday the outline of the following week, it truly does make your weekend more enjoyable.  Go in prepared, knowing what you have to do.  Get that edge, it will make a difference.

I spend a tremendous part of my time writing and/or proofing proposals, as well as building new offerings with other strategic members of my company.  A proposal is one of the best and most comprehensive ways of being able to articulate (when you’re not there to do it) the value you can bring, as well as the process you will use to do it in.

In my mind, a proposal is made up of a few key elements:

  • A summary of what your prospect or customer needs
  • A summary of your qualifications to perform the work
  • A summary of the work to be performed
  • Pricing / cost analysis
  • (Sometimes) a brief ROI
  • Assumptions
  • Statement of terms, or a reference to terms on file

These can range from a one page simple quote, to a complex, verbose document with sample timelines, requirements and appendices.

The better you know your customer or prospect’s culture and expectations, the better prepared you will be to win the deal.  Knowing what they want and need, and articulating and communicating it is the key.  Showing your value against what may be cheaper solutions.  Delivering what they asked for.

I read a great article on fedmarket.com that I thought I’d share with you.  I’ve included an excerpt, but I’d encourage you to go out and read the whole thing.

One or Two Pages May Do It

By Richard White

“Proposal writing is both an art and a science. The art part is the solution that the customer believes will solve their problem with minimal risk. Often several pages of creative solution content will swing a win. It doesn’t matter if the solution is information technology, management consulting, program support, or a product. They are looking for:

  • Risk aversion, risk aversion, and risk aversion; the three R’s of proposal writing
  • Feasibility and practicality of solution (their perceived solution, not yours)
  • Speed of implementation
  • Speed of staffing
  • Uniqueness of staff
  • Proven capability to solve the problem
  • Nearness to customer
  • Special facility
  • Unique features and benefits
  • Unique management capabilities”

Until next time.

A mechanic was removing a cylinder head from the motor of a Harley motorcycle when he spotted a well-known heart surgeon in his shop.

The surgeon was there, waiting for the service manager to come and take a look at his bike.

The mechanic shouted across the garage, “Hey, Doc, can I ask you a question?”

The surgeon a bit surprised, walked over to the mechanic working on the motorcycle. The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, “So Doc, look at this engine. I open its heart, take valves out, fix ‘em, put ‘em back in, and when I finish, it works just like new. So how come I get such a small salary and you get the really big bucks, when you and I are doing basically the same work?”

The surgeon paused, smiled and leaned over, and whispered to the mechanic…

“Try doing it with the engine running.”

This is from a forwarded email from my friend Rick- I found it funny and wanted to share it with you.

Proposed dog breeds, but it’ll probably be awhile before they’re AKC-registered:

Collie + Lhasa Apso
Collapso, a dog that folds up for easy transport

Spitz + Chow Chow
Spitz-Chow, a dog that throws up a lot

Pointer + Setter
Poinsetter, a traditional Christmas pet

Irish Water Spaniel + English Springer Spaniel Irish Springer, a dog fresh and clean as a whistle

Labrador Retriever + Curly Coated Retriever Lab Coat Retriever, the choice of research scientists

Newfoundland + Basset Hound
Newfound Asset Hound, a dog for financial advisors

Terrier + Bulldog
Terribull, a dog that makes awful mistakes

Bloodhound + Labrador
Blabador, a dog that barks incessantly

Malamute + Pointer
Moot Point, owned by… well, it doesn’t really matter

Collie + Malamute
Commute, a dog that travels to work

Deerhound + Terrier
Derriere, a dog that’s true to the end

Bull Terrier + Shitzu
Well, you get the idea….

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