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Monday, January 30, 2006

The Five Pillars of Self-Discipline

Steve Pavlina, one of the better blogging authorities on self-improvement techniques, has a great blog over at

During the summer of last year, he published an in-depth piece on "The Five Pillars of Self-Discipline."

The five Pillars?
The five pillars of self-discipline are:

  1. Acceptance
  2. Willpower
  3. Hard Work
  4. Industry
  5. Persistence.

"If you take the first letter of each word, you get the acronym “A WHIP” — a convenient way to remember them, since many people associate self-discipline with whipping themselves into shape."

Read Steve's in-depth discussion of The Five Pillars of Self-Discipline, beginning here.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Examples of Excellence: Mozart in Music

At Be Excellent™, our focus in on "helping small businesses to achieve lasting excellence."

Yet, there are SO many examples in the world - from which we can learn to appreciate the value and inherent wonders of excellence.

One of my favorites? Excellence in music.

And how better appreciate excellence in music, than to celebrate and appreciate one of the best examples of genius of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

And today, we celebrate Mozart's 250th birthday.

Some excellent Mozart links here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Optimism About Growth in 2006

According to an annual online survey released today by Accenture, three-quarters of senior executives in North America, Europe and Asia are optimistic about the growth prospects for their companies and industries in 2006.

Among the findings:

  • CEOs officers and HR directors were the most optimistic about the growth of their organizations with nearly eight out of 10 predicting business growth in 2006.
  • 72% viewed competition as their biggest challenge compared with two-thirds (67%) who were worried about the state of the global economy
  • People factors were also loomed large, with an inability to attract and retain the best talent seen as a threat by six out of 10 of those surveyed.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Six Disciplines Leadership Center of Northwest Ohio To Conduct Business-Building Training Session in Findlay OH

The Six Disciplines Leadership Center of Northwest Ohio will be conducting another training session in its Business-Building Series, entitled "Building Company-Wide Accountability."

Feburary 16, 8:00 AM -12:00 PM - Owens Community College, Findlay OH - Conference Center.

To register, contact Rebecca Byerly.

Owens Community College is one of the fastest-growing higher educational institutions in Ohio. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 45,000 credit and non-credit students, making it the number one choice for Northwest Ohio college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 150 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, and Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.

Six Disciplines Leadership Center of Northwest Ohio To Conduct Business-Building Training Session in Sylvania OH

The Six Disciplines Leadership Center of Northwest Ohio will be conducting another training session in its Business-Building Series, entitled "Building Company-Wide Accountability."

January 26, 8:00 AM -12:00 PM - Lourdes College, Sylvania, OH - Franciscan Center Boardroom.

To register, contact Rebecca Byerly.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Common Sense Guy - Bud Bilanich Interviews Gary Harpst

Bud Bilanich, the Common Sense Guy, has interviewed Six Disciplines Corporation's CEO and founder, Gary Harpst, during his most recent Internet radio program on VoiceAmerica.

This past Tuesday, Bud welcomed Gary Harpst, author of “Six Disciplines for Excellence”. Gary is an expert in building small businesses that learn, lead and last. Leaders of these kinds of businesses know they need to do more than just build great products or services -- they need to build a great business. Gary shares the insights he gained over the past 20 years. His unique approach to running a small business combines the practical parts of strategic planning, quality management, integrated learning, business process automation, performance management and measure driven improvement. Gary’s ideas are not for people looking for a quick fix. Learn the importance of working ‘on’ your business, not just ‘in’ them.

Listen to the podcast of the interview here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

SMB CEO Talks About Six Disciplines

Are you one of the more than 1.2 million small and emerging businesses in the United States. Are you one of these businesses who have a mature, passionate leader (CEO/president/founder/leader) who seeks excellence in their business; who wants to improve short- and long-term planning, and wants his/her team members to perform to their potential, and execute more consistently toward the company’s strategy. Are you that leader?

According to Steve Rucinski, over at SMB CEO:

"If you are looking for the right path or the right recipe or methodology to help you in this journey you need to check out Six Disciplines HERE!

Or are you a consultant or organization who wants to help support these 1.2 million businesses and are looking for a structure to work within to do so. If so check out the business opportunity with Six Disciplines HERE."

Six Disciplines Leadership Center Southwest Ohio & Northern Kentucky Names GM

Six Disciplines Corporation today announced that it has named Pat Helm to take the leadership role of General Manager with the newly added franchise of Six Disciplines Leadership Center Southwest Ohio & Northern Kentucky, to be located in Cincinnati.

The Six Disciplines Leadership Center of Southwest Ohio & Northern Kentucky will service clients in the greater Cincinnati area, extending to Dayton to the North, and Florence Kentucky to the South.

The Six Disciplines Leadership Center of Southwest Ohio & Northern Kentucky will be operational in February 2006. For more information about the Six Disciplines Leadership Center of Southwest Ohio & Northern Kentucky, contact Pat Helm at 513-227-3669 or email

Read the entire release here.

Six Disciplines Leadership Center of Northeast Ohio Names GM

Six Disciplines Corporation today announced that it has named Ken Hilty to take the leadership role of General Manager with the newly added franchise of Six Disciplines Leadership Center of Northeast Ohio, to be located in Cleveland.

The Six Disciplines Leadership Center of Northeast Ohio will service clients in the greater Cleveland area, extending to the Pennsylvania state line to the East and west to Norwalk, Ohio.

The Six Disciplines Leadership Center of Northeast Ohio will be operational in February 2006. For more information, contact Ken Hilty at 330-283-4208 or email

Read the entire release here.

Monday, January 16, 2006

CEO's Top Concerns

According to a recent global survey of CEOs by The Conference Board, the global research and business membership organization, spurring company growth has become a major CEO concern in Mexico and South America.

The Conference Board's sixth annual survey of CEO challenges covers the views of 658 CEOs from more than 40 countries.

Additional findings:

  • For the future, CEOs of Europe and the U.S. have slightly different concerns. CEOs based in Europe are most concerned with speed, flexibility, and adaptability to change, followed by profit growth, and sustained and steady top-line growth.
  • In the U.S., the top challenges in the future will be how to sustain and generate steady top-line growth, execute strategy by top management, customer loyalty/retention, and profit growth.

What's On Your Brain

Found an interesting diagram here that describes the Chandler Personal Information Management (PIM) client app.

The diagram describes the various functions used to get "stuff" out of your brain and into a system (PIM, notepad, whatever works...)

BOTTOMLINE: Whatever you do, use SOMETHING - and note that the only brain function with an explanation point - is DECIDE!

The Week for Reading

Lisa Haneberg, over at Management Craft, reminds us it's National Reading Week.

One of the best skills you can acquire over your lifetime is the enjoyment of reading. Read everything you can get your hands on.

So, spend some time this week, begin reading a book - perhaps on a topic of new interest. If it's a business improvement book - (even if it's NOT "Six Disciplines for Excellence" - don't just read it - take what you've read, and execute on it.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Talk About Excellence!

As as a Pittsburgh native, and a Steeler's fan through-and-through, I had to take the opportunity to cheer for the Black & Gold!

Not to mention that Findlay, Ohio - where Six Disciplines Corporate headquarters are, is the hometown of Ben Roethlisberger!!

No one (except us Steeler faithful) gave 'em any chance to upset the incredibly potent Indianapolis Colts, yet here we are, facing the Denver Broncos next week for the AFC Championship game.

BOTTOMLINE: In life, as in sports, I'll provide this mixed sports metaphor: "Never give up....don't EVER give up..." (Jimmy V)

Six Disciplines Included in Top 10 Most Requested Small Biz Audio

Anita Campbell, our good friend over at SMB Trend Wire, offers her list of "Top 10 Most Requested Small Biz Audio."

Included in the Top 10, is Gary Harpst, CEO and Founder of Six Disciplines Corporation, and Anita's interview with Gary on "Building Small Businesses That Learn, Lead and Last"

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Definitive Study of Entrepreneurship in 2005

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), directed by Babson College and London Business School, has just published their seventh annual report -- the largest annual measure of entrepreneurial activity worldwide, compiled by more than 150 scholars from 35 countries.

Key findings of the 2005 report:

  • ‘Innovative’ entrepreneurs drive economic growth. Middle income countries with higher levels of innovative entrepreneurship demonstrate higher growth rates of GDP per capita. Early-stage entrepreneurs claim more often to offer innovative products then established entrepreneurs. Still, findings show that innovation is relatively rare in all countries.
  • Success is best among ‘opportunity-driven entrepreneurs’, who have lower failure rates among early-stage businesses. In general, countries with healthy and diversified labor markets or stronger safety nets in terms of social welfare provisions can be more selective in the kinds of businesses they choose to start….and have higher ratios of opportunity to necessity-driven motivation.
  • All entrepreneurs believe they face strong competition, but established business owners (65%) perceive more competition in their marketplace than early-stage entrepreneurs (55%). Additionally, early-stage businesses in high-income countries feel they are more successful in finding market niches than their counterparts in the middle income cluster.

BOTTOMLINE: Excellent, detailed research here on early-stage and experienced entrepreneurs.

Set Goals That Lead - Featured on SMB Trend Wire

Anita Campbell, our good friend over at SMB Trend Wire, has added a link to "Set Goals That Lead," one of the 1-minute “Tip of the Day” segments, recorded by Gary Harpst, CEO and Founder of Six Disciplines Corporation.

Regular listeners of Anita's Small Business Trends Radio program on Voice America will recognize them from the show.

Here's a complete index of Anita's guests from the show -- spend some time and listen to these podcasts!

For more about the show - link here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

And The Winner Is....

Tom Asacker, who focuses on business, brand and marketplace success in his well-respected "A Clear Eye" blog, recently had a guitar recognition trivia contest - cleverly disguised within one of his marketing podcasts.

The winner? Take a look here....

Want even more on "rock stars?" Check out Lisa Haneberg's "How Many Rock Stars Does it Take to Change a Culture?"

Business 2.0 - Content Is Excellent - and FREE

For those of you looking to find great business improvement content, it's hard to beat the successful magazine Business 2.0.

Now, Business 2.0 content is FREE. Check it out here at CNN/Money

(Hats off to Rob May at BusinessPundit for the tip)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

FastCompany's The Rules of Business

In The Rules of Business, the writers and editors of Fast Company distill the major ideas and principles of the world of business into fifty-five essential rules. These rules are elaborated on and enhanced by quotes and insights from over 200 business leaders, practitioners, and thinkers into what is sure to be an essential desk reference for managers, professionals, and executives-to-be.

Published on the tenth anniversary of the magazine, Fast Company's The Rules of Business features the essential principles behind today’s most important business topics, from customer service to innovation, from strategic thinking to leadership and management.

Some great ones included here:

Rule #1 The first rule of business is the same as the first rule of life: Adapt or die.“What gets measured, gets done.”—Peter Drucker

Rule #8 Nothing is more overrated than a new idea. Ideas by themselves are worthless. It’s what you do with them that matters.“Bet on the jockey, not on the horse.”—Malcolm Forbes

Rule #49 If it is not right, don’t do it; if it is not true, don’t say it.

Leadership Forecast for 2005-2006

DDI has just published their "Leadership Forecast 2005-2006: Best Practices For Tomorrow's Global Leaders"

Download the Executive Summary here.

Six Disciplines Corporation Expands Leadership Centers Throughout Ohio

Six Disciplines Corporation Expands Leadership Centers Throughout Ohio

YHY Group Signs Multi-Site Agreement to Launch Six Disciplines Leadership Centers in Cleveland, Cincinnati/Dayton

FINDLAY, OHIO, January 9, 2005 — Six Disciplines Corporation today announced that Mike Yammine, Co-President & CTO of YHY Group, a local investment consortium, has signed a multi-site franchise agreement to launch Six Disciplines Leadership Centers in both Cleveland and Cincinnati/Dayton. The agreement also provides the option for the YHY Group to launch future additional Leadership Center franchise operations in other Ohio regions including Columbus and Akron/Canton/Youngstown.

Read the entire press release here.

The Common Sense Guy To Interview Gary Harpst

Bud Bilanich, our friend over at The Common Sense Guy, will be interviewing Six Disciplines Corporation founder and CEO, Gary Harpst.

Bud will be hosting the interview on Tuesday, January 17, from 2:00 - 3:00 PM EST on Voice America Business. (

Check out Bud and Gary's conversation next Tuesday, and all of Bud's other guests!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Be Excellent™ Included in Carnival of Lean Leadership #5

Kevin Meyer, over at Evolving Excellence, posted his first Carnival of Lean Leadership for 2006, and includes a post from Be Excellent.

BOTTOMLINE: Kevin's blog is an incredible resource for anyone interested in lean manufacturing - take some well-spent time and learn!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Genuine Curiosity Gives Six Disciplines for Excellence Honorable Mention

Dwayne Melancon, good friend over at Genuine Curiosity, has given Six Disciplines for Excellence an Honorable Mention for "My favorite books from 2005."

Also on Dwayne's list:

We're humbled to be mentioned among this list of well-respected authors.

Alignment Through Planning

Lisa Haneberg, over at Management Craft, offers her thoughts on Alignment Through Planning.

Her assertions?

  • "A work plan may seem like something that encourages control freaks, but it is the opposite. With a good and well understood plan, employment and engagement comes easier." (Editor's Note: It's a lot like discipline: people think it's all about rules, structure and rigor - well, it is, but it's also about offering freedom to think outside the box.)

What is a work plan?

  • "A work plan involves task lists, process improvement, time-frames covered, resource management, deadlines, milestones, deliverables, links to goals and expectation." (Editor's Note: At Six Discioplines, we call this the Individual Plan, and it is the central-most important tool for team member effectiveness.

Read the rest of Lisa's article here where she goes into more depth about why create a work plan, and how to go about doing it.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

CEO Executive Breakfasts To Be Held In Tampa Area

The Six Disciplines Leadership Center of Central West Florida will be holding four CEO Executive Breakfasts in the Greater Tampa area during February and March.

Join General Manager Sean Burke for one of these eye-opening CEO Executive Breakfast events, where you’ll see a systematic, practical and lasting approach to strategy, planning and continuous improvement. In 2 short hours, you’ll discover why business leaders in Tampa are raving about Six Disciplines.

Sean will show you a systematic approach to EXECUTING your strategic plans more effectively -- and how to make 2006 more productive, more aligned and more performance-driven than you’ve ever experienced before.

CEO Executive Breakfasts will be held in Westshore on Feb 7, New Tampa on Feb 23, St. Petersburg on March 9, and in Clearwater on March 23.

To register, call Sean Burke at 813.281.5471 or email Sean Burke.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Best Business Books of 2005

Strategy+Business publishes a great business book list every year.

Here's their 2005 Best Business Book list, by category.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Defining Excellence for Your Organization

Excellence, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder....If you're serious about pursuing (and achieving) excellence, you must decide what excellence means for your organization.

Skip Angel, our good friend over at Random Thoughts of a CTO, is doing just that.

Take a look, then make a list and decide what excellence means to you and YOUR organization.

Organizational Learning: How Executives Stay Informed

Books24x7, announced the availability of a new research report, “How Executives Stay Informed: A Study of Resources Used and Time Spent Locating Critical Business Information.”
Interesting findings:

  • 37% of senior-level executives spend more four or more hours each week searching the Internet in frustration for business-related information that will help them stay informed and current.
  • 91% of executives routinely use the Internet when searching for business-related information. Respondents relied on the Internet more than any other source, including trade journals, books, newspapers, and webinars.
  • 67.5% of respondents said they don’t read books or articles in entirety but read summaries, skim, or read specific sections.
  • 14.4% read seven to ten business books a year, 21.4% read four to six books, and 45.8% read one to three books. 74.9% of respondents said they’d like to read more, but are limited because of time.

Kauffman Foundation Resources

For a wealth of excellent entrepreneurial resources, you must visit the Kauffman Foundation site - and make sure to check out all of their related sites:

Six Disciplines Leadership Center News!

Six Disciplines Franchising Corporation is pleased to announce the signing of two new franchise agreements with the YHY Group, Inc.

YHY Group has signed an agreement to launch Six Disciplines Leadership Centers in the Cleveland and Cincinnati/Dayton (Ohio) areas, with an option to purchase the Columbus and Akron/Canton territories later in 2006.

Welcome YHY Group to the network of Six Disciplines Leadership Center franchised organizations.

For information about starting a Six Disciplines Leadership Center franchise in your area, contact Scott May.

Inspiration for 2006

This entry from Kris Morrison at Management Speak offers up some key considerations before we all get wrapped up in the details of the New Year.

"Before you get caught back in the frenetic motion of the day-to-day, take a few minutes to step back and refocus.

  • Think about what is important in your life. Remember the joys and sorrows that defined your year; the accomplishments and challenges that crossed your path.
  • Be thankful for all that you have. Consider what you can give to others.
  • Think about what worked and what didn’t.
  • Now look to the year ahead. How will you define 2006? What do you need to continue your journey toward health, happiness and success? What will keep your business moving in the right direction?"
BOTTOMLINE: "The New Year holds unlimited opportunities for innovation, inspiration, compassion, growth and success. Make it a year you will never forget."

The Kawasaki Rules of PowerPoint

Welcome to 2006!

Our first entry comes from a former Apple alumni, Guy Kawasaki, who brings us his view on the "The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint"

According to Guy (who's a venture capitalist now), it’s quite simple: "a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points."

  • Ten is the optimal number of slides in a PowerPoint presentation because a normal human being cannot comprehend more than ten concepts in a meeting.
  • Give your ten slides in twenty minutes.

BOTTOMLINE: For a brief short outline of a presentation, read Guy's article here.