This Way to Strategic Account Management


pathDon’t screw it up, McLaughlin.

That was the first piece of advice I got about client account management.

Using that rock-solid advice and the fear it inspired, I plunged into the world of strategic account management.

As you’d expect, I had highs and lows as a strategic account leader. Some days, I felt unbeatable. On other days, I secretly wished I’d followed my childhood plan to become a fireman.

But what stuck with me was that, to be successful as an account leader, I had to stay focused on three priorities.

[Continue reading]

What’s Shakin’?

Not too long ago, an early-morning earthquake jolted me and my wife (and a lot of other people) from a deep sleep.

Few things scare the you-know-what out of me more than earthquakes.

They’re loud, things topple from shelves and shatter, cabinets swing open, the lights go out, and you’re left with a mess to sweep up. The worst part is that an earthquake always happens without warning.

Of course, anyone who lives in California knows that we’re in earthquake country. Geologists are always talking about fault activity and the probabilities of earthquake occurrence.

What they’re really saying is “The Big One” is right around the corner, and you’ve been warned.

My wife and I tried to prepare for the worst by doing earthquake-safety stuff–stocking an emergency kit, strapping down the water heater, using heavy duty picture hangers, and bolting heavy shelving to the walls.

We didn’t go overboard with prepping, but we thought we were ready for anything.

At the moment that earthquake started shaking the house, though, we weren’t really sure what to do first.

Dive under a desk? Head outdoors? Turn off the gas? Check the property for damage?

It even took some time just to find the emergency kit.

Like the unexpected earthquake, the toughest problems to solve are the ones that blindside us. And they have two characteristics. First, the problems (and their implications) are often magnified in our minds to such a degree that things look worse than they are.
[Continue reading]