Change your ATTITUDE. Change your BUSINESS. Change your FUTURE.
What’s stopping you from making the changes your business needs to thrive? The most dangerous move in business is the failure to make a move at all. The history of business is filled with companies that are no more because their leaders refused to enact change when the writing was on the wall. Fear. Apathy. Lack of personal responsibility. These simple human flaws can turn a good company into a dead company.
The writing on the wall has never been clearer than it is nowand marketing phenomenon Jeffrey Hayzlett is on a mission to make you see it, understand it, and heed it. Today’s business environment is so competitive and volatile that you can’t afford to be satisfied with business as usual. You must make changes now to compete in the future.
Building on the principles and concepts in his first book The Mirror Test, Hayzlett takes you on a step-by-step journey to:
- Develop a “takeover mentality” for your business
- Summon the vision and courage necessary for driving change
- Sharpen the mental and emotional toughness to make strategic, lasting change
- Execute the right changes and deal with any disruptions they might cause
- Sustain and manage your company’s new-found momentum
Change is already happening all around youto products, to organizations, to entire industries. Eventually, it will happen to your company, whether from outside forces or your own initiative.
You’ve always had the ability to institute positive change in your company. Now, with Running the Gauntlet, you have the inspiration and knowledge to make it happen and take control of itinstead of letting it control you.
Praise for Running the Gauntlet
"If the shoe fits, wear it! Jeff's advice fits any hard-charging business owner and leader."
Tony Hsieh, New York Times bestselling author of Delivering Happiness and CEO, Zappos.com
“I've seen a lot of sharks, and Hayzlett's advice comes like a Hammerhead. He can smell blood from a mile away, so when Hayzlett jumps in big waters, some sharks have to jump out.”
Daymond John, founder and CEO, FUBU, and star of ABC’s business show Shark Tank
“If Jeff were a wine, it would be strong, sassy, and bold - just like his savvy business advice. This is a wine you want to open again and again.”
Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder, Vaynermedia.com
"Running the Gauntlet just played the Trump Card. This book is terrific!"
Ivanka Trump, EVP Trump Organization
"It's time someone grabs you (and your business) by the shirt collar and shakes you! Strap on your chapsbusiness celebrity Jeff Hayzlett is going to take you on a rough-and-tumble ride that just might change the life of your business forever. Muster the courage and buy this book!"
Darren Hardy, Publisher, SUCCESS magazine, and bestselling author of The Compound Effect
|Publisher:||McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Jeffrey Hayzlett is the author of the bestselling business book The Mirror Test, a former Fortune 100 C-Suite Executive, and a leading business expert. Jeffrey has made multiple media appearances on Fox Business, MSNBC’s Your Business, and NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump. From small business to international corporations, he puts his extraordinary entrepreneurial skills and creativity into play, launching ventures blending his leadership perspectives, insights into professional development, mass marketing prowess, and affinity for social media.
Jim Eber is a veteran business marketing writer who has worked with many companies and publishing houses. This is his second book with Jeff.
Read an Excerpt
RUNNING THE GAUNTLETESSENTIAL BUSINESS LESSONS TO LEAD, DRIVE CHANGE, AND GROW PROFITS
By JEFFREY W. HAYZLETT JIM EBER
McGraw-HillCopyright © 2012 Jeffrey W. Hayzlett
All right reserved.
Chapter OneRepeat after me: no one is going to die from the changes you make in business. Say it: "No. One. Is. Going. To. Die."
I had just sat down to dine with some business friends at an upscale Chinese restaurant in San Francisco when the waiters set down finger bowls in front of us, each with a little floating flower.
The friend who was sitting next to me looked at the flower and then asked, "Jeff, I get the finger bowls, but are you supposed to eat the flower?"
"I don't know," I said. It looked harmless enough. "I guess you can."
My friend had no sooner put the flower in his mouth when the Chinese maître d' rushed over, waving his hands and yelling in broken English, "No, no, no, no! Decoration! For decoration!"
My friend spit out the flower and looked horrified. We laughed for a moment, and then I noticed that the flower had turned my friend's tongue black.
"Dude, look at your tongue! It's black!"
"What?" My friend grabbed a mirror and looked at his tongue. "Oh my God! Oh my God! My tongue is black! Do you think I've been poisoned? Do you think it's poisonous? Will it kill me?"
The maître d' rushed over. He looked down gravely at my friend, who looked up in sheer terror.
The maître d' paused. "No die. Little sick maybe, but no die." My friend was fine that night, and guess what? You will be too. So, before we go any further, remember: no one is going to die when running this gauntlet. Not you. Not your employees. No one. Little sick maybe, but no die.
Yet still, as you start to make the changes you need, you will think, "People are going to die." But they aren't. So don't think that. Your business might die. But that's probably because it already was not breathing well.
Yes, if you are in manufacturing, please: safety first. If you are making lifesaving equipment, please do not cut corners and ignore important details while you are executing change. I don't want to hear anyone saying, "Jeff Hayzlett told me no one was going to die, so I didn't check the defibrillator."
The truth is, businesses that aren't checking their defibrillators are not changing; they are cutting corners and hoping they can survive. Change is not about being irresponsible, reckless, or careless. And while lives are not at stake, livelihoods are. If you are not successful, jobs will be lost. Mortgages and retirement and college funds will be affected. This is not a game. Driving change is about driving success, and it is serious. You know that. You're playing with your reputation, and your future, too. Or you'd better be. Otherwise, please put this down and give it to someone I can respect.
I mean it. Good economy? Bad economy? It doesn't matter. I am sick and tired of people acting scared, whining about all the things they can't do, thinking through every little detail, and then playing it safe. That's the path to mediocrity, and it makes change agents miserable. Heck, it makes everyone miserable. You may think you need to play it safe so you don't "lose." But you don't ever know what's going to work. And so what! Please, tell me: what's the worst that's gonna happen? You make a mistake? People point fingers? You lose a client? You lose some money? You lose your job? Maybe. Most likely, the worst you will get is a paper cut—literally and figuratively.
In the end, most businesses can sustain a little "ready, fire, aim" when they're changing. If you want to test something out, go for it. Think it through, but take risks. Push like crazy, and be persistent. That's the mental edge you need. One mistake or setback does not mean total failure. Seven out of every ten things change agents do will be good, and three will fall flat. Those are good odds. Be strong as you run the gauntlet.
You'll need that strength to overcome your fear—and let's face it: this is scary. In order to enact change, you need to create tension. Causing tension is the foundation of the change agent's no-one-is-going-to-die attitude. You walk around all the time asking, "What can we change? What can we do to make it better?" Having trouble getting started? Do what change agents like me do: look for change everywhere you go. Go to a restaurant you love or a business you admire and ask yourself, what do you think it could do better? Then turn that same spotlight on yourself and your business.
But don't wait for every change to happen before you start selling it. Remember, no one is going to die. Sometimes you need to put things out there and move a little faster than you are actually moving. Or, as I like to say: put a stake far enough out.
Think of this like a business version of what Survivorman's Les Stroud does to film his TV show. Les goes it alone in the woods for seven days with no food and no shelter. Yes, alone. Unlike the people on other knockoff shows, Les brings his own camera. There's no crew. No gimmicks. So, how does he film it? He actually walks to where he wants to shoot, plants the camera, walks back to where he started, and then walks back to the camera.
Leaders need to do this metaphorically. For example, Kodak did this in 2006 when the wonderful Carl Gustin, whom I succeeded as CMO, created a brilliant four-minute video called "Winds of Change" (Google Kodak + "Winds of Change") to tell customers about the company's transformation from analog to digital. Watch it. Were all the changes mentioned in the video already in place? Heck, no. But Carl was putting a stake in the ground for everyone to see. (Kodak and other companies still use this video today.)
And what did I do after I took over from Carl as CMO? I changed it.
I realized the video was perfect for consumers, but we needed a different version for Kodak's rapidly growing business-to-business side, which was dominated by white males. Our editors knew this. Not only did they change the content, but they changed the language, using more colorful expressions—none more so than when the actor on stage gestured at his crotch and said Kodak had "big brass cojones."
I love to cause tension, but that raised even my eyebrows.
When I screened the video for my team members, most of them women, I asked if it passed the "female filter" for crassness. They loved it. I took their word for it and let it fly. Maybe I should have run it through the Hispanic female filter, not just the female filter, because the feedback was immediate: mostly positive from the customers, but negative from a few media people and bloggers and a bunch of people inside the company who found it crude and unfunny ... including my CEO. My Spanish CEO.
Imagine getting that call after being on the job for a couple of weeks. I was thinking, "I'm gonna get fired." I felt like throwing up as I headed to his office.
"Jeff ... do you know the meaning of the word cojones?" he asked. (I was sure at that moment that I didn't in full.) "In Spanish, cojones is the crudest description of the male anatomy."
You can't worry about setbacks like this as a change agent. If you believe it is the right thing to do, you must stand behind what you do and really push to the edge of the table.
And sometimes you don't know you have pushed things off the edge of the table until they hit the floor. I changed the video overnight. It is now a legend—a lightning bolt for representing change.
And no one died.
Chapter TwoChange begins by changing the questions. Who would want a horseless carriage? Wrong question. The right one: Why wouldn't everyone want one?
Imagine you're living in the 1890s. The dominant transportation technology is the horse. Almost anyone who needs one has one. People know how to take care of horses and to either saddle them up for a one-off ride or hitch them to a surrey, wagon, or buggy. If you live in the country, you turn them loose and they pretty much feed themselves. You can get a horse in any "make," "model," color, and style you want. You could even get a compact one in pony size.
Then, along comes a radical, newfangled idea: the "horseless carriage." But why would people want to change what they have? Why would anyone want a horseless carriage?
"Who would want a horseless carriage?" That's the wrong question. The right ones are: "Why wouldn't you want one? Why would anyone want to put up with the limitations, piles of manure, and inconveniences of the current way of doing things?"
People needed to be reminded of all the inconvenient things about horses. They need food all the time. You've got to clean up after them, and have you ever seen and smelled what comes out of the back end of a horse? Plus, you need hours to get a horse ready. It needs shelter and pampering. (I hear that today, people even pay for a kind of coin-operated massage for their horses. Next time someone wants to spend money for a coin-op horse massage, call me. But I digress.)
Consumers needed to be reminded of the pain-in-the-butt parts of what they had gotten used to in order to see how the horseless carriage did away with those inconveniences. It offered seemingly unlimited possibilities for growth and prosperity. Were there new problems to go with those possibilities? Sure. Affordability, reliability, tires, where to get gas ... the early manufacturers and adopters faced all these problems and more.
But that's not a problem for Americans. We jump to respond to this kind of change. We're what the economist Amar Bhidé, in The Venturesome Economy: How Innovation Sustains Prosperity in a More Connected World (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2010), calls "venturesome consumers." He defines "venturesome consumption" as our "willingness and ability ... to effectively use products and technologies derived from scientific research." We don't fear innovation and change. We long to consume it. We were ready for those horseless carriages—if someone could just make enough of them and make them affordable and reliable enough.
As Bhidé notes, American businesses are venturesome, too. Certainly this was true of the father of the mass-produced horseless carriage: Henry Ford, a gifted engineer. After his Detroit Automobile Company failed, Ford continued designing and building cars, and in 1902, he cofounded Ford Motor Company. While other companies produced cars that were like expensive works of art, Ford saw another way: the assembly line, which made it possible for less-skilled workers to turn out more cars than any of his rivals. Productivity was so astounding that Ford stopped measuring it. By 1914, other companies needed five times as many workers to build the same hundreds of thousands of cars as Ford. Ford also developed incredible supply chain efficiencies to complement the assembly line, even having parts shipped in boxes that could be repurposed as floorboards. He turned the economic practice of the time on its head by doubling the wages and reducing the workweek of his loyal employees so that they could buy cars and have the time to drive them. Put another way, he slashed his profit per unit in order to sell more cars.
Ford's Model T thus became the car almost anyone could afford, and America's car culture was born. The car became the thing people needed. Ford had speed, reliability, lower cost, and profit. Venturesome consumption, indeed. Driving change.
Until the next time venturesome becomes fearful. (After all, someone first put a saddle on a horse, too. Imagine being the first person to ever ride a wild horse.) Until intrepid and innovative become comfortable and cautious. Until we fall back on our success instead of adapting and changing to build new futures.
The truth is, we get used to what we have and grow numb to our processes, procedures, and ways of doing things (especially if the profits are still good). Essentially, we resign ourselves to mediocrity. But like taking care of those horses, mediocrity is a lot of work. Mountains and mountains of crap blind you to the fact that someone else is innovating—doing things better, faster, and cheaper than you. Your business may look like it's breathing and fogging the mirror, but as I said in The Mirror Test, you'll look good in your coffin, too.
Change agents have to ask venturesome questions: why would anyone want to put up with the limitations, crap, and inconveniences of the current way of doing things?
If I had worked at Motorola, I might tell tales of the first wireless phones that we carried in bags over our shoulders. But I worked at Kodak. I had it worse. I worked at a company that makes film. When I did sales and marketing presentations, I'd ask an audience of thousands, "How many of you have bought a roll of film in the past year?" One or two hands would go up. (I'd be sure to thank them for helping us.) Then I'd ask, "How many of you own a digital camera or a smartphone with a camera?" Every hand would go up. "Welcome to my world," I'd say.
You think you have sales and marketing problems? Kodak went from $15 billion to a couple of hundred million in film. Unlike, say, Cisco, which killed its popular Flip camera when it saw the writing on the iPhone, Kodak was like so many others: a victim of its own hubris and single-minded focus on what it had done well for so long. Ultimately, mama did not take your Kodachrome away; our customers did. They stopped buying it. Most photographers went digital. A few migrated to other Kodak films. After 73 years and tons of technological upgrades, the bestselling film of all time made up less than 1 percent of Kodak's declining film business and was retired in 2009.
How different might Kodak's fortunes be today if it had stayed venturesome, changed the question, and acted on one possibility that was literally right in front of it—the digital camera? Kodak actually invented it in 1975. Revolutionary. Way ahead of its time. The trouble is, if you had asked an audience in 1975, "Who has bought a roll of film in the past month?" every hand would have gone up. That meant big money—why change? As a result, Kodak never held a perceived dominant position in the digital camera market of the future.
I arrived at Kodak at a time when the company was trying to change in a way that was absolutely necessary but was radically different from its established ways of doing business. A full 60 percent of the people were like me: recent hires. Kodak had invested billions in new technologies and acquiring new companies to speed its transformation from an analog consumer-oriented company to a digital business-to-business-oriented one. Revenue growth from those businesses quickly outstripped that from the established consumer businesses. By 2008, 19 products—all among the top three in their field—accounted for 80 percent of our revenue, and half of them had not existed four years before.
While I was at Kodak, the Financial Times said that in a decade, the Kodak story could be considered one of the great financial turnarounds. I hope that is right. As I write this book, things for the company continue to be tough financially; driving change can't always undo years (in this case decades) of ignoring the need for that change. At the very least, we bought a great American brand more time.
I wish that what I learned from all the financial, technological, cultural, operational, and strategic changes at Kodak could provide a simple road map for changes at any company. But it can't. You think you will have a tough time changing? You're right. Old and new will clash. Things will not work, and systems will break down. You will fail and make mistakes. It will be messy. Even for experienced change agents, "change" is easy to say and hard to do.
Nobody wishes to have these messy things happen, but change agents still need to stand up and say, "What we are doing now is not right, and I'm going to change it." Those changes are the path to seeing your markets and your customers in new ways—a chance to consider new strategies and possibilities, investigate and invest in new technologies, bring in new and different people, invent new ways of doing business, test things, and more. And great leaders take on these challenges by being
Problem solvers, not problem seekers
Change agents for the processes
Cheerleaders who reinforce goals
We'll get to all of these shortly, but now you've learned how to get started: by seeing that the established way is rife with negatives and change is full of opportunities. You've learned to change the question.
Excerpted from RUNNING THE GAUNTLET by JEFFREY W. HAYZLETT JIM EBER Copyright © 2012 by Jeffrey W. Hayzlett. Excerpted by permission of McGraw-Hill. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Running the Gauntlet, by Global Business Celebrity and Marketing guru, Jeffrey Hayzlett, is truly a great read! In short, he seeks to encourage leadership to take a united stand against fear, apathy and lack of personal responsibility in this fast-paced and highly competitive marketplace ¿ and I applaud his ideas in that regard. Hayzlett is on point when he says that in a business environment that is so competitive and volatile you can¿t afford to be satisfied with business as usual. He addresses the importance of presentation company-wide, an area that too many businesses and its people fail to change sending the message that they are not paying attention. Running the Gauntlet also captures how to create a ¿mood¿ for your business that goes beyond its people and presentation. This is a must-read for every marketer, business leader and entrepreneur who is willing to look at its business¿ mood, culture and people and make the necessary changes in order to remain competitive in the future.
After reading Jeffrey Hayzlett's book "Running the Gaunlet," I feel that I am ready to take over a company and make it become great! This book is a manual for how to become a leader and handle the responsibility of what a person needs to do in order for their business to succeed. Mr. Hayzlett definitely feels passionate about what it takes to help a company grow, evolve and compete in today's world, and it comes through in every page. One of the driving themes in this book is that you need to make tough decisions and that people may not like what your choices are or understand why they need to be made. It often means not to let you emotions dictate how your business is ran. To illustrate his points, Mr. Hayzlett often interjects stories from his real life and he often likes to discuss his time at Kodak. By letting us in, the reader can see that the author used the ideas he puts across and how they affected him and the company. He isn't afraid to show that many people do not like him (some even hate him) because of what he has had to do to get businesses back on track and successful. Although this book targets those in the business world, Mr. Hayzlett's message can definitely be applied to areas of ones life. If Mr. Hayzlett decides to change professions, he would make one heck of a great motivational speaker.
I want to heartily recommend Jeff Hayzlett's new book RUNNING THE GAUNTLET as a key resource book to any executive or business owner that has seen their business reach a plateau and wants it to go to the next level. I've had the benefit of working with Jeff over decades and incorporating many of his ideas into my own business and I can attest to their value from my own personal experience having sold my business for that critical mass retirement number. Jeff's RUNNING THE GAUNTLET ideas on reinventing your business on a continual basis REALLY WORK. Ray ....San Francisco Bay Area
Jeffrey Hayzlett's Running the Gauntlet has everything to lead, drive change, and grow profits – just like Jeff promises! Each chapter contains business practices that will help you in ANY situation your company encounters. After reading this book, you will know exactly how to create better situations with employees, customers, and even your enemies! I highly recommend this book!
An insightful read into how every business MUST constantly change in order to survive and thrive in today's ever fast and ever changing landscape! An incredible motivational workbook for plotting out your own path to success! With every chapter comes humor, examples and goals for achieving and over achieving in the business world!
I have Running the Gauntlet on my desk and I often will read a chapter in a moment when I need inspiration to be a positive leader. I love that each chapter is short but yet powerful. It is a book you will end up reading over and over to remind yourself what your purpose is and why you are doing it. Don’t hesitate… buy the book!
Jeffrey Hayzlett's Running the Gauntlet has ALL the answers to any question you may have about why your business is not where you want it to be. Even if you are making progress, this book has ways to push yourself and your business even more than you thought you could! Anyone can run the gauntlet, but you will need this book to survive it!
Big fan of Jeff Hayzlett's the first book "The Mirror Test" and this book "Running The Gauntlet" takes it to the next level. Love chapter 28 that focuses on Social Media and the four Social media "E's" - Engage, Educate, Excite and Evangelize. From Jeff Hayzlett: "You may not think your customers are always right, but thanks to social media, they are now always in charge. Social media, e-mail, and intranets are the primary tools for connecting with and understanding your customers. The goal is to get your customers to talk about you--whether good or bad. The worst thing that can happen is that people say nothing about you." I head up a New Product Development team and personally run the gauntlet every day. Thanks Jeff for helping make my daily run a bit easier!
This book was at the top of my list to read in 2012, and it surpassed all of my expectations! Running the Gauntlet has a wonderful dynamic of wittiness and business creativity. It motivates you to hone in on the idea that your business can grow bigger and faster than it ever has before. Definitely a must read for every business leader!
Hayzlett provides a very useful tool to grab hold of your business and make some changes. A lot of times leaders know what to do, but are not sure how to do it. Running the Gauntlet will be sure to answer all of the questions you may have, and then pave a clear path for growing your business ¿ a must read!
If you could take everything that you are doing in your business, and rev that up a little bit, Jeffrey Hayzlett is the guy to get you going. After the first chapter, I was ready to do all I could to grow profits for my company. Not only does he get you motivated to do things better, but he tells you exactly how to do it. There are concepts that have been in business practice forever, but they are applied to modern day business marketing practices. I am ready to start Running the Gauntlet! G. Gregory
Jeffrey Hayzlett owns the quote "In order to create change you need to create tension." Running the Gauntlet will cause your company to make some changes, because once you read this book ¿ you have no excuse for a lack of execution. He will teach you how to mentally prepare yourself as well as your company to grow, grow, grow¿
Unlike so many business books, Hayzlett really gives us a hard-hitting approach to what really works in business. If you want to grow your company in ways that you never could have imagined, then take Hayzlett's advice. This book will send you running faster and faster creating an abundance of opportunity in your business. Every leader should follow the advice that Jeff gives in Running the Gauntlet.
I already have a full order of books on the way for my team to read! I love how this book is a straightforward, extremely interactive way to get your company growing at a fast pace in 2012. What an incredible way to learn so much about ways that your business can explode. Jeffrey has some great advice that is timeless ¿ he is setting trends, but not ones that will be gone in 1-2 years. He knows exactly what will work to change your company for the future.
Hayzlett has turned out yet another brilliant work! If, like me, you also loved his first book, "The Mirror Test", you'll find yourself transported to an even higher state of business mind in this newest offering. Somehow, Hayzlett just seems to "get" business in a way few others manage to do - and explain what steps readers should take in truly doable ways. I was motivated and inspired. It's extremely well written, clear in its prescriptions and wholly motivating. I recommend this book highly.
Jeff Hayzlett has delivered another to-the-point, enjoyable, highly relevant and easily actionable business book as he did with The Mirror Test. Whether working at a small start-up or a Fortune 100 company, the lessons and information provided in this book should be at the top of your 2012 reading list.
Once again, Jeffrey Hayzlett has written a fantastic book. With the SnapTags at the beginning of each chapter and the easy-to-read format, Running the Gauntlet is truly enjoyable and I read it in no time at all. Hayzlett walks you through all the aspects from initiating change in your business to growing profits. His raw insights into the business world are refreshing and really makes you think about the work you're doing and if it's really reaching the potential it should be.
Running the Gauntlet is a Fascinating take on the business landscape, and the importance of being a Change-Agent. I highly recommend this book to anyone willing and ready to undergo Business Transformation to take advantage of, rather than fall victim to, the current socio-economic envirionment.
Now, with the ¿Gauntlet¿ under my belt and on my nightstand I can sleep better knowing there¿s a book that has ideas and answers on every page. Looking to create change? Need to create change? Want practical, real-life advice without the holier-than-thou attitude? Hayzlett¿s done it again.
Whether its Main Street or Wall Street, Running the Gauntlet is a must-read for anyone who wants to succeed in business. Mr. Hayzlett continues to innovate, implementing cutting-edge technology with his use of snap-tags.
"This is a wonderful way to read a book - I have never interacted so well with a business book! The SnapTags were a great way to keep Jeff¿s voice in my head and drive home the points made in each chapter. Every chapter is short, and supplemented with a highly entertaining story from Jeff¿s ventures, which helps to apply business objectives to real-life situations. Jeff is really pushing to create a different type of reading and learning experience with this book!"