How to create an awful company culture

How to Create An Awful Company Culture

So hopefully you read my companion article about the four keys to creating a good, happy, vibrant, gosh-it’s-nice-to-work-here company culture. Because if you didn’t the title for this one probably doesn’t make a lot of sense. Who would want to create an awful culture? Nobody, really, except for sociopaths and evil supervillains. And yet awful…

Choose Your Path In Life

The Benefit of Doing Something Drastic

A couple weeks ago I delivering the opening keynote at an agricultural conference. For those of who don’t know, theirs is an industry currently facing significant challenges. A combination of unusually uncooperative weather and unprecedented policy decisions have simultaneously depressed crop supply and prices. Farming is a difficult business, and farmers today are having a…

Professional Ghosting

Time to Turn the Tables on Professional Ghosting

In honor of this being the month of Halloween, we are going to discuss how to handle ghosts. Not the spooky, incorporeal kind – the best way to handle that kind is by screaming and running away, unless of course you have a plasma cannon calibrated for the proper ectoplasmic frequency, and I’m guessing you…

Jeff Havens Vision Article

The Simple Difference Between Effective and Ineffective Visions

One of the most important skills a leader needs to develop is the ability to articulate a vision that employees can attach to and rally around. (Indeed, the word ‘vision’ is such a common part of leadership education that I wouldn’t be surprised if you occasionally have visions about creating a vision.) Having a strong…

Jeff Havens Networking Ideas

Interested in Meeting New People? Give These Ideas a Try!

Meeting new people is a pain. Not that new people are inherently annoying (although some of them are), but figuring out how to meet them is exhausting. Of course you’re interesting and fun and charismatic and you smell great too, and if you could just start in the middle of the relationship, everyone would realize…

What to work on when business is slow

What To Work On When Business Is Slow

Every summer I completely understand why tropical countries tend to move at a slower pace than ones further from the equator. Of course the Vikings went on raiding expeditions – what else were they going to do during nine months of Nordic winters? I live in Michigan, where we only get six months of decent…

Personality Assessment Article from Jeff Havens

Maybe I Trusted My Personality Assessment Too Much

I just got the results back from my first personality assessment, and guess what? I’m Intuitive! I’m also a Planner, and I’m Conflict Averse. I knew that last one, ever since my MMA career ended before I ever began training for it, but it was a surprise to learn that I like having things organized…

The Paradox of Freedom Article

The Paradox of Freedom

When I was a high school teacher, I had a 15-year-old Kurdish student in my 9th-grade English class. He was a terrible student, constantly disrespectful and disruptive, completely uninterested in learning, and a huge challenge to my newly-minted teacher self. I spent far too much time trying to stop him from derailing my entire class,…


Look At All The Perks I Have!

Tech companies get a lot of attention for offering some crazy awesome perks to their employees. Google has on-site masseuses, and Epic Health Systems has a building with a three-story slide in it and another one designed to look like a Dungeons & Dragons game. In fact, these types of perks have gotten so much…

The Value of Not Working

The Value of Not Working

In my Uncrapify Your Future! keynote, I talk about one of the biggest paradoxes of modern work – namely, that productivity doesn’t always look productive. We are accustomed to valuing things we can see, like typing on a computer or turning a wrench, and so we are often far less impressed by things that don’t…

What Following My Passion Got Me

Where “Following My Passion” Got Me

By now I’m sure you’ve had somebody tell you to follow your passion. There are entire TED talks, by (inexplicably) respected speakers, telling people that the secret to life is to find what makes you happy and then build everything else around that. They say it blithely, like it’s the easiest thing in the world.…

Thanks to the Doctors That Saved My Daughters Life

A Thank You to the Doctors Who Saved My Daughter’s Life

I ordinarily don’t write much about my personal life in my newsletters. My job is to talk about business growth – and while there are plenty of parallels between what we do at work and what we do at home, I prefer to keep personal examples to a minimum because everyone’s experience is unique, and…

how to tell a co worker they smell bad

5 Secrets to Telling Someone They Smell Bad

Hello, and welcome to one of the most difficult jobs you might ever be unfortunate enough to face – telling somebody they smell bad. I’ll be honest, I’m amazed and saddened by how often someone has asked me how to do this. Apparently there are millions of people blindingly unaware of their own foulness. Why…

Results Vs. Process which is more important

Results Vs. Process – What Matters More?

There are hundreds of arguments that divide us. Soda vs. pop, potato vs. potato – that one makes more sense when you can hear it – red state vs. blue state, and I could go on. I myself have been involved in endless arguments with people about exactly which animal is the cutest one alive…

What my dad taught me about failure

How My Father Taught Me To Conquer the Fear of Failure

Somewhere pretty close to 35 years ago this month, I learned how to ride a bicycle. I’d like to pretend that I remember such a pivotal moment in life like it was yesterday, but obviously that’s not true since I don’t even remember exactly when it happened. (Nor do I remember what I did yesterday.)…

The One Thing Customers Want

The One Thing Customers Want Most

Every year, billions and billions of dollars are spent trying to convince customers to buy things – clothes, toys, hot tubs, insurance policies, private jets, googly-eye glasses, cosmetic surgery, laser pointers, watches, and at least four other things – and 99.99% of the brain power behind that money is focused on trying to figure out…

Customer Experience Keynote Article - Jeff Havens

This is What Honest Customer Service Would Look Like

A couple weeks ago, I was in a flower shop, buying flowers for myself so that others would think someone loved me. I was browsing, trying to remember what my favorite color was, when a lady entered in a perfect fury. She was seething, livid, beside herself with rage because the arrangement she had received…

Generation Z Doesn't Exist

Generation Z Doesn’t Exist

How Our Current Generational Model Is Failing Us At this point, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the Millennial thing has been talked to death. Billions of words have been written about Millennials, how they differ from their Baby Boomer and Gen X antecedents, and how companies need to change in order to attract Millennial…

How to Write a great title

How to Write a Great Title

Because A Good Title Is Hard To Find In the next few weeks I’ll be launching my new keynote about how to deliver an exceptional customer experience. It’s called Decoding Your Customers!, which only took about 4 months for me to decide on. It took almost as long to come up with the title as…

Jeff Havens Innovation Keynote Article

Want To Be More Innovative? Then You Need To…

I’m experimenting with those annoying headlines they run on news sites now. “Kid eats pancakes, and then this happens…” What do you think? Anyway, there are an absurd number of people billing themselves as ‘innovation experts.’ Many of them have worked for successful companies, and so what they’re really doing is going around and telling…