The Race Is On! – My Boston Marathon Race experience…April 2017

 

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What an experience!

After months of training, preceded by the obligatory qualifying marathon in Sacramento (CIM) to time-qualify, applying for the Boston Marathon Race, being selected, and then planning the trip to Boston…we have arrived!

Boston folks bringing incredible energy the whole weekend, from the closed streets days in advance, well-attended runner’s expo, buses taking 10,000+ runners to the start line 26.2 miles away, and cheering crowds lining the streets all the way back to Boston to the finish line!  As I sped to the finish, it felt like I was starring in a ticker-tape parade!

RESULTS?  Tremendous feeling of accomplishment…took hours to stop grinning!  Completed the race in under 4 hours, re-qualified to run again next year, and placed in the top 20% of men in my age group.

SHARING: Many events along the way to share, but here are a few select photos of highlights.

So grateful for the support from family, friends, clients, coaches, and fellow Tamalpa Running Club members.

Completing the Boston Marathon is one of my greatest accomplishments yet… AND I QUALIFY for 2018!   3:49:40.  WOW!  Who would have thought…

More thoughts about running the Boston Marathon, and parallels with running businesses and managing our careers, coming soon!

 

Completing the 2017 Boston Marathon in under 4 hours.

I couldn’t have done it without my coach!  Worked with athletic trainer Warren Lanier for 9 months to prepare for a pain-free race.

So glad I got to run with my partner for life!  Danielle also qualified to run the Boston Marathon, and encouraged me all the way here.  And I encouraged her!

Repping Stanton Chase!  Checking out the finish line the day before the race.

Caught me! Hand Slap #195… Gotta love these fans!  Who knew an introvert could get energized by strangers?

Lot of active audience participation. My right shoulder started hurting from all the High-Fives I shared along the way. Some fans are over-enthusiastic in their support…and hand slaps!

Trusting that I was truly across the finish line, it hit me that I could stop running now, and take a break. Yahoo!

2017 Boston Marathon successfully completed.

 

Top Ten Technology Predictions for 2017

From G.P. Bullhound, Dealmakers in Technology.

If you are like me, you enjoy reading predictions from prognosticators.  Recently I was impressed with a presentation of such predictions by Alec Dafferner, Partner, and his team at GP Bullhound, global technology investment bankers.

G.P. Bullhound should know, as they do more investment banking deals in the technology space than any other banker in the world.  They also are research intensive, so they are constantly doing their homework on the marketplace.  Their 2016 predictions fared well, so I was keen on hearing their predictions for 2017. 

Here are the headlines from their top predictions.  (Click here to view the report)  How strongly do you agree? Are you willing to invest in these trends? Is your business benefiting from one of these emerging trends today?

Here you go:

1.  The next generation of Artificial Intelligence. Heavy investment in 2016…here to stay.  Both consumers and businesses begin to adopt cutting-edge AI for real-world applications. Disruptive AI developers raised $500m last year. More to come in 2017. AI-Powered Virtual Personal Assistants (“VPA”) will increase in sophistication (think Siri, Cortana, and Alexa).

 

2.  Cordless Content: Anywhere and Everywhere. Millennials move away from cable networks…TV industry disruption continues.  Networks will respond with new services for mobile consumers. Mobile continues to dominate headlines and investments.  Over-the-Top (OTT) services include fast broadband, large premium content, multiple device access, all at attractive pricing.  Scramble for content, delivery, and consumers.

 

3.  E-Sport Takes Center Stage. E-Sports is the fastest growing component of the entertainment industry, will hit $1B in revenue in 2017, with over 250 million fans.  More viewers for 2015 League of Legends Final than for game 7 of the 2016 NBA Final. 50% growth rate of industry.

 

4.  The Dawn of VR/AR content. VR/AR hardware has outpaced content.  Software will become available for the newest platform.  Head mounted gear taking off…sold 16.5 mm headsets in 2016. Wireless headsets next push.  Content to catch up due to heavy investments by media giants.  Augment reality boasts Pokemon Go’s 500 million downloads…peaks at 50mm users in one day.

 

5.  Driverless Cars…still require Human Direction. Heavy investment recently in this dream, creating more customized cars thanks to Google, Baidu, Apple, and Uber.  Samsung paid $8B for Harman, testament to interest by electronics firms to be part of future “connected” automobile.   More investment this year. Fully autonomous cars have a long way to go before widespread adoption.

 

6.  Fintech: Shifting Tectonic Plates. Traditional Financial Institutions will fight back this year, as “Banks 2.0” continue to steal their business. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending platforms intend to create an optimal lending process.  Widespread adoption of blockchain technology is unlikely to happen in 2017

 

7.  Social Media Transformation. Though Western players dominate in technical innovation, Asian players excel at user retention and monetization.  Executive recruitment and M&A transactions will focus on the converging of these two forces in Social Media in 2017.

 

8.  SaaS Software Reigning Supreme. With $61B worth of M&A in the rear view mirror, both PE firms and Tech giants are looking to buy more SaaS companies in 2017.  EU companies may present the best economics and valuations for purchasers.

 

9.  TECH IPOs are set for take off. As Asian markets heat up, particularly in China, and U.S. Unicorns looking to IPO in 2017, combined with modest increases in IPOs in Europe, 2017 should be a strong year for TECH IPOs.   China wants to bring in more foreign capital, and increase valuations for their tech companies.

 

10.  Year of the European Decacorn. With U.S. Unicorns all the buzz, keep your eyes on the European behemoths, the E.U. Decacorns.  These private firms are more capital efficient, have more rational valuations, enjoy greater financial stability, and are most likely to see a significant increase in value in 2017.

 

Note: Alec Dafferner has made the full report available on his web site:  http://www.gpbullhound.com/news/gp-bullhound-identifies-top-10-tech-trends-2017/

More on Alec:  http://www.gpbullhound.com/people/alec-dafferner/

 

STANTON CHASE/SAN FRANCISCO NAMES TECHNOLOGY REGIONAL PRACTICE LEADER

Steve Caliger | North America Technology Practice Leader

SAN FRANCISCO — Steve Caliger, a Director with the San Francisco and Silicon Valley offices of Stanton Chase, has been named North America Regional Practice Leader for the Technology Industry Practice Group.

The announcement was made by Paul Herrerias, Managing Director of the San Francisco and Silicon Valley offices.  Stanton Chase is a global, retained executive search firm with more than 70 offices in 45 countries.

“Steve has distinguished himself as a leader in our growing technology practice,” said Herrerias. “Our technology practice is one of the most well regarded in the area, and much of that recognition is the result of his work with companies in this sector. In addition to Steve’s work in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, he has also developed strong relationships with our worldwide offices, assisting them with identifying top-tier technology candidates.”

Caliger has a large network and understanding of career and business success, leadership, sales, marketing, development, operations, and finance.  He   has held leadership positions with technology leaders, including AT&T, Cisco Systems, and IBM, as well as startups and early stage companies.

“I look forward to working with our worldwide offices in this capacity,” said Caliger. “The technology sector is growing at a rapid pace, and with this growth comes the need for strong leaders who will guide our client companies.”

Caliger also works in the Stanton Chase Industrial and Supply Chain/Logistics/Transportation Practice Groups.

Maintaining Focus to Achieve Your Goals

“GOALS…What you see when you are not focusing on the challenges.

A Parable on Careers

I set a goal for myself to qualify for the 2017 Boston Marathon.  Goal achieved.  It was not easy…in fact, there was time, effort, and some degree of pain.  But I had a dream, consulted with coaches and mentors, wrote out a specific plan, and then put in the work.  Gratefully, the work, planning, and coaching paid off and I realized my dream of qualifying by running the California International Marathon in Sacramento in goal time.

Then I set a new goal, this time to run the Boston Marathon and beat my previous marathon time.  Having achieved success before, I got a little laid-back in my pursuit of this new goal.  Distractions and set-backs became too common during my training.  One week I caught myself about to give up on meeting my daily training goal, when a fallen tree blocked my trail.  Turning back would have cut my run  short by about 4 miles.

Whoa! Large tree blocking my path.

Focus on this spot!

At first, I turned back.  Then I caught myself…how easy to lose sight of my goal.  I needed to run another 4 miles to stay true to my goal workout.  I reset my gaze on the fallen tree, examined it from different angles, and squinted for signs of the old trail on the other side.  Voila!

Upon determined inspection, I first saw the old trail, and then discovered a way through to it.

With a little extra effort, re-dedication to my goals, committed focus and determination, I made my way past this obstacle and continued my journey to success.  Having persisted and prevailed, I found new confidence in the pursuit of my goal and staying true to my workout.

Persistent focus unveils new pathways.

Next I was to run 19 miles on paved roads, and I attacked my work with renewed vigor.  I’ve since encountered more obstacles and challenges, but am stronger in my conviction, more confident I can overcome, and more determined in my commitment to my training and eventual success in achieving my goal!

I also am proud to say that in April of 2017 I successfully finished the Boston Marathon.  In fact, I re qualified to run it again next year.

What challenges are you facing in successfully achieving your goals?  Are you focusing on those challenges, or your goals? Where have you successfully overcome challenges and “found your path“?  How can you use this story as a parallel for staying focused on achieving success for yourself and your team?

Wishing you much continued focus and career success!

John Boyens on Dominating Your Market

John Boyens, Co-Founder and President, The Boyens Group

John Boyens, renown sales productivity expert, business strategist, and President of the Boyens Group, has invaluable insights to share about improving your sales performance and dominating your customer market.

6 Secrets to Dominating Your Market:

  1. Define Success…establish key performance indicators (KPIs)
  2. Know your Customers…segment your marketplace
  3. Know your Competition…establish competitive differentiation
  4. Document your Business’ 5 P’s(the 5P’s are:  1) Positioning/Unique Value Proposition, 2) Product/Service, 3) Placement in Your Market Space, 4) Price, and 5) Promotion/How You Go To Market)
  5. Establish your Go-to-Market Strategy…including a written sales and marketing plan
  6. Leverage Social Media…establish your virtual business strategy (VBS)

Too many business executives spend most of their time running their business rather than focusing on growing their business…in other words, working “in” versus “on” their business…being tactical versus strategic So what can you do to become more strategic?  Here are some best practices from successful business executives to consider:

  • Do one thing to increase your company’s visibility right away (e.g., social media)
  • Identify one person or company who could immediately and positively impact revenue
  • Identify one mundane, time-consuming task that you could delegate or outsource
  • Defer something you’re working on, that really isn’t necessary to be done now
  • Better leverage technology
  • Facilitate customer feedback to validate/invalidate the marketplace perceptions of your company
  • Ensure that your marketing messaging is consistent across all channels (i.e., website, social media, collateral material, pitch deck, sales presentations, trade show booth and advertising).

For more helpful articles on John’s “5 P’s” of all successful business strategies, what to include in a sales and marketing plan, how to create a unique value proposition (UVP), as well as proven social media tips designed to grow revenues quickly, you may refer to John’s website at www.boyens.com.

And a few thoughts from John, in closing:

  • Market domination is a result of positioning
  • Positioning is a result of being UNIQUE
  • Being unique means you can charge more… and get it!

Wishing you improved sales performance and success in dominating your market!

Effective business leadership means more plain talking…and less “RCRS.”

Sometimes effective business leadership means more plain talking…and less “RCRS.”  Communications challenges getting under your skin?  Then take a pointer from the CEO of Mylan’s refreshingly direct letter to the public, linked below, in today’s WSJ (A11: Dear EpiPen Customers…).  This CEO won me over.

Ladies take note…the CEO I’m applauding turns out is also a lady, Ms. Heather Bresch.

Ms. Bresch offers a clear explanation for how pharmaceutical products are priced in America, and how Mylan prices its EpiPen for Americans seeking a quick cure for allergic reactions to peanut allergies and bee stings.   Open, transparent, communications taking responsibility and sharing motivations builds trust.  Would you agree she accomplishes this in this letter?    Will your next letter get you to the CEO’s seat…or keep you there?

http://www.wsj.com/articles/dear-epipen-customers-1472247399 to log into the article if you have a WSJ subscription.

(NOTE: if you cannot access her letter online, ask me for the full version.)

Ms Heather Bresch

Search Updates – July 2016

Recently we’ve successfully fulfilled five executive positions and are now active in several new search projects. Below you’ll find a list of our Confidential Search Assignments.

If you would like to learn more about these searches, provide a referral, or submit your candidacy, you can reach me at p.herrerias@stantonchase.com.

Stay tuned for the next search update!

Chief Financial Officer Outdoor Action-Sports Company Active
Chief Financial Officer

Multi-Site Retail Medical Care Provider

Active
Chief Marketing Officer Innovative Food & Beverage Startup Active
Chief Accounting Officer Global Shipping and Logistics Company Completed
Tax Manager Marin County CPA Firm Completed
VP of Finance Custom Furniture Design and Manufacturing Completed
VP of Human Resources Global Engineering and Construction Firm Completed
VP of Sales Career Apparel Manufacturer Completed