Strategies to Engage and Keep Your Best Employees

For those of you who had the opportunity to attend my winter NAMM talk with the same title as this column, consider this a concise summary. For everyone else, here’s the reader’s digest version. I began my talk by introducing a fictional music retailer, named Barron Key, owner of Harmony Music Anywhere, USA. And the story begins… It’s 10:10 and Barron is about to meet with his employees in the conference room to address a serious company wide problem. You see Barron wasn’t satisfied with his quarterly revenue. He believes that his team is not executing previous agreed upon sales goals.  He’s not in the best of moods.  Before the meeting begins, let me introduce you to his two key managers. To read the rest, check out my February MMR column.  

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My Journey With Tinnitus

Since I was in my teens, I’ve heard a high pitch sound in my left ear. Like many of you, I was exposed to loud music from my rock band. Protecting ears wasn’t really a conversation anyone was having in the 60’s and 70’s. Still I wasn’t really bothered by it. That is until this past March of 2018. The sound seemed to suddenly explode. It sounded like someone just turned the volume up to 10+. At first, I thought the sound was coming from external sources, so I started to walk around the building I was in. No matter where I went, the sound seemed to follow me and was still ringing very loud. I was scared. After going to three different ENT doctors, I was diagnosed with Tinnitus, a medical term for auditory perceptions heard in the ear(s) or head, but not produced by external sound. I’m not alone. Approximately 50…

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How Do You Orchestrate a Culture of ‘A’ Players? One Moment at a Time.

        "Group culture is one of the most powerful forces on the planet." Daniel Coyle. Imagine your key manager departed from your MI retail store, and sent out the following email to all his contacts. Dear Friends, and Customers.  Earlier this month, I resigned from as store manager at XYZ Music Store and will end my position with the company on January 1, 2019. I have sincerely enjoyed working with all the members of the team, and appreciate the many close customer relationships I’ve developed over the years. On February 1st, I will continue to take care of my customers with another great music company.1 Please do not hesitate to reach out to me on my personal phone or email.   To read the rest, check out my January MMR column. How Do You Orchestrate a Culture of 'A' Players? One Moment at a Time.

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My Five Best 2018 Ideas

My Five Best  Ideas from my "Sound of Money"  column  published in MMR. OK. The title is a bit much, because as a newly minted 2018 grandfather, my best idea was to marry and have a family. Still, the ideas all previously published in MMR are all really powerful. If you want to dig in more, visit jaimieblackman.com, for links to the complete column. 1- Exiting? A Buyer’s Perspective., MMR, January, 2018 When it comes to how much a business is worth, who better to ask than Steve Zapf, president of Music & Arts. When I asked Zapf what were the key drivers for valuation multiples, the seller’s intellectual capital was on the top of his mind. “ Larger businesses with consistent earnings that are less dependent on a single person provide for a more stable and predictable operation after the acquisition,” he says. “These are factors give us the necessary confidence…

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How to Retain, Grow, and Recruit Top Performers

  I was recently talking to an MI retailer with his two successors. Here’s how the conversation began. Jaimie- So tell me about store #2. How’s the team? Owner- They have their challenges. Successors- They are not motivated. They don’t jive with our culture.  They are negative. We think there needs to be some changes. Let’s face it. Your few top performers, are responsible for most of your profit. That means, your mediocre players are responsible for most of your losses. According to the 2016 Conference Board CEO Challenge Survey, the number one concern of CEOs was retaining and growing talent. To read the rest, check out my November MMR column. How to Retain, Grow, and Recruit Top Performers.      

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