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Running the Gauntlet: Essential Business Lessons to Lead, Drive Change, and Grow Profits

Book Description

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 now—and 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 you—to 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 it—instead 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 chaps—business 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

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Running the Gauntlet
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. About the SnapTag
  8. Go! Driving change in business can feel like running the gauntlet every day: threatening, hostile, and scary— and the only way to survive.
  9. Part One Think Big: Attitude Adjustments
    1. Chapter 1 Repeat after me: no one is going to die from the changes you make in business. Say it: “No. One. Is. Going. To. Die.”
    2. Chapter 2 Change begins by changing the questions. Who would want a horseless carriage? Wrong question. The right one: Why wouldn’t everyone want one?
    3. Chapter 3 Fear stops most people. Change agents welcome it. Get past your fear. Act with confidence and be willing to be a beginner.
    4. Chapter 4 As Churchill said, “There is nothing wrong with change if it is in the right direction.” Know your conditions of satisfaction.
    5. Chapter 5 Principles mean something only when they are inconvenient. Prepare to live your brand promise in bad times and good.
    6. Chapter 6 Change the mood, change the culture, then move on to people and processes. Remember: you can’t be cool and look like Elmer Fudd!
    7. Chapter 7 Be relentless in driving the change you want in your people and all parts of your business—be the change you want to see in the world.
    8. Chapter 8 Work across the seams of the company. Stick your nose into everything. Be a cheerleader and a white buffalo. Cause tension at every turn!
    9. Chapter 9 You can teach a pig to kiss, but it usually gets messy and pisses off the pig. Please, please, please fire the right people.
    10. Chapter 10 Great people, like great horses, don’t want to get in the trailer even if they know they are leaving a bad place. Make them want to go.
    11. Chapter 11 Accept and encourage mistakes! Mistakes help you assess your team and determine if you need to recruit people or skilled technicians.
    12. Chapter 12 Got people in the right positions? Great! Now ensure respect for each position, and then get the heck out of the way so you can lead.
    13. Chapter 13 Be direct and talk about the elephants in the room. Even ride ’em and teach ’em tricks—it’s a better way, even if it feels wrong.
    14. Chapter 14 Process makes perfect! Corporate cultures are hard to change. Change processes first. Speed is good, but Fast is better.
    15. Chapter 15 Change your tune and be pitch perfect: hook me in 8 seconds (the lean-in factor); sell me in 110 seconds (close the deal). What’s your 118?
    16. Chapter 16 Mastering your 118 (a.k.a. elevator pitch 2.0): a step-by-step primer
    17. Chapter 17 Just because you killed a cow doesn’t mean you’re gonna eat steak for dinner. There’s lots of messy work to do, and none of it is easy.
  10. Part Two Grow Bigger: Starting and Sustaining Momentum
    1. Chapter 18 Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the back, or a fool from any direction. And don’t squat with your spurs on!
    2. Chapter 19 Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base.
    3. Chapter 20 Smart drivers know where traffic jams are before they hit them. So do smart change agents. Anticipate problems and avoid them before they arise.
    4. Chapter 21 The art of war: “Define your tactics to drive demand and translate potential combat power into victorious battles and engagements.”
    5. Chapter 22 Fail big! If you’re going to fail with an idea, do it big, and then learn to take responsibility for what comes next.
    6. Chapter 23 Be prepared to attack, respond, and not respond. Decide what you’re going to defend and what you’re going to let go.
    7. Chapter 24 Nothing personal? Of course it is! But don’t take the bait. Don’t believe the bad stuff. Grow a thicker skin and take the high road.
    8. Chapter 25 Make it personal! Get as close to your customers as you possibly can, and then get closer still so you can give them a squeeze.
    9. Chapter 26 Do your customer service George Eastman style: “You press the button, we do the rest.” Next time, ask yourself, “What would George do?”
    10. Chapter 27 Speed means nothing if your customers only get annoyed faster. Don’t just say customer service is a priority— make it one.
    11. Chapter 28 The customer is always in charge. Engage customers on this level in social media and dare to be radically transparent.
    12. Chapter 29 Establish a Focused Executive Program that delivers top-to-top, one-to-one strategic relationships that target your top customers.
    13. Chapter 30 Stampedes lead to fast results, but they’re expensive and exhausting. Create scalable plans that unfold as you grow.
    14. Chapter 31 Never compromise on creativity when you know it is the right thing to do for your brand and your customers.
    15. Chapter 32 Adapt or die! Change is not an end in itself, but a chance to expand on success and to understand the “boomerang effect” of change.
    16. Chapter 33 Don’t get mad. Don’t get even. Just get ahead and never give up! Outlast the bastards who will try to destroy what you do. Be relentless.
  11. Grow! Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway. The song of the change agent is the song of the Dog Soldier. Are you ready? Grow!
  12. Appendix A Twenty questions you must ask to win before you begin
  13. Appendix B My four social media Es for customer relations: engage, educate, excite, and evangelize
  14. Appendix C The seven adapt-or-die questions to learn what you don’t know
  15. Index
  16. About the Author