Getting to the Point | The Exkalibur Newsletter | June 9, 2017

This week we’re Getting to the Point with some helpful advice from the business world along with some fascinating tidbits from the medical, scientific and tech arenas.

This week’s Featured Article sets out a simple approach to building a sales funnel to ramp up your top line revenue. In our Business Brief, you’ll also learn 6 Phrases to help you demonstrate active listening, a critical but too often overlooked ingredient of great leaders. You’ll also get some tips on planning a retreat with your team, the latest scientific thinking about howu to think and attack a business problem along with a fascinating story about the millions of dollars lost in stolen nuts in California (No, I don’t mean the residents).

In our From the Apple Tree segment, I’ve summarized some of the latest announcements from Apple, which Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, described in his keynote address on Monday. You don’t want to miss the amazing Apocalypse video there. You’ll also be happy to learn in our Geeking Out segment how Apple and Google are attacking advertisers who to not only block ads, but eventually block third party tracking.

Around the Web will show you why valedictorians don’t become millionaires, and answer one of the questions that’s always haunted you why are doughnut boxes are pink? If you’ve got kids who aren’t yet in college, there’s some powerful lessons about social media and how they can affect your child’s college application. You also won’t want to miss interesting news on the medical front and whether your annual physical does any good.

You can also relax and do some reading this weekend, either about a fascinating and frank woman in our We’re Reading (Non-Fiction) segment or another great novel from Greg Iles in our What We’re Reading (Fiction) segment. There’s also a few examples of Why Moms and Grandmothers Yell in our Humor segment and some thoughts on what it would be like in our Sports segment if the Golden State Warriors go 16–0 tonight to win the NBA Championship.

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The Wednesday Blog Post on Leadership Has Been Published …

… but you probably don’t know about it.

If you recall from last week, many of you have told us that you’re always pressed for time in the middle of the week and then forget to get back to the Wednesday blog post. We all know from there how easily it slides below the fold in our email client where it may never be seen again.

So, every week in our Getting to the Point newsletter, I’ll give you a sneak preview in the Featured Article segment so you can decide if it’s relevant to your needs.

You will always be able to find it:

  • by reference from this newsletter,
  • from the newsletter on,
  • by searching for key words on, or
  • by looking for the most recent Wednesday blog post.

We will still send out our Monday Quote of the Week, which so many enjoy, but now, for the first time, in Getting to the Point, you’ll be able to access everything we publish during the week.

Let me know what you think.

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Grow Topline Revenue by Getting More At Bats

Baseball season is in full swing, so it’s a good time to remember how great hitters get to the Hall of Fame. It’s the same process you should use to focus on revenue enhancement, a fancy term for “get more sales”

Link to this page

There are some Simple Metrics to Measure Your Success

Most companies do a poor job of tracking Suspects and Prospects, but if you want to overcome that limitation, try these simple metrics to build a sales funnel that will help you quickly grow your top line.

Make getting more at bats the cornerstone of your sales strategy.

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Good News if You’re Sick of Advertisers Tracking Your Every Move

From The new Chrome and Safari Will Reshape the Web:

“Last week Google confirmed that Chrome—the most widely used web browser in the world—will block all ads on sites that include particularly egregious ads, including those that autoplay videos, hog too much of the screen, or make you wait to see the content you just clicked on.

Apple meanwhile announced yesterday that Safari will soon stop websites from automatically playing audio or video without your permission. The company’s next browser update will even give users the option to load pages in “Reader” mode by default, which will strip not only ads but many other layout elements. The next version will also step up features to block third parties from tracking what you do online.”

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Apple’s Keynote at WWDC – Lots of Stuff Coming

Apple started its keynote at the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a terrific video. I think you’ll laugh out loud as I did. (You can watch the entire keynote here.)

In short, Apple has updated its entire lineup, which is neatly summarized in Everything Apple Announced Today at WWDC. It is incredible to note that there are now more than 16 million developers in the Apple ecosystem, which added 3 million just in the past year.

Upgrades are coming to the MacBook Pro, IMac and iMac Pro as well as the MacBook, the iPad Pro, Apple Watch and a new product, the Apple HomePod, Apple’s competitor to the Amazon Echo and Google’s Assistant.

Software is also being upgraded across the board. Mac OS High Sierra is the next level of the Mac operating system, followed by many great features for our iPhones and iPads, described in The 9 Key New Features Coming to iOS 11.

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Why Moms & Grandmothers Yell!

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Why class valedictorians don’t become millionaires

“How many … #1 high school performers go on to change the world, run the world or impress the world?

The answer seems to be clear: zero.

Why are doughnut boxes pink?

Southern California is the undisputed epicenter of the doughnut world — a testament to [its] love affair with junk food you can handle behind a steering wheel.”

According to Yelp, L.A. County alone has at least 680 doughnut shops, about 200 more than New York City and double the number in Chicago’s Cook County.

Remember: Facebook and Twitter are Public … so Beware

You’ve probably seen the recent articles, like Harvard Rescinds Acceptances for At Least Ten Students for Obscene Memes, which resulted from social media activities uncovered by university officials.

Keep this factoid in mind as you talk with your kids about their social media profiles:

“35% of admissions officers surveyed say they check social media and 42% found that it negatively affected the applicants.” (CBS)

Medical Insurance? Co-Pay? $40,000+

The Doctor Is In. Co-Pay? $40,000 will open your eyes to the disparities in medical services and the costs of extraordinary care at the concierge level of service.

“In many ways, today’s elite concierge physician provides the same service as the family doctor did a half-century ago for millions of Americans, except that it is reserved for the tiny sliver of the population who can pay tens of thousands of dollars annually for it.”

Does Your Annual Physical Do You Any Good?

From Does Medicare’s free annual wellness visit do any good?

“The annual checkup is an almost distinctly American ritual. It’s the single most common reason we see our doctors, despite persistent controversy about it (these pro and con articles sum this up well) and thin evidence about whether it does any good.”

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Listening is a Critical Leadership Skill. Are You Good At It?

The recent article, 6 Phrases to Demonstrate Active Listening – at Work, or Elsewhere offers some insightful science behind our listening capability along with 6 Phrases you can use to demonstrate active listening.



Planning a Retreat with Your Team. Start Here.

In How to Plan an Effective Executive Retreat, Chief Executive provides some simple but effective lessons if you want to get more out of your retreat than a hangover and a laughable golf score.

Why Steal Nuts? They’re Worth an Awful Lot of Money

“In California, millions of dollars’ worth of almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are disappearing. Farmers are perplexed, the cops are confused, and the crooks are getting richer.

More from The Curious Case of the Disappearing Nuts,

“In recent years, nut theft has ­exploded into a statewide problem. More than 35 loads, worth at least $10 million, have gone missing since 2013. The number and style of the thefts—quick and professional, as if the characters from Ocean’s Eleven had descended on the Central Valley—have drawn the attention of federal organized-crime investigators and prompted the creation of a regional task force.”

Thinking is Good. Intuition Can Be Good … but

I’ve been a frequent advocate of using your intuition … trusting your instincts … your gut … because it’s not a thoughtless rush to judgment.

It’s an amalgam of thousands of observations and decisions you’ve cataloged over a lifetime … and it often leads to a better decision than pure analysis.

But, not always. There are some circumstances where our intuition leads us astray because we assume things that aren’t true. For some fascinating insight into how we think … you think … and how we both think we know the answers but really don’t, click here and read Linear Thinking in a Nonlinear World.

“Test yourself with this word problem: Imagine you’re responsible for your company’s car fleet. You manage two models, an SUV that gets 10 miles to the gallon and a sedan that gets 20. The fleet has equal numbers of each, and all the cars travel 10,000 miles a year. You have enough capital to replace one model with more-fuel-efficient vehicles to lower operational costs and help meet sustainability goals.

Which upgrade is better?

  • A. Replacing the 10 MPG vehicles with 20 MPG vehicles
  • B. Replacing the 20 MPG vehicles with 50 MPG vehicles

Read the article to see if you’re right.

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You Don’t Look Your Age…and Other Fairy Tales by Sheila Nevins

Start here if you’re looking to be inspired by a strong woman with a remarkably successful career.

As the Peabody Award-winning president of HBO Documentary Films, Sheila Nevins (a former producer for ABC News and CBS News) has overseen hundreds of non-fiction films which have garnered a collective 65 Emmys and 26 Academy Awards.

In her collection of essays “You Don’t Look Your Age … and Other Fairy Tales” (Flatiron Books), Nevins reflects on an unfinished life with comical honesty and a refusal to sugar-coat subjects ranging from anxiety to cosmetic surgery.

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Golden State Warriors Lead Cleveland 3–0 in NBA Finals

Game #4 is tonight in Cleveland where the Warriors can wrap up another NBA Championship, their 2nd in 3 years following an unexpected loss in 7 games last year to the Cavaliers.

They would also make the Warriors the only team in NBA history to go undefeated at 16–0 in the NBA playoffs, an incredible feat under any circumstance.

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True Evil by Greg Iles

Just over one month ago, I said that if you’re hankering for something to read … maybe to carry you into summer and beyond … you should tackle the Penn Cage series from Greg Iles starting with the first book,, The Quiet Game. I had just finished the 6th novel in the Penn Cage series, Mississippi Blood, and the final book in the Natchez Trilogy (which comprises Book #s 4–6) arrived and it is absolutely fabulous.

Now, Iles has published his latest thriller, True Evil. It takes place in the same area of Natchez, Mississippi, with only a passing reference to some of the characters Iles identified in his Penn Cage series … except for Dr. Chris Sheppard who is the partner of Dr. Cage, Penn Cage’s father.

You’ll thank me for introducing you to Greg Iles if you haven’t already found him, and this book is no exception. An outstanding series and author … and I don’t say that about too many of the hundreds of writers I’ve read in this genre.

“Dr. Chris Shepard has never seen his new patient before. But the attractive young woman with the scarred face knows him all too well. An FBI agent working undercover, Alex Morse has come to Dr. Shepard’s office in Natchez, Mississippi, to unmask a killer. A local divorce attorney has a cluster of clients whose spouses have all died under mysterious circumstances. Agent Morse’s own brother-in-law was one of those clients, and now her beloved sister is dead. Then comes Morse’s bombshell: Dr. Shepard’s own beautiful wife consulted this lawyer one week ago, a visit Shepard knew nothing about. Will he help Alex Morse catch a killer? Or is he the next one to fall victim to a deadly trap of sex, lies, and murder?” (Amazon)

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