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The Power of Zero in Business
"What we have to offer can be boiled down to one concept: the power of zero. We get more done with less of just about everything, from our people to our workplaces to our vendors. Zilch is what drives us to be more innovative, more passionate, more creative. So stop whining about your budget cuts and start asking yourself what you'd do if you had zilch. You'll be surprised just how powerful that is."
After years of being told to emulate the corporate world, not-for-profit CEOs like Nancy Lublin now find the shoe on the other foot. Tough times have forced businesses to slash their headcount, marketing budgets, and other resources. Managers at small startups and Fortune 100 companies alike are now expected to do more with less—but how?
No one is more qualified to answer that question than the leaders who always thrive on a shoestring.
Take Nancy Lublin, for instance. She learned firsthand how much you can accomplish with zilch (or close to it). As the founder of Dress for Success, which provides low-income women with interview suits and career development training, she turned a $5,000 inheritance into a global franchise. Then, as CEO of DoSomething.org, she helped turn a struggling startup into one of the largest and most successful youth volunteer groups in the world.
Now she draws on her experiences as well as interviews with other "rock star" leaders of flourishing not-for-profits-including Wendy Kopp of Teach For America, Darell Hammond of KaBOOM!, Greg Baldwin of VolunteerMatch.org, and John Lilly of Mozilla. Their examples prove the power of zero in business by teaching us how to:
* Motivate and retain good people without offering huge financial incentives
* Use the power of bartering to leverage every asset and minimize your liabilities
* Create cherished brands without throwing money at studies and focus groups
* Market your goods or service without paying a penny
Lublin's tone is a unique mix of "let's have some fun" and "here's the straight dope." Her expert advice will help any business or organization to get ahead through the power of zero.
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