Are You Working for a Counterfeit or Authentic Brand?

Richard Branson, a world famous and admired business leader writes in his leadership and management book, Screw Business as Usual, that business as usual is wrecking the planet and the sea of change that he sees underway is how new business models help people and the planet.

Maybe you’re just doing life for the paycheck, the profits and comforts?  If that’s true, then what you do and who you do it with probably doesn’t hit your radar or move you far off your comfort zone.  If, however, you are one of the growing numbers of people worldwide who are waking up and who want to shake things up, then by all means, start with yourself.

Your time is valuable.  You are a valuable asset. Now is a good time to ask the question, “Am I putting my skills and talents in places I can do the most good?”

If I was king of all companies for a day, I’d print wallet sized copies of every company’s purpose and brand values for each employee.  As a company, what better way to begin to help make sure you have the right people on the bus. And for an employee, what better way to help you decide if you’re on the right bus!

This becomes more interesting and involved because almost every brand knows how to say the right things.  Brands pay expert message managers very well to create spins that produce increased shareholder value.  Many companies have departments to prove that their values are your values.  If your company is doing that, look deeply into this and discern what’s true for you, and beware, because the world has a large number of counterfeit brands and actors who play their parts to hoard gold.

Globally, humanity has a mess on its hands.  It’s going to take some time for all the required changes however I’m optimistic that awareness is growing and the tide is turning. We’ve developed a dysfunctional economic system. The price we’ve been paying is the loss of our humanity. Look around and notice the joyless people who think they’ve got it made.  They’re the ones who have been seduced and trapped by a money system that’s sucking their humanity.  In part that’s what Branson means when he says business as usual is not working.  We are all responsible for this level of disconnect; by numbing out in our comfort zones and failing to respect and appreciate each and every person and living thing.

A rule of thumb I learned is if you make a mess, clean it up.  If you’re working for a brand that is counterfeit, say something, better yet do something. Find the courage to use your life, your values and your special talents to support a business and a level of consciousness that respects the global oneness we all share.  Authentic expression, a renewed connection to life enhancing values and, most importantly, a deep appreciation for every single person are keys to paving a joyful future on earth.

Smooth sailing,

Mark Hall
Hall Marketing and Management Inc.

If you want to comment or share your own insights with Mark, email

Leaders know there are great benefits derived from being humble, open and passionate about learning.

The learner position is the fourth pillar of my leadership model that I have posted on this web site.

What fun!

The class content I have been teaching to the high achieving international music artist I wrote about is complete.  The band has released a new album and is on the eastern seaboard and off to tour Europe soon. I am sure they’ll have fun!

It was enjoyable to meet and share some of my experience, lessons and know how.  It was great to have a client/student with a high level of passion for inquiry and growing.

Here’s a very brief summary of our class materials and discussions over the past few months.

What is business, and why do we do it?

Authenticity and the Heart of the Matter.

A Commitment to Values and Ethics.

Keys to Accelerating Success.

Learning to make the Very Best Decisions.

Unlocking and Expanding Creativity and the Benefits.

How to offer Extra Ordinary and Compelling Services.

Facing Challenges and Arriving at Solutions.

Creating a Value Proposition you Can Stand Behind.

Building a Brand; the Intention and the Architecture.

Developing A Product and Service Line.

Marketing Defined in Workable Ways.

Research as a Function of Marketing.

Developing a Potential Customer List / Selling Wins.

Managing Sales for Yourself and Others.

Building a Client Management and Retention System.

Negotiation Excellence.

Working with Contracts and Agreements.

Managing People with Strength and Compassion.

The 21st Century’s Most Valuable Skill.

Your Financial Plan.

The real exploration in learning is finding out what we do not know.  We don’t know what we don’t know!  That’s partially what makes the learner position such a courageous and compelling place to be.

Smooth sailing,

Mark Hall
Hall Marketing and Management Inc.

If you want to comment or share your own insights with Mark he’s reachable at

Negotiating Excellent Arrangements

I’m guiding a successful international music artist who has a thirst for learning business skills and know how.  Here are a few concepts and ideas I’m sharing to empower him on negotiating excellent arrangements.

1. It’s your job to represent one side of the interests in a negotiation. Do not lose track because of a personal need to be approved of, or a desire to control mutual wins.  Mutual wins are a natural occurrence of an open, clearly articulated and sometimes enduring exchange.

2. An excellent negotiator requires integrity, internal strength and a large capacity.

3. Do your research and create a clear, well founded and brilliant position.

4. Follow your heart. Trust yourself.

5. Accept that negotiation can be lonely.  This might require fortitude.  Be prepared.

6. It takes at least two parties to negotiate; know your BATNA – Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement.

7. Be aware and on the watch for those people and organizations who think negotiation is about beating someone.  Bullies and ultra competitive people are known to shift their moral compass more easily under pressure. Negotiation is about winning, for both parties; you are responsible for your part. Be clear and communicate openly. Start sentences with, “I”….

8. Corresponding from good notes helps make things clearer and contributes to excellence and excellent outcomes.

9. Choose responses, rarely reactions.

10. Don’t trust, don’t distrust. Walk the line ….

11. If you act for a group or individual you have a duty.  It may be a fiduciary duty.  Therefore be transparent and timely, both matters relate to ethics and excellence.

12. Don’t be lulled or seduced by nice words or friendliness that camouflage a tough or unscrupulous negotiator.  Discernment is an advanced skill.

13. Correct misinformation in a timely manner.

14. Listen well to your negotiation partner.

15. Do not make the other person/side wrong. Keep negotiations above ground.

16. Don’t take things personally. Ever. Even if its intended to be personal.  See the situation for what it is.

17. Don’t make assumptions. Be objective.

18. Fuzzy negotiations and communications result in fuzzy outcomes.  Experienced negotiators know this.  Commit to exceptional clarity; that’s excellence and with it you’ll have a greater opportunity for exceptional outcomes.

19. Determine and gauge your toughness. Measure your responses and consider the strength of your negotiation partner.  Be willing to shift in any direction any time.

20. Always be mindful of whose court the ball is in.

21. Be curious, ask questions.  Questions advance negotiations, expose weak arguments, increase dialogue, create options and keep the ball in play.

22. Use your questions to put your negotiating partner on the spot, not cornered. Always leave room for your negotiating partner to move out of the spot.

23. If it’s too complicated to understand, it’s too complicated.

24. Silence creates stiffness and can increase seriousness.  Learn to know your own fears and skilfully move and shift your energy as required.

25. Do not try to guess what the other party is thinking.  This is ineffective and limits results.

26. Choose softer words like misstatement or misunderstanding or misinformation rather than hard words.

27. Don’t stir the pot, everything comes to a head eventually.

28. If things are stuck, see them for what they are and what your role in stuck is.  Don’t change your position if you know it’s strong and truthful.

29. If the situation is stuck, maybe try something new. If there’s a roadblock, find a way to go around it.  Hold a strong position.

30. Be careful not to back yourself in a corner by setting deadlines.

31. Keep things light, no matter how serious it seems. Remain buoyant, act from the balls of your feet. Remain optimistic.

32. Timing is everything.  Develop instincts.

33. If you find yourself in a positional bargaining scenario, remain strong and gently help your negotiation partner see your position.

34. Follow rules if there are any.  Sneaky is a lower level.

35. Even if it’s written, allow for at least a 20% possibility that it may not be true.

36. Understand when a negotiation is complete.  Are more approvals than signatures required, such as a seal?

37. Work consistently with excellence, do your best, trust, let go of the outcome.

38. In the unlikely scenario you find a difficult negotiating partner who plays a game within a game or two, and you’ll know this if it happens, remain calm, don’t bite the hook, and sort it out deliberately one small step at a time.

39. One minor caveat… excellence and integrity do not deviate however negotiations are rarely predictable so some of these helpers apply some of the time.

As your mastery develops these skills and concepts will become more natural to you, in ways similar to a crafting a GRAMMY Award winning arrangement.

Mastery requires dedication, discipline and practice. And there’s always more to learn as you’ll see from my leadership model here.

Smooth sailing,

Mark Hall
Hall Marketing and Management Inc.

If you want to comment or share your own insights with Mark he’s reachable at





My National Hockey League Experience

A desire to work with more sustainable values is the key reason I decided to leave the NHL after 27 years following the lockout in 2005.  Sustainable values include truth, justice, integrity, respect, trust and gratitude.

Money is important however it’s not a sustainable value and alone it does not serve my purpose.

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Dr. Steven Covey, An Inspirational Leader With Great Habits

A world’s great inspirational leader, Dr. Stephen Covey, a man with many great habits, left us this week.

Every inspired leader world wide will want to make a note and honor a brilliant business and family man who made the world a much better place. I am very fortunate I had a full day in person with Dr. Covey a few years ago and he left a great mark on me. He was one of my greatest inspirations. Continue reading

Freedom isn’t free. Some behaviours erode basic freedoms

As we celebrate Canada Day July 1st in Canada and and the celebrations continue July 4thin the USA I’ve been asking myself what is the price of freedom? Freedom isn’t free. Some behaviours erode our basic freedoms… Continue reading

Two Octaves Higher – A Cause for Celebration

Two Octaves Higher

In this grand world of ours, great combustible events and breakthroughs emerge out of struggle which in turn creates heroes, incredible accomplishments and better lives. The world’s inspirational leaders emerge out of courageous and daring dreams that defy odds and boldly honour their truth and authenticity.  Visionary philosophers, leaders, scientists and cultural icons serve and advance humanity.

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Authenticity is the Seed of Brilliance

Authenticity is the Seed of Brilliance.

From what has been said to me by someone who knows her, Lady Gaga is a lovely gal.  Being authentic in the world of excellence can be vitally important to long term success. But that meat dress smells like exaggerated marketing to me and is perceptibly desperate… Continue reading

I’m Building A New Website…

Mark Hall Management ProfessionalThanks for your patience while I build a new online network with this website as the anchor point. Within these pages I will be presenting articles and posts which I hope you will find informative and useful. My focus will be on leadership and creativity in management practice.

Much more information will be available here soon. Please feel free to establish contact and start a dialogue by sending an email to me: