Peter, an executive on the CEO’s team, hired me to work with him. Something wasn’t working in his relationships with his peers on the team, and he wanted to figure it out.

He felt ignored, dismissed and disrespected by his peers. They seemed to avoid Peter and often went around him to others in his organization for decisions that he should be making. So I interviewed the CEO and Peter’s peers to ask them about what they observed in the situation.

As it turns out the CEO felt Peter was smart and capable but could push too hard for his viewpoint, and he had given Peter this feedback on several occasions. Peter’s peers described a leader who would dismiss their ideas. He interrupted and talked too much, insistent that his solutions and ideas were the best.

Peter was not interacting well with his peers and they were responding in kind to his poor behavior.…

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SmartBrief is talking directly with small and medium-sized businesses to discover their journeys, challenges and lessons. Today’s post is a Q-and-A with Steve McKee, president and co-founder of McKee Wallwork & Co., an integrated marketing firm in Albuquerque, N.M. McKee is also an author and a columnist for Bloomberg Businessweek.

Are you a small-business owner and would like to share your story? E-mail me jdasilva [at]

McKee answered my questions below, and also used his company’s video studio to deliver an on-camera version of those answers. Both are below.

What is McKee Wallwork, and how did it come to be?

McKee Wallwork & Co. is an ad agency that specializes in revitalizing stalled, stuck and stale brands. We’ve conducted significant research to understand how companies can grow consistently, why they stumble and what pitfalls we all must avoid.

We’ve lived on both ends of the growth spectrum ourselves, having once made the Inc.…

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SmartBrief, as part of its Advertising Week coverage, is interviewing top executives at the 4A’s, IAB, MMA and ANA.

In the third post of the series, Interactive Advertising Bureau Vice President Anna Bager discusses how video is reshaping the digital advertising landscape and how IAB works to stay on top this ever-changing space.

Be sure to join SmartBrief’s e-mail list for daily updates on advertising, Web marketing, mobile, social media and more.

We’re chatting with you on the second day of Ad Week, so let’s start with that. What do you see as the big takeaway from this year’s events?

The conference that we’re putting on here is focused on art, beauty and invoking emotion in people. There’s been so much talk about automation and technology in industry, and it’s a big part of what we do, and it can be a great help. But it can also lead to tools that create something artistic.…

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Advertising Week covers a range of topics, but potty training may still seem like an unlikely one.

Still, toddlers and diapers were all the buzz as day two of the Mobile Marketing Association’s SM2 conference kicked off on Wednesday.

Melanie Huet of Kimberly-Clark and Dwayne Raupp of Organic discussed the implementation of and lessons learned from the Pull-Ups Time to Potty app, a mobile application that gives parents a way to reward children as they transition out of diapers.

Listening to user feedback was key to the app’s success, Raupp said. Initially, it required parents to scan a Pull-Up diaper to unlock the reward, but users complained that the additional step led to a cumbersome process. Eliminating that requirement led to a simpler app that more consumers used.

Such insights by brands that are embracing and experimenting with mobile featured big at the conference. The first day included sessions on the Internet of Things, real-time mobile marketing and case studies by companies such as Toyota Motors and Dunkin’ Brands on how they are using mobile to improve the customer experience.…

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Sheryl-3908-WebRes-1Today marks the first day of Connected Educator Month. SmartBlog on Education will be bringing you content throughout the month to celebrate CEM. Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, a member of the CEM leadership team, is helping us kick off the celebration with an overview of the event and a look at free resources for connected educators.

What is Connected Educator Month?

Connected Educator Month was started in 2012 by the U.S. Department of Education as a way to get educators proficient with social media to improve their practice, help schools integrate connected learning into their formal professional development efforts and stimulate and support innovation in the field of education. Last year, more than 300 educational organizations, schools and school districts participated in Connected Educator Month, and more than 600 free, national professional learning events and activities happened around connected education.

But as successful as Connected Educator Month 2013 was, there are still educators who are not connected, and many more who are not yet taking full advantage of the opportunities connected education affords.…

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