end of semester & the 3 Rules of Jack

Winhall General Store-1
Drove late last night here to VT for a fully packed day today of normal Derby Management meetings and the first two of our seven final student presentations for the semester.

BTW, although snow is still on the ground here at the house in the woods, down in the big city of Winhall (pop.769) 2.8 miles away at the general store, our own VT version of outside dining at Starbucks, the sun is out although a brisk 50,



13 weeks after that first always-a-bit-awkward, full-tilt, information-packed start to the semester back in January, we're now down to the final 90 minutes of meetings with the senior management of our marketing project companies:

  • a presentation of the findings, the research, and detailed recommendations
  • the handing over of a completed marketing plan
  • providing the backup research documentation, surveys and financials 

In this course, my TAs, our lecturers and I teach within an environment where we provide very rigorous marketing content within the context of providing marketing plans and outlining a path for growth opportunities for six or seven companies.  Our outside lecturers include heavily experienced marketing managers who are alums from this course and industry experts like Jamie Turner.  The TAs and I provide 60% of the grading while the management of the companies provide the remaining 40%.  All very real world and hard-hitting which is exactly the way we designed this, and the fact that the course keeps getting top students and top reviews leads me to always be on the search for new project companies.  

As a result of a few social media and blog outreaches, we now have a number of opportunities for this fall's Marketing course and are continuing to look for more.  We will make the final decisions on June 1st, so plenty of time to review the instructions (just connect with me) and set up a meeting to ask questions.  We are also planning on kicking off a totally new version of "The Science of Sales" course in the fall, which will be led by me and co-taught by a few of our best sales execs from a variety of industries.  Will be very exciting and deep into tactics, technologies, processes, tools, hiring and forecasting.  Also looking for project companies for this course.  Same timing.

The 3 Rules of Jack

Rules-1The end of every semester also comes down to my semi-annual outline of "The 3 Rules" that I provide to my departing students. 

Over the years, they have served me and my alums well, and it's always heartening to hear them retold to me five and ten years later by alums.



#1.  Always Stay Connected
One of the most important takeaways from college, from grad school and from every work experience is the connections that we make.  Not only connect but continue to connect and actually embrace these connections since there will be a time that that one connection from last year...or ten years ago...will be most critical to your work, your search for a new job and your well-being.  

#2.  Always Continue to Learn
More than 60% of my students go on to obtain an MBA or an advanced degree during their mid to late-20's.  Also a solid number of law degrees along with a good number of docs and dentists.  What I do point out here  however is that the process of continuous learning is not necessarily connected to a degree.  What I want to instill in this comment is the requirement for consistent curiosity and the enthusiasm for exploring ideas.  

#3.  Always Break Some Rules
Maybe this is the entrepreneur in me, but not really.  I want my alums to take chances, to step outside the guidelines and be innovative with their lives especially when they are young.  I give examples of alums who started as an analyst at IBM and is now a nationally featured, very well-known NYC urban farmer, of an up-and-coming banker who left to become a dentist, of a Miss America finalist who is now a successful organic food entrepreneur and numbers of rookie salespeople who are now heading up global strategy for big brand companies.   

Follow your passion and not just your head all the time and break some rules...just not the big ones!

Have a great day selling today and a great weekend!

Jack Derby, Professor & Sales Coach


If at any time, you have a need for a confidential sounding board for Sales or Marketing, just connect with me at any time.  www.derbymanagement.com 

Text or email me, and I'll quickly set up a call.  I'm a pretty good listener, and we can get deep into tactics if you want. 

Obviously, no cost for a call or two; just an opportunity to listen intently and make a few recommendations based on decades of experience.



Tags: marketing effectiveness, business planning, marketing, Tufts marketing projects, how to write a marketing plan, value propositions, whiteboardingmarketingsolutions