michael hageloh

How can one person—or one company—change the world? It takes big ideas, to be sure, but it also takes more than that. It takes a personal or corporate culture that fosters innovation and problem-solving. It takes a certain sense of showmanship—a commitment to always be selling, marketing those big ideas and proving their mettle. Over the last three decades, michael hageloh, the creator of the Rhythm-Selling System, has exemplified each of these traits time and time again, both in his personal life and in his corporate positions.

A rare authority on Apple, the greatest sales company ever, michael is a world-changer to be sure, and he has accomplished big things through fairly modest tools—which are the principles behind Rhythm-Selling as a system: Such old-fashioned values as superior product development, stalwart customer service, and a ceaseless devotion to a company culture of selling. michael is best known for the 22 years he spent inside Apple, from its formative years up through 2010. During this time he became one of the company’s all-time global sales leaders, generating almost a billion dollars ($1B) in overall revenue, and led Apple’s education division to new horizons and bold achievements. Always framed in authentic conversations with a distinctive rhythm.

In addition, michael sold for Adobe and served at other worthy tech startups. Today he applies his unique perspective to his work as he delivers his Rhythm Selling keynotes globally.

michael can speak with authority on the culture in an organization and the powerful results that can be attained through the recognizing, fine tuning and external manifestation of it. Remember, every word represents your culture. Are you a selling organization or do you just have sales people?

This page offers some insights into who michael is and what he has accomplished as an author, a keynote speaker, and a successful jack of many trades and master of only one: selling. We invite you to read his personal blog and learn how to retain michael as a sales event host or keynote speaker. See what Rhythm Selling can do for your culture today. For more information, or to book michael for an event, please contact us today.

Blog Posts

Should Your Company Be Fun?

Should Your Company Be Fun?

A recent article from Entrepreneur.com offers some steps on creating a “fun, positive company culture.” But of course, this raises as many questions as it does answers. Like: Never mind the how of making your company culture fun. What about the why? Is it even a worthwhile goal to try to make your company a fun place to work? A Question of Motives The author at Entrepreneur.com obviously thinks so. “I’ve always believed businesses that encourage play are the ones where the best people do their best work,” the article begins. “Employees love to work hard when they also get to play hard.” My own answer to the question: It depends. What are your motives for making your company culture fun? Why are you making this your goal? You have to answer those questions before you do anything else. There are plenty of good reasons to try to make your company fun. There’s some truth to the idea that a fun workplace can help you with employee retention—though only if it’s paired with opportunities for meaningful career advancement. I also think there’s something to be said for a fun culture as an incubator of creativity. If you want to make your company a fun place to work because you think your employees will be happier, healthier, more productive, and more motivated, then you won’t hear any argument from me. The Wrong Reasons With that said, there is such a thing as doing an okay thing for the wrong reasons. I can think of a few bad reasons for building a fun company culture. One is because you simply want to be known as a fun place to work—which may help you get new job applicants in the door, but then what are you doing to keep them there? As a goal, this is fairly shortsighted. Meanwhile, I think some companies want to make themselves fun without ever pausing to think about the measurable results they hope to achieve from that. This is probably a shallow view of company culture—unless you just value fun for fun’s sake. And hey! I’m a fun-loving guy, so don’t take any of this as a criticism of the idea of fun company culture. I just think it’s important to pursue this thoughtfully—and to have some sense of why you’re doing it.

Company Culture and Your Hiring Policies

Company Culture and Your Hiring Policies

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Your company has a culture, just as you have your own personal culture. Period. End of story. Maybe you don’t know what your culture is, and maybe you’ve done nothing to actively build your culture, but you can’t not have one. From the second you started thinking about your company, your actions have been slowly but surely carving out a cultural identity for your business. That’s important to note, I think, in light of the myriad articles out there about building company culture. I absolutely agree that companies should be deliberate in shaping and managing their culture, but don’t make the mistake of thinking you can just abstain from having a culture. You can control your culture yourself or you can let it arise haphazardly, but you’ll have one, one way or the other. Culture and Decision Making This is all so very important because your company culture will absolutely inform your corporate decision-making—and vice versa. It’s sort of an endless loop: Your decisions will be influenced by your company’s fundamental values, and those decisions will in turn shape your company’s values. And on and on it goes. This includes decision making at all levels, but your hiring decisions may top the list. A recent article from Entrepreneur.com explains why this is so: “Entrepreneurs work hard to build and cultivate the culture of their organizations. But company culture doesn’t result from an edict from upper management. It’s made up of the work and values of every employee. Each new hire can contribute to sustaining or eroding that culture.” Continues the article: “Hiring employees who understand and exemplify company values serves to reinforce the organization’s mission and vision and create a tighter team.” Hiring for Fit That’s all well and good—but how does a company hire new employees for organizational fit—not just for skills or items on a resume? The article offers a trio of good tips: Think about your values, and translate them into a list of behaviors. Use that list of behaviors to come up with relevant interview questions. Be deliberate in communicating your core cultural values to job applicants/interviewees. That all sounds fair enough to me—but I hasten to add that the really important first step is just acknowledging that your company has a culture, and being honest with yourself about what that culture is; how you might like to change it; and how it ultimately plays out in your decision-making, hiring and otherwise.

Does Apple Intentionally Slow Older iPhones?

Does Apple Intentionally Slow Older iPhones?

It’s like clockwork: Every time there’s a new iPhone on the horizon, speculation begins circulating that Apple intentionally slows down older devices in order to drive sales of new ones. I’ll be blunt: The notion that this company—bent on world domination, obsessed with innovation—is using its time and resources to slow down your phone is outright ridiculous. If you think that Apple intentionally slows old phones to drive sales of new ones, then might I suggest that you start buying your aluminum foil in bulk at a place like Costco? You’re gonna need it for making all of those hats. Now, to be fair, I don’t necessarily think it would be all that crazy of a thing if Apple did slow old devices. Frankly, that would be sort of a brilliant way to drive sales. But it’s not part of the Apple ethos, and it’s also not really necessary. Think about it: Why would Apple need to slow old phones when it can just deliver newer, better, faster ones—which it does, consistently? Why would a company known for always moving forward be so petty and malicious in screwing with its older devices? It boggles the mind. I dare say the iPhone 6 will continue the trajectory. It will be a better machine than its predecessor, and as such there won’t be any need for Apple to make its old devices perform worse; the new one will simply perform better. If that fails, then maybe Apple will resort to some kind of shady back-end tricks—but I don’t think it will. Just as importantly, I don’t think Apple would ever manipulate old devices in this way. It would be grossly out of character for Apple. This is a company that always looks forward, that believes looking backward is a major waste of resources. Apple doesn’t even really have a good framework for looking back at its older devices. It will continue to press on and march forward, innovating new products that work better and feel better than older ones. It doesn’t need to do anything further to stack the deck in its favor. Again: This is one of the most successful technology companies in the world. It doesn’t have any need for tricks—or for paranoia. Rest assured, then, that your iPhone 5 is not going to suddenly slow as the release of the new model draws near—and if it does, it’s not because Apple is pulling the strings somewhere in cyberspace. Again: If you think Apple is wasting its time to slow down your personal device, can I recommend the bulk-order aluminum foil? Apple isn’t messing up your device. Apple is working to move forward—as it always does.

Will the iPhone 6 Be a Success?

Will the iPhone 6 Be a Success?

For months now there has been rampant speculation about a new iPhone coming down the pipeline; while little in the way of “official” information has been released, there have been plenty of leaks to the press, and we can all safely assume that the iPhone 6 will indeed hit shelves in just a few weeks’ time. With the pending release of the next generation of iPhones, many Apple prognosticators are focused on this question: Will the iPhone 6 be a success? My answer: It depends on how you define success. For many, of course, success will be measured purely in terms of sales. If Apple sells a boatload of new iPhones, then sure, it’s a success. I don’t necessarily disagree with this thinking, and if this is the basis we’re using, then I think we can go ahead and call it: Yes, Apple will sell an awful lot of new devices, and yes, the iPhone 6 will be, by this measure, a success. Not everyone will define success in these terms, though. There are many who so closely associate Apple with innovation—with the astonishing breakthroughs of the iPod and the original iPhone—that any new device needs to be a game-changer in order for it to truly be considered a win for the company. If this is your metric then the iPhone 6 may come up short. The original iPhone is the most disruptive device of the last 200 years, but Apple can’t be expected to come up with a breakthrough like that every time. I don’t think Apple is close to something of that magnitude, and I don’t think any other company is, either. Here’s my standard: The iPhone 6 will be a success if it feels good. That’s really what matters. Apple isn’t going to reinvent the wheel, and doesn’t need to. What it needs to do is give us a better, faster device that feels natural when you hold it in your hands. That’s what people care about. I think Apple generally does a great job with this. There are aesthetic and practical senses in which Apple products nearly always seem right—making the rare misstep then, like the original round mouse, stands out all the more. I personally think the iPhone 4 is still the one that feels the best—the newer ones are just a little too large for me—but if the majority of people think this new iPhone feels good, comfortable, and natural, then that’s what counts. I believe the new iPhone will almost surely be a big success for Apple—but it’s important for us to think about exactly what that means.

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