Mac M. Martirossian, CPA


Lessons Learned from Team 6

By Mac M. Martirossian, CPA

The recent mission into Pakistan by an unnamed group of brave souls referred to as Team 6, has brought a multitude of best practices with application in the business world.  Often times, we need inspiration from groups or individuals unrelated to the corporate universe, like Olympic teams and Military leaders, to remind of us what we are missing in accomplishing our own missions.

Clearly, the accomplishments of Team 6 reminded us of the importance of Courage when faced with tasks that take us completely out of our comfort zone; about Discipline and the need to concentrate of what must get done; about Confidence when put in a position of responsibility to lead a project; about Team work and how we must rely on the strength of cross functional teams when it comes to tackling complex projects and how we must have complete acceptance of what needs to get done, with no doubts.

Beyond these and other great messages, there are three key imperatives that this event brought to us and they are as follows: Learn More »

Three Characteristics of Successful Brands

By Mac M. Martirossian, CPA

There are many great attributes of corporate brands that we can adopt in developing a personal Brand.  If you have worked on building your personal Brand, you will find it difficult to compete in an ever increasing crowded market.  No matter your station in life, it is imperative to have a personal Brand that uniquely describes who you are.  Not a resume, or a Linkedin profile, but a branding statement that separates you from everyone else.

As consumers, we are selective in companies we choose to do business with, based on their Brand reputation.  Why then would employers or potential customers of ours, not have that same line of thinking?

Successful brands are ABLE….they have characteristics that end in the letters a-b-l-e.

  1. Successful brands are Memorable, because they are interesting.  We are drawn to them because they are unique and different.  If you have ever been to a Cirque du Soleil show you will have a tough time forgetting what it was all about, and a difficult time describing what you experienced.  Their success has translated into annual revenues of $800 million.  What have you done recently that makes your Brand memorable? Learn More »

What is Your Octane Grade?

By Mac M. Martirossian, CPA

Ever meet someone who you have to step back from because they are glowing with energy, competence and presence? Rare, but memorable when it occurs.

Octane ratings for gasoline, invented by American chemist Russell Marker in 1926, is a complex calculation involving measuring various chemicals and their interaction and impact on “anti-knocking” in engines. Around the world, the octane in gasoline for automobiles is measured in various grades; the most popular in the US being “Regular”, “Mid-Grade” and “Premium”. Higher octane ratings correlate to higher activation energies– the amount of energy necessary to start a chemical reaction.

Leaders and managers associate with people in each of these fuel grades. While you may think that most would be tagged as Regular, the reality is the majority of people are in the Mid-Grade range. Common characteristics of this group are that they provide some energy, when they are engaged in something they enjoy doing. They spark when they have direction or are given incentives to do what they should be doing. About 80% of the work force would fit into this grade, and 80% of what they do could be done by another Mid-Grade person. In some respects, there is no point of differentiation in this category. Not enough performance to fuel a high-powered organization and higher cost than a Standard person, but not sure what you get for the extra cost.

About 10% of the work force would be considered Regular grade. They are affordable, abundantly available and never require a premium. You can’t use these folks in high risk, or high energy projects and you can’t hire them into highly complex organizations, as they will produce engine knock. They fit into ordinary situations.

About 10% of those remaining are in the Premium Category, with the highest grade of Octane. These are the players; their compensation carries a premium, they are complex in chemical, or should I say, DNA structure.  They run at a higher compression ratio without causing detonation. They deliver more output and they are the ones highly successful organizations seek.

·         Measure your octane. Do an honest assessment of your own grade, and then put into place a plan to move up a grade. If you are already a Premium, develop a plan to become supercharged.

·         Strengthen your grade. Hardly anyone is buying Mid-Grade fuel. Some stations have done away with it all together. If you are stuck in this grade, build your brand by increasing your skills and move up to Premium class….what are people willing to pay for you?

·         Ignite your energy. Surround yourself with high Octane performers in an environment where everyone’s energy drives high performance. Be an octane booster for your organization and get others to continuously improve whatever they are doing.

We all have a choice in how our octane is graded by others. Be proactive. Don’t let others define your octane level. Glow with energy and fuel high performance.

Transforming Human Behavior

By Mac M. Martirossian, CPA

Pacing the aisles on a Boeing 757 on a half day journey to the West Coast, I can’t help but notice the number of Kindle’s in use by my fellow passengers.  Electronics replacing print.  Who would have the courage to make masses of people take the leap and go against traditional forms of reading?  Would you?

In complete awe, it is another reminder of how behavioral transformation takes vision, courage and unconditional execution.  Wi-Fi on-board, has replaced gazing out the window; gourmet coffee has pushed aside free airline coffee; and if you want to purchase food or an adult beverage, you better have plastic on you.

Returning to my seat, I am painfully playing the “why didn’t I think of that” tape in my head, reinforcing a great lesson that innovators earn their billions by finding a path to changing our behavior and habits.

Many of us participate in change, almost without awareness, but few have the gift of a game changing innovation.  And why is that?  Distractions with non-value add activities would be one of a countless number of reasons, why there are only a few like Mark Zuckerberg roaming this earth.

So, what is a common person to do?  Here are some points to consider: Learn More »

PMI Logo1 Powered by, Inc. | Copyright © 2007 - 2018,, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

"PMBOK, PMI, PMP and REP" are trademarks, service marks or certification marks of the Project Management Institute Inc. Inc. | 3500 Lenox Road, Suite 1500 | Atlanta, GA 30326 | 404-815-4644