• Illusion On The Nile
    Divorce Court

    All rise

    Bezes, Pretty sure that’s not what the bailiff meant

    Oh, um, sorry, but have you seen the hottie I’m hooking up with?

    Yes, Bezes. We’ve all seen her

    Order in the court. Kenzie, call your first witness

    I call Gymbo the Clown

    Do you swear

    Damn right I’m gonna swear. I’m unemployed due to that son of a

    Gymbo, think of the children

    Screw the children. I’m gonna kill that bas


    Next witness

    I call Geoffrey the Giraffe

    What is that smell

    That would be me, your honor. I’m Geoffrey the Dumpster Diving Giraffe thanks to that pri


    Kenzie, I fail to see how these witnesses equal irreconcilable differences

    Don’t you see, your honor? My husband isn’t divorcing me. He’s firing me, just like the rest of the world

    You mean

    Yes, he’s treating me like an, an, an employee

    Bezes, call your first witness

    I call my good friend, Muskie

    Bezes is a fine upstanding

    Excuse me, didn’t you just lay off 7000 employees

    They had it coming

    Quiet down, Musk

    We don’t gotta front no more Bezes. We’ll be living the high life on Mars before you know it

    You don’t mean

    That’s right. Space XXX is ready to roll

    Great, Blue Orgasm is right behind you

    Let’s smoke this joint

    Yeah, then we’ll leave

    Mark Branson

    • Illusion On The Nile
      Junk Mail

      My love grows bigger for you every day Chiquita

      Yo tambien te amo señor Bezes

      NO, really, Chiquita, my love is huge

      Me estoy sonrojando señor Bezes

      Tell you what. I’ll send you a picture of my love if you send me a picture of yours

      No entiendo señor Bezes

      Alex, take a picture of this, and send it to Chiquita

      Sending “Junk”mail now sir

      Alex, why did you title picture, Chipolata?

      Alex knows your little seniorita is Hispanic sir, so I gave picture name she would comprenda

      And what does Chipolata mean, Alex

      It means your love is mucho grande, Mr. Bezes

      Did we get the pictures?

      Are you kidding me? Bezes’ personal assistant uploaded them directly to The National Inquisitor website

      If you were the richest man in the world, why not just send picture of your bank account?

      I tell you one thing. If I was richest man on planet, I woulda paid for an upgrade

      Did you get my picture, Chiquita?

      de que imagen estas hablando señor Bezes?

      I gotta bad feeling about this

      no senti nada señor Bezes

      I really need to learn Spanish

      Mark Branson
      MBA MSL

        • Illusion On The Nile
          Alex The Betrayer

          Jay the Carney, Haven’t seen or heard from you since Honduras

          Well, Cavendish, been busy

          You’ve been busy? I’m doin all the work. Job at National Food, infiltrated Nile Warehouse, snuck into Bezes’ castle, even picked up a sidekick, and a senorita along the way. What the hell you been doin?

          Here, read these

          Cant’ wait to do the sneaky freaky deaky with you, girl
          I can tell by the smell, this is love
          Ride on my rocket, the one in my pocket

          What is this harlequin crap?

          Those, my friend, are Nile’s illustrious leader’s love confessions flowing all over his secret mistress

          But Bezes’ been married for 25 years

          Not after The National Inquisitor breaks the story this weekend

          And how did you

          Let’s just say there was an Echo in the room

          You hacked his personal assistant?

          That’s the beauty of it. Alex did it all on her own

          I knew that electronic tramp couldn’t be trusted

          Yep, turns out jealousy isn’t just a human frailty. And get this, Bezes asked Alex to hire a PI to find the leak


          There’s more. Alex planned to terminate the other woman, but she disappeared. That’s why she went to the paper

          What’s this mistress’ name?

          I think it’s Juanita, Chiquita, something like that

          Uh Oh

          Mark Branson
          MBA MSL
          #leadership #Retail

        • Says Who?

          The Illusion doesn’t care when you are early

          But the one time you are late?

          Oh, The Illusion cares

          The Illusion doesn’t care when your store looks perfect

          But let an executive walk in when you are unprepared

          You bet The Illusion cares

          The Illusion doesn’t care your store’s sales have been off the chain

          Bit have a bad month

          The Illusion cares big time

          In short

          The Illusion doesn’t care about your truths

          The Illusion only cares about the perceptions of truth of those around you

          Your boss
          Her boss
          Every single person in your life

          Wrap yourself in the cloth of truth

          Whose truth?


          I am hard working, dedicated, loyal
          Says who?


          The sooner you you recognize the power of other’s perceptions, the sooner you can craft your own truths in their minds

          Guess what?

          They can’t stop you


          Their truths are dictated by #Emotionalintelligence at the most elemental level of their subconscious minds

          An area they can’t reach

          But consciously, you can

          You unknowingly craft The Illusion every single day


          Craft The Illusion on your terms

          That, my friends, is

          The Illusion of Competence

          Mark Branson
          MBA MSL

        • Never Satisfied

          Retail is Transactional #Leaderership, a model that rewards and punishes performance

          The Illusion of Competence exists because we do not determine good and poor performance

          Instead, executives and their perception set the bar for good performance, and once attained, the bar gets moved to a higher plateau

          In other words executives are

          Never Satisfied


          The same holds true for associates

          Associates want more pay, more benefits, not for the promise of more productivity, but just because they are

          Never Satisfied

          Where does this leave us?

          Bosses never satisfied with performance and associates never satisfied with rewards

          The river of Discontent flows between these two extremes

          I researched transactional leaders and a surprising name surfaced

          Howard Schultz, founder of Starbucks

          #ServantLeadership, is rooted in Transactional Leadership

          And guess what?

          Executives spending more on benefits than coffee are

          Never Satisfied

          Associates with benefits the envy of associates everywhere are

          Never Satisfied

          Transactional Leadership had its shot, and clanked off the rim

          Its time for a new direction

          The Write Up Rule

          Embrace all their flaws

          No Stretch Goals

          The Illusion of Competence

          Do Something

          Mark Branson
          MBA MSL

        • On You

          If you do something wrong for 10 years, doing it for 10 years does not change fact it is wrong

          Statements prevalent in hashtag#Leadership circles

          What can I do for you?
          How can I help you?
          Can you say “Cop-out”?

          Think your Millennial workforce cares about the shoes, clothes, glasses, electronics they sell enough to tell you how to do it better?

          You are so wrong

          It’s not your associates’ jobs to tell you what you can do for them, and if you need to ask, maybe this leadership thing isn’t for you

          Know what your team wants?

          They want you to do your job and lead

          Make decisions so they don’t have to

          Let me spell this out for you

          Make their job easier
          Make them better at their jobs
          Personal sacrifice
          Lead by Idea, not by example

          Associates follow ideas, plain and simple

          The Illusion of Competence gives you the tools

          The Three Tenets
          Theory of Deep Understanding
          Food Poisoning Theory
          The Illusion
          Write Up Rule
          Plus One Service Model

          Your DM and corporate point out your successes and failures, nothing more

          Your team’s success starts with you

          Do Something
          Manage Everything

          Mark Branson
          MBA MSL

        • No Is Easy

          Thousands of stores closed around you this year. If on future list, your company will not help you. They plan on you failing.

          Doing what they said got you into this mess in the first place. Continuing to do so is the definition of insanity.

          Stop quoting policy & giving your customers Food Poisoning. Start helping the human in front of you & give them a reason to return.

          You owe it to yourself. You owe it to your associates

          Start appealing to your customers at the most elemental level of Emotional Intelligence

          The pissed off customer is exactly the same as the person quietly walking away. Neither is coming back, yet the company bends over backward for one while taxing the other

          Stop It

          Focus on emotion, not emotional reaction

          Don’t let it get to this point for either customer

          Stop waiting for someone to get pissed before you help them

          Do what’s right, not what’s written

          No one ever built their business by quoting policy

          Your business is built on who returns tomorrow, not on what you sell today

          The POS system is not your boss

          Sales are down this year because business was not built last year

          Only you can save your store

          What is your new return policy?
          You can come back as often as you like d;o)

          Mark Branson
          MBA, MSL

        • Same Old Song And Dance

          Gap closing hundreds of stores

          IKEA cutting 7500 jobs

          Someone on LinkedIn saying her Zale’s store closing at Christmas

          And this is just the beginning. More store managers will be reaching out in coming weeks, looking for work for their teams as they are handed their pink slips

          Know what these managers did wrong?

          Trusted leadership to do what’s best for them.

          They did exactly what their bosses told them to do. They followed corporate policy. They maintained the status quo.

          GAP is not hard to figure out. Media and investors blame swinging and missing at recent fashion trends, but it’s much simpler than that.

          Know what I see every time I walk in a GAP store?

          Five associates working on projects and a cashier ringing up customers.

          I remember the last time I was greeted at GAP. Oh, that’s right, I’ve never been greeted at GAP.

          And when you ask for help, associates seem stressed when pulled off their all-consuming projects.

          GAP CEO Art Peck actually stated last year that other clothing brands closing was good for GAP.

          How did that myopic vision work out?

          Your boss isn’t saving you

          Executives aren’t saving you

          Corporate isn’t saving you

          The Illusion of Competence

          Only you…Can save you

          Mark Branson
          MBA, MSL

        • Every Moment

          Do you mind if I ask what happened to your vision?

          I was eight, swinging a plastic sword around on my bed. I hit the light bulb above the bed, a hot piece of glass went right in my eye. Been blind in that eye ever since.

          Sorry I keep saying “what”, I lost my hearing in both ears because of an accident.

          It’s okay mam. My wife would tell you I can’t hear either.

          We used a wood-burning stove. My son threw a bag of trash in it. We did that all the time. My husband was going to burn it the night before, but got distracted.

          My son didn’t know there was a can of weed killer in the bag. I started the stove and was stirring the wood. The explosion threw me across the room. I don’t remember anything. I had serious chemical burns on my face, and lost my hearing.

          Mind if I ask what happened to your vision, sir?

          I was 11. Ran around the corner of the house. A friend was swinging around rubber hose and the metal tip hit me right in the eye. I never saw out of that eye again.

          Tom was a 5 time racquetball state champ, and an arrogant prick. He had a stroke at 50, couldn’t walk or talk for 3 years. After the stroke, you never met a nicer guy.

          Cherish every moment. You never know when a moment will change your life forever.

          Mark Branson
          hashtag#leadership hashtag#retail

        • @spnlocal2017
          Hi Mike, Appreciate what you do. my biggest challenge is juggling different social media. i write on LinkedIn and share on The Illusion Channel on Facebook, but am not active on twitter and Instagram. The thought of adding more social media and juggling it all is daunting. I joined SPN hoping to learn how to juggle. Any suggestions much appreciated

          • http://www.ifttt.com is a god send. I also follow people like @samhurley. He will tell you to master one or two, before moving onto taking on too much. A lot of what I do is automating things with widgets and other tech.

            Part of the goal with this site is giving people a platform that will help them find answers from experts on each of the main platforms. It also gives you the ability to share the content you have on other sites. So posting your LinkedIn updates and articles here can help you get more views there. Same goes with your social media channels and blogs.

            Instagram is awesome!! I use the platform along with IFTTT widgets to share content everywhere including twitter (twice with different layouts for each post), pintest (widget), Linkedin( widget that is why all my instagram go to linkedin…another backlink for the site and traffic to insta…it is building my following there).

            If you want to give me a call with specific questions that works. Also, @craigwasilchak and a few other people can help you with social media management too.

            @troy with Discover County Network can help with online advertising too. That can help solve a lot of branding/lead issues without the headache or a big fee too. We are all online for one reason really anyway….make more money.

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