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Meet Bruce La Fetra

paperboyMy approach to business is rooted in teenaged experiences gained from my afternoon newspaper route. Serving a circular neighborhood a mile from my home put me in contact with my customers each day. I learned how seemingly simple actions—picking up ad circulars when they were away or greeting their dog by name—deliver out-sized results.

I’ve learned a lot in the ensuing years. Three lessons stand out:

  1. Our impact extends well beyond the task for which we are hired.
  2. Focusing on the broad impact leads to better results (e.g. shorter sales cycles, higher profits, and more and better clients).
  3. Simplicity and clarity lead to understanding, and understanding is the surest path to lasting change. I call this (un)common sense. The result is a virtuous cycle which cements long-term improvement.

 

Don’t let an easy-going nature fool you. I’m really competitive.

Wisdom Is the Result of Experience

Relationships create lasting impressions. My daily conversations with my newspaper customers created relationships which remained memorable decades later (and earned me a lot of tips at the time). Over the years, my relatives were asked many times if they were related to “Bruce La Fetra, our old paperboy?” The most recent encounter came nearly 30 years after I left the newspaper delivery business.

The biggest impact often isn’t what we think. Early in my professional career, I was charged with building channel and developer programs for several market-leading companies. I learned that intent doesn’t equal action, and companies partner (or refer you) for their benefit, not yours. Once you embrace their self-interest, building successful programs becomes a lot easier. I also learned people buy results, not process. This is why being “different” is a red herring.

Create real change by altering perspectives. Instead of talking to a few customers to validate a one-size-fits-all solution, I start by going deep with a firm’s best clients to uncover the real and often unarticulated reasons they select that firm over other options. What results is a firm-wide focus on being a better choice rather than basking in self-perceived “differentness.”

I Haven’t Always Been a Consultant

Although many of my business school classmates signed on with McKinsey, Bain, and other A-list consulting firms, I set my roots in industry. I know how hard it is thinking and acting strategically while holding down a “day job” managing tactical priorities. Results will come much faster if I can make change “your idea.” I’m ok with that. You can check out my full background on LinkedIn.

I pursue function over form. My clients choose to work with me rather than an agency or another consultant because I’m an advisor rather than a vendor. I believe there’s a huge difference between an Expert and an Advisor. I’m tactic and technology agnostic, so your agenda is my agenda. My focus starts with and stays on the big picture of improving your overall business, not just your marketing activities.

Education

Tuck School of Business
Dartmouth College
Master of Business Administration


Claremont McKenna College logoClaremont McKenna College
Economics, cum laude

Both schools consistently rank in the Top 10 in US News, Forbes, and other rankings.

Professional Certificates

Essential Facilitation,
Interaction Associates

Community Leadership

I work to create the kind of community I want to live in. Outside of my consulting work, you can find me contributing time and expertise via the Rotary Club of San Jose, as a pro bono consultant and project manager for the Taproot Foundation, volunteering as a team leader with Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley, founding a program for blind Veterans at the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation, and serving in leadership roles with the Northwest YMCA and a decade of managing the 50-tree apricot orchard at my church.

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