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Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Change happens. We have no choice.

There are choices about how we use change, which shows a lot about us.

“For your convenience, the number has changed. Please hang up and dial the new number.”

...says what exactly?

Tips 4 The Big Chair – Obvious after you know it.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Why Blog?

Why blog?

When we asked folks at Blah, Blah, Blog and Blog Lab why they blog, here's a few of their answers:
  • The boss told me to
  • Recruiters will see me
  • I may make money by blogging
  • I am a writer, and therefore I blog
  • I have something to say and want to share it.

Whatever the reason, to get into blogging, the first step is reading a variety of blogs to see what others write about and how they say it. How would you have said the same thing? Could you make it better?

Ready to do it? Make a commitment to writing the blog – it's a discipline, not a whim.

How do I start? There are a variety of ways to begin: write a comment to a post in a blog you read; write a guest post on a blog; or just jump in and launch your own blog.

What's the format and style?
  • Short posts are more readable than writing a novel
  • Focus – a single thought for a post – if you have several thoughts to express, write several posts
  • Give it a great title – make people want to read the post
  • Size of the post is about 10 sentences/ 5 paragraphs
  • Make every sentence relevant to your point
  • Use your own voice to write the post – what's natural and best conveys your meaning...simple is better than flowery.

Where do I find topics? Everywhere – when you write a blog you are always looking for interesting items as topics – meetings, books, events, conversations... there's plenty of stimulus available for material.

How often should I post? Dick says a mature blog is six posts – write and post, don't save them up and dump them all at once. Writing once a week is fine – but be consistent in posting weekly. Want to do more? Twice per week is good. More is overkill – if you're on a roll, write the additional posts and hold them in draft until ready to release.

Final thought – how many blogs have you visited only to find the last post was six months consistently.


Write and post a blog today!

Sales Lab Video Channel Entertaining experience

Friday, May 24, 2013


There's a descriptive term which could result in more accurate communications: fixin'.

You are fixin' when you are not yet doing, are not yet planning to do, are not yet getting ready to are almost ready to get ready to do something. 

A classic example is when a family gathering is winding down. Departing family members are fixin' to leave when they get up and huddle by the front door but continue to talk. They are not leaving, not gathering coats, not corralling the kids – but they are almost ready to get ready to do so.

It's application to business, social, and volunteer situations are almost endless. Like: fixin' to write a blog; fixin' to get season tickets to the local playhouse; fixin' to get new members. 

Steven Pressfield talks about the effect of fixin' in The War of Art: "It's not the writing part that's hard. What's hard is sitting down to write."

Greater use of this term would significantly increase understanding of the true status of activities or projects.

I've been fixin' to write about this topic for a while now. What are you fixin' to do?

Google + - Center of the Internet

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Truth Comes Out

Recent conversation.

Well, what do you give to your prospects? You know they’re not going to buy here. They need to walk out of the room and consider.”

My business card?”

How does that work?”

It doesn’t, but better than my brochure. Nobody wants my brochure.”

The question is what do you offer that allows someone to come to a buying decision? This isn’t about “SALES,” this is about acknowledging what you are observing about how humans behave.

How many people do you see who keep plugging away with their first idea with no success? Effectiveness is learning and improving from what you experience.

No matter how hard you do the wrong thing, it never quite works.

Rainmakers – Where better comes from.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


One of my disappointments with Google Docs is that I haven’t figured out how to make good stationery templates.

My Word templates have over 20 years of refinement, so when I need multiple pages, or one page two column with narrow margin, I’ve got the first sheet, second sheet, margins, headers, footers, and type spacing all available in one document.

LibreOffice also has my templates, but they are not as deep.

Any time I start organizing my thoughts, I put it on electronic letterhead.

What’s the big deal?

Many of the people I work with suffer from a debilitating disease called Smartmouth, sometimes saying things that are not completely beneficial. It gets worse when writing, going in directions that maybe don’t move us toward the goal. I’ve regretted my contributions many times.

I find that writing on stationery reminds me that everything I write is eventually for distribution, keeping me from using the contraction for firetruck, or unleashing a rant.

Last week I was trying to pull in a high value member to a meeting of a chowder and marching society that night. I had been working this guy for two weeks, when he slipped up and let on he might be available. Actually, he said, How was the meeting last night?

Bingo! I had just received a final “day of” invitation/exhortation from the president of the society. I scrabbled back through my email and found the document. It had the information, but was written as, “I’ll be glad when this is over,” which I guess he thought was appropriate communication to his board.

Whatever. I couldn’t send it and I didn’t take the time to rewrite it.

I believe success is about the number of swings, and I pulled my punch. We had a good meeting, one short.

I use a template to remind myself that everything I build is for public consumption, some time, at the very least allowing someone else to repurpose my work.

What is your philosophy of writing?

GooglePlus – How good can it be?

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Phone and Work

Back in the old days – the receptionist would tell a visitor: Oh, he's not busy – he's on the phone!

'Doing business' then was meeting with others, writing correspondence, or compiling proposals and reports. Early on the phone was more novelty than tool – it was seen by many as personal entertainment with a tenuous connection to the business process – similar to Facebook today.

Some traditions die hard – as evidenced by that co-worker who begins a conversation from your office door while you are on the phone – no class and no appreciation of the value of the phone as a significant business tool.

Seth Godin has blogged often about the imperfection of communication – written, pictured (i.e., video), and verbal – but notes that phone calls are the least imperfect, since a cycle of clarity is built in.

'Huh?' is a great way to get the other person to clarify in realtime.

A business toolbox without the phone as a versatile tool is like an auto mechanic without a hammer – sometimes it's just what is needed for getting results efficiently!

On a daily basis Dick Davies and I have a structured phone call for updates on projects, planning, and sharing interesting new information. We also have an 'As I See It' discussion which is wide ranging and open – which result in deeper knowledge of the topic and often new strategic insights as well.

This process is an effective substitute for those stimulating, informal 'office' chats when we were all in a single location. But can it scale for a collaborative project team with members located around the U.S. (or world) in many locations.

General Stanley McChrystal when Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) held an 'As We See It' session with 70 nodes around the region for 90 minutes everyday – he said this was the most effective way to tap local knowledge of enemy activities and keep all units up to date on current information and plans.

Email, Hangouts, Cloud-based document collaboration, and other technology applications enable asynchronous team performance, but sometimes the old technology of clear, realtime, interactive, verbal communication is the best and most efficient. Pick up the phone and join the call for immediate results.

Oh, he's busy right now...he's on the phone!

Sales Lab Video Channel - Entertaining experience

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Jack remarked I have a lot of ready opinions, based on active study, about more subjects than most.

I said that was because I organize relatively. That allows me to reach a firm conclusion quickly and move on.

Need to change a conclusion? Not a problem. Quick acceptance and move on.

I am most uncomfortable (and make others uncomfortable) when I am assembling facts for a new conclusion. But that’s only for a couple of days while we are aggressively gathering data.

Last Friday, Frank said, “There is nothing complicated about doing the right thing. Hard maybe, but not complicated.” That is true often enough to be useful

Important undecideds are good for entertainment, but clog progress.

The key? In this circumstance, this is better than that.

Once I have decided, I can move on to the next, or use the realization to build something else. No philosophy, no morality, no big words.

In this circumstance, this is better than that.

Sales Lab Model – a good place to start.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Calluses and Paper Cuts

I am reading a gripping management how-to guide, Decision Points, where the author explains how he learned to navigate to avoid being, “College Smart, Sidewalk Stupid.”

Today, I was observing that in the wild with Jack, who said that when he was studying Water Buffalo Management at the University of Vietnam, they learned to evaluate idea artists by whether they had calluses or paper cuts.

Open Source Leadership – New Technology For A New World

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Getting the News

The New America Foundation hosted Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen to speak about the New Digital Age, sharing their views about the growing effect of the internet on individuals, nations, and the global community. One interesting topic was a forward look at where we will get news in the future.

When I was growing up, most of my friends' parents read two newspapers each day to get the news – this was before television; radio spotlighted Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, but mostly was 5-minutes of highlights on the hour.

Television entered the scene as 'moving picture newspapers', evolving to at least two broadcasts per evening – dinnertime and bedtime - with the news anchor reporting facts and offering a commentary view of the story. After a while, families dropped one newspaper, relying more on the broadcasts from ABC, CBS, NBC, and some local newscasts.

Cable added explosive growth in news programming with an emphasis on being 'first on the street' and digesting the story into soundbites. Quick and easy access to the distilled news was readily available all the time – an enticing alternative to spending time reading and watching the news.

Blogs have expanded the field even more – individuals share news, comments, and opinions on a wide variety of topics of current importance and have replaced paper and television sources for the connected community.

Recent events demonstrate the significance of individuals in the news process - phone camera images, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media updates are scooping other sources in 'getting to air' first.

Schmidt and Cohen prognosticated the changes will continue to morph, with individuals (amateur and professional) as the source of the 'on-the-scenes' instant coverage and the traditional news organizations offering verification and fact-checking of initial reporting.

Like deja vu, readers are again seeking multiple sources and drawing their own conclusions about what information to retain and discard. Traditional news sources are simply data points instead of the definitive source of news.

As in education, the developing skill is effective filtering of a growing volume of inputs; the result is knowledge and a goal is it's practical application (let's make something useful).

How to become wise in 5 minute increments –Rainmakers.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Appropriate Technology

Last week I was telling a story about how many years ago, before internet, I got my first fax machine. I told my clients the number.

One sent a question using the fax. I was doing something else.

About ten minutes later I got a phone call. He had sent the question, where was the answer?

The point of the story had been how new technology changed people’s expectations.

Until last week. When I was told I should have said, “It’s not an answering machine, it’s a fax machine!”

Missed opportunity.

Sales Lab Resources - News You Can Use