The Friday Fab Four

Much like you, I read a lot of great articles each week.  On Fridays, I will post the top four I found interesting.

**Helpful Tip: Tired of all the ads and clutter in articles online? Use Readability to turn any webpage into a clean view.

1. Levar Burton is Bringing Back Reading Rainbow via KickStarter–Don Solomon

2. How to Deal with Employee Burnout–Jacob Shriar

3. How YouTube and Internet Journalism Destroyed Tom Cruise...–Amy Nicholson

4. Do Your Own Thing: The Battle of Internal vs External Motivation–Sean Smith


“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.” — Maya Angelou

Say Anything

Have you seen this new television ad from Target? I think its pretty great, mostly because I am a child of the 80’s and Lloyd Dobler meant the world to me.  I know Target has taken a beating lately, but they are hitting it out of the park with their new ad campaign…in my opinion. What do you think of this commercial?

Employee Draft Day

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat if you could draft employees like teams draft players in the NBA? This week the NBA teams, were assigned their draft positions. Congrats to Cleveland by the way…first they get Johnny Cleveland (née Football) and now the first draft pick in the NBA.  See, losing Lebron wasn’t so bad.

But I digress.  If you could draft employees what type of employees would you want to draft? I read a great article this week about the 3 Qualities of Likeable People and in the article there’s a quote by Warren Buffett: “In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.”

The NBA teams get to  see their draftees play and perform before they draft them, wouldn’t it be great if you could see an employee in action before you decided to bring them to your team? Many times you can.

When you are networking, working with customers,  attending events or even dealing with someone at your bank, do you ever think, “They’re really great at their job?” If you do, you should think about drafting this person to your team.  I believe that you can’t teach great customer service or instill a positive energy but if you find someone with those qualities, you should consider drafting them.  You can always teach them your business.  I’ve been in restaurants before and had a server who was so wonderful at their job, I’ve thought, “Man, I would hire them if I could.”  If you do this as well…take notice, maybe you should hire them.

The Friday Fab Four

Much like you, I read a lot of great articles each week.  Here are the top four I found interesting/compelling this week.

**Helpful Tip: Too busy to read that great article right this minute? Use Pocket to save articles for reading later.

1. 6 key Shifts in Thinking About Social Media–Donna Moritz

2. The 3 Qualities of Likeable People–Jacqueline Whitmore (hat tip to Beth Stephens!)

3. Disciplined Email: Five Sentences or Less–Hamza Khan

4. Anatomy of a Trending Hashtag–Laura Vanderkam



Listen to Your Rock Stars

RockstarJust a few days ago, I was talking with a friend, ‘Joe’, about their job.  Joe is in sales and does quite well.  He is consistently the top sales person in his company and has already met his 2014 sales goal.  He is what I call a rock star!

During this conversation, Joe told me that he felt under appreciated at work and that he was so overwhelmed, he desperately needed to take a vacation but didn’t feel like he could leave the work behind to take time off.  I asked if there were other people in his company who could handle his accounts while he was on vacation and he said no.  He couldn’t afford to leave his accounts to someone else because he didn’t want to run the risk of upsetting a client.   Certainly understandable but by no means sustainable for Joe.   Another issue is that Joe needs help in the market that he’s built and the company doesn’t want to spend the money hiring someone else to help with the market.

Trust me, Joe needs a vacation and help in the market before he burns out.  I asked him if he’s mentioned to his boss that he’s feeling this way…surely his boss would want to do anything to keep him happy, seeing as how he brings in so much revenue for the company.  My friend said this: “The company doesn’t care about me.  If I stay or go, they will just hire someone else to replace me.”  Ouch.

Unfortunately, Joe is absolutely right, they will just hire someone else even though Joe is a top performer…doesn’t that mean anything to this company? Many times no, it doesn’t.

Do you know how much money it will cost this company to replace Joe?  Honestly, it’s tough to put a number on it.  There are articles that tell you how much you will spend to recruit a new employee, hire, train and ramp up a new employee but what about the relationships lost? Can a company determine the business the former employee was about to close the month they quit?  Or the business lost because the clients only liked working with the former employee.  Trust me when I tell you…this is a lot more money lost than Joe made and more money lost than it would take to hire help for Joe’s market.

Companies need to make sure they are taking care of their rock stars by treating them like rock stars.  I’m not talking about separating their M&Ms so only the red ones are in the bowl, or room temperature water from the Swiss Alps.  I’m talking about companies recognizing those employees who they can’t afford to lose and making sure they are happy and content. This is what a good office culture is all about, retaining great employees and saying good bye to low performers.  I loved reading this article by Eric Jackson, The Top 8 Reasons Your Best People Are About to Quit . All very good points and the first point fits Joe’s situation.

This isn’t tough to fix, sometimes it is as simple as sitting down with top performers and asking “Are you happy here at ‘X’ company? What can we do to make you happier?”  Many times the issue or perk a rock star wants, isn’t that big of a deal at all.  Joe, just wants to take the time off he’s earned without feeling like his accounts will fall apart while he’s on the beach and he wants the higher ups to acknowledge that he could use some help in his market. Even if the company can’t fix these two issues for Joe, listening to him might just prolong Joe’s urge to jump ship.

If you have employees working for you right now that you do not want to lose, sit down with them in the next few weeks and ask them if they are happy and really listen to the answers.  I think you might be happy you did.  If you are the employee feeling under appreciated, you may have to initiate a frank conversation with your boss about why you are not happy.

Sometimes You Get Fired

Can you imagine being fired and it being national, or international news? This happens to many people in the limelight; pro and college coaches, CEOs of public companies, folks in Hollywood and the editor of the New York Times.  When this happens, whether it is national news or not, the best thing you can do is take the high road and move on.  Being fired may feel like the end of the world, but soon you might realize it was the best thing that ever happened to you.

Jill Abramson was fired last week by the New York Times and it was definitely major news.  I think it shocked the media world.  There have been many articles about why she was fired, what went wrong, who is to blame.  I cannot imagine having my life scrutinized as hers has been this past week.

Today, Ms. Abramson spoke at the Wake Forest Commencement and one of the first things she said was, “I think the only real news here today, is your graduation.” What a great opportunity for the Wake Forest graduates to hear from someone who has had an amazing career and was just recently fired.  The message to the graduates: It can happen to you and if it does, pick yourself up and find something better.

I think it is very commendable that Ms. Abramson got up this morning and stood in front of everyone at the commencement (and the world really) and said that she picked herself up and moved on.  She told the graduates that she doesn’t know what is next for her and that she is in the same boat as they are…looking for a job.  Congrats to you Ms. Abramson for your grace and gumption!


Clever Promotion

Saturday the Hubs and I were in Barnes and Noble shopping.  He picked up a couple of Paleo cookbooks and I bought a book about the power of coconut oil (my latest obsession).  After we got home, I found this in the bag with our receipt.  Very clever B&N!


Barnes and Noble Receipt

The Friday Fab Four

Much like you, I read a lot of great articles each week.  On Fridays, I will post the top four I found interesting.

**Helpful Tip: Too busy to read that great article right this minute? Use Pocket to save articles for reading later.


1. What Truly Great Bosses Believe–Geoffrey James

2. How to Find Your Company’s Sheryl Sandberg–Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer

3. The Top 8 Reasons Your Best People Are About to Quit–Eric Jackson

4. Target CMO Acknowledges Culture Crisis–Sapna Maheshwari

Bonus: Had to add this one because it is so good! I have already implemented the Inbox-CC folder.  So smart!

How to Scale Yourself and Get More Done Than You Thought Possible–Danny Schreiber

Who Are You?

Are you a high I, ENFJ, or an activator? (I’m all three by the way!) I am fascinated by personality and strength finder tests.  Most recently, I have taken the DISC profile, Strengths Finder and Myers-Briggs test.  All three told me things I already knew about myself but what is interesting are the things about myself that surprised me, which is why I think it’s important to take these tests throughout your career.  Plus, it’s fun…like an “Is he the one?” quiz in Cosmo magazine. (sorry, flashback to my college years)

My colleague, Tim Keck, administered my DISC profile and if you would like this profile for yourself or your employees, I highly recommend calling Tim and utilizing his services.  He does a great job.  We spent a morning talking about me and my results…which if you know me, you know I LOVED doing that.  I learned a lot not only about me but about what makes me tick, how to manage me, etc.  I’m a high I (Influence), high S (Steadiness), medium D (Dominance) and low C (Conscientiousness).  It was pretty insightful and helped me think through a lot of issues that have been keeping me up at night.

I bought the Strengths Finder book at at the urging of my dad.  His company has been using Strengths Finder and after seeing his results,  I had to buy my own book.  Again, the results did not surprise me but I did learn a few new nuances about myself.  I can see how this would be helpful to have your team take the test and share with each other their strengths.  This could be very eye opening to know what your co-worker’s strengths are when working on a group project.  I’m: Strategic, Communication, Activator, Mazimizer and Ideation.  Very similar to my DISC results.

Finally, the Myers-Briggs test.  I took this several years ago and I wish I could remember what I was then but today I am ENFJ, or The Giver.  I like that about me.  ENFJ stands for extrovert, iNtuitive, feeling and judging.  This test has been around for years and many folks in the business world can probably tell you what they are.  It is still a good test and will bring insight not only about your own personality but about those who work for you and with you.

Which personality assessment test do you like best?