Friday Fab Four

image001It’s Friday! Here are the four best articles I read this week. Enjoy!

1. 5 Surprising Things Scientists have Discovered about Swearing–Joseph Stromberg (if you know me…you know this article delights me!)

2. Peak Zone–Virginia Hughes (fascinating)

3. How and Why to do a Life Audit–Ximena Vengoechea (I love this so much!)

4. Dear CEO: This is Why Millennials Don’t Want to Work for You–John Boitnott (Absolutely true)

What I Am Reading-August

thrive-book-coverLately, I have been obsessing about simplifying my life, slowing down and being more intentional.  My good friend, Shelly Walters, told me about this book and I am so glad. Huffington totally gets it and she is sharing her experiences of running full speed ahead in the rat race and then slowing down and taking a new approach to her life.  I can’t put this book down and I feel like I am either dog-earing every page or highlighting a lot of text.

If you feel like your work life or personal life needs an adjustment, I think you will really like this book.  It makes me think of Taco Bell’s famous marekting campaign, “Fourth Meal.” Huffington introduces us to the Third Metric of success and it’s powerful stuff.

 

From Amazon: In this deeply personal book, Arianna talks candidly about her own challenges with managing time and prioritizing the demands of a career and raising two daughters — of juggling business deadlines and family crises, a harried dance that led to her collapse and to her “aha moment.” Drawing on the latest groundbreaking research and scientific findings in the fields of psychology, sports, sleep, and physiology that show the profound and transformative effects of meditation, mindfulness, unplugging, and giving, Arianna shows us the way to a revolution in our culture, our thinking, our workplace, and our lives.

From the book:

My heart is at ease knowing that what was meant for me will never miss me, and that what misses me was never meant for me. Imam Al-Shafi’i (18th century Muslim jurist)

Friday Fab Four

image001Happy Friday! Here are four really great articles for your reading pleasure.

1. 8 Game-Changing Marketing Lessons from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge–David A. Frankel (such a successful campaign)

2. Honest Slogans–Joanna Goddard (these are really funny!)

3. Why Saying ‘No’ Gets You Ahead–Camille Preston (Just say NO!)

4. How Do Words Get Added to Oxford Dictionaries?–Clemency Plemming (YOLO!)

Back to School

ecycler-crayons-300x240New crayons, paper and binders…ahh, a trip to my favorite place, the office supply store.  Isn’t ‘back to school’ a wonderful time of year? Parents are happy to get their kids back in a routine, teachers are happy and refreshed, kids are (usually) ready to see their classmates…it’s a pretty joyous occasion for all involved.

I miss the ‘new year’ feeling that the first day of school always brought me.  Now that school is long gone and we’ve started our careers, we still need to get new supplies, refresh our routine and feel good again about the start of a new year.  What will we accomplish this year, who will we meet? I get a small feeling of this on January 2nd with my new desk calendar…but nothing like all those first days of school.

In July, I was at a conference and the speaker said that one of the top ten smells that bring back childhood memories, is the smell of a new box of crayons. Do you remember that smell? Is there anything in your work life now that brings you as much joy as a new box of crayons did when you were a child?   If not… then go buy yourself a box of crayons!

Friday Fab Four

image001I read a lot of great articles every week but here are the four that made the cut!

1. Why do Some People Love GM’s CEO Mary Barra?–Ben Geier (Character during crisis)

2. Bad Behavior on Social Media Can Cost Student-Athletes–AP (I preach this every day to my 16 year old)

3. Your Work is Not Your Life–Howard Tullman (If you only read one…read this one)

4. How PBS’S Masterpiece went from Musty to Must-See–Nicole LaPorte (Rebranding + Downton Abbey)

Don’t Forget to Say Thank You

thank youThank you for reading my blog post today, I really appreciate it.

In this crazy, busy society that we are all living in now, I think there are times when we forget to stop and say “thank you.”

Ok, confession time.  I LOVE the book, The Secret.  eek! Did I just admit that publicly? Yes, I did.  That book changed me and changed the way I perceived the world and my future.  I either write down or recite (in the car) what I am grateful for every single day.  It is so important to me.  Plus I have specific instances where this practice of gratitude and intention has brought me an abundance of blessings…in fact, I am married to the man of my dreams all because I set my intentions on meeting him.

I will save that sappy story for another time. Thanking someone for doing a favor for you is showing gratitude to that person and it is a positive action.  I truly believe the more gratitude you show and the more positive action you put out, the more wonderful things come your way.

Lately, I’ve been sort of blown away by the lack of thank yous in my life.  In the last month, I have directly found jobs for two people and neither one thanked me for the favor nor did they tell me they got the job…someone else told me.  I find this so strange…not that I particularly need a thank you, but I’m so surprised they didn’t think it was appropriate to thank me. I would never allow someone to do a favor for me without not only thanking them in person but also sending a handwritten note.

I deal with people every week who don’t say thank you for anything I do for them and then they wonder why I am less eager to help them in the future.  It’s just common decency really…be nice and say thank you.  I find that a simple thank you in the office keeps relationships running smoothly.  The minute you take someone for granted or the job they do for granted, the relationship becomes strained.  This isn’t important only in the office, this can easily happen with those people closest to you.  Spouses, children, parents…we can’t take them for granted either. A thank you goes a long way!

 

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” Meister Eckhart

 

The Friday Fab Four

image001Four really great articles I read this week and thought you would like them as well!

1. 21 Ways to Motivate Yourself–Paul B. Brown (#16 particularly speaks to me)

2. My Golden Rule for Pitching Your Startup or Product–David Cancel (No Ands!, I like this for any pitch)

3. Millennial Moves Metal with Self-Promotion, Social Media–Jamie Lareau (h/t to Beth…LOVE how this gal is using social media to rock an industry)

4. 8 Tips and Tricks for LinkedIn Power Users–Sylvan Lane (Good suggestions!)

Pick Up or Get Up

In a recent blog post, I talked about the ‘reply all’ function and why I believe people need to pick up the phone or get up from their desks and talk to people instead of emailing.  Trust me, I’m guilty of this all the time.  I email folks when I could just pick up the phone and get the answer or result I am looking for instantly.  Email is easier and less invasive.  I’m learning, however, if I want a quick answer or if what I need to discuss is complicated, it is far easier to pick up the phone or walk to that person’s office and ask.  Sure, I know there won’t be a paper trail or a ‘cover your ass’ trail but it is more productive to get a quick solution…isn’t that what we are all trying to accomplish anyway?

Several years ago, I heard a Walmart executive talk about Mr. Sam’s rule for making decisions…basically something to the effect of, “Don’t make a big decision from your desk chair.” The executive went on to talk about how he had a store manager that needed to be fired. The store employees were complaining, store sales were down and so was morale. This executive could have easily fired the store manager from his desk chair that day. Instead, he got up, flew to the store and met with the store manager face to face. He learned that the store manager’s wife was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer and the store manager was simply doing everything he could to stay afloat. The executive didn’t fire the store manager, he got him the help he needed and the time to be with his wife. This story stuck with me for all these years and has always reminded me to ‘get up’ and ask questions in person.

Another reason it’s good to talk in person is because tone is a very difficult thing to interpret in an email. I have the annoying habit of using way too many exclamation points in my emails (and texts, tweets, etc!)…mostly because I am trying to reflect my fun nature in the tone of my email. If a person doesn’t use exclamation points, or happy faces then sometimes tone can be misinterpreted in an email. Tone is rarely misinterpreted in a phone call or face to face conversation. There are times when you mean to inflect a stern tone in an email and the receiver misses the point all together. I promise if you pick up the phone, they won’t miss the tone at all from your voice.

Next time you start to write that email; try to pick up or get up. A few things will happen, for one, the person might actually appreciate talking to you because it is more personal than email, two, your message will be clear and concise (hopefully) and three, it’s always good to get up from our desks and walk somewhere!

The Friday Fab Four

image001Here are four articles I found interesting this week. Enjoy!
1. The Hidden Downsides to Salary Transparency–Lindsay Lavine (Interesting concept)

2. In Search of the Next Andrew Wiggins–Reeves Wiedeman  (Certainly a topic close to my heart)

3. Top Companies Reveal How They Created Amazing Organizational Culture–Jacob Shriar (unlimited vacation? yes please!)

4. Work Better–Paul Jarvis (very good suggestions but I’m not giving up my Netflix!)