Sunday Roundup – June 8, 2014

Intention. It is the reason why we act – we intend to get a result.

Exactly what the result is, however, is the important part of intention. Intending only to be kind will get the result you want, even if you don’t know you want it.

Treating People with Kindness

Kindness begins with one of two intentions: 1) to receive something in return or 2) for the sake of doing it. Reason 2 is best, as it focuses on one’s own intent.

There is no expectation of return, so there is no chance to be disappointed. Expecting nothing in return makes it more pleasant when one receives something in return anyway.

Pillars of Trust

Business owners will consider Reason 1 first. That is how a business functions: it is intended to generate a profit .

Reason 2 to be kind does not expect return, but that does not mean there will be no return. Being kind with no intention of instant return is more noticeable than one would imagine, and doing so creates stories of trust that are worth sharing.

Clients sharing their own stories about an amazing business works far better than a business telling the same stories. There is no better endorsement than “on top of delivering the goods at the right price, they were exceptionally kind”.

Career Boosters: The Value of Volunteering

“I did it for the sake of itself” is not the best interview content, so the article linked above focuses on direct benefits of volunteering. Though one may volunteer for the sake of doing it, the interviewees make it clear that there are tangible benefits.

Just like being kind, volunteering has more benefits than “more business” or “another sale”. Volunteering is kindness given action – doing good deeds for the sake of doing it. Picking up skills, knowledge, and relationships are side-effects that need no warning label.

Over to You…

Do you give away your time? What about your kindness? Tell a story about the unexpected benefits of your intention to be a good person.

Sunday Round Up – June 1, 2014

Respect usually refers to equal treatment. Treating others as one wishes to be treated, as the Golden Rule states. It seems that some individuals, like Elliot Rodger, create stories driven by a warped sense of respect.

Luckily those stories can create positive change. In this case, Twitter and the Internet at large exploded with stories of violence against women, almost all using the #YesAllWomen hashtag. Two articles caught my eye.

14 #YesAllWomen Tweets Everyone Needs To See

140 characters are enough to explain hell. 14 different hells, in fact.

Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds

My parents did an excellent job of instilling the fact that movies, television, and video games do not depict reality. Though many of them come close to it, the scripts we see in modern media are meant to entertain, not explain how one is to live.

This article grabbed my attention because it calls out some of the scripts that are fed nerds and geeks like me. It reinforces what my parents taught me so many years ago: consider everything I choose to consume and every action that I wish to take. After all, I do not exist in a vacuum devoid of other human beings.

Tomorrow and Beyond

Gender or sex or religion or any other “dividing line” are fine to make note of, but are no excuse for abuse, violence, and rape. Human beings deserve to be treated as human beings – respected as equal partners in the success of our species.

Sunday Roundup – May 25, 2014

A friend told me a story last week. She and a friend had just connected on LinkedIn. His first message to her would be paraphrased as “Shall we discuss the ways that I can sell you my services?”

He does not know if she wants his services. He does not know if she even cares. He is taking the most direct path without looking at the ground underneath his feet.

How is Your LinkedIn Etiquette, Gentle Reader?

Non-robotic greetings, turning off notifications that annoy others, and something as simple as being friendly are a part of everyday life. On an online inter-professional sales network, that same humanization leads to more, better relationships.

Nonetheless, everyone is tuned to his or her own Radio WIFM (What’s In it For Me) station. Trying to be valuable to others without taking the time to tune in is like delivering a load of products that were never ordered.

Sales is Changing, Lets Get Rid of the Stigma

Two-thirds (a conservative estimate) of a sale has nothing to do with the salesperson. A sale is not automatic – it results from knowing the client is interested, what they need, and how you can deliver it.

Blatant, impersonal sales pitches (like that of our aforementioned friend of a friend) tell a succinct story: “you are no more important than the last person I messaged”. Stick to the client’s needs, not your need to make an easy sale.

Just the News

Etiquette ought to carry over to Twitter’ paid connection requests (advertisements asking a user to follow a brand) on networks that allow them. I don’t mind being sold on a corporate Twitter feed, especially if that connection will give me something I want.

Thus my favourite Target comes under the crosshair:Target_Tweet-2014_May03

Target wants to be followed, but the advertisement states no specific offer in the Tweet, nor is there a specific reason why staying “…in the Loop with the Bullseye” has any value to me.

“Do it just because” is not an effective sales pitch.

Over to You

Should Promoted Tweets follow a standard of etiquette? Do you agree with my assessment of Target’s tweet?

Comment here or Tweet me with your answers.

Sunday (Monday?) Round Up – May 19, 2014

Words, or just a single word, will make the difference between shared knowledge and confusion. From spelling and choosing words correctly, to answering the right questions and explaining a gargantuan undertaking, it’s all about precision.

30 Incorrectly Used Words That Can Make You Look Horrible

Nothing stands out like a mistake. Knowing how to say what one wants to say is vital to precise communication.

Three Questions Every Brand’s Story Must Answer

What would your world be like? What will make it happen? How are you trying to get there right now? That’s a basic plot of any mission, so can your organization answer those questions? Communicating you or your organization’s mission requires precise, exact communication.

Here’s What You Missed at Social Media Camp

A precise message can be derived from a complicated event. Social Media Camp 2014 was a gigantic venture – three speakers presenting at the same time and over 750 attendees. Nonetheless, Laurel Lindsay distilled it into short, exact sentences that loses no important details despite having a low word count.

Over to You…

How do you practice precision? Do you agree that routine and creativity can mix? How important to you is a precise story?

Sunday Roundup – May 4, 2014

Day one of Social Media Camp 2014 was a blur of returned smiles, and an auditory cacophony of “good morning” and “welcome to Social Media Camp 2014!” – I volunteered as a greeter (I recommend that to anyone working on interacting with strangers). Day two was eight hours of information intake. The final keynote speaker, Julien Smith stands out amid those hours.

He pointed out that change is constant. It doesn’t stop or end – like death and taxes it is inevitable.

To paraphrase Mr. Smith: Life is not just about what you want to be, it is about what you want to be plus what the environment demands. Change to be what you want but never forget that you do not exist in a vacuum.

The short game, the long game and the infinite game

The infinite game is not one that can be won. It has no end. The game itself must be the reason for playing.

What you want to be needs to be an infinite game. Julien Smith, I believe, is playing the infinite game and is asking us all to do the same. The purpose is to evolve, not to “win”.

Ep 2 of Vogville Presents Conversations with Brian Thompson and Chad Brownlee

Chad Brownlee says it well. Going from hockey to music is a drastic change. He also notes that one must be in a constant state of evolution – to play the infinite game.

To borrow from Mr. Smith again, “the you that you think is you is temporary”. Mr. Brownlee realized that he wanted to be something else. His current self – a hockey player – gave way to the singer-songwriter, and eventually the co-writer. He makes a living, I am sure, but it sounds like he makes it in a constant state of “becoming” what he wants to be (another infinite game).

“There are not enough professionals to help with suicidal individuals, so it is up to us to care and help”

Speaking about suicide and mental illness is a change everyone can make. Chris Holt opened the second day of Social Media camp on that note.

Open and honest conversation are worth doing for their own sake. Helping another human work through the pressures of life is worth even more.

Over to You…

What is your infinite game? What part of the environment has shaped that game for you?

Sunday Roundup – April 27, 2014

Advancing the plot of life requires action. Success is not inevitable. Neither is failure. Every action has a result, and fearing that result is paralyzing.

“How do I get rid of the fear?”

Fear is a powerful fundamental force. It has served humankind well, though it must be in balance with advancing one’s life.

Much like asking a lady (or a gent, if you are a lady) to dance, facing scary situations is far better than allowing paralysis to take over. After all, the worst that can happen is a learning experience (assuming “the worst” has nothing to do with death or dismemberment).

NYPD Twitter campaign hijacked with photos of police brutality

New York’s police department could have been paralyzed and never started the “#myNYPD” campaign to begin with. It could have axed the whole thing after negative photos streamed in. It could have run away and never asked for a dance with fear.

The campaign started and continued anyway. I have no doubt someone in the campaign creation process realized that negative photos are within the realm of possibility, yet that did not stop the department from taking a leap of faith. It took its best shot at advancing its plot, and might even learn from the experience.

Over to you…

Have you faced down paralyzing fear and emerged victorious? I’d love to read a story about it: Leave it in a comment.

Sunday Roundup – April 6, 2014

We are proud of communication. Whether we are sharing a mundane shopping list or a multi-hundred-page report, using words and language to convey meaning is something to celebrate—when it is done correctly.

Sometimes being correct is a matter of logic. Just because something has been done one way for a long time, for example, does not mean that it is the best way of doing it:

Have you been to this meeting?

Sometimes being correct is a matter of terminology and knowledge. Click the title and watch the video embedded in Mr. Godin’s blog post. Big words sound impressive; using them in context requires knowing what the word means. Say what you know, and let experts guide you when you do not.

Stuck for Words: 5 things to not say when a person is grieving

Sometimes being correct is a matter of emotion. Feelings are complicated, especially those as strong as grief, and it is not always clear how one can help. We look inward and speak about our own emotions often, so walking with someone through their own is not easy.

Over to You…

What do you think about how people communicate? What is correct? What is polite?

Sunday Roundup – March 30, 2014

Choices are inevitable. What conversations to join, how to participate after joining, and what work one does to earn a living are decisions that everyone makes.

Let’s jump into this week’s articles.

Have a Purpose and Be Social

A classmate put this post together. To reframe his thoughts: Be strategic about using social media. Without a purpose, the task is aimless. Without an understanding of the medium and how it works, the task is unlikely to succeed.

GM Uses Social Media to manage its Customers and Its Reputation

Speaking of using social media for a specific purpose and being social, General Motors seems to be doing a good job. Social media is immediate and easily watched by many eyes (including employees), meaning that it can be an excellent customer service and crisis management tool

Your Story About Money

I shared this because it says something important about the work we do. The way we make money is connected to that money itself. Good work makes for good money, and good money feels better.

Who’s Responsible?

Seth Godin gets two spots this week, as I think both posts are interrelated. This one is a short piece about personal responsibility and things we can control. For example, how money is earned and what we do with once it is earned are within our control.

Over to You…

What do you think about social media? Making money? Personal responsibility? Leave a comment!

Sunday Roundup – March 2, 2014

I have five stories for you lads and ladies this week. Other than the Harvard Business Review article, most of the articles focus on values – yes, even the article about Comcast.

So, without further adieu; feast your eyes on my Sunday Roundup:

Feminism is having a wardrobe malfunction.

This makes an important point about values that can be applied to individuals or businesses. We all have our own sets of values, and the organizations we operate and/or are employed by have sets of values. No matter how good we think our values are, they are ours alone. We can and do believe any number of things, but none of those things are necessarily the “right way”, they’re just “our way”.

Erika Linder is Him and Her in Mesmerizing Campaign for Crocker Jeans.

Androgyny for the win! Gender, as usual, is irrelevant. First of all, I’m impressed at how well Ms. Linder acts the male part – some of her gender swap is makeup, but some of it appears to be how she moves the muscles in her face.

How does this relate to values? Not all genders are considered equal in North American society, whether that gender is the result of good acting and make up, genetics, or bring transgendered. It is well past time to reconsider the value we place on gender.

Human2Human: Jargon or an Old a that Still Matters?

How much value to we place on being “businesslike”? How much to we place on human interaction and conversation?

Employees, customers, and anyone else directly or indirectly involved in a business are human beings before they chose to involve themselves with a business. Even the C-suite of a company is a human being by birth.

From my perspective as a marketer, it is easier to be human. Having a real, honest conversation with a prospective client is far more engaging than acting like a machine. After all, I was born human, too.

How To Make Yourself Work When You Just Don’t Want To.

I don’t always agree with what comes out of Harvard, but I would not accuse them of being poor workers – they seem to get a lot done. How do they do it? Perhaps they do not use the tips in the following article, but I like to think they do.

Comcast doesn’t give a f*ck.

Of course they don’t. By owning almost all of the cable networks in the United States, they don’t have to care about competition or what customers want. Customers have no choices other than Comcast owned services, so Comcast has no incentive to be anything other than self-serving, and there are no competitors offering better prices or service or anything else that I customer would want from their cable network. So do we value our cable television enough to stand up against Comcast buying cable providers? I do, at least I would if I lived in the United States.

Over to You…

What did you read this week? Did I miss something important? Do you have a question? Leave a comment and tell me about it!