Monday, December 18, 2006

Crain's quotes Barry Zweibel

In the "Business of Life" section of the December 18, 2006 issue of Crain's Chicago Business, I got to answer the question,"How can I make holiday shopping less fatiguing?"

Here's what they said I had to say:

In that I've actually wanted to be quoted in Crain's for some time now, so this is a particularly fun thing to have happen as 2006 finishes up.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A little (visual) help?

According to an article in this month's New Scientist magazine:

"Basketball vests (singlets) with electroluminescent displays that show a player's score, and number of fouls, are being trialed in Australia. The vests can also display more general information, like the amount of time left in a game."

The product is called "TeamAwear," short for "team sports awareness wearable display" and call me crazy, but I think this is a really cool idea - just not for basketball jerseys.

If it were up to me, I think I'd start a line of boss' work-clothes. Consider these "WorkAwear" possibilities:

  • Wouldn't it be helpful to be able to 'see' what's on the boss' mind? With a "WorkAwear" business suit, you now could!
  • Wouldn't it be something if your staff could know your priorities before you even said them aloud? With a "WorkAwear" sweater, they could!
  • Need some extra funding for a non-budgeted project? You could barter with your vendor for some free ad-space on your "WorkAwear" blazer!

Yes, this could be very good!

And to riff a bit more, "WorkAwear 2.0" will be able to display more than just text. But be careful if you're one to wear your heart on your sleeve, or are particularly thin-skinned.

Talk about things taking on a whole new meaning!


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Procrastination Pays!

Okay, so I've been meaning to write an e-book on the hidden value of procrastination ... but I just haven't got around to doing it yet! (ba-DUM-bum!) I do have an example of the notion, though, that I thought worthy of sharing with you.

My wife got me a new travel suitcase, isn't that nice?! Problem, though - it had a tear on the inside. Well so many days later (procrastination point one) I took it back to the store for a replacement. Since the model was now out-of-stock, I started looking at the other models available. I don't mind saying that I was amazed by - and a bit overwhelmed with - the number of choices they offered.

I looked at each and every one of them (procrastination point two) - thanks again, Marion (the sales lady) for being so patient with me. Ultimately, I decided not to buy any of them because the one I liked best was a bit too expensive (procrastination point three). So I went home suitcase-less.

The mailman arrived just as I was pulling into the driveway. And wouldn't you know it, in the day's mail was a 20% off coupon from the very store in question. So back I went to the store (procrastination no more) and got the exact suitcase I wanted at the exact price I was willing to pay!

So who says that procrastination doesn't pay?!

Have a story about how procrastination has paid dividends for you? Feel free to share.


Monday, December 11, 2006

Top Mentoring Surprises

I was traveling last week doing some on-site coaching work for a few corporate clients, so I didn't get to post anything blog-wise. I really like on-site work, though - and it's becoming an increasing part of my business, which is nice.

I enjoy spending a day 'shadowing' a client: I get to see them in action; I get to listen to what they talk about; I get to watch how they interact with people; and I then get to debrief with him/her about what I noticed. It usually stimulates some really interesting insights to surface and meaningfully advances the coaching conversation.

A fascinating byproduct of on-site work is that I get to meet and interact with a number of new, really interesting, people. Enter Scott Collins. Although we never met before, he and I got into an excellent conversation about how different a formal mentoring relationship feels after it starts, compared to before it actually does.

"How so?" I asked. To wit, here is his list of Top Mentoring Surprises:
  1. You can say things to your mentor that you can't say to anyone else ... well, almost
  2. Discussions with you mentor are actually fun because of Surprise #1
  3. You can trust what your mentor tells you because he/she isn't really impacted by how you react
  4. You can ask you mentor to "put in a good word" for you, but it will probably happen without you even having to ask
  5. Success in a mentoring relationship goes both ways ... if you are seen as a successful mentee, your mentor will be viewed in a more positive light as well
  6. If you follow your mentor's advice ... more advice will follow
  7. A good mentor sees the relationship as an investment in the company, you and him/herself, it's a partnership, not a burden

Thanks, Scott. Couldn't've said it better myself.


Friday, December 01, 2006

Who IS that in the mirror?

Here's a question for you to enjoy answering: "What quality to you most like about yourself and why?"

Go on, indulge yourself. Answer the question.