Thursday, June 28, 2007

Keys to Personal and Professional Growth

Consider how this works:
  • If something is New Information AND Relevant, it's likely to be Important.
  • If something is New Information AND Resonant, it's likely to be Meaningful.
  • If something is Relevant AND Resonant, it's likely to be Memorable.
  • And if something is Memorable, Meaningful, AND Important, it's likely to enable Growth, on either a personal or professional level, yes?

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Monday, June 25, 2007

When the cat's away...

What's it like when you return back from a conference or seminar or vacation? Are things running smoothly or are they coming apart at the seams. Which do you prefer? Regardless, each scenario says things about you as a leader - quite different things, actually:
  1. Things are a mess upon your return and you don't like it one, single, bit - Welcome back! And if every fiber in your being is trying to prevent yourself from screaming "Did you do anything right?" at your direct reports, the problem has probably a whole lot less to do with your team than you realize. Chances are that much of the angst can be traced back to you doing a very poor job in preparing them for your absence, or dealing with some long-standing performance issues. Grade: -10.
  2. Things are running smoothly and you don't like it - Welcome back! Your staff did a great job! Every thing's fine, except ... you're suddenly feeling like you're not as needed as you used to be. An extra cog in the wheel? Better off not even being there? Oh my. Is my job at risk? Oh, dear, my job is at risk. Rather than being happy for all that went well in your absence, you're acting small and disrespectful to the people who really worked hard to keep things going. Grade: -5.
  3. Things are a mess and you kinda like it like that - Welcome back! Clearly, you were missed and it's good you're back because you're needed, hero. And yet, if this is the case, it's likely that your ego is getting in the way of you properly challenging and developing your staff. Grade: -15.
  4. Things are running smoothly and you like it - Welcome back! Some good stuff happened while you were away and they're glad you're back. It isn't easy filling in for you when you're gone, but they did a really nice job of it. And now, they're ready to turn the reigns back to you. It's not easy doing what you do. They have a much better understanding of that now. And they're that much more appreciative of just how good of a boss you really are. Bingo! Grade: +10.
The ultimate litmus: If your staff works harder when you're out of the office than when you're in - and you're properly appreciative of the fact - you're probably a pretty good leader.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

O + (N x S) + Cpm/T + He

Back in January, in a post titled, [W + (D-d)] x TQM x NA, or not, I cited the work of Cliff, Arnall, a professor in Wales who 'mathematically' determined that January 22, 2007 would be "the most depressing day of the year." Here's how the formula formula worked:
  • W: How bad the weather is at this time of year.
  • D: Amount of debt accumulated over the holidays minus how much is paid off.
  • T: The time since the holidays.
  • Q: Amount of time passed since New Year’s resolutions have gone south.
  • M: Our general motivation levels.
  • NA: The need to take action.
So that was the bad, or shall we say, depressing news.

And now for the good news, that is, the happiest news.

According to Arnall, today, June 22nd, is the happiest day of the year! Here's his formula for determine that:
    O + (N x S) + Cpm/T + He

    • O: Being outdoors and outdoor activity.
    • N: Nature.
    • S: Social interaction.
    • Cpm: Childhood summers and positive memories.
    • T: Temperature.
    • He: Holidays and looking forward to time off.

    So be happy, everyone. Because if Professor Arnall is right, it's likely you can be anything else today!


    Thursday, June 14, 2007

    Hey, Your Shirt Just Texted Me!

    Okay, so I really get a kick out of this one - interactive t-shirts - or, as the folks at Reactee* say it, "shirts that text back"!

    Here's how it works:

    (1) someone sees my t-shirt - but it could just as easily be that someone sees your t-shirt - one that you go and create right after reading this post;

    (2) from their cell phone, they send a text message, to the t-shirt, by following the simple instructions on the t-shirt. With my t-shirt, they'd text the letters GGCI to phone number 41411;

    (3) the shirt automatically texts them back with an important (or not so important) message!

    Try it! (Standard text messaging charges apply.)

    Isn't this a hoot?! It is to me, anyway!

    Each t-shirt is fully-customizable (within the boundaries of good taste and available colors and sizes) and the message that gets texted back to people can be changed as often as you like. To create your own, just click on the link:*.

    So what are you waiting for?!

    * This is my affiliate link. If you order via, they will pay me a small commission (at no additional charge to you) as a thanks for helping to spread the word about their product.


    Wednesday, June 13, 2007

    Making an Indelible Impression

    Hey, sports fans! While this is likely to be one potent double play combination, Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance it's certainly not.In a move that's even more bizarre than the way the team's been playing this year, the Chicago Cubs organization has announced that their Sunday, June 17th game vs. the San Diego Padres will be "Sharpie Day", during which, they'll happily be handing out permanent markers to the first 10,000 fans entering Wrigley Field.

    Now call me crazy, but have they gong completely nuts?! The question isn't IF the ballpark will be trashed - it's HOW. Will it be:

    (a) by bored kids or drunk adults?
    (b) on the seats in front of them or the people next to them?
    (c) by frustrated Cubs fans or elated Padres fans?
    (d) by an errant Sox fan or two? or
    (e) ALL of the Above?

    It'd be one thing if they were passing out water paints or hand soap - at least they'd spruce up the place. But indelible permanent markers?! Oh, brother.

    In an excellently-timed related story, Mayor Daley announced that the parents of "youthful graffiti vandals" should be fined for the indiscretions of their children. Well, at least someone is looking out for the historical landmark called Wrigley Field.

    What could the Cubs marketing department possibly be thinking here?


    Monday, June 04, 2007

    My Very Own Storm, "Barry"

    I've never had a storm named after me. And then came tropical storm "Barry."

    Certainly not the biggest storm on record. And not the most horrifc, either. To the contrary, actually:
    • According to the folks at AccuWeather, "Tropical Storm Barry will be remembered as one of the most beneficial tropical systems to affect the United States in recent years."

    • And according to, "Barry's legacy will be welcomed rain in the South, where almost seven inches fell in West Palm Beach, Florida; eight inches fell in Mount Vernon, Georgia; over six inches fell in Hardeeville, South Carolina; and almost two and a half inches in New Bern, North Carolina."

    How nice. Good for me, I say!

    Okay, it was a bit Freudian that my storm chose Florida - were my mom lives! And now it's creating a bit of a mess in New Jersey, where my in-laws live! But hey, we storms do that sort of thing.

    The only bad thing - ever since Barry has been downgraded to a tropical depression, I've been feeling kind of sad! (Get it?! Depression? Sad? Clever, huh?!)