Tag Archives: business


10 Sep
I’ve had a career in marketing and advertising for the past 29 years. And I think I’ve learned a thing or two that is worth sharing so here are 5 things. I’ve been talking to college students a lot lately and thought to do this.  If you’re my peer, this is probably old hat for you but you never know.
This will become a regular series so keep an eye out for it.
Now, here is me circa 1992 at my desk at JTC Advertising as Account Coordinator.  Ha! Vintage!

1. don’t become irrelevant.  

Work hard to stay relevant. And don’t get cocky thinking you already are.

That means it is less about keeping up with the Jones and more about staying knowledgeable and curious. This has always been a big deal to me.   It should have been a big deal to brands like radio shack and blockbuster video – right?

When i hear people in business almost brag about not being in touch with social media it makes me sad for them.  It’s sad because it’s like saying “no” to knowledge.  When i hear that someone is too busy to learn modern technologies to better their lives, I know they are slipping down the path of not being relevant.  And while that is their personal prerogative.  But for my career, it has served me very well to strive to be relevant.

2. be passionate

If you don’t have passion for what you’re doing, then you’re going down the wrong path. Turn around.  Change.  Figure it out.
We were made to do what we are passionate about, you know.   You can’t hide passion.  It doesn’t matter if you’re running a company or driving a bus – passion AFFECTS people.  It gets you noticed – and not from your words, smarts or know-how.  People feel passion and passionate people always win.

One time, ROF and i went to the Nespresso store to buy espresso.  It was our first time in the store and we were helped by Dan.  Let me tell you, you would have thought that Dan owned Nespresso and was part-timing in the store in Paris.  It was an experience that will make us come back.  He knew what he was talking about but delivered it in a way that got us excited about coffee.  He bagged our coffee, taught me how to really make espresso (whoops, was doing it wrong), made me a coffee and gave us his opinion on machines.  We can’t wait to go see Dan again when our coffee gets low.  Be Dan.

3. have a POV

This is the difference between an A and B player in business.  One of my favorite bosses said this and it has always stuck with me.   Having a point of view spiked with passion is awesome.  Kinda like this:

Knowing when to speak up with your point of view is key.  Just because you have one doesn’t mean the people around you want to hear it or you should necessarily express it.  But always have one.

How I start to get a point of view on something is I run it through this filter:

Do I know anything about this subject?
No = Read up + formulate
No – Don’t care (by the way, this is a POV too)- does it ladder up with any of my morals/values/beliefs i have in general?

Throughout life, you will be strengthening and building upon the point of view you have on things.  As I get older, I find my POV on some important topics changed just because I experienced something first hand.  For example, you can have a POV on how to react to death but until you experience the death of a loved one, you can’t truly have an opinion.

4.  be a great leader

You don’t have to be a boss to be a great leader.
This comes from the POV that to whomever you come in contact with on a particular day, be an example of love.
People can hear advice and reprimands and they can do a to-do list but they FEEL love.
Just like they feel passion.  Being an example of love means simply caring about people and their lives.  And i do believe that to be a quality of great leadership.   Even though we’re talking about a career, work is just a part of life.  If you care about the bigger picture – the person – the smaller picture – work – always benefits.
Whether you are the boss, the entry-level person, the Walmart greeter, the cashier, the fashion icon – you can be a leader.  Lead with love.  I personally follow the tenets of servant leadership.
Always lead with love.

5. be true to yourself

Why is this good career advice?  I don’t know, really.

What I do know is that throughout my 29 years, I haven’t always been true to myself.  Like most people, you just want to do an outstanding job and when i was in my 20’s, I was willing to stay the late hours to get the job done.  I went in on the weekends and checked voicemail constantly (before mobile phones, if you can imagine that!)  And there is nothing wrong with that.  Working hard is good!
But if you’re in the game long enough, that work hard philosophy evolves ever so slowly.  Going the extra mile for work can, if you’re not careful, turn into sacrificing what you really want in life.  WATCH THIS!  It sneaks up on you.
A mid-life crisis can ensue where your old self – the one that was there all along but got smooshed down way low- says WAIT A MINUTE!  HOLD UP! I’ve been working so hard my whole life but I’m not doing what i’m passionate about!    What happened to…me!
I’ve seen this happen with colleagues and friends and it’s such a wonderful thing to see their real passion come out when they choose to pursue it.
Thankfully, i’ve always been very passionate about my career and what I’m doing.  Working with creative people, leading the way in new technologies, having a strong POV and striving to be relevant have been cornerstones for me the past 29 years.
i can’t wait to see what the next years hold.

getting better and brighter

21 Apr

this past week i was fortunate to be forced out of my comfort zone.  

if you remember, i like turbulence on a flight because it shakes me out of my thoughts and forces me to be present.



well, that is kind of how this past week was for me.  i’ve worked in the automotive advertising industry for 21 years now (hard to believe) and because some of the programs i’m doing, i was invited as a guest to attend the WFF annual conference in orlando.  i felt as if i was undercover, a poser, a faker.  however, when i shared who i was with some of the incredible women i met, they were impressed!  they thought it was a great idea that i was learning about their industry and they were, in turn, interested in mine.

i had the privilege of sitting through 6 one and a half hour long seminars taught by leaders in their field:


1. excavating the future: interactive session for reflection and planning for the year ahead (kellogg school of business professor)

2. seeing the big picture by kevin cope

3. courage, credibility and stretching your comfort zone

4. 21 ways to connect in business in 90 seconds or less (excellent)

5. taking the stairs: success means doing things you don’t want to do

6. accelerate your impact as a business leader


the goal of the program is content and connection so in each of these, I did exercises with and met women in the foodservice industry.  i have to say it has opened my eyes to what a great industry it is.  here are my scribbles of notes from the seminar.  they provided full decks and overviews but i listen best if i’m writing at the same time.

  • Sustained high performance requires rest
  • Productivity goes in 90 minute cycles
  • An impression happens in 2 seconds:  I trust you, you make sense, you move me.
  • Difference between motivation (money) and inspiration (create unstoppable employees)
  • #1 predictor of a successful person: Ability to Speak Up
  • 5 superpowers: Enthusiasm, Curiosity, Feedback, Empathy and Imagination
  • If people like you, they want to say YES to you, if they don’t they want to say NO to you.  They decide this very quickly.
  • 5 ways to make lasting impression: Attitude, eye contact, smile, open body language, synchronize.
  • Leaders speak in the positive, because people only process positive information.
  • Know what you want in the positive (horse example)
  • 55% of people are visual, the rest are kinetic or audio.  If you’re talking to a group, you need to engage all of them.  Tell a story
  • IAKOLA.  stands for I’m Am Kind Of Like A…. fill in the blank. (pit bull example)
  • It is key to understand how a company makes money.
  • Key that EVERYONE knows how a company makes money
  • Everyone needs to know their role in actively improving that process
  • Selling or supporting someone that is selling is key to increased revenue
  • Companies pay slower and collect faster for cash flow purposes
  • No margin, no mission  Stephen Covey
  • If you’re not unique, you better be cheap
  • That which you measure, you damage, that which you manage, you improve
  • Growth is important to a business because it attracts and keeps the best people
  • People work hard for a paycheck, harder for a person and hardest for a purpose
  • People want the big picture, need to engage employees hearts AND minds
  • Problems that are procrastinated on are amplified
  • Buffalo run into the storm to get through it, cows run from the storm and end up running with the storm for long periods of time.
  • Short term choices lead to difficult long term consequences
  • Leverage long term vision to endure short term sacrafice
  • The more we have invested into something the less likely we are to let it fail
  • Neutral thinking always becomes negative
  • Increase your commitment by asking the question HOW can I do this rather than SHOULD i do this
  • Some of us care so much about success that we procrastinate and wait for a perfect time
  • Cultivate a habit of action
  • Demand progress rather than perfection
  • Comparison is not only the thief of joy but the definition of mediocracy
  • Success is never owned, it is rented and the rent is due every day.  
  • or being healthy is never owned…
  • or leading a team….

overall it was a great sunday, monday and tuesday with 2600 bright women.

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