Best Buy Is Not the Best Buy

February 20, 2012 at 5:40 pm (Uncategorized)

One Saturday night my home laptop died an unexpected death. As I was to find out, the hard drive died along with the computer. So once I got through the grief period, I set out to buy a new laptop. BUY a new one is the important word in the sentence and the shopping experience. I went to Best Buy where two “salespeople” worked so hard to be user-unfriendly that I walked out of the store, across the parking lot, to HH Gregg.

Lesson Learned:  I was not window or price shopping. I was going to buy a laptop that night. The two Best Buy un-salespeople kept throwing up roadblocks and additional costs. They forgot they were selling a commodity. I went to HH Gregg where I was met by Davor Mierzvinski, a salesperson and U.S. army vet. He listened, helped me, helped me quickly, went above and beyond by offering to try to get the info off my dead hard drive. When that was not possible, he invited me to bring my office laptop and he transferred all of my files for me. Are you making it easy for people to buy from you or a challenge to buy from you?

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Herbie’s Hint: H is for Hideous

February 16, 2012 at 5:41 pm (Uncategorized)

My Dad always said that it didn’t matter what they said about you, as long as they spelled your name right. Recently Akron Life & Leisure magazine asked me to have my picture taken for an article on the KNOW in which they were nice enough to include me. After the magazine “hit the newsstands,” I received an envelope in the mail. I noticed my name was misspelled as I tore open the handwritten envelope. Someone, anonymous of course, had photocopied the picture and wrote a note to me, “H is for hideous.”

Lesson Learned: You might be wondering why I would share what could have been a private story. Two reasons. 1. We are always figuratively one envelope away from an alternate reality. We could be one envelope or one phone call away from a life-changing client or one envelope away from someone thinking we are hideous. Life can change for the better or worse in a moment. 2. The sender did not spell my name right. But I did get coverage and my Dad would say that was most important: someone was talking about me. Are people talking about you?

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Miss Natcha Vallarta

February 7, 2012 at 4:55 pm (Uncategorized)

In August, I interviewed Joy Chicatelli. She had written a children’s book titled Bailey’s Heartstrings. For pet lovers it took up where Rainbow Bridge ends. According to her book, Bailey could not cross over “The Bridge” until he found a new dog for his family. After searching the world, he found his replacement at a pet shelter.

Lesson Learned: When I met the 3-month puppy who would become Miss Natcha Vallarta, I thought of Bailey’s Heartstrings. I did not go to Mexico with the idea of coming home with a dog. As I kept going back to see her each day, sitting on that cold hard floor, I wondered if my Missy was leading me to her. Did Missy need to finish her job? What can you believe in just because you want to?

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What I Learned from Donald Trump

January 26, 2012 at 7:01 pm (Uncategorized)

I admit it. I am guilty of a plethora of guilty pleasures. At the top of my list is my addiction to Reality TV. I believe I can defend this addiction. Then again, so do most addicts. My defense sounds something like the following. I watch Reality TV for the lessons in communication and leadership one can learn.
 
Lesson Learned: Celebrity Apprentice (of all shows) reminded me to Think Big and Do Big. Big wins take big plans. Keep Your Blinders On and Don’t Worry About the Competition. Everyone has competition. Win for Winning Sake Not Because of the Prize. The thrill is still in winning . . . anything. To read the whole article click here.

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Can’t We Shoot the Celebrity Chefs – Especially Paula Deen

January 19, 2012 at 6:22 pm (Uncategorized)

I think Paula Deen should be sent to her own island. An island with no butter, sugar,oil to fry or hairspray. For years she has been spoon feeding an obese America. She has introduced America to bacon cheeseburgers on glazed donuts and given it her stamp of approval.
 
And now we find out that for three years she has looked into the camera pushing her heart attack on a plate foods, knowing she had diabetes. So we learn, it was not heart attack on a plate after all. It was diabetes on a plate.
 
Never did Paula Deen talk about moderation. She talked about taste but not health.And now we find out that for three years she knew she had a disease that was in some way due to her diet, and she just kept pushing this food on Americans.
 
Did she hold a gun to anyone’s head? No. Worse than a gun, she held her food.And she never said a word about moderation.
 
Not until she was outed. And not until she had arranged to be a paid spokesperson for a drug company. Turns out our health as a country not only has a price for each of us, it certainly has a price for Paula Deen.

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The Iron Lady-A Study in 20th Century Leadership versus 21st Century Leadership

January 19, 2012 at 6:19 pm (Uncategorized)

You could say any Meryl Streep movie is a good movie. Or you could say one movie, The King’s Speech, about Britain is enough for awhile.
Whichever your take, The IRON LADY is worth seeing for more reasons than Meryl the Pearl. It is a study in leadership gone right, leadership gone wrong, and how everyone even in Britain and even a would be Prime Minister, has to learn how to protect their value.
When Margaret Thatcher was identified as a potential PM, she was told she had to lose her hat, change her hair, lose her pearls, learn how to talk and gesture differently. In other words she had to learn how to protect her own value. Why would a lawyer, a CPA, a doctor, or a business owner be any different?
 
When she began her tenure as PM she was direct, not a consensus builder, and did not ask for nor make open communication a priority. I t worked in year one. It did not work eleven years later. Has your communication style evolved?

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Is Your Value Visible?

January 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm (Uncategorized)

If you put your ear to the ground…you can hear it. There is a groundswell, and it’s coming your way.

Will you be a leader in this grassroots movement or will you bring up the rear?

To be in the forefront, you must redefine how you discover, define and discuss your value with all those you encounter, both professionally and personally. First, you need to discover your value both as an individual and as an organization. Then you need to articulate this value with a clarity that compels people to think, talk and act in ways that create a “professional velocity” propelling you toward your goals.

Have you seen the popular motivational poster that reads, “LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET OUT OF THE WAY?” Although the message applies to leadership, the same can be said for how you see yourself in this “Communicating Your Value” movement.

Bold individuals and visionary companies look for a competitive edge. Let’s fact it; we all compete in a hyper-competitive world. We are constantly looking for an edge in price, service – or anywhere else we can proclaim to our customers – that we do it better. To gain that edge each of you can adapt the mindset to recognize the twist – the impetus – that makes this movement unique. It’s based on the idea that value is in the application of an idea, not on the idea itself.

To be included in this “Communicating Your Value” movement you must first rethink how you discuss your value. Standout value is defined as making that which is already there, known. Or, one might say making the invisible, visible.

Can you develop and discuss your value on an ongoing basis? I believe the only way to discover value is to use powerful, probing questions to uncover your story – and to create a new one.

To read to rest of this article, click here.

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How the Sweater Vest beat the Guy from Central Casting

January 5, 2012 at 7:43 pm (Uncategorized)

Mitt Romney is hitting his head against a brick wall this week. He and his PACS spent millions. Rick Santorum spent $100,000+ .

Communication Lesson Learned: your audience (voters) decide your value, not you the speaker. The Rules of Communication apply even if your net value is $250 million. You need BUY-IN from your audience. Santorum got it by speaking face to face in every county in Iowa.

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The Executive No-Show

December 22, 2011 at 3:11 pm (Uncategorized)

Edward C. Forst was a member of Goldman Sachs influential management team. Until Friday, December 2. His departure was explained as his leadership style not because of a lack of expertise in his field. Specifically his recent no-show at an important client meeting led to his dismissal. Groomed to become the next CFO, it was known that he clashed with colleagues and rubbed then the wrong way.
 
Lesson Learned: There is a saying attributed to Woody Allen that showing up is eighty percent of life. Can you imagine not even showing up for an important client meeting? Do you show up? Do you show up everyday with a communication style that does not rub people the wrong way? Do you still think the velocity of your career is based solely on your competency?

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The Celebrity Sitting Next to You

December 21, 2011 at 4:45 pm (Uncategorized)

At a recent event in Akron, an attendee asked the stranger next to him to move. The attendee wanted to save the set for his friend, not this unknown interloper. So he asked the unnamed man to move and didn’t think about it again.
 
Lesson Learned: Later that day the attendee attended yet another event. He was introduced to the man he had asked to move out of his chair. He was an internationally known celebrity in Akron for a client event. This internationally known celebrity lists as clients Barbara Streisand, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Charlize Theron, Renee Zellweger, Jennifer Hudson and Madonna. Could you be near, next to, literally or figuratively a great prospect or client and not know it?

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