Seven Marketing Sins by Seth Godin

Posted in "Seven Marketing Sins" by Seth Godin with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2012 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with hundreds of inspirational quotes, beautiful images, recommending reading, and my own personal and business blogs, at “Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO” you will find the writings and videos of those whose intention is to inspire, motivate and push us to think outside the box.

Seven Marketing Sins by Seth Godin

Seven marketing sins

Impatient… great marketing takes time. Doing it wrong (and rushed) ten times costs much more and takes longer than doing it slowly, but right, over the same period of time.

Selfish… we have a choice, and if we sense that this is all about you, not us, our choice will be to go somewhere else.

Self-absorbed… you don’t buy from you, others buy from you. They don’t care about your business and your troubles nearly as much as you do.

Deceitful… see selfish, above. If you don’t tell us the truth, it’s probably because you’re selfish. How urgent can your needs be that you would sacrifice your future to get something now?

Inconsistent… we’re not paying that much attention, but when we do, it helps if you are similar to the voice we heard from last time.

Angry… at us? Why are you angry at us? It’s not something we want to be part of, thanks.

Jealous… is someone doing better than you? Of course they are. There’s always someone doing better than you. But if you let your jealousy change your products or your attitude or your story, we’re going to leave.

Of course, they’re not marketing sins, they’re human failings.

Humility, empathy, generosity, patience and kindness, combined with the arrogance of the brilliant inventor, are a potent alternative.

– Seth Godin

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Chief Operating Officer, Robert Finkelstein, or for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.,

UNDISTRACTED ENERGY (Pure Thoughts) from DailyOM

Posted in General Management with tags , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2012 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with hundreds of inspirational quotes, beautiful images, recommending reading, and my own personal and business blogs, at “Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO” you will find the writings and videos of those whose intention is to inspire, motivate and push us to think outside the box.

UNDISTRACTED ENERGY (Pure Thoughts) from DailyOM

The longer we are able to hold a positive thought, the stronger that energy around us becomes.

If we make no effort at all, our thoughts usually scatter in a vast array of directions. They start and stop and move in surprising ways from one second to the next. If we try to follow our thoughts without controlling them, we will be amazed at how truly inconsistent they are. Yet, if we apply our minds to a specific task, especially one that interests us, they gather together and allow us to focus our attention, creating great power and energy. This is what is known as pure thought, because it is undistracted.

The law of attraction—like attracts like—influences all energy, including our thoughts, and this is what makes pure thought so potent. Our undistracted thoughts create a powerful magnet that draws similar energy into our vibrational field. As a result, the longer we are able to hold positive thoughts in our minds, the more powerful the positive energy around us becomes. We don’t need to focus on action and controlling so much when we are surrounded by energy that draws what we want toward us. We can simply respond to the opportunities that naturally come our way. When this is the essence of our experience, we can go with the flow, knowing that we will be okay.

If pure thought is a body, it is our emotions that supply the heart that can really bring it to life. Our thoughts and feelings exist in relation to one another, and they form a feedback loop through which they communicate and empower each other. When we hold a thought in our mind without being distracted, we have achieved pure thought. When we have a positive emotional response to that thought, we enable it to dance and move and breathe itself into existence.

– DailyOM
http://www.DailyOM.com/

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Chief Operating Officer, Robert Finkelstein, or for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

BUSINESS ETIQUETTE: 5 RULES THAT MATTER NOW by Eliza Browning

Posted in "Business Etiquette: 5 Rules That Matter Now" by Eliza Browning with tags , , , , , , , on May 3, 2012 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with hundreds of inspirational quotes, beautiful images, recommending reading, and my own personal and business blogs, at “Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO” you will find the writings and videos of those whose intention is to inspire, motivate and push us to think outside the box.

BUSINESS ETIQUETTE:  5 RULES THAT MATTER NOW by Eliza Browning

The word may sound stodgy. But courtesy and manners are still essential–particularly in business.

The word “etiquette” gets a bad rap. For one thing, it sounds stodgy and pretentious. And rules that are socially or morally prescribed seem intrusive to our sense of individuality and freedom.

But the concept of etiquette is still essential, especially now—and particularly in business. New communication platforms, like Facebook and Linked In, have blurred the lines of appropriateness and we’re all left wondering how to navigate unchartered social territory.

At Crane & Co., we have been advising people on etiquette for two centuries. We have even published books on the subject—covering social occasions, wedding etiquette and more.

Boil it down and etiquette is really all about making people feel good. It’s not about rules or telling people what to do, or not to do, it’s about ensuring some basic social comforts.

So here are a few business etiquette rules that matter now—whatever you want to call them.

1. Send a Thank You Note

I work at a paper company that manufactures stationery and I’m shocked at how infrequently people send thank you notes after interviewing with me. If you’re not sending a follow-up thank you note to Crane, you’re not sending it anywhere.

But the art of the thank you note should never die. If you have a job interview, or if you’re visiting clients or meeting new business partners—especially if you want the job, or the contract or deal—take the time to write a note. You’ll differentiate yourself by doing so and it will reflect well on your company too.

2. Know the Names

It’s just as important to know your peers or employees as it is to develop relationships with clients, vendors or management. Reach out to people in your company, regardless of their roles, and acknowledge what they do.

My great-grandfather ran a large manufacturing plant. He would take his daughter (my grandmother) through the plant; she recalled that he knew everyone’s name—his deputy, his workers, and the man who took out the trash.

We spend too much of our time these days looking up – impressing senior management. But it’s worth stepping back and acknowledging and getting to know all of the integral people who work hard to make your business run.

3. Observe the ‘Elevator Rule’

When meeting with clients or potential business partners off-site, don’t discuss your impressions of the meeting with your colleagues until the elevator has reached the bottom floor and you’re walking out of the building. That’s true even if you’re the only ones in the elevator.

Call it superstitious or call it polite—but either way, don’t risk damaging your reputation by rehashing the conversation as soon as you walk away.

4. Focus on the Face, Not the Screen

It’s hard not to be distracted these days. We have a plethora of devices to keep us occupied; emails and phone calls come through at all hours; and we all think we have to multitask to feel efficient and productive.

But that’s not true: When you’re in a meeting or listening to someone speak, turn off the phone. Don’t check your email. Pay attention and be present.

When I worked in news, everyone was attached to a BlackBerry, constantly checking the influx of alerts. But my executive producer rarely used hers—and for this reason, she stood out. She was present and was never distracted in editorial meetings or discussions with the staff. And it didn’t make her any less of a success.

5. Don’t Judge

We all have our vices—and we all have room for improvement. One of the most important parts of modern-day etiquette is not to criticize others.

You may disagree with how another person handles a specific situation, but rise above and recognize that everyone is trying their best. It’s not your duty to judge others based on what you feel is right. You are only responsible for yourself.

We live in a world where both people and businesses are concerned about brand awareness. Individuals want to stand out and be liked and accepted by their peers–both socially and professionally.

The digital landscape has made it even more difficult to know whether or not you’re crossing a line, but I think it’s simple. Etiquette is positive. It’s a way of being—not a set of rules or dos and don’ts.

So before you create that hashtag, post on someone’s Facebook page or text someone mid-meeting, remember the fundamentals: Will this make someone feel good?

And remember the elemental act of putting pen to paper and writing a note. You’ll make a lasting impression that a shout-out on Twitter or a Facebook wall mention can’t even touch.

Eliza Browning is the vice president of Crane Digital, where she oversees the company’s online business and digital strategy. Before joining Crane & Co., Eliza worked in digital media for news organizations including CNN, ABC News and the AP.

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Chief Operating Officer, Robert Finkelstein, or for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

 

FIVE THINGS NEVER TO SAY AT WORK by Alan Axelrod, PhD

Posted in General Management with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2012 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with hundreds of inspirational quotes, beautiful images, recommending reading, and my own personal and business blogs, at “Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO” you will find the writings and videos of those whose intention is to inspire, motivate and push us to think outside the box.

FIVE THINGS NEVER TO SAY AT WORK by Alan Axelrod, PhD

A few poorly chosen words in the workplace can damage an employee’s reputation and cripple his/her career. Even smart, well-meaning employees sometimes say the wrong things. Among the thoughts never to voice at work…

1. “Looks like I’m working late again.” Employees often are eager to be seen as hard workers who put in long hours—particularly in tough economies such as this one, when layoffs seem to lurk around every corner. While showing up early and working late can indeed further your career, talking about doing so could hold you back. When you verbalize that you’re putting in long hours, you risk giving the impression that you’re complaining about your workload or that you’re struggling to get your work done. That might lead a boss to view you as ungrateful or as a potential burnout candidate. And it might dissuade your employer from seeing you as a candidate for promotion—if you’re struggling to keep up in your current job, how could you possibly handle more responsibility?

2. “I’ll get to it when I can.”
Avoid saying anything that might be interpreted as questioning an assignment’s importance—even if you don’t think it is a high priority. The project might be a higher priority for the person with whom you are speaking than you realize. Even if it isn’t, you risk giving the impression that you don’t take the assignment seriously.

3. “I can do it better alone.” Employees sometimes say things such as this in hopes of seeming self-sufficient or in hopes of avoiding working closely with a colleague they don’t like. But telling a boss that you work best alone can lead to a career-damaging “poor team player” reputation.

If you are assigned a teammate you simply cannot work with effectively, express your reservations in terms of the company’s goals, not personal feelings about this person. Example: Point out that this teammate has a lot on his plate already, and say that you would be happy to tackle this task alone if it would help the company.

4. “I did it.” Most workplace victories are team victories. Failing to share the credit with colleagues and underlings who contributed reduces the odds that they will work as hard for you in the future. That doesn’t mean you should give away all the credit or downplay your role—just that when you accept thanks, you also should mention and praise the specific roles played by others.

5. “The way I’ve always done it works just fine.” If you voice resistance to new ideas without giving them a shot, you risk being viewed as someone unwilling to embrace any change. From there, it’s only a short hop to being seen as obsolete and thus dispensable. Justifiably or not, older workers are particularly likely to be stuck with this label.

Instead, express enthusiasm for exploring new methods and technologies when they are suggested. Voice your doubts only after the idea has been attempted or at least analyzed in greater depth. As long as you initially express enthusiasm for a new idea, you later can question it without seeming hostile to change.

If you do later raise reservations, frame them in terms of specific company goals, not personal preferences. Example: “It’s an interesting approach that was worth exploring, but the results seem to suggest that it’s detracting from our department’s turnaround time.”

Source: Alan Axelrod, PhD, a leadership and communications consultant based in Atlanta who has worked with organizations ranging from Siemens AG to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Writing under the pseudonym Jack Griffin, he is author of How to Say It: Be Indispensable at Work (Prentice Hall).

– Alan Axelrod, PhD

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Chief Operating Officer, Robert Finkelstein, or for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

TAKING A BREAK FROM WHAT YOU ARE DOING (A New Approach) from DailyOM

Posted in General Management with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2012 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with hundreds of inspirational quotes, beautiful images, recommending reading, and my own personal and business blogs, at “Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO” you will find the writings and videos of those whose intention is to inspire, motivate and push us to think outside the box.

TAKING A BREAK FROM WHAT YOU ARE DOING (A New Approach) from DailyOM

Sometimes finding the answer is as easy as taking a break and stepping back from the situation.

Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in our thoughts that we wind up going round in round in circles, finding it difficult to concentrate on things and, because we are so distracted, not really accomplishing much. There may be signals—mental, emotional, and physical—that tell us we need to slow down and relax. Since we are so involved in things that are external to us, however, we may easily overlook what is really going on inside of us. It is during these times that we need to step back from the things that occupy our minds and take time out to connect with our inner self, giving our minds, bodies, and spirits the time they need to reenergize and heal.

At first it may seem that by taking a break we may not be as productive as we would initially like. In reality, a healthy period of rest is something that gives us a real sense of the unlimited nature of our true potential. Spending a couple of minutes walking outside, doing a few yoga poses, meditating, or simply becoming attuned to the rising and falling of our breath enables us to let go of our worries. This act brings our focus back to the things that are truly essential for us, such as our sense of oneness with the universe and our inner peace and well-being. As we begin to get in touch with this part of ourselves, we will find that our usual everyday troubles and worries become less critical and that we not only have much more room in our lives to really reflect on the issues that mean the most to us, but we are also able bring to all the situations we encounter a much more positive and healthy outlook.

Giving ourselves respite from our daily concerns is like giving a gift to ourselves. By stepping away from the problems that seem to saturate our thoughts, we lessen the weight of our troubles and instead become more receptive to the wisdom and answers the universe has to offer us.

– DailyOM
http://www.DailyOM.com/

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Chief Operating Officer, Robert Finkelstein, or for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

SHARPEN YOUR MEMORY WITH MUSIC by Galina Mindlin

Posted in "Sharpen Your Memory with Music" by Galina Mindlin with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2012 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with hundreds of inspirational quotes, beautiful images, recommending reading, and my own personal and business blogs, at “Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO” you will find the writings and videos of those whose intention is to inspire, motivate and push us to think outside the box.

SHARPEN YOUR MEMORY WITH MUSIC by Galina Mindlin

Imagine yourself giving a toast, making a speech or delivering a big presentation at work—only to forget midway through what you wanted to say. If the mere thought makes you cringe, you’ll be intrigued by a new book that reveals how to use music to improve your recall. The best part is that whatever type of music appeals most to you is what will be most effective—so you don’t have to suffer through music you find boring or annoying.

How it works: “Because music permeates all areas of the brain, it has a tremendous capacity to deposit any memories you attach to it in assorted locations. This embeds them deeper into your brain and makes it possible to retrieve them from multiple memory banks,” said Galina Mindlin, MD, PhD, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and coauthor of Your Playlist Can Change Your Life: 10 Proven Ways Your Favorite Music Can Revolutionize Your Health, Memory, Organization, Alertness, and More.

You may remember the buzz back in the 1990s when a small study reported that listening to a Mozart piano sonata produced a temporary improvement in spatial reasoning skills. These modest findings were blown out of proportion in the popular press, which disseminated the exaggerated idea that “Mozart makes you smart.” Subsequent research has shown that music can indeed have cognitive benefits, but it’s not about Mozart. In fact, Dr. Mindlin’s method works with any type of music—country, classical, reggae, rock, rap, pop, opera or whatever—provided you enjoy it. She explained, “The more you like the music, the more it activates brain networks and functions that amplify and sustain the effects you are working toward, such as increased concentration and alertness.”

CHOOSING YOUR MUSIC

So, getting back to memorizing that toast, speech or presentation, here’s what you do. First, create three lists of musical selections…

1: Calming songs. On this list, include songs that you know from experience make you feel relaxed and balanced because they are associated with pleasurable, peaceful events from your past. For instance, one song might remind you of a blissful solitary stroll in the woods…another might bring back memories of a glorious sunset sail. Tip: Research shows that songs with a slower tempo of 100 beats per minute (BPM) or less tend to bring on relaxation and calm. Examples: “New, New York” sung by Frank Sinatra or “American Pie” by Don McLean.

2: Fast-paced “activating” songs. Activating songs are mentally energizing. They might remind you of a time when you zoomed through a challenging task, celebrated an accomplishment or won a race. Generally, songs that work well in this category have a tempo of 130 BPM or faster—for instance, “Beat It” by Michael Jackson or “Jailhouse Rock” sung by Elvis Presley. Such rhythms tend to boost motivation and endurance.

3: Medium-paced activating songs. Here, select songs that recharge your batteries yet have a slightly slower tempo, typically 100 to 130 BPM. Examples include “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees or the Beatles’ “Lady Madonna.” These types of songs help your brain lock in whatever you’re trying to commit to memory.

Choose half a dozen or more selections for each list. Reason: Feelings shift from day to day. For example, you might normally feel relaxed by a song you and your husband slow-danced to at your wedding—but if you two just had an argument, that song might upset you today. Assess your current emotions each time you use your playlists, selecting the songs that feel appropriate for the particular moment.

Once you’ve selected your songs, create your three playlists on your iPod or record the songs onto CDs or cassettes.

PUTTING YOUR PLAYLISTS TO WORK

Now you’re ready to use your music to enhance your ability to memorize whatever it is that you want to commit to memory. Follow these steps in order…

Listen to one or more calming songs to prepare your brain to be receptive to learning. As you listen, recall as vividly as possible the relaxing, positive memories associated with each song. Continue listening until you reach that state of relaxed mental alertness.

Play fast-paced activating songs to shift your brain into remembering mode. Again, as you listen, visualize in detail the upbeat memories linked with that music. Continue listening until you feel energized and ready to approach your task.

Turn the music off and focus on what you want to remember. For instance, read your speech aloud from start to finish, moving around or gesturing as you read—the sound of your voice and your physical movements provide additional anchors that help cement the speech in your memory.

When you finish rehearsing, listen to one or more mid-tempo activating songs. This serves as a mental cool-down to further fix the material in your mind.

For maximum effect, use this technique daily. The amount of time you spend depends on the material you’re trying to remember, but generally the music portion of the activity takes about 10 to 15 minutes per session. Key: Remember to have fun with this, Dr. Mindlin said—it should not be a chore, but instead a source of enjoyment.

Source: Galina Mindlin, MD, PhD, is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, supervising attending physician in the department of psychiatry and behavioral health at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, and clinical and executive director of the Brain Music Therapy Center, all in New York City. She is board certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a PhD in neurophysiology and neuropsychology. Dr. Mindlin is coauthor of Your Playlist Can Change Your Life: 10 Proven Ways Your Favorite Music Can Revolutionize Your Health, Memory, Organization, Alertness, and More. (Sourcebooks). http://www.BrainMusicTreatment.com

– Galin Mindlin

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Chief Operating Officer, Robert Finkelstein, or for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

THE IRONIC TRUTH ABOUT SINCERITY by Seth Godin

Posted in "The Ironic Truth About Sincerity" by Seth Godin with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2012 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with hundreds of inspirational quotes, beautiful images, recommending reading, and my own personal and business blogs, at “Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO” you will find the writings and videos of those whose intention is to inspire, motivate and push us to think outside the box.

THE IRONIC TRUTH ABOUT SINCERITY by Seth Godin

No one cares how much you care.

That salesperson who will surely die if he doesn’t close this sale, that painter who is sweating blood to get her idea on the canvas, that student who just pulled an all-nighter…

In fact, we’re hyper alert to the appearance of caring. We want to do business with people who appear to care, who appear to bring care and passion and dedication to their work. If the work expresses caring, if you consistently and professionally deliver on that expression, we’re sold.

The truth is that it’s what we perceive that matters, not what you bring to the table. If you care but your work doesn’t show it, you’ve failed. If you care so much that you’re unable to bring quality, efficiency and discernment to your work, we’ll walk away from it.

And the irony? The best, most reliable way to appear to care when it matters–is to care.

– Seth Godin

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Chief Operating Officer, Robert Finkelstein, or for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.