Are Connections a Priority?

In today’s turbulent times, we all need to connect with our family, friends and acquaintances more than ever. NOTICE: If you have no interest in enhancing your connections and networking abilities, don’t read any further!
Still with me…good! One of my Priorities for 2009 is to enhance my social networking skill and take advantage of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. In December I attended a workshop on Leveraging Technology and learned that these three networks interface very well and are the top sites for professionals. Click on any of the links above and you will visit my profile on each one. If your not in these networks, join today! It’s fun, doesn’t take much time, has tremendous potential and will help you grow your “Connections.”
For several weeks I “twittled” with twitter and am just now getting it. Not that it’s difficult, because it isn’t. It’s just that I hadn’t figured out how to use it effectively to connect with others. So here is what I’m doing: Every day or so, I send out “Tweet” my “followers” with an inspirational quotation, humorous line, cool site to visit, or occasionally an interesting article or blog post. So begin to Twitter and begin by following me.

BUT FIRST, check out this article I received from my friend Michael Hyatt. I sure wish I had found this before having to learn all this on my own. This is a great article regarding Twitter for beginners but it also has a couple of very important tips for even the more experienced twitterers.

When it comes to networking, you need to BYOCPO and remember, you

“Don’t Just Do It!”

Senator Shelby Recuse Thyself

Occasionally when consulting with Boards of Directors, especially on matters requiring a vote, it is necessary to recuse or withdraw a member from a position of judging so as to avoid any bias or appearance thereof. This past week as the Senate debated the automotive bridge loan, I watched with a tremendous amount of frustration as Senator Shelby of Alabama continued to unabashedly destroy the domestic automotive industry. The fate of our entire nation rests in the hands of a man that simply wants the Big 3 to fail.

Why would that be a priority to Shelby?

At the end of this entry, I have given you a link to see what automotive industry currently resides in Alabama. When you look at this list, it appears as though you might be reviewing an industry site in Japan. Here are some of the automotive companies in Alabama; Mercedes, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota, Yachiyo Manufacturing, Kwang-Sung, Hwashin and more. Not one General Motors, Ford or Chrysler. Now it is abundantly clear why Shelby has that continuous grin that looks strangely familiar to the one my cat gets when she has destroyed another Christmas ornament.

Admittedly, in the last ten years these, non-Big 3, companies have brought 35,000 new jobs to Alabama. Again, let me remind you that I talk to people about the need and importance of setting their personal and professional priorities and Shelby has his; protect 35,000 jobs in Alabama and kill 2-3 million automotive associated jobs elsewhere in the United States.

Then Senator Shelby makes a statement about how the Big 3 can’t design or build the cars that Americans want to drive. Rest assured the Senator hasn’t driven a CTS, Tahoe or a Corvette

My Corvette in the Garden of the Gods

My Corvette in the Garden of the Gods

lately. When he makes statements like that, it’s obvious he also hasn’t taken a test drive in the Malibu, G-6 or Mustang. The Big 3 also offer some of the best trucks in the world, and people want them!

Don’t get me wrong! Many American companies lack the true leadership to get through tough times. An old Economics Professor at U of M told us there are two ways to grow profit: Increase revenue or decrease cost. Many of today’s “leaders” take the ostensibly easy way and cut costs. Layoff people, cut quality and/or quantity, reduce programs and training…cut, cut, cutting their way to profitability. Significant changes in the leadership must be made and perhaps a strong “Car Czar” is a good idea.

Don’t get me started on greed! There is more than enough to go around. Company executives and the bonuses are merely out of control. The UAW has “United” itself out of working on autos. Both sides better get real, real quick. Everybody needs to cut back, but not just in automotive. Everything from Dockers to Doctors needs to reduce their pricing. Greed is aplenty and we will not survive if we allow it to cloud our vision as we set our priorities and make important decisions.

That brings me back to the Senator from Alabama.

This article might likely cost me a speaking gig or two because it will upset someone in a key decision making position. But, in difficult times, we ALL need to stand up for what we believe. Whenever we find ourselves entrusted with a leadership position, we cannot let greed and individual priorities get in the way of doing what is right and just for the greater good, not just for my business, or your industry, or the Senator Shelby’s state.

Another point must be made in this regard. If Carl Levin, D-MI were in a leadership role on this committee, I would also recommend he remove himself from facilitating the discussion on this topic. He too would have such a vested interest in the outcome that his judgment would be clouded and overly biased.

In closing, let me say it is apparent that Senator Shelby believes in doing what’s good for Alabama and has made that his priority. He certainly is not focused on what is necessarily good for the people of the entire United States.

Senator, shouldn’t you recuse yourself?


See The Alabama Industry Profile:


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Prioritize Your Email!

Last night I had the honor of moderating a teleseminar with my friend Randy Dean “The Totally Obsessed Time Management Guy and E-mail Sanity Expert.” The teleseminar was sponsored by the National Speakers Association. The two hours flew by and Randy shared many tips and suggestions. One of my take-aways is the idea of eliminating e-mail “blinging.” Randy describes “Blinging” as the habit of reading every e-mail as it pops into your incoming mailbox and sends an audio “bling.”
Let’s face it, most of us can’t wait to open the latest email and see what we got. Sure it could be a very important client or inquiry, but often it’s a communication that could wait, or a joke or cartoon.  From my learnings last night, I am going to check my (professional) e-mail only four times per day. I will begin my day by checking my incoming e-mail, again about one hour before lunch, about 2:00 PM and again about 6:00 PM. That’s it. It’s a matter of priorities!
Two other points I am implementing are to try to keep my e-mail in-box at what Randy calls “E-mail Zero” and I am setting up three separate e-mail accounts. If you want to know what the three separate accounts are, check out Randy’s website. Thanks Randy!
If you want to Be Your Own Chief Performance Officer, you need to manage your life…and your e-mail.
In e-mail, as in life…you “Don’t Just Do It!”

The “Non-Delusional Life”

In the airport the other day, I overheard a couple chatting about all the “work” they needed to catch-up on when they returned from vacation. As the three children sat quietly (playing games on their IPods), it seemed as though the parents were in a “I need to do more than you” contest. Quite frankly, none of it sounded very important.
All to often, people live what I refer to as a “Delusional Life”. They think that as long as they have a hefty “to do” list, then life is important. In other words, doing busy work is not really living.
One of the best parts of our family vacations was talking about the best of…whatever and what each person enjoyed the most and why. Vacation began with the planning phase, which everyone was involved in, and was not complete until we returned to work or school.

It certainly didn’t sound like this young couple had their priorities straight, which is a key step in living a “Non-delusional” life. In life, like in business…you “Don’t Just Do It!”

Gotta Start Someplace

Having just returned from the National Speakers Association Convention in New York City…it’s time to get to work. One of the break-outs I attended was with none other than Tim Ferriss of “The 4-Hour Workweek” book fame. As a speaker, I always tell people to make a plan of what to implement while attending conferences and such, well one of mine is to dive into the world of blogging. Any ideas on what I need to do here? Tim, I know you’d be proud!