Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Say This Not That

Just in time for the Holidays when foots the world over, are placed in mouths

Funny enou
gh, Gandhi & Mother Teresa were known for their sometimes scathing tirades instead of the peaches and cream platitudes we so often hear... not because they were bad people but their passion often lead them to demand more of others and it didn't always come off well...

I'm neither of them but I've had plenty of challenges
Link communicating my intentions in my working life and beyond..

Swearing at work always confused me.
Don't get me wrong I love to swear like a sailor on my own time. Great fun. But at work I personally feel we should be able to express ourselves intentionally with professionalism. But it's hard some times, and I haven't spent a lot of time managing people. I know it's a challenge.

The darkest conversation I ever had at work was in 2011, a critical error and miscommunication led me to a blood boiling raised voice confrontation. I hated to be in that position and if not for some basic training I would have just quit my job that day..

Enter this tiny book. Not even 100 pages to read.

I took so many notes I think I may have transcribed
the whole book! I WISH I had this book before that day.

This book not only gives you the words but the context for work, home, coaching, conflict

Learn to build trust, motivate and simply get your point across ( or listen to get someone else's point ) with everyday conversation

A must read for managers and client/donor service professionals

This book is so solid in its' simplicity you'll realize you're doing 80% but just not that last 20% - that's the magic, the words in this book aren't a stretch at all!

If you want to do more, get more in 2012 - here's a quick read to do just that.

Best wishes for a great holiday season! Keep those feet on the ground...

Some ninja tips.. Paul

Saturday, December 17, 2011

LinkedIn Log - Make 2012 a success!

Anyone who knows me knows I'm crazy about LinkedIn
Social media is fun but unfocused and messy.
LinkedIn is about real business networking.

A few weeks ago a wonderful peer saw this resource and sent
me a note. I was fascinated and ordered a couple to check out. What followed changed my year, and will make my 2012 ( and yours if you choose ) a LinkedIn business success.

I get my hands on thi
s little book, it looks like a passport. You can fill it out over an hour or so, but it makes you think. It guides the reader to create a well rounded profile - ON PAPER!!

Why is this a revolution? All other books just tell you what to do and leave you on your own. That doesn't work for an
y business professionals who are not digital natives (coined by Humber educator Ken Wyman) , ie. anyone over 30.

Also, most other great books on LinkedIn are out of date with the constantly evolving program - this was just published.

THIS book, changes the game.

I showed it to one executive who wanted to help their staff get better at LinkedIn, they said "holy crap, this is it" and did a bulk order with 24 hours.

I personally put out a few hundred of my own money and bought a bunch for an education session I was giving on LinkedIn to the supercool folks at Social Media breakfast - and I sold out my few dozen in 5 minutes.

So take heed, I am getting behind this 100% in 2012. You can order it online here but I'll be doing bulk orders and helping my network get their hands on them, let me know if you want one.

$10 ( total! Tax and shipping) to make your profile better? That's an easy investment.

As another business executive who saw it and bought it right from my hands said to me "online, I don't get it, I can't do it. I don't have time to figure it out" but holding this hand-sized book "but THIS, this I get. THIS I can do".

Giddyup network.

Let's ride into 2012 ready to rock


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Poke the Box - Seth Godin

A quick read from the master of marketing - Seth Godin
Guaranteed to get you out of funks, blocks, procrastinatory type situations.

"The job isn't to catch up to status quo it's to INVENT the status quo"
What a perfect way to start a book like this.

It's no secret I'm a fan of Seth Godin,
recently I met a marketing guy
who says he's a guru and has never read Seth
- that's like the Pope say
"Jesus who? Nevah hoid of him"

( I may be thinking of Groucho Marx but I digress )

This book exists to in the same way
you carry kitty-litter in your truck during the winter,
when you get stuck, use it for traction.

"When was the last time you did something for the first time?"

For established successful professionals, that answer may be, "
not in a long time" - When was the last time you scared yourself?

In his chapter the seven imperatives of explosive business success Seth hits home that 99% is common but
the one uncommon spark is 'initiative' the gumption to just bloody START something.

He builds on his message from his last book "Linchpin" with the question for you to ask yourself, how do you respond when people ask "what do you do here?" - A very Robin Sharma "Lead without title"concept

His basic push to start, do, act is motivating and helpful. The
difference between saying at an event "let's do lunch I'll send you an email" to "we're holding our mobile devices with schedules in our hands - let's book this meeting right now!!"

Isaac Asimov the amazing Sci-fi writer wrote 400 books! It was his drive and commitment to start, go
, do, finish...great chapter on this

A helpful chapter on how to make team meetings and accountability meaningful and helpful to productivity - pick this book up if you'd like to boost that.

Another great note on the concept of mistakes and failure - I too am so tired of the culture of succeed or die, so inauthentic - I recently read a quote that said the world's greatest discoveries weren't made Linkshouting "Eureka" it was when a lab person said "huh, that's funny"

For those who want t
o improve HOW they work I loved his line that "juggling is not just the art of catching, it's the art of throwing better"Link
For the business professional,
the time crunched creator
this is a very quick read but a value read.

Pick it up
Poke the box


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Top 7 must read books on Networking

 Alert! I have a new 2012 update to this post here.

I know. This post is long overdue.
The networking enthusiast not sharing books on connecting.
So here we go! My top seven ( kind of )

My number one, the g o-to book is "Work the Pond" because:
- It's all about the social science of connecting
- It
's the most approachable of all the books
- Canadian culture content (90% networking books are American)
I have personally bought over 50 copies over the years to give away.

2) Business cards to business relationships
- Another Canadian author, more business focused
- Goes back to the basics of business networking
- Every business person should own this book

3) Susan RoAne has written a dozen + books, 7 best sellers on the topic of networking. She tackles every subject from the mind to manner to application - I count her as the international champion of connection! Pick one that works for you!

4) Smart Networking - This book is not just great and very strategic (includes how to make a long and short term networking plan ) it's a quick read.
- If you're looking for a job pronto, buy this book
- If you work a lot and don't have time, buy this book

5) I call them the dynamic duo. Keith Ferrazzi's international best seller "Never Eat Alone" and his confession/apology and solid follow up "Whose got your back" - together they make the best business read on networking that I can actually say was as much enjoyment as it was work. Best read on how to network in social settings and how to create your own networking board!

6) As the flying lizards once said "Money, that's what I want". If money's your bag - rainmaking is your task and this book was like a football playbook. So strategic, so methodical, it was referred to me by a lawyer and I consult it often. (speaking of football I wrote a whole post on a football fan queen of "connecting" , don't miss it )
7) INTROVERTS. I know you have suffered under the tyranny of "Type A" jerks your whole career. This book will help you survive and maybe...thrive

Now, I've personally read over 50 books on networking and the science of connecting, this blog was born out of books like:

- Fascinate
- Convince them in 90 secon
- The Connectors
- Turn small talk into big deals
- Enchantment
- Winning Body Language

And many more....

I'm not trying to make any money, I just want to help people connect and find their passionate success instead of another soul crushing 9 - 5 job.

Please forward,
stumbleupon, retweet, whatever
- just share.

And as always, I'm at your service


Ps. If you want to keep networking ideas fresh without reading a lot of books subscribe to my favourite author's FREE weekly tips!

Work the Pond - Positive Networking Tips

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Unmarketing by Scott Stratten

This is a book I've been waiting for since 2010
It answers three questions I was dying to know:
1. WHY use social media
2. WHY care and engage in 2.0 networking online or off?
3. HOW to engage authentically, strategically but practically

JUST NAILED IT - If you are a social media skeptic,
this is the read for you.
A tiny bonus for much of my personal network, the author lives in Toronto Canada and rather than all the New York, San Fran, LA references of my favourite authors he cites examples I can totally relate to.

Things I loved about this book:

- Tearing up old world marketing: "Buy or Goodbye"
- Gloriously dispelling the tyranny of the "Free Consultation" myth
- 100 tips on better t
witter use for results
- The best argument to kill cold calling and what to do instead

I don't know why but he has a couple mentions about how to market and network for artists scattered around the book, it's a hard market and I found the stories and
examples fascinating. Very business applicable.

I love that he doesn't focus on one medium for social media, this is a lesson in 2.0 engagement that goes far beyond JUST Twitter.

I got GOOSEBUMPS reading the chapter "Twitter Vs. Facebook Vs. LinkedIn" and truly appreciated that he cites the good, bad and tips for using each.
Me personally, I totally back Darkhorse Coffee and think the author missed their point. Jerks with laptops terrorize the coffee shop business and I for one applaud any business who stands up to them.
Networking masters Starbucks have solved this problem
with new zones for networking, working and socializing - genius!

Are you doing a talk on social media?
The "seven deadly sins of social media" need to work their way into your PowerPoint or Prezi

Discussion of how to use newsletters and the power of pull in 2011 was brilliant and so helpful to much of the business my network engages in for both nonprofit and seeking profit.

I shudder to see tha
t he nailed the marketing essence of the coffee war in Canada, my family and network went through the same experience. I would love to hear from others who read the book if they agree.

His story of why YouTube is NOT NOT NOT the place to go viral is a fascinating business case study, along with his personal story of botched internet stardom is what makes this book a must read.

Also of high value a powerful story, study and recommendations for booth-dwellers at conferences! If you're an avid exhibitor, get this book.
Lastly, people think that I, as someone who lives and breathes networking is all about face to face events. But I totally agree with the author that 90%+ are terrible and he outlines the people to avoid at them.

Never cold call, never cold network, never go to an event cold. Stay warm and succeed!

This book is something anyone who is curious about what 3-dimensional marketing looks like in 2011. And if you want to succeed in 2012? Get it. Period.

I leave you with a good business interview on UnMarketing


If you are part of my fundraising network, you'll find great value in this talk at last year's "Digital Leap" conference organized by the ever-awesome Stephen Thomas team:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Enchantment - Guy Kawasaki

Perfect start of the end of summer, get my brain working again book.
It won't h
urt your head, I promise.

Something to read at a cottage, on a dock, in a boat
where you have time to think in between and after

Yes Guy, Enchanting.

( TOO enchanting, I got #@$!#$ library fi
because I kept it to read it slow, like eating rich food)

Now don't get me wrong.
There are some busine$$ tips in here
I LOVED the script to turn your front desk into front sales

Descriptions of what makes:
- A product enchanting
- A brand of value in 2011
- A strategy worth committing to

What is the most enchanting length of:
- Email - Video -PowerPoint

I love that Guy quotes my favourite networking book of all time on the topic of networking!! "Work the Pond" rules!!

As I was hoping, like Sally Hogshead takes apart "Fascination" for business, Guy takes apart enchantment and shares all the moving parts for you to create success.

Every chapter ends with a real world story. So thrilled a business hero of mine, Garr Reynolds is one and there's a whole chapter on the beauty and simplicity of Japanese culture.

Biggest value?

How to enchant, I mean actual strategy using:
- LinkedIn - YouTube - Twitter

How to enchant
- Volunteers - Your boss - Your employees

And how cultivate enchantment Kryptonite to not be swayed by others..

The very best of pull marketing education. The business read of the summer.

I leave you with my favourite quote from the book and a great visual plug...

"The function of the muscles is to pull and not to push,
except in the case of the genitals and the tongue".
Leonardo Da Vinci

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Buying Brain - A.K. Pradeep

Every time a book on intelligence, leadership or marketing starts talking about the brain things get very boring and textbookish.

This, is the BEST BOOK I'VE EVER READ on the marketing language of the brain.

You want to talk value? For a science-kind of book each chapter starts with these words: "At the end of this chapter you'll know and be able to use the following" followed by three bullets.

They go into complex topics in bit size bits, the writing is understandable, punchy and well edited to NOT be boring.

The book breaks down the brain by:
- Geography

- The senses
- Gender and gender roles
- Engagement with habit
- Engagement with product

I particularly liked the chapters on the empathic brain, the mommy brain ( finally a book that doesn't assume all women are mommy's ) and the fantastic explanation of "Mirror Neurons" ( monkey see...)

You'll learn about how
- Your consumer thinks about your product
- Engages it in store to complete purchase

- Engages it online to complete purchase
- How to move people from "fans" to "advocates" in a social media world

This is a recent publish so chapters like "how to rock the aisle" may be classic but "the world of one screen" that is based on smartphones and tablets is new world thinking that is high-value right now.

A deeper read, it was overdue at the library when I
returned it. Worth it."

Will leave you with some thoughts below...if you're looking for a more marketing lighter insight into "why we buy" without all the brain-talk - the book "Buy-ology" linked above is always talked about alongside this book

AND... if you're curious about "Buy-ology" above too....

This book was a fantastic Audio listen on my commute

Saturday, June 18, 2011

In search of service excellence: Joseph Michelli

Recently I was supposed to attend a talk by Joseph Michelli
A schedule change meant that it was moved and I missed it BUT! It was great because it caused me to read three great books of his.

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE Starbucks
But my biggest secret is
that it has very little to do with their Coffee

It's about the environ
ment and the service level
the fact that I can take a client there
and it's
like...or better than meeting in my office

Mitchelli focuses on the "5 key leadership principles" of Starbucks Co.:

1. Make it your own
2. Everything Matters
3. Surprise and delight
4. Embrace resista
5. Leave your mark

I loved this book because it was about picking up
- the best tips to create service excellence
- the best ways to cre
ate memorable customer moments in any business
- how to take an everyday transaction and raise it to a loyalty level event

No airy-fairy coffee-house writing here.
Michelli actually shares how Starbucks does it all.
Worth your time in a
service economy world.

His second and most
recent book is a similar format book
the case study is the famed Ritz-Carleton Hotel Company

Again, he defines the critical values, company promise and employee environment

Value is found in the exact methods used to create excellent
- employee hiring practice
- employee training
- cultures of accountability, integrity and engagement

This book was filled with golden nuggets anyone can apply to their business
I like that the book
was written to acknowledge all employees and customers
and because of that we're going to get clouded with emotion and baggage
- why not make all that
work in your favour?

Lastly, a book about a fish market?
It was actually my favourite book of his.

Although it is not as literal and case study heavy
it is written in the voice of John Yokoyaman

owner of the world
famous "Pike Place Fish Market" in Seattle

Because of the story format, this was the quickest read
I retained the most, I enjoyed it the most. Michelli as steward of the story - every business learning is properly conveyed

I did like the way the owner admitted his mistakes
Lots of learning here for business owners and managers
He went from employee obedience to fierce loyalty in a tough environment

These are three great business reads.
My peers who attended his talk said it was a home run, not hokey or contrived

If you seek service excellence from your team, read or call Joseph..

Here's a fascinating quick talk from him about innovation yesterday and today

Here's Joseph talking about the books above:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The New Leader's 100 Day Action Plan

Do you care about your career?
Do you invest in your future?
Do you know where you want to go but don't know how?

This book is a must read.

The book is separated into three mindsets:

1) Find your ideal your strengths, your goals

2) BEFORE you get the job, what to do

3) What to do as SOON as you get the job to succeed

Here's a snapshot of the plan - obviously you need the book to get the most out of it:

This book is NEVER vague.
There is a road map and worksheet for every step of the way.

The "due diligence" on a company, department and employer before you apply for a job is the best section I've ever read on this subject.

There are also some powerful insights and tips about moving up inside a company.

I love that this book NEVER denies real humanity. Something "job hunt" and "management" books always do.

It recognizes that people are curious, nervous and protect themselves - it's not sneaky to communicate with your employees - it's honest reality.

I love their concept of the "fuzzy front end" that time when you start a job in the first couple weeks. Brilliant advice here, the best start plan (that includes tips on your home life ) I've ever seen in print.

Even tips on how to set up your office depending on your position.

For job seekers, in a post internet world this book has a communications plan with that critical pre-job networking stage.

There is an entire section on "day one" strategy.

This is also a great book for board members/ board chairs. Tips in here for you too, how to vet a board, the staff, what to do on day one, week one, month one.

I like that this book references Clifton/Buckingham "Strength Finder 2.0" and the "stregths-based" leadership series. I'm a big fan.

A WHACK of downloadable customizable tools! Free!

Leadership, your own personal success is never as easy as pressing a button or reading a book. It takes strategy first, hard word second. You can do number two alone, for number one
go out and buy this book today. You will not regret it.

Until then, I leave you to "Imagine" with a short thoughtful video by Xplan and Nitin Nohria about leadership - where do you fit in?!

Management, It's not what you think! Henry Mintzberg

Mintzberg is held by many to be a business icon for the current generation.

This is a small book,
but you'll enjoy it
in the same way a glass scotch, port, fine wine etc.. is smaller than a pint of beer.

Mintzberg isn't a theori
he's a management me

In this book he stewards you through a number of essays and position papers that are fun to read but still practical.

Digestible bites o
f 1000 to 1500 words max.

This book is the ultimate to take on a plan, train or bus ride (or private jet/yacht/top of a mountain and other "leadership" cliches)
- it will leave you productive but pensive.

Other management writers lose me quickly,
Mintzberg on the other hand d
escribes my day in every book:

The lack of time, the challenge of work Vs. staff issues, the issue of vision Vs. strategy and results Vs. productivity

If you view management as a career more than just a job title...

Read this book, you will enjoy it.

I leave you with 14 minutes and 22 seconds of Henry at Tedx McGill

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Boss books

Let's stop B-S'ing each other eh?

We can talk about better opportunities

or cite work issues - we're professional after all
but behind closed doors - everyone knows
Our biggest job problems are people.
Most often bosses.

An internationally respected author in non-profit ( Penelope Burke )
shared a little about her upcoming book "I'm leaving"
Inspired me to "come out of the closet" and publish this list

For many years I have read every book
I could get my h
ands on to coach others
through trauma, discomfort and distress

to help myself through sticky situations
and to make sure I caused as
few as possible
when on that fateful day I became - "boss"

I get asked a lot
about the best of the 20+ I've read
Here are a few.

Under the "no A-hole is going to chase me out of my job
(dealing with it)" category:

"I Hate People!: Kick Loose from the Overbearing and Underhanded Jerks at Work and Get What You Want Out of Your Job"

It almost sounds defeatist and negative
but it's all about recognizing the prob
understanding the issues
and providing concreate ways to deal with others

With names like:

- The stop sign

- The bulldozer
- Smiley Face

- Switchblade

- The spreadsheet
and more...
you'll recognize coworkers instantly

and you'll have a ne
w arsenal to achieve in spite of them

2) "
Am I the only sane one working here?"

Another great read where you'll get some stress relief
learn a lot about what's causing you probl
and find solutions to deal with them.

This book is a little
more evil
because it encourage you
watch bad people melt down
and enjoy it a little bit

The "Pr
oblem Boss" category

Wow, this one was a biggie. It was powerful.

For those people with tr
uly terrible bosses
Who throw tantrums, shout, hiss, get personal
passive-aggressively perpetrate evil

This book is a life saver.

Chicken soup for the jaded soul (fun read)

It specifically discusses the many
faces, moods and methods of truly tyrant bosses
and gives you instant ways to deal and deflect

It's only slight flaw,
you might need to be a parent
or understand children to read it.

Solving the problems daily category:

This book isn't about "bosses"
but is all about "no
n-violent communication"
Much like a big favorite of mine "Crucial Conversations"

This book ins
tantly gives you every day language
to become a judo-word master
and deflect and diffuse problems
before they start

I've tried it. THIS IS REAL.

Don't becom
e that boss category!

A fable format
you can get through on a cou
ple commutes
it really shows you how high producing professionals
can easily become
bad bosses

Like Ana
kin Skywalker started
as a kind young lad and became Lord Vader

A fun and insightful read.
If you have a "bad b
this book will even help you

to unders
tand them a lot better.

A more recent publication "Good Boss, Bad Boss"
I like that it considers
the stress
we've all been under during the recession.

This book starts by acknowledging
that most bosses
don't even want to be a boss, or "lead"

With wonderful bonuses like
- the ego surve
- top traps to becoming a bad boss
- how to ac
tually earn respect from employees
how to be firm but empowering

This book is great value
and filled with great advice
for the prese
nt and the future

I personally HATE the word boss because,
as I've been saying since Grade 1

"You're not the boss of me"
but you know who IS the boss of me?

That's the number one thing
that comes out of all these books
is that all we can control
is ourselves and our own reactions to others

Master that, and no one can screw with you.

I have had brilliant supervisors
I have been blessed w
ith tyrants and despots
BOTH have tau
ght me much

I hope these books and notes are of value.
Use them in good health and maybe....

your employees won't refer to you as


Don't let it come to this. ( opens July 2011)