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This Thank You Note Was Just a Little Different…

March 6th, 2015

A few months ago I had the pleasure of attending the bat mitzvah for a daughter of a good friend of mine. K.H. did an amazing job, the event was fabulous at a beautiful country club in California. A few weeks after the event, I received a thank you note. Except…this note was a little different. K.H. sent me a really nice and heartfelt thank you and, as a bonus, my good friend M.H. wrote some really kind words on the same thank you note above where his daughter had written.

I really liked this! I thought it was a great idea and it meant a lot to me that he took the time to do that and it had never happened before to me.

  • Have you ever received a thank you note that included more than one person thanking you?
  • If you haven’t received one, what do you think of what M.H. did?
  • Do you like the idea enough that you would do the same thing if someone traveled a long distance for a graduation or sweet 16 party?

What Do You Like To Do Alone?

March 4th, 2015

A few weeks ago I was traveling and had some free time at night. Rather than sit in my hotel room I decided to go to a sporting event. This may sound normal for me except that…I went to the game alone!

This got me to thinking about what activities people like to or are comfortable doing alone.

Please take a quick little quiz and let me know your thoughts!

Click Here to Take The Quiz.

I look forward to reading your comments.

The First 13 Minutes Were All Bad…Does it Really Have to Be that Way?!

March 2nd, 2015

A few weeks ago, I was watching a local newscast and noticed something that seemed a little odd to me! Story after story after story involved: murder, child abduction, fighting overseas, bad weather, airplane crash, terrorist threat and many other not-so-nice things! This went on for 13 minutes! Yes, 13 minutes of bad news! I will admit: I don’t usually watch the local news but couldn’t they fit in one feel good story about someone donating money to a charity to build a school? Or someone winning a special award? Or someone celebrating a 90th birthday or a 75th wedding anniversary?!

If I were producing a local newscast I would make sure that within the first 3 minutes there was at least one nice story! One story that would make people feel good!

What do you think?

  • Have you noticed this?
  • Does only bad news help ratings?
  • What would you do differently if you were producing the news?

I look forward to reading your comments.

What are the Best Beaches Around the World?!

February 27th, 2015

I love to travel and I love the beach! I love everything about the beach: the warm sand, the beautiful blue water, people smiling, sand volleyball – in fact there is very little I DON’T like about the beach.I was reading an article a few weeks ago that listed the top 10 beaches in the world according to TripAdvisor and its users.

The Top Beaches, located around the globe, are “determined based on the quantity and quality of traveler reviews and ratings over the course of 12 months”, according to the site.

Here they are!

  1. Elafonissi Beach: Elafonissi, Greece
  2. Whitehaven Beach: Whitsunday Islands, Australia
  3. Flamenco Beach:Culebra, Puerto Rico
  4. White Beach:Boracay, Philippines
  5. Anse Lazio:Praslin Island, Seychelles
  6. Playa de Ses Illetes:Formentera, Spain
  7. Playa Paraiso:Cayo Largo, Cuba
  8. Rabbit Beach:Lampedusa, Italy
  9. Grace Bay:Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
  10. Baia do Sancho:Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

The interesting thing about their list is…I haven’t be to a single one of these beaches! Not one!

  • What do you think of their list?
  • Have you been to any of these beaches?
  • What is the nicest beach you have ever been to?

I look forward to reading your comments!

Business Leaders: Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help (By Guest Writer, Steve Henke)

February 25th, 2015

As I write this, I’m at about 30,000 feet – somewhere in the air between Oakland and Denver – on my way back to Nashville. I’ve just spent the last 3 days at MRA’s CEO Summit in Napa Valley. What a great event… kudos to the MRA staff (David, Amy, Jenn & Jess) and hosts like Merrill Dubrow and Steve Schlesinger.

I think what made it a great event for me – besides taking place in Napa! – was the overriding theme that business leaders need to learn to “ask for help… and be willing to accept it.”

It started with the keynote speaker, Phil Terry, a Harvard MBA and consultant who evangelizes and facilitates peer-to-peer networking groups amongst professionals. Take a look at his company, Collaborative Gain.

The peer-to-peer idea then came to life in the breakout sessions. After each speaker delivered their presentation, all of the attendees would break up into small groups (5-6 at each table) and have an open and honest discussion about the topic just presented.

All of those table participants… each with a different background and experience set, each providing different perspectives and ideas… the roundtables were incredibly helpful and eye-opening. And a little humbling. To sit around with a bunch of other senior-level professionals willing to share their experiences and expertise showed each of us just how “in the box” our thinking can become… and how a fresh, objective perspective can really open your eyes. By the way, there are some really smart people in our industry.

The experience got me to thinking… shouldn’t each of us have access to some sort of “advisory council” as a frequent and consistent resource? Outsiders who challenge us and keep us striving for more? Smart, objective professionals who provide their unique perspectives?

If you don’t have a Board of Directors or if a relevant peer-to-peer group isn’t available to you, I would challenge each of you to consider establishing some sort of advisory council to have as an on-going resource. Meet 3-4 times each year. Share ideas, plans and financials. Be open to feedback and criticism. But mostly, use it as a way to do something we don’t do often enough… to ask for help.

  • Are you truly comfortable asking for help?
  • Do you have a board of directors?
  • Do you think you will set one up?

P.S. Think of it this way: if 2 heads are better than 1…then 5 or 6 would be remarkable!

I look forward to reading your comments!

Flopping: Basketball or Soccer…Which is Worse?

February 23rd, 2015

A few weeks ago, I was having lunch and watching a little bit of a soccer match. While I was watching, I noticed that someone got hurt about every 30 seconds. It seemed like on every play someone fell, was grimacing in pain and there was a stoppage in the game. I must admit: I don’t watch/attend many soccer games but I do go to a lot of basketball games and flopping seems to be everywhere.

Let me start with a quick definition of flopping:

In basketball, the definition of a flop is: “An intentional fall by a player after little or no physical contact by an opposing player in order to draw a personal foul call by an official against the opponent.” The move is sometimes called “acting”, as in “acting as if he was fouled”. Because it is inherently designed to deceive the official, flopping is generally considered to be unsportsmanlike. Nonetheless, it is widely practiced and even perfected by many professional players.

As I was watching the soccer match and the replay I couldn’t believe how many athletes seemed like the slightest touch needed emergency care! As I looked closer flopping seemed to be as bad in soccer as it is in basketball!

The question is: Which is worse?

Sorry, Sir Charles, Eventually Your Mouth is Going to Get You Into Serious Trouble!

February 20th, 2015

Let me start by saying: I love Charles Barkley. I think he is smart, witty and has a fantastic personality.

Having said all of that, he is also a man that will:

  • Say anything!
  • To anyone!
  • At any time!
  • And doesn’t care who is listening or who it may offend!

Some people said, “Well that’s just Charles” when he insulted all of the “big ol’ women” of San Antonio last year during the NBA finals and they said it again a few weeks ago when he said he didn’t “believe in analytics” and pretty much made fun of people and teams who use analytics in sports. Charles is very smart (off-the-chart smart if you ask me) So, I would imagine that some of what he does is for publicity, to keep up his image, or for some sort of audience reaction. I have a feeling that if Charles Barkley still wants to be an analyst in 10 years…the opportunity may not be there for him. The reason is: eventually I think he will say something at the wrong time to the wrong person which will spread like wildfire and force TNT or the networks to suspend or fire him.

Again, I like Charles! Clearly, I don’t want that to happen to him, but I just can’t see how it won’t.

What do you think?

  • Do you agree with me?
  • Are you a fan of Charles Barkley?
  • Did you like him as a player?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention Sports Fans: Do All of Your Answers Match?

February 18th, 2015

I hope you are having a nice start to 2015. Time for a very quick quiz!

Enjoy!

Click Here to Take The Quiz.

You Fell Asleep Where?! Are You Kidding? That’s Funny

February 13th, 2015

Earlier in the week, I was flying back from California and thought it would be a wonderful idea to maximize my time and take the red eye back to Dallas. Which meant I arrived around 5:30am in Dallas after being on a flight for 3+ hours. I must admit, I used to do that all the time and loved it, especially for longer flights. But, as I get older, Sorry–more experienced–I don’t love it as much.

I had just co-chaired a conference and mentally I was pretty tired. I arrived at the airport earlier than usual and I had about 2 ½ hours before takeoff. Thankfully, there was an Admirals club to pass the time and help with some comfort: recharging electronics, nicer restrooms and a 4-5 chairs that were unoccupied that I could use as a makeshift bed. I was listening to music and the next thing I knew I was woken up by someone who worked in the club. They asked me if I was on the Dallas flight. Through my fogginess I said something (not sure what it was) and the next thing I knew I was in a sprint to get to my gate and was the last person to board before they slammed the door shut.

Apparently, I had fallen asleep in the Admirals club and almost missed my flight!

Of course, this cute and funny story leads to a blog and questions!

  • Where is the funniest place you have fallen asleep?
  • Have you done the same thing and almost missed a flight?
  • Or worse…did you actually miss the flight?
  • Have you slept in your car after a challenging night?

    I look forward to reading your comments and funny stories.

Lasting the Test of Time is Very Hard…but Not for These People

February 11th, 2015

To some, lasting the test of time is the greatest compliment that one could give. To be as popular as you once were, to be as good of an athlete as you once were, to be as good an actor/actress as you get older or to even to gain more popularity the older you get as a singer!

Many people fail at this. They can be a one trick pony with a hit or an amazing year or two but then they are never the same.

I was thinking about this a few weeks ago when I saw Betty White doing an interview on TV. She still has that fresh look with a happy go-lucky personality and seems to always have a smile on her face. Having just turned 93…she is probably as popular as she has ever been!

Not many people can win the test of time!

I thought it would be fun to build of list of people who have been able to do that! Who has been at the top of their games for years?!

Besides Betty White, here are a few of my thoughts:

  • Jimmy Buffet – even at almost 70 years old seems to not be slowing down in popularity or on stage!
  • Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs – year after year they seem to always be in the championship conversation even though their superstars are getting up there in years!
  • Jack Nicholson – I still love seeing Jack on the big screen. He seems to always be able to work when he wants and the type of films that he wants to do

    Now it’s your turn!

    I look forward to reading your comments.