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Archive for December, 2012

Sorry, This Should Never Happen…

Monday, December 31st, 2012

A few weeks ago I went out with two colleagues (B.T. & S.W.) for a quick lunch and we ended up going to a top 3 QSR brand. It was a little later than normal so the lines inside were little to none. After I ordered my meal, I was standing to the right of the register and listening to a conversation from the manager to another employee that went like this:

  • I asked you to clean up that area – what are you doing?
  • Why aren’t you listening to me?
  • When I tell you to do something you need to do it!

The discussion – oops wrong word, I meant the berating – was one sided and in front of customers. I was so surprised and had never experienced anything like this in a top quick-serve restaurant before and was a little taken back when I heard and saw what was happening.

When I go to the table to join my colleagues, I discussed the situation and mentioned that I almost said something to the manager which would have gone something like this – “Excuse me, have you been a manager for more than 10 minutes? There is a time and a place to discuss, hopefully train and mentor an employee, but to talk like that in front of customers makes little to no sense.”

  • What would you have done?
  • Should I have said something?
  • Have you been in a similar situation?

I look forward to your thoughts.

Do LinkedIn Endorsements Really Mean Anything?

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Most people who read the blog know that I use LinkedIn many times during the course of the day. Currently I have over 3,700 connections and frankly believe it is an invaluable tool in todays’ business world.

Recently LinkedIn added a feature called “Endorsements” which basically means that your contacts are endorsing you on a certain type of skillset. Everyone can pick their own skillsets. Here are five of mine:

  • Marketing (58)
  • Marketing Research (48)
  • Customer Insight (45)
  • Business Strategy (22)
  • Social Media  (14)

Every day in my inbox I have another notice from LinkedIn congratulating me that one of my contacts endorsed me. A number of those names weren’t familiar to me so I was curious and did a little test.

I tested two categories and found that I didn’t know (or couldn’t remember) 41% of the people who endorsed me. After scratching my head for a minute or two I asked myself and now you a few questions:

  • Do LinkedIn endorsements really matter?
  • How accurate are they?
  • Do they really represent who I am and my skillset?
  • As someone who uses LinkedIn to hire staff some I put value on these endorsements?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Are You Ready For Some Football? Join The Week 17 Merrill Dubrow Blog Football Pool

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

WOW – what a great year of football. With so many teams still fighting for playoff spots this last weekend should be very, very exciting. Congratulations to Lynn Stalone who won last week with 14 wins. Here is the list of winners this year:

WEEK WINNER
1 Brandon Bettega
2 Jessica Cons
3 Sharon Gautschy
4 Laurel Glenn
5 Tal Shahar
5 D Dolphus
6 Doug Golab
7 B.Nixon
8 jake hurwitz
9 jake hurwitz
10 Laurel Glenn
10 Brittany Butler
11 Brian Bussetti
11 Tara Miller
12 atomanelli
13 Kelsey Larson
13 Tara Miller
14 Andrew Bausk
15 CM Aster
16 Lynn Stalone

Congratulations also go out to Tal Shahar who was the cumulative champion with 162 wins and Steve Larson who came in second with 161. Both Tal & Steve qualify for championship week.

To see the current standings, click here. The results page shows this week’s current standings as well as the cumulative rankings.

REMEMBER THE DEADLINE FOR THIS WEEK’S PICKS IS Sunday December 30 11:00am CST.

None of the picks will be posted until that time. We will highlight all of the people who qualify for the championship week and there will be a second tie breaker game just in case we need it to determine a winner.

And in addition there will be a winner for this week as well and that person will receive a $50 gift card

Click here to participate in this week’s pool.

Good luck to all….

My Holiday Gifts To Some People In The NFL…

Friday, December 21st, 2012

I feel like I am a very giving person. Well to prove that, I’m giving a few gifts to some people who work in the NFL!

To:

  • Rex Ryan – I give a new soft-spoken personality and a touch of humility. It’s great to have confidence and to make a ton of bold predictions, but make sure you can and will back them up. At the end of the day, you didn’t get it done for a second straight season and your football team is a mess. The Tim Tebow experiment was the joke of the NFL this year, and frankly, you are responsible for that.
  • Jerry Jones – I give a dose of reality. Your team isn’t that good and hasn’t been for many years. You are a marketing genius, but you’re not a football talent evaluator. You have a magical stadium and brand. Please give the fans what they want which is a talented GM – one that will allow you to hold the Lombardo Trophy over your head!
  • Tim Tebow – I give a new position. Sorry, you were the talk of the NFL last year, but you really aren’t a quarterback. What you could be is a solid tight end. I wish you the best of luck after you get traded or released during this off-season.
  • All the other athletes who play in the NFL – My gifts to you are financial analysts ­– analysts who can teach you about money, put you on a budget, and protect you from yourself. Too many athletes are broke a few years after ending their football careers. This is a horrible thing to hear after making millions of dollars in a short amount of time and having a future that isn’t so bright.

Your turn:

  • What do you think of my gifts?
  • Do you have any of your own that you would like to give?

I look forward to reading your comments.

I Am So Excited It Is Snowing Out Because I Will…

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Growing up in Boston and going to school in New York, I have been around snow for most of my life. Since I have been living in Texas, I haven’t been around lots of snow, but since it is winter and the Midwest is getting pounded, I thought today’s post would be about snow.

So let’s pretend it is snowing outside.

  • Are you drinking something hot and snuggling up to the fire with your favorite blanket?
  • Are you glad you aren’t outside in the cold?

Or…

  • Can’t wait to build a snowman?
  • Excited to have a snowball fight?
  • Looking forward to shoveling the driveway with the kids?

I look forward to reading your comments and hopefully you will include your favorite story that involves snow!

Attention: Blue Fish Restaurant… Great Idea – Poor Execution

Monday, December 17th, 2012

A few weeks ago after a business meeting, I was having lunch with the meeting attendees (M.A., B.K., S.R.) at The Blue Fish Restaurant.  As one of them was paying the bill and handing their credit card to the server, I noticed something sticking out that looked a little odd.

Under the itemized bill and under the two credit card receipts was a card that read (look to the right)

ENERGIZE YOURSELF WITH A RED BULL TO GO!  $4

I like the picture of the keys hanging off the tab of the opened can.

Of course I paused for a moment and discussed the card, idea, strategy, execution and everything else behind the marketing activity The Blue Fish Restaurant was trying to do.

At the end of the day, I love what they were trying to do, but the execution (more appropriate poor execution) kind of turned me off.

I love the idea of selling a product to go. I love the idea of increasing revenue that has few internal expenses attached to it, and I love the idea of establishing a potential revenue stream.

But:

  • Why didn’t the server mention the promotion and hand us the card?
  • Why wasn’t there anything on the bill highlighting and supporting this activity?
  • When the manager came over and asked us how our meal was why didn’t they say anything?
  • Why wasn’t the card on top of the bill instead buried beneath it so no one noticed?

Certainly I have lots of questions and hoping you can share your comments and answers with me.

I look forward to hearing from you.

PS – Do you like this strategy? Would you buy a product to go from a restaurant if the product was something you liked?

Are You Ready For Some Football? Join The Week 16 Merrill Dubrow Blog Football Pool.

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Last chance to win a week and qualify for the Championship week. As a reminder everyone who wins a week will qualify for Championship week which is week 17 of the NFL season. Last week’s winner Andrew Bausk, joins Tara Miller,Kelsey Larson, Adam Tomanelli, Brian Bussetti, Brandon Bettega, Jessica Cons, Sharon Gautschy, Laurel Glenn, Tal Shahar, D Dolphus, Doug Golab, B.Nixon, Jake Hurwitz, Brittany Butler and Laurel Glenn who all have qualified for a spot in the championship week. In addition Tara, Laurel & Jake will get a second entry since they won two weeks in the pool.

The cumulative leader board is very close with Tal Shahar having 142 wins and a one game lead over Tara Miller.

Remember, if you use the same email to enter a friend, colleague or a family member, our system will count the most recent email as your picks.

To see the current standings, click here. The results page shows this week’s current standings as well as the cumulative rankings.

All picks need to be in by 5:00pm (CST) on Friday, December 21.

Click here to participate in this week’s pool.

Feel free to share the link and have friends, colleague, relatives, kids and anyone else you want join the pool.

Good luck to all.

PS – What a great year of football it has been – I hope you truly enjoyed the season and our pool!

Happy Holidays!

Sometimes You Get Lucky And Watch A Classy Athlete Play!

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Before I came to Texas I knew very little about Michael Young. I knew he was a good player, above average hitter and a solid shortstop. After watching him play over the past 8 years he is much more than that.

    • He is a great ballplayer
    • He is a leader on and off the field
    • He is a clutch hitter
    • He is a very charitable person and deeply cares about the community he lives in
    • He was the face of the Texas Rangers

The reason I say “was” the face of the Texas Rangers is 72 hours ago he accepted a trade to the Philadelphia Phillies. The interesting thing is he accepted the trade – see when you are a 10/5 (10 years in the majors and 5 years with your current team) man in the majors, you have certain rights. You don’t have to accept the trade or you can make certain demands (like a contract extension) before you accept a trade. Most athletes do that. In addition they slam their old team and franchise. Again a lot of athletes do that – Michael Young didn’t do that. In fact he had a press conference at his own expense to say thank you. He thanked the city the fans and the organization for the last 12 years.

How many athletes do that? Very few. I have never met Michael but I must say that I am sure the past few years have been very difficult on him and his family. He changed positions a number of times. He went from being the man, always at shortstop to playing wherever the manager wanted and needed him. It could have been third, second, first, DH or as a pinch hitter coming off the bench. He constantly was mentioned in trade rumors and never flinched. Never bashed the organization, the city or the leadership/ownership of the Rangers. Many athletes do, but then again, many athletes don’t have the class that Michael Young does.

Frankly I wish more athletes were like this Mike!

  • What are your thoughts?
  • Do you know much about Michael Young?
  • How do you think he handled himself?
  • Can you name a few other classy athletes?

I look forward to reading your comments.  

Your Eggs Look Great Sir!

Monday, December 10th, 2012

A few weeks ago I was with my kids shopping at a grocery store called Market Street. For those who have never been or heard of the store, it is great. The quality of meat, deli counter, cleanliness of store, ease of finding things is amazing, and the customer service is off the charts.

As I was checking out and getting ready to pay, the cashier said, “Your Eggs Look Great Sir.” I paused for a minute and asked her to repeat what she said and of course with a smile she said the exact same thing again as she gently put the eggs in a bag.

I really was impressed what she did and said. A few times I have gotten home and put away the eggs only to find a few cracks in them or totally broken and I am confident because I am an amazing driver (for those of you who know me – please stop laughing) that I didn’t inflict the damage on the eggs.  

She went above and beyond, made a statement, helped out a customer, and separated what she did from the competition – all positive things that lead to a loyal customer in my mind and a pleasant experience!

So I ask you today…

  • How is your grocery store experience?
  • How do your eggs look?
  • What do you think of what she said to me?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Are You Ready For Some Football? Join The Week 15 Merrill Dubrow Blog Football Pool.

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Only two more chances to win a week and qualify for the Championship week. As a reminder everyone who wins a week will qualify for Championship week which is week 17 of the NFL season. Last week’s winners, Tara Miller and Kelsey Larson, join   Adam Tomanelli, Brian Bussetti,  Brandon Bettega, Jessica Cons, Sharon Gautschy, Laurel Glenn, Tal Shahar, D Dolphus, Doug Golab, B.Nixon, Jake Hurwitz, Brittany Butler and Laurel Glenn who all have qualified for a spot in the championship week. In addition Tara, Laurel & Jake will get a second entry since they won two weeks in the pool.

The cumulative leader board is very close with Tal Shahar & Rich Zeichner tied with 132 wins followed by Jacob Davis & Tara Miller who have 130 wins.

Remember, if you use the same email to enter a friend, colleague or a family member, our system will count the most recent email as your picks.

To see the current standings, click here. The results page shows this week’s current standings as well as the cumulative rankings.

All picks need to be in by 5:00pm (CST) on Thursday, December 13.

Click here to participate in this week’s pool.

Feel free to share the link and have friends, colleague, relatives, kids and anyone else you want join the pool.

Good luck to all.