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Archive for February, 2013

Time To Do Your Job Or…

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Lots of people do their job and do their job well, but how many people think about doing their job?  Truly think about doing their job?

Take 20 seconds and think about that statement and then answer these quick questions:

    • Does it make sense?
    • Is there a difference?
    • What message is Merrill trying to convey?
    • Does everyone you know think about doing their job?

I look forward to reading your comments.

4 Letters… AARP…

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Yes, I am getting old quickly! Yes, I am a new member of AARP! But I know VERY little about the organization and its benefits. I need your help!

    • Are you a member?
    • Is it worth the $16 fee (I assume that is a no-brainer) per year?
    • What benefits do you like about the organization?
    • If you are eligible and haven’t joined – why not?

I really hope you can give me some helpful tips that I can use as well as other readers who are close to joining this organization.

I look forward to reading your comments.

Yes, I Found Some Money In A Cab… Now What?

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

So there I am with my good friend S.S. in a cab on our way to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. I look down and notice a $10 bill on the floor of the cab in front of me.  Without hesitation I picked up the money and handed it to the cab driver.

His reaction was shocking – or at least shocking to me. He couldn’t thank me enough and was very surprised that I gave him the money. He must have thanked me 5 times! After a few minutes the three of us had a philosophical discussion about what most people would have done.  We all agreed that more people would say they would give the money back than really would. So I won’t ask each of you what you would do.

Before I ask you today’s question, S.S. thinks 30% of the people would give the money to the cabby. The cabby believes that less than 10% of the people would give him the money, while I thought it would be more like 40%.

  • So today’s question is what % of the people who found $10 in a cab would give the money to the cab driver.

I look forward to reading your comments.

I Say Yes To Digital Pricing – What Do You Say?

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Let me know if this sounds familiar. You buy a gift for a friend or relative and it takes you 12 minutes to peel off the price tag.  And once you finally get the price tag off, not only are you left with an ugly smudge mark, you are also almost too embarrassed to give the present… Sound familiar? Or you could pick up a package in store and it doesn’t have a price tag on it and there are no prices on the shelf.

Wouldn’t life be a little easier with digital pricing? As a consumer, it would make my life a lot easier and as a retailer, doesn’t it allow you the opportunity to change prices, quickly at the drop of a hat? That has to be appealing to a retailer and save them a boat load of money.

With today’s technology isn’t it possible to have a book store, a grocery store or even a large retail store have digital pricing?

Perhaps I am a little crazy but to me this makes perfect sense?

What do you think?

  • Are there any stores that you have been in that have digital pricing?
  • Do you like the idea?
  • Do you think it would be easier to shop in a store like this?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Funny – Which Side Of The Bed Do You Sleep On… The Right Or Left Side?

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Last month I had the opportunity to spend a week on vacation with my family in Mexico. This trip was one of the most memorable and important trips of my life. I had lots of funny, goofy and in-depth discussions.

One of those discussions is the subject of today’s post.

A number of us were talking in the pool and for some crazy reason the discussion led us to talking about what side of the bed everyone slept on. As the question was answered one by one, a pattern was established (at least with the sample size of 10 in the pool in Mexico).

Since I returned from that vacation I have asked 10 random people the same question and funny, the result was almost the same.

Today, I am going to ask you to take a quick quiz with two questions – Literally, this will take less than 20 seconds!

Click here to take the quiz.

I look forward to reading your comments.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Here Are A Few Numbers To Put Things Into Perspective And Then A Question Or Two…

Friday, February 15th, 2013

I hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day shared with loved ones that was filled with quiet, tender moments, laughter and happiness. I was reading an article a few days ago that I found very interesting. Here are a few statistics on this year’s Valentine’s Day:



  • $18.6 billion will be spent by  U.S. consumers on Valentine’s gifts
  • $4.4 billion is spent on diamonds, gold and silver; jewelry is still the big-ticket item for gift-givers
  • $1.9 billion is spent on flowers
  • $1.6 billion is spent on candy
  • $1.5 billion is spent on gift cards
  • 6 million people are planning to receive a proposal on Valentine’s Day – way up from 4 million in 2012
  • $815 million is spent by America on their pets
  • $130.97 is what the average U.S. consumer plans to spend on candy, cards, gifts and more this year – up from $126.03 last year
  • $88.78 is the average amount that a woman is spending on Valentine’s Day, which is less than half of what men are estimated to spend (an average of $175.61 on jewelry, flowers and a romantic evening out)

Lots of interesting numbers and information and yes, a few numbers caused me to pause and scratch my head.

I was very surprised to read that Americans spent $815 million on their pets.

  • Did you find that number surprising?
  • Did you buy gifts for your pets on Valentine’s Day?
  • If so, what did you buy?
  • Were there any other numbers that surprised you?

I look forward to reading your comments.

It’s Not About Talent… It’s About How The Talent Works Together

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Over the past few years we all heard how the Philadelphia Phillies were going to have a walk in the park – right to the World Series. In fact, some people actually said their pitching staff maybe the BEST of all time. Staying in the sports city of Philadelphia over the last few years, I noticed they were all about the Philadelphia Eagles, who they believed assembled a dream team. Well that dream team went nowhere, won a handful of games and got their coach fired – who by the way had been there for 14 years. Another example of this is the 2012 Boston Red Sox. On paper – wow! On the field – ugh! What a mess!

I would say it is easy to acquire the best talent. Overpaying to me really isn’t a strategy.

With a sports team, it’s not about talent. It’s about how the talent works together – and many teams don’t work together well. Without question this applies to sports teams, but does it apply in the same way for a business team?

  • In the business world sometimes ego’s get in the way. Team strategy might not get everyone on board. Individual goals at times can outweigh department or company goals. Some team members need to make sacrifices which isn’t easy and that doesn’t always happen.
  • The bottom line is business teams who work together, strategize and make decisions for what is best for the business will succeed. 
  • The teams that disagree behind closed doors and have a unified front after a decision is made are stronger than teams that don’t.
  • Teams that balance short and long term strategy

Now your turn:

  • What do you believe are the qualities that are needed to have a business team maximize their potential?
  • Is communication the single most important quality that a successful team needs?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Hey, Do You Have The Tickets?

Monday, February 11th, 2013

I am sure every reader of the blog has attended a sporting event or Broadway play, and I assume that somewhere along the way someone forgot their tickets.

    • They were left in your desk drawer!
    • At your house!
    • FedEx never delivered them!
    • Or some other crazy and fun excuse!

That exact situation happened last month when SC, MC, AVS and myself were headed to the NFC Championship in Atlanta, Georgia. Thankfully we were getting gas and only a mile away from the house when we realized we didn’t have one of the most important things needed.

For the record, I have gone to probably over a thousand games in my lifetime, and a few of those times I forgot the tickets. Ugh! Not the greatest feeling to have and can put a damper on things.

The question is, “What did you do?” Remember, this is before you had the tickets on your phone.

  • How big of fight was there on the way to the game?
  • Was the blame game at an all-time high that day?

I look forward to hearing some VERY funny and crazy stories.

Yes, I Am The Boss, But I Work For You – You Don’t Work For Me

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Last month we started the year with an account manager meeting in Dallas. During one of my presentations I had the members of the team list all of the company resources we had that were at their disposal. Resources such as our qualitative group, library, social media team and new business development team were there for them to use when they had a need during the year.

I also said that I am a resource and stated, “Yes, I am the boss, but I work for you – you don’t work for me.”

What I meant by that is:

  • If you need me to attend a new business development presentation and need me to participate, I will be there!
  • If you want me to co-present with a client at a conference – sign me up!
  • If you want me to call a new client or send an email to thank them for their business – consider it done!
  • If you are looking to have a strategic discussion about a few accounts – invite me to the meeting!

So I will end again with: I consider myself a resource within our company and yes, I am the boss, but I work for you – you don’t work for me.

With that said,

  • Do you agree with my position?
  • Have you worked with other people who feel the same way?
  • Do you believe this is the right way of thinking?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Read This Statement From the NHL And Take A Quiz

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Dear fans:

As your teams prepare for the opening face-off of the 2012-13 season, we thank you for your patience and we apologize to you for the time we’ve missed. From today forward, we will do everything we can to make this season worth the wait.

We are committed to earning back your trust and support the same way it’s earned on the ice: with hard work and unwavering dedication. Your cheers drive us forward, and we’re committed to making you proud to be a fan — by delivering a game with the action, the skill and the intensity you deserve.

Like you, we’ve missed NHL hockey. We’ve missed the clutch goals, the big hits, the electrifying saves. We’ve missed the flash of the red light, the sound of the siren, and the way the building shakes when the home team scores.

It’s time to focus on the best athletes in the world, on the enduring greatness of the game, and — above all — on the connection that binds fans, players and families everywhere. NHL hockey is the best in the world. The future is incredibly bright. So let’s drop the puck and marvel at all the remarkable things the players do with it.

With respect and appreciation,

The National Hockey League

P.S. The teams are planning special events and unique opportunities to welcome you back. We hope you’ll get in on the action. And again, thank you.

Click here to take the quiz.

I look forward to reading your comments.