It’s Facebook question of the week time and I wanted something that wasn’t so business seriousy-related because it’s a holiday week and all. And I’m pretty sure the only people who are working are my team (I AM the Grinch) and only one of our clients (and I mean just him, not the entire company).
So I asked a question on Facebook and the best answer I got was from Claudia Anderson Scimeca. She asks, “If you took 10 giant steps outside of your comfort zone box, what would you love to do in 2011 that your discomfort has thus far prevented you from doing?”
If you know me well, my answer will surprise you. It’s going to be really hard for me to do. And I’d love to hear from you. How do you answer Claudia’s question?
(If you’re viewing this is your RSS feed, click here and the video will magically appear. Then come back here and tell us your answer!)
Well, the FCC has made their decision on net neutrality and we are now faced with two versions of the web. One where we are protected on our computers, but not on our phones. Which means we can gain access to anything we want if we’re using our browsers, but the wireless carriers can block apps if they want (i.e. AT&T could block Yelp or Verizon could block Facebook).
The rules are, at best, “net semi-neutrality,” according to the New York Times. The rules are bogus, according to Gini Dietrich.
I’ve been pretty outspoken about the need to maintain net neutrality for several months now. I’ve blogged about it and, when I speak, I advise business leaders to pay careful attention to the rulings. I even included it in my trends to pay attention to for 2011. If the neutrality goes away, the way we conduct business will be changed forever. Continue Reading »
When I speak, my audiences are typically white men over the age of 50 and the vast majority of them don’t believe (or don’t want to believe) the web is changing not only the way we do business, but the way we communicate with one another. I always hear, “Oh my kids shop online” or “My younger employees use Facebook” but they believe the use of the web really is for the kids.
Because of that attitude, I always lead up to a very important point when speaking to that particular audience. It’s the issue of control. You see, the use of the web (not just social media, but the web) hasn’t been adopted yet by these audiences because they’re hanging on to to the one thing they think they can’t live without…and that’s control. Continue Reading »
If you shop like Martin Waxman, you have four (and a half) more shopping days. And Amazon is offering shipping that will get you your gifts on time if you order by Wednesday. So I have prepared a list of books (business and fiction) that you can buy this week and still look like a hero. It will save you time and a trip to the mall. You’re welcome.
P.S. The Amazon links are all affiliates but it won’t hurt my feelings if you just open your Kindle app and buy from there.
Predictable Success. If you’ve been a reader of this blog for a while, it won’t come as a surprise that I love “Predictable Success” and its author Les McKeown (but don’t tell him that). A book written for company leaders, it talks about the trials and tribulations every company experiences at different levels. I keep it on my desk for trying days so I can turn to it, read, and think, “OK. This is normal. You can get through this.” And then I do. Buy the actual book here and the eBook here. Continue Reading »
Chaos. You’ve been there. How did you handle it as a leader? A recent Twitter conversation between Gini Dietrich and me around the “Jay vs. Conan” debate helped illuminate a few points for me on how to lead – and not lead – in times of chaos.
As Conan started his new show on TBS recently, the untold story of the “Tonight Show” debacle (chronicled in this insightful Vanity Fair article) was that the whole situation could have been different if the NBC executives had led differently. Let’s discuss in comments, but I believe they made two key errors. Continue Reading »
It’s an interesting time at Arment Dietrich right now. We have the AD team and we have the Project Jack Bauer team and some of us are straddling both. To say I’m doing a great job at leading both teams is being overly nice. And because I’m not doing a great job, it’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about and talking about with individuals on both teams. I’ve come to the conclusion that not only am I not leading both teams effectively, I’m not managing the change of adding a new business effectively.
When most people think about getting buy-in for their ideas, they think about it from the perspective of going to their boss with a great idea and having it shot down. There are plenty of books and articles written about how to present your idea to either your boss or the executive team to get buy-in. I suggest you take some time to read them if you really believe you have an idea and want to get buy-in.
But I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the change or the idea coming form the top and not getting buy-in. If you’re an employee, think about how frustrating it is when you have an idea that is shot down. If you’re a business leader, have you ever had to institute change that you really believe in, but no one else did? That’s the kind of emotion I want you to feel as you read this. Continue Reading »
I’ve been reading all week about the incredible numbers surrounding the Groupon/Google deal. Six billion dollars is a LOT of cash for a digital business, no matter how mature. There are so many pundits on both sides of this thing that it’s starting to make me dizzy and I have to say everyone has been making some pretty compelling arguments. The more I read about the dizzying growth numbers at Groupon, the more convinced I became that Andrew Mason and his VC backers did the right thing by walking away.
But then the one benefit of being 50 and a 20-year veteran of the digital space kicked in – perspective. My memories of the internet boom of the ’90s came flooding back and I recalled heady times full of those goofy IPOs, the Time-Warner/AOL deal, AltaVista (who?), Inktomi, and Amazon-killer Value America. Remember Pets.com? History. EA.com? Dead. AOL? A shadow of its former self. ShopNBC? Still around, but I can’t remember the last time I visited. Continue Reading »
But I’m trying to figure out why this is bothering me so much. It’s like when Laci Peterson was killed and I became obsessed with her trial. I didn’t know her. We didn’t even live in the same part of the country. Yet I read and watched everything I could get my hands on and couldn’t wait for the guilty conviction to come down on her husband. I’m obsessed about Groupon turning down $6 billion like I was obsessed with Laci Peterson. Continue Reading »
As promised, I have a little treat for you! Rather than listen to me all congested and sniffling up a storm, you get to hear our new chief financial officer, Megan Beausang, talk about what it’s like to work here and what she plans to do to help us achieve Global Domination. Plus, you can’t tell by looking at her, but she has a little surprise to share at the end!
For those of you who started businesses because you really love what you do or your career is in PR or marketing, you’ll understand when I say it’s such a relief having a financial mind on our team! Now I can focus on what I do best and leave the number crunching to Megan!
So, here she is answering, “What do you plan to do in your first six months?” and “What is it really like to work here?”
If you’re reading this in your Reader and you don’t want to miss the video (and you know you don’t!), click here and it’ll magically appear!
In my quest to become a better leader and a better communicator, I read everything I can get my hands on and I practice, practice, practice (my piano teacher, who was also my great-aunt, used to say, “Perfect practice makes perfect).
I likely drive my team nuts at times because I practice on them. Sometimes the skills I’m developing work and sometimes they don’t. It’s not easy being at the top – you don’t have anyone to teach and mentor you. You rely on your (very understanding) team to let you try different things.