Archive for February, 2009

26
Feb
09

Breaking news on……Twitter?

I posted a link to a story similar to this when the United Airways Flight landed in the Hudson River not too long ago.  The first picture that the world saw of the plane floating on the water, up close, was posted to a guy’s Twitter site from his IPhone.  As we all know, history tends to repeat itself.

Yesterday, a plane crashed near Amsterdam’s Schipol airport.  The first pictures from the site were seen on…any guesses?  Twitter.  Again.  If you read the this article, you’ll notice that CNN clearly states that Twitter stole the show again.  The Twitter user posted the pictures to their Twitter site, CNN called the Dutch officials to make sure the crash had happened, then started to report the story.

Now, through the use of technology, individuals are not only alerting media to stories to follow, but providing content that can be used for the stories!  What an amazing shift.  I’m willing to “go out on a limb” and say that it won’t be too long before someone captures a decent quality video that will be replayed again and again from someone’s cell phone or IPhone.  Give it time, it’s coming.  Be ready.

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16
Feb
09

21 Days- Day #8-Monday morning challenge

It’s Monday.  Everyone’s favorite day of the week!  So, if you’ve decided to take me up on the 21 Day challenge, how are you doing?  Are you making progress?  Post a comment below or send me an email to let me know how it’s going.

My last few weeks have been filled with conversations regarding social media.  The more I talk to people about it, the more it seems that other, new people enter the conversation.  Ironically enough, they’re not all from the same background and most of them don’t even know each other.  But they end up talking to me about social media.

So, here’s my Monday morning challenge.  Okay, it’s more of an offer, if you want to learn a little more about social media, what it is, why you may want to do it, what it could do for you, etc, I’m willing to talk to you.  There it is.  I’m willing to give  you some insight into this new field and am willing to venture with you to see if it may be valuable to you or your company.  Fair enough?

So that’s the offer.  If you want to explore social media, I’m here to help.  Call me or email me.  Both bits of information can be found in the toolbar to your right.

Have a great day!

Mark

12
Feb
09

21 Days-Day #7-Say it loud. Say it proud.

thank-you-streetI had a chance today to spend some time with some friends that I hadn’t seen for a while.  During that time, I was able to share with them how much they have played a role in my development as a person and a professional.  It was fun to see a lot of them again and to be able to experess my sincere appreciation to them in a group setting.

Here’s my questions for you: Who has taken the time to build into and speak into your life?  Have you taken the time or had the opportunity to thank them?  If not, I would do so soon.  It will make them, and you, feel great.

12
Feb
09

21 Days-Day #6-And this year’s Newark Idol is…

idol-logoOK, so I’ve got your attention.  You’re probably thinking, “Wait, that’s supposed to say American Idol, not Newark Idol”.  You would be correct, but let me explain.

If you’re one of the millions of American households that tune into the wildly popular singing competition, you’re tuning in every week to watch a new group of music hopefuls perform and then be judged by Randy (Jackson), Paula (Abdul), Kara (DioGuardi) and Simon (Cowell).  The winner of the competition is chosen by the viewers at home.

In many ways, pursuing your academic studies is much like pursuing the dream of being the American Idol.  Just like the contestants on the show, you’re looking for a few things out of this experience.  You’re probably looking for an improved status in life (social and/or financial), the opportunity to do something for a living that you’ve always wanted to do, and the feeling of accomplishment.

Improving your status in life is part of the human venture.  The process of making sacrifices to achieve your dreams is common and many times necessary to move up.  One reason that you are pursuing or considering pursuing your degree might be to be able to better provide your family or to earn a promotion at work.

The opportunity to do something that you really enjoy for a living is a blessing that escapes many today.  Many of the contestants on American Idol have been singing for years for their local communities or family members.  Singing and performing is what drives and motivates them to do the best they can every time they take the stage.  My guess would be that this also might be a reason why you are pursuing your degree.  You’ve been in your chosen field for a while and you need that degree to move into the elusive management or professional position.  Or maybe you have a passion for showing others how to read, add or teach others about history.  The love for what you do to earn a living drives you to give your best performance every time out.

Or for you, maybe it’s just about accomplishing something.  You’ve set a goal in mind and you are determined to reach that goal.  The goal for the American Idol contestants is to be able to walk onto a stage and perform in front of family, friends and fans.  Your goal is to walk across a stage and receive your diploma in front of family and friends.

As for Randy, Paula and Simon-they are represented by your professors.  Those professionals who have been down the path you want to go on that will critique you to perfection.  (Aren’t you glad that Simon isn’t a faculty member?)

Have a great day!

12
Feb
09

21 Days-Day #5-Dedicated to your craft

Have you ever encountered someone that was really good at what they did?  I mean, REALLY good?  When I meet someone like this, I always find it to be quite refreshing.

This week, I’ve actually encountered  a few folks like this.  One is a good friend. We were having an issue with one of our cars and I needed to have him take a look at it and see what the issue was.  He actually knew what the problem was before he even looked at it, just be listening to the car.  But, he still had me pull the car onto the lift and meticulously inspected the car to make sure that his original prognosis was correct.  And it was.  He also checked a few other things while the car was in the air.  As I watched him work, I noticed how he knew where to look and exactly what to look for.  What to listen for.  He wasn’t merely going through the motions.  He was legitimately engaged in what he was doing.  I also knew that he was looking out for the best interests of my family.

The other group is actually a team of people.  The healthcare professionals at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH were great.  We had to take our first official trip there earlier this week to have our daughter checked out.  Healthcare, by it’s own nature, can be somewhat invasive.  However, I noticed that at Children’s Hospital they have really tried to think through the process of treating children effectively while, at the same time, taking the “scary” feeling away from a visit to the hospital.

It’s people like these that I have mentioned that set companies and organizations apart.  They are the difference makers.  How many difference makers do you have on your team?  How fast can you add some if you needed to?

Have a great day!

09
Feb
09

21 Days-Day #4-Always teaching

Are you a teacher?  My guess is that many of you, on the surface, would say “no”.  Maybe you are an attorney, pastor, manager, president, or you’ve just started your career in an entry level position.  You definitely fit in the mix somewhere.  You might say that teaching is not your profession.  Which might be true, however, I have learned that you are always in a position to teach.

Whether you are aware of it or not, people are always looking.  Always observing to see how you will react and act upon the next challenge that you face.  Some onlookers are merely watching to test your fortitude.  Others are watching and LEARNING from how you handle the challenges you face.  Do you handle challenges with grace?  Do you utilize your emotional intelligence?

My point merely is this, you are always teaching, especially if you are leading.  People are wanting to learn how to better handle situations that they may face, and they may just look to you for that guidance.  Myquestion to you is this-what lesson are you teaching?  You can either teach someone the correct way to do something of the wrong way to do something.  Harsh words I know.  In other words, you can either learn from someone’s positive experience or learn what not to do from someone.  In my personal experiences, I’ve had a mixture of both.  I’ve learned from others’ successes, but also from others failures.  I’ve learned what TO DO and what NOT TO DO.  I’ve also probably taught lessons in both arenas of successes and failures, but I’m learning.

As you set out on your day today, try to be aware of how you are portraying yourself and what lessons you are teaching to others.

Make it a great day!

06
Feb
09

21 Days-Day #3-Give back

A few months ago, our son celebrated his 4th birthday.  At one point, he said he wanted a Diego birthday party.  He loves Diego and it just made sense.  So, Diego it is!

About a month before his birthday, my wife told me that our son said he wanted a “food pantry” birthday party.  Huh?  How do you have a food pantry birthday party?  I asked and he explained.  Once a month, our family would go to one of our church’s sites which houses one of the food pantry outlets.  Our son enjoys stocking the lower shelves with canned juice.  Since he works at the food pantry, he wanted everyone to bring him a “small” gift and 4 food items, because he was turning 4.  Wow.  As a daddy, I was both stunned and proud, all at the same time.

We’ve tried to model giving back to our community and loving those around us in different ways.  I’m just amazed that he picked up on it so quickly and was willing to make his birthday party an event where people could help others.

So, here’s my question for you today: how are you, or your company, actively seeking to give back to your community?  How are you engaging those around  you and addressing the needs that surrounds you?  How are you supporting the community that supports you?

I’ve recently made a job change and am actively trying to figure out ways to have our team give back to our community.  I did it in my previous job and plan to do so in this one as well.

grants-1st-day-of-school-and-birthday-party-026As for my son’s party, it was great.  Some friends made and donated food-oriented cakes.  I’ve attached pictures of both to show you the great job that they did.  The Campbell’s soup can cake weighed a ton!

grants-1st-day-of-school-and-birthday-party-022

In the end, we ended up collecting 68 items of food for the food pantry.  Our son was happy and my wife and I were extremely proud of our son.

grants-1st-day-of-school-and-birthday-party-121

As you go out today, find ways to serve and give back to those aroud you!