20 posts categorized "May 2009"

May 29, 2009

A lunch for champions

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Eat a lunch that gives you energy and health. 

It's really not hard, all you need is a microwave and five minutes of prep time.  My lunch plans usually involve a Jalapeno Boca veggie burger with a slice of cheese on a whole wheat bun, along with two handfuls of steamed broccoli (steam it and you triple the nutrients you'll absorb). If you like, add a little lo-fat salad dressing for the broc. 

Don't use mayo, use mustard instead.  That alone makes a big difference.

This has replaced burgers, fries, dogs, mex food, junk, etc. for lunch.  The total calorie count is below 250 and the fat is limited to the slice of cheese.  After a while, even my dog believes it is a burger and fries and begs for a bite daily! 

In 2003-2004, when I went from waistline 34 and rising to 30, this was one of my diet secrets.  

PS - Here's my good friend Dr. Mao's recommendations for lunch.

May 28, 2009

My new life on Twitter

Kicking and screaming, I've entered Twitter world. 

As an author/speaker, Twitter offers me a great platform to forge relationships and maintain mindshare. It is also a great stream to fish in for ideas and inspiration.  Over the last few weeks, I've added Tweeting to my daily to do's.  If you follow me, I hope I'm giving you great return on attention. 

The people I follow on Twitter do just that, and they don't pollute my Twitter stream with overpostings or irrelevant observations.  I call these types Twitter trash. They don't get it and after a few too many bad tweets, I un-follow them.  
Here's what I offer if you follow me on Twitter
*  One daily idea for your life or perspective
*  Humorous observations and fave jokes from comics
*  Music, movie and book tips
*  Retweets of my favorite tweets in my stream 
*  Glimpses of my life on the road as a speaker, including real-time pics I snap with my iPhone.  

If you are a big Twitter'er, please recommend me to your follows via #followfriday. My goal is to break one thousand followers by the end of June.  

PS -- I use Tweetdeck as my platform. It's free, easy to install and allows me to post to Facebook and shorten URLs all in one place.  Moreover, I can follow all my replies, mentions of me or my books as well as hot trending topics on the network. 

Follow me on Twitter, I'm @sanderssays

Scarcity thinking will take you down

I believe that scarcity-think is the root of most unpleasant human behavior.  

While we might say that a person has a bad attitude, we should really say that they have a case of Scarcity. When an executive bull barrels over a granny to get on the plane first, he’s just experiencing a perceived scarcity of overhead storage space for his roller bag.  When a coworker snipes at you after you’ve received a sales award, she’s not necessarily a jealous person; she’s experiencing a scarcity of recognition.  When your partner fails to show up to help you out of a jam, he’s not necessarily uncaring; he’s just wracked with a perceived scarcity of time to deal with his needs.  And so on.  

Scarcity will complicate you life adding unhappiness, unattractive behavior, conflict and loneliness.  You’ll waste precious time scaring yourself with your obsessions of lackism and dread.  You talk about what you lack so often, you’ve become a lackey.  You are such a crumb counter these days, you’ve become a crummy leader. 

The worse is gets the worse it will get, as you go into a tailspin and lose spiritual altitude with each passing day.   Unless you find a way out of this, you’ll soon join the rest of the fodder in the ashes.  

Scarcity thinking is one of the greatest challenges to your organization today – be it company, church, non-profit or even family.  Eric caught his case at work, you can catch it anywhere people create communities of misery (commiserate).  

When your people are afraid, and believe that there is not enough to go around, they become ineffective and prone to freak-outs.  Fear sets in and the group culture becomes reactive and self-protecting.  When scarcity think is prevalent, any change triggers selfish reactions.  It’s a quiet as a morgue in your office, these days.  Does this sound familiar?

Book me to speak at your next event on this topic.  See a preview here


May 27, 2009

Be in a one-of-a-kind business

One of the best experiences you create is through customization. One of the worst ones is created through generalization. When we tailor our information, services and products to someone’s individual situation, we make a real connection. I have learned this recently in both my blogging and speaking life. Often, it is easy to generalize a piece of advice with the “your results may vary” type disclaimer. That is not enough. In our new IPOD-individualized experience world, you need to deliver one-of-a-kind services. To do this you must: * Research the audience/client needs, context and desires * Break them down into specific groups (example: sales pros who want to stay on top) * Throw out your general messages and vanilla products and replace them with a set of custom products that can only make sense to the targeted group. You will be surprised how few of these custom products or messages we actually offer. No matter what business you are in, you can apply this to your sales, service or marketing. By customizing, you create a great experience that tells your audience or market that you care enough to listen, learn and adapt to them. Recommended read:

Markets Of One by Pine and Gilmore (who also wrote The Experience Economy and Authenticity)


May 26, 2009

Facebook is coming after Twitter

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MySpace is going away quietly.  

Facebook is likely here to stay. Even though Twitter is the new kid in town, Facebook is not going to fade out as last-year's big thing. A foreign investment concern is pumping two hundred million bucks into Facebook, which will give it ample resources to contest Twitter's recent gains in the social media arms race. 

I believe that Facebook has a big lead in the area of monetization. Mike Murphy, former Yahoo executive, has a strong sales team and dozens of key agency relationships. Facebook actually makes some money from its audience via text, banner and channel partnerships such as Career Builder.  Twitter, on the other hand, spends money with no business model to speak of. 

It seems that Twitter's model is to get big and get bought. Here's the problem: Google learned the hard way from buying YouTube that you need a business model to offset basic costs (bandwidth, staff, etc.). Just ask Mark Cuban, who knows a thing or two about this space. GOOG would have to spend billion(s) to get Twitter, then take a hit from market analysts that see it as a cost driver, not a page view generator. 

While Facebook focused on getting big, Zuck gave Murphy the resources to help it learn to to make cash along the way. This is why they secured another round of funding. The company's ten billion dollar valuation gives it a fair shot at independence, at least up to an IPO in 2010 or 2011.

Back in the day, when Google was rising, making money was as important as gaining market share. Back in early 2003, Google had a self-service ad platform (they called it R2D2) that brought in cash for paid search -- lots of it over time. Then the company built a great ad sales team and fostered agency relationships. This was the key to its IPO success and valuation rise over time. 

While Oprah and Ashton are all a Twitter, my money is still on Facebook over time. For the average, non-promoter, Twitter will eventually be a time waster for a vast majority of its users. The company will need to launch other spin offs (think Google Maps) to stay relevant and engaging over time. To do that, they'll need money. To get the smart money, they'll have to demonstrate viability.  

May 25, 2009

Finding new indie music is easy as CMJ online

Today, I had a few minutes to invest in new music. 

CMJ's top college chart is the only place you need to go to find the newest bands brewing under the radar. They've integrated LALA services into every listing, so you can listen to the entire album (once) in hi-fi before buying it completely or by the track. 

My find of the day is The Obits, arguably the new Strokes.  Their first track (Widow Of My Dreams) is some exciting stuff -- maybe the top track so far for 2009. They are the top buzz band of the year, and were signed by Sub Pop after a few gigs and before any single or indie release could be put out. That's a good sign (remember last year's MGMT? Same type of story/buzz).

If you visit CMJ's charts every month or so, and invest a few minutes, you'll have the pulse of new music.

PS -- Check out Pitchfork too. The uber-review site will keep you up to date on new releases AND it offers a ton of legal-free MP3's from up and coming bands (like The Thermals).  

May 21, 2009

Can you cheer for the person who just defeated you?

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American Idol's Adam Lambert was the other winner last night. 

Even though he came in second, his attitude came in first. The moment that Seacrest announced Kris Allen as the winner, Lambert flashed sincere happiness for Allen (you could see the empathy, no distracting facial ticks or head tipping).  

Afterwards, backstage, Lambert waxed philosophical about his feelings during the night. First, he started with what he gained: The experience of rocking out (and holding up) with both Kiss and Queen.  In the same night!  To him, that was worth it all.  

Can you do this? Can you find room inside yourself to cheer for a competitor in the moment of defeat? 

I mean, Lambert was the biggest odds on fave I've seen going into the finals since Underwood/Bice or Clarkson/JustinG.  It was a shocker for everyone, especially Lambert. His reflexes, though, show a sense of abundance and generosity that speaks highly of his future. 

Here's my point: Success is contagious, so catch some. Even if it is in the moment of unthinkable-defeat. Many American Idol losers are just that -- losers in attitude.  It would be easy for Lambert to pontificate about his sexual orientation and middle America's attitudes about it (after all, at least 35 to 50 percent of AI phone votes come from fly-over states.)  But he doesn't.  When asked about it backstage, he laughed it off and reframed the conversation around the spectacle of the evening. 

Here's the second point: By cheering for others that did better than you, you control your own happiness in the end. By finding joy in Allen's gain, Lambert gets to go to bed last night savoring his experience and feeling great about how he handled defeat. His friends in the blogosphere, they didn't fare as well.  

May 20, 2009

Two great books you need to buy today!

This is a great week for business readers. Two incredible books were just published and I'm breathless in my praise for them. 

Who's Got Your Back by Keith Ferrazzi:  His first book, Never Eat Alone, was the BEST book you could read on networking for success.  The new book (Who's Got Your Back) goes a step beyond and outlines how you can build a dream team based on high level relationship management skills.  Keith's point is clear: You can't do it on your own -- you need to a dream team if you want to be a breakout success.  As usual, he deliver dozens of takeaway points that will change your life, give you strength and put you ahead of the pack. 

In Pursuit Of Elegance: Why The Best Ideas Have Something Missing by Matthew May:  Former Toyota wunderkind, Matt May has just released a fast reading brain twister of a book. Think Freakanomics as applied to the design world and you have the idea. His point is simple, yet profound:  Less is more, a whole lot more!  He proves this with provocative (ala Gladwell) stories such as the uber-safe town where there are almost no accidents and NO traffic signals or stop signs.  ??.  Read the book and begin to understand how you can re-imagine a new world where simplicity is the goal, not a way to get there.


May 19, 2009

REPOST: Let the sunshine in!

Here's an excerpt from my new book, Saving The World At Work:

Many employees spend their entire work life under artificial lights. This situation can affect their moods as well as their performance.   A landmark 2003 study for the Environmental Protection Agency by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute found that natural light improves an employee's vision, function, and productivity, but most important, mood-it wards off depression and alleviates job stress.

In their book Cradle to Cradle, William McDonough and Michael Braungart talk about a new Herman Miller furniture factory that was redesigned with bigger windows and skylights, allowing sunshine to pour into the entire workspace. The employees' mood improved immediately, and so did productivity.

The factory managers noticed a side benefit as well: A number of workers who left for higher wages at a competitor's factory returned in a few weeks. Asked why, they told management they couldn't stand to work in the dark.

You can also make a difference with seating assignments. It's easy enough to move people around, especially in a cubicle environment, so that no employee has to work in 100 percent artificial light for more than a few months at a time.

No matter what your job title, you can effect change. At Aveda, an electrician came across a Web site featuring a new hybrid lighting system developed by Oak Ridge National Labs. Unlike solar power, which transforms sunshine into electricity, the hybrid system pulls sunlight into a rooftop dish and pipes it into the building, spraying it directly into a room while filtering out any harmful rays.  The electrician, who was working in a windowless room at the time, thought it was an excellent idea and showed it to his boss, mechanical engineer Jim Gausman. Gausman decided the system would mesh naturally with Aveda's alternative-energy program, so he pitched it to CEO Dominique Conseil, who immediately gave it the green light.

NOTE:  I just heard Bidwell Center founder Bill Strickland speak at the Conscious Capitalism conference.  With regards to natural light he said, "The cure for spiritual cancer is natural light, fresh flowers and enthusiasm.  People are a function of their natural surroundings.  Put them in a building that feels like a prison, and they'll behave like prisoners!"

If you've never seen Bill Strickland give his famous slideshow presentation, watch it now!  It will change your life and inspire you to help others reach their potential.  (Bill Strickland at the TED Talks with Herbie Hancock)


May 18, 2009

Swoon for the Silversun Pickups

The new album (Swoon) by alt-indie rock band Silversun Pickups is a MUST buy. It's been lodged in my car's CD changer for two weeks, and grows on me with each listen. 


In 2007, I recommended Silversun Pickups on the blog, proclaiming them as the next-big-thing out of LA. To steal a line from Simon Cowell, "I was right." 

The band sounds like a cross between Smashing Pumpkins, early Nirvana and the Melvins. Their songs create an energy ball with singer Brian Aubert's androgynous vocals adding a soaring tone to the record. Unlike altern-ripoff artists of late, Silverun Pickups make a contribution to the genre with their unique stamp and chord choices.

Check out track #2 (The Royal We), track #4 (It's Nice To Know You Work Alone) and the epic album closer (Surrounded Or Spiraling) and I promise you'll click to buy Swoon

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