Tuesday, September 30, 2014
I am in Switzerland now and I got a temporary SIM card. Once I logged on, I received this (which would go to any account). Just a great way to protect yourself from phone theft.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
That notwithstanding, her 40th birthday is coming up in a few months and the kids and I have embarked on an appropriate activity to celebrate it.
We're calling in the "40 for 40 Campaign for Kindness."
Each of us are committing to 40 separate, unique acts of kindness towards others.
Each day, we will document our initiative to make the world a slightly better place.
Those of you who know the NFO understand why this makes sense.
Let us know if you'd like to join us.
You can report back or not report back. Up to you.
We'll have a counting/celebration around the time of her birthday (December).
I'll admit that I'm much more of a coffee drinker than a tea drinker. Though I do like tea and I find it much more calming than coffee, I just don't tend that way too often.
Still, when my friend Efrat asked me to sample some of her new tea line, Ceremonie Tea, I took a look at the website and jumped at the chance.
My reputation is important to me so I didn't promise a false, ringing endorsement, but the website hinted at a level of class that I hadn't seen too often in tea, with a few exceptions.
I believe the essence of great marketing is great storytelling and I think Ceremonie Tea has taken that to heart. They are clear about the extremely high quality origins of their product and they extend that to every element of the experience. The packaging is truly inspired. The colors representing different flavors and moods as well as different regions.
I tried many of them and while, try as I might, I can't seem to ever like Earl Grey, the Moroccan Mint and the various Green Teas were sublime. Mellow.
There have been studies about how packaging or price can actually enhance people's perception of the taste of wine and I would be willing to bet that if you gave your guests/friends some of this tea with its unique, pyramid-shaped bags, they would enjoy it even more. I know I did.
If I had two critiques, it would be that I wish that all of the bags had a string on them instead of requiring a spoon to remove the bag (but that could be a personal preference) and that they would use a bit less plastic on some of the boxes.
Still, the tea is definitely not your normal Lipton/Bigelo and better than the Celestial Seasonings variety. It moves into gourmet land and, even for a non-tea lover/drinker, was a notable experience.
It's also a great lesson in marketing, so for me, it was a double win.
Two books I just finished that I wanted to recommend.
Particularly relevant for anyone who has to lead a group or an organization.
The first is written by the CEO/Founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman. It’s called The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age and highlights how managing people has changed since the era of lifetime employment has come to an end.
They reframe a job as a “tour of duty” in which the company makes clear to the employee what s/he will get out of the next assignment while at the same time, the employee promises s/he will stick with the job until the end of the tour. They stay because reputational risk is too great to leave it.
It’s a quick read and a solid framework for thinking about developing talent in today’s networked age.
Meanwhile, you can always look to the military for inspiring stories of courage, bravery, and leadership. In Pegasus Bridge, the acclaimed historian Stephen E. Ambrose details the first invasion effort of D-Day and the strategic imperative of a group of British airborne troops of taking a canal bridge deep behind enemy lines.
This is a book about planning, preparation, team building, leadership, strategy, execution, and more.
You’ll appreciate the “Greatest Generation” more and hopefully you’ll never be in a life/death situation like this with the fate of the free world hanging in the balance.
However you will be in a position where you need to lead a group of people on a mission. Learn from the best.
Thursday, September 04, 2014
It's like Saving Private Ryan, but more people.
I walked away with an understanding of "The Greatest Generation" and how they built America post-war, given what happened during the war in the Pacific.
My background in Japan added some color, but this series was just so informative and told the story so well that, literally, I was crying at the end of it.
It made me think of my own Poppy who served in the Army Air Corps in China. Not quite the same, but so appreciative of his and others' sacrifice..and of the immense numbers who didn't make it.
Next time you are in DC, go to the WWII Memorial as well. The names of remote Pacific islands will have newfound meaning for you.
Monday, September 01, 2014
In addition, he correctly predicted SEA over DEN in the Super Bowl at the beginning of last season.
As we move towards an economy of anytime/anywhere access and accountability/outcome versus time/input, it just seems like something that doesn't make sense.
I don't get paid by the hour. Many of you don't either.
If I have a deadline, I have to hit it. It is my responsibility to get it done on time. Whether I choose to work on Labor Day or not is up to me.
In a factory where you stand there and get paid for an hour's worth of work and you can't get it done unless the factory is open, something like Labor Day might make sense.
But in an information economy where your laptop/tablet and wi-fi are all you need, a "day off" is up to you, not to some mandated time period.