Feeling Angry? Amy’s Story Might Help

This is a re-telling of a story I read many years ago. It is a story that has stayed with me — so much that it has become part of the fabric of who I am. Good stories are like that. I don’t know where it came from and I don’t know it it’s true. But it might be.
subway car interior

Late one evening, Amy is on a subway, coming home from work. It’s been a long day and she’s tired. The subway car is pretty empty with just a smattering of passengers here and there. At the far end is a father sitting, with his head leaning against the window, eyes staring straight ahead. He is oblivious to his two boys running rampant through the car. They look to be about eight and ten years old. They are having races down one length of the car, then running back, swinging around the poles, whooping it up. Their jackets are unzipped and sway behind them as they run.

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Single-tasking is the New Black … I Hope

distraction image

Imagine going out for dinner with friends, and no one pulls out their phone; or trying to remember that name of Robert Downey Jr.’s most recent film without checking Google (Captain America: Civil War); or sitting on a bus and not having your neighbor talking loudly to his mother. Don’t get me wrong — I’m all for using cellphones, google-ing, and calling your mother. But research shows that there is a significant cost of both multi-tasking and being distracted by the phone — cost to brain development, creativity, and happiness.

“Wait, what?” you say. “My brain? My creativity? My happiness? But I can’t get my job done unless I multitask!” It’s time to re-think this.

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Choosing Your Next Career

windyroadCareer advice is easy to get — maybe too easy because there is too much information and too many people who think they know what’s best for you.  So, how do you wade through it all? My straight-forward advice is to pace yourself and complete a thorough process such as these five steps:

  1. Understand yourself
  2. Be practical (and budget minded)
  3. Explore your options
  4. Be inspired
  5. Be brave and take a leap

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Ask Five Good Questions

imgresIn May of 2016 James Ryan, Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, gave a commencement speech  about asking good questions.  While his words were directed at future teachers and leaders in education, they are invaluable to a much broader audience.
His speech includes a reference to Raymond Carver’s poem “Late Fragment.” In just thirty words, Carver beautifully articulates the simple desires that so many of us want at the end of our lives: “to call myself beloved” and “to feel myself beloved on the earth.”

Seems simple.

And it is.

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Writing that cold call email: Hello, my name is…

nametag-hello-01Want to get a meeting with someone who you don’t personally know ?  Skip the Dear Sir/Madam email– while it might work, it’s unlikely to because the world is too busy. Then what? It’s simpler than you think:  get an introduction or make you own, write a compelling and flawless email, and follow up.

There are so many reasons why you might want to meet a stranger.   If you’re in sales, you hopefully already know how to do outbound cold calls. If you don’t know, there a is a lot of readily available advice on how to sell something.

But what if what you’re selling is YOU?  How do you convince someone to share their valuable time?

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