Archive for the ‘Ups & Downs’ Category

7 Habits….what stayed with me

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, died last week at 79 from complications of bike accident.

The 7 Habits: With notes by me still inside

I’ve been a “low performer” in the reading of business books but I read the 7 Habits some 20+ years ago and a number of Covey’s points have really stayed with me.  I’d like to share a few that really stand out:

  • In Habit 1, Be Proactive, he wrote about the Circle of Concern and the Circle of Influence.  I took away from this that you can’t fret every item in your Circle of Concern.  Especially if your Circle of Concern is huge, compared to what you could influence in your Circle of Influence.  This proved very useful with bright, junior team members who worried about other departments, overall strategy etc. when what we could really control was what was in our Circle of Influence.
  • In Habit 3, Put First Things First, I was very struck by his sorting of your day in the office by Urgent/Non Urgent and Important/Not Important.  About how much time could be sucked up by Urgency overall…..including Urgent things which really weren’t that important.
    • Covey’s book came out in 1989 before we were all swamped by email, smartphones etc.
    • I ask myself if I’m as good today at focusing on Important/Not Urgent matters.
    • In my copy of 7 Habits, there’s notations by me making the point about getting organized on a weekly basis.  And I’m sure I was thinking about organizing against Important but not Urgent matters.  We’re all going to get the Urgent stuff done.  Note to self – am I organizing on a weekly basis on what’s important?
  • Under Paradigms of Interdependence, I continue to be struck by the notion of the Emotional Bank Account.  That by doing little kindnesses, you build a reserve that you can draw on when things go awry.  That deposits into the bank account when helping or caring for others pay big dividends over the long run.
    • Habit Four, Think Win/Win, goes hand in glove with this.
    • And Habit 5, Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.  To this day, I try to take a breath and apologize when I cut someone else off in my enthusiasm to “say something”.  I hope I have put a few credits in the Emotional Bank Account along the way.

I know that Covey went on to write more books, sell time management tools via Franklin Covey, and influence management thinking further.  But I’d say that these above lessons (and more) have stood the test of time for me and are worth some further contemplation as I manage my business and engage with friends and family.

How about you?  Were there lessons that stayed with you?  Or did I interest you in picking up The Seven Habits?

I’m being trampled…..

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

….in the content players’ desire not to send spam.

When I email an article to a friend (how old-fashioned is that?), then I’ve got to read and replicate the characters, numbers and letters in the little box to validate that I’m just one person sending an email.

Is it me…..or is the combination of characters, numbers and letters getting harder and harder to read?

I don’t know if it’s cutting down on spam but it’s certainly challenging me.

Is there another way?

Applaud getting customer feedback – pick your shots!

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Macy’s emailed me to participate in a customer survey after I bought socks.  Sorry, I am not that vested in that situation to go through a survey.

But, I did find the sales person helpful.

And I appreciated the coupon that you guys sent me.

So, I guess I have given feedback.

Beware acronyms!

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

We’ve all seen it in corporate life – the proliferation of acronyms to describe life at the company quickly and efficiently.

But, exercise caution when they spill over into your customers’ world.

Witness a huge banner at the Post Office saying basically, “Come and use the APC to meet all your postal needs”.

The APC?

That’s the Automated Postal Center.

But why?  And why not something catchier.  Like PostalPartner or QuickPost or PostalBuddy or Postie…..

Call me!

Why don’t my people know your people?

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Congrats on Arrow Electronics relocating its headquarters to Colorado!

A Fortune 500 firm is coming HERE!

So, I immediately checked LinkedIn to see who I knew.  It’s not as good as I would hope.

This is a solid target company for Bright Beacon work.  Help with strategic planning?  Help with product launches?  Perhaps a temporary exec position? Facilitating a problem solving workshop?  Serving as team leader on an important initiative?

But why don’t my LinkedIn people know more Arrow people?

Start linking!  You never know where it might take you.

Just when you thought everyone had perfected branding….

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

….I get this door hanger from the tech who fixed our business line.

Who came and fixed the phone line??

Qwest is becoming CenturyLink but you’d never know it from this door hanger.

But let me also say, if this is a tech who doesn’t have any officially endorsed communications materials to use, I applaud that he or she did leave me an informative note on the reverse side.

And I can only hope that the approved materials are coming?


I also see some notations that suggest that this piece might be from 1996.  Again, I commend the tech for providing excellent information to me about our line.

But surely, someone got him or her branded materials since 1996?

My ship has come in!

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Well, not exactly, but I am now able to download Fortune issues onto the iPad as a subscriber.  Just as of today.

Splendid – have already watched videos of several CEOs and some dynamite footage of the America’s Cup.  And I’m not even to the main articles.

Every magazine will go this way.  Some faster than others.

The Time empire is underway with this.

Just the right touch from Zappos…

Thursday, April 21st, 2011


Am Unsubscribing to emails at an impressive rate.  However, my buddies at Zappos emailed me to remind me of shoes that I bought a year ago….and would I be interested in another pair of a similar style?  In fact, I did see a style I liked.

People, people, people….too many emails.  You are spamming me.  Stop it!

Saturday Journal section cracks up!

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Instead of one leisure section in the Saturday Wall Street Journal, we now have two sections.

Is it possible to ask for the old leisure section to come back?

“Off Duty” strikes me as a number of outcasts from shelter and fashion magazines holding the Journal hostage.

Yes, the carnation article was lovely on the cover.  Who knew?

But, I think the article on “Containers of Joy” suggesting the decanting of various groceries into lovely jugs was really over the top.  People have time for that?

I’m sorry, house guests, but you will see milk in the refrigerator in the original vessels.

Am I in a time warp?

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

I know we have different customer segments with different technology profiles.  I know there are early adopters and laggards.  But this service from The Denver Post is a mystery to me.

I guess this isn't for the wireless generation?

If you have a cell phone, you have the time……and penetration is pretty high.  (Not to mention watches which are still worn by some boomers.)

Those with advanced phones like the Android or the iPhone often have a weather app downloaded.

And if you are home, you can easily glance at your favorite site on the web.

So, there is a decent segment looking to call and get the time and the weather?

What do you think?