This Could Be Your Kid…or Better Yet…You

People tell me they hate getting older. Me – I love it. I care less and less about what   people think and have the joy of watching uptight people freak out over the smallest things in life.

If you haven’t checked out awkwardfamilyphotos.com yet, please do. If you’re not sure where to begin, just go to the hall of fame.  If you’re stressed out with the holidays, I guarantee that at least one of these photos will put things into perspective for you.

By the way, if you’re stressed out for the holidays, stop it. Stop it right now. If you and the people you love are healthy, then you have everything. If you have an illness or worse, then please now my heart goes out to you and yours. Christmas is  just a day like any other day. Don’t forget about enjoying today for worrying about tomorrow. Love to you all, D.

photo credit: Awkward Family Photos.com Submitted by Calvin Meuser

Wanted-Old Dog Looking to Learn New Tricks: Reverse Mentorship

There are 2 kinds of households – those that have a teenager at home who can help with the computers and those that don’t (OK, there are some households that have an adult that understands technology but they don’t count!)

Many of us don’t see the world through the filter of a connected/electronic world. We weren’t raised on instant messenger in high school nor did we become social beings via Facebook in college.  Someone moved our cheese and now we do need to understand and embrace technology and the ‘socialness’ that is the new world of business and commerce.

I advocate for ‘reverse mentorship’- the pairing of a ‘digital native’ (younger/wired person) with a senior executive in order to create synergies, teach each other, learn and grow a company.  The executive gains insight about how technology is affecting the world and the younger person gains experience and guidance. The key to making this work has less to do with interpersonal skills and more to do with the openness of the executive and how ‘coachable’ the younger person is. Setting goals, having lively discussions and respecting each other are all part of the process to help our companies keep up with global competition.

Alexa Scordato, piloted this idea at her first job at Mzinga and has gone on to talk about it at TEDxBoston.

Leaders need to embrace new ways of listening and engaging customers and how social is changing all aspects of the enterprise. Regularly hearing unfiltered feedback (not through sales reps or customer service) direct from our customers and prospects is an exciting proposition. The question is… when we have it, what will we do with it?

Please share who are you learning from these days.

Image Credit:  Taschek  Tales

Insultant for Hire

“A society that gets rid of all its troublemakers goes downhill.”
Robert A. Heinlein

I’ve been a consultant for many years and there’s good and bad in the work. The good thing is flexibility, the bad thing is when there’s not much work or a client is looking for a rubber stamp approval and I disagree. I like making a difference and bringing a new way of looking at things to a client. I used to have  some trepidation when accepting a new assignment  and it was because in the early years of my career, my ‘direct-speak’ caused problems of the, “I can’t believe she just said that out loud” kind.

As I gained experience, I remained true to myself (mellowed with time) and came to understand that people who want someone to just tell them they are right, are not going to hire me in the first place and that’s a good thing for both me and them!

While many people dislike the troublemaker or ‘insultant’ (the one who tells you the truth but not necessarily what you want to hear) —society needs them. Yes, there are nice ways to speak your mind but in the end, we need rabblerousers to see the world as it can be or even, how it needs to be.

We Americans wouldn’t even have a country if it weren’t for troublemakers so the next time someone has a different opinion or likes things you don’t understand– please take an extra minute and listen.  S/he might be the next George Washington with ideas that will change the world.  For more on this read, Chris Brogan’s post on “Appreciating the Wild Mind“.

Image Credit: Things That Won’t Be at the Presidential Memorabilia Exhibit