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Authors

Ira Koretsky
(click for all of Ira's posts)
Duane Bailey
(click for all of Duane's posts)
Guest Bloggers
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Archive

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networking workshop

Looking forward to my workshop with the Society for International Development (SID) Washington, DC Chapter, which is the "largest and most active chapter of SID (See below).

My program, "The Deliberate Networker: Build Stronger & More Valuable Relationships," is always hands-on. We'll be doing my "Treat Everyone Like a CEO" Exercise (watch example on YouTube). 

If you are not a member of SID, they welcome interested persons. Send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and mention me.

 

The Deliberate Networker: Build Stronger & More Valuable Relationships

The best networkers are relationship builders. They are deliberate with the people they spend time with, and at the events they attend. As an art, networking blends human behavior, storytelling, and trust. As a science, it requires you to act like a chess grandmaster. Join us for a fun and hands-on program as we explore proven ways to make the right “next moves” that can get you noticed by recruiters, accelerate career success, and promote your brand to establish yourself in your field.

Following the program, there will be an optional networking session with fellow participants in addition to a Happy Hour at Cities Restaurant & Lounge (1212 18th St NW, Washington D.C.).

 

* Young Professionals in Development Network (YPN) events are open to SID-W members only ($45 for young professionals). However, we welcome all first-time SID-W YPN Event attendees to participate in this "free preview" event. For more information on membership, please click here or contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

SID-Washington is the largest and most active chapter of the Society for International Development (SID), an international network founded in 1957 to serve as a global forum dedicated to sustainable economic, social and political development. Through the locally-driven programs of our member organizations and individuals, the majority of whom work on the front lines of development, we are uniquely positioned to inform and promote more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable international development.  Our network is spread across more than 30 chapters and 3,000 members in more than 50 countries. The Secretariat has offices in Dar es-Salaam (Tanzania), Nairobi (Kenya), and Rome (Italy).

Our individual and institutional members include development practitioners from NGOs, the private sector, bilateral and multilateral institutions, think tanks, embassies, and universities. Our expansive membership contributes to the dynamic exchange of ideas and information that lies at the heart of SID-Washington.

 

branding, messaging, content marketing, marketing, positioning

If you were to watch the brand new advertisement from car sharing service Lyft, you might be tempted to dismiss it as absurd and ask "What's the point?"

I think the problem lies with the timing of the message. Lauren, the protoganist, exits her car and uses her mobile phone around :45 seconds. That's 45 seconds folks... of waiting to get to the point of the commercial. The key message, "Riding is the new driving," appears shorly therefater at the :55 second mark. 

In today's whiplash society of ad to ad to email subject line back to banner ad and so forth, 55 seconds may seem like an eternity.

Perhaps Lyft wants us to think of all the seeming visual cacophony as micro messages representing feelings we experience when in rush hour and similar unpleasant driving situations. Then of course, think positively about using Lyft (the fun, light music helps lighten the mood as well).

Now, if Lyft is pursuing a soft approach to branding instead of attracting more customers, this approach may work. Or perhaps, Lyft is relying on social media to drive interest and therefore visitors to its various social media platforms such as YouTube where the advertisement just went live. Since its launch on April 25, the ad has garnered about 116,500 views.

 

 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Write it Down Before You Forget

writing, memory, forget, forgetfulness, recordOur short-term memory is very short. Experts vary in their opinions sharing a range of 20 to 30 seconds. Whatever the right number of seconds, it really does not matter.

If you are like us, you forget the unimportant to the important. Think about when you are a in a meeting and an idea pops into your head. How often do you forget the idea? Or forget that important item your client asked about? Or…you get the idea.

Anytime you have an idea/thought you know you want to remember, write it down. To aid in recall, remove all judgment, your desire to analyze, your need to evaluate, etc. – this eliminates mental clutter competing with memory recall.

Use a sticky note, a napkin, text message yourself, email yourself, or call yourself and leave that important message.

Confucius, a famous Chinese philosopher (c. 551-c. 479 BC), said, "The palest ink is better than the most retentive memory."

You've been tasked with drafting a social media strategy for your brand. Initially, your goals are to build your company's reputation and raise brand awareness. As the brand takes hold in the market, your goals will include increases in customer engagement, conversions (a.k.a. sales) and loyalty.

Public relations? Marketing? Or both? Is there a difference?

Too often, these terms are used interchangeably – without a real understanding of the role each brings to your brand. One, public relations, is about building reputations and raising awareness among members of your target audience. The other, marketing, is about converting that audience into paying customers. As best-selling author and marketing consultant Al Ries sees it, public relations lights the fire and marketing fans the flames.

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The purpose of public relations is to educate and build relations with all stakeholders – investors, community members, lawmakers and regulators, industry thought leaders, current and potential customers, etc. Marketing's role is to educate and influence current and potential customers. Public relations supports marketing by creating a favorable climate in which to operate and, the reality is, you need both to accomplish your goals.

Public relations, while different from marketing, is an integral part of your brand's overall marketing strategy.

 

For other insights on social media and content marketing, see:
Absent Context, Your Content Is Meaningless
You Are What You Tweet
How Content Marketing Builds Stronger Relationships with Your Brand

speaking, training, presenting, practice, practicingThere isn’t a prospect or client that tells us something close to “I really don’t have time to practice my [blank] like I should.” [Blank] is a presentation to the board, a story to inspire action, a sales presentation, an investor pitch, and so on.

Our response is something like, “There isn’t an Olympic athlete, celebrity actor, famous musician, and New York Times best-selling author that doesn’t practice his or her craft—and some practice daily. Not one.”

One of the more well respected researchers in expert performance, K. Anders Ericsson, PhD, has published numerous papers and articles. One paper is “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance” (link here). According to Dr. Ericsson, at the intersection of expertise and habit is deliberate practice.

Whatever you do, make practice part of your planning. Practice at least a little. We suggest for really important events, three to five times.

Deliberate Practice helps you.....
- smooth out transitions from slide to slide and big concept to big concept
- identify "bumpy" areas--areas that sound awkward, cause you to hesitate and stumble, etc.
- feel (much) more confident, which then allows more authentic passion and the real you to shine

networking, eating, dining, relationship buildingEver been at a business meal and found yourself finished way before your dining partner? Or perhaps your dining partner was finished way before you?

Generally, this occurs for one of two reasons:  

1) Someone is talking much more than the other person

2) One person is a much faster eater

In either case, it is best to match your partner's eating speed when possible.

We have seen some people eat like vacuum cleaners and exclaim afterward, "Sorry, I know I am a fast eater." Please note, while men are the typical fast eaters, a conversation topic may skew the eating speed one way or the other.

Your goal...finish approximately at the same time.

In honor of Dr. King and celebration of his holiday, here is one of our favorite quotes.

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

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marketing communications double check qa

Thom came to us as a successful 30-something ready for his next sales managerial role. After the meeting, he was pumped. He had all these great ideas to transform his ho-hum cover letter, resume, LinkedIn, etc. into exciting, tell me more experiences, stories, and bullets.

In fact, he was so excited and enthusiastic he wanted to send out the next version of his resume the very next day. We were scheduled to meet next week to review his updated materials after he spends time revising and obtaining feedback from his network and mentors.

After suggesting he send his resume to us for a quick review, he politely declined. We politely insisted. We knew he didn’t get anyone else’s feedback and certainly no one else did a quality check (e.g., spelling, grammar, format, white space, word choice, dashes consistency, etc.).

Thom emailed it. Among several things (see quality check items), this is what he had under his current position.

- Developed and executed the sales department. Supported a multi-national team of 12 sales professionals across five technical product lines.

We are embarrassed (a little) that we laughed loudly. After a quick telephone call to point out Thom’s mistake, he just didn’t see it. “What was wrong with what I wrote?” We had him delete the second sentence and just look at “Developed and executed the sales department.” He laughed. He asked that we not turn him into the police for murder (smile). Now he was convinced NOT to send it out until he obtained more feedback and at least two people helped with a quality review and we looked at it as well.

Whether it is brand new content on your website, a new YouTube video, a revised brochure, an updated LinkedIn® profile, and certainly your resume, please, please have some "outsiders" review the item. While a mistake isn't going to land you in jail, it may cost you a prospect? a client? or that job opportunity?

storytelling limit goals

Want a good way of creating drama and adding suspense in your stories? Set near-impossible goals.

As an example, imagine you are watching an Indiana Jones movie. The rock wall falls away and Indiana has just seconds to jump. Everyone in the theatre is watching with rapt attention. Indy’s goal? To escape? And if you were in the audience, it would seem impossible and all hope would be lost? Right?

You too can heighten the emotional aspect of your story by adding organization limit goals or personal limit goals. Here are two quick examples of points to tell in a story.

Organization Limits
- My boss gave me an ultimatum. When the calendar shows May 31, software development must stop. Get it done, do it right, and do it within a ridiculously meager budget.
- If it wasn’t done, we would lose one of our biggest clients and most importantly, our jobs. I could feel the sweat trickling down my back.

Personal Limits
- Midway into my week-long hike up the mountain, I realized I was in over my head. The expected moderate difficulty hike to the top was everything OTHER than expected. I was not prepared for the drop in temperature. My gear was inadequate. I was dehydrated, I was hungry, and I was afraid.
- Mentally, I was giving up. Nothing, and I mean nothing, I could think of was working. I hadn’t slept for two days. I didn’t know what to do.

Everyone at The Chief Storyteller® wishes you a warm, safe, and relaxing holiday season. Here's a little storytelling humor.

secret-formula-for-great-storytelling

Monday, December 14, 2015

Tweet with the End Result in Mind

tweet with end result in mind

Think about the actions you are trying to inspire among your followers before you send your next tweet. Give potential followers convincing reasons to “follow” you.

Send Tweets to:
- Share information
- Challenge trends and conventional thinking
- Entertain and make them laugh
- Help them bond with others
- Connect them to other like-minded individuals (remember Twitter is a community of communities)

Match the type of tweet to the preferences of your audience and your goals. Are these actions consistent with the results you are expecting? Social media rewards those who share the right information with their audience.

visual words

“A picture is worth a thousand words,” perfectly describes the necessity for you to tell your stories with engaging (and powerful) imagery.

Think of a story you were told recently while at work. Was it interesting? Engaging? Memorable? We bet you a billion (Monopoly®) dollars that for you to say yes to all three, the storyteller used visual words. Words like those of Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, during a commencement she gave to the Harvard Business School Graduates:

Lori has a great metaphor for careers. She says they’re not a ladder; they’re a jungle gym. As you start your post-HBS career, look for opportunities, look for growth, look for impact, look for mission. Move sideways, move down, move on, move off. Build your skills, not your resume.

This excerpt is an excellent example of metaphor and descriptive language. People who love to tell stories...the good storytellers...think visually. When they create stories in their minds, they transform words into engaging and memorable experiences…experiences that draw you in and make you feel like you are part of the experience.

Watch videos of professional speakers. As you do, stop the video every so often. Think about the words you just heard. Do they move you? Try to determine why and why not? What can you learn from these examples?

- Watch videos on TED and TEDx.
- Watch speeches on YouTube from noted academics, business leaders, politicians, opinion leaders, and thought leaders (examples include LinkedIn Speakers, @Google Talks, and Harvard Business School)
- Watch movies with powerful dialogue and memorable scenes (IMDB is an excellent source of movie information)

attend experience events

Meeting new people is easy while attending conferences. Sit next to someone you don’t know at the keynotes and workshops. Eat lunch with someone new. Talk to a smiling face at a break.

All of this makes meeting new people easy. What isn’t easy is building relationships.

The events and activities just mentioned are typically short, sort of forced, and rarely give you a chance to get to know someone well.

Experience events are just the opposite. Consider attending events like a wine tasting, museum tour, city tour, play, etc. Here at these “after work” events, you will find people are more relaxed, more open, and more talkative. You have the activity to share together and to bond over. Experience events are where you really get to know people and really connect.

active listening

Children say the most honest things, don’t they? Over the weekend, my family went to Washington, DC National Zoo for a child’s birthday party. We walked visiting various animals like the elephants, sea otters, and lions.

After eating tasty cake and ice cream at the end of the party, we ended up walking with some friends. They happen to have an inquisitive, bright-eyed three-year old son. As we were almost to the exit, I overheard the little boy say to his mother, “We can’t go. It’s jail. We have to let them out.”

Wow! What a powerful statement. My wife and I talked about it. We take for granted the animals are in cages—it’s a zoo afterall. How insightful, how raw, how eye opening was that statement?

As we continued to walk to our car and for the ride home I thought more about what I don’t pay attention to as much as should, personally and professionally.

And I’ll ask you the same question I asked my team:  “Are we listening to our audiences enough?”

If your event managers are spending the bulk of their time on event logistics – shipping, delivery, set-up, staffing and tear-down of your exhibit booth and promoting it on social media – you may be missing the bigger picture. In the world of event marketing, booths are table stakes. While exhibit booths play a role in promoting your brand and engaging customers, event management requires a more holistic approach.

Achieving business outcomes involves other stakeholders in your organization, and requires a commitment to measuring and reporting on quantifiable results beyond the softer metrics of brand awareness and engagement.

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Your customers want to know how your products and services speak to their needs and interests. Your sales managers want to know how your participation at an event is helping their teams turn qualified leads into closed sales. And your executive management team wants to know how your presence at a show or event is contributing to business outcomes, like revenue and return on investment (ROI) goals.

To ensure your event marketing program is meeting the needs of your stakeholders and achieving your desired business outcomes, develop and implement a scorecard for evaluating the success of each show or event. As a starting point, consider adding the following quantifiable metrics to your scorecard:
• Number of visitors
• Most and least popular discussion topics
• Number and type of social media mentions of your brand, key messages and event hashtag(s)
• Number of qualified leads
• Number of closed sales
• Average revenue per closed sale
• Cost of participating in the show or event

Follow each event with a post-event assessment, inviting candid feedback from the various stakeholders within your organization. Review and report on your results. Develop and implement corrective actions, when necessary, to improve performance. Use the output of each assessment to quantify your ROI and to inform your participation in future shows or events.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Master the Art of Active Listening

active listening

James Nathan Miller made an interesting observation some 50 years ago—“Conversation in the U.S. is a competitive exercise in which the first person to draw a breath is declared the listener” (The Art of Intelligent Listening, Readers Digest, September 1965).

Don’t let Miller’s observation describe your conversations. Master the art of active listening.

Whether you are a government agency, association, charity, education institution, or corporation, we all have stakeholders—both internal and external. And what each person or persons needs, changes. Depending upon due dates, unforeseen events, new priorities, and the like, the needs can change quickly or slowly.

Whatever your situation, you really have to listen to “them” to really know what is important to them.

Effective listening benefits you in many ways such as: 
- Improves bonding and rapport building
- Reduces communication misunderstandings
- Reduces interpersonal conflicts
- Increases quality of work-related activities

Here are some suggestions to master the art of active listening:
- Use Non-verbal Body Language: Nod your head, smile, and lean forward are good ways to demonstrate your attentiveness. On the telephone, say words like Right, Sure, Understand, and Yes to demonstrate your attentiveness.
- Paraphrase: Summarize and repeat back to the person initiating the conversation the key points. This ensures common understanding. Use this suggestion for the more important discussion points.
- Communicate: Based on your mutual goals with your stakeholders, communicate in person (e.g., coffee, lunch, drinks, dinner, and meetings). Communicate in other ways such as by telephone, email, text message, and postal mail. 
- Wait Your Turn: Resist the temptation to interrupt and interject. Let your communication partner finish sharing her/his thoughts.

paul brandus book launch

Last year I had the honor and priviledge to co-present a program on messaging and the media with Paul Brandus. I'm not easily impressed. I was after working with Paul. I've met a lot of journalists over my career. He has a insightful grasp of the business side of journalism. And he wants the interviewee to be successful, really successful. 

After receiving my invite to his book launch party, I asked him if I could share it and invite othes. "The more the merrier," he said. Come out and join us on Tuesday 29 September. The reviews list reads like a Whose Who in Washington, DC communications leaders.

Here's some information about Paul, Under this Roof (Amazon link) book launch, and the book itself.  Email me know if you are joining.

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About Paul

An award-winning, independent member of the White House press corps, Paul Brandus is the founder of West Wing Reports® in 2009 (Twitter: @WestWingReport, 200k+ followers) and provides reports for television and radio outlets around the United States and overseas. In 2011, he won the Shorty Award for "Best Journalist on Twitter," sponsored by the Knight Foundation. The Atlantic calls Brandus “One of the top Washington Insiders You Should Follow on Twitter.” He lives in Reston, Virginia.

Book Launch

Every guest at the book launch receives their own copy of Under this Roof.

Army and Navy Club
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
5:00pm-7:00pm

on Farragut Square
901 Seventeenth Street
N.W, Washington,D.C. 20006

http://www.armynavyclub.org/

Farragut North Station (Red Line)
Farragut West Station (Orange/Blue/Silver Line)

UNDER THIS ROOF: The White House and the Presidency—21 Presidents, 21 Rooms, 21 Inside Stories

Why, in the hours before John F. Kennedy was murdered, was a blood-red carpet installed in the Oval Office? Did you know Abraham Lincoln never slept in the Lincoln Bedroom—so where did he sleep? What really happened in the Situation Room on September 11, 2001? And why was the White House itself—home to a head of state longer than London’s Buckingham Palace, Tokyo’s Imperial Palace and Moscow’s Kremlin—nearly torn down on multiple occasions and moved?

From John Adams—the first President to live in the White House—to Barack Obama, the story of the White House is the story of America itself. You’ll walk with Adams through the still-unfinished mansion, and watch Thomas Jefferson plot to buy the Louisiana Territory. Feel the fear and panic as the British approach the mansion in 1814—and stand with Dolley Madison as she frantically saves a painting of George Washington. Gaze out the window with Abraham Lincoln as Confederate flags flutter in the breeze on the other side of the Potomac. Brandus takes us into the room as one president is secretly sworn in, and another gambles away the White House china in a poker game. Through triumph and tragedy, boom and bust, secrets and scandals, Brandus takes you to the Situation Room, Presidential Bedroom, Oval Office and more. You’ll read stories of First Ladies—Abigail Adams to Mary Lincoln to Jacqueline Kennedy—that will amaze you, and, along the way, learn how advances in technology that changed the nation—telephones, electricity, radio and more—changed the White House and the presidency forever.

Find the book on Amazon here.

Select praise for Under This Roof:
“Inventive, smart and engaging” —Susan Page, Washington Bureau chief of USA Today

“Under This Roof is like taking a tour of the White House with a gifted storyteller at your side illuminating the most dramatic moments of American history…. Paul Brandus paints a vivid picture.” —Christina Bellantoni, Editor-in-Chief, Roll Call.

“This fascinating book is stuffed with secrets and little-known tales of presidential intrigue.” —Larry J. Sabato, New York Times bestselling author of The Kennedy Half-Century

“[A]n engaging, endearing profile of the world’s most famous residence and the families who called the White House home… I thought I knew just about everything interesting about the presidency—until I read his book!” —Ron Fournier, senior columnist for the National Journal

“[A] fast-moving and well-written history of the presidency… Brandus is a top-notch tour guide, filling his pages with vivid portraits of presidents and their families at work and play.” —Del Quentin Wilber, New York Times bestselling author of Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan


“[A] towering history . . . a riveting narrative.” —David A. Andelman, Editor & Publisher, World Policy Journal; Columnist, USA Today; and author of Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today

“Under this Roof sweeps us into a sensuous account of the history of both the home of the President, and the men and women who designed, inhabited, and decorated it. Paul Brandus captivates with surprising, gloriously raw observations.”—Mark Santangelo, Chief Librarian and Archivist, The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington

LinkedIn Tips

Here's a total revision to of one of our more popular posts published a few years back (67 Tips for Using LinkedIn to Help You Find the Job You Want). I categorized the tips, added several, and removed the outdated ones. Suggestions, feedback, your favorite tips?  Please let me know in the comments.

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If you were not aware, LinkedIn is the number one business social media site in the world. Today, there are over 380,000,000 members with an average of 5,000,000 joining every month. Some interesting statistics:

- Officially launched on May 5, 2003.
- 4,500 members as of May 2003
- Available in 24 languages
- > 8,700 full-time employees with offices in 30 cities
- Members come from > 200 countries and territories
- Top Countries: USA 118M+; India 31M+; UK 19M+; Canada 11M+; France 10M+; China 10M+; Italy 8M+; Australia 7M+; Mexico 7M+; Spain 7M+

The tips are designed to improve your profile and for you job seekers, to help you find a job. These are the top ones that colleagues, clients, and friends have found most helpful. There are a lot more!

Suggest you identify the best tips for you. Then prioritize what you will do in what time frame. I did include a 30 Day Must Do, To Do list. Also, based on several suggestions from folks, each tip is on a separate line to facilitate a check-list approach.

Whatever you need from LinkedIn, be deliberate with your time and how you interact with the LI network.

30 Day Must Do, To-Do List

  • Customize your professional headline (it is critical to have a compelling and engaging headline...this is what people who search see first adjacent to your picture)
  • Check and correct grammar (copy/paste into your favorite word processing software - I have never seen anyone's profile with no grammar errors)
  • Check and correct spelling (copy/paste into your favorite word processing software - you might be surprised at finding a spelling error)
  • Check and correct readability (use Microsoft Word's Readability Tools). Generally, you should write at or below the 10th grade level. Most USA magazines write between the 6th and 8th grade levels. For comparison, The New York Times writes to the 10th grade level. For Readability, your goal should be greater than 50.
  • Omit your personal information that may lead to identity theft (e.g., birthday, marital status, and address...While its fun to get happy birthday notes. Today's hyper fraud and attack world, I'd suggest you omit it)
  • Spend time (a lot) on your summary. After your professional headline, it is the important section. It is what people read first (unless you changed the order of the sections).
  • Spend time (a lot) on your Skills. This is an important section as people can search on your skills.
  • Put your value proposition/elevator speech in your summary
  • Use action verbs and active voice. If you live and work in the USA, suggest you use first person voice. If you work a lot with people in the USA, also recommend first person voice.

  • Use a professional looking photograph. No cut-outs/cut-offs, boats, children, spouses, etc. There are exceptions to this rule of course (only a few). LinkedIn statistics show that profiles with pictures perform substantially better than those profiles without pictures
  • Use your personal email address for your account. This ensures you will always have access to your account

New to LinkedIn

  • Complete your profile (LinkedIn research shows members with complete profiles are more successful in securing employment and complete profiles show up higher in search results
  • Invite people to join your network with a personalized/customized note…EVERY time
  • Expand your network by adding people you know (Consider allowing LinkedIn to access your Outlook, Gmail, etc.)
  • Consider including your maiden name (women) in your profile name. This ensures people who knew you before you got married can still find you
  • Fill out your educational history (many people skip this. And join your alumni group)
  • Fill out your employment history, from right after college to present (many people skip this. And join your alumni groups if your organizations have them
  • Take advantage of the New User Guide from LinkedIn

Advanced LinkedIn Content, Positioning, & Messaging

  • Change the website link for your blog from "My Blog" to a proper name such as "The Chief Storyteller Blog"
  • Change the website link for your company/personal site from "My Company" to a proper name such as "The Chief Storyteller® Website"
  • Change the website link for your LinkedIn public profile to a proper name/organization name such as "http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/TheChiefStoryteller"
  • Change the website link for your Twitter account to "Twitter" or your Twitter name such as "chiefstoryteller" 
  • Add into your profile articles and publications you wrote
  • Add into your profile presentations you gave via SlideShare.net
  • Ask for recommendations (helpful article Every Accomplishment Should Be Great: 5 Steps to Compelling Resume Accomplishments)
  • Consider including your LinkedIn address in your email signature
  • Consider upgrading your account to LI Premium
  • Expand your network by adding people that are like-minded (use groups, keywords, 2nd degree connections, and suggestions from LinkedIn)
  • Seek out advice from some of the smartest people in the world (any member can answer your questions - LinkedIn Inmail is a good way)
  • Help write your recommendations to ensure it is on-message - the message you want to communicate
  • Identify and include keywords relevant to audiences that will search for you
  • Join alumni groups to ensure you stay connected with high school, college, and graduate friends and colleagues
  • Join groups for personal development
  • Join professional groups important to your career success
  • Consider re-ordering your Skills. There are two approaches:  Listing your top rated skills and listing the skills you want more "clicks" on.
  • Track statistics for Who's viewed your profile. Identify trends

  • Look closely at Who's viewed your profile. Consider reaching out via LinkedIn InMail or connecting directly
  • Track statistics for Who's viewed your posts
  • For those that viewed your post, consider reaching out via LinkedIn InMail or connecting directly
  • Track statistics for your Actions Taken. Examine what activities you have completed and what ones you should be working on. Don't get caught up in the "gamification" aspect. Do what is right for you.
  • Visit the LinkedIn blog to gain insights and to learn more about changes coming
  • Use the "Follow Company" feature to stay current with organizations you have an interest in joining or learning more about
  • Use the "Saved searches" option to save your favorite search queries
  • Turn off your update notification in your settings when you are revising your profile for content changes, then turn it back on. Leave it on if you want people to know about job changes and other significant changes to your profile.
  • Consider turning your profile summary into one that is story-based 
  • Add the appropriate key words to your profile. Add the words your prospective audiences are searching for and the words you want to be known for - emphasize what your audience's point of view.

Building and Nurturing Your Network  

Ensure what you do share is very interesting and very relevant. LinkedIn is still a "noisy" social media community with articles, updates, announcements, sales solicitations, LinkedIn InMails, Pulse, etc.

  • Send articles of interest you come across from your favorite websites
  • Send articles of interest you come across from your favorite bloggers
  • Answer interesting questions in your groups thoughtful, education-focused responses
  • Share content from your blogs in your updates
  • Share content from your blogs in your Company page
  • Share content from your blogs in your Showcase pages
  • Share content from your articles in your updates
  • Share content from your articles in your Company page
  • Share content from your articles in your Showcase pages
  • Share content from your newsletters in your updates
  • Share content from your newsletters in your Company page
  • Share content from your newsletters in your Showcase pages
  • Share content from your favorite groups (not private)
  • Connect strategically with selected LiONs (LinkedIn Open Networkers) matching your interests to expand your network
  • Leverage advanced search functionality to locate/connect with people with experiences and education like yours to see where they work and where they worked
  • Look through your connections’ connections for good-fit additions for your network
  • Send notes to people in your network when you see status updates or changes to his/her network
  • Share news with appropriate Groups
  • Write recommendations for people in your network. Suggest you ask the person first for keywords and preferred concepts/ideas to write about

Career - Job Seekers / Job Hunters 

There may be some duplicate tips here. I wanted to ensure the tips specific to career were in this list.

  • Download Box.Net and then include your cover letter and resume
  • Help write your recommendations to ensure it is on-message - the message you want to communicate
  • Join professional groups important to your career success
  • Perform competitive intelligence research on the target organizations before applying for a position
  • Perform competitive intelligence research on the target organization's competitors before applying for a position
  • Perform competitive intelligence research on people (e.g., hiring managers) before applying for a position
  • Perform competitive intelligence research on interviewers before your phone screen or in-person interview (e.g., read profiles, do Internet searches, read articles, and read blogs they wrote)
  • Perform competitive intelligence research using the LinkedIn reference check tool on interviewers before your phone screen or in-person interview 
  • Perform competitive intelligence research use advanced search to find current employees. Send a personalized request for a telephone call to discover more information about the prospective organization
  • Perform competitive intelligence research use advanced search to find former employees. Send a personalized request for a telephone call to discover more information about the prospective organization
  • Spend time (a lot) on your Skills. This is an important section as people can search on your skills
  • Search frequently the LinkedIn job opportunities
  • Use the "Follow Company" feature to stay current with organizations you have an interest in joining or learning more about
  • Turn off your update notification in your settings when you are revising your profile then turn it back on. 

59 Veterans Project

I met Jeffrey Ehrenkrantz through an Army veterans LinkedIn group. He is working an awesome project helping both our veterans and national parks.

Here is more information about the 59 Veterans Project. They are expanding their core team and seeking veterans interested in this journey of video discovery.

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Join The 59 Veterans Project on an epic journey of education and discovery that will be created by U.S. Veterans training for a new career in 4K ultra high definition and 3D high-definition videography. The result will be a series of half-hour programs featuring each of America’s 59 National Parks.

Utilizing state of the art 4K ultra high definition and 3D high-definition cameras, our team of videography professionals will teach the veterans field video production techniques. During the course of the project, an onsite producer will provide assignments for these programs which will be viewable online, in various formats including mobile as well as over the air programs.

This ambitious and far reaching year-long project will kick off an ongoing educational program designed to train returning U.S. service men and women to become professional 4K ultra high definition and 3D high-definition videographers. The 59 Veterans Project is just the tip of the iceberg and is a jump starter project that will aid in our larger mission of creating a U.S. National Park Video enterprise that will educate and employ U.S. Veterans for years to come.

We are currently looking to fill positions on our team, both for core team members and veteran participants. If you are interested in applying for a core team position as a chef, assistant chef, driver, or associate producer, please click on their links and fill out our form. We are also looking for veterans, plus a teammate of their choice, as well as bloggers to help tell their story. Preference will given to veterans with the skill to write the stories; it is their unique viewpoint that will add another dimension to the project.

The 59 Veterans Project is a unique and potentially life changing project for all that are involved. We are excited to give back to the veteran community, not only by providing an incredible experience in one of the 59 National Parks, but also educating them in the field of videography by way of a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

personalize linkedin profile

A few days ago I received this form-letter LinkedIn invite (see picture below).

I'm sure you get these...while sometimes fun to read, they have a variety of "bad" characteristics, some more than others. And to me, they really hurt your credibility. And always end up being deleted.

At The Chief Storyteller®, we often find if there is one error, there are at least three more errors.

The "Hi Ellen" greeting is what first caught my attention. Second, where was the personalization and more specifically, the relevance to me? What does "mutually benefit from connecting" mean?

Here is a list of the most common "bad" characteristics we see.

- Lacks personalization - overall, obviously a form-letter
- Lacks personalization - greeting - absence of a name (e.g., "Hello,")
- Generic subject line / irrelevant subject line
- Typos - misspelling, poor punctuation, poor grammar, bad word choice
- Lengthy - sentences and/or letter
- Poor organization of points and supporting points
- Lacks a strong and relevant call-to-action
- Inappropriate greeting and closings
- Far-fetched claims / chest-thumping
- Wrong names used (like this example) / misspelled names

For this invitation-to-connect form letter there are 5 bad characteristics:
- Lacks personalization - overall, obviously a form-letter
- Generic subject line / irrelevant subject line
- Unspecific body copy / irrelevant body copy
- Lacks a strong and relevant call-to-action
- Wrong names used

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Body Language Non Verbal Communications

As an Army veteran (that's me in the picture many years ago), I'm a member of several military and veteran LinkedIn groups. Recently someone posted a nice article titled, "19 Terrible LinkedIn Mistakes You're Making."

Several of the commenters were adamant in keeping a military-style profile picture. And I "adamantly" disagree.

And this is true of everyone. You should ONLY use a professional photograph - "No spouses, no friends, no boats, no dogs..."

Here's the comment I left.

 "If you are using LinkedIn to transition out of the service, then you really should have a corporate-style photograph. No spouses, no friends, no boats, no dogs…just a professional head-shot.

Are you wearing your A's or BDU's to your corporate office? No. I live and work in the Washington, DC area -- No matter where you are, there is a government agency or military office. We are very used to seeing people in and out of uniform, especially reservists. This is not an issue of pride or identity in regard to the uniform.

I’m a very proud vet and proud of those before me, serving now, and future. I want you to have the very best advantage you can when transitioning. You only have one chance for a first impression. Having helped hundreds of veterans from all services with their career transitions and LinkedIn profiles, I know people are hiring you for the future, based on your past (same is true for everyone).

They need to see you are ready for corporate/association/government life. And the picture is the first…the first element in LinkedIn someone will see. LinkedIn is not a resume…it is your representation of what image you want to present. It should be all about your accomplishments.

Since you are being hired based on your military experiences, put "Army Veteran" in your professional headline. If you really want to showcase your service accomplishments with pictures, create a PDF or PowerPoint and upload it to SlideShare for free and provide a link to prospective employers. [I’d be happy to share with anyone several career articles on resumes, answering “tell me about yourself,” and LinkedIn. Also be happy to review any current service member or vet’s LinkedIn profile]"

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Did you see the new change from LinkedIn on messaging group members?

While in a specific Groups, you'll see this subheading to the right of your screen, "Changes for messaging group members."  Underneath this subheading it reads, "We've updated the rules for messaging the Out of Network members in your Groups to prevent abuse. To read more about how we've improved Groups, visit our Help Center."

At a high-level, the new policy means you may only message a maximum of 15 people outside of your connected network per month across all of your groups.

Here's the text from the policy change:

Communicating with a Fellow Group Member
How do I send a message to a group member and allow them to contact me?
Last Reviewed: 06/18/2015

You can send a message to a group member without being connected, and adjust your Member Message settings from within the group. However, there are limits:

1.  You can send 15 free 1:1 group messages to fellow group members each month. This limit is set for all the groups you belong to and not for each group individually. If you go over the limit, you'll see an error message until the next month begins.

- Unsent messages don't carry over to the next month. This limit includes messages sent directly from a group, to your 1st degree connections.
- Only the original message is counted towards the limit. Any back-and-forth replies from either party won’t count towards the 15 message allotment.
- If you need to send more messages for recruiting, promoting, or connecting with members outside your network, we offer many alternatives. Please check out our Premium accounts or Recruiter product options which include InMail messages and recruiting tools to make the most of LinkedIn.

2.  You have to be a member of a group for at least 4 days.

3.  You have to be a member of LinkedIn for at least 30 days in order to send messages to fellow group members.

 

To send a free message directly to a group member:

* From the member list
- Move your cursor over Interests at the top of your homepage and select Groups.
- Click the group's name.
- Click the number of members in the group near the top right.
- Click the Send message link under the member's name. This link will appear only if the member's settings allow them to be contacted by other group members.
- Your inbox will appear.
- Create your message and click Send Message.

* Privately reply to a discussion someone posted
- Click the Dropdown icon next to the discussion.
- Click Reply privately.
- Your inbox will appear.
- Create your message and click Send Message.

 

If you're an owner, manager or moderator of a group, you can also message members from the Manage tab under Participants.

Managers have the same limits as members, but owners/managers also have access to templated/automated messages under the Manage tab to explain why a member was declined from joining a group.

Owners can use these templates to control automated messages that are triggered by a 'Request to join' or 'Decline' action. Learn more about managing message templates for your group. Learn about adjusting your Group Member Messages settings.

If you've ever been to a live show at Radio City Music Hall, a performance on Broadway or an improv performance at a local comedy club, you've undoubtedly seen the different ways performers use their stage presence to connect with their audiences.

Great performers are masters at making each and every audience member feel special and appreciated. They do this by reading their audience – watching, listening and taking their cues from the feedback they receive. Some acknowledge the audience members for coming out to see them, interact with them by asking questions or simply thanking them for their applause. Others work the stage, using movement and gestures to engage their audience. All of this is possible because the performers are spending time on stage before live audiences.

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Like great performers, brands that offer extraordinary customer experiences are masters at making each and every customer feel special and appreciated. I recently attended a customer experience forum in New York City where one of the recurring themes was the importance of talking with customers.

Focus groups and surveys are two common market research tools that are used to understand customer needs, preferences and motivations. However, they often fall short as predictors of customer behavior since participants and respondents do not always follow through on their stated intentions. As one presenter explained, the only way to really know what your customers are thinking is to spend time talking with them.

In short, spending time with your customers and talking with them is like performing before a live audience – not watching a scripted performance from behind a two-way mirror. Executives from the best brands are not afraid to engage customers (and their employees, for that matter) in an interactive setting and, as a result, will often uncover innovative ways to differentiate their brands with a superior customer experience.

 

For more insights on customer experience, please see:
Customer Experience: This Is What It's All About
How One Brand Is Growing Sales In a Weak Economy
• Apple's Genius Bar: Where the Extraordinary Happens

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A few weeks ago, Bhavesh Bhagat from Confident Governance, and I co-presented a keynote presentation at the annual ISACA DC conference. ISACA is an association of IT, Audit, Security & Risk Management, and Cyber professionals.  Its roots go back to 1967. More information on ISACA below.

I met Bhavesh at an Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) two-day event where I was presenting a variety of programs on the elevator speech/value proposition, LinkedIn Makeover, and Media Relations. 

Over the coming months, we created a different kind of "technology" presentation titled, "Awakening the Hidden 'Risk Giant' in You." 

And I do mean different. 

Bhavesh...
- kicked the keynote off sharing a personal story of his time at The Grand Bretgane in Athens, Greece
- talked about the absence of Pluto from our solar system
- shared his outlook on life as a musician and how it positively affects his views as an ISACA professional
- showed a video clip from Daito Manabe's Elevenplay Dance Performance with Drones (yes, drones)

I...
- shared a personal story about my time in Egypt at the famous Sphinx and how that relates to brand and personal recognition
- showed a video clip that epitomized what not do in a presentation
- redefined word clouds into message clouds and how they can benefit you in determining your message
- emphasized the importance of "changing the conversation" (meaning change your messages and personal and organizational stories) to effect change in your organization

I had a great time at the conference. And want to thank Bhavesh again for his invitation to co-present.

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From the ISACA website:  "Today, ISACA’s constituency—more than 140,000 strong worldwide—is characterized by its diversity. Constituents live and work in more than 180 countries and cover a variety of professional IT-related positions—to name just a few, IS auditor, consultant, educator, IS security professional, regulator, chief information officer and internal auditor. Some are new to the field, others are at middle management levels and still others are in the most senior ranks. They work in nearly all industry categories, including financial and banking, public accounting, government and the public sector, utilities and manufacturing. This diversity enables members to learn from each other, and exchange widely divergent viewpoints on a variety of professional topics. It has long been considered one of ISACA’s strengths."

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When it comes to presentations, humor is often a controversial subject. Most speaking experts suggest avoiding humor. The undeniable fact is worldwide, people love to laugh. So…why can’t we include humor?

We suggest YOU DO. In fact, we strongly suggest USING humor in your presentations.

The likely question on your mind is “how do I use humor?” or the less flattering, “I’m not funny. There’s no way I’m using humor.”

Change your mindset. Start small.

Here are some suggested sources that come directly from your personal experiences, which are the best way to tell humorous stories:

a) Family experiences. Stories about both immediate and extended families
b) Personal experiences. Travel stories are universal. Everyone laughs at bad travel experiences
c) Humorous quotes. In your favorite search engine, type, "funny quotes" (without the quotation marks)

            Example:  "Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please."  (Mark Twain)

Whenever possible, test your use of humor on friends, colleagues, and in presentation practice sessions. When you say something funny, wait a few seconds for the audience to “get it” – that is the pausing part.

 

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Great CEOs are Lazy

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Friend and colleague Jim Schleckser writes some great CEO and executive-focused articles. I really liked this one and thought to share it. At the end are some links for more great ideas from Jim.  How about that title?  Grabs your attention...

 

 

Great CEOs Are Lazy

Jim Schleckser, CEO and Managing Director, The CEO Project, 2 June 2015

 

Great CEOs rarely enter into Player Mode. Rather, their first move is to find someone else to do the work.
 
When most CEOs find their company getting into some kind of bind, they jump in to personally help resolve the issue. We call this going into "Player Mode." "I'm just helping out for now," these CEOs tell themselves, "and later on I'll bring in someone else."
 
But the great CEOs out there rarely enter into Player Mode. Rather, his or her first move is to find someone else to do the work. They are very intentional about engaging the organization. That's why great CEOs are lazy.
 
Before you jump through the screen and strangle me, hear me out. Of course great CEOs work hard--but the hard work they do is in finding, recruiting, and engaging the best people to get the task at hand done as well as it can be.

Think back to your high school reading list and recall the story of Tom Sawyer and how he found a way to recruit his friends to help him paint a fence for his aunt. Tom found a way to make the job sound so exciting, he even got his friends to pay him for the privilege of doing it!  Now I'm not advocating using sleight of hand in tackling the issues at your workplace. What I am emphasizing is that as soon as you, as CEO, engage in Player Mode, you lose your ability to recruit other people to get the work done, because you are busy.
 
This notion is very counterintuitive. Many of us began our working lives at the age of 14 or 16, cutting lawns or busing tables or the like. We have worked our whole lives. The idea of not working is somehow offensive to our sense of an internal work ethic.
 
But being "lazy" in this case this is all about working smarter, not harder.

Case in point: I recently met up with the CEO of a professional services company. The top priority for his firm this year is growing its client base. In fact, they planned to double it. And when I talked to this CEO, he mentioned how he planned to work harder to help the firm meet its goals.
 
That's when I stopped him and asked what he meant by that. After all, he couldn't realistically work twice as hard as he was already, right? And how feasible was it that he could help the company literally double the rate at which it closed new deals? The only option on the table that might work, I explained, was to get more people involved in the process. What you need to do, I explained, is to get lazy. He needed to do less customer and sales work himself and do more recruiting of people who could handle that work for the company instead.

I will acknowledge that there will always be times where, when the stuff really hits the proverbial fan, you as CEO might have to step in to do some actual "work." But the great CEOs will make that their fourth or fifth option. In fact, I've known some CEOs who, the worse things get, get "lazier" still: They work harder to get the right people involved in solving the problem, while personally detaching themselves as much from it as they can to remain objective. Not only is that a great way to ensure the right person is doing the job, it's also a great empowerment and team-building approach. Rather than you as CEO parachuting in to save the day, your team will begin to learn that they are the ones who are trusted to save things for themselves. No one is coming to save them. That's powerful stuff.

The point is that unless you are really good at what needs to be done, or truly enjoy it, you're better off with the lazy solution. Heck, even Steve Jobs, who in some ways has become the epitome of the micromanager, really stuck with just a few things he cared about, like the design and look-and-feel of the products. You don't hear about him getting wrapped up in solving operational issues or things dealing with production and manufacturing. He wasn't designing circuit boards. He let the people who were pros at those tasks solve their own issues.
 
So the moral of the story, as you might have guessed by now, is that being lazy pays off for the best CEOs out there. You might ask yourself how your business might benefit if you started doing less and just got lazy.

* Find more about the Inc. CEO Project here including some great articles and insightful videos (scroll down).  Check out Jim's first of five videos on the roles of a CEO. The first one is "5 Roles of a CEO:  Architect."

 

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[Imagine you hear Walt Disney’s “It’s a small world after all” playing in the background] Everyday, we are meeting people from around the world. We are building relationships through email, telephone, Skype, Conferences, Webinars, and so forth.

One of the most important aspects of great relationship building is being appreciative of culture and traditions. Part of this appreciation is the diligent effort to learn a person’s name and how to pronounce it.

With Google Translate, it is super simple. 

1.  Visit Google Translate
2.  Copy and paste the person’s name into either field box
3.  Select from 90+ languages from the drop down arrow (see blue arrows)
4.  Press the “sound icon” (see the orange arrows)
5.  Listen to the pronunciation as many times as you need

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Note:  Thank you to Brandy Schantz from Synergy Home Sales for this terrific suggestion.

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In describing Atlas Corps, Scott Beale, Founder and CEO, shares that Atlas Corps is "an international network of the world's best non profit leaders and social change organizations.  We bring leaders from around the world to serve in the U.S. to learn skills and share their perspectives. And then go back home to create a global network of the world's best social change professionals."

I met Scott about a year ago through a program hosted by CRDF Global and my good friend Natalia Pipia.  We talked briefly and then over the course of about a month outlined a communications program to be offered to the next class of Atlas Corps' Fellows.

Today, I had a the honor of spending a half-day with nearly 70 very passionate social change professionals from more than 50 countries (see picture below). My program was "Executive Storytelling: How to Use Stories to Engage, Persuade, and Inspire."

Two big take-aways:

- Passion opens the door to opportunities. Scalability opens the door to investment. Several of the Fellows are doing great things in their respective countries. They were looking for local partners and investors to help them expand outreach. Someone asked a question sparking a lively discussion of passion and scability. I emphasized investors around the world will always be more receptive to an idea that scales, whether it be for social good or for economic gain.

- Find the right balance. Many of the Fellows were tackling sensitive culture, justice, and historical issues.  Some of the issues were heart-breaking and would bring tears to your eyes hearing some of the stories. I encouraged the fellows to share these stories while keeping in mind that tugging on someone's heart to inspire them to be part of the solution, you must find the right balance of emotion and benefit. In general, people do not want to be overwhelmed with an emotional appeal. They want a reasoned set of arguments with clear benefits. Weave your emotional appeal just enough so that your audience truly understands what is at stake. Empathy over sympathy.

I really enjoyed spending time with the Atlas Corps' Class 18 Fellows. And I sincerely look forward to staying in touch and helping them continue to make a (big) difference in the world.

The next day, Scott posted this very nice recommendation/testimonial. 

Ira did a fantastic job with this public speaking and storytelling workshop to the Atlas Corps Fellows. He engaged a diverse and professional audience of nearly 70 leaders from over 50 different countries and after a four-day training on Marketing and Communication skills, Ira was the favorite presenter for the majority of the Fellows. He is fantastic!

 

With its fantastic history of excellence, Atlas Corps has built a world wide reputation, drawing thousands of applications each year (apply here). What it needs most are host organizations (contact Atlas Corps here). Host organizations receive a variety of benefits. If interested visit the website or email me.

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The Fellows sat at tables of six to eight. On some of the tables I saw name tents with each Fellow's name in a variety of languages. I didn't think of asking them to translate my name until my program was nearly over. I did manage a few...languages and countries of origin are labeled on the next photograph.

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I did manage a few...languages and countries of origin are labeled. Too bad I wasn't able to do more...next time!

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About a week ago I was on LinkedIn.  In the “Whose Viewed Your Profile,” LinkedIn is always making suggestions for groups. This time the Harvard Business Review group was displayed.  I clicked on the [Join] button and was promptly "rejected." Just kidding. The group already had a million members and was full. LinkedIn was sorry, the screen message said.

Not to be deterred, for the next several days, when I would remember, I would click on the [Join] button. I would just sigh and resign myself to be rejected. It now was a matter of "when" I told myself.

After a few days of trying, I was accepted. I didn’t think anything of it.

About an hour later, my friend and colleague Dave (his LinkedIn Profile) sent me a screen shot of the LinkedIn update of me being the 1,000,000 member of the HBR group. His email was “1 in a 1,000,000.” I laughed out loud…quite loudly.

What are you doing to connect with your LinkedIn networks?

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Yesterday while meeting with a client and reviewing his LinkedIn profile, we were talking about how he can demonstrate his skills and, past performance. And how to do so with recommendations, which he only had two. While we were strategizing on a plan to request tailored recommendations, he asked, "Do you know how to send these recommendations easily?" I smiled and said, "yes I do."

I thought to share how as this week's tip.

One of the best reasons to use this LinkedIn hack is for job seekers, recruiters, and HR teams to easily view a candidate's recommendations for his/her ENTIRE profile with one click rather than having to search a person's profile, job-by-job.

A not-so-obvious reason is for organizations to demonstrate excellent customer service, past performance, etc. to prospective customers, partners, etc. Organizations should link to team member profiles with the representative recommendations.

Here's how:

1) Log-in to your LinkedIn profile
2) Click on the [Profile] menu option, top left of your screen, close to the blue LinkedIn logo
3) Scroll down to your summary information. This is the box with your picture, name, professional headline, etc.
4) Look at the bottom left of your summary box for a gray LinkedIn logo and a URL (see orange arrow below). This is your public profile URL.

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5) Copy your public profile URL, paste it into your browswer, then add #recommendations at the very end. Press and you'll see just your recommendations for all of your employement history. This is how the URL would look to view my recommendations.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/thechiefstoryteller#recommendations


Note:  If your LinkedIn profile is outside the United States, delete the country letters from your profile URL.

If you have any trouble email me.

 

Source:  I found the original article here (Showcase Imagery) and simplified it above for you.

 

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