Today the NY Times published a letter written by a top Goldman executive, Greg Smith, who is departing the firm – as of today – over what he refers to as a culture of ‘toxic’ greed.   It’s a brave and thoughtful letter that I’m sure won’t win him many fans in the industry.  Or then again, maybe it will…

After all, at the end of the day, and despite what we do, we’re all just human beings – and each of us wants to be part of something meaningful.  Something bigger and better than ourselves.

Even if you’re one of those folks who hate bankers – you have to admit – today Greg Smith submitted one of the all time great resignation letters.  Today he said the ‘things we think and do not say’ …

Why I am Leaving Goldman Sachs by Greg Smith (reprinted from the NY Times)

TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it…(more)

Oh and in case you haven’t seen it in a while, here’s Jerry Maguire in all his sweaty, anxious, doubtful/but knows at his core he’s doing the right thing, glory…

AND a link to the entire mission statement.  Fabulous.

I’m always blown away at the level of free, quality learning there is on the internet.  Despite the fact that the world seems nuts lately, we truly live in a blessed time my friends.

My recent ‘learning’ obsessions are a course taught by Professor Michael Ganz at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University on organizing and leadership for social change

and of course,  The Kahn Academy – which I may have mentioned before.  I am obsessed with this site.   I’m actually going to leverage this technique for employee communications (the videos I mean).  The setup is so basic and to the point.  Short, sweet, powerful and relevant.  All good.

I so deeply appreciate folks who share their knowledge so freely.  Again, it’s a great world.  Enjoy!

Happy Tuesday!    I just received information on some great (free) tele-seminars.  Click on the Topic titles to register…see you there!

Topic: The Transformational Power of Smart Trust
Date: Thursday, March 1
Time: 10 AM (PST) / 1 PM (EST)
Speakers:  Stephen M. R. Covey, Author, Smart Trust

Whether you want to get ahead or simply stay afloat in today’s world, understanding how to build trust in relationships is imperative.   Join this live webinar to hear Stephen M. R. Covey, author of Smart Trust, explain how the power of trust can transform your personal and professional life.

Topic: Hiring for Attitude
Date: Tuesday, February 28
Time: 10 AM (PST) / 1 PM (EST)
Speakers:  Mark Murphy (moderated by Patricia Wheeler)

In today’s marketplace, qualities that drive success have changed. Technical proficiency, once a guarantee of lifetime employment, is a commodity in today’s job market.  Attitude is what today’s companies are hiring for.  And not just any attitude; companies want attitudes that perfectly match their unique culture. Google and Apple are both great companies, but their cultures are as different as night and day.

Organizations pour thousands of dollars into creating brands, but when it comes to their employment brand and finding the people who actually have the right characteristics to succeed in their unique culture, they often look the other way.  Leadership IQ’s research discovered that 89% of the times new hires failed, it wasn’t because they didn’t have the right skills; it was because they didn’t have the right attitude to succeed.

During this 60-minute conference call we will be discussing the three points below plus fielding your specific questions:

  • How will the hiring landscape change in 2012 and beyond? 
  • Why do so many fail within the first 18 months on the job and what can be done about this?
  • How and where can companies find candidates with the right attitude?  What is the impact of social media?

I had a great week.  Westminster Dog Show on Monday and Tuesday – very cool.  A three day work week – got some good work done, and met some awesome people.  Oh, and if you didn’t notice, THE Nancy Duarte commented on my blog!   I seriously almost plotzed.

Oh and now it’s a beautiful, cool, breezy and sunny, East Coast day AND a three day weekend.   I’m sitting in my (home) office listening to my puppies snore and thinking…God is good my friends, God is good.

So today – nothing really work related, was just feeling good and thought I’d share some ‘happy’ in video form.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

I really can’t express just how much I love and admire Nancy Duarte and Duarte Design.  Suffice to say, I’m a devotee.    If you are in any way involved with creating or delivering a speech or presentation – or if you’re even remotely interested in what it takes to communicate masterfully – watch this talk and buy her books on Amazon.  She’s a-ma-zing.

Doesn’t finding stuff you wrote a long time ago feel eerily like when you find twenty bucks in some random jacket pocket? Kind of like ‘Oh awesome, I can use that!’ Anyway, I just came across this while cleaning up my office and it reminded me that my life credo could use a little refresh.  

A life credo is a good thing. It can help guide you, from time to time, through the darkness that is indecision. It can remind you of who you are, why you believe you are here, and what you plan to do about it all.

When creating your credo, make sure it rings of what’s true in you and assure that in living by it you leave the world a better place because you were in it.   And though you’ll probably rewrite it as often as you rewrite yourself, if you can hold to these basic principles – you will be the blessing the universe intended you to be.

I’ve had a few life credos over the years, but as I said above, they seem to need to change and stretch over time. It would be so amazing to be able to churn out something vast and profound and poetic like ‘Desderata’

Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all it’s sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

or better yet, something simple like Einstein’s

The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious.”

or the famous Whole Earth Catalog final issue sign-off that Steve Jobs made so famous

‘Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”

…but I’m just not there (yet). I’ll keep trying though.

 

Working on a town hall presentation these days and stumbled across a neat quotations site called World of Inspiration.

Actually found a bunch I haven’t heard (which is really saying something)….like this one…“Just because something is easy to measure doesn’t mean it’s important.”  Seth Godin.

Speaking of Seth Godin…have you heard of The Domino Project?   I’m in love with this site and concept – changing the way books are created, sold and sent out into the world.  I, of course, have all the books and they are, of course, all great and highly recommended.   I haven’t read ‘We’re All Weird’ yet but with that title alone, c’mon, you know it’s gonna be great.   Oh and the cover is amazing, as all their covers are.

Oh and to all my tens of readers, sorry I haven’t posted in what feels like forever.   In recent months I actually started a new job and well, it’s been so beezy.   Anyway, I promise to share more frequently particularly as the new job has caused me to come up with a whole slew of snazzy new communication and engagement initiatives.  Fun, fun, fun.

Complete non-sequitur…

Here is a picture of our Havanese Rudy…I know, so cute right?

(found at todayandtomorrow)

http://www.everythingisaremix.info/

‘The Parking Lot Movie’ – A 2010 documentary about a bunch of 20 something, way intellectual, parking lot attendants who really, really love their job.

These guys elevate what some may deem a lowly occupation to something truly meaningful, and apply the kind of dedication, passion and creativity most managers only dream would ever come out of their teams.    They feel free to do this in large part because of their boss, and the environment he creates.  At one point called a spiritual teacher, Chris Farina simply believes that his employees come first, and that customers (which in this case he considers the cars) come second.  I love this film.   If you have a Netflix subscription, you can ‘Watch Instantly’ too.

Andrea Useem at Brazen Life created a nifty post today highlighting 6 Must Watch Career Videos selected from Big Think…all of them awesome.

And finally two videos featuring Steven Johnson discussing ‘Where do Good Ideas Come From?‘.    

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