You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2011.

(found at todayandtomorrow)


‘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?‘.    

UPDATE:  Follow this link for a playback of the Seminar highlighted below

A free Webinar will be hosted by Linkage on Thursday June 9th at 11 AM Eastern time on “Leading Your Own Life: A New Approach to Employee Engagement” and featuring Executive Coach (and one of my idols) Dr. Marshall Goldsmith.

Click here to register…oh, and here’s some some pre-viewing…and below that, some pre-reading.  See you there!

Stop Chasing the Wrong Priorities
by Marshall Goldsmith

I’ve spent a lot oftime studying what makes people happy, successful leaders. But some of the best suggestions I can think of came out of a study of a bunch of elderlyretirees, who, as far as I know, never had been CEOs. A friend of mine had interviewed this group about what advice they’d give to youngerpeople. What, they were asked, is the key to having a great life?

Their answers were both simple and wise so I’ll summarize here.Then I will explain what applicability I think they have to your careers.

1.  Be happy now. Not next week, not next month, not next year.Now. The great Western disease we are spreading around the world is “I’ll be happy when.” When I get that BMW, when I get that newhouse, when I get that status. Americans are among the luckiest people in the history of the world. Don’t get so wrapped up looking at what youdon’t have that you miss that, what you do have.

2.  Appreciate your friends and family. When you’re 95 years old andyou’re on your death bed, do you think you’ll be surrounded by your clients? It’s your friends and family who matter most.

3.  If you have a dream, go for it. Want to write a book? Visit New Zealand? Learn to speak Mandarin? Your dream doesn’t have to big–itcould be one that people think is silly, or just plain nuts. It’s your dream, and you should go for it now because when you’re 75, you maynot be able to do it.

Now how does this apply to being a better, more fulfilled leader? It turns out the advice hews pretty closely.

1. Having fun at your job is key.

It’s important not only because life is short, but if you don’t enjoy whatyou’re doing, it will be very hard to make your colleagues enthusiastic. Want the young people who work for you to be happy at work? You gofirst.

2. You need to take the time to help your colleagues.

It can’t be all about you. Coach your subordinates; givefeedback to coworkers. The most important reason to do this has nothing to do with money. The most important reason is that 95-year-old retiree wouldbe proud of you if you did and disappointed with you if you don’t. And if you don’t believe this is true, ask any CEO who has retired:“What are you proud of?” I’ve interviewed many, and not one told me how big their office was or how fancy their car was; usuallywhat they talk about is relationships that meant the most to them.

3. “Going for it” is the most important thing you can do foryourself.

In a fast-changing world, where industries are being overturned, the only certainty is doing what you believe in. You may notsucceed–you could even fail miserably– but at least you would be able to look at yourself in the mirror and say, “Oh, what the heck,at least I tried.”

Originally published in bNet

The other day I was thinking, ‘You know what?  People, umm, OK, fine, I, should consume less and create more.’   Behind the thought was the feeling that consumption is in a way a pretty lazy, self-centered and really distracting exercise, and doesn’t do a thing to advance your presence, or your contribution, in the world.  Creating is more work, but brings far more joy than any amount of things ever could.  And so, for me, it was a simple reminder to make an effort to create whenever I possibly can.

I think its a cool mantra.  It’s no aum or anything, but still…  I promptly tacked the phrase up in my office.

About a day later, curious to see if anyone out on the Internets shared the brilliance of my insight (cough) I tapped my new motto into Google and remarkably (OK maybe not THAT remarkably) found that not only had other folks at some point had the same epiphany, but a talented and like-minded soul from Nebraska actually took the phrase to heart and used it to create a pretty neat quotations site that’s well, pretty neat.   I think that’s what you call serendipity.

By the way, the pic that adorns this post is Flannery O’Connor, and I included it simply because I love her soooo much and because she had such grit, brilliance and tenacity.  This is my favorite picture of her.  I always imagine she’s watching her peacocks, and that I’m in the rocking chair to her right sipping a tall lemonade and not really speaking in that, we’re-so-like-minded-we-don’t-need-to-ruin-it-with-words, kind of way.   Ya I know.

Oh, and here’s my favorite quote by Ms. O’Connor, which I’ve pretty much come to know by heart.  It reminds me to conquer the monsters, of consumption or otherwise, and to just go create something.

“When I sit down to write, a monstrous reader looms up who sits down beside me and continually mutters, ‘I don’t get it, I don’t see it, I don’t want it.’ Some writers can ignore this presence, but I have never learned how.” 

June 2011
« May   Sep »

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 11 other followers