Archive - November, 2013

Jab It! A Review of JJJRH

I actually did say that (Jab It) to a friend recently who is building his online presence and engaging his growing tribe. Those who have read Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crush It will be very familiar with his iconic words used to remind his audience to throw their best effort in building a business, brand and influence. In other words, Crush It.

In Gary’s new book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook (JJJRH), he has the voice of someone who has been through the startup phase, the middle of tasted success and is now on the top with a hand down to those who follow in his incredible path. In Crush It, he came at the reader with a fervor and near maniacal energy of a man on a rant. (he actually dictated the whole book!)  In JJJRH Gary has slowed down to an even pace of someone who has made many right moves but also plenty of mistakes. There is a humbleness and seasoned approach here that stands out. That is truly new. And if you have ever watched his Wine TV, you know the man has plenty to say and the energy to sustain it. And please don’t read that wrong. I attribute Crush It to being one of the main forces that got this blog through 5 years and over 200 hundred posts. It was an incredible manifesto. I have referred back to it many times.

gvpromo2013JJRH is a brilliant look at not only the uniqueness of social media and its growth to becoming a standard for any brand, but also in Gary’s call for the reader to never get too settled on any method or assumption when it comes to an audience or a tribe.

The first section dives into how JJJRH is a compilation of all things good in his first two books, Crush It and The Thank You Economy as well as new insights, mainly on how to not just survive but thrive on the leading edge of an ever changing horizon of social engagement.  For me being able to immediately apply something I gained from a book is one of the best signs of value.

I lead a team of relationship ninjas at Saddleback Leather Company. In the past year we have branched out into new social platforms. We already knew that each one needed to be approached carefully with sensitivity to how the people on those platforms speak, share and operate. Gary’s guidance on how to do that well is first class. The meat of the book dives into the biggies with dedicated chapters for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr. There are also forward looking treatments on emerging networks as well.

A good look at JJJRH means you will have everything to plan your next move. I highly recommend it to CEOs and those in the social trenches.

It Takes Tact

Have you had a conversation that went really well or an ask that was warmly received? I bet you used tact as part of your approach. You might not have even realized it.

In connecting so much of the outcome involves the very first actions. Even before those actions we can prepare ourselves with a proper mind set that leads to tact.

Webster defines tact as “the ability to do or say things without offending or upsetting other people. A keen sense of what to do or say in order to maintain good relations with others or avoid offense.” My favorite is the last one, “sensitive mental or aesthetic perception”.

I asked several friends what words came to mind when they thought of the word tact. Here are some of them:

-Respect

-Assume-good-intent

-Genuine,

-Just like we teach our kids, listen more than speak.

-Questions

-Consideration

-Patience

-Listen first

-Gentle

-Lack of tact

-Be considerate of other’s time

-Love

-Slow to speak

-Tact vs. authenticity

-Bring life

-Tact is moot if you’re really connected.

-Be silent

-Less words

-Polite

-Humility.

From the responses I would say everyone both wants tact and appreciates it when others use it.

All of these words are reflections of mindfulness. They reflect the actions of a good listener. Someone who is not rushed. They are characteristics of people who are outward focused.

I think this will be a fun book chapter to write.

133 Email Drafts

How mindful are you with your communication? My friend Peter Biddle a couple days ago noticed a detail of my professional life in an Instagram picture I shared. He commented “133 emails in your drafts folder? Do you ever hit send?”

discardThe answer is yes. I hit send all day long. But more than that I pause before sending even the shortest email. It has become a habit of mine to re-read each sentence before launching a message out into someones inbox. Most I do send. Often, I ditch it and call the person, write a quick text or delete the draft.

My step dad once told me that he thought about everything he said to someone once before letting the words cross his lips. He had a filter that would judge the worthiness of his speech. His practice wasn’t hesitation, double mindedness or indecision, it was great wisdom.

One of the best ways I have found to connect with someone is to learn how they communicate naturally, how they preferrer to communicate and most of all being present and mindful.

Mindfulness is a casualty of our current age. Busyness defaults to hasty words, disengaged hearts and rudeness.

Some of those 133 drafts were extremely long emails. In many of those cases I realized that there is no way I would be able to take the time and read through it myself. Why should I expect the recipient to read it. A phone call or in-person meeting would be much more appropriate.

To end this I thought Tiffany Shlain’s short film on tech etiquette she published this week would sum it up well. Check it out. My favorite was the section on email.

Oh and Peter, I deleted those drafts to make room for more. 😉

1000 More

I have published over 200 posts (a few others on others sites as well) all about human connection since November 2008. I took Gary Vaynerchuk’s advice in his book Crush It and focused on something I could easily write 1,000 posts on (he actually said 500 but I like

photo (1)

the idea of 1,000). So really I am just getting started. But before I write more I want to know what you would like to read. What subjects on human connection do you want explore? These have everything to do with the technology we use to connect, how we do business, the impact our marriages have on the world, how we raise our children and the  art we create.

So please leave a comment telling me what I have missed or send me a note on my contact page. Let me know if you want to write something about connectedness. Thanks!

Willfully Ignoring Inputs

In Steve Jobs’ Biography Walter Isaacson writes “as usual, he was good at willfully ignoring inputs that he did not want to process”.  We all find ourselves here. For Jobs, it was a big one. He was diagnosed with cancer. It was early enough to possibly cure.

inputThese inputs show up most in our relationships. As we connect, work and create we expose the weakest parts of ourselves. Have you ever wanted to hang up on someone? Has a conversation left you red faced? If so you have experienced an input.

Like a chemical reaction, change takes place and we are never the same again. We have a choice each and every-time it happens. We can embrace the often painful experience that can make us flinch, letting it run its course. We choose to address the input and grow.

We can also choose to ignore.

“As usual, he was good at willfully ignoring inputs that he did not want to process”.

There is no softening this. It is one of the hardest things we can ever  choose to do. What lies on the other side of it is humility, intimacy and vulnerability.

Best of all we connect at  a deep part with those around us. We learn and we love. Most of all we change and grow.