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I think of this mindset as "I only trust what I can see with my own eyes," and it's pretty epidemic. You've said in the past you only work with enlightened leaders. (Smart move.) So here's my question: is enlightened thinking something that can be taught? It seems pretty critical to business success. If you can't see outside your own worldview, how can you treat customers they way they want to be treated, instead of the way you think they should be treated? Feels like a bit of a chicken-and-an-egg conundrum. Looking forward to your thoughts.

1 week, 6 days ago on Why Outside-In Thinking Is So Difficult

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#1 made me laugh, but in the hollow, that's-really-not-so-funny way that's born of painful experience. There's an illusion, I think, that all this digital activity is meaningful to our customers, when in actuality it can be just a lot of white noise. Making sure to show the human side of our businesses is essential to building relationships that also feel real to our customers. More time-consuming? Of course. But it can set us apart.

2 weeks, 6 days ago on 5 Ways to Sabotage your Customer Experience

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Great tips. You can see that Trader Joe's values customer service by the way they train their employees. They're unfailing helpful, polite and pleasant, and everyone at my local store had a big impact in converting me to their brand.

3 weeks, 4 days ago on 3 Rules for Investing in Good Relationships with Customers

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@ginidietrich Pretty sure I won't feel safe with Uber any longer. 

1 month ago on The Uber Issues Cannot Be Fixed by PR

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So much to say, but I'll limit it to this:

1.The world just keeps getting scarier for women who travel for business. Typically I rented a car rather than deal with cab companies. (Except in London: that's how to run a taxi business). The expense, and the time I spent getting lost, was worth it so I could feel less vulnerable than I do in the back seat of a dirty car driven by a strange man.


2.I'm shocked at all the journalists who were in the room and apparently had no reaction to Michael's "venting." (His words, not mine.) What he was really doing was THREATENING a woman for doing her job! Except for BuzzFeed: I love them more and more.


3. And the first thing Kalanick should have done was fired Michael. Any credibility he had (and he didn't have much) went right out the window at that point.

1 month ago on The Uber Issues Cannot Be Fixed by PR

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It seems to me, Ken, that you're talking about authenticity and passion, both which can get kicked to the curb when you're simply pursuing the ability to influence. I like this a lot. I've been trying of late to be, as you suggest, simply the best I can be, and not worry about the people who don't get me and don't like me or my ideas. It's an adjustment, because it's a different way of thinking for me, but it feels good. We'll see where it gets me.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on The Problem with Social Media; or, Why I Don’t Seek to be an Influencer

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Your thoughtful post (as always) makes me think of HALT. Don't make decisions when you're feeling Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. It amazes me how our emotions can cripple us intellectually. They really are warning signs to slow down, crawl out of that sandbox, and get reoriented to what matters: the guiding principles in your life.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Get out of the Emotional Sandbox

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Love this. Always deliver the King-sized candy bar version of excellent customer service.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Learn Good Customer Service Skills from Trick & Treating

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I think you've inspired a new mantra for me: "Soul first." Pretty useful decision making tool. Do what feeds the soul, feeds the world, feeds all that's good around us. Thanks.

2 months ago on Do the Things that Make Your Soul Grow

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OK. I've been getting this message from the universe for awhile now, and I'm going to do something about it. I consider myself challenged to become more than just a novice at Google analytics. Gini, I especially love your tip about scheduling a regular meeting with yourself to make sure you're putting in the time, regardless of the vehicle you choose. I'm off to invite myself right now.

2 months, 1 week ago on Analytics Resources and Data for Communications Pros

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@TaraFriedlundGeissinger @magriebler You can always count on Captain Underpants to come through. He's pretty irresistible, even for the most reluctant reader. My hero!

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Banned Books Week: Celebrate the Freedom to Read

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These are the painful grown-up moments in life, Gini, and doing the right thing never feels all that great, honestly.


I've had to make some hard choices in the past few years when I was asked to do things that felt like selling my soul to Mephistopheles. I took the high road and the consequences still hurt, a lot. But at the end of the day we have to be able to look ourselves in the mirror and like what we see.

To quote Buddy, that wise wise man in "Elf," it does not feel good to build a life on a throne of lies.


Karma likes the good guys, BTW. She'll take care of you.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on The Squishy Grey Line of Ethics

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I love how you balance practicality with creativity. The final product -- be it salad or content -- can't happen if you don't plan, sharpen your tools and set aside time to assemble, regardless of how fresh and delightful the recipe or idea may be. One can't happen without the other.

2 months, 4 weeks ago on On Slicing Vegetables

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Goodness. I've given copies of Captain Underpants to dozens of children, many of them impressionable. Finding out it was honored with a spot on the 2013 list has inspired me to keep on giving.

2 months, 4 weeks ago on Banned Books Week: Celebrate the Freedom to Read

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It makes no sense, intellectually, that saying "no" means you can say "yes" more deeply to the choices you have made. And it makes no sense how we're all too often drawn to people with knives in their hands and our hearts in their crosshairs. But these are exactly the kinds of upside-down rules that should guide our lives. Thanks, Erin; a lovely post.

3 months, 1 week ago on No is a Valid Answer

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I too have been puzzled by the backlash and think you hit the nail on the head. If you don't want to watch the videos, don't. Just make a donation, for crying out loud, and shut up. And even the people who are doing the challenge to be silly are contributing to a national awareness campaign and making a difference. Bravo! 


As for me, I've enjoyed watching every video and shuddering with each overturned bucket of ice. (Notice how everyone says some version of "That was cold?" I love that.)  Am I thinking more about ALS now? You bet I am. Have I been talking with others about the people I know who have had the disease? Of course. Have I made a donation? Absolutely. We are talking now about a particularly cruel disease that hasn't gotten much press coverage to date. And that's a victory of some kind, in my opinion.

4 months ago on Of Ice Buckets and Naysayers: Why I Chose to Do the ALS #IceBucketChallenge

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Ah yes. Gray. Possibly my least favorite color in the world. I am so easily distracted by those bright flashy reds and purples and yellows. So crisp! So clear!


But there's a reason Frost's poem continues to haunt us years after we read it in high school English class. He's speaking to truth. Grown-ups know that accepting the reality of loss and regret is an integral part of success. We cannot be all things to all people nor can we be a master of all trades. But we can be the best of what we consciously choose to do. 


And yes, that does make all the difference. 


Thank you for writing the very post I needed to read today!

5 months, 1 week ago on Don’t Be Afraid to Miss Out

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@mickeygomez I became a much better supervisor after I had children because I was more patient, more specific in my instructions and more invested in the success of my staff. (And you know I'm not saying you have to be a parent to be a good manager.) These are skills that employers should value. Not everything you need to thrive in the workplace is developed in an office environment.

1 year, 4 months ago on What the Opt-Out Generation Means Longer-Term

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@katskrieger @RebeccaTodd I think Louis is one of the most highly evolved humans I know. He should not be eaten by lions. I can make other recommendations in that area.

1 year, 8 months ago on Gin and Topics: Dedication Edition

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What I love about the whole "to sell is human" concept is that even when sales isn't a line item in our job descriptions, it's a mindset that indispensible for success, whatever our calling in life. We have to sell ourselves in a job interview. We have to sell our ideas to our bosses and our colleagues. David Mamet said it best: "Always be closing! " Because there's always a deal in the offing that can move us to the next stage in our careers.

1 year, 9 months ago on To Sell is Human: A Communicator’s View on New Business

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While I am personally creeped out by the idea of an open video session (I like my office, although the door is always open), what's great about this conversation is the reminder that there are so many ways to stay in touch while working virtually. Phone. Text. Email. Skype. Google. I'm not in a virtual office environment right now, but I have been in the past. I figured out what communication tactic worked best for each staff person and that's what we did. As a team, we met regularly via conference calls (no video).

 

Isn't it nice that we can customize the way we work with our colleagues, just as we can customize the way we reach out to our audiences? I love it. We truly are free to work anywhere these days. What happened at Yahoo is a failure of management and I wish we were talking about that, instead of blaming the staff.

1 year, 9 months ago on Can Technology Replace In-Person Meetings?

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 @PattiRoseKnight1 What a nice distinction. Part of listening is also showing that you're engaged so the speaker doesn't have to wonder whether you're really paying attention or not.

1 year, 9 months ago on Shut Up: How Great Leaders Listen

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 @ginidietrich  @ElissaFreeman I love that phrase: This isn't the Gini show. It's not the Marianne show either. (More's the pity -- HA.) But it's only by shutting up that we really help team members grow into their strengths, build confidence, show their smarts and ultimately become better contributors to the overall mission. Sounds like a pretty good reason to bite our tongues.

1 year, 9 months ago on Shut Up: How Great Leaders Listen

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 @JackVincent You're really on target with this. Being intentional about listening gives you the information you need to tailor your pitch to the individual prospect. You're not making assumptions about what they need. It turns a sales call into a partnership. 

1 year, 9 months ago on Shut Up: How Great Leaders Listen

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I almost forgot! Happy birthday, Lindsay!

1 year, 10 months ago on I Hate PR People: The Rules of Pitching Bloggers and Media

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I enjoy a good sports analogy. So when you think about pitching and baseball, you realize that a successful pitcher can not only visualize his target (home plate) but knows his audience (in this case, the batter). He literally designs his pitch for the person standing in front of him. He wants the guy to whiff, of course and a PR professional would prefer a home run, but the concept is the same.

 

So whether you're aiming for a blogger or a batter, you need to have a clear target in mind and customize your delivery for each individual. Otherwise, it's not really a pitch at all. It's a hot mess.

1 year, 10 months ago on I Hate PR People: The Rules of Pitching Bloggers and Media

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@ginidietrich @magriebler Oh yeah.

1 year, 10 months ago on Gin and Topics: Iron Man 3 (My Boyfriend) and YOLO

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Your boyfriend. is. brilliant.

1 year, 10 months ago on Gin and Topics: Iron Man 3 (My Boyfriend) and YOLO

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So lovely to meet you, Elissa. I love how you spell your name. And I love that you work hard at taking care of yourself . Way to inspire the rest of us!

1 year, 10 months ago on #FollowFriday: Elissa Freeman

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To this outstanding list (including the insightful comments) I would add: Learn to quantify your work so that you can always demonstrate your potential impact on the bottom line (or the organization's mission, if you're on the nonprofit side as I am). That means taking the time to set achievable goals and measurable outcomes for everything you do. There have been many great Spin Sucks posts on this topic, so I won't reinvent the wheel. But too often PR is overlooked because senior management thinks it doesn't make a dent in the strategic plan. Show them HOW and WHY it does.

1 year, 10 months ago on Five Things You Can Do to Be Successful in PR

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@Erin F. @Shonali I've always loved the phrase: Perfect is the enemy of the good. If we try to avoid the mess, we might stay neat and tidy but we won't be creative. And sometimes, in the messiness, we are able to mine something truly precious and unique.

1 year, 10 months ago on Embrace Messiness

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 @lauraclick Laura, I think you perfectly captured the fine line in this issue. In a corporate setting, too much "me" can definitely interfere with the "we" of the larger mission (and can make you look like less than a team player). 

1 year, 10 months ago on Two Reasons a Personal Brand is Imperative to Business Growth

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We all wanted Armstrong to be clean because his life was such a great story and we're hard-wired to need great stories. So you're exactly right when you say this is bigger than professional cycling. Many of us know cancer survivors and their friends and families who hadn't ridden a bike since grammar school but wore that Livestrong bracelet because of the hope it gave them. What a sad, sad mess this is.

 

Watching the interview with my PR hat on, it was clear that he'd been coached to say the right words. But you can't coach or manufacture genuine emotion and that was sorely lacking. He just wants to be able to compete again and he's willing to do anything to make that happen, including lie through his teeth and genuflect before Oprah. The only time he looked uncomfortable was talking about his kids. But not when he talked about trying to destroy people's lives when they spoke the truth. At that point the interview was scarier than any horror movie.

 

 

1 year, 11 months ago on The Three Things, Edition 16

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 @samfiorella Looks like you're doing just fine. :-)

1 year, 11 months ago on #FollowFriday: Sam Fiorella

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Hi Sam! Lovely to meet you. Welcome to the #FF Roast here on Spin Sucks. From what I can tell, everyone does survive. 

1 year, 11 months ago on #FollowFriday: Sam Fiorella

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 @bradmarley  @RebeccaTodd Your secret is safe with us.

1 year, 11 months ago on What is Your Professional Social Stalking Protocol?

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 @bradmarley LOVE it. A great analogy.

1 year, 11 months ago on What is Your Professional Social Stalking Protocol?

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 @RebeccaTodd It is impractical. FB seems almost like an obligation lately, although I do go through phases of pretending like it doesn't exist. (You and I have to meet IRL some day, missy.)

1 year, 11 months ago on What is Your Professional Social Stalking Protocol?

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Clearly you've been stalking my stalking protocols! I think you did a great job of highlighting best practices for online networking. LinkedIn and Twitter are my go-to platforms for business relationships and I am holding a pretty hard line on that. After getting burned on Facebook, I've tried to keep that purely personal, although there are Spin Sucks colleagues (among others) who make it through the filter. But that decision only comes after a courtship in my more professional arenas.

1 year, 11 months ago on What is Your Professional Social Stalking Protocol?

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 @ginidietrich Not so much. Maybe 3 cm on the ground and it's spitting a few flakes here and there. I really have to upgrade my snow dance. It's been a total bust this year.

1 year, 11 months ago on A Complete Compilation of the 2012 #FollowFriday Recommendations

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#FF on Spin Sucks is always the best. day. ever. And love the recap!

1 year, 11 months ago on A Complete Compilation of the 2012 #FollowFriday Recommendations

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 @HeidiMassey I'll check it out; thanks! 

1 year, 12 months ago on #FollowFriday: Heidi Massey

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 @SocialMediaDDS  @HeidiMassey Claudia, you always make me blush! I love that! And now is as good a time as any to share my good news with you: I recently started a job as head of marketing at The Morton Arboretum. It definitely made the holidays brighter! 

1 year, 12 months ago on #FollowFriday: Heidi Massey

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 @HeidiMassey  I do! And I live in the Chicago area too. Maybe some day our paths will cross ....

1 year, 12 months ago on #FollowFriday: Heidi Massey

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Hi Heidi! It's always good to run into someone from the nonprofit side. Enjoy your day in the spotlight here at Spin Sucks! Consider it an early Christmas present from all of us.

2 years ago on #FollowFriday: Heidi Massey

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 @belllindsay Chicagoans do too. I've got photographic evidence.

2 years ago on Gin and Topics: Christmas, Sports Fans, and Procrastination

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The Christmas Movie Viewing Season has officially started at our house and first up was "Love Actually." OBVS. London at Christmas! Naked people! Love all around! It's a perennial favorite.

 

And take a look at Robert Palmer's Addicted to Love video to see the inspiration for Billy Mack and his back-up "musicians." :-)

2 years ago on Gin and Topics: Christmas, Sports Fans, and Procrastination

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 @ginidietrich He sets the bar high! I love it.

2 years ago on #FollowFriday: Joe Thornley

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Reading and people who read absolutely rule! Lovely to meet you, Joe. Enjoy your day in the sun here at Spin Sucks.

2 years ago on #FollowFriday: Joe Thornley

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I think you're spot on here. For me, I find that I gain trust in people who are consistent in their behavior, on- and offline. Our personal brand is becoming more and more important as a tool to break down barriers and make new connections possible. It doesn't happen overnight; it takes time; it takes patience. All of these are in short supply lately, sad to say.

2 years ago on The Trust Problem

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