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Archive for the month “November, 2017”

You Don’t Make Connections at the Drive-Thru—(Joe Pesci was right)

drivethruYou love coffee, I love coffee, we all love coffee.  As we all know, it tastes a whole lot better when someone else makes it and you sip it as you walk into the office.  But, you must also get your kids to school and be at work by 8:30am.  So, you rush around and get that morning coffee at the Drive-Thru. Oh, the stories and connections you are missing out on.  Joe Pesci had it right in Lethal Weapon 2, but for different reasons.  I promise if you take the extra five minutes and walk into Dunkin Donuts/Starbucks each morning (…and maybe even throw a buck into the tip jar occasionally) you will start your day off on such a higher level.

There is something about “The Law of Familiarity” that makes people friendlier, and like you more each time they see you.  We tend to be attracted to things we are familiar with.  But, here’s the catch.  The key word is “see” you.  Not Facebook…Not a Tweet….And DEFINITELY NOT an Email.  Engage in even a little conversation, and your coffee server can open all kinds of doors for you.  Maybe even an extra espresso shot here and there.

Be seen, be present, make someone smile.  As hard as Facebook tries, they haven’t figured out a way to capture a real smile and a warm “good morning.” (Or an extra shot of espresso)


  1. wordsmeanthingsWords build or break relationships.
  2. Words can easily be misunderstood—Choose them wisely.
  3. Words can start wars, or make people fall in love.
  4. Words should be transparent, authentic and without hidden agendas.
  5. Words can INCREASE or KILL energy.
  6. Words justify logic.
  7. Words can build value over price.
  8. Words invoke emotions. Emotions play a major role in most purchase decisions. Never lose sight of how potential customers want to feel: Safer, healthier, smarter, more attractive, in control and that they didn’t make the wrong choice.
  9. Words should be chosen based on the audience.
  10. The most important Word is “YOU”.

Creative Clutter

Clutter-brain-imageWhat does it take to be creative? A loose environment where people can walk around barefoot thinking about the next big thing?  Maybe I guess. But I present to you a different way to look at the best creative minds.

They may not look like it on the surface, but creative people have to be the most organized in an organization. In the advertising world, they must deal with deadlines, angry clients, angry sales reps, angry bosses…Lots of things to juggle.

The right brain thinkers of the world must come up with the ideas, AND have their to-do list cleaned up and immaculate.  That’s where the magic happens.  Loose ends pull us in the wrong directions and take our mind off of, well, the next thing big thing.

Creativity doesn’t rise out of clutter. It comes from being so organized your mind can move onto the next great idea.

The Tough Coach

xtechnical-sergeant.png.pagespeed.ic.95J3xuEMawWith Veterans Day on Saturday I thought I would take a moment and call out one of my first bosses in the Air Force.  TSgt Desnoyer was the typical, cigar chopping Sergeant you’ve seen hundreds of times in the movies.  Barely looked at you, grunted a lot, liked to give you funny nick names.  ‘Sink or Swim” being a favorite of his.

In 1987 I was a 20-year-old kid making $250 a week, brand new in the military.  At the time, the Air Force had an incredible program called the Montgomery GI Bill.  The plan was simple back then.  Give the Air Force $100 of your pay back each month for one year, and get  $10,800 to use for education when you get out.  No brainer, right? In my infinite wisdom I declined to be part of the program….That’s until TSgt Desnoyer “coached” me.

After yelling at me about how stupid I was to let free money go to waste, he reasoned with me.  He explained the power of education and how I should always be striving to learn and grow.  He finally got through to me.  Was it his persuasion techniques?  Was it his charm?  Was it his loud voice?  None of the above….It was because I trusted him, and I knew he honestly cared about me.  You can’t hide or fake caring.   You either care or you don’t.  Great coaches care about their team more than their own needs.

I did give the Air Force back $1,200 of my very little take home pay over the next year.  And I took the $10,800 they gave me and ultimately parlayed it into an MBA from Anna Maria College in 1999.  That piece of paper has opened more doors and changed my life in ways I could never pay back.

So, on this Veterans Day I salute all the great coaches in my life.  Especially TSgt Desnoyer for caring about a stupid kid who thought $100 a month was worth more than the 30 years of education that followed.  Happy Veterans Day

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