Category Archives: Books

How to be more fascinating!

I’m currently reading Sally Hogsheads book Fascinate. It is an amazing insight on why certain ad campaigns do not work and why others do. Her website that just recently launched allows you to find your own personal fascination triggers.

For example Ms. Hogshead discusses why teen drunk driving ad campaigns based on the fear of losing their life, generally don’t work. Most teens are still at an age where they feel invincible. The fear of death at their young age is not nearly as effective as the fear of public embarrassment for teens.Ms Hogshead suggests that a campaign based on the fear of losing their license and being driven to the prom by their mother is far more effective. Studies have proven she is right.

Her website and book walk you through both how to be more fascinating and how to use the most effective fascination triggers for your target audience. The power of persuasion maybe easier than you think.

Do you empower your employees?

I’m currently reading Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler’s book “Empowered.” In my opinion this is a must read for any manager or business exec who is not sure how the social media groundswell can either hurt or help their business.  In the book Bernoff and Schadler describe the changes in doing business in the social media era. It goes deeper than building brand loyalty by luring loyalists with text message coupons or early sales announcements. It speaks to the need for companies to empower their employees to solve the problems of the empowered consumer regardless of their job function. No longer can the empowered consumer be put off until Monday to speak with a supervisor who can help them when they feel they have been wronged. Today’s consumer can and will take to the social-sphere and trash a company with poor customer service, yet if you react in time and the person monitoring social media has the power to solve the customer’s problem, those same consumers will become the greatest promoters. Empowered employees are the best way to satisfy empowered consumers! Wise thoughts from a writing team who really gets it!

What’s your reach job?

You remember when applying to college you had that one school that it might be a stretch to get into but If you were accepted you knew you’d rise to the occasion? OK so now focus that feeling toward the job you know you’d rise to the occasion for. What is it? Have you set your sights on it? Why not? While reading another of my favorite business author Daniel H. Pinks’ books “Drive.” In the book, Pink talks about the intrinsic motivators that drive people to be successful. The carrot and stick approach as he calls it is so “2000 and late.” Intrinsic motivators are how to inspire your staff, and yourself. So that same feeling you had about your reach school is what will compel you to rise to the occasion at your reach job. Ok I’m over simplifying but I challenge you to read the book, define your reach job and set your sights on it. You’ll rise to the occasion.

Yes, photojournalism is great training for business!

In his book, “A Whole New Mind,” Daniel H. Pink makes a great case for the artistic mind in today’s business world, I agree. I am often asked “How relevant are your photojournalism skills in business and new media?” I refrain from the puzzled look then respond, “Extremely!” You need to be analytical, social, open to change, part geek, part therapist and part artist. I am a trained photojournalist, experienced manager, MBA and professor. The first career trained me for all the other accomplishments.

Photojournalists are typically the gadget geeks in the newsroom. This lends itself to ease of learning when faced with new equipment and software. We have also navigated a series of industry changes. The transition from dark rooms to PhotoShop, the near death of the film camera and learning to shoot and edit video all while producing quality audio required a lot of flexibility. The photographer in me has learned to be a Jack-Of-All-Trades and master of many! Simply put, successful photojournalists are fast creative problem solvers with technological savvy and people skills.

Photojournalists have to deal with an awful lot on an assignment. We need to document the news visually and be artistic about it. We meet and relate to new people every day.  Often we deal with people at the single worst moment of their lives, so empathy is a given. Building relationships quickly gains us the trust needed to photograph naturally apprehensive subjects. The deadline pressure is often insane, so the fast pace of new media suites us just fine.  Did I mention you need to find ways to get into places that are not necessarily safe for the general public, and avoid injury or equipment loss?  I’m not going on the record about how useful these skill are! Suffice it to say I’ve been hit by a NASCAR  and still made the picture. We are professional, behaving appropriately on Air Force One.  Photogs are natural competitors, comparing our photo play daily in news outlets across the country.

Photojournalists do much more than this. We have breadth and depth of experience that easily translates into today’s tech heavy business world. New media, no problem.  With the trials of the newspaper industry, it is worth it for photogs to consider a new path. So colleagues, while this is a trying time for photojournalists across the country, have no fear there is a place for your training in the private sector! Employers, it may just be time to start hiring “A Whole New Mind.

What does your toolbox look like?

Yes this is another know your strengths post, but not for you, for your team. As a manager of a technological department in a period of change for our industry, I needed to map out a successful plan for my team. Again I used Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. This time I gave it to key members of my staff to find out their strengths. The results were enlightening. Not only did I discover why certain members of my team were better at dealing with different situations, I learned why they failed miserably in the same situation. Now that I knew the tools in my toolbox, I refined their uses. I began to use a hammer when I needed a hammer  and a learner when I needed someone to use and review new software. I completely realigned my team. I changed their responsibilities in the department to match their strengths. I then began to manage my department in the division the same way. I asked people to see me to determine who should be asked to attend which meeting or assist with which project. I began to assign people according to their strengths. I know you’re thinking well that makes sense, but often it does not happen. I have seen performance  reviews completely focused on making people stronger in their weak areas.  After this personal experiment, I am a firm believer in Strengths based leading. Isn’t it more efficient to use your time to help people excel in their strengths?  I’m just sayin!