3 Rules for Wowing Your Holiday Office Party

I’m a fan of Frances Cole Jones of Cole Media Management.  Ms. Jones has given exceptional advice to executives and those in the public eye to “…feel more confident in their ability to present their best self –in any situation.”  She’s the author of How to Wow and The Wow Factor: The 33 Things You Must (and Must Not) Do to Guarantee Your Edge in Today’s Business World.  Here’s her video about how to handle yourself at this year’s office party:

I also like this great advice on CNN Living: 10 worst phrases to use at the office.

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Keith Ferrazzi launch of “Who’s Got Your Back” at Arianna Huffington’s home

We’re proud to be associated with such a powerful message.  Who’s got your back is not just some new flavor of the month self-help book.  Our connectedness to others that are not just telling us what we want to hear, but instead telling us what we need to hear has been lacking.  This is the beginning of an amazing change for those willing to embrace what it means to have true lifelines and to be a lifeline to others.

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How Can I Be More Effective?

How can I be more effective?  Is there a road-map I can use to improve my effectiveness?  What system or process does Jeff Marmins evangelize?  I hope to address these questions by establishing an amalgamation of ideas as a premise for *most* of what my ramblings are about here at jeffmarmins.com.

Time has shown that no one philosophy works for everyone.  We are all a work in progress, attempting to execute and learn concurrently.  I have a passion for examining ways to improve processes for efficiency in sales and relationship management. That kind of “workflow improvement” finds its way into other aspects of my life.  I also made my share of mistakes in years past that push me to learn and encourage effectiveness through character, values and principles.

Core Values as the driving force to an improved level of effectiveness

This model is the root of the “system.”
Driving Forces of Effectiveness


The model states that time-tested values such as  Vision, Identity, Purpose, Order, Concentration, Integrity, Harmony and Progression drive effectiveness to your desired level.  Each of these can be explored with some depth.  I’ll address each individually in separate posts. Collectively, they combat “resisting forces” like, “Too many things to do, Fatigue, lack of purpose, not enough money, not enough time, mental fragmentation, etc.”

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the Last American Man

My mother’s husband, a.k.a. my step-father, Bill Merwitzer, is an example of someone who consistently acts out of character and principles.  I just completed a book that Bill had mailed to me awhile back.  In fact, he was so intent on having me read the book that he sent another copy when the first one failed to arrive by mail.  I’m grateful, as it turned out to have an impact that will last.

I just completed the book, the Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert.  You should read it as well.  It’s a compelling biography of Eustace Conwway – a man worth reading about who tries to teach us to "find your own middle ground to live your
life, and be careful of the impact that it has, to both nature and the
people around you."

Eustace is a character example of intensity and grace and perfection of focus which resonates clearly from this short example:

"Dave remembers watching Eustace on another day hammering nails06eustace3
into wood–fast, rhythmic, and perfect–and asking, "How come you never miss the nail?"
Because I made up my mind a long time ago that I’d never miss the nail," Eustace replied.  "So I don’t."

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Renewal on the path to Mastery

I’m working my way through "The Personal MBA," by Josh Kaufman.  He completed the work as a manifesto at www.changethis.com.  Both are worth more than a quick view. 

One book (text) out of many that a part of Kaufman’s recommended list included in the Personal MBA is Mastery by George Burr Leonard.

"Mastery draws on Zen philosophy and the author’s expertise in the martial art of Aikido to show how the PROCESS of Mastery can help us attain a higher level of excellence and a deeper sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in our daily lives."

Leonard discusses the path to Mastery as long and rocky with no quick and easy payoffs.  He also discusses types of people and societal influence that cause us to be Dabblers, Obsessives and Hackers instead.  I found it enlightening.  Leonard gives Essential keys and tools for Mastery of most anything – your career, athletic potential, relationships and creating harmony within yourself. 

Mastery was not only a brilliant inclusion in a self imposed individual MBA program but influential on my decisions concerning what it is I desire to Master – and that it is a lifelong endeavor.

It’s been some time since my last posting on this blog.  I believe I approached it (blogging) as some combination of obsessive and dabbler.  I wanted community and value to be realized instantly.  When it wasn’t happening as planned I abandoned the project – but it gnawed at me – both as something important to discuss and foster, and now as something to Master. 

I continue on with your help.  Please email suggestions, post comments, and make contributions.


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Leadership Quality #1

Dr. John C. Maxwell is a favorite author of mine.  His philosophy that “everything rises and falls on leadership”
motivates his every endeavor to help individuals reach their highest
potential.  He has communicated his leadership principles to Fortune 500
companies, the United States Military Academy at West Point, and sports
organizations such as the NCAA, the NBA, and the NFL.

In his book, "The 21 Indispensable Qualities of A Leader" he begins by asking if you have what it takes to be a great leader, the kind that attracts people and makes things happen.  The #1 and First Quality is Character.

The short chapter has many concrete points to ponder, study and hopefully live by…but perhaps I can provide two that resonated with me this morning.

  1.     "How a leader deals with the circumstances of life tells you many things about his character.  Crisis doesn’t necessarily make character but it certainly does reveal it.  Adversity is a crossroads that makes a person choose one of two paths: character or compromise.  Every time he chooses character, he becomes stronger, even if that choice brings negative consequence."
  2.     "A man took his young daughter to a carnival, and she immediately ran over to a booth and asked for cotton candy.  As the attendant handed her a huge ball of it, the father asked, "Sweetheart, are you sure you can eat all that?"

    "Don’t worry Dad," she answered, "I’m a lot bigger on the inside than on the outside."

That’s what real character is – being bigger on the inside.

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Master the short note…updated for 2005

I am a long time, true blue Harvey Mackay fan.  I just read a great post of Keith Ferrazzi’s at http://tinyurl.com/d9k8g  that is the most poignant modern day version of Mr Mackay’s advice. 

Mr. Mackay taught me to be a master of the short note.  A skill I still think is invaluable.  How many hand written notes do you get in the mail these days?  Keith gives a specific example here of how to email a new contact and what elements the email should include.  It’s easy and effective. 

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The integrity of the callback

How do people that don’t follow up stay in business?  Have you ever wondered why someone that you’re doing business with can wait so long to return a phone call, an email, thank you for a referral (or not thank you at all – whoops!).  Easy to do AND easy not to do – but it makes all the difference.  Sometimes it contributes so much to your relationship that it’s more important than your capability. So where does the integrity thing come in?

Integrity is not just "being honest," although that has something to do with it. According to Roger Merrill, co-author of many good books about character and quality of life with Dr. Stephen Covey, "Integrity is acting in accordance with your deepest values without compromise."  This means keeping promises to ourselves as well as others.  We all have a "personal integrity account," Merill says.  We constantly make deposits or withdrawals.  Whether our account is in the red or black affects our stress, confidence, creativity and ability to relate meaningfully to others. 

In everyday life this means you have to do what you say you’re going to do.  How many times have we heard that?  I’m pretty sure I heard it from my father most of all.  Calling back is a deposit – it’s an easy one.  So is saying thank you.  So is replying to an email in a timely fashion – even if it’s a short note that says you need to think on the matter and will reply later in more detail.  Don’t wait a week to reply at all!  And, never, never, never, skip hitting reply.  People need to know you got the message.  Even if you just say, "Got this!" – it’s a deposit, and we all need them.

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The 7 Ps: Updated

I originally posted this years ago.  I’ve since learned that the 7Ps have been around for a long time, and repeated often.  The Air Force, the Boy Scouts and countless project oriented companies use this as a constant mantra.

I had the pleasure of attending a Microsoft Live Meeting this week entitled 7Ps: Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance“Relationships For Revenue Growth,” featuring speaker Keith Ferrazzi.  Keith is a friend and author of a great read, Never Eat Alone.

[Keith has since published Who’s Got Your Back and has an exceptional blog at www.keithferrazzi.com.]

The meeting was energetic and focused on concepts I evangelize daily in my practice.  I did want to pass along Keith’s reminding me of something I hadn’t heard for a long time but just love – it’s the 7 P’s:

Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

I assure you that the 7Ps are a great acronym to keep in front of you.  Keith was referring to preparing in advance and making the people you meet intentional.  Learn about the person in advance – ways to make a cold call never really cold.  In either case, planning sounds so basic but it is so taken for granted.  Don’t waste your time climbing the ladder only to find it’s leaning up against the wrong wall.

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