Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Tidbit From the Conference

I was lucky enough to hear Bob Burg, author of Endless Referrals and most recently The Go-Giver, speak at the BNI US National Conference last week in Orlando. He was a great speaker in both the information he delivered and also the manner of delivery.

One tiny bit of info that I will begin to use immediately is a question he suggested we use while networking. After meeting someone new ask,

"How will I know if I've met someone that will be helpful to you?"

Isn't that great????!!!!

If forces the other person to be responsible for purposeful input to the conversation. It certainly will make that person think and probably remember you.

How would you answer the above question? Remember, it's got to be short and sweet.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

To Be a Woman

I am listening to Khaled Hosseini's second book, "A Thousand Splendid Suns." I only have three discs to go and I can't wait for it to be done.

The inhumanity in this story is crushing. The story set in Afghanistan chronicles the brutality dealt to two women whose only crime is to be a woman. They are guilty of all because another person says so. I was even crushed further when the date of the story was given as 1994, only fourteen years ago. And yet this past Sunday there was an article in our paper that detailed the lives of women in Afghanistan. They are not much better today.

When will the truly evil people of the world be dealt back what the deliver?

I am so sad that I cannot help any of these women directly.

Sorry about the downer post. Perhaps if we bring more light on the matters of brutality of women, the world community will take action.

PS I do know lots of good men, so this is not about all men being evil, just some. And I'm sure that there are just as many evil women.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Stamp Out Negativism

Recently I met someone who is really unhappy.

This person is so unhappy that he is affronted when others are not as unhappy as he is.

In fact, this person makes other people "wrong" for having a positive attitude.

I feel sorry for this person, but I don't want to be around him that much. It drains too much energy.

So, just to neutralize a few of his negative stabs into the universe, I'm going to list what I'm happy about.

1. I'm happy that last week we had 80+ people at our Certified Networker graduation.

2. I'm happy and excited that GreaterFindlayInc wants to partner with CN to help promote the course in Findlay. Jeremiah for president!

3. I'm excited about attending the BNI conference this week, meeting with old friends, being introduced to new and learning new concepts. It's even better that Bob Burg is the keynote speaker.

4. I'm thrilled that I'm sharing a room with my friend, Sandy Pirwitz at the conference. She always makes me laugh.

5. The fact that I was able to play outside all day last Saturday and even plant a few seeds in the garden was a wonderful bonus.

6. Saturday evening we had dinner with a neat couple and then attended the last
play of Village Player's season. It was community theater celebrating their 50th year. I am so happy that volunteers continue to add culture to our landscape.

7. I am really, really happy that through Leadership Toledo, I've met Doris and Vic Turner of Hannah's Socks. I feel so honored to help them grow their non-profit.

8. I can't say enough about how wonderful The Women's Entrepreneurial Network is and has been for the last 14 or so years of my business life. WEN's networking events are happy happenings!

9. The CN community and especially the Board of Action is so rewarding to be connected to. They make our community come alive. They make me happy and proud when we have an event where "outsiders" are invited. The energy level is outstanding.

10. I am proud and happy that Davis College saw the benefit of the Certified Networker course being taught to their students as an accredited class. Davis was a leader in the nation in doing so.

11. I thank my lucky stars that I met my best friend, Deanna Tucci Schmit, now over 20 years ago. She is my mentor in so many things, she is my friend to whom I can bitch to, she is my friend that will listen to the bitching and then tell me to take a chill pill and do something about it. She also makes me laugh as much as Sandy does.

So there you have it. Ya' just can't rain on my parade.

What's your list?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Wild Kingdom

Sunday, two birds made an appearance at our house.

I'd had my hummingbird feeders out for a couple weeks, but until Sunday, there was no sign of the little kamikaze pilots. Because it was a rainy day, I sat in my office getting lots of loose ends re-woven into some semblance of order. Sure enough I was rewarded with a present on Mother's Day that was priceless. I love watching the hummers as they drink more than their weight in sugar water. They made my day of work a delight.

Then later in the afternoon, Steve left to go to Lowe's. Almost immediately, I saw his car backing up the driveway. There was something on the trunk. He got out and picked it up to show it to me. Sadly, it was a Red-tail Hawk. He saw it on the ground underneath the telephone pole. Unfortunately we didn't have to think about calling Nature's Nursery. Steve did a little investigation. We thought the hawk had probably been hit by a car, because they are notorious for flying low right across in front of the windshield. But this was not the case. It had been electrocuted. We could see a burn wound entry point in its foot and an even larger exit wound at its shoulder. Sad for such a beautiful bird. The feathers are just so soft.

This got me to thinking.

Sometimes we get frustrated with our referral sources because we feel like we give and give and give, but don't receive something in return. I guess, just like putting food out for the hummers, patience is what it's all about. (Now, I'm not ignoring the fact the we have to have conversations with our sources to let know know of our expectations, but even then, sometimes the referrals come slowly.)

As for the hawk -- sometimes you can't help. Sometimes there are variables that keep the referral relationship from working. When a relationship is dead, sometimes it's best to bury it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

What is a Leader?

Two weekends ago at Camp CEO, our keynote speaker was Dr Anne Baker, Executive Director of the Toledo Zoo.

Her early Saturday morning talk was about leadership.

One sentence that I remember and have repeated so much since hearing it was: (And I may not have this quote perfect, here!)

"A leader listens so that she may change her mind."

That is a very short sentence. That is also a very powerful sentence.

Thanks, Dr. Baker for challenging me to think about whether I am a good leader.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Leaving No Stone Unturned

Success comes in many ways!

As I have written here before, I worked on Hannah's Socks as my Leadership Toledo project this year.

One questions that Doris and Vic Turner have asked is how to expand their non-profit from a small local organization to a larger national or even international concern.

This is something that I certainly have no experience to share. I am more schooled in the for-profit sector. But I am not one to let lack of knowledge slow me down.

Ever since they asked for help, I have asked everyone I met with if they can help solve this challenge.

Bingo! This week I had coffee with Kristen Cajka from the American Red Cross. We had met previously when she attended one of our Certified Networker graduations representing the favorite charity of the MVP student in one of our classes. Being so named means that the charity gets a little extra PR at the event and they also get a huge check for $50.

Kristen gave me Megan Meyer's name. Megan is with the Center for Non-Profit Resources. I e-mailed Megan the question asking for help. She e-mailed back saying that the answer has many variables. She suggested that we meet. So on the 27th of this month, Megan, Doris Turner, President of Hannah's Socks and I will have breakfast and chew this very topic along with our food.

Now on to the next challenge!

I have learned so much this year being part of the group that worked on Hannah's Socks for our Leadership Toledo project. The best part of finding out what I don't know is that I can make it part of what I do know!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Leadership Toledo, Project Day

Friday was another stupendous Leadership Toledo day.

This time the six groups reported on the projects they worked on all year. Each project helped a non-profit become better or more successful.

What we all realized from this exercise was that as we went through the year, we all learned something that we didn't expect to learn.

One group had their non-profit go belly-up after they had invested quite a bit of time into it. Not to be discouraged, they chose another organization to work with, The MADD Poet's Society. At first the society wanted help finding a space to meet, but once that was accomplished, the LT project group went on to help in other ways.

That was the theme of the day with all six groups -- flexibility in finding out what was needed was important, because it was usually different from the original stated need of the non-profit.

I don't think that has anything to do with the ability of the non-profits. It just said that like many of us, when we are too close to the situation, it is difficult to see what is really happening.

Have you ever worked on a project, only to realize mid-stream that the plans needed to be changed?

Friday, May 09, 2008


I'm laughin'

A few people who attended the Tuesday night Certified Networker graduation have remarked that it was cruel punishment to have everyone talk about their favorite pizza topping.

Now, just to make sure that you know that we weren't that cruel, we did have food for people, but it was not pizza.

I guess many people headed out for their favorite pizza parlor after the event was done.

Talk about hidden marketing! I should be getting a commission for all the pizza sold in Toledo on Tuesday night.


Thursday, May 08, 2008

Fun, fun, fun!

It's been a busy time and still is, but I am going to squeeze in a short post.

We had a Certified Networker graduation on Tuesday night for our most recent two classes. The room was buzzing with high energy level.

I think it says a lot about the students and the guests they invite. I think it also is helped along by the fact that we always have a question of the event.

This time Leasa Maxx of Maxx Grafx was in charge of bringing us the big Q. Her choice?

"What's your favorite pizza topping?"

We also officially ask everyone in attendance to introduce themselves as we begin the formal, sit-down part of the evening. Everyone is asked to give name, company and the answer the the question.

That one extra bit gives us an additional window into people. It's amazing. By the end of intros everyone is relaxed and we can proceed with a fun, energized program.

It's the best!

What question would you suggest for one of our events?