Prose From The Pros

I found myself on the MLK holiday with plenty of time to kill in the wonderful Barnes & Noble on Rte 17 in Paramus.  As a mentor I am always on the lookout for new ways of expressing what I have experienced and so I always like to scan to see what is ‘new’ in the business world.  And with Simply Best Practice as my moniker the title “Work Simply” by Carson Tate caught my eye.  The gist of her approach is that technology has blurred the lines between professional and personal life and many of us suffer from being interrupted, distracted, and overloaded by ‘busyness’.  The key that she suggests is that we do well to understand our ‘productivity style’ and ensure our calendar is aligned with what really matters to us.  Of course, I like to blend my reading sources into an eclectic cocktail, and as I was sitting in the ‘Art’ section, the curator within me delved into some more titles and here are some of the content that ‘jumped out at me’.  The first was the exquisite ‘Fun With A Pencil’ by Andrew Loomis originally published in 1939 with the premise of teaching anyone to draw:  “Strangely, the simplest facts always are the latest in being understood”.  The second was a quote from Robert Redford who is stated to couch each meeting in the following manner:”My goal in this conversation is to be changed by you.  If I walk out of here with exactly the same perspectives I have now, we have both failed.”  Third, from the coffee table “Kate Spade: Places To Go, People To See” a succinct quote from Susan Sontag: “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”.  And finally, the wonderfully minimalist visual humor of Ursus Wehrli displayed in ‘The Art of Clean Up’ – if you are not familiar, search for his TED talk.  The lesson for me from each of these, and probably appropriate for MLK day, is not solely seeing ‘difference’, but having the perspective of being able to see things differently.

Jump-Starting Collaboration

As we start the new year, I am taking the opportunity to review and share resources that I have found especially useful and relevant in recent months, and hopefully by doing so I can bring to a wider audience the insights of other practitioners.

To lead-off I can think of no better resource than “The NICE Reboot” by Penina Rybak.  Full disclosure: I had the pleasure to participate as a panelist with Penina, together with the equally enlightening Jo-Rose Portfolio and Alex Freund this past fall.  And by way of further disclosure, the event on ‘Personal Branding’ was put together by the dynamic Sara Greenhouse who I had met while presenting at a Generation Y networking event convened by the indefatigable Joe Finazzio earlier in 2014.  Which to me demonstrates how ‘networking’ in practice opens the door to new connections and collaborative opportunities.

Sub-titled ‘A Guide To Becoming A Better Female Entrepreneur’, what caught my attention were the expert tips packaged as ‘Penina’s Pointers’.  Quite simply these distil on a single page more information than is normally to be found in a whole chapter.  From my perspective, Chapter 4 on Mentoring was particularly insightful, dealing as it does with such key topics as how to choose a mentor, and when to complete a mentoring program.