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    CEO Nance Rosen, Producer John Tyler, Creative Partner "Famous" Alice Linesch

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What Do You Give A Mentor at Thanksgiving?


Mentors are an uncelebrated group of devoted individuals, who often give their time in return for nothing more than your carrying on their legacy of giving back. If you have a mentor, you know the advice, conversations, guidance, interest and encouragement may be the single greatest determinant of your success. A mentor can help you keep a good job, gain a promotion or help you transition to a position more suited to your nature, your personal brand and your skills.

Isn’t it wonderful to have someone not just rooting for you, but acting as your advocate, sounding board and trusted advisor?

Every year I choose two people to mentor, although if you looked at my calendar, you would wonder why. Or more directly ask: how do they get fit into such a demanding schedule? I ask myself the same question every week. But, somehow the time gets set aside and the sessions take place.

The two people I mentor are simply and truly wonderful.

They are hardworking, self-motivated and put into practice everything we cover. We have a terrific dialogue, where we raise questions, go over details, discuss potential strategies and end with a list of tactical changes for them to put into play.

The best part is they report back their progress.

Sometimes I get a text that shares the triumph of their actions. I get to hear them crowing about their latest achievement. Sometimes I get a urgent text that asks a need-to-know-right-now question. I tap back some alternatives, with some predictions about how they will be received.

I welcome these short interruptions as much as our mentoring sessions, because they reflect how seriously these individuals are taking our time together.

That’s all the thanks mentors need.

You might not have a formal mentoring relationship, like the ones I have with my mentees. You might not have the same magnitude of access, attention or advice from a mentor. But you may have quite a number of people who have taken an interest in you, answered some questions or provided some direction for you.

Those less formal relationships are the ones that you might want to honor at this time of the US Thanksgiving holiday. Send a card, an email, make a call or text the people who have helped you out this year. Let them know what you’ve done, how far you’ve come and if you’ve passed on their legacy, by doing a little mentoring of your own.

Yes, now is the time to give thanks to all the people who have done at least a little something to guide you, been a shoulder for you or in some way made your life better. I have a long list of those people, since being a mentor does not mean I know it all – I just know some of the finest people in business, and they have made my journey easier, safer and richer.

You are one of my informal mentors. Each week, you give me a destination; a time to reflect on what’s important and what I have to share about it in a blog that’s read by people all around the world. Without that responsibility, my life would not be as rich or filled with the connectedness I share with 4.5 million people who read my blogs, books, posts or attend my learning programs.

So two words from me to reflect on now: thank you.


How Do You Make Facebook Enemies?


With every attack on innocent people everywhere: we try not to lose faith in humanity. We urge each other to believe that good triumphs over evil. We propound that we will continue to go out, to shop, to go to school, venture out to work, eat in cafes and attend concerts.

We say that to stay at home and hide, means the terrorists win. They terrorize even those of us who are still safe and uninjured, because our safety seems tenuous and we begin to doubt our freedom and second guess where we should travel.

Terrorism is the enemy of freedom.

But there is a bizarre number of angry personal statements that erupt with each event. What seems to spark this outcry is when other people show sympathy and unity with the attacked.

Of course, this most recently happened when apparently ISIS killed and maimed hundreds of people in Paris. Several of my friends on Facebook changed their profile photos to the colors of the French flag. Several displayed art that re-interpreted the peace sign into the Eiffel Tower.

Unbelievably, this set up a war of whose death matters. Some posts I read in reaction to the terrorism in Paris:

“Facebook doesn’t have a Kenya flag update on people’s profiles!”

“Nearly 2,000 Civilians Were Killed in a Single Terror Attack in Nigeria—Where Was Facebook?”

“Where is the Facebook flag for Syria?”

It’s unbelievable, but each tragedy sets up a war about profile graphics on Facebook.

I always wonder about what such admonishments say about the personal brands who hurl them.

If your grandparent dies, and someone gives you sincere condolences do you condemn that person as mean-spirited or disrespectful for not sending condolences to everyone who lost a grandparent?

I don’t know about you, but I did not seek to overlook, deny or avoid the importance of tragic events in any place; in any of 196+ countries on the planet. Violence against innocent people, enslavement, beheadings, and all manner of horror have been part of the world events I attend to and grieve.

There is not a country without violence, inhumanity, and terror.

But it is not a competition. Nor a time for aggression against mourners.

If you are moved by events of any place and you wish to change your profile photo – you do not need Facebook’s graphics team to give you a flag to transpose over your face.

You can do that yourself. And, when you do: you will perhaps inform those who know less than you do. Or, you will affirm your solidarity with those who know what you know.

But, don’t use the most recent tragedy to start a war of words, or attack on anyone’s character. Not all of us wear our grief on our profile photos. Most of us bear the sadness of the world’s inhumanity in our hearts.

There is no flag for how I feel, although I respect those who post one. There are lyrics by John Lennon that seem to sum up what I imagine might eventually come to pass to save us all.

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace.

Is There Really Cross-Cultural Communication?


As a corporate director of global marketing, a former Coke executive (in 190 countries around the world) and an instructor of Global Marketing at UCLAx: I could not be more cross-culturally inclined. So, with all the authority that I can muster, I tell you this.

There is zero communication between people of different countries or cultures.

To be successful, you must start with the belief that you are not just talking a different language than the other party: you are talking about concepts that you in no way share with anyone from another country or culture. Of course, culture means you don’t have to step outside your own office or Skype to dust up the differences.

What differs between cultures? The meaning of everything.

“Funds are being wired to you today.” That has no meaning whatsoever.

Neither do documents they sign. Leases. Contracts. Approvals.

Nor conventional business practices like paying employees. Paying rent. Paying any bill. Bank accounts having money in them. Reimbursing expenses. Having reasonable inventory on hand. Gluten-free, fragrance free and sulfate-free.

None of those concepts are universal.

In fact, the violation of what may seem like really basic business 101 procedures, or illegal business practices and ethics to you? Not even close to what the other party believes the definitions or boundaries are.

Hence, among the questions I ask most in global business right now is this.

How MANY is amazing? This in response to:

“We had an amazing response at the trade show.”

“We have an amazing number of products in our line.”

“The media coverage was amazing.”

Once again, I ask. How many is amazing?

Because, as a classically trained and practicing marketer: I have metrics on my mind. Simple ones like: we need a specific number of qualified prospects to sign up as actual customers, to generate measurable income to sustain or grow a business.

Of course, growth is anther concept that is not universal.

For me, growth means more revenue and profit. Increasing the product line, when you see evidence of sales from other products. Expanding to other countries as your current markets generate the income to do so.

Silly me.

Because metrics don’t mean a thing if the other party simply rages at vendors who want to be paid. Not apologetic. They get righteously angry at an unpaid vendor who won’t ship more? Who knew? They want you to convince the vendor, landlord, or clients that zero is one million dollars? Apparently this is done in other lands, just not one on planet Earth as I know it.

So fair warning. Do not believe anything from anyone. Do not think you heard what you heard, even though you recorded the conversation (with everyone’s permission). Listening to that audio over and over to see what went wrong? It will only drive you insane.

In order to have any communication, you have to believe you have nothing in common: not language, not meaning, and not intention. It’s exactly as Jim Camp says in his book about successful negotiations among any two parties, Start with NO!

As the distance between us all grows smaller, because WhatsApp, Skype, Facetime and jet airplanes make the world seem like we are all in this together: you realize one thing.

How far from each other we truly are.

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