I use the "F" word

We all like to be understood.  We all strive to express ourselves & be understood.  The weird minority view is "I like to be misunderstood."

I confess I'm the kind of guy who welcomes misunderstandings.  I wasn't always like that (I suppose)  but experience has learnt me a few lessons. Like the one I learned while I was running a training  course for The National Trust in England, Wales & Northern Ireland.

Years ago, my job was to train people on how to manage employees well. I ran a 3-day course called "Performance Management". The eight people on the course included four directors - everyone on the course was very senior & very preoccupied with big issues. After 90 minutes on day one, we took a coffee break (some went off to phone offices, others to chat, others to grab fresh air.)

One director took me aside, discretely & politely. "You know Paul you've sworn 4 times in the first hour."

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It's time for change in Ireland

May I ask you a personal question? A very special question that you're highly unlikely to be able to answer?

Unless you're a bit weird.  Unless you're somewhat odd. Unless you're some sort of misfit, non-conformist or "heretic".

What's the Irish for "freak"?
An Irish American from near Boston, "best-selling" business author, owner of a media empire, keynote speaker Chris Brogan has just published a book called "The Freaks Shall Inherit The Earth".

... Some people are no longer prepared to comply, copy, conform. Some have been freaks since childhood, others have become freaks because of what's happened.

Some know the way forward is by honouring freaks - the people who do it a bit different from everyone else.

I imagine this is what Chris Brogan's book is helping build 

- a movement of freaks...


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A poem for ThinkTank

Sitting on a red sofa

in the kitchen...

resting after a night of diluted sleep

watching spots of rain cling to glass

wind moving treetops -

I remember many half-drunk cups of cold tea

how often I've lost keys

found friends

moved slowly thru rushes

past butterflies that licked the underside of my imaginative powers -

May it ever be so

May here simply be for you & me...

Shock @ hearing Oren Harari RIP

We've all been inspired by others.  We wouldn't be the people we are without influence of others. It's human make assumptions - especially to assume a hero will always be there...

Today I got this email from Aodan Enright:

"I learned today that Oren Harari, author of 'Break From The Pack' has died.

Amazingly, he actually passed away in April of this year but I only found out today when I checked in on his website. My thought had been "I haven't seen a blog post from Oren for a while". Such is how we miss people in this internet age, eh?

I wanted to share a story with you. Since we completed the first 'Break From The Pack' programme almost two years ago, I created a task for my action list entitled 'Share learnings from BFTP with Oren Harari'. I thought it would be nice thing to do to collect some of the insights & applications that had been generated by the group and to feed them back to him. I know if I had written a book like that, I'd appreciate hearing how people were using the ideas to develop their own businesses and careers. And as each group graduated, more and more material accumulated.

And here's the thing. I never sent it to him.

I know. I can hear some of you making wisecracks already about doing my own course on Procrastination. But, I never did it. Of course, we've had some great interactions with the likes of Jeff Jarvis and Mitch Joel but not Oren Harari. And the opportunity is now gone.

So, don't wait until the 'right' time. Don't put off 'breaking from the pack' until next year or when the bond spreads are different or whatever the reason du jour may be. Get going and do it now. As we're often reminded, we only have one shot at living our lives so let's make the most of it!

Aodan Enright Smarter Egg - Facilitated Learning & Executive Coaching  aodan@smarteregg.com Connect with me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/aodanenright Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/SmarterEgg " ______________________________________________________________

I'm staring at my copy of "Break from the Pack - how to compete in a copycat economy" by Oren Harari.  Staring at the memory.  The author influenced me, and gave me a business edge.  From the book I took this message -

Make your business different Make it so different that it can never be copied Make it absolutely unique

- so that no one can get the same service from anyone else...

I see my margin notes on page 19...

Key questions:

"How can you differentiate yourself from the mob around you? How can you attract and retain customers while charging a reasonable price in this frenzied environment? How can you make your booth and your goods so extraordinary and appealing that you won't have to continually lower your price to differentiate yourself? And if you do something daring, what will you  do when the vendors at the stalls all around you try to copy what you do? How do you avoid getting drowned in the noise and anonymity of an environment where your neighbor appears to be selling and yelling the same things you are?" (Oren Herari p.19)

On page 35 of Chapter 1 ("Welcome to Commodity Hell") I jotted these phrased in the margins

- all about "Snowflake" - unique

On page 36 I wrote

- Create something of unique value.

In a wonderful chapter about Madonna & Willie Nelson, Oren Harari offered this analysis: if you were to "emulate" Madonna's business tactics you would...

  • You'd be constantly changing... you'd be restless with sameness...
  • You'd monitor trends... to 'get there first'.
  • You'd reinvent yourself even when your current products & services are popular...
  • You'd be constantly experimenting...
  • You'd always invite and challenge your customers to change with you...
  • You'd be deliberately provocative... (I underlined this)
  • You'd always be connected to  reality
  • Whatever you'd do, you and your organisation would do with passion and 100% commitment (underlined)
  • Your tone would always be optimistic, upbeat and fun-loving...

I took Oren Harari's analysis and advice very seriously...  I hope it shows.

May he rest in peace... may he look on with pride at his legacy.