Category Archives: Personal Development

Is New Media Good or Bad for your Family

IS MASS MEDIA AND THE INTERNET HELPING OR HURTING YOU?

Since the internet, and particularly smartphones, became household commodities, mass media’s impact on people and societies has increased exponentially.

As you might expect, there is a swinging pendulum of public opinion which often shifts from decrying the ills of this trend to extolling the many virtues of on demand technology.

Whether you tend toward the former or latter opinion, it’s obvious that mass media and social media are having profound effects upon individuals and society as a whole. Many people are concerned about the implications of these effects, and find themselves asking questions like:

  • How is media affecting me?
  • How is mass media impacting the next generation?
  • How do video games change us?
  • How does on-demand media impact health?
  • Is mass media truly important?
  • How do we use mass media and social media well?
  • Is mass media a good thing?

Something Different Companies phone usage Answering these questions can help you to be smart about how you interact with the constant barrage of media being directed at you and your family.

So let’s think through the implications of mass media together so that we can come to informed conclusions.

HOW DOES MASS MEDIA AFFECT YOU?

Many are wondering mass media, and social media, in particular, is a good thing or bad thing. Of course, for every type of media, there are a host mixed opinions, some based on research, some not. Neil Postman was asking these same types of questions over the mass adoption of the television.

A positive use of technology and mass media enables people to become informed, collaborate in innovative ways, or stay in touch with friends and family. Yet, these same connections can be used for dangerous cybercrime.

Social media can help people to feel connected and happy, to connect with old friends and make new ones. However, that same social media can lead to depression or anxiety, when life doesn’t meet the expectations created by perfectly edited profiles.

The internet may be a source of motivational messages, videos, or blog posts that improve your life and increase productivity or healthy living. However, it’s just as possible that these very messages can prevent you from getting out there and living.

These are just a few examples of the vastly different ways media can impact our daily lives.

Because mass media affects each person differently, you need to look at your own life to make informed decisions.

Where do you fall on the pendulum? How does your use of social media affect your mood, productivity, and sense of well being? If you tend more toward the negative impacts – depression, anxiety, inactivity – it may be time to limit your media consumption.

WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF MASS MEDIA ON CHILDREN?

Television is the best researched area of mass media effect on children. It has the how is media affecting childrenpotential to help and to harm, as is true with most media types.

Many negative effects have been recorded, and kids often spend more time watching television than on any other activity. However, if the television time includes educational programming and parent supervision, the power can be harnessed to help with learning and have positive effects.

With this in mind, parents must think critically about how their children are consuming television. Are they largely involved in what and how often their children are watching, or is it more of a hands-off experience?

This is perhaps even more important to think through now that most “television” consumption consists of Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming platforms.

Making the decision to be diligent about these decisions now will improve children’s interactions with television, and prepare them to interact well with other types of media as they mature.

WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF MEDIA ON TEENS?

Media often is described as harmful to teens, and while this is certainly true in some circumstances, it can be best understood as having mixed effects.

The key is to be aware of how mass media and social networking affect the brain so that you can make intentional decisions about how to use it.

Some positive effects include:
  • Motor skills are improved by typing, clicking, playing games, and other tech-related finger skills.
  • Hand-eye coordination or even quick thinking can be helped. (Future drone pilots)
  • Access to mass news media can improve reading skills.
  • Social network activity is theorized to improve writing and socializing skills.

Additionally, the content of media stories or social media posts can be useful and meaningful to teens. With platforms like YouTube and Instagram, they have access to people’s stories they might never have heard otherwise. In this way, teens may learn that many others are experiencing similar struggles to their own, giving courage and confidence.

However, there are significant negative effects as well.

Negative effects include:
  • Depression or anxiety over body image
  • Normalizing violence
  • Unfettered access to pornography
  • Increased risk of obesity from inactivity
  • Decreased attention to schoolwork

Knowing about these potential risks of social and mass media consumption is important for both teens and their parents. In this respect, knowledge really is power, as it will enable both parties to be strategic about the role of media in their lives.

Read more about media communication master’s in communication options.

WHAT ABOUT VIDEO GAMES?

Video games are a frequent concern, particularly as technology continues to advance affects of video games on youthand gaming becomes more and more realistic. Research shows some mixed effects from video game use.

Though the problem solving and dexterity skills employed can lead to higher intelligence or better motor skills, the violent or other disturbing content in games is of high risk to well being. It’s established that seeing violence can desensitize one to its effects.

As with other types of media mentioned, it’s critical that parents exercise caution about what types of games their children play and how often they do so.

DOES MASS MEDIA DAMAGE HEALTH?

The proliferation of mass media and electronic devices has had profound effects on Health Appshealth. There are numerous physical problems which may arise from this consumption, particularly if left unchecked.

The effects of smartphones often first show up as eye strain and neck pain, the inevitable result of constant screen-time and often slumped positions while using these devices. Obesity is a risk if much time is spent in sedentary activity.

Some research shows links between mass media consumption and anxiety and depression. There can be a change in happiness, social skills, and peace of mind that is attributed to media and the internet.

It is most important to monitor your happiness and health and correlate them with your own practices so you can make informed decisions for your or your family’s well being.

HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY?

There are many recommendations for being wise with media consumption.

Parents must be familiar with current sites and channels, and the types of content that their children come into contact with. Ask questions and browse with your child. Set clear and appropriate ground rules for young ages, which then build a strong foundation for future responsible use.

Make sure to discuss the difference between fantasy and reality with your children. If exposed to gratuitous violence and sexuality, children and teens should know these are fantasy, and not the norm or real life. The dangers of violent and risky behavior should be a topic of conversation.

For almost any age from 1- 99, limiting media to a few hours per day is reasonable and enforceable. Discuss education, values, and the intrusion of media regularly with your family.

Conclusion

There is no definitive answer to whether mass media is “good” or “bad”. Research has shown that it can have both positive and negative effects, and often these effects are dependent on how the media is being used and consumed.

The solution isn’t to totally cut yourself off from all mass media or to wholeheartedly embrace every facet of it. Rather, it must be carefully analyzed and evaluated. If you’re a parent, you need to help your children understand both the positives and negatives of things like video games, social media, and streaming television.

Unless you plan on moving to an isolated island with no internet connection, this issue isn’t going away. The best approach is to tackle it head-on, rather than hoping things just work themselves out.

Many people are choosing to engage with mass communication head-on with master’s degrees in mass communications. It’s with this progress we are able to understand the effects of mass media and other emerging social channels have on society currently and in the foreseeable future.

 

Anna Kucirkova Guest Blogger: “Anna Kucirkova speaks 3 languages has a passion for kids and writing. While she has been to many places in Europe and SE Asia she still wants to explore the rest of the world.”

 


Books I recommend by J.R. Atkins, MBA

Every time I do a workshop or presentation I end with a list resources including a list of books. At one of my recent talks, someone asked what other books I would recommend for business owners. I have a long list on my website but here is the short list by category.

Social Mediasocialnomics

  1. Socialnomics, by Erik Qualman

“How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business “

  1. Social Media 2.0 by J.R. Atkins

“A cliff notes version of the Big 5 of Social Media “LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blogging and Video”

  1. Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan & Dharmesh Shah

“A guide to increasing online visibility and engagement”

Starting a BusinessJ.R. Atkins recommends a lean start up

  1. Cash Flow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki

“Explains your role as an employee, business owner, self-employed and investor”

  1. eMyth by Michael Gerber

“E is for Entrepreneur. Learn how to work on your business, not just in your business”

  1. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

“Before you start your business, know what is important and what is fluff”

Building your BusinessJ.R. Atkins Recommends Blue Ocean Strategy

  1. Crush It by Gary Vanerchuk

“Shows you how to use the power of the Internet and social media to grow your businesses”

  1. Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne

“How to create uncontested market space and make competition irrelevant”

  1. Failing Forward by John C Maxwell

“Taught me how to convert past failures into future success”

Personal DevelopmentJ.R. Atkins recommends Elon Musk book

  1. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

“The power of thinking without thinking”

  1. Strength Finder by Tom Wrath

“Discover your strengths, use them and surround yourself with others to cover the gaps”

  1. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance

“An inside look at a visionary, entrepreneur and billionaire”

I’d love to hear what your favorite books are and why. Drop me a line sometime at

jratkins@SomethingDifferentCompanies.com

J.R. Atkins has been working with individuals, executives and small businesses since 1993 and on Social Media since 2008. He has a BA in Marketing from Texas A&M University and an MBA from The University of Phoenix, Dallas Campus. J.R. serves as an adjunct professor at Temple College and CTC. He has published 3 books Success Simplified, Social Media 2.0 and Road Map to Success.


Life is a Process

Author J.R. Atkins writes about Sales ProcessDuring my early days as a salesperson I participated in many training programs, yet my favorite was taught by Jim Chandler and was based on his “10 Foundation Statements”.  #7, the Process Statement, is applicable in sales, operations, accounting, manufacturing, marketing, education, theology, construction… and life; I have used it in many ways and now share it with you.

Process Statement: Selling is a process. My job, as a professional salesperson, is to create a personal selling process that is so strong, that the pressure of selling is absorbed by the process and not by me.

Wow, what a relief I felt when I discovered that if I built a strong process, I no longer had to worry about when and where my sales would originate. I could trust the process. My sales actually improved when I applied this philosophy and my sales process. I know my prospects did not feel the pressure of the sale either. They were free to choose to do business with me or not. It was ok. I was no longer emotionally tied to the sales call outcome. I had faith that the sales process that I built would deliver. And if it did not deliver enough results at the right time, it was the process that needed tweaking, not me.

Moving on from sales, I have used the same process statement in building and implementing successful Marketing Plans. I have used it to plan events for work and non-profit organizations. When I relocated, I used a strong moving process to absorb the great pressure and stress of moving. I knew I would not be dead if I did not meet a deadline because I had a predetermined contingency plan.

If you have worked in a well-organized operations environment then you are very familiar with processes and procedures. Yet other parts of the organization may not have a written process. Oh, did I forget to mention that my sales process was a 7 page typed and bound booklet?

A Written Process: When I mention writing down a process in the workshops and classes I lead, people roll their eyes like I asked them to pull their own wisdom teeth. There are two main values in writing your process (1) What you discover in creating a process (2) comparing actual results to your process.

J.R. Atkins uses coffee making as a processs exampleTake a mundane example like making coffee for your office and ask a team to write the process. You will discover many variations on the same theme of making coffee such as only use filtered water, only use true Columbian coffee and make sure the filters are environmentally friendly. Yet, once the process is developed and implemented you can trust that the coffee will taste the same every time it is prepared.

As for comparing the actual to the planned, what do you do when the coffee taste different? You start checking on who made the coffee, did they follow the process, and then discover that the wrong kind of coffee was delivered by your supply chain representative (aka, the person who shops for your break room).

Can you get carried away with having too many or too long a process? Yes. Is there a process for writing a process? Probably. Take the best and forget the rest. My hope is this article will spur you on to make some type of improvement in your personal, volunteer or business life. If so, please let me know ☺


J.R. Atkins, thinking inside the box

Box Thinking: Inside or Outside?

J.R. Atkins, thinking inside the box“Thinking outside the box” is such an over-used term yet I still hear it used to describe looking at life, a systems, a product, a problem or an issue in a new or different way. But, to think outside the box, don’t you need to understand what is in the box? Check out the list below and see if you can think of additional material that should be in or outside the box.

“Inside the Box”

  1. Current Methods & Procedures
  2. Current Customers & Prospects
  3. Current Employees & Recruits
  4. Current Products & Services
  5. Current Information & News Sources
  6. Current Ways of Thinking & Communicating
  7. Current Locations & Resources
  8. Current Culture “The way we do things”

J.R. Atkins thinking outside the box“Outside the Box”

  1. Any New Approach, Order or Method
  2. Any New View or Perspective
  3. Any New Way of Thinking
  4. The Opposite of the “Inside the Box” Thinking

 

For one to be good at creating, innovating, inventing, developing… you must be able to suspend your current beliefs long enough to see the world in a new way. In Seth Godin’s recent book “The Icarus Deception” he writes of the balance between our comfort zone and safety zone and how we must get comfortable with new realities or our new safety zone. He goes on to say that success in the new era goes to those that “create ideas that spread and connect the disconnected.” J.R. Atkins recommends The Icarus Deception

As we enter 2014 my hope for you is that you are able to create remarkable results with remarkable ease. Perhaps you can think outside the box to new highs in your career by looking at what is already in the box.

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The 5 Stages of Culture from “Tribal Leadership”

“People Tribe, Fish School, Cattle Herd and Birds Flock” and so it goes, says my client and friend Kathy Dudley of Compassion Creates Change. Then she goes on to explain the 5 Stages of Tribes (below). My eyes widen and I frantically begin to take notes as the information and this model of behavior resonates with other ideas bouncing around in my head. So, I share the following resources with you in hopes of helping you and your organization excel in the new year.

This video explains the Tribe concepts as it applies to organizations

 

The Models or Info-graphicsJ.R. Atkins recommends the book Tribal Leadership

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J.R. Atkins recommends the book Tribal Leadership

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, here is an excerpt from the book which I highly recommend.

Every company, indeed, every organization, is a tribe, or if it’s large enough, a network of tribes—groups of twenty to 150 people in which everyone knows everyone else, or at least knows of everyone else. Tribes are more powerful than teams, companies, or even CEO’s, and yet their key leverage points have not been mapped—until now. In Tribal Leadership, Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright show leaders how to assess their organization’s tribal culture on a scale from one to five and then implement specific tools to elevate the stage to the next. The result is unprecedented success.

J.R. Atkins MBA Recommends the book Book: Tribal LeadershipIn a rigorous ten-year study of approximately 24,000 people in more than two dozen corporations, Logan, King, and Fischer-Wright refine and define a common theme: the success of a company depends on its tribes, the strength of its tribes is determined by the tribal culture, and a thriving corporate culture can be established by an effective tribal leader. Tribal Leadership will show leaders how to employ their companies’ tribes to maximize productivity and profit: the authors’ research, backed up with interviews ranging from Brian France (CEO of NASCAR) to “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams, shows that more than three quarters of the organizations they’ve  studied have tribal cultures that are merely adequate, no better than the third of five tribal stages.

The authors explain exactly what Tribal Leadership is, and offer a wealth of “technical notes” which explain how to implement the leadership system in any culture. They also offer coaching tips and a “cheat sheet” that provides the key action steps to building great tribes—including how to identify a tribe’s language and customs, how to move yourself forward while moving your people, and how to build a support network. “The goal is to give you the perspective and tools of a Tribal Leader,” the authors write. “The result is more effective workplaces, greater strategic success, less stress, and more fun. In short, the point of this book is for you to build a better organization in which the best people want to work and make an impact.”

TRIBAL LEADERSHIP details each of the five tribal stages and helps readers identify which actions affect it and which strategies will enable the tribe to upgrade to the next level. The authors discuss how each stage has a unique set of leverage points and why it is critical to understand them—more than three quarters of the organizations they studied have tribal cultures that are adequate at best. The five stages include:

• Stage One: The stage most professionals skip, these are tribes whose members are despairingly hostile—they may create scandals, steal from the company, or even threaten violence.

• Stage Two: The dominant culture for 25 percent of workplace tribes, this stage includes members who are passively antagonistic, sarcastic, and resistant to new management initiatives.

• Stage Three: 49 percent of workplace tribes are in this stage, marked by knowledge hoarders who want to outwork and out-think their competitors on an individual basis. They are lone warriors who not only want to win, but need to be the best and brightest.

• Stage Four: The transition from “I’m great” to “we’re great” comes in this stage where the tribe members are excited to work together for the benefit of the entire company.

• Stage Five: Less than 2 percent of workplace tribal culture is in this stage when members who have made substantial innovations seek to use their potential to make a global impact.

The authors also offer an in-depth look at Tribal Leadership strategies, and discuss how leaders can identify the tribe’s core values and the noble causes to which they aspire. They then explain how to use those principles along with the tribe’s inherent assets and behaviors to foster success based on the tribe’s goals and objectives. As the authors explain, once the tribe sets its strategy based on these factors, a palpable sense of excitement begins to emerge. “Every member of the tribe knows exactly how to succeed and what each person must do to make the tribe effective,” they write. “That’s the promise of tribal strategy.”

Leaders, managers, and organizations that fail to understand, motivate, and grow their tribes will find it impossible to succeed in an increasingly fragmented world of business. The often counter-intuitive findings of Tribal Leadership will help leaders at today’s major corporations, small businesses, and nonprofits learn how to take the people in their organization from adequate to outstanding, to discover the secrets that have led the highest-level tribes to remarkable heights, and to find new ways to succeed where others have failed.

I look forward to reading your comments, receiving your emails, chatting on the phone or in person about these concepts.

 


PodCast: Social Media Overview

What’s the big deal about Social Media? This course will explore the main Social Media platforms and trends. Examples include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogging, YouTube, Pinterest and more. Does Social Media improve relationships or increase isolation? Your instructor is J.R. Atkins, MBA from Something Different Companies


The Value of Quiet Time

Throughout my life, I have sought to balance the stress of life with a few minutes of quiet time. A recent week full of events, work and personal commitments caused me to take a closer look at the value of quiet time.

Author J.R. Atkins on the important of reflectionThink & Reflect Quiet time allows me to think about my life, activities, issues and opportunities and attach or remove meaning from them. When one project ends, what did I learn and how did I benefit from the project; how will I utilize those lessons in the future? When I get angry at someone or something, my quiet time allows me to re-think my role in the anger and the effect of the anger on my life.

Guidance It is during my still quiet moments that I seek guidance for my life; where I listen for messages, contemplate issues and prepare for action. Once I perceive guidance, I feel more comfortable about my plans and activities.

Prioritizing There are so many ways we can spend our time, money and resources, how do we choose what to do and when to do it? My quiet time allows me to think about priorities and make adjustments. After all, you can get more money, but you cannot get more time.

Author J.R> Atkins speaks on VisionReviewing Goals Occasionally I’ll look at my written goals, visions and beliefs. I write these at the beginning of the year as a sort of annual plan for my life. It covers mental, spiritual, financial, physical, emotional, recreational and relational goals. Each time I review these plans I make notes, adding and deleting to the plans as life dictates. Through my quiet time I get to be honest with myself as ask “are you doing and being the kind of person you say you want to do and be?”

Feed the Vision It is in our quiet time in which we get to imagine our future as we desire it to be. In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill writes of the power of our desire and determination and how we can have whatever we want in life, if we simply use our minds.

Reading Good Books I enjoy reading fiction and it can feed my mind but when I speak of reading good books I’m speaking of reading non-fiction; biographies, history, current periodicals and more. I suggest that together, reading and reflecting, can create powerful results in our life and for reflection our brains and Author J.R. Atkins recommends think & grow richbodies need quiet time

Do you take time for peace and quiet in your life? I’d like to hear your ideas about how quiet time affects you. Do you have a special place, a chair, inside or outside, maybe a garden? Do you meditate as a part of your still quiet moments? Please call, email or add your comments to my blog at:

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06/19 Social Media for the Over 50 Crowd by J.R. Atkins
06/20 TeXchange Summer Social @LoneStarPark
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06/25 Last Tuesday Happy Hour at The Ritz Carlton
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06/27 Concerts at the Arboretum
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06/30 Social Media in DFW~2013 with Others
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3 things we can we learn from a 4 year old

Here are 3 things we can we learn from a 4 year old

    1. Touch screens are broke
    2. Planes get small
    3. Anything is possible

 

Although my son is in college, I’m still amazed at what I can learn from observingAutho J.R. Atkins ask what we can lear from a 4 year old children. Their wide eyes are ready to take in whatever the world has to teach them each day. We can apply these small lessons to our own business lives and improve our desired results. Here are three recent incidences I observed.

Lesson 1 – Touch Screens Are Broke. Once a child understands that you can touch a screen and change the appearance, they think all monitors, TV’s, camera screens, and tablets should be touch-enabled. When they touch one that is not so enabled, they think it is broke. You may laugh with your worldly experience but I’m here to tell you (and me) that they envision a world where all screens are touch enabled. Someday they will laugh at you and me. So think of a world where all screens are touch sensitive. What could we do, how might our tactile senses respond, how ill it change communication, data analysis, device operations, driving a car, …. The list could go on. I challenge you to think about this today as you touch any device or screen. What can you envision?

Lesson 2 – Planes Get Small. Have you ever watched a plan take off? It starts off full Author J.R. Atkins references planes getting smallsize and then gets smaller and smaller, or that is the way a 4 year old sees it. So don’t be surprised if they think the people inside get small too. This is what a girl on a recent flight asked as the plane took off: “When do we get small?” As an adult, how do I let misinformation, old ideas and ignorance get in my way of understanding my world? When do I assume my culture is the best and miss what I can learn from someone very different from me? When my son chooses to text me rather than call, do I assume he is wrong and not communicating “correctly” or, do I see it as just another way to communicate, and accept his “new” method?

Lesson 3 – Anything is Possible. To a 4 year old child, anything and everything isAuthor J.R. Atkins suggest anything is possible possible. If you tell them a man landed on the moon and show them the video on YouTube, then they will believe you. Yet, as adults, we have our experiences to compare to new ideas. Our mind ask “What have I seen that looked like this before and how did it turn out?” Sometimes these experiences are based on bad data and this keeps us from accepting new data. I’m not suggesting we throw out our experiences, but I am suggesting we “run a check” on our fast acting mind and occasionally say to ourselves “Maybe this time it will be different because circumstances are different.”

So the next time you have a moment to observe a 4 year old or any child, ask yourself what you can learn and apply to your life today. I hope that I have stirred your thinking some and you have ideas and stores of your own to share with me and your fellow readers in the comments section of this blog.

 

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Who are your Advisors?

As a new year begins, many people have their mind on New Year’s resolutions, goals, wrapping up last year, and focusing on the new year. During this time my mind drifted to the role advisors play in our lives.

Build a better 2013 with Advisors by J.R. Atkins

For some people, they claim they have not advisors, yet these people can be found talking to bar tenders into the night or discussing politics with friends and neighbors. However they appear or whatever we call them, we allow and even encourage others to help shape our thoughts, actions and lives.

For other people, we recognize how what we read and think as well as the people in our lives, shape our future. I like to call these people advisors. Let’s take a look at how Advisors shape our business life and contribute to business success.

My life advisors have come in the form of teachers, professors, religious leaders, authors, speakers and very close friends. As a young businessman in the Financial Services Business, I had a Board of Advisors who I would meet with quarterly, on an individual basis over lunch. I’d share my goals and activities and they’d offer their thoughts to help me. For some reason, when I left that business I quit meeting with my advisors and wish I had not. Through various religious organization I have meet with men’s groups on a weekly basis to encourage one another. From these men I have drawn support, insight and accountability to the things I say I wasn’t to do. What a great reflection on one’s self. Certain authors and speakers have come to mentor me such as Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, Steven Covey (these three have passed) John C Maxwell, Seth Godin and others. I take what they write and say and apply to my life, I often quote them or refer to their work when I speak and write. A very few, very close friends also count as advisors as I can tell them things that I would share with no others and know I will not be judged. My dad’s mentor told him if he had 3 close friends like this in life he would be very lucky and I have found this to be true.

Another type of business advisors come in the form of Official Boards; Boards of Directors with fiduciary responsibilities and Boards of Advisors with less responsibility, both offering great business insight. If you are looking to grow your community influence, then you might consider serving on a board such as:

  • Non-Profits Boards
  • Association Boards
  • Churches, Synagogues and Temples leadership boards
  • Company Boards, for small, medium, large private companies as well as public companies.

As an example, I serve on an Advisory Board for one of my clients, Copper Mobile. My role is to identify potential candidates for both their Board and Advisory Board, offer insight into the Mobile App industry, help identify market opportunities and refer prospects. In return, I get to interact with quality people on their boards, share ideas with their staff, learn from their projects and help others grow.Mobile App Enterprise Solutions

A friend of mine asked “why I serve on boards?” the best reason I have is because of the good you can do. As a board member, you have a chance to make an impact, to help others, to do something bigger than yourself and it is very rewarding. Another reason to be on a board is for the growth you will experience. You will see and hear issues and opportunities that cause you to be a better you. Finally, as a board member you meet great people that encourage you, challenge you, befriend you and make you laugh.

I have hear people say they are bored enough with the meets they currently attend, so why join a board to be bored. If this is the case then you need to find another board. I still laugh every time I hear of the board for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit; The DART Board J

As I look into 2013 I do have one resolution, to reestablish my advisory network for three reasons.

  1. To have a consistent, regular source of input of others
  2. To be “on purpose” about my business and personal growth
  3. To be accountable to others for the things I say I want to do and be

 

What about you? Do you have advisors, do you serve on any boards? I’d like to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Please add them to the comments section below.

Events worth considering


We Will Soon Generated 5 Billion GB of Data Every 10 Min.

Author & Consultant J.R> Atkins address information overload in digital timesA recent article in the Wall Street Journal states “From the beginning of time until 2003 we generated 5 billion gigabytes of data. In a year, we’ll generate that much data every 10 minutes. How do you avoid information overload?”

An audience member will often ask me this when I speak and my answer is simple but challenging – Balance! this easier said then done but in short, we need to spend some amount of time unengaged for every we spend engaged in media – Social Media, Website, Mobile Apps, TV, Radio, Reading, … In other wise, the key to balance is a few minutes of quiet time each day.

How do you keep your sanity? Do you have any tricks you can share? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Check out the “Three Keys to Beating Information Overload” by Paul A. Laudicina in the Wall Street Journal.

Imagine having—at last—the entire knowledge of human civilization at your fingertips, and finding that it basically gives you a migraine. With the relentless 24/7 information smog of always-on news, e-mail, and social media, most of us are not feeling smarter or wiser these days. Just consider: from the beginning of time until 2003 we generated 5 billion gigabytes of data (“Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think,” by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler). By next year we will generate that much data every ten minutes. Is it any wonder our ability to think and act with the future in mind has diminished with the daily assault on our over-stimulated brains?

The temptation is to tune out what you can’t control (which is pretty much everything), and focus entirely on the few things you can—from the comfort of your private cocoon. But unlike some, I think going on a media diet or fast is neither realistic nor productive. In today’s complex world, you need to be a talent scout and an information omnivore, and ideally a discerning omnivore.

This might sound like an oxymoron, but let me explain. Clay Johnson, a successful practitioner of political campaigning using the Internet, makes the point that it’s not so much information overload people are dealing with, but rather information overconsumption of the wrong kind. He thinks we read and watch too much information from sources that merely affirm what we already think. I agree.

The first step I would recommend to anyone is to subscribe to—and read—a print newspaper or two. A recent University of Maryland study found that young people the world over think that the news they need finds them, not the other way around. But if you consume news online, you may miss a story that is relevant to a problem you face at work, or learning about an individual who makes you consider an issue in a new light. Online browsing – particularly when so much of today’s content is algorithmically pushed to us based on previous site visits and habits — keeps us from experiencing these serendipitous stories, which can have an unexpected impact on our thinking.

I would also recommend that if you only read relatively highbrow publications (like this one), you should regularly browse the likes of People, Hello! and Entertainment Weekly. Likewise, if you are immersed in pop culture, sports, and social media, I’d advise you to regularly peruse news sources that focus on politics, business, and economics. There is great danger in traveling the same mental routes every day and becoming a “silo” expert when we need more generalists.

And if you want to expose yourself to emerging leaders and tap into the world’s brainpower hubs, you also must realize that reputations are lagging indicators. Looking at rankings is like looking at the nighttime sky: You see the light, but it’s coming from the past. To meet those who are young, hungry, and full of promise, meet everyone you can in your firm. Talk with your seatmates on your next flight. See who your direct reports admire at work and make their acquaintance. You may be pressed for time, but time isn’t the most important ingredient in business: it’s people—and what they know.

Yes, there are times to unplug. Effective people in any occupation do not zoom at warp spe

Author J.R. Atkins recommends “Beating the Global Odds: Successful Decision-Making in a Confused and Troubled World.”

ed continuously; even field generals retreat to move forward. Finding time to pause, think, reflect, recharge, and be creative is absolutely essential to success in any field. We need to take stock of things overlooked in the hubbub of daily life.

The future belongs not to those who turn down the volume, cancel their subscriptions, or unplug. Instead it will go to those who vary their information diets, listen for important but subtle “weak signals,” and go out into the world to discover remarkable people, ideas, places, products, and services for themselves. Take it all in, as the discerning omnivore you ought to be.

Paul A. Laudicina is managing partner and chairman of the board of A.T. Kearney and the author of “Beating the Global Odds: Successful Decision-Making in a Confused and Troubled World.”


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