Two Weeks to a Breakthrough - Electric Boogaloo

Back in July I wrote about Lisa Haneberg's Two Weeks to a Breakthrough program and blog - and soon to be published book! Shortly after that, Lisa decided to euthanize the Two Weeks to a Breakthrough blog, much to my chagrin (and I categorically deny any cause-and-effect relationship).

On Wednesday, Lisa announced that she was reigniting the pilot light of 2W2BK, and stoking the fire by announcing 2007 as the Year of the Breakthrough! And then she practiced what she preaches and requested that friends of 2W2BK link to the blog.

Request granted!

Lisa turned the Two Weeks to a BreaKthrough program into a book, which will come out in late February. I was fortunate enough to review a draft of this book, and it is amazing! I'll post a formal review when the book is published, and will be ebullient in my praise, because it's that good!

Full Disclosure: I got to review the book because Lisa was looking for blurbs, and apparently one of my submitted blurbs will actually be part of the published book. I just hope they don't use that "if Lisa had written this book in 1450, the Bible would have been the second book Gutenberg printed!" one.

How's that for sass, Lisa?

posted by Mike at 4:14 PM 0 comments


ASU Women's Basketball Game Rained Out

Yes, you read that right:
"This strange night needed Milli Vanilli.

How appropriate that the pseudo singers' song Blame it on the Rain blared throughout Chase Field on Monday night. Rain forced the Arizona State-Texas Tech game to be called with 4:18 left.

At least the women's basketball teams can say they played in the second outdoor game, or better yet, they made history by being the first college basketball teams to play in a game that was rained out at a professional baseball facility. They were going to continue playing the game when the first drops came. A skeleton crew extended a maroon tarp on the court with the Phoenix Mercury's logo, and the retractable roof was being closed, but officials decided it was too risky to continue playing on a wet court."
While I have to agree with the Texas Tech coach who wondered aloud post-game why nobody looked at the sky the whole game, I'm glad at least one Arizona team will open the roof for a game.

posted by Mike at 5:45 PM 0 comments


5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Me

Is it just me, or do other people find e-mail chain letters irksome? I don't read them past the line that tells me what they are, and I don't forward them to eleventy-seven friends to avoid some bad juju.

So imagine my excitement when I got the blog equivalent from Troy Worman a few days ago:
"This meme has been circulating for some time. The idea is for the blogger (me) to reveal five things about myself that you may not already know."
If this were a chain letter, Troy would have no way of knowing that I blew him off, but he's bowled me a bit of a googly with this approach. The one piece of good news is that he left off the part where I need to tag other people when I'm done, and he is asking me to write about the world's most fascinating subject: me. [Note: okay, the world's most fascinating subject to me; you are the most fascinating subject to yourself.]

So here you go; don't say you weren't warned to look away before it got ugly:
  1. In high school, I set the school record in the pole vault (and ankle sprains)
  2. I am the proud father of 5 children, whose names all begin with the letter 'A'
  3. Hundreds of people have seen me dance on stage in the last three years
  4. I have witnessed two miracles
  5. I'm giving Troy nagging rites to help me finish a book that will help millions create dramatic, positive, lasting changes in the world
Well, there are a couple of conversation starters for the next time we meet, eh?

posted by Mike at 5:55 PM 8 comments


Book Review - The Connected Leader

"What can two singles looking for love on the internet tell you about what your customers want?

Why does it take an anarchist golfer to show you how to meet your customers’ needs?

What can an 8-year-old nail-varnish-loving girl know about motivating people?"

Thus begins the press release for Emmanuel Gobillot's new book, The Connected Leader which calls the book's concept "Leadership for the 'myspace' generation".
Mass consumerism is being replaced by the People Economy Today humanity's focus is self-actualization, which puts the consumer in the driving seat - wanting to co-create their products and experiences -as the explosion of the myspace phenomemon demonstrates.

Meanwhile, employees are also demanding more. Bribery is no longer a performance management option - employees will only fully engage with organizations that tap into their own personal goals and aspirations.

In today's context, formal hierarchies are no longer effective. Only the Real Organization, with its interwoven networks, can be agile enough to respond to the People Economy."

Gobillot has written a remarkably good book, but not for anything in the quote above. In fact, the author himself says:
"Like you, I read business and leadership books. Probably like you, I am taken in by bold claims and disappointed once they turn out to be nothing more than 'common sense'. Most insights are common sense, mainly because, by the time we have heard them, they make so much sense that we think we have known them to be true all along!

In my experience, though, in organizations today common sense is not all that common. Many common-sense ideas contained in management books are seldom implemented. Therefore, my aim with this book is to translate the above proposition into something that you will see the value of and know how to implement."
This approach is what makes this book remarkable. Anyone who reads Businesspundit, Spooky Action, or any other business blog or publication has seen or heard some or all of these themes before. What Gobillot has done is weave them all together into a cohesive plan for management action. The book includes theories, stories and examples, diagnostics and specific tactics for making yourself a Connected Leader. He strikes a wonderful balance between the 'why' and the 'how' of the People Economy and Connected Leadership, and the advice sensible, practical, and well-written.

What is most remarkable is how the material is constructed. Each chapter begins by stating what topical questions the chapter will answer. Do you think you already know about what drives engagement with customers today? Then skip to the end of the chapter, where you will find a 30-second summary of the material, as well as a quick set of Leadership Takeways - the what without the why.

At the end of each section, there is a diagnostic tool to show you how your current situation stacks up, and the book ends with a summarization of the author's program to make yourself a Connected Leader in a powerful Real Organization agile enough to succeed in the People Economy. As Gobillot says: "There is no need to be sequential to be connected", and he's right! This book will work for both right-brain and left-brain managers and everyone in between. The organization helps readers avoid the "I've already seen this idea a dozen times, so I'm skipping the rest of this book" syndrome and easily get the full picture as efficiently as possible.

Anyone interested in moving beyond formal organizations selling products and into communities of engagement will enjoy The Connected Leader. I also hope that authors of other business books will get it to experience and adapt the organization for themselves!

posted by Mike at 9:46 AM 1 comments