Monday, December 19, 2011


This holiday season…believe in yourself, believe in others, believe in a higher power, and believe in the true meaning of the season.  Whatever your religion…whatever your current stage in life…BELIEVE.

Be thankful for what you have instead of dwelling on what you don’t have
Embrace diversity…respect differences in opinions and perspectives; it makes us all smarter
Lead with LOVE...with every conversation, action, or reaction, lead with love 
Invest the time and energy necessary to resolve conflict; everyone will be happier
Extend a helping hand to those you know may need it but will be too shy to ask for it
Value meaningful relationships with friends and family, and let them know you do
Encourage people that need encouragement; they’re hoping you’ll be the one to lift their spirits
Happy Holidays...


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Content is King...with a twist

Content is King...with a twist

I spent a few years in online marketing roles earlier in my career.  In 2009 at a Hospitality e-Commerce Summit in San Diego, I attended a seminar where the speaker was adamant that “Content is King”
She made great points on the topic, explaining that success for websites like Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, etc certainly depends on the quality of their “content”.  If e-commerce websites have great content, end users, consumers like you and me, will not only visit the websites, but they will also return, recommend to others, and most importantly buy.
What makes content great?  E-Commerce & online marketing gurus say things like:
·      Relevant information
·      Visitor/User friendliness
·      Quality control
·      Something that others would recommend
·      Supplies the searcher’s needs
This holiday season I found myself doing most of my shopping online.  As I clicked through, jumping from site to site, I heard echoes of some of the seminars, classes, and conversations I had years ago around the whole “content is king” concept…it’s so true.
I picked up some great items from a few websites for friends and family members, but I found myself returning to where I purchased several items this year.  Why?  Other than the fact that Jeff Bezos is a genius, the experience at is just so easy and convenient…and I trust them.
·      Has dynamic content that completely customizes the experience for us.  Their “related items”, “featured items”, “suggested items”, and “recommended items based on prior activity” features make it about us.  Our information – shipping info, purchase info, etc is all saved for us when we log in, saving us time.  Who doesn’t like that?

·      Tells us why we should buy from them.  Their content offers subtle reminders that comfort us, such as the strike through of the Manufacture Suggested Retail Price and the highlighted in red price.  Customer Reviews and the “Look Inside” feature for books suggest even more “why’s” for buying their products. 

·      Uses a pull rather than push approach.  Their content reminds us multiple times throughout our shopping experience that “you can review this order before it’s final.”, as if to say…”we’re not forcing you to do anything…”  That makes us comfortable, keeps us engaged, and fortunately for results in increased revenues.
Content really is king…so couldn’t we all take some of these same concepts and apply them to our lives?  I think we can...and should.  Amazon’s “content” has to do with framing, displaying, explaining, and providing products in such a way that makes it easy and convenient for consumers to purchase them online.  That’s their goal and mission in life. 
What about us?  Whether we’re doctors, lawyers, schoolteachers, sales people, leaders, coaches, teammates, friends, and/or loving family members…we all have our own “content”.  Our content gets published by way of the conversations we have with others, the emails we send to our teams and leaders in the organization, the lessons we prepare for and ultimately deliver to our classes, the service we provide to our Guests, and the proposals we pitch to our clients. 
I like this definition of content from
Content – something that is to be expressed through some medium, as speech, writing, or any of various arts.
We all “express something through some medium” in one way or another every day.  Sometimes we reach others with our content, and other times it goes in one ear and out the other.  If you’re running into roadblocks or having trouble getting through to them, remember that content is king…
We should ask ourselves if our “content” makes it relevant to them.  Do we make it easy or difficult for people to work with us?  Do we save them time and make it convenient?  Is our work or our leadership something others would recommend?  Do we dynamically cater to others’ needs, making it about them?  Do we give them the “why’s” behind decisions we make or views we have?  Do we meet them where they are…and pull rather than push?
Content is King…go OneMoreStep and make your content something others will want to recommend and you just might make a difference while you’re at it.
Have a great day.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Be Curious...

Be Curious…
Curious George...he was on to something
Bored?  Is MONOTONOUS becoming the universal adjective that can be applied to every aspect of your life – career, relationships, family dynamics, and/or social life?  It happens…it’s ok.  We’re all in the same boat.
OneMoreStep Thought for this week: When things get monotonous and boring…or better yet, before things even get to that point – be curious
Ask. Understand. Learn. Improve. REPEAT.
Ask questions…who, what, when, why, how
If we focus all our attention on the person staring back at us in the mirror, we run the risk of getting bored very quickly.  However, when we focus on asking questions of those around us – family, friends, coworkers, staff, leaders, Guests, customers – we add to everyone’s experience.  All of a sudden we have dialogue rather than a monotonous monologue that can tend to be all about us…too much of that is boring for them and for us.
Understand"seek first to understand, then to be understood” – Stephen Covey
When we’re inquisitive with sincere, genuine intentions the most amazing thing happens…we begin to understand.  When it comes to the people in our lives, we understand why they said what they said, why they felt they way they felt, what really motivates them, when they prefer to do what they like to do, how they like to be treated, and who they really want to be.  When it comes to other areas of our lives like our jobs or our goals, we understand just what skills will get us to the next level.  We understand more of the why’s behind the decisions our leaders make and the direction our organizations are going.
Learn…"the moment you stop learning, you stop leading.” – Rick Warren
If we ask questions with every intention to truly understand…we’ll absolutely, positively learn new things.  If we’re constantly learning new things, won’t we be sharper, smarter, more knowledgeable, and in turn, more impactful?  We should also ask ourselves – what can we read, with whom can we speak, and what can we do to constantly learn new ways to do things…new ways to make an impact…new ways to become the leaders we all strive to be.
Improve…"excellent firms don’t believe in excellence…only in constant improvement and constant change” – Tom Peters
Learning combined with action yields improvements.  Constant, steady improvements, by definition, make things better.  We rarely hear folks say, “I’m so tired of things getting better…” So why not take what we learn and put it into action?  With the right frame of mind, we can actively seek out ways to improve our relationships, our finances (both personal and at work), our health, our quality of life, and the coolest part – in doing so we just might improve someone else’s life along the way.
Be curious…Ask.  Understand.  Learn.  Improve.  At the very least…you won’t be bored!
“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.  And one thing it takes to accomplish something is courage.” – Walt Disney
Have a great day.