Visiting Google-plex this week: got questions?

Very excited to be able to visit the Google campus in Mountain View this week. Please send me your wish list of questions, prompts, concerns…

Upselling Sales: To Sell is Human

Readers beware: I haven’t yet read the book, To Sell is Human.  My comments are based on a talk given by the author, Daniel Pink, at an Author Event at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

While I will certainly read the book, I came away from the event a bit disappointed in Pink’s latest effort to apply fresh thinking to the pedestrian concept of “selling.”   His thesis is that while 1 in 9 full-time workers is engaged in selling, the other 8 are also influencing and persuading others in their commercial and personal interactions.  He claims that while business schools teach the elements of commerce, few teach how to be more effective in sales.  While I totally subscribe to the need to embrace and elevate our “sales-selves,” my initial response is that Pink has engaged in a bit of publication “up-selling” to promote his views.  In his previous work (A Whole New Mind and Drive), Pink has made abstract concepts more accessible; I fear that in To Sell is Human, he has made a simple concept unnecessarily complex.

Pink spoke about the need to apply a “servant selling” perspective that increases the power of the seller by reducing it.  He suggests that prospective buyers no longer rely on sellers for information; instead, there is “information parity” in the relationship between buyer and seller. To be effective, the seller must be a more active communicator (an “ambivert”), pitching with questions, listening to offers made by the buyer, and ultimately, exchanging products or services that make life better.

I’m sure the book will offer engaging interviews, surveys, and anecdotes to flesh-out the somewhat contrived-sounding lists of personal qualities, skills, rules that Pink laid-out in his Free Library talk.  Perhaps my enthusiasm for the book was dampened by the nature of the interaction, which was a bit too traditional in its approach to promoting Pink’s reconstructed views of economic behavior.  I challenge the author to apply his new paradigm of effective selling to the conventional “meet the author” and “book-signing” event.

Daniel Pink’s book tour: To Sell is Human

Looking forward to attending Daniel Pink’s lecture @ the Free Library of Philadelphia on Tuesday, 1/22 @7:30pm: brave the cold and join me!

While I’m loathe to think of myself as a “groupie,” I have really been inspired by the perspective Pink has taken to the way we can understand our place in the economic world (A Whole New Mind); also, how we can understand what motivates us (Drive).

This book promises to offer some interesting perspective on a belief I’ve held for a long time: we are all selling something. A good friend, a pharmacist by profession, talked about this years ago as our children were beginning to find their places in the world of work.  Teachers are selling knowledge and thinking; mechanics are selling parts and fixes; mathematicians are selling equations and solutions… There is no shame in being a great seller; indeed, selling one’s value proposition is what career acceleration is all about.

While I like to think of myself as a service provider, I am clearly selling an approach to life and work.  If you can’t join me tomorrow, I hope you’ll read and comment on what I share on this site and on my new FB page: <>  I hope to be relevant and not redundant: your active participation will help me meet my challenge!


Back to School/Work, inspired by Mike Rose, Daniel Pink

Was inspired by Krista Tippett’s “On Being” interview with UCLA education professor & educational philosopher, Mike Rose.  The conversation celebrated the authentic integration of learning and work by honoring those whose work seems pedestrian – the waitress, the plumber, the mechanic.  Rose raises the banner for those whose work reflects their intelligence and ability to achieve tangible outcomes, without the benefit of certifications or degrees.  At the same time,  Rose is an advocate for  teachers and educational institutions that  integrate these learners into academia; for authenticating and adding value to “the academy” through the contribution of these workers/students.

I see some elegant connections between this approach to experiential learning and Daniel Pink’s explanation of what drives people, e.g., autonomy, mastery, and purpose (elements of Pink’s Operating System 3.0).  IMO, those seeking meaningful work can find some useful support and direction in  the work of these thinkers/writers/bloggers.  Check-out the APM interview with Mike Rose; the TED talk with Daniel Pink; embrace this thinking as you return to find meaning at school and work…


Healthy lifestyles – traditional employment – Philadelphia

Check-out this list of Delaware Valley employers recognized by the Philadelphia Business Journal for promoting healthy lifestyles. For those seeking traditional employment, this seems like a useful criteria! Of course, I’m offering this as information without specifically endorsing the validity of this list, assembled by a 3rd-party source through a survey: Caveat emptor!

Recipes & remedies for a stalled career…

I love the good common sense offered by my colleague, Billie Sucher.  Not only does she offer good home-spun remedies and recipes, she is a capable and energetic career professional.  Check-out her latest, written from her “sick-bed”  and posted on Career Hub.

SWOT & SNAG your next job: Part 2

This time, I’m touting this approach via a well-respected recruiter,  Nick Corcodilos, (author of the Ask the Headhunter books, blogs, articles, etc.)   To view the post in-context, look for “Get HIred: No resume, no interview, no joke:

Cut out the middlemen
Your challenge is to avoid the process that takes your keywords but ignores your ability to learn and to stretch. The alternative is simple: Cut out the middlemen — HR and the recruiters and the headhunters — and go directly to good managers you’d like to work for. Find out what work they need done, and show how you will do it. Show how you will boost their business and they will hire you.

Read that again: Go to good managers you’d like to work for. That means making choices before you approach anyone about a job. It means avoiding the cattle calls. It means avoiding waiting in line. It means avoiding asking for jobs from people you don’t know who don’t know you.

If you understand this, you have an advantage: Everyone else is diddling the job databases, while you’re out talking to a handful of managers you really want to work for who really want and need to hire you. No resume, no interview, no joke.

Here’s what to do next
Pick three companies or managers you really, really want to work for because they are the shining lights in their industry. Then come to The Blog and describe (briefly) three problems or challenges each company really needs someone to tackle. (You don’t have to name the companies.) And I’ll show you what to do next to get in the door. No resume, no interview, no

SWOT and SNAG your next job…

Making the connection to one more story of successful job transition through S-W-O-T  Analysis (see previous my posts on this topic).  This time, the author is a former academic who frames her recommendation in the jargon of racket sports, (see The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Sweet Spot of Nonacademic Job Search.

Regardless of the way it is framed,  preparation for job change or career transition must begin with an analysis of what you offer in relation to the needs of the targeted employer or industry.  Once you have identified and clarified your own personal and professional strengths, you must focus on understanding the challenges in the space you are trying to enter, e.g., where is the “sweet spot” of opportunity for you to SNAG that job you’ve targeted through S-W-O-T analysis.  It is so intuitively simple, yet it takes concentrated effort and sometimes some guidance.  Try it…

Job Search Success Tip: Cover Letters can be key

Read the testimonial I received this morning – no more explanation needed.

Karen -
I have to share – I received a huge compliment earlier this week on the cover letter you designed.  It came from the hiring director I met with!!

You were right – in many aspects it is more important than the resume itself.  Often it is all one takes the time to read so it has to catch their eye, be well written, yet to the point.

Will keep posted on my progress -

Thank you -

Online Education: an open-access breakthrough?

Check-out this reference to Stanford’s experiment with 3 engineering/hi-tech classes being offered via YouTube

More than 160,000 initially enrolled; 35k demonstrated their engagement in the class by submitting homework during the first 3 weeks of the class. We need to know more about the demographics of this group and how this current cohort has been been recruited. (So far, we know that most have full-time jobs; <1% are from China, as the government blocks YouTube).

The emergence of high-quality online education presents huge challenges to “the Academy” as developed from ancient Greece. Yes, online education is still emerging from a birth process that was tarnished by all sorts of unscrupulous organizations and offers. However, with Stanford’s forray into this field, as well as MIT’s Open Courseware, it may be time to consider the long-term implications of online learning for the huge range of educational stakeholders: students, faculty, institutions, communities, and of course, the global economy.

What does this mean for college access? Could the enthusiastic response to these classes lead to the vocationalization of higher education? Does online education offer an accessible and affordable portal to income equality that sociologists and educators have been seeking on-campus?  (Here’s a link targeted to prospective online students)

If online education were embraced by those who are customarily shut-out of quality brick and mortor educational environments, tremendous cultural consequences would follow… How would our upwardly mobile dorm and cocktail-party behaviors be transmitted? Who would  bring the beer!

Carry the possibilities further, from a safety and personal security perspective… Given the revelations from Penn State Univeristy this week, perhaps online access would offer  the upwardly mobile and powerless in our society a path toward income equality without becoming subject to the will and neglect of the powerful, who control the Academy …?

IMO, online education is a sleeping sociological giant….

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