Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Do What's Right

FIFA, the world governing body for futbol (soccer for the rest of you) is now considering technology after a string of shockingly erroneous calls throughout the 2010 World Cup so far.

Ironically - the FA (the English Governing Body) is a big proponent of this change after their team was on the receiving end of one of the most egregious calls in their Round of 16 match versus Germany.

The FA was not very vocal about using technology when it was last broached with the broader audience after 2006 World Cup while the English Premier League has supported experiments as far back as 1999 without ever getting FIFA approval.  It is to be noted that the FA changed their mind and earlier this year supported investigating the technology but were voted down by others in the United Kingdom.

My guess is that we will be still talking about this when I am about to samba in Brazil four years from now.

Ultimately - this issue boils down to one of my favorite quotes:

Leaders are people who do the right thing; managers are people who do things right. - Warren G. Bennis

Do you think people would have wanted an iPod if Steve Jobs and company would have asked first?

What about flat screen TVs? Or energy efficient appliances? The list goes on and on.

Use of technology is not a question of if we use it - it's a question of how to use it.

This a world class organization and features the only true WORLD CHAMPION for a team sport.

FIFA - stop messing around. Do What's Right.

People (including the Welsh and Irish FAs) will fall in line.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Play Until the Whistle Blows

90 minutes and 42 seconds

22 shots/ 10 shots on goal

1 goal

1st place Group C

80 years since that last time the United States won a group in the World Cup.

By now you must have heard and/or seen the outstanding performance of the US Men's National Team in the final game of Group Play in  2010 FIFA World Cup in Pretoria, South Africa.

The business and life implications of this game are clear.

Never mind the competition - do your thang.

England scored early their game being simultaneously played in another South African city and no doubt the score was shown somewhere in the stadium as a constant reminder to this team what they had to do.

Keep your eyes on the prize.

The attack of the US in the final minutes of this game was not that of a desperate team on the verge of elimination but rather the surge of team confident in its ability to deliver the victory.

Ignore the deflated supporters.

The faces and spirit of the fans was clear, they were bracing for disappointment. I have to admit that I'd given up on them and started preparing my tweet  in minute 86. Frustrated and hurt - not wanting be let down miles away in my cube  - I'd started thinking of my second, third and fourth teams to cheer for since my own wasn't going thru.

Play Until the Whistles Blows.

Monday, June 21, 2010

5 Things I Do To Prevent Social Media Overload

There are days that I am 100% overwhelmed by all the information flowing through my life.

The Twitter feed

The inbox of no less than 3 email accounts

The 30 second news cycle

The Facebook Newsfeed

The LinkedIn updates

How do I keep it all together?  I've made a decision to do 5 Things To Prevent Social Media Overload.

1.   Lunch with people no less than two times a week.

No matter how busy - I make and keep two lunch dates a week. Some business, some pleasure but always away from my desk and with face-to-face contact.

2.   Call instead of email for every 3 interactions with someone.

I like to hear people's voices, even if it's just the machine. All my personal relationships love this. At work, this is especially effective when the email string between us gets unbearable (more than 2 go rounds). I've even noticed a better response from folks when we've actually "talked" before there is a need or request.

3.   Employ a Social Media Embargo time each night

During the hours of 6:00 - 8:00 pm CST, I check out completely and hang with my family. No checking. No iPhone peeking -nothing. It has been a few months and it is so needed. I use HootSuite to make scheduled contact if I need it. Some nights, I don't even check back in.

4.   Schedule GNOs for my mommy posse. Or just date nights with one friend

Sometimes you just need to hang with your girls in person - no catching up on the phone or fake keeping up on Facebook.  It's good to hear the updates over a pink cotton candy martini and 1/2 price appetizers and to belly laugh at life's happenings together.

5.   Read paper magazines

Perhaps this will go the way of the cassette tape with all the iPad, Kindle and other electronic readers; but until it does- I subscribe to O Magazine, INC, Fast Company, Essence and Fortune and love to see them in my mailbox each month.

I continue to pound on the point of Social Media - which in my humble opinion is social (of or relating to human society; the interaction of the individual with the group) and focused on one-to-one relationships. We must take steps to keeping the SOCIAL in our lives.

What Do You Do?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Enamored: 3 Reasons the World Cup has captured my heart

Yesterday kicked off the 2010 FIFA World Cup Tournament in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Since 1990 when I was first exposed to the World Cup, when the United States made its first appearance in 40 years - I have been enamored with this game and this tournament.

Blessed with the opportunity to work at the US Soccer Federation right out of college in 1993, I had the honor to work at the 1994 tournament we hosted here and my life has never been the same.

I never thought I could be so enamored with an inanimate "object" such as a futbol tournament.

But I am.

Each celebration.

The musicians I get to know such as Lira and K'naan.

The new interpretations of ones I already love, like Juanes. This year's theme song Waka Waka did not grab me until I saw Shakira perform it in South Africa on the World Cup Tournament "eve" concert.

The world stands still for me during matches.

I am overcome with chills watching the triumphs of winning teams and bombarded with sorrow watching the heartbreak of an effort that falls short.

It occurred to me yesterday why the fuss for me personally... it's the pure and simple ideology of the World Cup which I attempt to dissect below:

1. The World Cup is the ONLY tournament that starts with every nation and ends up with one true champion. The best is the best. Period.

2. Differences are appreciated and CELEBRATED. There is no shame in showcasing the colors, sounds and smells of nations near and far. The host country is on display for the world.

3. For one month, people across the globe are UNITED in support of this spectacle.

Four years ago, we watched matches from beach front cantinas in La Herradura Spain.

Four years from now, I hope to be in streets of Recife.

Enamored again, in person.

Monday, June 7, 2010

What's Old Is New Again - Yet Another Social Media Rant

"Sometimes people say, 'Here is something new!' But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new"
Ecclesiastes 1:10 New Living Translation Bible

A billboard advertising the A-TEAM movie set to hit theatres this Friday that included the scrumptious Bradley Cooper as Face.

No less than three times a day am I reminded of the old adage "What's Old is New Again."

This is so very true in our 2.0 universe.

Being real. Old.
Building relationships. Old.
Adding value. Old.
Creating connections. Old.
Delight people. Old.
Listening. Old.

Yet, article after article is written on "how to do"  Social Media and it appears that people are missing the point. The 2010 A-Team movie was made to make money - make no mistake. But the other reason it was made in 2010, 23 years after the hit TV series went off the air, is simple: It's a great story. The characters are rich. And there is a whole generation of people who have not been exposed to it.

Same goes for Beverly Hills 90210 or you name the "new" series that's actually old.

So the same goes for Social Media. All the things that companies, organizations, brands - WHATEVER - should be doing off line (see the above list) every day are made easier in our new digital era. The only thing "new" about Social Media is the way it's delivered.