Archive for the ‘The Language of Life’ Category

That Thing You Don’t

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Thing thing thing thing. Things. Thingamabobber. Thingamajig. Thingery. Thingy thing.

Possessing sophisticated skills of communicating is elementary when you want people to notice you. Your spoken words have to convey a level of

The Lion In Water

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Ted Kennedy was the lion of the Senate who lived a long and consistent life as a public servant. Not even political foes can argue that his service was not of the highest order; he served just as his brothers before him had. Always a liberal trendsetter, this Kennedy pushed for single-payer national health care starting in 1974. A consistent promoter of what he believed was right, the man never wavered.

Throughout the career of the Massachusetts leader, a notable cloud followed him at all times. He was not able to shake Chappaquiddick

Is Socialism The Norm & We Just Don

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

The country is currently immersed in a wide-ranging (and healthy) discussion about health care. This overhaul of the for-profit system we use is alarmingly overdue so the debate is on in every city and town.

Without going into detail for days, some Democrats, including President Obama, are trying to enact a plan that would revamp the entire industry. Part of it would mean Americans could essentially purchase low-cost insurance from the Government. This is called

Google Voice: Death Of Phone As We Loved It

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Few people noticed when Google shelled out $95 mill for a startup called GrandCentral in 2007. The company

Tell The Truth: You’re a Real Storyteller

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Lost in the shuffle of what I guess is the more important news was the fact that Irish writer Frank McCourt passed away at the age of 78. McCourt’s opus, Angela’s Ashes, was an unlikely success: an autobiographical tale of one hell of an impoverished family in Limerick, Ireland.

Rest in Peace

There is nothing earth shattering about the book, which is why McCourt was awarded a Pulitzer for telling it straight. It is written in the voice of a child who recounts sordid story after sordid story. For example: After little Frank’s drunk father left the family, supposedly to work in a munitions factory, Frank was the sole breadwinner in the house by stealing milk and bread. The whole block shared a single outhouse. Frank’s grandmother scrubbed him to within an inch of his life on the day of his first Communion. On and on these wonderful vignettes go.

These are anecdotes of no particular import that formed one of the best selling and most loved books of the 1990s, spawning a profitable and well-loved movie transformation in 2000.

The success of Angela’s Ashes and other books like it (and there have been copycats!) did teach how the most popular stories that seem to resonate with readers and affectuate new and positive changes are often the true ones. Sound like a good blog? See, people want to hear how things actually do work and how they have worked. People want to share their experiences with others who might feel better (or touched) by them. We want to hear what has happened, not what may have happened.

During this deep recession, anyone telling tales — customers, prospects, or friends — is well advised to give it to them without ice: no chaser. I try to do that and am often told to be more subtle. (Like that’ll ever happen.)

Work of the best storytellers are, like McCourt and Bukowski and others before and since, the type that make you go “Crap, I didn’t think of that!”

Many moments within McCourt’s tales of life in Limerick have given us a bit of hope for brightness. You know that is something we all can’t wait to talk about.

…..For less wistful tweets, do the Twitter dance @laermer and don’t forget to check out Bad Pitch Night School (During the Day)!

Fade Away!

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Neil Young once famously sang it’s

The (Fill in Blank) of Record

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Newspapers strive to be seen as the defenders of society

How Our Language Has Evolved

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

Man

Gumby is My Mascot

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Those who “have Gumby” participate. Not ones to sit idly by and watch from the sidelines, these are the folks who jump in and use their wits and intellect to get the job done. They overcome the most troublesome glitches and find innovative solutions. Gumby isn’t yes-or-no; it’s how and why.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the green Gumby and his pal Pokey were Idol-like TV fixtures as they joyfully lived the adventures that kids dreamed of: going to the moon, jumping in and out of books’ fanciful tales, hanging with people from far off lands.

Because Gumby was a Claymation creation, he was eminently flexible and had a special knack for getting into, out of, and through fantastic and often danger-filled escapades.

Gumby is more than ever becoming a key to success in whatever world you tool around in.

Gumby lives on in all of us–at least in those who can wipe away the thought, I can’t. Gumby’s power is more than flexibility, though. The next time a colleague, a friend, or Aunt Bertha asks how you of all people triumphed in the face of some unbelievable odds, tell her, simply, “Gumby.” If she runs off looking for the latest gadget code-named for our little green hero, let her go. If she asks “What do you mean, my young niece . . . ?” here are the real-life answers:

Gumby is attitude.

Snarky is so fashionable; popular culture lauds Gawker.com and its cadre of follower blogs and downloaders that pride themselves on carefully crafted sarcasm and forever cynicism. Gumby is confident, ambitious, and willing to get the job done–that’s the essence of “Gumbitude.” Gumby is optimistic and focuses on solutions–not problems. You call it like it is . . . and then you are willing to get how others see it.

Gumby is action. Lazy is easy. Action is often strenuous and sometimes exhausting, but those who have Gumby (or saw him on TV, and not the Eddie Murphy persona!) know that taking the effortless path rarely gets you where you need to be.

Identifying nascent trends, which is so important in these dire times, requires vigorous analysis of information from multiple sources, searching beyond your comfort zone.

Gumby is results. Gumby the flexible character was all about getting the job done–both well and in a timely fashion–by effectively using all tools available. Gone are the days when tasks came with a “when you can get to it” deadline. If you’re lucky enough to remember the office euphoria when IBM introduced the Correcting Selectric, then your head probably spins at the plethora of tools available to office workers now. These machines and doodads can help or hinder, and Gumby is all about knowing how to use them to deliver resultsthat have a measurable impact on a nonclich

Something To Write Home About: an essay that merits no subtitle

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

dumbcluck.jpg

It

Buy the Book - 2011

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