My Start to 2008

Life the last few weeks has truly been extraordinary. I started my 08 with a trip to LA, where I had the pleasure of working with a wonderful group of Ad Sales planners. The focus was on Maximizing Your Presentation Impact……and we had such fun doing it. I particularly liked the Presentation HOOK that one of the participants came up with, who was selling True TV, which is the rebranding of Court TV. He said that reality TV was less enjoyable because it had become so contrived and staged, and that Tru TV, was the original version of actuality and reality. What I love most about these sessions, is that we get to really share ideas that can then be implemented in an upcoming presentation.

I flew straight from LA to NY, where I had the pleasure of sitting next to a renowned scientist who partnered with Al Gore on his Global warming research.But it was in the cab line, that my real story lies. As I stood in the line I realized I had a limited amount of cash, and that a car from JFK would be expensive, so I mentioned to the gentleman standing in front of me, that if he was going to Mid-town we should share a car, and split the fee. At first he looked at me very suspiciously…..and so would you I suppose, if I accosted you at the taxi stand at JFK. Realizing he was a bit unnerved I withdrew the offer; however, he seemed to reconsider, and asked me where I was going. While I fumbled for my itinerary, he announced to the driver that he was going to Le Parker Meridien. “So am I,” I said in disbelief. If he was suspicious before, he was now positively shaken. “Look,” I said, and showed him my crumpled travel details. And so it was that Brent and I got into the cab to the exact same destination on a cold Wednesday afternoon in New York. It turns out that Brent works with Allegan, the drug company that manufactures Botox and Breast Implants, and so, as you can imagine we had lots to talk about.

Teaching Professional Presence to a group of already Professional and Present New Yorkers was a challenge. But to their credit, and that of their boss, we explored how we could kick our careers “up a notch” by becoming more conscious of every aspect of our behavior both verbal and non verbal.

The real highlight of my NY trip was meeting the very famous and quite brilliant author of Tipping Point and Blink. Well if you can call giving Malcolm Gladwell my card, and telling him how much I appreciate his work, a meeting. So for those of you who have not read either of those masterpieces, they are really worthwhile. For me, Mr. Gladwell was the very proper English gentleman, a yuppie well dressed intellectual. So you can imagine my total surprise when he turns out to look more like an out of work musician with baggy, disheveled clothes and spiky unkempt hair. And that just endorses how we often make assumptions about things and people based on no evidence at all.

And no the week did not end there, next was a morning seminar with Plum Creek, the biggest landowner in the US at Chateau Elan. I decided to get there really early so I could be totally relaxed and get a much needed wax at the magnificent spa. I parked outside the spa, and when I was done, took a leisurely stroll to my car, and drove my car up to the hotel. I got out of my car and after much frantic searching and total disbelief realized I had left my suitcase at home……Has that ever happened to you?And so it is that we come to realize how very little we really need…….and how a moment of distraction can cause a great deal of inconvenience.

After Plum Creek I was off to Peachtree City and the vibrant group of Post Properties managers and associates. If you ever need a conference facility, while not fancy, the Wyndham in P.C is fabulous. The conference rooms are large and well equipped and the chocolate fountain was as good as the Ritz Carlton in NY.

So many talks and great interactions later, I am having a moment to reflect on a wonderful week. I loved what the CEO of Post Properties said, it all comes down to the one thing in life we cannot do without…in Latin…the SINE QUE NON …..and that is RELATIONSHIPS……

At the end of it all, it is about the people we meet and connect with, the people we converse with and then the people we collaborate with…….