It was a Sunday afternoon in May of last year and I was reading the Business section of the New York Times when I came upon the Corner Office column wherein they interview a top business leader each week on their leadership insights.
Well long story, short, I was so inspired by that week's interview with Linda Lausell Bryant, the executive director of Inwood House -- a NYC-based organization that "Helps Teens Take Charge of Their Lives"-- that I did something I had never done before:
I sent her an email out of the blue saying, "How can we help!?"
As it turns out not only is Inwood House an amazing NYC-based organization, but they are our neighbors... located right here on the Upper East Side, less than a 5-minute walk from BigBlueGumball's home office!
So I am proud to say that over the past ten months we have had the pleasure of working with Linda and her brilliant and incredible team (some of the smartest, nicest, and most dedicated people we've ever had the pleasure of working with!), to help their staff develop their skills in the areas of management, leadership, communication, and innovation.
In addition to the pure satisfaction we receive from making a contribution to this amazing organization that is, literally, saving the lives of New York City teens, the following words of appreciation from Linda was, perhaps, the greatest gift of all:
"Meeting you and having the benefit of your brilliance and commitment to us is indeed one of the biggest blessings that came out of the New York Times article. In every interaction we have with you, we come away having learned something and ready to apply something. Thank you for your priceless partnership with us. We are thrilled to be your friends, your fans and your students!"
Humbled by these incredibly kind remarks, we would like to say thank you to Linda for what you do, for how you do it, and -- most of all -- for who you are.
We truly love working with you and your team, and thank you for this opportunity to make a difference, and to share in this wonderful partnership.
As a long-time volunteer for Big Apple Greeter (16 years and counting -- see MSNBC article and fun pic below!), my full-time focus on growing our BigBlueGumball business has made it difficult for me to do as many "greetings" as I used to.
But Steve and I were thrilled to have the opportunity to pay a recent visit to Big Apple Greeter's NYC headquarters to deliver a pro bono training workshop for their amazing leadership team of Lynn Brooks, Alicia Pierro, Elizabeth Holmes, Gail Morse and other key staff members. We volunteered our training expertise in visual thinking and visual communications to assist them in their quest to "Design & Deliver More Effective & Persuasive Communications & Presentations."
A good time was had by all, and we look forward to continuing to contribute in any ways we can to help support Big Apple Greeter in their mission to help make NYC the greatest -- and friendliest -- city on earth.
“Todd and Steve were a fantastic duo…we laughed throughout the casual but professional workshop while learning and honing in on some excellent management tactics and techniques.” – Avi Lugassy (Campaign Manager)
“Todd and Steve were fun, personable and clearly had a genuine interest in developing us as managers…all in all a fantastic experience” – Jamie Bryans (Campaign Manager, Los Angeles)
“I feel I have left the forum better equipped and prepared to manage my teams and myself. Thank you BigBlueGumball for a great time and a fantastic learning experience.” – Jorge Quinta (Campaign Manager, Chicago)
Please click here for more details about our wonderful partnership with this great organization.
Nice piece by reporter Anne Field on the pros & cons of web-based brainstorming and collaboration.
...But no matter what, the purpose is the same: to make the brainstorming process more efficient, using online applications that can be tapped just about any time, from anywhere. "You conceivably can work with people remotely all over the world. You have a lot of flexibility. And you can add something if you think of it at two in the morning," says Todd Cherches, a management consultant in New York City who specializes in leadership and creativity training.
...That's not to say online brainstorming is a complete substitute for the conventional, in-person variety. Nor is it a total panacea. Management consultant Cherches prefers real-time sessions because, "it's helpful to have everyone in the same room with everyone looking at the same whiteboard, feeding off each other," he says. "If you're trying to facilitate interaction on a human level and create a team environment, I think it's better for people to be together, the old-fashioned way."
*Click here to see video highlights of this presentation.
A special thank you to Dani Ticktin Koplik of dtkResources (and to my friend and new ICF-NY president, Terry Yoffe) for inviting me to present at the Bubble2Boardroom career fair and networking conference at the New York Athletic Club on Friday (Jan 6, 2012.)
It was an honor to join an impressive roster of guest speakers which included superstar marketing and social media guru, Ted Rubin, as well as Michelle Tillis Lederman, author of “The 11 Laws of Likability.”
My presentation entitled, “Turn Up Your Power Dial…and Kick-Start Your Confidence” introduced our patented BigBlueGumball Power Dial model to the public for the very first time, along with a number of other tools, tips and techniques including “BigBlueGumball’s 5 Quick Tips for Boosting your Confidence":
- Build on your PAST SUCCESSES (eliminate that negative "self-talk")
- Leverage your STRENGTHS (don’t dwell on your weaknesses or limitations)
- Make every experience a LEARNING OPPORTUNITY to build upon
- Seek out FEEDBACK (it’s a gift!)
- “ACT AS IF” (believe in yourself...if you don't, who will!)
For more on the Power Dial, Building Your Confidence, Influencing or any other related management, leadership, or communication-related topic, please feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.