A Fabulous Tool Named Grammarly

I use Grammarly for proofreading because my mind runs faster than my fingers.

Besides the above tongue and cheek, Grammarly is a fabulous tool I found by accident. The folks at Grammarly reached out to me for a test drive. At first, I thought they were sent by some old english teacher who had been following my every sentence.

I used the online tool in a couple of situations and it performed well. It’s fabulous for the daily writer or the professional who needs to make the best impression possible. My wife asked me whether I could try the free tool in WordPress or Word. That’s an option, I want something as robust as Grammarly. You can sign up for a free trial at their site to see if it’s a fit you.

By the way, it won’t cramp your ability to get your message out. We all know how important a message is.

Leadership and the Social Media Frenzy

Wrote this a few years ago, regarding leadership and the social media frenzy, and it still has relevance today.

I'm all-in on the trends created by social media.  This is natural because of my involvement (passion and revenue) in it.  Lois Kelly reminds us though, of how some elements are timeless-leadership and change.  You can read her post here.

If were a poor leader before the social media frenzy, then you're probably still a poor leader.  The way that changes is when you do something relating to your heart.  Anything less is a waste of time, and you don't have as much of that as you think.

I am encouraged by quality leaders who went into the social media arena strong, but are now stronger for the tools (Twitter, blogs, etc.) found there.

Which category do you fall into?  The answer will be an awakening-either way.

My Best Intentions

Thinking tonight about best intentions, the "my" variety. We don't give people the benefit of this type of doubt. You and I are alike, we give things a shot and sometimes find ourselves not feeling good playing the game at hand. Trick is to not fake it for the poser in us or an audience made up of many characters. If you have to walk away from the court or field you just have to do it. I'm speaking about what you're supposed to be doing on the planet. Best intentions indeed apply here. If you haven't figured it out yet, consider that Shakespeare was right: 

"All the world is a stage…"

In this past week my creative wiring has been at a def level. Cruel as it may seem, I think God has turned my amp up to 10. So I've been asking about my role on this world stage. My outlets for pouring out my creativity have been somewhat limited lately. Makes me thankful for this blog and the second book, and yes I am making some progress with sophomore project. Needless to say, it's a source of much madness for me. 

Before I proceed to my next frame, I need to explain that creativity and art are connected to some level of madness. Manageable in my case, or so my wife would say.

Here are some of my best intentions regarding you:

  • I always want to encourage people to pursue their dreams, but to understand that it will most likely hurt deeply. I never want to be the guy who writes something that gives a sense that ease and applause are around the corner. In life there will be blend of all.
  • I understand that my writing isn't always moved by marketing. I write from the heart, often what has been laid on my heart. I can't do it any other way. Sometimes that creates a conflict and the heart wins.
  • I mention God due to the relationship I have with him. Again, call me a mad man, but we have a relationship. Much like a father and son.
  • I try to catch when I screw up and after writing for over 5 years I certainly have. You have an open door to point it out.
  • I have strong opinions because I want to be heard. Weak opinions tend to be swallowed up by the herd. Sometimes I'm right, sometimes I'm wrong, but the goal is always to get you to wrestle with what I've written.
  • I am an experiential writer. I am confident you get this.

7 Things Your Manager Wants You To Know

Corporate maze 

I spoke with a friend yesterday about the role of her manager in her job.  He's an advocate for her and a buffer.  The buffer part was what struck me.  He's a buffer between my friend and senior management.  Sadly, senior management in this organization is living in an alternative reality, so they need someone who is deft at translating this reality into real world application.  This happens a lot in the corporate world.

This post is not a defense of the middle-manager, nor is it a rant about how bad they sometimes can be.  In the spirit of balance I want you to consider 7 things your manager wants you to know:

  1. Your manager is afraid.  In many ways this makes them like everybody else, with one huge exception.  Your manager has power and influence over the work of human beings.
  2. Your manager thought they wanted the job when it was offered.  Many managers are conflicted.  The organization dressed everything up well, put on the nicest face, but decided to let themselves go after the honeymoon.  Now your manager sees themselves as stuck.
  3. Your manager wants to do the right thing.  She realizes she can't please everyone.  She knows that making a decsion swiftly and resolutely is sometimes needed, even if you don't see it or understand it.
  4. Your manager wants ongoing learning and growth.  But it's very difficult when profit tries to push an unseen opportunity out the door.  Or worse, the organization doesn't care about learning and growth.
  5. Your manager has been a bully all their life and has no intention of stopping.  Unless, of course, someone decides to push back.  He believes the organization is weak for not putting a halt to his behavior.
  6. Your manager is intimidated by people who are smarter and wiser.  They see vulnerability (being ok with not being the crown jewel in the room) as something to be avoided.
  7. Your manager feels like their life is ebbing away.  The other parts of life are demanding much from her, just like the organization.  In many ways she wonders where is the life she dreamed of.

Thank You

If you're a subscriber to my blog, I want to say thank you.  Allowing my words access into your life is a high honor to me.

Looking forward to the future days ahead.

Does the World Need Another Social Network?

Ok, I've taken the dive with Google +. There are many out there who are wondering if we need another social network.  I asked myself the same question this afternoon and came to the following conclusions:

  1. We do need more social networks.  That doesn't necessarily many another Facebook or Twitter.  Maybe it's in your community where you live or a cause you're passionate about.  It's right as breathing.
  2. If you're taking the bumble bee approach to social networking (online or otherwise), then you need to reexamine your motivations.  Take a hard look at who you are or who you were before you drank the kool-aid, and then order your social networks around that.  You've got to do this.
  3. Google + is rightly placed.  Google has such a huge influence around the ordering of content and flow, that for them not to be involved would be silly.  I'm not gushing over with Google fan-love when I write this.  Google is like Churchill or Edition; what they created and impacted was bigger than who they were as influencers.
  4. All of this flurry on social netowrks and the experiements, ventures and such created have produced good strategy and tactics for me.  Lord knows, you need good strategy and tactics for your brand (personal or business) these days.  I'd be overwhelmed if I didn't.  For example, I know why I interact on Brazen Careerist versus why I interact on LinkedIn.  By the way, strategy and tactics will also lead you to learning the art of saying no and turning off things that have a button.
  5. If we were living in the industrial age, then Google +, Facebook and Twitter would be nothing more than eye candy and entertainment.  Since we are no longer in the industrial age, you should start acting differently.  Differently in that you think like an entrepreneur, even if you're far from it in form.  If you don't start acting differently, you may wake up and find yourself in a ghost town of one.

Why Going Back Doesn’t Work

Road Back 

I recently posted on our Facebook Fan Page the following question:

Why didn't Neo go back into the ” target=”_blank”>Matrix?

If you've seen the Matrix, you probably have the answer.  But what's fascinating is how readily we can be to going back to something that doesn't exist anymore.  I guess you could say Neo was super-human and therefore had the stamina to keep going forward.  I think it's more that his eyes were opened and he was caught by the fire of his purpose.

One of the first steps of any journey is to define the purpose (the reason you're here).  Without purpose you're nothing more than a wonderer.  I didn't fully define my purpose until I crossed my personal Rubicon.  I was well under way by that time.  Regardless, it was key in helping me understand the dangers of trying to go back.

We are in a battle, you and I.  The present and the future are unfolding.  There are problems to solve and the resistance is great.

Here are 7 reasons why going back won't work:

  1. When you think about going back, it's usually accompnained by a false-sense that what's behind you was secure.  Revisionism gives us the luxury of telling ourselves lies.  We live in a world that is insecure.  This presents great opportunity too.
  2. Our lifetime is made up of multiple lifetimes.  This means there will be beginnings and endings.  Even the best situations were never made to go on and on.  Freedom is found in letting this happen.
  3. Sometimes God will blow-up that place we romanticize about in-order to get us to the better future we really want.  This is tough to accept.
  4. People and organizations move on.  It's not that you couldn't make it work.  But often you're growth means it wouldn't be a fit.  You should just let someone else have a turn.
  5. Our tendency to avoid loss keeps us lamenting about the "one that got away."  The feeling of liberation that failure can be should be tried.  By the way, Derek Rose misses about 58% of his shots.  So what are you afraid of?
  6. Our best work is ahead of us.  Some call it evolution, some call it progression, either way you should be embracing the work that is here and ahead.
  7. We get comfortable and that is the first step to missing our destiny.  The past provides great perceived comfort.  Mostly because we play the part of writer, producer and director.  Be uncomfortable before someone/something makes you that way.