I was on vacation last week where I thought I would have internet access. I was dismayed to find out that that was not the case. A whole week without being online! It was actually a good thing, as I got caught up on some reading and some writing. But things weren’t quiet in Blogsville. A lot of great topics were being discussed.
Bert over at “Open Loops” confessed to being a TV Junkie. This was a great topic and one that is near and dear to me. I watch very little TV. My only weekly addiction is Nascar, which I record and try to watch at a convenient time. I find that my computer time is much more productive than TV, since it is interactive. I can create things, write things, and communicate with others. I love to create interesting photos in Photoshop. When I show them at work or to friends, the number one response is “you have too much time on your hands”. I usually just smile, but I realize that we all only have 24 hours a day. It’s amazing how much time most households spend watching TV.
I often wonder what great things people could write, paint, draw, plan, or do if they would just turn off the TV. I think the world would be a better place. We could watch their movies, view their pictures and read their books instead of the programmed ones most people watch.
An old shareware analogy. We should start uploading instead of always downloading. Something to think about.
Brendon Connelly, the “Slacker Manager” had a great toolbox post. In a post entitled “The Context Agnostic Toolkit for Managers Big and Small” he listed some of his tools for success. His list includes Communication Skills, Text Editor, SQL, Excel Pivot Tables, GTD and a good notebook, datebook or PDA. It’s an eclectic list but a real useful one. As a data guy I really know the value of SQL and Excel pivot tables.
The first time I saw a pivot table in action I was blown away with the power and versatility. GTD (Getting Things Done by David Allen) has changed my life… actually I should say it has given me a life since it helped me tackle the e-mail and inbox monsters. Communication Skills are enclosed in one word for me… Toastmasters. A life changing organization teaching communication and leadership skills. Brendon also had some new tools that I’m going to try out. Great post.
Steve Pavlina had a great post “Overcoming the fear of public speaking” talking about his experiences in Toastmasters and how people can overcome one of the greatest fears of all “Public Speaking”. This is a great article on the benefits of Toastmasters and really gives some step by step advice on the process of joining a club. I would just disagree with Steve on one item. He makes the point that most first time speeches are really bad. I have heard some awesome “Icebreaker Speeches” that have been really inspirational and really good. Sure they can be improved and the evaluations will point that out, but the level of beginning talent at some clubs is amazing.
Rosa Say at “Talking Story” relates a story about listening to a manager sitting next to her on a plane. A fascinating short post about developing our listening skills. Rosa’s blog is very inspirational and conveys the spirit of “Aloha” to all of her visitors.
As far as this blog goes, I’ll be posting some more excerpts from John Maxwells “Becoming a Person of Influence” later in the week. This has been a real eye opener for me. I also just finished a fascinating book by Malcom Gladwell called “Blink” which may add some blog fodder for the following week.
Back to work today…