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Archive for January, 2009

Snow Day

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Anyone who was a kid back in 1978 remembers ‘the blizzard’. (If you aren’t from Indiana, you too can at least appreciate the blizzard of ’78 since it slammed most of the country.)  I remember the snow being pretty much over my head, and the best part was – we had time off from school!  

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to learn, but sometimes, it is just good to take a break from the routine of life, get in jammie mode, and stay cozy.  Snow days remind me to be thankful for the simple things, for catching up, and hitting the reset button when a big blanket of white stuff comes down to hug the earth.

Today is a snow day for many here in the Midwest.  If you have to drive, please be careful.  If not, celebrate the fact you are lucky enough to stay home and take a minute or two and go back to the blizzard of ’78 fond memories…I’m already there!


Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

So on my very long, snowy, slow way to class tonight, I had to jack myself up with some caffeine – and came up with a fantastic idea:  a musical comedy which I’ll call “LawLawPalooza”.  

Step aside, High School Musical.  This will be a musical comedy about what else?  Law school!  The struggles, the heartbreak, the relationships, the passion, the depression, the whole kit and kaboodle.  I can visualize the Playbill as I type.

Musical writer and director would HAVE to be one of my faves, Mika.  He is the only artist I can think of who could capture the drama, the agony of defeat and the high of getting into law school and going through it.

There could even be super interesting characters, singing professors, and harrowing exams.

If you are an agent and you’d like to pursue this idea, please contact me, ASAP.  I’m sure to get an onslaught of interested parties…soon.  Very…soon!

The Value of a Social Network: Priceless?

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

Yeah yeah yeah, I’m going to stop beating myself up over reading my non-fiction “candy” over stuff like Torts and Civ Pro.  Actually, it was my Sales law reading assignment that got me thinking more about the ‘value’ around a social network, which was solidified by an example I read last evening in a new book, Iconoclast: A Neuroscientist Reveals How to Think Differently, by Dr. Gregory Burns.  The value of a social network has always been perplexing to me.  Many know that building a strong, wide and robust social network is important, but just how valuable is it?  

Dr. Burns in his new book cites an example of the value of a social network by comparing Picasso to van Gogh.  I really don’t want to give away Dr. Burns’ story, but suffice it to say that the differences among these two icons of art paid off big time for the one with the widest and most vast social network.  (I’ll let you read the book to find out just how much by and to whom the vast millions were acquired.)  Although both today are considered art rock stars, they lived very, very different lives.

I’m going to continue to explain the whole networking value thing to my students as I have been:  building social capital is just like starting a retirement or bank account.   The earlier you start and the more you work at it, the bigger the growth and account in the end.  Even in a recession, social capital really doesn’t take as big a hit as financial capital, and social capital may just be even more important in an economic downturn than dollars in the bank.

OK!  Back to class reading….

You Don’t Know How Beautiful You Are

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

No surprise, but I love, love LOVE U2!  Naturally, I cannot W-A-I-T for their new album, No Line on the Horizon.  I downloaded the one tune they’ve released off their new album on iTunes this morning, and my favorite lyric is the title of this very blog entry.

We don’t know all know how beautiful we are, nor how beautiful we can be.  But the good news is, there are no limits!  

May you at least get a glimpse of how beautiful YOU are at this point in time, or at the very latest, the near future.

How I Luckily Found…The Diva Toolbox!

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

I’m a fan of LinkedIn.  I’m too old for Facebook and Myspace, I don’t quite get Plaxo, and I’m too cheap to join the networking sites that make me actually pay to be part of them.  (I’m on some others out there too, but these for me are the big 4).  So, this weekend, when I SHOULD have been studying or doing work, I instead digressed and was surfing around groups on LinkedIn and found…The Diva Toolbox.  The name of the organization was just too awesome to pass up, so I contacted the founder and asked about it.  Then, we connected, and she offered me a freelance writing gig on Diva Toolbox…on networking.

I’m not a networking expert, but I know who is…and that is Hazel Walker.  So, I decided to email Hazel and ask if I could interview her for a piece on Diva Toolbox.  Here is the result. All I can say is: I HEART online networking, because not only did I luck out and find a cool site to check out, but met the gal behind the awesome site, and had the chance to connect my expert networking friend to her.  It’s a win x 3, which is what networking should be ALL about!

Peter Drucker was a Rock Star

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Often, I am asked whom I admire.  Peter Drucker is on the top of my list, and the more I learn about him, the more I like him.  He had all the essential qualities of a rock star: he was a rebel (with a cause), he was forward thinking, he truly was an artist (who wrote nearly 40 books!) and he welcomed criticism and controversy.

Over the holiday break, I had the chance to read a book about him.  I’m not sure if many know that he actually turned down academic appointments/offers at Harvard and Stanford, because he wanted to consult, because he wanted to write books rather than peer reviewed cases (he was not a fan of hypo case theory method being taught in class), and he wanted to teach and learn his way.  As the father of management, he wrote about managerial concepts before anyone else even thought about management as a practice.  And, often criticized, he forged ahead despite his critics.

All he needed was some extra tour dates and a Tshirt, and I totally would have been there for the concert. Whatever universe you may have moved on to, Dr. Drucker, we all hope you are still rocking there!

Extra Extra!

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Read all about it – the 4th book on life science lawyers!

Is PC finally on the right track?

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Those who know me know that I’m a mac girl, and I’ve been one now for quite some time.  Even the PC v. mac commercials crack me up.  As a writer, I’ve got to have a powerful, consistently performing laptop to carry with me wherever I go, because there’s always a story to be recorded.  And, let’s face it, mac laptops are just cool looking too.

However, has PC finally beat mac at its own game?  The new HP Mini Vivienne Tam notebook, is, dare I say, pretty?  It almost makes me want to go back to PC.  Almost, but not quite.  Maybe the folks at apple will realize that computing at the next level is about style.  Kind of like Target v. Walmart.  People want something functional, yes, but why can’t it look cool too?

The Year of Reality, Part Deux

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

As I previously blogged, I think 2009 is going to be the year of reality.  Because of the economic mess we are in globally, along with people needing the basics – like jobs and money for mortgage payments, I think we are all going to need to consider cutting to the chase this year and get straight to reality.

Total case in point is Guy Kawasaki’s latest, Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition.  This handy dandy book rocks, because 1. it holds summaries and interviews from some of the best writers in business and management today, 2. it doesn’t really have any hi-mumbo-jumbo theoretical horse hockey…it holds simple, yet elegant ideas on how to cut through the BS in business, and 3. my favorite part: Kawasaki defends the good old fashioned book.  No need to boot it up, just open it and let ‘r rip!

Alright, back to the law books…promise!

The Robber Baron of Social Capital

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Now, I am all for connecting people to other people.  I enjoy networking and it is super fun to connect good people to each other.  However, what I do not appreciate are violations of social capital etiquette – whom I will deem the violators, or the Robber Barons of Social Capital (RBSC). (And no, greed isn’t good in this case, social Gordon Gekkos of the world!)  Here’s how to avoid being branded as a RBSC:

1.  Give a favor before you ask for a favor.  Always ask, “What can I do for you?”  However, don’t let this become a one sided habit with your social network.  Make sure you keep things even keeled.  Some will try and take advantage of your social network by always asking for a connection without giving up anything in return. Beware, this is the hallmark sign of a RBSC.  If the habit perpetuates, shut the RBSC down by giving them nothing.  Eventually, they will move on to other pastures.

2.  Remember, if you ask for a favor, you have made a social capital withdrawal from that person.  Do your utmost best to return the favor, stat. If you ask the person who has done something for you how you can help them and they say nothing at that very moment…remember, you still have a debit with them.  Make sure you turn it into a credit ASAP by helping them when they need it, to the very best of your ability.  Don’t get too far into the hole with that person–good social capitalists have long memories.

3.  Provide value back to your social network.  All the networking gurus state this, but it is worth repeating…again.

4.  Always thank your network and pals who help you out.  You don’t need to pass out gold bars, but you do need to send a note, send them an article they will enjoy, or just check in and ask them how they are and what if anything they need.

5.  Follow up.  When you ask for a contact, try and follow up with that contact.  Always make sure the person connecting you is known as the rock star she or he is for connecting you too.  They didn’t have to do it, but they did–so make sure you give them props for it.  If you don’t plan on follow up immediately, let the person know who connected you so you live up to expectations.

May no RBSCs be in your future!