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Archive for January, 2012

death i think is no parenthesis

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

e.e. cummings allegedly said the following: Life’s not a paragraph And death i think is no parenthesis.  (He didn’t use a period at the end of that, by the way.  I know the e.e. cummings police might be ready to pounce on me, so I thought I’d get it right before I get the grammar correction emails.)

I lost a dear friend at work today.  He suffered a pretty major bout of illness that I was ironically notified about immediately after my last law school final prior to the holidays.  Today, he lost his fight to recover.  For this I am truly sorry, and offer my deep condolences to his friends and family.  Saddest part?  He was young, and the illness came out of nowhere.

I will now never forget one of our last discussions–it was a debate of the use of the word “love” at work.  He thought it should be used more sparingly, and for those who know me well, knowing that I took the polar opposite position (shocking, right?!), thought we should be spreading the feeling and the word around work a LOT more.

In a left-brained profession like pharmacy, we sometimes challenge the emotion in what we do, and set it aside in order to get our work done.  Moving forward?  I’m going to NOT do that.  I want to keep both the love, and the left-brained analytical stuff moving forward. And for the energy I’ll be putting toward it?  That, my friends, will be in the memory of my lost friend at work today.

Lastly, if you’re reading this and you haven’t shown the love to someone you care about today, please go hug them now.  I know I’d appreciate it–and even though my friend challenged me on it, I know he would too.

RIP, Bruce.  Here’s to you going onto the next life, and hopefully as e.e. said, there are no parenthesis here – just you moving on to the next rotation.

 

Who Pays, When?

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

This is an important question–for both the business lunch (as PTP explores today), and for the “date” lunch, dinner, etc., which we explore over at the other blog today.

Enjoy!

The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

…uhm…hopefully begins tomorrow?

We can all hope.

Today was my first official day back on the semester wheel.  And by wheel, I mean hamster wheel, in a way.  The BU students started back today, and now I’m officially ingrained with both the day job on top of the night law gig – for one more semester.  I have one of my law school friends keeping track of the days for me – since he’s already doing it for himself–one. Less. Thing. To. Worry. About. Yay!  We’ve still got triple digits of days left, but we’re nearing the 100 mark.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love everything that I do, and the variety of it as well.  However, the first day back is always tough.  Nagging and lingering cold on top of it didn’t really help.  But–as one of my Julie Andrews friends said tonight – sometimes you just have to ninja your way through the day.  And ninja today, I did.

But I’m tired, and I still have a stack of work to do.  I’m back at it shortly–but I’m here to say – that if you also got back on your own hamster wheel today, I’m here to support you on that crazy wheel – otherwise known as life. Rock the wheel.  Keep moving forward.  Eventually, we’re all going to get there.

And where is that?

Well, the first day of the rest of our lives!

Hopefully.

Entrepreneurial Genetics

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Just read this article about the Daily Candy founder, Dany Levy.  My favorite part?  The hiring “gene” she describes in it: the “figure it the f— out” gene is a quality she looks for in her new hires.

I like this description.

I also think as an educator, we need to figure out how to enhance this gene in our students as future employees AND entrepreneurs moving forward.  There’s some crazy statistic that students being trained in college today won’t even have an iota of the training they’ll need to aptly face the future of work in this world.  We haven’t even invented techniques, equipment and other stuff they’ll be using in the work of the future yet – so how can we train them?

Train them on how they LEARN.  Get them to figure out HOW THEY FIGURE THINGS OUT.  That’s the ultimate pinnacle of success for them as students, and myself as an educator.  The highest compliment I can receive as an educator is not, “Thanks for the A, Dr. Albert!”  It instead is, “Dr. Albert–thanks for making me THINK and FIGURE IT OUT ON MY OWN.”

Think about it – when was the last time your boss gave you a checklist of how to get something done?  Yeah, she didn’t.  She instead just wanted you to get it done, right?

Right.

 

Top Search Terms: Culling the Weirdness into Something Semi-Cogent

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

I was messing around in my analytics this morning, and I decided to peek at the top search terms that led people to this tiny corner of cyberspace, other than my name.  So, I thought I’d rehash where, when and why I talked about these terms, in hopes to cull the weirdness into something actually semi-cogent (which is frequently one of my favorite past times).

And we’re off!

1.  “values card sort” and “career values card sort” – First off, I LOVE that this search term is associated with this blog.  Why?  Because I think discovering what one person truly values is one of the most important things one can do during his or her life.  Yes, it’s that important.  If you know what you value, you can use it as a compass to help guide your personal life, your career life, choosing jobs, picking projects, who to work with, choosing where to live, and how to roll in general.  That I love, and I cannot overemphasize enough!  You can go here or here and get the cards and sort them out yourself if you don’t know what you value.

(Oh and my most important values?  I value highly honesty & integrity, working on the frontiers of knowledge, independence, creativity and variety.  Just thought I’d walk the talk and share…)

2.  “cool job titles” and “coolest job titles” – I think this search term was generated by this post, where I grabbed some awesome job titles at the time that I found around the internet.  I joked with my day job boss about being a “director of awesomeness” and I even put it as my official job title on linkedin for a minute.  I love this term as well, because all my books and pretty much everything I do and coach around is finding your own unique title in this life.

Create it.  Make it your own.  You already are one of a kind, so why would you want someone else’s title?  Invent. Your. Own!  Besides, I tweeted the other day that about 90% of what I do professionally anymore doesn’t really have much if anything to do with my formal education and degrees.  So–that just says even more about creating your own title.  (And a fast 3 second quip on what I do?  Well, I like to Do. Epic. Stuff!)

3.  “how to throw a book launch party” – While I’ve only thrown a couple myself, books in my mind are a lot like weddings or babies – a ton of work, but worth celebrating, because hey, you’re launching part of your life into the ether of the universe.  Why not celebrate it?  I have a couple posts on the “how” here and here.  And while I couldn’t/didn’t launch Plan C with a party, I wish I could have.  The timing was bad, and law school was and still is in the way.  But not for much longer.

I always encourage writers to celebrate their very hard, very isolating work when launching a book by throwing a party.  Conversely, if you have a writer in your life and they don’t really dig parties, but you do, why not throw a book launch party for them?  Seriously–if someone did this for me, I’d marry them.  (J/K…er…sort of….)  Parties aren’t really my thing, but I think they should be for the launch of a fresh new set of ideas into the world.  And typically, a lot of writers are so exhausted from editing and seeing 5,000 different galley edits of their books that by the time they actually get the books back in their hands, they’re flat out beat!  Please help them if party-planning is your thing.

So there you have it – top search terms that are associated with this blog – and I LOVE all of them!  Hope this helps for the next Google-er who hits this post…I really am trying to get these ideas into the world – promise!

 

Give ‘Em The Plan C Smackdown

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

Must start a small secret confession: I’m lazy when it comes to posting my blog.  In fact, I let hootsuite do it automatically for me over at the faceplace, so it shows up typically a day or so after I post.  Now that I’m busted with my laziness, I can tell you this story in the proper timeline.

So yesterday as you know I posted a rant about a fight (yes, a fight) I got into with one of my friends at the faceplace about LLM degrees.  It’s a degree you can earn from law schools beyond the JD degree.  Anyway, the article that fired me up in the ABA yesterday basically said that if you earn a LLM degree, you should leave it off your resume.  This reeks of the same stuff as smart beautiful women with MBAs leaving their degrees off of their resumes too, because they are intimidating.

Here’s where I went off: I just totally disagree that we should be hiding our education.  I’m a first-generation 4-year college grad, and while my parents helped me with undergrad, they did not with my other 2.5+ degrees–I earned them, figured out how to pay for them and get them done on my own, thanks very much.

Now, another friend of mine left a pretty big rant over at the Hootsuite blog post either last night or this morning that had an excellent point.  (And yes, he’s a lawyer too, but doesn’t work for a traditional firm).  He also happens to be big into fitness of all other things, and does coaching and ironman stuff on the side.  He goes on to share a story/conversation between himself and one of his friends about his coaching stuff.  That elicited, apparently a “WTH?” response, to wit, he responded, “Plan C, __expletive__!” and sent over the link to Plan C on Amazon.

LOVE. IT!

He then went on to share that one of his mentors shared with him regarding his dual roles as a mix of good and bad–the good being that doing both at a young age demonstrates that you can do what takes others a much longer time, and the bad being a “lack of focus” and that older people “glance over” the dual roles.  Flipping the bad, he said that you can utilize the uniqueness of doing two different things and in the process, stand out.

This is one of the biggest walls I’ve had to face in my own professional career and my life in general.  I crave, desire and frankly need variety in my work and my thinking–and some view that as scattered and unfocused.  But I get my energy to do all the things I do from curiosity and the ability to focus on several careers at the same time.  Not everyone gets this.  I get a lot of, “Why would a pharmacist want to do XYX?” or “Why would a law student want to understand ZYX?” or “Why are you writing about one subject when you’re doing other stuff?”  But moving forward…?  I think I’ll get real like my friend who posted on my Hootsuite blog feed this morning, and give ‘em a Plan C Smackdown.

Maybe then they’ll get it–that some people just can’t only do one thing and truly be happy!

Regardless–do whatever it is that makes YOU happy, provided you don’t hurt someone else in the process.  Go get that degree, if that’s what you really want–AND put it on your resume – you earned it!  Go run, swim and bike and turn it into a coaching gig, if it makes you happy.  Do epic sh*t.  Do important stuff…to you.  And if anyone has a problem with you trying to become the very best you that you can be, or thinks you’re flighty, scattered or unfocused should you be like me and desire to juggle multiple careers or lives all at once, feel free to give ‘em a Plan C Smackdown.

Education Fail

Friday, January 13th, 2012

So, one of my friends and I got in a fight on Facebook this morning.  Yeah, a fight.  I was mad.  PO’d.  My blood pressure is still up over it.

I posted this story from the ABA out this morning – suggesting that employers (i.e. law firms) actually value lawyers that have less education–and if a lawyer earns a LLM to NOT include it on their resume.

Huh?!?

My law-firm friend basically said that this article is accurate for law firms.

Really?!?

This is the same crap that the producer of the film, Miss Representation was told–don’t put your MBA on your resume because it might make you smart and intimidating for acting gigs.

Isn’t this 2012?!?

Hey–I’m a life long learner here and I’m sure I’m totally biased on this one, but I am GRATEFUL for my education–especially being a first generation 4-year college graduate. Furthermore, I earned it–the hard way–and I’m PROUD of the fact that I had the tenacity to bust my rump and achieve nearly 4 degrees.  OF COURSE they are going on my resume!  I’ll be shouting that I scratched my way through my education from the rooftops!

My pushback to my friend–and to the universe is–do you, if you’ve busted your butt to get your degrees too–really want to work for an employer who doesn’t value them?  I know my answer on this one…and I certainly hope you do too.

…blood pressure returning to normal in 3….2….1…..

Crankology

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

When a lot is wrong with the world, it is refreshing to seemingly right it, in my own little way, one day at a time.  Such as the case today, when Freddie mac and I literally cranked it out.  All day.  The art of cranking it out (not being cranky)!  Here’s what we moved forward on:

1. Day job Children’s Pharmacy Book Project – contracts in, now at the higher ups at work.  Score.

2. Syllabus for class 1 for 2012-13 – drilled out.  Now just add speakers and topics.  Score.

3. Got my law review note back – accepted most of the edits, and added an addendum from all the stuff that happened since the spring when I first wrote it – drilled out.  Off my desk.  Now just final publication? Hopefully? Soon?  No more edits, please.  Thanks.

4. Project White Album – this is epic to the nth power.  I can’t talk about it more (it’s top secret), other than to say I’m one step closer to it being completed.  And…it. Will. Rock.

5.  Installed a ton o’ software on Freddie today – he was hungry.  He’s almost full now.  Just have to decide on whether I should get Adobe Creative Suite 5 or 5.5.

6.  Tried to crank on a slide presentation at Leadership United for Feb coming up.  Slideshare, you failed me!

7.  Touched back on the presentation at Columbia University coming up this spring.  NYC?  Spring talk?  Columbia B school, media arts, and law school?  Yes, please!  Bonus: cleaned up the inbox a little more AND kept the desk wood-grainy.

This in my book was a GREAT day.  I LOVE getting stuff off of my desk and on to other people’s! Best of all? I heart putting fresh ideas out there – and on so many of these projects, I’m doing just that.

Dig!

 

Greetings From Freddie Mac

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Reporting straight from Freddie – my new mac.  Everybody say hi.

“Hi Freddie!”

I LOVE HIM!

I know, I’ve officially lost it.  That’s OK, I’ll blame it on this continued plague that can’t seem to get out of my upper respiratory tract–apparently today it hit the CNS.  (Don’t worry–I’m headed to bed after I post this.  I think I need to just try and sleep it off.)

In happier news, I spent the day shopping for publishers.  I know what you’re thinking–”Uhm, Albert, haven’t you already published a few books?” Well, yes, I have.  Thanks for noticing.  But, I’ve yet to publish a children’s book.  But the time has come, and I think we’ve officially found one.  I’m still waiting on a few quotes, but this book project is going to ROCK!  I am SO excited for the 9 students who are feverishly working on it – and I think it is going to be one of the coolest senior projects yet that I’ve had the pleasure of precepting.  Nothing is more fun than watching the students get excited and their work be released into the universe for all to see and in our case, read!

Day 2 of the last semester of law school.  I didn’t drop any more classes – which is a good sign, considering I can’t anymore…unless I want to graduate late.

Last but not least, I had the chance to talk to two different peeps today – one runs a pharmacy Facebook-ian like portal, and secondly, another author who is writing an epic book on social entrepreneurship–as you know, one of my personal and favorite subjects!  LOVED BOTH CONVERSATIONS because both were ‘treps, and both were working on the future of pharmacy practice in one case, and the future of entrepreneurship in another.  I need more of that energy brought in to my conversations in 2012.  I dig it.  I am grateful to the universe today – for these awesome peeps, for Freddie, of course–and most importantly, for the excitement in my students on their project and putting something educational into the universe about my first profession–pharmacy.

As for the virus…? Not so much…

 

Viral Slow Down

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

I’ve been afflicted with a virus.

Viruses usually tell me to do one thing: slow. Down.  I’m trying.  I even went to bed at 8:30 last night.  That’s so not me, considering my raging case of night owl-ness.

But I’m glad for plagues such as these: they remind me that we’re all human, and sometimes burning the candle at both ends can have ramifications of limited mortality.

I got the message, dear Universe.  Thanks for letting me know.

But I still plan on kicking some dupa today!  Even more important: we’re only here for a limited time.  One shot.  One chance.

Better make it rocktacular!