Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Little Help From My Friends.

When you take another person's work as your own it is plagiarism. When you do the very same thing but give credit, it is research. Using these parameters I have been engaged in research this morning to pull together this post.

As I opened my email this morning I found a great post from Sarah Robinson. The essence from this post, "Five Percent Better" is that standing out does not take a Herculean effort. It is not necessary to give yourself a complete "no prisoners taken, balls to the walls" makeover. Just choose one thing and do it 5% better. Make a commitment to doing that one thing 5% better consistently. Attempting a full makeover is overwhelming and keeps us stuck in place. Doing one thing 5% better can start today and pay dividends tomorrow and every day after that. That incremental change executed daily actually moves you forward at a very rapid pace.

A few minutes later, another post appeared in my Facebook stream. This post, "Competing for Who Is Most Stressed" is from Gini Dietrich. Simply restated, Gini talks about the stress at her PR firm, Arment Dietrich with the launch of Spin Sucks Pro. Early in the week, Gini feels she is a supportive listener to her staff. As the week goes on (and her patience and energy lag) she spends more time fueling the fire with her share of  "You think that's bad? This is what I have to deal with". As a result, neither Gini nor her team are feeling or dealing any better. Until today, as Gini vows to stop adding her tales of woe.

Wow, Gini found her 5%. Listen, empathize, commiserate and stop there. It's good advice for everyone, not just business owners. When a friend, colleague, employee shares a story of challenge, frustration or sadness; they want you to listen. They want to know they're not alone. They are not looking to hear about the crap you are dealing with. Listen, lend support and stop there. If you need the very same thing, go to your support system. Don't make someone feel a need to reciprocate when they come to you for support; neither of you will get what you need.

Think about it. How much better a friend, colleague, employee, consultant you will be simply by listening. It's a small step, maybe less than  5%, but it does require discipline and consistency.  Find a way to do it and you will be leaps and bounds ahead of the crowd.


  1. So glad my post resonated with you. And LOVE being in the same post with the uber FAB Gini Dietrich!!

  2. Sarah,
    Thanks for being the first to comment on anything on this new blog. I was working on a cogent comment to post about 5%, then along came Gini's post. 2 personal favorites and a slam dunk to write. Keep it going, Chief.

  3. This is a great lesson for everyone! One of the things I'll say to Mr. D is, "I need to vent. I don't need you to fix it. I just want you to listen." He does and it makes me feel so much better! Sometimes that's all we need - a little empathy, not a competition.

    What an honor to be included in the same post as my dear friend Sarah!

  4. Courtney,

    Thanks for jumping in. Any devotee of Sarah's is a friend of mine. Your right, too. It would very helpful if someone gave Gini a heads up that the ensuing words were to vent. A good lesson for all. By the way, just for your information, Gini is Ms. D. Still man, women, space alien a good friend lets their support know the help they are looking for. Again, thanks so much for stopping by.

  5. Weird - that comment from "Courtney" was me. I don't know why it did that?!

  6. Don't know either but that puts your previous comment in context. Men do try to fix things (except me. All the big box stores in the area are forbidden by law to sell me power tools) so the intro is important. Say hi to Courtney for me, when you see her.