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Fake Friends & The Fallacy Of An Infinite Social Network

We often hear that you boost your chances of professional success by increasing your network of contacts.

This is true, but only partially.

The goal is to be connected to as many of the right people as possible.

So you do want a lot of people who know you, or know of you, sufficiently to say,

"This person is indeed a credible expert in their field."

You grow this social network through participating in live and online communities oriented toward the subject matter that you wish to gain professional recognition in. In this respect, the quantity of people who are aware of, and respect, your work is indicative of the quality of your expertise.

Your professional network is somewhat superficial and very focused on work. It is important. But even more important is the inner ring. These are the people who know you, love you, and genuinely like you (love and like are not the same thing), and who support you regardless of what professional goals you have.

In short, your inner circle consists of your family and friends (by birth or by choice). They don't care about your career insofar as it affects your happiness. If you are happy, so are they.

When it comes to friends like these, the goal is not quantity but quality. The caring they feel for you is mirrored by yours toward them. And you help each other through the challenges of life, applauding for the victories and crying together at the challenges and failures. Helping to pick one another up and keep going.

Unfortunately there are times when toxic dynamics develop in our relationship circles, either inner (personal) or outer (professional). Like odorless, colorless carbon monoxide, the poisonous intentions of others toward us creates a negative energy that gets in our way. We criticize ourselves, develop incorrect self-perceptions, feel self-conscious, and even shoot ourselves in the foot. All because of the relationships we thought we needed, that actually aren't good for us at all.

It is not true that your social network has to be infinite. It only has to be infinitely healthy for you.

When a social interaction turns toxic, recognize that you are being harmed and have the courage to walk away. Your real family, friends and colleagues will stand by you. Whoever falls off was not worth your time in the first place.

"Never allow someone to be your priority, while allowing yourself to be their option."

Happy holidays to everyone. Have a good day, and good luck!

Look around you this Christmas and help someone out

Five minute walk to work, five homeless and hungry people. One dumpster-diving for food.

Enjoy family, friends and gifts this holiday, and the special joy of giving something back.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe gave everyone who visited him a dollar. Imagine what would happen if we all looked for people to visit, and then did the same.

Three Ingredients, One Great Leader

Many people have one or two of these but only those with all three can rise to the top:
  • A vision of the desired future that is so clear and focused you can see it in your mind's eye
  • An incredible determination to see that vision achieved
  • An emotional connection with the people who must build the new future
When leaders put this recipe into action the results are amazing:
There are many more examples - these are only a few. But when you are looking for examples of effective leadership to guide your own path, the individuals above provide a good start through a simple roadmap.

Visualize the goal. Decide you are going to pursue it. Connect with others along the way.

With God's help, it really is that simple.

Have a great day everyone, and good luck!

5 Personal Branding Tips From My Sister (The Life Coach)

Heading into 2012, you have the power to change your life and your career. Here's how, courtesy of life coach Cheryl (Sarah) Herbsman, a.k.a. my sister:

#1: Visualize a person who possesses the characteristics you want. You can't change your image unless you replace it with another one.

#2: Develop a phrase that you repeat over and over again, morning and night. You have to train your brain.

#3: Remind yourself that the person you were in the past, is also someone else's idea of who you should be. Your inner self has no limits and you can be whoever you want.

#4: Keep a journal of your feelings during this time. One entry a day is fine.

#5: Do something special to treat yourself during this time of change. You are worth it!

Have a good day everyone, and good luck!

Abusive Subway Customer, We Saw You

Beautiful Christmas tunes were playing in the background and there was nobody but her on the line.

She stood ahead of us. We stood behind and waited to place our order. I assumed it would be quick.

The first sign of trouble involved the bread. "That bread looks hard," she said. "Is that fresh?"

The woman serving her was a native Spanish speaker and stood there for a moment. She waited to be told what to do.

"Get me the other one," said the customer, gesturing at the bread case. "God!"

The customer ordered something involving meat and cheese. This is always of special interest to me as meat + cheese is forbidden fruit to people who keep kosher.

The server put the meat on the bread and the bread somehow tore. She continued to pile on the sandwich ingredients the customer requested.

"Do you see that that bread is TORN?" said the customer. "What is WRONG with you? Are you NEW?"

The server looked up and said nothing.

"Replace that bread."

The server told the customer that a new bread would cost extra.

"Alright then, try to put the fillings on, but if it falls out I am coming back here and I'm gonna FORCE you to make me a new sandwich."

The server blinked.

"You know what? Change that bread!"

The server changed the bread.

This went on until said customer ordered sandwich #2. A long line had formed. The servers were struggling to keep up so they took our order and tried to handle both at once.

"What? Are you LEAVING my sandwich to work on HERS? I'm about ready to blow my top!"

The other people on the line murmured amongst ourselves. You could actually hear it, like a low rumbling. I wanted to say something, but I was afraid that she would pop me one.

My daughter was scared.

The customer motioned to the manager. "What kind of CUSTOMER SERVICE is this?" she said. "I am going to REPORT this!"

I was actually speechless. It was just an unbelievable scene. How could there be such beautiful music playing, and this woman comes in and abuses the servers, just because she has $5 to spend on a footlong and they make $5 an hour trying not to lose their jobs.

When the customer left, I paid for my sandwich and salad. I said to the manager, "That lady was SO mean. We saw her. It wasn't her (gestured to server) fault at all." I just really had to.

"That's right," said the lady behind me. "She was AWFUL."

And all down the line, a row of smiles and warmth to the woman whose basic human dignity deserved to be respected.

And do you know that woman looked up at all of us and she gave the biggest, most beautiful smile I have ever seen.

Happy holidays everyone...have an incredibly good evening, and good luck!

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Chanukah, Freedom, Gratitude

Thanking God for the abundant blessings we enjoy here in America.
Among the most important - FREEDOM.

May we use our freedom responsibly. May we help those enslaved - by poverty, dictatorship, or their own limitations - to find a way up and out.

The joy of freedom is amazingly real to me today, this first night of Chanukah.