Showing posts from December, 2014

How To Be Married

According to the Jewish faith, everyone is born as half of a pair. We spend our lives looking for our soulmate, without whom we will always feel and be incomplete.

Yet in our quest for satisfaction, we risk becoming selfish. Thinking that it's about our needs, our happiness and our selves only.

Doesn’t Anyone Blush Anymore?by Rabbi Manis Friedman shows how that entire premise is wrong and in fact leads to the very unhappiness we think relationships will help us to escape.

His answer isn't to avoid marriage. Instead, he talks about the right way to approach and treat one's soulmate. If Freud was correct that mental health means the ability "to love and to work," it's probably worth studying love as closely as leadership and management.

Here are some tips from the book. (I feel a little bit like Mork from Ork sharing this, maturing in reverse...I wish I'd read this as a young bride.)

1. Focus on the other person, personally. Your mission in the marriage is to ca…

You, If The Walls Had Ears

"Even if nobody is home, act like the walls can hear you." - Jewish saying The other day I went into a store with Buddhist books and Tibetan artifacts. It was empty. I wasn't totally amazed, since we're dealing with a worldview steeped heavily in karma and reincarnation - i.e., if you steal a book, be prepared to return as a goat. I wandered up and down the aisles. There was Becoming Enlightened, the book my friend Linda gave me five years ago. It started me on a journey; the front cover brought back a swirl of complex feelings. "Look," I said to my daughter. "That's the Dalai Lama book, the one Linda gave me." "Yeah, yeah," she muttered, reminding me of the futility of trying to translate your memories into other people's minds. "Should we go?" I asked. There was more stuff to see, like T-shirts and flags and jewelry, but it felt like we'd had enough. "OK." And then suddenly all the beans I'd eaten here in San…

"Speak up, Dossy baby, speak up."

How those who have passed are still with us.
Yesterday was the Yahrtzeit of my beloved grandmother Muriel Garfinkel, may she rest in peace (a"h). Words cannot express how much I love (eternal tense) my Grandma. She was everything in one, beautiful, family, career, tough but empathetic and generous. She was fiercely loyal to my grandfather but didn't hesitate to speak her independent mind either. One from a special generation, just not found again today.
In any case, yesterday's blog. I was thinking to write about communication tips. However Rebecca Blumenthal said to me, I think you should drop the branding stuff and just write from the heart.
So it comes to me...something about Grandpa's (a"h) cap. I don't know where this comes from AT ALL and it has no connection to anything I can think of.
So I sit down and write and out comes the blog.
Last night my mother tells me it's Grandma's Yahrtzeit, the anniversary of her passing. The family memorializes her an…

Wandering Away From Grandpa's Cap

"G-d talker! Get out!" That was my Grandpa, may he rest in peace (alav hashalom, a"h) at the head of the Passover table. It was an ordinary holiday which meant we were arguing like we usually did, the lot of us, maybe ten or twelve. They say "two Jews, three opinions" and we were no exception. Grandpa, Murray Garfinkel, was my mother's father. I loved him but what can I say, "he had a bit of a temper," a trait I've inherited.  His father was Reb Dovid Garfinkel (a"h), who loved most of all to study Torah. There was a black-and-white charcoal sketch of Reb Dovid, as we used to call him, hanging in the living room of Grandma and Grandpa's house. As a little girl I used to look at this picture, of a serious man with a serious yarmulka that covered most of his head, studying with great intensity.  I have a copy of that picture in my office at work - many of us in the family have a copy - and sometimes people look at it and think it is the Pop…

What Zayde said: "Just Wash Negel Vaser"

My Zayde, may he rest in peace (alav hashalom, a"h), had a special ability to understand me and an equally special way of helping me understand what was to me, inexplicable. Namely, much about my Jewish faith.

The other day my mother reminded me of something he said to me: "Just wash Negel Vaser" - a.k.a. "Netilas Yadayim," the morning ritual of washing one's hands with water. This seemingly simple practice, performed consistently, would flow out and have so many other effects.

Like most kids do I forgot his words of advice, but later on had a huge fight with my father over it. My father is religiously observant, and once when I was about nine years old he asked me "Did you wash?" I lied and said that I had, and he pretty quickly figured out that I was lying and I got into trouble. My mother, also observant but less strict, heard the ruckus and this seemingly minor thing became a huge blowup.

It was always that way, my father trying to get me to be …

The point of money.

We've been in Santa Fe observing the rich. There they are, in packs of two or three or five. They wear $3,000 cowboy boots and ski pants and fur hats. The waiters and waitresses wait on them hand and foot and I can see them spitting contemptuously when nobody's looking. I totally hate their vibe. Here's the type of thing they do: You show up at the hotel at midnight and they take half an hour checking in. You've patiently waited. Then they come back and while you're talking to the front desk clerk, they interrupt. It's very aggravating. There is another group down here, a loosely connected underground. They call each other by made-up first names. They live outside, sometimes. They spend a long time talking to you about local history and ways and culture and the Green movement and ancient battles between Spanish Catholics and the Native Americans they tried to convert. This group doesn't care about the time. They are mountain men and personal assistants and heal…

5 Ideas To Help LinkedIn Grow & Innovate

LinkedIn can grow in a few ways:
1. Partner with a freelance company to allow members to offer and obtain services through the LinkedIn brand itself

2. Create sub-brand platforms or portals where people from the same country can meet and network

3. Partner with training companies to offer online certificates and degrees, where you take courses socially and the activity becomes part of your network activity.

4. Partner with Skype/Google Hangouts to offer business calls, virtual meetings, webinars

5. Travel concierge services for business travelers, including connecting you with people in town.

All of the above should be managed with a point system, eg the more you participate the more points you earn, unlocking additional privileges. 

Points should not be something you can purchase. They can make money from the sponsors of the various platforms offering services (eg for example Elance).
---- Addendum to #1, in response to a comment: 
On #1 the idea would is to acquire a company (or companies) th…

A Big L'Chaim From Santa Fe

The Chabad rabbi expressed many things in shul today. Much of the below observed and inferred, not said directly.
(Of course it's not the words it's the warmth of the place.)
The shul reflects the culture here in Santa Fe. Come here, even for a short time, not for the art or for the jewelry but for the healing. 
What healing? I can't tell you definitively what, why or how. But the things you're running from bubble up here, and you can face them and not die. You can walk forward.
Back to what the rabbi said - we were there for 4 hours so a lot of things.
1. Action. It matters more than inspiration. Action is treasured. Act to move forward and don't get bogged down by anything.
2. Library. Build your own treasure trove of books, Jewish books if you are Jewish but otherwise anything that inspires you is my interpretation. The act of buying the book, the act of keeping it in your home, inspire reflection and further action.
3. Possession. The true leader owns enough to surviv…

The World's Greatest Enemy - Inside Your Head

So my daughter went on a college interview and they asked for her favorite book. She named this one and asked if she had screwed up. (Um, not as bad as her mother, who said she didn't even READ books, because "they're mostly a waste of time.")
Not knowing what it was I just laughed at the prospect of telling someone your favorite book is a Satan novel. (I thought it was young adult drama, like a vampire book.)
It's not. It's a seriously powerful book which I read on the plane. Could not stop taking screenshots of things to memorize and share.
Basically the book is written as if Satan were speaking directly to the human race about WHY suffering persists, HOW evil got here into G-d's realm, and most importantly WHAT to do in order to bring the final redemption.
I violently disagree with the author's repeated statement that organized religion is inherently bad, and that there is no such thing as Jews only "Israelites." That part is clearly an agend…

Branding Between Heaven & Hell

My Bat Mitzvah was held on a freezing cold night one February.
The snow was so bad only 13 people actually showed up - a minyan.

I didn't care all that much once I opened my favorite present. A book about paranormal activity: "The Dybbuk & Other Stories."
It was a Jewish book full of stories about the dead and undead, restless haunted souls who came back to inhabit the living, a hundred years ago.
I knew that the stories were true, or had truth and one that disturbed me the most was about the idea of the Golem.
A Golem is like a Frankenstein, human but cooked up by other humans in a lab. It is a robot plus brains, mechanically able but missing the holy part, that G-d created it.
On "American Horror Story" the haunted house has the soul of a mother of one such being. The father ripped the beating heart out from one of their infant daughters to create a son. And he was a demon monster - so frightful and bad that the mother killed him. 
Now the mother misses her chil…

Lead w/ Love

There are times when you dislike a person on sight and this was one of those times. Thin, tall, beautiful, irritable. Scowled when I asked for a bit more room on the bench, to accommodate family and coats. "What a bitch," I thought. In quotes because so loudly it seemed out loud. We shuffled and waited and did not look forward to the speech. We did not know she was going to be the speaker. "I want to tell you a personal story today," she began. "My mother was my advocate and champion." She went on to tell us about her humble life. What it was like to be alone with a single mother, whose joy was to run up and down the hallways of their apartment building, telling everyone who would listen that her daughter got into a state school. The young woman came down here alone and friendless. She fought her way forward for four years. They bonded over food and studied all night and forced each other to make it to their finals on time. And then she did something she did not …

Follow up to 6:13 & the dream about Heaven

Readers of the blog may recall my dad's visit to a Kabbalist. Who told me:

- your ancestors are pleading with you to return to the fold. - start with Shabbos, keep kosher and go to a mostly observant shul with your family on Shabbos.
Given the frequency with which I was seeing 6:13 on the clock and elsewhere digitally (like on the computer, a search result would be dated 6/13/13) I took it seriously.
Also I was seeing the number combination 11:11 on my phone and you can Google the numerous results on that.
Spiritually there is a doorway between this realm and the Heavenly realm and something was pushing that doorway open in my life.
After hearing from the Kabbalist I made some strides in the kosher department but didn't do as great on Shabbos. For example, I wrote a blog on Friday night after sundown.
Immediately (this after a respite of a few days) the 6:13 message appeared again - I saved a screenshot for the post and it was marked with that time.
It happened again in the m…

PR + Social ---> Boom

Why you build a brand: to add value to your company. How you build a brand: advertising, marketing, PR, events, social media, publications, web, mobile, apps, sales, email, conferences customer service, internal name it. A top-priority, critical intersection you're likely overlooking: the connection between PR and social media. The connections between your disparate activities generally. Why you should focus on PR and social media specifically: because the one has an exponential force multiplier effect on the other. Almost nuclear. Just to review for a second. 1) Why you do PR: Short-term proactive: Get the word out among influencers, who then tell the rest of the worldLong-term insurance: Build your reputation for current and prospective investors, and in case of a future crisisReactive: Minimize damage in case of a crisis2) Social media's rationale: Community-building, channel - agnostic - i.e. a content portal or a unique social media brand across distinct tool…

I Am Strong When You Are With Me

"He wants to hold my hand. But I'm short." "So walk side by side." "He wants to hold my hand. So I said to him, 'I'm short. I can hold your arm though.'" "What did he say to that?" "Once I put it that way, then he calmed down." * * * Paradox: We seek to grow and evolve as individuals.We live to walk arm in arm with our significant other.* * *  "OK, you're in voice change mode." "Good morning." "So is it really true that 1 in 3 women keep their ex's phone number in their phone, and are even still secretly in love? Because I think about my wife, and frankly that scares me." DC's Hot 99.5 was holding its daily morning discussion of relationships. Around the microphone: Kane, Danni and Intern John. "Absolutely, Kane. I'm getting married on Sunday. But if Brandon were to call, I'd leave my fiancee in a heartbeat."  "You're kidding." "Absolutely. And he cheated …

What The Kabbalist Told My Dad

I asked my dad to consult a Kabbalist because I kept seeing "6:13" on my iPhone and other clocks.

This happened at least 8 times by the time I called my dad. It wasn't my imagination - noticed it enough to take screenshots.

Also note: Normally I don't even notice the time. Only recently bought a watch!

Still, I wasn't going to call or consult anyone.

My family worried. They thought it might be a warning, as I am less religiously observant than them. (Significance: There are 613 commandments in the Torah.)

Initially I brushed them off. Then one night I picked up the phone. Because many years ago my life was in grave danger and I survived after some very intense prayer on my behalf.

So. A few weeks later, last night, my dad visited with the Kabbalist. I am going to share some of what I was told - the part that is relevant to a wider audience. It is a spiritual message, and spiritual messages need to be shared.

As I do this I understand some of you will be cynical. But …

Brand Is Only The Social Network

Remember the good old days of building a brand? The days of "Mad Men." You took the client out for steak and wine. You wrote up a creative brief.  You gave it to the client, who signed it. And then you delivered Choices A, B, and C. They chose one, and you did advertising. A brand was born. * * *  Times have changed a lot since those magical days, if ever they really existed. Now, people "get in the way" of the "perfectly architected" brand. Routinely. We live in the age of chaos. A different logic determines the social order. And brands are not determined in advance.  Social media has made the pecking order. Even if you don't see your stakeholders doing it, they are there and "interfering" with your plans. * * *  You don't understand how their efforts are helpful. You want to direct the energy and flow of the brand - you imagine perfect consistency. But they are doing the work for you, you see. They're not just telling you what they want to see…

Allergic To Selling

"I'm telling you, it's good publicity," I was arguing. In my excitement I almost knocked over the plant. "I suspected that you would say that," was the reply. "As long as they spell your name right, it's good PR." "You said it, not me." I went back to my desk and turned the lights off. The glow of the screen beckoned. Headphones on head, white noise on, I soon became lost in the task. And then, a note. "Are you going to make it to the meeting? I'll be here till 1:00."  Late again, but it was a good walk. I should leave my office more; I work in an interesting place, full of labs where you can walk in and see the work of science in progress. Animated conversation, amazing exhibits, portraits of Nobel Prize winners line the walls. Antti Korhonen, the entrepreneur in residence at NIST, waved me in. He looked like you would imagine a CEO looks. Impatient, intelligent, eager to get things done. There was nothing on the desk save fo…