Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Go Get This Book!

Understanding the Cause of PTSD 
by Chuck Reaves
I have known Chuck Reaves for decades and know what a prolific speaker and writer he is. Never more so than in his poignant recapturing of his experiences in Vietnam. Chuck is a decorated Vietnam veteran who explains how the military experience can create PTSD. For veterans this book is a valuable tool in understanding their own PTSD and for explaining it to their family and friends. For war protesters during the time of the Vietnam War, it brings closure and greater understanding. 
The forward was written by Captain Jerry Coffee, a POW in the Hanoi Hilton for seven years. The book closes by offering the reader ideas for earning their own medal and for being a hero. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Social Media in China (Not Exactly as We Know and Love It)

Dave NelsenMy good bud, fellow Vistage speaker, and fantastic contributor to my eZine, Dave Nelsen, always has the most interesting posts. This article will be in the eZine in another week but you get it here first!
Check the ezine archives for Dave's previous columns - they're always timely and informative.

Social Media in China (Not Exactly as We Know and Love It) 
by Dave Nelsen
As I write this, I’m on one of the fastest trains on the planet, moving at exactly 304 km/h (over 185 mph) between Shanghai to Beijing. Indeed, I’m on a two-week journey through China. My brother’s here on a two-year rotation as part of his job.
China is an amazing country, full of amazing sights, and amazing people. But there’s one thing here that’s amazing in a different way ... and it’s a reminder to us in the United States (and many other places) to be truly appreciative of the Internet as we know it, NSA monitoringand all.
My brother and his family were not home when my wife and I arrived at their Shanghai apartment. Having been offline for 24-hours, my first move -- after locating his wine collection -- was to jump on his WiFi network to synch email, check Facebook, access ...
Oops! You can’t access Facebook in China. Well, I’ll just have to read my birthday wishes after the fact. Not a huge deal.
Instead, since we’re in the midst of the so called Hong Kong Umbrella Rebellion (I mean in time rather than place) I’ll entertain myself by checking Twitter to see what’s happened in the past day. No, you can’t go there either.
No worries. I’ll use the NYTimes App on my iPad to access the latest news. Fail! is blocked too.
I’ll just have to use Google to investigate which websites I can access from China. No, you can’t do that either. Google, Gmail, Google+ ... they’re all blocked.
Then I remember; I’ve saved some documents from my brother on my or Dropbox account. It’s time to read them. I’ll have to check both sites.
You guessed it. They’re both blocked.
Maybe his Internet connection is down? No ... shows throughput speeds approaching 100 Mbps, the fastest residential Internet service I’ve ever seen. Netflix is awesome!
With a bit more work, I eventually discover that Yahoo is sometimes available, perhaps whenever they’re not featuring “objectionable” content on their homepage. Lowly Bing (sorry Microsoft fans) is virtually always available and boy does it pop, as long as you don’t search for the wrong thing.
By the time my brother got home, his Internet connection was entirely offline. And strangely, his WiFi router’s SSID had reset to the original factory default (dd-wrt if you’re curious). I’ve never seen anything like that before. It must have been a fluke firmware failure.
Not a problem. He has a spare router. A few hours later we have it configured (including with proper security settings) and his Internet connection comes back. We’re online just in time for bed so I am confident that can get to work first thing in the morning.
Or not. By then, the new router had suffered the same fluke reset crash. What incredibly bad luck, don’t you think?
You can draw your own conclusions from my story, but here’s my takeaway: Next time you’re frustrated with a favorite website taking ten seconds to load, be appreciative of the Internet as you know it (in the US). It’s amazing!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

To Post or Not to Post...That is the Question

I saw an interesting post on my friend David Avrin's Facebook page where he talks about about receiving a message from someone he doesn’t know who challenged his wisdom of posting trivial things such as the breakfast cereal he likes, strange people he sits near on a flight, or funny comments about his kids. "You are an international business marketing expert," this person wrote. "This makes you look like an amatur!"
David’s response was: "Speaking and consulting is not who I am, it is what I do. And while I would never want to do anything to harm my reputation, I believe that people do business with people they like and people they trust. Social media can really 'humanize' someone that you may only know from their books or presentations. As I teach in my work: 'If you want people to be interested, you have to be interesting.' I try to keep my connections 'connected' by mixing it up. Besides, I have fun with it."
I couldn’t have said it better myself. We are people first and speakers second, and we engage with others through our personality. Whether I’m speaking, coaching or whatever, I am true to myself…it’s called “authenticy”. 
I am who I am.
And that phrase reminds me of the occasion of my “21st" birthday party this year when my dear Michael Allosso (below) and his equally fabulous wife Peggy created and sang their customized rendition of “I Am What I Am” from La Cage Aux Folles aka The Birdcage movie with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane. And to quote myself, “If I wasn’t born a girl, I would be a drag queen today.” It all just seems appropriate.

To the tune of "I AM WHAT I AM" (La Cage aux Folles) if you can’t hum it, go to YouTube!

She is what she is
Queen of show biz
Warmly contagious
Glitz with a big brain
Never mundane
Always outrageous
It's her night: we're her minions-
Mikki's presence gels us
Her night! So we'll wear whatever clothes
She tells us
Part Mame, Part Les Mis'
We all enjoy that Mikki is what she is

She is what she is
Every a.m. and every p.m.
She bangs her own drum,
Telling us all to carpe diem
And so what if she's raunchy,
Likes it in the trenches?
We know she's one of Chicago's 
Biggest mensches
Chair, speaker, a whiz
We're proud to say "Hey, world,
She is what she is!"

She is what she is, 
Likes what she likes,
All right, she's picky
Go look at her place; 
Watch her perform
All right she's shticky
Be loud!
Don't just say your words.