Friday, July 31, 2009

Young Ambassadors DVD now available!

Now the Young Ambassadors DVD produced in Skien is available folks, and the product is amazing!

With this I want to pay tribute to the people involved with the Young Ambassadors project. And it's a very long list. In total 1,200 people in Grenland.

Specifically I'd like to mention a few of the key players, who gave a lot of themselves:

First of all the 24 students at Hjalmar Johansen high school. If it wasn't for them, the Young Ambassadors would never have become such an amazing success. They not only helped gain attention in the media, but in sum they are the producers of the YA DVD now coming out. This has taken 5 months of hard work!

The project committee with 12 different managers of sub projects did a fanTAStic job, most of them from Skien menighet. Together with the Mayor of Skien, the Principals and Department Managers of several High Schools, a number of local church and other civic leaders and not to forget Anders Vangen himself, everything peaks with this wonderful memory now profesionally edited and collected in this DVD production.

I also want to stress the energetic participation and interaction of 320 students from Grenland. They truly made the day itself a big one! The favourable support by Varden and TV Telemark as well as ALL the people behind the ISBUK prize was significant and solid.

Finally, thank you to the Young Ambassadors and leaders at BYU Performing Arts Management.

If you want to buy the DVD - only $ 17.00 or NOK 99,- then send me, any of the project managers or students listed on the cover above an e-mail ;-)

p.s. 700 DVDs were already sold before printing and only a limited amount are available, so you'd better be quick! And remember, 10 % of your money goes to charity.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Microsoft Yahoo search deal is a win-loose

The search deal between Microsoft and Yahoo is a definite win-loose agreement. Microsoft has done it again, and it's a brilliant move, even though it took them more than a year to do it. Brilliant, but desperate, in my opinion. It'll be exciting to watch the race for the search market!

Why it's a case of win-loose? Yahoo's Carol Bartz asserts "the boatloads of value to Yahoo" in this deal, but the market speaks for itself, and it says what most of us are thinking: Whereas Yahoo share value dropped 10.5 %, Microsoft moved slightly up with 0.6 %, meaning Yahoo is continually losing to Google and we're not convinced that Microsoft will be able to bridge the gap with this.

If you're asking me, key people at Yahoo will be fleeing the company pretty soon. And by key people I mostly mean the real brains, not necessarily the top executives. The Yahoo era, in my opinion is history.

The Microsoft Yahoo deal isn't really a surprise, though. We could see it coming. I'm much more excited by IBM acquiring SPSS. That's a shift that will make a difference!

Another excellent article about the search deal.

eZ at LinkedIn

The eZ Ecosystem at LinkedIn currently only counts a little more than 500 people. Considering that there's more than thirty thousand in the online community, my guess is, LinkedIn is not the best place to find eZ developers ;-) However, the community is active here, too. Keep up with news via this channel if you're into eZ stuff, Open Source or Enterprise CMS.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Reading with children is inspiring

My mother used to read me stories and I loved it.

One of the books we read was "De brief voor de koning" by Tonke Dragt (in English: "The Letter for the King"). Maybe, like no other children's book, this story has had a profound impact on my life. When a few years later I was able to read Dutch on my own I reread the book with even greater intensity.

What strikes me is this: The thrill of shared excitement and visual imagination is priceless. My mother would sometimes say, "OK, one more chapter and then you need to sleep". I knew that if we shared enough tension she might allow for another chapter. Thus, better than the excitement from the story itself was the sense of sharing something with my mother that we both felt - the joy from reading was profound, but even greater was knowing that we had the same feelings of anticipation and curiosity about what would happen around the next bend. Such was especially the case with this particular book, as I remember it.

What a great thrill, therefore, to invite my mother and father on a visit last week to watch the movie. An extra bonus was the language. "De brief voor de koning" is a Dutch movie with English subtitles.

Today, knowing how much it can mean to children when mom or dad reads with them I now enjoy this activity from the other side. Seeing the excitement and growing fantasy in my own children, good books and great literature seem to be an even greater blessing.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Three kinds of enthusiasm

Most people have heard the famous quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: "No great thing was ever done without enthusiasm".

However, what surprises me every time I do sales training, is how few people understand that enthusiasm, the way it's traditionally perceived, appears in many forms.

What kind of enthusiasm? Most people experience enthusiasm as passion, i.e. energy growing out of great excitement about a particular subject, product or some kind of hobby. It's what I always refer to as inner conviction. But there's so much more to enthusiasm, isn't there?!

Have you ever been fired up by a relationship with another person? Of course you have. It's one of the best things in life. The experience is one of connection. We might refer to it as being in love, being best friends or even soul mates. I believe it can be experienced every day with the people around us. We just need to do what it requires. This kind of enthusiasm comes from what I refer to as shared conviction. It's enthusiasm we experience and have together.

Can you think of other types of enthusiasm? Well, having worked with the subject for 9 years in sales training, in my opinion there's one more group or category of enthusiasm, and maybe it's the most important one, or shall we say, the top level. It's the one I call discovered conviction. This is when you discover something new, when you learn something, understand something or when a new world opens up to you, either on a higher level or as increased light and understanding.

I've put this in a separate category, because it's usually outside of our control. It's intuitive. We can do a lot to make it happen, but it has the characteristics of innovation, and innovation doesn't just happen. It's sort of like an inexplicable gift that explodes in our faces at times when we're somehow ready to receive it. I love Einstein's quote: "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them".

Well. These types of enthusiasm (I call them energies in my book) are - in my experience - sequential. Meaning, it usually begins inside (Passion), then it's shared (Connection) and finally we discover (Intuition). And every time these feelings represent a kind of conviction. Can you see it? When you do, there's a structure that helps you to understand how you can inspire the people around you. And most importantly, it works! There's a practical approach to this and I love sharing it with people. Yes, it gives me energy ;-)

p.s. About a year ago I wrote a blog post about how influence is connected to energy. If you enjoyed these thoughts, then I'm guessing you might like that article, too.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Energy is the differentiator in communication

I just published an article about how energy is a vital part of all communication. Did you ever try to share an important message - I mean a really important message - without also sharing some kind of energy. If not, try it. Try sharing an urgent and/or important message without getting excited, at all. First of all, it's very hard to do. Second, should you succeed, very few will pay attention to what you have to say and even fewer will remember what you actually said.

To appreciate what this is all about The 3 Scenarios - shifts to energation - are of great help to clarify and explain. Take a look at them and tell me what you think...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I love you because...

I was a young boy of about ten years and overheard great advice: "Whenever you tell someone you love them, also tell them why".

At the time I thought it sounded nice. Over the years, rather difficult. Now, I feel it's profound and almost a lifestyle. I can really appreciate the value of a compliment and it being specific. I try to live the principle and every time I do I can sense how it lifts people in an otherwise dreary and depressing world.

Some time ago I put together a survey on whether or not recognition is important. What was the response? What people think of us means e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g to us. A compliment makes all the difference! You may not feel it's that important, but that's probably just because you're already getting the attention from others that you need. You'll only know how much it means to you when it's no longer there.

So, next time you attend a funeral, check yourself with the following questions:

Am I paying tribute to the deceased with compliments and public admiration because I never did while he or she was yet alive? Am I only covering up guilt and desperately trying to fix what is now too late to do?

These are my thoughts, and when the answers are not right, I try to shape up - again - and pay more attention to the people around me that are still alive.

Remember, every single person we meet loves attention, craves a compliment, needs positive feedback and ultimately wants you to notice them for who they are and what they do.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Family cabin in Sweden

Is there anything more valuable than family?

I watched an excellent public speech by Larry Page touching on the very subject. Here's someone with his priorities in the right place, and quite frankly, I believe it's the driving force behind long term success.

Last week we spent quality time with Lillian's parents and some of her siblings. When all is said and done, family's among the things in life that really matters. Family memories are here to stay.

Larry Page is on my list of "Great people".

Saturday, July 11, 2009

OS from Google

Why I like the fact that Google is launching a PC operating system..?

Well, just having the nerve to compete head on with Microsoft in their most successful area is a powerful signal to the market place in the first place. If you ever wondered whether or not Google is serious about competing with the world's biggest most successful IT giant, then this is the time to rid yourself of any doubt.

I'm not, however, like many others, against Microsoft. I love Microsoft for a whole bunch of technological innovations. What I'm excited about is a new company on the rise providing an alternative perspective on the information age, what it's about and what opportunities this offers.

Give us more Google and companies like it! ;-)

Here's recommended reading on the official Google blog as well as the Google channel at YouTube itself.

Handelshøyskolen BI Alumni now 2000

Even though it's a small and slow start, Handelshøyskolen BI Alumni at LinkedIn now has more than 2000 members.

You just wait! When this group grows to ten, twenty, thirty and even more than fifty thousand participants - over time - it will become a powerful group with a lot of business synergies. Better join now and be one of its pioneers - the benefits of doing so are growing by the hour ;-)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Tipping Point Methodology

During my authoring The 3 Energies Behind Sales Success I've had the privilege of interacting with a lot of quality people, some of which have deeply impressed me. This time I'd like to pay it forward to Terje Skriver and Mia Haukås Skriver.

Terje and Mia are the professionals behind Tipping Point Methodology. Besides being highly competent within their respective fields of expertice, Terje and Mia are among the most wonderful and pleasent people you'll ever meet! Their people skills and insight into "human capital" is truly outstanding. In addition, they're both spellbinding public speakers.

If you go to the sitemap of the TPM website you'll find a number of training videos. Unfortunately all this unique material is currently in Norwegian only, but once we've translated it into English I'll be doing the voice over and make it available worldwide. This stuff is all about the brain and how we can work in a much smarter way - utilizing our mind to make long term and lasting change and improvements.

Two video samples: "Ubevisste beslutninger" and "JOHARIs vindu for ledere".

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Speed of Trust

"The one thing that changes everything". TRUST!

Should you have some extra time on your hands these days then I suggest you read The Speed of Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey. In connection with my publishing The 3 Energies Behind Sales Success come October this year, Covey's book on trust is a great supplementary read to learn more about how to influence others.

What's it about? High speed and low cost. Trust me ;-)

Visiting Legoland again

Near the entrance of Legoland an old man's asleep on a bench.

Our son, Philip Top, enjoyed visiting with him ;-)