R Petty's New Media Blog

Google is the King of the World, but will it trample Main Street in the Process?

It used to be an old joke between my friend Heather and I that Wal-mart was going to take over the world. She worked for a contracted service within their stores and thus did nearly all her shopping there. Conversely, I refused to shop there for reasons too numerous to mention. But now, Heather and I may need to revise the old joke to read that Google will be the new world leader. I don’t know if you have heard, but Google makes news on a daily basis, especially here in Pittsburgh where they are expanding their Burgh-based tech center out of CMU’s campus and into a big new space in the East End, adding a slew of new jobs to our market.

And today, there’s news about Google in China, several allegedly-hacked GMAIL accounts of human rights activists and organizations, and a possible revision of the agreement the Chinese government and Google have about censoring certain search results.

And don’t forget about the Google Nexus One phone and the possible Google tablet design partnership with HTC. All of the above makes news in tech circles, which unfortunately, I don’t know much about. But in the world of marketing, there is big news on the Google front…Google has been granted a patent to “identify posters, billboards and buildings within the Street View online maps” so they can sell the ad space to advertisers!

The patent is listed as “Claiming Real Estate in Panoramic or 3D Mapping Environments for Advertising” and will allow the search giant to replace the ads featured in Street View from when the original photography took place for that area, and create a new ad to fill the existing space. This is exciting news for marketers. Just imagine…you’re a local business owner, maybe a retail store, and you’re located at the corner of Elm and Main. This application would allow you to place a current relevant ad in the Street View map near your actual location, perhaps for an upcoming sale or for a new line or merchandise. This ad would also show up in the Google search results for your business name, bringing in even more traffic as your outlet would be even easier to find!

For example, take a look at the photo below; a street view search I performed for an area of the Pittsburgh with several ever-changing billboards:

In this example, an advertiser would be able to place their ad in place of the existing ad for State Farm and Ball Funeral Chapel. This could be an ad for the car dealership which is just out of sight to the right of this intersection, or an ad for the McDonald’s on the opposite corner.

But the scariest part of this concept is that local businesses, who would most likely benefit greatly from such an ad vehicle so close to home, may be squeezed out by national corporations who simply want to buy up as much ad space in the new medium as possible. The patent states “The link can alternatively be associated with an advertiser who placed the highest bid on the image recognized within the region of interest (e.g., poster, billboard, banner, etc.).”

This is because the ad spaces in Street View may be subject to the same rules as Google’s Adwords tool which means they would go to the highest bidder.

To explain my point, consider the available ad spaces in the above photo could be snatched up by Best Buy or TGIFriday’s, whose locations are more than 20 minutes away from the intersection in question, but whose ad budgets are a great deal larger than the car lot at the physical corner. The amazing ability to advertise in this virtual real-estate medium could cause an even greater crunch to the small businesses which are already struggling to compete in a recessed economy. This medium would also be a great way for local politicians to campaign in a virtual sense, right in the ‘location’ where their constituents live, but how can the local county-controller-hopeful compete with yet another ad for Starbucks or American Idol?

And just like retail-giant Wal-mart’s ability to force American owned firms into closure with their practice of buying tons of cheaper made foreign goods, the Google model might allow mega-corporations to out-advertise the little guys in their own virtual back-yard! Don’t get me wrong, I love Google and use it daily, but the worse-case scenario is that Google may become just like Sam Walton’s dream-gone-awry…crushing American small businesses with one hand while handing its people their only affordable daily living options with the other hand. Personally, I feel that the specifics of the patent and ensuing procedure for ad purchase should allow local business owners a first-dibs ability to buy an ad within a certain proximity to their physical location so the backbone of our country, our small businesses, aren’t swallowed up by yet another marketing trick. Google should show some respect for small business owners, especially as we now face the reality of new location-based marketing technology, and even more opportunities for Main Street America’s economic recovery and growth.

What do you think?


Well, if I have to pay the check anyway, at least I can play with this gizmo!

You would think that in an industry that has such a long and steady history as food service that big innovative ideas would be few and far between. I mean, how much innovation does it take to cook food and serve it? As I have learned in the past few months of writing this blog, this is not the case. To illustrate, I bring you a story of how technology can accomplish something as simple as increasing customer feedback. My sister, Sarah, and her BF went out to dinner recently at BD’s Mongolian BBQ, a chain restaurant based in Royal Oak, MI and she sent me a text after their dinner about the check presenter…it was an interactive survey! For as long as I can recall, every restaurant I have worked in has placed a paper comment card into the check presenter for the guest to complete. Often, a restaurant will receive more negative comments than good, as when you are unhappy with some aspect of your meal, you will be more likely to let someone know about it, even if it’s after you have left. The possibility of receiving a free coupon in the mail to make up for it may also be a reason for this type of behavior. For the most part, people who are happy about their dining experience are less likely to take the time to fill out the card, whereas an unhappy patron will take the time to let you know what upset them. However, offering a new, fun, interactive, digital way to respond to the proprietor may be a great way to increase the number of responses in general, and may also offer a way to gather a more representative sampling of the overall dining consensus.

Here’s the unit:

Photos by Sarah K.

Photos by Sarah K.

This model is made by LRS, or Long Range Systems. Based in Addison, TX LRS has been in the business of guest and staff management since 1995, and started out as a firm that designed coaster-pagers for wait-list management. They call this model an ECC, or electronic comment card, and they purport that with this system, the percentage of survey respondents reaches about 75%! Other features include the ability to program the system to let the manager know about an unhappy guest immediately upon completion of the survey, allowing the manager to salvage the experience with the diner before they leave…and tell 10 others about their bad time. This option may also save time and money over the standard secret shopper service, and it can be maintained in-house.

From what information I was able to find, BD’s implemented this system in 2006 to “increase customer loyalty and sales.”
And it’s pretty easy to use. Sarah said it took about 1-2 minutes to complete the survey and it asked approximately 10 questions on basic customer service; was the place clean, were the servers nice, the grill persons entertaining, were they greeted promptly, was the food fresh. Sarah also stated the survey was ‘not annoying’ to complete, as it was short and easy to maneuver, but she would have liked to have received a coupon for her next visit for completing the survey. This may be an idea that was utilized at the onset of the system’s integration, but if they are truly receiving the 75% response rate, then offering a coupon is not only not necessary, but would be expensive to implement. And as I have stated before, if a restaurant offers too deep of discounts and tries to incentivize repeat diners on a cost-only basis, then they will fall into a downward spiral of being forced to compete on price alone…a dangerous fate for many restaurants.

Domino’s New Pizza…Worthy of the Hype?
January 2, 2010, 7:52 pm
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New campaign, new commercial, new dedicated website to the change…yeah, I’ve been hearing about the new pizza at Domino’s and watched the video about how the changes came about. If you haven’t seen, check it out here:

Well, it made me want pizza. The campaign seems very transparent; they show actual focus groups and employees of Domino’s expressing their genuine reactions to the news that their pizza sucks. As soon as I saw the blog about the campaign, I decided that I had to order the new pizza and give it a thorough taste-test. So being that it’s New Year’s Day, and I have nothing to do but watch the Criminal Minds marathon, it was a good day to try a few slices…in the name of marketing research.

First, I went to their website, to look at the menu and see the closest location to where I live. In order to look at the menu, you have to enter your street address, so the menu for your area will come up. The same requirement comes up for the coupons page. This is smart because if the casual web viewer goes through the process, it is that much easier for them to take the next step and place an order for delivery. I utilized the site to place my order online, and it was very easy. The new pizza is the hand-tossed and the pizza builder allows you to adjust the amount of toppings and add side dishes, sauces and drinks. The only thing it wouldn’t let you do is add toppings to half a pizza. Once you play, you can register for easier delivery in the future and also track your pie. This was a pretty cool, and even updates you when your pizza goes in the oven, but the time it stated was in the future. For instance, the message “your pizza went into the oven at 8:32 pm” but the time on the computer, and on my cell phone, was only 8:30. Estimated delivery time was right on target, as the order system stated that the order would arrive in 31-41 minutes and it came in 32 minutes. We had to tip the driver in cash at the door, as the order system didn’t allow the ability to add it to the credit card. I can see the customer assurance in that procedure, as the tip is meant to be an action after good service and if the customer had an issue with the delivery then the tip would be harder to retrieve. But the convenience of not having to use cash at all in the order process is becoming more prevalent in delivery food service, at least in my area. I could however add a tip at the door onto the credit card, but enough about the process…

How was the taste? Both the video and the order site mention that the crust is ‘garlic-seasoned crust with a rich, buttery taste.’ I didn’t get that at all. Although the texture and consistency of the crust is chewy and a great base for the other toppings, it was not all garlicky or buttery. Perhaps the new garlic butter is to be brushed on after baking and it may have been forgotten. Too bad. The taste of the crust was rather bland after so much hype. Unfortunately, my pizza’s crust didn’t look like Adam Kuben’s did;

Adam Kuben's slice

Nor did I get any hint of the mild garlicky flavor that Adam found in his slices, which you can read more about here.

My pizza didn’t have that garlicky look to the crust:

My slice

Another view of my slice

The sauce was delicious though and actually caused me to say ‘mmmm’ after several bites; zesty and lightly sweet. The cheese was also good and I could tell it was real cheese and not just some imitation. The toppings were just as I ordered them, but one dipping sauce was forgotten. Not too bad but not a perfect experience. I would suggest some greater input from Domino’s HQ to ensure the new recipe is followed with 100% accuracy. But I can see where a new process might need the have the kinks worked out for a few weeks. While I am not going to start ordering exclusively from Domino’s in the future, as I really like non-chain restaurants, I will probably consider them in the future so that I can have more of that delicious sauce, truly the only real change toward delicious that I found in the new pizza.

So there’s the latest news from the S.I.N…over and out!

Here’s some scary news for parents…and right in time for New Years!
December 30, 2009, 8:26 pm
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Recently, the Pew Research Center released findings on teens (aged 12-17) and their propensity to sext or send dirty text messages. While only 4% reported that that had SENT a sext in the past and 15% claim to have received one, but we all know with a sensitive subject concerning something like a cell phone (often paid for by a parent) and sex (something those same parents hope is not happening yet), many respondents would be less apt to answer honestly. This happens in survey situations whether there are perceived immediate consequences or not. And it’s always a safer bet to be the innocent receiver of such a taboo item, rather than being the sender so the disparity in that finding is also a no-brainer. Plus the number of self-proclaimed sext-ers increases to 17% when the teen pays for their own mobile. Hmmm, no one else able to call the cell carrier and ask for a print out of all the incoming and outgoing messages means more daring on the part of the teen. Once again, makes sense.

Consider what one respondent said about her past sexting: “When I was about 14-15 years old, I received/sent these types of pictures. Boys usually ask for them or start that type of conversation. My boyfriend, or someone I really liked asked for them. And I felt like if I didn’t do it, they wouldn’t continue to talk to me. At the time, it was no big deal. But now looking back it was definitely inappropriate and over the line.” It’s the same kind of pressure that young girls have had to deal with for generations during the teen years, but this new method offers more dire consequences than the usual he-said/she-said rumor mill; photographic and text proof of falling for the guy’s lines. The Pew study also found that the more intensely a teen uses their mobile device, the more likely they are to engage in sexting. This makes perfect sense; as you become more familiar and comfortable with any technology, the more likely you are to try daring or unfamiliar activities on said technology.

Many states are looking to combat the problem with the force of a sledgehammer in place of a flyswatter by trying to institute child pornography penalties on teens who have been exposed in sexual photographs on the mobile phones of others, as well as penalities for those who are the owners of those same devices. This is just prosecution of the victim in the case of those who had been photographed. Talk about injustice! It’s bad enough you made an error in judgment and either took/had a naughty photo taken of you, but now to be sentenced as if you were some sleezy back-alley kiddy-porn king! And for those owning the device housing the photo in question? Imagine those racing hormones and being given a free nudie photo…how many do you think would immediately erase it and chastise the person who sent it to them as a pornographer? Not many.

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t like this idea any more than the parent of a teen would. I think of my younger sister and I don’t want to think of what she uses her cell for now that she’s 22, let alone what she would have done at age 16! But this kind of legislation is not going to work. And parents agree because they are coming forward and counter-suing the lawyers, with the help of the ACLU.

So what do we do to help these young persons realize that they are not invincible, that these kinds of casual indiscretions and lapses in judgment will haunt them, because NOTHING CAN BE TRULY DELETED FROM THE INTERNET? Warn them of the possible consequences, tell them the possible scenarios they can get in trouble for and then let them deal with the chips if they fall? Sounds like giving kids bad ideas and asking them not to act them out. Ban cell phones for anyone under age 18? Also, a definite fix for the problem, but also extreme and something many teens and parents alike will not be fond of.

Any other ideas?

Great blog post about customer service and social media
August 26, 2009, 3:01 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This article is about a McD’s employee who gives extra attention to her clientele, (yes, I used the word ‘clientele’ for fast-food patrons becasue this person consideres her regulars to be just that). She is such an icon in Chandler, AZ that someone (not her) created a Facebook Fan Page for her, not the location, which has over 700 fans!

I think this is a good story to pass along because it proves two things: Great Service never goes out of style and that Social Media is a way to tell others about someone who gives a little extra!

Convince & Convert

iBurgh app for phone..priceless!
August 18, 2009, 2:32 pm
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Thanks Post-Gazette for this pic!

Thanks Post-Gazette for this pic!

You know how you get mad because there’s a pothole right in the path of your right tire during your morning commute? Or perhaps the city didn’t salt your street, again, after the biggest snowfall of the century? Well now you can do something about it.

Introducing the iBurgh iPhone application from YinzCam of Squirrel Hill. This app allows you to take a photo and it sends your beef directly to the Pgh 311 office, with an exact GPS location of the problem.

It seems us Burghers are one step ahead of Boston, who recently announced they were going to develop an application of a similar type and which will be available there shortly. The hope is that the new app will make it “easier for citizens to interact with government, and for government to reach out to residents. Updates to iBurgh could include streaming and searchable video of government meetings, and automatic updates on city initiatives close to where phone users live,” (Read the whole article at http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09230/991552-53.stm#ixzz0OXovJvW4).

The best part is the app was given to the city, so NO it won’t cost us more in direct taxes for this new technology, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have to pay for this convenience somehow. And even though you may send the info on that broken watermain cap in front of your drive way, the one that has cost the local residents mucho money in increased water costs from waste and caused accidents with ice build-up on your street, you can’t rest easy knowing the problem will be fixed any time soon. Assume the city will get around to it at the same rate of speed in which they respond to the complaints they currently receive by phone. (The 311 system was contacted by phone for the aforementioned issue several times over a 10 month period in order to be repaired. I know, it was in front of my apartment.)

But regardless, here’s some more bragging rights to one of the most liveable cities in the world. How about that, Black-n-Gold?

Get Motivated Pittsburgh-Highlights from August 11, 2009

I had the opportunity to attend the Get Motivated Seminar in Pittsburgh at Mellon Arena this past Tuesday, and I am very glad I did. The traffic was an issue for most (I took the bus) and the food & concessions layout was not well planned, but I made it through…tired, motivated and mostly unscathed.

The day was INCREDIBLY HOT! It had to be at least 80 degrees (or at least it felt like it) at 7 AM when I caught the bus into downtown. And it was humid and muggy, so I got an iced coffee at the Crazy Mocha (local place-love it!) on the way over from Penn Ave. to Mellon Arena. If I was gonna sit in a seminar, even if it was motivating and electrifying, I knew I would need some caffeine! Well, the powers that be at Mellon decided that all of these people who used their brains and brought a bottled water or a snack to sit through a 9 hr day were just gonna have to do without. They searched all bags and confiscated every bottled water, soda and food item they found. It looked so sad, laying there in a pile on the floor (the trashcans had already overflowed) and it was a disgusting waste of resources and money! I assume this is so that approximately 17,000 people would be forced to buy terribly overpriced food and beverages from Aramark (I believe they do the concessions there, or at least they did last year) for some unconscionable price so they’d make lots of $$$$$$$$. Well, I threw a mini hissy-fit cause she tried to take me beloved latte (soy latte as she later found out). I didn’t actually MEAN to throw a fit, I was just shocked that she would try to take my stuff, (I was still asleep, kind of). After being told I could get a coffee inside, I told her of my allergy and she allowed me to step to the side and finish it before going in to give my ticket at the next door. Kudos for me, she forgot to check my bag and my glorious bottled water remained unrevealed 🙂

I found a seat inside and awaited the series of speakers. I took some notes, because I found many of the speakers made good points and were entertaining. I also tweeted a good many highlights that day (you can check me out at twitter.com/shorty1973) and what follows are some notes on what I found to be interesting, helpful, funny, motivating or just mentionable.

1. Dr. Earl Mindell

He had some interesting points, many of which seemed true enough. His prepared slide show of “10 things you should never eat” included donuts, fries and burgers, hotdogs, twinkies, and over-processed foods. This was like the kid’s primer on bad foods and he shared some funny anecdotes about how people only ever decide to go to the restaurant with the ‘BIG M’ about 30 seconds before they pass it, so it’s best to just keep driving right past it. Mindell also warned that people should avoid soda, because it is loaded with 16 teaspoons of sugar in every serving. I think he may need to do some further research, the danger in soda is the high fructose corn syrup and I can think of no mainstream soda manufacturer that uses sugar anymore. I believe it was the mid 80’s when Coca-Cola made the switch, (http://www.mahalo.com/answers/soda/when-did-coca-cola-switch-from-sugar-to-corn-syrup), and everyone else followed suit. He did mention that diet soda uses artificial sweeteners and he also mentioned one of his books, which is about natural remedies. However, beware of what this man has to say. I found several sources that caution that Dr. Mindell is not truly a medical doctor. In fact one non-profit claims “according to CBC, Mindell received his Ph.D. in nutrition from Pacific Western University. The Washington Post reports that Pacific Western University is an unaccredited institution offering “Public Paid for Bogus Degrees.” KVOA TV News 4 reports that Pacific Western is one of seven schools labeled as a “diploma mill” by federal investigators at the U.S. General Accounting Office, (http://goji.breathe.org/). And Dr. James A. Lowell has a great amount of research that disputes most of Mindell preaches: (http://www.quackwatch.com/04ConsumerEducation/NegativeBR/vbible.html).

Dr Mindell also stated that people should eat more soy, but too-much-soy has been linked to a number of issues for both men and women, so before you go believing a doctor at a seminar, do you own research and talk to your own doctor!

At least Mindell only did a very soft-sell of his book!

2. Terry Bradshaw

He was funny, a great pick-me-up for the morning and got everyone to wake up and laugh! Terry is an incredibly entertaining personality. He has this ‘Everyman Quality’ and even though he won 4 SUPER BOWLS, you can relate to him. His message seemed to be more about being on a team, getting to know the people you work with and learning how to have fun with them, even when the team is struggling. I can buy into that!

3. Krish Dhanam

I have never heard of this guy, but I was a little blown away! Originally from India, this man was a true American Patriot. He appears to love the US, loves that we offer opportunity without regards to class or upbringing. and he made some very important points.

In order to be successful you must:

Develop Leadership-become someone that others want to follow

Build a Partnership-no one can do it alone, you must have team mentality

Take Ownership-you are accountable for your actions

Restore Relationships-by getting rid of old grudges you can put all your energies to better use, and you won’t have to be sorry tomorrow that you did not do it today.

Practice Stewarship-this is service mentality. There is a great book called “Samurai Selling” that is all about this idea. Trust me, by the title I didn’t want to read it either, but I am very glad that my former boss made me! (Thanks Marcia!)

If you have the chance to see this man speak, you will not be sorry. I found myself riveted and it makes sense, he joined Zig Ziglar, Inc. in 1991 (http://www.krishdhanam.com) and I am a BIG Zig-fan, which you will read more about later on!

4. Phil Town

This guy was very funny, a quick thinker and speaker and a total walking informercial, but it takes a minute to get that idea. He started off strong by talking about selling ‘covered calls’ in the stock market and how he started from nothing as a whitewater raft guide to being a multi-millionaire and SO CAN YOU! If you just sign up for his class (a value of over $3000) and you can get it today for the bargain price of $99! WOW. He also threw out a bunch of investing jargon that I believe was meant to give him some credibility like parameter search for a stock, EPS or Earnings per Share, trend analysis, valuation analysis, MACD, and the margin of safety. He also ran a slide-show presentation that made it appear you could go to this FABULOUS website and get all these great stock buying tools for FREE, but then you realize it’s his site and you have to buy the software to make it work, which is never disclosed as being included in the bargain $99 price, or if it is extra. I will never know, I, like the rest of the persons in my generation and younger ones, are turned off by blatant selling and marketing and need to have my advertising done in a more subtle, social way. However, do not let the idea that this informercial-man will speak deter you from attending the Get Motivated seminar if it comes to your town. It is still worth it, even with him involved.

5. Tamara Lowe

Co-founder of the Get Motivated Seminar Organization was Tamara Lowe, who spoke of her past life (druggie and general ne’er-do-well) who found faith and love and is now a big winner in life. She is likeable and informative and gets the audience to like her and feel inspired. But the best part of her talk (for me) was the concept of Motivational DNA “a built in acheivement code which you are born with.” Everyone’s DNA is different and that’s why it’s harder to motivate everyone the same. Some employees, or children, or boyfriends, are easier to motivate to action with certain tools than with others. Here’s how it works:

D=Dreams : People are either Competitive or Cooperative, meaning they are either Producers (results motivated) or Connectors (relationship motivated).

N=Needs : People are need Constancy or Change, meaing they like stability (facts motivated) or variety (motivated by fun).

A=Awards : People either like Internal or External recognition. The persons are either more responsive to Appreciation (motivated by their contribution) or appreciate a Bonus (like the opportunity to receive something tangible).

She has a new book which explains this, and she was a soft-sell on the book. She also explained that she has partnered with over 30 different children’s charities and that 100% of profit from the sales of the bok will be divided among those charities. She even offered a special on the purchase of a whole case for the office. I feel she left the group with a good feeling and I may actually look into picking up the book in the near future! You can check out her site here: http://www.getmotivatedbook.com. You can also take a test to see what your Motivational DNA is; mine is CSI (Connection-Stability-Internal) I am The Supporter. Basically, I like to help everyone do their own job better. OK, I can live with that.

LUNCH TIME BREAK-Mayhem. Imagine about 14,000 trying to buy lunch at a concessions stand at the same time. I think they only ran 4-6 concession areas and no little side carts for popcorn or pretzels. I imagine about 3,000+ left and tried to go into downtown and get something to walk back with. They gave us an hour. It was an issue, as I heard several people griping that they had stood in line for about 30-40 minutes to finally reach the counter and order, just to be told that they had run out of everything but hamburgers, fries and pretzels. And the prices!?! Wow, I saw a lady pay $18 for a tiny cheeseburger, greasy half-cup of fries and way-too-big soda! What is sadder is that I didn’t see any bottled water for sale, and everything that was able to be purchased at lunch at the arena was on the list of Dr. Mindell’s NO-NO foods. Hmmmm, his credentials may be questionable but at least he got the fast food part right! Did anyone at Aramark think about this? (Thankfully I had a hidden bag of carrots…HAHA!)

6. Troy Polamalu

Because of training camp, Troy appeared Live Via Satellite, as the ticket stated he might. I saw some disappointment. I also saw that some people had brought their kids, I assume in hopes to meet Troy or Terry or whomever. I mean it’s Pittsburgh, if there’s gonna be a Steeler there, from any era, there’s gonna be some Terrible Towels being waved and a bunch of people in jerseys!

Troy was nervous and had made some notes, which he mentioned he was having trouble reading because he was so nervous and they looked like “chicken scratches”. He spoke of the opposites of humility and pride, of hard work and of the “beautiful struggle” of being willing to sacrifice something on a daily basis to be successful. He spoke of his family and his Greek Orthodox faith, and how he doesn’t really work for the Rooney’s but for his wife and his son. Troy stated that you have to make a choice between having a ‘passion for failure’ (being lazy and selfish) or having other more productive passions; those for hard work, building your skills, showing discipline, and repeating a task until you get it right. He was not a braggart and he showed solemn gratitude for what he made of himself. One quote summarized what he had to say; “Spirituality is the center of the life and everything else comes from that.”

7. Rudy Giuliani

Ok, so everyone is back from lunch, they are settled, they have seen Troy P., and they are ready to listen. This is obviously what happened because I was stunned and amazed at the quiet reverence that came over this hall as America’s Mayor spoke. I have never seen, or thought I would see, 17,000 people as silent as this group. They seemed to hang on his every word!

They were some pretty good words to hang on though. Rudy stated that leaders are made, not born, so there’s hope for us all and that for you to become a good leader you have to constantly study, concentrate and improve. You have to take responsibility for your own actions and that at some point you will need to get help from someone to get where you want to be. He also listed the 6 rules for being a good leader.

*Have Strong Beliefs-have goals, lead from your beliefs not by polls. You have to stand for something bigger than yourself and use it to guide how you live and lead others.

*Be an Optimist-people want to follow the hopes and dreams of someone they believe in. “It’s easy to find people to tell you the problem, it’s harder to find people to tell you the solutions.” Find those people and surround yourself with them.

*Have Courage and Take a Risk, but Respect Fear…it can work for you!

*Have Fun-God has truly blessed us!

*Teamwork-you can’t accomplish anything alone. You need to ask yourself ‘what are my weaknesses?’ and then go out and find people who are strong in those areas to both help you and teach you, then you learn from each other. He also said that if you ask yourself the above question and you don’t think you have any weaknesses, ask your wife, she will tell you! (He injected his speech with many little quips and anecdotes; the audience laughed and was pulled from the serious talk appropriately then quieted down quickly, so as to not miss the next point…amazing!)

*Communicate & Motivate-“To be an effective leader, you must love people and care about what happens to them.” He spoke of 9/11 and how he and his team went out into the city and found that everything was much, much worse than they had thought. It really struck him when he saw a man jump from a building many stories into the air; that man took an awful chance and was sure to perish from the fall. His team, his entire city was stunned, scared and looking to him,. He had to step up, and be there when everything was going wrong, because that’s when people need you the most. He also spoke with great respect for Pres. G.W. Bush and how he came to Ground Zero and stayed for a very long time, even though all of his advisors and the Secret Service wanted him to leave. Rudy ended on a funny story of how a huge firefighter hugged the President and a Secret Serviceman warned Giuliani, “If anything happens to him, you’re a deadman.” And he grinned and knew that it would all be okay because you have to trust people to do the right thing.

8. Zig Ziglar

I am a huge Zig-fan (as previously stated) and I have read several books. I have a copy of Selling 101 and used to carry it with me everywhere when I was in sales! here is one of my old favorites:

“When we carefully listen to the prospect’s elaborate interests, desires, hobbies and other thoughts, we are putting them in debt to us. They then have the feeling they owe us something, and consequently, they are more willing to listen to our story since we have given them the courtesy of listening to them.” This is how I intend to do my work now, and in the future.

But this was the first time I heard him speak. I was a little disappointed, but only marginally. He is 82, and was helped onto the stage by his son. It seems his son, Tom, and daughter, Julie, have taken a key role in keeping up with the ZZ brand. They both help him with the writing and publishing of more books and it’s nice to see a family all involved in the same business. Zig, who was once a bigger motivator for sales people, now seems more concerned with the ideas of making yourself successful at home, which will lead you to greater success outside of the home, no matter what line of work you do. Zig also experienced a bad fall in recent months and an explanation of that event followed. A video was presented and demonstrated some of Zig’s past motivational subjects. However, there was a great deal of talk of the Home Court Advantage, like in sports. Zig claimed he ‘brought the prettiest girl in the place,’ speaking of his wife of roughly 60 years. I think he must have done something right to not only have kept a spouse for such a long time (we should all be so lucky) but to have children who love him and respect him so much that they want to work with him everyday. Here’s some pearls of motivational wisdom from the master:

“If you get knocked down reaching for a goal, it doesn’t change the goal, just the direction you take to get to it.”

“Complaining makes problems worse, but positive response helps you solve problems.”

“People in a relationship who love each other and respect each other will have more success both at home and in their business.”

“You can have anything in life you want, as long as you help as many other people get what they want.”

“Motivation won’t last but neither do bathing and eating. But if you do both everyday you’ll live longer and smell better.”

(On a side note, Zig helped me that day on a personal level. He stated that to be successful, you must court your spouse everyday. I changed the quote slightly and texted it to my BF, Jim. He texted back a cute smile emoticon and I later got surprised with flowers for no reason! I asked, why, and he said “because I’m successful,” Thanks Zig!)

9. Paul James & Bob Kibbett
(Sadly, no pictures to be found.)
(Originally when I posted, I originally stated that all the following information was from Paul James only. I recalled later that the synopsis below was from 2 different speakers. Paul James spoke of real estate sales–no interest in that area so no review here–and how to make income in this manner. Bob Kibbett spoke on website creation and SEO. Sorry for the confusion!)

These guys were mildly informative. Once again, another soft-sell for a one-day class on how to start a website to sell stuff. The class includes a free website template so you can get your site up and going in no time. The part of the speech I liked was the brief discussion on SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. I am unsure if the class actually teaches how to do this, so I didn’t sign up (it was only $30 for you and a family member to attend). I wanted to maybe look into it after-the-fact as the class isn’t until September, but I can’t find this guy on the Get Motivated site, or by name. Perhaps this is a little iffy. Glad now I didn’t buy the class!

10. General Colin Powell

Another first for me, I have never seen Colin Powell speak. He was delightful. Funny, likeable, respectable and he has the demeanor of a true leader and a military man. He made jokes about how he didn’t miss a lot of things from being the Secretary of State, but he missed him private plan after he ‘gave it to Condi and now Hilary has it somewhere, who only knows where.’ He reminded us to never forget the people who have served us well and that education is a big priority to he and his wife, as it should be to all of us. He says the children are the future and his grandkids all want to talk to with Twitter and Facebook and email. But he doesn’t know how to do all of those things (I would be glad to teach him, for a small fee for service!) He mentioned that his grandkid said he had added him as a friend on Facebook, but Colin replied “I’m not Facebook,” to which the response came “Sure you are.” General Powell’s response was that he never signed up and he needed to look into having it removed. “But Poppy,” says unnamed gradnkid, “you have over 15,000 fans.” Actually it’s 16,740 as of 11:51 pm on Thursday. So the General is gonna leave this page right where it is. Check it out, just search for him on Facebook.

Above is just one example of many anecdotes that proved this military and political powerhouse to be endearing, human and honest. He stated the world is equalizing, becoming flatter and that the competition in the global market is good for the US. He stated that we, the US, cannot fall into the trap of trying to close our borders to those who may try to do us harm, because then we would also close them to those who will help us to stay strong; that we must stay an open country and true to ourselves, otherwise the bad guys will win. Powell also reminded us to inspire people as they self-motivate, so they will continue. “Get good followers and inspire them to acheive goals…give them a sense of purpose.” And if you give people the tools and support they need to do their job well, they will believe in you and may just follow you out of curiousity, to see how you get them out of a seemingly impossible situation.

Two other points demonstrated the need to congratulate people and compliment them when they do well, so they know they are valuable. But it is also neccesary to have standards in place, and expectations. Make people be accountable, when they are not doing their job, or just coasting on the work of others, you must get rid of the dead weight. It will inspire those who want to do a good job to continue on that path.

The day was interspersed with big door prizes, a rap-DJ-light show, soulful singing, and a dance-off. Great funny items that probably kept more attendees from falling asleep and got them talking to the strangers around them (worked for me)! There were some infomercial moments, but it makes sense because someone has to pay for this type of event; I mean, at $5 a head, or $20 for the whole office, there is no way that covered all the costs.

Bottom line: invest in yourself, network, and do right by the people around you…they will be more likely to do right by you!