Have you recently had an experience that seems to continually reveal itself as being powerful, instructive, and profound for reasons you never would have guessed? Well, that is precisely what the Financial Intimacy Conference is turning out to be for me. The more I reflect on what went into planning the recent launch in New York City – especially as I prepare for the next city on the tour (Los Angeles) – the more I realize just how much I have/am learned/learning via this process.
As I was working on the last minute details leading up to the September event, a good friend of mine who calls me by my last name kept saying, “Timmons keep it simple.” A good example of where his words of wisdom came in handy: my catering selection. I was initially planning to hire a private chef and while it would have added a nice touch, truthfully, it would have significantly increased my food and beverage budget. Costs aside, it also would have required much more effort and coordination than the route I ultimately took…ordering salad and sandwiches from a gourmet shop and wine from a local wine store. I kept it simple.
On the surface this example may not appear to be a big deal, but if we move beyond the “it” of the example to its “message,” it is HUGE! Why? Because keeping it simple requires discipline and it is not always such an easy thing to do. So with this as a backdrop, here is why keeping it simple is important; simplicity: Continue Reading »
A few years ago, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Turkey. My sister was a high school foreign exchange student, and when her year drew to a close, I flew overseas and experienced Turkish life up close and personal.
Before traveling, I learned what Turkish I could, including the word for ‘full.’ I was told I would be greatly encouraged to eat heartily, and though I welcomed this invitation, I also wanted to communicate, “This food is absolutely amazing; you’re a fabulous cook, though I am truly stuffed and cannot eat another bite. Thank you, though!” My means for doing this was to simply say I was ‘full’ – ‘doluyum.’
One evening after a hearty meal, I was invited to partake of fourth helpings, and being truly stuffed, I said what I thought to be ‘doluyum/full.’ (Let me tell you, I’m fairly certain they did not hear ‘doluyum.’) Eyes began to cross, eyebrows pinched closer together, and I got curious looks from everyone – evidently I was not saying this word correctly. I tried again and again, readjusting my intonation. We went back and forth; they would say a word in Turkish that may or may not have been the word I was attempting to speak, and I would rearticulate what I thought was some version of ‘doluyum.’ This went on for about 5 minutes until at one point our host family’s daughter shouted, “full!” Immediately, I shouted back,“Yes!” Eureka! Common ground achieved. She then said the word correctly in Turkish, and the table burst into laughter. Continue Reading »
Known for her sharp wit and off-the-cuff brilliance, Tina Fey is a comedian respected well beyond the entertainment field. Her new book Bossypants has become an immediate best-seller, and with good reason. She recently sat down with NPR Fresh Air’s Terry Gross and hit upon a number of stories, including her early years as a comedian and the training she received. A number of remarks touched me, though one of the most striking quotes included a rehash of one of the cardinal rules of improv, as she noted, “… make statements. Don’t ask questions, and put the onus on the other person to come up with something. You come up with something, give it to them, and then they have to react with something.”
I was struck by the difference made by a mere intonation of the voice, a statement and a question. In the sphere of language, questions can also be extremely powerful, though, here , Tina refers to the power of assertiveness, and the importance of taking a stand. Daily, we are required to speak with confidence. Whether we need to sell a product, convince our colleagues to up the quality on a project, or voice our disagreement with how the direction the company is headed, we all have a voice and deserve to be the force others react to. Continue Reading »
Whenever I provide directions, you’ll typically hear, “Go to the streetlight and take a left, then turn right at the corner. At the next stop sign, turn right. I’ll be waiting there.” Using words such as ‘right, left, in front and behind’ are common practice in most languages – it’s natural for us. However, this is not the norm in all languages. Anthropologist John Haviland and the linguist Stephen Levin have shown that the Australian aboriginal dialect Guugu Yimithirr doesn’t use directions such as ‘left, right, in front of and behind.’ These words are typically referred to as ‘egocentric coordinates,’ as they are dependent on the location of the individual. However, those who speak Guugu Yimithirr use geographic coordinates, such as north, south, east and west. If I were to provide directions in this dialect, I would tell my colleague, “Go to the streetlight and turn east, then turn north at the corner. At the next stop sign, turn east. I’ll be waiting there.”
While for the majority of world languages, our own bodies are the focal point when conveying direction, in geographic coordinate cultures, their route relies on fixed global geographic directions along an x and y-axis. For example, if you observed a dance class, instead of hearing the teacher say, “take two steps right” you’d hear “take two steps west,” and “bend backwards” would be “bend towards the south.” Continue Reading »
It occurs to me on the national holiday of Thanksgiving that we need more than one day a year to officially stop, pause and give thanks.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m excited that we have an entire day dedicated to giving thanks today. However, I also realize how powerful giving thanks can be on a regular basis – and its application to our professional lives.
Let me share with two ways that I have used actively this year to do this: Continue Reading »
Over the last few months, I’ve heard a lot of local and national political candidates talk about their version of America and how their opponent’s America looked very different. And I agree. There have been some significant ideological differences between candidates, particularly here in Nevada. With that said, however, I’m always more interested in the areas where people agree…. even if their approaches for getting to or sustaining a particular vision or result don’t neatly align.
I’ve had the privilege of doing a variety of different work around onboarding recent college graduates into their first full-time, post-collegiate jobs. A lot of this work has been looking for mutually-beneficial solutions for meeting young professionals where they are to take them where employers need them to be. Which of course has had me thinking…… what are the specific gaps between what colleges provide students and what employers expect them to know? Certainly this differs across fields. But if we could come together and agree on some particular skills, we could save employers (and young professionals) a lot of time, energy, and heartache down the line. Continue Reading »
The experience I am about to share is about me wanting to have the last word and be right. It is also about acknowledging my ego while simultaneously setting it aside; a hard discipline to practice!
When it comes to two people communicating, there are actually five “parties” involved. It’s you, the other person, what actually took place, and your respective perceptions of what took place. This is true when the communication goes well, and it is true when it doesn’t. The latter really became evident recently when my feathers were rankled with just nine words said to me via email: “…as I was asking to do…we could have.” Continue Reading »