The Power of Your Smile


“I will never understand all the good that a simple smile can accomplish.” Mother Teresa


Did you know that something as simple as a smile can improve your life? Yes, it’s true! Repeatedly, research proves that smiling and living a longer healthier life go hand in hand. In the TED Talks ,Ron Gutman shares that the span of your smile relates to the span of your life – folks with beaming smiles actually live longer.

Smiling has been found to also:

Improver your personal brand

Increase a persons trust level

Make one more forgivable

Reduce  stress

Lower blood pressure

Increases your “attraction factor” (great if you are in the dating phase of life)

Makes you look more competent

Gives joy and a feeling of satisfaction

And smiling can help you get hired!

Attracting and Keeping the Talented Gen Y Employee…Are You Open to Change?


Most of us are aware that Gen Y employees, and even some Gen Xers, are not “Lifers” when it comes to staying put at their jobs. They have been known to jump ship! A study published this summer in the Harvard Business Review confirmed that young top performers—the workers that organizations would most like to stick around—are leaving in droves.

Researchers found that high-achieving older Gen Y’s (30ish) with great school and work credentials, are leaving their employers after around 28 months in the job. In addition, over two thirds of them admit to sending out resumes, contacting search firms, and interviewing for jobs at least once a year during their first employment opportunity. 95% said they regularly watch for potential new employers.

Employer…What changes are you willing to make to keep the talent?

Learning new skills, growing expertise, and feeling valued are key to what people want and expect from work these days. Heads up employers who would like to hire and retain the best talent…it  would be wise to create an environment in which learning and collaboration are fostered.

Marketing to Gen Y- Microsoft gives it a try!

Microsoft wants Gen Y to use their browser Internet Explorer AKA The Browser You Love to Hate! Forget Safari, Foxfire, Chrome…and click on Explorer. Their campaign taps into the nostalgic 1990’s, when Gen Y was just a kid.

If you watch the video (it’s good) you’ll see games, Hungry Hungry Hippo…I just bought that for Campbell and Connally- Now they call it the Hungry Hungry Herd, the bowl/shaved hair cut, and 56K modems. Microsoft created the tag line- “You grew up and so did we!”

Will it work? Take a look and let me know what you think.

Gen Y is Changing the World of Work- 3 Articles

Is Gen Y changing the world of work?  Last month I was preparing a keynote for a new client and I did some research on how Gen Y will be changing the way we  work. Here are a few of  the top articles. If you are interested, read on  and then you be the judge! Will Gen Y change and conform to the workplace or…will the workplace change to attract and keep the talent?


Article#1: CNN-Generation Y’ Set to Transform Office Life                                        by Susanne Gargiulo

By the end of this decade the demographics will shift and by 2025 gen Y will be 75% of the workforce. Gen Y wants more choices, new ways to communicate and wants out with old meeting rooms and in with new social spaces – Generation Y is transforming the way we work in the next 10 years. Read the CNN  article



Article #2: How Is Generation Transforming the Workplace? by Leigh Stringer

      In this article several Gen X and Y’s share their opinion on the new world of work- When the author of the post, Leigh Stringer  saw the above article  CNN article about Gen Yers transforming office life, she admitted that she  couldn’t help but reach out to a few of the Gen Y’s at HOK to ask for their      reactions. What she  found was a fascinating range of opinions… Read Article




Article#3: Microsoft-What Does the New World of Work Look Like by Klaus Holse Andersen – Vice President, Microsoft Western Europe

The three dimensions around the new world of work are people, places and technology. Read On








Working for a Younger Boss? 10 Tips that may help!

I first started speaking about  The Generations way back in 2005 when the Baby Boomers were still in charge! Today many Boomers have retired and those remaining in the workforce are finding themselves working for a younger boss.  A recent CareerBuilder survey of 5,231 full-time employees found that 69 % of workers ages 55 and older currently have a younger manager.

Yesterday I found this to be true while presenting to a room filled with Gen X and Gen Y.  Only 10% of the audience was made up of Boomers!  When the presentation was over, several of the Boomers came up to me to share the challenges they face working for their “20 something” bosses.  Some of their comments included:

“They play favorites with other younger workers.”

“They keep asking when I am going to retire.”

“They don’t ask for my advice.”

“They don’t explain things well or give me direction.”

“They do not include me.”

“How can I get their attention and be part of their team?”

According to a 2012 survey of hiring managers at 500 U.S. companies, “hiring managers think that a challenge in hiring a mature worker is their resistance to taking direction from younger management (33 percent). Similarly, 27 percent of hiring managers also believe that a challenge in hiring a Millennial is their resistance to taking direction from older management.”

Here are a few suggestions to help Baby Boomers form a better relationship and engage with a younger supervisor:

1. Get to know them.  Think about it; this person was given this position for a reason. Someone thought she had the talent and or expertise to handle the job. Acknowledge her expertise and build a relationship by asking and listening. There is a lot you can learn.

2. Be open to new ideas and new ways of working. Managers and coworkers really dislike hearing, “We always do it this way.”  It’s important to show your manager that you are open to new ideas.

3. Be aware of your tone. Many Boomers feel they are mentoring when they share their expertise, but younger managers may feel that Boomers are “parenting” them.

4. Avoid comparing your younger manager to you own children. Please do not say things like, “You remind me of my son.”  Or even worse,  “My kids do that too!”

5. While we are on the “don’t say that,” don’t share what you were doing when you were their age. Avoid saying things like, “When I was your age, I had three children and a mortgage.”

6. New ways of communication. Be open to texting and instant messaging. Keep your phone on and with you at all times!

7. You may disagree with this, but face-to-face time and meetings will be replaced with conference calls, webinars, teleconferences, and the like.  Younger managers are focusing on results and productivity. If you feel that you need to discuss something face-to-face with your manager, go in and suggest setting up a time where you can discuss something face-to-face in more depth.

8. Get current and remain relevant. Embrace change; you may have to adjust your attitude towards trends and technology. The key is to do everything you can do to remain vital. Learn new technology. Go to current movies. Listen to the latest music. Stay alive and interesting!

9. Work on your physical and mental self. Stay in shape, eat healthy, and take a vacation away from your home! My advice is to do whatever it takes to recharges your emotional battery.

And please

10. Don’t talk about retirement!

Feeling a Little Lonely? Collaboration might be the answer!

The life of a busy professional speaker can be solitary. Many of us work alone in our offices, navigate airports, stay in hotels, eat in the hotel restaurant and we usually do all of these activities alone. Then, when it comes time to deliver our keynote we are the only ones on the stage. Yes ,a professional speaker’s life can be a little lonely.

The Solution: Collaboration!

Being  an extrovert, I need the energy of others to inspire me. So, last summer when I had the chance to collaborate with a marketing and social media speaker, Crystal Washington, I jumped at the opportunity. You’ve heard the old saying that two heads are better than one?   We both discovered that when two speakers collaborate they can create amazing opportunities, doubling their audience reach and magnifying  the impact of their exposure and brand.  Crystal and I both discovered that collaboration holds the secret to breakthroughs in creativity, fun and yes, profits!

Are you thinking about collaborating with a colleague or associate?

Before you start your collaboration journey, there are important considerations to make.  We discovered three ingredients that have been instrumental to our success:

  • Diversity:  You don’t want to partner with a mini-you. Diversity in your appearance, age, style, and approach will lend itself to a more unique, rich and resonant brand.  Diversity will make you more interesting and will ensure that you have a larger pool of potential clients to draw from. For me, partnering with a Generation Y opened my eyes to many of the issues, challenges and great opportunities generational diversity offers. Crystal has opened my eyes, and helped  me to walk my talk!  She thinks very differently than I – Her approach to most situations, her use of time , her ease with technology, and her communication preferences were different than mine (most were better)  and she taught me to stop talking, to listen, and  learn! What growth!


  • Share your Different Areas of Expertise:   There’s a reason why crowdsourcing is so popular; there is tremendous power in numbers. If one person can’t figure it out on her own, someone else may be able to solve the puzzle.  Well, that’s what collaboration is.  In a collaborative situation, when one is down the other is up. When one is on the road, the other is home working. Collaboration is all about sharing. You have to be open to sharing resources, sharing your talents, sharing your markets and sharing the credit. Start looking for someone whose area of expertise is different from yours. Look for someone who brings new ideas, skills, and expertise to the table. Collaboration is not competition.  Give each other the space to grow as you grow together.



  • Work Ethic: To be successful in a partnership, you have to have a shared sense of purpose and connection.  One partner cannot feel that he or she is doing it all.  At the same time, it is unwieldy to expect each partner to give 50 percent on each and every project.  Talk about how you each approach your work and what you expect from one another. Make sure you have shared values and similar work ethics.  The biggest lesson I learned collaborating with Crystal           (a Gen Y) is that her work ethic is strong and focused. She is not a time waster. Her ability to get the job done quickly and with the highest quality standards was apparent.


We have worked hard together, but we have also laughed hard together, as we have collaborated on ways to bring new and fresh ideas to our growing audience.  “Socialtunities” has become an experience that people talk about and we continue to collaborate on new ideas and new ways to increase our marketing and make the most impact on our audiences.


Managing Gen Y- They Aren’t a Mini-You!

In my travels throughout the country, I’ve been speaking about the challenges and the opportunities created by the different generations in the workplace. And sadly, I am hearing more of the challenges than opportunities… I have  come across managers and directors who are a  bit frustrated in handling the Y generation. I am seeing a lot of eye-rolling and head-shaking going on as they share their dealings with Generation Y in the workplace!

When hiring the younger generations (Y and soon Z), please remember that they are not just like you— but younger. In other words, they are not a mini-you!

This generation is so very different from the ones who came before it. You can blame it on the times, on their parents, on the technology, and, of course, on the economy—blame it on whatever you want. But remember that they are different than you and your generation, and they have to be managed differently.

Last week  I opened  the  Florida Recreation and Parks Association Conference, and while I was there, I met the most amazing man. He is a member of Generation X (he’s 34), and is the Director of Aquatics for a county in the State of Florida. Eagerly, he shared his three-step strategy for hiring new employees, all of whom are the youngest members of Generation Y in the 18-20 year age group.

Here it is:

Every summer, he hires 90 individuals to fill 70 summertime positions. Why does he do this? Because through his experience working with Gen Y, he knows that several will not be able to get to work on time, stay connected, and follow the rules. So he has to fire some—usually around 20 of them!

After he hires the 90 employees, he begins his three-step process.

The first step is paramount because the next two steps wouldn’t make any sense without it.  He trains the entire crew of new employees for a solid week.  He sets the expectations and tells and shows them the proper processes and behaviors, as he walks them through the day-to-day procedures. He is clear, and he is specific. He goes over all the rules and regulations very carefully. For example, all lifeguards must leave their mobile phones in the office while they are on duty.  No Phones are ever allowed on the job!

The second step is that by the second week on the job, he lets go (fires) the people who break the rules and regulations. (Ouch!) He told me that every year, regardless of how emphatically he stresses the no mobile phone policy, he always gets a few new lifeguards who bring their phone out to the pool. Can you imagine a lifeguard busy on his or her phone, texting or Facebooking, while your kids are swimming?

It’s amazing how quickly people fall into place when they see their co-workers let go.

But then comes the unexpected third step to a rather nervous group.  After the first three weeks on the job, our director has a party for the entire new crew. During this fun event, he points out all the good things he sees in his new staff. This positive feedback along with the fun and relaxation make for a happy and productive crew for the rest of the summer.

Over the course of my speaking journey, I’ve spoken to many, many companies and corporations around the country, and I have heard over and over how the one thing new employees lack is proper training. There are a lot of things corporate America can learn from the civil servant work force, the most important being the importance of careful and proper training. And as our savvy Gen X director pointed out, he intensively and thoroughly trains his new employees in all facets of their new job, so everyone is aware of his or her expectations.

The last thing I’ll leave you with is this branding tip that l gleaned from our amazing Gen X director. If you are managing people, especially young people, the three qualities that will help you the most are: be tough, be very fair, and have fun.



How Each Generation Uses Social Media

Social media is no longer viewed as “kids stuff” and the social media pioneer days of My Space are long gone. Today Boomers, Gen X & Y ,corporations, brands, organizations, and associations are all embracing social media.  We are realizing that social media is a fantastic way to engage with family, friends, customers and future customers.

Everyone may be on social media but not all the generations are using “The Big 4”- Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube– in the same manner. If you are trying to target a certain market with your social media efforts this may help you understating who is doing what on social media. If you watch  to the video you will  get a better understanding  how the each of generations are engaging in social media.

A few months ago I did a webinar with digital marketing strategist and social media junkie Chris Rash  where Chris shared  this chart showing the 7 user levels of social media.

Are you a Social Media Spectator, Joiner, Collector, Critic ,Conversationalist, a Creator …or are you all of the above!




Gen Y…Get a Plan B…Please!

I hate to admit this but Murphy’s Law is my mantra… “What could go wrong – will go wrong” and I am often thinking in a Plan B mode.  More and more I am discovering that things are slipping through the cracks and I am on double check alert.

Am I alone here?