Sunday, September 26, 2010

David Harder's Inspired Work Program......... Come find your true passion.

People who love their work have more than a job, they have a great relationship with their work.
In 20 years, over 35,000 people have launched new careers, reinvented themselves in existing jobs, found their competitive edge in today's market, created new businesses, gotten promoted and become truly happy with their lives - all by attending The Inspired Work Program.

Over 80% of America's workers don't really like what they do for a living. If you or a friend is having challenges with the topic of work, please forward this note to them. In two days, we promise you will transform your entire relationship towards work.

Los Angeles - Saturday & Sunday, October 9 & 10

New York - Friday & Saturday, October 15 & 16

Space is limited to 20 participants.

For more information, visit

 or call (310) 277-4850  (California)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Robert Whipple Offers Tips on Email Opening Lines

E-mail Openings – Make Them Work

By Robert T. Whipple MBA CPLP

Humans have the ability to synthesize data with incredible precision. In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell describes how human beings can form accurate impressions of situations and people based on just a tiny amount of data. Gladwell calls this “thin slicing,” which is the ability to sort out germane factors from a large array of data with lightning speed.  Let’s look at the first few words of some example e-mail notes and see  how people are likely to react to them.

• “Hi Alan” This is a friendly and neutral salutation that puts the reader in a happy place. Why? You have used the most important word in your reader’s vocabulary. You used his name along with the happy word, “Hi.” After those two words, your reader is subconsciously saying to himself, “This is going to be a nice note.”

• “Alan” Here you use his favorite word again, but without the word “Hi” or “Greetings,” your note starts out on a sober, stern, or businesslike note. Your reader is wondering whether he is going to get chewed out or get a raise.

• “So Alan” This is an alarming opening to an e-mail. The reader will instinctively cringe before even reading the third word. This is going to be rough. Either Alan has previously written something to upset you, or you have a serious question about something he has done.

• No name or greeting Here you have lost an excellent opportunity to start your note with a polite greeting. Alan will usually not miss it on a conscious level, but he will be wary about the contents of your note until he reads further. Without the name as a courteous salutation, the first couple words will set the tone for better or worse. If you start with “Once again…” you are signaling that Alan is in trouble unless he knows you are thrilled with his most recent performance. At worst this is a trust withdrawal, and at best you have missed the opportunity for a trust deposit.

• “You dummy” There is no mistaking the tone of this greeting. Alan is going to put on his flack jacket before reading this note.

• “Bless you, Alan” This is the kind of note Alan will print out and put on his wall or take home to show his wife.

The words used to begin a note are the first “thin slice” of the tone for the entire e-mail. Make sure you get started on the right track. There is momentum when reading notes. If the reader starts out in a good frame of mind, things go more smoothly. If the opening is abrupt, curt, or is a blatant trust withdrawal, it will take a lot of honey in the rest of the note to make up for it.

It is like the difference between a conventional photograph and a hologram. If you take a photograph and cut out just a tiny piece of it, you will have only the data represented by that piece. If you cut out a tiny piece of a hologram and hold that piece up to the light, you will be able to see the entire image, only with less resolution than the larger hologram. Humans work the same way. If you have an entire note, you can study it and reveal great detail, but people can sense the body language in just a few words. The first few words of an e-mail are especially important. Let me share an extreme example for clarity.

It is the first day of an online class. None of the students know each other yet. Allison is responding to a question about whether leaders are made or born. Here is a short section of her note:

• Allison writes: “I really do not believe there is any such thing as a natural-born leader. I believe that leadership is an acquired skill and can be improved constantly. When I was seventeen, I was promoted to shift manager. I was not a good leader to say the least.”

Another student (Roger, who has not yet exchanged notes with Allison) replied to her note as follows:

• Roger writes: “Allison wake up!!! How many seventeen-year-old kids are asked to be a manager??”

The note goes on, but for purposes of this illustration, these few words are all that is required. I believe Allison had Roger pegged after the first three words, and probably did not even read the rest of his note. If she did read it, she heavily discounted the information. To her credit, she did not take the bait and fire back a strong rebuttal. She just pretended the note never happened, which is a good strategy in a case like this.

Roger’s note was a blatant example of starting out in a way that completely alienates the other person. Usually the damage is more subtle, but the impact is similar. Here is another example of a note that begins poorly:

• “I really think you should be careful when you write, ‘people like you’ in a note. It tends to peg you as a bigot or someone who likes to put people in boxes.”

The first five words, “I really think you should,” give away the body language before the real content of the message is reached. After the opening phrase, the reader is prepared to get a lecture and reacts accordingly. Here is another version of the same message with a more constructive opening:

• “That was an insightful note. One possible upgrade is to avoid the phrase ‘people like you,’ because some people might find that offensive.”

The reader is more likely to absorb and heed the advice in the second note based on how it starts.


The preceding information was adapted from the book
 Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, by Robert Whipple.
 It is available on

Robert Whipple is also the author of The TRUST Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, and Leading with Trust is like Sailing Downwind. Bob consults and speaks on these and other leadership topics. He is CEO of Leadergrow Inc. a company dedicated to growing leaders. Contact Bob at

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Joy Chen on Mentors Value

Find Mentors to Spur Your Career
Joy Chen

People often scratch their heads and wonder how I was appointed Deputy Mayor at age 31, just 10 years after graduating from college and moving to Los Angeles where I knew no one. I can understand their surprise. After all, I’m a child of immigrants who struggled to learn English and to fit in. I’m perhaps slightly above-average in some areas – intelligence, looks, talents – while below-average in other areas, such as height and weight.

Great mentors were important to my journey. This is a story of one of my mentors, and how to develop mentors for yourself.

When I graduated from Duke in 1991, I was drawn to Los Angeles by its glamour and good weather.

How I found my greatest mentor:

Shortly after arriving, I signed up for an Asian Pacific Women’s Network event. There, I met a woman who later invited me out with her neighbor, a lobbyist named Maureen Kindel. In America, while mayors and governors rotate in and out of office, “kingmakers” like Maureen help decide who gets elected to what position. Behind the scenes, they pull the strings that make government run.

Maureen embraced me into her life, and over time, I became known as “Maureen’s Chinese daughter.” She loved to entertain, but hated sending out invitations and organizing the events. So I jumped in, helping her with the details while she played hostess par excellence. Our Saturday night dinner parties and poker nights were legendary among California’s business and political leaders.

From Maureen, I learned how to connect with people of diverse backgrounds. Maureen is one of the world’s most artful, generous, lively and charming personalities. She’s a voracious learner and can converse on any subject. She understands power and how to wield it.

Maureen continues to surprise, delight and attract many, men as well as women. A few years ago when she turned 70, she sat before her birthday cake and said “The only thing that surprises me at age 70 is … that I am still SUCH a FOX!” She has not stopped. She’s returned to school and is now working on her doctorate in education. When you and I are her age, may we all share her capacity for joy and learning.

To cultivate a mentor, become an indispensable assistant

When I think about our mentoring relationship, I’m reminded of the wise words of another close friend, Joel Kurtzman, who is one of the world’s top business strategists and a former Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Business Review. Joel says that most highly successful people have been blessed with mentors, and the way to develop someone as a mentor is to become his or her “indispensable assistant.”

To mentor you, someone need not to be as powerful and distinctive as Maureen. He or she just needs to be someone from whom you can learn, and in fact, you can learn from everyone. When you find someone you’d like to have as a mentor, find a way to become an indispensable assistant.

Find virtual mentors online

Meanwhile, study remarkable people from afar. The WWW is an incredible resource which did not exist when I was starting out in my career. Marketer Hajj Flemings points out that many outstanding people mentor millions virtually:

When was the last time you read a blog post or followed someone on Twitter and the light went on for you? … These brief points of interaction can be as impactful as spending 3 or 4 hours with a person in a face-to-face mentoring session.

In this way, I have developed many online mentors whom I’ve never met. I follow a wide range of people, including: philanthropist Bill Gates, technology leaders Robert Scoble and Guy Kawasaki, marketing leader Seth Godin, economist Tyler Cowen, NY Times columnist Tom Friedman, GE’s Jack Welch, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, and media moguls Oprah and Martha Stewart. I try to retweet the tweets that I find most helpful, so if you want to see those, you can follow me at @globalrencai.

If you’d like to share your own list of great people to follow, on Twitter, Renren, SINA or other resources, please post them in the Comments section of this blog post.

Having had such great mentors, I now am blessed with the chance to give back. I can’t fill all the requests for personal mentoring which I receive, so I started this blog, to help virtually mentor the millions of young Chinese who will build the future of China and by extension shape our world. To help with this, I’ve just hired a small team of elite Communications student interns from USC. Here at, we look forward to expanding our range of information, videos, interviews and other resources to help accelerate your career. So if you’d like to take advantage of this, subscribe your email address above if you haven’t already.

Potential Mentors are Everywhere

Every highly successful person I’ve met has had mentors and heroes who inspired their own greatness. Find mentors who can serve as role models for you. They are all around you, in person and online.


I welcome your comment, in English or Chinese, on the Chinese version of this blog post, which is here.

GlobalRenCai is a blog and community for all the world's talented, ambitious, exceptional young Chinese talent. It is hosted by Joy Chen, a Chinese-American former Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles who now works as a corporate head-hunter, finding U.S.-based CEOs and other talent for successful global companies.

Visit us at

Follow on Twitter @globalrencai

Follow on SINA Microblog at: