Electric Impulse Communications, Inc. Newsletter

February 2006

  1. Question
  2. Mishmash of Value:
    1. Josh Malina-The West Wing
    2. State of the Union
    3. Randy Lerner-Brown's Owner
  3. February Case Study
  4. Live and On TV
  5. Answer

I. Question

How do you make yourself stick to your script or your outline?          

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II. Mishmash of Value:

1.Josh Malina from The West Wing

At a recent KSU Hillel event, I had the opportunity to briefly meet and listen to this actor from what was once one of TV's most watched programs (he plays Will Bailey, bespectacled press secretary).
As you can imagine, becoming a member of an ensemble cast on one of TV's most acclaimed shows, was quite a coup. So I asked him why he was selected for the character Will, what was his competitive edge? After all, thousands of out-of-work actors would love a role with a recurring pay check. He said it was his relationship with the producer, Aaron Sorkin.Early in his career, due to his mother's prodding, he had contacted Aaron and began a long term friendship and mutual respect. Professionally, it started with a part Aaron gave him that had five words. Then a movie, then the first TV show, The West Wing.

Lesson Learned:

Another reminder that it's not about talent. Talent gets us in the game, it doesn't win the game. Many actors have talent. Josh had a relationship with the decision maker. Whether it's acting or accounting or lawyering . . . it's about developing relationships and finding the decision maker.
Your role may start small, and grow into the role of your dreams.

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2.State of the Union

I found these people and events of interest.

  • 19 references to terror and 3 to social security.
  • Humor is difficult even for the president i.e. the baby boomer joke with Bush and Clinton as the punch line fell flat.
  • Hillary was chewing gum. Gum!
    Remember, the spotlight is on you not only when you are speaking.
  • The Governor from Virginia who gave the Democratic rebuttal- could they find someone with less charisma? Or could they at least find someone with two equal eyebrows?
  • Cindy Sheehan invited as a guest, then arrested for her T-Shirt.
  • 256 sentences, 31 about Iraq.

His speechwriters tried to write a speech in his words---did they succeed?

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3.Randy Lerner and falling on your sword

In December, a firestorm brewed at the top level of the Brown's organization. ESPN talked about it, the media talked about it, and Brown's fans talked about it . . .  instead of talking about the next game. When the dust settled, Randy Lerner, Browns owner, said, "I handled this clumsily. I think we've got it right now." He then went on to say, "No one wants to hear my problems or anything about the internal operation. They just want to win, and I don't blame them." The shake-up then became a non-issue.

Lesson Learned:

When you admit a mistake quickly, the firestorm passes . . . quickly. Swallow the bug fast, as one CEO says.

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III. February Case Study

This Month's Case Study
A real life Electric Impulse, Inc. experience. What can you learn?

Situation: I met and talked with Reggie Langhorne, former Cleveland Brown player. He played with Bernie Kozar, and works for one of Bernie's companies. When I met him, I asked him to be a guest on the Time/Warner show that I host. He agreed, and gave me his cell phone number.

Process: I called him, and he said to send him the information in the mail, as he did not have email. Many, many attempts to follow up were unanswered. Days before the show was to tape I was called by his agent, demanding payment for Reggie to be a guest. I faced a tape date in three days, and no guest.

Results: Charlie Frye was not paid to do this PUBLIC TELEVISION spot. Nor was Cliff Stoudt, Congressman Sawyer, Frank Stams, or Jim Crutchfield, Beacon Journal Publisher.

Lesson Learned:

Decide what your integrity is worth. When you agree to do something, DO IT.  What dollar amount is worth breaking your word?
Use email if you want to be taken seriously in 2006.


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IV. Live and On TV

Leslie's Upcoming Events:

Streetsboro Chamber of Commerce
February 8, lunchtime speaker

Twin Lakes Country Club

HBA University
What Do Builders Want and How to Sell Them

Panel Discussion
February 23, 8:30-10:30 HBA at 799 White Pond Dr.

Portage Career Center
Find Your Competitive Edge

February 16 and 23

NOHRC-March 10
Northern Ohio Human Resource Conference

IX Center
HR Helicopters: Are You Hovering in One Place

Time/Warner Civic Forum TV Show

Fear the Roo-What's Up with The University of Akron Athletics
A conversation with new AD Mack Rhoades

Channel 23
Airs: Monday at 7:30 pm
Saturday 6 pm, Sunday 9 am and 6 pm

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V. Answer:

You are the only one who controls the discipline to follow your own notes. The problem with a tangent is you don't know how long it will last or how to come back to your text. Wear a rubber band around your wrist, snap it and give others permission to snap it when you detour from your script.


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