January 2018 Newsletter

This is a Herbie's Hint that I refer to every winter: keep your gas tank full. 

The other day I was on my way home. It was a zillion degrees below zero. I had enough gas to go 60 miles. I tried to pass the gas station without stopping, telling myself that to wait until tomorrow would be fine, and it was just too cold to stop. My dad and his "tip" just would not get out of my head.

My dad was insistent on being prepared for winter mishaps. In case you got stuck somewhere or traffic was very slow in an unexpected snowstorm, he was insistent on being prepared by having a full tank at all times.

This was a very literal hint. Its value is in applying it in a figurative way also. Rather than waiting until the last minute to prepare a report, a PowerPoint, an application, whatever has a due date; get it done early. One never knows when a figurative snow storm can get in the way.

FYI As electric cars become more and more mainstream; we won't have to ponder getting out of our car in minus degree weather to fill our tank!

We continue to develop our series of 2-4 minute videos using a horse to teach communication and leadership lessons. This brief video features
Grey Lady teaching us about how and when to stay in our office and when to as Disney says, "walk the park."
A challenge of any leadership position is "when to come out of your office" and "how long to stay out." This work in the round pen will help you "see" how to keep team members and employees moving while in your office
1. Retail's Demise
I tried to make my purchase at a brick and mortar store, really I did. I got in my car in this frozen tundra, drove to the store, and requested the correct aisle. Only to stand in front of racks with no inventory. The answer I received was that the store did not order any of this merchandise this season. I got in my car and went to store #2. Same answer, empty pegs and no inventory. So I went to eBay.

Lesson Learned: Traditional brick and mortar stores complain about their Internet competition. No inventory forced me to the Internet. I tried to support our local commerce. They didn't do their part. What is especially interesting is that in the recent jobs report, while unemployment numbers are down, unemployment in the retail sector is up. These retail stores can complain about their competition perhaps they should be more focused on what is going on in their own four walls. What can you concentrate on?
2. No One's Crystal Ball Works
I often tell clients that no matter how smart they are, their crystal ball does not work.
I was surprised and delighted in a doctor's office recently. When asked about a prognosis, he said excuse me and left the room. He came back a few minutes later holding a crystal ball.
Let's ask the crystal ball, he said
Lesson Learned:  I imagine anyone following Ohio politics was surprised when Josh Mandel dropped out of the race, four months before the primary. No one's crystal ball works all the time, in every way. We need to do our best and be our best. Then life happens. Are you preparing yourself for challenges known and unknown?
3. It's Not About Starbucks
I met a friend at Panera's one Sunday. We were meeting for coffee and conversation. The first problem was that there was no coffee in any of the three coffee dispensers. None. My friend told the counter person but nothing happened. I told her to tell the manager. She was reticent. I took her cup and asked for the manager. I told him the dispensers were empty and no one responded to the request to re-fill.  After all I added, isn't this a coffee place?
Lesson Learned: I am guessing that Starbucks is the elephant in the coffee world. My frustration and disappointment with there being NO coffee had nothing to do with their competitor. My focus was on the store I was frequenting. Is it that hard for a location offering coffee to have coffee? Is there something you are missing within your four walls?
4. Less Can Be More
While presenting the award for best director alongside Ron "Opie" Howard, Natalie Portman took the opportunity to point out the obvious: not a single woman was nominated. She adlibbed two words. You could say they were the two words heard around the world, or at least the Internet. Although there is rehearsal and a teleprompter for the presenters Natalie Portman added two words: "all male." And here are the all-male nominees," she said before reading out the list.

Lesson Learned: Kirk Douglas at 101 years old made quite an impression, Barbra Streisand giving out the last award of the night was memorable, Oprah of course set the hemisphere on fire, but it was the two words Natalie Portman added that will be talked about for a long long time. Especially on this night of #METOO and TIMESUP. It's not always about how long a speech is or how big your partIt's the right words at the right time from the right place.
5. Oprah for President
The value of a speech. Just ask a Jr. Senator from Chicago who was an unknown when he spoke at the Democratic convention in 2004. It is why you need to be prepared for your moment in the spotlight; a speech can change the world. A speech can certainly change your world.

Lesson Learned:  She kept true to her brand when she included in this speech the line, "this I know for sure".  You might not run for president or become a billionaire. But the right speech at the right time, consistent with your brand, can catapult you in ways you may not be able to imagine. Are you ready for your Oprah moment?
In Person - 

January 10 - Attorney Communication Training
February - Akron Public Schools

Forum 360 with Leslie as Moderator

Upcoming Shows: 

KOMAE - Babysitting App
Guest: Audrey Wallace
Hiring Vets
Guests: Brian Fortney, Rockwell and Larry Moore, Summit County Veterans Commission

Watch/ Listen to Forum 360:
Western Reserve Public Media, PBS-TV, PBS Fusion Channels 45 & 49 (Time Warner channel 993) - Mondays at 8 pm and Saturdays at 5:00 pm. After the show airs, you can download it here.

WONE FM 97.5 Sunday 6 am
For online streaming go to http://wone.net/ and click Listen Live.

WAKR AM 1590 Sunday, 5:00 pm, Monday 12:30 am For online streaming go to http://akronnewsnow.com/ and click Listen Live.
Some of you have heard me say, no matter how thin you make that crepe it still has two sides. There is an upside and a down side to every issue.
One of Benji's office beds (he has 4) has been his security blanket for almost two years. It is now more of a torn piece of cloth than a bed. It remains the first thing he looks for when he comes into the office in the mornings. He leaps through the office looking for that sad little remnant of a bed. Usually once he finds it, he leaves it and continues on his way . . . which means finding something else to destroy.
One morning I looked and the blue remnant of a bed was around his neck like a royal collar. As is his usual, he was more than happy to sit still for me to take his picture. He also seemed thoroughly content to leave the bed around his body as it had ended up. He probably could have left it there indefinitely.
Dictionary.com defines a security blanket as a blanket or other familiar item carried especially by a young child to provide reassurance and a feeling of psychological security. For Benji it is his blank-y. For some it is a lucky penny or some a lucky pair of pants or boots. Even when it may seem like a burden, for the person who identifies it and identifies with it, it is a reassurance. What is it for you?

Our First Two Events of 2018


Our Theme for 2018: Cowboy Up
When: February 6th from 11am - 1pm
Where: Electric Impulse office
This is our first video session of the year and our only mid-day session. Two seats available - hurry and RSVP, ONLY $18!
You will have the choice to present your own material, recite a paragraph of a famous speech, be a TV guest, or conduct an interview. We will video and immediately play back what we recorded. I will make suggestions, audience members may have comments and suggestions, and then we will video you again. The improvement will be immediate.

When: March 20th from 1pm - 5pm
Where: Electric Impulse Office
This will be a really hands-on, really interactive boot camp!
Lunch will be served. RSVP to reserve your spot.

According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death.
In all aspects of communication is it "not enough to merely know. One must know and do".
We have named this Boot Camp the "to Do or not to Do" Boot Camp. You have asked for it and you are getting a very interactive-hands-on-you-will-DO Boot Camp.
"To Do or not to Do" checklist:
  • Answer the what do you do question
  • Create 3 image-only slides for a PP
  • Craft a WOW for your intro
  • Answer in the time it takes to walk across a room
  • Put FUN in a presentation in an appropriate way
  • Add FUN to the workplace in appropriate ways
  • What Not to Wear
$118 fee until March 1.

Email us at [email protected]  or text at 330.607.5730 for further information or to RSVP to one of our events. For more information visit our website:

Ask me about my 10 in 10!