Check yourself before sending that email

Editor's Note - How many times have you received an email and wondered what the sender was thinking when they wrote it? Before any email gets sent a content review usually makes sense.  Here are some additional tips.

Despite the numerous means of communication, email is still heavily relied upon to deliver messages in the business world, especially for remote workers. Even in the office, it often seems easier to shoot off emails to colleagues instead of walking the 50 feet to their desk. If email is replacing some basic human interactions, we need to pay more attention to how we’re using it.

When composing an email, it’s often easy to forget there’s a human on the other side. You should manually check the tone of each and every message you send to make sure you’re communicating your message in the most effective way possible, leaving less room for misinterpretation.

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Robocalls and Your Business

We are not fans of "robocalls"!  You know, the calls that come in within five minutes of sitting down to dinner.  However certain kinds of telemarketing is legal.  Here the thoughts of one FTC attorney.

Call me (call me) on the line.
Call me, call me any, anytime.

We were big Blondie fans, but if the lyrics of “Call Me” are any indication, they’re not the best source of information about complying with the Do Not Call and robocall provisions of the Telemarketing Sales Rule. So we’re turning to FTC attorney Bikram Bandy to get answers to questions that businesses are asking.

My company has a great new product and we want to do a robocall campaign to let consumers know about it. Of course, we want to comply with the law, so we’re downloading the Do Not Call Registry to make sure our robocalls don’t go to those numbers. No problems, right?

BIKRAM:  Wrong. If you’re trying to sell something, you can’t place robocalls to any phone number – even numbers that aren’t on the Do Not Call Registry. The only exception is if the consumer has given signed written permission to receive robocalls on behalf of your company (not your affiliates, marketing partners, etc. – your company). The written permission must include the consumer’s phone number and has to clearly and conspicuously explain that he or she gives your company permission to make robocalls. The bottom line: If you don’t have valid written permission, you can’t send robocalls. Period.

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Back to the Future II - or NOT

We may still be waiting for a Delorian that travels through time, but a surprisingly number of "predictions" made in that movie have become reality! Has it really been 30 years?

October 21, 2015, is the date Marty McFly travels to in Back to the Future Part II. He encounters a number of different technologies that were strange to his 1985 brain, but are common to us … 30 years later. The movie’s creators made a lot of predictions about the future of technology and they came amazingly close in a number of cases.

In honor of the movie’s 30th anniversary, here’s a look at some of those predictions that have come true.

Voice-command television. When Marty’s son arrives home in the future, he walks into the living room and tells the TV to open a number of different channels for him to watch. Anyone familiar with Kinect for Xbox knows Marty’s experience is almost exactly like what’s possible now. Voice-controlled remotes also provide similar capabilities.

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Some great rules for effective leaders

Effective leaders are at the center of many successful businesses, frequently rivaling the impact of a compelling product, a marketplace niche, or a unique value proposition. In fact, a DDI global survey found that organizations with the highest quality leaders were 13 times more likely to outperform their competition in key bottom-line metrics such as financial performance [1].


As 2015 unfolds, make sure you’re leading your business in a way that drives results by focusing on these seven key leadership ingredients.

1. Be crystal clear
Being transparent about the state of the business and its objectives helps employees understand their roles in pushing the organization forward. But author William Schiemann found when polling businesses that only 14 percent of employees have a solid understanding of their company’s strategy and direction [2]. From monthly newsletters to daily team huddles, employ a regular communication plan that spotlights priorities and defines the path to results.

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Shakespeare, Ethics & Common Sense

Editors's note:  With all the recent goings on in Albany regarding the Speaker of the Assembly being indicted, and all the machinations from other elected officials on his resignation; some of us are left wondering out loud whether basic ethics in politics and business have been completely lost. We found this short article referencing ethics and what William Shakespeare might have thought:

Expert Author Patricia J Moser

If Shakespeare was alive today, he would already have penned a tragedy reflecting the lack of ethics as continuously reflected in procurement activities world-wide.

"To take or not to take -- that is the question. If I get discovered, I might suffer slings and arrows, however I might have amassed an outrageous fortune. There may be a sea of troubles it may cause, yet I can always (with lawyers) oppose and thereby end them!"

I have often had people come to me and ask how to proceed when a decision "path" is somewhat grey. I always ask them "How do you think this would play as a headline in a newspaper?" I always see a shocked look and they say, "Well, that would be taken out of context!"

The reality is no one asks for guidance on a potential ethical issue, unless their gut is already saying this shouldn't be done.

Yes, there are always two sides to every story, and the one that results in the best headlines usually wins; and this doesn't always mean it's the absolute truth, but perception is the reality.

To paraphrase Dr. Phil -- "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!"

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