Roberta Matuson – The Power Of Being Quiet

Inspiration taken from the article, “The Link Between Quietness and Productivity” which appeared on 

In my opinion, quiet people have a tendency to be unfairly judged.  In our western culture, we tend to fancy outspoken and assertive personalities.  Politics is a perfect example of this.  It’s not always the most qualified or best leader who gets elected, it’s the candidate who wins over the masses with congeniality.

One thing I like about the technology boom over the last 10 years is that it’s the age of the quiet genius.  The described “nerds” who used to tinker around with computers (at least that’s what the less tech gifted called it) and rarely spoke to anyone outside of his or her clique, are now driving change around the world.  These are the new celebrities adored and admired by millions less for their personalities then their achievements.  Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg were no social butterflies before fame and fortune.

What is it about being quiet that has the ability to create such great productivity?  Roberta Matuson, author of Suddenly In Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around, wrote an article on entitled, The Link Between Quietness and Productivity where she shares five outstanding benefits to being and staying quiet in a loud society.

“Sometimes we forget that the most productive people in an organization aren’t the ones who make the most noise. In fact, it’s often the quiet ones who out-produce everyone else.”

Her first benefit is “Being quiet strengthens focus.”  By nature, I’m neither the life of the party nor the wall flower.  Although, I would consider myself more of an introvert than an extrovert, I really fall somewhere in between.  I enjoy social interaction and alone time equally.  But when I went from working in an office every weekday to working from home, the most interesting discovery for me was how much more work I got done at home when I was working in solitude.  I thrive in the comfort of my own surroundings with only my thoughts to take center stage without other distractions.

What’s fascinating in the article is how Roberta conveys the impact that being quiet also has on the world around a person.  When you’re quiet you calm others around you as well.

Be inspired by Roberta’s insight and learn more about the benefits of a quiet attitude by reading The Link Between Quietness And Productivity.

Have you experienced how being quiet has an impact on your productivity?  Or are you more of a quiet mouths don’t get fed sort of personality to get the job done.  Let us know below.


About Roberta Matuson – Roberta Matuson is an internationally recognized expert on increasing profitability by maximizing employee contribution. Visit her website online at She is author of the book Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around.  Download a free bonus chapter. Her upcoming book, The Magnetic Workplace: How to Hire Top Talent That Will Stick Around is set to publish in 2013.


Laura Vanderkam – Success Before 9am

One thing you can count on is that the sun rises and sets everyday.  Granted you’re not in Norway during certain times of the year, in which it doesn’t set.  Anyway, if you’re reading this article and live in Norway, thank you and I’m global!  Sun all day or not, we all sleep, and with each new awakening, we’re recharged to begin again.  It’s at this time when our minds are most vulnerable to new thoughts, and renewed.  And then, like the laste bite of a really good cookie, it’s gone.  The demands of the day are quickly seeping in and taking over our thoughts, actions and worst of all, our time.

Laura Vanderkam, author of What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, has written a lot about how to make the most of the ideally sixteen hours a day we have to be productive.  But she knows there’s something about how certain people use the morning hours that lend to their success.

“The hopeful hours before most people eat breakfast are too precious to be blown on semiconscious activities. You can do a lot with those hours. Whenever I’m tempted to say I don’t have time for something, I remind myself that if I wanted to get up early, I could. These hours are available to all of us if we choose to use them.”

I don’t have young children I’m shuffling off to school or a dog to walk like most (yes…still working on these,) I just have me to tend to and even I am challenged with ways to make my mornings not just be more productive or efficient, but more creative.  Transform your mornings into a time when you can make real strides advancing on a great idea or the evolving one you have in the pike.

Clearly, there is enough thought and practice on maximizing mornings that Laura wrote an entire book about it.  As a taste, she provides five practices on you can insert into your morning that will make a positive impact on what you accomplish that day, that week, maybe even your life.

Take time to read Laura Vanderkam’s five practices in her post What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast on

Got any tips or ideas of your own on maximizing the wee hours of the morning?  Let us know.


About Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam is a nationally recognized writer, journalist and author who questions the status quo and helps her readers rediscover their true passions and beliefs in pursuit of more meaningful lives.  Visit for more on her work.

Follow Laura on Twitter @LauraVanderkam.


Johnathan Holifield – “Inclusive Competitiveness” Solution

One of the greatest challenges I see for the future of the U.S. economy and tech industry growth is the lack of representation of black and Latino’s in the industry.  I’m not suggesting that the industry will totally die without it, but the lack of exposure to potential careers in tech and adequate resources like computers in schools and technology focused instruction in underserved communities, poses an economic threat to America.

There are influential people in American business today making an effort to increase the pool of black and Latino talent in high tech, and seeing the solution as one that is good for America’s 21st century global innovation economy as a whole.  One of those people is Johnathan Holifield.

Johnathan created The Trim Tab System, “a development and leadership methodology that applies innovative concepts and tools to generate exponential impact.”  If you’ve ever wanted to hyper-maximize your effectiveness, using The Trim Tab System has proven to be an extraordinary way to achieve results.

Johnathan Holifield gave a presentation on May 10th at Global Detroit, a conference dedicated to discussing innovation and commerce to revitalize Detroit, MI, on The America21 Project he’s co-founded using The Trim Tab System principles as a foundation.

The America21 Project introduces “Inclusive Competitiveness,” a core principle that centers around the positive effects of putting the right people on the playing field to take advantage of the economic opportunities flourishing particularly from tech startups.  Basically, how does America suffer if 30% (Black and Latino populations combined in the U.S.) of it’s population, is largely excluded from a sector that’s seeing one of the largest percentages of new job growth and entrepreneurship.  How much of that job growth is domestic and of the domestic tech jobs being created, what percentage of those are filled with black and Latino talent?

What I like about Johnathan Holifield’s Amercia21 Project is that it’s about providing a soluiton by increasing the pool of talent through advocacy and awareness.  It’s hard to have a complete discussion about under-representation if the lack of talent isn’t addressed first.

The law of “Inclusive Competitiveness” states:

No region can sustainably increase economic competitiveness without growing enough of the right people to create and take advantage of that increase in economic competitiveness.  If your region’s economic competitive goals do not focus on inclusion, you simply will not – indeed cannot – grow enough of the right people to build a resilient, economically competitive region.

Johnathan Holifield’s presentation and the talking points he delivered at the Global Detroit event can be found on the Black Innovation and Competitiveness Initiative website.  An impressive approach to addressing an important matter.  I encourage you to explore.


About Johnathan Holifield

Holifield is a highly sought-after Cleveland-based attorney, consultant, speaker and former NFL player who emerged as a visionary economic voice at the turn of the century. His economic outlook, policy recommendations, innovative strategies and unparalleled achievements among 21st century Black leadership has helped propel America21 onto the national landscape as an authoritative voice on urban innovation and economic inclusion.  Follow Johnathan @TheTrimTabber and visit



Matthew E. May – Launching A Startup With No Product

Creative thoughts on the blog post titled, How To Launch A Lean Startup – The Apptopia Story by Matthew E. May, published on


I know this is not the first story of a company that launched prematurely before the product was ready.  As a matter of fact, in this hyper-tech, supercharged startup world we live in today, launching before a product is perfect is encouraged.  It’s now been coined the lean startup model.

In the ultimate example of “learning while on the job,” Matthew May examines the practice of staying flexible enough in both product and strategy that when an unexpected benefit happens, you can see the opportunity and seize it quickly.

He tells the startup story of Apptopia, an online mobile app store, who by a chance writeup in TechCrunch, found itself thrust into a better business model to the delight of investors and the marketplace.

“Apptopia was nowhere near ready to launch when TechCrunch wrote about them. In other words, TechCrunch told a story when there really wasn’t one yet to tell. Or was there?”

Matthew spoke with Apptopia co-founder Jonathan Kay, who offered 4 strategic moves that led to turning a real challenge into real success:

1. Make It Personal

2. Tell The World

3. Join The Conversation

4. Old School First

Dive into the entire post How To Launch A Lean Startup – The Apptopia Story to learn the details of each of the 4 strategies and additional insight from Matthew May.

Feel free to drop any of your own knowledge on lean startups and the evolution of developing a product in today’s tech world.


About Matthew E. May

Matthew E. May is founder of EDIT Innovation, an ideas agency. In addition to strategic facilitation design and creative team coaching services, we offer workshops and bootcamps on personal creativity in business, design thinking, and business model innovation. His new book, The Laws of Subtraction, will be published in October, 2012.







Brian Solis – Enterprise Social Networks Connect To Create

Insight from the blog post “Enterprise Social Networking Is More Than Just Facebook Behind A Firewall,” by Brian Solis on


Damn this social media stuff.  For some businesses, it was bad enough that they had to set up departments and hire staff dedicated to manage their online reputation via Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp and their comrades.  They were being told to study and pay very close attention to the whims, rants, applause and changing tides of their consumers as told straight from who…their consumers.

So what’s all this talk about Enterprise Social Networking (ENS?)  You mean company executives now have to look inward and consider how social networks can benefit the company’s internal operations?  Yes.

Brian Solis lends his insight to a recent report published by his colleague Charlene Li at Altimeter Group called “Making The Case For Enterprise Social Networking.”  The report spotlights the power of social networks to act as tools for creative collaboration.

Enterprise social networks (ESNs) are on the rise as they can deliver an immediate solution for aligning stakeholders around activity streams with the familiarity of Twitter or Facebook. These internal social networks are not only validating and useful to power users, but also friendly and easy to participate in for those who are new to the platform.

Brian’s commentary, and the relevance of Charlene’s report, support the changing landscape of employee roles, engagement, fulfillment and purpose.  Dialogues and ideas don’t live in silos or even worse, cubicles or conference rooms anymore.

In the blog post, Brian offers 4 ways an ENS can deliver value to a social business.  Click here and read on for all of Brian’s ideas and insight.

In what ways do you see ENS being valuable to your business operation?  Or, offer your thoughts on the drawbacks of ENS, if any.


About Brian Solis

Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research-based advisory firm. Solis is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging media on business, marketing, publishing, and culture. His current book, Engage, is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to build and measure success in the social web.  Follow on Twitter @briansolis.




Tony Schwartz – Creative Thinking Is Possible By All

Inspiration taken from the article “How To Think Creatively” by Tony Schwartz via the HBR Blog Network.


I was drawn to this article because I consider myself to be an artistic person who happens to also have an analytical brain.  As a child I loved anything related to the arts and as a teenager, wanted to pursue a career in theater.  As with many, I downplayed my true desires and opted to major in communications instead.

But, according to Tony Schwartz, author of Be Excellent At Anything, all hope is not lost.  And for those who believe that they lack creativity all together, it’s time to uncover your hidden DiVinci.

Learning to access both sides of your brain is an invaluable skill to be used whether you want to paint your self-portrait, or run your own business.

Tony Schwartz takes a look at 4 stages of accessing your left and right sides of your brain – Saturation, Incubation, Illumination & Verification.

The first key to intentionally nurturing our creativity is to understand how it works. I’ve found the stages often unfold in unpredictable sequence, and wrap back on one another. Still, keeping them in mind lets me know where I am in the creative process, and how to get to where I need to go.

Intrigued? Read  the full article by Tony Schwartz on



Michael Jones – 5 Lessons I Learned From Running MySpace

Inspiration taken from the article, MySpace: 5 Lessons Learned From The Front by Michael Jones via

I first contacted MySpace in early 2005 when the site hadn’t made its big national splash yet and was still largely an LA based music site for local musicians.  At the time I was running web operations for a prominent urban media company and was given a tip about contacting MySpace to develop a synergistic relationship.  I saw the huge urban music market, particularly Hip Hop, as a potential major user base for them.  At that time, they weren’t ready.  They still saw their base as more alternative/rock.  Clearly, that perspective changed in the months that followed.

We never did forge a relationship, but along with many I watched the incredible rise and fall of what was a monumental step in the evolution of social networking.

Michael Jones, the former CEO of MySpace, shared his insight on exactly “What went wrong?” from his view at the top in an article on

The 5 Lessons Learned From The Fall of Myspace

So, what happened? While it’s true that Myspace faced a variety of organizational challenges that impacted the speed at which we could transform the company, in the end, it was the fundamentals that held us back. And, many other legacy Internet businesses are grappling with the same kinds of problems.

1. Consumers have long brand memories.
2. Utility outlasts entertainment.
3. Perceived momentum = perceived value.
4. Change within large organizations must be centered around drastic actions.
5. Single front door = single point of failure.

Read a full explanation of each of the 5 lessons learned from Michael Jones at


About Michael Jones:

Micheal Jones lives in the Los Angeles, CA area, his native home.  In addition to serving a short time as MySpace CEO, he is an experienced entrepreneur, advisor and investor.  He has founded multiple businesses with great success, even selling his application platform, UserPlane, to AOL.  He continues to stay true to his true passion and commitment for helping fund new and creative startups.  Follow Mike Jones on Twitter @mjones.

Tim Longhurst – How To Give A TED Speech


In case you don’t know, TED (Technology Entertainment Design) is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Sharing and that they are.  They hold two annual conferences where an elite series of innovators, visionaries and leaders give speeches in 18 minutes or less.  On you will find some of the most fascinating and thought-provoking speeches by the most interesting people from all works of life and business.

I love the TEDTalks (videos of the TED speeches), not only for the outstanding quality of the content and speakers, but also for the diverse style of delivery, creativity and props used in the speeches.  I’m as much interested in how they are saying it as I am in what they are saying.

Tim Longhurst wrote an article titled “The TED Commandments – Rules Every Speaker Needs To Know” in which he provides a look into why TED speeches are so good.

Here are just a few of the commandments:

  • Thou Shalt Not Simply Trot Out thy Usual Shtick.
  • Thou Shalt Remember all the while: Laughter is Good.

Public speaking is an important part of my marketing and career.  I incorporated the principles of The TED Commandments into several of my speeches with great success.  I hope you do as well.

Read Tim’s article with the full list of The TED Commandments.


About Tim Longhurst –

Tim Longhurst is a futurist, speaker and consultant.  He collaborates with organizations to think about the future and inspires people to become innovators in their fields.  He is currently the Strategy Lead at Key Message.

Richard Branson – On The Advantages Of Being Small

Let’s be truthful, the U.S. is not a country that looks kindly on small anything.  We love big houses, cars and portions.  But in the U.S. marketplace, there are numerous companies thriving, growing and succeeding at keeping business operations small and nimble.  By keeping laser focused in a niche or a specific market, these businesses are often able to compete with the big dogs, and win.

Sir Richard Branson has served as a role model for business and life for me for over 20 years. opened up the floor and allowed users to ask him questions on his strategies for entreprenuers.

Bobby Hall from Australia asked if Virgin brand deliberately pitched its product as a “good value” and if by doing so, could it tarnish the reputation of being “the best in the world?”  Richard Branson replied with this to say:

“Twenty-seven years ago, when Virgin Atlantic had just one secondhand 747, we were able to compete with British Airways, which had a large fleet, a massive marketing budget and the dominant position at Heathrow, the U.K.’s leading airport…Overall, we made sure we provided great value for money, building a loyal base of customers who identified with the Virgin brand.”

CLICK HERE to learn more on Richard Branson’s strategy for using being a smaller company to his advantage to grow Virgin Airlines into an aviation mega success.


Dan Rockwell – Seven Fast But Not Furious Leadership Moves

Most people know that the originator of a great idea is not always the one who gets the credit.  The person who gets the credit is often the one who moved the fastest on the idea.

All great leaders move fast.  Dan Rockwell, great leader and author of the Leadership Freak blog, shared insight on seven ways leaders move fast with purpose for positive results.  The moves he suggests are about collaborative thinkers, problem solvers and best of all, good listeners.

Move toward relationships first. Great challenges require great teams. Networking leaders always go further than isolationists.

CLICK HERE to read Dan’s Seven Ways Leaders Move First for Best Results.