Monthly Archives: June 2009


One of the things that’s bound to come out of Michael Jackson‘s death is a picture that shows how many enablers he had around him. You might have them too, even if you’re not addicted to anything stronger than coffee.

In a clinical sense, enablers are described as third parties who take responsibility, blame, or make accommodations for a person’s harmful conduct. In simple terms, they help you to do something that hurts you, ultimately.  In the benign sense, enablers are “just trying to help”, they say, and it’s no lie. They’re trying to help themselves, not the person they’re enabling.  Giving an addict drugs or access to drugs helps you.  You cement your “friendship” or you benefit financially.  Giving a subordinate advice with thoughts of “how can I get this person back to work” rather than “how can I help?” is a form of enabling as well in my mind.  You’re focused on your needs, not theirs.

Compare this with a facilitator. This is someone who helps people understand their objectives and assists them to plan to achieve them without taking a particular position in the discussion. They’re focused on helping as well, but YOU, not themselves.

Think about it.  Who around you is an enabler – helping themselves in the guise of helping others? Who are the facilitators – the ones helping others without a care for themselves?  Which one are you?

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Image representing RIAA, Recording Industry As...

I’ll admit that I’m not the brightest guy in the world but it’s apparent even to me that suing your customers is a bad idea no matter what business you’re in.  When you’re in a business that is struggling due to a sea-change in the economic model under which you’ve operated, alienating the customer is tantamount to suicide.  And yet… Continue reading

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cookbook shelf 1

It’s Foodie Fun Friday for which I am grateful.  I’m going to give the deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah a few days before I write about them, mostly because I have so many thoughts.  Today, we’ll do our usual Friday thing and talk about food a bit, trying to keep it on the light side, if that’s OK with you.

We own lots of cookbooks.  I did a rough count this morning and stopped at 200.  We’ve probably given away another 50 that we didn’t use much.   I know what you’re wondering – why would a guy who fancies himself a decent cook and often cooks without recipes own so many? Continue reading

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Did You Say Over?

Animal House

I can hear many of you answering that classic question from Animal House. “Nothing is over until we decide it is!” and despite the subsequent attribution of the Pearl Harbor attack, it’s damn good advice. In fact, we’ve had two incidents this week in the world of sports that bear it out.

There is , of course, a business lesson in there too. Continue reading

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Unfeelings MOMS

Mom out on the town

I read with great interest this piece on a new media buying and planning system developed by Microsoft and Interpublic.  The Media Operations Management System, or MOMS for short, is supposed to it would “re-invent” the way Interpublic agencies and clients plan and buy their media.  As we all know, I’m all in favor of using technology to make our lives easier.  However, I wonder if this is really an advance. Continue reading

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Hi Yo!

I’m sad to read that Ed McMahon has passed away.  For those of us who grew up on Johnny Carson and Ed as a special treat when we could stay up late, it’s really the end of that era.  Unfortunately, too many folks today will remember him for his later work as a solo pitchman rather than his skill as Johnny’s sidekick (and his cry of Hi YO!) but we’d all do well to remember the really important role he played in the success of Johnny and The Tonight Show.  In fact, we’d all do well to remember that none of us, even if we’re as supremely talented as Johnny Carson, can afford to be out there without someone like Ed McMahon. Continue reading

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Little Things

John Wooden at a ceremony on Oct. 14, the coac...

They’re still playing golf out on Long Island as I’m writing this.  The U.S. Open is always great fun to watch and this one has been no exception.  It’s amazing how the course and the pressure always manages to bring the leaders back to the pack while the guys like Tiger and Phil who have been there before play their way into contention.  I was reminded in the course of watching it how Coach Wooden’s words really are true, both about golf and business:  “Little things make big things happen.” Continue reading

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