Latest adventures


We recently won the X Games – a twice a year event in winter and summer spanning all kinds of interesting sports like motocross and snowboarding in addition to a franchise of branded products and a web property that all needs to be pulled together. The clients are smart, interesting and in NY. I got to go for the first time in over a year last week and I’m heading back up there for the day on Thursday. I’ll plan a weekend to stay over soon and suck up some energy and culture and of course shop. Richmond is great, but NY is in a whole other class. Which is why I probably never want to live there, but will never tire of visiting.

 I also finished my Christmas shopping on Saturday. I went all out for the boyfriend and got him a red ipod, a nike plus connector so he can track his runs and the special shoes with the little compartment to hold the nike plus thing. Hopefully he likes it – he’s said he’s anti-apple but I suspect anyone who says that just has never owned anything apple. It’s impossible to be anti ipod. He’s just being contrarian. And hopefully I’m not being too extravagant. That’s what I want to give him.

 I just found out that there is an apartment for rent in the building next door to work, literally 15 steps away. It’s a loft with high ceilings, beams, bricks, two bathrooms, two bedrooms and priced well. So I’m considering that. My rental house lease is up soon and I want to move to the “work side” of the river and abandon my mostly empty house and yard responsibilties for more urban living either close to work or in an area called the Fan about 5-10 minutes from work which is a little more residential. The thought of being able to go home for lunch or a nap is appealing…

And finally, we’re having a student workshop here at the agency right after Christmas and I’ve volunteered to make a presentation to explain planning as well as be a team mentor for the week long project that they do in tandem to learning all of the functions of an agency. The students are coming from lots of different colleges so it should be an interesting experience. Cam, I think I’m going to copy your idea of getting them to come up with interesting questions as a part of my presentation. I’ve been working on it, filling it with interesting principles and a bag of tricks. I’m pretty happy with how it’s shaping up – maybe I can figure out a way to post it once it’s done, or sooner so I can get some feedback!

On the mend

I’m on the tail end of a vicious cold. By Wednesday last week I had pink eye as well, then on Saturday the other eye got it. I managed to rally and went to my office holiday party on Saturday night. It was much more fun than I expected with a great band and lots of drinking and dancing.  Ammar and I both threw up when we got home, so you know we had a good time. I didn’t take any pictures unfortunately, but everybody looked great. Yesterday was spent recuperating and I’ll need a few more early to bed nights to kick this plague.

Finding my strengths


I just took the Strengths Finder asessment online that goes in hand with the book Now, Discover Your Strengths. The premise is that we spend entirely too much time working on our weaknesses when all we can really hope to accomplish is damage control in the areas that we aren’t naturals. It’s our natural talents that we can hone into strengths to be really exceptional. Seems to make sense.

My top five talents are:

Woo – Winning others over. People strong in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person.
Ideation – People strong in the ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.
Input – People strong in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.
Relator – People who are strong in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve goals.
Arranger – People strong in the Arranger theme can organize, but they also have the flexibility that complements this ability. They like to figure out how all of the pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity.

I liked one of the quotes they used in the book from Baruch Spinoza: “to be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.” So now the rest of the book will help me realize how I can use these talents to be more productive. Certainly, the ideation, input and arranger bits are solid talents that can be applied to planning. And I’ve always needed to relate to clients in order to care about the work that I’m doing. It’s enabled me to build trust and understand the real issues. But I’ve been criticized by one past boss for this as being an account thing, not a planner thing. And I’ve felt miss-cast on some accounts that have very little client interaction. So I’m pondering the ways that I can use my talents to be the best at what I’m doing. I have a catalytic coaching session with my boss this week, so it might make for interesting discussion.