Friday, 25 September 2009

Newsletter Issue 172, September 2009

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 172, September 2009

Hi guys,

To find out what motivates others, the only way you can find out is to Ask & You Will Find Out below.

Read a preview about Nikon's Coolpix - a new camera with a built-in projector.

Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Ask & You Will Find Out

How many of us assume that we know what is in people's heads? We think we either know or can work out what motivates people just by looking at the outside of a person. We can be quite complacent about doing that to others, while, if we stopped to think about it, we would feel grossly insulted by someone doing that to us.

Yet in business we are in constantly danger of 'assuming' what motivates others, when the only way we can truly know is to have open and honest dialogue.

In his newsletter this week, Kenn Butler referred to an old blog page at from 11 May 2006. Written by Psychologist Carol Kinsey Goman, Carol has once again generously allowed me to share her wisdom with you all.

Bill Toppeta, president of MetLife International, told the Fordham Leadership Forum, “What you need to know as the leader is what motivates your people, not what motivates you.”

To bring this philosophy into reality, here is the simple, yet revealing exercise Toppeta uses: He hands out a questionnaire to managers and their direct reports. The manager ranks the items on the page in the order of what she believes most and least stirs her direct reports’ passions. At the same time, the direct report also ranks the items on the list. The lists are compared and then dialogue ensues.

Toppeta says that, for the most part, managers do horribly on this exercise. They think they know what their people are passionate about, but they don’t.

But, of course, that is the point. And as the ensuing dialogues take place, people get to know each other as people, not simply as functions that help the department make its numbers every quarter. And best of all, it is the very essence of employee engagement. Individuals in the workforce have a voice in where they can best make their personal contribution to the company.

And talk about a “win-win” situation. The outcome of marrying personal passions to organizational goals breeds deeper job satisfaction for employees and more profits for the company.

Oh - and when you ask, like Bill, you then have to listen... another key skill that we human beings aren't necessarily that good at!

Interestingly, Bill does listen. The results of questionnaire that Bill uses at MetLife, the annual Employee Benefits Trends Study, has been conducted in the US since 2001. You can read more about the results directly from MetLife at

Thanks Kenn for passing this story on :-)

Nikon's Coolpix

Nikon has just previewed a new tiny camera that has a built-in projector.

Called "Coolpix", the tiny 12.1-megapixel compact camera will project your images and video onto the nearest wall, courtesy of Nikon's latest (but pricey) technology.

Released this month and retailing for US$429, the Coolpix looks like a typical compact digicam. It comes complete with a 28mm wide-angle lens, flash, and a 6cm LCD on the reverse... and a tiny, built-in projector capable of throwing a 100cm image onto any nearby surface, good for showing off individual snapshots, slideshows, or even clips you've captured with on your recorder. It comes with a projector stand, a remote that controls the projector or acts as a shutter release, 5x optical/4x digital zoom, image stabilization, "face-priority" auto focus, and a "best shot selector" mode that takes a burst of shots and picks the one with the sharpest focus.

Nikon is also telling customers to expect VGA resolution from the projector, and an hour of battery life.

Using Colours for Outlook Emails

If you are expecting important mail, there is a handy little tool in Outlook 2007 that you can use to identify it as soon as it comes in, using colour.

How to:

  1. Select an existing message from the particular sender
  2. Select 'Organize' from the Tools menu
  3. In the 'Ways To Organize Inbox' pane, click 'Using Colors' on the left side
  4. Your selected sender’s name (highlighted in step 1) will appear in the "Color Messages 'from'" text field to the top & right of the pane
  5. Next to the "Color Messages 'from'" field, select the colour you want from drop-down list.
  6. Click the 'Apply Color' button and close the pane.

From now on, Outlook will display all messages from that sender, existing and new, in the colour you selected.

Thanks heaps to TechRepublic for this tip. View the original guide with screen dumps at

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) for you:

  • WIIFM, What's In It For Me. The benefits anyone gains above the costs of taking an action, which makes it worthwhile (or not).

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys

And now, we return to our series on all the things you can do with Alt, Shift, Ctrl in Windows Media Player. This is our fourth section in this series:

  • Windows Media Player "Play the previous item" Ctrl & B
  • Windows Media Player "Edit the current playlist on the File menu" Ctrl & D
  • Windows Media Player "Eject the CD or DVD on the Play menu" Ctrl & E
  • Windows Media Player "Play the next item" Ctrl & F
  • Windows Media Player "Shuffle the playlist on the Play menu or the Skin shortcut menu" Ctrl & H
  • Windows Media Player "Capture a still image from a DVD on the View menu" Ctrl & I
  • Windows Media Player "Show the menu bar in full mode" Ctrl & M
  • Windows Media Player "Create a playlist in the Media Library feature or on the File menu" Ctrl & N

Hot Linx

Bazaarvoice, a product reviewer, has a "ShoutIT" app that links reviews via Facebook, Digg or Delicious. Customers rate your product & share their honest feedback via social networking sites. Check out

Get a spine stiffener from CEO Online about how not to buy into the oh-woe-is-me-recession-syndrome and take a positive look at marketing at

Like Tripadvisor, Yollege is a US website set up for Uni students to be able to rate their institution of choice and then publishes a summary rating. While they don't have an international focus yet, this could easily go global. Check it out at

And yet another cool site that will hopefully be coming here soon;, where you can compare your shop across four supermarkets and get your shop done as cheaply as possible.

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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