Archive for January, 2011

by Paula Jayne White, Ph.D.

A few months ago, I received a video featuring a fictional conversation between Philadelphia Phillies greats Cliff Lee and Jayson Werth.  Unlike most joke emails, this one made me stop and watch, despite my normal instinct to skip or delete.  (Because of strong language, I don’t include the clip here, but interested adults can easily find it on YouTube.) 

I knew instantly that I was hooked.  The more videos like this that I found – with their lego-like characters and flat computer voices—the more I wanted to watch—no matter the content.  This one, for example, gives new meaning to the concept of the home makeover show:


Even insurance giant Geico uses them in their ads:


The text-to-video technology enabling these videos, created by xtranormal.com, is simple—“if you know how to type, you can make movies!”  Intriguing and fun, but not really a learning tool, right? 



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by Michael Crosson

 Inspired by the bestselling book “How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci” by Michael J. Gelb

In 1994, Tony Buzan and Raymond Keene put together an objective list to rank history’s greatest geniuses. They based their ratings on categories such as “Originality”, “Versatility”, “Vision”, “Strength”, “Energy” and “Dominance in their Field.”

The final list is, of course, an assortment of well-known minds: Einstein (#10), Thomas Jefferson (#7), Michelangelo (#5) and William Shakespeare (#2).

At the top of the list is a man who was simultaneously one of the greatest thinkers, scientists, artists and inventors that the world has ever known: Leonardo da Vinci.

Da Vinci lived his life as a gigantic quest. He never shied away from asking questions and embraced his natural inquisitiveness. He never accepted “conventional wisdom” as the only answer. Simply put, he always wanted to know more.

Author Michael J. Gelb has analyzed and dissected Leonardo’s thought process and methods. From his research, he has devised the “Seven Da Vincian Principles” – principles that guided Da Vinci’s life and can easily be applied to your own. The seven principles are: (more…)

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by Paula Jayne White, PhD

Mad MenI start with an admission: I am passionately, unapologetically in love with AMC’s workplace drama Mad Men. The period setting, the costumes, the gorgeous cast: I love it all.  And while much has been written about both the egregious antics of the Sterling Cooper crew and the dazzling ad campaigns, I also love how this show, week after week, incorporates timeless principles for effective selling—principles that demonstrate that you don’t need the good looks of Don Draper, or the charisma and power of Roger Sterling, to be a great seller.  Here are a few examples.


The principle: Clients buy from people they like.  Your pitch is secondary.  

The evidence: At a party, Don Draper escapes into the hotel bar, where he meets a gentleman who is similarly escaping a wedding.  The two have drinks and chat—but not about business.  The gentleman, whom we (and Don) later learn to be Conrad Hilton, tracks Don down and offers him the deal of a lifetime: an ad campaign with Hilton Hotels—no formal pitch, no long negotiation, no competitive bidding.  Hilton likes Don, and bases his decision solely on this fact.  This deal (like others) practically falls into Don’s lap—not because he is a brilliant pitchman but because people like him.  And it never hurts to have a multi-million deal fall into your lap.


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