Why joining Dale Carnegie is perfect for me

 

 

Dale Carnegie Training - offered by JR Rodgers & Associates

Dale Carnegie Training – offered by JR Rodgers & Associates

 

This year, I have the wonderful opportunity to hang up my shingle with Dale Carnegie Training.  It’s a thrill and an honor because the Dale Carnegie organization and its offerings have proven over time to be a significant contributor to many careers – even life changing for some (including for me).

The story started when I first moved to Pittsburgh as a rookie in a world of professionals.  I was one year out of grad school, and being moved by my company from corporate HQ to the field – where revenue attainment happens.  I was already surrounded by the best and brightest – from IBM, Xerox and other companies who forged the most successful people who were now training me on the job.  I needed a way to compete.

So my boss and I decided to enroll me in a Dale Carnegie program, where I thought I’d hone my sales skills.  While that did happen – making me an excellent sales person – it more importantly gave me skills to use through all my professional activities: communications, interpersonal, leadership, and motivational skills.  In short, it was a short course on how to succeed professionally.  With Dale Carnegie Training in my pocket, I subsequently broke records, found new ways to get things done better, and built a foundation for a career that I probably otherwise could not have imagined.

I then got involved in the local franchise (because Dale Carnegie is actually a franchise organization) – and helped others as an assistant in the courses.

When I rose to management in my company, I asked members of my team to take Dale Carnegie Training of various sorts.  And even the skeptics became converts.

I remember one of my remote sales people who had been working 12 hour days and still not selling at levels either of us wanted.  I asked him to take a 12 week Dale Carnegie Sales course, which in his city happened on Tuesday nights.  But I required more from him.  He was to stop his regular work at 5pm daily.  Instead, on Monday nights, he was to prep for his Tuesday night course.  On Wednesday nights, he was to review the lesson.  No additional evening or weekend work was to be done while he was in the course.  And he was to report to me each week about his lessons and use them throughout his work day.  The result: in addition to this shortening his weekly work hours, he became a salesperson who consistently – quarter after quarter – started making his numbers, a routine that lasted throughout his career too.  His wife was particularly appreciative.

When I recently started to review the Dale Carnegie offerings in my area I came to the conclusion that the training, coaching and mentoring offered is just as valuable today – in a world of fast change and social networks – as it was when I took my first course.  The product line has blossomed and it goes deeply into the professional development that is needed in virtually every organization.  Most importantly, participation in Dale Carnegie programs evolves personal skills for each individual as it increases the ability for each organizational team to reach its goals.  So everybody wins.

Of course before joining the Dale Carnegie organization full-time, I bounced my decision off people whom I trust, and they almost all told me it was perfect for me – most of them not skipping a beat before emphatically replying.

I was most concerned, though, with whether the concepts would still be fresh and translate well for the new generation of professionals; so I was pleased in my initial weeks of considering the move,  as I encountered millennials who knew about Dale Carnegie. They used phrases like “worth as much as four years of college” and even “life changing” – similar to the phrases I have used.   Thus, I knew that even today, new entrants into the work force would be just as compelled by the concepts Dale Carnegie first espoused 104 years ago.

Taken together, these factors made an air-tight case for why I should join the Dale Carnegie organization.  It doesn’t matter what you call my title; I’m a missionary – as I have been for years.  The only change is that I get to do it full time, and they pay me for it.  Who can ask for anything more?

 

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Microsofts Ups the Ante in Windows 10

Windows 10 - Here's the scoop

Windows 10 – Here’s the scoop

Microsoft is taking several pages out of Apple’s book of tricks for Windows 10 — and Windows users are likely to love them.

Security leaps forward

First, they’re leapfrogging Apple in security.  Not only does Windows 10 do fingerprint recognition to secure your devices; it also does facial recognition or retina scan.  That’s not retina display (high pixel counts on screen); that’s retina scan — looking at your eyeball to make sure that the person trying to access your device and files is actually you.  Bravo!  Insecure systems, files and accounts is one of the biggest weak points of our electronically connected society.  And these are great leaps forward.  Now we look to Microsoft, Apple, other hardware vendors and application developers to build on top of this to secure us from identity thieves, malicious hackers, and cyber-criminals of all sorts.  BTW, Microsoft calls this Windows Hello.

Biometric scanning.  With Windows Hello, it's not you unless your device recognizes your retina print.

Biometric scanning. With Windows Hello, it’s not you unless your device recognizes your retina print.

If you’re purchasing a new computer with Windows, and you want to best secure yourself using these techniques, make sure it has an Intel RealSense 3D camera.  Because that’s the piece of hardware that fully empowers Windows Hello.

Cortana Speaks

If you thought Siri was cool (and sometimes eerie), you’ll get a real kick out of Cortana.  Just like you find on Windows phones (and on iPhones), you can make requests from Cortana; and she will reply.  Only Cortana uses artificial intelligence to learn from you.  She gets smarter as time goes on.

OneDrive really means one drive

We’ve had cloud computing for years, including Box, DropBox, MS OneDrive, Apple iCloud, Verizon Cloud, and a myriad of other services.  So far, only Apple’s iCloud has had real integration with the operating system.  With Windows 10, Microsoft finally integrates OneDrive with its local storage.  Having used several of the cloud storage services for years, my favorite has been OneDrive; so this is a welcome integration.

Tweaks & jumps

Upgrading to Windows 10 gives you a number of other advantages as well — from big things, like a new browser (Microsoft Edge) to replace the gray-haired Internet Explorer; to the return of the Start Button.

I have documented how to get Windows 10 for free (legally too) in my TEQ Column.  It all starts from that Windows logo you see here:

Getting Windows 10 couldn't be easier

Getting Windows 10 couldn’t be easier

 

 

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Phone Accessories Make Selfies & Panorama Drop Dead Easy

toy-story-woody-selfie

Wouldn’t you love to take selfies as easily as Woody from Toy Story?

 

In my current TEQ column I talk about the Pocket Clickstick from thumbsUp, a British company that I found has a knack for developing and marketing useful smart phone accessories.

SelfieStick

One of them with a lot of potential is the Panoramic Pod, a small, telescoping tripod that holds your phone and spins it around so you can take panoramic shots.  For this to make any sense for you whatsoever, you obviously need a phone with a panoramic feature – the type that lets you pan across a scene and stich together the images into a seemless panoramic view.  The past few generations of iPhones and Galaxies as well as other phones have had this feature.

PanoramicPod_3

Squeeze the clip at the top of the Panoramic Pod so you can clip it onto the bottom edge of your smart phone, then twist the top part of the tripod that’s holding your phone – up to 240 degrees. Put your camera in panorama mode and touch the button on your camera to start recording.  Then let go of the phone & tripod.  It starts to spin by itself, taking your panorama for you.  When it stops, touch the button on your phone that stops the phone from recording the image.  You’re done – and you probably have a great panoramic scene to show your friends and family.

The drawback to the Panoramic Pod is that it’s not very durable.  You can easily bend the legs or otherwise break this $28 device (Amazon price).

ellen-selfie

Another thumbsUp accessory that has merit is the Dual SIM Card Case for iPhone 5.  This gadget allows you to use a single iPhone with both your work and personal cell numbers as long as you have a SIM or Nano SIM card for each number.  When you want to change the phone from one phone number to the other, simply flick the switch on the back of the case.

 

2SIMCase-cropped

There are other ways you can have multiple numbers on one phone, such as buying one of the newer expensive phones that allow two SIMS – or for free, use Google Voice or a similar service.  There are versions available for iPhone 4/4s and for iPhone 5/5s at $22 each.  (Disclosure:  I have not tested the Dual SIM Card Case.  This description is from the web.)

 

 

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Zoom Lens for your SmartPhone

Images with and with Carson HookUpz and Bushnell binoculars to zoom image

Photo on left taken with Carson HookUpz on iPhone 5S and binoculars for zoom. Photo on right at maximum zoom without HookUpz. Can actually read the text on the sign when zoomed with the HookUpz/binocular combination.  Can’t read it on the photo taken without it.

 

Don’t you hate not being able to zoom in with your smart phone camera.  It always gets to me when I’m at one of my kid’s concerts and too far from the stage.  I really want to capture smiling faces; but neither my iPhone, nor my wife’s Android phone can do the job by itself.

Carson Optical came up with a solution — the HookUpz Smartphone Optical Adapter.  It lets you attach your binoculars (or other device with a similar type of eyepiece) to you smart phone camera, so you can do those close-ups.  It’s not perfect; but works pretty well, as I have outlined in my review in TEQ Magazine.  But it works; and it should work with microscopes and telescopes as well – so you can awe your friends with your spectacular images of the sky or micro world beneath us.

Here’s a comparison of images taken with and without the HookUpz Adapter using an iPhone 5S from a distance of about 5 car lengths.  Notice how much crisper the one with the HookUpz is.  According to manufacturer, you can get rid of the circular shape using your camera zoom; but I wasn’t able to do that.

In general, I like what the Carson HookUpz does; and will probably use it for those special occasions when I want to get up close — but not every time I take a photo.

 

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Moto 360 Watch — It’s About Time

 

Moto 360 Smart Watch - pairs with Android; allows you to make your own custom fashion statement

Moto 360 Smart Watch – pairs with Android; allows you to make your own custom fashion statement

 

Motorola calls the Moto 360 a “watch for our times”.  It’s certainly the first of only a few wrist watches to herald in the smart watch as more than a plastic device that shout “geeky” about the geeks who wear them.   In fact, in many ways, it’s fashionable.

 

Fashion Statements Defined By the Beholder

My high-school aged daughter and I shared the luxury of wearing the Moto 360 for a few weeks to see how it might work in varied social environments.

When Veronica wore it to school, her friends noticed it without her having to point it out – the bulkiness being what brought it to their attention.  Her fashion-oriented friends were taken back – because they were afraid it would condemn her as being part of the geeky unfashionable crowd.  But she says they forgave her when they saw some of the neat ways it worked.  The nerds, on the other hand, thought she was cool.

In my office, most people didn’t say much about it; but the few who noticed wanted to get a closer look and even wear it.  Unfortunately for most of them, it doesn’t pair with their iPhones – so the Android users got a special treat.

Since we’re talking fashion, the Moto 360 can be purchased with various bands, some leather, some metal, so when teamed with the right electronic face, it could seem almost like a traditional watch.  The operative word is “almost”.  Its brush aluminum sides and round glass face might fool you at a glance, but the bulkiness and flat sides definitely give away that you didn’t buy it at Tiffany.

 

About Face

Motorola even did a great job with the watch face – or should I say faces – because you can choose the look of your watch, much the way you do when you choose between a Bulova, Rolex and Timex.  It may come with one watch face showing, you can easily program it with another, including a variety of digital or traditional analog faces as well as fancy & fun faces that are available for download.  I chose a discrete analog black face with second hand.  (I thought it was classy.)  She chose a face that changed from time to time.  Last time I saw it on her wrist, it looked like a kaleidoscope, with the glass shards changing as she moved the watch.  Hers were definitely more fun.

 

In some ways, the Moto 360 is a fashion statement

In some ways, the Moto 360 is a fashion statement

Countdown Coolness

By far, the coolest feature that we found was quite by accident, when my daughter tried using her camera on her Moto X Android phone (which was paired at the time with the Moto 360) and realized that when she opened the camera, it changed the face of the watch.  With a little experimenting, she realized that the watch could be used to control her camera like a remote shutter switch.  So she can set up her phone away from her, scoot into position away from the phone/camera and take a selfie by touching the watch.  This takes the concept of selfies – already tremendously popular – to a new level, because you can be part of a wider view, doing group pictures without having to hold your smart phone to take the pic.

 

Sleeping Soundly

At night, simply lay your phone on its side on its charger, and it automatically turns into an alarm clock.  By default, it has a soft glow that is easy at night on your night stand.  So it’s working for you even as it charges.  Nice touch, implemented to perfection.

The Moto 360 as a low light alarm clock.  Great for your night stand

The Moto 360 as a low light alarm clock. Great for your night stand

Healthy Addition

We can’t talk about wearable devices in 2015 without talking about health – and the Moto 360 is no exception.  I didn’t get a chance to put this through its paces, but noticed that it tracks my steps consistently.  Veronica complained that it tracked 50 steps while she was laying in bed.  It has counters for heart rate as well.

 

Communications Subtleties

40 years after Dick Tracy coined the term, wrist communicator, it’s about time that we finally have one we can use.  You feel a soft vibration on your wrist whenever you get an incoming text or voice call.  This is very helpful because it makes inbound messages less disruptive than when you rely on your phone alone.  After all, you can see who it is (and the text message) with a subtle, perhaps unnoticeable flick of the wrist instead of pulling your phone from your pocket.  But the implementation has the definite feel of a first generation technology

For one, you can’t answer the voice call on your watch.  If you want to take the call, you have to grab your phone – although you can touch the watch to pick it up.  So you can end up making your caller wait, thinking you picked up although you spend minutes searching for the phone that has actually picked up.

For another, with texting, you can’t respond to the incoming text.  You have to start a new text – not bad in itself, but different than what you’re used to.  And you can’t see 2 messages that come in simultaneously before pulling out your phone.

Sending a text is easy – a swipe on the face; then touching the face as if pushing a button will prompt you through the process– which has you dictating the recipient and the message into the watch.  But you have to put your eyes on the face occasionally; so don’t expect to use the Moto 360 to text while you drive.  It would still be quite dangerous.

 

The Usual Stats and Caveats

I was surprised when I opened the box and found no instructions – which means Motorola is confident that the Moto 360 is easy to use.  And it is for basic features – but I’m still not sure what advanced features are available.  For instance, Veronica happened upon the camera remote feature after a few weeks; and I wouldn’t have known about it if she didn’t find it.

After a few weeks of use, the battery time looks like it will generally last a whole day – as long as you’re not constantly doing google searches, keeping the face lit constantly or using advanced features.  With the charging-stand clock feature, it’s unlikely you’ll need much more – unless you do very long days and don’t have the charger available overnight.

The biggest concern I found was that over the course of 5 days, it needed to download software updates five times, each time making the Moto 360 worthless as a watch while it was updating.  There’s got to be a better way to do this.  (Keep in mind, we’ve been saying this about Windows Updates for years.)

You’ll notice also that this review doesn’t compare the Moto 360 to the Apple Watch.  That’s because each device works within their own technology sphere of influence.  If you use an iPhone, don’t even think about buying a Moto 360; and if your phone is Android-based, you won’t be able to use an Apple Watch.

The Moto 360 starts at $249 with a leather band; costs $299 with a dark finish stainless steel case and 23 mm metal band; and will run you $329 for the one that looks most like jewelry – the one with light finish and thin 18 mm slim metal band.

 

 

 

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