Tag Archives: Arts

The Fierce Urgency of Now


I wish I could go to this event this. It’s Conscious Capitalism – The Fierce Urgency of Now: Building Fully  Human Organizations.  I don’t think I can make it happen in 2014.  Looks like some very cool stuff, including:

Accelerating Business Growth through Conscious Leadership

The Art & Science of Sustainable High Performance Fueling Human Capacity in a World of Infinite Demand

Elevating Your Business through Employee Engagement

From Insight to Action

Industry leadership, Strategic Storytelling and the Humanity of your Brand

It will definitely be on my agenda for 2015. Maybe they need a blogger because NOW I really want to attend!

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Pick your business super power: Flight or Invisibility

Take flight or remain out of sight


English: Logo from the radio program This Amer...
English: Logo from the radio program This American Life (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I heard an interesting discussion on National Public Radio yesterday afternoon.  Essentially it was a discussion around the following question:


“Which superpower would you rather have, Flight or Invisibility?”


While the conversation on the NPR show (“This American Life“} wandered far afield as they asked this question of different people, and here is the gist of what they found in during the interview:


John Hodgman conducts an informal survey in which he asks the age-old question: Which is better: The power of flight or the power of invisibility? He finds that how you answer tells a lot about what kind of person you are. And also, no matter which power people choose, they never use it to fight crime


Turns out that most people will choose the power of flight if they are answering the question in public or in a group.  It seems that flight is the more noble answer, conveying the image that as a person we want to soar or rise up.  Makes sense, right?


When asked the same question and answering privately, most people choose invisibility, indicating that they would use their ability to do sneaky underhanded things that they fantasize about, but wouldn’t want to be seen doing (or risk the embarrassment of being caught.)  Things like shoplifting, or being able to sneak in unobserved and watch a celebrity having sex.

Sounds about right to me. Human nature, it’s a beautiful and sneaky thing.

I believe most of us work hard at being better people.  Of course, we all have things large or small we do that we know we shouldn’t be doing, or wouldn’t want someone else to know about.   Public scrutiny and the desire to be better both help to keep us in line.

There are other reasons for choosing one power over the other.  I posted this on Facebook and has some interesting choices shared by some HR peeps we all know and love.

One of the comments was charming and sweet.

 “Until I met John, it would have been invisibility. Now, it’s definitely flight!  “I just wanted to be invisible so nobody would see me and I could have peace and quiet. I never really thought about being invisible so I wouldn’t get caught.”

and then there was this pearl of wisdom from Matthew Stollak

 “The problem with flight is breathing, particularly as one goes fast, plus all the world’s detritus and insects flying in your face.”

Personally, I’d choose flight so that I could head for home as soon as my business trip was over, and so that I wouldn’t have to undress for the TSA guys in Atlanta 5-6 times a  month.  Which power would you choose, and why?  Hit me up in the comments.

And as they mentioned on This American Life, while you thinking over which power you want, consider this:

Who do you want to be – The person you hope to be or the person you fear you really are?

Also, go check out my friend Karla Porter’s blog and what she wrote on the same topic.


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Looking for stories from “off the beaten path” workers, business people and non-traditional expats for an article

How to make a living in a foreign country

united states currency eye- IMG_7364_web
(Photo credit: kevindean)

I’m interested in collecting some information on “off the beaten path” careers and being a non-traditional expat working outside the United States.

I frequently see stories and emails suggesting that you can make a living in non-US based countries by teaching English to non- English speakers as a private tutor.  It sort of sounds like a dream come true.

Has anyone ever done this?  Are you willing to be interviewed or write a blog about it?  If so, hit me up in the comments or email me at michael.vandervort (@) gmail.com.   I’d love to hear from you.

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What’s for breakfast this morning?

The Question Is What Is the Question?
Image via Wikipedia

A bowl full of questions

I don’t really have a post today.   I haven’t been writing much in April.  I have some other stuff on my mind – developing an important presentation for my boss,  developing some material for a new secret project I am working on with Jay Kuhns, and a few other things.

What I really have today is a question.   It isn’t an overly complex question.

What would you do if you were suddenly faced with the opportunity to step away from the daily work of HR?

Would you?   Could you?  Should you?

I had an interesting discussion about this with someone the other day.  I am not sure what my own answer would be.

Care to share yours?

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Sunday screamout: FCKH8.com Straight Talk on Gay Marriage (NSFW x 1000!)

A third proposed version of the map showing th...
Image via Wikipedia

Gay Marriage video gone wild!

This is a touchy topic for many.  I think anyone should be able to anyone they love.   Not everyone will agree with me, and that is okay.

This is a new kind of viral video using the hashtag #FCKH8 to spread the message that supporting a gay marriage ban is wrong.  The first video posted is a broadcast media safe version that bleeps all the F bombs.   The more effective, yet NSFW (x 1000, per a  friend) can be viewed in the second video screen.

#FCKH8 (the bleeped version)

#FCKH8 (the un-bleeped version)

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Sunday Shout to Summer Anthems: The one song you need to listen to this year (NSFW)

Cover of "Crazy"
Cover of Crazy

Songs of Summer

Every year seems to have one song that becomes the anthem for that summer, a reflection of life as we know it in that moment.   This song resonates with me as the anthem song for Summer 2010.  Hell, maybe for all of 2010, and maybe even all of 2009!   when you hear the lyrics, you will immediately be drawn to all those things that made Summer 2010 so special.  You know, things like:

  • Steven Slater
  • the fake White Board girl
  • all the political ads for the 2010 election cycle

I am pretty sure I know some HR people who can relate.  Listen, and tell me what you think in the comments!

From  Dan Frommer over at Business Insider:  (h/t to @Hardaway)

If you haven’t heard this song yet, might as well get it over with now — you’ll be hearing it every hour for the rest of the summer, year, or maybe forever.

It’s called “F**K YOU” or “FU” and it’s by CeeLo Green, one of the guys behind Gnarls Barkley of “Crazy” fame. And it’s insanely catchy. (And might not be safe for work.)

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Why I need a To Do list

Getting Things Done
Image by drewdomkus via Flickr

I don’t use this simple technique often enough

I just spent a bit of time this morning organizing myself and writing a To Do list for today.    On any given  day, I tend to have a lot of stuff going on.

There is a typo on my To Do list.   What do you call a handwritten writing mistake – a writeo?  Seems like an oxymoron.

From Drop Box

Anyway – why am I writing about To Do lists, and stuff?

Our friends at Rypple are helping promote a book about Getting Things Done, by David Allen.   According to the blurb:

For nearly a decade, the Getting Things Done book has been a bestseller around the world and is the foundation for a wide-range of offerings from the David Allen Company. This groundbreaking work-life management system transforms personal overwhelm and overload into an integrated system of stress-free productivity. GTD will teach you the tips and tricks of how to get — and stay — on top of it all.

Part of the promotion is a GTD quiz.  I am a sucker for these things.  Here is what I learned about myself.

I’m a GTD Visionary/Crazy-Maker

On the positive side, you’re a Visionary. You have no shortage of ideas and inspiration. You’re probably pretty good at setting goals, being creative, and staying focused on “the most important thing.”

On the developmental side, you’re a Crazy Maker. Your ideas, projects, and commitments may be outstripping your ability to keep up with them. Things fall through the cracks, details get missed, and you end up with a general sense of being overwhelmed. You might not adequately consider constraints or limitations when making commitments, which can overload those around you.

Sounds like I have some issues.   Ok – how to deal with it.  I made a To do list.  I am going to go buy this book, and I am also going to buy Rework.

That’s all for today.  I’ve got to go and get some shit done now!

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Hoe gaat het? #TRUAmsterdam

The Singel in Amsterdam, the Netherlands viewe...
Image via Wikipedia

When you can’t get to Amsterdam, send ’em a video, yo!

I had a paying project come up for this week that prevented me from attending the first #TRUAmsterdam event.  Having to say that hurts, dudes.  Amsterdam is my favorite city in the whole world, and it is difficult to miss an event like #TRU when it is held in a such a great spot.

But I couldn’t make, so here is my next best thing:  A video greeting, and an invitation to attendees at #TRU that blog to be a featured guest on HRH.

Bill Boorman is my Euro-based agent for  this feature, so contact him in Amsterdam, or when he is back home in London, or contact me directly if you want to know more!

Have fun!

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