Category Archives: Service

I would rather …

I would rather die of passion than of boredom — Vincent van Gogh

March 30, 2014 marks Vincent van Gogh’s 161 birthday. March 29 marks my considerable lower number birthday. I

Vincent van Gogh, Self Portrait, 1889, Oil on canvas

Vincent van Gogh, Self Portrait, 1889, Oil on canvas

didn’t know that van Gogh was also a “March Baby” until I was doing a bit of research about him after being taken with the quote which prompted me to write this post. But the timing, coupled with the inspiration, seemed an appropriate opportunity to write.

Dear readers, if you’re still there for me, know that in my absence I have been working hard to come up to speed in my newest endeavor. For those of you who may not know, I’m honored to be working with the Salesforce Foundation supporting the world’s best nonprofits and higher educators with their digital and social media programs. My only purpose at the Foundation is to help organizations – amazing, inspiring, and excellent organizations – be even more amazing, inspiring, and excellent.

I’ve had many “I can’t believe this is my life” moments in the short time I’ve been working with the Foundation, and the promise of many more to come. But here’s the thing, I am also getting to feed my customers’ thoughts, challenges, and feedback to the incredible product team who is equally up for the challenge of building the future. It’s a thrill ride. It is the junction of my passion and my skills.

It is – simply – a #DREAMjob.

My involvement with my customers has already profoundly changed the way I view time. I’ve never had more to do – never – and yet I feel more invigorated than ever. Somehow, I’m also finding the time to give back to my community more than ever, taking up hobbies, learning a language, and enjoying my family deeply. Time has expanded in this even more deeply passion-driven version of my life.

In previous (and also awesome) roles, I was always busy. Hell, anyone who knows me knows I prefer to be at least a bit over-committed in my professional life. But this is a different level of busy, this is the kind of busy that is impossible, but worth trying. Worth really, really going for it. Why? Because I get to work with the people who are literally building the future.

I am honored. I am challenged. I am up for it.

Happy Birthday, Mr. van Gogh. And to you, whoever you are, may your day shine brightly and your talents expand to reach the challenges in front of you.

Learn more about the Salesforce Foundation, their 1/1/1 philanthropic model, and how their customers rock it out. And then spread the word. 

Have a thought, feedback, inspiration, or comment? Do tell!

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March 26, 2014 · 7:13 am

Today’s Goal: High Fives All Around!

Today, I’ve got some really juicy puzzles in front of me. And a big block of uninterrupted time to focus on how to re-engineer wonkiness into efficiency. Will I rock it? That’s the plan. And since today is National High Five Day, I hope you’ll all be available for a #VHF (virtual high five) when my work day is done to celebrate a day of puzzles solved, improved margins, and happier customers.

While you’re feeling the camaraderie, might I suggest that you consider supporting the American Red Cross today? Giving to those in need is the sweetest type of #VHF!

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Yeah, I Love This.

This weekend we held our third Annual Florida Salesforce.com User Group Event, “Dreamforce to YOU – Florida“. It was our most ambitious effort to date, with 12 sessions spanning from Project methodologies to a highly attended Developer Deep Dive session. We had two guest speakers this year, and with them onsite, it brought our Salesforce.com MVP count up to 4 – I speculated that meant we were likely the highest MVP count per capita on Saturday ( I could be wrong, but it was fun to think so!).

But the BEST thing – the most exciting moment – for me was when attendees stopped me in the hall and said things like, I can’t WAIT to try the new formula I just learned! or I think I may have just found a job!. That’s what this whole Community thing is about, really.

How did this happen?

I started attending the Salesforce.com Orlando User Group over 4 years ago out of desperation – I needed to find employees who were creative, passionate, and really really into Cloud Computing. I was having NO luck through traditional methods. Cloud computing was then (as it is now) a hot profession, and talented folks weren’t just sitting about hoping someone would call. So after trying to get my HR department fired up to help me (no luck at the time) and then outsourcing through local headhunters, I faced the hard reality that it. Just. Wasn’t. Happening.

My last ditch effort IMMEDIATELY paid off. I met my first hire at that first meeting. He was a super star (still is!) looking for his next new challenge. He was just the guy I was looking for: smart as a whip, creative as hell, and looking for a tough puzzle to solve. I had a really tough puzzle and we made it official as fast as I could get the paperwork pushed through. That was the beginning of a great era: the era of getting things done.

I credit the Salesforce.com User Groups for making that year ‘happen’. I know I’d never have been able to push the ball as far down-field without the Community.

From there, the User Group and the extended Community has personally brought me friends, new skills, creative ways to attack my org’s issues, camaraderie, and the constant drive to do better. I’ve connected to some of the smartest people I’ve ever met (and that, my friends, is saying something!) through this Community. I was happy to become a co-leader of the Orlando User Group when there was a need shortly after I joined the User Group. Since then, we’ve had three Dreamforce to YOU events, many local User Group meetings, socials, and impromptu meetups. It’s been a fabulous ride!

Why is Community #AWESOME?

The idea for Dreamforce to YOU was simply to bring a day of content and collaboration to our Orlando User Group members. Co-leader Joshua Hoskins and I had just returned from Dreamforce 2009 and were totally

out of our minds with enthusiasm. What struck us then (and still gets me now) was how quickly things were accelerating in this space. We thought our members would probably take a Saturday to get together to talk about it. We were right! The first Dreamforce to YOU has very little resemblance to the event we put on this year – but the bottom line is the same.

It’s GREAT to have the camaraderie, connections, creativity, and collaboration an active Community brings. If you have a passion, and want to surround yourself with the people who can help you become the best version of yourself in that space, search for an organized community. There are Communities for just about everything now … and thanks to the little ol’ interwebs, a quick search gets you all details you need to jump in.

Find YOUR Community. Then Jump In. If you do it with a vengeance, it’ll pay off in spades (for you and for the group). I promise.

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Filed under CRM Evangelization, Service, Social, User Group

I’ll be reblogging all #DF2UFL posts to my site & hope to see you there (http://df2ufl.eventbrite.com/) on Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dreamforce to You - Florida!

We love our Sponsors!

It’s true. We just simply couldn’t do this without them. We’re bringing Salesforce.com users together for an entire day of content, best practice, learning what’s new and how to use it in your company. We’re custom building the agenda based on the attendee preferences, AND we’re not charging people to attend. So, without the funding the Sponsors provide, we literally wouldn’t be able to make this event happen. Most of these Sponsors are active with our User Groups already, and all of these Sponsors are dedicated to helping to promote the event so we can meet our Event Team goal of building up the core User Group community which benefits us all.

Thank you from the Dreamforce to YOU – Florida Event Team to our 2012 Sponsors for supporting the Florida Salesforce.com Community!

Take a minute to get to know our dedicated 2012 Sponsors

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Occupy Wall Street = Corporate Spring?

WelcomeToTheSocialEnterprise (Dreamforce 2011)

No matter which side of the issue you’re on, Occupy Wall Street is empowered by the same technology that sparked the Arab Spring. It was just August when Marc Benioff stood on the keynote stage at Dreamforce 11 and said onstage: “The technology is creating the change and the transformation…It’s not so long from now that we’ll start to hear about a Corporate Spring…an Enterprise Spring…When will the first CEO fall for the same reason?… I think about that myself every day… It is more important to listen than ever before…That’s the Social Revolution.”

Yesterday we lost a legend in our time, one of the visionaries truly responsible for pushing the development of the technology that facilitates these movements. While watching the inimitable Steve Jobs’ commencement address of the 2005 Stanford University graduating class last night, it hit me: Occupy Wall Street has the potential to make change happen and its spine is Social.

Source: Occupy Wall Street… is [a] leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants.

Strangely, a fair bit of the social sentiment last night regarding Occupy Wall Street (#OccupyWallStreet) focused on losing a “member of the 1%” as a scene-stealer to the press coverage of the movement. Indeed, to say Steve Jobs was remarkably successful is a huge understatement. As a result (and rightly so), his passing garnered tremendous press. But the Occupy Wall Street movement is fueled by technology sprung from Steve Jobs’  imagination and the imagination of the people inspired by the possibility of “what’s next”.

As my today begins, I redouble my dedication to being a virtuoso implementor of Social technology for business and non-profits, because people deserve the transparency. That’s all people. The 99% and the 1%. Let’s face it, for the 1% dead set on believing that Social is about “kids on Facebook”, the Corporate Spring may just be devastating.

Source: OccupyWallStreet.org

Every organization should be absolutely clamoring to understand what their advocates love about them and what their detractors don’t. And the impact of both to the health of the organization. Every organization should tap into their most valuable resource (the 99% of the workplace) if they expect to get the real skinny on what’s working and what isn’t. Social insights and collaboration tools not only give you the arena to have that conversation, but the dedication to building that arena tells employees: Your voice is important. Listening and acting on what you think, say, and feel about us helps us become better. That dedication, if backed by honesty, will help to retain your top talent. Even when the unemployment rates begin to fall. In the interim, there is something wonderful about rewarding good people for innovative ideas that drive success. It’s not about sides or percentages. It is about communicating and respect.

Talent is rare, and expensive to acquire (nice, plain-english blog entry here from Jeff Kortes). Not listening to your talented team drives attrition rates up. Quite possibly, your  Customer Service, Sales Efficiency, and product quality rates decline in parallel. Engaged employees, like engaged customers, like an engaged constituency are highly effective marketers of your brand / message.

What does this have to do with Occupy Wall Street? Maybe Everything.

That’s Social. And I like it.

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Filed under Corporate Culturati, CRM Evangelization, LinkedIN, Service, Social

I remember.

Ten years ago on this date, Americans were attacked in an extraordinarily brazen, disgusting, and shocking way. It was, to Americans as well as to our allies, a seemingly debilitating blow that  in its nature changed the American mindset immediately. We were vulnerable. We were fragile. We were wounded. We lost our innocence in the moment we lost our beloved friends, family members and our paragons of prosperity and strength.

I rememberI thank first responders all over the world for choosing their role. I thank the families of these brave men and women for offering up their support and for their bravery which is of a tensile strength unimaginable. Ten years on, my heart breaks for each firefighter, police, and citizen who were directly and indirectly impacted by 9/11.

I’d never before and never since been so completely apart by mankind’s overwhelming abomination against himself. In the same emotional space, I was and still am inspired by the indomitable resilience and love mankind offers toward mankind. As staggering the loss, the sheer bravery and tenacity of the United States in our recovery was equally astonishing.

Today, I offer you this short (and by no means comprehensive) list of 9/11 resources and the challenge to use your skills and love to honor the 9/11 victims, survivors and those brave souls who act in service each and every day. I also challenge myself and you to engage your representatives in Congress to act on the recommendations delivered in the 9/11 Commission Report.

http://www.911day.org/

http://9-11stairclimb.com/

http://www.911memorial.org/

http://makehistory.national911memorial.org/

http://www.youtube.com/september11

http://storycorps.org/

http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/index.htm

http://911memorialapp.com/

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Filed under Honor, life-work balance, Service