Who is Your Business Hero?

October 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

One of my business heroes is Steve Jobs. I wish I could have thanked him in person. I love to use Apple products. I love the fact that an instruction manual is not needed. I love the genius in the retail store business model.

Having recently read Jeffery Gitomer’s article, “An Apple A Day Has Passed Away. But He Left A Basket Full of Legacy”, I’d like to share some of Gitomer’s thoughts on Steve Jobs:

Steve Jobs did not just leave a legacy, he also left a lesson. Do what you love and believe it will make a difference. And do it full force, in the face of naysayers and obstacles.

What are you thinking about?
What is your vision?
What are you working on?
How are you turning your hard work into your reality?
And when you’re done, who will it impact for a lifetime?

Steve Jobs blazed a trail of amazing accomplishment. His legacy of innovation and achievement is more than one person could imagine. He parallels Edison as a pioneer. One or more of his marks are most likely in your home.

I humbly thank him, wish him a peaceful journey, and hope his family will revel in the memory of a great thinker, a great leader, a great marketer, a great family man, and a great person.

To read Gitomer’s complete article go to:


Cindy Hodo, Partner


Color Inspiration: Orange!

October 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

“Orange is the happiest color.”
– Frank Sinatra

Whether you call it pumpkin, bittersweet, or terra cotta, the color orange sparks more controversy than any other hue. There is usually strong positive or negative association to orange and true orange generally elicits a stronger “love it” or “hate it” response than other colors. Fun and flamboyant orange radiates warmth and energy. Physically, this color stimulates activity and appetite and also encourages socialization.

Did you know?

– American Indians associate the color orange with kinship.

– In China and Japan, orange is used to symbolize happiness and love.

– Orange is representative of “gluttony” in Christianity.

– Orange is the national color of the Netherlands because its royal family owns the principality of Orange.

– Orange is the color that means “high” in the color-coded threat system established by presidential order in March 2002.  This system quickly informs law enforcement agencies when intelligence indicates a change in terrorist threat facing the United States.

– Safety orange is a color used to set things apart from their surroundings.  Safety orange is the color usually used in the United States for traffic cones, stanchions, barrels, and other construction zone marking devices.  The Occupational Safety and Health Adminstration (OSHA) requires certain construction equipment must be painted safety orange.

– “Orange” was the original scent of the orange colored Magic Scents Crayons from Binney & Smith Inc., introduced in 1994 with mostly food scents. However, there were numerous reports that children were eating the food-scented crayons, so the food scents were retired and replaced with non-food scents. The scent for the color orange after that time was “tulip.”

– The color orange was named after the fruit, not the other way around.   Before then, the English speaking world referred to the orange color as geoluhread, which literally translates to “yellow-red”.

Communicate Positively in Cyber World

October 7, 2011 § 1 Comment

After having received several confusing emails recently, I thought it would be worth opening a discussion on how best to communicate in today’s instant communication environment. As you have no doubt experienced, it is sometimes difficult to read people’s intent or tone with no voice inflection for guidance. So, here are several approaches I’ve found helpful.

• Begin with a salutation. “Hi” and the person’s name usually works if you are not trying to be too formal. Everyone prefers to be greeted before being told what is needed.

• In the first sentence, I’ve found a casual inquiry or statement that is non-business related sets the tone that you are interested in the individual, not just in what he can do for you. (How are you?, Happy Friday, etc.) I had a client call one day to ask if I was having a bad day because I had not included my customary inquiry. He was right…I was.

• Because tone cannot be easily understood, the use of good descriptive adjectives and adverbs is important. (I am extremely concerned vs. I am somewhat concerned.)

• The use of exclamation points, onomatopoeia (“sound” words like “ugh”) and emoticons has become widespread in this effort to express voice inflection. I recently engaged in a text conversation where I was asking someone for a favor. While the answer was basically “forget it,” it was accompanied by a smiley face, so I would not get aggravated. Didn’t work, but I appreciated the effort.

• Pay attention to how you write something. All caps means you’re YELLING. Misspellings mean you can’t spell or you don’t consider whomever you’re writing important enough to run spell check.

• If you receive an e-mail that requires more time to respond than one day, let the sender know when she can expect an answer from you.

• Don’t get caught up in the false sense of urgency that instant communication creates, especially if you receive something that makes you mad. There is no reason not to cool off for a couple of hours (or days) before responding.

• I have a client who has a Rule of 3: If your correspondence exceeds 3 texts or e-mails, pick up the phone and have a conversation. I heartily concur :).

Who has other ideas or pet peeves? We’d like to hear from you!

Kathy Kenne
Partner, Quest Group

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