Leaders Can Save Lives

I believe that bad leadership can kill people.  Leaders can also save lives…when they want to.

Last month a Princess Cruises ship passed by a stranded fishing boat floating 130 miles off the Caribbean coast.  The boat had three dehydrated young men in it.

The next day two of them died.

 

Passengers alerted crew about the boat.  A crew member confirmed the sighting.  The bridge was called.  The leader could have saved lives.

Yet, the ship kept on going.

 

The captain claims he thought the men were waving to thank him for avoiding them.  I’m calling BS.

I’m also calling on everyone to never forget that our society depends on all of us valuing human life.

The passengers who reported the boat, the crew that called it in, and the Princess Cruises captain all slept while two young men died that night.

If you can lift someone up.  Lift them.

If you can save someone’s life.  Do it.

Let’s care for strangers tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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Don’t Just Prepare Yourself to Make Important Decisions in Life

Life is full of important decisions we need to make.

“Should I get married?”  “Should I start a business?”  “Should we have a baby?”

Just when you think you’re done with the tough decisions, they get tougher.

“Should I get divorced?”  “Should I close my business?”  “Should we pull the plug?”

Last month, a friend of mine had her pregnant sister (Emily) rushed to the hospital. Major problems.  Heart stopped.  Coma.

Now this:

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Dear friends,

This is Emily. I am overwhelmed looking at all the posts saying you are praying for me and my family. Thank you so much. I am very blessed! I have been at home for four weeks now with around-the-clock supervision–gaining strength, and able to see this screen! :)

It feels strange to share this on facebook, but I want to give you an update so you can pray specifically if you wish…:

Two weeks ago, I had a 20-week ultrasound. The doctor told Andy and me that our baby will not live. The doctor further said that continuing the pregnancy is a huge risk to my life, so she recommended terminating the pregnancy. Our baby’s heart is still beating.

Last Thursday, we had another ultrasound which showed more fluid in the head than the previous ultrasound – not a good sign. However, the doctor seemed less urgent about ending the pregnancy at that appointment. We had my family with us to hear the details themselves and to be with us in case we had to make a decision then.

We have been praying and thinking and talking with each other and with our pastors and family and friends. Our current plan is to watch my health closely and to again have another ultrasound this week and see if baby’s health continues to go down or not.

Prayers for wisdom, patience, and peace of mind would be very much appreciated.

Love,
Emily (and Andy)

P.S. We are open to your thoughts and advice too.

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Some life decisions are too difficult to make alone.

Everything we’ve learned up to this point in our lives will not be enough. When faced with the really difficult decisions in life, we can’t trust ourselves.

We are weak.  We are blinded.  We need more…

We need others.

 

If you have big plans for your life, be prepared.  However, you’ll need more than education, experience, guts, or money.

You’ll need your fellow warriors by your side.

Don’t prepare yourself to make the important decisions in life.  Prepare your network. They’re the ones you’ll need.

Begin the preparations tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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Why They Call Us Warriors

We’re in a war.

If you’ve ever tried to do something truly amazing, you know what I’m talking about.

Bad news. Sad news.

Back stabbing. Front stabbing.

Doubters. Pouters.

Liars.

Every time you try something truly special, you will find someone to doubt you.  Every time you make it to the top, someone’s ready to knock you down.

Your heart will get broken.  You will get tired.

It’s no wonder so many people choose to stick to their 9-5 job and forego the risk and pain of doing something special with their life.

But you are different.

You get up.   You want more.  You don’t settle.

You are a warrior.

Be proud of that tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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When “The Day” Finally Arrives

There’s a point in every warrior’s life when everything you’ve worked for finally comes to one big event, one big launch, one big step forward.

Along the way you will doubt yourself.
You will get tired.
You will be tempted to turn back.

The difference between winners and losers is their mindset.  Losers turn back.

Winners just need more time.

After decades of building her practice like a true 8pm Warrior, my friend Claudia Anderson just launched her new dental office today in Park Ridge, IL.  I couldn’t be more proud for her.

This is what 8pm Warriors live for, right?

Don’t turn back tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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Warning: Social Media is Killing Real Communication (and Relationships)

I remember the good old days when people called friends on their birthdays or hung out.

Now they post a message on their wall, shoot them an email, or leave a voicemail if they have time.  I’ve watched people text each other from across the room and once found out about my nephew’s baptism via Facebook pictures.  It was 20 minutes away. No society should have families randomly discovering important family events.

If this keeps up, our society is in real trouble.

Social media is cheap communication.


The problem with communicating primarily through social media channels is that it’s primarily deferred communication (more here).

No one actually knows if it’s being seen, and increasingly, it’s not. People are overwhelmed with the number of emails, updates, tweets, pins, messages, videos and other stuff flying their way.

Yet, so many times I hear from friends (especially the younger generations) asking me if I saw their latest update on Facebook.

Nope.  I didn’t.

Study after study I see shows that young people overwhelmingly prefer deferred communication to live conversation. It’s easier.

I believe there are three types of communication:

  1. Concurrent Communication  (Instant feedback)
  2. Deferred Communication (Focused, but delayed and distant)
  3. Broadcast Communication  (Maybe you’ll see or hear it)

How can you truly know someone or build a lasting bond without seeing their smile, hearing their tone changes, or getting instant feedback during your discussion?

The problem is that concurrent communication is so much harder than deferred or broadcast communication.  It requires scheduling. Social media channels make it easy to feel like your communicating with others.

We’re not.

We’re faking it and it’s tearing apart traditional relationships.  Especially among young people. As we get overwhelmed by deferred communication, stuff is missed.  Divisions are formed.

When “friends” aren’t seeing our updates, people feel lonely.  I’m seeing more suicides from very “social” people and the average number of close friends per person has fallen from four to two.

Something must change.

 

We need to develop real connections with our social media contacts.  We need to invest in human relationships.  It’s time we meet our fellow Warriors.

With that call to action in mind, I’m going to do something about my concerns.  I may disconnect from immediate family members on Facebook so we actually have to talk. Communication between families and friends should be deeper. The same goes for clients and partners.

Also, in the coming months I’m going to host several free live events so we can all meetup.

I just got back from the East Coast, but hopefully you can meet me at one of these remaining events.  It’s worth the investment of time.

For the good of our society and as an example to young people, let’s bring our online relationships offline and our family members and friends back where need to be:  in front of us, talking, laughing, crying, or smiling.

Social media is only a start.

Let’s find a way to build or rebuild personal relationships tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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3 Reasons the “ROI of Social Media” Debate Continues

After years of case studies showing social media’s power to connect people (customers, partners, and employees), you would think the debate would be settled.

It’s not.

In fact, it’s just beginning in some companies…now in a new way.

While nearly everyone is probably willing to admit there is some value to social media and that “it works”, a new question is arising.

Exactly how much is it worth?

This video parodies what’s going on in some companies as the new year begins.

How do situations like this happen?

Sometimes decision makers are not educated enough on what they were buying, had their expectations set too high, or don’t have patience to see it through.  It might even be a combination of all three.

Here are three big reasons why leaders are beginning a new round of debates about the value of social media in the marketing mix:

1) Poor Education


Leaders are not being educated on what they are buying, how long it will take, or what it actually does.

Sometimes, overzealous marketing leaders used the “Everyone’s Doing It” pitch and got approval without explaining that social media is a new kind of war, not a single battle.

2) Wrong Expectations

Have you heard or said things like:

  • “Social media is free advertising!”
  • “Social media will make sales explode!”
  • “Let’s make it go viral!”
  • “We won’t have to spend money on other expensive marketing routes.”

In reality, using social media is only one part of building a modern business.  Setting expectations too high, too fast, or too easy makes for trouble.

3) Lack of Patience

Some leaders have been properly educated with correct expectations, but just don’t have the patience.  Their ADHD leadership tendencies make them lose focus or patience and they withdraw support so they can focus on their next great strategy.

 

Social media is not a strategy.  It is a method of communicating.

Communication can be good.  Communication can be bad.  However, for most industries there is no way to calculate return on investment of communication.

It is everything.

If you choose to do social media poorly, you are choosing to do business poorly.

Don’t stop something you’ve started because you’re impatient or afraid.  This social media stuff isn’t going away and your competitors are only spending more time and money each quarter on finding ways to connect with your clients.  Ignore it for too long, and your clients may begin to ignore you too.

Finish the debate tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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When You Have Someone’s Attention: Don’t Waste It!

A couple quick thoughts at the end of the week.

Humans are no longer limited by a lack of information.  We’ve never had more Wikipedia articles, Google search results, emails, updates, and every other way we get information when we need it.

We even have Siri or other artificial intelligence like Big Blue to do the work for us.

Information is not the problem.

 

We are now limited by the amount of attention we have available.

When you earn someone’s attention, you shouldn’t waste it.  It’s precious!

 

Does your page respect people’s time?

  • Do you dominate Facebook with a ton of trivial posts?  We only have so much time and you’re wasting it.  We will unfollow or hide you.
  • Why are our comments awaiting moderation on your blog? You have a spam filter.
  • Are you deleting Facebook comments that are unfavorable to your brand?  You are asking for trouble.  Comments will go somewhere.
  • We won’t do business with you if you ignore questions or comments on your page.

 

Why are your customers waiting?

  • I spent 3 hours on the phone with AT&T yesterday.  Now I’m switching to Verizon.
  • My favorite grocery store has no parking.  I now have a new favorite.
  • Sam’s Club always has 10 people in every line.  I’m not renewing my membership.

 

How are you one on one?

  • Are you constantly checking your phone?
  • Are you dragging the conversation down by spend too much time on meaningless stuff?
  • Are you actually listening?
  • Do you spam your contacts with unnecessary emails or other deferred communication?
  • Do you say stuff just for the sake of saying it?

 

For the sake of humanity, we must stop.

 

The developed world is out of time.  Relationships are suffering.  People are overwhelmed.

If you want to keep people’s attention in the Attention Era, you must respect it.

It starts by not wasting it.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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3 Types of Human Communication

Are we truly communicating? Are you engaging people?

Humans are not at their best when sending and receiving messages that are either delayed or blindly broadcast into “the stream”, desperately hoping someone will see it.

It is inefficient, impersonal, and too easy to lose, ignore, or forget in an Attention Era where each day means more new signals.

It will kill our society.

How are you doing business?  How are you leading people?

Here are three ways we can choose to communicate.  As the list progresses, communication degrades and becomes less effective.

 

Concurrent Communication

  • Personal Meeting
  • Skype / FaceTime / Google Hangout
  • Phone
  • Instant Message Conversation

 

Deferred Communication

  • Personal YouTube message
  • Voicemail
  • Text Message
  • Email
  • Facebook Message
  • Social Mentions (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.)
  • Comment
  • Twitter DM
  • Mail
  • Telegraph

 

Broadcast Communication

  • Bullhorn yelling on corner
  • Sandwich boards
  • TV Commercial / Online Video Ad
  • YouTube Video
  • Radio
  • Pins on Pinterest
  • Billboards
  • Twitter Update
  • Facebook Update
  • Social Check-ins
  • Smoke Signals

 

If people are really your people, you need to talk.  Real friends don’t spend years trading delayed snippets of communication with each other.

Communication is more than words. True engagement is harder than you think.

Engage in real communication tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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