Twelve Days of Christmas, Six Gifts at a Time

We will take a winter break, roughly parallel to the twelve days of Christmas. (Posting will be light.) Here are six gifts for colleagues and friends, none of which is a partridge:

1. Appreciation for that 80% of your personality that gets things done and is completely successful.

2. A gentle word or two for the 20% that is less effective and powerful.

3. Something luxurious, whether a massage or a box of Bellocq tea. (I’m eyeing the $25 sampler pack.)

4. The ability to laugh at yourself. Is your office a mess? Hang up a sign that melds together ‘chaos’ and ‘order’ in humorous typography.

5. A commitment to listen closely to someone you work with who is upset. The power of the listening ear cannot be overstated in business.

6. A good biography and time to read. (Try Tina Fey’s Bossypants if you haven’t read it already. I’m opting for Grace: A Memoir, about Grace Coddington of Vogue.)

Six more, coming soon.

Guilt and the Style Section

A colleague in public relations and I admitted to each other over coffee recently that we cannot live without the New York Times Style section. This gets read before the Boston Globe local and business news sections do, we noted. I would venture we each had a slightly sheepish expression on our face.

When the Butcher Hosts the Party

My husband and I visited a friend in Tuscany last spring and were entertained, along with a passel of college friends, by Dario Cecchini, butcher and regional phenomenon. Since our host didn’t tell us exactly where we were going, we were happily surprised when thrust into the neighborhood party that Cecchini hosts every night on the side street by his restaurant in Panzano, Chianti. Samples of meat, stories of famous chefs, and loud rock music got us into the Tuscan Saturday night spirit pretty quickly. Sometimes it’s better not to be the trip leader.

Local Luminaries Chat

Through SMPS Boston’s Outlook blog, we have started a series of interviews of people at the edges of the marketing community in the area. The first interview was with Renée Loth, editor of ArchitectureBoston. Today I interviewed the next lucky subject. This is an experiment. The interviews might actually be better as podcasts or radio shows.

True, Specific, and Positive

Like so many others would approach an elementary school for any reason this week, I walked into Boston’s Blackstone School yesterday with a heavy heart. After I finished a brief volunteer stint and prepared to exit the building, I saw a motivational sign, hung at eye level for a child: “Give Two Compliments a Day: True, Specific, and Positive.” My heart floated back up, filled with admiration for little children and those who guide them.

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