Big Bird: The Big Brand

Big Bird has been in the news frequently, thanks to mentions in the Presidential debates. The outpouring of support for the yellow puppet showed just how relevant Sesame Street has been across decades and, it turns out, across cultures. Sesame Street is currently running in 146 countries.

HBR’s recent article identified some of the reasons that Sesame Street is such a universal brand:

  1. Identifying the country-specific critical needs first.
  2. Willingness to try new operating models in new countries.
  3. Embracing new and multiple means of distribution.
  4. Propagating lessons learned throughout the organization.
  5. Taking the long view.

Sesame Street pursued a global strategy long before globalization became a common business goal. “It has done so by being clear and steadfast about its essential brand values while also seeking to understand deeply and flexibly adapt to local conditions and norms.”

Do you agree that these values help make brands universal? What would you add?

Ritu Walia is an FG Analyst.

The Greenlight Highlight: How a Corporate Productivity Professional Builds Authentic Relationships for Business Success

Charlene DeCesare
Salem, New Hampshire
Greenlight Member Since: August 2010
Nominated by Greenlight member (George Newman)

Elevator Pitch: I am responsible for building membership for the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp). Our focus is on the unique people practices of high performance organizations. I have a passion for helping people and companies achieve their highest potential and feel intensely grateful to be doing what I love.

What experience in your past was the moment you recognized how important relationships are to your success?

When I was at Gartner, I had a strong sense that there was untapped potential with myself and my colleagues all calling into the same clients, selling slightly different events and services. So, I created a strategic partner model that focused on assigned accounts, building relationships, and horizontal selling through referral. People bought more from me because I took the time to truly understand their business and map solutions at a much higher level. Ultimately they took my recommendations and spent more money because they liked and trusted me personally. I grew a small set of accounts by 46% in the first year and eventually helped manage a global team. Within just a few years, we grew $2M to $38M across a very small set of accounts and I know that exponential growth continued after I left. The (not so) secret sauce is in building relationships and becoming a trusted advisor. Continue reading

The Greenlight Highlight: How A Pastor and Consultant Extends Generosity to Build Sustainable Relationships

George Newman
Chicago, Illinois
Greenlight Member Since: August 2010
Nominated by Greenlight member Kibibi Springs

Elevator Pitch: I am a consultant to churches and the nonprofit industry, helping with organizational change related to servicing members. As a pastor it is my passion and goal to help others achieve what they need and desire.

What experience in your past was the moment you recognized how important relationships are to your success?

As a pastor and a minister I needed to improve the relationships with the young people in my church in order to help guide them in their spiritual life. I also realized having people in my life who would hold me accountable and provide structure, are important to my success. Learning from others’ mistakes and allowing people to steer me around the obstacles has been instrumental to my progress.

What are the coolest things you’re working on at home or at work right now?

In my current consulting role, I am helping a pastor develop ministries to reach more people and get them involved and engaged in the organization. It’s exciting to know that my work will leave this organization in a better position, which is in alignment with my purpose. I’m helping others help others. The affirmation I receive in the form of feedback from my clients lets me know that I’m contributing in an important way and that is very rewarding. Continue reading

The Greenlight Highlight: How A Young Professional Practices Relationship Mastery To Serve and Succeed

Maxwell Lyons
Sydney, Australia (as of three weeks ago)
Greenlight Member Since: July 2010

Elevator Pitch: “I love being stretched and attempting to play above my current capacity. Born and raised in a small town in Idaho, I owe so much of the success I’ve had in life to the relationships I’ve developed.”

What experience in your past was the moment you recognized how important relationships are to your success? 

I grew up valuing friendships, but hated “networking”. I viewed it as pretending to be something and someone you are not, and that never sat well with me. After I read Never Eat Alone, it flipped what I thought about networking on its head and showed me that my friends and my business contacts could be one in the same. That’s the moment it clicked for me that relationships can be powerful, as well as fun, in the professional world.

What’s the coolest things you’re working on at home or at work right now? Continue reading

The Greenlight Highlight: How a Seasoned Project Manager Uses Relationship Mastery to Foster Teamwork

Joseph Katucki
Wallingford, CT
Greenlight Member Since: June 2010

Elevator Pitch: “I’m not afraid of trouble, I like solving problems. I am a Project Manager specializing in turning around troubled projects. Currently I’m creating a leadership development program. I also mentor small businesses through the SBA’s SCORE program.”

What experience in your past marked the moment you recognized how important relationships are to your success? 

About five years into my professional career, I remember looking around the office and noticing who were getting fun assignments and promoted the fastest. It was those individuals who were personally and/or socially connected with the management chain.

What’s the coolest things you’re working on at home or at work right now?

I am leading the charge on an innovative leadership development program for the nearly 1,800 members of the Southern New England Project Management Institute (SNEC-PMI). It’s a program that includes a 360 leadership skills assessment, one-on-one feedback and coaching by a Center for Creative Leadership accredited leadership coach, three 3-day workshops facilitated by a hired consultant, and two 1-day events that will be open to the larger SNEC-PMI community.

The lessons I’ve learned about working with a volunteer organization have been invaluable. It’s taken a lot more time to get things moving and I have to approach every interaction with extreme generosity as every individual I rely on is there on a gifted basis. Continue reading

The Greenlight Highlight: How a Social Media Strategist Uses Relationship Mastery to be Systematic and Authentic

Anita Windisman
OneOfAKindMarketing.com
Toronto, Canada
Greenlight Member Since: December 2011

Elevator Pitch: Social media strategist & consultant. Helping you grow your professional practice or customer base by mastering LinkedIn.

What experience in your past was the moment you recognized how important relationships are to your success?

I’ve always been a connector and a networker and didn’t realize the full impact of that skill. I network naturally and being the hub and knowing what’s going on has always been a part of who I am. I value relationships. My network goes back to grade school. Loyalty is what I’m about.

What’s the coolest things you’re working on at home or at work right now?

Professionally I just launched my third public LinkedIn workshop. I love offering my services to small businesses and freelancers. On the other end of the spectrum I love working with very senior executives helping them showcase their expertise on LinkedIn. Both audiences need LinkedIn, but the reasons for doing so are different. I address the individual and the executive with the same tools, but in different ways. Continue reading

You’re Invited: Keith Ferrazzi and LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman LIVE

Join Keith Ferrazzi, CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, in conversation with Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn and author of The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career, at this month’s Social Capitalist Live Event, Tuesday, June 12 at 12:30 PM ET (NOTE UPDATED TIME!)

Register here for the live Webex event!

During the lively, 45-minute discussion with audience Q&A, you’ll learn:

  • The backstory: how and why Reid launched LinkedIn
  • How thinking like a Silicon Valley entrepreneur enhances success in any career
  • How Reid personally leverages his LinkedIn page
  • The keys to maximizing your network literacy, the ability to conceptualize, access, and benefit from the information flowing through your social network

…And much, much more! If you can’t make it, register anyway – we’ll send you a recording and transcript afterwards.

What people are saying about The Start-up of You:

“The Internet has fundamentally changed the architecture of business and society. This terrific book shows you how to live, learn, and thrive in a networked world.”

“Crammed with insights and strategies to help each of us create the work life we want.”

“…start with an idea and work over your entire career to adapt it into something remarkable. This book distills the key techniques needed to succeed.”

See you there!

The Greenlight Highlight: How a 24/7 Ambassador Leverages Relationship Mastery Skills to Create Professional Advantages

Mike Bruny
AmbassadorBruny.com
North Grafton, Massachusetts (outside of Boston)
Greenlight Member Since: March/2010
Nominated by Greenlight member: Aimee Lucas

Elevator Pitch: I am an operations manager by night and entrepreneur by day. I work mostly with young entrepreneurs and young professionals. I use hip hop lyrics as a form of personal and professional development.

What experience in your past was the moment you recognized how important relationships are to your success?

At an early age, I realized that relationships were important to my life success. I had an experience in my last year of Jr. High School. I didn’t get into any of the three high schools I applied to. That meant I would have to go to what is known as my “Zone School” (the one closest to your home). My zone school had a very bad reputation and I really didn’t want to go there. Lucky for me my principal saw something in me and decided to leverage her network to get me into John Dewey high school (a much better school). Her ability to change my life with a phone call highlighted the power of relationships to growth and progress. When she endorsed me, I went from having nothing to having a great opportunity that changed my life trajectory. Continue reading

MyGreenlight’s Community Manager Shares The Reasons She’s a Believer

Hi Greenlight Community!

We’re announcing a new promotion today, and I wanted to give you my personal take on why I think signing up for the myGreenlight program will be the best thing you ever do for your career.

As you’ve probably begun to notice, the world operates through relationships. Whether you’re a natural connector or not, a deeper understanding of the science behind human interaction can only equip you with more weapons in your career arsenal.

Over the past two years I have taken a strong professional communication skill set to new heights by applying the relationship mastery principles taught in the myGreenlight program. My touch points with Greenlight Community members have deepened my understanding of how a variety of personality types successfully utilize our training to reach their career goals. It’s been an exciting two years of discovery, hearing stories from those motivated to make a necessary change for themselves and their careers.

People like….

Aimee Lucas, an admitted introvert, who found inspiration in the Blue Flame principle and used it to guide her connection goals and advance her career.

Mike Bruny who uses generosity to truly connect with like-minded people and gain entry to opportunities that allow him to pursue his passion to inspire young entrepreneurs to reach their dreams.

Sandra Lester, whose commitment to get an accountability buddy for networking opened doors to opportunities she hadn’t even imagined for herself and positioned her as a trusted expert in her industry and giving her the ability to receive more job leads.

As I have seen these success stories unfold, I can very confidently say that I truly believe anyone willing to put in the work to engage in the myGreenlight program and complete the missions can gain massive benefits.

This is a perfect time to join myGreenlight at a discounted rate.  And our Spring promotion is open to anyone. If you know someone who is ready to improve their relationship game, please share the link with them. If that person is you, join us!

Check out the promotion here – a $200 savings on our regular rates and unlimited access to all of the proven resources of myGreenlight.

Have questions about the program? Use the comments and I’ll answer them.

Guest Blog: Ad Sales Executive Puts Never Eat Alone/myGreenlight Tactics in Action

Scott Olson is the director of marketing at Mediaspace Solutions, a marketing services agency bringing national brands to local markets. Mediaspace maximizes advertising budgets, increases ROI, and reduces operational drag through expert talent, incredible service and proven buying strategies. Our ‘What’s on Tap’ blog is updated twice a week and we’re regularly tweeting business to business marketing and advertising news.

In his best selling book Never Eat Alone Keith Ferrazzi sums up the argument for developing greater relationships when he says, “Life is less a quest than a quilt. We find meaning, love, and prosperity through the process of stitching together our bold attempts to help others find their own way in their lives. The relationships we weave become an exquisite and endless pattern,” (Never Eat Alone, 2005, p. 297, emphasis added).

Recently the Mediaspace Solutions business development group went through Ferrazzi’s book as a group in an effort to put what we learned into practice. Below are a few examples of both what’s been done and the sometimes immediate results we have experienced:

  • Small Gestures Big Impact – While on a recent trip to NYC, I decided to build a relationship with two CEO’s of major ad agencies. As part of the due diligence up front, I found out their favorite kind of wine by talking to their assistants. I purchased wine as gifts but bought Starbucks gift cards for their assistants. Both assistants were blown away by the gesture. “We never get any gifts” one said. I had two sincere conversations with two smart women and I now have regular communications with both of them. The key was being genuine and generous with no expectations in return. They are now on my “ping list” for regular communications. Keith’s teachings work. Continue reading