I’ve reached another blogging milestone – 3,000 hits since I started this site on May lst.* When I saw that nice round number under the Site Visits on my sidebar, I experienced an adrenaline rush – talk about motivation!
Not so coincidentally, today’s post is about motivation – particularly the GET MOTIVATED! seminar I attended yesterday in Albany. Yes, the very same seminar that dominated the news by causing the most massive traffic jam seen around these parts in many a year. I signed up over a month ago, suckered in by the barrage of ads hyping an A List of speakers including Colin Powell and Rudy Giuliani. I’ve loathed Giuliani ever since he was responsible for tearing down my daughter’s squat on the Lower East Side in the last years of the old Millennium. But despite my leftist political proclivities, I’ve always kind of dug Colin, so I looked forward to hearing him live at the Times Union Center.
My daughter and I sat through hours of motivational speakers before Colin came on at 2:40 p.m. At 72 years of age, he’s still a really cool guy – he ran up the steps to the stage like someone half his age. What did he have to say? Like the compulsive student I’ve always been, I took diligent notes. Here’s some of what he said about “Take-Charge Leadership”:
Know your purpose and be passionate and intense about inspiring it in others.
Take care of your followers and give them the tools they need. (For example, when he became Secretary of State, he was appalled at all the old computers, so he ordered thousands of new ones immediately).
Reward your troops with promotions and money but more importantly, with praise and acknowledgment (he used to send hundreds of hand-written notes of praise). Be empathetic.
Discipline your followers when needed – don’t always try to be the nice guy. Fire them as needed.
He was a warm, witty and entertaining speaker. What he misses most about being Secretary of State is having his own 757 jet, the one Hillary has now. As a private citizen, he’s been wanded and searched, even sniffed by a huge dog, at Reagan International Airport. They knew who he was, addressed him as General, but felt they had to do their duty. “I didn’t mind,” he said. “I knew why they did it, because I helped put those procedures in place after 9-11.”
Giuliani, on the other hand, was weirdly robotic, and his attempts at warmth and wit lacked authenticity, at least to me. When he said “Communication is mostly about loving and caring about people,” I thought of the wife he’d left in the lurch for a younger woman, and I had trouble buying it. But it had been a long day by then – he was the final headliner, and many folks were wandering out in hopes of avoiding another two-hour traffic fiasco.
Still, it was fun seeing him and Colin up close and personal. I’d sprung for the $29 VIP seats for myself and my daughter, and we were in the sixth row. Much closer – and cheaper – than any seats I’ve had at the TU Center in the past. I’ve seen lots of shows there** – the Rolling Stones, Billy Joel and Elton John, the Eagles, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, Keith Urban, Toby Keith, Brooks & Dunn and on and on – and this show had some of the same pizzazz. There were even fireworks and confetti floating down from the ceiling.
Want to hear more about the Get Motivated! seminar? Let me know – I may post more about it on Friday. Then again, something else may catch my fancy in the meantime.
*Technically, I started this blog site in January of this year, but I only posted twice, briefly, and got six visits, so that hardly counts.
** The place was called the Pepsi Arena then. I prefer the new name, and Coke.
***My friend Marilyn Rothstein (writing as M.E. Kemp) is posting all this week on Linda Suzane’s site, On Wings of Murder. Marilyn writes wonderfully bawdy historical novels about the Dutch settlers in New York State. This is her first venture into blogging, so I encourage you to visit the site and leave comments. I’ll be welcoming her as a guest blogger here in the near future.