Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Three Tips for Doggy Bags

Been to a great dinner. Couldn’t eat it all. What to do?
Tip #1: Don’t ask for a Doggy Bag
If the great dinner (lunch, breakfast) is business meal, eat what you can, enjoy what you can eat and then leave the remainder on the plate. When dinner and business connect, food stays in the restaurant. No doggy bag, no fancy swan made of foil, no traveling take out container. Don’t let the last image people have when they think of you be the vision of you be carrying a “doggy bag.” What’s the message there? Doesn’t want to pay for lunch tomorrow? Greedy? Have to get every little bit? Leave the food, manage the image.
Tip #2: The doggy bag stays with the puppy.
If your delicious meal was when you’re alone on a trip, with friends, or family and you want to take it home – great. Enjoy. But don’t let that container travel beyond your kitchen if you’re home, your room if in a hotel. Take out doesn’t travel more than one stop.
No matter how good it is, how much you want to eat that left over lunch with your drink in the bar at your hotel, do not ever be sighted in the hotel lounge having a snack out of your take out container. It’s easier to take the drink to your room than to bring you old food with you.
Tip #3: Away from home.
When traveling outside the United States asking for a Doggy Bag can mark you as One Of Those Americans Who Doesn’t Know Anything. In a Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) article the writer, Stan Sesser, said that in Moscow such a request was greeted with “Are you kidding?” in Tokyo it was “No” and in London, Paris the request was fulfilled but reactions were cool. Look like you belong. Let the souvenir of the dinner be matches or the restaurant’s business card, not the take out container.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Create a Cushion

When you’re planning your travels consider creating a cushion – not the kind you put your head on although that’s good but a cushion of time. Avoid having your blood pressure rise and sense of humor disappear when the rental car place in a airport you don’t know is a shuttle ride away, and the car you reserved isn’t there and the one they offer you doesn’t allow you to touch the pedals and then after you get your car, there’s an accident on the freeway on the way to your meeting.

A cushion would have allowed my friend to make her connecting flight instead, she believed the airlines that 35 minutes was enough time to connect between flights (I think it takes 20 minutes for people to get off the plane) and found herself on a different flight arriving at 1 AM not 5 pm. Big difference when you have a presentation to make the next day.

You can find a cushion to rest your head (www.flight001.com) but the other cushion you have to create. Give your self a gift. Just as you pick your seat (www.seatguru.com) you can choose to create a cushion and make your travels just a little bit easier.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

You? Me? We? Us?

We celebrate our winners, mostly. The recent Olympics are a reminder that we, Americans, love winners, those who set records, those who compete vigorously. We are proud and excited by their efforts and their success.
Individuals, teams, we watch them all, hope for success. Celebrate or cry depending on the results. But according to. Bill Plaschke (latimes.com/plaschke) a sports writer at the Los Angeles Times newspaper (www.latimes.com) our American fascination with the outstanding individual overshadows our support for teams as a unit. In his recent article Unsung Hero about the swimmer Jason Lezak he tells the story of the differing post Olympic experiences of two members of the relay team. The well-known Michael Phelps and the almost unknown Jason Lezak. Jason was the member of the relay team who was instrumental in helping Michael Phelps, the winner of 8 gold medals in the Beijing Olympics, reach that level. According to the article, Lezak’s outstanding performance enabled the team to win its gold medal. He went home with three medals but unlike Phelps no parades, product endorsements, speaking engagements. Lezak was a member of a team. Phelps, the individual standout was the one accorded the celebrity status.
Without question Phelps success was well earned and is to be celebrated. But it is worth noting that it was his individual effort that got the press coverage, far above what was noted for his team.
While we, Americans, value teams and know that we must work together,
it is still part of our outlook, to focus on the individual - the Michael Phelps, the Bill Gates, Steve Jobs. Individual achievement outranks group results.
Working now in a global marketplace we need to recognize that the answer to Who do we celebrate? may be not be Me, but rather We, Us together, the team. Remeber Jason Lezak and all the people who supported Michael Phelps. Celebrate him but remember to celebrate them.