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Thousands of people are starting their workweeks with smiles of invigoration as they log on to their computers to find their Monday Morning Memo just waiting to be devoured. Straight from the middle-of-the-night keystrokes of the Wizard himself, the MMMemo is an insightful and provocative series of…

Roy H. Williams

    • Nov 28, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekly NEW EPISODES
    • 2h 51m AVG DURATION
    • 1,842 EPISODES

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    Latest episodes from Wizard of Ads

    Verbal Counterpunching

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 28, 2022 5:45

    A person unconsciously frames a statement when they choose a perspective, a point of view, or an angle of approach.Verbal counterpunching is nothing more than the reframing of a statement made by someone else.Citizens of Britain said for centuries,“The Sun Never Sets on the British Empire,” to which a citizen of India replied, “The sun never set on the British empire because even God couldn't trust the Englishman in the dark.”Frame. Reframe.Samuel Johnson – an Englishman – wrote this definition for “oats” in his dictionary published in 1755.“Oats: A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.”“Which is why England is known for its horses and Scotland for its men.”– James Boswell, a Scotsman, the biographer of Samuel Johnson.Frame. Reframe.Wages were framed as the property of the boss as long as the media referred to worker exploitation as “non-payment of wages.” But when the media began referring to it as “wage theft,” wages were reframed as belonging to the workers. Within a few months, “wage theft” began showing up in bills to be considered by Congress.“There is a basic truth about framing. If you accept the other guy's frame, you lose.”– George LakoffNiels Bohr believed that every true statement can be reframed to communicate an opposite truth. “The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”– Niels Bohr, winner of the Nobel Prize in PhysicsKeep in mind that verbal counterpunching does nothing to change objective reality. But most disagreements revolve around perceptual reality; the reality that is unique to the individual; the reality of what he or she perceives. Objective reality cannot be changed, but perception definitely can.Ronald Reagan was 73 years old when he ran for reelection in 1984. When his age was brought up in a debate, he said, “I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience.” The audience exploded in laughter and Reagan won the electoral votes of 49 states that year.Frame. Reframe.When Senator Dan Quayle was running for vice-president in 1988, he said his experience was equal to that of John Kennedy when he ran for president in 1960. Vice-presidential candidate Senator Lloyd Bentsen responded, “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.”Frame. Reframe.Big tobacco framed cigarette smoking as something that “real men” do. Tobacco ads feature strong, rugged men as smokers.Opponents reframed the issue by representing cigarette smokers as having black lungs, yellowing fingernails, and bad breath. Smoking is a matter of personal choice.People smoke because they are addicted.Smoking bans discriminate against smokers.Non-smokers have the right to breathe clean air.Tobacco companies do good through sponsorship of cultural, athletic and community events.Tobacco companies are attempting to gain innocence by association.Tobacco is just one of many presumed health hazards.Tobacco is the only legal product that – when used as intended – kills.According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Cigarette smoking among U.S. adults has reached an all-time low of 13.7% — a decline of approximately two-thirds.”“Reframing is not easy or simple. It is not a matter of finding some magic words. Frames are ideas, not slogans… It doesn't happen overnight. It's an ongoing process. It requires repetition and focus and dedication.” – George LakoffWhat...

    Storytellers: the Bad, the Good, and the Brilliant

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 21, 2022 8:36

    There are four basic steps in every good story.Bad storytellers can do steps one and two, but recoil at step three.Good storytellers are willing to do step three.Brilliant Storytellers do steps three and four again and again.1. Create a character that people like, believe in, and can relate to.2. Launch that character on a hero's journey.3. Do terrible things to that character.4. Surprise your reader/listener/viewer by what happens next.And then what happens? Make it surprising.And then what happens? Make it surprising.And then what happens? Make it surprising.But it must also make sense.Predictability is the silent assassin of stories.Without trouble, there is no adventure.In 'That Hovering Question Mark,' I told you, "Every good story begins with a statement that triggers more questions than it answers." Ocean's 11 contains an excellent example of this."Off the top of my head, I'd say you're looking at a Boesky, a Jim Brown, a Miss Daisy, two Jethros, and a Leon Spinks. Not to mention the biggest Ella Fitzgerald ever."– Rusty (Brad Pitt) to Danny (George Clooney), explaining how they will run the con in Ocean's 11And that is how they did it! Ocean's 11 contains surprise after surprise, even though the writer told us the plot when he gave us that Rusty-to-Danny statement just 12 and 1/2 minutes into a 2-hour movie. It was a statement that triggered more questions than it answered.A BOESKY: Ivan Boesky was a trader on Wall Street who got caught committing securities fraud. In Ocean's 11, Saul pretends to be a wealthy bankroller who has insider information.A JIM BROWN: Named for the famous American football player, this refers to Frank Catton, a large, intimidating black man who stages a confrontation with Linus Caldwell so that Linus can lift the security codes to the vault.A MISS DAISY: 'Driving Miss Daisy' was a movie about a woman who uses a chauffeur to drive her around. Using a SWAT truck and a disguised driver, the Ocean's 11 gang escapes with their own special chauffeur.TWO JETHROS: Remember Jethro of 'The Beverly Hillbillies'? In Ocean's 11, Turk and Virgil provide two-man 'goober' distractions, such as using helium balloons to obscure the security camera on the casino floor so that Livingston can get into the video surveillance room.A LEON SPINKS: When Leon Spinks beat Muhammad Ali in a Las Vegas prize fight, it was something that no one expected. In Ocean's 11, no one expects the power to go out in the middle of a prize fight in Las Vegas. A fabulous distraction.ELLA FITZGERALD: In a famous 1973 TV ad, the voice of Ella Fitzgerald shatters a wine glass, then the voiceover says, "Is it live or is it Memorex?" (audiotape). In Ocean's 11, the guys make a videotape of a pretend robbery and play it over the casino's surveillance system while the real robbery is happening.Most stories should be told as fiction, even when they are true. When confronted with facts we are always on our guard. But "Once Upon a Time" dispels doubt, opens the imagination, and creates a willing suspension of disbelief.In 1999 I was on the phone with an 87 year-old man I had been hunting for several weeks. His name was William Lederer. I needed his permission to publish a famous letter he had written to America's Chief of Naval Operations back in 1963. He gave me permission, then asked, “Where you calling from young man?”“Austin, Texas.”“I was...

    If Life is a Journey on Water…

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 14, 2022 4:43

    If life is a journey on water, with our conscious mind above the waterline and our deep unconscious beneath, and if all the people in the world are drifting, surfing, drowning and sailing on that surface, shouldn't there be a person on a wooden chair in the sky above the beach watching over it all?Shouldn't there be a person?And a beach?The people along the sandAll turn and look one way.They turn their back on the land.They look at the sea all day.As long as it takes to passA ship keeps raising its hull;The wetter ground like glassReflects a standing gullThe land may vary more;But wherever the truth may be—The water comes ashore,And the people look at the sea.They cannot look out far.They cannot look in deep.But when was that ever a barTo any watch they keep?– Robert Frost“Calm yourself, Little One. There is always a person. There is always a beach.”I had an idea for the story, which by the way has been in my head for about 20 years now, and all it was to begin with was an image of a boy in a wheelchair flying a kite on a beach. And that picture was just as clear in my mind as it could be. And it wanted to be a story, but it wasn't a story, it was just a picture. As clear as clear as clear…– Stephen King, May 29, 2013The last time the Stones were out on the road, between 2005 and 2007, they took in more than half a billion dollars – the highest-grossing tour of all time. On Copacabana Beach, in Rio de Janeiro, they played to more than a million people. Few spectacles in modern life are more sublimely ridiculous than the geriatric members of the Stones playing the opening strains of ‘Street Fighting Man.'– David Remnick, The New Yorker, Nov. 1, 2010Something of the sense of holiness on islands comes, I think, from this strange, elastic geography. Islands are made larger, paradoxically, by the scale of the sea that surrounds them. The element which might reduce them, which might be thought to besiege them, has the opposite effect. The sea elevates these few acres into something they would never be if hidden in the mass of the mainland. The sea makes islands significant…– Adam Nicolson, Sea RoomOn the edge of the water were a pair of waystones, their surfaces silver against the black of the sky; the black of the water. One stood upright, a finger pointing into the sky. The other lay flat, extending into the water like a short stone pier.No breath of wind disturbed the surface of the water. So as we climbed out onto the fallen stone the stars reflected themselves in double fashion; as above, so below. It was as if we were sitting amid a sea of stars.– Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind, p. 216This is the land of Narnia, said the Faun, where we are now; all that lies between the lamp-post and the great castle of Cair Paravel on the eastern sea. And you—you have come from the wild woods of the west?I—I got in through the wardrobe in the spare room, said Lucy.– C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobePennie and I have had the flu for more days than is supposed to be possible, and I have still not recovered my voice. There were days when I was not sure I dwelt in the land of the living.“The rain to the wind said,You push and I'll pelt.'They so smote the garden bedThat the flowers actually knelt,And lay lodged–though not dead.I know how the flowers felt.”― Robert FrostAroo,Roy H. WilliamsNOTE FROM INDY – Taking care of Pennie and Roy prohibited me from putting together a rabbit hole for you. Sorry.

    Three Ways to Look at Water

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 7, 2022 7:40

    Dr. Nick Grant, a psychologist, Dr. Mike Metzger of Clapham Institute, and Ray Bard my publisher, each taught me about water.Life is a journey on water. Your conscious mind is above the waterline. Your unconscious is beneath.That weightless, magical world below the waterline is fundamentally different from the world of facts, figures and logic that hovers above it.The arts are an invigorating plunge into the unconscious, that part of your mind that understands the languages of color, shape, proximity, radiance, shadow, silhouette, pitch, key, tempo, interval, contour, rhythm, and frame-line magnetism.Our relationship to the unconscious is like our relationship to water. We need it by the cupful to survive, but if you stay underwater too long, you will drown; a psychotic break.Life is a journey on water. To better understand this Jungian journey, watch Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in the 1990 film, “Joe Versus the Volcano.”Nick Grant made me aware of the symbolic nature of water.Mike Metzger taught me how to look at water in a second way:You meet four people on the Ocean of Life, but you meet them again and again. The first person you meet is drifting, pushed each day by the winds and waves of circumstances. The drifter always goes with the flow. You know you've met a drifter when they say, “Whatever. It's all good.”The second person you meet is surfing. They seem to be having a good time, but they never really get anywhere. They mostly paddle around in the ocean, looking for another wave to ride. The surfer is always looking for “the next big thing.”The third person you meet is drowning. Lots of people “go under” once or twice in life and need a helping hand. They may need rescue financially, or chemically, or relationally, but this is normal.There are also professional drowners: “It's been the worst week of my life, I don't know what I'm going to do.” So you come to the rescue… but the next time you see them, “It's been the worst week of my life, I don't know what I'm going to do.”The fourth person you meet is sailing. Confronted by the same winds and waves that controlled the drifter, surfer, and drowner, the sailor navigates. “If I turn the rudder and adjust the sails, this wind will take me wherever I want to go.”You cannot navigate by watching the wind and waves. You must have a fixed point, a non-negotiable guiding light that does not move. The North Star – Polaris – is perfectly aligned above the axis of the earth. It is that guiding light around which the whole world revolves. What is your non-negotiable, your star that does not move? When you have found it, you will always know where – and who – you are.Ray Bard taught me a third way to look at water. When you're writing a book or considering a business venture, it is essential that you discover two things:1. How widespread is the public interest?2. How deep is that interest?If public interest is neither widespread nor deep, you're looking at a puddle. Never invest time or money in a puddle.If interest is widespread but not deep, you're looking at a bayou. Be careful. A bayou looks like an ocean at first because the interest is wide, wide, wide. But that interest is not deep enough to drive action. You can go broke when you see a bayou and think it is an ocean.If interest is narrow but deep, you're looking into a well. You can draw a lot of water from a well. “The Care and Feeding of Quarter Horses” held no interest for most readers, but those who owned a quarter horse had deep interest. The book was successful.If public interest is wide and deep, you're looking at an ocean. But you're going to need a boat – a platform – on which to navigate your ocean. If you don't have a platform,...

    A Day at the Zoo

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 31, 2022 4:21

    People in museums stop to look at paintings that have people in them, but walk past paintings that have no people. Ninety percent of the books sold each year are fiction. Ninety percent of the books written each year are non-fiction. The same is true in movies and television: fiction beats non-fiction 10 to 1. Non-fiction is facts and figures, problems and processes, tips and techniques. Fiction is interesting people living fascinating lives. Non-fiction is reality and reality is a wildebeest held captive in a zoo. Fiction is escaping the zoo and adventuring in the wild. Good writing shines a mental movie onto the movie screen of the mind. Do the movies you write feature people in a zoo, or people in the wild? Are the people in your ads empty and hollow like zoo animals, or are they vivid and real like people you know? Henry David Thoreau told us, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, and go to the grave with the song still in them.”If you want to touch the quiet desperation in the heart of your customer, write ads that describe their pain and frustration, then offer to deliver them from it. If you want to touch the song that is in them, write ads that speak of freedom, fulfillment and joy. Show them the fascinating life they could be living. A well-written ad shines a mental movie onto the visuospatial sketchpad of working memory, the movie screen of the mind, located in the dorsolateral prefrontal association area.1 On paper, on a computer screen, on a billboard, or coming through the speakers of a computer, a television or radio, words, words, words, words, words, words, words create those mental movies. Online reviews are powerful. Online reviews are not facts and logic. Online reviews are people's impressions and reactions.  Impressions and reactions are far more interesting than facts and logic. When a person describes their impressions and reactions, they are shining a mental movie into your mind. Q: Are you telling me that I should use customer testimonials in my ads? A: No, because you will not be able to resist editing your customer's testimonial and the moment you touch it, that testimonial will become a predictable ad delivered by a ventriloquist's dummy. Q: Why do ad writers assume the public is hungry for facts and logic? A: Most ad writers follow the rules of journalism when they should be following the rules of screenwriting. Journalists deliver facts. Screenwriters deliver fascination. Shine on, screenwriter, shine on. Roy H. Williams Todd Mitchell is a creativity sherpa that rescues writers, artists, musicians, actors, entrepreneurs, and innovators who are struggling with self-doubt and circling the drain in failure. You're not down the drain yet! Raise your arm out of the water and let Todd Mitchell pull you back up into the air and sunlight where you belong. MondayMorningRadio.com

    Bobbie Understood the Seasons

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 24, 2022 8:33

    I have seen friends walk away from relationships, jobs, and promising careers when all they really needed was some time and space to gather their thoughts, slow their heart rate, and rediscover their joy. I'm not saying you should always, “hang on one more day at a time and wait for things to get better.” I am saying you need to recognize the changing seasons in your life. Bobbie Gentry knew when it was time to stop, turn the page, and begin a new chapter. Bobbie knocked the Beatles off the #1 spot on the music charts with “Ode to Billy Joe,” a song that she wrote, performed, and produced. She won Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the Grammy Awards. Eleven more of her songs made the music charts. She was a major headline act in Las Vegas and she co-hosted a successful TV series with country music superstar Glen Campbell. America watched as Bobbie Gentry provided the music for a major motion picture about her imaginary Billie Joe McAllister, then performed “Mama, a Rainbow” for her mother who was seated in the studio during the filming of a television special. The next day, Bobby quietly retired from the spotlight without fanfare, returning no phone calls, answering no letters, and granting no interviews. She had been in the spotlight for 14 years when she whispered, “Enough,” and walked away 41 years ago. What triggered it? Nothing. She simply realized that a season in her life had ended. Solomon spoke famously about the seasons of life in the third chapter of Ecclesiastes:There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. … He has made everything beautiful in its time. … I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. One can think of the seasons of life in a few different ways.Financially, we go from survival to acquisition to distribution. Relationally, we go from seeking, to finding, to celebrating. In business, we go from learner, to doer, to teacher. This is essentially the Hero's Journey, a sequence of events that is nearly impossible to escape: 1. We meet the Hero in modest circumstances. 2. He encounters the Call to Adventure. 3. He meets the Old Man in the Woods who prepares him for what lies ahead. 4. He then rises to the challenge of adventure and discovers abilities within himself he didn't know were there. In the Bible we see Moses, Joseph, Samson, David and many others, including women such as Hannah, Esther, Abigail, Ruth, and Deborah as they encounter the Hero's Journey. In literature and in the movies, we see Bilbo in The Hobbit, Frodo in The Lord of the Rings, Daniel LaRusso in The Karate Kid, Simba in The Lion King, Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Neo in The Matrix, and Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. Luke was just a goober on the backwater planet of Tatooine when he was called to adventure. Obi-Wan Kenobi was the Old Man in the Woods who prepared him for his journey. Luke was again a goober with a wrecked spaceship in a swamp on Dagobah when he encountered Yoda, his second Old Man in the Woods who would prepare him for his second adventure. Which Luke Skywalker are you?Are you...

    How Quickly Will My Ads Start Working?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 17, 2022 7:48

    Ten different factors will determine how quickly your ads pay off. Do your ads capture attention or are they easy to ignore? Do your ads speak to a felt need, or are you answering a question no one was asking? Are you a known, trusted, and respected seller? Is the brand you sell known, trusted, and respected? What percentage of the public will ever – in their lifetime ­– purchase a product or service in your category? How often does the average person need to buy what you sell? Does your ad make the customer feel any urgency due to low price or limited availability? What percentage of the public knows your name and what you sell? In your category, what name will customers typically think of first and feel the best about? What percentage of the public considers you to be their preferred provider? Your answers to questions 5 & 6 indicate your product purchase cycle. Here are those questions again: “5. What percentage of the public will ever – in their lifetime ­– purchase a product or service in your category?” “6. How often does the average person buy what you sell?” Generally speaking, the longer your product purchase cycle, the longer it will take before your mass-media ads deliver a positive R.O.I. Online ads, however, work immediately. But will the customer type your name into the search block? If they do, you have already won the heart of that customer. They have chosen you as their preferred provider. This means you will enjoy an extremely low cost-per-click with a high conversion rate. But if they type the name of your competitor into the search block, then it will be your competitor that enjoys an extremely low cost-per-click and a high conversion rate. The starting pistol fires the moment a customer types your category into the search block instead of your name or the name of a competitor. Their computer screen overflows with the names of companies making them offers. If they see a name they recognize, the footrace is over in moments. But if no name is recognized, the names of several runners will be clicked. Every runner will pay a high cost-per-click due to gambling on an “unbranded” keyword. But only one runner will take home the prize money. Costs-per-click have never been higher. Mass media costs have never been lower. If you sell a product or a service with a long purchase cycle, the bad news about mass media is that it will take 3 to 6 months of weekly advertising before you begin to gain any real momentum. The good news is that the longer you use mass media, the better it works.1 This is how you make your name the one that customers type into the search block. I believe:Every advertiser should have a website. Every advertiser should be willing to pay for 100% of the clicks when a customer types their nameinto the search block Organic results are no longer enough. You've got to pay the price for your name to be seen. Your cost-per-click is extremely low when your name is typed into the search block. (I'll tell you about #6 in a minute.) Ten years ago, Inc. magazine published an article by Jeff Haden titled, “How Google is Killing Organic Search.” “If your business depends on customers finding you in search results, you're in trouble–and it's likely to get worse. If case you haven't noticed, pay-per-click ads are slowly taking over Google's search engine results. That should come as no surprise since approximately 97% of Google's revenues are generated by its core business, search engine advertising; Google is understandably protecting and extending its revenue turf… If you're a business that depends on organic, unpaid search results to drive traffic, you've undoubtedly seen a steady decline in visitors and sales.” 6. The cost-per-click is extremely high when you compete for unbranded “category” keywords such as “air conditioning repair.” A Tale of Two A/C Companies“It was the best of times, it was the worst of...

    That Hovering Question Mark

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 10, 2022 8:41

    Every good story – and every good ad – begins with a statement that triggers more questions than it answers.“I do not like to turn left when leaving my neighborhood…” “I was a 10-year-old boy holding a flashlight for my father…” “You are sitting in a candlelit restaurant when you hear a strange noise…” The second line of your story is where the narrative arc begins. The narrative arc is the sequence of events, the plot. [In a radio ad, sfx means sound effect]You are sitting in a candlelit restaurant when you hear a strange noise [sfx-open] and the walls are instantly covered with jagged shards of golden light. You hear another strange noise [sfx-close] and the jagged shards of light are gone. Murmurs of wonder flood the candlelit restaurant. [sfx-open] The jagged shards appear on the walls again, dancing in unison to some silent music that only they can hear. [sfx-close] And now they are gone. The crowd applauds this unexpected delight. Smiles are beaming. Teeth are bright. [sfx-open] More jagged shards. More golden light. [sfx-close] No one notices the man at the table in the middle of the room, staring at his tablecloth, lost in thought. A woman emerges from the shadows behind him. Startled, he looks up, drops to one knee, [sfx-open] and the golden shards of light dance fast and bright across his face and hers. And then they kiss. And the candlelit restaurant explodes in applause. [sfx-close]  A tiny little box sits empty on the table. Flickering Firelight diamonds, available exclusively at Morgan Jewelers. Begin your ad with a statement that triggers more questions than it answers! If your opening line reveals what is to come, change the opening line. “Guidomeyer's Furniture is having a sale!” When an ad begins with a sentence like that, you can be sure it was written by someone who follows the 5 W's of journalism: Who, What, When, Where and Why.Ads written by journalists are why most people hate advertising. Guidomeyer's Furniture is having a sale! This week, Guidomeyer's is having a sale at 1715 Barkmaster Avenue! Save! Save! Save up to 50% this week at Guidomeyer's annual clearance sale! Guidomeyer's has been serving the needs of Pottersville for 71 years, so come to Guidomeyer's and shop local for all your furniture needs! We have recliners, coffee tables, end tables, nightstands, TV trays and financing will be available! Guidomeyer's Annual Clearance Sale! This week! 1715 Barkmaster! Hurry, hurry, hurry before all the good stuff is gone! Guidomeyer's! Guidomeyer is who. A Sale is what. This Week is when. 1715 Barkmaster is where. Annual Clearance is why. That formula is so simple an idiot could use it. And idiots often do. No, I don't mean that. Words have meanings, so let me be accurate. I don't think such a person is an ‘idiot.' ‘Moron' would be the accurate term. Technically, a moron is an adult with the mental age of 7-10. Morons are more intelligent than idiots and imbeciles, but they are an especially troublesome group because they are not aware of their shortcomings. Don't be a moron. Getting the listener's attention is easy, but holding that attention requires skill.Open with a statement that triggers more questions than it answers. Bridge quickly into the narrative arc, the plot. When your listener thinks they know where you are headed, take them somewhere else. Introduce divergent elements that don't belong together, then make them converge, add up, and make sense. Lead your listener to the conclusion, then allow them to discover it on their own. Don't tell them the answer. Let them hear it in their mind. Leave out the irrelevant, the predictable, and anything that makes your ad sound like an ad. https://literarydevices.net/meter/ (Poetic meter) makes words musical.To achieve it, arrange the drumbeats of the stressed and unstressed syllables of your words so that they...

    The Immortals

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 3, 2022 4:39

    I hope you are not prone to regrets.  The next time you make the wrong decision, I want you to look back and remember that it seemed like a good idea at the time. You were given incomplete information. The future was unknowable. What is there to regret? Nevertheless, the dull ache of regret came upon me when Kary Mullis died without warning.  I loved Kary for his sense of humor and his wit, and I will always cherish what he wrote in my copy of his book, Dancing Naked in the Mind Field.  And then Loren Lewis died without giving me a heads-up.  Loren was never a father-figure; he was my outrageous older brother. He was bombastic and vain and he taught me how to get things done when I didn't have any money, and he would have taken a bullet for me. And then Perry McKee walked over the horizon without a wink or a wave good-bye.  Perry was extraverted and impulsive and he made everyone laugh. When we were 14, Perry decided the day had finally arrived that he should light a fart and become the world's first jet-propelled human. He wanted me to hold the match for him but I vigorously declined, so Ernie Henry held the match as the rest of us stood anxiously outside the closed door of Perry's windowless bathroom. It was Brother McKee's deep conviction that the miracle of jet-propulsion should be observed in total darkness. When Perry bellowed like a bull and tumbled out the doorway, we knew that Ernie had held the match too close. Ernie Henry is gone now, too.  The immortals from my past are disappearing.The last time I spoke to Kary Mullis, Loren Lewis, Perry McKee and Ernie Henry, I didn't know that it would be the last time I spoke to them. My only regrets are the things I left unsaid. Please don't read too much into these musings. I'm fine. Pennie is fine. No one is dying. It's just that time of year.  The green of the grass is soaking back into the earth and the leaves are turning red and orange. Children are gathering into rooms again where an adult tells them not to talk. Men are chasing a tapered leather ball as escaped convicts blow whistles and toss their handkerchiefs into the air. I look for Andy Griffith to ask if he wants to get a Big Orange drink, but Andy is nowhere to be found.  It won't be long before my lawn pulls a white blanket up to its chin, just outside my front door. The squirrel in his cap and the plants in burlap will all settle down for a long winter's nap.  And then Springtime will pierce the pale heart of winter with a shout of green and a blade of grass, and we will dress in bright colors for Easter. Kary Mullis opened the door of genetic research when he invented Polymerase Chain Reaction. Loren Lewis opened the future of a 15-year-old boy when he showed him how to be unafraid. Perry McKee and Ernie Henry had no regrets. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Roy H. Williams Steve Curtin is ranked as one of the top 30 customer service experts in the world. His clients include Carnival Cruise Line, NAPA Auto Parts, and TJ Maxx. Steve believes every owner and every manager needs to have “the conversation” with every employee about why their job matters, and why their company matters. “The NASA janitor wasn't mopping floors; he was helping to send a man to the moon.” Imagine what would happen if your employees felt the same way about the greater purpose of the work they do in your company! Steve Curtin and roving reporter Rotbart talk about it at MondayMorningRadio.com.

    Are You a Manager or a Leader?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 26, 2022 6:13

    Eighty-eight percent of the Fortune 500 companies that existed in 1955 are gone. Poof.Half of them withered because they had a manager in the role of CEO when they desperately needed a leader. The other half were destroyed by a leader when a manager could have held the company together and grown it incrementally. The most important role of a board of directors is to know when their company needs a leader and when it needs a manager. Managers prefer incremental change, evolution. Leaders prefer exponential change, revolution. Managers guard the status quo. “If it ain't broke, don't fix it.” Leaders invent new ways of thinking. “If it ain't broke, break it, so we can create something new.” Managers prefer a map and a path. Leaders prefer unexplored territory. Managers say, “Ready, Aim, Fire.” Leaders say “Ready, Fire, Aim.” But this isn't as crazy as it sounds. When shooting a cannon, this is called finding your range. Managers focus on planning and execution. Leaders focus on improvisation and innovation. Managers make organizational charts. Leaders make messes. Managers are given authority over others. Leaders are voluntarily followed by others. Kodak, Blockbuster, MySpace, General Motors, and General Electric were overwhelmingly dominant in their categories until their Manager-CEO's fell asleep while guarding the status quo. Do not think the internet killed K-Mart, Montgomery Wards, Sears, J.C. Penney, or Bed Bath & Beyond. Walmart sells all those same products and they're still doing fine because they saw the marketplace rapidly changing in August, 2016 and responded by putting visionary leader Marc Lore in charge of Walmart's US e-commerce operations. Amazon did $398.8 billion in 2021.Walmart did $488 billion.Managers mistakenly think they can lead. Leaders mistakenly think they can manage. I know only two men who can perform both functions. Dewey Jenkins is one of them. If I written those words during the 10 years Dewey and I worked together, it would have sounded like flattery. But now that he is retired and I have stepped away, I am free to speak the truth. Good mothers can also perform both functions. Every good mother is a miraculous manager and a visionary leader. I was raised by an extremely good mother and my sons were raised by another. Good managers know what to “protect at all costs.” They know what not to change. Bad managers look only for compliance and conformity, blind to the special abilities that hide within their employees. But good managers see those special abilities and call them to the surface where they can sparkle. A good manager encourages your special ability and uses it to maximum effect, while partnering you with someone who sparkles in the area where you are weak. When you see a legendary duo, you can be sure that a brilliant manager put them together. The genius of visionary leaders is that they charge full speed ahead when they see opportunity on the horizon. When they see a storm coming, they steer around it. Visionary leaders recognize what is no longer working and do hesitate to change it. Bang. Gone. If you want to listen to the inner thoughts of visionary leaders and understand how their minds work, there are only two books you need to read. Sam Walton: Made in America (John Huey and Sam Walton) Iacocca: An Autobiography (Lee Iacocca and William Novak) As a special bonus to yourself, take a look at – https://www.amazon.com/Where-Have-All-Leaders-Gone/dp/1416532471/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1663430767&sr=8-1 (Where Have All the Leaders Gone?) – a slim volume written by Lee Iacocca when he was 82 years old. I love that book. And I love you, too. Thanks for reading my ramblings. Roy H. Williams Six times a year, Jonathan Dahl produces a magazine that reaches 1.8 million global executives and business owners. He also publishes a weekly online newsletter that has gets more than 3.5 million annual page views. Jonathan

    The Problem With Plato

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 19, 2022 8:58

    Anne Lamott wrote Bird by Bird, a marvelous book about writing. In it, she says,“Becoming a writer is about becoming conscious. When you're conscious and writing from a place of insight and simplicity and real caring about the truth, you have the ability to throw the lights on for your reader. He or she will recognize his or her life and truth in what you say, in the pictures you have painted, and this decreases the terrible sense of isolation that we have all had too much of.” I'm going to attempt to do that today. I am going to attempt to write “from a place of insight and simplicity and real caring about the truth.” I hope I succeed, but you will have to be the judge. Another of my favorite paragraphs from Bird by Bird is when Anne Lamott says, “I know some very great writers, writers you love who write beautifully and have made a great deal of money, and not one of them sits down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident. Not one of them writes elegant first drafts. All right, one of them does, but we do not like her very much. We do not think that she has a rich inner life or that God likes her or can even stand her. (Although when I mentioned this to my priest friend Tom, he said that you can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.)” I have often quoted Anne's friend because I believe his remarkable statement bears repeating: “You can safely assume that you have created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” I https://www.mondaymorningmemo.com/newsletters/how-i-met-indy-beagle/ (wrote) to you recently about my first job in radio. It was at a Christian station in Tulsa owned by a wonderful man name Stuart who lived in North Carolina. He was impossibly tall and thin and looked exactly like a clean-shaven Abraham Lincoln. I had only been there a couple of years when Stuart flew to Tulsa, summoned everyone to the radio station, packed us all into the conference room and said, “People who work in Christian media often see and hear things that discourage them.” His face fell and he looked sad as he said, “And then they become bitter.” I could tell he was struggling to find the right words as he looked down at the ground. After a long silence he looked up into my eyes and said, “Promise me that you'll never become bitter.” I looked into his eyes and nodded my head. One by one, he looked at every other employee until they nodded their head or said aloud, “I promise I'll never become bitter.” When he had extracted that solemn promise from each of us, he drove back to the airport and flew home. It was a very short meeting that happened 40 years ago but I have never forgotten it. And I never became bitter. In later years I began to identify myself as “a follower of Jesus” rather than call myself a Christian, because “Christian” was coming to mean something that I don't believe Jesus ever intended. I get uncomfortable when people sign God's name to things Jesus never said. Thomas Jefferson, too, was uncomfortable with Christians who use the logic of Plato to extrapolate truths from the Bible. Platonists1 will argue, “If this statement in the Bible is true, then by extension this second thing is true. And if this second thing is true, then by extension this third thing is true.” I have been reading the personal correspondence of Thomas Jefferson in the national archives at founders.archives.gov Two hundred and six years ago – on October 16th, 1816 – George Logan wrote https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/03-10-02-0340 (a letter) to his friend, Thomas Jefferson, congratulating him for publishing,“a system of ethics extracted from the Holy Scriptures, as tending to support the correct maxim—that religion should influence the political as well as the moral conduct of man… It is to be lamented that there exists even among...

    Freedom and Responsibility

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 12, 2022 6:42

    My friend is forever shouting about his Freedom. It is the only song he sings. Freedom is a good thing, but our love of freedom is why family sizes are shrinking. Children are a responsibility. Freedom and Responsibility are paired opposites, a duality. The more you have of one, the less you have of the other.I had written only those few words when I received a request from the American Small Business Institute to answer a question from Glenn in Calgary; he wanted me to predict the Top Five Qualities of an Advertising Consultant in 2023. I had the Freedom to answer however I wanted. I could be flip, funny, cute, self-serving, dismissive, scholarly, insulting, pedantic, or predictable. My Freedom was unrestrained. But I also had the Responsibility to give Glenn a list of five specific, attainable goals that would make him and his clients more successful. I told Glenn the Top Five Qualities for 2023 would be these: Ability to write good ads. I've never seen a business fail due to “reaching the wrong people.” Businesses fail because they say the wrong thing. Knowledge of how to differentiate a business from its category. You must make your client's business distinctive and memorable. Honesty. You must be willing to accept responsibility for the failure of your ad campaign. Courage to say what needs to be said to the business owner. This is how you avoid campaigns that fail. Wisdom to know that good advertising will not fix a broken business. Choose your clients carefully, Glenn. Depression and Joy are another duality. The more you have of one, the less you have of the other.Pride – the inability to feel grateful – is what keeps us from feeling joy. The disembodied voice that tells us we need to be “proud, self-made men and women,” is the devil who robs us of our joy. Depression is unfocused anger. Joy is unfocused gratitude. The more you have of one, the less you have of the other. If you look for reasons to be angry, you will find them. If you look for reasons to be grateful, you will find them. Don't be angry. Be grateful. Justice and Mercy are a third duality. And the tug-of-war between them is intense.The only hard choices in life are the choices between two good things. Justice and Mercy are both good things. When you encounter the tug-of-war between them, which one do you favor? Opportunity and Security, a fourth duality.When Opportunity increases, Security declines. This sounds like Risk and Reward, but it's not. If Risk and Reward were a duality, increasing your risk would decrease your reward. But increased risk of failure increases potential reward. This makes Risk and Reward a synchronous potentiality contained entirely within the realm of Opportunity. Ultimately, it all comes down to Choices.Our plan is always to make good choices, not bad choices. But most choices are neither good nor bad in the moment we make them. They become good or bad in hindsight. They become good or bad due to consequences. The outcome is never entirely clear until after the show is over. We learn more from our failures than we learn from our successes. Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from bad decisions. You cannot judge a person's experience by their age. You can judge it only by what they have experienced. A person can have 30 years of experience, or they can 1 year of experience 30 times. Which will you have? Will you choose to embrace risk and take your beatings when you fail and learn hard lessons and win great victories? Opportunity is a good thing. But then again, so is Security. Roy H. Williams

    How I Met Indy Beagle

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 5, 2022 4:31

    I was the new kid in a new town, ­getting ready to start the third grade. We had moved into a rented house beyond the outer perimeter of Skiatook, Oklahoma. There were no other houses within sight, so there were no neighbors to visit, no new friends to meet, nothing to do except walk in circles. School had not yet started. Our house – like most houses back then – had no air conditioning. The Oklahoma air was too hot, too dusty to breathe. That's when Indy showed up and introduced himself. He said, “What are you doing?” “Walking in circles.” “Can I do it with you? “Sure.” I wasn't surprised that Indy could talk, and I wasn't surprised that he could walk into photographs and paintings and talk to the people in them. When he walked out of those images, he would tell me the most amazing stories. Indy suggested I should become a writer. The following summer, I was the new kid in another new town – Broken Arrow – but we had neighbors and a park and a house with air conditioning. Mrs. Fisher would read to the class for about 15 minutes each day while Indy slept beneath my desk. She read Charlotte's Web and Way Down Cellar and then she told us to write a poem about anything we wanted. I wrote a poem about a dog. Everyone was impressed, even Mrs. Fisher. Pennie and I were 19 and had been married about a year when I launched “Daybreak,” a daily, prerecorded message of encouragement you could hear if you knew the right telephone number to call. You couldn't leave a message because it was an “announce-only” machine that Pennie and I leased from the telephone company for $50 a month. I never told anyone my name or how they might be able to contact me. “Daybreak” was just the voice of a stranger on the telephone, talking to you as though he knew you. I woke before dawn each day and spent a couple of hours writing and recording a new 2-minute message and then I went to work. Fax machines had not yet been invented. The internet wasn't even a fantasy. “Daybreak” grew to the point where Pennie and I had to add a roll-over line and lease a second answering machine from the telephone company because too many people were getting a busy signal when they called. One thousand different “Daybreak” messages were written and recorded in 1,000 days between 1977 and 1980. “Daybreak” cost us about $130 month which is a lot of money when you make $3.35 an hour before taxes. With 25% of our income going down those telephone lines each day, I got a second job monitoring an automated radio station in Tulsa once a week. I was given the shift that no one wanted. I went to work each Friday night at midnight and worked until 11AM on Saturday morning. Indy would always go with me to keep me company. I had been there for more than a year when the General Manager walked in one Saturday morning about 9AM with a few notes scribbled on the back of a napkin about “Amir's Persian Imports,” a local place that sold Persian rugs. He asked me to write an ad for them, so I wrote a 60-second story that took listeners into the sky on a magic carpet ride. The ad performed well. Amir was impressed. My boss was impressed enough to offer me a full-time job. Indy just smiled and winked at me. Roy H. Williams

    If I Had It All To Do Over Again…

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 29, 2022 3:17

    You've heard it said, and might even have said it yourself, “Knowing what I know now, if I had it all to do over again, I would…” Let's play a game. Let's pretend that you, “have it all to do over again.” You can return to any day in your past to begin reliving your life differently, but you must do it without “knowing what you know now.” You will have a second chance at a different outcome, but you must return to that day with no memory of what you did, or how it turned out. Will you trade your current circumstances and relationships for the “new and different choices” a second you will probably make? Think about it. If you travel to a time before your child was born, that child is not likely to be born. Another child, perhaps, but not that one. In fact, the jobs you get, the friends you make, and where you live are likely to be different the second time around. “Having it all to do over again” might create a better future for you, or it might create a worse one. Are you ready for the surprising second half of this game? Here it is: all of this has already happened. The original you was given the opportunity to return to any specific day in your past and THIS is the day to which you chose to return. Everything that originally happened after this moment has been erased. Your second chance has now begun. Why did you choose to return to this day? What different decision did you hope you would make? Is it something that you can decide today, or is it a choice you will need to make a number of days from now? Are you here for a second chance to have a conversation that never happened? To schedule a medical check-up before it is too late, or to take some other action that you deeply wish you would have taken? The only thing we can know for sure is this: “With every decision we make, we pass a point of no return and wonder what might have been.” Go. Live your life. Quit second-guessing yourself. Remorse is not where you want to live. Roy H. Williams NOTE FROM INDY – Let's spend a day together. The Wizard Academy reunion is October 15. https://wizardacademy.org/product/2022-october-wizard-academy-reunion/ (You should come.)

    It Freaked Me Out a Little

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 22, 2022 4:13

    I was writing about third gravitating bodies and I needed to know the year that Henri Poincaré wrote The Third Body Problem and won that huge cash prize from King Oscar II of Sweden. I typed “third gravitating bodies” into the Google search block. At the top of the results page was a featured snippet and something about it looked familiar. When I glanced at the source link, I saw that it was a Monday Morning Memo I had written recently. Evidently, Google thinks I know far more about third gravitating bodies than I actually do, because they seem to be under the mistaken impression that I am an expert in the field of theoretical physics, and I can assure you that I am not. But that's not what freaked me out. When I clicked the source link, it took me to a Monday Morning Memo I wrote a few months ago. I had a clear memory of writing that memo, and for some strange reason I have a particularly clear memory of creating the image at the top of the page. I created that image by selecting three different magazine covers over which I overlaid an image of the Broadway cast of Hamilton. My memory of writing that memo and creating that artwork felt like it was only four or five weeks ago, but I knew that it was more likely four or five months. What freaked me out was when I looked at the date of https://www.mondaymorningmemo.com/newsletters/paired-opposites-and-third-gravitating-bodies/ (that memo.) I has been almost 6 years since I wrote it. I felt like Rip Van Winkle. I looked up at the door in the room where I was sitting, and waited for Rod Serling to step into that open doorframe. I could already hear his voice. “Consider if you will, the man who stared so deeply into the void of his computer, that when he looked up, he was 6 years older. There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area we call The Twilight Zone.” My friend and business partner Ray Seggern spent yesterday afternoon with me. Ray is old enough to have an adult daughter who has completed college and worked for companies like Luis Vuitton and Rolls Royce and who will soon be married. Ray is 9 years younger than me. Shortly after he arrived for our meeting, he said, “You know how time seems to pass more quickly as you get older?” I nodded, so he continued, “What's the word for that? Everyone says that a year seems like a long time to a 5-year-old because it's 20 percent of his lifetime, but that same year goes by 10 times faster for a 50-year old man because it's only 2 percent of his lifetime. What's the word for that?” Ray and I sat and thought and scratched our heads and looked at each other for a long while. Here's why I'm writing to you today: What's the word for that? If you know – or even if you just made up a good word for it and are willing to share ­– send the word to indy@wizardofads.com Your name will appear in the dictionary we are compiling. More about that in the rabbit hole. Indy says Aroo. Roy H. Williams

    War And Peace

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 15, 2022 4:55

    Before Gandhi, there was Tolstoy.When Leo Tolstoy was 54, he wrote a book about the ethical teachings1 of Jesus as revealed in the Sermon on the Mount. For the rest of his life, Tolstoy advocated the use of peaceful, non-violent forms of resistance in the struggle for social change. Gandhi – the person we associate with peaceful, non-violent resistance – was 12 years old when Tolstoy's book was published. Martin Luther King – the man who popularized peaceful, non-violent resistance in America – would not be born for another 45 years. In 1854, during the Crimean War, a British light brigade was ordered to charge the cannons of the Russian Empire.A “light brigade” carried only light weapons, such as sabers and pistols. Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote about this famous headlong charge toward certain death: Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. “Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!” he said. Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. “Forward, the Light Brigade!” Was there a man dismayed? Not though the soldier knew Someone had blundered. Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die. Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them Volleyed and thundered; Stormed at with shot and shell, Boldly they rode and well, Into the jaws of Death, Into the mouth of hell Rode the six hundred… Leo Tolstoy was a Russian artillery officer in that war and was forever changed by it.That war – the first modern war – led Tolstoy to the Sermon on the Mount and convinced him of the truth of Jesus' words. “Blessed are the peacemakers… blessed are the meek… blessed are the merciful…” Tolstoy was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 3 times, but each time he wrote to the committee and asked them to remove his name from consideration. When the public grew angry that Tolstoy never received the Nobel, he confessed that he had privately rejected it and wrote, “First, it has saved me the predicament of managing so much money, because such money, in my opinion, only brings evil. Secondly, I felt very honored to receive such sympathy from people I have not even met.” Tolstoy was loved by everyone except religious leaders. Remember that book he wrote in 1882 about the ethical teachings of Jesus? It did not appear in Russia for 24 years because it was blocked by the Orthodox Church, the leaders of the Christian faith in Russia. They were worried that Tolstoy might have been talking about them when he wrote, “I sit on a man's back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means – except by getting off his back.” The religious leaders became angry again when Tolstoy wrote, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” Mark Twain, a contemporary of Tolstoy, may well have been making a joke about religious leaders in America when he wrote, “By trying, we can easily learn to endure adversity. Another man's, I mean.” Tolstoy saw Jesus and his teachings as gold surrounded by the mud of religiosity. He said,“Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.” This reminds me of Michelangelo's description of how he carved an angel from a block of marble: “I just removed everything that was not angel.” I will leave you now, to consider all that you have been told, and wash the mud from the gold, and remove everything that is not angel. Roy H. Williams 1 Tolstoy's A Confession, (1882) was originally titled, An Introduction to a Criticism of Dogmatic Theology. NOTE: https://chatbooks.com/app/share/volume/1b8390691d0047598a78427e91dd6773?id=17734771&key=z6NSc6o6q29LtV9moMlZuUb8xWdLIW6umI68OJqZ (Dogmatic Theology) has

    Man Bites Dog

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 3:00

    Predictability is the silent assassin of persuasion.When static electricity saturates the sky, lift the lightning rod of the new, the surprising, and the different and let the concert begin. The booming of the big bass drum will make the draperies tremble as the lasers light up the night. Give that anxious electricity something to focus on. Win the attention of the storm. Don't tell us, “It was a dark and stormy night.” Light it up. When your jagged blade rips a gash in the sky and makes the darkness cry, we will lift our faces into the wet and laugh until the grass is green again. Light it up. We rarely raise our faces from these glittering screens because you rarely have anything new to say. We stare at the electricity behind this glass because it is always new, always surprising, always different. Look into our eyes and you will see the static electricity of our boredom is always there, always anxious, always looking for an outlet. Lift your lightning rod into that darkness. Set our world ablaze with the unexpected. We will reward you with our attention. Pixies, faeries, sprites and elves run naked through the darkness, laughing at everything, giggling with glee, eyes twinkling, feet flying, they run with abandon, afraid of nothing. What are you afraid of? Do you read boring, fact-filled fluff? Or do you read fluff made of different stuff? As you read, so will you write.When colorful, unexpected words fill your sight, you have raised your ink pen into the night and filled it with ink of electric light. Now write. When you have nothing to say, don't let anyone convince you to say it. But when you have something to say, don't say it regular and tidy with tucked-in corners. Say it with the rhythm of faeries running naked through the night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Where you begin is unimportant. How you proceed is all that matters.‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even the faerie hiding behind the curtains with a match in one hand and a bottle of vodka in the other. This is not the end. This is not even the beginning of the end. But it is the end of the beginning. So tell me, what happens next? Roy H. Williams

    How to Recruit and Retain Good Employees

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 1, 2022 3:49

    Rugged individualism is the essence of America.It is also the reason that we, as a people, feel isolated and lonely. Our focus on personal, individual success is the reason we feel disconnected from one another. This is happening even in our marriages according to Ian Kerner, author of the book, So Tell Me About the Last Time You Had Sex, and Terrence Real, author of Us: Getting Past Me and You. “Individualism is not a natural fact; it has a history. In American Colonial days, society was communalism on a small scale. It was about farms and small towns and small villages. When you lived face to face with your neighbor, it was a palpable reality that the good of all was the good for each of us. Civic virtue was the force that went beyond individual gratification. It was part of being a civilized person that you had a sense of civic virtue. With the Industrial Revolution, and the myth of the self-made man, all of that went by the wayside and it was each man for himself.” – Terrence Real We are living in a very conflicted time because most of us hold two conflicting beliefs. (1.) We believe in a culture of individual achievement, “ME”, (2.) but as we approach the zenith of a societal “WE”, there is a desire to find our tribe, to join, to belong, to work as a group for the common good. Next year is the zenith of our current “WE.” It happens once every 80 years. The previous “WE” zenithed in 1943 when America was united against Hitler. We threw ourselves into something bigger than ourselves; something we believed in, something that satisfied our need to belong and make a difference. And now you know why we see all those deeply impassioned splinter groups in the news each week. Here's the good news: you can harness that same “need to belong” to recruit and retain good employees.Good employees are attracted to companies with a strong culture. They are looking for a company they can believe in, a place where they can belong and make a difference. When you want to strengthen your company culture, you need to publish your Unifying Principles. I have previously called these your “We Believe” statements. Publishing them is the easy part. The difficult part is that you have to live them. About eight minutes into his famous TED-X talk at Puget Sound, Simon Sinek says, “The goal is not just to hire people who need a job; it's to hire people who believe what you believe. I always say that, you know, if you hire people just because they can do a job, they'll work for your money, but if they believe what you believe, they'll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.” Indy Beagle will tell you about Culture Wizards in the rabbit hole. Roy H. Williams

    My Favorite Francis

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 25, 2022 6:24

    I'm telling you up front that I'm not sharing anything valuable or useful today, but don't let that keep you from continuing.Today we're going to talk about 7 guys named Francis. Alan Lightman is not one of those 7 guys. Lightman is a past professor at Harvard and a current professor at MIT and a famous physicist who was responsible for establishing MIT's policy that requires all students to be trained in speaking and writingduring each of their four years as an undergraduate. Alan's father Richard Lightman was a movie theater owner who played a major role in desegregating movie theaters in the South in 1962. Richard taught Alan how to get things done and make a difference. In his book, A Sense of the Mysterious, Alan writes, “Not long ago, sitting at my desk at home, I suddenly had the horrifying realization that I no longer waste time.” After he wrote that sentence, he wrote an entire book titled, In Praise of Wasting Time. That's what you and I are doing right now. We are wasting time in a way that will invigorate you and cause you to think new and different thoughts. You are about to jump out of a deep rut in the road that has been your life.We are at the intersection of Monotony and Surprise. Are you ready to jump? Francis Scott Fitzgerald is the Francis we quote in the first hour of the 3-day Magical Worlds class at Wizard Academy. “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” Francis Ford Coppola gave us Apocalypse Now and The Godfather trilogy. Francis “Frank” Sinatra gave Indy Beagle the song “It Was a Very Good Year.” Indy told me he plans to share it with you in the rabbit hole. Sir Francis Drake was a contemporary of Shakespeare and an explorer and a pirate for England, and a seafaring thorn in the side of King Philip II of Spain, who offered a reward for his capture that would be nearly $9 million today. Queen Elizabeth gave Francis a knighthood. Francis “James” Cameron gave us Avatar and Titanic, the first and third highest-grossing films of all time, bringing in $2.85 billion and $2.19 billion respectively. Francis “Frank” Zappa was an iconic musician, composer, singer and songwriter whose work was characterized by nonconformity, free-form improvisation, musical virtuosity and the comedic satire of American culture. His kids are Dweezil, Moon Unit, Diva Muffin, and Ahmet Emuukha. Francis Bacon is my favorite Francis. Like Francis Drake, he was a contemporary of Shakespeare. Bacon was a statesman, a philosopher, and a master of the English tongue. After the death of Queen Elizabeth, Francis Bacon served as lord chancellor of England for King James I, for whom the 1611 King James translation of the Bible was named. These are some of my favorite memories of Francis Bacon:“The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” “A dance is a measured pace, as a verse is a measured speech.” “Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact (man.)” “There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.” “Nothing does more hurt in a state than when cunning men pass for wise.” “A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” “Truth is so hard to tell, it sometimes needs fiction to make it plausible.” “The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses.” “Where philosophy is based on reason, faith is based on revelation, and is consequently irrational. The more discordant and incredible the divine mystery is, the more honor is shown to God in believing it, and the nobler is the victory of faith.” “But now we are to step back a little to that, which by premeditation we passed over, lest a breach should be made in those things that were so linked together.” If the...


    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 18, 2022 6:20

    Gerald was an unwanted third son to his father, so his mother took Gerald on long walks each Saturday night so they would not be available when his father came home drunk. To avoid a beating, Gerald and his mother would wait outside in all weathers until his father fell asleep. Gerald was 16 when his father died, so he quit school to help support his mother by singing in the London subways for tips. Gerald was a Scottish introvert who became famous, but who could have been much more so.I closed last week's Monday Morning Memo with a famous line from one of Gerald's songs: “Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you.” Some people surround themselves with a low outer wall, and a high inner wall. It's easy to get to know them, but hard to get to know them well. Gerald was the opposite; he had a high outer wall and a low inner wall. It was nearly impossible to meet him, but those he allowed to get to know him, knew him well enough to know that he was attracted to the comfort of the familiar. New places and new faces were emotionally exhausting to Gerald, so he drank to hide from them. Gerald wrote, “Winding your way down on Baker Street, light in your head and dead on your feet, well, another crazy day, you'll drink the night away, and forget about everything. This city desert makes you feel so cold. It's got so many people, but it's got no soul, and it's taken you so long, to find out you were wrong, when you thought it held everything.” In the words of his daughter, Martha, “The soaring saxophone solo perfectly captures the endurance and triumph of the human spirit in adversity, the sun rising out of the darkness and lighting the way once again… ‘and when you wake up it's a new morning, the sun is shining it's a new morning, and you're going, you're going home'.” On that same album was a song called Right Down the Line. “You know I need your love, you've got that hold over me. Long as I've got your love, you know that I'll never leave. When I wanted you to share my life, I had no doubt in my mind. And it's been you, woman, Right down the line.” Both songs were on a 1978 album called City to City. That album almost didn't get made. Gerald was not a people person. Paul Simon openly admired Gerald's song-writing ability.Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney both wanted to work with Gerald, but Gerald said “no.” According to his manager, City to City was rejected by several record label executives because of Gerald's defensive abrasiveness. The only reason they got a record deal was because Artie Mogull, the United Artists representative, “was in a rush and never met him.” When Rolling Stone interviewed Gerald, he said, “To be a ‘star' in inverted commas – that is probably the last thing I want. I knew I'd written a good bunch of songs … I remember thinking I'd be pleased if City to City sold 50,000 copies.” City to City became a worldwide phenomenon, selling over 5.5 million copies. Hiding from people because his outer wall wasn't quite high enough, the great Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas, drank himself to death. Hiding from people because his outer wall wasn't quite high enough, the great American novelist, Jack Kerouac, drank himself to death. Hiding from people because his outer wall wasn't quite high enough, the great Scottish songwriter, Gerry Rafferty, drank himself to death. His daughter, Martha Rafferty, gathered a collection of her father's unpublished recordings during the lockdown of 2020 and https://gerryrafferty.com/ (posted them, with these comments, on a website.) “His evolution as a songwriter was intimately connected to his love and joy of singing. Singing was home for him, and he returned to it every day wherever he found himself, harmony especially so. He loved the company of singing with others and nothing gave him more joy, as those who have sat around a table with him will testify. That was his way

    Inflection Point

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 11, 2022 2:34

    The long-ago Greeks had two words for time: Kronos (χρόνος) and Kairos (καιρός). Kronos is chronological time, sequential time, the metered time of the regimented left hemisphere of the brain. Kairos is an inflection point, a time-window of indeterminate length during which something consequential happens. On the other side of the Kairos, things are forever different. Kronos time is quantitative and accurate. Kairos time is qualitative and important. The thing about moments of Kairos is that you can see them most clearly when they are behind you. We make decisions every day, and with every choice we make we reach a point of no return, and wonder what might have been. But I think you will agree that some decisions have longer arms than others. They are more consequential. They carry heavier Kairos and more profoundly affect our future. I believe we will be swimming in Kairos moments during 2022, 2023, and 2024. I can see their silhouettes on the horizon at twilight. Walk outside this evening, just as the sun disappears below the western edge of the world, and consider the silhouettes of events that have not yet happened. These moments of consequence float like icebergs on a rising tide of misinformation, and are blown toward us by the breath of newscasters. One-by-one, they will soon begin to arrive. The frustrating reality is that we won't be making these pivotal decisions individually; we will be making them collectively. Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you. Roy H. Williams Roving reporter Rotbart is wandering the wide world with his family, but he and MondayMorningRadio will return to us after Labor Day.

    Magical Thinking

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 4, 2022 4:42

    If you win the heart, the mind will follow. The mind will always create logic to justify what the heart has already decided. In 1981, Dr. Roger Sperry won the Nobel Prize for his documentation of brain lateralization, which basically says that we don't have 1 brain divided into 2 hemispheres as much as we have 2 separate, competing brains. The LEFT hemisphere is the home of rational, logical, sequential, deductive reasoning. Think of it as the Intellect; the Mind. It puts you in touch with this world and leans toward suspicion and doubt. But the RIGHT hemisphere does none of those things. Think of it as the Heart. It understands the six sub-languages in the language of music; pitch, key, tempo, rhythm, musical interval and musical contour. The right hemisphere puts you in touch with a world that could be, should be, ought to be, someday. HOPE is alive and well in the right hemisphere of your brain. It understands symbols, and assigns meanings to shapes and colors. The logic of the right hemisphere is intuition, gut feelings, and hunches. Your body contains 100 million sensory receptors that allow you to see, hear, touch, taste and smell physical reality. But your brain contains 10,000 billion synapses. This means you are approximately 100,000 times better equipped to experience a world that does not exist, than a world that does. Call 1-800-Got-Junk. Life is happier when it's less cluttered. Your house will be bigger. Your teeth will be whiter. Angels will sing. You'll be a better dancer. Magical Thinking is a style of writing characterized by elements of the fantastic – woven with a deadpan sense of presentation – into an otherwise true story.Now this is where it gets really interesting; the right hemisphere of your brain doesn't know fact from fiction or true from false. That's the left brain's job. This is why you can enjoy books, movies, and TV shows that you know are fiction. Magical Thinking is a style of writing that is full of HOPE. Magical Thinking doesn't talk about the frustration of a situation or the pain of a problem. It illuminates a happy world in which anything is possible. Magical Thinking offers the customer an effortless, frustration-free solution. Employees, your boss wants you to know: “If you answer the phones for our company or knock on the doors of customers, please know that you are a vitally important part of the advertising and marketing team. Our customers expect you to be the living embodiment of our advertising; cheerful and helpful and magically able to make their problem disappear. We will become giants if we act like the company we claim to be in our advertising.” Magical Thinking makes Magical Advertising makes Happy Customers makes Business Grow. Do you want to employ the power of https://wizardofads.org/partners/ (Magical Thinking?) Roy H. Williams According to Lynette Smith, July 4th is the perfect time for writing personal, heartfelt letters to colleagues, family members, friends, and others who have enriched your life. Lynette is a letter-writing evangelist who has authored multiple books on the art and impact of letters that will be kept and saved and savored for decades. “If you want to demonstrate genuine appreciation,” Lynette tells roving reporter Rotbart, “only a letter will do.” MondayMorningRadio.com

    Just Keep Showing Up

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 27, 2022 4:50

    It's impossible not to like someone who likes you.This is why the secret of success is to just keep showing up. My friend Brett was studying theater in college until the day a professor told him to lie on his back, close his eyes, and “breathe blue.” Brett did his best, gave up, got up, walked out. Brett did not become an actor. But he did become a highly successful political consultant. In Brett's own words, here's how it happened: “I was looking at the bulletin board in the hallway of my dorm when I saw a little poster that said, ‘All the pizza and beer you can eat and drink if you work 2 hours on the telephone.' I like pizza, I like beer, so I went to the address at the appointed time and made calls to ‘get out the vote' for a political party. I didn't care about politics at all, but I cared a lot about pizza and beer, so I came back night after night. They thought I was really dedicated.” “After several months of showing up, they invited me to work at an out-of-town rally. I went along and noticed the food is better when you go out-of-town. So I kept doing out-of-town rallies until someone asked me if I could write some ads for a campaign. One thing led to another, and here I am. Go figure.” The only unique part of Brett's story is the part about breathing blue. The rest of it – the part about always showing up – is the world's most common path to success. Brett quit showing up for acting classes. But he never quit showing up at political events. You will become the thing for which you keep showing up.“Believe in yourself” and “Never give up” are motivational clichés. They sound good, but they give you no real action to take. Do you want to succeed? Just keep showing up. We hear a lot about the value of persistence and determination, but the way to demonstrate those qualities is to just keep showing up. The most important time to show up, is when you don't feel like showing up. When everyone else has dropped out, faded away, and quit, you are the king of the mountain. In his final speech at the end of his long and wonderful life, Paul Harvey talked about the importance of never failing to show up. He said, “Repetition is effective. Repetition is effective. Repetition is effective.” When you want your company to be the one people think of immediately and feel the best about when they need what you sell, just keep showing up. It's easy to do. The problem is that most advertisers will choose to reach 100% of the people, but convince them only 10% of the way, due to not enough repetition. They didn't “show up” long enough to become a permanent fixture in the mind. That same money could have convinced 10% of the people 100% of the way, but most advertisers aren't willing to do that because they worry about who they are “leaving out.” I've got news for you: You don't have enough money to reach everyone. Limit your focus to only that number of people you can reach with relentless repetition. Keep showing up. It works in relationships. It works in business. It works in advertising. Just. Keep. Showing. Up.

    Inside the Box, or Out?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 20, 2022 5:58

    My partner Kyle started a non-profit called “Neighbor in Need” after a developer made a comment that caused Kyle to become concerned about all the elderly people in his neighborhood who didn't have the money to repair their homes, buy hot water heaters, replace air conditioners, or fix roof leaks. So Kyle decided to https://neighborinneed.org/ (do something about it.) What Kyle did was new, surprising, and different. That's why it worked.If you want to bore people, just say what they expected you to say and do what they expected you to do. It works every time. You might even see them fall asleep. I have a friend who is building a condo tower in a town with a population of less than 100,000 people. He called a few days ago, laughing. He had hired a worldwide, world-famous company to manage the sale of the residential units in his building. They made a presentation to him about the “tried-and-true marketing plan” they intended to use. My friend said, “No, I'm going to ask my buddy to write me a series of radio ads. I'm planning to spend a small fraction of what you're telling me I need to spend.” These professionals, understandably, began to vibrate with panic. “But we've tried radio and it doesn't work! We've tried it again and again and it doesn't work! You need to follow our plan!” My friend told them that radio advertising – quote – “works only as good as the ads you write.” Later, when they actually heard the radio ads, their panic rose to whole new level. The language and perspective of the ads was new, surprising, and different. And those three words can often mean, “experimental, reckless, and dangerous.” Things that are new, surprising, and different never feel as reliable as traditional wisdom. Don't get me wrong; I believe in bringing the best of the past forward. I believe it to the core of my soul. In my heart, I am a traditionalist. But the problem with traditional wisdom is that it is often more tradition than wisdom. The problem with traditional wisdom in advertising is that it creates ads that feel familiar. And familiarity breeds contempt. Remember what I said earlier? “If you want to bore people, just say what they expected you to say and do what they expected you to do.” People hate ads that are predictable. The real estate marketers begged him not to air the crazy radio ads. They urged him to consider the story of how – in a much bigger city – they were able to convince nearly 1,500 people to register so that they might have a chance to buy a condo unit the moment they became available. Real estate roll-out campaigns like these typically span 56 days. The best they had ever done in 56 days– with a massive online push and billboards that blanketed a major city – was about 1,500 registrations. My friend was laughing because we were at day 14 of our radio push and our “experimental, reckless, and dangerous” radio ads had already generated more than 1,400 registrations and would soon top fifteen hundred. I wrote four ads and only the first of the four has been aired. I believe the second and third ads are the strongest. So now you know why my friend was laughing. I want you to do me three favors:1. Put things in your ads that are new, surprising, and different. Delight the public. Be remarkable. 2. Quit thinking that the secret of success is to – quote – “reach the right people.” 3. Slap the shit out of anyone who says to you, “No one listens to the radio anymore.” Indy has a wonderful rabbit hole prepared for you. To enter the rabbit hole, just click the image of Indy Beagle at the top of this page. Each click of an image takes you one page deeper.

    A Colorful Cast of Characters

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 13, 2022 6:57

    The ancient Greeks understood psychology a lot better than they understood science. Hippocrates, the father of the Hippocratic Oath, believed that our information-gathering and decision-making processes are determined by an imbalance of 4 bodily fluids – red blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm – two of which have never existed in the form that Hippocrates theorized. But the four basic temperaments that Hippocrates associated with these four fluids have lived on to be verified, codified, dignified and personified by screenwriters and novelists and social scientists* around the world. Hippocrates called these temperaments Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholic, and Phlegmatic. More than 400 years ago, Shakespeare depicted the full range of human behaviors and character types by embracing the original theories of Hippocrates. The National Library of Medicine has https://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/shakespeare-and-the-four-humors/index.html (an interesting online exhibit about it.) We see these four basic temperaments in ourselves, our family, our friends, and all the most interesting characters in every form of story-telling: The Wizard of Oz Lion (sanguine) Scarecrow (choleric) Dorothy (melancholic) and Tin Man (phlegmatic) Archie Comics Archie (sanguine) Veronica (choleric) Betty (melancholic) and Jughead (phlegmatic) I Love Lucy Ricky (sanguine) Lucy (choleric) Fred (melancholic) Ethel (phlegmatic) Gilligan's Island Gilligan (sanguine) the Skipper (choleric) the Professor (melancholic) Mr. Howell (phlegmatic) Star Trek Captain Kirk (sanguine) Spock (choleric) Scotty (melancholic) Bones (phlegmatic) Magnum P.I. T.C. (sanguine) Tom (choleric) Higgins (melancholic), and Rick (phlegmatic) Friends Phoebe and Joey (sanguine) Monica (choleric) Ross (melancholic) Rachel and Chandler (phlegmatic) Seinfeld Kramer (sanguine) Elaine (choleric) George (melancholic) Jerry (phlegmatic) Frasier Roz (sanguine) Frasier (choleric) Niles (melancholic) Daphne (phlegmatic) The Golden Girls Blanche (sanguine) Sophia (choleric) Dorothy (melancholic) Rose (phlegmatic) Sex and The City Samantha (sanguine) Miranda (choleric) Charlotte (melancholic) Carrie (phlegmatic) Schitt's Creek Moira (sanguine) Johnny (choleric) David (melancholic) Alexis (phlegmatic) Desperate Housewives Susan (sanguine) Gabrielle (choleric) Bree (melancholic) Lynette (phlegmatic) Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Kimmy (Sanguine) Jacqueline (Choleric) Titus (Melancholic) Lillian (Phlegmatic) Big Bang Theory Howard (sanguine) Sheldon (choleric) Raj (melancholic) Leonard (phlegmatic) The Office Michael (sanguine) Dwight (choleric) Pam (melancholic) Jim (phlegmatic) Game of Thrones Arya (sanguine) Sansa (choleric) Jon (melancholic) Bran (phlegmatic) Entertainment is the only currency with which you can purchase the time and attention of a too-busy public.An understanding of the predictable frictions between these four temperaments – and their deep and abiding need for one another – is the basis of every form of long-term entertainment. The novelists who win the Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes know this. The screenwriters of all the hit TV series know this. And the ad writers who make a difference know this. When you become intrigued with an interesting fictional character, you spend time with them, whether they are in a book, or a TV series, or in an ad campaign. Most ad writing is transactional: “Give us money, and this is what we'll give you in return.” Transactional ads are about short-term “harvesting” but they work less and less well the more continuously you use them. Relational ads are about long-term “customer bonding” and they work better and better the longer you use them. Do you want your company to be the one that customers think of immediately and feel the best about? Create a long-term ad campaign that is 2/3 relational customer-bonding ads and

    The Promise I Made You

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 6, 2022 6:58

    I made you a promise on November 22 in a Monday Morning Memo called “Time Travel”.This was how https://www.mondaymorningmemo.com/newsletters/time-travel/ (that memo) began: “My friend Don has a time machine. He takes me with him sometimes. You should come, too! Every person who rides in Don's time machine is changed by it.” “The United States Department of Justice has booked passage on Don's time machine for countless prison inmates. State and local governments and hundreds of rehab centers have booked journeys for people as well. Thirty-five million in all.” “Each trip through time begins with a series of words…” I then described two different types of storytelling and the purpose and effect of each. And to give myself a little “third-party credibility,” I quoted Professor Steven Pinker of MIT and Harvard. When the word-count of that Monday Morning Memo indicated that we were approaching our destination and it was time to land, I instructed you to store your tray-table and return your seat to its full, upright and locked position. Then I told you something you probably didn't know: “Every word in the English language is composed of just 44 sounds called phonemes. We arrange these into clusters called words which we string together in rapid succession so that others can see in their minds what we see in ours.” And then I talked about the Book of Beginnings. Do you you remember? “In the first chapter of Genesis, God says, ‘Let there be this' and ‘Let there be that' for 25 verses, and then in verse 26 he says, ‘Let us make mankind in our own image.'” “According to that ancient story, God spoke the world into existence and then gave you and me the power to do the same. When you, as a storyteller, speak a world into existence in the hearts and minds of your listeners, you are doing the work of God.” “Don Kuhl has spent the past 30 years unleashing the power of storytelling to help 35 million people find peace, hope, and happiness, and now he has written a book for you and me. It will be published early next year.” And then I promised you, “I'll make sure you know when it's available.” Roy H. Williams That book is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com. It's called https://www.amazon.com/Changing-Aging-Little-Stories-Lessons/dp/0757324444/ref=sr_1_1?crid=20RWQJCUQJ7UE&keywords=Don+Kuhl+changing+with+aging&qid=1654164095&sprefix=don+kuhl+changing+with+aging%2Caps%2C79&sr=8-1 (“Changing with Aging: Little Stories, Big Lessons.”) Don sent preview copies to several people I know. Everyone who has received a copy has been enchanted and enthralled by the stories in Don's book, as I knew they would be. Don is a remarkable teller of short, bright, heart-warming stories that overflow with honesty, transparency, and wisdom. Peter Vegso, the original publisher of that record-breaking series of books, “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” is such a fan of Don's stories that he jumped at the chance to publish Don's book. I have fulfilled my promise. I told you the book is available for pre-order. Do what seems to you good. My partner Johnny Molson was asked to speak to a 4th grade class last week about his career as an ad writer.When he left the school, Johnny texted me to say that two of the children had asked remarkably delightful questions. The first child asked, “Have you ever cringed at your own commercials?” Johnny answered yes, that he always cringes at the predictable commercials his clients occasionally demand that he write, but no, he never cringes at the happy ads that flow from the depths of his heart through his fingertips and then onto the radio and television airwaves. That's when the second child asked, “Do you have a criminal record?” A conversation with a child is a remarkable adventure full of twists and turns, with surprises around every corner.Today's rabbit hole is like that, too. It is a theological journey that begins in the first chapter of Genesis and ends...

    Wide & Shallow vs. Narrow & Deep

    Play Episode Listen Later May 30, 2022 10:36

    A successful cluster manager was one of 36 people in a class I taught 2 months ago. When we went into Q & A, he asked for suggestions about what to do with a poorly performing radio station in his cluster. He expected me to suggest a format change, or a clever promotional campaign using billboards and TV. Or he may have thought I was going to give him some half-baked idea about how he could use social media to build an affinity group around the station's format, because these are the kinds of suggestions people make when a radio station wants to attract a bigger audience. Why is it that everyone assumes the way to increase a radio station's revenues is to increase the size of its audience?I said, “I'll answer your question if you want me to, but I need to warn you that my answer is extremely simple, it always works, and it's going to embarrass the hell out of you that you haven't already done it.” Then I smiled and asked, “Are you sure you want me to answer in front of all these people?” Since he was the only broadcaster in a room full of business owners and the whole group had bonded pretty tightly during the previous 2 days and nights together, he just smiled back at me and said, “Bring it.” I wrote something on a piece of paper, then folded it and laid it on the table in front of him. “Game on.” The other 35 people in the room clapped and cheered because they knew we were about to have fun. He said, “It's my number 6 station. My top 3 stations are doing fantastic and numbers 4 and 5 do pretty well, but number 6 just kind of limps along.” “Does it make a profit?” “Yes, but nothing special.” “How many units per hour do you feel would be the right spot load on that station?” He said he'd like to keep it to just 14 units per hour. I said, “6AM to midnight, 7 days a week, 14 units per hour yields 1,764 ads per week.” Next question: “Based on your current audience size, name a spot rate you would be happy to get on that station if every advertiser bought equal daypart distribution across 4 dayparts, morning drive, mid-day, afternoon drive, and evenings until midnight.” He named a modest price per ad. I said, “I'm a local business owner, I'm going to buy 40 ads per week, every week for 52 weeks, and I insist that my 40 ads get equal daypart distribution 6a to midnight. I want morning drive, mid-day, afternoon drive, and evenings until midnight, just like we talked about; none of that R.O.S.* crap. Got it?” He said, “Got it.” I said, “During the next 12 months, I'm going to become a household word to a whole lot of people. Frequency and consistency! That's the right way to use radio! Forty ads per week for 52 weeks is going to make my business the one your audience thinks of immediately – and feels the best about – whenever they or any of their friends need what I sell.” Next question: “On your #6 station, what's going to be my 1-week net reach with a weekly 3-frequency, 52 weeks in a row?” The man knew his station, so he was able to name the approximate net reach my schedule would deliver each week. It was a net reach that could make a real difference for any advertiser. I said, “Never let an advertiser compromise frequency and consistency. If they don't want to do radio right, they don't get to be on this station.” He said, “But that's not how advertisers buy radio in my town.” I said, “We don't need to convince the whole world. We just need to find 44 small business owners who can understand that this is the right way to use radio. We're going to explain it to them and answer their questions until we have found 44 business owners smart enough to buy 40 ads per week with equal daypart distribution 6AM to midnight.” Then I reminded him how little money those 40 ads per week were going to cost those 44 advertisers each month. I asked, “How many businesses can afford that monthly investment?” That's when it hit him. He appeared to be deep in thought when he muttered, “There's a bunch of...

    What You Do Today is Important

    Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2022 4:23

    What you do today is important, because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. What will you do today? “If your life's work can be accomplished in your lifetime, you're not thinking big enough.” – Wes Jackson I knew a man who used to say, “I don't ever get my hopes up. That way, I'm never disappointed.” If I had been the executor of his estate, his gravestone would say: “He had potential.” I often write about Identity, Purpose, and Adventure: Identity: Who am I? Purpose: Why am I here? Adventure: What must I overcome? Without trouble, there is no adventure.That being said, children and grandchildren are the most wonderful adventure. “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries: avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, non-redeemable. The only place outside of heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers of love is hell.” – C. S. Lewis My friend J.P. Engelbrecht sent me a text last week, “Finally read A Gentleman in Moscow. What a lovely book! Thank you for the recommendation.” For those who have not read it, A Gentleman in Moscow is about an older man who becomes, through no choice of his own, the protector and caregiver of a little girl. It is truly a remarkable book. Now that I think about it, Little Orphan Annie is essentially that same story. Many years ago, Pennie and I loved watching Anne of Green Gables (1985) when it was available on TV. Right now we're watching the updated version, Anne With an E. Basically, it's about an elderly brother and sister who become, through no choice of their own, the protectors and caregivers of… Oh, I guess it's the same story as the other two. “I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” – Albert Schweitzer To protect and equip and encourage others is what each of us was born to do.Who are you protecting? If you are a not a protector, you need one. What are you equipped to do? If you are not doing it, now would be a great time to start. Who do you encourage? Let that be the person who decides what to carve on your tombstone. Roy H. Williams A Young Brian Scudamore had a series of private chats with a man who took $1,000 and turned it into a personal net worth of $3.5 billion. Simon Sinek told Brian his deepest insights the night he slept on Brian's sofa. In Brian's new book, you'll meet an NBA superstar, a past president of Starbucks, a British advertising tycoon, and a winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics as they wander on and off the pages like movie stars on the red carpet at the Academy Awards. Wait! I just saw Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King, Dr. Seuss, and Charles Schwab. Roving reporter Rotbart talks to mega-famous Brian Scudamore, a longtime client of the wizard, on today's happy and hilarious episode of MondayMorningRadio.com!

    Do You See? Do You Stand in Wonder? Do You Take Off Your Shoes?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2022 6:17

    I write advertising because I'm good at math.According to my calculations at age 18, the odds of making a living as an ad writer were 117,682% higher than the likelihood that I could make a living as a poet. But really, poems and ads are the same thing. Good poems promote a new perspective in a brief, tight economy of words. Good ads promote a new perspective in a brief, tight economy of words. The objective of both is to get you to see something differently. Poets and ad writers want to alter your perception. To do this, they use words that cause you to hallucinate; to see something that isn't really there. They want you to look into their magic mirror and see yourself less worried, happier, and beaming with light. Every generation worries about what the next generation seems to have forgotten. Perhaps I am an outlier even among my own generation, but I have long been concerned about how few people today understand the purpose of the arts. I am frustrated that so few understand the differences between the heart and mind. I am broken-hearted that so few know the basic stories of the Bible. “Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes, The rest sit round it, and pluck blackberries.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh, 1857 Using the megaphone of poetry to whisper to us from 165 years ago, Dizzy Lizzy Browning is referring to the reaction of Moses in the desert of Midian when he saw a bush on fire in the distance that was never consumed. Moses turned aside to see it more closely. Looking into the glow, Moses heard a voice and took off his shoes because he knew he was in a special place. Elizabeth Barrett Browning is telling us that wonders are all around us, if only we would open our eyes. She is saying, “Stop. Notice. Go to the place. Realize that it is special.” How is that not an ad? When you know the basic stories of the Bible and the ancient Greeks, you see them echoed in the biggest movies, the best-selling novels, and the top-rated television shows. When you know those stories, you can use them as templates in communications of your own. These are stories that have proven to be magnetic, memorable, and persuasive. Note that phrase: “proven to be.” Repurpose the proven.In a movie directed by Oliver Stone in the second half of the 1980's, Charlie Sheen plays a young man who follows a bad father figure, then turns to follow a good father figure. Can you name the movie? If you said Platoon, you are right. If you said Wall Street, you are right. Both movies told the same story, and both were a huge success. The primary difference was that Platoon took us into the green jungles of Viet Nam circa 1967, and Wall Street took us into the concrete jungles of Manhattan circa 1985. Here's my point: Wall Street premiered less than 12 months after Platoon, but no one who saw it complained, “Hey, we were told this story last year!” Learn when and how to repurpose the proven.Solomon – another interesting Biblical character – said, “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. And though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Unconscious competence is called talent. A talented person instinctively knows what to do. Knowing what to do is wisdom. Conscious competence is called skill. A skilled person has studied talented people long enough to figure out what they are unconsciously doing and why it works. Talented people know what to do. Skilled people know why to do it. Skilled people have understanding. Aim for understanding. Roy H. Williams

    Do You See?Do You Stand in Wonder?Do You Take Off Your Shoes?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2022 6:17

    What They Didn't Teach Me at Oxford, I Learned in Jail

    Play Episode Listen Later May 9, 2022 7:11

    In his 3,000-year-old book, Ecclesiastes, King Solomon tells us of the stages and phases of his life, his fads and fancies, his regrets and realizations. Then he gives us his final conclusions and advice. Next to the Good News of John, Ecclesiastes is probably my favorite book in the Bible. Oscar Wilde wrote a similar summary of his stages and phases, fads and fancies, regrets and realizations in a private letter to his best and last and only friend. Later published as De Profundis, “From the Depths,” this 55,000-word letter shines with the unfiltered transparency of a man who has nothing but time, nothing to gain, and nothing to lose. Indy Beagle shared a couple of passages from De Profundis in last week's rabbit hole. After receiving several happy emails from rabbit holers, Indy suggested that I give Oscar's story a wider frame and take you on a deeper dive. Grab your scuba gear.As a young man, Oscar fell in love with a woman who dumped him to marry his more conservative childhood friend, Bram Stoker. So Oscar married another young woman who bore him two fine sons. He soon became flamboyantly famous as a comedic playwright, a social wit, a raconteur, and a writer of children's stories.* Oscar Wilde was like Coca-Cola. He was everywhere. And then he went to prison for being gay. “The gods had given me almost everything. But I let myself be lured into long spells of senseless and sensual ease. I amused myself with being a flaneur, a dandy, a man of fashion. I surrounded myself with the smaller natures and the meaner minds. I became the spendthrift of my own genius, and to waste an eternal youth gave me a curious joy. Tired of being on the heights, I deliberately went to the depths in the search for new sensation.” “I had lost my name, my position, my happiness, my freedom, my wealth. I was a prisoner and a pauper. But I still had my children left. Suddenly they were taken away from me by the law. It was a blow so appalling that I did not know what to do, so I flung myself on my knees, and bowed my head, and wept, and said, ‘The body of a child is as the body of the Lord: I am not worthy of either.' That moment seemed to save me. I saw then that the only thing for me was to accept everything. Since then—curious as it will no doubt sound—I have been happier.” “I want to get to the point when I shall be able to say quite simply, and without affectation that the two great turning-points in my life were when my father sent me to Oxford, and when society sent me to prison… I was so typical a child of my age, that in my perversity, and for that perversity's sake, I turned the good things of my life to evil, and the evil things of my life to good.” “A man's very highest moment is, I have no doubt at all, when he kneels in the dust, and beats his breast, and tells all the sins of his life. I am completely penniless, and absolutely homeless. Yet there are worse things in the world than that.” “Nobody is worthy to be loved. The fact that God loves man shows us that in the divine order of ideal things it is written that eternal love is to be given to what is eternally unworthy. Or if that phrase seems to be a bitter one to bear, let us say that everybody is worthy of love, except him who thinks he is.” “Love is a sacrament that should be taken kneeling. Where there is sorrow there is holy ground. Someday people will realize what that means.” “Indeed, that is the charm about Christ, when all is said: he is just like a work of art. He does not really teach one anything, but by being brought into his presence one becomes something. And everybody is predestined to his presence. Once at least in his life each man walks with Christ to Emmaus… [Christ] had an intense and flamelike imagination… He understood the leprosy of the leper, the darkness of the blind, the fierce misery of those who live for pleasure, the strange poverty

    When to Write It, and When Not.

    Play Episode Listen Later May 2, 2022 5:04

    If relationships matter to you at all, don't put your negative emotions in writing. Spoken words land softly on their feet like a cat that has fallen from a tree. But written words often land with a thud, and the crack of a fractured relationship. My son Jacob taught me an African proverb last week, “The axe forgets, but the tree remembers.” That proverb reminded me to warn you, “Never put a negative emotion in writing.” There are few things as reckless and destructive as a text, an email, or a letter in which you “clear the air” by venting your anger, your fear, your frustration, your disappointment, or your sadness. If you cannot speak face-to-face with the person that you feel needs to hear what you have to say, then at least find a way to speak voice-to-voice. Never put a negative emotion in writing. I speak recklessly, but I write carefully. Every time I have put a negative emotion in writing, I have regretted it. Introverts prefer to communicate in writing. As a member of that 49 percent of our population, I say, “I understand your preference for writing instead of talking. You are good at writing. This is why it is especially important for you to realize that your negative, written words hit harder, hurt more deeply, and cause more widespread destruction than the words of your extraverted friends. So please, never put a negative emotion in writing. But the opposite is also true: your written words of recognition, praise, and encouragement will raise the spirits, strengthen the resolve, and give new energy to every person on whom you shine that happy light.” During the dark times, the tree will remember that light. And smile. Are you ready for a surprise? The same applies to advertising. If your relationship with prospective customers matters to you, don't put negative emotions into your ads. You ask, “But don't I at least need to describe the pain of the problem before I tell them about the solution?” No, because if you do, your name and your brand will unconsciously become associated with pain and problems. People will remember you when they need what you sell, but they will feel better about someone else. And this “someone else” they feel better about will probably make the sale. If you want to be that “someone else,” learn to write ads that make people feel good about themselves, their future, and you. I've been saying it for 35 years: “Win the heart and the mind will follow. The mind will always find logic to justify what the heart has already decided.” Did you know that I think about you several times each week? As I sit in the light of my computer screen at 2:30 each morning, I ponder the price you pay to read what I write to you. Money can be replaced but time cannot, so each minute you spend with me is spent forever. It can never be replaced. This is why I try to give you things that will last; things you can take with you and use again and again. I cannot see your face but I feel your presence and I want the best for you, just as you want the best for all the people that your life touches. Shine on, bright friend, shine on. All the trees around you will remember. Roy H. Williams

    Affinity Groups

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 25, 2022 5:44

    An affinity group is composed of peoplewho share an identity marker.Backpackers are an affinity group. Corvette drivers are an affinity group. If you like to sew, you are part of an affinity group. Every sports team has “fans,” an affinity group. If you like wine, you are in that affinity group. People who like science are part of an affinity group. If you would rather drive than fly, you are part of an affinity group. In a class he taught at Wizard Academy, Ryan Deiss said, “Identify a tribe. Develop the tribe. Market to the tribe.” Ryan was talking about affinity groups. Affinity groups have an affinity for – an attraction to – a particular thing. Marketing to affinity groups is a smart thing to do.* Do you know the jargon of the affinity group you are trying to sell?People who spend time to save money are in an affinity group. People who spend money to save time are in a different affinity group. Your ad copy attracts one of these groups more strongly than it does the other. Do you know which group you are unconsciously targeting? Maggie Tufu is a fictional character, but she spoke profoundly when she said, “Tell me what a person admires and I'll tell you everything about them that matters.” Mark Zuckerberg is rich because he controls one of the major gateways that allow advertisers to reach affinity groups.Every time you click on something – anything at all – you reveal intimate things about yourself to Mark and dozens of other data brokers. Soon you will have told them everything about yourself that matters. Allow me to quote a video that you will see near the end of today's rabbit hole: “What all these companies have in common is they collect your personal information and then resell or share it with others… The entire economy of the internet right now is basically built on this practice. All the free stuff that you take for granted online is only free because you are the product. They make money by selling your data… As one expert puts it, ‘They're the middlemen of surveillance capitalism.'” Several of the apps you have on your phone are tracking you for the purposes of letting you know which of their locations is “Nearest You” at any given moment. And they sell that data to data brokers, some of which are happy to tell anyone – who wants to kill you, kidnap you, or sell you an extended warranty – exactly where you are right now. The going price for that information is $45. Seems like there ought to be a law that makes this impossible, right? Well, there is an outside chance that such a law might soon be enacted. According to that video you'll see near the end of today's rabbit hole, “The one time that Congress has acted quickly to safeguard people's privacy was in the 1980s when Robert Bork was nominated to the Supreme Court and a reporter walked into a local video store and asked the manager whether he could have a peek at Bork's video rental history. And he got it. As soon as Congress realized there was nothing stopping anyone from retrieving their video rental records too, they freaked out. And lo and behold, the Video Privacy Protection Act was passed with quite deliberate speed.” At the end of today's rabbit hole, you can https://www.mondaymorningmemo.com/john-oliver/ (see how one man is currently trying to motivate Congress) by threatening to reveal all the detailed, personal information he gathered about each of them after spending just a few dollars with data brokers. This could get interesting. Roy H. Williams *Earlier, when I said, “Marketing to affinity groups is a smart thing to do,” please notice that I did not say that marketing to affinity groups is the “only” smart thing to do. I continue to believe in the effectiveness of untargeted mass media – TV and radio – because it works miraculously if you know how to use it. It reaches your target, but it also reaches the influencers of your target. And compared to online marketing, Mass Media is...

    Caribbean Santa

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 18, 2022 5:01

    Thirty-five years ago, he patrolled a stretch of beach as long as two football fields on a Caribbean Island whose name I cannot remember. He pushed a wheelbarrow full of ice as he pranced from one end of his empire to the other, the music of his voice rising and falling over the sound of the surf. “I'm sorry I'm late, but I'm here. You want it. I got it.” His music would often stop. Then resume. Stop. Resume. Stop. Finally, we saw him, a tiny, native islander in his late 50's, as slender and leathery as a bullwhip, his naked feet falling as lightly as snowflakes on the soft Caribbean sand. “I'm sorry I'm late, but I'm here. You want it. I got it… I'm sorry I'm late, but…” His song would stop abruptly when he saw a hand raised. Sprinting to that spot with his wheelbarrow, he would ask the vacationers to name the drinks they desired. I watched him for a while. He was a genius. Occasionally he would reach into the ice and produce the requested beverage, but usually, he would pull his empty hands out of the icy water and fly like a bullet to his shack at the back of the beach. He would leave so quickly that you had no time to tell him you would happily accept a substitute. He would return like Santa's reindeer, his feet barely touching the sand, with the requested drink in hand, triumphant and proud not to have let you down. Once, as I saw him fly over the sand with cold drinks in hand, I thought I could hear the sound of sleigh bells, “More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: ‘Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!‘” That's when it hit me: “This sandy song and dance is the daily floor show he gives us in this magnificent tavern without a ceiling. He is making a fortune in tips, and earning every bit of it.” I observed him long enough to decode his methods: if he suspected vacationers of feeling entitled and flinty, he would immediately pull their drinks from the ice, accept their money, and resume his happy song. “I'm sorry I'm late, but I'm here. You want it. I got it.” I was honored when he couldn't find our drinks. Pennie and I smiled at each other as he sprinted across the sand and returned with them 90 seconds later. One minute after that, we smiled at each other again when we saw him pull those same drinks from the ice to serve an unhappy couple 20 feet away. Like I said, the man was a genius. When an unpleasant person is demanding my attention and I feel like showing them the bird that I keep in my hand, I think of that happy, slender islander, and tell myself that he is still there, his hands in the ice, his bare feet falling like snowflakes on the soft Caribbean sand. Roy H. Williams

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