Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Vive la diffÄ—rence? Not in this case!

Let me say up front that I believe Nafissatou Diallo. That, despite the fact that I also believe she probably embellished her immigration story. When you are fleeing for your life, I don’t think it’s so unusual to tell a tale you think your potential rescuers want to hear before they will help you.

But did she lie about being sexually assaulted by Dominique Strauss-Kahn in that NY hotel room last May? Hell, no!

Something happened. That is clear. She called it rape and he called it “consensual”. The prosecutors had to acknowledge that “something sexual had occurred”, because a DNA test concluded that it was his semen on her clothes. But they cannot take the case to trial, they now say, because Nafissatou Diallo had been caught in earlier lies, e.g. her petition for U.S. asylum. Ha!

Once a liar, always a liar? Hardly!

Let’s have a reverie for a minute and assume he is right. They had sex, because they both wanted to have sex. Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Nafissatou Diallo. Now that’s an odd couple (-ling), isn’t it? One of the most powerful men in the world takes a besotted, not-to-be-denied fantasy to a lowly hotel maid? When instead he could have . . .? Well, you get my drift. And she, at that same serendipitous moment, develops a twinkle-in-the-eye animal instinct for him?

My aunt Johanna, who was afraid that my perpetual reading would lead to no good, often admonished me with: “Real life is not like that!”


If she, Nafissatou, is the kind of person the district attorney now says she is, after earlier talking about her “compelling story with powerful details” and concurring with the investigators finding her “credible”, I bet you money that money would have exchanged hands. You don’t think that this powerful, rich man, who had paid, what, $3,000 a night for the hotel room he was about to vacate, would not have slipped her a few hundreds after the “consensual” deed had been done? And she, with that eye twinkle still present, would have taken the bus home with bills in her pocket and kept silent – or maybe secretively told a girl friend later that night? That one can image as “real life”. But that’s not, I believe, what happened.

The differences here are powerful, wealthy, white men (the accused and the district attorney) on one side, and a poor, black, female menial worker on the other. If anyone ever needed an example of a stacked deck . . ., here it is! How awful, in 21st century America. Are we still that primitive, this ruthless and so class distinctive?

I hope the jury that will hear the civil case will draw the right conclusion (semen: his, on clothes: hers – what more is there to say?).

Memo to Anne Sinclair: divorce him. He not only did “something sexual” with Nafissatou Diallo, he also made you look like an idiot. It’s over. You’ve done your “job” – stood by your man. Get on with your life.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

When Women Build Community

It’s not even 5 months since Atlanta Social Media Women came into being (its Facebook group has 65 members as of today – “by invitation only”) and already it has the characteristics of a community. We share, empathize, brainstorm, support and encourage.

Women, it has often been said, are good at building networks but then they don’t know what to do with them. ASMW is the group that proves that notion wrong.

Why does this group work where others have not? It may well be its diversity – in ages, in business niches, in global experiences, in interests and areas of expertise. And it’s the Social Media phenomenon that provides the glue. If we formed a company . . ., imagine what we could accomplish!

Over the past few months, I have written a few paragraphs now and then about one or more members of the group. Let me not change that habit today. I’d like to shine a bit of a spotlight on Judi Knight, who owns New Tricks, a Design, Blogs & Social Network Marketing enterprise she runs from her home on Krog Street. Since we only just met yesterday and do not yet know each other (I learned that she builds houses and started a software company she sold some time ago, plus owns a loft B&B – definitely an entrepreneur with many interests and capabilities!), I can only give you an impression (sincere person, who knows her stuff) and further refer you to her web site, which I imagine you will like.

Now we look forward to building a tribe in Triberr (thanks, Desiree Colonna Scales!), and to meeting up in Kennesaw next month for the Social Media Integration conference.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hiring a Consultant – Yes? No?

Volumes have been written about the pros and cons of hiring a consultant. Among the pros: get an extra brain. Among the cons: it’s expensive.

Perhaps the most overlooked very good reason for hiring a consultant is that nobody – really, nobody! – inside the enterprise today has time to take on yet another task.

Whether it is the launch of a new product, the revamp of a web site, the analysis of a recently acquired business unit, the replacement of a C-Suite leader, the exploration of a new market . . ., do you have time? Does one of your VPs? Maybe your secretary can do something with that web site. Or your HR benefits generalist has contacts that can help you find a new COO or CFO. Yeah, right!

Productivity is on the rise. That means that we all work harder, for longer hours, to deliver more results. It also means that we are so thinly stretched that taking on yet another task is out of the question. Unless we want to stumble along for a while and finally settle for a less than optimal result.

Today’s savvy Chairmen, CEOs and Presidents know that getting a hired gun on board – with expertise, experience and recommendations, of course – is the way to go. It saves time. It saves money. It delivers results. It burnishes the bottom line.

We have some recommendations for you . . .

* Sales
* Image & Etiquette
* Executive HR
* Marketing & PR (you saw that one coming, didn't you . . .? :-))

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

U.S. Investments and Jobs in Renewable Energy

Both private and public investments in renewable energy continue to increase in the United States, but the question has been raised if it is enough.

In order for the U.S. to claim a world leadership position in renewable energy, CEDA is one of the “must” items on our national To Do List.

The entire piece, with pertinent links, will appear in Atlanta Daybook later this week.

Friday, August 5, 2011

I Can Do Boring!

It always amazes me that so many people want to look like, sound like, and otherwise come across like everybody else.

A recent client did not want to have it mentioned in his bio that he was passionate about his industry because, he said, his was an industry without passion. Really? Maybe he ought to shake things up a bit.

Even more recently, another client who was given a bit of “edge” in her profile told me she was too conservative, pragmatic and collaborative in nature for this. But she was interested in what she referred to “catchy phrases” . . . team player, results oriented, respected professional, highly motivated.


But, in the spirit of the customer being king, if a client insists . . ., I can do “boring”!

Still, if you want to make an impact in a job search or a vendor application, or if you want to be a conference’s next keynote speaker or get the attention of a talk show’s booker . . ., “boring” is probably not going to do it for you.

Find your uniqueness and dare to stand out!