Friday Five for February 24

I have a question for you all: what do you do when an industry acquaintance literally ignores you at a conference and on an expected airplane ride? I’ve had such an experience. I won’t give out the name, but this individual literally came up to a person with whom I was speaking, hugged that individual, told him how much he was glad to see him and then walked off without ever acknowledging my presence. It’s not as if he didn’t know me. On a recent flight, I saw him on a flight I was taking and all he could do was shake my hand. The way I figure it: he’s obviously got something in his head about me that is negative and I’m not going to be able to change it. I just accept it and move on. It’s just weird – like my first wife – I never thought anyone could dislike me that much.

Anyways, enough ranting. From the Fox Personal Financial people, they ask a simple question: Is your Cash Safe? My first reaction – of course not. Sheesh. With the balance sheet of the Federal Reserve having significantly grown in the last few years, I can’t help but think that once this new money finds some velocity, we’ll have significant inflation and our cash will be worth less and less. But fear not, this article equivocated between banks and money markets. They noted that deposits at banks are insured up to $250,000. Big deal. If there is a real run on the banks, the insurance will not be able to cover the losses, so the insurance is a bit worthless, IMHO, in an extreme scenario. It seems we keep putting our confidence and faith in the Federal Government to bail us out and the reality is that the Federal Government, as Ronald Reagan said, is the “problem“, not the solution.

This article from HBR is inline with sage advice my lawyer gave me a long time ago – which I didn’t follow: Take some serious time off for yourself. I would enjoy taking a month off. Of course, many in the world do this and don’t plan for how they will cover their loss of productivity while they are gone. But still, in high-stress or high-travel jobs, I like this idea quite a bit.

What do you do to control your email overload? While spam filters help, it’s also something you can take proactive steps to curb the sheer number of emails you’ll receive on a given day. What do I do? Several things:

  1. Consistently unsubscribe to spam emails from companies that have traded my email address. I don’t give one whit about their privacy policy. The reality is that vendors pass around email address like beers at a pub.
  2. Use the inbox rules to file emails into folders. I have one folder called “Misc” for all those emails that I would occasionally look at. It can get quite large. But these are emails that I do want to be informed about, I just want to deal with them on my own time line.
  3. I deal with emails when I get them. My goal is to ensure that each email is dealt with swiftly. When you stop to think about it, email is really a:
    1. Represents a to-do – so it gets moved to my tasks list
    2. Needs to be forwarded
    3. Needs to be filed for future reference – I use OneNote for this
    4. Needs to be deleted after I’m informed

Emails are a pain in the neck. I’d rather get direct mail from the postal service than get email advertisements. But it is a part of our lives and there’s not much we can do about it except take proactive steps to manage the email that is sent to us. It’s passive management, but important.

Lastly, Hurley’s word to describe this as “unsettling” is an understatement. Seriously.

Bill English, CEO


One thought on “Friday Five for February 24”

  1. I would like to offer a feminine, Canadian purrs-pective:

    1. the ignoring incident: i use benign interpretation for explaining possible reasons why something happened, why someone said or did what they did. usually it works out to the positive.

    This snub could be due to a touch of envy, purrhaps?

    Could also be due to your desire to connect faith and business. sure, there are reasons to have ethics, morals and guidelines in business. once someone starts talking about faith or religion in business (and politics), i use something called polite avoidance.

    I heard you speak at a conference in Canada two or three years ago. I was very impressed with your delivery, content and professionalism. I even purchased one of the MS press books you co-authored. As soon as I read the JC acknowledgment, my eyes rolled up inside my head.

    Despite all that, my sight returned and my curiosity draws me to read more of your posts.

    I suppose it takes a confident, respectable man to walk in your sandals and turn the other cheek…

    2. US financial situation: ah, the Fox reference again. I don’t like foxes and their narrow minded opinions, leading the sheeple astray. I seem to recall a previous administration that caused the financial issues for the current one. they didn’t have good guidelines for the greedy bankers and wall street traders. sorry, most of my knowledge about US politics and your current financial situation is influenced by the satirists. the kings’ courts had jesters for a reason. I’d rather listen to these jesters than the loud, obnoxious pundits.

    3. Email overload: agreed. catch those sneaky checkboxes on subscription forms or you could be opening up to a flood of offers. Now I just use twitter if i want to know what a certain company or person is up to.

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

    Go well.

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