Posts

Recommended Resources – Mood-lites

Mood-litesMood-lites
A Mood-Factory product
www.themoodfactory.com

About the Product

Mood-lites are light bulbs that emit soft, colored ambient light; helping to positively influence affected individuals’ mood. Mood-Factory introduced its first incandescent Mood-lites in 2004 and expanded the line to include flood, porch, and compact florescent bulbs in 2012.

Mood-lite colors were developed by applying expert color research concepts to lighting. Colors and their corresponding mood affects include:

  • Mood-litesRed = Passion (shown)
  • Dark Pink = Sassy
  • Orange = Energy
  • Yellow = Happiness
  • Green = Renewal
  • Light Blue = Serenity (shown)
  • Deep Blue = Tranquility
  • Purple = Creativity

Mood-lites are most effective when used in lamps with shades that permit the bulb’s color and ambiance to shine through. White or translucent shades are ideal. They can be inserted directly into fixtures, wall mounts, and any other bulb socket that uses the base standard for each particular bulb.

Why We Recommend This Product

StrategyDriven Contributors tested the Mood-lites for over a month and found that their soft ambient glow did, in fact, positively impact the mood of those affected by the light. Our personnel working in the ‘Energy’ (orange) light reported feeling more alert throughout the day and, in particular, during the mid-afternoon slump. (We actually stopped consuming our mid-day caffeinated and energy drinks.)

Our research and personal experience suggests there is merit to the notion that the color of light can affect how individuals feel. As a former U.S. Naval Officer, I’m familiar with the Navy’s use of color (light pastel green) to help create a calming atmosphere within the otherwise stressful environment onboard submarines.

Mood-lites are easy to install and provide a soft, consistent light. The 25W bulbs tested provided ample lighting to perform office tasks (hard copy document reading, email, other computer work) within a 12 foot by 12 foot space with no other lights on. We found the impact of the Mood-lites to be significantly diminished with white lights turned on within the same space.

For their positive impact on workplace mood, Mood-lites are a StrategyDriven recommended product – and we will keeping our Mood-lites on!

Mood-lites can be purchased at a Lowe’s Home Improvement Retailers.

Recommended Resources – Promote Yourself

StrategyDriven Recommended ResourcesPromote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success
by Dan Schawbel

About the Book

Promote Yourself by Dan Schawbel provides tangible advice for gaining the visibility necessary for career advancement without appearing to be overtly self-serving. Dan delves into the hard and soft skills needed for success in today’s professional world as well as what managers are seeking when deciding whom to promote. Once presented, Dan provides actionable advice for developing those skills required for advancement.

Some of the specific topics addressed within Promote Yourself include:

  • Hard skills required to be more than your job description
  • Soft skills necessary to make every impression count
  • Online skills to use social media to your advantage
  • Gaining visibility without being a self-promoting jerk
  • What managers look for when deciding whom to promote
  • Building a network at work and beyond

Benefits of Reading this Book

StrategyDriven Contributors like Promote Yourself because it provides immediately actionable steps to take charge of one’s career in a positive and effective manner. Dan tackles the unique challenges of today’s workplace environment – social media, advancing technology, generational gaps, and workforce mobility – revealing how to successfully deal with each by leveraging resources and opportunities internal and external to one’s company. He also provides an insightful discussion of addressing the need for change with one’s boss and knowing when it is time to move on. Dan’s recommendations align with our personal professional experiences, many of which are echoed on the StrategyDriven Professional website.

Promote Yourself focuses on professionals within the workforce and, in our opinion, would not be as useful to non-professional workers. Our experience also suggests Dan’s insights best apply to management consultants and that some additional and/or modified actions would better support those professionals working in more traditional, hierarchical organizations. Lastly, we believe Promote Yourself more ideally fits entry, lower, and mid-level professionals than second tier managers and above.

Promote Yourself reflects many of the professional development and career advancement principles recommended on the StrategyDriven Professional website making it a StrategyDriven recommended read, particularly for college seniors and professionals below the first-line manager level.

Recommended Resources – Freakonomics

StrategyDriven Recommended ResourcesFreakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
by Steven D. Levitt and
Stephen J. Dubner

About the Book

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner challenges conventional thinking by using economic analysis to uncover the underlying causes of everyday life events. Steven and Stephen reveal that economics is simply the study of incentives and that by understanding incentives one can reveal the hidden truth about why people behave as they do and the results consequently achieved. Freakonomics examines the commonly held myths surrounding:

  • Campaign finance
  • Cheating schoolteachers and sports players
  • Crime rates
  • Child-rearing

Why You Should Read This Book

StrategyDriven Contributors like Freakonomics for its logical approach to cause and effect analysis. Steven and Stephen examine problems from an unconventional viewpoint, unwilling to accept conventional wisdom as to why the world works as it does. Through their relentless pursuit of the truth, they expose many of society’s falsely held beliefs and reveal the incentivized behaviors driving the results we observe.

While sometimes controversial, Freakonomics represents the questioning attitude StrategyDriven promotes. Steven and Stephen push to find the highly quantified correlations between cause and effect necessary for sound decision-making. And although based on strong analytical principles, Freakonomics is written as a collection of easy-to-understand stories.

Freakonomics does not present a step-by-step method of performance improvement common to those books we typically recommend. However, it clearly conveys the importance of relentlessly asking those questions and performing those analyses necessary to gain an understanding of the true drivers of performance and is therefore a StrategyDriven recommended read.

Recommended Resources – Little Red Book of Sales Answers

StrategyDriven Recommended ResourcesLittle Red Book of Sales Answers: 99.5 Real World Answers That Make Sense, Make Sales, and Make Money
by Jeffrey Gitomer

About the Book

Little Red Book of Sales Answers by Jeffrey Gitomer addresses the questions all sales people ask, particularly those questions holding them back from making the sales and the money they should. Jeffrey’s 99.5 answers address:

  • Personal Improvement that Leads to Personal Growth
  • Prospecting for Golden Leads and Making Solid Appointments
  • How to Win the Sales Battle AND the Sales War
  • Sales Skill Building… One Brick at a Time
  • Building the Friendship. Building the Relationship. Earning the Referral. Earning the Testimonial. Earning the Reorder.
  • Building Your Personal Brand
  • The Final AHA!

Why You Should Read This Book

StrategyDriven Contributors like Little Red Book of Sales Answers for its practical, easy-to-implement actions that help expand one’s relationships and earn more sales. Jeffrey goes directly to the core of doubt many sales people harbor and provides them with the tools needed to create confidence and immediately improve sales performance.

Each of Jeffrey’s answers provides a step-by-step common sense approach to selling that anyone can implement. Truth be told, we at StrategyDriven have successfully implemented many of Jeffrey’s recommendations.

Little Red Book of Sales Answers actionably addresses sales persons’ questions and doubts; enabling them to achieve more for their clients, their organizations, and themselves. For its immediately actionable sales methods, Little Red Book of Sales Answers is a StrategyDriven recommended read.

Recommended Resources – Winning Strategies for Power Presentations

StrategyDriven Recommended ResourcesWinning Strategies for Power Presentations
by Jerry Weissman

About the Book

Winning Strategies for Power Presentations by Jerry Weissman is a vast collection of presentation best practices focused on gaining and retaining the audience’s attention and effectively conveying the message desired. Jerry takes his presentation lessons from history’s many great orators and presenters. These collections are grouped by topical area including:

  • The Art of Telling Your Story – 30 best practices
  • Graphics: How to Design PowerPoint Slides Effectively – 15 best practices
  • Delivery Skills: Actions Speak Louder Than Words – 12 best practices
  • How to Handle Tough Questions – 8 best practices
  • Special Presentations – 10 best practices

Benefits of Reading this Book

All professionals at every organizational level must effectively communicate in order to be successful for it is only through a well conveyed, received, and understood message that we influence others and shape the behaviors around us.

StrategyDriven Contributors like Winning Strategies for Power Presentations because for its thoroughness in addressing each aspect of public presentations. Jerry’s book is well researched and truly gathers the best presentation practices from renowned influencers throughout history. Within his book, we found numerous gems of wisdom, particularly regarding the language and syntax used by successful presenters, that will help us to take our presentation skills to the next level.

We had two criticisms of Jerry’s book. First, while the best practices are contained within well-structured collections there is no overarching process for ‘pulling it all together,’ to create and deliver a powerful presentation. Second, we would have liked to see more and more detailed illustrations of the points Jerry made in the Graphics section of the book; providing a visual example for the points being made.

Winning Strategies for Power Presentations provides readers with a thorough body of best practices needed to elevate their presentation development and delivery skills. Each recommendation is clear and concisely conveyed enabling the reader to quickly select and extract the specific insight needed. For its deep insight and actionable conveyance of how readers can improve a vital business skill, Winning Strategies for Power Presentations is a StrategyDriven recommended read.