Tag Archives: Leadership

The ability to improvise

On our way to a large three-day conference for Mommy’s work, this little guy made use of the arm rest.

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Would you even be able to turn your head if you slept like this? I know that I wouldn’t!

Ms. Annie Sells loves this example of improvision and adaptability.  In this rapidly changing world that we live in, we could all take a lesson from our children.

It is with age and time that we become inflexible and justify our actions with half – baked excuses. Sometimes as  adults, we go so far as to use twisted logic and the hypocrisy, of beliefs held by others, as our ammunition. But it is ourselves that are hurt the most!

The fact is that as humans, we are remarkable creatures. We have the ability to improvise and rise above almost anything. In order to do this, we must be honest with ourselves, correctly assess our lives, set our true priorities, and (at least) mentally prepare for anything.

Now to work!

Be Blessed,
Ms. Annie Sells

The Grid’s Great: Where’s Your Radio?

Today is a new day, one that everyone who is honest would gladly admit that they are proud to experience. On any given day, I would likely write to you about my beloved home of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

I might talk to you about reaching out and connecting to your friends, family and potential clients via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and WordPress. I might even talk to you about marketing and adversiting solutions for your business and the various ways that you can utilize social media to save yourself and your business time and money.

All of these forms of technology and ways of connecting on the grid are relevant to our way of life. But let’s suppose for a moment that you were to become disconnected from the grid or the grid were to go down for any one of a million reasons. Then what?

My last article on this site was Social Media: Now What? and included a picture of an old computer. It’s no secret that ever day people across the globe are struggling to provide a roof over their heads, food in their bellies, are fighting against horrible diseases, and for their safety. War has become a part of everyday life, so much so that Generation X hardly blinks an eye lash at its ever-present danger!

So you ask “why has the theme of my written gift to you changed?” How did we get from Social Media: Now What? to The Grid’s Great: Where’s Your Radio? Ask me. I would be happy to explain.

Be Blessed,

Ms. Annie Sells

My favorite curse word starts with a P and it is not Patience

Are you wondering what four letter word that Ms. Annie Sells is admitting to as her favorite curse word?

Well, I am not going to tell you. Instead we are going to take an honest look at what really should be a curse word to many of us.

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If you type patience into Google, then your first hit will be the definition.

pa·tience ˈpāSHəns’ – a noun: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

You will also find this Wikipedia definition.

Patience (or forbearing) is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one can take before negativity.

If you are a faith-based person you might look up the definition in a King James Version of the Holy Bible. Ecclesiastes 7:8 reads like this.

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Keep your cool. Not letting your blood pressure top out, your voice raise, your heart race, and all those other grand reactions, which we are prone to when things do not go our way is simple. Yes I said simple, not easy.

There are two steps to finding patience. Step 1) Breathe. Step 2) Wait.

So a betting man (or woman) might say that patience is not just a virtue preached to us and explained in Google and Wikipedia, but patience pays!

So breathe and wait for your payday!

CV – You mean RV? Resume’ – You mean Get Going Again?

Okay I know; I am gushing! But I have been waiting for weeks, for the newest version of Trust Agents and The Impact Equation and they arrived together just in time for my birthday. Happy Happy Happy Birthday to Ms. Annie Sells!

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I owe about 100 thank you’s to all the friends and family that reached out to make me feel loved and appreciated on the celebration of my birth. I owe the biggest thank you, to Chris and Z who made it clear that they love me without measure and wanted me to know it on my special day. But I owe a big thank you to these authors for rekindling a spark in me!

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I have spent time “on-line” forever and was one of the first people I know to do AOL, to get a Yahoo account, I was on MyLife way before it was MyLife and I still slink around MeetMe which of course used to be My Yearbook. I remember when chat rooms were thought to never take on. Of course I have seen many more come and go. I miss Threadsy. 😦

I have advocated for online learning for over a decade and every degree and certification that trails my name was earned online. I respect and love higher education, but firmly believe that if colleges and universities don’t come a lot further very quickly, toward embracing distance and online learning that future generations will suffer.

However, I did not need to tell you any of this, because it is all out here on the world wide web for your viewing pleasure. Do a search for “Ms. Annie Sells” and you will find a lot, but do another search for “Ms. Annie Sells, social media” or “Ms. Annie Sells, Fort Smith” and you would be entertained for a while

I have tripped my way through a lot of trial and error just like Trust Agents and Thought Leaders. We are the guinea pigs that are testing everything and putting ourselves on the line, so that we can learn for ourselves and teach as many of our friends and colleagues who are willing and interested in learning. Trust me, if you take this route you will not need a resume’ or CV either.

Cheers,

Ms. Annie Sells

Changing tides in #social media, #business & #leadership … Social Me

A respected colleague posted a full analysis of their Facebook activity to their news feed  and I could not resist checking it out. I was redirected to Zeebly and accessed Social Me.  After more than five years in online marketing and social media advancement this was new to me.  Okay … I have been busy. So sue me.

The next step was to allow them access to my Facebook page. They said I use Facebook a ton. Big surprise there.

ImageAccording to their analysis 83% of my posts come from Facebook (of course with the assistance of many apps) and 7% come from Android. (This is about to change folks, as I just ordered my first tablet computer today).  Rumor has it that the average person posts from Facebook 58% of the time. I talk the most about Social Media, Community, and Business and am ambitious and spontaneous. They examined my statuses, looked in depth at my speech, my likes, my post times, my friends, and much more to figure out my online personality.

Of my 1,200 plus posts they are usually about education, general questions, culture, love, excitement, my day, humor and happiness. The personality traits that they attribute to me are extroverted, confident, compassionate, spontaneous, traditional, spiritual, ambitious and optimistic. They say that I have published more words than the Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, which has a total of 36,363 words. Too bad they only looked at Facebook, if they ran the same analysis of all my social media channels, then I am sure that I have published what amounts to many books.

My most popular status thus far is:

“To every single one of you who are on my friends list – – I enjoy catching up, looking at pics, hearing about you and your family, sharing jokes and news, along with getting and sometimes giving…”

Ironically this sums up my philosophy. We all have an online presence. Whether we are aware of it and manage it is our choice – this goes for individuals, organizations and businesses alike. This motivated lady took it upon herself to brand herself and to learn how to teach others to do the same. This assessment of one of my platforms shows that my efforts have not been in vain.

What does your online presence say about you?

 

 

AR Higher Ed, A New Personality & Sharing the Next Go Round

August to September, September to October, October to November and wait now it is July 2012!  I went to visit my Word Press Blog, since I had some feedback on a post. I was horrified to see that it has been almost an entire year since I posted. Embarrassed is not nearly strong enough of a word to express the deep feeling that gripped me!

I could jump into a list of excuses as long as my arm, but we all know that excuses are like unmentionable body parts, we all have them.  So allow me to share with you some of what I have been up to. First of all I was nominated for, participated in and graduated from the AATYC Leadership Academy. My class marks 99 graduates. During this 9 month whirl wind, we had the privilege of traveling all over the state of Arkansas, visiting several colleges we might not have had the opportunity to visit otherwise.  I ate some great food, including three pounds of boiled Cajun-style crab in the Duck Capital of the World in southern Arkansas.

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Our class worked their tails off. There were 24 of us from all across the state, many faculty and staff from the two-year colleges, as well as a couple of folks from Arkansas government and non-profits. We were broken into groups and worked diligently over the course of the academy on group projects wherein we researched and searched incessantly toward finding out the Facts about several hot-button topics that are integral to higher education in Arkansas.  Here is a little FYI information for your processing.

Cost Containment Efforts in Arkansas Higher Education – includes retooling HVAC controls, utilities cost cuts, reduced travel, reduced office and teaching supplies, revised computer replacement programs, more temporary and less full-time faculty, deferred salary increases, outsourcing food services, early retirement incentives, creating multi-school classes, increasing class sizes, and reduction of benefits.

Arkansas E-Link, ATOM and ARE-ON – is the process of connecting Arkansas’ computer networks as the result of a $102 million grant provided to the UAMS Center for Distance Health and by the federal government, expanding the Arkansas Telehealth Network (ATOM) and the Arkansas Research and Education Optical Network (ARE-ON), with Health Care, Higher Education, Public Safety, and Research as the four focus areas, increased applications and benefits at 470+ locations across Arkansas, and work will be completed in August 2013.

Developmental Education – is a hot topic among educators and legislators due to more than 75% of two-year college students being required to take at least one remedial course, no typical developmental education student, approximately $36.2 million of 56.84% of general revenue spent on remediation, and two promising practices – Achieving the Dream and Path to Accelerated Completion and Employment (PACE).

Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship – provides scholarships to Arkansas residents pursuing a higher education, funded in large part by the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, the growing need for non-traditional student funding – 76% of applicants in 2010 were non-traditional students and 62% of applicants in 2011 were non-traditional students, 73% of non-traditional students who received funding renewed their scholarship and remained in higher education, where only 61% of traditional students did the same, and non-traditional students in Arkansas have a higher retention rate than traditional students but receive the least amount of funding.

Concurrent Credit Enrollment – is an accelerated learning option that provides high school students the opportunity to simultaneously earn credit in both high school and college classes, reduces the cost of college by enabling students to earn college credit and by shortening their time to complete a degree, increases the academic rigor of high school curriculum, increases high school graduation rates, college enrollment, college credit accumulation, college grade point averages and increases college persistence and retention, can save students and taxpayers money, and can help students to launch careers with less debt, some recommendations include: require departments of education, higher education, career education, and post-secondary institutions to collaborate in the design, collection, analysis and reporting of data that will provide evidence based research to help understand the effectiveness of all accelerated learning options on access and success for all students and require annual reporting from departments of education on how all accelerated options are funded, the among of investment for each option, the sources of funding and the number of students served by each option.

Adult Education and Higher Education: A Partnership for Student Success – is an initiative the recognizes that the United States is the only highly-developed democracy where young adults are less likely to have completed high school that the previous generation, over 1 million young adults drop out of high school each year, that is 7,000 per day, in Arkansas 63 students drop out of secondary education each school day, 14.2% of those without a high school diploma were unemployed compared with 8% of those with at least some college, by 2018 52% of Arkansas jobs will require a post-secondary education, earning a GED increases a students’ chances of entering college, however in Arkansas less than 10% of the GED diploma recipients entered post-secondary education, some recommendations include: revise federal adult education and workforce development policy to clarify that federal funds can be used for integrated adult education and post-secondary occupational programs, adapt financial aid policies to support the needs of lower-skilled adults that allow them to reduce work hours to a level at which educational success is possible, and create and enhance bridge programs that ease the transition to post-secondary education.

Is your head spinning? Mine has been. I knew that I loved Arkansas. I knew that I respected higher education. I knew that I had a driving need to help others and have tried to do what I can, where I can. But there is so much to process and so much history.  Living history is a growing organism. The more pieces that you can identify and at least gain a partial understanding of the greater the passion that will grip you. The passion has gripped me so strongly that I am no longer the same person.

Just prior to entering into the AATYC Leadership Academy I did a full Briggs and Meyers personality test and it was the same as it had been my entire life – ENFJ, which is boiled down as practical, realistic, matter-of-fact, quickly moves to implement decisions, organize projects and people to get things done, focus on getting results in the most efficient way possible, take care of routine details, have a clear set of logical standards, systematically follow them and want others to also, forceful in implementing plans.

In the last session of the AATYC Leadership Academy we analyzed the results of a brand new full Briggs and Myers personality test. I was shocked; my personality had shifted to far less extroverted, not judging but rather perceiving and not feeling as much as thinking – ENTP, which is boiled down as quick, ingenious, stimulation, alert, outspoken, resourceful in solving new and challenging problems, adept at generating conceptual possibilities and then analyzing them strategically, good at reading other people, bored by routine, will seldom do the same thing the same way, apt to turn to one new interest after another.

An old friend and I bumped into each other last week, while I was with a new friend.  My new friend asked my old friend if I had always been a trouble maker.  My old friend’s response was this: Annie is not, nor has she ever been a trouble maker, but she has always rocked the boat and challenged the status quo. I am still processing the last go round and I don’t know what the next one holds, but I sure would love to hear your feedback and I look forward to traveling the next go round with you!

Connect: Touch the Worlds and Lives of Others

An advocate by definition has nothing to gain from the advancement of a cause, practice and/or belief. However, when your job and/or lively-hood and reputation is on the line then it is not as easy to be a consultant, coach, thought leader and/or innovator. Or is it?

I assert that indeed one is no different than the other, because we never know for sure how one action will lead to another or cause a demand. Never mind the fact that when you are passionate about something, it drives you and you want to share it with anyone and everyone that might listen. Some may call you crazy, tell you it’s a bunch of fanciful ideas and some will never understand. But do you allow that to stop you?

No.

Today, May 4, 2011 I sat in on the SKC Webinar: AVAYA Social Media Manager. Molly Denton, mollydenton@avaya.com and Jeff Holton, jeff.holton@skccom.com where the co-hosts and the information that they offered was both accurate and useful. They talked about Social Media and Customer Service, Supporting Customers using Social Media, Creating the Business Case, gave Reporting and Administrative Examples and offered a Social Media Management Demo. They addressed the questions of which channels of social media to utilize, how to measure social media success, how to leverage social media, how to integrate contacts and how to improve outbound performance.

Of course, the ultimate objective is to Engage Continuously. But the real question is HOW?

We all know that you have to Listen, Share and Engage, but HOW?

The answer that Molly and Jeff offered is to determine your reach and interaction within the framework of a strategy.

But again HOW?

Let me get back to that.

Molly and Jeff talked about blogs, microblogs, media sharing, video streaming, social networks, forums, virtual worlds and multi-player games as the different types of social media. Molly said that if Facebook where a country it would be the fourth largest in the world. She went on to compare traditional media to social media.

Then Molly and Jeff got to the HOW: Do a social assessment, form a social strategy, construct your social roadmap and then adopt and collaborate.

Molly and Jeff, I enjoyed your presentation and the information that you shared. The AVAYA Social Media Manager seems like it would be a GREAT product for a medium-to-large company that seeks to have someone else manage their social media.

All that being said I, Annie Sells, am going to continue to do what I am passionate about and that is to teach the little ladies and gentlemen (small business owners and individuals alike) how to utilize social media tools and applications to connect authentically with the people within their world. Because once we know where we are, know where we want to go, form a plan for how to get there, begin the work and work together authentically connected, we may fail, but we might just get there.

Either way we will touch the worlds and lives of others and that is what it is all about!