Saturday, May 21, 2016

Thoughts early on a Saturday morning in May

It was great to see all of you who were able to make it to my Semi-Annual Pizza/Drink thing last Monday at Joe G's in NYC.  Email RSVP's gave me a heads-up of who would not be able to make it but I never know for sure who will be there.  About 35 folks joined me and my partner Liz Weiner for the famous pizza, drinks and conversation.  While I knew almost everyone, I also met a few industry folks for the first time - this is one of the things I love best about these get-togethers.  

As we are all creatures of habit, when we're in a networking-type setting, we tend to gravitate towards people we know.  But the 'Felix/Weiner Rules of Networking Engagement' suggests you spend more of your time meeting people you don't know.  The role I take at any networking opportunity is to introduce people to each other and last Monday was no exception.  Prying some folks loose from their comfy seat or spot and introducing them to someone they don't know (or who doesn't know them) and where I feel it would be good for them to meet is fun for me. From the feedback I've received over the years, it's always appreciated.  One of the other things I love is when folks who've known each other for years but for one reason or another haven't seen each other in a while meet serendipitously - this happens every time - sometimes to me as well!

I hope you can make my next event in NYC which will be somewhere around the Christmas holidays.

ICSC RECon: The Global Retail Real Estate Convention
Every year around this time I feel a bit nostalgic that I won't be joining my 37,000 shopping center industry friends in Las Vegas at the annual convention of the International Council of Shopping Centers.  Even with all the talk about how online shopping is hurting retailers, there are some discreet signs that the industry is doing well.  One of them is the number of pages the May issue of Shopping Center Business (SCB) magazine contains.  It's 352!! Flipping through the pages (btw, when you look at a magazine do you flip through from the front to back or back to front?  I'm a back to front kind of guy) I saw so many people mentioned that I know from my years in the shopping center industry. They're either still with the firms they were with then or have reinvented themselves (something of which I'm a relative expert in!).  

One new group I'd like to single out is Woodcliff.  Launched by long-time former ICSC senior staffer Rudy Millian, Woodcliff is a consortium of senior retail real estate professionals who have banded together to offer a wide menu of consulting services.  In looking at their full-page ad in SCB I see photos of a bunch of old friends including Rene Daniel, Debra Hazel, Ken Lamy and Ron Simkin.  

Perhaps I'll get the chance to attend this great event in 2017.  To all my friends who will be there, have a great time!

Congratulations to Jerry and Scott France, Randy Shearin and the team at France Media on this year's 'must read' issue of the aforementioned Shopping Center Business magazine.  I remember when Jerry first launched this publication and the success they've achieved with it, their other publications and their conference business, Interface run by another good friend Rich Kelley is wonderful. It's always great to see good people do well!

Here are some books that I've recently read (or am currently reading):
  • Originals:  How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant
  • Growing Up:  Russell Baker (former op-ed columnist for the New York Times)
  • Making Records:  Phil Ramone (truly legendary record producer - The Band, Ray Charles, Chicago, Bob Dylan, B.B. King, Elton John, Madonna, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra and a lot more)
  • A Man of Many Centers:  Norman Kranzdorf (shopping center industry legend)
  • Radical Acceptance:  Embracing Your Life With The Heart of a Buddah - Tara Brach
  • Red Smith on Baseball:  The Game's Greatest Writer on the Game's Greatest Years with a forward by Ira Berkow
  • Living into Leadership:  A Journey into Ethics - Buzz McCoy

I love 'real' books, especially hard cover versions.  When I moved from my last house in Napa, I left virtually all of my books, as I had nowhere to bring them.  It was a sad time as I get a warm feeling looking at shelves containing books.  Now, I've been gradually adding to my new collection - although, as I don't know how long I'll be living here, I don't want to saddle myself with a large library.  Enter Kindle - In my opinion, one of the greatest inventions of all time.  I always travel with mine.  Here are some books that I periodically re-read 'highlighted' portions of to remind me of things I want to remember:
  • Edward R. Morrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism - Bob Edwards
  • Everything I Know About Business I Learned from the Grateful Dead - Barry Barnes
  • Breakfast of Champions - Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle
  • Not Bosess But Leaders - John Adair
  • Will Roger: From Great Depression to Great Recession - Gary Anderson and Sandy Mertens
  • Kiss your BUT Good-Bye - Joseph Azelby and Robert Azelby
  • Million Dollar Consulting - Alan Weiss
  • Hug Your People - Jack Mitchell
  • The Time of My Life - Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi

The ONE Thing
Gary Keller calls another book I read recently that has had an impact ‘The ONE Thing’.  The one thing I've taken away from that book can be summed up in these few takeaways - here's how the author summarizes how to put 'the one thing' concept to work:

Your Personal Life
  • Let the ONE Thing bring clarity to the key areas of your life:
  • What's the ONE Thing I can do this week to discover or affirm my life's purpose...?
  • What's the ONE Thing I can do in 90 days to get in the physical shape I want...?
  • What's the ONE Thing I can do to find time to practice the guitar for 20 minutes a day?  Knock five strokes off my golf game in 90 days...?  Learn to paint in six months...?

Your Family
  • Use the ONE Thing with your family for fun and rewarding experiences:
  • What's the ONE Thing we can do this week to improve our marriage...?
  • What's the ONE Ting we can do every week to spend more quality family time together...?
  • What's the ONE Thing we can do tonight to support our kid's schoolwork...?
  • What's the ONE Thing we can do to make our next vacation the best ever...  Our next Christmas the best ever...?  Thanksgiving the best ever...?

Your Job
  • What's the ONE Thing I can do today to complete my current project ahead of schedule...?
  • What's the ONE Thing I can do this month to produce better work...?
  • What's the ONE Thing I can do before my next review to get the raise I want...?
  • What's the ONE Thing I can do everyday to finish my work and still get home on time...?

Your Work Team
  • In any meeting ask, What's the ONE Thing we can accomplish in this meeting and end early...?
  • In building your team ask, What's the ONE Thing I can do in the next six months to find and develop incredible talent...?
  • In planning for the next month, year or five years ask, What's the ONE Thing we can do right now to accomplish our goals ahead of schedule and under budget...?
  • In your department or at the highest company level ask, What's the ONE Thing we can do in the next 90 days to create a ONE Thing culture...?

The ONE Thing that we have been getting in the habit of using is that each day, ask ourselves, What is the ONE Thing that's most important to get done - and get that done...first.

Mr. Ed
I don't know why but in the past year I've been enjoying watching the 60's TV show, 'Mr. Ed.'  You can't find it in every city but when I do see it listed on the TV guide, I'll tune in.  For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, it's a fun, harmless show about a man who owns a talking horse - who only talks to him.  Alan Young, the star of the show died this past Thursday.  He was 96 and he and Mr. Ed will continue to bring pleasure to folks like me for a long, long time.

After a whirlwind past few months, I'll be off the road for the next few weeks.  On May 26 I'm having a medical procedure that will clear up a nagging issue (I'm so looking forward to it!). But my doctor (who wears cowboy boots in his office and has promised me he'll be wearing them - albeit a different pair - in the operating room) has asked me to cool my jets for a couple of weeks after he does his thing.  This will give me time to step back and think, rather than do.  There are lots of things to think about - new types of workshops to conduct, my upcoming car vacation and other things that, in doing the daily things that need to be done, seem to slip through the cracks.  

As always, thanks for your support of this column and for your emails. I've gotten a few invitations to visit people in state capitols and suggestions on national parks and other sites to visit on my road trip this summer.  Bring them on!

Look forward to seeing you somewhere, sometime on the road!


North Palm Beach, FL 

Blog Archive