Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Toolbox

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Toolbox

Article excerpt

Book Review

Power Plays

by John O. Whitney

and Tina Packer

Published by Simon & Schuster -- $26

Management gurus seem to be on a constant search for ways to illustrate the tenets

of leadership. John Whitney and Tina Packer have found a fascinating and very instructive source -- the Bard himself -- William Shakespeare. You couldn't have a better teacher.

Book Review provided by Full Circle Book Store.

Going to the dogs

"Most people would not make their kids eat off the floor," note the purveyors of the Raised Health Diner, "so why do they expect their best friends to stoop and nibble their kibbles?" The product is a table with built-in stainless-steel bowls for dog food, which can accommodate "any size pet from a Pomeranian to a Great Dane" and costs $20 to $60.

Its makers say it's based on the same principle that has resulted in cows, horses and pigs being fed from elevated troughs (apparently not the same principle that animals have in mind when they graze on grass).

Fried yoga

Darrin Zeer, author of Office Yoga; Simple Stretches for Busy People, was in San Francisco a few days ago and was asked about doing yoga while dining out, a multitasking approach to reducing stress while feeding one's face.

Zeer first recommended what he calls "e-mail meditation," which could be accomplished while waiting for a menu. "Remember to breathe slowly and focus your attention on your breath. Make the out breath two times longer than the in breath. This will immediately calm you." And while you wait for your order to be taken, you might try rubbing the flat of your palm on your belly, clockwise -- the same direction as digestion -- to "relax your internal organs."

The key, said Zeer, is to "change your state of mind, breathing deeply and calming yourself." The french fries are on their way.

Click, then call

The Internet can be helpful in the birth of a salesman.

Mercer Management Consulting, Lexington, Mass., says that when customers use the Web to learn about a company's products and when salespeople use it to find and follow up leads, sales rise an average 37 percent. Using an e-mail survey, the firm queried 140 salespeople at 60 companies. At its best, technology frees the sales force to do its main job -- persuading the customer to buy -- says Bob Atkins, a Mercer vice president.

But averages can be misleading, the firm says. Not everyone reported sales or productivity gains. For example, the number of accounts per salesperson rose by an average 14 percent, yet half the respondents reported no change in sales. Revenue per account rose an average 19 percent, but the majority of salespeople saw no change.

Buying underwear

A study by Progressive Auto Insurance, a unit of Progressive Corp., Mayfield Village, Ohio, concludes that if people shopped as aggressively for auto insurance as they do for items like underwear, they'd be in better financial shape. …

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