Do you know what April 23rd is?

You are correct if you guessed William Shakespeare’s birthday—and the day he died, too. But I’m looking for another bookish answer. Anyone?

It’s World Book Night! The first (hopefully annual) celebration of books and reading. If you haven’t heard about the nationwide event happening in many cities, I caught up with Carl Lennertz, Executive Director, World Book Night U.S., to learn more about it and how book lovers everywhere can get involved.

If you aren’t participating today, I encourage you to follow Carl and his team on Facebook and Twitter so you can be a part of this really cool plan to give away thousands and thousands of books in your community next year.

Are You Low on Rocket Fuel?

In his keynote speeches, Tim Sanders often says, “Confidence is the rocket fuel of success.”  Tim’s ability to ignite your thoughts and propel you to a new destination will have you calling him your personal rocket fuel.

Meet Tim and you immediately sense his energy.  And it’s a good thing he has that energy.  He’s a sought-after international speaker and Fortune 1000 consultant.  He’s also the author of Love Is the Killer App, The Likeability Factor, Saving the World at Work, and his latest, Today We Are Rich.  He was the chief solutions officer at Yahoo! Currently, he is the CEO of Los Angeles tech start-up Net Minds.

Confidence is the rocket fuel of success. -Tim Sanders

Macaroni and Cheese With a Side of Leadership

The Scene:

The restaurant is buzzing with conversation.  The clinking of glasses and silverware can be heard above the laughter.  Scents of barbeque and aromatic flavors permeate the room.  Enter a man who moves from table to table, quietly filling the water glasses.

Restaurant Attendant (smiling):  “You like the mac and cheese?”

You (eyes wide open): “Are you kidding?  I didn’t even know you could do this with macaroni and cheese!  Fantastic.”

 

Attendant: “That macaroni is handmade for us by the Martelli family in Tuscany.  Just what we wanted.  The two-year-old Vermont cheddar cheese is caramelized.  We thought the combination was perfect.”

You, thinking, but not saying aloud, “Who is this guy? What type of water boy knows this stuff?”

Attendant, interrupting your thoughts: “Do you want some more bread?  You’re eating the Roadhouse bread, but you may also want to try the Irish Brown Soda bread tonight.”

You: “Is it as good as what we’re eating now?”

Attendant: “Depends on your taste, but it’s good.  We source the oatmeal from the Creedon family, the same family who makes our Irish stone ground oatmeal.  It makes the flavor and texture.  I’ll be right back with some for you to taste.  Oh, and I’d love to give you a taste of our barbeque tonight.”

You (turning to me, shrugging as he leaves):  “Who is THAT?”

Me: “That, my friend, is Ari, the most unusual water boy you will ever meet.  He’s the owner!”

You (feigned choking):  “The owner?!”

It’s true.  Ari Weinzweig is one of the restaurant owners, but he also fills water glasses at the restaurant.  Yes, you read that right.  As a partner in a multi-million dollar conglomerate, he personally walks around filling water glasses in order to stay close to the customers.

Ah, Zingerman’s.

STARTING A BLOG? 13 TIPS TO SAVE YOU TIME AND MONEY (What I learned my first 118 days of Blogging)

Image courtesy of istockphoto/fotosipsak

Since launching this blog in the last few weeks of 2011, everything has been perfect.  No mistakes.  Nothing I would have done differently.  Everything went exactly as planned.

How I wish!

As a first-time blogger, also new to Twitter, I’ve learned a lot from the experience.  If you’re thinking of starting a blog, here are some ideas for you to consider.  I hope these ideas save you some time, money, and aggravation.

1.  Define your purpose.  Like all successful endeavors, you should be clear about your purpose.  You’ve heard the saying, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any path will do.”  That’s true.  What are you trying to do?  What will you write about? What’s your goal?

What’s Your Purpose?

Named one of the world’s top leadership experts, John Baldoni is a recognized name for anyone studying the subject of leadership.  He has appeared on numerous programs, been quoted in publications as diverse as the New York Times to Investor’s Business Daily, and he has written articles for Inc. and the Harvard Business Review.  Having now read John’s tenth book, I recently enjoyed discussing leadership theory and practice with him.

If you regularly read his columns, you know that John scours the world for models of success and presents examples for you to follow.  Well before I was a CEO, I followed his practical tips.  If you are in a leadership position, he is someone you want to follow.  If you want to move up in an organization, he has some wise counsel.