Fame Audit: Jimmy Fallon

NAME: James Thomas Fallon

AUDIT DATE: October 19, 2004

AGE: 30

OCCUPATION: Romantic comedy lead-for-hire

EXPERIENCE: Five movies. Five. Oh, and some late-night sketch show.


Dear Jimmy Fallon:

We never thought we’d say this, but…we miss you, Jimmy Fallon.

Why did you go away, Jimmy Fallon? Why did you have to leave? Was it something we said? Was it something Mommy did? Did you not like her glasses any more? Were you jealous of Seth Meyers — did you notice how he eyed you hungrily the way you once eyed Mike Myers?

Okay, Jimmy Fallon, we admit it: we took you for granted. We know you’ve had your detractors: those who said you were too cute by half, too smug for your own good, and too prone to cracking up during sketches over jokes that weren’t even that funny. Hell, we may even have said it. We can’t remember.

But that’s not important anymore, Jimmy Fallon. We can look past all that now. We can look past the smirk, and the crack-ups, and the bedhead — the laboriously tousled bedhead! The bedhead teased into spontaneity by the expert fingers of NBC hairdressers! — and the fact that you turned thirty this year and you still call yourself “Jimmy.” (P.S. Jimmy Kimmel — this goes for you too.) Only three people should call themselves Jimmy, Jimmy Fallon: little boys on 1950s sitcoms; fat owners of neighbourhood bars who give advice while wiping out beer glasses; and professional baseball-team managers. Oh, and people in the Mafia. People in the Mafia can, for obvious reasons, do whatever the hell they please.

But the show, Jimmy Fallon: it’s just not the same without you. Okay, we don’t miss Jarret, the idiot webcam dorm-room guy who looked like you’d dressed up as the lead singer from Counting Crows. That wasn’t funny. The Boston guy, too — Sully or whatever his name was — we can live without him as well. I mean, he was cute, but, then again, while you were on SNL, cute was never exactly in short supply. If Jimmy Fallon’s years on SNL were like an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet, than “cute” would have been the white rice.

We do miss Nick Burns, a little bit — about as much as we miss the Copy Guy character Rob Schneider used to do. Speaking of which, Mr. Schneider, improbably, has made a nice little film career for himself, one you might do well to emulate. Step one: Make an appointment to clean Adam Sandler’s pool.

But really, we just miss you, Jimmy Fallon. That look of stern concentration you got during Weekend Update when you tried to be all serious. Tina Fey was the best thing that ever happened to you, Jimmy Fallon, because she knew just what to do with you. Before she came along, you were just that guy who did good impersonations of other funnier people who’d been on the show before you. And liked to play the guitar.

But Tina took you under her wing. She became the big sister, and you the bratty little brother — the one who always looked like he’d slept in again and so had to rush downstairs to do the news without combing his hair. You guys always played up your faux-sexual tension, but really your relationship was one of siblings. Now the little brother’s been replaced with a little sister! Can you believe that, Jimmy Fallon? We love Amy Poehler and all, but it’s just not the same! [MFF has clearly lost his mind. Medical authorities have been alerted. — WC]

All good things must come to an end, Jimmy Fallon. We know that. We wished you well when you announced your exit, and we still hold out hope for your film career. It’s hard to imagine you suddenly coming up with a boffo character like Austin Powers or even Ron Burgundy, so that kind of movie fame is out. Sandler seems like a better model for you — a cute and endearing leading man with good comic timing. Except Sandler gets the frat-boy vote while, with you, we’re guessing, not so much. The only use frat boys have for little brothers is to scream at them and spank them with paddles while secretly lusting after them in their hearts. And that doesn’t sell movie tickets.

We know Taxi wasn’t your only film project, which is good, because it’s a wet dud. We know you were in a Woody Allen film, which is great — just look what it did for Jason Biggs! That’s who you’re up against now, by the way. Him and all the other cute boys who do a little comedy. And there’s no more Uncle Lorne to step in and say, “Sorry, Chris Parnell, but I think Jimmy should be in all the sketches this week. Yes, Every. Single. One.” Now you’re just another guy who used to be on SNL and, we hate to say, the line-up at that soap kitchen is very, very long.

But it’s not too late! The season’s only three episodes old! And one of those was a flashback — to you! Just show up on Week 4 and you’ll blend right in. No one will even mention it. Or, if need be, pull a Bobby Ewing and claim it was all a dream. Step out of a shower or something. Imagine how crazy your hair will look then!

And just think how happy you’ll make Horatio Sanz.


  • One of the rare male comedians who is actually good-looking
  • Was the poster boy for his tenure on SNL, just as Myers and Sandler were for theirs
  • For inspiration, just look to Myers…Sandler…Will Ferrell…
  • His sort-of girlfriend Tina Fey is hot in Hollywood right now. If she can make Lindsay Lohan seem funny…


  • His triumph on cuteness over comic chops makes him the anti-Phil Hartman. We miss you, Phil Hartman
  • They should have dedicated a half-hour of his best-of show just to running through his hairstyles, many of which seemed inspired by the plumage of exotic birds
  • …and not Jim Breuer…Jay Mohr…Tracy Morgan…
  • It’s only been a few months, but Fey’s already seeing someone else

Fame Barometer

Current approximate level of fame: Rob Schneider

Deserved approximate level of fame: Sean William Scott

If you want to learn more about your favorite Hollywood stars, visit Hollywood Insider for news and the juiciest gossip hot from Hollywood. 

Vampires Are in Our Blood: Why We Never Seem to Tire of Vampires

Vampires have always made entertaining movie fodder. Whether they’re good, bad or love struck, those with a penchant for drinking blood have become staple fixtures of the movie world over the last few decades, but is the genre dying? When Tod Browning’s Dracula first hit movie theatres back in 1931, it started a trend that would eventually lead us to modern day vampire flicks such as Blade and Twilight. During their times, both Blade’s and Twilight’s series of movies were box office hits. Prior to his 2010 arrest, Wesley Snipes donned a pair of shades and sliced his way through vampires for millions of movie fans around the world. In fact, when the numbers were in, the 1998 original version of Blade grossed $131,183,530 worldwide.

Movie Stars Still Love Vampires

Unfortunately, when Snipes’ tax issues bit and Blade: Trinity flopped, the series started to wilt. Even the Spike TV series based on the movies performed below expectations and was canned after a single season back in 2006. However, despite the rise and fall of the brand, when Snipes was released from prison on April 2, 2013, and kept under “home confinement” for a few months, it seems as though he just couldn’t let Blade go. Indeed, according to a 2014 piece by the New York Daily, a “source” close to Snipes suggested Blade was set for a comeback, but why?

It’s a similar story when you look at Twilight. At its peak, the Twilight movies not only made vampires sexy, but grossed $3,317,470,739 around the world. However, since the final installment of the series (Breaking Dawn Part 2) was released in 2012, the world has seemingly gone cold on Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. But, like Snipes, those involved still believe it’s worth their time reprising the role. Stewart told the UK’s Guardian newspaper in February 2017 that she would “snap up” a new Twilight novel if Stephanie Meyer was to write one. This comment came just a few months after Patrick Wachsberger, co-chairman of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said that another Twilight movie was a “possibility”. Based on this, it’s clear people in the movie business aren’t bored of vampires just yet and, more importantly, it seems as though they think the general public isn’t.

Speaking of movies, if you’re like us and can’t seem to get enough of your favorite films and the people who star in them, check out Hollywood Insider for the best movie reviews as well as the latest and greatest hot from hollywood news.

Pop Culture Doesn’t Seem to be Bored of Vampires

So, are we really bored of vampires? Well, there are plenty of industries that take inspiration from vampires. Gaming is hugely influenced by the vampire genre and you can now find tons of games with a blood sucking twist. Take, for example, Dontnod Entertainment’s Vampyr. Announced in 2016, this role-playing game will see Xbox One, PlayStation and Microsoft gamers take control of a doctor-turned vampire when it’s released in November 2017. Played from a third-person perspective, Vampyr is all about finding clues, talking to characters and deciphering information in a bid to help the protagonist come to terms with his life as a vampire. This idea survival can also be seen in the MMORPG, Reign of Blood. Although it lacks the visual appeal of Vampyr (because it’s a text-based game), the ominous vibe given off by the vampire theme allows players to engage in a world of mystery and uncertainty.

Indeed, this underlying feeling of trepidation is something you’ll also find on the other side of the gaming industry when you play video slots. Movies and TV shows have long been used as inspiration for these games and Immortal Romance is one popular example. Part of the slots set-up at Betway Casino’s, Immortal Romance draws from HBO series True Blood and, despite being released in 2011, it’s still popular today. Like its RPG counterparts, the dark and moody theme seems to create an air of uncertainty that players love and it’s this that appears to be keeping the vampire motif alive. Vampires have always had a reputation for striking when you least expect it and that’s something that keeps us on our toes and, therefore, interested. In fact, it’s part of the reason HBO’s True Blood ran for seven seasons. Beyond these examples, Bloodrunners starting Ice T was something of a hit when it was released in March 2017 which suggests it’s not all superheroes and sci-fi movies coming out of Hollywood.

Vampires Still Alive Despite Current Movie Trends

Indeed, in recent years we’ve stars of all shapes and sizes join the recent wave of superhero and sci-fi movies. Disney’s Zendaya joined the 2016 Spiderman reboot, while Rihanna scored a part in Luc Besson’s out of this world epic, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. However, despite the zeitgeist clearly being about those with special power or intergalactic adventures, Vampires have still managed to grace our screens in at least some form or another.

Finally, the media can’t get enough of vampire stories. In 2007, National Geographic aired a documentary on real life vampires (clip above) and it seems this trend hasn’t gone away. A Vice article from 2015 profiled Galatea who claimed to be a sanguinary (i.e. she feeds off of blood) vampire. Despite being slightly disturbing, the article detailed how Galatea believed she drew energy from blood just as normal people get energy from food. Whether it’s just a case of life imitating art isn’t fully clear, but what is obvious is that some people really do love vampires. Of course, these people might be on the extreme end of the spectrum, but it’s a passion nonetheless and it’s a passion we’re clearly still fascinated by. So, when actors such as Snipes and Stewart hanker for another chance to be involved in a vampire movie, it seems as though they may be on to something.

There’s no doubt the vampire genre isn’t the bell of the ball at the moment, but it doesn’t seem as though we’re bored of the genre either. Indeed, with pointy teeth and pale complexions still present in the gaming world, in movies, on TV and, worryingly, in real life, it seems as though vampires are going to popular for many years to come.

Cast Away

‘Cast Away’ enables a viewer to experience isolation and desolation like no other film in recent memory. Director Robert Zemeckis (What Lies Beneath, Forrest Gump) crafts an ambitious and elegant story revolving around Chuck Nolan (Tom Hanks), a FedEx employee who is stranded on a desert island for several years due to a horrific plane crash.


Zemeckis makes no secret of handing over the complete second act to Hanks to retain the viewer’s attention. No music, no 45-degree camera angles – just simple storytelling to demonstrate Hanks’ isolation. ‘Cast Away’ is quite an achievement in terms of a film’s power to play with the human emotion.


This film is structured into three related yet completely different acts which all have a different story to tell. The film opens with an energetic and rowdy scene in Russia where Hanks’s character is leading a giant FedEx shipment. With the use of frantic editing and great camera tracking – including a p.o.v. shot from a FedEx package, Zemeckis demonstrates the importance of delivering packages on time. Here we see Hanks’ character’s obsession with his work in which he utters these great lines, ` We live and die by the clock. We must never allow ourselves the sin of turning our backs on the clock’. Yet, in watching the film closely, we see completely that Hanks had to have let go of this mantra to survive. Within this first act, we enter Hanks’ life through an enormous Christmas dinner with his girlfriend (Helen Hunt) and discover all that Hanks has to live for. Cut quickly to a terrific plane crash sequence that comes completely unexpected in which our main character finds himself stranded on a deserted island with nothing but his sanity to keep him grounded.


In this second act we are limited to extraordinary filmmaking with little use of dialogue and musical score. Instead, we are treated to Hanks’ ‘tour-de-force’ performance in which he commands his screen presence. We see Hanks struggle with the impossibility of starting a fire from scratch, making acquaintances with a volley ball named ‘Wilson’ and deal with the inevitable possibility of never returning home. The third act is in essence a closure to all the events that have occurred in the film. Therefore, we will not go into detail, yet some might find the last act a tad disappointing, yet, it is evident that the filmmakers stuck with the most realistic ending possible.


As far as the film is concerned, it plays on no other level than human emotion. Zemeckis leaves us no choice but to sympathize with our beloved character as he struggles to maintain his dignity in a world where there is none. We also see our character struggle with an unbearable weight loss as he wrestles with famine in a place where food is scarce and loneliness inevitable.


The best thing about this film are the subtle, yet present symbolic events or images that convey the notion that although we might seem alone- we never are. It might take a second viewing to notice these, but they are there – and that is just one of the many great elements that compose this great film.


Cast Away is an iconic film that’s still talked about years later. But if yor’re looking for something a little fresher, read up on what’s hot from hollywood today.


Not A ‘Drop-Dead’ Beautiful Actor_ Here’s 8 Acting Career Benefits

The Terms ‘Drop Dead’ Beautiful, Or ‘Drop-Dead Handsome’, Or ‘Drop-Dead’ Attractive…

…Are Descriptive Words That Actually Are Used In The Acting Business: When Casting Roles, On The Audition Breakdowns, As Character Descriptions In Screenplays, In Colloquial Speech Amongst Professionals In The Industry, By Casting Directors And Agents


(As a professional actress, whenever I heard it used, I cringed. Why? Well, it made me feel a little ‘lesser than’, in terms of my value level inside the profession of the art form that I loved with all my might.


I, myself, was not considered a ‘Drop Dead’ beautiful acting type. No. I was never treated as such, in the acting profession. Never auditioned for roles that were that acting type, etc. That’s why I can advise you about getting your own successful acting career, if you aren’t that physical type.


To be absolutely up front about this…I learned that I was cast and considered as such, for one role. Daniella in THE SUPER MARIO BROS. And when I heard that, mid-film-shoot, I was caught by surprise. For years, I was accustomed to hearing that I was not inside the Business.)


Acting Career Benefits, For Those Actors Who May Not Be Gorgeous Enough To Give Someone A Heart Attack

I’ll give you the list of professional acting benefits; then later, I’ll write about the individual items on this list.


  1. The Gorgeous Type Is An Overpopulated, Highly-Competitive Acting Type, In The Industry.


  1. The Roles For DDG Types, Are Almost Never As Interesting As Those Acting Roles For The Non-Gorgeous Actors


  1. When You Aren’t A DDG Acting Type, And You DO Get Into The Business, You Get In Because You Really Are An Actor. That’s Integrity That Sustains Over A Professional Acting Career.


  1. You’ll Also Be An Actor Who Will Work Hard And Earn Your Acting Career. (An Awesome Accomplishment.)


  1. Models, Usually, Can’t Act. It’s Almost Always True, For Good Reason, And Learned Habits.


  1. Necessary Actor ‘Privacy’ Onstage And On Camera: Gorgeous Actors Often Have Issues With This Acting Essential


  1. Being Gorgeous Has A Short Shelf Life, That Expires Relatively Early In Acting Careers. Especially True For Actresses.


  1. Most Actors Do Not Accept Their Acting Shortcomings. Or They Simply Aren’t Aware Of Them. Many Actors Expect To Be Professionals Long Before Their Acting Abilities Are Professionally Ready. Certainly Not Virtuoso-Level. Sometimes, The Delay In Acting Success Forces Actors To An Acting Expertise Level Of Brilliance.


Inside The Acting Business: Your Acting Attributes, Physical Attributes, Are Discussed With You And To You.

Get used to it. You just have to.


Most of the time, it’s hard to hear.


Also, most of the time, it’s accurate information that you can use to get you acting career success. Because if you are on the wrong track for your type, and you are trying to promote yourself, and be cast in a type that doesn’t fit, you are only stalling your own career.


Sometimes, that information that the actor doesn’t want to hear, is the wake up information that they can incorporate to kickstart a career; or move an inactive acting career, forward.


There’s nothing more acting-career-HALTing than actors whose photos are inaccurate representations of what their cast-ability is. Their acting type.


The biggest 8X10 headshot mistakes that novice actors make, is to present themselves in their photo as more glamorous, sexier, or as a top-tier beauty.  (Refer back to benefit #1)  That kind of mistake keeps many actors from ever breaking in professionally. Their representational photos are not really representational of who they are, and how they would be cast. As they use them in attempts to become an acting professional; to compete as an acting type, and a visually verifiable acting type; that they just are not. These actors present an expectation that they can’t and won’t deliver, when seen in person. As an actor. Especially when there are so many other verifiable… ‘drop dead beautiful’ novice actors.


Want more inspiration? Just look to Adam Driver, a breakout star with numerous accolades under his belt who’s managed to make his unique look work to his advantage.


The Graduate

The counter-culture sold out long ago but this seminal film from the sixties still plays – even if only as an expertly made romantic comedy.


Forty years ago, those under the age of thirty who had yet to grow a beard, drop out of college or experiment with drugs were brought into the fold of the times with The Graduate, out now in a fortieth anniversary DVD edition.


This hybrid Broadway two-hander and youth culture melodrama truly converted the masses, as surely as the then little-known Dustin Hoffman, as dissatisfied collegian Benjamin Braddock, converted all-American beauty Katherine Ross from on high in the film’s climactic wedding sequence, a counter-culture God reaching even the squarest of the young, preaching the renunciation of the cross in favor of a universe of spontaneity and uncertainty.


Seen today – with or without the annoying commentary track that is the big sell of this reissue – the film plays quite differently – not as a call to arms at all, but rather as a cockeyed Oedipal tragedy played largely for laughs, nevertheless maintaining the genre’s trademark elements of shame, sadness and anxiety.


Benjamin’s affair with family friend Mrs. Robinson, the sly, sultry, sad alcoholic, is not seen as a comically improbable reconciliation of the generations, nor as a mutual dissatisfaction with the emptiness of middle class life. It plays more simply and universally: as a search for that elusive romantic ideal, true and lasting love; from the get-go, Mrs. Robinson knows that Ben is not the answer, simply a temporary remedy, and vice-versa. Both also know that Mrs. Robinson’s daughter Elaine is not the solution for Ben either, though Ben deludes himself into thinking so as a means of eschewing the worst aspects of his character. The memorable last scene, of Ben and Elaine venturing into the future, was to end with a kiss; instead, of course, they simply stare uncertainly at one another, then just as uncertainly ahead. What was once a wide-eyed stare into the face of the unknown reads today as an equally terrified gaze into the eyes of Venus.


Stripped by time to its romantic comedy skeleton, the classic film fan starts to become aware of how much of the film resembles Billy Wilder’s The Apartment, which might, in part, have inspired it, with its young-old triangle and its scenes of the schleppy hero mistaken by all – from the Robinson family to the boys at the boarding house at which Ben stays to set things right with Elaine – for a heartless lothario. (The Heartbreak Kid, made a few years later – and remade just recently – comes to my mind, too, with its premise of impossible romantic pursuit.)


All of this, it should be said, did not escape the eyes of the wiser critics of the day, who were able to look into their crystal balls and intellectually separate the film from the zeitgeist. At the time, director Mike Nichols was rapped on the knuckles for staging an unfair fight, failing to afford the world Ben was rebelling against sufficient screen time, thus putting the depth of the character’s dissatisfaction into question.


And indeed, today, the middle class that Ben finds himself at odds with, exemplified mostly by his parents, comes across as a happy, self-satisfied and generally harmless lot, hardly the types to inspire lasting detachment in anybody. Of course, I am writing in an age in which the Benjamin Braddocks of the world have grown up to be mirror images of their parents…were the Pauline Kaels of the world wise enough to see that?

If The Graduate still plays then, and it does, it’s not simply because its themes – the search for true love, the clash of generations – are destined to play in any age. It’s because, as it should be with any film, of the collective expertise of the filmmaking – from the sure-handed staging of the Nichols And May-style bedroom exchanges to the languid close-ups, rac focuses and dissolves of cinematographer Robert Surtees, whose work comes together with Simon and Garfunkel’s catchy, poetic score to create some of the best introspective sequences in the history of American cinema.


Whether it’s this fortieth anniversary re-issue you see, or the thirty-fifth that came out half a decade ago, or the forty-fifth and fiftieth anniversary versions that are sure to come, rent and enjoy The Graduate – not as the distant din of a decades old alarm-cry, but as an extremely well crafted romantic comedy.


More in-depth movie reviews and news? Click here.



Boost business with a social media virtual assistant

Of course everyone who begins an online business wants it to be successful. They do everything they possibly can, learn everything they possibly can, and try to put it all into action. They believe that this is the recipe for success. Many times this is unfortunately not the correct way to approach things. Doing everything yourself can often leave you stressed, burnt out, and unmotivated. This often leads to disastrous results. One of the best ways to combat this is to outsource work to those who are experienced in that particular area.


A great example of this would be to hire what is known as a Social Media Virtual Assistant. Also known as a Social Media manager, this individual’s responsibilities would be to do some small business marketing on popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. This would be a help to your business because it is one less task that you have to learn how to do. It frees up your time to do other important tasks to make sure your business is on the right road to success. Even if you decided to learn how to do some social media marketing yourself, you would not be classified as an “expert.”


A VA who specializes in social media often has a vast array of experience in this area and can provide you with results most likely a lot quicker then you would see by doing it yourself. Yes, it would also be an expense to hire a Virtual Assistant. Especially a Virtual Assistant who specializes in such a hot area right now such as social media.


This often puts a new business owner off because their marketing funds are limited. But, if you take the time to weigh the pro’s and con’s of hiring or not hiring this VA, you will see that the pro’s totally outweigh the cons especially in the long run. You will be on the way to having increased traffic, higher revenue, and keeping your sanity and stress level at a minimum. All wonderful reasons to include a Social Media Virtual Assistant on your team.


Save Time. Make More Money. Grow Your Practice. Let Golean Health take care of your office needs while you and your staff spend more time serving your patients.



Virtual Assistants Can Help Your Marketing

Marketing is one of the most important things for any business. In a world millions of businesses, both online and offline, the ability to advertise well and make yours stand out occupies much of your time and effort. However, it’s also very easy to be swamped in the tedious, but very necessary task of advertising for your company and end up spending all day, every day doing things like posting blogs, creating advertisements, and promoting your website through social networking and other things. Marketing is very important, but time consuming, so you may want to consider unloading the bulk or the entirety of it onto a virtual assistant or two.

A virtual assistant can do all manner of things to help with your marketing. He or she can write up the advertisements for posting, post and respond to blogs about your products and services, and even advertise on his own social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter. By outsourcing your marketing, you not only get someone who can do the more tedious work, but you also access another customer market as your virtual assistant can tell his friends and family about your products and services; and if this assistant lives halfway across the world, that’s a whole new customer base to build on.

A virtual assistant can also take care of any forums you have posted about your products and manage your customer lists while helping to make them grow. Your virtual assistant can also contact other clients and customers for you and send along any day to day notifications you have so that you don’t have to do it. Your assistant can also help to answer any questions that potential customers may have about your product, write up blogs and promotional articles, and other marketing tasks that you think might help your product grow and prosper online.

A virtual assistant can do many of the most tedious, but very important tasks related to marketing your products and services so that your profits can grow and your business can grow. For a low cost of only around $1100/month, you can find a qualified promoter of your goods so that you can concentrate on other business issues. A virtual assistant can easily commit the time and attention required to market your business, products and services.

Contact Golean Health for more information about working with a dedicated medical virtual assistant.



Branding Your EMails


Here’s irony. I not only remember, but still possess, an artifact from the ’80s: a special “letterhead book.” These publications accommodated thousands of letterhead, envelope, and label designs. Designing a letterhead had become a work of art, honed by the imperative of clearly reflecting a company’s brand image.

By 1998, most Western countries noticed electronic mail exceeded the “snail mail” output and input. Suddenly, e-mail replaced regular mail. This signaled the demise of good old, paper-based letterhead.

Why has virtually no attention been given to the design of electronic letterhead? If I review the approximately 300 e-mails I receive on a daily basis from various companies all over the world, just five — yes, you read that right: five — e-mails are equipped with brand markers. By brand markers, I mean something beyond a signature line in Courier New font.

How many business e-mails do you send daily? 100? More? How many letters do you send every day? 10? Fewer? In all likelihood, you send 10 times as many emails as you do paper mail. Yet, I’ll bet the first thing you did when your company opened its doors was to print… yes, letterhead! Right? Why wasn’t the first thought designing an e-letterhead? An email template to reflect your company’s spirit. You must have known you’d use email in communications many times more frequently than any other medium.

We are overlooking email as a branding tool. Many emails in my inbox, sent by people at some of the world’s most respected brands, don’t even display consistent signature lines. They change from message to message. Worse, often there’s no signature line at all, just the sender’s name (which, by the way, seems to become abbreviated to just a first name when the dialogue is friendly). Brand is 100 percent invisible. The person sending the e-mail is a more visible brand than the company at which they are employed.

Five features should characterize email in the future:

  • A well-designed email template. This should be something simple and memorable that reflects the brand’s values without overpowering the e-mail message. 
  • Consistent use of that template by everyone in the company. 
  • Guidelines for template use, such as variations on the template for separate divisions, countries, products/services, and so forth. 
  • A backup template for recipients whose technology can’t read the fancy edition. 
  • Significantly, investment in creating guidelines for email writing; subject lines; signatures; font choice; and content emphasis in a consistent, brand-led manner.

Your brand is not merely your logo. It’s every consumer touch point. That includes e-mail. A good online marketing company, like Student Marketing Agency, is very familiar with this and knows all strategies.

My letterhead book is collecting dust on a bookshelf. But it’s waiting for a companion edition: an e-letterhead book. How long will the space beside that letterhead book remain empty? When will the corporate world care about the look and the message of its e-mail?

This is a big topic. Over the next two weeks, I’ll focus on the art of constructing effective, branded e-letters. E-letterhead is just one essential. Effective communication of content in each email is another.



Great Leadership Depends

leadership-conceptYou might be doing everything a good leader is supposed to do and still find yourself both frustrated and ineffective.

The reason is not obvious. In fact, most leadership advice-givers make a critical error in the way they address leadership. As it is known by great motivational speakers such as Richard Jadick, the underlying assumption is that good leadership results from the individual’s attitudes and actions.

That’s only half right.


The other half, as shown by the diagram above (click it to enlarge it), is the role of the leader’s organization to either support or thwart the leader’s individual efforts at leading well.

When a leader is working very hard at exhibiting good leadership skills, but his or her organization does little to nothing to support those efforts, that leader is going it alone. And will end up in the upper left quadrant. Frustrated. And likely to leave the organization.

We strongly urge our clients to think past the outdated concept that good leadership is solely up to the individual. It’s just not true. And that’s why so many Leadership Development efforts fall flat. They are predicated on (essentially) “fixing” leaders but do nothing to address the critical role that the organizational environment plays in determining the true effectiveness of a leader.

Good organizational support systems (for hiring, firing, compensating, declaring clear priorities, and the like) can help a good leader more easily become a great leader.

And, as the lower right quadrant shows, force a lousy leader to act, at least occasionally, a little more like a good one.

Great leadership results from both individual efforts and the collective support systems in the leader’s environment.

Implications & Takeaways

In developing the leaders around you, evaluate the processes and the institutionalized habits that help or hinder your supervisors and managers. What policies and programs need strengthening? Which are long overdue for an overhaul (or an execution)?

If you are convinced that your own leaderful actions are being defeated by corporate policy or culture, ask yourself:

  • How can I modify what I’m doing to more effectively counter the opposing forces?
  • What can I do to eliminate the very existence of such forces?
  • Given current trends, what’s the likelihood of this situation improving in the near future?
  • How long can I remain committed, motivated, and effective in this environment?
  • What are my alternatives?

Remember, all leadership is contextual. Your effectiveness is, without question, as much tied to time, place, and other managers, as your own resolve and actions.

Leadership is not a solo sport, and it cannot take place in a vacuum. While you need not wait for ideal conditions to practice good leadership, you might find over time that suboptimal conditions could well detract from your potential contribution.

Do what you can. And consciously decide what that is.


Mission Statement Sets the Stage


I am regularly called upon by company leaders to help them “improve the workplace environment.” Leaders know that help is required to motivate staff, to deal with conflict and to get everyone pointed and pulling in the same direction.

I recently worked with a company that has just realigned after a shareholder buyout. Long standing conflict and conversations about “what was” and “how awful” are disappearing in favour of “excitement for the new.” With the loss of any team member(s) a whole new team forms. This team is adjusting to new roles, aligning support for each other over various responsibilities, and defining work-related parameters.

The principals, drained by the transition, are now focused on building their new team. They want to increase employee commitment to the “new” company. Each partner has a similar, yet different idea of the company mission and how to proceed. The principals had failed to formulate a mission statement despite attempting to do so over a five-year period. They decided to bring in help.

We instructed the partners to provide us with their vision and mission statement and to do so in isolation from each other. A subsequent meeting was arranged. During the second meeting we had them answer critical questions, the findings of which were key to formulating their new mission statement. After an hour and a half the task was complete.

Like many business owners they had spent countless hours with each other, with staff, at work and during secluded retreats. They estimated the cost to be in the tens of thousands of dollars. While their intent was great their results were nil – until now.

“Your mission is your purpose for existing as a business,” I reminded them. “Everything you do must align with your mission statement.” Every day leaders face business decisions that leave them doubting. The single question that clarifies their next step is “What is my purpose here?” A crystal clear mission statement makes the next step possible.

The partners know their mission statement is invaluable and want their staff to use it. They have planned a three-part intervention to invite staff’s buy-in. I reminded the partners that when the leaders make decisions in the absence of employee input, employees have no attachment to it. They feel no commitment and no passion to carry out the plan. However, when staff is invited to join the enterprise and to help move the company forward, they feel valued and will get involved.

That is exactly what is happening here.

Practical steps are insufficient. It’s essential that leaders use external specialists, highly skilled in developing mission statements and intimately familiar with human responses. Understanding why people resist, where they feel vulnerable, and how to surface employee’s real concerns, is critical. Partners need to understand their own leadership style, their unique methods of decision-making and their values. By doing so they can learn not to inflame employees and unintentionally create a difficult environment. One thing that is helpful to pass the message you want to the employees and create a united team is hiring a motivational speaker – if you want to check one, a great option is Richard Jadick.

Committed to developing a highly engaged, communicative and innovative staff, the principals are now creating a positive economic impact for their company. Everyone wins.

If you are the leader, it’s your role to set the stage. How you, or those you appoint on your behalf, manage your people, design your mission statement, build commitment to the company, and reorganize your company is paramount to your success. Quality is never about things. It’s about your people.