Five (more) Newsletters that make you and your inbox smarter

A few weeks ago, I posted five newsletters that add something amazing to your inbox on a regular basis. Here are five more excellent, curated newsletters that I trust.

Here are five more newsletters that I would recommend a subscription to:

  • Jocelyn K Glei compiles a great newsletter on creativity and meaning – essential reading.
  • Recomendo – Six cool recommendations every week. Tech, services, books – superb content.
  • Five Bullet Friday – everyone knows Tim Ferris’ work, but this weekly email provides up to date and interesting recommendations
  • Daily Stoic – wisdom and insight from the great Stoic writers – a great read.
  • The Daily Skimm – excellent curated news from across the globel.

What newsletters have I missed, let me know your recommendations in the comments below? 

Seen: Phantom Thread

This is a review of the film ‘Phantom Thread’ starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Lesley Manville. None of my reviews contain spoilers and only broad comments on the plot of a film.

Back to the Oscar-nominated films, I was excited to see Phantom Thread after enjoying the soundtrack for a few weeks (Spotify link). I was also interested to see what is supposed to be Daniel Day-Lewis’ last film, and see how Paul Thomas Anderson had directed this story – especially after hearing a great interview with him on the Adam Buxton podcast last week.

Phantom Thread tells the story of Reynolds Woodcock, a haute-couture dress designer and maker in 1950’s London, a man of exacting and sometimes eccentric standards and taste.  Lesley Manville plays his sister Cyril and provides both a foil and accomplice to indulge his whims.

The film focuses on the relationship between Woodcock and a young woman called Alma, who comes into his life following a chance (?) encounter over a brilliant breakfast scene.  The couple does not have an easy relationship, given his focus on work and demanding nature.

Phantom Thread

Along the way, we meet some of the interesting customers that might frequent an haute-couture fashion house in the 1950’s, from Princesses to Countesses to socialites, and all of the challenges they entail.

Phantom Thread is beautifully made, with an attention to detail and pace that makes it a lovely film to watch. The performances from Day-Lewis, Manville and the newcomer Vicky Krieps as Alma are electric and worthy of the finest films.  There is something gothic and unsettling about Reynolds, and like many of Daniel Day-Lewis’ finest parts, he dominates the screen and dialogue.

Just after I watched this, Phantom Thread was largely overlooked at the BAFTA Awards, picking up Best Costume – I suspect that this will change at the forthcoming Oscar ceremony.  Whatever the awards bring, this is my favourite of the season.

Overall. 10/10. IMDb


Working Out Loud Circle – Week Five

This is part of a series of posts documenting my journey with a Working Out Loud circle, as defined in John Stepper’s book; Working Out Loud: For a better Career and Life.  You can read the rest of the series here.

Once again we gathered on Friday morning for our regular connection to the Working Out Loud Circle which has started to be called the ‘Mut Anfall Team’ – Courage Attack.

So what did we do this week?

As usual, we started with our regular check-in – I felt I had made some good progress in connecting with my relationship list this week and it was good to hear that others were making good progress soon. One of the most affirming aspects of being in a circle is that you can enjoy others small success as well.

We then moved on to the Week 5 exercises – finding and discussing facts about ourselves.  For some, this can be a difficult exercise, first finding the facts and then sharing.  We discussed some lists that were already out there in the group and committed to sharing the remaining lists in our Slack channel.  We spent a long time talking about the difference between a gift and a contribution, and the effect that has on us sharing these lists.

I saw a connection between these facts and a journey line exercise, which many companies use as a way of sharing history and creating some vulnerability in leaders.   We also talked about how this connected with having a growth mindset when connecting with people.

Along the way, we discussed the Johari Window concept (new to me) and walking as a meditation or problem-solving tool, which is great  – because I love a stroll!

My key takeaways

  • Creating 50 facts about yourself is not easy, but it’s a worthwhile exercise to focus on facts vs opinions. There is an element of trust required, but your circle is a great place to explore this.
  • I learned about the Johari Window – and will be reading about that and maybe completing the exercise for myself in the future.

What did I do after the week three meeting?


Sunday Six Pack #3

Time to relax, pour yourself a coffee and enjoy the Sunday Six Pack, all killer, no filler, just six of the best links curated from a week of reading. Previous editions here.

Compiled whilst listening to Eddi Reader

The Sunday Six Pack - great reading from across the web, curated for Sunday morning enjoyment Click To Tweet

Remember: Gala Day Friday

Before Email, Twitter and Instagram, people used to send postcards.   I collect these vintage postcards, for their messages as much as their pictures.

Gala Day Friday - a vintage postcard from Shanklin sent in 1958 Click To Tweet

This is Shankin Pier in the Isle of Wight, and the card was sent to Chippenham, Wiltshire in 1958  – the message reads:

Continue reading “Remember: Gala Day Friday”

Friday Customer Experience Pack #3

Every Friday, I’m going to round up the best Customer Experience writing I have seen during the week. Subscribe below if you’d like to receive this by email each week. Previous editions are here.

  • Customer Journey mapping is so important to building an excellent experience for your most critical assets.  This article from Jeanne Bliss is taken from her CCO 2.0 book, where she outlines the process taken at the Smithsonian Institute to build a living and breathing Customer Journey to help articulate the experience across the company.
  • The inimitable Shep Hyken asks ‘are you so good that your customers would pay double?‘  It’s thought-provoking to understand what differentiates you from your competition, and how Customer Experience can play into that.
  • The team at ZenDesk are asking if it is time for you to build a Support Operations team.  Making sure that your customer-facing staff have the best in processes, content and ongoing support will ensure that they can focus on delivering the best service possible.  I’m lucky enough to have great staff surrounding my frontline, but there are always opportunities to formalise and improve.
  • Finally, over at Customer Think, they are writing about the huge opportunity there is for small business to differentiate themselves through Customer Experience.  Given that margins are being squeezed ever tighter and the price is no longer an easy way to differentiate, customers are going to make decisions about service and experience.   Just think about how you will go to the ‘expensive’ coffee shop because the coffee is a tiny bit better, and the service is great.  That decision is being played out thousands of times a day and if you aren’t maxing your experience, you are definitely losing customers.
Thousands of buying decisions are being made each day based on #CustomerExperience alone - are you thinking about maximising your profits through great CX? Click To Tweet

What did I miss? Let me know the best Customer Experience writing you’ve seen this week in the comments.