Life is too short. Make today Count! RIP James Gandolfini

James Gandolfini

Wednesday the world learned that James Gandolfini, while vacationing in Rome, died of a heart attack at the young age of 51. While age is relative, 51 is too young for such a great talent to end his time on earth and a sad reminder of how tomorrow is promised to no one. In hearing the stories and memories of friends and colleagues, it’s refreshing to hear that while he played such a big narcissistic character Tony Soprano, James Gandolfini seemed to have been one of those rare gems, that was humble, modest, generous, compassionate and genuine. It begs one to evaluate their own life and to think of their legacy.

Your career and legacy are not created and managed in an instant. It’s those daily interactions, those moments that you stepped up and did the right thing, especially when you thought no one was watching. Not to encourage paranoia, but especially in today’s technological landscape, the world is watching. We have cameras on street lights, Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, cookies, your digital footprint at work and at home. It’s the tending of the garden. Are you consistent in your message, branding and daily interaction? Time passes so quickly, it’s so easy to get caught up in the minutia of to do lists, chores, errands and running on your personal hamster wheel that before you know it months, years, and decades pass. Are you living the life you thought you would? Is your career where you want it to be?

What can you do different today to make your world or the world at large a better place?
In learning more about James Gandolfini in the media, there are few relevant lessons in managing your career. He didn’t do interviews because he felt he wasn’t any good at them. He did sit with James Lipton on “Inside the Actor’s Studio”
Actors, musicians and artists are the consummate job seekers. It’s level set and understood as they are looking for a role, their employment is a gig and it’s about filling in the gaps to pay the bills until they land that dream job and even then they are always looking towards their next opportunity.  In today’s landscape, you can’t expect to be in the same job for 20 years.  You need to manage your career and look to your best next step while bringing your A-Game to your current role.
-During an interview, do your best and drop the self doubt – In auditioning for the role of Tony Soprano he didn’t think he would get it. He thought that they would want someone more suave, more smooth!!!!! Who was more suave or smooth than James Gandolfini?
Be kind to everyone. In hearing the feedback from colleagues, the consistent theme was that James Gandolfini was a really great guy and treated everyone kindly. Until doing this blog, I never thought about it, but being from Jersey, especially North Jersey, I can’t tell you how many bars and restaurants have autographed pictures of James Gandolfini. Some of them are from when they shot a scene for the Soprano’s at their location, but when you consider all the stories of celebrities that “don’t sign autograph’s” it’s refreshing.
Network, network network. Whether you are in business or the arts, staying connected and networking is so important to managing your career. When you work with someone and enjoy great chemistry or success, they are a known commodity, it’s easier to say yes I want to work with you again. Brad Pitt worked on three films with James Gandolfini. While your reputation and skill set do play a part, knowing someone will be a good fit on your team, makes all the world of difference. I can’t tell you the number of hiring managers that when speaking about who they would hire, said “I just like that person.”
Play to your strengths. Early on, he was consistently getting roles of a thug, mob guy. In watching the interview “Inside the Actor’s Studio” it seems that James Gandolfini struggled with some of the scenes in the Sopranos. He felt the fear and did it anyway.

There is countless wisdom we can take from the life of James Gandolfini. While sadly James Gandolfini’s legacy is included in the obituaries this week, it reveals he packed a lot of life in his short years. I send prayers and condolences to his family and friends. It was cute, in his Actor’s Studio interview when asked what he would want God to say to him when he got to heaven, James Gandolfini replied: “Cover for me I’ll be right back”. I hope as his journey continues beyond this earth, he feels fulfilled.
For the dear readers of this blog, my wish for you is that you are happy and healthy. If you’re stuck in your career management, looking to make a change, need help in strategizing your best next step, reach out and let G45 Consulting help you succeed.
Work with passion…. Live inspired!

If you would like to check out the radio show from this past week:
If you would like to enroll for a Career Yenta Boot CampTM session or sponsor a friend or loved one or previous employees as outplacement:

Give us a call- join us at boot camp!
Career Yenta TM

Rock 2013!!!


Sharing some of Dad’s Wisdom for Father’s Day

Marina fall 2009 modified

Happy Father’s Day Weekend!!!  Happy Father’s Day to Father’s that are still here with us, those that have passed and to Moms that are both Mom & Dad!

When I think of Father’s Day, I love to think about the relationship people have with their Dads.  While I have volumes of wisdom from my Dad, I think of a shared wisdom I have with a good friend that I used to work with.  Almost daily, we used to go grab a cup of coffee and strategize on how to successfully navigate the competitive, cut-throat environment we were living in.  His father had recently retired, so almost as if he intuitively knew we were on break would time his daily call during our coffee.  Each day, Dad would open the call with the same question:  “What are you doing to bring value today?”  My friend would point at the phone, mouth the word “Dad”, smile this great special smile held for his fiancé and Dad, and give the 30 second briefing. Afterwards we would giggle about it and honor our fathers by developing our plans for value for the next interim.   My dear Dad has been gone many years, yet in some bizarre way, it feels like we communicate daily, whether it’s a memory, something I think he would’ve liked, or the execution of a lesson he imparted on me so long ago.  In those daily calls, I recalled a similar question from my Dad.  To this day, it warms my heart when I talk to my friend and we ask each other that same question- “What are you doing to bring value today?”

Hand in hand with this wisdom from my Dad was: “To do the job right, you need the proper tools.”  In managing your career, there are a number of slight changes you may not even be aware of that when timed correctly, could tee you up perfectly to your next best step. This is where the use of a career coach can bring value.  Sure, luck and skill may have played a big part in your navigation thus far, a coach can help catapult you beyond what you currently imagine for yourself.  As I shared in my last blog… we are not islands.. it’s all about relationship and “You get by with a little help from your friends.” (The Beatles)  What’s your vision?  What’s your next step?  Are you equipped with all the proper tools to get the job done right? I can help you.  I get it, maybe you’re a person that likes to do it yourself… that’s fine too!  We can develop a custom fit coaching program to help you overcome whatever obstacle your facing.  I or my team of experts can help… give us a shot.  Why stay stuck?  Why keep pushing the same strategy to achieve mediocre results?  Isn’t your time, your life worth more than that?

If you find you need help with networking or would like to learn of some books you can read to sharpen your saw… drop me a line, call into the radio show or sign up for a Career Yenta Boot Camp TM  .

Feel free to share wisdom from your Dad and the impact it has had on your life.

If you would like to check out the radio show from this past week:

If you would like to enroll for a Career Yenta Boot CampTM  session or sponsor a friend or loved one or previous employees as outplacement:

Give us a call- join us at boot camp!


Career Yenta TM 

Rock 2013!!!