Earlier today, I had the opportunity to give a presentation on "Unlearning 101" to 100 or so professionals in the Minneapolis area. Afterwards, as commonly happens, I received a thank you gift from the event's sponsors. Unlike every other such gift I have ever received (and I've received plenty), I will not only proudly display this gift on my desk, I actually want to show it off to people.
Why? Because it is incredibly personalized and the team which put it together — from a company called Hillarys — took the time to really get to know me as a person. The result is a gift that reflects my interests as a futurist, author, speaker and, most importantly to me, a father. (I have posted a picture of the gift above).
While the details of the art work may be hard to discern from the photo, the piece (which is no more than 6 inches wide and 6 inches high) contains my favorite quote; a photo of my family; the covers of a few of my books; and even the name of my son's basketball team — which I coach.
Moreover, the gift also subtly reflects my passion for the future; unlearning; as well as my family. In short, the gift truly achieves the company's tagline: "The art of a lasting impression."
I am currently in the process of reading Seth Godin's excellent new book, Linchpin, and from my perspective Hillary Feder and her company embody and exemplify both the spirit and the message of the book to a "T." They infuse their work with passion, creativity, art and, dare I say, even love.
The result is that Hillarys has taken a standard, throw-a-way event for most speakers — the presentation of a token gift — and created a meaningful piece of art which will stay with me (and, hopefully, my children) for a long, long time.