June 2011

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Happy June! We are into summer and the storms are brewing.
We recently dispatched our first
Hands That Give natural disaster team to Joplin, Missouri to help HTG8 member, John Motazedi’s SNC Squared organization. Big tornado – total destruction – a very lonely place to be. That is, unless your HTG family steps up and puts their hands together.

Before I was able to catch up with John last Monday morning, his HTG8 group, and facilitator, Brent Morris were already in action redirecting email and spinning up virtual servers. Two other members, Craig Hillyard and David Ohendalski, were on the road driving toward Joplin to be there to assist John and his team however they could. HTG Hands That Give then came alongside and provided support in a number of additional ways. It’s what we do in HTG – community in action.

Having just returned from the devastation in Joplin, I’m proud of the HTG response and blessed to be part of the HTG family. Hands That Give was called into action before we were ready. When we announced this a few weeks ago in Dallas, we planned to have a few months to get our response plans in order. It wasn’t to be, and yet HTG members from across the nation rallied to help one of our own. Vendors stepped up to make a difference. I want to let you know that HP, XiloCore, eFolder, SonicWALL, Mitel, Ingram, Synnex and LPI have all provided products, people or cash to help provide a response. We’re still figuring out many of the details on how Hands That Give will operate – but caring people from all across HTG and our sponsors are just taking action to make it happen. Thank you for your generosity, trust and support. We will take the dollars and products and use them to impact people in significant ways as we respond to tragedy together.

As of today we have over 100 HTG members who are part of Hands That Give. Our mission is to make sure no member has to face a business disruption alone – be it a personal crisis or a natural disaster. The common reason I hear when asking why someone hasn’t gotten around to signing up yet – they just haven’t taken the time. Of course that makes sense because it will never happen to you, right? That is what all of us believe. Unfortunately – that isn’t exactly how it works. Just when you think it won’t happen to you – it does. Don’t believe me? Just ask John at SNC Squared in Joplin.

You see – this is actually the third time since our Q2 Dallas Summit in which Hands That Give has taken action. Once for a personal health issue that was pulling a member away from running the business, once for a difficult financial situation that needed some short term relief and support, and the latest – a natural disaster of huge proportions that would overwhelm anyone facing it alone. But the reality is that all of these situations are overwhelming when faced alone. That is why we must act and help each other. We will not allow members to face these disruptions alone. Our Go-Giver culture won’t allow it. So all that’s left is for you to go all in, get signed up and give! The application takes less than 10 minutes.

Hands that Give Perspective
One of our new members sent these comments about Hands That Give after signing up. They just joined HTG so I wanted to share their perspective:

“Just a comment from a “newbie”. And to set the perspective, I see that we are “below average” in size (in # employees and sales). We went to compute the amount for the “Hands That Give” and found that our recommended donation to be $450 (1 site and 2 owners). In the end, we gave the full $1,500. I think that this figure is MORE than doable for most, if not ALL, members. If every member gave this amount then that would yield $375K in the first year alone.

My suggestions:
- Perhaps HTG could make the Hands That Give a part of the next annual fee (i.e. raise the fee by this amount) – so that there is no guessing as to what will be in the coffer for this cause, or
- Put out a “strong suggestion” that each member give that amount - after all, it is for OUR benefit

Just a suggestion from a newbie . . . ”

The suggestions are good, and to be honest, quite tempting to implement. Making it part of the fee would make life simple for the HTG team. But this is as much about our culture of being givers as it is the money. I want you to make a conscious decision to give. That is what will make Hands That Give different than anything else in our industry. I want you to feel compelled to give – to share from the blessings you receive, to help others. That may not even be money – it may be time or other resources – but I assure you that all of us have definitely got something we can give. The question is – will you hallucinate or execute? Vision without execution is hallucination! Let’s get it done!

Please Join Me At WPC 2011
I’m reaching out to personally invite you to join me at the 2011 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, July 10-14, in Los Angeles, Calif., USA. This five-day conference is truly the must-attend Microsoft partner event of the year. For me, WPC 2011 is invaluable in:
• Learning the Microsoft roadmap, vision and strategy.
• Finding new ways to increase profitability.
• Building new business relationships with other partners.
• Meeting one-on-one with key Microsoft executives.
• Catching up with HTG peers

Outside of our HTG events, WPC 2011 provides the best return on investment of any conference that I attend. It allows me to get more done in five days than months of other effort. The networking opportunity alone – with both Microsoft executives and other partners – is worth the $1,995 registration price. Of course – that is only true if you actually use your time wisely. I can give you some suggestions if you need to learn the ropes for your first time attending – just drop me an email.

We will have some special HTG activities happening in LA at WPC2011
• HTG dinner for all HTG attendees on Wednesday evening
• Morning devotions each day
• Partners in Christ prayer breakfast on Wednesday morning
• A few other twists and wrinkles we will announce to those who attend

Join me in getting inspired about the latest cloud offerings, Windows 7, Windows Phone, the overall Microsoft stack and more. Be sure to mark that you are an HTG member when you fill out the registration form. Register for WPC 2011 today with the following code: PTATYC6E ! I look forward to seeing you in Los Angeles this July!

Connect With Us!
My blog has moved to the new HTG Peer Groups website – and I hope you will subscribe so you can stay connected to what is happening. That, along with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIN, will be the major way I will update you on all things HTG and Hands That Give. Beyond that, how about linking to the site as it will help all our SEO efforts? And what I truly hope is that you will take a few minutes to read and comment on the blog postings. You don’t have to agree – just share your thoughts – and further help us grow the traffic to the site. We want to drive this site through lots of interaction. We want to be interacting with you and have multiple ways to keep you informed.

I also want to remind you about the Microsoft
Multipoint Server video contest. A good way to win some cool stuff courtesy of Microsoft. But you can’t win if you don’t participate – sort of like with Hands That Give. Most things in life require us to do something to be able to benefit. The Hands That Give requirement is pretty small – it is a starting point – and from there we want to you give 10 – 10% of something – a day’s profits, a month’s earnings – maybe even 10% of your net EBITDA someday. We want to foster the attitude and practice of giving within HTG. It is the foundation of our organization and culture. Are you part of it? If not – now is the opportunity. Don’t get left behind!

Key Dates!                                         Action!
July 10-14 2001 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Los Angeles, CA
Click Here to Register
August 31 & September 1 HTG CEO Forum, Minneapolis, MN - Save the Date!
November 7-9 HTG ALL & Q4 Meetings - Click Here to Register Now

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