I have learned that mentioning Barb Schwarz's name in a blog is like taking a match to gasoline.
This is my reply to one of the last comments posted in my last blog post entitled: Will Staging Biz Book Hitting Shelves (this week) Hit the Target? I think my own comment bares repeating here to a bigger audience.
Barb Schwarz IS going to be written about... this is part of her "legacy" which she writes of in her email to you and others that was posted anomalously as a comment in my last blog. Some of the things written about ANY captain of ANY industry will be good, some bad, some indifferent. This is the way of the world. THE BLOG world makes it possible for anyone to say what THEY THINK or FEEL... INSTANTLY! Blogs have EVEN given YOU a forum to express your feelings as a comment.
My original post was NOT mean, it was questioning. I shared with ALL just what I was wondering about when it came to Barb Schwarz's upcoming book. I had NOT made up my decision about her book... but when I REALLY started to think about it, I was led to a conclusion. This conclusion I did NOT share. I was NOT going speculate and pre-judge Barbs book; as THAT would no have been fair. But sharing my thought process about how I saw Barb needing to position her book is FAIR GAME for ME in MY blog. In fact, sharing your thoughts, via comments, is EVEN fair game for YOU in my blog. I do NOT delete comments... good, bad of indifferent.
The first thing you accused the AR stagers of is EXACTLY the thing that upsets them the most with Barb Schwarz and many graduates (not all) ASP and ASPMS of the StagedHome.com. Whether you chose to acknowledge it or not, there is a SNIDE indignant attitude that NO-ONE but an ASP/APSM can stage. Phyllis Parfum wrote of this in her own post yesterday. It is VERY REAL in our industry. The Universal-oneness you accuse stagers on AR of not having toward Barb is the same thing. ONENESS WILL be part of this industry when and only when all in this industry... this INCLUDES Barb Schwarz, support it. (Don't get me wrong, I am well aware that competition is NOT oneness.)
Barb is a leader. Even in this matter of ONENESS. However, ONENESS is NOT one sided.
If Barb wants this to change than SHE too needs to take a stand of ONENESS. Right now her words tell a different story. Because they do, people will continue to snipe at her. There have been times throughout history when all a people asked of others was to dignify them by acknowledging them. It happens between generations, between cultures, between countries, between races, between sexes, between religions and many other areas.
WHY this can NOT occur in a simple industry is beyond me. HOW many times do others stagers need to hold out the olive branch only to get a cold shoulder? THIS is a sad fact , because if we can not get it right HERE... on such a smaller scale, the there is NO CHANCE for Peace in places like the Middle East.
Barb will play a role in making this happen. OR not making it happen by staying the same. I actually thought this book WOULD help. That was one of the reasons why I wrote what I wrote. She IS walking a tight line. This was part of the quandary the book put her in. I even wrote "she was DAMNED if she did and DAMED if she didn't" somewhere in some comment. I do believe that. But this is also a great opportunity for her... if she sees it and if she can seize it.
However, Barbs own words in that very revealing email are like Rick Wagoner (CEO of General Motors) saying that Toyota, Ford, Daimler/Chrysler, etc can't build cars!
Barbs email does not shed a positive light on her. It reveals much of what she thinks of her non-ASP peers. HER words fuel this fire. HER words incite the negative comments that people make about her. HER words reinforce the snide attitudes (I too have personally experienced) from other ASP stagers. THIS was the negative barrier I wanted to break down. THIS was the reason I spoke of ONENESS in the industry way back in the very first Stage-It-Forward post.
Defending Barb because YOU have experienced her as a nice lady is not the same experience OTHERS have of her. (For the record the time I did meet her she was very gracious.)
Whether Barb likes it or not this is NOW an industry. An industry made of REAL PEOPLE. These people are as REAL as you remind us Barb is. However, Barbs words in that email close off possibility for ONENESS of an industry. I wish Barb could get that she is NOT just a leader of OF a company any longer. NOW she is a leader IN an industry. "Of" and "In" are 2 different things. She needs to realize this industry is made up of others. But she has to now share the industry with other leaders too. In my opinion she is thinking TOO SMALL. She holds tight to something much smaller than the possibility of what can be.
It is a fact Barb is seen as a leader in this BIGGER and GROWING INDUSTRY. And as a leader she is open to criticism... just as the leaders of our country are. Bush is bashed daily. Hillary is bashed daily. Do I like it? No. But being critical and questioning is woven into the fiber of our society.
And... as any leader can do in any industry, if they don't like it...they can LEAVE the industry. But if Barb should leave... warn her on my behalf... she will be criticized for leaving too.
Stage It Forward...