PSA of Idiotcy, Not On Abduction Awareness

In Sequim, WA. A group trying to put a PSA together on child abduction not only totally backfired it was so stereotypical it was not even helpful.

First of all not only did they not give parents at the park a heads up or the cops they were doing this PSA. They were also misconstruding what a stranger looks like.. The stranger abductors in this “PSA” were wearing stereotypical ski masks. Really folks? Strangers that prey on our kids look just like you and me. They are not all ugly, creepy individuals.

The cops may be pressing charges against these individuals. They should be charged with stupidity. If you want to really empower kids, give them the tools on how not get grabbed- don’t give them bad information on being on the lookout for a ski masked man.

Rose Brucia does not scare families. I am appalled at the poorly thoughtout “PSA”. Empower our kids and families NOT scare them with poor information and stereotypes.

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How to be Happy

lenon

John Lennon sums it up pretty nicely here. In the end when you look back at your life you want to make a positive mark. As Nicky Pappadakis, a successful shipping titan once told me, “Working with a happy heart shows.” Life is too short not to be happy with what you are doing. I can say 110% that I am happy. Can you?

You need to have the courage to stand up and say to yourself “I deserve more”, “I want to pursue my dream”. You don’t have to leave your present job right here and now but you can lay down the foundation to achieving your dreams.

It took Jory DesJardins Jory-Des-Jardins

of BlogHer three attempts to leave her safe job. Surround yourself with positive people, make a “to do happy checklist” and mark it off one by one. My check list is the “Opportunity Pyramid” :)

It might take sometime to achieve your goals but it’s an awesome journey of discovery :)

Don’t misunderstand happiness and success with money. Money helps but it doesn’t make you happy.

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Strategies to Test Your Limits

how far

Do you hesitate when presented with an opportunity? Do you have the courage to try something? All leaders take calculated risks in order to achieve success. When I came across this quote I had to write about it because it is one of the drivers behind my motivation in writing my latest book, “Opportunity Knocking”. I show you that while the book focuses on leaders in diverse industries, it unveils the seven strategies they all use to achieve success. And you know what? Those strategies are inside you!!!! Each went through the same critical decision-making process in building each layer of his or her Opportunity Pyramid. Here is a snippet of the genesis of the pyramid and the journey you will embark on in the book:

Remember there are seven layers in the opportunity pyramid:

• Fortify your foundation—know yourself
• Build your knowledge
• Define your opportunity strategy—and stick with it
• Fuel your passion
• Stay the course
• Execute—pay attention to the details
• Think ahead—world domination

Fortify Your Foundation—Know Yourself
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for success. To start the process of building your pyramid, you need to know yourself, so you can identify
your strengths and weaknesses and can decide if you have the competitive edge when assessing a certain opportunity. How can you distinguish
between a good opportunity and a bad one if you don’t know what you want to achieve or how you are going to go about it?

Define Your Opportunity Strategy—and Stick with It

The knowledge-building process leads directly into the next layer, defining your opportunity strategy. What does opportunity mean to you?
You may be at a crossroads in going to the next level of your business, career, or aspiring career, so defining a strategy may mean taking radical
steps to reset your course. You internalize whatever life lessons and experiences come your way, so garner from them the courage and the
conviction to define your opportunity strategy and stick with it.

Fuel Your Passion
Passion is the fuel that keeps you going and inspires you on your way, but being passionate is not the same as being impulsive. The thrill of
knowing you are on your way can become intoxicating. You must be sure that your execution is dead on. You can’t let the emotional highs
and lows cloud your judgment.

Stay the Course
When you set a course, there may be naysayers who doubt you. Hear them out if you respect their opinions, but if you don’t agree with them,
don’t be swayed. Remember, this is your life and you are accountable for the decisions you make. If you want to home in on your passion and
build a business, you need to be comfortable with the path you take. Who cares what the others think? You will see examples in this book
of people who went against those who disagreed with their plans, staying the course to come out on top. Remember that in the end, it’s your
blood, sweat, and tears that are woven into the fabric of your business or idea.

Execute—Pay Attention to the Details
If you want something bad enough, you have to make sure you execute effectively. If for some reason it becomes clear during the execution
process that a plan will not work, you have to make sure your backup plan is clear immediately. As Dagfinn Lunde, transport banking financier
extraordinaire and member of the board of managing directors for transportation lender DVB Bank, once said to me: “The backup plan has
to be clear immediately because, when you sit on that tipping point, you can’t wait. Sometimes you have to give up the first plan and go to
your alternative plans. You do not want to fail. You just have to find the right way to execute and work on those alternatives to prepare for such
an occasion.”

Think Ahead—World Domination

All this preparation is fortifying you for what BlogHer founders Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort Page, and Jory Des Jardins call “world domination”—
whether that comes in the form of expanding your business, getting a job promotion, or leaving your job and embarking on a new
career or business. Your apex is what you want it to be. “World domination” could be considered a hefty description, but your definition of
world domination will definitely be different from mine. It’s just about being the absolute best you can be.

Building Blocks for Success

All of these levels fit together perfectly and erect a strong structure to guide you in your pilgrimage to success. Throughout the layers of the
opportunity pyramid, the cement that binds each pivotal step is honesty. All of the leaders in this book are brutally honest with themselves.
If you do not know yourself, including your strengths and weaknesses, how can you define opportunity? How can you distinguish between a
good opportunity and a bad one? All too often we let the fear of failing get a grip on us. We don’t want to try because we are afraid we will fall
short. Don’t let that fear immobilize you- embrace the fear to make those calculated risks. Soar to your potential and dreams. You deserve it!

For more inspiration, leadership strategies and lessons? Please order a hard copy or Kindle version of my book Opportunity Knocking Lessons from Business Leaders.

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Fortune Favours the Bold

fortune_favours_the_bold_by_spendavis-d33tv8d

In order to succeed you need to have the courage and conviction to be bold and “stay the course” in your pursuit for success. This is what is needed to make this level of the opportunity pyramid work. It is fortified with your foundation of knowing who you are and the knowledge you have learned over the course of your journey. Today I’m going to do something a little different and break it down in various categories to show you that no matter where you are in the food chain you can master the secrets to success:

The following is an excerpt of “Opportunity Knocking”

If you are a business owner or manager:
Ron Kruszewski exemplifies how important it is to lead with confidence. Staying the course can be difficult if those around you don’t understand your goals. Kruszewski stuck to his core principles and educated his board about where he wanted to take the company. Another trait you will need at this level of the pyramid is the ability to look at your faults or shortcomings. Everyone I interviewed for this book agreed that good leaders recognize areas in themselves that could use improvement. For Kruszewski, this area was his ability to listen; when he started at Stifel, he made it a point to strengthen his listening skills. By doing so, he was able to fix problems plaguing the organization. Listening is also necessary to effectively service customers. How can you fulfill the needs of your customers if you don’t know what they want? Or, to consider it from a different perspective, do employees want to work for someone who doesn’t take the time to hear what they are saying? Taking the time to listen is a huge morale booster. Nothing is worse than working for someone who doesn’t listen to you because they think they already know everything. Not only that, but by showing he is open to suggestions and change, Kruszewski is also setting an example for the organization’s culture. How would you characterize your style? Is it open, nimble, and empowering like Kruszewski’s? When you take the time to listen to your employees you help build up their confidence. Not only does this foster a positive environment, it can also help improve productivity. Listening and responding are ways to show you care. As Kruszewski puts it, “You have to invest a lot of authority with your key people. You motivate them, and they like it. This positive reinforcement builds the culture.”

If you are an employee:
You can help stay the course by listening to your superiors and executing to the best of your ability. If you are a service-based company and
you work directly with customers, have an open dialogue with them. Don’t be afraid to ask if there is anything you can do to serve them
better. Questions like this can give you insight into how to improve your services. You might also gain repeat customers because they feel
you value their opinions. This can open up areas of opportunity: if customers are complaining about a competitor and you find out why, you
might be able to turn that into an opportunity to take away some market share from them. Remember that the decisions you make and your execution will also impact your own career. If you are looking to move up, ask yourself: Will this help me achieve what I want in my next career move? If you are delegating and offering up new ideas, can that help you with a promotion?

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur:

Listen to what’s going on around you. Talk to customers and find out what they are looking for. This knowledge can help you prepare for opportunity.
Be nimble—this is one of the assets that helped Kruszewski take advantage of opportunity. Recall Kruszewski’s advice that good leaders are always evaluating, and they have a good business structure and expense model in place so when an opportunity presents itself, they are ready. Are you?

Final Thoughts

The “staying the course” layer of the pyramid is where the previous layers begin to really cohere. Defining who you are and solidifying
that definition with your mission statement help you boost your confidence and stay the course. Your knowledge in your field, coupled
with the listening skills Kruszewski has spoken about, also reinforce this layer. With these different elements coming together, you are
ready to embark on the next level: execution.

For more inspiration, leadership strategies and lessons? Please order a hard copy or Kindle version of my book Opportunity Knocking Lessons from Business Leaders.

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Finding Your Essence

albert einstein

I am a huge quotes person. When a phrase connects with me I write it down, I highlight them in books. Even in my own books I highlight them (in both Dynasties of the Sea and in Opportunity Knocking I have a special section of some of the the quotes that resonated with me. :))

Einstein’s quote above pretty much sums up who I am. It all goes back to being comfortable with who you are and what you want to be. We should never stop evolving in life. It’s a journey where we should grow and leave our mark- reach our own definition of “world domination” and be the best we can be. Your essence is a living breathing piece of you. It needs to be cared for. You do that by making conscious decisions on how you live your life. That’s why following the “Opportunity Pyramid” is so important.

It is hard to look at the positives of a disappointing or challenging situation, but there are always options and learning opportunities to take. Your essence the way you define yourself will help you get through whatever it is you are faced with. Just remember that all your decisions must go back to how you define yourself.

For more inspiration, leadership strategies and lessons? Please order a hard copy or Kindle version of my book Opportunity Knocking Lessons from Business Leaders.

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Leadership is Not Attached to a Position

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If this doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will. You can be a leader no matter where you are in the job food chain. Leadership is not attached to a price tag. It’s based on your abilities to connect with others and deliver.

The confidence you exude, the energy you bring, your passion and drive are all necessary ingredients to developing your essence and making your mark in this world.

So the next time you consider yourself “just a xxxx” at your company. Pause for a second and realize how important you are to your organization and how you can capitalize on your talents so you can move up that food chain. :) If you are a manager or employer, create a culture where employees don’t view themselves as just pegs in a wheel. They should feel vested in the company. Empower rather than belittle and don’t hold back to suit your own needs. As a boss you need to encourage your team to develop their inner leader. You will only look stronger.

Look in the mirror and say hi to the leader that’s waiting to break out from inside you :)

For more inspiration, leadership strategies and lessons? Please order a hard copy or Kindle version of my book Opportunity Knocking Lessons from Business Leaders.

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Leading Through Listening

churchill

We have all heard about the power of the written word, but what about the power of listening? We have all had “conversations” with individuals who are so preoccupied on what they are going to say next in response to you that they literally do not listen to your part of the discussion at all. This lack of connection greatly impacts their productivity and contribution because they are so wrapped up in themselves, they don’t know how they can contribute.

Listening is crucial in connecting with someone.

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For example Ralph Schlosstein’s ability to read people has enabled him to become a powerhouse recruiter for Evercore, specializing in the firm’s hiring of senior-level management.

All good leaders will tell you they lead by listening.
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That’s how Ron Kruszewski of Stifel Financial fixed the problems of the company when he was hired. He sat there in a meeting, had his team tell him what was wrong and then he empowered them to fix the problems.

Lisa Stone, Jory Des Jardins, Elisa Camahort Page
Lisa Stone, Jory DesJardins and Elisa Camahort Page of BlogHer all stress they lead by listening to their community members so they evolve the BlogHer environment based on the needs of the community. Schlosstein listens to his team and then evaluates information he receives to see if it makes sense to make a particular investment

The relationship between company and customer is critical not only for success and longevity, but also for the company to stay adaptable and innovative. In the end it’s the consumers who dictate what they need, want, and purchase. It’s imperative for companies like Ford to listen to what consumers want so they can build a product that meets demand.

Listening is also necessary to effectively service customers. How can you fulfill the needs of your customers if you don’t know what they want? Or, to consider it from a different perspective, do employees want to work for someone who doesn’t take the time to hear what they are saying? Taking the time to listen is a huge morale booster. Nothing is worse than working for someone who doesn’t listen to you because they think they already know everything. The same goes for the employee- if you are not listening to your boss how can you deliver? You can’t.

Listening is an essential ingredient for anyone who wants to succeed.

For more inspiration, leadership strategies and lessons? Please order
a hard copy or Kindle version of my book Opportunity Knocking Lessons from Business Leaders.

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