Honoring The Vote

As a senior producer for CNBC, I get a chance to interview some pretty interesting news makers so I can produce must-see segments for Squawk Box. My delegate segment on Wednesday exploded on social media. Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity played clips of the segment on their shows and it was one of the top stories on Drudge and on cnbc.com. Politics is very personal for everyone and for those who vote, they truly believe their vote counts.

When Curly Haugland, an unbound delegate from North Dakota and long-standing member of the rules committee for the RNC told anchor Becky Quick it was the delegates who decided the nomination, not the primaries and caucuses, it created quite a stir to put it politely.

Today for CNBC.com I wrote a piece  about an amendment Haugland is going to propose before the GOP Convention Rules Committee which could wipe the “magic number” 1237 off the blackboard and have all the candidates who have at least one delegate have the ability to get back on the first ballot by being nominated by the seated convention delegates. This too has sparked a lot of conversation.  Haugland says this amendment is the best way to honor every vote and keep the voting power out of the hands of big money. As a journalist I can’t tell you my views on this. I am here to report the news.  Enjoy and I look forward to any comments.

Could This Delegate Plan Blowup The GOP?



The Number One Leadership Tool Needed For Sticking With Your New Year’s Resolution

As 2014 wraps up- millions of people around the world will make a resolution. But how many will truly succeed?  From losing weight to getting a new job, there really is just one simple leadership tool needed to help achieve your resolution and that’s education.

I am not talking book knowledge. I’m talking about educating yourself on well- YOU. You are the subject matter at hand and it should be the topic you are most interested in excelling at 🙂

By educating yourself on who you are, you create that self-awareness all good leaders have. Self-awareness will enable you to help achieve your goal(s) for the new year. Self-awareness is created, fine-tuned and strengthened by the knowledge you learn about yourself. It gives you the tools you need to set the resolution and plot a course of achieving it.

So how does education help us keep our resolutions?

* Learning about you unfiltered. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Make an honest list and look at it. What is holding you back on the resolution you want to achieve? What do you possess that can help you achieve your goal? You need to focus on both your positive and negative so you can avoid patterns of actions that can lead to failure.

* What kind of actions have lead you to where you want a change? Write them down. Be honest. Actions in the past cannot be changed, what’s done is done. The key to this education step is learning from it and avoid repeating. Mistakes are actions you do over and over again not learning from them. If you learn what you are not doing correctly and fix it, the action is what I like to call a “misstep” 🙂

* Gives you the push to keep going.  Knowledge of what makes you tick, the acceptance of your missteps and learning from them is very empowering. Confidence is built and is a accumulation of knowledge and experience.

I truly believe there is a fire to succeed in everyone’s belly. It just needs to be fed. Self-doubt, excuses and lack of motivation are junk food. Knowing who you are, loving yourself to try and try again are the super foods needed to stay the course and keep your resolution.

So grab a pen and pad. Make your resolution list but before you set out in 2015 take some honest, insightful notes on you 🙂

If you like what you read and want truly learn more about tapping into your inner leader, please pick up “Opportunity Knocking”. Here’s to achieving your resolutions and goals!!

The Three Strategies In Achieving Happiness At Work

  Under the category of “You can’t make this stuff up….”

After a week on being at a new job, a manager says to his team. “I want you to be working so hard and focused during the week, that by  Friday I want you all to be physically and mentally spent.” The employees around the conference table were shocked. And the power of that poorly thought-out statement took root.

Do you think that motivated the employees? Absolutely not. Instead, the staff now dreads going to work. They are exhausted by Wednesday. Innovation has declined. The spark of inspiration is gone. A once motivated team of working ahead has been decimated into a shell of itself. On a hamster wheel where every day they leave work feeling like they accomplished very little. Every member of the team comments how long the week is.  The new manager? They are oblivious- holed up in their office where they can’t see the expressions on the faces of their team.  Mandates are given but no examples of what they want, just “do it”.

The only plus if you want to call it to this work environment is the team rallies together to support each other but there are better ways to encouraging employees to being there for each other.

This is not the way to lead. Arrogance and lack of communication (both seen here) are a toxic cocktail to any organization. In order to get the most out of your career or help build a healthy motivated team there are three simple strategies that must be used:

* Create your mantra- what do you stand for?

* Define what you want to achieve based on your mantra

* Give examples of how to achieve this goal and offer up to discussion

It is human nature to have a set of rules to follow. Without rules as a guide you have a disorganized, unfocused path. You need that central point to always refer to. There is a difference between being mentally fatigued and working hard. Employees do not reach their pinnacle of productivity by constantly chasing ill-defined missions. They need to be part of the plan. They need to understand what is expected of them.  Not everyone in the room may not agree on a single plan of execution, but a discussion together where everyone listens to each other, a plan will be put in place because of the collaboration of ideas discussed in that meeting.

A good company is often looked at staff retention. Tenure is more than how long a person’s been at a job. It’s about their satisfaction within the organization. Sure loyalty is part of it but let’s face it, happiness is key. Even when you achieve what I call “World Domination” you still want to be happy with what you are doing. You want to be challenged and valued. When happiness, challenge and value are not present- that’s when good talent leave.

The three strategies above focus on completing the package of success. If not, high turn-over is inevitable.

Inspiration Can Come From Anywhere

Inspiration can come from anywhere. You just need to keep your eyes open. In honor of today’s anniversary of Ford putting the Model T car on the market for $825 in 1908, I wanted to share with you an “Opportunity Knocking” chapter sample of former Ford Chairman and CEO Alan Mulally. I chose Mulally for the third level of the Pyramid: Defining your Opportunity Strategy and Sticking with It because of his strategies for creating and seizing on Opportunity.


His inspiration came from this ad written by Henry Ford himself:

Here is the chapter sample. I hope you enjoy it as much as I had in writing it. Be inspired 🙂

Unlocking Opportunity

When Mulally found out I was writing a book about opportunity, he
wanted to participate because of his passion for unlocking and tapping
into circumstances. His approach to weighing opportunity is very
pragmatic. Mulally looks at the concerns or worries facing the company
and turns them into positives. He explained it to me this way: “I like
the word ‘opportunity.’ I looked up the definition in the dictionary, and
one of the definitions is ‘a good chance for advancement or progress.’
Think about how cool that is! The word ‘opportunity’ is just fantastic.
You don’t wait for an opportunity. It doesn’t come to you when you are
just sitting in a room.”

Mulally uses the following three-part checklist to unlock opportunities:
• Weigh the risks of the opportunity.
• Be sure all opportunities support the vision.
• Be open to opportunistic gems.

Weigh the risks of the opportunity: Every Thursday, Mulally
meets with his team to discuss growth plans for Ford. They
look at the business environment: politics, economy, energy,
environment, customers, competition, technology trends, and
labor. They look for changes, risks, and opportunities in those

Mulally has a process in place that enables everyone at Ford
to identify opportunities: “It’s almost like an all-time continuous
improvement process on finding more and more opportunity.
Then we check that our strategy is appropriate with the business
environment, and we have a plan which is a normal business
plan of revenues and costs, cash and earnings.”

Be sure all opportunities support the vision: According to
Mulally, the concept of “opening the highways to all mankind” is
Ford’s true north. “That’s how we measure every opportunity,”
he says. “That’s what keeps us so focused on making the best
cars and trucks in the world. That’s why we divested all those
brands—Aston Martin, Jaguar, Volvo, Land Rover—and
focused entirely on the Ford Motor Company.”

Be open to opportunistic gems: For Ford and other
automakers, this gem should be an emerald—I’m talking about
green technology. Innovation is the key to unlocking such gems.
One of these opportunistic gems is fuel mileage. Mulally
explained it to me this way: “If you are trying to improve the
mileage of an F-150 or a Fiesta, you have to come up with a
compelling road map of technology development.” From skilled
employees to technology, everyone and everything is part of
a company’s economic engine. Mulally continues, “There are a
lot of exciting innovations out there that can help make a car
green: you have our EcoBoost engine, lightweight auto-building
materials, integrated electronics, and navigation equipment.
Based on all these wonderful technological advances you have
the transformation of a hybrid vehicle, then all-electric vehicles,
and the use of natural gas and also hydrogen. Technologies
which are pretty neat are the ones that have multiple periods
of goals where you are improving both efficiency and safety.”

A great example of efficiency and safety is Ford’s integrated
electronics—how the different technologies talk to each other.
He returned to the motto of opening highways to everyone,
emphasizing that this is considered in any new advancement:
“We heed that statement with every decision we make.”

If you are inspired by what you read pls click here and order your copy of Opportunity Knocking for more leadership strategies on being the best YOU can be 🙂

Pillars of Sticking to Your Goals

On your journey to achieving what I call “World Domination”, there are pillars in each of the seven layers that both fortifies and reinforces the previous layers and help propel you to the next.

In the third layer of the pyramid, “Defining your opportunity strategy and sticking with it, Untitled

there are three pillars to help guide you to help you stick to your goals.


These pillars really ground you, bringing you back to your essence- your foundation. Each question, each opportunity and each decision need to be vetted and you have to ask yourself- will the actions satisfy your overall goal?

The biggest piece to this layer of the pyramid is making sure every member of the team is fully invested and support the overall goal. You can’t have “bobble head” employees (thank you Google’s Eric Schmidt for that phrase). Having “yes men” on your team does not mean support. People pleasers have no conviction- why would you want that? You want a team filled with individuals who have their own thoughts and have the courage to fail. You want to have a group of individuals that come up with actionable ideas and solutions to support your end game. Does everyone have to agree on how its done? No, but the process in which you decide on what you will do has to be a combined effort. Ideas spark innovation. Collaboration between a team whose strengths compliment each other is important.

Success is the byproduct of a team. I leave you with my favorite quote from Steve Case. Long-term success is not achieved overnight.

If you are inspired by what you read pls click here and order your copy of Opportunity Knocking for more leadership strategies on being the best YOU can be 🙂

The Three Essential Qualities to a Solid and Healthy Career/ Business Foundation


In order to have a successful career or business you need to have a high self-awareness so you can achieve your goals. Knowing your strengths and how to capitalize on them and work on your weaknesses are two critical pieces to building a solid foundation, but success is not built by one person alone.

Success is achieved with the efforts of a collaborative, supportive team of individuals. While each person on the team has the same passion and drive– what makes them different in their strengths is the secret to the success sauce 🙂

When building your team as well as you own foundation, I have put together a quick check that sums up the foundation qualities I believe are needed to help fortify a solid base so you can achieve your destiny:


If you are inspired by what you read pls click here and order your copy of Opportunity Knocking for more leadership strategies on being the best YOU can be 🙂

Three Questions Every Good Leader Needs to Ask Themselves

When a culture at a business is broken, employees look to their leaders to help fix it. Unfortunately, more often than not its the managers themselves that created the sick business environment. Is it apathy? Laziness? I think it’s a combination of both. Nothing is more disappointing than working for someone who lacks the passion to take your department to the next level, support you or recognize you for a job well done. But eventually I believe these individuals either “fail up” (they are promoted out of their current position because they stink and another person is brought in to make the decisions which is another blog in itself) or they’re let go.

I have seen first hand the positives and negatives of good leadership- both in and out of the newsroom. In order to be a good leader you have to ask yourself these three questions:

1- Define your leadership style: What kind of leader would you want follow? Would you follow an arrogant, self-absorbed, door shut manager?

2-  How do you motivate, encourage and support your team? Team- that’s one of the key words here. Team equals togetherness. Team means support. What would motivate and encourage you to do a good job? Is it a shout out in the company meeting for a job well done? Is it buying lunch for the staff?

3- Collaboration = vested = passion. How do you create an environment for collaboration? Good leaders find ways to make their team feel vested in the success of their company. Be it offering a scheduled meeting to offer ideas as a group so the team can listen, support and build on the ideas, leaders encourage members to work together playing on their strengths. A team is an eclectic bunch of people. While they all share the same passion for success and they embrace a central vision, their talents are different and compliment each other. 

Make these three questions the first you ask yourself so you can start creating a solid, positive culture for you and your team to achieve world domination.

If you are inspired by what you read pls click here and order your copy of Opportunity Knocking for more leadership strategies on being the best YOU can be 🙂