Category Archives: Uncategorized

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?

 

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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.

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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.

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His inspiration came from this ad written by Henry Ford himself:
Advertisement-Ford_Jan1925

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
areas.

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 🙂

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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.

pillars

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.

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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 🙂

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

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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:

foundation

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 🙂

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Opportunity Pyramid: The 7 Pillars of Success

In today’s fast paced media driven world, the successful individuals that headline the world news are often put on pedestals where they are revered so much, you think they were super human. They’re not. They’re just regular people. The difference is they have recognized the seven pillars of success you need in order to succeed. We all have these tools- the difference is many of us just fail to see them. We are so caught up in the moment, the “drama” or the self loathing “woe is me” that we neglect to see the path to happiness and success.

There are seven steps that one needs to take in order to reach your full potential. They all depend on the other and are all equally important and each pillar supports the other:


Knowing yourself

you need to know yourself in order to tackle any opportunity that comes along. You must know your strengths and leverage them and work on your weaknesses. All successful people have a high sense of self awarenesss.

Building Your Knowledge

In order to be the best you can be you have to have the knowledge to support your plan and strategies. Book knowledge is good but so is hands on knowledge. Learn from others, read trade magazines, anything to keep you current. Even taking a selective college course. The choices are endless for anyone who wants to expand their knowledge.

Defining Your Opportunity Strategy and Sticking with It
Ask yourself based on your knowledge and what you are good at– what do you want to do? Can you build a company based on your talents? You need to look at yourself as a brand. What makes you special is your intrinsic value to your business, aspiring business or the organization your work for. Once you define that you are halfway to achieving what you want to do. Based on that definition, every decision you make needs to go back to that very definition. Every strategy employed has the sole purpose so you can achieve your goals.

Stoking Your Inner Passion

Passion gets you through the highs and lows on your journey to achieving success. You need to be your biggest cheerleader. You owe it to yourself to be positive and remember how far you have come. The road may be filled with potholes and detours but in the end, your passion will be the fuel to get you through the journey. A key piece to this pillar is surrounding yourself with positive people that believe in the same mission you believe in. Cut out the negative, dramatic people- they are energy and time killers.

Staying the Course

I believe this is the most time consuming piece out of all the pillars. Why? Because this is where you are challenged time and time again. People may doubt you, you may even start doubting yourself. Success is rarely made overnight. If you want it bad enough you will make the sacrifice and take the time to get it done.

Executing

While you are staying the course it is critical to make sure you are executing at the highest level of performance and you are focusing on every detail. Sloppiness is not a nurturing piece in the success equation.

World Domination

This is the apex of the pyramid. It’s been a long, hard road but you have achieved what you set out to do. But that does not mean the journey is over. You need to stay relevant. If you rest on your laurels, your competition will catch up. You want to constantly innovate, reinvent and test yourself. That will keep your passion going and pushing the bar even higher.

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 🙂

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Filed under Define Your Opportunity, Execute-Pay Attention to Details, Foundation, Foundation: Getting to Know You, Leadership, Stay the Course, Uncategorized, World Domination

Entrepreneurialism Has no Age

I am a huge fan of tweetdeck and I have my own special list of “influencers”- people who not are not only newsmakers or journalists but leaders who also offer inspiration. Let’s face it- we all need that. It’s a spirits “go-go juice” 🙂 I follow Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group. He is visionary in business, but what I like most about Sir Richard is his giving back and stories of inspiration from the four corners of the globe. I wanted to share his blog today about two young girls (seven and four) selling rocks in an area that is well, very rocky. It shows you the spirit of the entrepreneur is in all of us and it transcends any age. These kids have built their own opportunity pyramid 🙂

Here’s Sir Richard’s blog. Enjoy!

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 🙂

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Filed under Define Your Opportunity, Execute-Pay Attention to Details, Foundation, Foundation: Getting to Know You, Leadership, Passion, Stay the Course, Uncategorized, World Domination