Felix Assivo


Sustainability: Is It a Reachable Business Model?

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Business
Sustainability: Is It a Reachable Business Model?

This week’s article is an excerpt from “Stewards of the Future – A Guide for Competent Boards”, by Helle Bank Jorgensen, CEO of Competent Boards, which offers the global online ESG Competent Boards Certificate Program.  It is a companion to her interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled Stewards of the Future: A Guide for Competent Boards that aired on Tuesday, January 18th, 2022.

“Stakeholder concerns are shareholder concerns. The increasing focus by investors, consumers, and other stakeholders on sustainability is directly influencing value creation.” — Jane Diplock, chair, Abu Dhabi Global Market Regulatory Committee; director, Value Reporting Foundation

Case study – Ørsted

One company that has successfully managed the transition from passive to active engagement is Ørsted, Denmark’s largest energy utility. Ørsted has undergone a dramatic transformation since its inception in 1972 as Dansk Naturgas, and later as Dansk Olie og Naturgas. For the first thirty years of its existence, its business centered on coal-fired power plants in Denmark, and offshore oil and gas drilling rigs in various other parts of Europe. In 2006, however, it decided to shift its focus to green energy, closing its coal-fired plants and putting its resources instead into offshore wind farms. As of 2020, the Danish company was the world’s leader in offshore wind power, with a 30 percent market share; it forecast that it would produce enough power for more than 30 million people by 2025.

Stakeholder engagement has been a key pillar of the transition strategy. In 2007, for example, the company began fostering a dialogue with activist groups such as Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund and the Danish Society for Nature Conservation. Rob Morris, a senior editor at the London Business School, noted in an article that Ørsted “had to convince people that the future business could be as successful as the old one.” One example was a lengthy op-ed piece in Denmark’s Politiken newspaper written by then-CEO Anders Eldrup in which he stressed that transformation would not be an overnight miracle. Eldrup publicly debated the company’s climate action strategy with Greenpeace’s then-executive director Mads Flarup Christensen at a 2009 meeting hosted by the Copenhagen Business School.

While the Danish government still owns 50.1 percent of Ørsted shares, the company has been listed on the Copenhagen stock exchange since 2016.  The following year, it opened another useful avenue to tell its story to international investors by launching its first green bond.

“A lot of it starts with a company needing to be clear about what its purpose and its real priorities are, and that can be quite difficult to formulate,” says Ørsted’s current board chair Thomas Thune Andersen. “We have a wide debate about strategy that covers everything from the annual strategy plan to the long-term strategy, to our strategic priorities. If you’re able to really explain what your strategic priorities are, you’re able to get the shareholders and others to buy in.”

Ørsted now conducts a thorough materiality assessment each year, which involves identifying its most material stakeholders as well as assessing shareholder priorities and how these priorities intersect with society’s overall challenges. It has identified five key stakeholder groups: political stakeholders and authorities, local communities, employees, investors and shareholders, and NGOs/multiple stakeholder networks. The company has a specific interest in each group. Political stakeholders are vital allies in its plans to develop green energy. Local communities and employees provide valuable input on skills, talent retention, education, and local environmental initiatives. Investors expect strong financial returns as well as robust performance on environmental, social, and governance issues. Finally, the company engages NGOs and multi-stakeholder networks on topics such as biomass sustainability and human rights. It has worked to strengthen implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and has identified minerals and metals in its supply chain where environmental and human rights risks are greatest. The Danish company also has no problem collaborating with other utilities to develop wind farm projects. For example, in March 2020, it joined forces with Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings to bid for an offshore wind power project in Chiba prefecture, near Tokyo. The two companies have several other joint projects.

Ørsted has set a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2025 and no carbon emissions at all by 2040. Corporate Knights magazine named it the world’s most sustainable energy company for three years in a row, from 2019 to 2021, and ranked it number two across all sectors in 2021. But sustainability has not come at the expense of financial performance. Ørsted’s market value has more than doubled since its listing in 2016, surpassing rivals such as BP with a far greater dependence on fossil fuels. It achieved a 10 percent return on capital and a 4 percent advance in operating profit in 2020. As of mid-2021, its share price had almost quadrupled since the 2016 initial public offering.

Taken from “Stewards of the Future – A Guide for Competent Boards”, by Helle Bank Jorgensen, now available in hardcover and ebook.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

 

About the Author

Helle Bank Jorgensen is the CEO of Competent Boards, which offers the global online ESG Competent Boards Certificate Program with a faculty of over 95 renowned international board members executives and experts. A business lawyer and state-authorized public accountant by training, Helle helps global companies and investors turn sustainability into strong financial results. She was the creator of the world’s first Green Account based on lifecycle assessment, as well as the world’s first Integrated Report and the first holistic responsible supply chain program. Helle has written numerous thought leader pieces, is a keynote speaker, and is interviewed by global media outlets.

Photo by Damir Kopezhanov on Unsplash

Movie Review: The Tiger Rising * Powerful Film And The Perfect Resource To Help People Overcome Challenges

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Movie Review: The Tiger Rising * Powerful Film And The Perfect Resource To Help People Overcome Challenges

Queen Latifah and Dennis Quaid star in this beloved tale based on the New York Times best-selling book by Kate DiCamillo. When 12-year-old Rob Horton (Christian Convery) discovers a caged tiger in the woods near his home, his imagination runs wild and life begins to change in the most unexpected ways. With the help of a wise and mysterious maid, Willie May (Queen Latifah) and the stubborn new girl in school (Madalen Mills), he navigates through childhood memories, heartache, and wondrous adventures in this heartwarming adaptation. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Dominic D. comments, “This powerful film is packed with so much, that it will undoubtedly become the perfect resource to help people overcome challenges.” See his full review below.  

The Tiger Rising

By Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Grief can run so unbelievably deep that it can control your life.  Sadly, this is the case with 12-year-old Rob Horton in the new film The Tiger Rising.  This powerful film is packed with so much, that it will undoubtedly become the perfect resource to help people overcome challenges.  Although its subject matter is somewhat heavy, this film will leave its viewers with a sense of empowerment that each of us has for what it takes to make it through our darkest days. 

Based on Kate DiCamillo’s book, The Tiger Rising follows a young boy on his heartfelt journey following the loss of his mother. Young Rob (Christian Convery) flees with his Dad to a new town to start their life anew. Rob is bullied at his new school, but finds friendship with Sistene (Madalen Mills), an aggressive and outspoken classmate who is also new to the area and dealing with problems of her own. Rob stumbles upon a caged tiger and shares his find with Sistene who insists that this tiger be set free. Feeling confused about doing the right thing, Rob seeks advice from the motel’s maid Willie May (Queen Latifah) who gives him genuine and endearing advice.

What I liked most about The Tiger Rising is how symbolic it is. The tiger in the cage represents the very trapped Rob and Sistine.  Both of these kids are struggling with their trapped emotions very much like the tiger that spends his days pacing back and forth in his tiny cage. The actors for this film completely fit their roles and give it such meaning.  The Tiger Rising tugs at the heart and creates gratitude for our blessings in life, which I also appreciate.  The outcome of the film is suspenseful and filled with complex emotions, leaving viewers both sad and glad at the same time. Also worth a mention are the terrific visual effects that bring such life to the tiger.  The films explores Rob’s close family relationships, as shown in Rob’s flashbacks and how, when those bonds are no longer there, they are replaced by the bonds of friendship. When these two kids hit rock bottom, they must trust one another to lift themselves back up. 

The main themes of The Tiger Rising are about relationships and trusting others.  There is a deeper message in The Tiger Rising, however. Loss and grief can cause you to become caged and isolated from the world; yet the only way to be released from it is to find a way to free yourself. Each of us has the ability to move beyond these constraints and Willie May’s advice of “nobody can rescue you, you have to rescue yourself,” expresses the importance of self-empowerment.

I give The Tiger Rising 4 out of 5 stars, and recommend it to ages 8 to 18.  Adults, especially educators, will also love this film. The Tiger Rising releases in theaters January 21, 2022 and begins streaming on Apple TV February 8, 2022.

Key words: Christian Convery; Madalen Mills; Katharine McPhee; Sam Trammell; Dennis Quaid, Ray Giarratana, Deborah Giarratana, Ryan Smith, Queen Latifah, Dennis Quaid,

What a Dependent is! How to Fix if Denied! Why So Important!

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Health & Wellness
What a Dependent is! How to Fix if Denied! Why So Important!

The year 2021 is probably the most important year ever to have your qualified child or children claimed on your 2020 tax return. But, who is my qualifying child? What if parents are divorced? Who claims the children on their tax return? What can I do if a my child is claimed on a tax return before I filed my 2020 tax return? The answer to these questions are essential with the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act in March 2021. There are new rules for 2021 only for the child tax credit, and how you filed your 2020 tax return will affect who receives the advance child tax credit. These advance payments have already started and will be reconciled on the 2021 tax return filed in 2022. Get up to speed on all the details and where you can get more information as the with the advance Child Tax Credit payments already being sent out.

Click here for all that you need to know!

Is Your DIY Tax Software Competing Against the Tax Professional?

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Interviews
Is Your DIY Tax Software Competing Against the Tax Professional?

Since 2018 more taxpayers are increasingly using do-it-yourself tax software. What many do not realize is that these same DIY software companies also provide software to tax professionals. For many people though this can be problematic, as just recently I had to amend a tax return for a new client who initially completed their return using one of these DIY software companies. For tax professionals to compete on this very tilted playing field they need to focus on making the personal connections that big corporations cannot. I started this process years ago by striving to use only companies, such as Tax ware Systems, that do not compete against me by offering a similar product to my tax and accounting clients. My focus is on working with clients year around with tax planning and other financial strategies, so my clients can get the best overall financial results. Is your tax professional standing out by using their expertise to help you with complex tax problems that just cannot be handled by DIY software? Or, do they just do your taxes? Today, we discuss DIY software vs. the tax professional, a sizzling hot topic that is so important for both tax professionals and taxpayers.

Learn more here why this is such an important topic.

Tax Questions and Answers with The Tax Answers Advisor

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Empowerment
Tax Questions and Answers with The Tax Answers Advisor

Ms. Tiff Tilton asks tax related questions for Cash Tracks Financials’ various clients. A wide variety of topics on individual and business taxes will be discussed. We will cover topics such as: What makes the Head of Household filing? Taxable versus non-taxable income? Difference between a W-2 and a 1099? And what documents are needed to file taxes? Why is it important to discuss these topics now? Everyone needs to be ready to file taxes and to plan for tax reduction. The importance of a tax professional such as an Enrolled Agent (EA) is more important now ever before with all the possible tax changes in the next few months. Having an Enrolled Agent assisting you year around will help you reach your goals with a personal financial review and proactive tax planning.

Click Here for all this vital information.

Movie Review: Hotel Transylvania: Transformania * Thrilling Animation, Electrifying Music, Monstrous Comedy, One Crazy Adventure

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Movie Review: Hotel Transylvania: Transformania * Thrilling Animation, Electrifying Music, Monstrous Comedy, One Crazy Adventure

Drac and the pack are back, like you’ve never seen them before in Hotel Transylvania: Transformania. Reunite with your favorite monsters for an all-new adventure that presents Drac with his most terrifying task yet. When Van Helsing’s mysterious invention, the ‘Monsterfication Ray,” goes haywire, Drac and his monster pals are all transformed into humans, and Johnny becomes a monster! In their new mismatched bodies, Drac, stripped of his powers, and an exuberant Johnny, loving life as a monster, must team up and race across the globe to find a cure before it’s too late, and before they drive each other crazy. With help from Mavis and the hilariously human Drac Pack, the heat is on to find a way to switch themselves back before their transformations become permanent.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tiana S. comments, “Your favorite monsters are back in Hotel Transylvania: Transformania for the fourth and final installment of the Hotel Transylvania franchise! This film is entertaining from the opening sequence right until the last minute. Full of thrilling CGI animation, electrifying music, monstrous comedy and one all-new crazy adventure, the audience is sure to have a frightastic time watching it!” See her full review below.

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania (Hotel Transylvania 4)
By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Your favorite monsters are back in Hotel Transylvania: Transformania for the fourth and final installment of the Hotel Transylvania franchise! This film is entertaining from the opening sequence right until the last minute. Full of thrilling CGI animation, electrifying music, monstrous comedy and one all-new crazy adventure, the audience is sure to have a frightastic time watching it!

Drac (Brian Hull) and his friends are back and Drac is ready to announce his retirement from Hotel Transylvania. He plans to give the hotel to his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez) and Johnny, his son-in-law (Andy Samberg), but after having a change of heart, he decides not to, thinking that Johnny will ruin the hotel. To get out of it, he tells Johnny a lie, which causes Johnny to use Van Helsing’s (Jim Gaffigan) mysterious invention, the “Monsterfication Ray” to transform into a monster to get Drac’s approval and fix everything. However, the machine malfunctions and ends up stripping Drac of his powers and turning him and his monster friends into humans. Johnny and Drac must partner up on an adventure to find the magical stone that will change them back before their transformations become permanent.

The main characters are Drac, Johnny and Mavis, but the rest of the Hotel Transylvania family we’ve come to love, such as Drac’s wife, Erika Van Helsing (Katherine Hahn), Frank (Brad Abrell), Murray (Keegan-Michael Kay), Griffin The Invisible Man (David Spade) and Wayne (Steve Buscemi) also make appearances. This film lives up to its subtitle where almost every character goes through some type of internal or external transformation. It is fascinating watching the monsters get turned into humans and how they have to adapt. I laughed so hard when Blobby, who is a green blob monster, turns into his human form, which ends up being a plate of green gelatin that the characters have to carry around. Drac and Johnny’s entire adventure through the jungles of South America is hilarious, especially when they are on a tour bus and Johnny’s weight as a monster slows it down, so he sticks his feet through the bottom and starts running with it.

The message of this film is to accept others for who they are and also be true to yourself. Drac only sees the crazy things Johnny does and Johnny tries to teach him to see beyond the worst things so he can see the best parts in people and life. Whether Johnny is a human or monster he always loves being himself but gets in trouble when he lets Drac convince him that he isn’t enough.  

I rate Hotel Transylvania: Transformania 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. You can check into Prime Video to watch Hotel Transylvania: Transformania starting January 14, 2022.

Key words: Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kathryn Hahn, Jim Gaffigan, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Brian Hull, Fran Drescher, Brad Abrell, Asher Blinkoff, Jennifer Kluska, Derek Drymon, Genndy Tartakovsky, Todd Durham,  Van Helsing, Monsterfication Ray, Jennifer Kluska, Derek Drymon, Amos Vernon, Nunzio Randazzo, Lynn Hobson, Mark Mothers Baugh, Sony Pictures Animation, Amazon Studios, Columbia Pictures, vampire, animation

Movie Review: The Lost Treasure * Lots Of Amazing Stuff, Quite A Bit Of Action, Not Too Scary For Younger Kids

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Movie Review: The Lost Treasure * Lots Of Amazing Stuff, Quite A Bit Of Action, Not Too Scary For Younger Kids

Eddie Fox, a hustling treasure hunter, finds himself forced to embark on a journey into the jungle to prevent a power hungry egomaniac from finding an ancient weapon that could destroy the island. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Avalon N. comments, “The Lost Treasure is a greatly scripted, nicely executed film. It has quite a bit of action but definitely not too scary for younger children.” Mikela G. adds, “The Lost Treasure is an entertaining, fun and enjoyable movie. It has lots of action scenes, and really grabbed my attention. Plus it is very family friendly.” See their full reviews below.

The Lost Treasure

By Avalon N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

The Lost Treasure is a greatly scripted, nicely executed film. It has quite a bit of action but definitely not too scary for younger children.

This film is about treasure hunter Eddie Fox (Josh Margules). One day he finds a book which leads him to find out about a magical staff. He embarks on a mission to get this staff before it falls into the wrong hands.

First, this film has lots of amazing stuff in it. Most noteworthy are the locations, all of which are beautiful; some are in the forest and others are on the beach, and are all stunning. This makes it a fascinating show to watch. There are a lot of interesting camera shots in this film. One example is the shot from behind the leaves which shows the main characters exploring. There is a bit of some intense stuff going on and it’s accompanied with some intense music that goes great with it. One of my favorite things is how the story of the staff is similar to mythological stories, without actually being mythology. I very much enjoy mythology so that made this story all the more interesting to me.  Lastly, I noted that there is a group of three bad guys and a group of three good guys, which means there is a 50% chance that either side wins. You just have to watch it to find out.

The message of this story is to never give up and keep persevering because you never know what you might uncover.

I give The Lost Treasure 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It releases on streaming January 11, 2022.

The Lost Treasure

By Mikella G, KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, age 15

The Lost Treasure is an entertaining, fun and enjoyable movie. It has lots of action scenes, and really grabbed my attention. Plus it is very family friendly.

The film’s storyline revolves around a small book that is very important to all of the characters. There are two teams that are independently working to win it back. They constantly go back and forth with who has hold of it. However, the treasure hunt that the special book takes you on is worth it!

Something that really stands out to me is the setting of this movie. Throughout the film the location for the characters is a pretty beach, on what looks to be a small island. The scenery is gorgeous. The ocean looks clear blue, and there are tons of beautiful flowers everywhere. I also like the concept of the story. The characters are all trying to get hold of a book, which leads them to a treasure hunt that eventually takes them to the treasure! However, the viewers don’t realize this extended storyline until they are actually doing it. This creates good suspense, which always surprises the audience. Finally, it is very interesting how each character is so different from the next. They all have their own distinct personalities and way of thinking. Plus, each has their own style. For instance, Tanya (Stella Tinucci) wears a lot of unique clothing. Most of it stands out. I really liked this, because I’m very into clothes and personal style.

The message of this film is to never give up. If you want something badly enough, teamwork can always help you to achieve that goal. Be aware that this film does include the use of guns and swords.

I give The Lost Treasure 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 12. It releases on digital Jan 11, 2022.

Key words: Stella Tinucci, Josh Margulies, Dezmond Gilla, Terry Bookhart, Francoix Raulin, William Roehl, Angelica Quinn, Kava Jones, Linsey Bower, Mtt Dahms, Alice Reinstein, vision Films, Fantastic Films international, Marcus Fiebel, Josh Marguiles, Earl Loui9s, Andrej Zelenec

2022 RESOLUTIONS

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Empowerment
2022 RESOLUTIONS

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MIRACLE MOMENT®

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr 


Cynthia Brian toasts to the new yearA MESSAGE FROM FOUNDER/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CYNTHIA BRIAN
Happy New Year to you. How are you doing?

With a raging pandemic and a divisive hostile nation, it’s not the beginning of a new year that we anticipated. Instead of writing a list of business goals that I want to achieve in the next twelve months, I decided to create these resolutions:

Be Kind

Be Inclusive

Be Grateful

Be Present

Be Healthy

Be of Service

Be Loving

It is my belief that if each of us embraces these resolutions, our personal and business lives would become prosperous and happy as we create a more just, joyful world.

The face for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Dr. King was a minister, husband, and father who for fought for justice for all, not based on skin color but based for all humankind.  Although we’ve made some progress in his efforts as Americans, more change is needed. In November of 2021, I had the privilege of visiting the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, the site of Dr. King’s assassination on April 4, 1968. This globally recognized institution for civil rights and social change chronicled the millions of people who have fought for equal rights beginning with the horrific enslavement of Africans in 1619. Slavery in America lasted 250 years and held captive 12.5 million black people over 12 generations. As long as slavery existed, resistance prevailed.

Lorraine Hotel  MLK Memphis Lorraine Hotel

January 15, 1929 was the date of Dr. King’s birth. In 1983 President Ronald Reagan officially created a national holiday to commemorate his life and work. In the USA, we celebrate MLK Day as a federal holiday which this year will be observed on Monday, January 17th. Sadly, we have become the Divided States of America with many states legislating to turn back the clocks to restrict equality for all.  Hate, ethnically motivated terrorism, and white supremacy ideologies are on the rise threatening our very existence. Have we learned nothing from history?

Can we live and abide by the preamble to the Declaration of Independence?

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

As we begin this new year, I encourage each individual to take a deep breath. Ask yourself. How can I embrace these resolutions?

Be Kind

Be Inclusive

Be Grateful

Be Present

Be Healthy

Be of Service

Be Loving

At high school ball games, we chanted, “united we stand, divided we fall.” How true this statement is. I am grateful to live in this great nation that has been deemed “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Are we brave enough to protect freedom and insure equality for all?

I wish for you a very blessed, happy, and healthy 2022. Please care about your fellow travelers in life by getting vaccinated, boosted, and wearing masks. This is not a political statement. This is a way to embody these seven sacred resolutions.

As we march into the future, let’s live by the resonating words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend.”

Sending you kindness, gratitude, and love.

I am in service to you.

A toast to the New Year and with love, grateful cheer!

Cynthia Brian

PS: Be the Star You Are!® will be participating in an Earth Gratitude Festival April 22-24, 2022. More information to follow.

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556

Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org

https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org

http://www.BTSYA.org

DONATE: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

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SCATTER A SEED

Scatter seeds of kinds flowersby Karen Kitchel

 “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” Mother Teresa

Wild flowers often appear in unlikely places after someone has scattered some seeds. They may never even know they sprouted. Kindness can also grow and multiply from your one tiny seed.

A stranger hears you say hello. So they smile at the next person they pass. That individual decides to take time to stop and chat with their neighbor about a good book they read. Soon the neighborhood is putting up little free libraries in their community.  That’s where a little boy picks up a book about kids living in Africa. He asks his Mom if he can send his allowance to the kids who don’t have books.  Amazed at his generosity, the Mom posts about her son’s initiative, and soon there are many kids in Africa learning to read.

And it all started with a simple “hello.”

Karen Kitchel who penned two chapters in the book, Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World, is the Kindness Coordinator volunteer with BTSYA. She serves meals to the homeless and is a volunteer teacher, writer, job coach, and mentor. www.scatteringkindness.com

Scatter kindness



“Read, lead, succeed. To be a leader, you must be a reader.” 


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SIMPLE WAYS TO HELP!

We have suggestions for you to shop, save, and stay safe. Please use these web sites for all of your shopping essentials.
1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882

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2. Discounted books at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity

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3. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash at 3500+ popular online stores :https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

4. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE: http://www.iGive.com/BTSYA

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5. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” black tanks and books at StarStyle® Store: http://www.starstylestore.net/

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6. Are you a gamer, lover of new software, or other digital content? Buy all of your favorites at Humble Bundle. http://ow.ly/cYs130iN6n4



CHECK OUT OUR TWO INTERNATIONAL RADIO BROADCASTS!

Both Radio showsBe empowered, motivated, energized, informed and amused.

Truthful, heartfelt, and engaging topics and guests for 2022!
LIVE on Wednesdays from 4-5pm PT, be entertained, informed, amused, and educated on StarStyle-Be the Star You Are!. Then be inspired and motivated on

Sundays from 3-4pm PT, it’s Express Yourself! Teen Radio with our Be the Star You Are! star teen hosts and reporters.
 
VISIT https://www.StarStyleRadio.com for our line-up of guests.


Wishing you a very fruitful and fabulous 2022. 

Be Kind

Be Inclusive

Be Grateful

Be Present

Be Healthy

Be of Service

Be Loving

happy  New Year 2022 2 THANK YOU in many languages

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556

https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org

http://www.BTSYA.org

DONATE: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

The Healthscape Podcast – a central Idea

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Health & Wellness
The Healthscape Podcast – a central Idea

What The Healthscape Podcast Is All About

Rather than focusing on disease states, Healthscape is more concerned about what you can do to improve your health resilience if you happen to be disease-free, and if you do have a chronic physical or mental condition, how you can add value and maximize the other treatments that you already may be receiving. This can be achieved by paying attention to your focus and environments, external and internal (physiology, mental state) and working on your daily behaviors and thinking patterns.

In western orthodox medicine, we generally do well with the treatment of acute, or sudden onset diseases, like asthma or a heart attack, surgical conditions like appendicitis, trauma, and infections for which we happen to have effective anti-microbials. Chronic disease outcomes, on the other hand, are often way less favorable, and sometimes frankly poor. Part of the problem for this is that most medical treatment is dominated by medication, while there is still a lot else that someone can do to optimize their situation and to effect recovery.

Over the years, there have been several landmark discoveries in biology. These include Cell theory, Darwinian natural selection theory, and the discovery and decoding of DNA. A relatively more recent, but important subcategory is Epigenetics, which refers to how other factors can change the way that our genes are expressed, without changing the DNA sequence. These factors may be related to disease, aging, environmental changes, and lifestyle changes.

The important point here is that this vital information requires a whole mindset change, in that we now no longer need to feel that out genetic makeup alone determines our outcomes, but that other factors also play a key part. Along with this, there are a group of health-associated behaviors, thinking patterns, internal and external environments and areas of focus that are essential for good health as well as recovery in chronic physical and mental disease. Clearly, we cannot just assume that these helpful and healthful behaviors are all epigenetic, as associations are way more easily made, while proving causality requires robust investigation, and far more work and evidence.

To remain healthy, we firstly need to be mindful. Mindful that we have made a   commitment that requires daily effort. No surprise here, as whatever we may turn our mind to invariably requires constant effort. Whether it is to be a happy or a good person, we must think, position ourselves and behave in ways that will make us makes happy or good. A good person isn’t simply the driver and agent of good thoughts, words, and deeds; it is rather that these activities over time confer goodness upon the person and qualifies them as such. Cutting to the chase, it all starts with the work.

Too many who listen to this hear ‘toil’ instead of work. Whenever we start something new, we meet with at least some resistance or inertia, making it challenging at first. Moving to something where there previously wasn’t anything, or very little, is rarely easy. An analogy from physics is that static friction is way greater than sliding (moving) friction, requiring more energy to overcome it.

However, the good news is that with time and the accumulation of many small advantages, sound diligence is more easily accomplished, rather than requiring more or even the same effort. This applies whether you are trying to maintain your already good health and resilience or moving to a better place when ill with chronic physical or mental disease. By exercising healthful self-help techniques to maximize your overall treatment plan, you can secure or at least improve your health outcomes.

(This article was written by Dr. Trevor Campbell, host of Healthscape on the Health and Wellness channel of Voice America. He is a chronic pain consultant and expert in bio-psychosocial approaches to chronic pain. He is also author of The Language of Pain, a self-help book for those with chronic pain and their caregivers).

Photo credit. Brañ0 on Unsplash

Considerations for Scaling

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Business
Considerations for Scaling

This week’s article is by Greg Moran, a C-level digital, strategy and change leadership executive with extensive global operations experience.  It is a companion to his interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled What Leaders Won’t Talk About When Scaling a Business that aired on Tuesday, January 11th, 2022.

No cute titles, no click-bait tag lines – just an honest conversation about some of the things I’ve learned from creating, launching and getting through the first couple of stage gates on scale.  I spent most of my career working at big companies like Bank One (Chase), Ford Motor and Nationwide Insurance either to transform to meet competitive pressure or maintain the status quo of a business model that hasn’t changed since before I was born.  Starting a company is way more fun, but much of my experience did little to prepare me for the challenges of actually going through the process in a leadership role – kind of like how watching the Tour de France on TV does little to prepare you to ride your bike 100 miles in a day.  For this blog, I’ll summarize the headlines that we cover in the accompanying podcast.  I encourage you to listen so you get the nuance of what the words mean because they can look obvious on paper without hearing the dialogue.

Back Office

The thing about back-office investment is that you don’t want to make the investment until you need to, but when you need to, it’s usually painful and distracting – like changing the tires on a car that’s going 70 mph.  The trick of it is to be ahead of the curve, but not too far ahead of the curve.  One of the things that I’ve found useful is to remember 2 things:

  • “Skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” – Wayne Gretsky
  • Tech costs a lot less than people do, so get on platforms that will make sure your back office stays off the critical path of your growth, otherwise you will have to compensate with people.

DEI and ESG

Nobody wants to talk about this because they are afraid of getting canceled or saying the wrong thing and getting attacked.  There are some cold hard truths you need to know about this space if you are starting a tech company (and many other types of companies as well):

  • The talent pool of people that can tolerate the perceived risk of a startup is not as diverse as the general labor pool.
  • The talent pool of people that are experienced in the functions you need to fill AND have start-up experience is even less diverse, and you rarely have the luxury of time to go find that unicorn.
  • The people who are attracted to the risk profile of the startup world expect to be compensated with equity in a way that rewards them for the risk and have little practical interest in the other ‘equity’. Everyone has a good set of talking points these days, the expectations remain (I’m living this now, even though we are well beyond the risk-equity phase of growth).
  • Your ability in the early days to create ESG metrics will be limited and probably irrelevant.

So what does this mean for you?  My suggestion is the following:

  • Have a clear set of principles on DEI and ESG that guide the company’s decision-making and are very transparent to the board, the leadership team, every employee and every prospect.
  • Back up the principles opportunistically at every turn, without compromising the integrity of your commitments to existing employees and investors. In the early days, compromises on competence will stick out like a sore thumb and may kill the company if the role is important enough.
  • Rely on advisors to help bolster/refine the thinking of the team over time.
  • As soon as you can begin to build a pipeline, invest in talent resources that have the clear accountability to do so.
  • Use search firms to amplify your reach to great diverse candidates.
  • Insist on equally engaging events and practices within the company.
  • Don’t virtue signal with grand statements that you can’t back up and just invite criticism and ‘got Chas’.

Space and People

Scaling and Covid combined have raised some interesting questions on space and people.  As you grow, does your philosophy on space and employee experience change?  Is remote your new operating model – going full virtual?  How do you handle in-person collaboration when it benefits the company and/or the process and/or the individuals who may desperately want to have and build personal relationships?

I think any singular answer to this question would end up being a ‘one size fits none’ solution, so I’ll stick to some principles we have embraced (for now) in light of the ever-shifting landscape in which we all find ourselves:

  • Don’t be definitive and don’t show a preference for remote vs. in-person. If you really want to allow either to give you access to more talent and allow you to grow faster (or whatever reason), then truly embrace and invest in both.
  • Model both from a leadership standpoint, even if you have a strong preference. Your modeling will empower.
  • Make in-person compelling – give people a reason to come in, regardless of the frequency.
  • Do the same for remote – support the gear that makes it a great experience for the remote employee and those they interact with. Provide stipends and perks to enhance the remote experience.  Create quality virtual events – serious and fun.
  • Communicate and get feedback as the game changes.

Value Chain Balancing

As you scale a business, maintaining balance throughout your value chain is essential.  You really are only as strong as your weakest link and if you are over-invested in one element of your business, but constrained in another, you are just wasting money.  One of my friends that had exited a start-up gave me some great advice as we started our company.  ‘Never confuse having a product with having a company’, he said.  It was brilliant advice and has value chain balance at its heart.  If you build a better mousetrap, the world will not beat a path to your door.  In fact, the world will probably never know you exist.  If you have no pipeline, hiring people to close deals is a waste of money.

Pay attention to and build specific metrics around your funnel – know the numbers for you and for your industry and stay on top of it!  Keep the operations functions off your critical path by making sure they have the capacity to support your growth – HR, Finance, Facilities, etc.  Force business case discipline on your product and engineering functions (which is not to say don’t place bets, but the business cases force the homework to be done and give you data on which to base the bet, which will lead to better decisions and board-level buy-in).

Avoiding Distraction

One of the most insidious things that can happen as you scale is that the world will want to talk to you and your team about your success.  The temptation to do so is pretty irresistible and you should fight it aggressively.  When you start up the steep scaling curve is when the company needs focused leadership the most.  I’ve seen great young companies and budding CEOs get totally derailed by the seduction of publicity that makes them feel good but does nothing for the company, its customers or its team.  Do a couple of carefully curated and well-managed events per quarter and stay focused on your broader objective.

I hope this practical approach is useful.  I’m not looking to impress you with clever aphorisms (I have a bunch that perhaps I’ll drop in another blog someday), but rather to give you some super simple, easy-to-implement concepts.  Upward and onward!!

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Greg Moran is a C-level digital, strategy and change leadership executive with extensive global operations experience. He led corporate strategy for Ford and designed the plan that Alan Mullaly used to turn around the company. Greg held C-level IT positions in app dev, infrastructure and core banking applications at Ford, Nationwide Insurance and Bank One/JPMC, respectively. He began his career in consulting with Arthur Andersen Accenture, working across industries with 100 companies over the course of a decade. He is passionate about leadership and culture and teaches part-time on the topic at Ohio University.

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