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Key Findings from a U.S. National Survey About Leadership

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Key Findings from a U.S. National Survey About Leadership

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This blog is provided by Lynn Shollen and Elizabeth Gagnon of Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. It is a description of the top line findings of a survey about leadership that they conducted last year. You can read much more about the project on their website. The blog is a companion to the interview with Sam Wilson and Lynn Shollen that aired as part of the 12-week International Leadership Association Interview Series on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future. The interview aired on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 titled Research Findings on Attitudes About Leadership.

 

A new, annual national survey of attitudes about leadership in the United States uncovered widespread and increasing dissatisfaction with U.S. leaders, along with skepticism about the preparedness of younger generations to lead into the future.

Key findings from our scientific online survey of more than 1,800 people include:

  • Only 28 percent of those surveyed believe leaders in the U.S. are effective
  • Leaders are seen as less effective now than compared to 20 years ago (60 percent)
  • Leaders are regarded as too removed from the experiences of ordinary people (74 percent)
  • Many believe it is too risky in today’s social climate to be a leader (46 percent)
  • Many believe that unless they are at the top of an organization, they may not be able to be influential even if they try to lead, because leaders at the top are so powerful (49 percent)
  • Younger generations are not widely seen as being equipped to lead (57 percent)

These results are discouraging because we know that effective leadership is crucial if we’re to thrive socially, politically and economically. We do detect a few reasons for optimism, but overall, our findings have to be worrisome for our country’s leaders, for leadership educators and for all who care about the quality of leadership now and into the future.

The 1,849 respondents comprise a nationally representative sample based on gender, ethnicity, age, income and other factors. They were asked to think broadly of leaders and leadership rather than focusing on specific leaders or situations. We are not seeking opinions about Donald Trump or Bill Gates. The survey isn’t intended to examine perceptions of how specific leaders are performing, rather how people view the effectiveness of leaders and leadership generally within the U.S.

The survey defined leadership as the process of influencing people toward achieving a common goal, and leaders were defined as people who achieve that goal. Regardless of whether you have a formal title, you can be a leader. Leadership happens everywhere, not just in the most obvious places, such as government or business.

But in many places that leadership happens, it is seen as lacking. Fewer than 25 percent of the respondents say leaders in education, religion, national politics or the environment are effective.

Even as they criticize current leaders, survey participants say they are reluctant to step forward. Only 15 percent of the respondents claim they are involved in leading their community (although they may indeed be leading and not identifying their contributions as leadership). Further, it appears they don’t have high hopes for future generations. Nearly 60 percent of the respondents say younger Americans are not ready to lead and only 33 percent voiced confidence that young people will be able to steer the nation through the challenges ahead.

There is another cause for concern. When the morality of the leader is considered, half (50 percent) claim it is more important that a leader works for major issues that align with those the respondent supports than whether the leader adheres to high moral standards. Thus, half of the sample does not value leaders upholding morality as much as leaders supporting particular issues and agendas.

In terms of what respondents are looking for in leaders, 74 percent believe that the best leaders understand the experiences of ordinary people. About two-thirds believe leaders at the national and local levels should create an environment that supports diversity, considers perspectives of diverse people when making decisions and seeks to take care of the natural environment.

About half also say they’re comfortable with a leader who is different than them in gender/sex (56 percent), race/ethnicity (56 percent), sexual orientation (49 percent) or income level (48 percent). Fewer say the same about religious beliefs (43 percent). Political differences are a bigger sticking point, as only 28 percent say they are comfortable with a leader who holds opposing views, and only 34 percent would follow such a leader.

Participants were also asked where they went for information about leaders and how reliable those sources are for evaluating leaders. Television is the number one source sought for information (55 percent), trailed by non-social media online sources (44 percent). Half (50 percent) of respondents claim that social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) does not provide them with adequate resources to make accurate evaluations of public leaders, whereas, just over half (53 percent) claim that traditional media (e.g., newspaper, television, radio) does provide them with adequate resources.

The results of the survey were first discussed at the 2019 annual conference of the International Leadership Association in Ottawa, Canada. The researchers received helpful feedback there and plan to delve into the nuances of the data by examining the results by demographics such as gender/sex, race/ethnicity, geographic location, religious beliefs, political affiliation, sexual orientation and income level. These results will be released as they become available. The survey will be conducted annually to track trends and to add questions relevant to contemporary issues.

 

For additional survey results and information, please visit www.cnu.edu/las or contact the researchers at ldsp-survey@cnu.edu

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, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

 

About the Authors

Dr. Lynn Shollen is Associate Professor of Leadership Studies and Department Chair in the Department of Leadership and American Studies at Christopher Newport University. She earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education Policy and Administration at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include the faculty to administrator transition, identity and perceptions of leadership, leadership identities construction, and teaching about women and leadership. In addition to numerous journal articles, she co-authored the book Faculty Success Through Mentoring: A Guide for Mentors, Mentees, and Leaders.

Dr. Elizabeth Gagnon earned her PhD at Old Dominion University. She is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Leadership and American Studies at Christopher Newport University. She teaches courses in civic engagement, social entrepreneurship, leadership theory and ethics and values in leadership. Journals publishing her research articles include the International Journal of Leadership Studies and the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement.

 

Be Kind and Share the Love

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Empowerment
Be Kind and Share the Love

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Miracle Moment®

“The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love,”  William Wordsworth

 


MESSAGE FROM CYNTHIA BRIAN, Founder/Executive Director

Cynthis Brian bowerCall me superstitious, but I’m excited to send this newsletter out exactly on 2-20-2020 at 2:20. It feels like a new beginning!

With February being the month of love, here at Be the Star You Are!® we are spreading love and kindness. 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, and is a dedicated volunteer with BTSYA, writes a blog, Scattering Kindness. She advocates that kindness is contagious, When we find simple ways to spontaneously bring joy to others, we bring joy to the world. (www.scatteringkindness.com). How true this is!

With love in the air, we want to remind each person that she/he is unique. You are a gift to the world. There is no one on this planet that can match your talents, skills, and heart. You are enough just the way you are. You are deserving of love.

We are so excited to have been honored as one of the first non-profits to win the TOP NON-PROFIT award for 2020. And we are super thrilled and grateful that GreenAir, your energy solutions company, (https://www.gogreenair.net) will be our SuperStar Sponsor for our Family Fun Booth at the Moraga Faire this May 9th. Read more below.

Our appreciation is extended to everyone who makes a tax-deductible donation to Be the Star You Are!® via PayPal or check. If you want to make automatic donations, we can set you up to deposit your donation directly into the charity bank account. Every dollar makes a difference in continuing our outreach programs. Give plenty in 2020.

Thanks for being part of our STAR galaxy. Communicate, collaborate, innovate. Everyone counts.

Be your unapologetically authentic self every day. You are a STAR. Share the LOVE!

Cynthia Brian

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


2020-top-rated-awards-badge-embedThis is the honor we received from Great Non Profits in partnerships with Guidestar, The Huffington Post, Techsoup, and VolunteerMatch,

Congrats!

You’ve won a spot on the 2020 Top-Rated List!

Congratulations! Be The Star You Are Inc has earned a spot on the 2020 Top Rated List! Your community has shared their inspiring stories about your work. We congratulate you on all of your accomplishments.

We appreciate all of your contributions! https://greatnonprofits.org/org/be-the-star-you-are-inc

A few abbreviated quotes from reviewers:

“My volunteering experience had a profound impact on me, and continues to inspire me in my career as an author. This selfless organization should be recognized and lauded for the incredible impact it makes daily.” 

Dani Wong

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“The organization participates in a diverse set of efforts and initiatives that promote positive media messaging, support natural disaster relief, and empower youth. Absolutely a great nonprofit worthy of five stars!”

Joven Hundal

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“Incredible as always, every year! Cynthia Brian and Be the Star You Are reach so many people in need of positivity and support. I’m proud to call myself a volunteer and I hope to see BTSYA continue its great work for many years to come!”

Brigitte Jia

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“I am forever thankful for everything BTSYA has offered me over the years. This organization deserves all the recognition and support!”

Rachel Glass

Rachel Galss 2018


TUNE IN!

Our two Be the Star You Are!® radio broadcasts provide entertainment, information, and empowerment in every hour of power.Inspiring guests are lined up to motivate you to attain your goals and live a positive, uplifting life. Listen LIVE to StarStyle® every Wednesday from 4pm PT at https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are or catch us on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/starstyle-be-the-star-you-are!/id669630180?mt=2

For a young adult look at life, listen to Express Yourself!™ Sunday’s at 3pm PT  at https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourselfor on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/express-yourself!/id481894121?mt=2

Read all about the Be the Star You Are!® Radio broadcasts, guests, reporters, hosts, and more at https://www.StarStyleRadio.com.

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SHOPPING ALL YEAR ROUND?

Other easy ways that assist our mission and don’t cost you a penny!

1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882

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

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

& buy from your favorite stores.

4. Search and GoodShop: Choose Be the Star You Are as your charity to support. You can log in with Facebook, too! https://www.goodshop.com/nonprofit/be-the-star-you-are

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

6. BTSYA Logo Store: http://btsya.rylees.net

7. Buy or Sell on EBAY:http://givingworks.ebay.com/charity-auctions/charity/be-the-star-you-are-501-c-3/1504/?favorite=link

8. Designer Clothes to Buy or Sell: https://www.unionandfifth.com/charities/be-the-star-you-are-moraga-ca/shop

9. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” T-shirts and tanks $19.99 at StarStyle® Store: http://www.starstylestore.net/

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

We appreciate a direct donation most of all via PAYPAL GIVING FUND at https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

Checks can be sent to PO Box 376, Moraga, California 94556

http://www.btsya.org

Valentine


Direct Links you can use for Be the Star You Are!®

Positive Results: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/positive-results

About Us: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/about_us

Programs: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/programs

How to Help: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/how-to-help

Blog: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/blog-1

Events: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/events

Contact us: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/contact

GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS: https://greatnonprofits.org/org/be-the-star-you-are-inc

GUIDESTAR: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-3333882

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We invite you to volunteer, get involved, or make a donation. Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504


Classified Ads:

If you’d like to advertise your service or product while supporting Be the Star You Are!®, we are now accepting approved ads that will benefit readers. Contact info@BetheStarYouAre.org for details.

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Share the LOVE! Scatter KINDNESS!

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Give plenty in 2020!

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556

Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org

https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org

http://www.BTSYA.org

All donations are 100% Tax Deductible according to law. Thank you!

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


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Stars of the Garden

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Empowerment
Stars of the Garden

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“Won’t you come into my garden? I would like my roses to see you.” –Richard Sheridan

It’s only mid-February, yet it feels like spring. As I write this article, the thermometer in the shade reads 71 degrees. The sun is shining, the skies are clear, and it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Historically the average daily temperature in our area for February is 46.4 degrees. I’m accustomed to dreary Februarys, yet this year is full of cheer. Although we still need more rain, I am delighting in this weather as I finish pruning my roses and grapevines.  

Roses are the ultimate garden stars, complementing classic and contemporary landscapes. Many varieties are repeat bloomers, extravagantly fragrant, and easy to maintain. The thorns are a nuisance, yet, sometimes we have to endure a bit of pain to savor the pleasure. As I’m pruning, I’m wearing two pairs of thick gloves. The thorns still pierce the leather and I find myself extracting tiny pieces of barbs with tweezers from my fingers after an afternoon amidst these stellar actors. 

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If you haven’t started or finished your annual heavy pruning, you’ll have about two more weeks to accomplish the task to have blooms by mid-April.  Roses anchor a landscape offering unrivaled diversity of colors, shapes, and sizes. From ten-inch miniature roses to twenty-five-foot rambling and climbing roses, there is a variety for every preference. The scents that emanate from these stunners can be musky, fruity, sweet, and indescribably powerful. In our region, once established, roses will bloom a full ten to eleven months as long as they are regularly deadheaded. Although roses prefer a sunny location, shade and even poor soil are tolerated.

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It’s best to plant roses from January through May and make sure the root has plenty of space to grow. Re-hydrate bare root roses in a bucket of water before planting. If planting from a quart or gallon container, remove the plant carefully. Sprinkle roots with Mycorrhizal Fungi to stimulate root growth. Place the stems of bare root roses about two inches below the top of the hole, and for a potted rose, position the plant level with the ground.  Backfill with the original soil and lightly tap it with your foot. Water deeply. My secret to rose success is to scratch a scoop of alfalfa pellets in the soil around each bush in March. Every morning, I stir my used coffee grounds into a carafe of water to nurture a different rose daily. They love their jolt of java. Feed your roses according to the instructions that you receive when purchasing. Never over-fertilize. Add mulch or compost to retain moisture. Contrary to popular belief, roses are not fussy. Feed, mulch, water, deadhead, and enjoy.

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A shining star of the winter garden is the daffodil. Every year daffodils signal that spring is around the corner as they salute the skies with their bright trumpets. Daffodils belong to the genus Narcissus. The over 50 species come in all sizes with colors ranging from the ubiquitous butter yellow to pure white, peach, and combinations of yellow and orange. They are perennials, popping up to surprise us just when we need a boost of encouragement. Many varieties will naturalize when planted in a sunny place with slightly acidic soil and plenty of mulch. The deer and wildlife won’t eat them, so they are great bulbs to plant everywhere the deer and rabbits roam. Bulbs planted in fall are now blooming. There is no need to remove the bulb after the flowers fade. Cut back the stems when the foliage is yellow and potato chip crispy. If you insist on digging out bulbs, wipe the dirt off, store in onion bags or pantyhose, and hang in a cool location. Bulbs require air circulation to survive or they will rot. Many of the smaller daffodils, also called narcissi are very fragrant. They make marvelous cut bouquets brightening any room.

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The heart-shaped cyclamen is a tuberous perennial that is honored with garden star status. Shades of pink, red, salmon, and white flowers with silver-marbled leaves adorn winter borders and indoor rooms. Cyclamen require almost zero care and very little water. They go dormant when temperatures rise towards summer and return in glory when winter arrives. When grown outdoors, like the daffodil, when you are least expecting to see a riot of color, the cyclamen unfurls its pretty petals. Hardy cyclamen sold in nurseries are to be planted outdoors. Tropical cyclamen for décor as a houseplant won’t tolerate temperatures above 68 degrees or below 40 degrees. 

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Our shining garden stars may only twinkle during certain times of the year, yet they are always here. Planting and appreciating them helps us grow into kinder humans. Saunter into the garden to say hello.

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Cynthia Brian’s Mid-Month Gardening Guide for February

  • TAKE 15% off all orders of David Austin Roses before March 6, 2020 with CODE UKA at www.DavidAustinRoses.com or call 1-800-328-8893.
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  • CARE for your trees. With the recent heavy winds, limbs and trees have toppled. Make sure to prune dead branches, mulch to suppress weeds and pest infestations, deep soak when the weather is hot, and protect shallow roots from lawnmowers. Call an arborist for help when in doubt.
  • INSPECT lawns for dandelions. When you see the yellow flower, snip it off to avoid the flower going to seed. Dig out the roots if possible but be aware that dandelions have long taproots. Do not put in the compost pile.
  • CHECK irrigation systems for broken or damaged pipes. Weeds and lawns often cover sprinkler heads. This is a good time to prepare and repair for spring.
  • WATER lawns and gardens as needed. This is the first February in decades that I’ve had to turn on sprinklers. Rain is not forecast until March. Global warming? 
  • CUT a branch from flowering pear or peach trees to use as an indoor decoration. Pear trees are in full-bloom, peaches are in bud.
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  • PLANT summer bulbs including gladiolus, cannas, dahlia, and caladium towards the end of the month as the soil dries.
  • WALK barefoot on a blanket of soft moss to connect with Nature.

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing!

Photos and more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1326/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-Stars-of-the-garden.html

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Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

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Buy copies of her best-selling books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

 

The Australian Leadership Index: A New Measure of Leadership for the Greater Good in the Public, Private and Plural Sectors

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Business
The Australian Leadership Index: A New Measure of Leadership for the Greater Good in the Public, Private and Plural Sectors

To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

This blog is provided by Sam Wilson, co-creator of the Australian Leadership Index. It is a companion to the interview with him and Lynn Shollen that aired as part of the 12-week International Leadership Association Interview Series on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future. The interview aired on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 titled Research Findings on Attitudes About Leadership.

 

Against a backdrop of unethical conduct and irresponsible leadership in our organizations and distrust of institutions in the public, private and plural sectors, there is a pervasive sense in the community that we are not well served by authorities and the institutions that they lead. As a result, there is a yearning for leadership that serves, and is seen to serve, the greater good.

However, what is the greater good? What is leadership for the greater good? What are the collective responsibilities of those who collectively manage, govern and lead the organizations and institutions in the public, private and plural sectors, and what should they be, in order to show leadership for the greater good?

Obviously, these questions are not especially new to scholars of leadership, as evidenced by the attention given to the ideas of social responsibility and shared value, in the domain of business leadership, and integrative leadership and public value, in the domain of public leadership.

It is, however, less clear what the community thinks about the notions of the greater good and leadership for the greater good. It is not obvious whether community expectations of leadership for the greater good are invariant across the public, private and plural sectors, or whether public opinion is alive to and reflective of the different purposes, goals and functions of these sectors.

Notwithstanding the great difficulty of defining the greater good, in general, and leadership for the greater good, in particular, it behoves us to think and talk about these concepts and practices in the public domain as clearly as we possibly can if we are to imagine, practice and sustain the leadership and followership needed to ensure the long-term welfare and well-being of the general population.

How should we think about the greater good?

The concept of the ‘greater good’, and its synonyms the ‘public good’ and ‘common good’, as well as related ideas like ‘public value’, has the quality of being familiar and commonplace. And yet, these concepts are difficult to articulate in a precise or comprehensive way.

Moreover, as observed by the philosopher Hans Sluga, the diverse conceptions of the good—such as justice, happiness, security—and the variety of tribal, local, national and global communities for which the ‘good’ is sought militates against the identification of a single, determinate good.

However, a promising candidate for the greater good, apt in the context of our grand challenges of unsustainability and diminished human and nonhuman flourishing, is the well-being of the whole.

Understood in this way, the greater good is less about justice or happiness or security and more a gestalt or umbrella term for a number of interlocking concepts pertaining to the conditions that undergird and sustain the survival and flourishing of human and nonhuman life.

To render these ideas less abstract and more actionable, it is helpful to frame the greater good, as well as the conditions and social actions that sustain it, in terms of value creation—specifically, the types of value that are created, the ways in which value are created, and for whom value is created.

Understood in this way, the value-relevant outcomes of institutional behavior enable inferences to be made about their apparent concern for the greater good, as well as about the concern for and practice of leadership for the greater good by those collectively responsible for the management, governance and leadership of these institutions.

The Australian Leadership Index

This construal and operationalization of leadership for the greater good underpins the Australian Leadership Index, which is a new measure of community beliefs about leadership for the greater good in the public, private and plural sectors.

Grounded in community and expert conceptions of the greater good and leadership for the greater good, and drawing on scholarly research into ethical, responsible and integrative leadership, as well as research into public value, the ALI offers a new model of leadership for the greater good that is germane to institutions in the public, private and plural sectors.

From a community perspective, leadership for the greater good occurs when these institutions create social, environmental and economic value for the people they serve and the wider community in a manner that is transparent, accountable and ethical.

The purpose of the Australian Leadership Index is threefold. First, it is to measure community perceptions of the state of leadership for the greater good across different sectors and institutions. Second, it is to measure community expectations of the practice of leadership for the greater good by these sectors and institutions. Third, it is to provide insight into what different types of institutions should do in order to improve their practice of leadership for the greater good.

The Australian Leadership Index provides powerful new insights into community beliefs about leadership and reveals what leaders in the public, private and plural sector institutions can do to show leadership for the greater good.

By making all our results freely available via an innovative, highly interactive data portal (www.australianleadershipindex.org), the Australian Leadership Index makes an important contribution to community dialogue about the leadership we need for the future we want.

 

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, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

 

About the Author

 

Sam Wilson is a social psychologist whose research spans studies of the nature and drivers of voluntary humanitarian behaviour to national studies of community beliefs about leadership for the greater good in the public, private and plural sectors. He is Co-Creator of the Australian Leadership Index, sectors, Co-Director of the Thriving in Society 4.0 research program of the Social Innovation Research Institute, and Deputy Director of the Social Psychology of Innovation Research Group at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia.

Photo by Catarina Sousa

Sonic the Hedgehog * Based On A Favorite Game Character, This Hits It Out Of The Park!

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Movie Reviews
Sonic the Hedgehog * Based On A Favorite Game Character, This Hits It Out Of The Park!

Sonic tries to navigate the complexities of life on Earth with his newfound best friend — a human named Tom Wachowski. They must soon join forces to prevent the evil Dr. Robotnik from capturing Sonic and using his powers for world domination. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “I like this movie because is based on one of my favorite game characters… The graphics in the movie are excellent and, with the new sonic design, it looks like Sonic is real.  The new design works better than the Sonic design Paramount Pictures had before redoing this movie.  The special effects are impressive too, such as Sonic’s blue lightning which also looks real.” Zoe C. adds, “I’ve never played Sonic the video game and was never a really big fan of the character but I really like this movie. It is very well done and great for the whole family. I like the animation and I love the acting. The story is very human and has very little to do with video games. It is about friendship and friends that become a family.”  Tiana S. contributes, “I really love this movie! Sonic the Hedgehog’s team nails it creating a movie based on the SEGA video game of the same name. There are amazing special effects from the beginning to the end.  I love how it includes parts from the SEGA game, such as Sonic running in vertical loops and his spin attacks. I felt as if I was watching a live version of the actual game!” Ian C. wraps it up with, “Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog was the first non-educational video game my mom allowed me to play. I was five years old, and making Sonic speed through worlds was awesome! This film lives up to my expectations—it’s funny and just as exciting as my first time playing the game.” See their full reviews below.

 

Sonic the Hedgehog
Ethan P., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, Age 11
https://youtu.be/ocBCzPAri4c

 

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I like this movie because is based on one of my favorite game characters. Sonic the Hedgehog is a live-action film—except for Sonic who is a CGI character (Ben Schwartz)—based on the global blockbuster video game franchise from Sega.The story of Sonic the Hedgehog follows Sonic, a small blue hedgehog who has super-speed powers.  When Sonic was younger, his owl guardian gave him a bag of rings to help him escape to different planets in case anyone discovers and kidnaps him because of his powers.  One night, after he comes to Earth, he is playing baseball by himself and he gets upset because he realizes he is very lonely.  Sonic runs in circles as fast as he can because he is upset.  He is so fast that blue energy comes out of his body causing the whole town to black out.

This power outage causes big problems for Sonic who is pursued by a crazy military man named Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey) or Dr. Eggman, as Sonic calls him. Fortunately for Sonic, the town’s sheriff (James Marsden) catches him and helps protect him from Dr. Robotnik.The graphics in the movie are excellent and, with the new Sonic design, it looks like Sonic is real.  The new design works better than the Sonic design Paramount Pictures had before redoing this movie.  The special effects are impressive too, such as Sonic’s blue lightning which also looks real.  Ben Schwartz did and very funny voiceover for the Sonic character.  He is really full of energy.

The moral of this movie is that you are never alone in the world.  There will always be someone for you to be your friend, to talk to and to be by your side when you need it.  When Sonic is feeling alone, Sheriff Tom, or The Doughnut Lord, as Sonic calls him, takes Sonic to protect him and help him get to the Mushroom planet where Sonic needs to go.
Sonic the Hedgehog is filled with a lot of action and fun.  I give this film 5 out of 5 stars.  If I could, I would give this movie 100 out of 100 stars.  I recommend it for ages 5 to 18 plus older adults. Sonic the Hedgehog comes out in theaters on February 14, 2020.

 

Sonic The Hedgehog
By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

https://youtu.be/EFJQvIgq2rM

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I’ve never played Sonic the video game and was never a really big fan of the character but I really like this movie. It is very well done and great for the whole family. I like the animation and I love the acting. The story is very human and has very little to do with video games. It is about friendship and friends that become a family.

 

Sonic the Hedgehog is about a blue hedgehog that ends up on earth and he’s trying not to be discovered. He lost a ring that helps him transport to places. When humans find Sonic, he has to run away (something he does well because he moves at super sonic speeds). Sonic feels lonely and wants a friend. When he meets Tom, a police officer (James Marsden), they develop a great “bromance,” but they have to face Mr. Robotnik who is obsessed with everything fast and wants to experiment with Sonic. In their journey, both learn they don’t have to run away from their problems.

 

https://youtu.be/HWCmtgWbaRk

 

 

I love all the characters! Dr. Robotnik is so funny and pleasing to watch. He is played by Jim Carrey, who is one of my new favorite actors. His performance is amazing and he is definitely a fascinating villain. He is graceful, entertaining and full of life. I also love the character Sonic; even though it is an animated character he really looks realistic. I could really see all the details in Sonic and I felt like he was pretty much a stuffed animal, opposed to a virtual digital character. Sonic is played by Ben Schwartz, an amazing voice actor who gives the character a great personality.It’s so amazing to see a character that was made about 30 years ago continuing to fill children’s hearts with joy. I think Sonic is 100% absolutely adorable and all the characters are so fun to watch. There are a lot of action scenes and wonderful colors in the film as well. The music adds so much energy; it is catchy and upbeat. Finally, I like all the jokes and they definitely made me laugh. To add to that, I love how Sonic gives everyone their own special nickname. That gives the movie its own special touch and I guess I’ll nick name this film “Blue Speedy Furry with Heart.”

 

I give Sonic the Hedgehog five out of five stars and recommended it for ages 4 to 13. The message of this film is that friends in our lives bring us the most joy and they are the family we chose. Another message is that humans will always be more important than technology. Dr. Robotnik keeps trying to make technology a greater power than humans, but Sonic and everyone prove that our simple life and connections are what really matter. Sonic the Hedgehog opens February 14, 2020. Look for it!

 

Sonic the Hedgehog
Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

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I really love this movie! Sonic the Hedgehog’s team nails it creating a movie based on the SEGA video game of the same name. There are amazing special effects from the beginning to the end.  I love how it includes parts from the SEGA game, such as Sonic running in vertical loops and his spin attacks. I felt as if I was watching a live version of the actual game! Sonic the Hedgehog is about a blue, fast and funny hedgehog named Sonic (Ben Schwartz) who has to escape his home in another world and ends up on Earth. He accidentally causes a power outage and has to hide out in Green Hill, Montana. The government tries to hunt him down and hires Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey) to capture him. Sonic meets a cop named Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) or Donut Lord, as Sonic calls him, and Tom agrees to help Sonic, find his rings and defeat Dr. Ivo Robotnik, who wants to use Sonic’s power to take over the world.

 

The lead characters are Sonic, Tom Wachowski and Dr. Ivo Robotnik. It is very clever that the movie takes place in Green Hill, Montana, since the first level of the actual SEGA game is called Green Hill Zone. My favorite character is Sonic because he is funny. I love how he is made to have lives, just like he does in the SEGA game. One of my favorite scenes is when Dr. Ivo Robotnik has a virtual reality screen behind him and it shows a dinosaur running after him. Jim Carrey uses his flexibility to lower his head to make it look like the dinosaur bit it off. The movie is filled with special effects, such as explosions and lightning when Sonic runs. Sonic’s CGI perfectly match his character in the video game. This is something the producer went back to correct before releasing the film. The music ties into what happens for each part of the movie; however, I was a little disappointed that the song Super Sonic used in the trailer is not in the movie.

 

The main message of Sonic the Hedgehog is that you should consider home wherever people that care the most about you are. There isn’t much to be forewarned about besides Dr. Ivo Robotnik uses some minor foul language.   I rate Sonic the Hedgehog 5 out of 5 rings and recommend it for kids ages 6 to 18. Adults, especially gamers, will also love this movie. Since it’s based on the Sonic the Hedgehog video game by SEGA, it may remind them of their own childhood. It’s a great action-packed, family movie. Catch Sonic the Hedgehog in theaters starting February 14, 2020. Be sure to stay for the credits.

 

Sonic the Hedgehog
By Ian C., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, Age 11

https://youtu.be/SaYomHHWX7c

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Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog was the first non-educational video game my mom allowed me to play. I was five years old, and making Sonic speed through worlds was awesome! This film lives up to my expectations—it’s funny and just as exciting as my first time playing the game.        In Sonic the Hedgehog, a talking alien hedgehog, Sonic, uses magic rings to get to Earth. Here he hides from those that would seek to use his powers for bad. Sonic, (Ben Schwartz), is extremely lonely, and one day his emotions get out of control. He accidentally causes a huge power outage that gets the attention of the U.S. government. The government calls in a psychotic inventor named Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey) who is chasing Sonic to perform experiments on him.  Sonic tries again to use his rings to run to another world, but a startled local sheriff (James Marsden) causes Sonic to lose his rings. The sheriff decides to help Sonic find his rings and escape Dr. Robotnik.

 

The cast of this film makes it 99 minutes of hilarious excitement.  Choosing one favorite part was difficult. I tossed a coin between the super crazy bar fight and Dr. Robotnik’s dance breakout. Jim Carrey dancing to his “Tunes of Anarchy” playlist won the toss. My stomach hurt from laughing.The message of this film is eventually you have to stop running and face your fears. Otherwise, you can’t get the things you want out of life.Sonic the Hedgehog has minimal violence and profanity. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Adults will enjoy it as well. You can find Sonic the Hedgehog in theaters February 14, 2020.

 

 

The Gift to Ourselves

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Health & Wellness
The Gift to Ourselves

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The Gift to Ourselves

A recent article in the New York Times highlighted the notion of self-care: Be good to yourself first, and then to others.  The article was written about a Buddhist monk by the name of Haemin Sunim, who has just published his latest book, Love for Imperfect Things.  Sunim is a popular Buddhist teacher and spiritual guide, espousing the subjects of managing stress and overcoming the challenges of everyday life, especially through the power of self-care.  He says we should not forget that we have a responsibility to be good to our self, first.

In the Living to 100 Club, we talk a lot about healthy lifestyles and the road to living longer, and about managing setbacks that inevitably occur with advancing age. In one of our recent live Radio shows on Voice America, Better Habits, Better Health we talked with Dr. Michael Howard, a health educator. He summarized those lifestyle steps that contribute to the longest, happiest, and healthiest lives: maintaining our weight, adding more plant-based foods to our diet, regular exercise, no smoking, and alcohol in moderation.

ELEMENTS OF SELF-CARE

Haemin Sunim, however, adds five elements of self-care to this list that involve taking time for our self and focusing on our own needs, and cautions us to do so without feeling selfish:

  • Breathe – start by taking a deep breath, being mindful of our breathing, and observe how it becomes deeper the more we focus on it, which in turn helps us feel more centered and calm. Just focusing and paying attention to it a few minutes a day helps with being more centered.
  • Accept – our self, and our many imperfections. As Sunim says, “the path to self-care starts with acceptance, especially of our struggles”. When we accept these struggles and stop trying to overcome them, the mind stops struggling and grows quiet.  Trying to change or control difficult emotions works against our self-care, just as striving for perfection does.
  • Write – put to pen and paper those things that are weighing on us and the things we need to do, while unloading them from our head and heart. Once on paper, and after a night’s rest, whatever steps we need to take are more obvious and more manageable.
  • Talk – As any psychologist will tell you, speaking with a non-judgmental friend or relative about our frustrations or difficult feelings will lighten the burden we’re carrying. But, more importantly, the answers that we already had inside are now more obvious when talking, and are more objective.
  • Walk – Just walking helps to distract the mind and “create space between the mind and whatever is causing distress”. Instead of sitting and dwelling on what is burdening us, the changes in our physical energy that come from walking allow us to get out of our head and observe what is around us, thereby releasing the stresses within. This step certainly fits with another book by Sunim’s, The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down.

We do consider it important to be good to others, but it may be helpful at this time of year to not forget a gift to ourselves.

Thank you for your interest in the Living to 100 Club.  We look forward to a healthy and prosperous year ahead.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

VIEW THE LIVINGTO100.CLUB WEBSITE

The Living to 100 Club website focuses on sharing useful information with our Club Members and visitors. Our goal is to provide useful content, through our Live Radio Show, Show Recordings and Transcripts, The Club Blog, Member Handbook (in revision), and Premium Membership. Be sure to subscribe to our  weekly Newsletter / Blog as well as Announcements about upcoming guests of our Radio show.

UPGRADED PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP

The Premium Annual Membership offers the Blog and Announcements, PLUS exclusive content — a copy of the new DVD of the movie Lives Well Lived by Sky Bergman, a copy of the book, The Blue Zones Solution by Dan Buettner, Radio show recordings, transcripts, and soon-to-be released Knowledge Base on living to 100 strategies. Sign up to receive the Newsletter / Blog and Radio Show Announcements, or become a Premium Member today.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Visit the Club Store for a collection of books (including those authored by guests on our Radio show) and the Club’s I’m Positive collection.

PHONE CONSULTATION

Schedule a 30-minute phone call with the Living to 100 Club proprietor, Joseph M. Casciani, to explore your journey or your organization’s journey on the road to successful aging. Calls are scheduled via Skype (audio only) to joseph.casciani. Please use the scheduling calendar for appointments.

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT

Chief Curator of the Living to 100 Club, Dr. Joe Casciani, gave a presentation on Fresh and Inspiring Perspectives on Living to 100 at the 10th annual Successful Aging Expo in San Diego last month. If you are interested in this presentation for your group or organization, please send an email to jc@Livingto100.Club for more information.

WEEKLY INTERNET RADIO SHOW

The Living to 100 Club is all about staying positive as we age. Our blog articles and our weekly live Radio Show emphasize longevity, successful aging, risk management, and handling setbacks whenever they occur.  We are pleased to announce that the Show has had over 11,000 listeners of the live episodes or on-demand recordings. Be sure to tune in to our weekly Radio Talk Show on VoiceAmericaHealth, every Friday at 2pm Pacific, with your Host, Dr. Joe Casciani.

Missed the live event?  Recordings of all episodes can be accessed on the Club website. Scroll down on the audio player and select “Episode Listing” to display the selections. And now, you can see the schedule of upcoming guests – take a look. We have more exciting guests lined up, and hope you will continue to join us.

Better Habits, Better Health: Top Takeaways from Radio Show with Dr. Michael Howard

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Health & Wellness
Better Habits, Better Health: Top Takeaways from Radio Show with Dr. Michael Howard

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BETTER HABITS, BETTER HEALTH

A recent guest on the Living to 100 Club Radio Show was Dr. Michael Howard, health educator, neuropsychologist, and researcher on aging and longevity. The discussion focused on the role that our behavior and lifestyle play in developing chronic illness and disease, and alternatively, can also ensure successful aging and living longer.  Here are the top ten takeaways from the Show:

TOP 10 TAKEAWAYS

* Where you’re born and where you live on this planet and the lifestyle choices you make in that environment, drastically impact life expectancy. The lifestyle choices you make in life, the decisions you make, markedly affect how long you’ll live.

* The food industry has created hyper-palatable foods that incorporate sweet, fatty, and salty tastes, foods that provide high brain pleasure, are high in calories, and contribute to growing rates of obesity. These foods never existed on our planet before they were processed and marketed this way, and you cannot find a natural food that is sweet, salty, and fatty at the same time.

* The top 10 causes of death are largely brought about by our own behaviors. They’re not highly genetic disorders. These are heart disease, cancer, COPD, accidental deaths, stroke, conditions related to Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, kidney disease, infections, and suicide.

* There are 100-year-old people out there taking Metformin and they’re taking antihypertensives, statins and other drugs, too. Medical science has helped us manage these conditions significantly with medications. What it hasn’t done is really made a huge effort to prevent these conditions largely brought about by our own behaviors.

* Death is rarely attributable to Alzheimer’s disease, but rather these individuals die of pneumonia, heart attack or stroke, malnutrition, or sepsis. Though you die with Alzheimer’s disease, you don’t really die from it.

* A chronic condition is defined as lasting three months or more, and is more difficult to treat or cure, while acute conditions are more treatable, especially with better diagnostic tests and screening exams that can identify early signs of conditions that can become chronic.

* Our behavior falls into identifiable patterns right around late teens or early adulthood. We call that pattern of behavior our personality, characterized by a set of beliefs that we form over time, based on these beliefs and powerful memories. And they become behavior patterns that stay with us. And some of these personality styles can be very unhealthy and others can be healthy.

* Lifestyle can be improved by choices that we make but it’s also necessary to change the environment, so there are competing choices that are healthier. This would include alternative food aisles in the grocery store, and healthy fast food restaurants.

* If you want to add anywhere from 15 to 18 healthy years to your life, there are five simple things in life that largely predict that: keep your weight in the normal range; eat healthy, mostly plant-based diets; do regular and moderate exercise; don’t smoke; and do not drink alcohol to excess.

* To change behaviors, set goals that impact one, two, or three things that you want to change in your life. Make the goals you want and start short term, and then shoot for long term goals. Get your motivation to do it, understand why you want to do it, and don’t compare yourself to others because everybody is different, with different motivations and what’s important to them may not be important to you.

Dr. Howard has been a guest on our Radio show twice, imparting valuable advice for our listeners about healthy lifestyles and living longer.  You can access the recording and transcript at this link on our website. A new membership category, Premium Members, can access all show recordings, transcripts, AND a “precis” or top 10 takeaways from each episode. Visit the membership page for more details.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

VIEW THE LIVINGTO100.CLUB WEBSITE

The Living to 100 Club website focuses on sharing useful information with our Club Members and visitors. Our goal is to provide useful content, through our Live Radio Show, Show Recordings and Transcripts, The Club Blog, Member Handbook, and Premium Membership. Be sure to subscribe to our weekly Newsletter / Blog as well as Announcements about upcoming guests of our Radio show.

UPGRADED PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP

The Premium Membership has been expanded and now offers the Blog and Announcements, PLUS exclusive content — a copy of the new DVD of the movie Lives Well Lived by Sky Bergman; a copy of the book, The Blue Zones Solution by Dan Buettner; Radio show recordings, transcripts, and top takeaways; revised Club Member Handbook; learning and retirement opportunities; senior websites; tips and recommendations; and promotional discounts from Amazon. This is content gleaned from an array of sources, updated monthly, only for our members and with a low monthly subscription. Sign up to become a Premium Member today.

CURATED ARTICLES

Look for the tab Curated Articles on the Living to 100 Club website for a series of current, actionable articles on baby boomers, successful aging, positive thinking, and overcoming obstacles.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Visit the Club Store for a collection of books (including those authored by guests on our Radio show) and the Club’s I’m Positive collection.

PHONE CONSULTATION

Schedule a 30-minute phone call with the Living to 100 Club proprietor, Joseph M. Casciani, to explore your journey or your organization’s journey on the road to successful aging. Calls are scheduled via Skype (audio only) to joseph.casciani. Please use the scheduling calendar for appointments.

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Chief Curator of the Living to 100 Club, Dr. Joe Casciani, has now presented his talk on Fresh and Inspiring Perspectives on Living to 100 for different groups. If you are interested in this presentation for your group or organization, please send an email to jc@Livingto100.Club for more information.

WEEKLY INTERNET RADIO SHOW

The Living to 100 Club is all about staying positive as we age. Our blog articles and our weekly live Radio Show emphasize longevity, successful aging, risk management, and handling setbacks whenever they occur.  We are pleased to announce that the Show has had over 15,000 listeners of the live episodes or on-demand recordings. Be sure to tune in to our weekly Radio Talk Show on VoiceAmericaHealth, every Friday at 2pm Pacific, with your Host, Dr. Joe Casciani.

Missed the live event?  Recordings of all episodes can be accessed on the Club website. Scroll down on the audio player and select “Episode Listing” to display the selections. And now, you can see the schedule of upcoming guests – take a look. We have more exciting guests lined up, and hope you will continue to join us.

 

A Paradigm Shift in Alzheimer’s Disease: the Top Takeaways from a Radio Show with Dr. Gary Rosenberg

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Health & Wellness
A Paradigm Shift in Alzheimer’s Disease: the Top Takeaways from a Radio Show with Dr. Gary Rosenberg

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The Paradigm Shift in Alzheimer’s Disease

One of the leading U.S. researchers in vascular dementia was a guest on the Living to 100 Club Radio show last December, who discussed the latest findings on the assessment and treatment of dementia. Among other subjects, Dr. Gary Rosenberg from the University of New Mexico highlighted a growing interest among researchers on  “mixed dementia, ” a combination of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. This appears to manifest as a more damaging and rapid type of cognitive decline but also one that may be subject to modifications in lifestyle.

HERE ARE THE TOP TAKEAWAYS FROM THE SHOW:

* Alzheimer’s disease is a slow accumulation of abnormal proteins in the brain, which finally leads to cell death. It begins with memory problems and then after a few years, begins to progress to disorientation. And toward the end, there can be changes in personality, aggressive behavior, agitation, and finally the motor system gets involved.

* Vascular dementia, formerly know as multi-infarct dementia, is usually related to vascular risk factors, hypertension being the main one, diabetes, sleep apnea, and high cholesterol. These end up damaging the blood vessels and generally, they make the brain less oxygenated, less blood flow is going to the brain, and that creates a hypoxic situation that turns on inflammation and slowly damages the deeper structures in the brain.

* Fronto-temporal dementia is similar to Alzheimer’s disease, but primarily involves the language centers and changes the personality. There’s also a Parkinson-related disease, called Lewy Body dementia where a certain protein damages cells. And there’s also Parkinson’s disease with dementia where people with this disease also begin to have cognitive problems. There are other variations in dementia that researchers are now finding pathologically, but they’re not easy to separate out clinically.

* “Mixed dementia” is where a person has both the Alzheimer’s type proteins, but also has a lot of vascular risk factors and vascular disease, and it’s actually of a more damaging type of process than either the Alzheimer’s or the vascular type because it accelerates the decline in thinking.

* Vascular disease is a disease of aging. So, a person who has high blood pressure when he or she is 40 and that can be 140/90, is at a greater risk of having vascular dementia by the time they’re 60.

* Diabetes is another major cause of vascular dementia, which is also at least controllable and related to obesity. We should be focused on lifestyle changes. Exercise, a proper diet, social contact; these are all things that will reduce the impact of vascular disease and slow the onset of dementia.

* The genetic types of Alzheimer’s disease are only present in about 5% of the patients, which means that there are 95% that are not genetic. For the families that have the genes, and the risk is raised if these abnormal proteins are present, it makes the onset earlier, though the progression is not necessarily faster. The onset can be even in the 40’s or 50’s, it is more likely to have one of these genetic defects which generally do run in families.

* People who have higher cognitive reserve tend to get dementia later. This is a difficult thing to control, but probably through educating our children better, we can provide some protection. It won’t protect necessarily against the genetic factors, but certainly the lifestyle factors. There are also instances where we lose some memory and yet it does not have an impact on our daily life.

* There are several FDA approved treatments for Dementia, and can be effective in slowing the progression of memory loss: Donepezil – trade name is Aricept and Memantine – Namenda.

* Leukoaraiosis means in Latin “white matter change”. These are patients that have difficulty walking, they’re incontinent and they have small strokes. Though this white matter change is not a disease, the more common type occurs in someone who is beginning to have problems with their memory, yet does not have Alzheimer’s disease. It does become, though, a risk factor for Alzheimer’s.

We are fortunate to have guests like Dr. Rosenberg on our program.  And we look forward to future programs to inform and entertain our listeners, and to help our audiences meet the challenges of aging with a positive spirit. As our readers know, the goal of the Club is to help members live longer, healthier, and happier lives, and if this isn’t in the cards, stay positive in the process.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

VIEW THE LIVINGTO100.CLUB WEBSITE

The Living to 100 Club website focuses on sharing useful information with our Club Members and visitors. Our goal is to provide useful content, through our Live Radio Show, Show Recordings and Transcripts, The Club Newsletter and Blog, Member Handbook, and Premium Membership. Be sure to subscribe to our weekly Newsletter / Blog as well as Announcements about upcoming guests of our Radio show.

UPGRADED PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP

The Premium Membership has been expanded and now offers the Blog and Announcements, PLUS exclusive content — a copy of the new DVD of the movie Lives Well Lived by Sky Bergman; a copy of the book, The Blue Zones Solution by Dan Buettner; Radio show recordings, transcripts, and top takeaways; revised Club Member Handbook; learning and retirement opportunities; senior websites; tips and recommendations; and promotional discounts from Amazon. This is content gleaned from an array of sources, updated monthly, only for our members and with a low monthly subscription. Sign up to become a Premium Member today.

CURATED ARTICLES

Look for the tab Curated Articles on the Living to 100 Club website for a series of current, actionable articles on baby boomers, successful aging, positive thinking, and overcoming obstacles. All articles can be downloaded, and focus on moving forward.

CLUB STORE

Visit our expanded Club Store for a collection of fun and inspirational products to help keep that positive outlook.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

You’ll also find in the Club Store a collection of books (including those authored by guests on our Radio show). We will be expanding our library to showcase books that have relevance to successful aging, managing setbacks, and staying informed about navigating the challenges ahead.

PHONE CONSULTATION

Schedule a 30-minute phone call with the Living to 100 Club proprietor, Joseph M. Casciani, to explore your journey or your organization’s journey on the road to successful aging. Calls are scheduled via Skype (audio only) to joseph.casciani. Please use the scheduling calendar for appointments.

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Chief Curator of the Living to 100 Club, Dr. Joe Casciani, has now presented his talk on Fresh and Inspiring Perspectives on Living to 100 for different groups. If you are interested in this presentation for your group or organization, please send a letter of interest to jc@Livingto100.Club for more information.

WEEKLY INTERNET RADIO SHOW

The Living to 100 Club is all about staying positive as we age. Our blog articles and our weekly live Radio Show emphasize longevity, successful aging, risk management, and handling setbacks whenever they occur.  We are pleased to announce that the Show has had over 12,000 listeners of the live episodes or on-demand recordings. Be sure to tune in to our weekly Radio Talk Show on VoiceAmericaHealth, every Friday at 2pm Pacific, with your Host, Dr. Joe Casciani.

Missed the live event?  Recordings of all episodes can be accessed on the Club website. Scroll down on the audio player and select “Episode Listing” to display the selections. And now, you can see the schedule of upcoming guests – take a look. We have more exciting guests lined up, and hope you will continue to join us.

PLEASE SHARE

If you enjoy this content and find some value in it, please take a minute to share these newsletters and blogs on your social media platforms. You’ll find share links below.

Building Leader Character

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Business

To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

This blog was written by Maureen Metcalf, based on the article, Developing Leadership Character by Mary Crossan, Gerard Seijts, Jeffrey Gandz, published in the Ivey Business Journal Issues: January / February 2012. It is a companion to the International Leadership Association Interview Series on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future that aired on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, titled Leader Character.

 

In our rapidly changing world, that is filled with disruption and ethical challenges, leadership character is critical. According to the article, Developing Leadership Character, “When it comes to leadership, competencies determine what a person can do. Commitment determines what they want to do, and character determines what they will do.”

“Character fundamentally shapes how we engage the world around us, what we notice, what we reinforce, who we engage in conversation, what we value, what we choose to act on, how we decide…and the list goes on.” While there is no generally accepted definition of character, Mary Crossan and her co-authors focus on personality traits, values, and virtues as the focus of virtue-based character in their article, Developing Leader Character. They also highlight the importance of Judgment which is at the centre of their leader character framework shown in Figure 1.”

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All of the behaviors associated with character are virtuous, meaning that they have been vetted by research as being desirable by cultures throughout history. And because only a few of the behaviors are trait based, character can be developed. Some of the behaviors can be viewed as values, but it is important to recognize that they are not just any values, but only ones that satisfy the criteria of being virtuous. The Developing Leadership Character article provides an in-depth analysis of eleven leadership virtues and what happens when they are either lacking or over weighted. Aristotle noted any virtue will operate like a vice when not supported by the other virtues. Thus, Courage becomes recklessness when not supported by Temperance. Integrity that is not supported by Humanity and Humility runs the risk of a person being dogmatic and egotistic. The aim is for individuals to develop strength in all dimensions of character. The following example from their article describes how a virtue can strengthen an individual’s performance and, when not supported by other dimensions of character, becomes a vice.

  • Accountability ensures that leaders own and commit to the decisions they make and encourages the same in others
  • Without Accountability, leaders don’t commit to or own the decisions they make and cannot get others to do so. They blame others for poor outcomes and, in doing so, create a culture of fear and disengagement.  People stop caring, with potentially disastrous consequences.

How do we develop character?

Because character is habit, the question to ask is “who am I becoming while I am busy doing?” advises Crossan. We are always becoming something – more courageous, or less courageous, more humble or less humble. Developing character requires understanding what it is, and in particular, how virtues could operate like a vice. Many people are proud of their candor, their modesty, their calm, etc. but if these behaviors and the dimensions of character they support are not part of a strong network of behaviors, there is every possibility that they are counterproductive – operating like a vice. Consider, something like “grit,” which has been widely touted as important. There are many behaviors within Courage and Drive that are grit-like, but research around grit has shown that it can lead to burnout. Why? Because you need the other dimensions of character, and in particular Judgment, to know when to exercise grit and when not to.

Developing character flies in the face of many approaches to leadership that suggest we should focus on our strengths and rely on other people to complement our weaknesses. Complementarity makes sense for personality traits like introversion or extroversion, but when it comes to character, weaknesses compromise individual judgment.

From another article co-authored by Mary Crossan, Elevating Leader Character Alongside Competence in Selection, “Character is constantly evolving, both personally and professionally. Thus, a person’s work and life experiences fundamentally shape character, and the story about who someone is and why they have become the person they are is unique to each person.” It will be important for the individual and the organization to attend to the virtues they want to see and understand how different virtues complement one another and how they complement one another.

For each of the items referenced above, if we are not conscious and motivated, we are unlikely to change elements of character. Self-awareness, conscious choice, rewarding context, aligning complementary virtues, practicing virtuous behaviors, and motivation all impact the choice and outcome of the work to build character.

As we wrap up the discussion, I would like to return to the article written by Mary Crossan and her colleagues, “Character is not something that you have or don’t have.  All of us have character, but the key is the depth of development of each facet of character that enables us to lead holistically.  Character is not a light switch that can be turned on and off.  There are degrees, and every situation presents a different experience and opportunity to learn and deepen character.  In particular, and for better or for worse, character comes to the fore when managing a crisis.  No one is perfect when it comes to character, and given that its development is a lifelong journey, we will rise to the occasion in some situations and disappoint ourselves and those around us in others.”

In our current, fast-changing environment, we need leaders who demonstrate character, informed by leadership virtues. Organizations must understand how to build character and also the contexts that inhibit character development.

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, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Maureen Metcalf, CEO of the Innovative Leadership Institute, is a renowned executive advisor, coach, consultant, author and speaker.

Photo by Jopwell x PGA

Love Grows in the Garden

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Empowerment
Love Grows in the Garden

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 “The beauty of the season will grow wherever seeds of love are planted. “ ~ Euripides

February derives from the Latin word februa, which means “to cleanse”. The Romans fêted Februalia, a month-long purification and atonement festival, annually occurring during the wettest and dreariest of days of the year. In California, February opens the floodgates of rain with weather that is overcast and cold. Thankfully, not everything is dreary and gray. We attribute love to February with the celebration of Valentine’s Day and what better place to savor the “amour” than in the garden?

Take a walk in a garden where natural aromatherapy originated. Feel the spongy softness of cool moss as you step off the stone path. Admire the cymbidium orchids beginning to bloom. Sink your nose into a patch of narcissi or heavenly gardenias, inhaling the intoxicating perfumes. Cut a few stems of Angel Face roses with their heady musky scent to give to your partner or friend. 

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If you are stressed at work, a visit to the intensely fragrant flowers of jasmine will instantly settle your nerves. Is indigestion bothering you after meals? Munch on peppermint leaves with your lunch. Do your children need to focus more on homework?  Make a sachet of grapefruit peels, eucalyptus leaves, and rosemary sprigs to promote concentration. Are you having trouble sleeping at night? Pick a stem of fresh lavender, roll the leaves and flowers between your palms, and breathe in the vapors. All of these delightful therapies are available in the February landscape. 

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One of the season’s wondrous luscious gifts is the orange. Its folk name is “love fruit” because the orange is sweet and sensuous. The orange warms your heart, restores your sense of humor, bringing out your brighter personality. When you need a boost of confidence before an interview, presentation, or audition, smell the peels from any citrus, especially orange or lemon. If you are feeling depressed or sad, inhaling the peels works as a mood-elevator to restore a sunny disposition. Despite the dismal weather, every time I hike up my hill to pick a radiant navel, I am renewed and refreshed with the sweet and tangy juices. Oranges offer a concentrated Vitamin C shower that pollinates a dampened spirit.  Oranges and tangerines are my elixirs. I cook with them, use the leaves, rinds, and piths in teas as well as the flowers in salads.  I create love sachets and toss the peels in my bathwater when my muscles are aching after a hard day’s work. 

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Since we have more time to dream indoors about gardening in February than actually going outside, this is a perfect month to do like the Romans: clear the clutter, cleanse your body, mind, and soul, and tidy your garden in anticipation of spring. Peruse garden books and catalogs. Make a list of what you want to sow for your family’s enjoyment. When you start growing fresh healthy food, you’ll be showing your heart some love while saving trips to the grocery store. February is Heart Health Month, so experience increased vitamins, flavor, and color while munching from your private Garden of Eden.

Life and love began in a garden. Love is not only in the air. Love is growing in your backyard. Discover the benefits of your personalized, organic Love Potion #9 and be blessed with the beauty and seeds of this season.

May cupid’s arrow remain in your heart all year and fill your days and nights with passion. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for February

LOVE your heart by eating healthy fresh greens, berries, and fruits combined with exercising, and thinking positively.

PULL weeds as they sprout. It’s easier to eradicate the weeds in soft, damp soil when they are four to six inches high. 

PRUNE fuchsias, roses, and any still dormant shrubs or trees. Do not prune spring-flowering specimens such as tulips, forsythia, lilac, or magnolia.

HOUSEPLANTS need a refresher this month. Repot with fresh potting soil, prune any dead leaves, give a jolt of fertilizer, and a spritz of H2O.

CLEAN and sharpen tools to be ready for March madness.

FLOAT pink camellias in a bowl on Valentine’s Day.

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∞PLANT bare root roses. Expect blooms by summer.

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∞IDENTIFY mushrooms as edible before picking and consuming. Mushrooms growing in your lawn are most likely poisonous.

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∞ADD moss to areas around steppingstones for a romantic, ethereal sensation.

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∞NAME a rose after your special someone or celebration. Find out prices from a rose breeder or develop your specific rose. The American Rose Society serves as the International Cultivar Registration Authority for Roses following rules set forth by the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants in the registration of new rose varieties. https://www.rose.org

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MAKE a simple arrangement of mums, baby’s breath, alstroemeria, and stock to bring a bit of sunshine into a dreary February day. 

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HIBERNATE at home. Enjoy the luxury of reading a good book on a rainy day. Check out my best sellers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store .

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CLEAR the clutter, cleanse and purify. When in Rome…

CELEBRATE Valentine’s Day with a pocket of posies picked from your garden.  Give the gift of a bare root rose that will yield years of adoration.

Read more: https://www.lamorindanews.com/archive/issue1325/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-Love-grows-in-a-garden.html

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. 

Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy copies of her best-selling books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

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Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

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