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Evidence Based Practices for Leadership Development

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Evidence Based Practices for Leadership Development

This post is a report from the December 5, 2018 Forbes.com article Authentic Leadership for Peace and Prosperity. It is the companion to the Voice America Interview to air on January 29, 2019 with Dr. Gama Perruci, Dr. Sadhana Warty Hall, and Dr. Karen Ford, Evidence Based Practices for Leadership Development. This interview is particularly important because companies are investing large amounts of money and time to build strong leaders and some programs provide much better returns than others. Programs that teach leaders to be better leaders rather than those that teach leader about leadership provide different results. Programs that offer 1. strong frameworks (including the knowledge of how context and culture play a role in leading and following), 2. teach leaders to become more self-aware, and 3. perform better using the new frameworks and self-awareness provide the highest returns. The interview is part of our partnership with the International Leadership Association to bring you the latest and most relevant leadership information.

The following section is from Forbes. I am keenly interested in understanding how leaders progress their business agendas as well as the global agenda in times of significant geopolitical shifts. I attended the International Leadership Association’s conference, Authentic Leadership for Progress, Peace & Prosperity, in West Palm Beach, Florida, where keynote speakers, academics, award recipients and leaders across industries and the globe discussed their perspectives on the subject. This article summarizes my key takeaways.

With 39 countries represented at the conference, the focus on the volume, complexity and rate of change in the current climate continued to inform the conversations. So too did the political landscape, particularly the disillusionment with democracy and the move toward populism. The conversation was also impacted by several events happening in the background, such as a bomber delivering 14 bombs to democratic leadersand supporters, who was actually apprehended near West Palm Beach, where the conference was being held. There was also a synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh in the morning of the final day at the conference.

These events called to question what more we, as members of an international association, can do to focus on the intersection of leadership, scholarship and practice at a conference that focuses on progress, peace and prosperity.

The following themes are based on my discussions with thought leaders around the world and sessions I attended.

1. Leadership certification needs to be a strong consideration.

Many professions require certification before performing a job, like realtors, massage therapists, electricians, attorneys and certified public accountants. This is in strong contrast to the number of leaders holding key roles with no education and, in some cases, little experience.

While hiring is always complicated, certification can reduce the risk of costly hiring mistakes. Certification is important for leaders who want to stand out by demonstrating their competence. And organizations will have a greater degree of assurance that the person they are hiring is competent based on an objective standard and a rigorous certification process.

2. Leadership is the interplay between the organization’s internal environment and external ecosystem.

We train leaders in leadership concepts but don’t address the importance of helping leaders understand how they need to flex their leadership approach based on their context and their followers. The most effective leaders “sense” the needs of their followers and adapt their leadership accordingly. They help followers understand their leadership style and set clear expectations as well take into account their followers styles, so everyone can focus their energy on accomplishing goals.

3. Leaders need new tools to solve highly complex problems.

Many of the problems organizations face are emergent, and they may not have faced them before. Therefore, leaders must have the tools to address them. The most effective leaders balance inner knowing with strong analytics and collaboration. 

4. Leadership ethics are key. 

There are questions about leaders learning ethics versus gaining ethics as part of the process of maturing. Are ethics the guidelines people comply with? Is there a call for leaders to develop a strong inner compass that ensures they follow the spirit of ethics as the rules change? I believe it’s important for leaders to have a strong inner sense of both the impact you want to make on the world as well as the “guardrails” you use to accomplish that impact.

5. Leaders operate in an interconnected system and need to consider the broader impact they make.

Conference participants were clear about the importance of profit as the fuel for the business and that businesses are among the most powerful institutions across the planet. They are positioned to enact important changes that involve issues such as climate change, for example.

During the conference last year, there were many discussions on identifying leadership values. This year, speakers reminded us of the mandate for leaders to live their values and pay attention to how their actions impact their organizations, and by extension, the world.

6. Resilience remains a key concern.

It was acknowledged that everyone is now or will soon be impacted by some level of change to their organization, their climate, their community and their government. These changes require that we deliberately tend to the resilience (ability to absorb change and remain highly functional) of our people, our organizations, our communities and our governments. It is important to ensure these have the capacity to metabolize change without going into crisis mode.

7. Learning to harness the power of women and a diverse workforce is critical to addressing the upcoming talent gap.

Even with artificial intelligence and other forms of workforce augmentation, participants projected a huge talent shortage now through 2030 and beyond. The size of this change is expected to grow from 2020 to 2030.

Companies need to leverage the best talent to thrive. It will be important for companies to find ways to identify the right people and create a work environment that fosters attraction and retention and expands the old norms that caused talented people who wanted to work but not within restricted bounds to leave. 

As leaders in this era of turbulence, if we want to create a more prosperous and peaceful world, we need to look at new ways of leading and of identifying and developing leaders of the future. This is a call to action to revisit what you are doing now and how you can evolve your own approaches that enhance your ability to lead from a stance of authenticity.

Are you learning from thought leaders, academics and practitioners? Each holds a piece of the complex solution we all need to thrive in the short and long term.

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills and system to create a regenerative, inclusive and thriving organization that will have a positive impact in the world.

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

 

The New Battleground for Business: The Customer Experience

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The New Battleground for Business: The Customer Experience

This post is written by guest blogger, Nick Glimsdahl and is the companion to an interview on the Voice America show, Innovative Leaders Driving Thriving Organizations focusing on Conscious Capitalism with Mark Kovacevich focusing on Conscious Capitalism as a business accelerator.

The great entrepreneur, Vanilla Ice, once said, “Stop, collaborate, and listen”. In today’s business environment, that sage advice can elaborate to: stop and evaluate your current state, collaborate with experts, and listen to your customers.

Business leaders who champion customer-centric business models have stopped, collaborated and listened. And, in today’s digital age, being customer-centric requires a business model to effectively take advantage of current technologies to meet customer expectations.

Warren Buffett said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” Hence, a company’s business model should first and foremost orbit around the customer, specifically their customer experience (CX), addressing:

  • The customer needs and wants
  • The current state of the customer experience
  • How the customer’s journey can improve

What is Customer Experience and why does it matter?

The customer experience is the new battleground for brand loyalty and a true differentiating factor for companies. It can be defined as the customer’s perception of an organization – often gained through contact center interactions – and how seamless or frustrating that interaction is. Shep Hyken, a customer service expert, author, and speaker said it this way, “A brand is defined by the customer’s experience. The experience is delivered by the employees.”

Beyond perception, CX is about delivering an expected outcome, and while the customer experience looks different for each company, common themes are:

  • Response time
  • Overall customer satisfaction
  • Ability to obtain sought out information effortlessly

A customer experience-centric model considers more than just key customer-company touchpoints; instead, the model considers the entire Omni-channel journey from the customer’s perspective.

There are three ways to measure and improve your customer’s experience:

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)
    • NPS® measures customer experience and predicts business growth. (i.e. 0-10 scale on how likely customers would recommend a business to a friend).
  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
    • CSAT measures how products and services meet or surpass customer expectations. A CSAT score is the sum of respondents answering between “Satisfied” and “Very Satisfied”.
  • Customer Effort Score (CES)
    • CES, measures customer service satisfaction with one single questions. (i.e. The company made it easy to handle an issue).

Mature CX organizations monitor and understand the voice of the customer through these metrics.

Why should business leaders get behind the CX movement?

Forrester research found 71% of business and technology decision makers say that improving Customer Experience is a high priority in the next 12 months. But why? Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors, explained it well: “It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.”

Brand loyalty is not what it was 20-30 years ago. A customer’s experience positively correlates to brand loyalty, and it is much more important because of the ease of switching service providers or ordering a product from Amazon. According to the Temkin Group, 86% of those who received excellent Customer Experience were likely to repurchase from that company, compared to only 13% of those who had a very poor Customer Experience.

The trend of the increasing purchasing ease will continue as will customer-first business models delivering effortless experiences. The remaining question is what businesses will stop and evaluate their current states, collaborate with experts, and listen to their customers?

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills and system to create a regenerative, inclusive and thriving organization that will have a positive impact in the world.

About the Author

Nick Glimsdahl is the Client Enablement Director for VDS. VDS creates effortless interactions. It helps improve the way enterprising businesses deliver customer experiences. With a 30-year history of delivering results, its success in creating effortless interactions is unmatched. As a client enablement lead, Nick brings his clients the right communications solution: contact centers through (Genesys / Five9), business collaboration (Microsoft Skype) for Business, or enterprise telephony solutions so you can deliver the best customer experience.

On the Basis of Sex – Well Crafted and Authentic Representation of the Iconic RBG

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Movie Reviews
On the Basis of Sex – Well Crafted and Authentic Representation of the Iconic RBG
thumbnail (1).jpg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a struggling attorney and new mother who faces adversity and
numerous obstacles in her fight for equal rights. When Ruth takes on a groundbreaking tax case
with her husband, attorney Martin Ginsburg, she knows it could change the direction of her
career and the way the courts view gender discrimination. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ella L.
comments, “The characters are well crafted and the aesthetic of the 50s to 70s time period
really sets the tone of the movie. It feels real and true, as opposed to the glorified version of the
story that some biographical films show. The authenticity and uniqueness of the film really help
it stand out.” See her full review below.
On the Basis of Sex
By Ella Ladd, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
https://youtu.be/PwEZtcZM2yQ

On the Basis of Sex is such a fun and empowering film. I enjoyed it quite a bit as it was equally entertaining

and informative. The characters are well crafted and the aesthetic of the 50s to 70s
time period really sets the tone of the movie. It feels real and true, as opposed to the glorified
version of the story that some biographical films show. The authenticity and uniqueness of the
film really help it stand out. This is a very important movie for people to see.
This film follows the true story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Felicity Jones), a young and gifted
lawyer, who struggles to find work simply because she is a woman. In order to prove that the
law discriminates on the basis of sex, Ms. Ginsburg has to work harder than she ever has
before.
The film is very well written with immaculate attention to detail, thanks to the writer being
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s nephew Daniel Stiepleman, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing. It
is full of heart and truth because Justice Ginsburg made sure everything was accurately
portrayed. She read all of the drafts of the scripts to make sure that her story told well. It is
never boring! I laughed out loud when it was funny and got angry seeing RBG rejected and
having doors slammed in her face, due to her gender.
The acting is really great. Both Armie Hammer, who portrays Martin Ginsburg and Cailee
Spaeny who portray Jane Ginsburg absolutely blew me away. Armie portrays Martin as a man
who really loves and respects his wife in such a heartwarming way. Cailee portrays Jane as a
funny and empowered feminist. The relationship between Jane and Ruth is displayed with such
honesty and realism. My only complaint about the acting might be that Ruth’s accent could have
been much stronger.
I rate this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18, as well as adults. This film
tells such a special and unique story, one that is incredibly important, with equal amounts of
heart, humor, turmoil, and honesty. This triumphant story really gets you thinking. It opens
nationwide in theaters January hits theatres worldwide on January 11, 2019, so do yourself a
favor and go watch it.

The Upside – Wonderful Remake of the French Classic with Well-Founded Laughs

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Movie Reviews
The Upside – Wonderful Remake of the French Classic with Well-Founded Laughs
01 (5).jpg
Philip is a disabled white billionaire, who feels that life is not worth living. To help him in his day
to day routine, he hires Del, an African American parolee, trying to reconnect with his estranged
wife. What begins as a professional relationship develops into a friendship as Del shows his grouchy charge that life is worth living. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Arjun N. comments, “The Upside is a wonderful, but very contrived remake of the French classic: The Intouchables. The superb main duo makes for a variety of heartfelt and well-found laughs.” See his full review below.
The Upside
By Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
https://youtu.be/YZJZL7ERXs8

The Upside is a wonderful, but very contrived remake of the French classic: The Intouchables. The superb main duo makes for a variety of heartfelt and well-found laughs. Anyone looking for a packed “January movie” will find a perfect outing. Inspired by an incredible true story, the movie follows a recently released ex-convict named Dell (KevinHart), as he seeks employment to do right by his family’s financial needs and regain their trust. He finds the most unusual employment with an offer to care-take the paralyzed billionaire Phillip (Bryan Cranston). Most don’t believe in Dell’s capabilities, especially chief executive Yvonne (Nicole Kidman), with Dellfailing, but slowly learning to care-take. Amidst this process, Dell and Phillip form an unlikely friendship and journey, bettering themselves.

Kevin Hart, as Dell, is my favorite character, as he steps into newfound dramatic territory and delivers
exceptionally. As always, his unique sense of humor remains and he is as better than ever with the
amicable chemistry he shares with Bryan Cranston. Bryan Cranston, as Phillip, delivers a gravitas to his
character when needed, as his condition makes him hopeless. In only a way Cranston can deliver, his
journey to regain hope and optimism through Dell is very compelling. It also helps that their unique banter
is just so funny and intellectually executed. Nicole Kidman, as Yvonne, is another relatable character, as
even she learns to smile from Dell, despite her disagreements. Her long history with Phillip is well sold, as
well.Neil Burger serviceably directs the movie, with a great eye for scenery, even if many scenes fall within a
repetitive layout at times. My favorite scene is the haircut scene, as it is a fun rendition of the classic
French scene and even has more nuances of its own.
The main problem with this movie comes from the
fact that, in comparison to its French counterpart, there really isn’t much of a difference with a few scenes
and characters having some subtleties. At times, its pace even takes a hit and even the newer additions
don’t fare as well as the original. This can be viewed as a bit of a pro, as sticking with the original does
prove to its advantage.The message of this film is that friendship is a relationship most valued and will always remain
irreplaceable. If we all get along, we will strive towards greatness and happier mental well-being. I give
this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, because of some sexual references and
brief drug use. The movie releases in theaters on January 11, 2019, so check it out

Pet Obesity is Up for 8th Straight Year

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Pet Obesity is Up for 8th Straight Year

Fat cats are cute, but not worth risking their lives. Pet obesity-related insurance claims have increased over 24% over the last eight years, according to Nationwide, a provider of pet health insurance. The company reports that nearly 20% of their members claims for 2017 were for conditions and diseases related to pet obesity, which amounted to more than $69 million spent in veterinary expenses!

As with people, excessive body fat in your cat increases the risk of preventable health issues and may very likely shorten the life expectancy of your cat.

The Top 10 Most Common Cat Obesity-Related Conditions:

  1. Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease
  2. Chronic Kidney Disease
  3. Diabetes
  4. Asthma
  5. Liver Disease
  6. Arthritis
  7. High Blood Pressure
  8. Heart Failure
  9. Gall Bladder Disorder
  10. Immobility of Spine

How do you know if your cat is obese?

Stand over your cat and look at its silhouette, and compare it to the body score chart below. A healthy body score is between 4 and 5.

body-condition-chart-cat-HD.png

What to do if your cat has a body score of 7-9:

  • Change diet – to a high quality protein
  • Increase the amount of canned food given
  • Decrease the amount of dry food given
  • Increase the frequency of feeding (4 times a day) – feed 1/4 of a 6oz can at each feeding
  • Increase activity/exercise through prey play, leash walks, etc.
  • Increase the cat’s feelings of security

If you have concerns about your pet’s health, see your veterinarian right away. Cats should have at least annual exams, and the older your cat gets, more frequent exams.

 

How Sweet It Is

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How Sweet It Is

“How Sweet it Is,” is an Excerpt from Working on Yourself Doesn’t Work, by Ariel and Shya Kane

Click here for more information or to purchase this book.

There is an old story about a man who was walking through the jungle. Sensing a presence, the man looked over his shoulder and saw a tiger slinking through the foliage, following him. Quickening his pace, the fellow followed the path he was on until he reached a cliff. Looking back once again, he saw the tiger was still there and coming closer. Standing with his toes over the edge, the man noticed that there was a vine running down the cliff face and he swung out onto the vine in order to escape the tiger. Just as he quickly lowered himself down, the tiger jumped. Slashing over the edge with her paw, the tiger narrowly missing catching the man as he made his decent. As the man started to work his way down the cliff face, he looked down to the bottom and saw yet another tiger, the mate of the one at the top. The tigers settled down to wait. Hanging there, the man saw that two mice, a white one and a black one, had started gnawing on the vine above his head. It was only a matter of time before the vine would give way. Looking off to one side, he noticed a wild strawberry gleaming crimson in the sunlight. He picked it, put it in his mouth and tasted…How sweet it was.

Worrying about the future and missing the sweetness of the moment seems to be a way of life for most people. Of course, there are plenty of things to worry about today, if that is what you are used to. There was plenty to worry about in our parents’ day also and in our grandparents’ and so on back through time. And yet they survived. We are all a living testament to that. Perhaps we worry as a part of the culture we were raised in, as a survival strategy, passed down from generation to generation. Have you ever stopped to think that worry is not an integral part of well-being but something extra, unneeded and unexamined that we have absorbed from those around us?

You can taste the wild strawberries that exist around you in your everyday life by being here in this moment, rather than worrying about things you cannot immediately do anything about, such as the state of the world, global warming, political conflict, wars, etc. Those things do exist but in this moment so does the chair you are sitting in, the air you are breathing and the floor under your feet.

Perhaps you tend to worry about something more personal, such as your finances, the state of your relationship or your health. Well, does worrying actually accomplish anything positive? Worry is the mind’s projection of possible futures, based on what we have experienced or known from the past.

Being Here in this moment is the great transformational agent. If you are actually engaged in being here, then life does not have to repeat itself. Unknown creative solutions can present themselves and if you are here, you are available to see them.

There is a Country Western song by Tim McGraw called, “Live Like You Were Dying.” It is about a man who discovered he had a potentially terminal disease and goes out and does all the things he only dreamt of doing…and many he hadn’t even considered; riding a bull, going fishing, being a true friend, talking sweeter, loving deeper and giving forgiveness he had been denying to others.

For the most part, we don’t live our lives as though it is our last day. There are things we do which, if we were dying, we would never indulge in. If the end were near we wouldn’t be wasting those few precious moments. The trick is in discovering how to maintain this sense of urgency and vitality without threatening oneself with dire circumstances such as imminent death. Although the song “Live Like You Were Dying” is just a song, it is representative of what can happen if you engage in your life without preference, without listening to the story of whether or not you feel like doing something and without thinking that this moment doesn’t matter.

How do you engage in your life as if this moment matters when you are truly out of touch with that, and are lost in a loop of worry, you might ask? Well, you could start by washing your dishes, making your bed, cleaning up your office, completing those things that have been incomplete and that you ignore by worrying about other things. What if worry was just a sophisticated way to procrastinate? Have you ever considered that if you are really busy, fully engaged, getting things done, your rarely have time or interest in complaining about your life?

So, if you need a place to start, look around you. Handling any little incompletion is a great start. Then move on to the next thing. You might start with the things you like to do first. Get in a rhythm. Then keep including what’s next. You will be pleasantly surprised how, as you handle the minutia of your life, the answers to how to handle the “big” things magically appear.

This is an excerpt from Working on Yourself Doesn’t Work, available on Amazon and everywhere books are sold.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, podcast/radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, Germany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here podcast or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books. Their newest book, Being Here…Too, is available on Amazon.comBarnesandNoble.com and everywhere books are sold.

Books by Ariel & Shya Kane

Joy to the World

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Joy to the World

Cuba 2018-poinsettia tree.jpg

Only those who go where few have gone can see what few have seen.~ Buddha

Did you know that poinsettias grow into trees? Or that mother’s tongue, also known as snake plant, is an excellent fence barrier? Without a thought from whence a plant derives, most of us buy our indoor plants at nurseries, grocery stores, and big-box centers.  Our holiday décor includes colorful tropical specimens that thrive inside.

Cuba 2018-snake plantm,mother's tongue.jpg

On a quest to discover the flora and fauna that bring joy to our world, I traveled to Cuba with a program in support of the Cuban people. Throughout my journey, the diverse and unique landscape constantly changed as our small group of six plus an informative Cuban guide hiked through nature reserves, parks, rainforests, and into the magnificent Escambray Mountains. In 1492 Christopher Columbus discovered Cuba describing it as “the most beautiful land that human eyes had ever seen.”  Supporting 7,500 species of flowering plants with more than 53% being endemic, Cuba is a garden lovers paradise.  

Cuba 2018-tillansias.jpg

The rivers, grottos, caves, and waterfalls were dotted with gigantic tree ferns, indigenous species of orchids, tillandsias (air plants), bromeliads, and palms as well as banana, mango, papaya, orange, and grapefruit trees. Philodendrons twined up fifty-foot trees and Ixora commonly called jungle flame or jungle geranium, firespike, and ginger flanked the narrow footpaths.

Cuba 2018-philodendron.jpg

Fields of sugar cane, coffee plants, and tobacco straddled the lowlands and hillsides. We traversed log bridges over rushing rivers in Topas de Collantes and were mesmerized by the delicate mimosas. Their leaves instantly closed with the touch of a finger.

Cuba 2018-mimosa (1).jpg

We tiptoed on rocks crossing trickling streams and swam in the poceta de cristal or crystal pond under a waterfall near the top of the mountain.

Cuba 2018-yn-swimming cave.jpg

A sign on the tree read salto los desparramaderos: translated means “jump the scatters”.  Chuckling, we jumped numerous “scatters”! Tall thick spires of bamboo led to the mouth of the river where rocky stalactites hung from the ceiling of caves and the rocky formations of stalagmites rose from the cavern floor.

Cuba 2018-caves.jpg

We were fortunate enough to witness the unique Cuban national bird, the trogan tocororo, sitting on a limb in the forest. Its striking feathers are red, white, and blue reflecting those of the national flag. It is said that this endemic bird found only in Cuba will die of sadness in captivity, symbolizing the desire of the people to always be free. It was called guatini by the Taino Indians and is also known as the onomatopoeic tocoloro because of its song. 

tocoror or tocoloro national bird, cuba.jpg

At lunch one day under a thatched canopy, we met the largest endemic land mammal in Cuba, the friendly and curious social rodent, the Cuban Hutia.  Prized as a rare delicacy, it lives in trees and is almost extinct because of over-harvesting. We stopped at a lunch hut in the Zapata Swamp another afternoon but didn’t see any Cuban crocodiles, an endangered species found exclusively in Cuba. 

The produce on this island is always organic, fresh, and delicious. When I commented about the importance of growing and eating organic, our guide informed us that farming organically was not a choice but a necessity because the cost of fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides are prohibitively expensive. Growing organic is cheaper than using chemicals in farming. Fruits and vegetables are only eaten in season. Pineapple, guava, and bananas are the sweetest I’ve ever tasted anywhere. In Havana, carts of tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, beets, bananas, and cucumbers are pushed through the streets offering a daily rolling farmer’s market to the populace. 

Cuba 2018-vegetables on a cart.jpg

Nature is what attracted me to Cuba and it didn’t disappoint. After hiking, biking, snorkeling, kayaking, bird watching, horseback riding, and examining the flora and fauna of the island, it was the people that stole my heart.

Cuba 2018-cyn-horse.jpg

They have so little economically speaking, yet they are joyful, full of life, and welcoming to Americans. In the casa particulares where we stayed, tiny Christmas trees or frayed holiday trinkets brightened the small rooms where families gathered, a far cry from the Disneyesque Christmas spectacle I’m accustomed to in my family. Speaking Spanish to several Cubans, I learned of dreams to travel and hopes for a freer future.  

Cuba 2018-man with fish.jpg

Not many Americans have had the opportunity to visit this impoverished, yet beautiful Caribbean nation. If you are one of those individuals who want to see what few have seen, consider supporting the Cuban people. You’ll be rewarded with a visit of joy, diversity, and plenty of grateful hugs!

Cuba 2018-casa lady , senrora Diosnilda with fidel.jpg

Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for Bringing a Slice of Cuba to your Landscape

Cuban plants that make great houseplants in California:

Ixora, commonly called jungle flame, flame of the woods, or jungle geranium with clusters of star shaped flowers.

Cuba 2018-scarlet jungle flame-ixora.jpg

Poinsettia, a Euphorbia pulcherrima, is the most well-known holiday flower. Although red is the most popular color, the bracts are available in pink, white, salmon, and bi-colors. Poinsettias love warmth and humidity and in Cuba grow to be trees.

Cuba 2018-cyn-poinsetia tree.jpg

Tillandsias, the largest genus in the bromeliad family, are air plants that will cling to anything. Natural light, soaking, and misting will keep them happy.

Cuba 2018-bromeliads.jpg

Bromeliads, add a touch of the tropics to every home. With flowers of pink, red, and maroon, they require minimal care. Fill the cup at the base with water and let them thrive.

Philodendrons are easy care houseplants. Vining philodendrons need a pole to climb; non- climbing will grow upright without any support. They like bright, indirect sunlight, and enjoy an occasional vacation outdoors in the shade.

Snake plant, also known as mother’s tongue, is one of the air freshener plants. It requires almost no care at all and will keep you breathing freely.

Mimosa pudica, a perennial herb in the pea family, is the touch-me-not-plant. When touched it closes its leaves, titillating audiences.

Cuban plants to grow in your garden:

Gloryblowers (Clerodendrum) make excellent choices for trellises, poles, and other structures in full sun as climbers. Since they are tropical, they need to be protected from frost.

Cuba 2018-gloryblower vine.jpg

Coleus, painted nettle plant, grows outdoors when it is warm, but being a tender specimen, are best grown as a container or houseplant.

Cuba 2018-coleus.jpg

Royal Palm will grow to 60 feet in frost-free areas and is moderately drought resistant, bringing the sway of the island inland.

Cuba 2018-cuban royal palm.jpg

Bamboo is a fast-growingCuba 2018-bamboo forest.jpg giant grass that makes an excellent privacy screen. Beware, certain species of bamboo can take over, breaking concrete and sidewalks. 

 

Firespike, odontonema strictum, is an evergreen shrub that tolerates drought producing brilliant panicles of tubular waxy flowers summer through winter.

Cuba 2018- odontonema strictum-firespike.jpg

Ginger, both ornamental and edible, is easy to grow and incredibly pretty. To grow edible ginger, just break off a piece of a healthy, plump ginger root that you buy at the store and plant in the location you want. Leaves die back in winter. Harvest whenever you need to add spice to life!

Look around your house and garden to identify what botanicals you are growing with a Cuban origin. Wishing you a beautiful holiday season of joy, peace, gratitude, and love.

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. 

Feliz Navidad y Feliz Jánuca!

Freddie's house at Xmas 2018.jpg

Read more: 

https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1221/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-Joy-to-the-world.html

Cynthia Brian

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 Are1® 501 c3. http://www.BethestarYouAre.org

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Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy a copy of her new books, 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 projects, consults, and lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

Donate to Fire Disaster Relief via Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 at www.BethestarYouAre.org

Cuban Adventure, Brain Buzz, Making Scents

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Cuban Adventure, Brain Buzz, Making Scents

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When you hear the word “Cuba”, what do you think? Bay of Pigs, Fidel Castro, Revolution, Cigars, Mafia, Christopher Columbus, Hemingway, pirates?

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Cynthia Brian has just returned from this largest island in the Caribbean on a Support the Cuban People cultural experience and found a rich culture steeped in history with European, African, and Asian influences.

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From UNESCO World Heritage sites to celebrating Cuban music, Cynthia and her new friend from the Cuban adventure, Paul Devaney, bring you along as they reminisce about participating in the daily life of the charming people, hiking and horseback riding through the mountain forests, enjoying delicious dishes, photographing breathtaking flora, and kayaking, swimming, and snorkeling in the crystal aqua seas.

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Want to learn a few simple tricks to keep your brain healthier? If even one of the tips resonates with you, your brain will benefit and so will your overall wellness.

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Freshen the air in your home with a calming aroma. Cynthia Brian explains how to make potpourri, homemade incense, and other fragrant packages with flowers and herbs from your garden.

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Guest Bio: Paul Devaney

Paul Devaney, a 2nd Dan Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and Black Belt in Aikido and an FAA Certified Flight Instructor recently retired after twenty-five years working with the postal service. He teaches an informal martial art fitness class 5-6 times a month and is a daily practitioner of S.A.V.E.R.S. “Win the morning seize the day”  He’s been married for over 30 years to his beautiful wife, Cleo and has twin daughters who both work in breweries on opposite coasts. Besides traveling, he is considering playing guitar more, writing a novel, and learning a foreign language or two!

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Listen at Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel: : https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/111070/cuban-adventure-brain-buzz-making-scents

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Be the Star You Are! 501 c3 charity offers help, hope, and healing. for California Fire Victims.

BTSYA Operation Disaster Relief. Please donate. http://ow.ly/ks8A30lekGe

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Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

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November Newsletter: 

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Simple Fundraiser Creation Link

Create fundraisers for Be the Star You Are! with this link:https://www.facebook.com/fund/BTSYAcharity/

Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

JUST PUBLISHED: Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World and Growing with the Goddess Gardener. Available at www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store

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Book Newsletter: http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/672296/2e05cd10ed/288381033/82c07ab8f2/

YouTube book announcement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ru354Mhvu0&feature=youtu.be

Check our Book Reviews at our literacy partner, The Reading Tub: https://thereadingtub.org/books/be-the-star-you-are/

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Discount Software, Digital content. Ebooks, Games: http://www.humblebundle.com/store?partner=1504&charity=1504

Shopping online? #StartWithaSmile at https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882 . Amazon donates to Be The Star You Are, Inc..

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Read our BTSYA Garden Newsletter: http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/672296/8417ebf8e3/288055965/329f30721c/

Show your support for your favorite nonprofit by making a generous donation. You will be making a huge difference in someone’s life! Be the Star You Are! is a TOP NON-PROFIT http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/profile2/be-the-star-you-are-inc surviving solely on individual donations. Show Your LOVE! https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

When you are looking for upbeat, life-changing, and mind-stretching information, you have come to the right place. Host Cynthia Brian takes you on a journey of exploration that will encourage, inspire, and motivate you to make positive changes that offer life-enhancing results. It’s party time on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®. And YOU are invited! Join us LIVE 4-5pm Pt on Wednesdays or tune in to the archives at your leisure. Come play in StarStyle Country. Catch up with all broadcasts on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/starstyle-be-the-star-you-are!/id669630180?mt=2

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Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

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Buy books by Cynthia Brian at http://www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store

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For photos, descriptions, links, archives, and more, visit http://www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Get inspired, motivated, and informed with StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®

Lend us Your Ears!!!

Embed StarStyle® Be the Star You Are!® Radio

If you are a fan of the authors, experts, celebrities, and guests that appear regularly on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® radio, you can now be sure to never miss an episode. Embed this code into your WordPress site or any site and you’ll always have Cynthia Brian and all of your favorite pioneers on the planet at your fingertips.  Upbeat, positive, life-changing talk radio broadcasting live each week since 1998. Lend us Your Ears. We are Starstyle®-Be the Star You Are!®

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Be the Star You Are!® charity. Every Season is for Giving  http://www.paypal.me/BetheStarYouAre

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

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Starstyle, Be the Star You Are, and Miracle Moments are registered trademarks of Cynthia Brian 

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Team Effectiveness, Brexit and Theresa May

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Team Effectiveness, Brexit and Theresa May

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This blog is a guest post by Simon Mac Rory as a companion to the November, 27 Voice America interview where he talks about his latest book, Wake-up and Smell the Coffee: An Imperative for Teams.

While writing my recent book “Wake up and smell the coffee – the imperative of teams” all around me was the Brexit discussion. I could not pick up a news feed and not see something on the negotiations in terms of the UK position, the EU position and the Irish question. I must admit, despite a keen interest in the outcome, both as business person and an EU/Irish national living in the UK, I remain in a confused state as to what is happening. I cannot make head nor tail of the UK position!

Observing the UK Brexit team and the confused narrative that emerges, I got to wondering how effective are they as a team? Do they have the capability for success? Brexit is such a critical issue for the UK overall and can even be viewed as the greatest existential threat to the UK since World War II, if the negotiations are not a success.

To be effective there are a number of critical issues that teams need to address. If they can improve on these through their own efforts, they can drive their overall effectiveness substantially. I define team effectiveness as – “The ability of a work team to be successful and produce the intended results. For the team, success is achieving the results, but effectiveness is about capability for success.”

I have attempted to map the Brexit team to the factors and criteria for an effective team. These are my views and generated as a distant observer (as I can only be). What do others think – does Theresa May and her Brexit team have the capabilities for success? The model I use is displayed below and is comprised of six factors. Each factor in turn contains two criteria that impact team effectiveness. In the table that follows I have given a brief definition of each criteria and my opinion of the Brexit team in relation to same.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a reader of this blog and listener to the interviews, please consider enrolling in one of the innovative leadership online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching through our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills.

About the Author

Simon Mac Rory is a specialist in team development. He works with senior staff leaders to help them discover that edge to becoming a truly high performing team. Over his 30-year career he has worked globally with a blue-chip client base in both the private and public sectors.

He founded The ODD Company in 2011 to deliver TDP (a cloud-based team development tool and methodology) to the international markets. Simon
operates the business from London with a Dublin-based development and support office.

Simon received a doctoral degree for his work on the application of generic frameworks in organizational development and is a Visiting Research Fellow at Nottingham Business School.

Follow Simon on Twitter @SimomMacRory

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