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Being An Ally Against Racism

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Being An Ally Against Racism

As we watch the Black Lives Matter movement unfold in the wake of George Floyd’s death and that of others, some in the press and others whose names will not be remembered by the masses, we want to offer a blog that provides actions we can each take to be an ally against racism. Each of us has a role to play to eliminate systemic racism. No step is too small when we are touching the lives of our neighbors, friends, and the precious people who are hurt and hurting. Again, no constructive action is too small. Maureen Metcalf, Founder of the Innovative Leadership Institute, is the author of this post. The Institute and all of its team members and partners are personally committed to making an impact.

Earlier this month, we joined many in the local community by signing a letter urging Columbus City Council to support a now-passed resolution declaring racism to be a public health crisis in our city.

As leaders, we play a pivotal role in many organizations. We are responsible for the culture and systems that define our companies and inform our employees’ actions.

Educate Yourself – Listen to podcasts and research systemic racism to learn more about bias and how successful leaders overcome the impact it causes.

  1. Understand key terminology and activities:
    1. The protests are not about looting and rioting; it’s a global movement to bring awareness to systemic racism, police brutality, disproportionate murders of ethnicities in handcuffs while in police custody, and societal discriminations that impact the mental and emotional health for people of color.
    2. Supporting the movement does not mean that a person condones violence against cops, it means that ‘someone’ has an awareness of societal issues that are meaningful for humanity and people within society.
    3. Defunding the Police does not mean eliminating all police forces, it supports divesting some funds from police departments and reallocating them to non-police forms of public safety, such as social services and other community resources. At its best, it will look at the issues our communities face through a holistic lens and determine which organizations are best able to address the issues and how to collaborate to improve outcomes for all members of the community such as providing mental health and rehabilitation support where this is a more effective approach than incarceration. These are complex issues that will not be solved quickly. The current protests are shining a light on the opportunity and a mandate to do better.
  2. Listen to the Voice America show – Implicit Bias – What You Don’t See Hurts You! (1-hour radio show) Dr. Rebecca Heiss discusses how Implicit bias creates a disadvantage for leaders and their organizations. We would like listeners to have a clearer understanding of what implicit bias is and how it impacts each of us. As leaders, we need to understand and manage implicit biases because it impacts our hiring choices, promotion and succession decisions, and our policies. To hire and retain top talent, we need to remove bias from the decision-making process as much as possible.
  3. Listen to Voice America show – Winning In The Face of Adversity: Overcoming Challenge with Grace. (1-hour radio show) In a time when people are sharing more of their struggles, we talk to Congress Woman Beatty and Doug McCollough about their struggle and, more importantly, how they navigated those struggles so that she could make their most significant impact on the world. Congresswoman Beatty not only overcame, but she also changed the people’s view of what it was to be a successful black woman, and she mentored women to make sure the pipeline behind her was strong. The country was better because of all facets of her service! She talks about how helping women succeed helps America succeed. She serves as a role model for inclusion globally by serving with grace and decorum! Doug shares how his focus on inclusion is expanding the field of employees working in technology in central Ohio. Through his board work as well as his work as CIO, he is creating a pipeline that allows unemployed people to get trained and find technology jobs. He is helping build the system that will close this gap long term!
  4. Listen to Increasing Inclusion To Drive Results and Build a Better World (1-hour radio show) Troy Mosley discussed his newly released book: Unwritten Truce: The Armed Forces and American Social Justice. Inclusion is an excellent organizational practice. The global market is diverse. Having a diverse workforce is a strategic advantage because it provides a greater ability to understand various segments of their consumer base and develop products and services that will better resonate with these segments, therefore, driving better results and higher impact. In for-profit businesses – it drives higher and more sustainable profits. Troy talks about his journey as a man of African American heritage and his recommendations to increase inclusion and results. In addition to his story, Troy and Maureen discuss the challenges and recommendations to increase inclusion and address the recent challenges surfacing as the “Me Too” movement and many others. Leaders must create an environment that promotes a healthy environment!
  5. Systemic racism explained (4.53 min video)
  6. Gratefulness.org Resources for Unlearning and Transforming Racism

Manage Yourself – once you listen to the interview about bias, ask yourself:

  1. Where am I bias?
  2. How is that bias hurting others?
  3. What can I change?
  4. Who will be my change accountability partner?

Discuss with colleagues – begin having the real discussion about your experience and the choices you would like to make going forward:

  1. How do I feel about my life experience?
  2. How have I participated in the current system?
  3. How do I feel about my involvement? (This is a complex question for many people who understand they have benefited from the current system of inequity)
  4. What is my commitment going forward to be part of the changes?
  5. Who will hold me to account for this commitment?

Support Others – take action that reduces the problem. We each have a role to play. While we certainly need policy changes and significant shifts, all of us also need to take small steps – we must do what is “ours to do”.

  1. Mentor – identify a person who is interested in being mentored and offer to provide that mentoring. Mentoring works both ways, as a mentor, you have the opportunity to learn about the life experience of people who have traveled a different journey than you. Use the opportunity to understand and advocate!
  2. Volunteer – identify needs that you can uniquely fill. The beauty of volunteering is you don’t need money or education, you can help a neighbor or a stranger. You can engage in a structured program like those advocated by Black Tech 614 or volunteer for Meals On Wheels or other programs that support people who need support (the point is to help others in times of need). Studies show that volunteering gives the volunteer a health boost and increases resilience.
  3. Research how you spend – support minority-owned businesses.  While most of us will continue to shop for staples from big box stores, we can also allocate some of our spending to local businesses, black-owned businesses, and minority businesses. We proudly partner with Hire-Direction and strongly recommend their services. HIRE DIRECTION is a data-driven career, talent, and workforce solutions provider dedicated to helping both organizations and aspiring professionals solve the job fit equation and optimize career development. The breakthrough map of the Talent Genome and next-generation talent DNA mapping technology connects people, talent, and careers to the right jobs in a brand-new way.  The Hire-Directions system helps individuals find, maintain, and advance along the best career path, while helping organizations acquire, develop, and retain the best talent with the least risk. Just as doing what is yours to do means making choices within your sphere of control, we at ILI are making partnering decisions with Mark Palmer because his assessment is the best we have seen in the market! I am not making a recommendation because it is politically correct, I have recommended this assessment for years. My recommendation is to know who does the best work and buy from minority and black-owned businesses when possible.
  4. Hire black employees. It can be harder to identify and hire black and minority employees. When people have been systematically overlooked, they do not show up in the standard search. Go the extra step to ensure you are identifying a diverse slate of interview candidates. I realize this takes additional effort.
  5. Create support systems to allow you to retain candidates after you hire them. Support could mean data-driven appraisal systems to ensure everyone is rated fairly and bias is minimized. It could include creating employee resource groups. Each organization will differ as will each group of employees. There is no prescription. When in doubt, ask, communicate, demonstrate care for your team.

 

Here are more actionable items that were shared on LinkedIn by BlackTech614 – Columbus, Ohio:

A Call to Action

For organizations and individuals who are motivated to act in the interest of Black People and their communities through technology-based skills and opportunities, we offer these positive, peaceful, and proactive commitments.

Help Us Adopt a School

The gaps that slow economic progress show up in schools first. Greater access to high-quality teacher training, technology devices, broadband, mentors, and skill development activities will help our schools close the digital divide for students and their families. With your financial support and organizational partnership, we will work with TECH CORPS to bring much-needed resources into a school in Columbus.

Help Black Founders Get Access to Capital

Black founders are disproportionately creating employment and wealth opportunities in historically Black communities and with Black Men and Women. Many struggle to access traditional venture capital, private equity, and loans due to systemic barriers and biases. We will work with The Columbus Minority Business Assistance Center at the Columbus Urban League Huntington Empowerment Center as well as BLK hack, to connect innovators with capital.

Help Black Men and Women Get Second Chances to Build a Stable Income

A significant number of productive years are wasted from the lives of some Black Men and Women due to an inability to secure job opportunities after a misdemeanor or felony conviction. Increasing the number of adults with stable incomes raises community stability, lowers crime, and increases opportunities to build wealth. We will work with Honest Jobs to sponsor, promote, and participate in a series of events to aid Columbus companies in changing their hiring practices so that Black Men and Women, who are disproportionately affected by criminal justice inspired barriers to full employment, gain new opportunities to build stable incomes.

Help Adults From Underserved Communities Get Access to Marketable Tech Skills    

In the context of wealth creation and economic justice, the ability to acquire an accredited undergraduate college degree is not an indicator of hard work, discipline, or future performance. It is a reflection of privilege, opportunity, and luck. Some of the most tenacious, resilient, and productive adults are those with a nontraditional path. Yet, the college degree remains a career barrier to otherwise qualified and motivated people, that often divides our society along old lines of race and class. We will work with nonprofits like Per Scholas and Jewish Family Services, and for profit bootcamps, to extend training opportunities to members of deserving communities for in-demand tech skills and connect them to the jobs they become qualified to fill.

Help Deserving People Get Interim Opportunities to Gain Great New Careers Through Apprenticeships

You can’t get the job without experience. You can’t get the experience without the job. This used to be a problem that enterprising young people had to think their way through. However, in an age of rapidly shifting skill sets, the devastation of whole industries from automation, and the extraordinary economic opportunity presented to many companies if they can just find the skilled workforce, this is no laughing matter. We will work with Apprenti, and other facilitated apprenticeship organizations, to match candidates to paid apprenticeships in technology organizations to dramatically shift the workforce disruption equation in our region.

Since its founding, Black Tech Columbus has become a nexus of relationships in the Central Ohio technology community, especially among diverse technology interests. We are in a unique position to connect corporate resources to higher education to nonprofits to startups to government. We can make an impact in each of these areas with strong allies and your generous financial support. As our community eventually emerges from the pain of processing our collective anger over recent events that have laid bare the reality of the gaps we are experiencing, we will need to apply ourselves to building a better reality than the one we are rejecting.

Black Tech Columbus is seeking to lead and partner in these areas: coalescing around education, wealth creation, restoring income opportunity, accessing training, and bridging experience building.

For those organizations who are motivated to make an impact among Black Men, Women, their Families, and their Communities, this is our agenda.

We’re Here.

 

Beyond the Black Tech 614 call to action, The Innovative Leadership Institute would like to recommend resources to educate yourself as well as sharing the information about one of our ILI Team Members and his Business, Hire-Direction.

For all those people taking an active role in learning, discussing, peacefully protesting, and making changes, we applaud you. For those ready to act but unsure what to do, we invite you to take action on one or more of the recommendations in this blog. We encourage you to share what you are doing with us and we will post some of your comments.

 

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 Albert Rafael

The 7 Transformations in Vertical Leadership Development

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Business
The 7 Transformations in Vertical Leadership Development

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This blog is provided by Antoinette Braks, Thought Leader in Vertical Leadership Development and Author of Executive Coaching in Strategic Holistic Leadership. It is a companion to her interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled Transformative Executive Coaching in Strategic Holistic Leadership on June 16th, 2020.

 

There are seven key transformations in executive leadership capacity in the world today. They form the progressive stages in adult maturity or Vertical Development, in contrast to horizontal learning that takes place within a stage. The seven transformations are:

  1. Opportunist
  2. Conformist (Diplomat)
  3. Specialist (Expert)
  4. Achievist (Achiever)
  5. Catalyst (Individualist)
  6. Synergist (Strategist)
  7. Alchemist (Constructivist – Alchemist)   

The stages of development form a holarchy where the strengths of each stage are incorporated in the following stage. As we progress through these stages of development we gradually release our shadow or personal reactive patterns based on the ego’s sense of insecurity and feeling “not good enough.”  As we develop our leadership capacity, we grow in terms of perception, consciousness and perspective, and gradually embrace all of who we are with awareness, understanding, kindness, compassion and wisdom.

The stages of vertical leadership development were successively developed by three pioneering scientists: Jane Loevinger, Susanne Cook-Greuter and Terri O’Fallon. The descriptions of the stages is based on my studies with Susanne and Terri and Bill Torbert, and my decade of coaching experience explicitly focused on later stage vertical development for strategic divisional leaders. Let’s look at each stage in turn.

The Opportunist

The Opportunist is concerned with survival and security, Maslow’s first two needs. They are self-interested, relatively isolated and will get away with whatever they can. They operate on a day-by-day or minute-by-minute basis without a care for consequences. Their view of the world is that it is unsafe and everyone else is assumed to be an enemy. They play only to their own advantage.

The Opportunist is deceptive and manipulative. They are the executives who steal your ideas without recognizing their source, who always blame others when things go wrong, and seem to be unavailable when immediate help is needed. They will also attack first in order to defend themselves when feeling threatened and are completely adverse to feedback.

The Opportunist lives in fear, trusts no one and operates largely in fight, flight or freeze mode. This view of the world is their Autopilot. In 1995 some 4% of the Executive population were anchored at Opportunist, although this proportion has since reduced to 0%. Whenever our safety and security is threatened in the succeeding stages, it is relatively easy to regress back to the level of the Opportunist and resolve our situation based on self-interest alone.

The Conformist

The Conformist decides to play it safe. While they still view the world as a very challenging place to be, they believe that if they abide by all the rules and do what people in higher authority ask or tell them to do, they will be safe. They conform. They are risk averse and will only take action if instructed to do so. Most will also need a step-by-step approach mapped out for them. Their level of voluntary participation is relatively low.

In complying, Conformists give away their personal authentic power to positional authority. This leads to a sense of personal ineptitude that moves them to complain. In other words, when we give our personal power away to comply with others, we address this imbalance by complaining about others. If you know anyone in your workplace who complains a lot, they will be operating from a Conformist mindset. Around 10% of the Executive population are anchored at Conformist although there are very few anchored at this stage in organisations that invest in leadership development. It is a common fallback position for succeeding levels when under stress.

Conformists use reactive emotional strategies to get what they want. The three key strategies are appeasing others by being nice and bending over backwards to fit in – usually towards more senior people; controlling others by criticising, berating and offending others – usually towards more junior people; or otherwise withdrawing from people altogether by avoiding all communication and even eye contact.

All are unconscious emotionally manipulative techniques that produce workplace drama in the form of passive-aggressive behaviour manifesting in bullies and victims. We subconsciously base our boss-subordinate and peer-based interpersonal strategies on those we employed to get what we wanted as a child within the comparable context of parent-child and sibling dynamics.

The Specialist

The Specialist devotes themselves to their work. They wish to develop their skills, perfect their craft and focus on the details to get everything absolutely right. They switch their primary focus from being compliant and fitting in, to standing out through the course of their work. They are experts in their field and strong contributors dotting i’s and crossing t’s for as long as it takes to get something perfect. They can make up some 38% of the Executive population (1995) but this proportion too has dropped to under 10% in deliberately developmental organisations.

Specialists largely work individually and are focused on the quality of their work and mastery of their craft. They will drill down to the detail and ensure complete accuracy taking a perfectionist rather than pragmatic approach. A micro-manager is typically operating at the Specialist mindset. Their personal identity merges with their work so they take feedback very personally. They tend to be emotionally reactive on the receiving end of constructive feedback and emotionally responsive to recognition and praise.

While the reactive behaviours are still present, they are now more associated with their work than trapped within the power struggle of the endemic parent-child and sibling dynamics. They are driven by the need to perfect their work, which is a quantum step up the spiral from Conformist. Focusing on increasing the quality of our own work based on our own albeit critical view of self and others, leads to continuous improvement.

The Achiever

The Achiever is a pragmatist rather than a perfectionist. Their goal is “fit for purpose” rather than perfect. The Achiever begins to consider how their work meets the needs of colleagues, customers and clients. Their focus extends to the impact of their work rather than just the work itself. They are open to feedback on their work, can manage change, drive projects, meet deadlines, produce results and heed the customer.

Achievers also shift from working individually to working effectively with others as team players. They enjoy being in the driving seat and driving initiatives forward. They are competitive, strong performers, will do what it takes to win and enjoy the glow of success. Achievers can also be very black and white. This enables them to be decisive and proactive albeit somewhat shortsighted compared to more advanced stages of development when life becomes shades of grey.

Customer-centric organisations adopt an Achiever mindset by creating feedback loops and generating team accountability for customer interactions and the customer experience. The introduction of scorecards to drive results and address gaps in performance supports the Achiever’s competitive, capitalist worldview.

In the mind of the Achiever, the world is made up of winners and losers and their primary focus is to strive for more. This keeps them on the treadmill of doing more, wanting more and getting more. What they have is never enough. This vicious cycle is extremely stressful!

In 1995 they made up some 33% of the Executive population. The proportion peaked at 60% in organisations investing in stage development (2005) and is now dropping as more executives develop their leadership capacity at the later post-conventional level of Catalyst.

The Conventional World

Opportunists, Conformists, Specialists and Achievers are all mindsets in the conventional world. In 1995, 78% of a sample of 4,510 adults in the US held a conventional mindset (Cook-Greuter); in 2005 this was down to 70%, and in 2015, at 59% (Harthill Consulting, PwC) albeit their population sample is drawn from organisations actively investing in stage leadership development. Achievers work extremely well in the world.

However at these stages of leadership development or conscious awareness, we are not able to work on the world. We are not able to introduce and sustain transformational change that will create a better world. To do this we must make the shift to post-conventional later stages of leadership capacity. While this “new” world is uncertain and ambiguous, by developing our conscious capacity to navigate and transcend the chaos, we are able to redeem peace of mind, restore personal wellbeing and build the world anew.

The percentage of Catalysts is growing at the rate of approximately 10% in each of the last two decades. At this stage, we begin to navigate our world with a view to creating change but this novel capacity does not manifest fully until the following stage of Synergist. Only Synergists have been found to have the capacity to lead sustainable transformation in an organisation (Rooke and Torbert) and their numbers have only inched up slowly from 5% to 8% in the last 20 years.

It would seem that the container of the organisation can support the Catalyst mode of diverse open engagement, yet still inhibits the presence of Synergist leadership that can bring about real transformational and sustainable change. Thus a greater investment in leadership development that liberates Synergist capacity is essential to reinvent the organisation, the collective, at the corresponding evolutionary levels of green and teal (Laloux).

The Achiever tends to be very hesitant before they make the leap into what appears to them to be the great unknown. They must make the shift from the external world to their inner world. At this point the guidance and encouragement of a later stage Coach is invaluable to them. Indeed I would go as far as to say that Executive Coaching in Leadership Development with a Strategist or Alchemist Coach is essential to ease this shift and also a powerful investment by organisations that genuinely wish to foster global sustainable shared prosperity and community wellbeing.

The Catalyst

The Catalyst is the first post-conventional stage. It represents a leap into a new growth zone and an unfamiliar world. At the individuation phase of the Specialist we were focused on perfecting our work. At the individuation phase of the Catalyst we are focused on understanding ourselves: our thoughts and feelings, motives and fears, reactions and responses, and our deepest desires and aspirations. We ask existential questions: “Why?” “Why am I here?” and “What is the meaning of life?”

At Catalyst, we move into our personal growth zone where growing and evolving becomes our natural way of being. Even though the challenges we encounter along the way may be unfamiliar and disconcerting, for the participant, life is forever enriched. We shift from being satisfied with a life based on cause and effect to feeling our way forward in the world despite uncertainty in order to lead a more purposeful and fulfilling life based on conscious intention and committed action.

Catalysts are focused on engaging others, igniting change and working across boundaries. Their focus turns from the impact of their work on customers and clients to the input into the design and nature of the work itself through active early genuine engagement with all stakeholders. They are attuned to leveraging strengths, fueling personal growth and collaborating with others in order to exercise mutual power to co-create the best possible outcomes for the whole community.

The capacity to genuinely innovate and collaborate is initiated at Catalyst. At this mindset the inner world of the individual becomes more important than the external world within which they operate. In other words they heed their intuition and feelings to make decisions and generate new insights and ideas. They also listen from a much deeper place of inquiry and can therefore create a deeper connection with others and develop the ability to build real trust with others.

Many words beginning with “in” are associated with the Catalyst worldview: insight, innovation, intrinsic, innate, inquiry, introspection, intricate, inclusive, inquisitive, interest, intimacy, intuition and inspiration.

The Synergist

Executives anchored at Synergist still number just 8% today, even in organisations investing significantly in leadership development. At this point in their journey of increasing expanding consciousness, they have become self-aware and other-aware and have the ability to be discerning and self-validating. They do not seek approval or permission from others. They have developed strength of character and their integrity is evident.

Synergists have the vision, courage and presence to generate and sustain transformational change (Torbert, 1998). They have adopted the mantle of personal authentic power in the interests of serving their whole community and not just selected interest groups. This represents a shift from ‘not good enough’ at Conformist, looking good at Specialist, doing well at Achiever, doing good at Catalyst and onto focusing on the greater good for all concerned at Synergist, now and in the longer-term future.

When led by a Synergist, the organisation shifts from being customer-centric to community-centric. It succeeds in achieving medium-to-long term sustainable outcomes that make a real, significant and beneficial impact on the people they serve and affect now and in the future. They generate a new world through their convictions and intentions, living by their principles and in tune with their life purpose while embracing others with compassion and enthusiasm.

The mature Synergist is an authentic, inspiring and strategic leader. They lead confidently from the ‘inside-out’. They are able to consistently stand and hold their ground while holding a nurturing space for the emergence of a transformed world. They are extremely mindful, highly considered and passionately articulate in their advocacy for a better world and are able to take purposeful action in the moment to raise conscious awareness and liberate the emergence of latent potential across the organisation and amongst all stakeholders.

The Alchemist

The final stage that can be observed and calibrated in the post-conventional world is the Alchemist. They number 1%. The Alchemist can have a far-reaching impact on their world. They are the iconic leaders who ignite and generate social evolution as well as transform global industries. Illustrious figures such as Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson and Anita Roddick would appear to have realised their potential as Alchemists. However there are also Alchemists who are amazingly effective behind the scenes in niche markets and uniquely tailored roles such as executive coaching!

The Alchemist embodies their own intuitive guidance and employs mutually collaborative power to generate transformational shifts in the world that respect common humanity and all of life. They are able to hold and embrace wonderful future possibilities while standing firmly in the present and being cognisant of all that has preceded and led to the current situation. They look at events symbolically and value both the shadow and the light in the psychodynamics of common human interactions.

The Alchemist has released the shadow of the ego through grief and forgiveness, and surrendered their personal will to be an instrument in the divine orchestra on earth. They live to evolve in tune with the cosmos listening into the dark and the deep recesses of their soul’s voyage in life. They feel free to be uniquely themselves, liberated from any social or cultural conventions, and can feel both delighted and tormented as they perceive, attend to and process the vast cacophony of thought and emotion that swirls around them. They are able to be fully vulnerable yet vitally alive and vigorous as they give their conscious, compassionate attention to the dynamic interplay in each and every moment to exercise wisdom in action.

The Post-Conventional World

We need the perspective of the Synergist and Alchemist to navigate our way through the interconnected global crises we face today. Only at these levels can leaders transcend the turmoil, cut through complexity, trust in emergence and transform and evolve the economic, education, health and environmental foundations of society today. We are being invited to generate a more sustainable, healthy and equitable world.

Until recently we thought it took 5 years of focused development to shift to later stages. However, we now know that an executive coaching program explicitly focused on vertical development to Synergist can expedite this vertical growth in just one year.

In my recent PhD Research Study 100% of the participants surprisingly and inspiringly all shifted a full stage in leadership development in a single year, most from Achiever to Catalyst. Two shifted two full stages to Synergist, and five went on to land at Synergist a little later. This is in direct contrast to the commonly held view that it takes several years to make a vertical shift to later stages of development.

The participants were all engaged in an Executive Coaching Program focused on strategic and holistic leadership development. In other posts I explain how 8 key drivers reflecting a blend of “outside-in” and“inside-out” coaching transcending conventional organisational operating norms and cultivated their latent, emergent potential as authentic, inspiring, strategic transformational, quantum leaders (Zohar).

The implication is the extent to which conventional operating norms are stunting our leadership development. To my mind there is not a dearth of leadership potential in most organisations today, there is simply a very tight lid on the container for growth. Instead of providing the opportunity for executives to become more aware of their role in the interplay of life and the freedom to express themselves more fully and make conscious decisions that will create a more sustainable, healthy and equitable world, organisations have become pressure cookers.

Organisations and political parties can make substantial gains from later stage executive coaching from the Synergist/Alchemist perspective. It is essential for senior executives and aspiring future leaders to transform their perspective on life and become fluent co-creators in shaping their organisation and the communities they serve. Post-conventional vertical leadership development enables us to realize our potential to generate an economic and social transformation, redeem peace of mind, restore shared wellbeing and renew our world so that we all thrive and flourish.

The higher our self-expression and the deeper our self-awareness, the richer our life experience and the greater our soul evolution. ~ Antoinette Braks

 

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

Antoinette Braks is a thought leader in Vertical Leadership Development and a Master Certified Executive Coach with greater than 3,500 coaching hours with over 250 strategic leaders from across the private and public sectors. She has a proven track record in expediting rapid shifts to later stages enabling strategic leaders and executive coaches to realise transformative outcomes. She is renowned for enabling executives to transcend the turmoil and cut through complexity, trust emergence and navigate uncertainty, and transform their world to spark ingenuity.

Antoinette’s expansive StageSHIFT coaching approach incorporates strategic systemic organisational leadership, evolution and transformation, and personal holistic leadership based on psychodynamics, reframing narrative and shadow resolution, while realising the highest aspirations in life, career and business.

Her corporate background includes C-suite leadership of People and Culture with Vector NZ during the merger integration of their gas and electricity businesses, Director of Strategic Culture Transformation at Businesslink NSW Australia and Regional Strategic HR Management with Shell International Latin America and Africa. Antoinette also led Leadership Capital Solutions for Korn Ferry Asia Pacific and consulted with Hudson Talent.

As well as a Master Executive Coach, Antoinette is a strategic facilitator, leadership consultant, coaching supervisor, and conference presenter. She presents at Coaching, Leadership and Integral Conferences to share her unique insights into the non-linear spiral nature of vertical leadership development to later stages e.g. the Spectrum Stage Shift, the 2-Step Square Dance and Vertical Development Theory based on her PhD research.

Her new book, Executive Coaching in Strategic Holistic Leadership: The Drivers and Dynamics in Vertical Development, will be published by McGraw Hill in May 2020.

Antoinette has an MBA from London Business School, has submitted her PhD thesis in Vertical Leadership Transformation, and studied the Oxford Brookes Professional Certificate of Advanced Study in Coaching Supervision.

Antoinette.Braks@Join-the-SHIFT.com

www.stageshift.coach

Photo by Markus Spiske

The Better Human Experience PART 2 SLEEP

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Health & Wellness

Sleep and rest, something we all know so much about, right?

Welcome to PART 2 of “The better Human Experience”. Or as we like to call it, things we should have learned in school.

I have done countless hours of research on both sleep and rest. If I’m honest I started doing the research so I could have something to support my not wanting to do either of these things. For many years I saw sleep as something that got in the way of my productivity, rest was just something I laughed at.
I’m sure there are many of you out there nodding your heads right now. Don’t get too excited. What I found through my many years of research and my own physical, mental, emotional trials and tribulations.

Sleep is essential to Leading a healthy life. Rest at appropriate times is the best way to set yourself up to sleep better!
As a matter of fact, these two things may be the most important things you can do for yourself. In a world that is still largely about being reactive instead of proactive, we are still having to find these things out for ourselves. Research shows that one of the worst segments in North America for lack of sleep is the medical field itself!( conventional that is) p.s. sleeping pills do not count. They give you the illusion that you are sleeping well, they cannot give you the proper sleep cycles that your body so desperately needs.

Imagine my frustration when I could no longer argue the benefits of my destructive lifestyle.
On today’s so we are talking to Dr. Nicholas Jensen, naturopath doctor out of Vancouver British Columbia Canada.
Please listen in and get some tips on how to take care of yourself.

For those of you that have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep once you are there.
If you are worried about your memory.
Believe you never dream.
Feel like you could fall back asleep a few hours after you have just woken up?
Want to talk about your teenagers sleeping habits?…
Please contact us at know BS talk.
Sleep hygiene is a specialty for some obvious and some not so obvious reasons.

Many years later I am very protective of my sleep and the side benefits have been shocking to say the least. Issues I suffered from that I thought were just genetic or something I was just going to have to live with.
Please don’t let something as simple (yet difficult) as lack of sleep get in your way.
We are here to support you or find someone that can.

Embrace Abundance!

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Empowerment
Embrace Abundance!

cynthia in pink.jpg

Attract the Right Job Or Clientele:

NOTE: Cynthia Brian, Be the Star You Are! Founder and Executive Director, provides today’s post, The Gift of Abundance.

The Gift of Abundance Excerpted  from Be the Star You Are! 99 Gifts for Living, Loving, Laughing, and Learning to Make a Difference By Cynthia Brian.  Buy copies at https://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store .

Cynthia is a New York Times best-selling author of several books, TV/Radio personality/producer, lecturer, and enrichment coach specializing in acting, media, writing, speaking, and life success.

Cynthia is the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® The mission is to empower women, families, and youth through increased literacy, improved positive media messages, and skills for living. Since 1998 she has produced and hosted the weekly upbeat, lifestyle international radio broadcast, StarStyle® (www.StarStyleradio.com and she produces the young adult radio show, Express Yourself!™ for the Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel. Cynthia writes for magazines, newspapers, and on-line sites. In her spare time, Cynthia can be found working in her garden or playing with her barnyard of adopted animals.

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Cynthia’s Story: Do You Believe In The Gift Of Abundance?

I grew up on a farm, the eldest of five children. Our parents taught us specific values: hard work, loyalty to family and friends, responsibility, and keeping our word. We learned to be independent and self-sufficient. Although we had few possessions and even less money, we were content in our simple, natural surroundings. I can’t imagine a better upbringing for a child.

Our playground was vineyards, hills, and dales. Our companions were horses, cows, sheep, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs, and cats. As we hiked the mountains and paddled the creeks, we pretended we were explorers discovering new worlds. We had caves in which to hide. The mustard fields were our dollhouses. We drove tractors, plowed fields, and picked fruit until our hands were raw. The nearest neighbor children lived two miles away, so our life was mostly within our family. Without much money, we believed we were living the gift of abundance.

Work hard, dream hard, laugh hard, live abundantly.

Every season brought new adventures and excitement—preparing the vegetable garden in spring, going on camping trips in the summer, hayrides and harvest festivals in the fall.  I have fond memories of enjoying the warming fires and holiday magic of winter. Life on the farm was fun, challenging, hard work, and full of promise.

We didn’t have fancy clothes.  We did have a pair of Levis, a pair of boots, a couple of shirts, a school uniform, and a Sunday church outfit. Twice a year, at Christmas and Easter, our Auntie Cleo would take us shopping and buy us a new outfit. These were thrilling excursions. I learned to sew in high school so that I could have a bigger wardrobe. Since I was the oldest, my sisters inherited my hand-me-downs. We always felt another gift of abundance; our family.  We were surrounded by delicious, homegrown food, a close-knit family, plenty of trees, and land to roam. We were truly rich in spirit, if not in money.

The Power Of Belief

From my first awareness, I knew I was important. I grew up believing that I had the power to achieve anything I ever wanted.  Of course, it meant I was willing to work diligently to get it. It never occurred to me that I could or should be handed something free simply because I wanted it.

Yes, I am an optimist. My glass is always half full, even when it’s filled with bitter medicine. My life has been a rose garden, albeit with lots of thorns and tragedies. As a child, I almost died of encephalitis. Many people I have loved died at an early age from accidents or illnesses. My youngest brother was crushed and killed when a tractor on our farm turned over on him when he was sixteen. My gentle grandfather was killed while mowing his lawn when a tree toppled over on a windless day. And, my hero, my Dad, died from a rare cancer at a young age.

Because of these experiences and many more, I have learned that our most significant failing is not to follow our dreams, not to sing our song. I admit that living expansively and exuberantly isn’t always easy. Sorrow and pain make us want to contract and withdraw, not expand and excel. We live well only when we embrace the following fact.  The very fragility, pathos, and unpredictability of life make every moment precious.

Embrace The Gift Of Abundance

I aim to persuade, push, and compel you to live every minute fully and consciously. We never know how many chances we’ll have to “get it right.” Life is finite. The drive seen in my mission is due to my agony in dealing with loss.  I have learned that pain, suffering, emptiness, and loneliness are an important part of the human experience. Everyone, rich or poor, weak or powerful, endures these emotions. We are here on earth to learn, laugh, cry, feel love and pain, and to be. Most important, we are here to live and make a difference. Part of getting it right is getting it wrong. We are not the same, but we are all one.

Abundance is not about acquiring a luxury house, a fancy car, expensive clothes, and a jet-set lifestyle. Instead, the gift of abundance is about feeling that there is enough in life for everyone. My early years taught me that a sense of abundance goes far beyond material things. It spans our spiritual life, emotional stability, intellectual stimulation, and physical closeness to the earth.

Having abundance means having fresh air to breathe, clean water to drink, food in our stomachs, a roof overhead, somewhere to walk, and feel the beauty of nature. It includes someone to love and someone who loves you in return.  Other elements of abundance are laughter, learning, and the wealth of health. As children, the teaching is to be happy for another’s success, and to believe that there is abundance in all things. If someone else can achieve greatness, so can I. So can you.

We rarely lack abundance, just the ability to understand its meaning in the purest form. The world is a place of emotional and spiritual plenty. Abbondanza, as my mother always said in Italian. Notice and be grateful for everything you have. The gift of abundance is everyone, everywhere, everything.

The 3 Step Exercise: Abbondanza
  1. Shut your eyes. Imagine in vivid detail everything you feel you need to have a fulfilled life. Your list will be unique to you. It can include loving relationships, children, animals, a home to live in, food on the table, clothing, a car, enjoyable work, and so forth. Once you see yourself surrounded by everything you need, add some of the things you want.
  2. Open your eyes, get out your pen, and make three columns: “What I need,” “What I want,” and “What I have.”
  3. Every day, write down the things that you give thanks for: sunrises, beautiful gardens, a pillow on which to lay your head. Recognize the gift of abundance around you. Tell yourself frequently, “I have abundance in all things. There is enough to go around.”
Sales Tips: The Gift Of Abundance
  1. Assess where you are at and what makes you happy
  2. Expand the areas that bring a smile
  3. Use your knowledge to provide community support
  4. Welcome feedback to improve your endeavors
  5. Each evening analyze what you did well, and what needs improvement
  6. On a daily basis acknowledge your gift of abundance
  7. Even day revisit your goals to be inspired and move forward
  8. Each week review your accomplishments and set new goals for the following week
  9. Always revise and improve your strategy for tomorrow including upcoming job interviews.
  10. Celebrate Success!

Read the interview at https://smoothsale.net/do-you-believe-in-the-gift-of-abundance/

 

Gigantosaurus: Dino Tales * Excellent Animation, Fun Characters, Really Good Lessons

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Interviews
Gigantosaurus: Dino Tales * Excellent Animation, Fun Characters, Really Good Lessons

Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu are four young dinosaurs growing up in the Cretaceous period. Life is always an adventure: new volcanoes are popping up all the time, long-necked brachiosauruses and enormous triceratopses roam free, meteor showers light up the night sky and the big bad Gigantosaurus reigns over it all! On this exciting DVD, join Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu as they explore the world of Cretacia. Embark on a mission to help find a lost egg s missing parents. Join the four friends as they venture out on a sleepover at the lake and camp among the herds in the desert. The adventures don t end there! Race with Mazu to see a once-in-a-lifetime comet and join Bill as he becomes invisible during a game of hide and seek. Enjoy these adventures and more with our Dino pals! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “I like the Gigantosaurus Dino Tales DVD because it is very entertaining and funny.  This show amuses younger children as well as older children like me.” Bailey Rae F., adds, “What stands out in these animated episodes are the minute details of each dinosaur and the positive relationship between the four characters. The dinosaurs are very distinguished so that the viewer can determine their various types. The lead character Rocky pretends to be very brave, but his friend assures him that it’s okay to have fears. The character Bill shows his loyalty as a friend. Mazu and Tiny are committed to their friendship. It’s also fun that the dinosaurs have human-like qualities, making them anthropomorphic.” Arjun N. wraps it up with, “The animation is easily the most impressive feature here. The character models appear swiftly, and the environments fully capture the Cretaceous aesthetic. The episodic plots follow similar patterns, and the characters lack distinct personalities. The antagonists are all juvenile bullies. Granted this show is made for preschoolers, so this will not be as obvious to them as it is to an older viewer such as me. “The Island” is the one episode that really stands out for me, featuring a touching plot about friendship as Bill helps Rocky face his fear of swimming.” See their full reviews below.

 

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Gigantosaurus Dino Tales
By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

https://youtu.be/vzRXFajEy_Y

I like the Gigantosaurus Dino Tales DVD because it is very entertaining and funny.  This show amuses younger children as well as older children like myself.

This DVD is a compilation of eight funny episodes with each episode a duration of 11 minutes approximately.  The episodes do not follow a sequence.  Each one has its individual story line. This DVD is about four “dino” friends, named Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu, who explore the world of Cretacia, where they live and make missions along the way.  This show is very entertaining for young audience, keeping their attention their entire time.

The graphics are very bright and colorful.  I especially like the jungle background.  The voice-over talents suit each character.  The music is appealing, especially the theme song.  The episodes are short and interesting.  My favorite episode is “Mazu’s Comet,” which is about Mazu wanting to see a comet with his name, because he is actually named after the comet.  This is a special day for him because the comet only passes by every 100 hundred years.  He makes a telescope, but the lens of the telescope breaks, so he scavenges to find a new lens in the desert.  He only has a limited time to get back to the mountain to watch the comet.  Finally, he finds the lens he needs but he gets distracted by another dinosaur in need of assistance and forgets all about the lens that he needs to see this special comet.  He travels back without the lens and keeps helping more fellow dinosaurs along the way.  When he finally arrives at the mountain he realizes that he forgot his lens. All the dinosaurs that Mazu helped along the way help him get his lens back and Mazu watches the comet successfully. My favorite character is Rocky because he is very adventurous dinosaur.

The moral of this DVD is that “teamwork makes the dream work,” while having fun together.  There is nothing like having a strong bond with our closest best friends to experience adventures together while exploring our surroundings or hometown.

I give Gigantosaurus Dino Tales DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults can watch this DVD with their children as well.  This DVD is available now so look for it!

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Gigantosaurus: Dino Tales

By Bailey Rae Fenderson, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

https://youtu.be/NPxd3brMb7s

 

What I like about DVD is seeing all the characters of different types that all get along as great friends. I like how they work together as a team to solve problems. I also love the animation.

This DVD is a collection of episodes from the TV show by the same name. The story line is four young dinosaurs growing up in the Cretaceous period where there is a new adventure every day from volcanoes popping up, to meteor showers lighting up the night sky to all the various dinosaurs that you might run into at any time. The young dinosaurs, Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu invite the audience to join them in their adventures.

What stands out in these animated episodes are the minute details of each dinosaur and the positive relationship between the four characters. The dinosaurs are very distinguished so that the viewer can determine their various types. The lead character Rocky pretends to be very brave, but his friend assures him that it’s okay to have fears. The character Bill shows his loyalty as a friend. Mazu and Tiny are committed to their friendship. It’s also fun that the dinosaurs have human-like qualities, making them anthropomorphicThe message of this DVD is to demonstrate friendship, acceptance and compassion. The episodes focus on taking care of one another and being thoughtful. I learned to continue to value my friends and enjoy fun times together. I also learned how to pronounce some of the difficult names of dinosaurs.

I give Gigantosaurus: Dino Tales 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages w to 5. It is available now on DVD or digital, so look for it.

 

Gigantosaurus: Dino Tales
By Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

 

https://youtu.be/CkWJNMODGfU

 

 

Gigantosaurus: Dino Tales is an English dubbed collection of episodes from the titular French CGI-animated preschool series. Kids learning through early childhood education will find plenty of great messages and funny characters. Most of the episodes follow a repetitive structure, with a few standouts.

This anthology follows the adventures of Rocky (Dylan Schombling), Bill (Nicholas Holmes), Tinu (Aine Sunderland), and Mazu (Nahanni Mitchell) who are four young dinosaurs growing up in the Cretaceous period. Surrounding these tales is the overarching mysterious Gigantosaurus who helps them on a few adventures.

The four leads share great banter allowing for believable friendships. Keep in mind; they are all child actors who are slowly coming into their own. Dylan Schombling, as Rocky, is easily my favorite of the bunch overcompensating his masculinity towards his inner fears. His dynamic with Bill, voiced by Nicholas Holmes, is strongest with a touching episode addressing how he helps his friend face his fears. The dynamic between Tinu, Mazu and other pair-ups are not as strong, although Aine Sunderland and Nahanni Mitchell give charismatic performances.The animation is easily the most impressive feature here. The character models appear swiftly, and the environments fully capture the Cretaceous aesthetic. The episodic plots follow similar patterns, and the characters lack distinct personalities. The antagonists are all juvenile bullies. Granted this show is made for preschoolers, so this will not be as obvious to them as it is to an older viewer such as me.“The Island” is the one episode that really stands out for me, featuring a touching plot about friendship as Bill helps Rocky face his fear of swimming.

The message of this film is to always value friendships. All four of the dinosaurs have a great dynamic that revolves around trust and teamwork. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 7. This DVD is available now on DVD and digital so check it out.

 

 

 

Plant a Victory Garden 3.0

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Empowerment
Plant a Victory Garden 3.0

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https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1408/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Victory-Gardens-30.html

Digging Deep with Goddess Gardener, Cynthia Brian 

Victory Gardens 3.0

By Cynthia Brian 

“In every adversity there lies the seed of an equivalent advantage. In

every defeat is a lesson showing you how to win the victory next time.” Robert Collier, Writer and Publisher

In March 2017, a month before the United States entered World War I, Americans across our lands were asked to plant produce to help feed the Allies fighting in Europe. It wasn’t only farmers who were solicited to start planting. President Woodrow Wilson declared that “food will win the war,” as he encouraged city folks to plant in vacant lots, fields, parks, and pots. So began the “war garden” to sow seeds of victory. 

During World War II, food shortages prevailed once again. Victory Gardens sprouted throughout America, Europe, Canada, and Australia supplying over thirty-three percent of the necessary food for our country. Eleanor Roosevelt even dug up part of the White House lawn to plant a vegetable garden. Turnips, tomatoes, lettuce, peas, beets, beans, cabbages, carrots, squash, onions, potatoes, and many other vegetables were easy to grow and preserve by canning for the winter months. By 1943 there were approximately eighteen million Victory gardens throughout the United States, twelve million of them in cities, and six million in rural areas. 

Today we face major adversities from different kinds of conflicts. The Covid-19 pandemic combined with racial civil unrest throughout our cities, our country, and our world have the potential to increase food scarcity and shortages. We have already witnessed throngs of people emptying grocery store shelves of staples and canned goods. It is easier than ever to grow our own food no matter what our space limitations. If you have a yard, you can choose a small area to plant the vegetables, fruits, and herbs that you love. If you only have a porch or balcony, use pots to grow tomatoes, lettuces, basil, parsley, and peppers. According to the U.S.D.A., 15% of the world’s food supply is now grown in cities.

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Ready to get started?

FIRST

Only five things are needed to grow your Victory Garden 3.0: 

  1. 1. A patch of land, raised bed, or pots that are two gallons or larger
  2. 2. Bags of high-quality garden soil
  3. 3. Healthy plants
  4. 4. Mulch
  5. 5. Water

SECOND

  1. 1. Find an area that will get at least six hours of sunlight per day.
  2. 2. If you are working a patch or raised bed, pull out any weeds and prepare the ground by adding new garden soil. If using pots, wash the pots, make certain there is a drainage hole at the bottom, add a few pebbles, or cracked pottery to help with drainage and fill the pots with your purchased soil. Vegetables need organic matter including compost or manure to thrive because the organic matter decomposes the essential nutrients of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium to enrich the roots. 
  3. 3. Buy healthy plants from your local nursery or garden center. Check for vibrant green leaves. Look for any insect or snail infestation. Plant according to instructions.
  4. 4. Top with peat moss or other mulch. Peat moss adds aeration, retains moisture, and reduce the leaching of the nutrients. It is a great mulch and can also increase the efficiency in a compost pile.
  5. 5. Water thoroughly and maintain moisture while growing.
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Before planting your Victory Garden 3.0, research the maturity date for the crops you wish to grow as harvest dates vary greatly. If you plant from seeds, you’ll have lettuce and radishes within two weeks. If you are planting zucchini or corn, the time frame is longer, perhaps 100 days. Don’t overlook a nutritious staple that is super easy to grow…potatoes.  Spuds are ready for eating in 70-100 days. Try cutting egg-sized pieces of a potato with two or three eyes. Plant in a two to five-gallon pot, bucket, or in a raised bed. Mound the dirt into little hills as the spuds grow on stems. Pile mulch or straw on top as the tubers grow to keep the stems in total darkness. Don’t eat green potatoes as they can be poisonous. Citrus, apples, and peaches can be planted in large containers.

We are living through a frightening, complicated international crisis. If we have learned any lesson from history, it is that we can win the victory when we work together with empathy, caring, and intelligence. Growing even a portion of our own food will help us be healthier while creating a more sustainable lifestyle. We’ll get exercise, sunshine, fresh air, and have fun growing with our families. Plus, butterflies, bees, and birds will pollinate and entertain as our garden reduces stress and offers soul fulfillment. Don’t forget to plant some “pretties” like Asiatic lilies, gazanias, trumpet vine, and hydrangeas. Annual and perennial flowers add fragrance, structure, and beauty to our lives. 

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Stay safe. Stay healthy.  Plant your Victory Garden 3.0 today!

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Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for June

PLANT tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, eggplants, arugula, cucumbers, beans, corn, and pumpkins. Herbs to plant now for summer harvesting are basil, parsley, and cilantro. 

STAKE or provide a wire cage to support tomatoes so the fruit won’t touch the soil and rot.

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APPLY snail bait to newly planted seedlings and wherever you witness slugs or snails.

FERTILIZE trees, shrubs, and ground covers before the summer heat.

SPRAY crape myrtles to prevent powdery mildew with a natural fungicide such as neem oil extract, jojoba oil, or potassium bicarbonate.

CHECK irrigation systems and readjust sprinkler heads as needed.

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TACKLE aphids with ladybugs or for a small infestation, spray with a mixture of water and dish detergent. 

CUT dead canes of hydrangeas to the ground (anything without a green bud on it). Don’t prune hydrangeas in spring or fall or the flowering buds will be cut off. 

BUY a shorter variety or move a too tall hydrangea as they cannot be pruned to reduce height. Hydrangeas always replace their height. If a hydrangea is drooping on a hot day, it doesn’t need water. It will rebound as the evening cools. Hydrangeas grow great in containers. 

ADD Sulphur or aluminum sulfate to acidic soil to get blue hydrangeas. Rusty nails or copper do not work.

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TREAT both upper and lower leaves of roses with organic Sulphur for fungus problems including black spot, rust, and powdery mildew.

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PRUNE azaleas immediately after spring flowering.

DEEP SOAK trees with a soaker wand when you see the leaves wilting. 

PULL out the dried fronds of spring bulbs. If a bulb comes out with the leaves, cut off the dried foliage and either replant the bulb in a new place immediately or put in a dark, cool space to replant in the fall. 

CELEBRATE your gardening dad on Father’s Day by buying a copy of Growing with the Goddess Gardener or Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul at https://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store. 

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CARE for your lawn by raking leaves, twigs, and dead grass. Pull the weeds including dandelions, chickweed, bittercress, and henbit. Aerate and leave the plugs on the grass. Cover bare patches by over-seeding with Pearl’s Premium grass seed. Visit www.Pearlspremium.com. Water early in the morning and fertilize once more before the heat of summer. When mowing, never cut off more than 1/3 and leave grass clippings on the lawn at least every two times you mow.

HARVEST cherries, lemons, tangelos, loquats, and tangerines.

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FEED your family and friends in body, mind, and spirit by planting a Victory Garden 3.0

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. Happy Father’s Day.

 

Read more:

https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1408/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Victory-Gardens-30.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.

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. 

Cynthia is available for virtual writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

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UNITE FOR HUMAN DIGNITY

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Empowerment
UNITE FOR HUMAN DIGNITY

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Become Color Blind
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MIRACLE MOMENT®
column_divider.gif“When ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.”

 Anais Nin



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MESSAGE FROM CYNTHIA BRIAN, Founder/Executive Director

You are so lucky! You have red blood!” my mother chimed when, as children, any of us would injure ourselves and be bleeding. We’d immediately stop crying and be grateful that our red blood meant that we were humans and not some form of alien. We were taught that every person was equal. No one was better or worse than anyone else and that no matter what color our skin, what God we worshipped, what gender we were, where we came from, or what language we spoke, we all deserved the opportunity to succeed and be happy. We were taught to work hard, respect others, and live by the golden rule. “Care, share, and be fair” was a family motto.

The last few weeks have been tragic for humans. Not only is the world struggling to survive a pandemic with Covid-19, but the death of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, by an officer sworn to protect and serve us, has struck a deep wound in our global consciousness. Our hearts go out to his family and friends and to all the other people who have endured racist encounters. Fear and pain are prevailing. There is no place for racism and bigotry in our country. We are all human.

Here at Be the Star You Are!®, we are inclusive. We are blind to any color and respect and welcome everyone-black, brown, yellow, beige, white, and any color in between. Be the Star You Are!® supports all ethnicity’s, genders, cultures, and has no religious or political agendas or affiliations. Our goal is to amplify your inner greatness and help you be the best person possible by improving literacy, increasing positive media messages, and offering tools for living a purposeful life.

Protesting is our right as Americans and peaceful protests are valuable. Looting and rioting is counter-productive and only leads to more violence, hatred, and alienation. It is time that we all stopped to listen and hear what others are saying and feeling. We must empathize and start conversations that can lead to healing. I have always believed that ALL LIVES MATTER. But right now, we need to embrace BLACK LIVES MATTER because black men and black women are suffering deeply. Our volunteer Karen Kitchel, shared a video that you may have already watched, but it is worth viewing again. It displays the disparity between a life of privilege and one of racial inequality. Watch it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BEwiqrXrjw

No one must be shackled. It’s time to break down the walls of differences. We must come together to create positive, systemic change that will provide dignity, respect, opportunities, and resources to all. We can each be a catalyst for change.

Once we learn to communicate and collaborate, we will escape to innovate. 

Be the Star You Are!® is proud to have been serving the community, country, and world since 1999 with resources to create a better future.

Unite for dignity and be color brave. We all bleed red.

Stay safe. Stay strong.

In solidarity,

Cynthia with osterspernum

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

P.S. During the lock-down, I am available for consultations, webinars, interviews, or speaking via on-line sources only. If interested, email cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org or visit https://www.starstyleradio.com/coaching

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


column_divider.gifONLINE AUCTION

If you want to jumpstart your business, service, or promote your products, IConnectx has created an online auction to benefit Be the Star You Are!® with opportunities for LIVe or pre-recorded radio interviews and phone or online consultations with Cynthia Brian. More auction items will be added in the following days. Auction ends on June 20th so start bidding right away to win. Visit: https://bit.ly/2ZuIQkE


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THE REAL MEANING OF DIGNITY

by Karen Kitchel

“Dignity has the potential to change the world, but only if people like you help to spread its profound message” concluded Donna Hicks in the Psychology Today article “What Is the Real Meaning of Dignity?”

We are all born with dignity, which is different than respect which must be earned. Every individual has worth as a human being and wants to be treated as someone with value.

Everyone wants to be heard and to feel safe in the world. When we feel included, we gain a sense of hope and possibility. Receiving an apology when someone does us harm is a way to reconnect. “I’m sorry” can be two of the most powerful words anyone can utter.

Building strong relationships can be as easy as asking for opinions, listening to concerns and including others in conversations.  Seek out someone you don’t know and take a step in changing the world.

Karen Kitchel 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. She serves meals to the homeless and is a volunteer teacher, writer, job coach, and mentor. www.scatteringkindness.com

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column_divider.gifTHE IMPACT OF ILLITERACY-Young Children

by Stephanie Cogeos

According to a recent study by the U.S. Department of Education, 32 million American adults are illiterate, 21% read below a 5th grade level and 19% of high school graduates are functionally illiterate, meaning they cannot read well enough to manage and perform daily living tasks. This can be avoided when people are aware of these statistics and what lack of literacy skills can cause.

When children do not learn to read and write effectively, it affects them and their families.  The psychological effect impacts their progress during their early school years. It can also make math and science just as difficult. About 80% of a child’s brain is developed by age 3 and a key period of development occurs in their language and literacy skills. The quality of early childhood education can be determined by one’s economic status. Half of all children by age 5 living in poverty are not academically or socially ready for school, studies have shown (Center on Children and Families at Brookings).  Poverty is a risk factor for illiteracy. By fourth grade, 80% of low-income children read at below grade level. Falling behind during critical years will also affect social skills, health and economic status later in their lives.  Low literacy often impacts a person’s health, preventative healthcare actions and taking medications correctly as well as impacting them psychologically. Shame, fear, low self-confidence, low self-esteem are all impacted by how well a person can effectively communicate and read and educate themselves.  All these things can have a negative impact on society in general.  These things can be avoided.

CONTINUE READING: https://files.secure.website/wscfus/10307163/26270304/the-impact-of-illiteracy.pdf

Volunteer Stephanie Cogeos is our Book Review coordinator. She is now doing research to provide resources for the public to learn about the importance of literacy, positive media messages, and empowering women families, and youth. You can keep up with the resources at this link: http://www.btsya.com/resources.html

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


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Our Star Teen Book Review Team is constantly growing and evolving. When you are looking a for a great book, check out the reviews of thousands of books for all ages at our Book Review web site.

Read book reviews by our volunteers: http://www.btsya.com/book_reviews.html

Also, check out these and other reviews at our literacy partner site,The Reading Tub, https://thereadingtub.org/books/be-the-star-you-are/

Librarians, teachers, parents, and care-givers rely on these reviews as excellent sources for recommending a good book.

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As part of our Be the Star You Are! Disaster Relief Outreach program (https://www.bethestaryouare.org/copy-of-operation-hurricane-disaste), Be the Star You Are!® has collaborated with the Authors Guild to showcase the new books launched by many authors from around the country in a variety of genres. We will also be showcasing artists, actors, and musicians, all of whom had had their gigs canceled and are out of work. We believe in supporting creativity and believe that books, art, music, and film provide escape and joy, especially during tough times. For the next few months, make sure you are tuned in to both StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® on Wednesdays at 4pm PT for “Writers Wednesdays” LIVE http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are as well as our teen program, Express Yourself!™ airing on Sundays at 3pm PT for “Super Smart Sundays”, https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself

Both programs broadcast on the Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel and will be archived on that site as well as iTunes, Stitcher, etc. It’s a giant artistic festival!

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If you need a dose of inspiration, humor, and positivity, check out our books at http://www.StarStyleStore.net. All of the money from purchases benefits Be the Star You Are!® and you get extra goodies when you buy direct. Plus, these are first editions and can be custom autographed for you. www.StarStyleStore.Net

Raise your eyes to the STARS and shine!

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Since we need to stay at home and only go out when absolutely necessary, these are on-line shopping portals that will sell you what you need, offer discounts, and assist our mission as a nonprofit. Please use these web sites for all of your shopping essentials,

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

2. Discounted books at Amazon: https://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.

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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


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Since BTSYA receives no government or corporate support, we count on YOU to help us help others. During this pandemic, all of our fundraising events have been canceled, yet we continue to support those in need. 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

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Be the Star You Are!®

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Moraga, California 94556

Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org

https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org


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The Better Human Experience PART 1

Posted by presspass on
0
Health & Wellness

The Better Human Experience part one of the series. We are excited, and grateful, to have our special guest Wendi Michelle join us for some down to earth advice on nutrition.As well as a chance to really get to know her.

Wendi is a published author and has advised and served as a founding member to health centers across the U.S.. She has developed food products, supplements and the most diverse holistic health programs and coaching platforms for Executives, Athletes and Children.

This show is for those of you who have ever struggled with weight, whether putting it on or taking it off, as well as the confusion over the cornucopia of available diet options in this day and age. Spoiler Alert – often NO diet is one of the BEST diets.
This is also an area of expertise for me (Julie Turner). I LOVE to take things back to basics! Nutrition should not be that difficult.

Through many years of working with clients to improve their health something interesting emerged around nutrition. I noticed a very common theme. It seemed to me that their connection with food was emotional, very seldom was it about the proper nutrition for their body.
The better Human Experience series is all about what we believe to be “things we should have learned in school.”
The topic of nutrition will have to be split into many shows I’m sure as it is a big one!

One thing I would love to shed some light on Right Here and Now is that our minds should not control our nutrition. At least not in a reactive manner we need to be proactive and having a proper knowledge base in this area will be amazing!

Often throughout my course,I speak of being smarter than our mind. Left to its own devices it can be a little bit of an imp. Our mind will look for familiarity and past situations where we felt comfort. What does that look like when it comes to eating?

Picture this…
You’ve had a rough day at work/School. You get home and for some reason you are craving chocolate chip cookies. Do you think your body actually needs chocolate chip cookies? Let me answer for you…no!
The chocolate chip cookie craving comes from a memory. You don’t actually connect with the memory necessarily, but your subconscious mind does. It remembers a Time when a loved one, maybe grandma or Mom, made you chocolate chip cookies and listened to your stories and smiled and you simply felt good. So when you crave feeling that good Comfort feeling, our minds tell us it’s time for those cookies.
Of course our bodies will crave certain things that we get from certain foods. There can be a little bit of that but make no mistake if you have a hard time saying no to certain foods. It might be time to look at the emotional needs that you are silencing with this Behavior.
If you have any questions, concerns or cries of outrage around this or any other topics we discuss. Tune in and then reach out after the show!

Be Awesome, be you!
Julie Turner

Contact Julie For more info www.julieturner.ca

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