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Trending: Thought Leadership Matters

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Cheryl Esposito welcomes Denise Brosseau, author of Ready to Be a Thought Leader?  She is CEO of Thought Leadership Lab, and co-founder of Springboard, the startup launch pad that has facilitated over $6 billion in funding for women entrepreneurs.

Her clients include leaders from Apple, Genentech, and Morgan Stanley, as well as startup CEOs, partners in professional service firms, and nonprofit executives. Fifteen years ago Denise realized she was a thought leader when the media kept calling…and they still do.

Influence, Success, Impact, and Legacy. Thought leaders have it all. Have you ever wondered how they became the go-to person in their field? Denise Brosseau says it’s not about creating flashy PR campaigns. Thought leadership is not about being known, it is about being known for making a difference.

What do you want to be known for? Are you Ready to Be A Thought Leader? Join Cheryl Esposito and Denise Brosseau to begin the journey!

Tune in to Leading Conversations Friday 10/23 at 10am PST

Breaking the Cycle

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7th Wave
Breaking the Cycle


Abuse impacts all of us. Mostly we know about physical and sexual abuse. Although emotional abuse has reached epidemic proportions, most of us have no idea what it is or how to Abuse impacts all of us. Mostly we know about physical and sexual abuse. Although emotional abuse has reached epidemic proportions, most of us have no idea what it is or how to identify it. It’s what I call the Silent Killer. All of the various forms of abuse destroy a person’s self-esteem and health. We all know someone who is in an abusive relationship and that person may even be you. Learn what it is and what you can do to prevent it and to heal from it.

Ways to Clear Fear

Begin by using the following 3 techniques to help clear yourself and the earth of fear and other painful emotions, like anger and sadness. Please do them with me. The first one is an affirmation. “I am love as I am loved; you are love as you are loved; all is love as all is loved.” The second one is a visualization. If you have trouble visualizing, then just think the words in your mind: close your eyes and think or see a beautiful pink heart full of love shining pink light down on you. See and feel the pink light going through your body, down to your feet and into the ground where the pink light is filling and healing all of the fault lines in the earth, the oceans and the atmosphere. The last technique is a chant: om a ha a om am am. Know that as you do these three techniques, you are helping to fill yourself and the earth with pink healing love energy which is balancing all energies and helping to create calm and peace within yourself and the earth.

People who have been abused collect more than the normal number of fears and their response to fear is more intense and pervasive. Many develop strategies to manage their fears and/or to avoid feeling. These strategies can look like mental illness or disorders, but they are really coping devices. I’ve noticed that as my clients remove abuse and abusers from their life, the symptoms diminish until they disappear. These coping mechanisms often develop as a means of avoiding feeling or avoiding facing the reality of their situation. They can include hypochondria, OCD behaviors, paranoia and depression to name a few. I find that my clients don’t need medication. They just need help in understanding what is happening in their lives and then in changing it.

Feeling is Essential

Often a client is concerned that they will be overwhelmed with emotion to the point of not being able to handle it. When we have bottled up our emotions for long periods of time, it is difficult to begin to allow ourselves to feel without getting overtaken with sadness, anger or grief. As Mark Twain said, “The only way around it, is through it.” The pain is eating away below the surface at our physical and mental health. It is hurting us and will continue to do so until we let it surface so we can feel it and let it go. The pain and damage is prolonged when we don’t let it go. The key is to stop hanging on to the harmful emotions. Using color and tone can provide a gentler way of releasing the fear, anger and pain.

The fact is that if we don’t allow ourselves to feel the pain, anger and sadness, it’s going to come out in inappropriate ways. Often the person will have reached their limit and suddenly they explode in anger. Most often the anger is not directed at the person they’re really angry with but rather at someone in the service industry or a child or an employee. We feel frustrated and justified, but really we’re targeting someone who can’t fight back. It’s healthier and wiser to face our feelings and cry when we feel sad or turn our anger into righteous indignation and take action to change our life, the life of others and the world.

Refill with Peace and Love

And as we empty the sadness, anger and pain, are we refilling with gratitude and happiness and peace? I’ve noticed lately that people are often surprised when I thank them for providing help or exceptional service. Even if you’re paying someone or it’s their job to provide a particular service, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t say thank you. Showing gratitude and appreciation for service gives people more personal gratification than money. As long as we have enough money to pay for food, shelter and clothing, our emotional satisfaction comes from our personal relationships. Saying thank you provides a good feeling for everyone involved.

Silver Linings

Yesterday, I was making a deposit at an ATM machine when it malfunctioned, kept my checks and provided no receipt or record of the transaction. The bank was closed so no help was available. This was so important that I didn’t want to wait until the morning to take care of it. Since I have a credit card through the bank, I decided to call the credit card phone number and try to get help through them. I was directed to the wrong number and then disconnected twice and, of course, was on hold for long periods of time. Thirty minutes later, when I got someone for the third time, I began by saying how frustrated I was and that I needed her to get me to someone who could help me. And unlike the previous two people, she actually did find the correct phone number for me. When I got through to that person, she was extremely helpful, sincerely concerned about the malfunctioning machine and my troubling experience. With the check numbers that I provided and detailed information about the deposit, she credited my account and assured me that the machine would be fixed. I felt taken care of and grateful and we ended with kind words to each other.

There were many silver linings for me in this experience. Most importantly, I didn’t get angry with anyone. I kept myself calm by reassuring myself that the bank had to have a way of correcting the problem and by saying a prayer asking for help in getting the matter resolved. I took appropriate action in a pretty calm manner, stated my frustration instead of being angry at someone who did not cause the problem. This allowed her to stay calm and find the right phone number for me. When I did get through to the person who could solve the problem, I realized how much I’ve grown in my ability to handle my financial record keeping. I had check numbers, names and amounts, which made the process go smoothly. I was proud of my own growth and healing and truly grateful for the competent people who helped me. This experience would have been fraught with stress, anger and unpleasant interactions a number of months ago. Having allowed myself to let go of the fears, anger and sadness from the past allowed me to be fully present in the moment. The people helping me were just that, people. They weren’t objects standing between me and what I wanted.

Break the Cycle

The concept of empathy has been a recurring theme in our programs. Without it, people are not able to experience the full range of feelings and don’t care if they cause harm to others. An abuser wouldn’t care if he yelled at or was rude to the service people. All that would matter would be venting anger and getting what he needed. Because I do have empathy, had I been rude to the service people, I would have added guilt, shame and more pain to my already overloaded emotions. Breaking the cycle and releasing myself of the past pain has changed my life. If I can do it, so can you.identify it. It’s what I call the Silent Killer. All of the various forms of abuse destroy a person’s self-esteem and health. We all know someone who is in an abusive relationship and that person may even be you. Learn what it is and what you can do to prevent it and to heal from it.


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Creating a Culture of Integrity By Marcia Zidle

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Creating a Culture of Integrity By Marcia Zidle


Recently I asked a leader on The Business Edge what are some of the lessons learned from your years of experience. He answered this:

The Lesson:
You need a high level of personal integrity. As you move higher up in the organization, your actions gain more meaning and impact, so you need to be true to your core, which is shaped by your values, upbringing and business experiences. You’ve got to stick to that core and when you don’t, you can get negative or undesirable outcomes.

My whole philosophy centers on the impact I have on others. I believe it’s important to be honest and to establish trust between management and employees. People follow leaders and if you violate their trust, people won’t follow you anymore.

 How I Learned It:
I once asked a respected leader what advice he’d give to young executives. He said, “Always do what’s right for the company first, what’s right for the work group second and what’s right for you third.” If you practice this, people will never challenge your motives. It all comes back to staying true to your core and having a high level of personal credibility.

How I Pass It On:
Role models need to walk the talk. Many of our jobs have stressful moments where you have to make decisions and sometimes the right decision is more challenging. People are expecting you to do the right thing; you absolutely have to, even if it’s difficult.

Leaders must be accountable and take responsibility for their actions. There might be cases where I am at fault, and at these times more than ever, I have to be transparent and truthful. This neutralizes the situation so that we can focus on finding solutions to the problem.

Smart Moves Tip:
Actions of the leadership will have more effect on how employees behave than any vision statement or corporate policy which tells them how they are ‘supposed’ to behave. Chances are they already know how they are ‘supposed’ to behave. Create a culture of integrity by way of your own actions will have more effect on your people to behave in the way you want them to.

Marcia Zidle, the smart moves executive coach and speaker, is host of The Business Edge  on the Voice America Business Network. The show features the Smart Growth System providing small to medium sized businesses the proper foundation for expansion: a Growth Agenda that becomes their roadmap, a Growth Engine that attracts and engages the best talent and Growth Leaders that make it happen. Marcia, the CEO of Leaders At All Levels, brings street smarts to help businesses get on the right track and not get sidetracked on their path to higher performance and profitability.

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