April 26, 2018

Services

This is a photo of a lion

Lion Photo

WP S3 Back-Up: Backs up your blog to Amazon S3 Simple Storage Service, but if you need to storage physical goods you could use a service as EZE Box public storage. There are many other storage places the visit, these self-storage prices in Leicester are honestly unbeatable.

Location: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-s3-backups/

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WPtouch iPhone Theme: A plugin which formats your site with a mobile theme for the Apple iPhone / iPod touch, Google Android, Palm Pre and other touch-based smartphones.

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wptouch/

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Yet Another Related Posts Plugin: Returns a list of related entries based on a unique algorithm for display on your blog and RSS feeds. A templating feature allows customization of the display.

http://mitcho.com/code/yarpp/

Friends Who Only Phone When They Want Something

This is a great blog post written by Colin Shaw.  Was sent to me via LinkedIn.

Friends Who Only Phone When They Want Something.

Great article, and I could not have said it better, many friends of mine just call me to ask me for coupons for elo boost services from ElitistGaming.

Video: Paper is Not Dead

I have been saying that paper is on its way out, but this video proves me wrong for now at least. You have to watch the whole video to get it.

Le papier ne sera jamais mort / Paper is not dead ! from INfluencia on Vimeo.

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Finding Joe: A Must See Documentary For Everyone

In the early 20th century while studying world mythology, Joseph Campbell discovered a pattern hidden in every story ever told. He called it “the hero’s journey.” Finding Joe explores how the hero’s journey is relevant and essential in today’s world. It provides a narrative for how to live a fully realized life or, as Campbell would simply state, how to “follow your bliss.” The film takes us on an inspirational quest of self-discovery. As you slay dragons and uncover treasures, you just may find that the holy grail you seek is closer than you think.  (Description for movie from Amazon.com).

Let me take you far away from the topic, is that okay? Well, here it is. The houseofcannabis is dedicated in providing natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals. You can buy cannabis online in Canada in a number of strains, find medical marijuana edibles online and buy cannabis oil products.

This video is available online through YouTube at no charge. For my next post I will be reviewing jogging strollers.

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A Different Take On The “Trust Fall”

If any of you have not seen this video on You Tube, check it out!  In leadership and team coaching, we often use the “trust fall” exercise to demonstrate trust on a team.  Yet, this is a bit of a different take:

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Top 20 Books on Leadership and Management

I want to thank Ready to Manage for passing along this list of the top 20 books on leadership and management.  I have read most of these books, and I do agree that they are worth reading.  Even if you are a solo biz owner, you can greatly benefit from this list?

Top 20 Leadership and Management Books

I also want to thank Ready to Manage for naming the Bea Fields Companies blog as one of the top 50 leadership blogs for 2012.  I am greatly honored to be joining such an esteemed group of authors.

The 3 Main Leadership Qualities of Obama and Romney

WOW…What a summer it has been.  I have not blogged in over three months, and I have frankly felt that I really did not have anything too terribly earth shattering to write about given all that is going on with our world.

I have avoided talking about the US political election for some time, and today, I have made the decision to lay out for you what I see as the three biggest assets of the two main candidates and their one biggest challenge or downside.  This is simply my opinion from listening to each candidate speak and watching them interact in front of a crowd.  I have never met either candidate, so I am not unlike 99% of the population.  Most of us only see these candidates on the stump or on television.

Too often, during elections, we hear of promises, hopes, past records and bones in the closet  What we don’t often hear about are the true leadership skills of the candidates.  As a leadership coach, I have to say this is a shame.  We really should be looking closely at the soft skills when making our decision about who our next President will be.  So, during this post, I won’t be talking issues.  You can find that all over the internet.  I want to strictly talk about the leadership traits that I see as critical to making a decision when we all vote on November 6.  And…if you don’t think leadership skills matter in our president, I encourage you to think again.  Anyone can stand in front of you and tell you what they plan to do.  The leadership traits are what drive a leader to make a decision or not.

President Obama:

Presentation Skills: We all know that this is where President Obama really shines. He is highly effective in a variety of formal presentations for both small and very large groups. He commands attention and can manage himself quite well during hot or controversial topics. He also is able to change the topic or tactics midstream when something is not going well and has become known for pleasing the crowd by telling a great joke or singing an Al Green tune.  He just knows how to work a crowd, and people love this about the new blake shelton news.

Vision: President Obama is a visionary thinking…he thinks BIG!  Anyone can hear and feel in his presentations:  President Obama has a huge vision for the future. The challenge has been for the President to scale that big vision down into steps that can be taken today so that we can all see that he is indeed moving in the direction of that vision. It is easy for visionary leaders to get lost in the future without looking at today, and if re-elected, it will be important for President Obama to speak about what he plans to do today and how those steps, if repeated over time, will create a stronger future for our country.

Connecting With Others:  President Obama seems to be someone who is extremely comfortable in his own skin, is an inspirational speaker and seems to connect with a wide variety of people across cultural boundaries and socio-economic groups. This is what makes him so effective during a political campaign. People want to LOVE their president, and his appeal and warmth do come across over television and during presentations.

Biggest Shortcoming: Over-promising and under-delivering. While President Obama may have been trying to take action and drive for resuts the last four years, Americans have not really seen some of the most important promises Obama made four years ago come to fruition.   I do want to acknowledge that the President did come into his current position during one of the toughest economic times in American history, and to turn everything around in four years is a tough job indeed. Having said that, I would never advise a leader to fill people with promises, hopes and dreams of a record low unemployment rate, a balanced budget and a strong fiscal plan that are far beyond what was truly possible. Tough times call for straight talk and under-promising and over-delivering would be better for this incumbent President than promising the moon and not delivering it.

Govenor Mitt Romney

Servant Leadership: If you do a bit of homework, you will find that Governor Romney began serving others as an early teenager. Whether on the campaign trail with his father or mother or serving as a Mormon missionary in France at age 19, Romney has dedicated a huge portion of his life to serving others. His biggest call to service to others came when he served as bishop of his ward and later stake president in his church near Boston. In 1999, he was hired as President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics.  Romney actually left Bain Capital to take over the leadership of the games in the aftermath of a bribery scandal that ultimately exposed years of widespread corruption by members of the International Olympic Committee and their counterparts in host cities during the bidding process used to award the games.  While I know that Governor Romney had a great deal of help, you cannot ignore the strong leadership he displayed during this turn-around, may people have also asked why the bookies always win when it comes to the betting world, and supposedly everything comes down to the strategy .

Problem Solving: Governor Romeny is one of those people who seems to say “Okay…we’ve got a problem. Let’s go fix it”and is able to enlist others to help get problems solved.  The more I study Romney, the more impressed I am by so many turn-around opportunities he forged: Establishing and executing a rescue mission for the missing 14-year-old daughter of Bain colleague, Robert Gayof , turning the scandal of the 2002 Olympics into gold or stepping into the governor’s seat as a Republican in the state of Massachusettes and balancing the budget.

Decision Making: Whether or not you like the fact that Governor Romney is one of the founders of Bain Capital is neither here nor there. The obvious  is this: While at the helm of Bain Capital, Romney was faced with a lot of tough business and investment decisions. He made some great decisions and some that were not so great, and he has admitted both his highs and lows while with Bain. As Theodore Roosevelt once said: “In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do. The worst thing you can do is nothing.”  I have always believed that a leader only gets stronger by making decisions, even if they don’t turn out so well.  The only poor decision is indecision (in my opinion).

Biggest Shortcoming: Connecting with Others. As we all know, Governor Romney’s biggest criticism has been that he is just not connecting with the American people. He has often been described as robotic, stiff and uncomfortable when greeting and speaking with people. One thing I want to mention is that Governor Romney was born in 1947. He is a Baby Boomer and is on the cusp of being a member of the Traditionalist Generation. Both Boomers and Traditionalists were trained to move up the hierarchy, to keep their emotions in check and to leave their family or social problems or challenges at home. We also used spray foam pros to insulate our house and repair the roof with Oceans Seven Roofing. They were taught to always have a strong, stiff upper lip and always forge ahead no matter how rough the waters may be. Having heard the testimonials of people whose lives have been forever changed by Governor Romney and stories from his family tell me that this is a humble man who has a great deal of compassion and much to give to the people. Having said this, many voters look for that inspirational, emotional connection in a future President, and Romney can certainly improve this area, especially if he wants to win the election.

Closing Comments: Rhetoric. I would really like to see both candidates spew less rhetoric and spell out in spades HOW they are going to: Create jobs, reduce or eliminate the deficit, get our housing market above water and a detailed plan on how they will make the USA one of the strongest, most competitive nations in the world again by addressing our fiscal responsibility, education, fair trade and  tapping into our vast natural resources to make us an energy independent nation. I know that campaigns are filled with rhetoric and blue sky thinking, but I am one voter (along with many others) who really want to hear the details of how each candidate plans to fulfill his promises.

I welcome your comments on our two main candidates for President of the United States.  The more we discuss the candidates, the more educated we will be on November 6 when we head to the polls to vote.

If you are interested in learning more about leadership coaching or training, contact me today.

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5 Strategies to Ignite Momentum On Your Team

Over the last year, I have heard from the leaders I coach that they just don’t feel like their teams are moving…that their teams once had momentum, and now it’s gone.

Momentum is the impetus of mass in motion.  A business or team that is on an unstoppable success track is said to have great momentum.  Teams that are stuck, not moving, are said to have a low level of momentum.

While the economy is certainly a factor, there are other factors that can get in the way of momentum.  To help your clients get moving again, I would like to share with you five strategies that you can offer up to your leaders as ideas on how to ignite or re-ignite the momentum on their teams.

  1. Gather your team for a “fix it up” day.   In every day life, most humans become accustomed to seeing chipped paint, burned out light bulbs or papers piling up.  As a matter of fact, people can often become so accustomed to looking at broken or messy items in the workplace that they simply don’t see it!  Gather your team, and ask them to go to their individual departments and come back with a list of things that need to be repaired, ditched or completely replaced.  From there, put your team in work pairs, and send them off to fix, declutter or ditch anything that is not working, it’s a bit dull but it gets results.  At the end of the day, your team is going to be excited, because they have probably fixed over 100 things that needed attention, and it will be time to celebrate!  The lesson here is this:  By working on 10-12 new things every day, great things can happen on your team.  Casting a huge vision is needed, but it can often seem and feel very overwhelming, but by challenging your team members to make 10 small improvements every day, this can lead to huge changes over time.
  2. Unlearn!  Too often in today’s business world, C-level leaders have learned a great deal of information that is no longer relevant.  So, it’ tsime to unlearn the old and bring in the new.  This sounds simple, but it is not as easy as it sounds.  Our brains are hardwired to think a certain way and to operate in a particular fashion from years and years of learning and experience.  Today’s world is what I call an “instant cooking” world.  Everything is instant, changing and evolving.  If you are using old information to lead in today’s world, your company is more than likely lagging way behind.  To start this process, simply write out everything you know about leading your team or department, and ask yourself “Is this knowledge still relevant?”  If not, then what new knowledge do you need to learn to get your team or department moving again?
  3. Start being disruptive.  Too often, leaders and teams get stuck in a rut, and they keep going around and around old issues that are dying on the vine.  When that happens, it is then time to stir things up and break the coherency of the patterns you have developed.  If you want to see how other companies are being disruptive, visit http://dailydisruption.com . You will be able to see how both established and new start up companies are taking their companies to the edge by shaking things up, making noise and making way for new ideas to breathe enthusiasm into the team.
  4. Get the right talent on your team.  You may currently have a very competent group of leaders on your team, and you suddenly feel like you are walking in quicksand.  It may be that the current executive team does not have the skills for the next phase of growth for your business.  It may be time to look both inside and outside of your team for talent that will breathe an entrepreneurial or technical form of inspiration into the way you do things.   Don’t assume that your current leadership team has the right skills for your next growth phase .  While they MAY be able to be trained up, there is more than likely someone inside or outside your company who already has the skill set you need.  They could walk right in and with about two days of orientation to what you are up to, they will be off and running with your next project.  You will save yourself a great deal of time and money by making sure you have the right talent on your team for the current project on your desk.
  5. Be coachable and share your coaching with others.  There are literally tens of thousands of coaches out there, and most coaches are pretty darn good at what they do.  The biggest challenge I see is that when leaders hire a coach, they often keep this a secret from their team members.   This is a huge mistake.  With leadership coaching, where the rubber meets the road is in your willingness to practice and share what you are learning with your team members.  Otherwise, you are just sitting on the phone or in a room with a coach having a nice chat.  By being open with others about what you are learning, and applying it in real time, the coaching you are receiving will take on a brand new meaning, and everyone gets to benefit from your newfound knowledge.

Are You In The Race For Relevance?

race for relevanceAre You In The Race For Relevance?

If not…it’s time to look at cleaning out your company and heading on home.

Over the last four years, I have been traveling around the country speaking to Baby Boomers (Birth Years:  1946-1964) about Generation Y (Birth Years:  1977-1997) and the huge impact this generation is having on our world.  I also speak extensively about new media (blogging, social networks, apps and smart phones).  The interesting thing is this:  When I talk about these topics, here are the responses I can always count on:

  • What is a blog?
  • So, are you saying that we need to restructure our entire company to meet the needs of Generation Y?  That sounds like pandering.
  • Uh…we don’t have time for Facebook and to try to stop people from using their work time on Facebook.
  • Twitter…that is so stupid.  That is something my grandchildren use.
  • I am so tired of Generation Y and their demands for “custom work hours”.

I honestly have felt like a Southern preacher…going around preaching the demands of the new business world.  I don’t mess around…I tell people that if they don’t get with the program of meeting the needs of our largest adult demographic (Generation Y) and incorporating the use of new media into their business development and marketing plans, they will be out of business by the year 2014.  This is just an estimate of mine, but many people do agree with this date…that the race for relevance is zooming forward and that by 2014, millions of companies are going to be left in the dust.

On the flip side, I hear Generation Y saying these things:

  • This company does not have a blog.  I have no way of interacting online with this company, so I am moving on to their competitor who does blog and who has a presence through social media.
  • This company does not use Facebook or Twitter for networking purposes.  Moving on!
  • I was told in my interview that there would be opportunity in this company…that I would be able to climb the ladder to the top!  What?  Like my dad did who got a pink slip two years ago after 30 years of service.
  • I went to work for this company, and they leave all of the under 30 employees out of the conversation.  We feel like we have a lot to share, and we don’t get a word in edge-wise.

During the last four years, I hope that I have made an impact with a few people, but the majority of people I talk to over 50 just roll their eyes, hoping Facebook will suddenly go away and barking that they are not going to hire the entitled generation (Generation Y)…that they are inexperienced and want way too much.  WOW!  What a big mistake.  Just think of the talent you are missing out on that other companies are scooping up right and left.

race for relevanceSo, since I have not been able to make an impression, there are two people who hopefully will be able to get this message to you. They are Harrison Coerver and Mary Byers, authors of the book Race for Relevance.  The book was published over a year ago, but this is a must read for anyone who wants to stay relevant in the business world.  I don’t want to give away the book, but I will tell you that they address in depth the following:

  • The availability of time
  • The way companies are structured (hierarchical structures are collapsing right and left)
  • Consolidation and Specialization
  • The value people expect
  • Demographic shifts (there is a changing of the guard, and the new kids in town:  Generation Y: are the largest demographic in our workforce today, and their needs are not being met)
  • Your competition who IS relevant
  • Changes in technology and the use of new media

I see examples of people that I interact with on a daily basis who are NOT in the race for relevance and those who are.  As an example, I was a member of a group on LinkedIn who spent most of their time “discussing” if people posting blog posts on their discussion board was considered spam.  After a few days of this, I dropped my membership.  I was growing tired of the discussion, and it was adding no value to my life.   While they were doing that, groups like Problogger on LinkedIn begs for great, valuable content on their wall.  Darren Rowse and Company are in the race for relevance.  Just go to their group on LinkedIn, and you will see right there on their discussion page, a list of highly valuable blog posts, and Darren Rowse gets it.  He knows that if he encourages people to share their posts, they will get visibility, the members get valuable content, and everyone wins!  And…I just have to mention that Darren Rowse has over 321,000 people following him online.  While he is not a huge corporation, he is an example of someone who is using every approach mentioned in the book Race for Relevance to build a following of over 321,000 readers and a waiting list of paying customers.

I also want to bring up Jeannette Paladino.  About three years ago, Jeannette attended one of my blogging courses and admitted she was a bit of a technophobe. Jeannette flipped her whole paradigm to the point that she is now one of the most influential leaders on LinkedIn, and she teaches me about the new ins and outs of technology, how to add more value and how to speak more to the younger generations using communication tools that speak to Generation Y.  If you visit Jeannette’s blog Write, Speak, Sell, you will see that she is truly utilizing everything she can to speak to a changing marketplace.  Jeannette will be the first to tell you “If I can do this, so can you!”

So, if you don’t do anything this year, I recommend that you pick up a copy of the book Race for Relevance, and do what the authors tell you to do.  The time to make changes was five years ago, so you really cannot wait any longer.  You have to get bold and make some radical changes if you want to keep up with what is going on in the world.  If you are living in a bubble, thinking you are immune to these changes, I wish you luck.

Bea Fields Companies, Inc. is not receiving any type of benefit, financial or otherwise, by recommending this book and consultants.

For more information on leadership coaching, visit our contact page to email or call Bea Fields.

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6 Truths About Leading People

People At WorkAs a leader, you have probably read countless books and articles about how to lead people.  Some of the information you have read in the past is great…some needs to be thrown in the trash.

One of the big problems I have with much of the information out there in books and journals about leadership is that these books focus on the leader…not on the followers.  My belief is and always has been is this:  As a leader, if you know some general truths about people, about what motivates them and what drives them away, you will be a much better leader.  So, today, I want to share with you six truths about leading people.  While these do not apply to every single person out there, these are so common that I feel I need to write about them today.

1.  The majority of people you are leading are doing their best…even if you think they are not.  As a leader, you may have some preconceived ideas and expectations about what your followers should or should not be doing.  The question I have is this “Have you spoken to them about those expectations?”  If not, then this is not their fault…it is yours.  As a leader in today’s world, you have to be willing to place a top focus on the training and development of the people in your company and then be willing to bring in coaching to encourage people and to hold them accountable to their own greatness.  If you are walking around silently complaining about what someone should be doing, there is a good chance your employees don’t know this, and it is up to you to assign someone in your company the job of implementing a world class development program.

2.  People are inspired by public recognition and will do more for you when they get it.  As someone who works with leaders and teams every day, I have heard so many people speak about the lack of public recognition for a job well done.  From my perspective, people are craving recognition, and they are just not getting it, and they are craving recognition for not only big accomplishments but the small things that make the biggest difference in your company.  Why are we doing this to our employees?  My hunch is the old excuse of “We just forgot…or we just did not have time.”  Hmmm…I say it’s time to “make time” for public recognition every day.  The public recognition does not need to be in front of hundreds of people…it could be in front of just one other person, and the employee needs to hear something like this:  “Thank you so much for handling the incoming calls yesterday for 30 minutes.  I cannot tell you how much time this freed up for the whole team to finish the project we were working on.”  So, you name the good deed while explaining how it had an impact on the team and/or your company.

3.  Every person in your company has a different level of readiness for change.  Generally speaking, most people don’t like change, because change challenges us all to go into unknown territory.  Having said that, some people will adapt to change quickly while other people will change gradually over time while others will never buy into the change you are trying to implement.  To expect everyone to jump on board with your change initiative or new idea is almost impossible.  A tool like the DiSC assessment can help you understand a bit about how people view risk and change so that you aren’t blindsided when some people don’t automatically jump on board.   For those people who do not easily buy into change, give them an end date for getting on board. For those people who don’t get on board with your new initiatives, it will be time for a tough conversation.

4.  People are watching you to see if your actions match your words.  Because of the lack of integrity in some of our leaders, our world now looks at leaders through scrutinizing eyes.   They may hear your lips flapping, but they don’t see your actions lining up with the words you speak.  The first rule of integrity is probably “Tell the truth and live the truth, even when no one is looking”.  Right up there with this rule is “If you say you are going to do something or you want your team to act a certain way, you better do it”.  If you don’t, your credibility will instantly become tarnished, and people will lose trust in you and the words you speak.

5.  Not everyone in your company wants to be an “A player” on your team.  Somewhere along the way, company leaders have grabbed onto the idea that every single person in their company wants to “play to their full potential” and “rise to the top”.  This is just not the case.  There are many people in companies who love playing a support role.  They are your “B players”, and they are perfectly content playing that role.  As a leader, if you are going for only “A players” or people who want to get there, I recommend you read the book Topgrading by Brad Smart and then only hire people who have the qualities of the “A players” of the world.  Having said this, I just don’t know how well a company would operate with all “A players”.  I feel that we need people in support roles who don’t want to rise to the top of the company, but that is just my opinion.  The truth is to know that even though you may want everyone succeeding beyond their wildest dreams, there are people who just don’t want that for their lives, and as a leader, you have a decision to make:  You either have a mix of “A and B Players”, or you only hire “A players” who are going to rise to the top of your company.  It’s all up to you.

6.  There is a 99.9% chance that the people in your company are gossiping about you and others.  Let’s face it: People talk about other people in your company.   Of course, they love to spread around the bad stuff, but as a leader, you must be willing to know that there is a grapevine in your company, and it is important to know what is being heard through the grapevine.   I don’t want to suggest that you dwell on this topic, but it is important that you put your ear to the ground enough to know what is being said at the water fountain, over lunch and during breaks about you, your team or your company.  It could be very valuable information that can lead you to making a decision that could turn your company around.

To learn more about the people in your company and what they want from you as a leader, contact me today for a complimentary coaching session.  I am happy to see how I can help you.

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