January 28, 2022

Who’s Leading Who In the White House?

"obamas dog bo"

Is Bo Running the White House? I Mean He Has His Own Blog!

For years, we have heard rumors (only rumors) that Vice President Dick Cheney MAY have pulled a few of President Bush’s strings, making decisions right and left for our country.  Now, we are hearing that Rham Emanual’s quest for the Mayorship of Chicago may be a good thing…that some feel he is too hard hitting, called too many shots.  I’m not there…I don’t know!  I only can go on what I hear, watch and read in the media (which can get anyone in trouble).  But, it makes for interesting blog posts.

But the most telling information I have heard is from Cesar Milan (AKA The Dog Whisperer).  During an interview last night on the Joy Behar Show, Milan pointed out that the majority of past Presidents have allowed their dogs to “lead the pack” and that this is a big No! No! in the world of pet owners…that letting a dog lead YOU sends the message that they are in charge.  Well maybe they are!

I know I am also a violator of this.  I have been working with my dog Rosie to be more of a follower than “pulling me” on our walks.  I don’t know how many times people have asked me “Who’s walking who?”  Well, that is a great question!

This all leads me to truly wonder who has REALLY been running things at the White House.  Maybe President Bush  was being advised by  Barney (who has his own website,  was known for snapping at the press and not wanting to get on the helicopter…I don’t blame him..Go Barney!)  And now, it looks like the Obama’s are having a bit of a time with Bo (who has his own blog…oh, of course, this is a young Boomer/Gen X/Gen Y hybrid family, so Bo has to be on the social networks). It just makes me wonder if the dogs are pulling our presidents along who else is doing the dragging?

Watch as The Dog Whisperer explains the situation:

Leadership Coaching Lesson: Shake Things Up!

Lady Gaga in Meat dress

I wonder if this dress smelled bad.

If you have not read the recent article in Fast Company about Nike’s CEO John Parker shook up the shoe industry, I think it’s something we all need to start considering….shaking things up.  Many criticize Parker for being eccentric and irreverent.  I just think he wants to be the best and to be the best you can’s keep doing the things you always have done them.  As a matter of fact, my daughter bought a pair of dress pumps recently with the nike air cushion built in…ahhh…felt great!

Do you think Steve Jobs is boring?  Mediocre?  Doesn’t shake things up?  Look at how he has changed our world.  Many of you will feel that he has made things worth with our addiction to the iPhone, iPod, iPad and all of the apps that keep flying out of Apple, but at the end of the day, Steve Jobs has revolutionized the digital industry.

And, I just can’t end this post without talking about Lady Gaga’s meat dress.  I know PETA is all in a tizzy, but I am not quite sure that this stunt was to show us she is a meat eater or animal killer.  Mabye just the opposite…how disgusting it looks.  I don’t know…just wondering about her motive.  I am just wondering if it smelled bad.  She is the oddest human on the planet right now, but she is a business woman who is building a brand and followers.  I just hope she can keep her clothes on and her middle finger where it belongs so that she can mature a bit into being a true leader.  But right now…she is certainly shakin’ things up.  If she were not, she wouldn’t be on every channel 24/7.

And, if you want one more example of someone shaking things up to change an industry, go back and read my post:

Michael Jackson: The King of Pop But Also A Global Leader

What do you think?  Are folks going too far?  Please weigh in?

Happy Labor Day!

Wishing you all a great Labor Day!

As a reminder. Our 12 week blogging course starts next monday, September 13 at 1 EDT. For more info go to http;//blog. becomeabloggingmaniac.com

Have a fun & safe holiday.

A Classic Case of the Brain Getting Hijacked: Two Thumbs Up for Dustin Johnson

Picture of Dustin Johnson Hitting Out of Bunker

Dustin Johnson makes a brilliant shot out of what was deemed a "bunker" (looks like trampled grass and dirt to me) at the PGA Tour 2010

At 3:00 on Sunday afternoon, I turned to my husband as we watched the final round of the PGA championship, and said:  “Dustin Johnson is going to win this tournament.”  Of course, Mike just nodded like he was trying to appease me.

As Johnson closes in on the tournament, things start to turn.  He is in the lead on 17, and I am jumping around like a mad woman, and Mike reminds me that I am “calling it too soon”.  Darn…he was right.

If you didn’t watch the final round, you may have heard that  Johnson was leading until the 18th hole, when he lost a shot but gained a chance for a 3-way playoff for the championship.  But, when he headed to the clubhouse, the course of events drastically changed.   Johnson was informed by a PGA official that on hole 17, he hit his ball out of a bunker (which to me looked like a small piece of dirt…it looked like grass that had been trampled on all day and the dirt had just become exposed, and spectators were STANDING IN THE BUNKER, which I have NEVER seen in my life and I don’t recall seeing a rake.  Duh…all bunkers have a rake.  It looked like a waste bunker.  The spectators were all over DJ…trying to get as close to him as possible, he asked them calmly to move out of the way, and guess what he did…he grounded his club in the bunker.  The rules clearly stated that every piece of “dirt” was a bunker (and that basically the whole course was a bunker…if you see dirt, it’s a bunker)  and that grounding a club in the bunker is an automatic 2-stroke penalty.)  Geez!

This is a classic case of what we in the world of leadership coaching call brain hijacking.  I feel in my heart that this was the case for Johnson, because David Price, the rules official who followed Johnson around on Sunday reportedly told the press that DJ asked for bunker rulings on Nos. 14 and 16 on Sunday.  Dustin Johnson is no idiot.  He even admitted during his post interview that it never crossed his mind that this was a bunker he was standing in and that he should have “read the rules more closely.”  Here’s my take:  Johnson knew the rules, so in my own world, here is what I think really happened.

1.  Johnson knew he was in the lead.  His adrenaline was pumping.  He was excited.

2.  He approached the bunker, and the excitement and adrenaline probably hijacked his brain and he forgot about the bunker situation…this looked like dirt to him…an area that had been walked on multiple times by spectators.  Rules officials can’t give advice unless asked, and he just did not ask…it never crossed his mind this was a “bunker”.

3.  A huge crowd was pushing up against him.  He seemed really concerned about getting them out of the way…not only so that he could see but so that he would not hit someone with a club or a ball.

4.  You mix all of this together, and it really just did not cross his mind that he was in a bunker.  I doubt he had been in too many “bunkers” that looked like this mess of dirt.

5.  He went through his usual pre-shot routine, which includes grounding the club a bit.  (this is what caused him to get a 2-stroke penalty).

Was the PGA right in their ruling?  Maybe or maybe not.  It seems like they spelled out the rules that everything was a bunker, and at the end of the day, it does not matter what I think or what DJ thought…rules are rules.  If they had not penalized him, I am sure there would have been an uproar from the team and fans for Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson., both who ended up in a 3-hole playoff for the lead.  Congrats to Martin Kaymer for his great win!  (Way to go Gen Y!)

So, why am I talking about this as a leadership coach?  If you are in a leadership position, you are going to come up against high adrenaline, chaotic, people packed,  what do I do? moments….Times when you only have a fraction of a minute to make a decision, and it’s time to close your eyes and think.  Just step back for a moment and get in check with what’s going on.  Don’t let your team or the crowd or the rush of the moment make you end up with a big 2-stroke penalty (in this case for DJ, a few hundred thousand dollars!)

And…to close this off…I give DJ two thumbs up for admitting he should read the rules more closely next time and not making a stink.  When asked after the tournament: Do you think that’s a good ruling? Is it the ruling they had to make? Johnson said:  “I don’t know, if it was up to me, I wouldn’t have thought I was in the bunker but it’s not up to me, it’s up to the Rules Committee, so I’ve got to deal with it.”

Here’s a snippet of the video.  Watch and make your own decision, and leave your comments below:

Travel and Give Back to a Great Cause

In business, tying your company to a charitable cause is a great way to give back and to attract a younger demographic.  Generation Y is known for doing business with companies who “give back” to charitable causes.

A travel company out of Austrailia: Travel Insurance Direct and its customers have helped to raise $287,000 (AUD) by donating some proceeds to the Footprints Network as a way to expand projects related to poverty around the world.  This is a wonderful example of servant leadership and “giving back”.

For more information on the company, visit Travel Insurance Direct or Footprints Network .

Weighing In On the Jim Joyce Call in the Tigers Vs. Indians Game

Baseball needs instant replay after Galaragga debacle

“…as human beings we are capable of making sense of situations based on the thinnest slice of experience.” — Malcolm Gladwell , author of Blink and The Tipping Point .

THURSDAY, June 3 HE’S SAFE: If you haven’t heard already, umpire Jim Joyce made a colossal bad call in the Tigers versus Indians game Tuesday night that cost former Mud Hen Armando Gallaragga a perfect game.
Read more on The Toledo Blade

I am sure by now that unless you are living under a rock, you have heard about this “bad call”.  But…let’s think again.  If you listen to the interview on Social Intelligence and Leadership, you will hear Daniel Golman talk about how we all have to understand that we have emotional responses…sometimes great…sometimes not.  I can see how this “bad call” could have happened.

Imagine…the momentum of a perfectly pitched game…batter up…umpire ready to call “Safe” or “Out”…adrenaline pumping…anything can happen.

So…do we need to tap into technology?  Eh…why not?  Since it’s available to us, I say WHY NOT?  But, as of today, June 3, 2010, in the world of baseball, instant replays mean absolutely nothing.  And…as the above article stated…at least Joyce had the guts to “man up”, own his mistake and apologize.  It will always sting, but he is only human.

Let’s all give this man (and ourselves) a break!

Join Us Today for Teleseminar: Secrets To Leading Gen-Y with Millennials in the Workplace

I am honored to be co-leading a presentation with Tom Heck tomorrow, founder of the International Association of Teamwork Facilitators. Here is the description of the call:

Secrets To Leading Gen-Y with Millennials in the Workplace Expert Bea Fields — Free IATF TeleSeminar

Are you having difficulty leading your Gen-Y team members?

You already know Gen-Y is unlike any other generation you’ve had the opportunity to lead.

They are the children of the Baby Boomers and are now the largest generation in the history of the world. This is the generation you must learn to lead if you are to be successful!

Employers thought Gen-Y would simply be an extension of Gen-X or Boomers but that hasn’t been the case at all.

About Gen-Y

  • Enjoy working together and are highly connected (always on computers, cell phones, text messaging, instant messaging, social networking, blogs, multi-player gaming, etc.)
  • Seek work-life balance
  • Expect to be highly successful and are upbeat
  • Reward and recognition driven
  • Short term focused
  • Supremely tech savvy
  • Want managers they can admire

If you try to manage Gen-Y using an old, outdated, command-and-control style of leadership, this generation will walk out your door before lunch. And before the end of the day, they’ll blog, IM, and text about their experience with you (warning their friends to stay away).

Times have changed and leaders must change with the times or be left behind.

If you’re a leader looking for answers to your Gen-Y in the workplace issues then you need to know about Bea Fields.

Bea Fields is a coauthor of Millennial Leaders and is a Gen-Y in the workplace expert. Bea travels around the country and works with cutting edge organizations (large and small) who recognize the writing on the wall and want to change the way they’re doing business and become supremely attractive to Gen-Y employees.

If you hire, train, or lead Gen-Y you need to know what Bea Fields is teaching.

Bea is an IATF Visiting Faculty Member and will be our special guest on this FREE leadership skills TeleSeminar. In addition to sharing her unique and specialized knowledge of Gen-Y during the call, Bea will alos offer a Q&A session so you have a chance to talk with Bea one-on-one to get your Gen-Y questions answered.



Secrets To Leading Gen-Y in the Workplace


Bea Fields, President of Bea Fields Companies, Inc.

Tom Heck, IATF President & Founder


Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Starts at 1 pm Eastern (NY City time zone)
runs for 60 minutes


Come to the call ready to participate in small group discussions, share ideas and resources, ask questions, answer quick polls, and be fully engaged as we put the newest distance learning telephone conferencing technology to use!


This call will be recorded and made available at the IATF Members Only Area.


This call is free for all who subscribe to the free IATF e-newsletter.


CLICK HERE to register (it’s free). After you register, we’ll send you the phone number and PIN.


During this TeleSeminar we’ll be using the newest telephone conferencing technology that provides a remarkably engaging experience. CLICK HERE to learn more about this technology.

Webinar on March 16: Business Made EASY With Google Apps

Business Made EASY With Google Apps

A Webinar Presentation That Will Change Your Productivity for a Lifetime!

By Jeff Simpkins of Community Bank Consulting

Over 2 Million Business Owners Are Now Using Google Documents, Google Mail,
Google Calendar and an Amazing Suite of Cool Tools to Streamline Productivity and
Make Doing Business Online a Breeze~!

Join Us on Tuesday, March 16, 2010 from 12:30-2:00 P.M. Eastern

Register Online Here:


Do You Want Your Bank to Be Blogging?

Blogging for Bankers is conducting a survey on the impact the presence of a blog may (or may not) have on the bank selection process. We have created short surveys (based on age range) that comprise of two simple questions and should not take any longer than 5 minutes to complete.

To participate, please click the link below to the survey and choose the survey which represents your age range and respond to the questions. Your responses are completely anonymous and the survey will remain open through the end of March. To ensure survey integrity, we ask that you only complete the survey once.

We look forward to your input and thank you for taking time to share your thoughts with us.


G Stands for Gasp

gasp: a sudden, short intake of breath, as in shock or surprise

Amazing Grace: Cape San Blas, FL

Amazing Grace: Cape San Blas, FL

I had the luxury of spending Thanksgiving week at one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen in my life…Cape San Blas, Florida.  We arrived on Wednesday afternoon to Amazing Grace (right)  just in time to see one of the most breathtaking sunsets I have ever witnessed…and I gasped!  It literally took my breath away…the vivid mix of orange, pink and red on a canvas of blue with a gigantic sun shining as the centerpiece,  watching the big ball slowly dip below the horizon over  sparkling water.  I have seen similar views but nothing like this.  It truly made me stop dead in my tracks.   I so wish I had had a great camera at that moment.  I tried snapping a similar sunset two days later with my i-phone, but it just did not capture what I wanted to show.

Then, on Friday, as we were all watching the Alabama/Auburn football game (Roll Tide…I am a U. of Al. alum, but my brother-in-law believes that my Alabama degree should be taken away since I know absolutely nothing about Alabama football), the story about Tiger Woods car accident flashed across the screen, and I gasped.  I was in shock!  I heard he was in serious condition, and I felt worried and really just shocked, I instantly contacted a Dallas county attorneys specialized in accidents in case something like that happen to me or the people I love.  My son has played golf competitively since he was age 5, so we do follow golf closely here at the Fields house, and we do agree that Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer in the history of the sport and has forever changed the way golf will be played…he has raised the bar, has made golf a “sexy” sport (no pun intended…it was once thought that golf was a boring sport reserved for out-of-shape men who cannot run or pump iron) and has taught all golfers that being in strong physical and mental shape is critical to winning this game.

Tiger and Elin Nordegren Woods

Tiger and Elin Nordegren Woods

As the week went on with the rumors and stories of Tiger Woods alleged affairs, I gasped again, but my emotion quickly shifted from shock to skepticism to disappointment and a bit of anger that one of the most well loved and admired role models in the world of professional athletics is not exactly what we all believed he was…a man who talks openly about his commitment to family values.    So, the “gasp” and worry shifted into a few other emotions…and today, as I sit here and write, my emotions have shifted again to a great deal of compassion for the entire Woods family…for a man who obviously is missing something in his life or who has pressures that most of us will never experience in our lifetimes and for his wife, children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends and many fans who are probably more than likely feeling betrayed.

In life and in leadership, there are always moments that take our breath away to the point that they are forever etched in our minds.   For me personally, the moments in my life that were so inspiring, shocking and stunning that they caused me to gasp are:

  • The day my husband, Mike, proposed to me on the Gettysburg battlefield
  • The day my children were born and the first time I held them in my arms
  • September 11, 2001
  • The first time my employer called me in at age 22 to tell me that a physician had reported me to the medical review board for writing in a medical record about a possible food/drug interaction with a patient I was counseling.  I was a Registered Dietitian…not a physician, and I needed to stay out of discussing medications or ANY decisions made by the docs (this was the first time I realized that what I had been taught to do during college was not what the real world wanted and that most of what I had learned needed to be tossed and that to succeed in healthcare meant playing the game strategy designed by the docs)
  • The day my mother died
  • The day I heard one of the living legends of storytelling, Donald Davis…I never knew that one man with such a gift could inspire me so much that I shifted the way I thought about telling life stories and the impact they can have on others

You may be reading this wondering what in the world this blog post has to do with leadership.

I have learned through the years that mediocre life and leadership events do not create true or lasting change.   If we are leading our lives or others through ho-hum activities, there won’t be enough of a jolt or inspiration to create true change in others or the world.  Shocking, gasping, inspiring life events most often drive change, and unfortunately,  catastrophic events seem to create the greatest catalyst for change, because they trigger pain and heartache.  And…most humans will make a drastic change if they are faced with anything which threatens their security or life.   The Tiger Woods events of late will indeed result in something life changing (maybe for Tiger, maybe for his family and friends and possibly even for the world of golf…we won’t know until the future unfolds).

Does this mean that as a leader, you should deliberately set out to create chaos, problems and shock?  Possibly.

Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy by Joseph a. Schumpeter

Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy by Joseph a. Schumpeter

In 1942, Joseph Schumpeter wrote the book Capitalism,  Socialism and Democracy, and in the book he describes a process of creative destruction that can revolutionize the economic structure of a company from within by destroying much of what worked in the past to allow new, fresh, creative ideas to emerge.  One modern day leader who relentlessly practiced this concept of creative destruction is Jack Welch.  Although he is no longer at the helm of GE, Welch practiced creative destruction by knowing when to pull a product or service (even if it was working) if the product or service was “behind the changes in the market.”  With these radical changes came shock, the loss of employees and people scratching their heads in disbelief over Welch’s bold moves, but he is one of the most studied and celebrated CEOs of the last four decades.  And…there are no lukewarm feelings about Welch.  You either love him or despise him.   Welch even has been quoted as saying:

“Willingness to change is a strength, even if it means plunging part of the company into total confusion for a while.”


“If change is happening on the outside faster than on the inside the end is in sight.”

On the same note, as a leader, you must be willing to create true “inspirational experiences” for your company.  This takes leading out there on the bleeding edge and being willing to shake up the norm to bring in something that is going to disrupt the coherency a bit.  If people are just plodding along, doing their job to get a paycheck and there is nothing exciting to have them dance out the door each morning, then you are not doing your job as a leader.

The Michael Scott-Esque Leader in the Mockumentary for BearingPoint

The Michael Scott-Esque Leader in the Mockumentary for BearingPoint

One story that has come across my desk recently is the story about Russ Berland, the Chief Compliance Officer for BearingPoint.  One of his first tasks when he was hired for this job was to redesign the company’s ethics-and-compliance training program.  He could have gone the traditional route of holding boring  internal trainings and reading out of a policy manual, but he chose to do something quirky.  He latched onto the series The Office to create a film series that would highlight the activities of a single IT consulting engagement team to get the point across about ethics and compliance.   You can watch one of the six films on Fast Company in the article How to Make Corporate Training Rock.

As you read this post today, I would like to ask you to consider these questions:

  1. What are you doing that is radically innovative enough to cause your employees to gasp and become inspired?
  2. What products and services do you need to destroy so that you company can actually thrive in the future?  And…do you have the right people on the bus and are they sitting in the seats that will help your company stay competitive in the marketplace?  Maybe it’s time to look closely at the effectiveness of the people in your company.  Are they truly making the impact your company needs for the future?
  3. When you consider the  marketplace today, how far ahead or how far behind is your company?  If you are behind, what plans do you have for 2010 to get out of your same old, ho-hum way of doing things to shake things up so that you can stay competitive in a world that is in chaos?
  4. Think about the Tiger Woods story for just one moment.  On a scale of 1-10, how much are you living in integrity as a leader?  By integrity, I mean living true to who you are, doing what you say you are going to do and not just speaking about what you value but living your life according to those values?  Are you doing anything at all that could damage you and/or the reputation for your company?  If so, snap out of it and make things right!
  5. Are you communicating your vision and your story to your employees in a way that has them dancing out the door each morning?  If not, maybe it’s time to start working on just that!