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I just finished reading the latest book in M. B. Tosi's wonderful The Indian Path Series - it's The Crimson Path of Honor and I absolutely loved it. My review sums it up:
"The Crimson Path of Honor, the third of The Indian Path Series by M. B. Tosi, takes us back in time where a spoiled young woman raised in Boston discovers her fearless courage and life signature through learning the ways of a squaw while being known as 'Morning Star'.
"A white woman assimilating within a Native American culture, while the destruction of the Indian way of life was happening across the continent, is a theme of The Indian Path Series and is of interest to many Americans. As one who has traced his heritage back to the marriage of a Mohawk woman and a Dutchman in the 1600s, I especially appreciate these cultural-clashing stories that M. B. Tosi weaves."
~John G. Agno, certified executive & business coach and president of Signature, Inc., a leadership development firm located in Ann Arbor, MI.
The language is beautiful, her descriptions perfection, the plot is exciting and enduring and the characters unfold before you like enchanting flowers. You'll thrill at the forbidden love that blossoms between the beautiful blond woman and the handsome Indian chief - a can't miss - read it now! And when you order the book, you'll download as a bonus her previous in the series, The Secret Path of Destiny. What a gift! http://bit.ly/CrPath
Last week, my grandson asked me to provide him some information on my military service during the Vietnam Conflict Era--for a report he and his classmates were engaged in to recognize those who have served their country on Veterans Day.
The life changing experiences our men and women in uniform have encountered during their active duty have given them an opportunity to learn and demonstrate effective leadership principles and to better understand what is important to them and those they serve.
What is the meaning of life?
Our life signature is the tracing of the talents we are given and how we express them in our lives. We are all blessed with a few God-given signature talents. A big part of your life is discovering what these are, then utilizing and applying them to the best of your ability.
"No man is born into the world whose work is not born with him." James Russell Lowell
To clearly define your areas of brilliance, ask yourself a few questions and take some self-assessments. What do you do effortlessly? What do you do that other people find difficult?
Where will you be at your most powerful?
How you can make an immediate impact?
How you can win as a leader?
For example, my top two StandOut strength roles are "Equalizer" and "Pioneer" because I love order but thrive in the unknown---an explorer, yet I am grounded in intelligent argument. I know how to articulate my values and guiding principles clearly and concisely (nobody has to guess) and this makes my relationships straightforward and simple. The greatest value I bring to my followers is: I won't allow us to charge ahead without proper preparation.
As a structured and optimistic leader, I inspire followers to bet against the law of averages to achieve higher and sustained performance. My career or life signature is bringing order to opportunity. An organized trailblazer, I have forged ahead with a clear purpose, and with confidence that comes from knowing that my "supply lines" would not be broken.
Great leaders can be born into a culture of leaders--the Kennedys, for example--but birthright is no guarantee that someone will become the real deal. Real leaders are made; they learn through trial and error on the job and are nurtured and developed through time.
Honing those leadership skills can happen outside the workplace, too. One of the many leadership "laboratories" helpful to emerging leaders is their college fraternity. Serving your fraternity brothers and university community in different roles affords numerous types of leadership training. You learn quickly how to deal with adversity and constructive criticism, as well as how to improve, grow and handle increased responsibility.
After I graduated from the University of Florida (as an officer in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam Conflict Era), the country and my fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, was experiencing a segregation versus integration conflict. While on active duty, within a 70 officer leadership class, the first African-American member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and I became good friends as we two fraternity brothers competed for the "top gun" [Honor Graduate] of our leadership class. He later became Bill Clinton's presidential campaign manager and, after they won the election, he was the Secretary of the Commerce Dept. in the Clinton Administration. Commerce Secretary Ron Brown died in an airplane crash in Europe while serving his country. The Ron Brown Scholar Program today awards undergraduate college scholarships to academically talented, highly motivated, African-American high school seniors.
True leaders put service above self; empower, don't control; and serve rather than demand to be served. To develop your own servant leadership potential, practice the art of sacrifice for others rather than thinking of having subordinates or followers. Champion your team, troops or staff by always helping and promoting them. Set the most enviable example and let your actions demonstrate what serving others truly means.
Real leadership is not about amassing personal power; it's about the ability to unleash the strengths of others and in turn create a culture of success.
That and other military and corporate leadership experience built on my signature talent to create order while pushing beyond the boundaries of current understanding.
Once you take the StandOut self-assessment, you too will see where your "ideal career" has shown itself and allowed you to acquire the self-knowledge that will continually lead toward expressing your desired life signature.
The Problem: Today's wealthy are richer than in the past and their share of the nation's income has grown. For example, the richest family in the U.S., the Wal-Mart heirs, with a family wealth of $89.5 billion, have as much wealth as the bottom 40% of Americans combined. To address our country's growing inequality, now is the time to question the core national faith; that even Americans of humble backgrounds have a good chance of getting ahead.
In the 1960s, U.S. manufacturing jobs began to be shipped overseas to countries that had cheap labor rates. This continued during the 1970s and 1980s when The 1% club earned about one-tenth of the nation's income. By 2007, it was 23.5%, the second highest in history after 1929. Today, The 1% is categorized as typically earning $300K to $400K annually and/or having a net-worth of $8.4 million to qualify. About half of The 1% qualify in both categories.
Today, only those Americans with valued skills and advanced education's are reaping the rewards of the American Dream. What all Americans really want is more equal opportunity for themselves. One reason behind the surge in wealth at the top is the limited access to education that provides well-paying jobs within the global economy.
The economic storms of recent years have raised concerns about growing inequality. Most of the discussion has focused on labor market forces like falling blue-collar wages and lavish Wall Street pay. But striking changes in family structure have also broadened income gaps and posed new barriers to upward mobility
American upward mobility lags behind Canada's and some European nations'. The decline in U.S. manufacturing plays an obvious role. Men with high school diplomas have lost high paying jobs to factories in China and India and elsewhere. America's educational attainment has slowed, especially compared with competitor nations, at a time when technological advancement complicates labor force needs. The U.S. ranks near the bottom in high school graduation rates among OECD countries and in the middle on college graduation rates. We used to be on top.
The slowdown and reversal [in the U.S.] were so extreme that college graduation rates of young men born in the mid-1970s are no higher than for those born in the late 1940s.
The Solution: So the question is, How do we reboot an education system for a 21st-century workforce?
Public Opinion Polls to Increase Taxes on the Rich are Hugely Popular
The past few decades have been good to the top 10% of earners. Many of whom pay low federal and state tax rates; such as presidential candidate Mitt Romney who pays taxes in range of 12%. Many think taxing the well-off (those who make $250K and above a year) would help the economy. Even Warren Buffett suggests that imposing a minimum tax rate of 30% on million-dollar incomes has gained the White House's support.
Increased taxation of the rich, along with reductions in global diplomatic and military spending, could create a funding source for lower cost university and job training education programs. Such educational support programs in the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s provided middle and lower class students an opportunity to secure high paying jobs.
Let's stop the erosion of middle class American families by providing low-cost university-level and job-training educational opportunities, create balanced taxing policies where the wealthy pay their fair share, and bring back manufacturing jobs to the United States of America.
Source: "Is it still OK to be rich in America?" by Nina Easton in FORTUNE, September 24, 2012. Easton's husband, Russell Schriefer, is a senior strategist for the Romney presidential campaign.
New findings give insight into the online media consumptionand behaviors of the mature boomer consumer.Some of the highlight findings on media consumption are:
·Gap in print media consumption among Boomers: Boomers still use traditional media more than those of Generation X, but not all Boomers consume media in the same way – the biggest gap being between older and younger Boomers. This is most striking within traditional print media---with high consumption by older Boomers of newspapers and magazines.
·Internet the last thing to go for Boomers: Among all media services listed, Boomers were least willing to give up the Internet, versus the top response of the 2008 survey: their cell phone. This is not surprising as the survey shows they now spend more time than ever online (a rapid increase in one year from 38% to 62% stating they now spend more time online).
Among the findings is that Baby Boomer-aged respondents’ anxiety has shifted from the collapse of the economy to the cost of health care. Most significant is the shift in the media consumption of this age group, as the only media activity to rise dramatically was time spent on the Internet. This is one of several insights on the emergence of the new ‘social media maven’ among Baby Boomers, and indicates that social media has significantly carved out time generally reserved for traditional media.
The survey was conducted by CPH Research, LLC on behalf of the San Francisco-based Continuum Crew. Highlight findings in this follow-up survey (to their Economic Impact Study released in December 2008) revealed specific anxiety and life events in the 2009 survey:
·Cost of healthcare surpasses the economy as major anxiety-inducing issue: Anxiety about the economy has decreased in the past year (46% indicated it as the issue they were ‘very nervous’ about in 2008); now the issue of most concern is cost of healthcare (as indicated by 49% in 2009). This is particularly the case among Boomers, and those who are Medicare eligible. Overall levels of anxiety are increasing.
·For older parents, more adult children are moving back home than are leaving it: This is a previously unprecedented finding within this research series, and markedly shows that Boomers’ lives are in transition.
In interpreting all the responses about anxiety, in terms of their mindset and behavior, it appears Boomers are now re-framing the notion of frugal living into the idea of simplicity. The national economic situation has created a new ‘planner’ type personality among Boomers that engages more with institutions, such as financial services organizations and retirement communities. Children moving back in with parents, or delaying leaving their parent’s home, is likely having an effect on the family dynamic and household, which may mean an inclination to the return of the extended family structure of the World War II era.
When Senator John McCain takes the stage at the Republican National Convention this week in Minneapolis, he will be become the oldest candidate ever to accept his party's nomination for a first-term president. McCain, who will be 72 when he accepts the nod, has sought to turn his advanced years into an attribute and a counterpoint to the message being championed by his 47-year-old boomer rival, Senator Barack Obama. This election, at least on one level, is a national referendum on change vs. experience.
A similar dynamic is at work in business.
Older people have a historical perspective, as well as impressive contacts built up over a lifetime. They can be adept at weighing risks and spotting opportunities. These are useful attributes at a time of epic upheaval in industry after industrywhere rapid-fire change is putting executives to the test. Many companies also find themselves lacking institutional knowledge, partly a result of the incessant job-hopping of today's generation of managers.
Finally, age confers on its wearer a certain immunity to internal politics. These folks can get away with saying things their younger colleagues would never dare. "One colossal advantage of being in extra innings is you can tell it like it is, say what you think, and largely eschew political caution," says 76-year-old Robert Lutz, vice-chairman of General Motors. Lutz has become a kind of Provocateur at GM. He was the only executive willing to push for an electric car despite GM's debacle the first time around. "I often ask, rhetorically, if they don't like it, what are they going to do? Send me into early retirement?"
With Baby Boomers filling most executive ranks and with qualified replacements increasingly scarce, an aggressive focus on talent management may be the only solution to an impending talent crisis.
Corporate America is top-heavy. A disproportionate amount of knowledge and leadership talentis vested with older employees who may not be with their companies for much longer. Executives will continue to retire and younger employees are insufficiently prepared to fill those vacancies.
Stanton Chase, in a 2008 report entitled Business Implications of the New Reality 2008, makes it very clear that the war for talent isn't just a catch phrase; it's real. Of 37,000 surveyed executives and managers, 94 percent said they believe there is a talent shortage today or that there will be one soon, and 79 percent perceive a moderate or significant gap between retiring boomersand younger generations when it comes to qualified leadership talent. Yet, only 18 percent of respondents indicated their companies had a plan in place for talent acquisition, and 67 percent felt their organizations needed to do a better job identifying and developing potential leaders. Overall, 71 percent cited employee retention as a major challenge.
To successfully fill the talent pipeline, experts and HR leaders say, companies need to proactively address three key points:
In preparation of the biggest mass exit in the U.S. work force (78 million Baby Boomers started leaving our employment last year) boomer executives and other business leaders have the challenge of selecting and developing organizational leaders. They may not understand what makes a leaderor what the job entails. They can easily focus on the wrong people for the wrong reasons.
Many fail to recognize that developing other executives is a major part of every leader’s job—and they tend to start the process far too late. They underestimate what it will take for a leader to developthe capabilities to take a complex organization into a future fraught with rapid and destabilizing change.
We leadership coachescan help boards of directors and HR executives sort this leadership development challenge out...to allow for the creation of a tailor-made succession plan fordeveloping leaders within the organization. We also may be called upon to coach boomer professionals through career obstacles and other changes boomers now face: whether looking to get a promotion, strengthen your presencein the boardroom or figure out your next or second career move. "A lot of people are evaluating where they are, where they've been and where they're going," says Andrew Susskind who specializes in coaching baby boomers through career transitions.
Here are six coaching tips to get the coaching relationship off to a good start:
Pick the right coach for you. People usually find the right coach via personal recommendations from friends or associates or by searching online. Ask the coach if he or she has a history of coaching people to successful outcomes that are similar to your biggest challenge. Do an Internet search of the coach's name to learn more about the expertise of the coach.
Talk it out. Have a telephone or face-to-face conversation with the prospective coach to determine if you could easily work with this person and get to where you want to be. Establishing your time commitment and adjusting your schedule from the outset makes the coaching process more manageable.
Get into it. To executives immersed in bottom-line analysis and measurable productivity, talking to a coach about life's lofty ambitionsand what's holding you back at work can seem frivolous. But those boomer executives who get the most out of the coaching engagement, engage the most in it.
Manage expectations. It's important to communicate exactly what you expect from the coaching relationship. Get specific about what you expect from your coach and your career.
Clean out your closet. Bring out all your trump cards for the coach to see. Be ready, willing and able to take some self-assessments to really get to know yourself better and how you project your presence to others. It's part of the coach's job to help you become more aware of your assets and where you may have a tendency to shoot yourself in the foot. It's also time to drag the skeletons out of your closet, and any flaws or mistakes that keep repeating in your life or work that hold you back. Working with your coachcan help you overcome the challenges that get in the way of achieving what want to achieve.
Locate your supporters. Find people in your life both personally and professionally who would champion your cause through a coaching process. If your boss isn't the type to get on board with executive coaching, you may not want to be open about having a personal coach. However, some organizations may be supportive of your coaching endeavor and could even be open to paying for the coaching services.
Some 77.5 million Baby Boomers will begin exiting the workforce at an accelerating pace over the next five years. Over 15 years, workplaces will shift to a new generation of leaders. This poses a profound management problem....as Generation X succeeds the Boomer Generation.
Gen X managers have been poorly mentored by their organizations to assume the responsibilities they will inherit. The boomers have not been good about sharing their knowledge and experience; Gen X has not been good about tapping into it. Here is what one Gen Xer has to say:
"The major reason why many Gen Xers are not in line for leadership opportunities is because of the absolute selfishness and short-sightedness of boomers who have dominated the workforce for the past two decades. Boomers have refused to share their knowledge, mentor and develop us while we were in the early years of our career development. The lack of Gen X leaders in many of the organizations today is the direct result of boomers' refusal to support us in the first place."
Last summer while on vacation in Maine, I purchased a $.25 well-used book from the Great Cranberry Isle library. This best-selling book was written in 1972 and targeted to young Baby Boomers to help them understand the political health of their country and what they must do to get the country back on track.
Here is the author's Foreword to the bestseller "Captains and The Kings" in 1972:
This book is dedicated to the young people of America, who are rebelling because they know something is very wrong in their country, but do not know just what it is. I hope this book will help to enlighten them. The historical background and the political background of this novel are authentic. The "Committee for Foreign Studies" does indeed exist, today as of yesterday, and so does the "Scardo Society," but not by these names.
There is indeed a "plot against the people" and probably always will be, for government has always been hostile towards the governed. It is not a new story, and the conspirators and conspiracies have varied form era to era, depending on the political or economic situation in their various countries.
But it was not until the era of the League of Just men and Karl Marx that conspirators and conspiracies became one, with one aim, one objective, and one determination. This has nothing to do with any "ideology" or form of government, or ideals or "materialism" or any other catch-phrases generously fed to the unthinking masses. It has absolutely nothing to do with races or religions, for the conspirators are beyond what they call "such trivialities." They are also beyond good and evil. The Caesars they put into power are their creatures, whether they know it or not, and the peoples of all nations are helpless, whether they live in America, Europe, Russia, China, Africa, or South America. They will always be helpless until they are aware of their real enemy.
President John F. Kennedy knew what he was talking about when he spoke of "the Gnomes of Zurich." Perhaps, he knew too much! Coups d'etat are an old story, but they are now growing too numerous. This is probably the last hour for mankind as a rational species, before it becomes the slave of a "planned society." A bibliography ends this book, and I hope many of my readers will avail themselves of the facts. That is all the hope I have.
Now 35 years later, Baby Boomers are the best educated of all former generations. However, they need to read or re-read "Captains and The Kings" to better understand how their countries are being weaken through politically created wars and inflationary monetary policies.
Boomers are valued and needed to exercise their responsibility, serious work ethic, "can do" attitude and competitiveness in stopping the bankruptcy of their country. They need to exercise their leadership capabilities in finding, promoting and voting for political candidates in 2008 who are for free markets, sound money, reasonable tax policies, and ready, willing and able to fight terrorism the way Canada, Sweden and Switzerland do.
It used to be you'd collect your pension and whatever toys you could afford and exit the workforce. But that model's fading away.
A former reporter who chronicled Bill Gates' epic story — and who now helps people find second careers — said the Microsoft chief's announcement to focus on his family's foundation was a benchmark.
"He was the poster child of the computer age; now he'll be the poster child for this 'encore' career where you take on something new at midlife," says David Bank, senior vice president of Civic Ventures. Gates is not alone in giving back at midlife.
Baby BoomerCatherine Meloy used to run a radio network with more than 1,000 stations, but now she checks out the Goodwill stores she manages in the Washington, D.C., area or visits one of the classrooms paid for by Goodwill's profits so the disabled or unemployed can join the workforce.
And about her 25-year career as a radio exec? "There isn't a day that I look back and say, I wish I was still there," says Meloy.
Maybe just a new way to use your old skills that can also help pay the bills in a phased retirement. "I still wanted to be very involved in a business and Goodwill is a business," she says.