Saturday, January 31, 2009

Inter-Continent Consulting Assignments

Are we becoming truly global?

Q: Do you believe there will be more Inter-Continent Consulting Assignments?

A: Murad S. Mirza says

I believe they will increase, especially, to counter the 'Domino Effect' in the current economic conditions. This will mainly be facilitated by the multinational consultancy organizations who have the capability to address global issues. However, the mode of interaction between such organizations & their clients may see an increase in unconventional contact methods, e.g., Goto Meeting, primarily in politically unstable regions. This will also be boosted by the consultancy organizations looking for innovative cost effective ways to reach a wide range of existing and potential clients in different parts of the world.

The respective reliance on such guidance will be more prevalent in:
a. Subsidiaries of multinational organizations
b. Domestic businesses venturing into the international arena
c. Governments looking to improve their trade imbalances.

d.Organizations focused on cost-cutting and performance improvement measures
Murad S. Mirza is a respected contributing expert on our NEW New World of Work. He has lived in many parts of the world and now resides in Lohore, Pakistan. His education is extensive and includes a Master of Industrial Relations & Human Resource Management with Distinction from the University of Sydney, Australia.
He was also Certified Six Sigma Black Belt in 2006 at Singapore Quality Institute, he graduated in the top third of his class when he received his MBA in General Management & Marketing at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan preceded by years of study and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Northern Arizona University in 1994.
He would like you to know that he has more than 10 years of achievement-oriented professional experience as a Consultant, Auditor, Trainer and Manager in overlapping areas of Human Resources and Quality Management, e.g., Organizational Development, through the establishment of customer-focused management systems, re-engineering of business processes and improvement of performance standards. Successfully guided, trained and audited organizations from service and manufacturing sectors in gaining strategic and operational advantage through responsive organizational structures, efficient business processes and enhanced internal / external customer orientation.
thanks Murad.... just your garden variety over achiever?? Patty

International Thoughts...Understanding Cultural Differences: Get to Know South Asia Better

We asked Murad S. Mirza what he saw as some of the differences between doing business in South Asia and the USA. Here he shares some thoughts and tips. Murad has been educated in major cities around the world including Austrailia, South Asis & the USA

Cultural Differences:

Some Key Elements of Doing Business in South Asia

(Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka)

1. Relationships come first and business comes second, therefore, try to know more about the culture of your host before making the sales pitch.

A useful guide can be the framework developed by Geert Hofstede's framework for assessing culture

2. Yes is never a Yes and No is never a No in terms of professional commitments. It all depends on how the relationship proceeds between business partners

3. Trust gained through frequent interactions and knowing each other on a personal level goes further than a written agreement for doing business

4. Never forget that you are in a highly sensitive political region, therefore, your comments will be closely scrutinized for any evidence of biasness, e.g., Talk Pakistan in Pakistan and India in India

5. Stay away from giving opinions on religion, politics or the virtues of democracy, especially, during casual discussions

6. Don't be surprised if someone wants to know more about your family and highlight aspects of their own since it is normally an attempt to create a personal bond

7. Staring is not considered good manners since it is generally viewed as challenging authority. Less eye contact is generally preferred, especially, with senior management

8. Never refuse acts of hospitality on part of the hosts, e.g., dinner at a famous restaurant

9. Exchanging gifts is part of the culture and generally not considered a bribe

10.Time moves slowly and patience will be fully tested in terms of getting things done, especially, in the presence of cumbersome rules and regulations

You'll Need Some Bright Ideas to Weather this Season of Economic Tsunami

Derek Cheshire on Getting Bright Ideas

When you have a bright idea there is always someone who takes the wind out of your sails by asking “What about …?” Why not preempt them by doing a little homework first?

Below are 50 questions, variations on the usual who, what, why, when, where.
Think your idea through using these as prompts and see if you can improve your idea.

1. Who is affected by the problem?
2. Who else has it?
3. Who says it is a problem?
4. Who would like a solution?
5. Who would not like a solution?
6. Who could prevent a solution?
7. Who needs it solved more than you?

8. When does it occur?
9. When doesn’t it occur?
10. When did it appear?
11. When will it disappear?
12. When do other people see your problem as a problem?
13. When don’t other people see your problem as a problem?
14. When is the solution needed?
15. When might it occur again?
16. When will it get worse?
17. When will it get better?

18. Why is this situation a problem?
19. Why do you want to solve it?
20. Why don’t you want to solve it?
21. Why doesn’t it go away?
22. Why would someone else want to solve it?
23. Why wouldn’t someone else want to solve it?
24. Why is it easy to solve?
25. Why is it hard to solve?

26. What might change about it?
27. What are its main weaknesses?
28. What do you like about it?
29. What do you dislike about it?
30. What can be changed about it?
31. What can’t be changed?
32. What do you know about it?
33. What don’t you know about it?
34. What will it be like if it is solved?
35. What will it be like if it isn’t solved?
36. What have you done in the past with similar problems?
37. What principles underlie it?
38. What values underlie it?
39. What problem elements are related to one another?
40. What assumptions are you making about it?
41. What seems to be most important about it?
42. What seems to be least important about it?
43. What are the sub-problems?
44. What are your major objectives in solving it?
45. What else do you need to know?

46. Where is it most noticeable?
47. Where is it least noticeable?
48. Where else does it exist?
49. Where is the best place to begin looking for solutions?
50. Where does it fit in the larger scheme of things?

On Derek Cheshire of the UK
Derek encourages a holistic approach to Innovation. His work encompasses consultancy, idea generation, creativity workshops and facilitating continuous innovation. Derek is an accomplished speaker and has compiled a number of articles on Business Creativity and Innovation. One of his papers has been published by the ICFAI University Press in India as part of a reference book Ideas, Creativity and Innovation. Derek is a member of the mastermind group for the Design Interaction course at the Royal College of Art and Design in The Hague, speaking at their 2007 Mastermundo event and recently took part in the CNBC programme The Business of Innovation.

Dr. Ellie Corigliano on Women Leaving Science

Women Leaving Science:

A conundrum awaiting a solution.

By Dr. Ellie Corigliano

Allow me to paint a picture of the current situation in the scientific community today.
Several studies have been done in order to address the issue of women leaving their scientific careers, especially after they have invested so much time in their graduate degree.
A recent article by Natalie Angier, reports on several of these studies that focus on issues of having children and being/staying married. According to these studies done by Mary Ann Mason and Marc Goulden of the University of California, Berkeley, women are more likely to be single or divorced, and report to have had fewer children than they intended. They also report on the timeline of obtaining a tenured position, usually in your early 40’s.
Establishing your career currently requires the following;
scientists spend 4-7 years earning their Ph.D. (during their 20’s),
the average postdoctoral term is another 7 years (until their mid-late 30’s), and
then one year lecturer positions are held until you can find an assistant professorship position.
It doesn’t stop…you have about 5-6 years of proving yourself worthy of being tenured. The stress involved is immense. A side story to all this, is the pay scale as you're going through these rigor’s: Ms. Angier refers to it as being “poorly compensated”. I can attest to all of these claims, and report a few more. The low pay scale during grad school and postdoctoral work usually instill a couple of behaviors not often talked about. The first – the morale of the environment one has to work in, and second – the personal self-worth that gets embedded as one receives such low compensation for such highly valued information.
So far all of these things mentioned affect both men and women, so why then do the men stay and the women leave? An answer everyone is trying to resolve.

Programs encouraging women to stay in science are popping up everywhere in ways of funding.

While I was in grad school women would talk about the right time to have children. Many women spoke of how that had to wait until grad school was over. By the end of the conversation the conclusion was to wait until they were tenured! Women just don’t have that biological leisure to wait until their tenured (recall - in their 40’s).
I entered grad school with a 5 year-old son. I was 27 at the time, single and wanting to remarry and have more children. My career objectives were questioned and my dedication to research was questioned. I found myself having to defend my pursuits, my parental position, and my scientific “place”. Ultimately, I was able to convey my commitment to science and that being a mother only contributed to my ability to be time efficient and productive.
I truly believe that in spite of challenges or bumps in the road, as long as you walk beside yourself, soon enough your strength will prevail.

As scientists we don’t often make great demands, or disagree with the timelines of career development, or challenge the administration for better working conditions. In fact, most students enter grad school straight out of college eager to start research and follow the rules that have been outlined. However, mid-way through students begin to find discord with their environment and end up feeling powerless, and voiceless. While the complaints are there, no one wants to stick their neck out to initiate change.
In one of the below articles of this blog written by Patty DeDominic, Santa Barbara based Executive Coach and Business Consultant, titled “It takes a team to make a better you” outlines what is also necessary to this very situation. While the above timeline for a scientific career may seem unchangeable and bleak, it is instead a call to all scientists to take ownership of our endeavor. It does take a team to make a better you, and to do that we must recruit our colleges, our advisors, the administrators and the scientific community at large in order to redesign our profession.
The career timeline has reached a point of disbelief and has become a great deterrent for the pursuit of science in this country. I especially want to call to women. The more you set aside your personal life and wait for the “tenured position” to have children, the more we feed the current system. A career in science is not just a man’s profession, it is also a women’s profession, but as women we have to initiate the change that instills our needs to better suit OUR lifestyle to make this a workable profession.
Ask yourself why we always feel the need to accommodate what is set in a work place, rather than thinking about making adjustments? Being part of a scientific community does not mean that you have joined a fraternity and that you should hope you can fit in. We have every right to organize ourselves and create an environment that is financially compensatory for both men and women and offers extended maternity leave with health care for both the mother and the child, and further provide on site childcare. From one of my previous articles, I want to re-state, “In the right environment, everything is possible!”

At the forefront of change the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard University are now offering five-year term fellowships to newly graduated Ph.D.’s in science, where you are given a salary that is double most postdoctoral salaries and monies to conduct independent research along with additional money to hire a postdoctoral candidate and use housed technological services. This type of position bypasses the 7 year postdoctoral term and places you in a “pseudo-assistant professorship” with the possibility of being hired in a more permanent position. They are highly encouraging women to apply for these positions! These top two Universities are the trend-setters and their initiative for change should be applauded!
As women and scientists we need to make our demands heard, instead of leaving, so that more Universities will offer this type of fantastic program for scientific success!

Quality will Survive and Prosper, Al Walsh

Patty's Note:

I asked for suggestions about how people can get through these challenging times. No one seems immune from layoffs, cut backs, reduced work weeks. We know this is not the end of the world, but it is indeed a NEW New World of Work

Al Walsh, Financial Executive & Consultant

Quality will survive and prosper.
Mediocrity will fail.

That's been the way of the world for time immemorial. Most people are followers, and can't see beyond the mundane aspects of their lives. Quality people are always looking beyond themselves. They can't help it. It's like an uncontrollable itch, and they naturally tend to rise into leadership. Unfortunately, they're a rare group.

America came out of WWII the leader of the world; a world that had largely been destroyed, and which we rebuilt. Almost any "fool" could start a business in those days and succeed; often despite themselves. We had the world by the tail. But, hark, along comes the rest of the rebuilt world to compete with us; and they are operating on a much simpler & cheaper model.

I think America's in shock.

We still long for the "good old days." While we were asleep, we let so much advantage slip away that we'll have hell to pay getting it back.

Small companies have to operate lean & mean just to survive, so they're farther up on the curve. But they can't drive the whole economy. Big business has lapsed into a form of bloated, bureaucratic, unresponsive existence akin to our pathetic socialist government.

In order to turn things around, it's going to take a whole bunch of individuals making daily efforts to change the culture.
Leaders need to lead the charge. Failure is not an option.

Sam Kass says Keep in the Sunlight

Patty's Note:
Quite a few people are concerned about layoffs and keeping morale out of the tank. Others have been underemployed for some time and need to find ways to stay "UP".

We asked for Tips and Techniques to maintain a more positive outlook
and help people avoid becoming "part of the problem" instead of the solution.
We'll feature wise counsel from pros in and out of business to help you keep your Eyes fixed on the find the opportunities that do come up, albeit without the neon signs of yesteryear!

Keep in the Sunlight - by Sam Kass
Executive Recruiter, Former HR Consultant and Corporate HR Professional

Ben Franklin once said:

” Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”

Are you currently encountering a worry situation?
Are you feeling stressed?

Here is a technique that works.

Why are you worried?
Write down with as much detail and specifics as possible the “worry situation”.
Often, just writing down and reading your words resolves the situation.

Ask yourself these questions:

If this did happen, what is the absolute worst-case scenario that could develop?

In a year from now, how would this situation affect my life?

Once you answer these questions and accept that - if the worst should happen - you are not helpless; clear and calm your mind.

You are now ready to take purposeful and productive action.

The key is to take immediate action.

Once you take immediate action, you are too busy to worry; and your confidence, self esteem & ability to control your destiny come forth into the sunlight.

Remember, when you write down the worry situation - and take purposeful and productive action - you will be astonished at how your worries and stress evaporate away.

This works!Cheers! from Sam Kass, Executive Recruiter

Friday, January 30, 2009

You'll Need a Team to Make the Big Changes Necessary for Tomorrow

It Takes a Team to Make a Better You!

Patty DeDominic

Santa Barbara, California
Executive Coach & Business Consultant

Transitions can mean Evolution and Growth
I've made some big transitions over the past few decades:

  • Moving from bootstrapping entrepreneur to CEO to Chairman of the Board(s).
  • Building a company which became one of California's top 5% of employers took lots of work, time and a team.

Successful growth and building happy customers took much strategic thinking and tons of execution. It also took trial and error and many years of working at perfecting our craft. We built upon our successes and for the most part learned from our hiccups. (no failures in our vocabulary - challenges yes, but never failures!)

We could never have accomplished all that we did at PDQ Personnel and CT Engineering without willing clients, employees and advisers who were part of our stakeholders team. Sometimes our growth was planned. Actually it was always planned for, but it didn't always manifest itself in the time lines originally forecast, if you know what I mean. :-)

I sold PDQ two years ago to Select Staffing another privately held firm that is now among the top privately held firms in America with over $1.4 Billion in sales. It is a beautiful thing to see a plan come together and every day I cheer for their success and wish them the best. Companies evolve and they have too. I too have evolved again, from leader of a large company back to "bootstrapping entrepreneur". Having come full circle, I am in the process of assembling new teams for my book, for my charitable activities and as future business advisers. I am having a lot of fun again!

It's been wonderful to serve as a consultant to Select Staffing and other client firms, even some significant social enterprises and charitable institutions. I watch as they continue to acquire others and navigate the challenges of this economy. No small feat! I love helping founders, board members and their sales and franchise teams identify new business opportunities and hone their already great skills. We have had fun "talking the customers language" and I especially have enjoyed working with some of the staff in states across the USA. But none of my growth
has come without the help of others and for that I am especially grateful.

TRANSITIONS Are a Normal Part of a Healthy Life and Career

Evolution = Transitions and hopefully Growth.

For us, building one of California's leading staffing firms, each transition took place in it's due time when circumstances necessitated these changes. We always aimed for growth.... but not at any cost. We pushed for growth that was profitable and enabled us to maintain our integrity and our commitment to America's Finest Employers. We sought out and offered our services to those firms we truly wanted to be affiliated with and this business philosophy paid off for us. Forces of business and inertia made this a constant effort and required diligent focus on our key drivers, keeping costs in line, seeking high return on all investments and providing high value to our clients. With those underpinnings, those values, I have plenty of happy memories of those years and the people we were privileged to serve.

It's the Learning, the sometimes painful lessons of business growth, that keeps many of us going and kept the PDQ/CT Engineering teams excited about the future.

We didn't always know exactly what we were doing.... but we always knew in which direction we were headed! (OK, it was staffing, NOT brain surgery thank goodness!)

Looking back, it seems like each time I mastered leading the company at a certain size, (say $500k in annual sales, then $2million, then 5, 10 and finally $25 million) it was time to move on and Up. My capacity to lead grew and just when I thought I had finally mastered that level it was time to grow again. Growth and learning are not for those who always must do everything perfectly..... it can be a humbling experience. I always felt extremely competent in yesterday's or last years job!

Today I wanted to talk a bit about the humbling aspects of business growth. Sure wins have their wonderful rewards in terms of money and often in terms of the satisfaction and recognition that comes with worthy goal achievement. But most of the time for me the business grew a little like that old adage of the tortoise and the hare .......... one steady (not sexy) foot in front of the other, plugging ahead, doing the work, one day at a time. It was not explosive growth...but sometimes the recognition and the rewards did surprise us.

Exponential growth did occur some years. It appears these took place about one third of the years we built the company. Exponential growth occurred when the external environment was right and when our internal team was prepared. In most years it was steady somewhat predictable growth that when focused on returned good results for all of us.

It took a Team.... for which I am eternally grateful.
It took Focus, which I learned after about twenty years in business!
It took Vision and Commitment
and it took a consistent effort year after year to improve our delivery of value to our customers.

Biggest Mistakes of Top Managers, Get Out of that Bubble!

Interviews with a Global Perspective

Murad S. Mirza, MBA
International Consultant

We asked 38 year old Murad a number of questions in the past few weeks and will share some of his wisdom gained as a business consultant who has committed himself to continued education and high standards of excellence.

Q: What do you see at the Biggest Mistakes of Top Managers?
A: 1. Refusing to listen within the organization and paying heed to the outside business environment
2. Lethargy in taking timely preventive or corrective action

3. Infected with the attitude of "I know best"

4. Living in a 'Bubble' where everything seems fine

5. Inability to identify the true stakeholders and failing to cater to their needs & expectations

6. Protecting the 'Sinners'

7. Leading with unbridled power

8. Adherence to the 'Divide & Rule' policy

9. Dismissing strengths of the competitors or devising ineffective strategies to meet their challenges

10. Living in the Past or being content with the Present without planning for the future

11. Being content with 'Surviving' and not pushing for 'Prospering'

12. Ignoring the 'Human Factor'

Thank you Murad. You can see by his experience and education that he "walks his talk". Some of his accomplishments include
· Master of Industrial Relations & Human Resource Management (Distinction)
University of Sydney, Australia

· Certified Six Sigma Black Belt
Singapore Quality Institute, Singapore
· MBA in General Management & Marketing (Top 1/3 of Class)
Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan

· Post Graduate Diploma in Quality Management
National University of Science & Technology (NUST), Pakistan
B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering
Northern Arizona University, USA

Current Status
Management Consultant to clients facilitated through the Society of Industrial Leaders, Gerson Lehrman Group Financial & Business Services Council and ki work. Active facilitator, researcher and contributor to professional forums in disseminating practical knowledge pertaining to the resolution of strategic & operational issues related to Organizational Development, Change Management and Performance Management.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Twitter's Use for Your Career, Get Linked In or Risk Getting Locked Out of (or at least Late for) the Next Wave!

Social Networks, Linked In and Twitter for your Career?

Article by Patty DeDominic,
Santa Barbara based Business Consultant & Executive Coach

There has been a great deal of discussion and many opinions about social networking sites. Do they just suck up your focus and waste your time and attention? Should you be more proactive in "live" networks?

To Blog or Not to Blog, that IS a real question in 2009!

These questions about Social Networks and blogs make me smile as the criticism that has been aimed at Social Networking sites is understandable. Used wisely I believe they are essential business tools of tomorrow.

Patty DeDominic, Executive Coach of Santa Barbara California is also smiling because I've even criticized others and certainly my husband and former executives have criticised me for being on line too much or for checking my PDA at PDQ once too often! Even President Obama is getting his critics for wanting to check his PDA or for spending time on line.... so if someone has been on your case lately you are in pretty good company! Most of us know that President Obama has been allowed to keep his "modified- super secure" Crackberry, er, excuse me, I meant Blackberry. So... on that end, get used to it, your AT&T iPhone or your Razor or your new Gizmo is here to stay! :-)

There is a caveat however.... I want to remind you that what you put "out there" on any of these sites will have a long life of it's own. Check about your own company's policy if they have one about your doing it on company time and in using your company's email or computers. A good rule of thumb is to think that everything you write could end up on the front page of tomorrows Wall Street Journal. If you could see it there....and are willing to live with the consequences of anyone having those quotes from you (or those proofreading errors) or those opinions, then go ahead.

Not Everyone Has a Car..... but most wish to have fast transportation. Think of Social Networking as the equivalent of fast transportation of your thoughts, your opinions and your brand.

No you didn't have to have a telephone in the '50's and 60's of the last millennium and you didn't have to get a fax machine until about 1990 to qualify as an "Un-dinosaur". However, if you wanted to get a job call back or needed to send in a resume to a help wanted ad, you needed those modern-at-the-time tools.

You may not wish to be referred to as a Dinosaur today... certainly not if you need to get past the 20 somethings screeners and hiring team! In the future I believe you will have to carry your PDA or Cell phone, or at least wear your "Comm Badge" unless you are fully retired or a deep sea diver!

Everyone over the age of about 12 will need to be connected to someone - somewhere. This doesn't mean the end of real time connections or personal conversations and networks. It does mean that if you want to get taken seriously as a professional you ought to learn how to use today's tools!

Yes, Unless you want to take a major pay cut...........Get Used to it; Get on line and get Linked In. (no they didn't pay me)

"Get Linked In - or Risk Getting Locked Out" of the NEW New World of Work. If you are not connected you risk getting locked out of the wave of technological competence and the methods of quick communication.

When you are that far behind....your income will suffer and you know it.

No, of course, you do not need to blog or Twitter or get Linked In.

You didn't need to learn to type in the 80's either......but aren't you glad you know how to type now? Some women told me their mothers would not allow them to take typing, for fear they would get locked into becoming someones secretary. To me that was about as foolish a person not learning a foreign language as they might get stuck in that country and never leave or as silly as me not wanting to learn to run for fear I would become a marathoner..... not very likely!

Many of my business colleagues feel tending their profiles, their networks and even a blog is just an egotistical waste of time. I do not, I know that Time, like all your other assets needs to be carefully protected and leveraged. Leverage your your brand and carefully cultivate your networks. Doing that face to face or one on one on the phone or in person is great but it is extremely time consuming and increasingly expensive. It can also be pretty limiting since not many of us can hop on over to another city or even another continent every week, or month. However, On-line, with your "e-networks"; "I-Networks" or social can really stay connected to leading authorities all over the world. Cultivating those relationships will take time..... but a wider net does always take time. You will need to learn the skills of doing it faster and more wisely - that will be key for your growth and network. Why wouldn't you want to connect with differing points of view or experts educated in Boston, London or Sydney? Of course you want that access, and you want those leading business people to learn about your too. Building that kind of network is an extreme asset and does indeed take a concerted effort but you can do it and you will find that the old cliche about "it's not what you know, but WHO you know" has some valuable truth to it. It's pretty difficult to strengthen a global network by staying home or out of the "i-gathering" places of today's humming communities of professionals.

Still thinking that Twitter is not for you? Let me remind you to recall what you thought back in the 90's when you got a new AOL disc at every event you attended and in the mail on what seemed like a regular basis. Who was this cheeky company, America On Line and why were they littering us with these little discs? AOL and other email and Internet companies were pioneering new avenues of communication, new ways of "Social Networking" way back before we called them Social Networks. And what happened? Errrrr... well, today, my 8 year old grandson has his own email address and so does my 89 year old mentor retired business executive Lou Campanelli. Who would have thunk it? I guess the Microsoft and the AOL people did, that's for sure. We do not need special glasses to see this handwriting on the wall.

Below are a couple of conversations I pulled off of one of my leadership sites:

Heather Davis and Tom Schulte Weigh In on Twitter et al..........
Q: Is Twitter of value or just a waste of time"
A: Heather Davis Principal Consultant at Waypoint Consulting said

" I've been making a conscious effort to use web 2.0 tools as part of my PhD journey and Twitter and Linked In are for me the most valuable for making and keeping business/research connections.

I also use Facebook which is a more social space for me and I am now blogging as well.
I've tried lots of different tools (I don't know how many user names and passwords I've had to set up to have a look-see at things) and it is a matter of trial and error to find tools that serve the purpose you want them too. Otherwise it is very easy to be managed by the tools!"

Tom Schulte
Executive Director Linked 2 Leadership & CEO Recalibrate Professional Development

Offers this: " I "tweet" on Twitter. I do Facebook, too.
Both can be black holes of time wasting if you are not very careful.
As a general rule, if something you do on a reoccurring basis costs more (in time or money) than it otherwise brings in, it should be considered your hobby. However, if you have a good plan on using these tools as part of your communication strategy to help earn the ear and mind space of your audience, then you can consider the use of that time on Twitter and Facebook (and LinkedIn) as an investment. The key here is to really focus on the needs of your audience and understand where you fit in their world.

"As with any business tool, keep a smart eye on how much you are spending in both time and money using each tool. Then try to calculate your return on that investment. If you can do that, then you will be answering your question. You will be able to tell if doing the social networking thing is part of your business plan or simply a hobby."

It's clear to me to Social networking sites are indeed tools of this century. Learn to use them and profit from the changes happening at lightening speed around the world. Patty De

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Casual Conversation With Murad Mirza on Mentors, Customers and his Consultancy

" It's my pleasure to benefit others in terms of achieving success through sharing thoughts on various aspects."

Q: Murad, As a busy International Business Consultant, it must be hard to retain clients in this competitive market. Please give us some thoughts on Customers and getting them to stick with you.

A: Customer Relationships

1. You can take a great leap in terms of improving customer relationships if you consider them to be your personal assets

2. Customer loyalty is gained through a personal rather than a business relationship

3. My greatest success in retaining clients came through the strategy of giving them my chair and sitting in their place

4. I am my worst customer in ensuring consistent quality service

On Getting Called Back as a Consultant

Getting called I am able to make a greater contribution and develop a broader range of experiences across industries by returning to consultancy, especially, in terms of rising above organizational politics and bringing an independent frame of mind in resolving problematic siuations. It also serves as a buffer against maintaining regular employment during tough economic times, e.g., recession.

Q: How Important is Continuing Education to you?

A: On the Importance of Continuing Education

Static knowledge results in professional stagnancy.

Therefore, no opportunity should be missed in terms of improving your skills, competencies to remain relevant within an ever changing world. Try to create an optimum balance between education and professional experience to ensure that your progression on the career ladder does not become a victim of an inability to meet the specified criteria for success.

Q: And on Mentors?

A; The significance of mentoring cannot be overstated, especially, for upcoming professionals.

However, care should be taken in terms of developing overdependencies or undue protectionism that can lead to unnecessary organizational politics and the resulting wastage of talent focused on survival in aligning with the stronger party, rather than, thriving with prudent advice.

Thank you Murad.... wise thoughts. I am sure that there is a great deal more to be said about each of these topics and I am hopeful that others will weigh in with comments too. Patty De

Murad S. Mirza

Career Planning - Listen To Your Psyche


By Al Walsh, Businessman, Finance, Consultant

We're all different; every single human,
mortal one of us.

Our personalities are pretty much set in
stone at an early age.

We can correct bad behaviors, but our basic likes and
dislikes stay with us to the grave.

It's important to listen to your psyche, and pay attention when choosing the work you do.

• We all fall into different places on the Introvert-Extrovert scale.
• Some people are natural leaders, and some abhor the very idea.
• Some people like group activities, and some crave isolation.
• Some people should never work with the public, while others excel comfortably.
• Some like working with numbers, while the very idea send others "running screaming into the night". The list goes on and on as to the character traits that shape us.

I'm always amazed at the people who, through dint of circumstances, wind up in the wrong job for their personality. They are generally unhappy, and create an uphill battle for themselves trying to excel at a job they're not fundamentally suited to.

Years ago there was a famous book about the "Peter Principle" - the basic idea being that people sometimes find themselves moving into positions a step above their level of competence. It is my experience that most people find themselves in this position because they didn't listen to their own psyches, and wound up in positions that made them uncomfortable.

A classic example of this is a supervisor we know with (details left out). The woman is a nurse-supervisor on a critical floor of a major hospital. She's an introvert, and has no business being in a leadership position. She stays in her office most of the time. When she does come out, she has difficulty relating to others and ends up shouting at everyone. She doesn't help the other nurses. Her misery shows daily, but she apparently can't see the reason why. Like many others, she's stuck in an inappropriate role. Her supervisor is unhappy, her fellow employees are unhappy, and she'll probably end up being pushed out at some point. She'll probably blame everyone but herself, and go right back into a similar mess.

The above case-study is not uncommon. There are lots of people out there who are in the wrong positions, and haven't come to grips with it. Sometimes we get so caught up in "the game" that we lose touch with ourselves.

You're just not going to be happy, and probably won't be successful, if you wind up in a job that grates against your core personality.

So sit down sometime soon and take an inventory of yourself. Measure that inventory against your current career path. If there's a mismatch, you'll probably want to make an adjustment.

Be true to yourself first.
Al Walsh, Owner/Founder Walsh Enterprises, Business Advisors

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Carlos Gil's Firm is Hiring and Placing People Across the USA

Offering Free advice and getting Green serves businesses well.

Here's a company whose founder knows how to turn lemons into Lemonaid! He told us he was first laid off by AIG now he and his Human Resource Consulting firm are dedicated to

"Getting Americans back to work and Saving America One Job at a Time".

That's a pretty big agenda but we have to admire his ambition.
Carlos Gil finds a way to incorporate Green Activities with his dynamic business.

They are also offering Free business Analysis or Resume Critiques to those who reach out to them.

I like that about a company, particularly one in the People Business.

As reported on their Website:

WE ARE HIRING! Have you thought about becoming a consultant before?

What about having an opportunity, with unlimited income potential,
to work for yourself while utilizing your education, experience and
acquired skills to provide a service to others.

If so, CXG Group is looking for you.

We are hiring independent consultants under our firm to provide business and consumer services to all industries. We will fully train you plus provide you with your own website, business cards and leads.

Contact us today at to get started and be on your way to a new successful career that will be most in demand for 2009.

Tips for New College Grads and Career Navigators

Murad S. Mirza

Organizational Development, Change Management & Performance Management as a Consultant, Manager, Auditor and Trainer.
Currently, working Globally as a Management Consultant for Clients facilitated through Society of Industrial Leaders, Gerson Lehrman Group and ki work.

Q: Murad,
What do you wish someone had really made clear to you as a young professional?
What I know NOW is that you should never stop challenging yourself and actively seek avenues for evolution by embracing change rather than finding ways to avoid it to ensure that your professional shelf-life is extended beyond the conventional wisdom.

What are Your comments to the Question? Please post your comments by clicking below on comments. It's easy and your professional thoughts are important to our readers!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Deas on The Need for Continuous Improvement

Stephen Deas of Quality Minds, Inc. A Human Capital Development & Process Improvement Firm on the Need for Continuous Improvement

Now More than Ever-The Need for Continuous Improvement of Business Processes

The wheel of progress is turning slow right now. It will increase speed in time but now the country is taking a collective breath to understand what to do next.

Take this opportunity to prepare your organization for the eventual prosperity.

Here are some suggestions

(Some you already know or do but it does not hurt to be reminded):

1. Be sure you have good indicators in place to measure the health of the organization. At a minimum, cover safety, quality, cost, and delivery with focus on the five areas of processes. (see SIPOC diagram below)

2. Management must meet frequently and without fail to review the indicators and to discuss actions for continuous improvement. Be clear on who chairs the meeting. Take minutes and follow up on all actions.

3. Hold continuous improvement events. Sometimes called Lean or Kaizen events, they are 3 to 4 day activities where a team of employees works to improve a process or solve a problem. There must be a facilitator who is part teacher and leader for the team. The opportunities for improvement should have high probabilities of success. Let's call them "low hanging fruit."

4. Increase the frequency of internal audits. I suggest doing process audits instead of system audits. Conducting a process audit is not very difficult. First document the process with a SIPOC diagram. (Supplier/Inputs/Process/Output/Customers). Then take the diagram and audit real practice to the five areas. For example, how is the output performing? Does it consistently meet the customer's requirements? If it doesn't, what actions are taken? Is the customer satisfied? Do you receive feedback from the customer? Is the feedback positive? If not, what actions are being taken?

Stephen Deas
Owner, Quality Minds, Inc. LLC-A Human Capital Development and Process Improvement Firm

Check Out Your Potential Not For Profit Employer OnLine Using GuideStar

Guide Star Resources are Still Free

Using GuideStar
A basic GuideStar membership is for users who want to verify a nonprofit's legitimacy, learn whether a contribution will be tax deductible, view a nonprofit's recent Forms 990, or find out more about its mission, programs, and finances. Thanks to the generosity of a number of foundations, access to GuideStar's basic service is available for free users. Just log in and start searching, or view the demo.

GuideStar Premium, Designed for professional users, from financial firms to philanthropic foundations, GuideStar Premium unleashes the full power of GuideStar. Our most robust and user-friendly search tool helps you spend less time searching and more time analyzing. And now you can download organization information to use in Excel (and other programs), and also search our database for individuals by name. GuideStar Premium gives you our most in-depth reports on 1.7 million nonprofits. Save time while finding everything you need, from financial data and historic filings to EINs (Employer Identification Numbers).

Dream Jobbers, Jonathan Wygant Bringing the World's Experts to You!

Where else can you make one phone call and find the likes of Lance Armstrong, Celebrity Chef Domenica Catelli, Authors Seth Godin, Mark Victor Hansen, Co creator of the Chicken Soups Series?

The roster of people you can book utilizing Johnathans business is amazing.
Interested in meeting Joan Borysenko or just about anybody worth knowing?
You might try Big Speak!

Want to learn how to "First Break All the Rules & Now Discover Your Strengths"? then author and expert Marcus Buckingham is your man and you can find him at Big Speak according to their recent newsletter.

Johnathan Wygant of Santa Barbara California created a company that enabled him to reach out and connect with the worlds leading speakers, resources and corporate trainers, leaders and executives. Talk about a DREAM JOB!

Here's what they say:
-->BigSpeak speaker’s bureau is the corporate world’s top resource for the most in-demand conference, retreat and meeting speakers. Whether you want a motivaltional speaker to inspire your team, a change guru to generate meaningful organizational transformation or a celebrity to bring a high-profile to your event, BigSpeak is your one-stop-speaking-shop.

BigSpeak speakers bureau specializes in creating high performance, entrepreneurial, values-driven organizations. Our speakers bureau represents world-class keynote speakers, motivational speakers, consultants and trainers who are dedicated to unleashing the potential of your employees.

The motivational speakers available through BigSpeak are among the most renowned names in the world including Lance Armstrong, Donald Trump, Gary Hamel, Marcus Buckingham, Ram Charan, Dr. Ken Blanchard, Dr. Deepak Chopra, John Wooden, and many, many others.
Wow.... looks like he has created a mini Creative Artists Agency or CNN doesn't it?
Big Speak invites people to search their list of professional speakers or our Screening Room.
Because supporting meeting planners is job one at BigSpeak,
we offer meeting planner tools to help you organize your best event ever.

If you would like more information about our services or any of our motivational speakers, keynote speakers, trainers, and consultants, please contact us.

We invite you to search our list of professional speakers or our video catalog.

Supporting meeting planners is job one at BigSpeak

To that end, we provide an array of on-line tools for meeting planners to supplement our world-class person-to-person customer support. Also view our related resources page for additional meeting planning tools.

If you are a professional speaker and would like BigSpeak Speakers Bureau to represent you, apply here.
We have watched Young President's Organization, now WPO member J. Wygant build his business over the past decade and it is quite an inspiration.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Anne Doyle and Madam Gu of China - Two Women Living Their Dreams & Lifting Others

Anne Doyle says:
I was privileged to inteview two fantastic American leaders whose daily work is all about advancing women's leadership: Marie Wilson, president of The White House Project and Carol Jenkins, founding president of The Women's Media Center.

I share them with you. To listen: click here.

Please come and visit my site

The Power of The Internet to Educate and Enrich


Use the power of the internet to educate yourself and enrich your life.

Ever wondered about something and weren't sure where to go?
Get on the internet and start searching.

The internet has provided an explosion of information dissemination on a scale previously unheard of - and it's growing daily at a phenomenal rate. There is information to be had on virtually any topic. Sometimes you have to be a little persistent and clever with your search, but the rewards are there.

It's a grand "living encyclopedia".

It's painless, it's free, it's fun, and it only requires some of your time. Everyone's got a computer nowadays. Is yours just collecting dust? I'm not advocating that you become an internet junkie, but if you're not using it regularly your missing out on a great resource.

Of course, there's no replacement for formal education and accreditations. But if you just have an arm-chair curiosity, or want to get a leg up, or need help on a fine point, go to the internet. Even on complex professional or technical subjects, I've found internet resources that have been tremendously helpful. You can now even get a formal education or accreditation on the internet; and the trend is growing.

There are many sources who provide informed articles and advice on countless topics - free for the taking. I write articles on Business, Economics, Career, and related subjects on my own blog site, and as guest-author on others.

If you're reading this article, then you already have some sense of the power of the internet.
Use it to full benefit, and you will enrich your life & career.

Naturally, you have to exercise your own discretion in choosing information. Just as with all other human media, there is bad information out there, and there are those who have nefarious motives. A good dose of common sense will guide you past them.

I recently wrote an article in which I suggested that readers obtain a book of quotes by famous people to assist them with their oral and written communications. The internet serves the same purpose - and much more.

You can enrich your mind, improve your vocabulary, and strengthen your performance in all career and life respects by utilizing the resources that the internet has to offer.

I cannot emphasize enough the power that is at your beck and call.

Kids understand this. They embrace technology easily, and use it to advantage. Our foreign friends understand too. They crave knowledge, and often don't have the wealth or resources at hand for traditional education. If they can find a computer somewhere that has internet access, the have the knowledge of the world laid out at their feet. I've found that some of my most avid readers are people of other nations who crave knowledge. Good for them!

I met my wife on the internet. Marrying her was the best decision I've ever made.
Without the internet, we would have never met. We lived 100 miles apart at the time.
We're now into our 5th year of a delightful marriage.
(Administrators note - Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Walsh!!)

I use the internet daily; both to disseminate and gather information. You should too.
It's the best "self-help guide" ever created. Then there's the added benefit of using the internet to meet up with people like Patty DeDominic, who I mention often and contribute articles to for her site. Without the power of the internet, we probably never would have met; and that would be my great loss. (Admin here again, thank you Al!)

If you've been holding back, don't wait any longer. Jump on the bandwagon.
The internet is by people, for people.

Al Walsh, Owner/Founder, Walsh Enterprises, Business Advisors

The NEW New World of Work by Patty DeDominic

The NEW New World of Work

My book is meant as a resource for new college grads and mid life Career Navigators. Career Navigators are anyone who has been working for a while and is seeking more meaningful or better paying work. An unintended Career Navigator might also be someone who is now unemployed after being laid off.

In the book we discuss the following:

What is the NEW New World of Work?
What does it mean today?

The dynamic forces changing the way we make a living and build companies are beginning to look like an Economic Tsumani. As seen in a recent Microsoft television commercial, enterprises must catch that wave or become residue washed up on a deserted beach somewhere.

Jobs are disappearing before our eyes, industries are dying. Evolution and Darwin's theories of survival of the fittest demonstrate it's cruelty daily. Communities, even entire states are having to reinvent themselves.
Who would have thought that even the State of California could find itself evaluating bankruptcy as an option?

The lack of job security is causing some people personal crisis, desperation and gives birth to a whole new way at looking at life.

It's time to take control of your career. You can navigate but it requires skillful sailing and a big network.

The potential for real loss of basic wage levels could cause starting salaries for new college grads to go down by about 20-30% in the next couple years. Laid off former managers and executives are now accepting jobs at half their former salary just to stay in the game. The factors driving these changes include the credit crunch of course but they are substantially affected by Globalism, communication, real time informationa and improvements in productivity and technology. Increased consumer demand for lower prices in a fast food "I want it now" society push companies to their brink. And, the enterprises better deliver or there is a competitor breathing down your neck to do it instead of your employer if you are not just in time.

Another chapter deals with the importance of lifelong learning… skills enhancement and retooling.

Your real wages will go down every few years if your skill sets do not go up!

With a 20% unemployment/underemployment rate here in the USA we are headed in the coming months for The Great Jobs Crash of 2009.

I don't want to leave you in fear for your paychecks....but I do want to get your attention. Read the comments below to learn more about the contents of my new book. Patty De

Saturday, January 24, 2009

FREE Resume Critique from Carlos Gil's CXG Group

CXG Group

Carlos Gil Says he is based in Jacksonville Florida and his company, CXG Group, proudly represents and serves businesses as well as career seeking clients throughout the United States.

CXG Group is your cost-effective, high impact solution for your business management consulting and career placement needs. The consultants at CXG Group have worked for globally known Fortune 500 Companies within the Banking and Financial Services industry providing it's clients with extensive knowledge and experience along with a high level of energy, passion and dedication to successfully get any job done.

For a complete list of consulting services offered please visit our Business Consulting and Career Placement Services sections. At CXG Group, we are not just consultants, we are your business partners as well. Regardless of the task we are committed to taking your business or career to the next level. Please click here to contact one of our consultants today for your FREE business analysis or FREE resume review.

Let The Famous Help You Make Your Point

Let the Famous Help You Make Your Point

Hey Mr/Ms Businessperson,

Want to improve your communication style immediately?

Invest in a book of quotes by famous people.

Many have been published, they don’t cost much, and they’re at every book store.

When you’re trying to make a point, it’s great to throw in a clever quote by a famous person.

It’s entertaining, it helps make your point, and the author’s stature & cleverness with the language tend to rub off on you positively in the audience’s mind.
Albert Einstein:
"It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern
methods of instruction have not entirely strangled the
holy curiosity of inquiry."

I’ve used them throughout my career with great success. I’ve worn out several copies. Fortunately my parents gave me a new one this last Christmas. I pick it up often just to read it.
Don’t try to claim personal credit for the quotes. It’s unethical, you’ll get caught, and why would you want to when the author’s name can help lend credence to your presentation.

Don’t over-do it either. One or two well-placed quotes can be very effective.
More looks cheesy. Just reading through a quote book will raise your mental-level and improve your vocabulary. The experience can be tremendously motivational and educational.

Most of us hate to get up and speak in front of a crowd. Many hate to write too. But it’s a necessary part of career development for most. A quote book is a great crutch to help you over the psychological hurdle (the other one is to picture your audience naked).

One of my favorites is Samuel Clemens - Mark Twain. His unique talent with the written word will always amuse an audience and raise it’s level of attention. But there are countless other good sources. There are even great quotes by the not-so-famous that I have used with great success.
Put a quote book in your library tomorrow, then pick it up and use it, and you won’t be sorry.

"Invest in your professional network and it will pay dividends your whole life"
Patty DeDominic

Many out there are going to thank me for this bit of advise. You all owe me lunch.

Al Walsh, Owner/Founder - Walsh Enterprises, Business Advisors

Blog Admin's note: Quotes were added by me. Al may get fat on all the lunches people owe him! Thank you Al for all the tips, wisdom and time you invest to help others along the way. You are modeling what I have recommended for years. "Shine your light and help others shine too" Patty De

Friday, January 23, 2009

Innovation and Creativity on the Job, from EMTrain emzine, Workplace News

This month's informative issue of the E-Zine on Workplace Issues reports on some recent court cases that prove once again that reality can be stranger than fiction!
I encourage you to check out this valuable resource and find this story and others at They offer some free resources including employer briefings and all managers can stay up to date with their comprehensive webinars and news.

Here's one of our favorites.... demonstrating Innovation and Creativity

Reprinted with permission from EMTrain emzine:

WACKY AWARDS I kid you not!!

The “Think What He Could Do If He Showed This
Kind of Determination On The Job” Award:
Presented to a man in Washington State who had his friend shoot him in the shoulder so he could take some time off work and avoid a drug test. The man initially told police he had been involved in a drive by shooting but later admitted what had really happened. His friend, the shooter, has now been charged with reckless endangerment and the shooting “victim” has been charged with filing a false police report. No word on how this has affected his job status, but we do need to admit the guy’s got determination. If these are the lengths he’ll go to for a day off, we definitely don’t want to be up against him for a promotion.

Got your own wacky stories? Let us hear about them.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Betsy Berhemer Credaire announces 15th Anniversary of her Successful Executive Search Firm.

Angeles Retained Executive Search Firm

Celebrates 15 Years in Business 1994-2009

Los Angeles, CA (Jan 21, 2009)—Berkhemer Clayton Inc. marks its 15th Year in Business this month. The retained executive search firm handles national searches for client organizations with major operations in the west, by recruiting headquarters executives at the $150K-level and above in corporate communications, public relations, marketing, finance, operations, and human resources management.

Veteran entrepreneurs Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, president, and Fred Clayton, chief executive officer, launched the firm in January 1994, after both had successful business careers in public relations and finance, respectively.

“Our key to success for 15 years has been the ability to find the needle in the haystack—the top performer who would also be a good cultural fit for the client organization,” says Clayton. “And then we successfully recruit that executive to our client company. We are proud to have played a role in how business is done in the west and in our community.”

“As a retained firm, we work directly for client organizations who engage us to proactively seek out, attract and recruit experienced executives for specific positions,” adds Berkhemer-Credaire. “But the most gratifying thing about being in the retained search business is knowing we have made a positive difference in people’s lives.”

Berkhemer Clayton’s client corporations include Toyota, Mattel, Nike, Amgen, Edison, The Capital Group, Oaktree Capital Management, Edwards Lifesciences, Hilton, The Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios, and more. Higher education clients include the University of Southern California, Caltech, UC Irvine and University of Redlands.

Non-profit clients include the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Kaiser Permanente, City of Hope, United Way of Greater Los Angeles, MALDEF, Ability First, Crystal Stairs, Connections for Children, and The California Endowment.

“In this tough economy today, it’s even more important for organizations to seek out top executives who bring critical expertise in communications, marketing and finance,” notes Clayton, who specializes in headquarters positions including finance, operations, and HR. “These functions are essential to the operation and reputation management of every business, especially during a recession.”

Berkhemer Clayton has also developed an industry-leading track record in diversity: 44% of all executives placed have been women; and 36% have been men and women of color. “We incorporate diversity strategies into every search we handle, with proactive efforts to present an inclusive panel of finalists,” explains Clayton.

Throughout these 15 years, the principals of Berkhemer Clayton have been active as volunteer board members for community and non-profit organizations. Clayton has continuously served on the boards of INROADS, which establishes college internships for students of color, and The Paralysis Project of America, which raises funds for spinal cord research.

Berkhemer-Credaire is currently the statewide president of the National Association of Women Business Owners in California; serves on the board of Southern California Leadership Network (SCLN); co-chairs the Women Corporate Directors of Southern California Chapter; and is a member of the California Utilities Diversity Council.

She previously owned one of the largest independent public relations agencies in Los Angeles, which was acquired by Golin/Harris, a global communications firm. Fred Clayton is a former partner at Ward Howell retained executive search, and before that, led the executive search practice for Price Waterhouse in Los Angeles.

Complete information about Berkhemer Clayton is online at

Career Development - To Those Who Do It Right


Sometimes Career Development involves just taking stock of, and reinforcing, what we’re doing right. This article is an acknowledgement of all those hard-working corporate managers & executives, at every level, who come to work each day and give it their all.

This is to you, the managers & executives who drive Corporate America - especially those of you in the major companies.

Too often the focus of Career Development discussions is on correcting negatives, or developing new skills. Sometimes we need to just take stock of the things we do right, and reinforce those characteristics & values for ourselves and others. Getting an occasional pat on the back helps the ol’ libido too.

Having “been there and done that”, I know first-hand that the corporate world is a unique environment, requiring a great deal of it’s managers & executives. They live under a constant barrage of rules & regulations, often setting rules for themselves beyond those imposed from above. They often work in “vanilla” environments, in tiny offices or grey cubicles; bathed in fluorescent light.

It can be difficult to establish individuality; the culture requiring a high degree of conformance.
There is constant scrutiny; from higher-ups, the Board, Regulators, and -of course- the “never-satisfied” Investors & Analysts.

No one is truly their own boss; at any level. Many initiatives require committee or project-team participation. Watchful eyes are everywhere. Decisions of any consequence often require involvement by several layers of management. The hours can be long, the work tedious, and the rewards nebulous.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep an eye on the big-picture, what with all the complexities.
The business environment can be fierce, and failure is often harshly dealt with. The government and media attitudes toward big business can be downright hostile at times; making everyone’s job more difficult. Some moron will get caught in an illegal or immoral act and everyone comes under a new spate of scrutiny; guilt by association being the primary driver.

As a manager or executive, you’re expected to provide leadership; but there are restrictions on your freedom of action. I was watching the Golden Globe Awards on TV recently, and was reminded of the abstract manner in which most managers & executives must derive satisfaction from, and recognition for, their work. There are few award ceremonies; usually just the retirement parties when one is being kicked out. There are few plaques, or trophies, or other concrete acknowledgements of achievement. No one’s taking pictures of managers & executives walking the red carpet in fancy tuxedos & gowns. No media representatives are asking for “warm & fuzzy” interviews. There are few blatant opportunities to crow one’s accomplishments and “shine”; no tear-filled acceptance speeches.

If you’re one of the army of people who regularly and reliably come to work and give your best; honestly, morally, and decently - give yourself a pat on the back.

You are an example to yourself and others of why America is still a formidable economic force despite all the competition, and despite all of the outside interference. You are the soldiers and leaders who drive the economic machine. You are shining examples of what’s right in America.
I salute you - and I encourage others to follow in your footsteps.
If you’re not one of these people, it’s past-time to get with the program.
Good luck to you all.

Al Walsh, Owner/Founder, Walsh Enterprises - Business Advisors

Al Walsh May the FORCE be Yours - Great Advice for CEO's and for all of us!

Patty De says: Special Thanks to Al Walsh for more timely tips on Career and Life Development

Our lives are filled with sometimes-subtle, sometimes-tempestuous currents which can move us against our will & control; so much so that it can be difficult to see the proverbial “forest for the trees”. But we all have the seeds within us to shape our destiny down a path that can be meaningful and rewarding.

In the end, it primarily comes down to individual vision and will. No large goal is achieved unless we shape it in our own unique way and adopt it as part of our persona. It has to become so powerful a force in driving our actions that we “live and breathe” it. It has to be residing in the background of our mind at all times and impacting all of our thoughts & actions.

This is not to say that we are alone, and that outside factors can’t serve as a positive force. By all means we should engage those around us, and foster their assistance. We should also keep our minds open to new possibilities. More than once my career & life have been shaped by forces beyond me. Others have seen assets in me, and directed my energies in new directions that I wouldn’t have considered alone; enriching my life.

Ignore the nay-sayers. Their motives are questionable, and their “advice” is destructive. That doesn’t mean that we can’t benefit from constructive criticism.

Take all input offered, digest it,
and make your own conclusions;
then act on them.

If you’re not satisfied with your life as it exists –
select where you want to be,
shape your grand vision,
reduce it down into digestible bites,
and start chipping away at them one-at-a-time.

There will undoubtedly be sacrifices required; as is nearly always the case in accomplishing a worthy goal. You might have to reduce your life-style to go to school, or get off the couch to go do productive things, or some other self-sacrificial act. Just keep the goal in mind and remind yourself of the rewards waiting down the line. If you want it badly enough, you’ll “move mountains” to get there; and then you’ll look back and realize that the effort was a reward in-and-of-itself.

Get out of your “comfort zone”.
It’s a dangerous place to be if you want to accomplish anything meaningful.
Look for opportunities to expand your knowledge & experience; and grab them.

Basically we all have to take individual responsibility for driving and shaping our lives. If you’re looking for some “grand entity’ to take care of you and shape your destiny, you’re going to be greatly disappointed. Many will care, and help, but they can’t do it for you.

Don’t be afraid to seek help. It can come in many forms, from a variety of sources. Sometimes an outside entity can provide insight that we might not otherwise gain. Just make sure that you are the ultimate decision-maker once all the “facts are in”.

You will find that “success breeds success”. Accomplishments, large and small, attract attention and often draw opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise present themselves. Everyone loves a winner, and wants to associate with them. An unsatisfactory existence can rapidly transform as you chip away at short-term goals and others observe your personal growth. You might also find that as you make progress you see opportunities that were previously invisible.

The human will can be an unstoppable force. Use yours to best advantage. The world can be your “oyster”.

Apologies for using some pat words & phrases, but they have their place in the world.

Good Luck,

Al Walsh

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dr. Ellie Corigliano, One Woman's Story: Science, Self Discovery & You

Women, Science, Self Discovery & You

The pursuit of science is a lifetime endeavor toward the pursuit of knowledge.

It is a traveling affair engined by questions, by ideas, by imagination, by “What if’s” in the hopes to one day arrive at a destination where the unraveling of life’s great mysteries are revealed. Sometimes, however, that alone is not enough to stimulate the study of science and requires a more intimate introduction, and perhaps even more so for women.

As a young girl I was exposed to the practice of medicine. My mother and father ran a medical clinic, where my father was the primary physician and my mother; well she did everything else from drawing blood samples to scheduling appointments. My father loved science and medicine and was fascinated with the workings of the human body. He would introduce my siblings and I to medical equipment such as the microscope, the stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff and essentially allowed us to play “Doctor”. Of these technologies, I found the most intriguing to be the microscope. Under the magnifying lens of a microscope, the smallest components of life appeared to be larger than life. It was as though the most unimaginable, magical aspects of life came alive! I was soon enamored with the chemistry of life and found that science became my favorite subject in school.

Meanwhile, a love for the arts had been developing along side my educational pursuits in the form of dance and music. I soon found myself dancing with the Los Angeles Joffrey Ballet. Though I was just a teenager at the time I realized that both of these pursuits enhanced my view of the world and from then on have believed that all things are possible.

In college I had the privilege of having four amazing professors, three men and one woman, that took the time to flatter my questions with discussion and encouraged me to read material beyond the scope of the course textbook. Their direction introduced me to the notion of scientific research. I had been a pre-med student focusing my degree in biochemistry, but in my senior year I decided to pursue a graduate degree in lieu of medical school.

My fascination with medicine, however, continued along side my research and soon I found myself more interested in the application of nutritional biochemistry for disease prevention and disease therapy. My graduate school campus did not house a medical school, and made my interest of nutrition and science challenging. My colleges, my professors, even my friends, were uncertain of my new direction. I realized at that point how valuable it is to have mentors that encourage you, support you and enable you to chase your imagination, your interests.

In the last year of my doctoral studies in biochemistry I began to attend nutritional conferences, take online courses from top Universities (that housed a medical program) and found a place of inspiration. I recently completed my Ph.D. in 2008 and continue to pursue nutritional biochemistry from both a research aspect and an applied aspect. Though challenges are always present, one of life’s greatest gifts is the ability to direct yourself and surround yourself with others who believe in your assertions. As a mother of a teenager, I witness the powerful influence ones environment has on the motivation and commitment to continue and push through the challenges of ones interest.

Women have historically been key contributors to many scientific discoveries, and today many of us turn away from scientific careers, but we are needed in science for our creativity, our relational thinking, our ability to multi-task and our contribution to excellence. I want to encourage women to continue their pursuit of science, their pursuit of family, and their pursuit of happiness by standing up and initiating the restructuring of your environment to enable you and to work with you for your success. All things are possible in the right environment!

Dr. Corigliano will be one of the speakers at the 2009 International Women's Festival, for more information please visit