Friday, July 16, 2010

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association launched in California


Simi Valley, California (July 15, 2010)—A new non-profit trade association to ensure the development, growth and prosperity of Veteran Owned Businesses, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Businesses of all sizes worldwide has been launched under the name of ,Veteran and Military Business Owners Association. VAMBOA will serve the needs of the veteran and military business communities by uniting veteran and military business owners for collaboration, connections and contracts with both private corporations and government agencies.

VAMBOA was founded by Patty DeDominic, CEO of DeDominic & Associates and the former national President of NAWBO, the National Association of Women Business Owners and Debbie Gregory, CEO of Patty DeDominic brings a wealth of experience leading associations of large and small businesses. Debbie Gregory has years of successful interaction with the military and veteran communities and is dedicated to those who serve, past and present.

One major area of focus for VAMBOA is connecting veteran and military business owners with the private sector and corporations that want to use their goods and services. VAMBOA also provides networking, collaboration, mentoring, education, certification and advocacy.

“VAMBOA's "Vet Owned" seal symbolizes the talent, dedication, leadership, courage and ingenuity of these special Americans who currently serve or have served in America’s Armed Forces and have a business, large or small,” said DeDominic. “VAMBOA offers a multitude of resources and services to its members but does not charge any dues.”

Gregory added, “VAMBOA is proud to have Amgen as one of our first sponsors. Amgen is a company that embraces and supports diversity suppliers. VAMBOA commends Amgen for their support and their efforts to reach out to Veteran and Military Business Owners.” Amgen is also a Gold Sponsor at the 6th Annual National Veteran Small Business Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. VAMBOA’s corporate sponsors will gain visibility to this audience and provide valuable mentorship.

For more information on VAMBOA, building success for Veteran and Military Owned Businesses, one connection at a time, please go to You have honorably served our nation. VAMBOA is here to serve you and be your voice.

Robert Whipple, Leadergrow Inc on Creating Meaning

Leaders Create Meaning

by Robert Whipple: MBA, CPLP

Too many people go to work each day in a zombie-like state where they go through the motions all day and try to stay out of trouble with the boss. Work life is a meaningless array of busywork foisted upon them by the clueless morons who run the place. They hate the environment and intensely dislike their co-workers. Their suffering is tolerated only because there is no viable option for them to survive. What a pity that anyone would spend even a single day on this earth in such a hopeless atmosphere.

We can fault the individuals who allow themselves to be trapped in this way, but I believe the environment created by leaders has a great deal to do with this malaise. Reason: if you put these same individuals in an environment of trust and challenge, nearly all of them would quickly rise up to become happy and productive workers. It is essential that each individual in the workforce find real meaning in the work being done, and the responsibility is on leaders to make that happen.

Some good research into this conundrum was presented by Viktor Frankl a half century ago in his famous book, Man's Search for Meaning. Frankl posits that it "is a peculiarity of man that he must have something significant yet to do in his life, for that is what gives meaning to life." He discovered this universally human trait while surviving the most horrible of life conditions in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. One cannot imagine a more oppressive environment, but believe it or not, many people at work feel like they are in a kind of concentration camp. The antidote is for leaders to create something significant yet to do.

Dave and Wendy Ulrich, co-authors of The Why of Work put it this way. "In organizations, meaning and abundance are more about what we do with what we have than about what we have to begin with." They point out that workers are in some ways like volunteers who can choose where they allocate their time and energy. For their own peace and health, it is imperative that workers feel connected to the meaning of their work.

What can leaders do to ensure the maximum number of people have a sense of purpose and meaning in their work? Here are a dozen ideas that can help.

1. Create a positive vision of the future. Vision is critical because without it people see no sense of direction for their work. If we have a common goal, then it is possible to actually get excited about the future.

2. Generate trust. Trust is the glue that holds people together in a framework of positive purpose. Without trust, we are just playing games with each other hoping to get through the day unscathed. The most significant way leaders help create trust is by rewarding candor, which is accomplished by not punishing people for speaking their truth.

3. Build morale the right way. This means not trying to motivate people by adding hygiene factors like picnics, bonuses, or hat days. Motivate people by treating them with respect and giving them autonomy. Leaders do not motivate people, rather they create the environment where people decide whether to become motivated. This sounds like doubletalk, but it is a powerful message most leaders do not understand.

4. Recognize and celebrate excellence. Reinforcement is the most powerful tool leaders have for changing behavior. Leaders need to learn how to reinforce well and avoid the mine-field of reinforcement mistakes that are easy to make.

5. Treat people right. In most cases focusing on the Golden Rule works well. In some extreme cases the Golden Rule will not be wise because not all individuals want to be treated the same way. Use of the Platinum Rule (Treat others the way they would like to be treated) is helpful as long as it is not taken to a literal extreme.

6. Communicate more and better. People have an unquenchable thirst for information. Lack of communication is the most often mentioned grievance in any organization. Get some good training on how to communicate in all modes and practice all the time.

7. Unleash maximum discretionary effort in people. People give effort to the organization out of choice, not out of duty. Understand what drives individuals to make a contribution and be sure to provide that element daily. Do not try to apply the same techniques to all individuals or all situations.

8. Have high ethical and moral standards. Operate from a set of values and make sure people know why those values are important. Leaders need to always live their values.

9. Lead change well. Change processes are in play in every organization daily, yet most leaders are poor at managing change. Study the techniques of successful change so people do not become confused and disoriented.

10. Challenge people and set high expectations. People will rise to a challenge if it is properly presented and managed. Challenged individuals are people who have found meaning in their work.

11. Operate with high Emotional Intelligence. The ability to work well with people, upward, sideways, and downward allows things to work smoothly. Without Emotional Intelligence, leaders do not have the ability to transform intentions into meaning within people.

12. Build High Performing Teams. A sense of purpose is enhanced if there is a kind of peer pressure brought on by good teamwork. Foster great togetherness of teams so people will relate to their tasks instinctively.

This is a substantial list of items, but most of them are common sense. Unfortunately they are not common practice in most organizations. If you want to have people rise to their level of potential, they must all have a sense of meaning. To accomplish that, focus on the above items, and see a remarkable transformation in your organization.

Bob Whipple is CEO of Leadergrow, Inc. an organization dedicated to growing leaders. He can be reached at 585-392-7763. Website BLOG He is author of the following books: The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, and Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind

Friday, July 2, 2010

Mary Schnack, Tips on Crisis Communications for Leaders

PR Tips

Crisis Communications     

Whether you are part of a large corporation or a small family business, no one is exempt from a crisis.
 Crises appear in the news all the time and small businesses are often the victim-business loss due to arson, product tampering, someone getting hurt on your premises, or a sexual harassment lawsuit.

If something were to happen at your place of business, would you be prepared? It's too late to develop a crisis communications plan once the crisis hits. You need to have a plan in place with professionals "on call," and know how to communicate both internally and to the media.


1. Appoint a crisis communications "team" and develop a crisis communications plan.

2. Having an on-going public and community relations program with pre-existing, positive relationships with the media and your community will help minimize the impact of many crises.

3. During a crisis, don't forget to communicate to your internal audience -- your employees, investors/shareholders, clients, community contacts and colleagues.

4. Be honest about what's going on. Provide as much information as you can and tell the truth!

5. Simple media training in advance is not only a good precautionary step, but can also be fun!

6. Develop message points that communicate the essence of your business, your concern, and your responsive actions.

7. Besides news releases and websites, use other inexpensive ways to get your messages out: Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, messages on voice mail - or the tried and true touch of personally calling people.

The key to the entire concept is to have the plan in advance. Don't let a crisis turn into a disaster.

"Public relations is a long-term commitment to outreach, and ultimately, your public image."

- Mary Schnack, President, Mary Schnack & Associates TIPS

Thursday, July 1, 2010

David Harder A GREAT AGE

David Harder

My greatest fear in today's economic landscape is that too many American workers will give up their hopes, dreams and aspirations. A recent Towers Watson survey indicates that over 70% of American workers are hunkering down and planning to stick to their old jobs. That same reputable firm put out figures that over 80% of our workers don't like their jobs! By lowering our personal expectations, we also lower the productivity, innovations and standards of the workplace. There will be many essays to come on this topic. Let's take one selection at a time.

In the months ahead, let's examine a few of the myths / beliefs that get in the way of career/work/employment satisfaction. Some of us are holding onto mediocre jobs because we believe we're too old to change. Some of us end up in that terrible place because when we were kids, we went for, "it's just a job." Now we are fifty and sixty and we need to change! What happens to those kids that pursued their dreams? What happens when they make it to the top? Do they quit for mandatory retirement? Broadcast journalism has certainly been accused of ageism. Let's look at the evidence:

Morley Safer - 79 Morley is an integral part of 60 Minutes for decades. At almost 80, we still find Mr. Safer in flack jackets in the battlefield with a childlike curiosity that makes him such an interesting journalist to watch.

Diane Sawyer - 64 America's class act! How many women become world news anchors in their sixties and boost the ratings?

Barbara Walters - 80 She will be holding the mike when asking, "How do you feel about the end of the world?"
Christian Amanpour - 52 Yes, in this crowd, 52 is a toddler, but she's aged twice as quickly by bringing middle east terrorism into our living rooms.
Anderson Cooper - 43 Because you can see he loves it and you know he will still be here at 100.
Bob Simon - 69 Engaging in news stories as if he was 40.
Dan Rather - 79 The gold standard of in your face reporting. (In comparison, Geraldo's a 67 year old thug)
Katie Couric - 53 Shows her colon, gets mud slung on her ratings, Katie has whatever it takes to get 90 - gracefully.

Charlie Rose 65 Does 65 with greater vitality then many 40 year olds.
Brian Williams - 51 Will be with us for fifty-one more years.
Charlie Gibson - 67 The grandfather of 60 minutes.
Andy Rooney - 91 Hasn't he been 91 since the beginning of time?
Walter Cronkite - 93 Walter quit in 1980 and said, "I regretted it within twenty-four hours and for the rest of my life." What would have been if he stayed on the air?
Betty White - 88 She's not a journalist but what 88 year old can talk about her muffin on Saturday Night Live?
The point of today's essay is do something that you love and do it well.

 It is never too late to find something that you love and to also do it well. If you have that, you will be vital!

All the best,
David Harder

President & Founder, Inspired Work
(310) 277-4850

THE INSPIRED WORK PROGRAM has led over 35,000 participants into vital, rewarding, successful and engaging relationships with their work - all within two days.

In 1990, Inspired Work developed a philosophy that work is the biggest relationship we have. We spend most of our waking hours getting ready for, driving to, being at, driving home and recovering from work. Twenty years ago, we defined the learnable skills that would allow anyone to have a wonderful relationship with their work. We created a Socratic curriculum and in just two-days you walk out of the room with insights about your purpose, your life's work, how to best package yourself and seven life skills that lead to success with all professionals. To date, over 35,000 participants have used the program to create new and re-newed work lives:

"Remarkably, self-knowledge emerged and I left the program with a renewed lie purpose. I highly recommend The Inspired Work Program with my personal testimonial as well as having

witnessed the transformation of each participant in the program."
- Erica Phillips, Award-winning costume designer

"Now I know why I am here. I have a clear-cut focus with short and long-term objectives. I feel empowered, liberated, resourceful and confident."
- Anne Chen, Sony Pictures Entertainment

"My wife left an executive position she held for 23 years - it was her only employer. The Inspired Work Program gave her the confidence to define and find a position more fulfilling, exciting and

profitable than ever. Anyone who wants to get the most out of their ought to run - not walk to this program. The insights are that powerful."
- Barnet Bain - President, Metafilmics

We can take you to a place where you can see how to be successful and happy with every important aspect of your work!
We will show you how to do the work you love successfully!

We guarantee you will solve that problem about work that has bothered you for a long time!