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Posts from October 2012


SO, guess what I’ll be doing tonight? You see in this new study commissioned by website LoveFilm.com, researchers found watching a horror movie could have you burning up to 184 calories. They monitored heart rates, oxygen intake, carbon dioxide output and calories burned. 1 expert says that when the body experiences a surge in adrenaline the appetite is lowered, and the metabolic rate increases, which leads to more calories being burned. The top three calorie burning movies to watch?: The Shining, Jaws, and The Exorcist. (Daily Mail) Now I CAN have butter of that popcorn! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
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SO, guess what I’ll be doing tonight? You see in this new study commissioned by website LoveFilm.com, researchers found watching a horror movie could have you burning up to 184 calories. They monitored heart rates, oxygen intake, carbon dioxide output and calories burned. 1 expert says that when the body experiences a surge in adrenaline the appetite is lowered, and the metabolic rate increases, which leads to more calories being burned. The top three calorie burning movies to watch?: The Shining, Jaws, and The Exorcist. (Daily Mail) Now I CAN have butter of that popcorn! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
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Although Arlington National Cemetery has been closed to tourists because of Hurricane Sandy, U.S. Army servicemen will continue to guard the Tomb of the Unknowns throughout the storm. A spokesman for the Third U.S. Infantry Regiment, which is responsible for guarding the tomb, told the Associated Press that when the cemetery closes due to weather, the guard continues, but it's not the choreographed 21-pace that the public sees. Instead, soldiers guard the tomb from a small enclosure covered by a green awning about 20 feet away. If the weather becomes too dangerous, the tomb can be guarded from a room inside a nearby amphitheater. But the AP said no such order had been given as of Monday afternoon. The Tomb of the Unknowns holds the remains of unidentified soldiers from World Wars One and Two and the Korean War. Sentinels have kept it under continuous guard since 1948. GOD BLESS THEM!
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Phone Prospecting Pointers

New business development is the lifeblood of every company. Prospecting needs to be a regular behavior if growth is to occur. However, there are some techniques that shouldn't be used, others that should.  
I've recently received three telephone calls that are great illustrations of what not to do.  Here's the gist of what they said. My replies are in quotes.
"Hi, may I speak to the person responsible for purchasing office products?  (Speaking.)  Oh, listen my name is Bob and we’re having a contest to see who will be the first to sell 500 cases of premium paper this month.  Would you please help me out by buying one or two cases today?" (Sorry, but I don't need any paper right now.)  He hung up.  Why would I buy paper that I don't need?  Why would I care about his internal sales contest when I don't even know him?
"Hi, Sharon, are you the owner?  (Yes, I am; and, you are…?)  Great, listen it'll only take me 30 seconds to tell you what we do, then I'll close with a bad joke and let you go.  Sound fair?"  (No, I don't care for bad jokes.) He hung up.  While I'm all for injecting humor into conversation, it has to be appropriate.  And, launching into a canned speech without identifying yourself will always turn the prospect off immediately.
"Good morning, ma'am, are you the owner?  (Yes, I am.)  I'm calling from "x" publication representing "x" and several of our members have recommended that we contact you regarding purchasing an ad in our upcoming issue."   Without pausing he continued for 2 minutes to tell me all about how fabulous the publication was, glossy, full of important facts, schedules, etc. Unfortunately, I tuned out immediately and then became frustrated when my repeated attempts to cut in were ignored.  While it may feel great to finally get a 'live one' on the line, launching into lengthy one-sided dialogue doesn’t generate a two-way conversation.
So, what should you do?  Here are some pointers:
1) Remember, your goal is to get an appointment, generate interest
2) Always respect the prospect's time (Is this a bad time?)
3) Ask for permission to continue speaking (Mind if I take 30 seconds to explain why I'm calling?)
4) Ask them questions based on the top 3 or 4 ways your product/service has helped others (Those we help have experienced "x"; have found themselves in "x" situation; are concerned about "x")
5) If they nibble, keep asking. If they don't, move on. Either way, you kept them in charge of the conversation by granting them authority to decide.  It's about them, not you.
6) Practice!  Sound conversational.  They must believe you care more about their business than a potential sale.
7) Realize it's only a phone call.  
8) Never push or focus on your features and benefits, this is not the time for that.  
9) Accept the fact that you’ll encounter rejection. If they hang up on you, congratulate yourself. You choose never to work with people that would treat you that way and it only took you 30 seconds to figure it out, that's great!
Keep moving.  Each call is great practice, makes you better and brings you one step closer to an appointment with an ideal prospect.  
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4 Attitudes in Adversity that Define Your Leadership

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit. – Napoleon Hill

Lou Holtz shares the story of a blind man who was being led down the street by a guide dog. When they came of the corner of a busy intersection, the dog crossed against the light. The blind man had no choice but to follow. Cars swerved to avoid them; drivers honked their horns and swore loudly.

Somehow, the duo reached the other side unharmed. As they stopped on the corner, the blind man reached into his pocket, pulled out a dog biscuit, and offered it to the reckless canine. Having just watched the two as they crossed, a bystander tapped the blind man on the shoulder and said, “Sir, that dog almost got you killed. The last thing you should do is give him a biscuit as a reward.” The blind man smiled and said, “I’m not giving him a reward. I’m trying to find his mouth so I can kick him in the rear.”

The attitude we adapt in times of adversity will not only define the moment but will determine the future. Winston Churchill was right when he said, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Your attitude in adversity will either demote you or promote you. Here are four common attitude approaches when times are tough. Which one will be yours?

‘Why me, why now?’ A common reaction when adversity comes is to ask the age old question of “why me?” No one likes adversity and it would be nice to live life without it. But in leadership as in life, adversity is a reality. When a leader begins to entertain these early negative thoughts the seeds of doubt are being planted. Be careful.  

‘This is not fair.’ This attitude is not only a snapshot of your current state of mind but is the framework of how you are prepared to deal with it at least in the short term. Brian Tracy writes, “You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to happen to you.”
The attitude formula looks like this: WR (wrong reaction) +NE (negative energy) = BE (bad ending). Before you kick your bad attitude too far down the road take Tracy’s words to heart. It’s not too late to turn around a bad ending, but you better hurry.

‘Why not me?’ At first read this might sound like arrogance. I prefer confidence. The difference maker between a leader with less skill who succeeds and a leader with more skill who fails comes down to attitude. A good attitude is the tipping point. Zig Ziglar was right when he said, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

The attitude of the leader who says ‘why not me?’ is the one who does not shy away from adversity but confidently believes that these are defining moments of his leadership. A good attitude gives way to confidence.

‘Everyone together’ Compare and contrast the attitude choices in play. Notice the difference between the leader with the positive attitude and the leader with the negative one. The leader with the bad attitude is focused on himself and the bad hand he was dealt. The positive leader chooses to see his opportunity and how together with his team it can be overcome.

The attitude formula in play looks like this: GA (good attitude) + RA (right actions) = GO (Great Opportunity). A good attitude gives you a distinct advantage as a leader. It is the single greatest asset you have when facing the challenges of leadership.
William James said, “It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.”  Adversity in leadership is not unique, but the right attitude will give you the advantage. How is your attitude?

© 2012 Doug Dickerson
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Walk Shortly and carry a big Sword!

Okay, this may be a bit of “over-kill”…just sayin! A man robbed a Kansas City restaurant Tuesday night armed with a samurai sword. The suspect entered Church's Chicken just before 10 p.m. wearing a dark-gray hooded sweatshirt and carrying the sword. He’s described as a light-skinned black male around 5 feet 4 and weighing around 120 pounds. He’s said to have driven off in an older-model brown two-toned Chevy pickup truck, possibly from the 1980s.
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I am grossed out! No, it’s not the first time, just the latest! Listen to this. A 44-year-old woman in California says her maternal nature is satisfied because she is able to breastfeed her pet pug. Terri Graham told Closer magazine she wasn't able to breastfeed her 2 children but gets satisfaction from being able to feed her dog, Spider. She explained, "People might say I'm a freak, but having Spider suckle on my boob means I finally feel complete and a better mother." (Reddit) Can you say institutionalized?
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Small Biz and Big Stress - Three Things Every Leader Needs to Know

Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one – Hans Selye

It was reported in the September issue of Inc., that 43 percent of small business owners and managers say they feel more stressed now than they did a year ago. What are they stressed about?
•    54% say they are stressed about losing the company
•    51% are stressed about losing clients
•    41% are stressed about personal health
•    52% stress about repaying personal debt
•    38% stress about being on call 24/7
•    35% are stressed about repaying company debt
•    49% stress about being unable to bring in new business

We live in unprecedented times as it pertains to the economy and stress factors are clearly on the rise as Inc. points out. Even in the best of times leaders have various stress factors to reckon with. How leaders deal with stress matters not just for themselves but for those around them.

But there is a big difference between knowing what people are stressed about and understanding why and what a leader can do about it. Stress points come at us from many directions. Here are three things about stress you should be aware of and why it matters to your leadership style.

Stress that is out of your control. Many of the stress factors you deal with you have no control over. Comforting isn’t it? These stress points can come from a wide variety of sources that impact your life and business in one way or another. How you cope with this type of stress will lead to one of two things: more stress or a better management style.

In his book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, Richard Carlson writes, “When you look at life and its many challenges as a test, or series of tests, you begin to see each issue you face as an opportunity to grow, a chance to roll with the punches. Whether you’re being bombarded with problems, responsibilities, even surmountable hurdles, when looked at it as a test, you always have a chance to succeed, in the sense of rising above that which is challenging you.”

You may not have chosen the stress you face, but you do choose your response to it. When you face it, not in a destructive way, but with a belief that “this too shall pass”, you can lead by example take control of it.

Stress you cause. Let’s be honest, there are times leaders cause stress. This happens when leaders espouse unrealistic expectations, delivers inconsistent communication, or promotes an unclear vision. In his book, The 360° Leader, John Maxwell writes, “In an organization, security flows downward. When leaders are insecure, they often project that insecurity down on the people below them.” And this is the mistake leaders make by being the source of stress for their team.

Caring leaders conscientiously strive to relieve the stress that finds its way into the organization by being the stress spotter and finding ways to reduce it. Your team is under enough stress as it is without you being the creator of it. Are you a source of stress or a deflector of it?

Stress you capitalize upon. Ultimately, no one is immune from stress. It is a part of life and leadership and there is no escaping it. However, stress can be a positive motivator if you choose the right attitude. Mark Sanborn, author of The Fred Factor says, “Freds know that one of the most exciting things about life is that we awake each day with the ability to reinvent ourselves. No matter what happened yesterday, today is a new day. While we can’t deny the struggles and setbacks, neither should we be restrained by them.” What a great thought.

Tough times call for courageous leaders who will step up and embrace the stress and turn it into something positive. Instead of being discouraged and defeated by it why not recognize it for what it is; a blessing in disguise and an opportunity for growth and development?

To be sure, stress can cause many problems, health and otherwise. Yet it is when we take an honest look at the stress that is out of our control, the stress we cause, and the stress that we capitalize upon that we can begin to get it under control.

© 2012 Doug Dickerson
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Yes, there is an “I” in Team

And that “I” is each Individual member that makes up the team and is responsible, to some degree, for its success or failure.  This is why hiring the right people to begin with is job one.

The definition of a team is a group of individuals related by complementary skills who are united together by a common cause.  That common cause is what unifies the team to withstand the stress of battle.  

The key to whether any team is successful lies in the attitude, commitment and engagement of each of its individual members.   The level at which these elements are present results in either a successful, unsuccessful or dysfunctional team.  In spite of themselves, some dysfunctional teams have success, however, it’s short-term and can’t be sustained.

So, what might a successful team look like?  One example is a team of doctors and nurses working in an emergency room.  Each member brings their individual experiences and expertise to the team; each are responsible for different procedures and functions; each are required to perform at their best in every emergency; individually they each contribute and commit to doing whatever is necessary to ensure the health and well-being of their patients.  

In other words, individually, they must perform at 100%, 100% of the time.  Anything less is not an option, ever.  When they feel a little off, they gut it up and push onward because each individual is committed to the team and their cause, heal the patient!   They hold each other accountable.  Individuals related by complementary skills, united together by a common goal, and committed to accomplishing the goal = success.

Here’s a figurative example of how attitude and lack of commitment could result in failure. Just imagine if airline pilots decided that operating at 97% of their ability was good enough.  The likely result would be 3% of all flights ending in peril.  With 4,000+ domestic flights per day in the USA, 3% equates to 120+ flights per day being unsafe.  Using an average of 50 passengers per flight, 6,000+ passengers each day would be risking their lives.

For a more realistic example of how attitude, level of engagement and lack of commitment might rear their ugly heads let’s look at the sales profession.  There are many days when all a salesperson hears is ‘no’.  It’s difficult to dust yourself off, put on your game face and carry on at those times.  But carrying on and performing is a must.  The lifeblood of any company is the revenue generated by the sales team; without revenues there’s no business.  The company relies on each member of the sales team to contribute, each and every day, no matter how many no’s they’ve heard.  

A seller who makes excuses or hopes another member will go over budget and cover their lack of performance is doomed to fail.  The team that regularly picks up that seller’s slack and covers for them is dysfunctional at the management level.  

Conversely, a seller who is determined to give 100% to ensure the team reaches their monthly, quarterly and annual goals is destined for a lucrative career.   And, if the other individual members are equally committed, the team can be unstoppable.  I’ve had the privilege of building and managing three such teams and it was exhilarating to play a part in those record-breaking moments.  
Have you ever thought of the team you’re on as being your team?  Well, it is.  Every time you walk in the door to report for work, you send a signal to the other team members that you are committed, will give 100%, and are willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish the goal.   No excuses, no finger pointing, no bellyaching.  When you make the conscious decision to stay on your current team, you owe it to them to perform.  They rely on you and have the right to expect your best efforts once you’ve decided to show up.  Each of you must commit to success and hold one another accountable while simultaneously ensuring everyone has the materials, support and training they need to excel.  

Be proactive, recognize the contributions of others and thank them, brainstorm ideas and suggestions to strengthen the team, share your findings.  If your team doesn’t have a specific mission or purpose that unites them, offer to help create one.   Be positive and re-commit yourself, you’ll be rewarded for doing so.

Finally, sadly, we know that many are not happy in their current roles.  My advice:  readjust your attitude, re-commit yourself to your team, or find a team you can commit to.  You are responsible for the peace of mind, fulfillment and happiness that lead to the success you desire and deserve.  Individually, we are each capable of doing great things.  Here’s to the success of your team based on your contributions!

Sharon Day is President of Sales Activation Group, specializing in strategic, deliberate revenue growth.
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Romney's Son Says Wanted to 'Take a Swing' at Obama During Debate

Political campaigns can be hard on the candidates' families, and 1of Mitt Romney's sons used some eyebrow-raising language Wednesday (October 17th) that demonstrated just how hard it can be. Tagg Romney, the oldest of the Republican presidential nominee's sons at age 42, was asked during a North Carolina radio station interview about watching the 2nd presidential debate a day earlier. He was specifically asked about hearing, quote, "the president of the United States call your dad a liar," and answered, "You want to rush down to the stage and take a swing at him But you know you can't do that because, well, first because there's a lot of Secret Service between you and him, but also because that's the nature of the process. You know, they're going to do everything they can do to try to make my dad into someone he's not. We signed up for it. We've got to, kind of sit there and take our punches and then send them right back the other way." A Romney campaign spokeswoman said when asked about Tagg's "take a swing at him" comment, "He was joking about how frustrating this process can be for family." In an appearance on the TV's The View yesterday, another Romney son, 37-year-old Josh, also said his brother didn't mean it, and he joked, "That brother has slugged me a couple of times. I assure you President Obama has nothing to worry about." Quite frankly I can understand EXACTLY how he feels. When my husband ran and lost a little local election and people lied about him I felt the same way and wish I could have done the same thing. If you have ever been in political circles you know how nasty they can get. I hate the lies and hear then daily from political commercials and candidates. Very frustrating! Just remember to VOTE!
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