StrengthsFinder

strengthsfinderIn February I went to San Diego for a program to become certified in the StrengthsFinder assessment. StrengthsFinder is an assessment developed by the Gallup organization and I’ve been using it for many years.

The StrengthsFinder measures not strengths, but the presence of talents in 34 general areas, or “themes.” While talents (recurring patterns of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied) naturally exist within individuals, strengths (the ability to provide consistent, near-perfect performance in a specific task) must be developed and are the product that results when one’s talents are refined with acquired skills and knowledge.
I wanted to take a deeper dive because I believe that developing strength-based organizations is a way that we are going to help our employees be more productive and happy at work and, therefore, build a more successful business.
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January 2016 – Together We Can Change The World Volun-Tour

trip27

Scott Friedman, Co-Founder of TWCCTW and Wendy Hanson

In January I joined a fabulous group of professional speakers and authors who are part of Together We Can Change the World- twcctw.org I joined my friends Rebecca Morgan and Paul Larsen and got to meet and work with such a wonderful group of people. We all raised money prior to the trip to donate to women and children’s programs in the Philippines.

This was the first trip to the Philippines by TWCCTW proved an enormous success. Five days of training, five project visits, one wedding, and a few days of rest and relaxation made this  volun-tour a truly remarkable event.

The Journey Begins:

Manila, our first port of call comprised spending the first two days (January 26-27th) conducting a Learning Buffet for the Discovery Leisure Group. From motivation, inspiration, creativity, to marketing, relationship building and leadership, our team of experts (Scott Friedman, Titus Yong, Susan Friedmann, Rebecca Morgan, Debra Fine, and Paul Larsen) shared practical tools, strategies, tips and techniques to help the Discover hotel management aspire to new heights of service delivery.
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From One of Wendy’s Client Companies – Gracie’s Restaurant!

Gracie's Barcelona Cruise

 CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE!

 

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For The Love of Money

Guest post by Jeanna Gabellini

10-Minute Money Makers

10-Minute Money Makers

What is your relationship with income from your business? Are you enjoying what you have and feeling in partnership with it? Could you improve your level of gratitude about money?

I love money. I get very excited about it. I appreciate it! I appreciate what I have and all that is coming forth.

I love money for more than the benefit of getting to spend it. It’s fun to know that when I am focusing positively and having a good time, I attract money. It’s also an affirmation that what I’m putting out in the world is having a good impact. It lifts my mood to be joyful about money. When my mood is happy, everything goes smoother.
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Thinking Big!

Thinking big doesn’t do you any good unless you take action!

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We Teach What We Need to Perfect

TeacherThe month of January has taught me that the metaphor of the dance floor to the balcony is always useful. The concept of the balcony and the dance floor comes from Leadership Can Be Taught by Sharon Daloz Parks. It highlights the merits of taking the time to move off the dance floor where all the action is to also experience the view from the balcony where you can look at things from a new and broader perspective. When you are in the middle of the situation or stuck in the weeds, it’s hard to have a clear view of everything that’s going on simultaneously.
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Five Ways to Keep Your Vision and Mission Alive

VisionWhat is your mission statement?

Our guest, Joan Dwyer, from All That Matters shared some great wisdom for business owners on It’s All in the BRA: Business-Revenue-Assets™.  All businesses, big and small need a mission statement.

For example:

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

At Microsoft, they “work to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential. This is our mission. Everything we do reflects this mission and the values that make it possible.”

eBay’s mission is to provide a global trading platform where practically anyone can trade practically anything.

At Yahoo, “Our mission is to be the most essential global Internet service for consumers and businesses.’

For you and your mission, think about the following questions:

    1. What do we want to bring into this world?
    2. What do we do?
    3. How do we do it?
    4. Whom do we do it for?
    5. What value are we bringing?

If you need more…

  1. What does our team want to be known for?
  2. How do we want to treat each other and clients?
  3. What kind of workplace do we want to have?
  4. What unique talents and skills do we want the world to know us for?
  5. What do we want to achieve?
  6. What unique contributions can we make?

Five Ways to Keep Your Vision & Mission Alive

  1. Tell everyone (especially partners and staff)
  2. Journal about it or keep a living vision board
  3. Have it on your website and PR material
  4. Have something that symbolizes it on your desk
  5. Create daily anchors – mix it up to keep it fresh, rotate through these, and come up with new ones …
    1. Post it notes around the house, on your steering wheel, computer, refrigerator or cabinet
    2. Daily alert on phone, screen saver, email
    3. Say your mission statement out loud every day
    4. Frame it and hang it in your studio/office

Tune in here and listen to Lisa and me talk with Joan about this and other pillars for your business success.

 

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It’s All About the People

teamsAs we move into the new year I am reminded, that’s it’s all about the people. The people we spend time with in our personal life and our business become mirrors to who we are and what we reflect to others.

In business, we need to choose carefully who we bring on our team or partner with. It’s important that we understand their values and perspectives. We can teach skills — we can’t change attitude.

On my radio show It’s All in the BRA, I had the honor of interviewing Tomima Edmark, CEO of the Andra Group, Inc and it’s web properties HerRoom.com and HisRoom.com

The business has been a huge success and I wanted to learn Tomima’s perspective on creating a successful management team. Below is an excerpt from the show. To listen to the podcast go here.

Wendy : You talked about something which I think is such a great lesson for us… that 90% of life is just showing up and making things happen. That has led to your personal success. What kind of people do you look for to support you on your team, on your management team or even in the bigger company?

Tomima: That is a very good question because I have made a lot of mistakes in that area. Topsy Tail was a really great deal because I outsourced everything. I only had two employees and I had a lot of companies that I hired. There is a real advantage there in that you can just hire and fire them. You don’t have to think about personalities; it is just an input, output issue.

I had very good companies that I worked with. Then I decided I wanted a company that was long term, which is what Andra Group is. It is an ongoing sustainable company. I first hired people basically because I was being careful financially. I hired young people because I wanted that energy level around me. It has taken me years to hone in on the type of people who are successful in my environment.

 First and foremost I needed to look inward at what kind of a manager I am. The truth of the matter is I am a terrible manager. Usually in an interview with me, if you make the final cut and you are in my office, that is sort of what I lead of with.

You just need to know that you will be reporting to me, but I am a really bad manager. I don’t really sit down and take the time to get to know you and your family, and I apologize for that, but I am just not good at communicating with people on that level. And I need people who are very independent working. If you need to be micromanaged, I am not the manager for you and this may not be the job for you.

After I get through my schpeel, which I kind of make it sound humorous, if somebody is laughing along with me then I figure they get me, but if they are looking at me in horror, they are not the right person.

You have to have people who have some chutzpah to them. But more importantly, I have discovered that I never hire anybody out of college; I just don’t because they don’t know what they are doing with their life yet. The opportunities in my company just really don’t have any of those real starter jobs.

 I need somebody who really knows what they want to do. That is number one. And number two, I don’t really care if they went to college or not; I really don’t. This is what I look for on a resume – and I have always hired these people and they have been very successful for me. Did they have a paper route when they were a child? Did they sell Mary Kay Cosmetics on the side? Did they do whatever it took to get the money and food on the table and/or, if they are not married, have they always been doing things to better themselves? Were they taking vocational education?

 And nothing was beneath them. I figure if they worked at McDonalds or whatever, nothing is beneath them, and those are my best employees. I also love employees who are coming from a company that failed because, boy, those people have really honed in their skill, because as the company is going south, every penny counts, every decision is highly scrutinized, and if they survive that negative environment, they have backbone.

 I know there are so many employees out there that as soon as the company has a little ebb or flow with their company, they leave because they are afraid that the company is going to go south. I don’t want that employee. If I ask them why they left that job, and they are telling me the company was starting to have trouble, I don’t want that employee because they are going to leave me when the going gets tough.

 Finally, my other favorite employee is someone who had their own business and for whatever reason they don’t have it now, either it failed or they just didn’t like being an owner. They are my best employees because they know what I am doing to keep this company running.

What do you take away from this discussion? How will you look at yourself as a manager or team member as you go into 2014. It’s all about the right people …

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Change – by Will Corley

Change

Change

The most natural thing

In the universe

Take a look

Take a look around you

In the eyes of friends

Acquaintances

Sudden events

That remind you

Of the love that ends

Change is all around you

It brings hope to dead ends

It is in the sky that turns grey

It is the sky that turns blue

It arrives at the end of the day

Change becomes you

In the dreams we hold true

Change finds its way

In everything we do

In the love we share

In our despair

It awakes us

In the smells

In cakes we bake

Come to celebrate

Change lends a hand

To our despair

Embracing us

Visiting us

To where we must go

Let go

In a strange way makes us feel real

Keeps us from feeling old

In an early morning August day

Reminds us

Of our childhood

Of our age

The wisdom around us

In the young who guide us

Knowing autumn is on the way

Change in the air

Awakes our senses

With a chill in the air

Reminds us

Of the road we are on

Will continue to run

In ways we don’t know

Change as time

Never gets old

Although when its our time

We know

Change will have its say

Its way

Hopefully we have given

Our all

In our own way

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The Skinny on Shapewear

Guest post by Tomima Edmark
HerRoom.com

 

vintagecorsetad-420x390Some of my recent blog entries covered lingerie style and fit tips for plus size ladies and women over 50. I touched a bit on shapewear, but thought the subject merited a post of its own (several actually).

Shapewear has a long and storied past, going even as far back as ancient Greece where women used linen fabric and leather as waist bindings. Fast forward a few thousand years to the Victorian era. Then, waist whittling called for corsets made of whale bone, canvas and steel. An extra tight fit meant lying on the ground with a foot on the back to hold the corset in place while the garment’s stays were pulled as snugly as possible. Even today, there’s a subset of ladies who’ve revived this practice and swear by it.

Modern shapewear, however, owes more to the designs that evolved during the mid-20th century. Back then, these were referred to as “foundation” pieces because they served as the foundation for getting dressed in the morning. “Girdle” was the other popular term, although the entire category fell out of vogue in the 1970s.

We started seeing a comeback of garments with similar purpose over the last several years, mainly due to the invention of the Santoni knitting machine, which makes virtually seamless hosiery-like garments that compress and smooth. This new generation is commonly known as “shapewear.”

Many women only think of Spanx shapewear, yet there are so many other manufacturers. Rago is one of the crème de la crème. Its designers have been perfecting shapewear of the cut-and-sew variety for 65 years. To me, that’s true shapewear. A lot of what’s out there only functions like a stocking. You’ll get compression but – without additional, built-in structure – no shaping and even less likelihood the garment will stay in place.

My “Mad about Structure” blog, written for Lingerie Briefs, explains why I’m a devotee of structured shapewear. If you’ve seen the show Mad Men, you know how incredible the ladies look in their clothes. Those fabulous curves are the result of structured shapewear pieces that do more than just compress tissue and hide panty lines. And, if the show’s costumes prove anything, there’s a place for shapewear in every woman’s wardrobe – whether you’re full-figured like Joan or identify more with Betty’s shape.

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Tomima EdmarkTomima Edmark is an extremely successful serial entrepreneur and is the CEO of the Dallas-based Andra Group, via which she runs e-commerce ventures (HerRoom.com and HisRoom.com) to sell undergarments to men and women.

Tomima is also the inventor of the wildly successful Topsy Tail, a hair accessory for women, that she marketed by herself to revenues of $150 million. Along the way, she became known for her entrepreneurship and was featured on television shows and in business publications like Good Morning AmericaOprahForbes Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal.

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