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    Five Steps to Integrating Coaching into your Talent Management Strategy

    by Renée Robertson

    Coaching means many things to many people. Many times a certain technique that is referred to as “coaching,” isn’t really coaching at all; it’s actually counseling or feedback. For example, you may have heard or had this happen to you – a manager will say, “Let me give you some coaching around ABC,” and they proceed to explain to an employee why the employee failed to accomplish a task. The manager then explains the way ABC needs to be done. More times than not, the recipient of this so-called “coaching” walks away disillusioned by what they think was a coaching experience and perhaps, deflated and unmotivated. As a result, coaching can get a bad rap and employees may begin to disengage. So what does a real coaching conversation look like? Well, something like this: “So, how do you think your presentation on ABC went?” The employee is given time to reflect, respond and be an active participant in the conversation. The manager continues to ask thoughtful questions such as: “What would you have done differently?,” ”What actions will you take?,” or “How can I support you?” Do you notice the difference? This is a coaching conversation—the employee is empowered to act while being supported by their manager. The employee gains confidence knowing that they own the outcome while feeling acknowledged and supported by their manager.

    Now more than ever, there is a great opportunity to bring coaching into organizations. According to Gallup’s study on the global workplace, only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work or are psychologically committed to their jobs and likely to be making positive contributions to their organizations. Therefore, 63% are "not engaged." If this is the case, then why not integrate coaching into your talent management strategy, not only to increase employee engagement, but to achieve other talent development goals such as developing certain competencies like problem-solving, strategic thinking or filling your talent pipeline with ready-now talent for upward or lateral assignments?

    In order to integrate coaching into your talent management strategy, the following five steps should be taken:

    1. Educate Your Leaders: Start at the top and educate your executives on the differences and benefits of coaching versus counseling. Interview them on their perspectives on coaching and assess their willingness to participate and support a coaching initiative. Explain the benefits of coaching and ask them where they see applications for coaching inside their organizations.

    2. Identify Coaches, Participants and Executive Sponsors: Look for individuals and managers that can become trained to be internal coaches inside your company. These individuals may be inside your talent management and organizational development areas or could exist inside the business itself. Consider having talent management or Human Resources executives trained and credentialed by the International Coach Federation as professional coaches. As a result, they will be in an excellent position to coach executives in the company. Alternatively, you may choose to utilize external coaches. If so, you can submit a request via the International Coach Federation Coach Referral Service website or ask colleagues for recommendations.

    Simultaneously, you will want to identify candidates to participate in the coaching program. Therefore, review your succession planning and consider top talent managers, directors and executives. Participants should be excited to be part of the program and willing to make a commitment. Just as important as identifying the coaches and participants is to make certain that you have executive sponsorship. Determine which executives would like to sponsor the program and be a participant. Request that they support you in your coach and participant identification, marketing efforts, during participant enrollment and throughout the program’s life cycle.

    3. Manage Expectations: Be sure to clearly set expectations with your internal coaches, individuals being coached, the executive sponsors and, of course, your managers and colleagues. It is best to run the initial program as a pilot and build upon its success. Make certain everyone is clear on the goals of the program, time commitment and their roles and responsibilities.

    4. Train: Enroll your internal coach candidates in a coach-training program that is designed to train individuals that work inside companies as a coach. If you choose to enroll internal employees to become coaches, ensure they’re being coached by a coach with experience coaching internal coaches. In addition, be sure to train the individuals who are to be coached on the role and responsibilities of the participant. While training your coaches, be sure to establish a clear and consistent process for enrolling clients, coaching time and exiting clients. The key here is to ensure that everyone participating has a similar experience.

    5. Measure Success: Prior to starting the program, determine how you will measure its success. It may be done simply by using a Net–Promoter score or setting up a simple impact study. It doesn’t have to be a rigorous measurement such as ROI. If your program is embraced and utilized (coaching clients show up and participate in the coaching), then that’s a great sign. Interviewing them or surveying them on the benefits they received is also an excellent idea. In addition, be sure to ask the managers of the program’s participants about the changes they may have noticed in their employee’s behaviors after being coached.

    In a time where we’re surrounded by change and have so many demands on our personal and professional lives, the need for coaching is at an all time high. Coaching is a model for engagement, empowerment and accountability. It teaches those being coached to be responsible and to “own” their results. By engaging in coaching, you’re making a decision to replace mediocrity with high-performance. So let’s ask ourselves, who and what company doesn’t want full engagement and high-performance?

    Renée Robertson is a two-time International Coach Federation Prism Award Winner for Internal Coaching, in addition to being the CEO of Trilogy Development. She shares her insights and first-hand experience in her new book, The Coaching Solution: How to Drive Talent Development, Organizational Change and Business Results. To learn more, visit

    The articles on this site are provided as a public service and to be used for information purposes only. does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the article content. Use at your own risk.

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    New Platform Connects High-Growth Minority-Owned Startups with Leading Investors

    NEW ORLEANS (June 3, 2015) — PowerMoves.NOLA is convening the country’s premier entrepreneurs of color for its second annual national conference in New Orleans on July 1-3, 2015 to coincide with ESSENCE Festival® presented by Coca-Cola®. The three-day event is designed to connect nationally-sourced entrepreneurs with a preeminent network of advisors, experts, and investors. The conference advances PowerMoves.NOLA’s mission to increase the number of America’s venture-backed, minority-founded companies in high-tech and high-growth sectors. It is made possible through the generous support of Chevron as Founding Sponsor and Morgan Stanley as Presenting Sponsor.

    “Entrepreneurs of color do not typically have access to deep pools of capital, and this event is about identifying the very best of this historically overlooked talent pool and connecting them to experienced investors. The entrepreneurs get unparalleled access, and the investors are exposed to attractive prospective investment opportunities at reasonable valuations,” said Earl Robinson, the president of PowerMoves.NOLA.

    More than 50 highly-regarded investors and advisors and some 40 entrepreneurs will be in attendance. In addition to hand-selecting the nation’s most promising entrepreneurs of color, several invitation-only events ensure top-quality deal flow.

    The conference will also include the culmination of the PowerUp Boot Camp for early-stage entrepreneurs of color. The intense program helps them develop viable brands, produce effective business models, and prepare for the Demo Day presentation to potential investors held at the conference on July 3.

    For descriptions of all participating entrepreneurs, visit


    Entergy Angel Pitch
    This pitch will feature five early-stage entrepreneurs competing for a $25,000 cash prize.
    July 2, 9AM - 10:30AM, Club XLIV in Champions Square (LaSalle St)

    Morgan Stanley Series A Pitch
    This pitch will feature five later-stage entrepreneurs competing for a $25,000 cash prize.
    July 2, 11AM - 12:30PM, Club XLIV in Champions Square (LaSalle St)

    PowerMoves Alumni Panel

    This panel will feature former PowerMoves.NOLA Pitch and Demo Day participants as they discuss their experiences scaling their startups and raising capital as entrepreneurs of colors.
    July 2, 2PM - 3:30PM, Club XLIV in Champions Square (LaSalle St)

    Morgan Stanley FinTech Showcase
    This showcase will feature five entrepreneurs representing the financial technology field present their business models to a select group of investors and industry business leaders.

    July 3, 8:30AM - 10AM, Freeport-MacMoRan Building, 1615 Poydras Str, 23rd Floor

    PowerUp Demo Day presented by IBERIABANK
    Twenty early-stage tech entrepreneurs of color will culminate their 6-week boot camp at the PowerUp Demo Day where they will pitch for the chance to win a $15,000 cash prize.

    July 3, 10AM - 11:30AM, Pan American Life Building, 601 Poydras St. -20th Floor - IBERIABANK Atrium

    Big Break Power Pitch
    Four consumer-focused startups founded by entrepreneurs of color will compete at the 2015 ESSENCE Festival® presented by Coca-Cola® for the chance to get their “Big Break.” The winner will receive a $25,000 cash prize and exposure to investors and business leaders. The Big Break Power Pitch will be moderated by Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Global Wealth Management, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisory at Morgan Stanley.
    July 3, 1:30PM – 2:15PM, Center stage in the Ernst M. Morial Convention Center

    More about the conference at


    PowerMoves.NOLA is a national initiative to deploy innovative ideas, fresh approaches, and an overall commitment to equity and diversity as a growth strategy to address the generational obstacles that prevent minority entrepreneurship. Leveraging the thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem, resources, and culture of New Orleans, PowerMoves.NOLA’s mission is to increase the number of venture-backed minority-founded companies locally and nationally.

    PowerMoves.NOLA is made possible through the generous support of its sponsors including Chevron as Founding Sponsor and Morgan Stanley as the Presenting Sponsor. Other major sponsors include Entergy, IBERIABANK, Liberty Bank, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and ESSENCE Festival® presented by Coca-Cola®.

    In addition to the national conference, programs include City Ventures, PowerUp Boot Camps, and a fellowship.

    City Ventures

    City Ventures introduce regional and national startup talent to partner cities, highlight existing local entrepreneurial resources and ecosystems, and aid in the strategic positioning of those cities as regional hubs for high-growth and high-tech entrepreneurs of color. City Ventures kicked off with the activation of PowerMoves@Detroit sponsored by Morgan Stanley in April. Co-hosted by Invest Detroit, PowerMoves@Detroit was a three-day event in which local and nationally recruited entrepreneurs of color participated in venture capital pitch competitions, vying for $120,000 in direct prizes and a chance to raise their visibility to other investors.

    A short video on PowerMoves@Detroit can be viewed here:

    PowerUp Boot Camp

    PowerUp is an intense boot camp training for early-stage entrepreneurs of color to develop viable and fundable business models with advice from successful entrepreneur and investor mentors. The boot camp begins with a 6-week virtual program where companies attend interactive sessions covering specific entrepreneurship-related topics and pitch coaching. Participants are then brought together for 2-days of mentor-led workshops, peer learning and networking.

    The Fellowship

    The Fellowship, sponsored by Chevron, helps high-growth minority-led startups succeed by individually connecting them to executive, capital and technical assistance through a national network of advisors, mentors, experts and investors. Selected Fellow received $25,000 in investment capital and free office space during their fellowship year the PowerMoves headquarters. Eligible startups commit to have a C-Level executive and be at 25% or more of their FTE employees living in the New Orleans for at least a year.

    More at

    The articles on this site are provided as a public service and to be used for information purposes only. does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the article content. Use at your own risk.

    No Endorsement: does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. Resources and links included in said articles are only suggested as sources for further exploration, but we cannot vouch for or take responsibility for information contained in these resources. The opinions and views of the authors who have submitted articles to belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of

    5 Lessons Learned from a Successful Serial Entrepreneur

    LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. (May 21, 2015) – According to the Small Business Administration, only half of all new businesses make it to the five-year mark, and only a third of them survive to reach the 10-year mark. Yet there are people who not only have a successful business, growing it to be a multimillion-dollar company, but that go on to be successful serial entrepreneurs. Figuring out what it takes to have one successful company is a challenge, but doing it more than once is a secret worth sharing.

    “I am thrilled to be at the forefront of another successful company that is helping to revolutionize an industry,” explains Tina Aldatz, chief executive officer of SAVVY TRAVELER. “There are many lessons learned about what it takes to be successful in business, and if you can master just a few of them your chances will be that much greater.”

    Aldatz’s story is one that most people find impressive, considering she emancipated herself from her parents at the age of 15, and went on to learn everything she could about having a successful business. She created the company “Foot Petals,” which was recognized by Inc. 500, and worth millions. She is now working with her business partner, Margie Floris, to bring that same level of success to SAVVY TRAVELER, a company dedicated to the health and wellness of the traveler.

    Sharing 5 lessons Aldatz has learned from being a successful entrepreneur, she starts by advising that people offer something that is needed. Take a look around and notice that something is lacking or could be improved upon, and find a way to capitalize on that idea. Consumers are always interested in new and improved products that will help them in their life.

    Other lessons include:
    Being able to reach people on multiple levels. In today’s world, people get their information in a variety of ways, including online, through videos, and more. Aldatz helped in this area by writing a book called “From Stilettos to the Stock Exchange,” where she shares information on her journey from struggle to success.

    Having a good understanding of business and a willingness to take chances. Many people have great ideas, but they rarely ever act upon them. Taking the leap to act on one of those great ideas is essential in order to become successful in business. Always being able to overcome challenges, rather than letting them hold you back from reaching your goals. Aldatz overcame numerous challenges in both her private life and professional career, going on to becoming a successful Latina entrepreneur. Giving back to the community and those who have helped you along the way. One thing Aldatz did was to create a good bond with those in her community and then give back and help those in need. Good things come from giving back and helping others.

    “Tina and I have learned many lessons from being entrepreneurs, but also from working together in business,” says Margie Floris, co-founder of SAVVY TRAVELER, a marketing expert who also helped Foot Petals to become globally successful. “Having a partner is a good way to help move the company forward, provided you compliment each other’s skills. We both bring a lot to the table and together we have created an unstoppable team with SAVVY TRAVELER.”

    SAVVY TRAVELER offers a line of products that help to keep travelers healthy and comfortable. For more information, visit the site at or follow @BeASavvyTraveler on Instagram or @BeSavvyTraveler on Twitter for product launches and events.

    SAVVY TRAVELER is a premier lifestyle brand offering daily use products in convenient kits and single-use packets that are disposable, eco-friendly and made in CA! Savvy Traveler is dedicated to overall travel wellness while offering stylish lifestyle components for both personal and surface use. They are high performance products that are individually packed in a disposable towelette form that remove 99% of surface contamination. Savvy Traveler, American-made products with a modern design, help consumers carry all of their must-haves while they travel for a healthy, easy, on-the-go experience. Ranging from quick-fix beauty needs like deodorant wipes, nail polish remover wipes and facial cleansing wipes to surface wipe sanitizing products (even for your cellphone), each item has been individually packaged and designed for the busy traveler. For more information, visit the site at

    Small Business Administration. FAQ.

    The articles on this site are provided as a public service and to be used for information purposes only. does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the article content. Use at your own risk.

    No Endorsement: does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. Resources and links included in said articles are only suggested as sources for further exploration, but we cannot vouch for or take responsibility for information contained in these resources. The opinions and views of the authors who have submitted articles to belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of

    (BPRW) Wells Fargo Sponsors Gallup Industry Study to Gain Insight Into Financial Needs of Diverse-Owned Small Businesses

    Wells Fargo announces plan to help address study findings, help more diverse small businesses get credit-ready, access credit • Four-point plan includes expanded credit coaching program, $75 million in investments and grants for small and micro-business lending in diverse communities, enhanced Chamber Training Institute for diverse leaders

    (BLACK PR WIRE)— SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--To gain more insight into the experiences of diverse business owners in the areas of lending and operating their businesses, Wells Fargo commissioned Gallup to conduct a national study of small business owners. Today, as Gallup releases the findings (on, Wells Fargo is announcing a four-point plan to address needs identified in the study. The plan will help more diverse small businesses become credit-ready and gain access to credit. The Gallup survey includedfindings of business owners in six segments – African American, Asian American, Hispanic, LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender), military veteran, and women.

    “Serving diverse communities has long been a focus area and priority for Wells Fargo, yet we know there’s more work to be done, and it starts with gaining a deeper understanding of the experiences of diverse small business owners working with financial institutions,” said Lisa Stevens, head of Small Business for Wells Fargo. “For this reason, we commissioned the Gallup study, which gave us new insight into the perceptions and experiences of diverse business owners working with banks, and how we can improve as a company and as an industry.”

    Overall, the national study revealed there are more similarities than differences between small business owners in all diverse segments and those in the general population. It also shows specific areas in which the financial services industry can provide more support for diverse business owners.

    Credit Coaching Program
    In the Gallup survey, diverse-owned small businesses were more likely to respond that they have been declined for business credit – about one in five African American, Asian and Hispanic business owners said they faced a credit decline in the past (14 percent of general market respondents said they faced a decline). After being declined, a higher percentage of African American business owners (64 percent) said they did not apply for credit again than their peers in the general small business population (47 percent). African American (14 percent) and LGBT (15 percent) business owners also reported greater personal credit challenges than the general market (5 percent).

    To help business owners learn how to obtain credit, as well as better understand the reasons for a decline and learn how to prepare to reapply, Wells Fargo has launched an enhanced Credit Coaching program. It offers expanded support to business owners who have been declined business credit. The phone-based program has been rolled out to small business owners who apply for Wells Fargo Business Direct credit products (primarily credit products under $100,000 sold through its retail banking stores). Business owners who use the program will be connected with a credit specialist who will review the business’ credit profile, explain why the business was declined credit, and share resources that can help the business strengthen its credit profile and improve the likelihood of being approved for business credit in the future.

    In addition, while the majority of business owners surveyed across all segments said they did not feel a perception of discrimination from a financial institution impacted their chances of obtaining business credit, 22 percent of African American and 11 percent of LGBT business owners reported that perceived discrimination impacted their chances of obtaining credit for their business, compared to 5 percent of the general small business owner population. The Credit Coaching initiative will be one way Wells Fargo will further increase transparency of credit decisions and facilitate conversations that build trust with all customers.

    “We take pride in the fact that diversity and inclusion has long been one of our core values in every aspect of our business, and at every level of our organization,” said Stevens. “We want to make sure all customers feel welcome, respected, understood, valued and appreciated. The actions we’re introducing today are the next steps for Wells Fargo to better serve and connect with diverse-segment business owners.”

    Community Development Financial Institutions Investments, Grants
    Another key finding in the Gallup study is that African American, Asian and Hispanic small business owners are more likely to be in the start-up and growing stages of their business, compared to the small business population in general, and as a result may not qualify for many conventional bank loan products. In addition, 49 percent of African American-, 47 percent of women- and 45 percent of LGBT-owned businesses in the survey reported annual business revenue of less than $50,000, compared to 36 percent of small business owners in general.

    To help newer, smaller and start-up businesses access the appropriate business financing and support they need, Wells Fargo will extend $50 million in investments and $25 million in grants to organizations called Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that serve small businesses and entrepreneurs. The investments and grants will be directed to CDFIs that help small businesses get started and established by providing flexible capital and technical assistance. Wells Fargo will work with existing and new CDFI customers in diverse communities across the country to deploy this capital and measure its impact.

    “We know that in order to address the range of financial needs within all of our communities, we need to support and work with the ecosystem of organizations that serve small businesses,” said Jon Campbell, executive vice president, government and community relations for Wells Fargo. “Through this increased investment and connections with community lending organizations, we are making meaningful strides toward increasing access to capital for small businesses, as well as helping more business owners get the coaching and educational resources they need to succeed financially long-term.”

    Nationwide Referral Network
    In the Gallup study, more African American, Asian and Hispanic business owners reported they were unable to obtain all the credit they needed in the past year than the general business owner population, yet the majority of small business owners in all diverse segments said they did not need credit in the last year. At the same time, nearly one in four African American, Hispanic and Asian business owners plans to apply for credit in the next 12 months, higher than the general small business owner population planning to pursue credit (15 percent). Businesses in the startup and growing phases in general expressed more intentions to apply for new credit.

    To ensure business owners are aware of and accessing the full range of financing options available to them, Wells Fargo recently established referral relationships with more than 20 nonprofits and other lenders in cities across the country that are participating in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Community Advantage program. Participants in the SBA’s program specialize in providing hands-on guidance to small businesses and offering credit to qualifying businesses in underserved markets. Wells Fargo, the nation’s No. 1 SBA lender 7(a) in dollar volume for six consecutive years (U.S. SBA data, federal fiscal years 2009-2014), established these relationships with the intent of providing small business owners with an additional financing solution that may better meet their lending needs.

    Chamber Training Institute
    On the topic of business education, the Gallup study showed that African American, Asian and Hispanic business owners were more likely than business owners in the general population to be extremely or very interested in learning how to build a strong business credit application, choose a credit product, and develop a business plan. To meet this demand, Wells Fargo is supporting a Chamber Training Institute that trains leaders of diverse-segment chambers of commerce on key business and leadership topics for their members, such as how to access business credit and craft strong business plans. This cross-chamber initiative builds on Wells Fargo’s strong working relationships with chambers nationwide that specifically serve and represent African American, Hispanic, Asian American and LGBT business owner interests.

    “There’s no single answer to the challenges reflected in the study, just as the challenges facing all diverse-owned businesses are broader than any one financial institution can address,” Stevens said. “As America’s leading small business lender, we have a responsibility to do more. We believe the steps we’re taking will make a difference, help us foster more lifelong relationships, and move us closer to our goal of helping every business we serve succeed financially. We want to contribute to a national conversation, involving the public and private sector, industry stakeholders and small business owners, about how to better support small businesses in every community.”

    Additional Gallup study findings

    Other key findings in Gallup’s industry study included:
    • Only about half of small business owners say they have ever borrowed money for their business, including the general population of small business owners (50 percent), Asian (53 percent) and Hispanic (51 percent) segments, while the percentage of African American business owners who have used credit (42 percent) is somewhat lower.

    • African American (21 percent) and Hispanic (18 percent) business owners were more likely than their counterparts in the general population (10 percent) to be in the startup phase.

    • Nearly half of Asian-owned business owners (49 percent) said they were in the growing phase of their business, a higher percentage than the general population of small business owners (37 percent). Also, 38 percent of Asian-owned businesses reported annual revenue of $250,000 or more, compared to 22 percent of businesses overall.

    • A higher proportion of veteran-owned businesses (24 percent) reported being in the winding down phase – preparing to retire, sell or transition their businesses – than small business owners in general (15 percent).

    • Just 9 percent of women business owners reported plans to apply for new credit in the next 12 months, compared with 20 percent of men surveyed.

    About Gallup and the “Small Business Diverse Segments Lending Study”
    As part of its Wells Fargo Works for Small BusinessSM initiative, Wells Fargo – in collaboration with diverse chambers of commerce – commissioned Gallup to conduct a survey of diverse-segment small business owners. The research was designed to obtain insight into the experiences of Asian, African American and Hispanic small business owners on the topic of credit and gain a deeper understanding of their perceptions of working with financial institutions, and their overall experiences as small business owners. Additional surveying was conducted with women, military veteran, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender business owners. The focus of the study is on the industry overall, and not on a single bank or financial institution.

    About Wells Fargo
    Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.7 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,700 locations, 12,500 ATMs, and the internet ( and mobile banking, and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 266,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2014 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.

    Wells Fargo serves approximately 3 million small business owners across the United States and loans more money to America’s small businesses than any other bank (2002-2013 CRA government data). In 2014, Wells Fargo provided $18 billion in new loans to small businesses throughout the U.S. To help more small businesses achieve financial success, in 2014 Wells Fargo introduced Wells Fargo Works for Small BusinessSM – a broad initiative to deliver resources, guidance and services for business owners. For more information about Wells Fargo Works for Small Business, visit: and follow us on Twitter @WellsFargoWorks.

    The articles on this site are provided as a public service and to be used for information purposes only. does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the article content. Use at your own risk.

    No Endorsement: does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. Resources and links included in said articles are only suggested as sources for further exploration, but we cannot vouch for or take responsibility for information contained in these resources. The opinions and views of the authors who have submitted articles to belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of

    Quality Assurance Expert - Introduces a new, simple Theory of Ethics for Business Professionals

    “In today’s increasingly complex and global service environment, excellence is often an elusive goal. Stephen Hall provides direction by proposing that excellence is every employee’s responsibility, and that it can be achieved by focusing on the dual challenges of quality and ethics.”
    – Michael D. Johnson, Dean, E.M. Statler School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University

    All business professionals, especially those in the service industry, could use a new and improved theory of ethics… We hear almost on a daily basis how employers and employees are at odds, ie. McDonalds, as well as how customers are being treated. How many times have you been presented with a ‘discount’ or ‘special offer’ only to find out that due to ‘special circumstances’ it can be applied to you?

    Enter, Stephen SJ Hall, a graduate of the School of Hotel Management at Cornell University, and author of the new book, Plumb Bob: Making Excellence a Habit. Pursuing “QUALITY” is inadequate. We should be pursuing “EXCELLENCE.” This is a crucial concept set forth by Hall. Having worked in the area of quality assurance and ethics for most of his life, Hall has made many contributions to our understanding of ethics and its importance in both personal and professional contexts. His groundbreaking Theory of Property, described in Plumb Bob, is among the most significant and most readily applied frameworks for encouraging ethical awareness and practice.

    “If our standards are thorough and properly tested, and if we consistently meet them, we are achieving excellence,” says Hall. “It doesn’t get more basic than that.” Excellence is truly not difficult to achieve and Hall introduces the reader in clear and simple language to the unique Plumb Bob of excellence as a constant reminder of the passion required to consistently behave in an ethical manner and achieve excellence on a daily basis. The Plumb Bob becomes a universal symbol, reminding its owner of the importance of striving for excellence.

    Key concepts and ideas proposed by Hall in Plumb Bob include:

    The six theories of ethics, from Aristotle to Kant, and how they can be applied to conducting business in 2015

    Hall’s pivotal Theory of Property – the clear path to excellence

    Examples of the six classifications of property – body, image, intellect, space, material provisions and acquired rights

    Seven tests to determine if a behavior meets the “right” standards

    How the Plumb Bob can help you achieve excellence on a daily basis

    Stephen S. J. Hall is a graduate of the School of Hotel Management at Cornell University after which he served two years as a Marine Corps Officer. He holds an MBA with high honors from Michigan State as well as a Master’s degree in Divinity from Harvard University. His work experience includes the Director of Operations Support for ITT Sheraton Corporation as well as Vice President for Administration at Harvard University. As a consultant, he implemented the Quest for Quality for the American Hotel and Lodging Association. He has taught Quality Assurance and Ethics at several universities including Cornell. In addition to Plumb Bob: Making Excellence a Habit, Hall has authored Quality Assurance in the Hospitality Industry with the American Society for Quality Control and Ethics in Service and Tourism with the Educational Institute of AH&LA. Hall is currently retired and resides in Sarasota, FL with his wife.

    The articles on this site are provided as a public service and to be used for information purposes only. does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the article content. Use at your own risk.

    No Endorsement: does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. Resources and links included in said articles are only suggested as sources for further exploration, but we cannot vouch for or take responsibility for information contained in these resources. The opinions and views of the authors who have submitted articles to belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of

    Nielsen Introduces the New Black Power

    Today, the phrase Black Power takes on a new meaning. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Black Power Movement inspired racial pride and self-esteem amongst African-Americans and encouraged all Americans to acknowledge and embrace Black culture and heritage. Now Black Power also refers to the considerable economic influence of African-Americans.

    According to recent Nielsen reports, the buying power of African-Americans is $1.1 trillion and expected to grow to $1.3 trillion by 2017. That is significant economic influence wielded by 44 million Blacks in the U.S. In addition, African-Americans are conscious of how they spend their time and money, thus leveraging this purchasing power to ensure their economic impact is recognized and valued (See Nielsen’s videos here and here).

    The influence of Black Power increases exponentially when the overall impact that Blacks have on American popular culture is considered. A Nielsen report highlights that 73% of Whites and 67% of Hispanics believe that Blacks influence mainstream culture. This is evidenced by the success of recent television shows that feature Black actors and culturally relevant story lines. African-Americans watch nearly 200 hours of television per month, roughly 60 more hours than the total audience. The successful programming formula of inclusivity is an effective strategy for television producers, but it also is incredibly effective for reaching multiple audiences and testifies to the power of diversity.

    In addition, music by African-American artists consistently populates Billboard’s Top 20 albums chart. Youth is a key driver for specific music genres, and more than half of the Black population – 53 percent – is under the age of 35 (compared to 47 percent of total population). However, African-American youth aren’t the sole procurers of Black music. Hip-hop, in particular, has become an international, multibillion-dollar business reflective of the strong sway Black culture has on the music industry and its trends, thus providing additional proof of the far-reaching impact of today’s Black Power. Over the years, jazz, blues and R&B have had similar universal appeal.

    “African-Americans are increasing their consciousness of the power they yield in how they spend their time and money and how those decisions – whether it’s which television show to watch or which song to download – can be compounded and multiplied for maximum impact across diverse demographics,” says Cheryl Pearson-McNeil, Nielsen’s senior vice president, strategic community alliance and consumer engagement. “The Black Power Movement in the ’60s and ’70s led to significant and historical changes. That same type of conscious impact is achievable utilizing today’s platforms and tools,” she says.

    For more information on Nielsen’s latest African-American consumer report, “Power. Growing. Influential,” please click here.

    The articles on this site are provided as a public service and to be used for information purposes only. does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the article content. Use at your own risk.

    No Endorsement: does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. Resources and links included in said articles are only suggested as sources for further exploration, but we cannot vouch for or take responsibility for information contained in these resources. The opinions and views of the authors who have submitted articles to belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of

    Top Success Coach Jim Fannin Shares Five, 90-Second Rules

    Fannin shares thought management tools used by true champions to succeed at home and at work

    OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill., Feb. 3, 2014 - The average American worker puts in 5.2 more hours per week than the average French worker, 4.1 more than the average German, and 2.6 more than the average Brit, according to a recent study by two European Economists at the Center for Economic Policy Research 1.

    "We're a nation of strivers," said Jim Fannin, a success coach who has been coaxing peak performance from blue-chip professional athletes, Olympians, and C-Suite executives from many of America's best-known companies for more than 35 years. "The great tragedy is that so many Americans of genuine ability never ask themselves the single most important question that would help make them happier at home and more productive at work."

    Those hungry for success would be wise to consider what true champions do differently than their less successful counterparts, he insists.

    "Can you think and work less while producing more at work and home? Absolutely. That's how the best in the world do it," Fannin said.

    Having coached an abundance of MLB All-Stars, NFL All-Pros and world-ranked golf and tennis professionals, Jim Fannin has made a life-long, detailed study of the champion's mind.

    "What surprises many is that an average performer can become outstanding by strategically investing just 3 percent of his or her day in focused 90-second bursts," said Fannin, who developed many of his 90-second tools and techniques while coaching seven professional tennis players - top 0 world ranking - to use the minute and a half between sets to get in the Zone.

    Fannin's private coaching clients have used the dozens of 90-second tools and techniques that are part of his thought management system to prevail in the moments that matter most. Fannin's powerful, proven rules have transformed an error-prone rookie shortstop into MLB's highest-paid player. They have helped an LPGA player to win her first major tournament.

    Five of Fannin's 90-Second Rules have also been quietly applied by ordinary Americans to rejuvenate marriages, restore strained relationships between parents and children, and create lives of simplicity, balance and abundance.

    The 90-Second Rule™ After Being Apart: Whenever you have been away from someone you care about for more than two hours, give him or her your focused attention for the first 90-seconds you are together. Look into his or her eyes long enough to discern their color. "Ninety seconds given to a spouse the moment you come through the door is as powerful as hours spent together later," Fannin said.

    Breathe Like a Baby: When you need to clear your mind and slow the game down, use this technique. Unhinge your jaw. Relax your shoulders. Place your palm on your stomach, inhale and exhale deeply. Feel the tension melt away as you count your breaths for 90 seconds.

    Go to Higher Ground: True champions do not let challenges in one arena of life affect performance in the other arenas. "Going to higher ground is a focused, 90-second weekly review of the written goals for each area of your life so that you have clarity and keep challenges in perspective," Fannin said.

    Isolate the Essential Skill: True champions think deeply about their craft so that they can enter the Zone. "The essential skill for a hitter in baseball is to hit the ball solidly with the barrel of the bat so that the ball gets past the defense before they can field it," Fannin said. Because they have isolated the key skill, every baseball player Fannin coaches steps into the batter's box and uses a simple affirmation. Just ask recent Hall of Fame slugger Frank Thomas and he'll respond, 'I hit solid.'

    Be the Palm Tree: When seconds count this tools works. True champions must sometimes absorb negative energy to stay in the Zone. "In the winds of a hurricane, the palm tree bends, but it does not break," Fannin said. "By visualizing a palm tree staying strong in the rain, a champion can keep harmful emotions in check."

    Fannin's 90-Second Rule thought management system includes dozens of easy-to-use techniques that have helped ambitious, disciplined people become true champions in every realm of their lives. To learn more, visit

    Jim Fannin coaches champions. He has personally coached many of the world's best athletes and top business leaders for more than 40 years. From 26 MLB All Stars to Fortune 500 executives, Jim's client list is a who's who that includes best-selling authors, Hall-of-Fame pro athletes, Olympic medalists, and innovative business leaders. He is the author of S.C.O.R.E.® for Life, Pebble in the Shoe™ and 90-Seconds To A Great Relationship™ and the creator of the 90-Second Rule thought management system.

    1 "Americans work too long (and too often at strange times)". Hamermesh. D. & Stancanelli, E. (29 September 2014).

    The articles on this site are provided as a public service and to be used for information purposes only. does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the article content. Use at your own risk.

    No Endorsement: does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. Resources and links included in said articles are only suggested as sources for further exploration, but we cannot vouch for or take responsibility for information contained in these resources. The opinions and views of the authors who have submitted articles to belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of

    The 15th Annual DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity Competition Is Open for 2015 Submissions

    Over 1,000 U.S.-based Companies Compete for Placement on Annual Rankings

    PRINCETON, NJ (January 13, 2015) – Two months remain for companies hoping to land on this year’s DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list to participate in the competition. DiversityInc’s Top 50 is America’s most sought after diversity recognition, with over 1,200 companies expected to participate. Any organization, for profit or not, with more than 1,000 employees can apply; the deadline is March 2, there is no fee and it is not necessary to do business with DiversityInc to earn a position on the list. The results will be announced at the annual DiversityInc Top 50 Dinner to be held in New York City on April 23, 2015.

    “Our competition is metrics based and the results are determined by computer analysis. The credibility of evaluation by measured results is what's driven the number of participating companies up over the years,” explained DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti. “There is a dramatic difference in fairness between our Top 50 companies and the Fortune 500, and that reputation is driving decisions with recruiting, consumers, business partners and investors.”

    Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation is the reigning No. 1 company from the 2014 DiversityInc Top 50.

    Data from the surveys will be used to determine the 2015 DiversityInc Top 50 list, as well as the 12 specialty lists (Top 10 for Recruitment & Retention, Supplier Diversity, Employee Resource Groups, Mentoring, Diversity Councils, LGBT Employees, People With Disabilities, Veterans, Regional Companies and Hospitals/Healthcare Systems, as well as Top 7 Utilities and 25 Noteworthy Companies).

    While the survey questions have not changed significantly since 2014, technological upgrades are making the process easier than ever. DiversityInc has redesigned the survey to simplify the user experience. Responders are now able to move through the various sections of the survey at their discretion, and can save their work, exit and return. Companies that participated last year will be able to see their 2014 responses on-screen as they fill out this year’s survey. There are four areas covered in the survey: recruitment, talent development, senior leadership commitment and supplier diversity.

    As always, there is no fee to participate in the DiversityInc Top 50, and every company that participates will receive a free report card on what they’re doing right and what they can do to improve. All participating companies’ names remain completely confidential unless they earn a spot on one of the top lists, and all survey answers are also kept private. The only requirement for entry is that the company has at least 1,000 employees in the United States. Companies with business relationships with DiversityInc do not receive any preferential treatment.

    DiversityInc also annually recognizes companies with Special Awards that go beyond the empirical data and show the substantive ways they connect diversity management to business results. The 2014 winners, announced last October, can be found here:

    If you have questions about the process, please contact

    About DiversityInc
    DiversityInc’s mission is to bring education and clarity to the business benefits of diversity. The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list began in 2001, at the same time many corporations were beginning to understand the business value of diversity-management initiatives. The 2015 Top 50 Companies for Diversity results will be featured on and in DiversityInc magazine. For more information, log on to,, or

    The articles on this site are provided as a public service and to be used for information purposes only. does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the article content. Use at your own risk.

    No Endorsement: does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. Resources and links included in said articles are only suggested as sources for further exploration, but we cannot vouch for or take responsibility for information contained in these resources. The opinions and views of the authors who have submitted articles to belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of

    DiversityInc Presents Special Awards Honoring Extraordinary Companies for Diversity Management

    Leading U.S. CEOs and Chief Diversity Officers attend NYC awards dinner DiversityInc follows with full-day session today on culturally competent care in the healthcare industry

    New York (October 22, 2014) – DiversityInc announced honors last night for seven U.S. companies that showcase best practices for workplace diversity. Top executives from some of the largest and most successful companies operating in the United States accepted their awards at a dinner held at the New York Marriott Marquis. Suppliers, customers and employees also attended the conference and dinner to network and share best practices.

    The DiversityInc Special Awards winners are:

    • Global Diversity: Accenture Accepting Award: Stephen J. Rohleder, Group Chief Executive—North America

    • Supplier Diversity: Wyndham Worldwide Accepting Award: Stephen Holmes, Chairman and CEO

    • Mentoring: Sodexo Accepting Award: George Chavel, President and CEO

    • Diversity Councils: EY Accepting Award: Stephen Howe Jr., Americas Managing Partner

    • Diversity-Management Progress: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation Accepting Award: Christi Shaw, President

    • Inclusive Culture: MasterCard Worldwide Accepting Award: Ajay Banga, President and CEO

    • Employee Resource Groups: Merck & Co. Accepting Award: Willie Deese, Executive Vice President and President, Merck Manufacturing Division

    “In order to earn one of our special awards, a company needs to demonstrate full commitment to diversity, starting at the top,” explained DiversityInc Founder and CEO Luke Visconti. “These companies have proven time and again that they get it. The executives who accepted the awards take a hands-on approach to priorities like building meaningful employee resource groups and supporting compensation incentives for meeting diversity goals.”

    Earlier in the day, DiversityInc hosted a conference on Building Your Diversity Brand: How to Improve Pipeline, Talent Development and Supplier Diversity. For a full agenda and list of speakers, presenters, and awardees, log on to: The event was made possible thanks to sponsors: AT&T, Caterpillar, Cox Communications, Marriott International, MasterCard Worldwide, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporations, and Wells Fargo.

    Today, DiversityInc hosts its 2014 Culturally Competent Healthcare Event. With panels, speakers and networking events, topics for the day include increasing the pipeline for minority physicians, using diversity as a driver to achieve better outcomes, addressing emerging patient needs, best practices for hiring and supporting veterans.

    For a full agenda and list of panelists, log on to: The Healthcare event was made possible thanks to sponsors: Merck, Novartis, Novant Health, CVS Caremark, Mount Sinai, and Sodexo.

    About DiversityInc: DiversityInc’s mission is to bring education and clarity to the business benefits of diversity. The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list began in 2001; at the same time many corporations were beginning to understand the business value of diversity-management initiatives. The 2014 Top 50 Companies for Diversity results were announced on April 22nd and are featured at and in DiversityInc magazine.

    For more information, log on to,,, or

    The articles on this site are provided as a public service and to be used for information purposes only. does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the article content. Use at your own risk.

    No Endorsement: does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. Resources and links included in said articles are only suggested as sources for further exploration, but we cannot vouch for or take responsibility for information contained in these resources. The opinions and views of the authors who have submitted articles to belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of

    Tips for Business Dinner Etiquette

    When an important client, customer, or even your boss invites you to a business dinner, it is not because he or she wants to feed you. As a guest, you are a valued table mate and your host is relying on you to bring more than your dazzling smile to the table. You have something valuable to offer and you can’t convey a powerful message if you are distracted by small details … like which is your salad fork and where you should put your napkin when you leave the table. Diane Gottsman, a national modern manners and etiquette expert, sought out industry leader, accomplished speaker, author and the owner of The Protocol School of Texas, has some important etiquette tips that can get you through any important business meal.

    Diane says it is crucial to remember that good manners are not about the food. She says knowing how to hold a knife and fork is much more than social graces – it allows you to give your full attention to your fellow guests, shows your boss how you will behave in front of a client and displays a quiet confidence that allows others to feel comfortable around you at the table.

    Some of Diane’s tips on what to do, and not do, at a business meal include:

    1. RSVP promptly. When you receive an offer that requires a formal response, don’t delay. It’s the first opportunity to show you are conscientious and respect the person extending the invite. Call, email or send back the response card within 48 hours of receiving the invitation. Only accept for the number of people invited – no “surprise” plus ones.

    2. Arrive on time. If the invitation says 7:00 p.m., don’t be tardy to the party. Light hordevours and cocktails will be served, followed by a sit down dinner approximately 45 minutes to an hour later. You mustn’t arrive just in the knick of time to sit down and E-A-T!

    3. Sing for your supper. The host invited you to the dinner party because he or she felt you had something valuable to offer to the celebration. Your job is to make your own introductions, meet people you don’t know, greet those that you do, and be interesting, as well as interested, in what others have to say.

    4. Dinner is served. At a social event, the man seats the woman to his right, and then follows with woman on his left if another gentleman has not seated her. Everyone at the table will remain standing until the host arrives and has taken his or her seat.

    5. Wait for the host. Before removing the napkin to your lap, or taking a sip of wine, pause for your host to take the lead. When the napkin is removed, follow suit. Your host may propose a welcome toast and it would be bad form to have finished your glass of wine before the meal had even begun.

    6. Bread on the left. How can something as simple as a small dinner roll throw off the entire table? One mis-step can start a roulette of mishaps! If someone drinks from your water glass, or eats from your bread plate, refrain from taking the persons next to you, starting a trend going in the wrong direction. Discreetly ask the server for another plate or glass, or put your bread directly on your entrée plate. The rule of thumb: Solids are placed on the left, liquids on the right – use your thumb and index finger to make a circle and your hands will make a B (Bread) and a D (Drink) as a reminder … hands under the table please!

    7. Outside – In. When in doubt as to which utensil to use first, follow the place setting and use the utensils furthest out, working in from course to course.

    8. Technology is not welcome at the table. The sound of a text or ringing cellphone during a meal is distracting and disrespectful to your host and fellow guests. Unless you are a doctor on call, or expecting a crucial message regarding someone’s health, turn your phone off and keep it out of sight. If you must have it at the table, place it on your lap with your napkin covering it. Never set it on the table.

    9. One thing at a time. Cut only one piece of food at a time. Bring it your mouth, chew and repeat. Avoid holding your drink in one hand, your dinner roll in the other as you are chewing, bringing your drink to your mouth to take a sip. Break off one small piece of your bread item, butter it and bring it to your mouth. Avoid “buttering up” the entire roll and eating it like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

    10. Keep the noise level down. Eating with confidence means you don’t bring a great deal of attention to yourself and your table manners. Avoid the obvious chomping, eating with your mouth open and blowing your nose at the table. More obvious attention getters are: Pointing with your utensils, using your fingers to push items on your fork, sopping up gravy and wiping your plate clean with your bread.

    Diane specializes in executive leadership and etiquette training, with clients ranging from university students to Fortune 500 companies, and her seminars cover topics ranging from tattoos in the workplace to technology at the dinner table and the proper use of social media. Her advice is backed by a Master’s Degree in Sociology with an emphasis on adult behavior. Visit and

    The articles on this website are provided for information purposes only. does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the article content on this site or reliance by any person on the site's contents. Use at your own risk.

    No Implied Endorsement: does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. The views and opinions of the authors who have submitted articles to belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of

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