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SUCCESS-How Bad Do You Want It?

    We’re Stuck in a Success Crisis! And It’s Affecting Our Kids

    By Susan Ford Collins

    Success and leadership have gears… and we’re not shifting them correctly! We've gotten stuck in “the more-better-faster, what-have-you-done-for-me-lately, too-busy-racing-around-to-enjoy-our-lives” gear. We're over-fed, under-nourished, over-medicated, under-rested, and under-satisfied. Think of the wear and tear trying to get everywhere only using one gear… 2nd gear… would put on your car. That's what's happening to most of us.

    Our kids understand this intuitively. And they’re speaking up. In interviews, many teens said, “I don't WANT to be successful!” Why? “Because if you’re successful, you never have time for family, friends and fun. You’re always working. Your boss never appreciates you and keeps asking for more.” No wonder they don’t want to be successful! Let’s stop and take a close look at what’s off. And how to correct it.

    When we drive, we shift gears up and down as circumstances require, or our automatic transmission shifts for us. As we succeed and lead we need to do the same thing, but we aren’t. Let’s take a closer look at when the three gears of success and leadership are needed.

    As we succeed…

    1st Gear is for starting and restarting, learning and relearning
    2nd Gear is for accelerating performance, producing and competing
    3rd Gear is for breaking through outmoded approaches to creativity and innovation.

    But here’s where it gets tricky. We use the word success as though it means the same thing all the time, but it doesn’t. What we mean by success is quite different in each gear. And the leadership we need in each gear is quite different too. This is what our kids don’t realize, and we haven’t either, till now.

    Success in 1st Gear means following rules and regs so we can perform our new skill safely and effectively. Then the meaning of success shifts. And our leadership needs to shift too.

    Success in 2nd Gear means weeding out beginner’s rules and devising shortcuts so we can produce more quantity, more quality, more customers, more profit, in less time with less people. (It’s the more-better-faster gear our kids are hoping to avoid, but they will need in the future… like it or not.) Now we need more freedom and independence with timely evaluations and easy access to our leaders for additional input. Then when we start feeling our gears grinding, our bodies more and more stressed, our return on effort diminishing, we need to shift to 3rd.

    Success in 3rd Gear is being creative, innovative and collaborative so we can continue advancing our careers and our lives. In 3rd gear we are leading our own project and looking for expertise and support.

    But many people fail to shift into 3rd. Why?

    Like an Indie driver, a manager at one of America’s companies constantly pressed down his accelerator and his teams’ accelerators too. Sick days and errors kept increasing. Morale kept dropping. Even though Jim constantly complained he was exhausted, his heart was pounding and he couldn’t sleep, even though he had more vacation days saved up than anyone else, he wouldn’t take time off. Why? Because he kept telling himself his team wouldn’t produce at the same level without him and his results would slip… and so would his bonus.

    By disproportionately incenting, bonusing and promoting 2nd Gear activities, Corporate America is multiplying the problem… as well as resultant family and health issues and budget-breaking costs. This complex interaction of success and leadership errors is producing The Success Crisis.

    But wait. The Success Crisis is costing far more! Overusing 2nd Gear means underusing 1st and 3rd… squeezing out time we need to replace outdated systems and equipment, to learn new methods and technologies (1st). And eating up time to think about what will work and how to start creating the future we want (3rd).

    At a time when our infrastructure is crumbling, when train wrecks kill and maim us because we haven’t installed the latest safety systems, when we’ve sent manufacturing overseas and immigration policies prevent the smartest and most innovative international students from coming to our universities and think tanks, we need to pause to re-think, think and pre-think.

    Fortunately some of our kids are taking matters into their own hands, showing the way to the future they want. And we will want too.

    At 16, Blake Ross was a threat to Bill Gates… or so the cover of Wired magazine declared!

    His psychologist mother Abby remembers: Blake spent hours in his room. ”We didn’t know what was going on in there at first, but when he started requesting programming books for his birthday, we began to get an idea.” When he wanted to do an internship in Silicon Valley, Abby had to file his work papers for him because he was three days short of 16! Still a teen, this self-taught coder co-founded Mozilla Firefox and sparked a global phenomenon. Firefox has been downloaded more than 226,265,215 times (as I write), threatening the supremacy of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as predicted! At 20, Blake had to buy a tux to attend a dinner for Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of the year. In 2013 Blake resigned from his position as Director of Product for Facebook to dream about what’s next for him. And Blake just turned 30!

    Are you using all three Success and Leadership Gears at the right time? Is your organization? Who do you know who is stuck?

    About the Author:
    Susan Ford Collins is a sought-after speaker, trainer, and the founder of The Technology of Success. She began her career as a young researcher at the National Institutes of Health with a radical idea: to focus her research on healthy, highly successful people (HSPs) rather than dysfunctional ones. With more than two decades studying HSPs and two additional decades working with them, she now shares what she has learned about leadership and management. Susan and her husband live happily in their tropical Miami home, surrounded by lush gardens, koi ponds and an indoor/outdoor aviary filled with exotic finches.

    The Technology of Success book series includes:

    The Joy of Success: 10 Essential Skills for Getting the Success You Want, [New edition, Greenleaf Book Group Press, October 20, 2015]

    Success Has Gears: Using the Right Gear at the Right Time in Business & Life, [2014]

    Our Children Are Watching: 10 Skills for Leading the Next Generation to Success, [2014]

    Find Susan on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter,

    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.

    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

    Melanie DewBerry is Thriving in the Business of Human Potential and Spiritual Enlightenment

    Melanie DewBerry

    Get hip to the business of human potential, Melanie DewBerry is. She is a life coach, public speaker, and “soul-namer,” who speaks to audiences across the world.

    DewBerry spends her days coaching future “purposepreneurs,” as she likes to refer to those who seek her advice. In her sessions, she instills courage, soul resonance, and even some financial tips to help people who have lost their way in life. “Undeterred, wildly intuitive, evolving,” are some choice words used to describe her sessions with past clients.

    Melanie DewBerry specializes in “Soul Naming,” which she says is similar to a brand for the soul. She encourages claiming one’s identity and exercising our genius. Soul Naming is her method of connecting to a poetic, straightforward, higher consciousness. She guides her clients on their spiritual path, integrating their path into their work and their being, while teaching them to live on purpose.

    DewBerry also hosts her own Wisdom Salons—small group sessions that allow people to genuinely connect, have meaningful conversation without agenda, practice intimacy, and create community within a diverse group of people.

    Melanie DewBerry is also an accomplished public speaker whose down-to-earth approach opens doors to applicable conversations on consciousness in business and life. She has been a featured speaker for TEDx conferences, University seminars, the U.S. Social Security Administration, and several other business and self-help engagements.

    Melanie DewBerry speaking at TEDxPannonia:

    Melanie DewBerry speaking at Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability Forum:

    If you would like to learn more about Melanie DewBerry, visit her on her website

    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.

    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

    “Change Your Shoes; 365 Life Resolutions”

    an inspirational journal that guide readers through a discovery of daily resolutions to create positive life changes.

     author Kathy Andersen

    In her new book, award-winning author, Kathy Andersen, takes readers on a daily journey to create one life resolution per day to step into all one wants out of life. According to Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and Founder: “Kathy Andersen is an inspiration for every girl and woman who wants to achieve her dreams. After surviving over a decade of sexual abuse by her father, Kathy had the courage and determination to “change her shoes” and build the life she wanted for herself. She now devotes herself to helping others. This book will give girls and women a daily tool to overcome challenges and build the futures they desire.” Jack Canfield, Co-Creator of the #1 New York Times Bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul® Series and Coauthor of The Success Principles, "Kathy's book is an invaluable tool to help you do one of the most important things you can do for yourself—commit to doing one thing each day that will get you closer to all you want in your life." Inspired by Kathy's first book, Change Your Shoes~Live Your Greatest Life, this new book is filled with daily quotes and questions that will move you to take just one step each day toward the change you want in your life.

    Andersen is on a mission to help people create positive change in their lives. Kathy teaches people how to create the change they want in every aspect of life, from work, wealth, relationships, health, and more. Kathy has spent almost 20 years helping adults, children, leaders, athletes, and corporations, transform visions of change into reality.

    Kathy is unique in that she has lived and learned change after swapping her corporate high heels to hiking boots to move beyond a childhood of sexual abuse. Kathy’s point of view is a rarely-found combination of leading expertise and direct personal experience.

    “When we dare to change our shoes, when we are bold enough to step out, when we are brave enough to dig deep, and when we are strong enough to leap high, we can create infinite change.”

    An experienced media guest, Kathy is a go-to source on change including:

    Taking the First Next Step to Change—Starting Today!

    • Changing Your Wants Into Wealth
    • Daily Strategies to Turn Challenge into Change
    • Transforming Your Weight and Wellness from the "Inside Out”
    • Turning Your Work into a Labor of Love
    • Changing Your Relationships from Average to Awesome
    • Turning a Painful Past into a Purposeful Future
    • Steps to Thriving Beyond Abuse and Trauma
    • Corporate Leadership: Creating Positive Change in Communities
    • Politics and Positive Change: Can Politicians Really Be Forces of Positive Change
    • Giving Back: Simple Steps to Create the Change You Want in the World

    Kathy is the author of the five-time award-winning motivational memoir, Change Your Shoes~Live Your Greatest Life. This book takes readers on a transformational journey of inspiration to realize and fulfill their dreams, aspirations, and greatest pursuits. Kathy’s latest book, Change Your Shoes~365 Life Resolutions, is soon to be released.

    One of Kathy’s current programs, Change Your Shoes and Lean In, is a collaboration with Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In to help victims of child sex trafficking and exploitation to create change and step into a bright future. Kathy has also worked with Major League Baseball players Miguel Cabrera and Pedro Martinez to establish their charitable foundations to change the lives of children in need.

    To learn more about Kathy Andersen, please visit

    “Make no mistake about this women’s advice and lessons. She comes from a position of skill and strength.”
    Christine Letts
    Harvard University, Executive Education.

    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.

    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

    When It Comes To Public Speaking, Knowing Your ActorType Is Key To A Masterful Presentation

    New York, NY, July 17, 2014 - Ralph Waldo Emerson stated, "What you do speaks so loud, I cannot hear what you say.” So when it comes to public speaking, what is it that gets in the way of being heard? Robyn Hatcher has learned the secret, so it's no surprise that when she talks – people listen!

    In her new book, Standing Ovation Presentations (Motivational Press), Hatcher reveals her groundbreaking formula for mastering public speaking through ActorTypes. Drawing from her vast experience as a working actor and script-writer in theatre and TV, she helps readers identify their primary communications style, or ActorType, and applies her revolutionary approach to break down barriers for people who struggle with speaking in large or small groups.

    Hatcher believes communication is an art form in itself and since every person has an ActorType the trick is to find the 'right' combination of the nine types; Hero, Villain, Innocent, Sex Symbol, Curmudgeon, Whiz Kid, Super Hero, Buddy and Comic. Do you know your ActorType? Maybe you're a Denzel Washington or Ian Somerhalder, or possibly a Jennifer Lopez or Sandra Bullock?

    In addition to the book, Hatcher offers a variety of tools for public speaking training. These include a Vocal Workout CD that features voice training, breathing exercises, pronunciation practices and articulation and intonation drills; a Training and Coaching Workshop for improved presentations, public speaking and communications, and a dynamic and inspirational Keynote Speaker at all conferences or corporate meetings. Together, these tools can become an integral part in every aspect of a person's life.

    "Public speaking is, simply put, a constant in our everyday lives and it's just not an option to take things for granted,” says Hatcher. "Whether you're giving the presentation of your career, coaching a soccer team, or running for PTA president – honing your communication skills and playing to your ActorType is your key to success.”

    About Robyn Hatcher:
    Robyn Hatcher is founder and principal of SpeakEtc., a boutique communications company that focuses on presentation training. She is an acclaimed actress, voiceover artist, writer, and expert communications guest for Huffpost Live. This highly successful businesswoman and sought-after speaker is also a member of the prestigious New York Women in Communications, Inc. (NYWICI), Savor the Success, Step Up Women's Network, Writers Guild of America East, Screen Actors Guild, Actors Equity and American Federation of Radio and Television Artists, and was an appointed member and committee chair of Manhattan's Board Five for six years.

    For more information and to take a 5-minute quiz to learn your ActorType, please visit the website at:

    Please see Robyn at:

    Standing Ovation Presentations
    Motivational Press, Inc.
    Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble
    Price: $22.95 (paperback); $9.99 (ebook)
    ISBN-10: 1935723855
    ISBN-13: 978-1935723851
    Page count: 304 pages

    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.

    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

    Bishop T.D. Jakes Talks to EBONY Magazine

    - He Explores How to Transform and Achieve the Life You Always Wanted -

    CHICAGO (March 5, 2014) — Bishop T.D. Jakes – mega church founder and pastor, New York Times best-selling author, global humanitarian, film producer, TV and radio host, conference leader, and spiritual adviser – graces the cover of EBONY magazine’s April issue. The publication offers readers 175 tips on how to transform their life.

    Known internationally for his sermons on spirituality and transformation, Jakes shares with EBONY readers his secrets to achieving innermost desires, and provides tips from his new book, Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive, scheduled for release in early May.

    “Success is accomplished when you know your purpose and accomplish things you were put on this earth to do,” said Jakes when discussing his keys to success.

    In the article, Jakes continues, “Instinct is something you sense; it’s just there in you. He added, “…I have had the privilege of being close to [people] who have done exceptional things. They accomplished great feats not because of intellect, but instinct.”

    Jakes also advises against conforming and promotes transforming by stating, “Some people are trying to conform to what they see around them. Transformation is more about the outworking of what’s inside of you. You can only transform into what you are intrinsically.”

    In addition to the features on transformation, EBONY has released a special report, “Guess Who’s Coming to the Prom” on teenaged interracial dating.

    According to research conducted by Frank N. Magrid Associates, Inc., today’s teens are more likely to interact with a diverse circle of friends, and according to the Pew Research Center, 15 percent of new marriages in 2010 were interracial, compared to 6.7 percent in 1980. These statistics, along with the growing trend of interracial couples seen in pop culture (i.e. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, Scandal’s Olivia Pope and President Fitz, and John Legend and Christine Teigen), are a reflection of the growing trend of teenagers dating outside of their race. Inside the issue, readers will learn the impact this has on society and how race overall is impacting the country.

    “I tell my children they should find love wherever it is good,” said Lonnae O’Neal Parker, an African American mother. “I realize that I mean that more with my daughters than I do with my son. Race still matters in subtle ways as we try to make sure that our kids’ self-esteem is intact.”

    Readers can read the article in its entirety in the April issue of EBONY magazine, on newsstands now.


    About EBONY:
    EBONY is the No. 1 source for an authoritative perspective on the African-American community. The monthly magazine, now in its 68th year, reaches nearly 11 million readers. EBONY features the best thinkers, trendsetters, hottest celebrities and next-generation leaders of African-Americans. EBONY ignites conversation, promotes empowerment and celebrates aspiration. Available nationwide on newsstands and the iPad, EBONY is the heart, the soul and the pulse of African-Americans.

    Follow us and tell us what’s on your mind: @EBONYMag on Twitter | EBONYMag on Facebook| on Tumblr| online

    EBONY: It’s more than a magazine, it’s a movement.

    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.

    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

    Blacks Grow Beyond The 13th Amendment

    - Events affecting Blacks historically, politically, economically and socially, should be an indication that Blacks should wake up and be serious about their viability to be valued and of value in American society. Carter G. Woodson said it best about Blacks in the 21st century.

    “If the Negro in the ghetto must eternally be fed by the hand that pushes him into the ghetto, he will never become strong enough to get out of the ghetto.” -

    Blacks Grow Beyond The 13th Amendment
    image by William Jackson, M.Ed.
    2013 should be a year of ending servitude or slavery for Blacks. “In the year 2013 I will not be bound, I would not be enslaved.” “Let no one in 2013, let no one allow yourself to be enslaved,” Pastor Timothy Cole, Sr. WFBC 12/2012 America is based on freedoms; it is time for Blacks to embrace diversity, talents, skills and culture. The 13th Amendment (1863), signed to free slaves from the humiliation and degradation of physical enslavement. Mental freedoms still evade to many Blacks in America.

    Blacks no matter the shade, they were all slaves, were enslaved in the fields, on the plantations, in the house. Blacks were slaves to white masters; look at current and past movies about slavery. It was not romantic, happy, joyous, it was designed to hammer Blacks down, degrade them, keep them uneducated and separated, fighting against themselves in ignorance and self hatred.

    Twenty thirteen should be an end to Colorism, Bias, Hatred, Denial and Self destruction for Blacks. The 13th Amendment ended slavery in 1863 this was 150 years ago. In celebration of freedom from servitude Blacks should embrace diversity because in the blood, in the genetic structure, decedents of Africans. This cannot be denied historically, nor can it be genetically forgotten. I embrace and celebrate my African heritage and still respect my diversity of my Native American heritage also. Twenty thirteen should be a year of celebrating the freedoms granted by the 13th Amendment. Blacks stop waiting on a Superman, a President, on a Preacher, on a Athlete, on a Entertainer or someone’s birthday; celebrate as free Blacks now.

    My Pastor states’ “We have some issues as a people, but we should not allow the continuation of self hatred, cultural disrespect and devaluing education to keep us enslaved in 2013.” Blacks may not be physically enslaved, but mentally (psychologically) slavery keeps many Blacks from educating themselves. The denial of math, science, literacy, language, stating by youth these are too hard and are what White people learn. The reality is that Africans invented math, studied science, practiced medicine before Europeans could understand what these disciplines were. Writing was already being done to document history on parchment not rocks. This information is historical fact, traced back to Egyptians and other African cultures.

    Too many Blacks are brainwashed that Colorism (hating on lighter or darker skinned family members) is acceptable. Mental and cultural manipulation that keeps Blacks from growing as a people. “.. the Negro finds himself at the close of the third generation from Emancipation. He is restricted in his sphere to small things, and with these he becomes satisfied. His ambition, does not rise any higher than to plunge into the competition with his fellows for these trifles. At the same time those who have given the race such false ideals are busy in the higher spheres from which Negroes by their mis-education and radial guidance have been disbarred” Carter G. Woodson

    The realization that after 150 years of freedom, too many Negros are still slaves. Killing their brothers and sisters, driving their culture further into a history of murders and assassins. The moral destruction of a people through music, entertainment, drugs, sexual illegitimacy and devaluing of education. Educational slavery is rampant because Blacks allow schools to fail in their communities, too many allow their children to disrespect educators and parents refuse to set good values and morals.

    In the same breathe of cursing schools parents cannot tell you when they took their children to a public library or museum. Freedom comes with willing to gain knowledge and understanding. Too many Blacks celebrate ignorance and show their embracing of servitude (slavery) because they will not put efforts to educate and improve themselves. Embracing profanity laden reality shows, memorize degrading musical lyrics and participate in multiple sexual partners spreading HIV and other STD’s.

    Too many students in school refuse to learn how to read and comprehend but can learn rap lyrics with fluid ease and can calculate when welfare checks come and food stamps arrive in the mail. Blacks that are successful and doing positive things for cultural and community enrichment are forgotten, cursed, and down played. Young people like Cameron Clarke who earned a Perfect SAT Score, Shaquille O'Neal who earned an Ed.D in education. O’Neal, a successful sports star he still valued education to continue to pursue a doctorial degree after basketball. This should be celebrated nationally and an inspiration to educational success for Blacks.

    Blacks should celebrate a Black President (Barack Obama) in the “White House”, embrace the first Black Mayor of Jacksonville, Florida (Alvin Brown), emulate a young man achieve a perfect score on a national assessment (Cameron Clarke), a Black girl achieve Olympic glory (Gabby Douglas) , continue to have more than 14 Black men and women soar into space as astronauts and support a Black man flying around the world on his own (Barrington Irving). This represents that Blacks can achieve success and greatness.

    Pastor Timothy Cole, Sr. “Some things people should out grow,” slavery, indentured servitude, Colorism, defeatism, cultural hatred, self denial, cultural rape, illegitimate children and generational governmental poverty, these are prisons that keep Blacks enslaved. Carter G. Woodson stated, “Here we find that the Negro has failed to recover from his slavish habit of berating his own and worshipping others as perfect beings.” I have stated that , “No cultural is better than any other. The only difference is how strong they create the illusion of superiority” Wm Jackson 2013. Black have physically been free because of the 13th Amendment for 150 years this year of 2013. This New Year, this decade of change, “At this moment, then, the Negroes must begin to do the very thing which they have been taught that they cannot do.” Carter G. Woodson

    Stop Colorism, Stop Cultural Racism, Stop Self hatred, Stop Raping of Black women, Stop denying education. 150 years should be long enough to get the message.

    William Jackson, M.Ed.
    Twitter: wmjackson

    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.

    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

Hay House, Inc

    The Power And Grace Between Nasty Or Nice: Replacing Entitlement, Narcissism, And Incivility With Knowledge, Caring, And Genuine Self-Esteem by John C. Friel, Ph.D., and Linda D. Olund Friel, M.A.

    "This is like no self-help book you have ever read. It's both highly original and grounded in practical reality. Its focus is deeply personal while also shedding light on our larger culture. The authors come across like the kind of people they are helping others to become - gracious and powerful, smart and humble, connected to others, and fully themselves.” William J. Doherty, Ph.D., professor and director of the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project at the University of Minnesota and author of Take Back Your Marriage."

    …our genetic survival will depend on human beings who cooperate, care for one another, and who have the capacity for limbic resonance, rather than just pursuing more and more stuff.”

    Deerfield Beach, FL, May 23, 2012 - This thought-provoking book goes far beyond the tired clichés of typical self-help books. America, and many other nations, is so out of balance that we are too often confused by who is "the victim" and who is "the perpetrator." Those who are too "nice" get exploited, and those who are too "mean" get what they want at others' expense.

    The Power And Grace Between Nasty Or Nice
    From their ecological-systemic perspective, psychologists John and Linda Friel explain the role of evolution, genetics, and biology; personal, marital, and family dynamics, and cultural and political forces in creating a society that is riddled with entitlement, narcissism, incivility, fake self-esteem, and a disturbing lack of basic knowledge. In their latest book, The Power and Grace Between Nasty or Nice: Replacing Entitlement, Narcissism, and Incivility with Knowledge, Caring, and Genuine Self-Esteem they show how and why these must be replaced by caring, humility, genuine self-esteem, and real knowledge.

    Power without graciousness results in bullying and nastiness. Graciousness without power results in being a doormat. When we temper power with graciousness, we elevate ourselves beyond our purely brutish selves and become competent, grateful, humble, effective, and truly powerful---attributes that are sorely lacking in a fast-shrinking world where anxiety and over-reaction often reign supreme. Using cutting-edge neuroscience and down-to-earth examples, the Friels show how you can move into the power zone between victim and perpetrator, and how even one very small change held firmly for six to twelve months can cause more system-wide change than anything else you can do, whether it’s in your home, your office or in your community. You’ll discover:

    Non-citizens now launch half of all Silicon Valley start-up companies.

    The U.S. divorce rate is very high in southern states—Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Texas—that do not support gay marriage, and lowest in northeastern states like Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, which do support gay marriage.

    The term "American Exceptionalism" was coined by Soviet Communist Party leader Joseph Stalin.

    There is a genetic link between how much we contribute to charities, whether we are liberal or conservative, how many risks we take, how much pleasure we get from volunteering at a soup kitchen, and how tolerant we are of others’ differences. Thomas Jefferson wrote: "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be"

    Why conflict can be a life-enhancing part of human relationships and why avoiding conflict can be just as destructive as constantly pushing for it.

    Why the opposite of dysfunctional is dysfunctional. One who is hyper-independent is just as dependent and needy as one who is clingy and helpless.

    Why cutting off all contact with relatives—even in quite abusive situations—will keep you almost as hooked in to them as if you simply stayed home and lived with them.

    Why not always getting along with a family member is normal; and why not speaking to them for years is not normal, and is destructive to all members of that family.

    Why the ability to allow disappointment to enrich your life is one of the keys to happiness.

    And, why any system in nature—the solar system, the nervous system, a system of work-mates in a work-group in a high-tech corporation—will never change until there is a disturbance in the system. This provocative and profound book will show you how to navigate those changes by bringing your best self forward.

    About the authors: John C. Friel, Ph.D., and Linda D. Olund Friel, M.A., are internationally recognized authors and skilled clinicians. They are psychologists in private practice in St. Paul, MN. John also has an office in Reno, NV. They are New York Times bestselling authors, selling over 500,000 books, are the founders of the ClearLife® Clinic Program, and have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, ABC News 20/20, in USA Today, Parents, and Cosmopolitan.

    Available online or at bookstores or to order directly from the publisher, contact: (800) 441-5569 or

    The Power and Grace Between Nasty or Nice: Replacing Entitlement, Narcissism, and Incivility with Knowledge, Caring, and Genuine Self-Esteem (by John & Linda Friel)

    ISBN-13: 9780757315862
    May 2012

    Author Interview:

    1. Power and Grace. That might sound counterintuitive to a lot of people, but it strikes a very powerful mental image. Can you explain this further?
    Being powerful without also being kind and gracious is just being a bully and a perpetrator. Being gracious without being powerful can often mean just being a victim—getting taken advantage of. When you combine power and grace, then you really have an exceptional human being.

    We are all capable of terrible acts of cruelty or unkindness to each other. We are also very capable of incredibly honorable, courageous acts filled with the highest integrity. Each of us has a choice to either act from our best selves, or to act from our worst selves. Combining power and grace is the ultimate examples of our best selves in action.

    2. What is "limbic resonance" and why is it so important for human survival?
    When you hold a puppy in your arms and he wiggles and wags his tail and licks you in the face, you are experiencing limbic resonance. When two people falling in love gaze into each other's eyes, and feel as if they have known each other for centuries, that is limbic resonance. When a mother holds her infant, and the two of them seem to be in a "dance of intimate connection" as they respond to each other, that is limbic resonance. Limbic resonance is what happens between two mammals—two human beings, a human and a dog, a dog and a dolphin, etc.—when they "connect up" or "map each other's minds."

    Higher feelings—e.g., loneliness, safety, shame, guilt—are only experienced by mammals. When I was in first and second grade, my friend and I collected snakes and lizards in the coastal mountains just north of San Francisco. When we left for school in the morning, the snakes in the terrarium never got distressed, and when we came home from school, they never got excited. But the dog did! People who have learned to ignore or suppress their feelings as they were growing up are simply incapable of having a very intimate relationship with another human being, and they repeatedly make huge mistakes when picking a life partner. Feelings are absolutely crucial in making good decisions.

    3. Do you think that the Self-Esteem Movement has been a bad thing?
    Struggle is a good thing. Way too many American parents are afraid to let their kids struggle, and are crippling them as a result. The self-esteem movement began as a very positive and caring response to the emotional and physical abuse of children at home and in the classroom. By the late 1970s, it had morphed into one of the most destructive forces in American society, and in our estimation, is responsible for a dramatic increase in personality disorders—especially narcissistic personality disorder—among twenty-somethings, thirty-somethings, and even forty-somethings.

    Kids who were raised with constant praise, and whose parents hovered over them and removed all of the struggles from their paths, grow up, try to leave home after high school or college, and fall flat on their faces because all of a sudden, LIFE IS TOO HARD! It's a terrible problem in the United States.

    4. You say that "the opposite of dysfunctional is dysfunctional." Can you give an example of that?
    People who are needy, clingy, and helpless clearly have dependency problems. So do people who are overly independent, deny their needs, and come across as need-less. That is why people who are too independent usually find themselves in intimate relationships with others who are alcoholic, sexually addicted, needy and clingy, or manipulative. Being overly independent is just as "little," as my wife, Linda puts it, as someone who is clingy and helpless on the outside. Their outside "shell" just looks different—inside, they're the same.

    5. You begin this book with the plight of Neanderthals and the evolutionary biology of human survival. What's your point?
    Homo sapiens have been around for 200,000 years—half as long as the 400,000 years that Neanderthals were around. There is a very strongly-supported theory that suggests that those of us who care for one another—even to the point of not reproducing ourselves by having our own children if need be—are more apt to protect our gene pool than those who are selfish, self-centered, and only care about ourselves. By 2042 the United States will be composed entirely of minorities. It is imperative that we learn to cooperate and tolerate if we plan to survive on this planet for very long. About 4% of the DNA of many modern humans is from Neanderthals—that's as much as Neanderthals were able to pass on to us.

    6. What happens to human beings who do not have a solid support system that includes people with whom they can share their deepest, darkest secrets and fears?
    There is an exciting new scientific field called "interpersonal neurobiology." We now know that people who have a good social support system live longer, are better able to fight off diseases, feel less stressed, and are less prone to depression. The specific findings are stunning (give examples).

    We are pack animals. We did not evolve to be excessively individualistic, like reptiles. We do best when we have others upon whom we can depend, and who depend on us.

    7. On the back cover of your book, you state that the term "American Exceptionalism" was actually coined by Soviet Communist Party Leader Joseph Stalin. Why is that in your book?
    The term "American Exceptionalism" has been dusted off and used in recent political battles in an attempt to re-affirm that we are the greatest nation that ever existed. The same people who are using the term are also trying to diminish, some would say even destroy, the American Middle Class by continuing to bolster the richest 1% of the population while gutting unions and keeping wages flat, or worse, as they have been since George W. Bush took office. In 1929, the American Communist Party told Stalin that America was not ripe for a revolution because capitalism was strong, we had an expanding middle class, and our economy was still good. The Depression had not hit yet. Stalin became angry and wrote to the head of the American Communist Party, referring to this "heresy of American exceptionalism." The irony is that current Ultra-Right-Wing attempts to take down the middle class in America will create the very conditions that Stalin knew would make us ripe for a revolution. In fact, it is what the Right loosely labels "socialism" that actually makes America strong—unions, healthcare, a good educational system, and tax policies that are fair to everyone, not just the wealthy.

    8. On the back cover, you state that the divorce rate is highest in Southern states that do not allow gay marriage, and lowest in Northeastern states that do allow gay marriage. What is the significance of this?
    It's really simple. The common variable is education. The more highly educated, the lower the divorce rate, and the more tolerant people are of others' differences. According to the Wall Street Journal, 50% of all Silicon Valley startups are initiated by non-citizens, and 70% of all Ph.D.s in electrical engineering in the U.S. are earned by immigrants. Dr. Richard Florida maintains that cities or regions in the U.S. that have high quality educational systems, are tolerant and flexible—especially about gays and immigrants—and who appreciate the brainpower contributed by immigrants, will be where the most high-tech startups occur, and where the strongest economies, overall (there are always exceptions), will be.

    9. You say that in marriage, people always pair up with a partner who is equally healthy and equally dysfunctional as themselves. How can that be true? Can you give an example?
    I could give you a few thousand examples. One was a 45-year-old attorney and his 43-year-old wife, who was a chronic alcoholic and had been to inpatient treatment at Hazelden in Minnesota 3 times. They came to see me for marital counseling. I got her to go to her 4th inpatient treatment, and I talked him into my men's therapy group. He must have trusted something about me, because he stayed in the group for over 2 years. A little over 1 year into the group, he came in, smiling, and said that he had "hated my guts" since our first session when I suggested that they were equally healthy and dysfunctional. He was working 50 hours a week, taking the kids to all of their hockey practices and band concerts. She was a great mom and wife when she was sober, but she wasn't sober very often. He laughed and then told me that it had "hit him like a ton of bricks" on the way to my office this day, for group, that he was just as dysfunctional as her, and he proceeded to count on his fingers 6 major ways that that was true.

    Linda and I take a systems approach to all of the therapy that we do, so while there is no way to know for sure, I find it very interesting that this balancing of the system that came with his acknowledging his own part instead of just blaming her, was followed by her getting sober two months later, and staying sober for the next 15 years. And she is sober to this day.

    10. You suggest that cutting off all contact from certain family members is never a good strategy, and that it invariably results in harm to everyone, including the person who has cut off contact. You have two very powerful examples in your book. Is there ever a time to completely cut off contact?
    We can't think of one. A parent, or parents, may be so abusive and/or scary that you need to limit your contact to something as simple as a birthday card, a holiday card, and perhaps one or two phone calls a year. But you might be amazed at how many families have been able to heal even the most terrible of wounds.

    11. You say that conflict is a good thing, and that it makes people grow, and strengthens relationships. How can this be?
    Conflict is a normal, necessary, and constant part of life WHETHER YOU ARE WILLING OR ABLE TO ADMIT IT OR NOT. Examples? Thermostat up, thermostat down. Being on time, being late. Being messy, being neat. Being on the top, or being on the bottom. Where to go on vacation. Whether or not to go to a movie tonight. People who say they don't have conflict? They do. They just have a hidden way of resolving it, which is sometimes good, and sometimes not so good. If one person always defers to the other, the one who always defers will eventually begin to "disappear" and lose his/her identity. If one always gets his/her way, he'll eventually feel lonely or dissatisfied because unless there is resistance in a relationship, THERE IS NO RELATIONSHIP.

    All couples have the same fight—structurally—for the entire length of their relationship. The structure or style might be that when uncomfortable, he backs away or "exits," and she moves in, confronts, and may even become "too confrontive and critical." This becomes their life-long dance. Couples who get better and better at doing their "fight" have the best relationships. In other words, the more she can soothe herself and back off but still stay connected to him, and the more he stays put and stays connected rather than backing away, the more intimate their relationship becomes.

    Healthy conflict makes people grow. Psychologist David Schnarch wrote, "Sexual conflict in marriage is not just inevitable—it's important…because it…makes both people grow up."

    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.

    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

    Getting Smart on Surety Bonds
    by Rhonda Taylor

    There is nothing wrong with being dumb. That’s how all smart people start out.

    In my case, I was dumb enough to quit a lifetime-guaranteed job with the government to start my own business. I was dumb enough to think, as an African American woman, I could compete with huge corporations for government contracts. And I was dumb enough to think that once I got the job, I could do it well. Like a lot of smaller contractors, I smartened up. Fast. Turns out I was smart enough after all. But one thing that lots of business people never really smarten up about is getting a surety bond. To do a government job -- my first -- I needed a bond. Who knew?

    Not the insurance companies. They told me I could not get a bond because my company did not have a good credit score. Turns out that surety bonds and completion bonds and other bonds are not really insurance. They are more like lines of credit. Here’s why: If a contractor does not finish a job, the bonding company has to step in and make it right. Then the bonding company can turn around and pursue the original contractor for reimbursement. If bonding companies think your credit is such that they cannot recover their losses, they will not issue a bond.

    black/african american motivational
    That is what happened to me -- 11 times. There was nothing wrong with my credit: My books were in order. Taxes paid. Vendors happy. Clients too. I just did not have enough of it to get a bond for a three year contract I had already won. When I talked to other business people about bonding and working capital, they all said the same thing: Nothing we can do about it. That is just the way it is. “But wait a minute,” I asked: “All that government stimulus money is supposed to help small businesses. And now you are telling me that most small businesses cannot do government work? That can’t be true.” Most did not answer. They just shrugged their shoulders and walked away.

    The agency with the work gave me an extension but it was not looking good. With two days to go, my agent, Chondra Martin, told me she had a lead: A bonding company that looked past credit scores and looked at your ability to do the work you were contracted to do. That seemed kind of smart. Soon we were talking with Andrew Wohl at Ox Bonding. He wanted to know about my company and its balance sheet and whether I had any tax liens or other problems. That was all good. Then we started talking about the job and how I bid on it; why I bid the way I did (I went to the agency and got a copy of the contract from the last time it was up. So I knew what the number was and I told Andrew how I could do the job better, faster, cheaper.) He got into my grill. And soon I got a bond.

    Next think you know the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is doing a story about how this small business owner overcame obstacles to win a job. That of course got me even more clients. I didn’t know about that either. Later I had a chance to talk to Robert Berman, co-founder of Ox Bonding and another smart guy. He told me that he started Ox Bonding because when he was a teenager, his father could not get a bond for a bigger government job. They ignored all his great work. All his references. “There are so many good companies out there that do great work but who cannot get a bond,” Berman told me. “So we help them with a bond and with working capital. Because on government jobs, sometimes a lot of money goes out before any comes in.”

    Berman is not a member of the Little Sisters of the Poor: He is not running a charity. Ox Bonding manages risk by having the agency issue our checks to them. They pay the workers and the vendors. “We can even negotiate better deals,” Berman told me. “We will call a vendor and say we can pay you in 30 days, as stated in the contract. Or we can pay you today if we get a discount. Most vendors are happy to negotiate.” That is pretty smart. Being the smart person that I am, I detected a flaw in Berman's grand plan for dominating the world of bonding and working capital. "Once your clients get a bond and do the work, won't that help them get the credit they need to get a bond from one of the big boys, like Zurich?"

    "Smart question,” he said. I knew that. "We do help our clients get better credit. But we also help them with working capital, payroll, and other services. So what we have found so far is that once contractors have been with us for a while, they want to do even more with us." Even I’m smart enough to know that.

    Rhonda Taylor

    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.

    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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