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Firing Jill Abramson

I subscribe to the New York Times, and have since 1975. My husband and I sometimes discussed our reason for this. We agreed that reading the East Coast version of events inoculated us against a rigid Left Coast (ie. California) viewpoint.

For the last two years, I have watched the delivered paper, lying in our front yard, getting thinner and thinner. I imagined one day, it not appearing at all. This was a depressing thought. I read about the demise of other newspapers as I enjoyed the sophisticated, often creative writing of the news articles in the Times.

Then a few days ago I read that the female Senior Editor has been fired. It seems that she questioned the authorities about whether her salary was commensurate with the salary of the former male editor, Bill Keller. It was under his care that the paper lost money. Jill Abramson had turned the financial picture around in her 2 and one half year leadership. A day after she was fired, the decision makers and employees at the Times say she was paid a similar salary as Bill Keller.

Then why was she fired?

For being “Pushy”? She Pushed the financial picture to $222 million in profit after the “finances degenerated” under the male decision maker, her former boss.

When I read that Ms. Abramson had a “T” tattooed on her back, I felt so punched in the stomach that it surprised me. As a female CEO in business, I am accustomed to being viewed as “not as competent” as the males in similar roles to mine. However, being fired for being outrageously competent but asking for comparable salary is a new situation. The tattooed “T” says too much loyalty and competence together are a liability for females.

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Overview Video – Influencing with Integrity

I am so fond of our 12 modules of video that I hate replacing them with new footage. Michalangelo’s paintings are still in the Sistine Chapel and it’s been over 400 years, yet my videos are only 20 years old and experts demand I abandon them. Doesn’t seem fair to me.
I’m not saying my videos are comparable to the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. I’m saying any creative endeavor should last longer than 20 years. Having people say “It’s dated,” really hurts.
However, I am shooting new footage. Here’s some of it.

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Why The Principles Of Conscious Capitalism Lead To Success

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I was training corporations in the principles of conscious capitalism long before I had heard of it. That’s because I knew these  ideas worked in my life, and had found they worked in other people’s lives as well.  Also, because many corporations were willing to pay me and Certified Trainers of my seminars  handsomely to teach this to their employees.

One of my more interesting clients, a giant telephone company, trained more than 1,000 employees in our “Influencing with Integrity” skills because they discovered their sales increased as their people learned our conversation/sales  skills.  What did we teach them?

One of the key ideas was to listen to the customer and find out the customer’s needs before offering a product.  When we began we heard admiring stories of telephone sales people who sold a two person business a system that would handle 20 employees.  The commission was larger for the bigger system of course.  Since many telephone sales people’s wages are based on commission, this seemed like a smart move.  Except the customer couldn’t have been too happy when they eventually discovered they had been “snookered”.

Once our trainers introduced “dovetailing”, lots of sales pitches changed.   “Dovetailing”  has three steps:

1. You know your outcome: to make a sale

2. You find out your client’s outcome: to purchase something they need

3. You find a solution that perfectly matches both of your outcomes.
This sometimes requires creative thinking skills which pay off  in increased business, trust, and referrals in the long run.  Pretty obvious, once you think about this.

The extra dividends from dovetailing are:

1. Retention rates go up because people feel good about their jobs

2. Job satisfaction is increased

3. More humor is seen/heard in the workplace

4. Sales call/close ratio increased by 25%.

Conscious Capitalism’s  focus on  Purpose, Stakeholders, Leadership and Culture is another way of implementing “Dovetailing”.  Comforting to have other people agree with us.

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Grow Your Brain with New Skills

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If you prefer Pleasure over Pain – as Freud said, all “normals” do. There are two books you should read this month. The first is, “Super Brain”, which posits that the old info about the brain cells dying off as we age is not necessarily true. We can sharpen our brain (and add dendrites for new synapses) at any age. Adventures of new experiences does this growing beautifully.

Book number two is, “Proof of Heaven” by a neuro-surgeon who , through a near death experience, changed his beliefs and erased his death fears. Since fears of all sorts are the cause of most of the world’s ills, this is a powerful message for all of us.

“Super Brain” inspired us to change the title of our landmark seminar, “Influence with Integrity”. We’ve been using that title for 28 years, even though we’ve added a lot of new insights, strategies and skills as the research on the brain unfolded. All the concepts of the seminar are not new, but all are relatively unknown outside the 50,000 plus who have attended the 3-day trainings.

If you haven’t signed up, you are missing out on some brain commutations that your competitors may have already learned. They will assist you in gaining what you want out of life – today. If not we refund your tuition.

-Genie

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Beauty? Grotesque?

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Beauty and its explanation have attracted attention through the centuries. “Grotesque” has less press.

A visceral experience this holiday sparked my interest in these opposites. A beautiful (or at least very pretty) acquaintance showed up during the Thanksgiving celebration with a half-shaved head and downright ugly top-knot. Scrunched. Tight. Meager. A pitiful use of hair.

I was so shocked at her transformation that I blurted out, “What happened to your hair?” “I shaved it.” she answered, seemingly comfortable with her effect on me.

“Why?”

“Because I wanted to.”

She is not a close member of my large extended family. Though I have known her for several years, I had no right to say my next words, but they tumbled out before I could stop them. She was still looking, with interest, at my incredulous expression.

“Well, I don’t like it.”

She shrugged and moved to the other side of the table where we were all sitting. The holiday conversation resumed – I slowly unclenched my stomach muscles.

My totally inappropriate or appropriate (depending on your point of view, of course) reaction was overlooked in the ensuing conversation.

Later, my daughter reminded me I had said much the same thing when she wanted to have her ears pierced for earrings at age 12. I insisted she wait until she was 16. I then received a lecture from this daughter who informed me the half-shaved head was a “style” and many of the young crowd were doing it. A style. Sort of in the same league with the dropped britches that show the crack in the buttocks.

I could only think of two reasons to join this “style” since the difference between beauty and grotesque are clear to me.

Reason One. To attract attention. To stand out as “different” in a crowd of pretty women, age early 20′s

Reason Two: To protest against social conformity and our cultural norms.

Both of those reasons are legitimate stances for a twenty-plus year old. Though, in my opinion, neither justifies turning yourself into an “ugly.”

“Beauty is its own excuse for being,” is as true now as the first time penned. Later in the day, I apologized to her for my words. This apology did not interest her. Nor me, actually. If you are a blonde, beautiful 20-plus year old, with soft, flowing locks, enjoy your beauty and all its benefits. Beauty often fades before you are ready. You are lucky to experience it while you can. Don’t dump your good luck by shaving it away.

Maybe grotesque is preferable to boring, but beauty is never boring. She obviously hasn’t learned that yet. Maybe always receiving admiring looks gets old.

It didn’t for me, and now that I am in my eighties, I miss this.

Old age looks grotesque to most of the youngsters. It’s not, actually. My husband became more beautiful to me, the older he got and the more I came to appreciate his kindness, his astringent honesty, and his creativity in dealing with the events and people of his surgery practice. My heart would respond when he arrived in the kitchen for breakfast.

Beauty is its own excuse for being.

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