3 Strategies to Follow Through on Your Brand Promise

Branding has become a “must do” for both large corporations and small businesses in order to exist in the economic world. While most businesses fully accept that they need to brand, they may not understand how to keep their brand flourishing. “The battle to enlighten executives about the importance of branding is over. The next battle is helping leaders learn how to follow through on the brand they’ve created,” explains Raoul Davis, a CEO branding strategist and CEO of Ascendant Group, helping CEOs increase top line revenue.

Here are three strategies that the expert proposes:

#1 Be product oriented and dare to break into new frontiers. Identify what you want to bring to the world and take bold steps to manifest your product. Invest your resources into the product you believe in and go for it.

Aiming to become a dominant player across the entire consumer electronics and home appliances spectrum, Skyworth, a Chinese based electronics company, focused on bringing forth one great product to break into the arena with big names. The company created a partnership with researchers at one of the country’s top research institutes, South China University, to access what they hoped to be the next generation in TV display technology. With patience and perseverance to stick to the product they believed in Skyworth is now looking at a $8 Billion success edging onto the list of the world’s top brands in Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) TVs.

By staying centered around their branding mission to be a forward thinking powerhouse and using the principle to focus on a product, Skyworth produces TVs with the OLED technology, which uses organic material to create a higher quality picture with less power in a thinner TV than the LCD and plasma TVs.

“Skyworth is leapfrogging the plasma and LCD (Liquid Chrystall Displays) technology which were the first to reduce the depth of the fat CRT based TV,” explains Steve Sechrist, a display industry analyst for London based Meko.co.uk, and continues, “Everything that the LCD can do, the OLED purportedly can do better, including contrast and brightness, viewing angle with reduced motion artifacts, plus being thin, light and using lower power. ” Clearly Skyworth aims to break into the new frontier of consumer TV technology using OLEDs to do it.

Continuing with a vision to improve the life in an ecofriendly manner, Skyworth plans to roll out what they claim to be the worlds first truly smart TV system as their next break through technology. “We focus on one worthy product to go big with as a way to edge up our brand recognition while keeping an eye on the future.” Says Mr. Yang Dongwen, CEO of Skyworth.

#2 Details matter as you plan your growth. Identify your consumers’ needs and pay attention to details.

AposTherapy has created a biomechanical shoe-like device that helps people live better with chronic conditions like knee osteoarthritis. It’s important to realize that in order for a physical therapist to utilize the AposTherapy foot-worn device, training is required – it’s not a shoe you can buy off the shelf.

AposTherapy has operated overseas since 2004 with a direct-to-consumer model. After launching in the U.S. and recognizing the demand, it became evident that sticking with the DTC model would pose growth limitations. By shifting to a business-to-business model, the company was able to reach out to existing physical therapy practices allowing them to offer AposTherapy to their patients.

As expected, the shift in approach changed the job descriptions of many AposTherapy team members. Forming and nurturing relationships with the physical therapy community and existing practices now became more important than ever. “In order to ensure that we are fully connected with our industry and constituents, I constantly encourage our team members to leave the office and get out in the field,” explains CEO David Levy.

The company strategy focuses on close connection to each therapy practice so that every detail of successful care remains in tact.

#3 Understand the industry landscape. As every aspect of life grows and changes your company brand needs to transform your industry with the impending changes.

We recognize drastic changes in technology as new products replace old inventions. Yet many seemingly stable industries can also transform radically.

Geneva Capital S.A. based in Switzerland sees the economic landscape changing significantly. The capitalistic mindset is being tempered with a socially responsible awareness. “Now, more and more investors are looking for ways to align their investing activities with their values,” says CEO Scott Arnell.

Simply put, the newer generation is putting their money into improving the world and is not just concerned with making money for wealth’s sake. “Boomers invested with commission driven stock brokers in the 70’s and 80’s who pitched the stock of the day; Millennials invest with fee-based financial advisors who look at the client’s beliefs, fears, desires and goals and then create a portfolio strategy for the long term benefit of the clients and their families,” confirms Lance McGinnis, veteran experienced financial advisor. As Baby Boomers retire at the pace of 10,000 every day, their positions (and higher salaries) are taken by Millennials, which changes the economic landscape. “Assets under management in all categories of sustainable, responsible investing are growing at double digit rates in both Europe and the United States,” Arnell proclaims,. “and we are on the cusp of a $20 – $40 trillion wealth transfer to the Millennials over the coming decades.” A Deloitte survey last year found that nearly 30% of Millennials feel that the top priority for business and investing is to improve society.

Understanding that the terrain was changing some years back, Geneva Capital S.A. reengineered its strategy from an alternative investment advisory to focus exclusively on sustainable and responsible investment opportunities. Within the larger industry, like expert surfers, they ride the front of the wave by concentrating on private equity impact investing.

The vision of Geneva Capital S.A. to “Mobilize capital to create a world fit for our children and future generations” mirrors the values of the new generation keeping the company’s brand message strong in the new terrain. As the economic landscape shifts with investors’ choices, the company uses their expertise to navigate the positive change.

Book Review: ‘7 Wealth Building Secrets’

While the title 7 Wealth Building Secrets, looks ordinary, the contents of this book are extraordinarily grounded in greatest wisdom and proven practicality. Departing from many other books on financial success 7 Wealth Building Secrets begins by discouraging the desire to make more money and shares truths that most of us do not want to know. Those who dare to learn the 7 wealth building secrets can find financial stability and greater joy in life that goes deeper than physical security.

The author, De’ Andre Salter, translates his journey of wisdom and wealth into the 7 Wealth Building Secrets applicable to everyone. Salter reveals the alchemy of turning lack into genuine prosperity based on universal principles taught in the Bible. Readers who are more versed in the Bible may follow the connections more easily than those less literate in Biblical verse, yet I highly recommend you to press through to extract the riches.

The first extraordinary aspect of the book is that it reveals essential information on financial well-being for everyone – from the poorest of poor to the richest of rich. Accounts of real people show that the message is truly democratic pertaining to any individual in a diversity of situations.

In the first chapter Salter establishes a perspective of success, which he calls “The Cycle of Wealth”. “Like a highway designed by God, the cycle of wealth has many entrance, which lead to abundance and exit ramps to lack.” The following chapters clarify how to enter the wealth cycle and explain the type of thoughts and actions that create financial insecurity.

7 Wealth Building Secrets discusses mentorship, timing, mindset and other concepts often found in similar books. Yet, unlike the other wealth building roadmaps, 7 Wealth Building Secrets actually unearths consciousness about the purpose of life. Salter guides the reader into profound mindfulness along side with the financial advice. He uses age-proven biblical wisdom that concurs with many ancient wisdoms such as “‘Laziness leads to poverty; hard work makes you rich’ (Proverbs 10:4 CEV).” While the concept is far from novel, Salter reveals facets of this simple truth that moves the reader into greater comprehension and hope.

How Salter moves the reader ties into the second extraordinary aspect of the book. In keeping with the cycle perspective, 7 Wealth Building Secrets affirms that each one of us has intrinsic seeds of money making skills with access to wisdom- a universal equal opportunity for all to live in the wealth cycle. “Our enemy is not financial lack, but wisdom lack.” This revolutionary concept defies the idea of “once poor- stuck in poverty.”

Essentially, 7 Wealth Building Secrets directs the reader beyond money concerns to accessing wisdom. The result is both financial stability and peace of mind. A whisper of mindfulness coaching exists in between the lines. “Since your eyes are the windows into your inner man, if you open them wide and believe, you will be filled with knowledge and light.” Salter gently coaxes the reader into a shift in perspective and behavior towards genuine hope by extracting the core meaning in Bible versus that have often been used to evade universal principles. His findings
release outside pressures from the consumerism world and get you in touch with core genuine need.

The principles are illustrated in stories of people coming from joblessness and poverty to live into their cycle of wealth. The book shares time-tested codes on living prosperously in our man-made economy by focusing on universal principles relevant to all aspects of life.

For anyone who ever worries about money, the 7 Wealth Building Secret can be a key to free you from financial anxiety and bring peace of mind. Practicing the wisdom within can transform your rough journey to a flowing cycle.

Real Beauty

Top Models such as Marilyn Monroe, Jean Shrimpton and Cindy Crawford wore dress sizes 16, 8 and 6 respectively. These women are seen as the perfect beauties in the last 50 years. Today stick thin body images created with photography software are the standard that many people try to attain. The unnaturally thin view of attractiveness is blamed for causing the increase in cases of anorexia and bulimia nervosa.

Photography: Adi Barkan Models: Shoshi Pekin, Loren Izraelov

We know of public figures such as Calista Flockhart, Mary-Kate Olsen and Diana, Princess of Wales as well as dozens of male and female stars who revealed their struggles with eating disorders. The disease affects a surprisingly large population. According to National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) 20 million women and 10 million men in the US suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their lifetime. This number has increased significantly over the past decades.

As specialists look to for correlations to the outbreak, the fashion industry is beginning to realize that media images can be the catalyst of the mental and physical illnesses of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. “The social epidemic that has developed in the last 20 years is a direct result of body image issues,” explains Adi Barkan, international fashion photographer, model agent and chairman of the Simply You — Monitoring Body Image Perception Association.

One leading global specialty retailer, American Eagle Outfitters, is putting its Aerie stores in the vanguard to revise the fashion industry with the #aerieREAL campaign and by becoming a key sponsor of the NEDA. “We applaud Aerie for taking the lead in healthy body image through its #aerieREAL and #LoveYourRealSelfie campaigns,” commented Lynn Grefe, president and CEO of NEDA. “This can be a significant game changer for the fashion and advertising industries.”

Media images have been the suspects trigger the fatal mental health disorder. A couple of years ago photographer, Adi Barkan, international fashion photographer and model agent engaged his Ministry of Health to test the girls responding to a modeling announcement and found that 25 percent of them were “so anorexic that they needed to be hospitalized.” Experiencing the connection between his work and the epidemic Barkan determine to steer the industry back to stimulating positive self-image and arrest eating disorders.

In the end of 2014 Barkan launched the Simply-You organization, which has created a “REAL” stamp of approval for the industry. The requirements for being able to use the seal are: a commitment to not employ models that are underweight (according to the World Health Organization this is a BMI below 18.5 ), to avoid digital body shaping, and refrain from scale constricting. These are the same criteria that were made intolaw in Israel after Barkan’s pressing. Aerie and other leading designers could be eligible for the REAL stamp. This will verify that advertisers and companies are showing the natural body, as the ORGANIC seal verifies foods are grown without chemicals.

Many people are not aware that body images are being distorted in media, just as formerly consumers were unaware of toxic chemical uses on foods. The effort to bring information forth helps individuals make better choices. The annual Eating Disorder Awareness Week occurs in both the U.S. and U.K. , February 22- March 1, 2015. The theme in the U.S. is “I had no idea…” pointing out that so many people who believe the ideal body images that they see are actual and not manipulations by photoshop.

As cancers increased with “better living by chemistry,” anorexia, and bulimia went on the rise with the use of computer-enhanced images.

While eating disorders existed prior to the 90’s, the current epidemic is increasing over the population including younger children. “Of American elementary school girls who read magazines, 69 percent say that the pictures influence their concept of the ideal body shape and 47 percent say the pictures make them want to lose weight,” states NEDA.

Girls wanting to fit into the images in advertisements are not the only ones pulled into the disorder. Athletes, media personnel and employees of other trades are pressured to look thinner than their naturally healthy body. Actors Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thorton and singer Elton John are just a few of the men who shared their eating disorder struggles with the public. Athletes are known to have a higher than average chance of contracting a disorder. Flight attendants are pressured by their employers to loose weight.

In the past traumatic experiences such as rape, destructive relationships and mental distress, triggered behaviors of self-starvation, gorging food and distorted body image that required medical, psychological and psychiatric interventions. Today manipulated media images appear to be the catalyst of the disease for more and more people.

The epidemic is as world wide as body image media reaches. Other countries such asCanada and Australia have their awareness weeks at different times of the year. The REAL campaigns collaborate with the awareness weeks to correct perspective towards and celebrate the natural image of being truly and simply you.

Can You See With Your Heart’s Eye?

Every human shape, color, and gender
Came forth from the will of a tender power
When the heart’s eye is seeing a person truly —
We then appreciate each being as one of beauty.

Spring cleansing for the soul begins this Valentine’s month with making awareness of the many ways we create maladies through distorted vision. Along with being the month for romantic lovers, February hosts Ethnic Equality, Black History and Eating Disorder Awareness and is followed by International Women’s Day emphasizing gender equality in early March.

Biases, whether based on skin color, body shapes, genders or other factors, are the deep root of personal and social problems. Preconceptions act like distorted eye glasses giving us a false perception of what we have in front of us: a person, a group, or our own self image. We can miss out on a meaningful personal relationship or can feed hostility towards self and others.

Lover relationships can be ruined by beliefs that “all men think this” or “all women do that.” Friendships are aborted by preconceptions. Fake images inspire harmful behavior. Viewing the world from the images the mind fabricates can cause real damage, if not countered by the vision of the heart’s eye.

One example of false perception is the fatal disease of eating disorders. Preschoolers to adults develop self-destructive behavior from distorted body and self-image. Many people “had no idea that the perfect images I see every day are digital illusions,” National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) elaborates.

“Once Kate Moss posed for Calvin Klein, there was a new trend where all models selected to look like her, with their bones sticking out. To be thin enough, models had to be anorexic,” explains Adi Barkan, fashion photographer, modeling agent and founder of “Simply You — Monitoring Body Image Perception,” an organization focused on ending distorted body image.

Failing to see one’s natural beauty is hijacked by images and messages that fill our minds. “Ninety percent of beauty is between the ears. It’s an inside job,” says Retha Powers in Dark Girls. The intellectual mind can be cruel in interpreting our value according to skin tone, body shape and gender.

The mind can be filled with “thought terrorists” that reframe natural images into “not good enough,” “bad” or “evil” — thus turning us against our selves and others. In contrast, the heart’s eye perceives the natural splendor of each person.

How to strengthen your heart’s eye:

1. Fast from preconceptions.
Observe with innocent awe, as when you were an infant. Allow yourself to feel ignorant — humble. Ask questions. By doing so you keep an open space to learn truth. When your mind is filled with preconceptions there is “no room at the inn” for real understanding.

2. Use your intellect to serve your heart, not harm it.
Keep your heart’s desire first. You may need to meditate in stillness to recapture the light, truth and hope within your heart to know its desire. Once you see it, keep that vision as your focus, and use your intellect to deal with the current situation while maintaining the direction towards fulfilling your heart’s desire.

3. Appreciate and value everything as an expression of love.
Face it — you do not know everything about love. Each situation is an opportunity to expand your knowledge, because true knowing comes from having lived it. Use the wisest words of truth that you can find to guide you through each situation. Then you will know a greater love.

As the love messages of Valentines arrive, develop true sight by strengthening the heart’s eye. See with compassion, respect and beauty. The spring-cleaning of soul starts with keen sight. With a strong heart’s eye we can see our beauty, know ourselves and live joyfully.

‘Dark Girls’

Inspired by the film with the same name, Bill Duke produced a book of lovely portraits by Barron Claiborne and interviews by Sheila P. Moses of dark skinned females from children to mature adults.

Dark Girls wears a stunning portrait of Lupita Nyong’o as the book’s front cover. It releases now in February to celebrate Black History Month.

Duke’s compassion for the women of his race shows in his introduction, as he picturesquely describes his family growing up. Duke portrays his parent’s response to their young son’s first painful racial mocking:
That was the day my parents became even more protective of me and my sister. I went back to school the next day holding my sister’s hand, trying to protect her from what would become a lifetime of pain for both of us. My dad went off to work angry, and my mom tucked her heart back into her body and went off to the Dutchess County mental ward, where she worked for thirty years. She worked with the brokenhearted and the unwanted. She knew pain, like her patients’ pain, had come home to her children.

After sharing the reason for starting this endeavor, Duke steps aside to allow the dark-skinned girls to tell their own stories. Lawyers, artists, authors, actresses, business owners, musicians and other impactful citizens share how they have been viewed and the thoughts they choose to use to overcome the bias aimed at crushing them.

Portraits and quotes from people such as: Vanessa Williams, Retha Powers, James Brown and Sheryl Underwood express their experience of living dark skinned.

I remember being in a fashion show and standing backstage waiting my turn, when a little white girl turned to me in dismay and said, ‘You do not look like us. What’s wrong with you? You are so dark.’ I was only twelve trying to explain the best I could that there was nothing wrong with me or my skin tone. She was also twelve and had no clue that she had hurt my feelings.

Camille Winbush, actress

The collected quotes describe an array of courageous processes of overcoming the negative remarks that still, in this day of “post racialism” continue to inflict wounds.

After reading through the book the reader begins to see that it is a collection of undecorated heroines who wish to empower other dark girls to embrace their beauty and build an armor of confidence as protection against the arrows of ignorance that still fly.

“I look in the mirror and I can see my roots, which hold a history as deep and rich as my skin,” explains young college student, Jessica Blaylock Williams

“God only makes beautiful things. The color of your skin is beautiful,” are the words of a sage, Yvonne Duke Hampton, also sister to the book’s author.

“Go forth boldly, dark girls. Stay at your best,” a young college student A’Kia She’Kiba Benbo encourages.

The above quotes are some the expressions in the book. The overall tone gives a glow of positivity — like the sunlight warming a cold place in the shadows. Dark Girls gives us all an opportunity to reflect on our unconscious thoughts, words and actions.

Four Entrepreneurs Bringing New Hope

As businesses and political leaders struggle to fix the global economic machinery, like invisible fairy dust, feminine energies create new approaches.

Four social entrepreneurs, Sruthi Narasimha, Shiza Shadid, Janet Salazar and CJ Peak, have a passion to facilitate a vibrant, diverse and harmonious world. These women have an inclusive approach to empowerment.

In India, a young adult offers her education and training to service the world. With a Bachelor’s degree in Physics and experience in industry and marketing, Sruthi Narasimba developed a luxury fashion line with social cause. “I believe the greatest impact can be made by developing a business model which is profit-based, environment-friendly and socially conscious,” Narasimba explains. This young designer uses agricultural waste to create luxury fabrics while employing local weavers and artisans. Her new-world vision for business includes care for the environment, strides to eliminate poverty and raising the standard of luxury.

Next door to India in the historically political rival nation of Pakistan collaborative sisters-at-heart extend their energies to join the new world vision. Hearing the cry of millions of women in her heart, social entrepreneur, Shiza Shadid joined the fight of an 11-year-old Malala Yousafzai aiming the spotlight on the issue of girls’ education for the world to take notice.

Allowing girls to grow into their potential as women is the first step to get the vehicle of humanity fully functioning. Over 100 million of the world’s children do not get a basic education – most are females. Many young girls are married to older men before reaching puberty. “So from a young age, I knew that education was my only way out of a life that the vast majority of women in my village had known for generations,” writes Susan, a young girl in Kenya. “Investing in women proves to be the most effective means to bring a society out of poverty,” attests Martha Adams, director and Chief Creative Officer of Girl Rising.

With a degree from Stanford University and experience in a top global management firm, Shadid initiated the Malala fund to advocate for education rights. The Malala Fund is a collaborative organization partnering with local officials and other charities. “We started the non profit organization so that we could advocate for education solutions,” Shadid clarifies.

In October 2014, Yousafzai was honored with the Nobel Peace prize and she is known to the word as Malala, the girl from Pakistan who fights for all girls to be allowed to go to school.

Across the ocean in the place that could easily be called the center of the developed world, New York City, Janet Salazar and CJ Peak aim to get humankind to peak performance through “Conversations with Men,” a discussion series for gender balance in leadership roles. “For the most part suppressing women is miss education – not being aware of what the other gender has to offer. ” says Salazar, explaining that the ignorance goes both ways impeding optimal leadership with both masculine and feminine input to problem solve.

“Conversations with Men” is a project of IMPACT Leadership 21, which works in collaboration with organizations such as Columbia University School of International Public Affairs to transform leadership frameworks. Co-Founders Salazar and Peak use their experience in consulting business relationships and cross-cultural, strategic alliances to host these interfaces above the glass ceiling. IMPACT stipulates, “It’s not that women or men are “better” but that diverse groups – where both men and women are at the table – make better decisions than non-diverse groups.”

Not that women are better than men, counting women as part of the body from top to bottom enhances society. “Women are creating, designing and manufacturing things that are saving lives. It’s time that we talk about it!” exclaims Michelle Patterson, President of the California Women’s Conference and Global Women Foundation. From selling luxury products made from agricultural waste that leads a community out of poverty to facilitating international conferences that expedite effective problem solving, women are making changes with a collaborative consciousness.

When the world seems like a wreck, a forgotten half is coming forth with new hope in women such as Sruthi Narasimha, Shiza Shadid, Janet Salazar and CJ Peak with their creativity, voice and collaboration.

Book Review: ‘The Fallacy of the Calorie’

Michael Fenster, “Dr. Mike,” cardiologist, professional chef, and author of The Fallacy of the Calorie promises to give the reader clarity. “This is a book for lost souls. For everyone confused by all the contradictory information out there regarding what you eat and how it affects your health.” He does so with the most neon bright expressions and metaphors. This book is as much entertainment as it is pregnant with facts making the mass of information deliciously palatable.

Dr. Mike begins by scrutinizing nearly every piece of nutritional advice you could have heard. Health topics have filled our media, bookshelves and minds as science pursues more studies and health gurus interpret them. The plethora of information can make a person bewildered and sick. Comforting the reader, Dr. Mike reminds us, “Medicine may study populations, but healing is still an individual art.”

The bold and compassionate character of the author transcends the health genius from the early 20th century, Arnold Erhet “the Professor.” Both Erhet and Fenster cut through medical mishigosh to a practical perspective of health. While the former was the vanguard of his time by proclaiming a diet healing system, the later clarifies the present-day nutritional landscape and extracts the real meaning of scientific findings and interpretations of nutritional spin-doctors for a contemporary healing diet.

Being a lay person in the field of nutrition, it took me time to absorb and appreciate the content — details on life expectancy, disease, nutritional values, body composition, calories and the functions of living. With an almost Robin Williams-style of enlightening the reader, Dr. Mike gives visual descriptions to bring facts to life. For example, in explaining the behavioral disorders of eating he states, “Eating lights up our brains like Griswolds at Christmas.” Dr. Mike compares LDL and HDL as different UPS delivery trucks. Then describes the body’s conflict with food substitutes as a NASCAR wreck

In between the comical metaphors referring to Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Scarlett Johansson and Dr. Seuss, are hard facts and reasoning that most of us do not get access to. “A healthy average life expectancy (HALE) is one that is free from major disease and disability. If that is our goal — as it should be — then that value is only 68.1 years,” Dr. Mike writes and then plays on words, “These types of findings hint at the import of the environmental and dietary determinants on the quantity and the quality of our golden years; HALE yes!”

Finally drawing the nutritional information into practical support, The Fallacy of the Calorie provides a well-explained healing diet recommendation. A 10-step 30-day program guides the reader into new habits for lasting health. In the final step Dr. Mike makes recommendations for adding spice to life with a long description of the use of herbs to enhance sex followed by medicinal uses and the general pleasures of herbs.

For the curious and confused The Fallacy of the Calorie has comprehensive education and sound recommendations for fueling yourself to truly live.

Book Review: ‘Lead Like It Matters … Because It Does’

If you have not yet defined your deeper purpose, mission and vision as a leader, it is time to get with it! Authenticity in business is gaining steam as the ocean of humanity is reaching higher enlightenment.

As captain of your business, however large or small, you may allow it to drift aimlessly. As a leader, your clarity and vision is vital for the future of your enterprise.

Executive coach, entrepreneur and scholar, Roxi Bahar Hewertson guides you on a journey to help you clarify your identity, direction and leadership skills in her newly released book Lead Like It Matters… Because It Does published by McGraw-Hill.

If you feel behind the game, short of peak performance, or you are looking to improve your productivity and team output, Hewertson gives clear guidance to help optimize your leadership skills and get serious about leading.

After ascertaining why taking the time to sharpen your abilities is vital to your endeavor, Hewertson takes the reader through careful instruction worth more than the cost of a graduate course and far more than the $25 cost of these bound pages. The book begins with self-awareness and personal mastery, moves into communication and interpersonal mastery, then team effectiveness and mastery and finally wraps up by illuminating our understanding of change and organizational cultures.

“Every leader’s actions result, sooner or later, in equal or opposite reactions,” Hewertson says, and illuminates that personal mastery is vital. We affect one another much more than we may realize. Self-awareness, Emotional Intelligence, and a competence in the discipline of leadership are key attributes of impactful leaders. . Hewertson guides the reader through comprehensive instruction in areas such as the 12 competencies of Emotional Intelligence, defining personal values and fine-tuning your personal mission and vision, which ultimately drive your enterprise.

Lead Like It Matters guides the reader to understand the importance of successful expression. “Communicating and working effectively with the people on your team, across teams, and throughout your organization is essential…our personal choices about how and what we communicate have significant impact on outcomes.” Three chapters and several exercises are devoted to the how-to of perfecting interaction.

Team building has trust at its core. “High trust results in strengthening relationships, sustaining positive change, increasing effectiveness, and adding positive results to anyone’s bottom line.” The book facilitates building solid teams, and gives us a tour of different organizational cultures and their effects both within and out in the world. “Whenever you make changes, you shake up your culture and your system one way or another.”

While the book inspires hope and action with great practical guidance, the author reminds us that values comes first, “We are human beings, not human doings.” To help us keep balanced Hewertson reveals insights into setting priorities to help us stay the course we developed with prudent thought in the first several chapters.

Lead Like It Matters takes the reader on a journey that enriches the reader’s personal, interpersonal, team and cultural mastery. In my case, the book popped up and down; in and out of my hands as the content and exercises inspired me to make immediate improvements in leading my organization. It will be by my side for at least the next several months as the map for developing our establishment.

Thirty-years of leadership proficiency shines through the compact instructions in Lead Like it Matters..Because It Does. More than a book, the content is a virtual classroom leading the reader through the steps to fully develop his/her leadership potential. With awareness to the details of many situations that leaders find themselves in, as well as the many styles of leadership, Hewertson seems to cover the entire ocean of management know-how in her book.

Book Review: ‘Branding Your X Factor’ by Runa Magnus

Wow! If a book can give you the experience of sitting with a personal life-changing business coach, Branding Your X Factor is the book.

Magnus speaks through the book in such an authentic, enthusiastic voice that you practically hear her slight Icelandic accent as you read. Wow! Is the branding factor she subscribes to, believes in and encourages. Wow! Is what I heard in my mind as I read. Wow! I can do this! Is the feeling the reader comes away with at the end of the book.

The reader may not expect the sensational branding message to come from a classically reserved Nordic culture. Yet reading the author’s account of Iceland’s transformation from economic death to today’s authentic dignity enlightens us to understand true transformation. Out of desperation, a nation, including the individual leaders within, plunged into deep soul searching to uncover their true national and personal business identity. As a leader in the process, Magnus, transformed herself into “The European-Awarded Personal Branding Strategist, Creating a World of Authentic Small Business Owners”.

Taking the reader step by step to find your authentic brand, Branding Your X Factor is a complete guide with many useful tools. Each chapter starts with sensible advice and encouragement. Then Magnus asks you to delve deep into yourself to unearth your true passion, vision and hope with targeted questions like, “If I could do anything — yes, anything at all (or be anyone in this world) — what would that be?”

Branding Your X Factor is more than just a book. It is a reference to other resources. Magnus elucidates key ideas from other authors. She offers clear exercises to follow and additional tools to download, including a color chart to help a business visually reinforce their message.

Based on the core belief that each entrepreneur has a unique gift to give and their distinctive messages needs to be heard, Magnus extends her X- Factor out to businesspersons at all levels of establishment. Following the guidance of Branding Your X Factor before launching an endeavor will start it on a powerful right track. Branding Your X Factor also boosts an existing business by facilitating greater clarity, confidence, communication and consistency.

My prediction is that Branding Your X Factor will be a staple for business owners along with books such as, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. For any business owner or inspiring entrepreneur, Branding Your X Factor is a remarkable gift.

The Woman Code by Sophia A Nelson — A Review

Do you know that feeling you have when you have tried to convey your knowledge on a topic, and then run across a book that presents that view clearly and comprehensively? Such was the feeling I got when I read The Woman Code, brilliantly systemized wisdom written by author and award winning journalist, Sophia A Nelson.

The sincere and open introduction tells how writing this book moved Nelson from broken hearted into a strong woman. While her stories of “loosing self” are familiar to most women, Nelson’s roadmap from crushed to whole is unique.

Realizing that collected messages from society, family and other relationships influence females to hide their talent, take submissive roles and loose touch with the real woman inside, Nelson encouragingly shares her strategies of valor and success, empowering the reader to be real and unpretentious. Reminding us, “Too much of what we do is exterior. By ‘exterior’ I mean that we are looking for the answers, the script, and the power that resides outside of us,” she keeps us at our true core where peace, fulfillment and genuine support can be attained.

The Woman Code exposes the personal, emotional, spiritual, professional and social areas where the distortions lie, and shares principles for making genuine life transformation. Quotes from authors, actors, leaders and dispersers of wisdom from all areas of life are road signs while Nelson’s words appear like rest stops welcoming the reader to bring forth her true self, “To be a woman is power in motion.”

The Codes challenge antiquated ideas on womanhood, including attitudes that women have toward one another. “Gossip” occupies an entire chapter – a fatal hidden saboteur of women’s power.

Gracefully, the lesson about the damaging impact of words is followed by vital messages on forgiveness and letting go, “The ability to apologize is a key virtue, that if learned early in life and practiced faithfully, will bless your life and lengthen your days.” Then when relationship dynamics become bitter diversions, the code of “untying and cutting” moves the reader through optimally loosening unhealthy connections, and getting back on track to living genuinely.

Refreshingly, Nelson dares to correct long-time practiced misconceptions of what power means for a woman, “We [women] ascend because we are capable, qualified, and gifted, not because we have to be like men.” Following rectification the book carries the reader through landscapes of courage and scenes of women lifting up each other.

Authenticity is the underlying theme of all the codes. As Nelson peals at the layers of identity slapped on by upbringing and social messages, she not only helps women access their core, she discreetly reveals how both men and women should mindfully treat our daughters.

The Woman Code is a straightforward, comprehensive guide to liberate the true woman inside. As increasing numbers of women travel the transformational path laid out in The Woman Code, we pave the highway for a sensible world.