MVP Seminars Blogs

This is not just for Human Resources. Employers need to use an informed approach to help boost employee satisfaction, retention and productivity while protecting the company’s legal and financial interests. It is the biggest economic burden of any health issue in the world and is projected to cost $6 trillion by 2030. Two-thirds of these costs are attributed to disability and loss of work. And yet shockingly, of the 450 million people worldwide who suffer from mental health conditions 60% do not receive any form of care. “Jobs” is the key word in American politics these days. How to get them back from other countries is important, of course, but what about helping companies retain the employees they have by successfully promoting mental wellness in the workplace?      How? Here are four ways: * Prevention: Promote mental health as part of an overall corporate wellness campaign. For example, bring in professionals who specialize in mental health and substance abuse issues to present mandatory, yet interesting educational seminars. That will help reduce the stigma attached to mental and substance abuse disorders. Businesses who have done this reported reduction in health expenses and other financial gains for their organizations. * Awareness: Changes in sleep, mood, appetite, weight, behavior, and personality are caused by many drug addictions and mental health disorders. Other telling symptoms include tardiness, missed deadlines and unexplained or unauthorized absences from work to counter these problems, it is critical that management and HR be given sensitivity training and that professional information and referral resources are readily available. Taking these steps can help employers manage situations before they get out of control. * Work-Life Balance and Accommodations: The Family Medical Leave Act entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and professionally diagnosed medical reasons, including mental illness or alcohol/substance use disorders. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” to assist people with disabilities, including mental health impairments, perform job duties. Employers can help employees with mental health issues by encouraging the use of written checklists, instructions and offering more training time. Sometimes providing a mentor for daily guidance and meeting regularly to discuss progress. * Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs designed to address substance abuse and addictions, as well as personal and family problems, mental health or emotional issues, marital or parenting problems, and financial or legal concerns. EAPs have evolved and grown in popularity during the last 25 years. The number of organizations with an EAP increased from 31% in 1985 to 75% in 2009. Providing a variety of treatment options for an employee will not only help reduce their suffering - it will curtail the incidence of impaired functioning at work. More jobs in America? According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, some 60% to 80% of people with mental illness are unemployed. In part, this is the crippling nature of the disease. But a large part of the problem that we have in hiring people who have some mental disorder is that we lack the sophisticated vocabulary to talk and act regarding these illnesses. Managing mental health should hold no fear for managers – whether they realize it or not, they already have many of the skills needed to look after their employees’ well being. Sometimes all it takes is an open mind. Mental health is the mental and emotional state in which we feel able to cope with the normal stresses of everyday life. If we are feeling good about ourselves we often work productively, interact well with colleagues and make a valuable contribution to our team or workplace. The good news is that line managers already have many of the skills needed to promote positive mental health at work. They are usually well-versed in the importance of effective communication and consultation, and the need to draw up practical workplace policies and procedures. Add to these skills an open mind and a willingness to try and understanding mental health problems, and organizations can make real progress in tackling the stigma often associated with mental health. “The problem with the stigma around mental health is really about the stories that we tell ourselves as a society. What is normal? That’s just a story that we tell ourselves.” -- Matthew Quick (Author of The Silver Linings Playbook) Invest in your employee training and development by offering Business Training Seminars that produce tangible results.  
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"Undercover Boss" is one of my favorite shows. Every Friday night a CEO “discovers” good people when he cuts through management layers, policies and processes to learn the truth about his organization. By becoming a participating member in these processes, he finds people in problem solving mode every day and managers that show poor leadership by refusing to address the root causes of the problems. Managers frequently refuse to fix problems that hide the potential of assets and people to deliver better results. Why? Because THEY BELIEVE THEY HAVE THE AUTHORITY to do so. If you could change those beliefs, the bottom line and culture would improve, which makes changing management team mindsets about their roles in change worth a lot!  
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Leadership wisdom: do you have it?   Do you know the difference between experience and time spent on the job?  Wise leaders do.  Read the following story taken from Understanding Your Role As A Leader.   I will not make any conclusions or issue any challenges.  Both of those are up to you.   Early in the 20th century the Campisano family movde from Italy to North America.  Finding himself in a new country and in a new culture, and without the ability to speak English, Al Campisano,   the oldest of the children, at age eleven, began his American           educational experience in the first grade….   I have often wondered what Al Campisano was learning in the first  grade that the other students were not.  When I met Al in the 1970s he and his brother Guy were the owners and operators of a            multi-million dollar business named the AL CAMPISANO FRUIT         COMPANY.  Al and Guy had become highly respected business         and community leaders in Louisville, Kentucky…   Sal Campisano was a brother to Al and Guy and he was employed by the fruit company as a dock worker.  At that time, I was part owner of a small wholesale produce business and a large portion of what I sold came from the Campisano brothers.  One morning  while I was paying my bill, Guy and I were standing in his office from where we could see out onto the sales loading area. Looking in that direction, I saw Sal.  Out of curiosity, I asked Guy, “How  long has Sal been working here?”  “About nine years,” responded Guy. "Then why is he still working on the dock?” I asked.  “He is a family member and has nine years experience.  Why is he not in management?” To which Guy responded in a way that I will never forget.  He            said to me, “Mark, you don’t understand.  Sal doesn’t have            nine years of experience.  He has one year of experience and             has had it, nine times.”*   *Mark T. Sorrels, Understanding Your Role As A Leader, (Bloomington, IN, Xlibris Corporation, 2011),11-12.
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It happens sometimes.  We clash with people at work, but there’s a better way through the right kind of communication.     Recently, I had a spirited discussion with a woman who works for me who had made some mistakes I just had to address.  Our exchange was tense at times, and we eventually worked things out, but the most interesting thing to come out of it was what we learned from the experience.   Her name is Mary, and she’s smart, accomplished and works quickly and efficiently—most of the time. Mary would probably describe the conversation differently, more like a cannon explosion.  It did start that way, as I had let things build up without discussing my concerns when they happened.  And then, on a particularly busy morning, I just let it out.   I could tell Mary was surprised and I’m sure she felt I was being harsh.  Maybe I was at first but well, I was mad. As managers and business owners, we have the right to expect quality work and peak performance from people who work for us.  At the same time, we need to know and practice effective communication, so we can get the performance results we want and keep up morale.   Nothing promotes productivity and loyalty like support and respect--and that works both ways.  In business, I had seen how badly women treated each other. They sabotaged, rather than supported, each other. I knew we could do better, but we first needed our own code of conduct for how to think and live in the world that was different from the one we inherited from men. It was my dream to build a community of women helping each other through a program that could show women how to tap into their own value and innate power. In 2011, my dream came true when I created The Women’s Code.   As for Mary, she listened intently and didn’t say a word until I had finished my rant. I had expected her to be defensive, and make excuses for not meeting a deadline, but instead she acknowledged her mistake and took responsibility! How rare is that?  From having learned The Women’s Code, I could tell Mary had been reminded of the importance of being accountable and learning from mistakes.   Then it was her turn, and she calmly but firmly pointed out behaviors of mine that impede her workflow, like not being accessible to answer her questions. I have to admit, she made a valid point.  “I know my value,” Mary said at one point, and I was both impressed and gratified because I knew she had embraced the core principle of The Women’s Code.  Today, we are happily back on track, we understand each other better and can even find humor in the whole situation.   Tips For Effective Communication * Prepare.  Think in advance how best to communicate your complaints so the person on the other end doesn’t get defensive. When someone feels attacked, they naturally defend themselves.  It’s normal, we all do it, but it creates a stalemate and stifles productivity. * Flip the complaint around so it comes from your point of view. For example, instead of saying you did this and I’m really mad about it, start from a neutral, even humble, place.  “Maybe I didn’t explain things clearly, but from now on I’d like you to follow through on all email correspondence.” * Lead by good example and respect, not fear. * Ask what tools or changes a person needs to do their best work. * Try to understand how a person’s work process may may differ from the rest of your team. * Be clear on deadlines and work priorities. * Acknowledge a job well done. Praise and support are the best motivators.   Beate Chelette is a respected career coach, business trainer, and a consummate entrepreneur who founded The Women’s Code, a unique guide to personal and career success that offers a new code of conduct for today’s business, private and digital world. After selling one of her start-up companies, BeateWorks, to Bill Gates in 2006 for millions of dollars, CEOs and entrepreneurs around the country came calling to learn her strategies for success, and today Beate shares them in her dynamic break-out training sessions on leadership, conflict resolution and effective communication.
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It is Sunday, August 12, and it has been two weeks since I have been on the internet for fear of spoiling my Olympic fix for the night.  What I found is that I am not alone.  Of the 2.4 billion people around the world that watched the Olympics, there were several others who did not want to know results and those that did. Either way, the Olympics is the single largest event that unifies the world. Perhaps, the most perplexing concept to understand is how people can watch athletes give every ounce of their heart and soul to reach extraordinary feats and go back to work on Monday performing ordinarily.  More interestingly, some will sob when their heroes reach the medal stand, yet, not see the parallels in their own profession.  While Mount Olympus is the pinnacle of an athlete’s journey, we as salespeople are also striving to reach the summit.  Sales is the most quantifiable, easily measured department in any entity, for your success is directly tied to your efforts. Maybe eighty thousand people don’t come out to watch you present to a customer but the same amount of passion can go into the preparation, execution, and closing.  We all have had times when we looked at our ranking report and our situation seemed bleak. However, when we ciphered through the latest reports, we realized we were actually not as far as we thought from achieving our goal.   Selling in a challenging economy is tough, but is it tougher than running 400 meters without legs?  The 400 meters is considered the most vicious race in track and field because it is a grueling sprint that lasts for a quarter of a mile. Oscar Pistorius, the South African double amputee set a goal of running in the Olympics and reaching under 45 seconds in the 400 meters. He reached one of those goals and ran 45.39.  He set “SMART” goals that were high, but obtainable.  If there is any question about where to begin in goal setting, look no further than Kirani James of Grenada, whose country had never won a medal.  Kirani based his goal on pride.  He dreamed of winning a gold medal for his country.  James reached his goal, and what made it even more astonishing is he did it while carrying a full course load at the University of Alabama.  While most of his peers dropped out to concentrate on their sport, he could not because he was on a work visa and had to maintain a full course load to stay in the U.S. Sometimes our issue may be giving too much attention to our obstacles.   We have heard them all, “People are cutting back, the economy is weak, my company has fewer resources than my competitors.”  Are any of these more difficult to overcome than setting a world record in archery while legally blind?  South Korea’s Im Dong-hyun would probably laugh if he heard any of these excuses.  If Dong-hyun can hit a bull’s eye from 70 meters away without the use of glasses, how high can you climb up your organization’s sales ranking? If anyone is defined by determination, it is Gabby Douglas.  She spent countless hours practicing her leaps and became known as the “Flying Squirrel.”  The new nickname combined with winning the all –around gymnastics competition, helped Gabby build her brand, and be selected for the cover of the Wheaties box.  Possibly an even more remarkable achievement came during the team competition when Team USA needed a 14.80 to win and she scored 15.20.  Years ago, one company’s sales representatives carried a coin that read, “Expect to Win.”  I wonder was this Gabby Douglas’ thought process.  Or did she scramble her last name until it read Gold USA?    
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View Make it Better Here and Now on YouTube Hello, Al Spinks here, and thanks for your interest. You know what? I just don't get it. We live in one of the greatest nations on earth but I feel we're letting that greatness slip away. From an individual perspective, it seems as if we are yielding to a sense of helplessness and hopelessness. It's as if we want others to do for us that which we are very capable of doing for ourselves. We want to become rich, famous and healthy over night but have a tendency to become depressed when that doesn?t happen. We seem to have forgotten that we have to put in work in order to attain anything worthwhile. In a conversation with my son Michael who is a personal fitness trainer, we discussed how even after an intense workout we are not able to see any significant change in our body the next day. We just put in the work and have faith that over time a proper combination of diet and exercise will produce the desired results. It's a process that works and this process will work for anyone regardless of his or her physical condition. To obtain this better level of fitness all we have to do is start where we are, have a plan and put in the work. So, if we can gain better fitness by assessing our current physical condition and creating a plan to improve it, don't you think we can do the same thing to gain a better life? All we have to do is assess our current spiritual, intellectual and physical condition and then execute a plan to improve them. We all have inside of us the necessary components to positively change the quality of our life. We just gotta wanna do it and get started right here and right now. First, we must take responsibility for whatever hand life has dealt us. It's not as hard as you think. As a matter of fact it's kind of easy. As stated in earlier posts, our health, age, circumstances and situations do not matter. All we have to do is want to improve our life and find an impartial coach to show us the way. But before I continue let me share this brief poem with you.

The Man Who Thinks He Can

by Walter D. Wintle

If you think you are beaten, you are;

If you think you dare not, you don't.

If you'd like to win, but think you can't

It's almost a cinch you won't.

If you think you'll lose, you've lost,

For out in the world we find

Success begins with a fellow's will;

It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you're outclassed, you are:

You've got to think high to rise.

You've got to be sure of yourself before

You can ever win a prize.

Life's battles don't always go

To the stronger or faster man,

But soon or late the man who wins

Is the one who thinks he can.

Remember, all you gotta do is believe you can improve your life and you will! What are you waiting on? In my next few posts I will provide information that will assist you in this very worthwhile and rewarding journey. Until then here's wishing that you live today and every day passionately and with purpose. Thank you and God Bless!
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I am often asked by clients to map out a massive change initiative within their organization.  Change fitness habits, improve nutrition, add pre-shift stretching and improve employee wellness.  As a society we are "I want it now" society, namely give me a pill or a shot and make it all better, but change does not work that way.  Lets examine a few simple ways to bring about lasting change. 1) Map out the course in small but clear steps.  We cant tell employees to get fit, it's to vague.  We must tell employees to do something solid like "do these 3 stretches before every meeting" or all "meetings will be done standing". 2) Utilize team work, peer pressure and herd mentality.  Organizations often under-utilize or neglect the power of group think and herd mentality to move an organization into a state of positive change. 3) Empower all employees.  Any employee from the janitor to the VP must have the ability to step up and champion, lead, design and cajole all employees forward.  Health, wellness and ultimately productivity and happiness are tied together. To make an organization cohesive we must rally the herd while defining a clear and actionable path to employee  fitness, wellness and health.
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Many of us are feeling helpless these days as the world changes around us. However, I believe that we can predict what is coming reasonably well if we develop a future-oriented mindset. To do that, we can learn from the great science fiction and fantasy writer, H. G. Wells (1866 – 1946). His keen observations of scientific phenomena, combined with logic and math, allowed him to predict a number of trends and developments over the course of the 20th century. Wells was considered to have an overall accuracy of as much as 80 percent, His predictions covered a wide range of subjects, such as urban living, transportation, government, defense methods, education and sociology. He attributed his own success to the following methodologies:
  • INDUCTIVE REASONING — Wells taught that inductive reasoning — the process of making inferences by observed repetitive patterns — was key to making reasonably accurate predictions.
  • FUTURE-FOCUSED THINKING — Wells did not live in the past. Instead, he thought constantly of things to come, and he believed that change could not be ignored.He also thought of the present in terms of how it could drive the future.
  • GROUNDING IN SCIENCE — Wells kept himself knowledgeable of scientific principles and developments, as he believed that science was predictive by nature. For example, he predicted that aircraft would be heavier than air, rather than lighter than air, when his contemporaries believed in the future of balloons and dirigibles. His reasoning was that, to conquer the air, an air craft would need to be stronger than air.
  • KNOWLEDGE OF THE PAST — Wells believed that all future events were preordained by past events, so it was important to know the past in order to know the future.
  • LAW OF LARGE NUMBERS — Wells used statistical probability to make predictions. He believed that while small, incremental human events may influence outcomes in some way, broad trends can tell the story more accurately, smoothing out the effects of anomalous events. Another way of saying this is that Wells looked at the big picture.
Wells was so accurate that he published a book in 1901 titled Anticipations, in which he predicted what the world would be like in the year 2000. He wrote that trains and cars would move workers between the cities and the suburbs, that women would seek and achieve greater sexual freedom, that there would be two world wars in which German militarism would be defeated, and that a European Union would be formed. In an era when we feel buffeted by change, we can still reasonably predict the future by studying trends and making informed inferences. As I often tell my audiences, we don't need to pay a fortune teller to know the future. We only need to pay attention.
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Not long ago the heart was believed to be merely a muscle that received deoxygenated blood and pumped out oxygenated blood (liquid tissue) through the body. As a pastoral counselor I have many opportunities to talk about the 'heart' in a spiritual capacity.  In fact, the Greek word for 'heart' is kardia.  This word refers to the soul of an individual which is comprised of the will, conscience, intellect, and the emotions. Recent research in such areas as neuro-cardiology, bio-physics, and electro-physiology are now amassing an impressive amount of data to suggest that this is not merely a pump.  Scientists are finding that the brain and heart are in ceaseless dialogue and that the heart has a vast amount of neurons.  They also know that the heart's electromagnetic field is stronger that the brains. Research on the power of emotions to change heart rate tells us that 'gratitude' has a powerful impact upon our sense of overall well-being.  If I choose to think in a positive manner I will generate positive emotions that will benefit me physiologically and emotionally. Think about good things and you will lower stress in your heart-life.
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The physician-theologian Luke recorded a very extraordinary narrative in chapter 13:10-13 of his Gospel document.  The narrative report begins by stating that Jesus had been teaching in a synagogue on a Sabbath day.  It was both his custom, and practice to teach on the Sabbath day. Luke records that while Jesus was teaching, a woman appeared in the synagogue who had a very interesting  medico-spiritual condition.  She had a Spirit of infirmity (weakness) that had been with her for eighteen years; and this Spirit of infirmity  had caused her to have a chronic condition that made her “bowed together”.  She was bent over in two. The Greek word here is sugkupto and it means to be completely overcome.  Luke further adds that as a result of sugkupto she could not or was not able to unbend or lift up. Luke states that when Jesus saw her he called to her and said unto her,  “Woman you are loosed of your infirmity” and then he laid hands upon her and she immediately became upright and glorified God. There are three elements or points if you will that must be noticed:  (1) She was within the synagogue on the Sabbath when Jesus was teaching.  She was in the right place and at the right time.  She was in the place where the Word of God was being taught by God .  (2) He saw her with complete  accurate intuitive perception.  He observed her unusual condition.  He saw her as a unique person.  He saw her with his perfect understanding of the human condition, and that her condition was chronic and old.  (3) He knew that the Spirit of infirmity had taken control of her life.  He knew that she had learned to live within the oppressive sphere of her condition.  He knew that this woman had come to identify herself with her condition.  He could see the crushing reality that controlled her life. Jesus called to the woman.  Imagine the impact of his call to her.  Please note that He was not ashamed of her condition.  Jesus calls those who are chronically under a spirit of weakness that seeks to destroy their lives.  Such are the lives of those who have been under a spirit of infirmity from childhood sexual abuse. The victims of childhood sexual abuse oftentimes feel completely overcome by the unspeakable acts that they were forced to suffer.  The victim of childhood sexual abuse has been completely overcome by the spirit of infirmity to such an extent that she too may identify herself with the infirmity which may also be chronic.  It is the enforced secrecy of the abusive events that perpetuates their longevity.  It is the fear of unimaginable retaliation that keep the child-victim from telling an authority figure.  She is told that no one would believe her if she told of the abusive events.  She is therefore forced into a world of disconnection from self and others.  A world where trust of oneself  and the world has been shattered. The therapeutic intervention of Jesus centered upon a creative speech act that sets her free immediately.  Jesus said to her, “Woman, you are loosed of your spirit of infirmity!”  Notice, he identified her by gender and by her new condition.  “You are” takes her out of the past and places her within the liberating sphere of the powerful Word of God in the present. Victims of childhood sexual abuse oftentimes live in the past within the sphere of the present.  This woman had lived in her condition for eighteen years. “You are” is an emphatic statement that the past has been forever suspended and that what was has been completely overcome by the powerful reality of her new condition.  She was loosed of her condition.  To be loosed means that one who was formally bound has been set free.  God himself had loosed her out from the stranglehold of the oppressive spirit of infirmity.  The powerful Jesus can still set free those who feel or believe that they are worthless or too bad to be helped.  He is not ashamed of you!  Do not allow the shame of childhood sexual abuse to keep you bowed over.  Stop owning the shame that was forced upon your life.  It wasn't your fault. Dear ones, who have suffered childhood sexual abuse, give that shame that you have come to live with to the powerful Jesus.  “Woman, you are loosed” of your condition is an open invitation to any woman, girl, or child who has been or is now a victim of childhood sexual abuse.  Remember, it wasn’t your fault and you did not deserve the abuse.  You did nothing to cause such horrible deeds. God loves you and he has a great plan for your life!   Copyright 2011 Josiah Rich Ministries All rights reserved.  No part of this blog may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage retrieval system, without permission in writing from  it’s author.  (11/09/11)
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