Get Your BIG On helps people and organizations find equilibrium (see the both/and possibilities), practice flexibility (be inclusive) and step into their power (make it so).

People who successfully lead themselves and others use the GYBO 7 C's ℠ to lead big, work big and live big. We connect seekers and solvers at the intersection of the art of leadership and the science of business so everyone can be BIG. How?

  • The BIG team educates through leadership development programs, executive coaching and elearning.
  • We spread the Get Your BIG On message through our speaking and writing, and by recognizing others making a positive difference.
  • We problem-solve with others via our consulting services, Aunt Polly power lessons and seeing-past-the-curve insights.
  • We facilitate discussions and strategy development through our meeting, workshop and retreat facilitation.
  • We educate you on upcoming technologies like cryptocurrencies and how to enter in to the crypto space to gain early mover advantage. We also arrange for free demo on the trending crypto trading bots like the news spy app by running a live test. We provide information about fraudulent platforms that claim to provide the app and help the buyers with knowledge about the real providers in the market.

If you want to be that positive leader — that marvelous person — who embraces possibility with childlike wonder, who combines confidence with humility, who practices inclusion without judgment, who turns dreams into reality, and who encourages others to do the same, then you've learned what it means to get your big on!

Join the magic: dream big, think big, give big...be BIG!

Get Your BIG On : Press

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BIG in the News

Perdue is keynote speaker as hundreds honor influential women in Charleston

Women and men must redefine the meaning of power in the business world to find equilibrium between stability and change, said Jane Perdue, the chief executive of the professional development firm, Braithwaite Innovation Group, during the Influential Women in Business awards luncheon on July 12, 2012.


wisdomAmy Diederich joins Dr. John Gray and Brian Tracy in a new book

Amy Diederich, keynote speaker, author and BIG founder, has been selected from a nationwide search to be featured in Words of Wisdom, a highly successful book series from Tennessee-based Insight Publishing.

The book features best-selling authors Dr. John Gray (Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus) and Brian Tracy (Million Dollar Habits).

Amy Diederich, Gray, and Tracy are joined by other well known authors, health experts, and speakers, each offering time-tested strategies for success in frank and intimate interviews.


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Jane Perdue Speaks at WICT Carolinas 2012 Conference

On Febuary 2, 2012 Jane Perdue, Principal of Braithwaite Innovation Group and Betsy Magness Leadership Institute alumnae, was the keynote speaker at the opening session of the WICT Carolinas 2012 Annual Conference.  Jane spoke about Women @ Work: Taking Care and Taking Charge.  

She shared the lessons she learned during 15 years as an executive and how a new boss calling her Aunt Polly took her career in a whole new direction.  For women in business who seek to step up and into their power, they must be friends with power, think inclusively, and connect with confidence.


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Jane Perdue Partners with Charleston, SC Center for Women to Start New Women's Leadership Institute

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Perdue Named MIX Finalist

BIG's own Jane Perdue was recently named one of eight finalists in the HCI Human Capital M-Prize on Leadership, co-sponsored by Gary Hamel's Management Innovation eXchange (MIX). While her entry, Square Pegs, Sacred Cows and Starting Over with Leadership, wasn't a winner, we're delighted to have participated in such a rewarding experience.


Jane Perdue Releases Research White Paper

Press release from Lori Ames, The PR FreeLancer. NEW REPORT REVEALS STEPS WOMEN MUST TAKE TO ATTAIN MORE SENIOR LEVEL POSITIONS. Women and The Paradox of Power: 8 Keys For Transforming Business Culture written by BIG's Jane Perdue and Anne Perschel of Germane Consulting.


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Jane Perdue is Quoted in Harvard Business Review

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9.6.11 3 Reasons to Kiss Being Perfect Goodbye 

Are you trapped in the paradox of perfection, asks Jane Perdue. Do you want to crank out perfect outcomes yet fear failure so much that you quit trying or give up or never get anything finished? In a society that idolizes flawlessness (air brushing photos and the like), it's easy to step over the line into the dark side of perfectionism: A space where you make an art form of always over-delivering faultless outcomes, even when that level of work isn't warranted. Continue reading...


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Skirt!

September 2011

Jane Perdue | Women's Leader

Jane is a veteran of Fortune 100 companies whose second act has been to "consult, speak and write about leadership development and women's issues."

Her latest venture is in its early stages—a women's leadership institute in partnership with the Charleston, South Carolina Center for Women. "I firmly believe that women in business can be both powerful and well-liked."

Read on to discover the five lessons Jane never learned...


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Get Your BIG On : Services : Leadership Development

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Leadership Development

Having been Fortune 100 company executives ourselves, the team at Braithwaite Innovation Group recognizes the importance of leadership development.

The BIG operating philosophy is not becoming a permanent fixture within an organization. Our approach to partner with your leadership team to define the situation, formulate a solution, facilitate the development and measurement activities, and then build the internal capabilities for your organization to handle the going forward matters. Our goal is bolster your firm's bias for action, results and connection that continue long after we're gone.

Plus, we promise not to ask for stacks of upfront research or provide endless evaluations, mind-numbing reports, or sleep-inducing PowerPoint presentations.

A partial list of the services Braithwaite provides include:

  • Implementing a leadership development program for all or any specified level of management
  • Establishing a management succession program
  • Facilitating change management to create organizational alignment around defined outcomes and shared values
  • Diagnosing dysfunctional management and leadership practices and devising solutions to get things on track
  • Building leadership abilities based on facilitating polarities, e.g. understand the difference between either/or problems to be solved and ongoing both/and situations to be managed
  • Coaching your high potential leaders
  • Designing women's initiative programs or network
Read more...

Get Your BIG On : Features : Make A Difference

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Make A Differencejfk-make-a-difference

Key elements of the Get Your BIG On philosophy are giving back and making a positive difference. The BIG team periodically showcases an organization or individual who serves others; or we share articles, resources, etc., about giving or volunteering. It's our hope to inspire you to make your own lasting contribution. Go...make a difference today!       


Feed Hungry Children: Food for the Poor

Food For The Poor is the largest international relief agency in the United States according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy and has maintained fundraising and administrative costs of less than 4% of its expenses; more than 96% of all donations go directly to programs that help the poor.


Helping Women Become Educated:  Do A Little

Deborah Santana, founder of Do A Little, writes, "Being a part of the Daraja Academy [in Kenya] has fulfilled a goal I set when I created my non-profit, Do A Little in 2008. I sought connection with a community that serves women and girls in the areas of health, education, and happiness. I wanted to meet and become friends with people who were passionate about changing the lives of others because it fills their hearts with joy and purpose, and gives deeper meaning to life."


Health, Healing and the Quality of Life:  glassybaby

To help those less fortunate, glassybaby founder Lee Rhodes established their goodwill program. During her cancer treatment, Lee met patients who couldn't afford daily needs such as bus fare, childcare, or groceries. To date, glassybaby has donated more than $800,000 to charities dedicated to health, healing and the quality of life.


Teaching Technology: Iridescent

Iridescent is a science-education nonprofit that helps engineers, scientists and high-tech professionals bring cutting edge science, technology and engineering to high school girls, and underprivileged minority children and their families. A great way to expand the base of kids (especially girls) getting into math and science!


Kids Are Heroes: Inspiring and Encouraging Children to be Leaders

Kids Are Heroes is a non-profit focused on helping children become leaders by volunteering and community involvement. They showcase and support kids who are changing the world through their selfless acts of giving. Great way to teach and be role models!


Stopping Child Abuse  Child Sexual Abuse Prevention & Education

As a survivor of child sexual abuse, Svava Brooks is passionate about personal growth and is committed to helping people break the silence around the issue of child sexual abuse. She and her twin sister run Blatt Afram, an organization dedicated to preventing and educating Icelanders about child sexual abuse. Their organization has successfully raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and created a variety of sexual abuse prevention programs, utilizing and working with other organizations such as Darkness to Light in South Carolina and Kids on the Block in Washington, DC.


Sources for Giving Back: Volunteer Resource Center

If you want to volunteer but don't know where to offer your help, use this site to find great volunteer opportunities in your own neighborhood or across the globe.


Making the World a Better Place: 100 People Who Made a Difference

On Biography Online, Tejvan R. Pettinger has compiled an interesting list of 100 people whom he believes "have made a difference to the world in a positive way." Tell the BIG team who else you would add to the list!


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Ideas for Doing Good:  50 Simple And Practical Ways To Make A Positive Difference

Want to do something that helps others yet don't have a lot of cash? Here you'll find 50 ways to give back that don't break the bank. Go for it!


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Creating Women Leaders, One Girl at a Time:  Girl Scouts of America

2012 is the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of America. Founded a century ago by Juliet Lowe who had a vision for creating women leaders, this organization is still going strong and creating excellent opportunities for girls from all walks of life. "When girls succeed, so does society."


Taking Care of You so You Can Help Others:  American Heart Association

For many reasons both personal and professional, this nonprofit is close to Get Your BIG On's heart. Their site provides both great ways to Give BIG as well as great tips for being heart healthy! As we move forward with keeping our resolutions alive in 2012, this is one more helpful resource to help us get and stay healthy.


Philanthropy and business DO Mix:  Square Inches of Love

What a clever, creative and compassionate way to mix philanthropy with doing business! Your promotion and/or message gets posted online; then, it's transformed offline into a traveling interactive outdoor installation. And best of all, 50% of all online submission proceeds are donated to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Great role modeling!


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Making a Way for New Lives & New Hope:  Krochet Kids

Wow, talk about an effort that makes your heart melt and swell at the same time! Started in 2007 by three college guys who wanted to change the world, Krochet Kids provides fair-wage crocheting jobs to women in Northern Uganda and sells their wares online and in stores around the country (like Nordstrom). The profits are then returned to Uganda to sustain their programs, enabling women to provide their families with the food and living materials necessary to break the cycle of poverty. Currently more than 150 artists and craftswomen and their families are achieving economic stability thanks to Krochet Kids' reach. 


Offering Help, Hope and Dignity:  So Others Might Eat

The BIG team doesn't live anywhere near Washington, but we're impressed with the mission and 40-year history of So Others Might Eat, an interfaith, community-based organization that meets the immediate daily needs of the people they serve by providing food, clothing, and health care. They are focused on helping to break the cycle of homelessness by offering services like affordable housing, job training, addiction treatment, and counseling to the poor, the elderly and individuals with mental illness. So Others Might Eat works to restore hope and dignity one person at a time.


Making Dreams Come True:  Make-A-Wish Foundation

The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a favorite with the BIG team. We love how enrich the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions through their wish-granting work. In the spirit of giving, consider brightening the life of a small child, either through making their wish possible or by referring an ill child into the program.


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monarchMaking a Difference: Saving the Monarchs

Joyfully watching several monarch butterflies skitter and dance through our area on their southward migration reminded us of the work of Homero Aridjis, poet, novelist, environmental activist. Aridjis foundes the Group of 100 – an association of prominent artists and intellectuals – responsible for persuading Mexico's president to issue a decree creating the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, an area 60 miles west of Mexico City that hosts the majority of overwintering monarchs from the US east of the Rockies and Canada. Thank you!


Bringing love and hope to special needs kids: For the Love of Children

For the Love of Children is a national organization that helps very special kids. The organization helps provide everything from basic essentials to prom wear.  For Love of Children (FLOC) provides educational services beyond the classroom to help students succeed from first grade through college and career. FLOC brings together students, volunteers, families, and community partners in proven programs that teach, empower, and transform.


Helping Fight Children's Hunger: Children's Hunger Alliance

Children’s Hunger Alliance is a statewide nonprofit organization committed to feeding hungry minds and bodies and raising awareness of childhood hunger through education, advocacy and service, so children will be well nourished, healthy and thrive.  The agency provides programs that directly feed children nutritious meals, educate them and their families about healthy eating, and engage children in physical activity.  Children’s Hunger Alliance also positively impacts schools, community, faith-based organizations, home-based child care, and after-school providers in making positive use of federally-financed child nutrition programs.    

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Saying Thank You:  Ideas for Recognizing Volunteers

While researching employee recognition, we discovered this little jewel of a work from Louisiana State University. It isn't glitzy yet it's full of heart. While the focus of the piece is recognizing volunteers, the ideas presented here are applicable anywhere, any time you want to say thank you to someone who's made a difference. Remember to thank someone today - you'll make their day, and yours!


Overcoming Addiction:  ONE80TC

ONE80TC, based in New South Wales, Australia, understands it takes support, direction and love to break the chains of addiction and other life-controlling behaviors. Their team has applied this understanding for over thirty five years, helping thousands of 18–35 year-olds to take control and get on with their lives. Kudos for making a difference!


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Being Good to Mother Earth: Wilsons Soap Company

Don Wilson, the proprietor of Wilson's Soap Company located in Philadelphia, PA, makes soap the old-fashioned way - by hand, using natural plant-based essential oils. Their handmade process generates lots of end pieces. Rather than rebatch those small slices, they either donate them to local homeless shelters or watch Craigslist for people looking for donations. In the past year Wilson's has donated 1,000 bars of soap, including 200 which were sent to Haiti. Love how they mix sustainability and kindness!


project.night.lightBringing Light to the Little Ones: Project Night Light

An estimated 1.35 million children are homeless in the US, and 40 percent of them are under age five. Project Night Night delivers big comfort in a small package—a canvas tote filled with a blanket, a stuffed animal (some repurposed as a kindness to the environment), and a new book. Even kids in the toughest situations benefit from some security and coziness, and most importantly, the acknowledgement that they're significant and worthy of care.


The Gift of Reading & Doing Good, Too:  Better World Bookskids.reading

As they describe themselves, Better World Books is a "global bookstore that harnesses the power of capitalism to bring literacy and opportunity to people around the world." They are triple bottom line focused (financial, social and environmental) and believe profit is not the only way to measure business success, saying people matter as does the planet. To-date, Better World Books has raised $10 million for global literacy, reused or recycled 57 million books, kept some 8,000 tons of books out of landfills, and reclaimed more than 720,000 pounds of metal shelving from libraries across the United States. Plus, they use their carbon offsets to support the Tatanka Wind Farm, the largest renewable-energy project in North and South Dakota. The wind farm generates enough clean energy to power more than 60,000 homes.  And still more: if you buy their newest book, they'll give one away to someone in need. That's walking the talk!


Lending a Helping Hand:  Mi Casa Resource Center

Mi Casa Resource Center is a nonprofit human services group assisting Latino families in Denver, Colorado. Their mission is helping people achieve economic success and is based on a three-part strategy: career, business, and youth and family development. Mi Casa created a family resource center with programs for adults and children focused on achieving professional, academic, and business success. For 34 years, Mi Casa has worked to increase the employability, education, knowledge and life skills of the individuals they serve by providing highly relevant and effective programs as well as supportive services that address each person's unique challenges. 83 small businesses have been launched with Mi Casa's assistance. Kudos!


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Taking a Lead in Fighting Child Abuse:  National CASA Association

The National CASA Association is a network of 955 programs that recruit, train and support volunteers who represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom and other settings. CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children to assure they don't get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer is the one constant adult presence in their lives. Kudos for making a positive difference!


Resource for Finding Groups Needing Your Help:  Volunteer Match

"Ah, if I only knew where to be a volunteer," sighed a colleague at a recent event. "I'd be happy to spend some time helping out." Search no more! Volunteer Match is a nifty website that will point you to a whole host of volunteer needs...right in your own community! All you have to do is enter your zip code and a word or so about the volunteer opportunity you are seeking...and you are off!


Making a Positive Difference in City Environments

With three-quarters of the world's population expected to be living in cities by 2050, four urban experts consider the projects that have made a positive difference to those living in cities. This four-minute video posted on Phaidon shines a light on several projects where cities across the globe have regenerated, improved or made more sustainable. Some good food for thought.

Empowering Young Girls:  G.U.R.L.S Rock Leadership Programgurls

Harvard law attorney, Dr. Raye Mitchell, left her private law firm to dedicate herself to inspire and empower young girls (ages 8-18) to live their lives to the fullest as future global leaders. In 2007, she formed The Making a New Reality Foundation. The G.U.R.L.S. Rock Leadership Program, a part of the foundation which stands for "Growth, Unity, Respect, Leadership, Success", was launched in 2010. "We need to change the conversation about how we define and engage girls as leaders. Their story is not all negative statistics," said Mitchell. The program's goal is to raise the bar of excellence for girls in order to break down the barriers to their success. Dr. Raye sees future leaders in these girls and invests all of her energy into a positive program for their personal development. You go, Raye!


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Shoppers with a Cause:   Filanthropists.com 

What a great way to do fundraising! Filanthropists.com is a one-stop online shopping mall where you can purchase cause-related products. Founded by North Jersey mom Filomena Laforgia in July 2010, four years after her three-year old son was diagnosed with autism, the site features a variety of products from merchants as well as local and national organizations. All participating companies are committed to supporting fundraising efforts for a designated cause. The site's name not only plays on the founder's first name, but also shows how a socially conscious individual can make a difference through the simplest of acts. When we buy a cause-related product, we can all be "Filanthropists!"


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Changing How the World Tackles Poverty:  Acumen Fund 

The mission of the Acumen Fund is to create a world beyond poverty by investing in social enterprises, emerging leaders, and breakthrough ideas. Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of the Acumen Fund, authored The Blue Sweater, the memoir of her quest to understand global poverty and to find powerful new ways of tackling it. It's a powerful read.

From her first stumbling efforts as a young idealist venturing forth in Africa to the creation of the trailblazing organization she runs today, she creates a series of insightful stories and unforgettable characters — from women dancing in a Nairobi slum, to unwed mothers starting a bakery, to courageous survivors of the Rwandan genocide, to entrepreneurs building services for the poor against impossible odds.

Support Your School While You Shop, Eat and Play:  edRover

Need to raise funds for your local school?  If so, Tania Mulry can help. This mother of three had grown frustrated by the constant flow of fundraising requests from her boys’ school, yet she couldn't stand not supporting teachers because they spend hundreds of their own dollars every year to purchase classroom supplies. Tania knew there had to be a better way, so she devised, designed and developed edRover, a new mobile app that pairs companies’ needs to attract loyal consumers and educators’ needs to obtain supplies for their students. The app is available for free through the iTunes App Store.  Each time a consumer uses the edRover app to make a purchase from their mobile phone from one of the participating online retailers or checks-in at one of the bricks-and-mortar locations, a donation is directed from the retailers’ account to purchase schools supplies for the classroom or for the program selected by the app’s user.


Rebuilding a City:  Otsuchi Recovery Fund

otsuchiOtsuchi, Japan and Fort Bragg, CA are sister cities. A young Japanese man whose father was lost at sea sat on the Otsuchi headlands waiting for his father to return. Eventually, the young man wondered what was on the other side of the ocean from him. To find out, he followed his city's latitude across the Pacific to Fort Bragg, California. He made contact, and the result was that the two communities became sister cities. 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the formation of the program.

Otsuchi was completely destroyed by the 3/11/11 9.0 earthquake and its aftermath. Sharon Davis, coordinator for the Fort Bragg sister city exchange program, lead the creation of the Otsuchi Recovery Fund. She created a Facebook group for the sister city program as a place to share information and raise funds. So far, they've raised over $75,000. Not bad for a little community of just over 8,000. 


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Ending the Book Famine:  Books for Africa

Many of us take books for granted. Yet most African school children have never owned a book, a tragedy that Books for Africa is trying to change. Since 1988, they've shipped more than 20 million books to 45 countries, putting books in kids' hands and filling school library shelves with atlases and encyclopedias (and thus reducing the cost of education). Visit their site to find out how you can help!


second.chancesGetting Your Second Chance:  Tracy Lewis 

Tracy Lewis faced many personal obstacles before realizing her dream of becoming an author and a speaker. Her mission is to help those who are hurting. Through her speeches and writing, she strives to give people a second or sometimes a third or fourth chance to make it. Her goal is encouraging people to move past what is holding them back. She works with those who are willing to try again and who believe they worthy of having an opportunity for another go.


Doing Good in the World Better and Faster:  Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog

"People who work for good causes have a moral obligation to be extremely efficient and effective at what we do, right this minute. What gets me motivated and energized is to help well-intentioned people to do that every day, through innovative marketing, strong human engagement, social media and online outreach." Motivating, isn't it? Take a quick minute and check out Katya's blog where she provides excellent insights for making an impact - doing good better and faster.


Reducing the Financial Impact of Cancer:  Geaux Past Cancer

This Tell Me About It Tuesday is a personal one for me (Amy). I was introduced to Geaux Past Cancer by my friend, Staci Pepitone, whose light in life shined very brightly. Geaux Past Cancer, located in Baton Rouge, LA, is dedicated to helping reduce the financial impact of cancer treatment. A special area of focus is assisting patients who must travel away from their home for their treatments. Their mission is to provide support to cancer patients during their treatment. Feel good and do good by donating (if you can) to this great organization.


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Making A Difference in Women's Lives Every Day:  Center for Women

c4w.dmooreBIG salute the Center for Women, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Charleston, SC whose mission is to make personal and professional success an everyday event for women. The Center connects thousands of women to professional sources for practical help by providing educational programs on important issues such as small business development, leadership skills, financial literacy, life transitions, discrimination of all types, multiculturalism, family issues, career, and networking. As Jennet Robinson Alterman, Executive Director for the Center for Women says, "One thing we know for sure is that women deserve equal pay and equal rights."


Providing Vision to Those in Need:  New Eyes for the Needy

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Thousands of children and adults need eyeglasses but can't afford them. In developing countries, the cost can be equivalent to a year's salary. Vision problems affect one's ability to read, succeed in school, and keep a job. New Eyes for the Needy purchases new prescription eyeglasses for poor children and adults living in the United States and recycles donated glasses for distribution to indigent people overseas. Since they started in 1932, more than 7 million people have been helped. While many Americans get new glasses every few years, New Eyes often provides the only pair of glasses a needy person will ever have.


Breaking the Cycle of Unemployment and Poverty:  Second Chance 

Scott Silverman is the Founder and Executive Director of Second Chance, a multimillion dollar non-profit which runs the most successful STRIVE job readiness training program in the world. Scott, a CNN Hero Award recipient, strongly believes that rehabilitation is a stronger solution than re-incarceration.  Over the past 15 years Second Chance has assisted more than 24,000 economically disadvantaged and homeless persons in San Diego gain employment and leave poverty, gang affiliations and crime behind. 


Getting the Skinny on Being a Volunteer:  How to Be a Kick-Butt Volunteer 

Looking for insights from a wide variety of people on how to be a really good volunteer? If you are, you'll find How to Be a Kick-Butt Volunteer  a great resource.  There are tips, pointers and insights from people in all walks of life on what motivates them to give of themselves and how they do it, saying, "It is a selfless privilege, not a duty or right, to be able to help others." One contributor even offers up the ten commandments for volunteering. Enjoy!


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Get Your BIG On: Features : GYBO 7C Performance

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GYBO 7C Performance

Want to be that positive leader — that marvelous person — who embraces possibility with childlike wonder, who practices inclusion without judgment, who turns dreams into reality, and who encourages others to do the same?

That's a person putting 7C performance to work:

Character | Connection | Cognition | Capability | Compassion | Confidence | Commitment

To lead others we must first lead ourselves, so let the Get Your BIG On 7C Performance℠ be your road map for turning you into that extraordinary individual.

Get Your BIG On 7C Performance 

7C Performance in Action

Character

You walk the talk for being good and doing well. Your ethics and integrity are above reproach because you’re authentic, honest, transparent and have a moral center. You radiate positive energy and determination. You’re self-disciplined. You treat those with and those without power the same. You invite the elephant in the room to dance.

Connection  

You know what values and beliefs are important to you, and practice them in your daily living in doses large or small. You make the time to communicate and connect with others.  You actively listen with your head and heart to what others have to say because understanding their point of view is important to you. You know when to be mindful and when to take action. You drive the balance between stability and stimulating change.

Cognition  

You’re self-aware, and actively use your self-knowledge to relate to others. You know your strengths and put them to good use both for yourself and in service to others.  You know your weakness, and work to minimize any negative impact they may have. You seek out feedback; then listen and reflect on what you heard. You embrace discipline and entrepreneurship. You practice simplicity yet know when to take the deep dive.

Capability

You dare yourself to stretch the limits of your potential and inspire those around you to do the same. You seek to learn and understand because you want to increase your comfort zone. You practice empathy and accountability with yourself and those around you. You’ve gotten comfortable oscillating between collaborating and competing, confidence and humility, and control and empowerment. You know when to go fast and when to go slow. You focus on and equally value people, principles and profits, not sacrificing one for the other.

Compassion

You smile, you laugh.  You’re fearless in showing love and joy. You say thank you to someone every day. You share grins and gratitude. You’re there for others. You’re tolerant of and embrace differences. You know when to speak with candor and when to use diplomacy. You celebrate similarities and differences.  You set boundaries for and appreciate what's mandatory and what's discretionary. You care for yourself, your team, organization, community, family and whatever else you hold near and dear, and are secure enough to show that you care.

Confidence  

You exude quiet courage by taking a stand for what's good and what's right, even if doing so is unpopular. You show grace under pressure. You acknowledge your fears without letting them rule your life. You are joyfully spirited. You show strength of mind and will. You believe in yourself.  You know you bring value and help others believe the same about themselves.

Commitment  

You hold yourself accountable and assist others in doing the same. You’ve dedicated yourself to practicing 7C performance.  You seek out. You communicate. You live up to your potential. You celebrate. You’re courageous.  You dare to be sincere, caring and authentic. You make a positive difference.

  Read more...

Get Your BIG On : Features : Other : Workplace Mojo

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Workplace Mojo sinek.thegoldencircle

Looking to get your workplace mojo kick-started? Want to work smarter? Here you'll find information and inspiration as Get Your BIG On features (in its sometimes serendipitous and sometimes purposeful way):

  a nugget (or two) of workplace wisdom
  career wit, wisdom and adventures
  a must-read something, or
  an individual or company making a positive impact in balancing people, principles and profit.

Moon Shots for Management (Gary Hamel, Harvard Business Review)

At Get Your BIG On, we're big on polarities – understanding those both/and scenarios that seem contradictory yet are interdependent and both necessary. Here Gary Hamel itemizes a whole host of polarities necessary to revitalize management in the new normal. Which of the 25 grand challenges is your favorite?


Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice (A YouTube video)

Psychologist Barry Schwartz proposes that freedom of choice has made us not more free but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied. If you yearn for the days when life was more simple, there's some food for thought here.


Getting Tough Empathy Right Why Should Anyone Be Led by You? 

Combining empathy with accountability is a unique skill set no leader should be without. In this Harvard Business Review article, Robert Goffee and Gareth Jones define tough empathy as "giving people not necessarily what they want, but what they need to achieve their best." It's the ultimate leadership balance beam act between task completion and relationship. Being tough and tender. Having high standards and high touch. The article is a great reminder to periodically hit your own pause button occasionally to re-assess your leadership behavior.


A Good Read:  InsideOut Enneagram: The Game Changing Guide for Leaders

Ever traveled to a new city and explored its riches and intricacies with a knowledgeable tour guide? It's a totally positive experience. Wendy Appel offers that same rewarding experience in her new book, InsideOut Enneagram: The Game Changing Guide for Leaders, for anyone on a journey to be a better leader. Understanding one's self – strengths, weaknesses, blind spots and shadows – is foundational for effectively leading others. The Enneagram is an beneficial tool for building that self-awareness. Wendy provides a rich trove insights and ways to help leaders (both formal and informal) use the Enneagram to plumb the heights and depths of their types and triads.


Women "Take Care", Men "Take Charge": Stereotyping of U.S. Business Leaders 

In this study, Catalyst looked at ten essential behaviors required of corporate leaders, assessing where women leaders are vulnerable to stereotyping. A fascinating read!


Getting Right About Being a Boss: Thinking Like a Good Boss

This HBR post, 12 Things Good Bosses Believe, by Bob Sutton, professor of management science and engineering at Stanford University and the author of Good Boss, Bad Boss, caught our attention. The BIG team loved #7. Send us a note and let us know which one you liked best!


The Most Valuable People in Your Network (Harvard Business Review Blog)

How often do we hear how important networking is if we want to be successful? Pretty frequently. Networking, in BIG's view, is one of those art and science activities - full of nuances that lead to success or to crash and burn failure. As with many posts, this one advocates for quality over quantity and introduces the interesting concept of bridging ties — ties that connect people to other people who were themselves not connected. Some good stuff to noodle as you think about your own network.


How Great Leaders Inspire Action (TED Talk by Simon Sinek)

Grab a cup of coffee and treat yourself to two donuts (or two apples), then listen to Simon Sinek explain his Golden Circle. As you listen to his explanation, you'll suddenly gain clarity about why so many initiatives and change efforts fail. Learn about operating from the inside out. Listen to Simon explain why people don't buy what you do, rather they buy the "why" because they're doing it for themselves. Intriguing stuff.


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Get Your BIG On : Services : Coaching

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Executive Leadership Coaching

The Braithwaite Innovation Group (BIG) team provides executive coaching both to organizations who seek to develop their high potential talent and to individuals who want to invest in their own personal development.

BIG’s coaching content and methods are distinguished by a rigorous focus on self-awareness, action and results. Our coaches create a constructive relationship with the coachee yet never lose sight of positively challenging the individual to stretch their skill boundaries.

Laser coaching

These intensive one-time sessions are perfect for 1) an individual who has a specific performance issue they’re having trouble managing, e.g., like working with a difficult boss or problem employee, or 2) for a manager with a workplace problem that would benefit from a thorough discussion with a third party who can offer unbiased assistance and a fresh view point.

Duration: one ninety-minute online/telephone session

What happens: In-depth dialogue to dissect the problem, identify a solution and create action steps needed for resolution.

Cost: $275.00 per session

One-on-one executive coaching

BIG’s one-on-one executive coaching is designed for individuals working in manager, director and vice-president positions who seek to improve their leadership abilities in preparation for next level assignments and promotions.

Process:

  • In-depth face-to-face preliminary discussion with coachee, immediate boss and others as/if necessary to identify specific outcome(s) to be achieved
  • Create a customized personal development plan with success metrics
  • Conduct bi-weekly 60-minute telephone/online sessions
  • Ad hoc contact via email, text or phone as/if necessary
  • Conduct a mini progress assessment at the program half-way mark; re-align program deliverables as/if necessary
  • Facilitate a final coaching session that recaps successes achieved

Duration: Six and twelve-month programs

Fees: $7,500 for 6-month program; $12,500 for 12-month program plus travel

C-level executive one-on-one coaching

This intensive yearlong program focuses on C-suite individuals including CEOs.  Content and action is based on aligning executive job performance with the strategic goals of the business, typically associated with succession planning. Candid feedback is a hallmark of BIG’s coaching for senior level executives as these individuals can become isolated from the realities of the workplace and/or subscribe to their own myth.

Process:

  • Conduct in-depth preliminary face-to-face discussion with coachee, immediate boss and others to identify outcome(s) to be achieved
  • Create customized personal development plan with success metrics
  • Conduct bi-weekly 90-minute telephone/online sessions
  • Provide ad hoc contact via phone and/or email as/if necessary
  • Conduct a mini progress assessment at the program six-month mark; re-align program deliverables as/if necessary
  • Facilitate a final coaching session that recaps successes achieved

Fee: $18,000 per year

Mastermind coaching sessions

Sometimes there's nothing like working with a group of like-minded individuals who support one another in developing their leadership abilities. These are powerful sessions in which people learn for themselves and also assist their mastermind colleagues reach their development goals as well.

Mastermind groups are particularly effective for individuals who have attended a common leadership development program and who are seeking accountability and practice partners as they “try on” and re-enforce new behaviors and knowledge.

How individual sessions work:

  • At the initial session, each participant selects no more than three goals they seek to fulfill
  • Goals are written and shared with all other mastermind participants
  • Participants readout their interim successes and/or challenges in working towards completing their goals
  • Group members provide counsel, feedback and support
  • Bi-weekly sessions are conducted via online/telephone and last for two hours

Duration: six and twelve month programs

Participant limit:  eight people

Fees: $1800 per person for six-month program; $3,600 per person for 12-month program

Contact us today for details regarding how our coaching programs will prepare you to effectively lead yourself, and others within the organization.

Contact us today for details regarding how our coaching programs will prepare you to effectively lead yourself, and others within the organization.

Image courtesy of Planners Lounge

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BIG Spotlight

Live BIG : Paul McConaughy

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Paul McConaughy
Michigan Nutrition Networkpaul_mcconaughy

Paul McConaughy, whom you can find on Twitter as @minutrition (generously sharing lots of good information there!) handles social media and social marketing for the Michigan Nutrition Network. His story is an inspiring Live BIG and Give BIG one!


A little about Paul's background

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, "Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men." Blessed in life with an insatiable curiosity and big dreams, Paul McConaughy spends each day learning and doing things that are often bigger than life.

Most recently, he guided the Michigan Nutrition Network from a $2.5 million organization to a $35 million one. Some of his other going big experiences include:

  • Leading a national award winning community cable television programming unit
  • Providing guidance and support for Shared Vision, a volunteer-driven community planning project for the mid-Michigan tri-county area
  • Originating The Power of We outcome project for tracking community progress; and
  • Leading efforts to recruit 550 community volunteers for the National Folk Festival.

Paul currently directs social marketing and social media programs for the Michigan Nutrition Network. His education is in media production and communication with a BA from Michigan state University and MA from Colorado State University.

good.nutrition.lifestyleTell us what Michigan Nutrition Network (MNN) is and what it does.

The Michigan Nutrition Network creates innovative partnerships that provide education to help low-income Michigan residents eat healthy and become more physically active. It is part of the Michigan Fitness Foundation and is funded through Michigan Human Services Department and the USDA. Currently MNN works with 26 organizations that are recipients of grants to provide support and capacity building. For those organizations, MNN provides the following:

  • Manages the grant-making process and administers the grant payments
  • Ensures grant recipients compliance with program requirements
  • Coordinates evaluation of programs to ensure ability to report results, and
  • Provides capacity building to improve the abilities of all nutrition education and physical activity promotion providers to meet the needs of the target audience

What has had the biggest impact on the Michigan Nutrition Network recently?

Two things:

1) MNN's source of funding moved last year from the Federal Farm Bill to the Child Nutrition Act, and

2) MNN was spun off from Michigan State University Extension to the Michigan Fitness Foundation.

As you would expect both of those are BIG changes. As part of the change to funding through the Child Nutrition Act, there have been significant changes in the policies and operations of the program. This has necessitated very rapid adjustments on the part of staff as grant administrators. In the world of grant making one of the most difficult times is when programs are in evolution and policies are grey instead of black and white. These times require living by a strong moral imperative to stay within the intent of the funding. It has now been over a year since the law was passed and as new policies get established, MNN is proud to see that they have maintained direction well.

When Michigan State University Extension began restructuring it became obvious that it would be challenging to find a place where MNN would fit. As a result, I sought out possible new homes for the Network. An organization was identified where MNN fit the mission and where there was a history of effectively administering similar programs: the Michigan Fitness Foundation. The thing that didn't match up was the scale of the program. MNN was larger than any other program at MFF. That meant developing new resources and practices. The move required integrating two organizations and building new relationships.

Change presents opportunities and for me this has been a time for teaching new people about MNN and helping guide the organization through. In addition, I was able to take advantage of the integration of staff to move back into social marketing and social media from my role as MNN Director.

kid.with.veggiesPlease define social marketing and social media for us.

Social marketing is a process for changing behavior based on commercial marketing. I've been directing a campaign called "Grow Your Kids through Fruits and Veggies" since 2006. There have been two phases: engaging nutrition educators across the state in providing information at farm markets and other summer program locations; and, working with Food Banks to distribute information. The next phase will help low-income people learn how to select, store and use fresh produce to avoid spoiling. That will result in more willingness to purchase a variety of fresh fruits and veggies, since the worry about wasting money will be relieved.

Social media identifies all the online resources that support social interaction between people. The best known social media are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Any of these could be a resource in a social marketing campaign but social media and social marketing are not interchangeable. I like to joke that I'm the oldest person in my office but am responsible for the resource most associated with young people, namely social media.

Do you have a "standard set of advice" you give when people ask what you've learned in your career?

There are always things that are specific to each situation, but I suspect I always include these:

  • Always start the week reviewing your goals and deciding on a few things you will do that week to move toward them. Always end your week recording what you did that week to help you move toward your goals. Don't have too many weeks with nothing to write down at the end.
  • Get approval of project direction early and often. There is nothing worse than investing sweat and tears into a project that turns out to be less than what your supervisor expected.
  • Be proactive...whether it's changing the toilet paper rolls, helping a fellow worker who didn't ask, or coming up with great new ideas – even if they might mean more work.
  • Give advice and take blame freely.
  • Never quit learning.
  • Praise others often and easily. Include everyone possible in praise.

And, of course, Go BIG or Go Home! Yes, there are times when you need to do a pilot or start small, but make sure that's not an excuse for not putting in the effort needed to Go BIG! Going small won't let you have the kind of reach you need to have an impact. That only comes from going BIG!

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Start BIG : EasyGo

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Blake Schroedter, Founder, EasyGo

Watch a video of our Dispensers on Kickstarter
Visit the EasyGo Dispenser website

EasyGo_Founders_picHow did you come up with the idea for your product? I had always felt that there had to be a better way to "store, carry, and dispense" protein, especially after I would return from long and strenuous missions.  I had to resort to using engine funnels, make shift dispensers, and a variety of other products that caused more grief than good.  It was not until that I was on my way home from my second combat deployment when I developed the solution.  I sought after the advice of my two friends, who are now co-founders, and together we created the Easy Go Dispenser.

Who needs your product? After careful market research and mentoring from our advisement team, we have discovered a need from 4 specific markets.  Parents with infants, athletes, Non Government Organizations (NGO's), and military.  There is a specific use for each of the 4 markets with an opportunity to position ourselves within a combined 390 million dollar market (domestic). At the end of the day we believe that our consumers will tell us how they will use the EasyGo Dispenser since it can be used with a variety of different powders.

Why are you excited about the opportunity? It has always been a dream of myself and the co-founders to create something that everyone could use. It is an interesting process to watch your ideas come to life. I look forward to the day when I am on a plane and watch a mother feed her baby with our product or see a random guy at the gym using the EasyGo Pro.

What are your plans for your invention? We are set to launch our product on Kickstarter (funding platform for start ups) through our website www.easygodispenser.com on Saturday March 11th.  We are hoping to raise capital for our initial tooling and production costs.  We will be on-line at first while developing a strong sales history prior to being stocked on shelves in retail outlets. 

How can someone who thinks this is a great idea get involved in your project? It's easy, just go to our website www.easygodispenser.com and either purchase our product, post a comment, or like us on Facebook.  We would love any comments or support! 

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs? It is always a gamble but you really have to take your time and make sure that you are legally protected.  It is amazing how small the details are that can determine whether or not you will succeed.  If you do the proper research, have a great advisement team, and are willing to go the extra mile, you will have an amazing journey. Finally, surround yourself with good people you can trust. Choosing my partners was easy after serving in combat with these guy, we trust each other with our lives!

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Organize Big : Tara Barker

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Tara Barker
Professional OrganizerTara Barker

Tara wasn’t always an organized girl. There are some people out there who are truly born cookie-cutter-no-clutter organized; but for the rest of the world, there's stuff and lots of it. Tara has always been an aspiring artist with a strong desire to make the world around her a more beautiful, enjoyable and organized place.

As she earned her degree in graphic design and illustration, she babysat for many families whom she adored. She also saw many areas throughout their homes that weren’t living up to their "organized" potential.

Once the children were snug in their beds, Tara set out to un-junk the junk drawers and re-work the coat closets. As the homeowners picked up on this newfound desire for organized functionality, Tara was invited to "play" with the kitchen instead of coming to play with the kids!

Tara's passion for organization has created multiple benefits including living a simpler, more enjoyable life for herself and for those she loves.

 

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Start BIG : Tanja Neubauer

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Tanja Neubauer
Inventor Entrepreneurtanja

Tanja Neubauer is both a give BIG and a start BIG story!  Tanja is a soccer mom, SAP whiz and now an inventor too!  Tanja has a patent pending and a trademark logo for the Fring-ez.

Fring-ezJust what is a Fring-ez? The Fring-ez is a tool that provides an easier way to cut fringe on the popular No-Sew fleece blankets. It is an adjustable clear acrylic cutting template.

The tool allows a person to place the fabric’s edge in it, then run a pair of scissors down a row of slots to cut fringe all the same length and width in a straight line. It can accommodate four-ply fleece and can adjust to cut fringe that’s two, three or four inches long and an inch wide. It can be used on any kind of material to make fringe on items such as blankets, scarves, pillows, and sleeping bags.

Have you always been inventive?  Not really, I'm not crafty at all. However, I always looked for ways to make a job easier and more efficient.

How did you come up with the Fring-ez idea? I was having a hard time making a fringed fleece blanket for my great niece. I don’t sew, and I’m not a crafty person at all. I had a terrible time cutting because I can’t cut straight.  I could not find a suitable cutting tool, so I invented one.

How do you market Fring-ez?  The Fring-ez, which sells for $19.95, plus shipping, can be ordered on Amazon.com, small fringez logoEtsy.com and at my website: Fring-ez.com.  I also now have a mini Fring-ez for half-inch-wide tab for small fringe.

So you are not just an inventor but also an entrepreneur?  I guess so! My first marketing venture was at the November Holiday Gift show at Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio.  I'm not only inventing, but I had to learn how to source fabricators, understand packaging and all the other aspects of starting a business.

Where else are you selling your product?  I currently have 200 Fring-ezs in stock, which I sell on Amazon and at area shows, including at the recent Bargain Mania at Veteran’s Memorial in Columbus, OH.

What are you most excited about?  I'm hopeful my template will be featured on a national craft show!  What I'm most excited about is helping others. I hope the success of  Fring-ez will allow me greater resources to help the homeless and other community outreach programs in which I've become very involved with in the last year.

What has been your greatest surprise? My entire family looks at things differently. At first my kids (Neubauer and her husband, Scott, both IT consultants, have six children between them.) didn't understand why I was pursuing making this product. They are now seeing ideas for new products in many things they do every day!  

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Work Big : Rebel Brown

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Rebel Brown
Growth Strategy Specialistrebel_brown

Rebel Brown -- great name, great woman with a great Work BIG story to tell!

Tell us about your background. I've been a successful consultant for over 20 years. My focus areas are business and market strategy, company and product positioning, and go-to-market launches. I’ve worked with companies ranging from start-ups and small business to corporate turnarounds. I've helped over 100 clients across Europe and the US. I even ran a business from Paris for two years bringing European businesses into the US market which was a lot of fun!

I began my consulting business focusing on high technology and complex products for both B2B and B2C audiences.  Since I wrote Defy Gravity, I've expanded my focus to include clients in a wide range of industries and business models.  I’m even working with a great new Zero Gravity thinking MLM business.  I began my career as a sales representative in the large mainframe computing space by selling into financial services and aerospace industries head-on against IBM. That was quite the heads-up for a country gal from a small town.

What BIG obstacles have you faced in your career? Any lessons to share? There have been lots of obstacles — most of them created by myself and my own personal gravity. When I started in business, I was usually the only woman in the room.   I made the mistake of trying to act like a man in a man’s world. There weren't any female role models. It took me decades to learn that my biggest strengths were found in my woman’s intuition and perspectives. Once I learned that, everything became easier.

I also had a lot of issues with my own worthiness. I never could understand why I kept sabotaging myself over and over again. I’d create fabulous things in my life, and then they’d fall apart. Mostly in my personal life. I couldn’t understand it and spent decades in therapy.& Then at the ripe old age of 50, I recovered completely blocked memories of childhood abuse and torture that make Deliverance look like a party. Wow. As I recovered those memories and began to heal, everything fell into place about my life – and my own personal gravity. That shift has been the biggest journey of my life, and I’m blessed to have it. My next goal is writing a book about my journey to healing, and then getting out and sharing my lessons learned with others who had similar crisis-type experiences that are limiting their own potential. We can all thrive, not just survive, on the other side of horror. I blog about about my journey at Thriving on the Other Side.

What prompted you to write Defy Gravity? In all of my consulting clients I saw one common barrier to growth: gravity.  Gravity is the status quo way of thinking about and doing business.  Unfortunately, as our market dynamics accelerate - the way we've always done it becomes the reason for the mess we’re in – unless we shift. To successfully grow in the new economy we have to shift our thinking.  We can no longer let our past determine our future.  What made us successful year ago most likely doesn't work today.

All those paint-by-number strategy processes miss out on the most important element of growth: shifting the way we think about our business.  We can apply as many new strategy processes as we want, but until we shift our perceptions and our approaches to match the reality in our markets today, we'll  not reach sustainable success.

defy-gravityDefy Gravity applies the Principles of Flight to our businesses. Flight is the perfect analogy for today’s world.  Think about it: pilots don’t worry about what happened to them 100 miles ago - they focus forward on what’s coming at them.  If they see a storm, they change course.  If they find better tailwinds, they adapt their flight to take advantage of those winds. We need to do the same in our businesses.

Defy Gravity isn't your typical strategy book.  It's an all-in-one business guide that offers BOTH theory and practical application. It gives detailed instructions for how to create and execute a high-velocity growth strategy using simple questions, guided exercises and compelling case studies. I also offer focused, easy-to-apply exercises to support leaders and their teams to apply Defy Gravity to their own businesses.

What do you think holds most people and/or businesses back, stopping them from defying their own gravity? Gravity exists because we create it.  We are Natural Born Gravity Machines. It’s just in our DNA. However, we're Gravity Machines because we are also Learning Machines. Think about it. We learn from our experiences - good, bad or indifferent.  We learn from our families, our friends, our teachers - in grade school, business school and the school of hard knocks.

We blend all of those lessons to create our beliefs about ourselves and everything else in our world. Those beliefs become our knowns and truths.   Over time, knowns become our status quos, our business legends, and our personal legends.  They become Gravity.

We hang on to that gravity - to our knowns about our businesses and ourselves - because they're safe and comfortable.  The more things change, the more we hang on especially in a scary economy or personal situation.  We hang on even as our world moves on. We hang on even when the way we've always done things is causing us to crash and burn. The good news is that as learning machines we can learn to defy gravity.  The key is questioning ourselves and our knowns, our beliefs and actions, our distinct value, our best market opportunities, and our flight path to success. Defy Gravity includes specifics on how to question those areas effectively and create a flight plan for growth.

Who has inspired you along the way? So many people.  I've been blessed with a number of mentors throughout my career, from CEOs who started out as clients and later became friends, to leading venture capitalists who taught me so much about business, to my own friends who are my family.  I have also been blessed to work with some of the most brilliant minds in business – people who have been so open and generous with their experiences and lessons. The list is endless.  Now it’s my turn to pass on those lessons and coach others.

What's next for you?  I have so many balls in the air!  I’m speaking and also offering workshops on applying the lessons of Defy Gravity to real world business and personal personal opportunities for growth. I've also released a new Zero Gravity system of training DVDs and a workbook, designed to help business leaders apply the lessons of Defy Gravity more extensively to their own organization. I’m ramping up to be a Vistage executive speaker as well. I’m also very excited about an opportunity in which I’m working as a Joint Venture to create the University of Business Success for small and home-owned business leaders that will be available later this year.  And, as always, I’m working with a number of clients on their positioning and growth strategies.

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Start Big : Jimmy Tomczak

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Jimmy Tomczak
Inventor and Founder, TOMBOLOpaperfeet_jimmy-tomczak

Jimmy, inventor of Paperfeet, has a terrific Start BIG story!

What three pieces of advice would you give to college students who want to become entrepreneurs?

Seek and find available resources. Do whatever you can to talk with professors, mentors, fellow peers and their networks early and often. College-specific programs, classes, centers and similar are all incredible resources that are less available once you graduate, too.

paperfeet logoApply for business competitions and programs that are only available to college students. I applied for hundreds of independent scholarships before graduating high school. Combined with working before and after my classes in college, I eventually earned enough from just a handful of the scholarships I won to pay my way through school. Don’t miss a window of opportunity for free money that is restricted to your student status.

Start a business. Learn by doing. The best way to become an entrepreneur is to have a product, find a customer, and start making sales! Fail fast and often but make sure these are intelligent failures in that you can apply everything you learned in missing the mark to exceeding expectations the next time around.

Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

Absolutely not. Even a seasoned entrepreneur can work hard and achieve near-perfection only to have the rug pulled out from under them by an unforeseen market shift or other anomaly. I graduated from the University of Michigan with a BS in Neuroscience, and I also completed the Program in Entrepreneurship. In addition to Michigan’s business school, U-M’s entrepreneurship program has been growing strong but I still remember what I first thought after meeting someone who wanted to “major in entrepreneurship.”

“Entrepreneur” is the title some people give themselves after they've achieved what they previously defined as success, and as validated by an external party. There’s no such thing as an entrepreneurship major. Learn the basics, sure, but applying creative problem solving and time management to an uncanny ability to complete innovative projects with speed and clarity is the best “formula” for entrepreneurial success that I know. Do what works for you!

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Creativity. Ability to get stuff done. Advanced networking skills.

Creativity, like entrepreneurship, is a challenging subject to “teach.” But many argue that a creative mind is the most valuable asset a person can have. Combining rare creativity with the ability to break down a problem into manageable steps and an executable solution helps make a successful entrepreneur. Factor in real networking, where collaboration happens and relationships are built beyond business cards, and you’ll have the winning skill set of a successful entrepreneur. Always remember, success is what you define it as, and optimizing your own unique abilities that you already have will get you there faster than any advice you read. Best of luck.

How did the idea for your business come about?

I founded TOMBOLO, maker of uncommon goods for the collective good after inventing “paperfeet” – minimalist sandals made from up-cycled outdoor advertisement material. At the time, I had a leaky roof and couldn't afford a full repair. One of the contractors that gave me a quote said that his company sometimes used giant billboard vinyl sheets as durable, waterproof tarps. I cold called several ad companies and eventually found a full 14x48-foot sign sheet that functioned as the perfect roof tarp for the winter. The following year I revisited an early idea I had of making paper-thin sandals from Tyvek – the puncture-proof material used for shipping envelopes. Tyvek failed but the billboard worked surprisingly well for the first edition of what would eventually become the retail-ready paperfeet of today. In less than a year, the hand-made billboard shoes have been shipped around the world and featured in national media. But to take things to the next level and scale manufacturing I’m launching a Kickstarter community project to raise the funds needed to do volume production here in the United States.

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Work BIG : Laura Goodrich

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Laura Goodrich, Author

laura_goodrich

Laura Goodrich offers great advice on how to Work BIG.

What Work BIG advice does Laura have? In her book Seeing Red Cars and through her coaching work, she helps people to: 

  • Resist the natural inclination to focus on their negative thoughts, concerns and fears
  • Create a sense of awareness around their individual interests, passions, strengths and values
  • Make the connection between their personal and professional wants as well as those of their team and organization to create positive outcomes

What’s the meaning of the title Seeing Red Cars?  “It’s a metaphor for focusing on what you want.  That’s a concept everyone can relate to. It's based on the idea that if you buy a red car you start seeing red cars everywhere you look. Why? Because you're focusing on them. Taking the analogy further, if you choose the positive outcomes you want, and you're constantly thinking about them, you will attract those outcomes into your life by way of that intentional focus.”

Tell us more about the scientific research behind why we focus on what we don’t want. “Ellen Weber, CEO of the MITA Brain Institute, explained that it's a combination of social conditiseeing red cars bookoning and life experience.  We develop a fear-based response that begins with our unique genes and is socially conditioned within our families. The key is to acknowledge those forces and to plan and take purposeful actions so that you remain in control.”

How can the stories and exercises in Seeing Red Cars help individuals and workplaces deal with today’s new normal?  "The marketplace is undergoing dramatic change, technology is advancing rapidly, and people are uncertain about the future. This is an environment in which fear and worry escalates, allowing an unconscious negative focus to get in the way of productivity, motivation, innovation and solutions. Being clear about what you want affects others and allows you to anticipate situations and take appropriate action to ultimately get what you want.”

Where should people start if they want to start focusing on their “I want” list versus their “I don’t want” fears? “Start with the knowledge of your passions, interests, and strengths, and then play close, constant attention to what you can control, along with what you want and are working toward. Create for yourself mental pictures of your desired outcomes and the feelings associated with achieving those wants, and choose red objects or items to remind you of those desired outcomes.”

More about Laura…

Laura is the host of a national radio program, and shares stories about incredible people for a major market television station. She has a degree in Training and Organizational Development from The University of Minnesota, is a member of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) and the National Speakers Association (NSA).  She received coach training from both the Corporate Coach University and the Coaches Training Institute.

Laura is co-owner of On Impact Productions, an integrated content company which specializes in authoring and producing videos, documentaries, television series, speaking and coaching, and consulting that is dedicated to engaging people, teams and organizations to successfully maneuver the wild roads of change.

 

 

 

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Lead BIG : Kevin Eikenberry

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Kevin Eikenberry
Author, Chief Potential Officer at The Kevin Eikenberry Groupkevin_eikenberry

Kevin Eikenberry leads BIG. After nearly 18 years of running a successful leadership, coaching, and consulting business, Kevin had a BIG idea.

He and his colleague Guy Harris were designing a new supervisor training workshop to deliver across the country when they got the idea for their new book, From Bud to Boss. Wanting to extend the usefulness of both the book and the workshop, Eikenberry and Harris also created the Bud to Boss Community, a place where people can find resources and relationships to encourage them in their leadership journey.

Bud to BossTell us about the book.
From Bud to Boss: Secrets to a Successful Transition to Remarkable Leadership is written for three groups of people: people who are transitioning to their first leadership position, people who are looking for their first promotion to leadership, and people who want to develop others as leaders. It is written as a practical guide book with action steps and self-assessments. We want people to do more than read the book – we want them to live out the principles in the book.

Tell us about the Community.
We wanted to find a way to add value to people beyond a book. Leadership transitions are tough. Many times, people don’t get the support, encouragement, and training they need. We hope that the community will provide resources and relationships to help people grow as leaders. We will provide learning resources as well as a place for people to interact and share their stories, struggles, and experiences as leaders. Within the community, we offer Bonus Bytes, additional content linked to specific sections of the book.

What motivates you?
More than anything else, I want to help people become better leaders. Leaders can change the world for the better. Beyond that, when you become a better leader, you become a better person. All of the skills we talk about with people related to improving their leadership skills can be applied in other areas of life as well. When people learn communication or conflict resolution skills, those skills enrich their lives in other ways.

I believe that every person and every organization has extraordinary potential. I encourage people to invest time, energy, focus, and money to realize their potential.

A little more about Kevin…

Kevin is also is the creator and content developer of The Remarkable Leadership Learning System, a continual leadership development process focused on developing the thirteen competencies of remarkable leaders with virtually delivered content to leaders worldwide.

He previously published several other books including Remarkable Leadership: Unleashing Your Leadership Potential One Skill at a Time and #LEADERSHIPTweet.

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Live BIG : Steve Silberberg

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Steve Silberberg
Owner FitpackingSteve

Steve offers an inspiring Work BIG story. Fitpacking is a novel Live BIG offering.

Meet Steve and Fitpacking.

Fitpacking offers backpacking vacations designed to deliver weight loss. The owner, Steve Silberberg, graduated from M.I.T. in 1984 with both a Bachelors and Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Steve was a software contractor for over 20 years. His client list included DuPont, Polaroid, Tektronix, Acadian Asset Management, the EPA, Talbots and Data I/O. Steve's other careers include college professor, founding an Internet lost & found site, aerobics instructor, museum curator, expert witness, stand-up comedian, electronic publisher, and filmmaker. Steve's Air Sickness Bag Museum is the largest collection in the continental United States and has garnered international press as well as national TV and radio coverage. Steve prefers to spend his time backpacking in the wilderness.

What led to you following your dreams and giving up your IT job?

Not surprisingly, it doesn’t take much urging to give up a job in IT.  That’s not to say that IT isn’t interesting or exciting - it can be.  It’s just that unless you’re in a truly innovative environment, you become a commodity like any other business “resource”.  While the financial rewards of such positions may be considerable, the toll it takes upon you stress-wise can also be considerable.

Ultimately, I followed my dreams because there was not much of a future in my path at the time.  Furthermore, I reached a point in my life where the quality of life was much more important to me than a nicer house or being able to afford a nicer car or better restaurants.

What is fit packing?And who benefits by participating?

Fitpacking guides moderately overweight people on backpacking adventure vacations to stunning destinations in order to lose weight, get in shape, and alter body composition.  You lose weight because all the food you eat for the week must fit in your pack.  This limits your intake and the more food you bring, the more weight you have to carry through the mountains. Fitpacking is targeted for people who are approximately 15-75 pounds overweight, but that's mostly a guideline.

How does it help others realize their dreams?

It’s not hyperbole to assert that some participants change their lives by Fitpacking.  Hikers not only jump start their fitness levels and use their trip as a foundation for regaining their fitness, they also become stress-free as many of our Fitpacking destinations are outside the range of cell phone signals.  Plus, Fitpacking trips teach people the skills necessary to be self-sufficient in the remote wilderness. That's an empowering feeling.

What advice would you give to others who want to follow their passion?

Number one is make sure your family is secure and fed.  Don’t make them suffer for your passion. Beyond that, exercise due diligence, but only in moderation.  Researching marketing data and statistics for six months while your window of opportunity closes is unnecessary hesitation that doesn't serve you well as an entrepreneur.  As with any experiment, eventually you just have to try it.

If your product or service is something nobody has ever heard of, jump right in.  You will be able to learn very little about selling sauerkraut juice without trying it yourself.  (P.S.:  Sauerkraut juice is an actual product!)

What makes you a success? 

Well, I don't really consider myself a success. To me, a successful person starts a program that feeds starving third world villages. I just help people get fit. But if I am a success, it's because my parents taught me to treat others with dignity and respect. So, if I can open people's eyes to the wilderness, show them how enjoyable it is and help them to not fear it, then I guess that's a small measure of success! 

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Give BIG : Jennet Robinson Alterman

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Jennet Robinson Alterman
Center for Women jennet

Jennet Robinson Alterman and the Charleston, SC Center for Women are an inspiring Give BIG story.

Jennet is the Executive Director for the Center for Women, the only comprehensive women's development center in South Carolina. The Center for Women is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to make personal and professional success an everyday event for women in the Lowcountry.

What does the Center for Women do? We help women succeed every day. We connect thousands of women across the Tri-County area to professional sources for practical help by providing educational programs on important issues such as small business development, financial literacy, life transitions, discrimination of all types, multiculturalism, family issues, career and business.

We also provide counseling, peer support groups and referrals. We create a network for women to come together and address the issues in their lives. One thing we know for sure is that women deserve equal pay and equal rights.  

Share some highlights of what the Center for Women has done. We’ve helped hundreds of women start their own businesses. Through our micro-loan program we’re helping to create jobs. Our job coaching program helps women to find a job. In 2010 the Center conducted over 110 programs and events, and reached 6,000 women, bringing the total of women we’ve touched since the Center was founded in 1990 to 70,000.

In February 2006 the Center was recognized by Oprah Winfrey with an Oprah’s Angel Network Grant. The Center was honored in 2009 with the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce 1773 award for the Public/Non-Profit Sector and People Against Rape’s Outstanding Victim Service Program.

What’s your goal for the Center? To see it recognized as the premier resource in the community for women entrepreneurs and for all business owners seeking both professional and personal development opportunities for themselves and their employees.

Tell us about your background.  I’ve worked in television broadcasting, state and federal government – where I experienced firsthand the difficulties that the few women in the legislature had in being accepted as equals – and the non-profit sector.     

I have extensive background in international development having served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Afghanistan, Peace Corps Country Director in Swaziland and the Interagency Coordinator for Peace Corps worldwide. During my tenure with the Peace Corps, I worked on projects in over 40 countries. I saw firsthand over and over again that where women are disenfranchised the overall economic and social health of a country is adversely affected.  

What’s next for you and the Center? I want to open up an ongoing dialogue about women and power and encourage my sisters in this community to take their rightful place at the public policy and boardroom tables. I am willing to share what I learned at Harvard to teach all of us how to develop the power to bring about the changes we need to have a sustainable quality of life. Traditionally, power has been seen as something to have "over" someone or something. I propose that women seek the power "to" achieve a common goal.

As Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn wrote in Half the Sky, the great moral imperative of the 19th century was the abolition of slavery, in the 20th century it was the end of totalitarianism and in the 21st century it is women's rights.

I want to be a powerful force in achieving that moral imperative, and I want lots of company doing it.

"I will leave you with the words of Abigail Adams, wife to a president and mother of a president. When John Adams was away in Philadelphia writing the Constitution, she wrote to him: 'Remember the ladies. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a revolution, and we will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.' It’s time to listen to the message."

More about Jennet’s extensive and worthy contributions…

She serves on the Spaulding Paolozzi Foundation Board of Directors, the Board of the Trident Urban League, the Regional Advisory Board of the Leadership Institute of Columbia College, the Advisory Council of Charleston Area Therapeutic Riding, the Advisory Board of the Junior League and the Advisory Council of the Lowcountry Graduate Center. In 2003 she was recognized as a Woman of Distinction by the Carolina Lowcountry Girl Scouts, and in 2004 she was chosen as one of the Skirt! Magazine 10. In December 2008, Jennet gave the College of Charleston commencement address and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

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Get Your Big On : Spotlight

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spotlight Spotlight

Don't you love reading stories about people who are making a positive difference? The Get Your BIG On team sure does - and thinks there needs to be more of them! So, with our Spotlight section, we're doing just that - giving a shout out to inspirational people who understand that success is more than a corner office or a big job title.  


Lead BIG

Mike Henry, Sr., President & Founder, Lead Change Group

mike_henry-sm"At Lead Change, we don't just want to talk about leadership. We want to apply people-centric, values-based leadership to make our world better. People all over the globe want to be their best, and we can help make that revolution happen." 

Continue reading

 

Work BIG

Rebel Brown, Growth Strategy Specialist & Author Defy Gravity

 "When I started in business, I was the only woman in the room. I made the mistake of trying to act like a man in a man's world. It took me decades to learn my biggest strengths were found in my woman's intuition and perspective."

Learn more about Rebel...

 

Live BIG

Paul McConaughy
Michigan Nutrition Networkpaul_mcconaughy

"I get to spend each day learning and doing things that are bigger than life, like creating innovative programs to help low income families eat healthy and stay active."

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Give BIG

Jennet Robinson Alterman
Executive Director, Center for Women

jennet"I've had enough experience in third world countries to know that when you give women economic independence and educational opportunities, the world becomes a better place."

Story continued...

 

Start BIG

Blake Schroedter, Michael Pett, Tony Genovese - EasyGo Dispenser

What do three soldiers have in common? A great idea that innovates how to store, carry and dispense  protein powder and baby formula powder!

Read more...

 

Organize BIG

Michelle Morton, Founder
Clutter Control

"I work with busy single parents and over-worked entrepreneurs so they can find a way to live simpler, tidier, healthier, more organized and less stressful lives."

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Organize Big : Michelle Morton

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Michelle Morton
Professional Organizermichellecropped2

Michelle Morton is a DIY mompreneur who inspires others to simplify their lives. She doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk and her daily life is living proof of that. Michelle offers a different voice with a different message. Once a single mother, then a stay-at-home mother and now a momprenuer, but always a mother, Michelle clearly understands the challenges of being organized, living simply and making the time to achieve her personal and professional goals. After many years of letting her personal life take over and get in the way of achieving her professional goals, she decided once and for all to take control.

Now she sees it as her chance to help others.  Michelle doesn't claim to have all the answers, but she certainly shares what works, and doesn't, for her. Michelle shares her simple tips on conquering chaos which saves you space, time and money – TODAY. She has combined her heartfelt passions with being a voice of change. With style and a special savvy for decluttering and getting organized, she is a support system for those who are juggling single parenting (both moms and dads). She also wants to help others who want to become entrepreneurs to achieve their personal and professional goals

A New York native and the eldest of three sisters, Michelle’s zest for making a difference in the lives of others started when she entered the paralegal profession. Soon she realized that her focus and real interests rested elswhere -- being a stay-at-home mom raising three young boys. She started her business, Clutter Control, so she could be “that” mom - the one that other moms call for help, and to be that friend who lends an extra ear. More than anything else Michelle aims to be that person who mentors others to believe in themselves and to start living their dream life.

Michelle has trained with top professionals in the organizing professio. With over a decade of experience, Michelle has shown clients how to conquer the chaos with humor and encouragement. She loves teaching that getting organized is not a one-time goal; rather, it's a lifestyle that will give you the time you need to spend with your family and with yourself. Clutter is stressful, but Michelle hopes that you will think about the life you are living and the choices you make everyday. She is just like you—trying to find a way to live a simpler, cleaner, healthier and less stressful life.

Michelle has been featured in several national magazines and online journals. She is always enthusiastic in her mission to teach others that YOU can do it for yourself too! She lives a very simplified life in Raleigh, NC, with her husband and three boys (ages 15, 11 and 7) as she tries to teach them the finer points of organizing.

Although Michelle is not a sports fan, she spends a great deal of time on the ball field with her boys! When she’s not working, you can find Michelle amongst piles of laundry trying to conquer that bottomless pile (you know the one!) while enjoying a brownie or two or three.

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