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Can We all Agree – 7/25/15 edition

July 25, 2015

Can we all agree that despite another gun attack on unsuspecting moviegoers, Americans will shake their heads and agree with candidates who say “Now is not the time to talk about gun control.” When exactly would be a good time?

Can we all agree that part of Donald Trump’s appeal is ‘decision fatigue.’ – the feeling we all get when we have too many choices and find it easier to  take the easy way out?

Can we all agree that the last thing Hillary Clinton needed was another headline talking about classified emails?

Can we all agree with a Federal Court ruling that families fleeing political repression should not be held in detention camps?

Can we all agree that, the crises in Greece is really the product of a long-standing class war between Northern and Southern Europe?

Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds

Can we all agree that Planned Parenthood has made a PR mess out of their handling of the secret videos of their internal operations?

Can we all agree that the GOP really doesn’t want an abortion debate to be the central campaign theme?

Can we all agree that the $15/hour minimum wage is coming to America, whether businesses like it or not?

Can we all agree that anyone stopped for failing to signal a lane change should not be in jail three days later?

Can we all agree that while Barry Bonds may have finally come out on top in his battle with the judicial system, the court of public opinion made up its mind years ago?

Can we all agree that that theme of the Pope’s conference on Global warming and poverty was summed up pretty well by Gov. Jerry Brown’s quote: “We’re talking extinction…”

Can we all agree that the opening of embassies in Havana and Washington was a welcome site?

Can we all agree that Bill Cosby’s attempts to defend himself against his own deposition testimony, may be the final nail in his coffin?

Can we all agree that it’s great to see that the Kepler satellite has found another ‘Goldilocks planet’ similar to earth that we can add to the other 1 billion planets scientists say we might colonize after we have destroyed this one?

NASA graphic via Cal Tech

NASA graphic via Cal Tech

Can w all agree that Uber’s agreement to participate in a traffic study of NYC is really just an excuse to get both sides more time to negotiate an operating agreement with the Mayor?

Can we all agree that we are not surprised GM had to recall a million cars because their computers could be hacked, as the owners were driving?

Can we all agree that the President’s trip to Kenya only served to highlight the many problems that country faces?


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Can We All Agree – 7/18/15 edition

July 18, 2015

Filed under: Can we all agree — Tags: , , , , , , , , — admin @ 11:19 am

Can we all agree that while Donald Trump is both entertaining and extreme, he’s likely to be more like a summer sparkler who burns brightly for a few seconds and then burns out quickly? At least the GOP hopes so.

Can we all agree, in the same vein, that reducing him to the entertainment section, like Huffington Post, will not dim his appeal?CJ_mp9nUAAA56eC

Can we all agree that, whether you consider Pluto a planet or not, this week’s photos from the New Horizon were just stunning?

Can we all agree that, once again, Americans will shrug their shoulders as they read about 5 more people gunned down for no reason.

Can we all agree that the Greek debt problem is moving the EU closer to a true fiscal and political union than they want to admit?

Can we all agree that opinions on the proposed treaty with Iran track almost perfectly with your  opinion of the President?

Can we all agree that it’s still sad to see the last F.A.O. Schwartz store close? We can thank Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia for great Big memory.

Can we all agree that a hearty cheer is due to California legislators who mandated at least a minimum wage for major league cheerleaders?

Can we all agree that it seems odd when politics and the real world collide, as they did this week when Jeb  and Hillary clashed over Uber and the sharing economy?

Can we all agree that the story about how Harper Lee’s new novel actually surfaced, is more than eclipsing the actual book?

Can we all agree that the strangest story of the week may be the California kidnapping that was, and then wasn’t, but now is again?

la-me-ln-fire-in-cajon-pass-20150717-002Can we all agree that getting stuck in a traffic jam and then seeing your car ignited by a brush fire, is a uniquely Los Angeles kind of story?

Can we all agree that seeing the President visiting a Federal prison and commuting the sentences of 46 drug offenders, underlines the inequality in this country?

Can we all agree that Scott Walker’s official entry into the GOP presidential race will probably give him little momentum, since it was overshadowed by so many other major stories?

Can we all agree that we are not surprised at the escape of Mexico’s biggest drug dealer from a supposedly maximum security prison?



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Can We All Agree – 7/11/15 edition

July 11, 2015

Filed under: Can we all agree — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 10:44 am

Can we all agree that Serena Williams is among the greatest women’s tennis players ever, despite the grunts?

Can we all agree that Ellen Pao’s firing at Reddit gives credibility to Kleiner Perkins’ contention that she was a difficult employee and not the target of sexual discrimination?

Can we all agree that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has damaged his own credibility by forcing a referendum to defeat an EU bailout package and then proposing almost the same plan to avoid being kicked out of the EU?

Can we all agree that when the FBI fails to enforce even the minimal background checks  for gun ownership, the system is broken and more Charlestons’s are inevitable?

Can we all agree that the head of the Office of Personnel Management needed to go after it was revealed that personal data of 25 million Americans had been compromised?

Can we all agree that, once again, John Boehner has fumbled in his handling of the Confederate Flag controversy?

Can we all agree that Jeb Bush’s fundraising makes him the GOP front runner, despite while the polls say?

Can we all agree that Democrats are absolutely giddy watching Donald Trump dominate political headlines, since he has very little chance of being elected?

Can we all agree that Californians need to worry about what they wish for, as they wait for a predicted el nino this winter?

Can we all agree that is was a bit nerve wracking when the NYSE, United Airlines and the Wall Street Journal all suffered major computer outages at the same time? Or maybe you didn’t even notice?

Can we all agree that Bill Cosby’s image may not survive the latest revelations about  his use of drugs in seducing women?

Can we all agree that watching the women’s World Cup team was exhilarating?

Can we all agree that many folks, including Subway, may have rushed to judgement when their spokesperson Jared Fogle became part of a child porn investigation?

South Carolina's Confederate Flag comes down. NYT photo

South Carolina’s Confederate Flag comes down. NYT photo

Can we all agree that it was good to see the Confederate Flag in front of the South Carolina Capital taken down for one last time?

Can we all agree that it will actually be good to have the Washington politicians on vacation for most of August, so we can stop seeing more headlines about another impending budget showdown?

Can we all agree that it will also allow Presidential politics to dominate the news?

Can we all agree that California’s latest report on fracking, does nothing to allay concerns about contaminated drinking water?

Can we all agree that we’re happy we don’t have money invested in the Chinese stock market which dropped 30% in a month?

Can we all agree that CVS Health deserves credit for leaving the National Chamber of Commerce over their support for increasing tobacco sales around the world?

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Acing that Interview

July 6, 2015

Filed under: Coaching,Health,Management,Resumes — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 7:46 am

The government tells us that 223,000 new jobs were added to the economy last month. That means that at least 500,000 people probably had interviews.

What was the difference between the folks who got the job and the those who are still looking? Obviously, I don’t know all the factors at play, but I can offer some suggestions to help you ace your next interview.

Dealing with Stress:

Job interviews are stressful. But you need to understand that stress is normal. It’s the body’s reaction to fear. Thousands of years ago our stress reaction, shut down unnecessary systems, to allow us to focus on evading that saber-toothed tiger.Echo-Examiner-How-Strong-was

Today we sweat to cool our body temperature, our heart pumps more blood to critical organs, such as the brain, and our nervous system – infused with a chemical surge –  alerts us to the slightest change in the environment.

This is good, it helps you focus your attention on the person in front of you and the questions being asked.

Knowing that your stress reaction is normal can help you relax.

A simple breathing exercise is one way to reduce your stress. Before you enter the building find a quiet spot where you can just sit and breathe deeply. Focus on your breath trying to visualize yourself as relaxed and calm.

And finally: smile –research shows that this one act, will help relax your mind and body.

What to Wear:

You need to dress like you already belong.

The assumption is that you have done some research before you applied, but now you need to explore the company culture.

Does everyone wear business attire every day? Do most men wear ties, are women expected to wear skirts or business suits? The only way to find out might be to visit before your interview.

At many places in Silicon Valley (i.e. Google, Facebook, Apple) what you wear is much different than your ‘uniform’ for a Wall Street Interview.

The old saying, ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression,’ is true. When in doubt, a suit that says you are serious about the opportunity, is always the best choice. Looking sharper than your interviewer is always better than the other way around.

At the end of the interview I would rather be told, I’ll never wear my suit to work again, than I need a new wardrobe.

How to Act:

I was once told to mirror my interviewer. If he or she reached out to shake hands, fine, but don’t offer your sweaty palm first.

If the interviewer crossed their legs, I could too.

But this is all part of communication – which is 70% visual. By the time you get to the interview, chances are good that you fit the technical requirements to do the job and they are looking more at your personality and ‘soft skills.’

Many times interviewers form an opinion in the first five minutes and then spend the rest of the interview trying to prove themselves correct. Google claims they have developed a system to prevent this cognitive bias, but the statistics don’t suggest their practices insure better choices.

One other tip, make sure you have your own copy of the resume you submitted. You want to make sure your interviewer is reading things correctly.

I parrot my third grade teacher, Miss Opie, when I advise clients, “sit up straight, pay attention, don’t chew gum and speak clearly.” Always be honest and if you don’t know the answer to a question, admit it, and agree to find out.

Many firms are famous for asking brain teaser questions to test problem-solving skills. I think they are less than useful, unless they are directly related to the job. Unfortunately they still exist, despite the fact that there is no evidence they prove anything beyond whether you can solve that particular problem.

I am particularly bad at them, and once when challenged at an interview, simply declined, saying it was not a true test of my ability. Yeah, I did not get the job, but I felt it was probably not a place I wanted to work anyway.

Remember this is a two-way street, so be prepared with questions of your own. Not specifics about pay or benefits, there’s time for that after you get an offer, but about the company and what they do. Maybe even current trends in the industry.

With any luck, the first interviewer will ask you to stay for a while to speak with a few more people – maybe a manager or co worker – so be prepared for a longer stay. Don’t be afraid to stash an energy bar in your pocket or purse to avoid hunger pains. A quick trip to the restroom gives you a break and some time for a snack. (Just make sure you check your teeth before you return)

How do you handle an interview panel? Not easily.

It’s impossible for one person to think as quickly as three, so it’s inherently unfair. Always address your answer to the person who asked the question, and don’t be afraid to pause, and collect your thoughts before you respond. You are not in a time competition.

And, when the panel members start arguing about a question (they always do) stay out of the fight and take advantage of the time, and breathe.

With any luck, the preparation and the talent that got you to the interview in the first place will be your biggest asset. Hopefully, when next month’s employment numbers come out you will be among those with a new job.



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Can We All Agree – 7/4/15 Edition

July 4, 2015

Can we all agree that John Adams had a pretty good idea when he suggested fireworks for our July Fourth Celebration?Unknown

Can we all agree that The President is having a great time now that his legacy has been assured?

Can we all agree that this week’s leap second was really enjoyable?

Can we all agree that, despite all the caveats by the economists, adding 223,000 new jobs is a big deal?

Can we all agree, that from a PR standpoint, Whole Foods admission that it overcharged NYC consumers for some items, was a great move?

Can we all agree that it would be nice to think that some of the  $18.7 billion BP will pay to settle charges connected with the 2010 oil spill, will actually make it to real people, but we’re doubtful?

Can we all agree that with Chris Christie joining the GOP race for President, the clown car, just got a LOT more crowded?

Can we ll agree that Jim Webb’s entrance on the Democratic side is beyond baffling?

Can we all agree that it may be a while before anyone knows whether the Supreme Court decision on how the EPA determines pollution rules makes any difference at all?

Can we all agree the Supreme Court ruling on redistricting would have been a disaster, if it had gone the other way?

Can we all agree that the President’s decision to expand overtime pay to working managers was long overdue?

Can we all agree that reports that USA products are competitive again may be the biggest economic news of the week?

Can we all agree that visiting the US embassy in Havana will be a pleasure, at last?

Can we all agree that the disaster that is Greece now has more to do with European politics than economics?

Can we all agree that the USA has more than enough motivation for tomorrow’s match against Japan?

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