Electric Impulse Communications, Inc. Newsletter

January 2009

A monthly newsletter to transform ordinary leaders to extraordinary: in your company, profession, and industry. Based on coaching, writing, speaking and strategizing by Leslie G.Ungar to create leaders, improve communications, and build successful teams. www.electricimpulse.com

This newsletter includes: The Power of Perspectives

  1. Herbie's Helpful Hint
  2. Who Said It?
  3. Mishmash of Value:
    The first four insights are from Inside the Cavalier's Organization . . . Insights learned from a day of taping at their Cleveland Clinic Courts, their new practice facility, for Time/Warner's newly re-branded Forum360.
    1. The No-Buddy Rule
    2. Chairs with a Purpose
    3. A Football Shaped Locker Room
    4. No Bloomin' Onion Here
    5. For the Inauguration Next Week
    6. The Biggest Inauguration in History
  4. Case Study:
  5. Live and On TV
  6. Answer

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I. Herbie's Helpful Hint (named after my Dad)

In the late1960's my Dad hired an African-American salesman. He had an Afro and I remember as a junior high student I would ask Larry if I could touch his "fro". Some of my Dad's customers were i n rural areas that likely had not seen an African American before, or at least not one in their store as a salesperson. Some complained to my Dad and threatened to take their business elsewhere. And did. My Dad did not acquiesce to their demands.

Lesson Learned:

Sometimes we talk about conceptual stands, and moral wins, but not often are we asked to truly stand behind our philosophies. On the eve of this historical inauguration I remember this real life scenario. Although mostly a die-hard Republican, my Dad continuously evolved. I think my Dad would have voted for Obama. Whch leads me to ask my Dad's hint, how do you think differently today than you did 5 years ago?

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II. Who Said It?

"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed . . . People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."

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III. Mishmash of Value:

1. The No-Buddy Rule

Members of the Cavaliers are strongly urged to drive themselves to and from practice, hence the no-buddy rule. Players are "discouraged" from attending practice with a friend, posse or entourage member. Their focus is to be on practice not on who may be waiting for them after practice.

Lesson Learned:

Millionaire athletes respond to winning strategies. Is the no-buddy rule a rule or a strategy? A rule is imposed, a strategy has buy-in. As it was explained to me, players understand and comply with this "strategy". In my terms you could say they buy into it. Imagine legislating the driving patterns of "employees". Do you establish rules or strategies? Do you create buy-in? Are you hesitant to impose what may appear to be strict or archaic ways?

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2. Chairs with a Purpose

Players start each practice in the large theater-style team meeting room. Theatre seating consists of chairs designed by Cavalier's management and that 150-inch screen you may have heard about. The agenda is to watch their own game 'tape" or opponent's games. Athletes watch on chairs specifically designed to not recline. And too narrow in which to lounge. This is a business meeting and full attention is expected.

Lesson Learned:

Everything about this 50, 000 square foot facility is designed to maximize workflow, connectivity, and communication. Even a building of wood and glass can speak to the synergy of team. Even a building can be designed to you're your business and your agenda forward. Have you looked at every aspect from your chairs to your coffee maker to your clothes?

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3. A Football Shaped Locker Room

Most locker rooms are built in the shape of what? A rectangle, a square? The locker room at the practice facility is designed in the shape of a football. The difference? There are no ends. No ends that drop off and allow a player to drop off and not communicate with other players.

Lesson Learned:

The locker room, like the entire facility, is a standing monument to basketball, business, and synergy all coming together. The facility boasts connectivity and communication. When I asked Campy Russell what made a good NBA coach a good coach, he said the ability to communicate. Is communication a high priority for you? ( I have a great picture standing at LeBron's locker holding one of his shoes!)

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4. No Bloomin' Onion Here

Players eat many meals at their practice facility. I asked how much control the Cavalier's had over what the players ate, David Painter, facility manager, said in this building, 100%. Some players have favorite meals, like Anderson and his egg white omelets. It is clear that our Cavaliers are not eating potato skins smothered in cheese when they eat at their "house".

Lesson Learned:

The Cavalier management considers every detail important. Most players have their own personal chef. In their case, their body is truly their business. Staying in good enough shape for one more play-off game or one more season can reap huge financial dividends. For all of us, aren't our bodies our business? What do you serve at your meetings and retreats? Food to facilitate learning or food to sabotage learning?

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5. The Biggest Inauguration in History

Next week we will witness the most attended inauguration in history. The day after you will receive my thoughts on Obama's speech. Meanwhile, you can re-read what needs to be included when leaders speak. (Preview the article that was featured in Affluent magazine) http://electricimpulsecommunications.com/artman/publish/article_36.shtml)

Lesson Learned:

Leadership needs to have a voice. Coach Dru Joyce, one of LeBron's high school coaches, says a coach's most important job is to "sell the vision". Randy Lerner just hired the Browns new head coach, because he had a clear vision. Leadership needs a voice, leaders need to speak.

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IV. Case Study: Do Communication Skills Really Count? How Two Words May End a Senate Bid

Situation:Caroline Kennedy wants to fill the vacant Senate seat in New York. Feelings were mixed: she has little political experience on one hand, a Columbia law degree, author of two books on civil liberties, living connection to Camelot on the other hand.

Process: : Caroline Kennedy has an audience of one. The governor will make the appointment to complete the open term. Governors are people too, and they can be influenced by public opinion. Just like anyone making a referral, the person making it wants to look good. In one of her first interviews, with the New York Times, observers counted her use of the words "you know" -138 times. She didn't look good.

Result: Her speech pattern garnered more attention than the content of her answers. That's not a good thing for a speaker. Her stock as a candidate plummeted, based largely on her inability to communicate effectively. You may not be the princess of Camelot, but you may get in your own way. She is smart, but answering questions and speaking are learned and practiced skills. Are you doing something in your communication style that is getting in the way of your value and your vision?

V. On TV and Live

TV--Civic Forum with Leslie as host on Time/Warner

Upcoming Shows:

Week of January 13 - Business Side of the NBA Len Komoroski, Cavaliers president

Week of January 27 - Coach Dru Joyce - King James Basketball Tournament

Coeds Go Red

Returning to Civilian Life

Summit/Stark/Cuyahoga/Lake/Richland/Geauga/Mahoning Counties:

Channel 23 - Tuesday 9:30 pm, Thursday 9:30 pm, Saturday 5:30 pm

Radio: WONE FM 97.5 Sunday 6 am, WAKR AM 1590 Sunday, 8:30

In Person - Come and Join Us Can we keynote an event for you?

March 11- YWCA -- Develop the Diva Within

April 14- Association of Fundraising Professionals

August 8- N. Canton Chamber of Commerce

Happy Hour Club 5:00-6:30 Open invitation-seating limited

February 19 - How to be a Successful in Your Business

March 19 - Gen-X/Gen-Y

April 23 - The Job Search

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VI. Answer

Cicero in 55 BC

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