March 2018 Newsletter

My Dad would have turned 98 the last week in February. He would have celebrated 70 years of marriage the first week in March. I talk to him as least as often as I did when he was alive. The only difference is that he doesn't answer. Well kind of/not exactly. His words stay with me.
A year after Envelope-gate, the largest mishap in Oscar history, the Academy Awards telecast crew was leaving little to chance the day before the event. Presenters from Emma Stone to Helen Mirren took to the stage to practice their walking, teleprompter reading, and envelope tearing. This reminded me so much of the "paces" my Dad would put me through before a horse show.
Before each U.S. Arabian National Horse Show that I exhibited in, my Dad would have me practice with everything as I was going to wear it in competition. The tux riding habit, the Top Hat, the saddle pad I would use, the new curb chain, my boots, everything. It was too far to go and too much money to hurt one's chances by worrying about pants that might split, or a horse's saddle sore.
Through my Dad I believe in reducing distractions. It's less about comfort and more about preventing seemingly small things from getting big amounts of attention. Oscar 2017 will always be remembered for the envelope mix-up. An envelope seems like a small thing until it's not. Then a plain red envelope received a big amount of attention.
Attention to detail before you speak or before the event allows you to concentrate on the big things, and to be remembered perhaps, for what you want to be remembered for . . . in a positive way.

We continue to develop our series of 2-4 minute videos using a horse to teach communication and leadership lessons.  This month features Penny, a retired Quarter Horse.
Whether you are leading a company, a department, a team, an idea or a horse, leading is a compilation of hundreds of seemingly little decisions. Leading is not pulling, it is leading
1. Josh Cribb's Dreadlocks
One Sunday I stopped at my corner gas station, dogs in tow. As I am returning to the car I see a dead ringer for Josh Cribbs. Surely he was too small to really be Josh Cribbs. I made a painful decision to keep walking and not ask my usual, "do people tell you that you look like someone?" Surely the question would be in vain, and I would be viewed as a stalker. Really, what was Josh Cribbs doing at my gas station anyway?

Lesson Learned: Within minutes the gas station attendant exploded out the door to my car to show me Josh Cribb's autograph. It had indeed been Josh and not only did he not see the attendant as a stalker, he gave him an autograph. Why oh why did I select this one time to be less proactive? What opportunity could you miss in the near future?
2. Cheat Sheet?
The art is in hiding the art. President Trump used a "cheat sheet" when he spoke with survivors and family members from school shootings. A TV camera photographed the notes, and #5 "I hear you" went viral.
Lesson Learned:  I actually liked President Trump's handwritten cheat sheet. I tell my clients to write any notes on the text of their speech that will help them deliver a stellar speech. When candidate Obama was first running for president, many criticized his use of the teleprompter in many speaking scenarios. Again, I liked the idea of knowing what you need to be effective. The rule in communication is to "hide the art." My problem with the sheet is not the sheet. My problem is that he did not hide the art. Do you know to hide the art and are you hiding the art?
3. You and Hollywood
I met a woman who did wardrobe for television and movies earlier in her career. She talked about some actors looking very different in person than their cinematic twin. One time she was actually dancing with Heath Ledger at a party, and told Heath that no, he was not Heath Ledger. And yes, Tom Cruise is as small as you may have heard.
Lesson Learned: We often think Los Angeles is very different than the rest of the country. Their mayor, Eric Garcetti, tells places outside of his city that California is very similar to their homes because people from all over the country make up Californians. One thing I found interesting was the same in Hollywood as in your workplace: being easy to work with. This former wardrobe assistant said that unless you were the one or two really irreplaceable actors, you would get more work if you were easy to work with. Are you easy to work with?
4. Bibi Left the Podium
At AIPAC Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu addressed the estimated 16,000 in attendance. He started from behind a podium with several jumbo-trons in action. I have heard him many times; always he stood behind a podium. This time he had written notes rather than copy on a teleprompter. He was reading his notes, with little eye contact. Whatever one thinks of Bibi as PM, he has always been a masterful orator. I kept wondering, where is the eye contact? Maybe five minutes into his speech he came out from behind the podium.

Lesson Learned: He started to ask his Secret Service if he could move from the podium. He then caught himself asking permission and said, I AM THE PRIME MINISTER. He gave the next part of his speech walking around the massive stage. I never saw him look at the notes he carried in his hand. Even a Prime Minister has to follow the rule of eye contact. I will never know if the move was planned or not. He successfully crashed through that invisible fence that separates an audience from the speaker. What can you do to enhance your delivery?
5. Rules Are Made To Be Broken
The first day in DC is our only free day.  I happened upon a Kate Spade store near my hotel. They were having a 30% off sale that ended the following day. Three days later I return to the store to ask if I can receive the sale price two days late. I thought I had a 50/50 chance.  Sometimes a computer system is not as human as a human, and sometimes a human is not human.

Lesson Learned:  Recently, a friend stopped being a long time client of a venue that stuck to their "company policy" over being human. (even though humans make policy) I was pleasantly surprised to learn that YES, they would honor the sale price on anything or things I wanted to purchase. It's tough sometimes to know when to bend and when to stick to your guns. But being flexible is one of the most valued attributes at any level of the organizational chart. Are you flexible or do you stick to company policy?
In Person - 

April 16 - How To Get Your Next Job, Hudson Job Search
April 26 - Leadership Seminar, HBA
June 20 - Cowboy Up, Canton Chamber Quick Connect

Forum 360 with Leslie as Moderator

Upcoming Shows: 

The Museum of Psychology at UA
Guest: Dr. David Baker
The Akron Children's Museum
Guest: Traci Buckner, Executive Director

Watch/ Listen to Forum 360:
Western Reserve Public Media, PBS-TV, PBS Fusion Channels 45 & 49 (Time Warner channel 993) - Mondays at 8 pm and Saturdays at 5:00 pm. After the show airs, you can download it here.

WONE FM 97.5 Sunday 6 am
For online streaming go to and click Listen Live.

WAKR AM 1590 Sunday, 5:00 pm, Monday 12:30 am For online streaming go to and click Listen Live.

Benji is going to share his spotlight this month with dogs from Israel. Israel has one center that breeds and trains dogs for the visually impaired. Israel Guide Dog Center was in the spotlight at the recent AIPAC conference. Several of these dogs and their owners came from Israel to share their story. Alittle different than our service dogs here, we the public were allowed to pet these dogs. Winston had the best kisses.
They, like all service dogs, were amazing. One particularly amazing story was Winston. His human partner was a young Arab man from a small Arab town outside of the formal border of Israel.  In the Arab culture, dogs and people don't really mix, and especially dogs and food.
Blind from birth, a dog could give him a freedom that he had never had. When he told his mother he was going to Israel to live and train for a service dog, his mother screamed and screamed. Now he said that she treats Winston better than she treats her son!
The Israel Guide Dog Center trains dogs for owners of all religions: Jewish, Moslem, Druze, Hindu, Christian and on and on. Most adults will have five, six, seven or eight guide dogs in their lifetime so the bond between the center and the dog owner has to be strong and unbreakable. Imagine a young Arab man going to live and train in Israel with Jewish instructors. We hear the bad stories; we don't often hear the good stories

Upcoming Events
Our Theme for 2018: Cowboy Up

When: April 24th from 5pm - 7pm
Where: Electric Impulse office
Join us at our next evening Video workshop. Price is ONLY $36!
You will have the choice to present your own material, recite a paragraph of a famous speech, be a TV guest, or conduct an interview. We will video and immediately play back what we recorded. I will make suggestions, audience members may have comments and suggestions, and then we will video you again. The improvement will be immediate.

Join us at our June 22nd HorseTalk with our first ever BOGO special - two can attend for $636! Two spots remain! Reserve your spots today!

Email us at [email protected]  or text at 330.607.5730 for further information or to RSVP to one of our events. For more information visit our website:
Ask me about my 10 in 10!