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Know the Pay Scale – Top Paid Tech CEOs

Have you ever wondered what the CEOs of large
corporations such as Microsoft, Salesforce, and
Oracle make?   Here is #1:

Virginia Rometty, CEO, president and chairman

  •  IBM Salary: $1,500,000
  • Bonus: $3,600,000
  • Stock Awards: $12,460,409
  • Change in Pension Values: $1,402,725
  • Perks and Other Compensation: $381,991
  • TOTAL: $19,345,125 

Stormwind is  revealing not only their 8-figure salaries,
but what comes on top of their salaries like stock
options and pension plans. The numbers are incredible.

This is great information, I would love to know what position in the company they started with and how long they have been in the company. Also, I’d like to know the education and training…. all public information but that would add to my understanding. – the editor


Thanks for sharing: view it online


Why Aesthetics Matter to Learning!

In the morning, do you reach for a favorite coffee cup or select an attractive outfit to wear to a meeting? Did the sleek and modern design of your smartphone influence your buying decision? What about your go-to websites? Are you drawn to the ones that are attractive and well-designed rather than those that are cluttered and difficult to read?

You would probably agree that the visual design of a product influences your choices and buying decisions. And you most likely know that people prefer to use attractive products rather than poorly-designed ones. But you may not realize the extent to which design can impact a person’s emotions, which in turn affects how people think and learn.

Thanks to Blogs at ATD for this post. We often discuss the difficulty of taking time to make something visually pleasing AND getting the pesky project done. I would have to say that the “get ‘er done” mentality wins on most days. But what if our viewers can’t find what they need? what if they aren’t inspired to finish reading….or….. after one viewing they never come back to learn more. Wasted effort or sliding deadline – you can manage your projects differently!   – the editor

A Common Misconception

Many of us have a common misconception—fueled by outdated science—that emotions and cognition are two independent functions. At one time, researchers were certain that cognition and emotion operated as two separate systems. Underlying this theory was the idea that emotions and feelings were a lower order function as compared to higher order rational thinking.

Current research has basically done away with these older theories. We now know that emotion and cognition are interdependent. Emotions are crucial for quickly assessing a situation and for making decisions. There is also much data to show that positive emotions are particularly important for learning, solving problems, creative work, and innovation. This is because positive emotions, in most circumstances, enable more flexible and adaptive thinking (Isen, 2002).


Aesthetics Evoke Positive Emotions

Although instructional design typically focuses on the cognitive aspects of learning, a new line of research is now exploring the affective dimension too. Known as “emotional design,” this research looks at the ways a learner’s feelings and mood can influence motivation and learning results.

One obvious way to influence people is through visual aesthetics, or the appreciation of an appealing design. Thus, the importance of visual design in learning is gaining in stature and will become increasingly important in years to come. Initial research has already shown that evoking positive emotions in learners through an attractive visual design (layout, colors, imagery, etc.) can help facilitate a successful learning experience (Plass et al., 2014).

As a learning experience designer, this presents new opportunities for success. It means visual design is another channel for reaching your audience and influencing learning outcomes. It means that by making e-learning courses, training slides, and other materials visually appealing, you may be able to increase motivation and enhance the learning process by influencing the learner’s emotions.

Some Ways Aesthetics Can Enhance Learning

Here are four of the many ways that aesthetics can evoke positive emotions and in turn, facilitate learning.

Enhanced Value. People make rapid judgements based on sensory input and are instantly attracted to aesthetically pleasing objects, while rejecting those that are unappealing. Learners quickly judge the materials they use in a similar way. Not only do well-designed materials increase the appeal of the learning experience, learners will be more likely to judge the materials as credible and valuable. And perceived value is an important factor to adult learners.

Increased Motivation. When learners experience positive emotions (which can be evoked through an attractive visual design), it can foster intrinsic motivation or the desire to learn without an external reward (Heidig et al., 2015). In addition, with an attractive design, the learning tasks are perceived as less difficult when compared to a neutral design (Um et al., 2012).

Avoidance of Negative Emotions. One factor of an appealing design is its usability or how easy it is to attain one’s intended goal. In multimedia course design, the goals will vary according to task—navigating, playing videos, completing exercises, and taking tests, for instance. A design with a pleasing aesthetic will have the simplicity required to enhance task completion. It will help users avoid the negative emotions associated with poor designs, such as frustration and dissatisfaction, therefore enhancing the learning experience.

Perceived Ease of Use. In the groundbreaking book, Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things (2005), author Donald Norman demonstrated the significance of aesthetics. He presented research showing that people perceive well-designed objects as user-friendly. In one experiment with an ATM machine, subjects perceived the attractively designed screen as easier to use than the unattractive screen design, even though both had the same buttons and functionality. Visual aesthetics enhanced the user experience.

Considering how we are influenced and impressed by beautiful designs, it’s not surprising that aesthetics can have a significant impact on cognition and learning. By improving the visual design of e-learning courses, slides, learning portals, and similar learning tools, you can have a powerful effect on the learning experience. And isn’t that a common goal of learning professionals everywhere?

About the author:  Connie Malamed consults, speaks, and writes in the fields of instructional design and visual communication. She is the author of Visual Design Solutions: Principles and Creative Inspiration for Learning Professionals. Connie is the publisher of The eLearning Coach website. You can connect with her on Twitter via @elearningcoach.

For more visual design tips from Connie, check out her new book Visual Design Solutions.

BANDING TOGETHER to END Domestic Violence

—– Great volunteer opportunity—– This is a fun event if you like music and supports a ground breaking organization in the fight against domestic violence. 

Family Violence Appellate Project gives survivors of domestic violence and their children a second chance at justice and safety. This is the only nonprofit organization in California dedicated to appealing cases on behalf of domestic violence survivors. Their mission is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of victims by providing effective appellate representation.


Banding Together to End Domestic Violence

Bands from California’s top law firms and tech companies will strum and drum their way to victory in the third annual Banding Together to End Domestic Violence.  Volunteers are needed for Box Office, Voting, Donation Collecting, Technology and Band/Stage Managing.  Reports times are 4:45 and 5:30. 

When?        June 18th, 5pm – 10pm

Where?      1015 Folsom Nightclub, 1015 Folsom Street, San Francisco

Use this link for more information about this great event:

related post:  October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

for help or more information about this group, you can contact them at

Get Moving! Walking Meetings!

TED Talks – Nilofer Merchant: Got a meeting? Take a walk

There are many ways to GET MOVING, walking is just one. Standing Desks  are another concept.  Building more play into work is yet another way to enjoy life and get moving. Get Inspired – think outside the box.

Get Your Team Moving –  this is local fun, so you can try walking paths, or other group activities:

  • dance lessons  – Dance Lessons with Vera will change your life! She also has a “Salsa Networking” class that is unique and outstanding!  Her motto: if you can dance together, you can do business together.”
  • zumba classes
  • trampoline dodgeball classes and locations are available ALL OVER

…. check it out and  take your team.

Staying Healthy… Laughter is not enough!


5 steps to more JOY!

In times of joy, all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag.
— W.H. Auden
What’s your joyful noise? A whisper of gratitude for a stunning sunset? A belly laugh at a child’s sweet silliness? A “Yes!” for a challenge mastered?

No matter how you express it, you deserve and need joy in your life. And whatever its source — from a drowsy pup on your lap to a parchment diploma in your hand — it doesn’t just feel fabulous. Blissful moments can also give your well-being a boost.

What’s joy got to do with it?
Many activities that create feelings of happiness — being lively, joking around, helping others — can also have physical benefits, such as:

  • Lower risk of illness
  • Improved circulation and heart health
  • A rise in feel-good endorphins
  • Relief from stress and depression

So for health and happiness, try these five tips for experiencing greater joy:

1. Chortle, snicker or snort. Laughter that is hearty is healthy too. In fact, it’s good for your heart health — and can relax muscles and reduce pain. So video chat with that friend who always makes you laugh. Chuckle over the Sunday comics. Giggle through a comedy clip. Or maybe even try a laughter yoga class or DVD. (Yes, there is such a thing!)

2. Delight in play dates. From racquetball with your best buddy to hopscotch with the neighborhood kids, being playful can kick up your mood and confidence. And when your activity gets you moving, you’re getting good exercise to boot!

3. Slow down too. In the rush of our busy lives, moments of quiet joy can pass us by. Whether you relax by sitting in the evening shade, listening to sweet harmonies or doing tai chi in the park, be a regular in the pursuit of peace.

4. Savor with your senses. Dew on lush, green grass … the earthy scent of fresh rosemary … a crunchy bite of a deep-purple plum that bursts with juice. Make it a practice to relish the joy in small things.

5. Be generous. Whether you give time or money, big or small, generosity is a proven source of happiness. So leave a kind comment on a blog, pay someone’s toll, donate blood, thank your bus driver or let someone merge into your lane.

Finally, share your joyful noise. Talking about happy events brings pleasant memories. And since positive feelings are contagious, when you share them, others might follow in your footsteps toward greater joy — and better health.

Shared from the United Health Care newsletter.

Stressed Out? Try this Restorative Yoga Class!

How can you perform well at work with your heart pounding and headaches? Or maybe its a co-worker that can’t focus or get started on all those deadlines. We all deal with pressure and tension in our jobs and lives – how to survive? Take action and try something new!

A wonderful, soothing Restorative Hot Stone Yoga Workshop is being give in Saratoga by an amazing teacher, Reshimika Lata. There will be a harpist playing music to “transport you” to a calmer place. The information is below, put it on your calendar now.

Friday May 8   7-9pm

$55 and $5 off for all mothers!

Location: Worlds Yoga Saratoga

12988B Saratoga-Sunnyvale Rd


phone:  408-741-9642

More Leadership Quotes from our Team

This is a team effort. It’s fun for us to share our quotes and get to know each other. The question is: What is your favorite Leadership quote?

“Fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing.” -Optimus Prime Transformers : Revenge of the Fallen

“The best company are those that seek the truth, the worst are those that think they have found it.” – Terry Pratchett (R.I.P)

The level of effort does not always correlate to the level of value provided. Work towards providing great value. You will most likely still be working hard, but now you can quantify your efforts.   –Unknown

“Choose to be optimistic. It feels better” – Dalai Lama

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. –Steve Jobs

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. –Edmund Burke

“Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.”   –Brian Tracy Entrepreneur, author, and speaker

I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.Larry King

Museum Day May 18- Plan an Event

May 18th is International Museum Day!!

Many companies support the arts in various ways. For companies that donate to museums team members are often given free admission to these museums. In some cases, one guest may enter free as well. This can be quite a savings! This is also an opportunity to have a team building event at no cost!

To find out more, you can always ask at the museum Guest Services about admission and discounts. You can also ask your HR department which groups or museums have special free days, admissions, or sponsored events for your company. Bring a business card, pay stub  and/or  ID with you so that you can get in.  Target, Bank of America, Bank of the West, HP and Wells Fargo (among many others) have this type of “employee bonus” program.

The museums have changing exhibits and something for everyone’s interest.

To celebrate this special day, here is a link to many museums:

Virtual Museums of the World:  For example there are 163 museums listed on this site just for California.

Try out this example from SF MOMA This virtual museum is available online; the Museum itself has

additional exhibits.

San Francisco Bay Area Museums and free days! 

Autodesk Gallery is near the Embarcadero in SF and very interesting, especially for a geeky field trip! location: 1 Market St (One Market Plaza) 2nd floor.

Teaching Children (and their Parents) How to Save

Thanks to Erin Constantine for sharing this great information. I have added some comments on our own strategy as a family.  There are many ways to change from spender to saver, its easier when you start with children. They really learn quickly!

  • Set up a savings account. While piggy banks are great for young children saving small amounts of money, savings accounts are a safer place for your children to keep their money. Wells Fargo’s Way2Save® Savings account has no monthly service fees for primary account holders under 18 (19 in Alabama), and can be opened with a deposit of as little as $25. Whether you open a savings account with Wells Fargo or with another bank, consider having your child participate in the Junior Agent® Savers Club, which has fun games and educational tools to help children ages 5 to 12 learn about savings.
  • Save a specific part of each allowance or paycheck. When my kids were 7 or 8, I started giving them a weekly allowance (for chores around the house) and required that they save a specific amount each week. When they were in their teens and got jobs, we continued that habit, and they deposited a portion of each paycheck into a savings account.

We decided as a family to save 10% and when we managed to save enough we decided what to do with it. It is really fun to save, knowing that something good will come of it. Sometimes we picked a vacation, sometimes going to the movies, sometimes, each person got to select a movie/music. It was a light-hearted introduction to waiting & saving are good things. Of course, big goals like  retirement and saving for a down payment on a house are really important – but may not be “concrete” enough for a child to understand. — the editor

  • Automate savings. If you have an account with Wells Fargo, you can automatically transfer part of your child’s allowance to their savings account, or even create a matching savings program to encourage your child to save more. And when your child is ready for a job, she will likely be able to set up direct deposit, and automatically direct a certain amount of each paycheck to a savings account. Their money will start to add up before they know it.
  • Make children accountable for decisions involving their money. While long-term savings are important, it’s also important for children to understand the value of saving for a purchase. When my kids were younger, they wanted to pick out a toy every time we went shopping. If those purchase decisions were made instead with their own spending money — their saved allowance, birthday money, or money specifically intended for the shopping trip — they often decided to keep their money to save for something more significant. If it was using my money, they simply couldn’t live without that new item!

Help children learn about money and how money is used to budget and pay bills. My Mom let me balance the “books” from her business. It was an easy ledger format, and I started when I was 10. I thought I was really helping her. She could have done it faster, but I learned a lot about how much money she made and what things cost.  – the editor

  • Make sure kids’ accounts keep up with their lives. Most kids ages 3-12 don’t have complex spending habits, so a savings account is probably all they need. But as your kids become teenagers, get jobs, and have their own expenses, you should consider opening a checking account to help them manage their money. The Wells Fargo Teen Checking account comes with a debit card and no monthly service fee with online-only statements. Parents can set spending and ATM withdrawal limits, so I think of it as a checking account with “training wheels.”
  • Personalize your approach. Some kids are interested in saving their money from the moment they earn their first dollar, but some will need more encouragement and guidance. You know your kids better than anyone else. Talk to them about strategies that worked for you — and ones that didn’t — and don’t necessarily expect all of your kids to have the same rules. Managing money and building good savings habits are lifelong skills — finding a personalized approach that can work for their personality is a good way to set them up for success.

Of course, these tips are only a starting point, and you may find other ways to help your children learn healthy financial skills. For more tools that will help you and your children as you learn to save, please visit our Hands on Banking® website.

May Days to Celebrate!

mayEach Day listed below, can be the spring board to a fun employee celebration. This is a great time for a picnic, Popsicles at work, or some outdoor activity. These team building events are so important. Make sure to plan ahead AND announce the event so that your team has something to look forward to and can participate.

May is the beginning of several team building events. If you would like to try something unique, you can try a MUDDER RUN, imagine your entire team wading through mud and helping each other over obstacles. You may not even recognize them at first glance. It’s silly, it’s fun, and the money raised goes to a good cause.

International Museum Day is a perfect excuse for an educational off-site. Most museums have cafes and places to relax and let the world go by. It’s even more fun to arrange for a docent tour at a museum in your area.

May 10 is Clean up your Room Day, but it could be easily converted to “Clean up your Cubicle Day!” and this could be a nice, clean way to head into summer.

You can ask your team what they would like to celebrate, there are always special occasions.



1 Mother Goose Day
may day

2 Fire Day

3 In 1802, Washington D.C. was incorporated as a city.

4 National Candied Orange Peel Day

5 National Hoagie Day

6 National Teacher Appreciation Day & Beverage Day

7 International Tuba Day

8 Have a Cola Day

9 In 1899, the lawn mover was patented

10 Clean Up Your Room Day

11 Eat What You Want Day

12 Limerick Day

13 Leprechaun Day

14 In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt visits SF

15 National Chocolate Chip Day

16  Wear Purple for Peace Day

17Pack Rat Day

18 International Museum Day  SF Bay Area Museums and free days! 

19 Frog Jump Jubilee Day

20 In 1873, Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis patent first blue jeans with copper rivets

21 National Memo Day

22 In 1967, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” debuts on NET (now PBS)

23 Penny Day & National Taffy Day

25 National Tap Dance Day

26 In 1896, Dow Jones begins an index of 12 industrial stocks (closing is 40.94) & In 1937, San Francisco Bay’s Golden Gate Bridge opens

28 National Hamburger Day

29 In 1953,Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became first men to reach the top of Mount Everest.

31 National Macaroon Day


April Days to Celebrate are Here!

June Days to Celebrate are Here!