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Go To A Parade

This post from Leadstar got me thinking. At a time when they is MORE Animosity,

>>people are craving Hope and Community.

While we see the news, that continues to describe hate, violence, nasty politics, and something way past disregard and disdain,

>>I see social media posts hoping for Empowerment of Women, Equality and Love…

This post from Leadstar hit home. Go to a Parade. I have gone to many and walked in many. Next February I plan to walk in my fourth Lunar New Parade in SF.  Yes four times! Why? I love the understanding I share of a culture that is not my own, I support diversity, and the sheer colorful, exuberant drama of it all makes me happy. I am a part of a community. This is team building.  So try it. Go to a parade this July 4th. We have many Independence Day parades all over the SF Bay Area.

From Leadstar Leadership Moments.

It takes dozens of hours to put together a float.  It’s a pretty involved task:
• Coming up with a concept
• Buying supplies
• Coordinating schedules to construct the float
• Participating in the parade itself, which can be a several-hour event
• Deconstruction
And that is just one float.  Think of the hundreds that are currently being constructed for the 4th of July celebration this week.  Some might say: “Is it worth it?”  As a parade enthusiast, I’ll say “Undoubtedly!”

Floats are the centerpiece of what I love most about a 4th of July parade: Communities coming together in celebration.

I love how dedicated volunteers carefully create the experience, while families dust off their lawn chairs so they can wave their flags while observing whatever rolls down the street – marching bands, color guards, clown cars, horses, beauty queens, and – of course – floats.

I also love what happens around parades – young entrepreneurs set up lemonade stands, volunteer organizations share materials, interest groups ask you to sign petitions, politicians and candidates shake your hand, and restaurants put grills in front of their businesses so they can roast hot dogs and sell them for $2.  (I live in Northern Michigan … hot dogs might be pricier in your neck of the woods.)

There are very few events where communities can attract such diverse crowds, and when – together – people appear, well, happy!    We don’t focus on differences.  Rather, we focus on the event itself, designed purely for our joy.

My ask of you this 4th of July is pretty simple

– find a parade and go to one.  Or, in lieu of a parade, take time to participate in a community-based event. People need people – communities need engagement – and our country needs more people coming together to celebrate its Independence. 

By Angie Morgan, Lead Star Partner Angie Morgan is one of Lead Star’s founders and authors of SPARK.  She’ll be attending two parades this 4th of July – Cheboygan, and Petoskey in Michigan. (She’ll also be walking with her son’s school’s float in the Grand Royal Cherry Parade in Traverse City on Saturday.)    Read more articles by Angie >

Build your Team Spirit and Stamina with Recognition

Leadership Moments is published by a fantastic group LEAD STAR – they walk the talk.  They Lead, Train, and Discuss New Ideas, Leadership AND Best Practices.

When was the last time you prepared for a conversation?  My guess is that it was most likely a difficult one.  Are you just as intentional when planning a conversation focused on recognition or celebration?  In the book Cultivate, The Power of Winning Relationships, Morag Barrett describes this as an Applaud Conversation.  When we thank someone or celebrate success in an intentional way, it creates a lasting and meaningful memory.  Here are some tips to make your Applaud Conversations and celebrations even more impactful.

Go Beyond the Obvious

Our success is dependent on all of our critical stakeholders, not just the most obvious ones.  Peer-to-peer recognition and Applaud Conversations are some of the most powerful, in that they build stronger relationships and are often unexpected.  Other critical stakeholders might include the front desk receptionist or facilities team members at your office.  How surprised would they be if you intentionally thanked them for the work they do every day?

Next step: Plan for one Applaud Conversation this week with one of your critical stakeholders.

Be Spontaneous

Do something unexpected! It doesn’t have to be big or extravagant.  It simply needs to be genuine, timely and connected to a behavior you want to reward.  Write a hand-written thank you note.  Call a co-worker and thank them. Schedule a quick get together for your team (live or virtual) to celebrate a “win” that happened earlier in the day.  It is the spontaneous and unexpected moments in life that we tend to remember the most.

Next step: Brainstorm some “spontaneous” and/or creative ideas for recognition or celebration.  Keep this list on hand for quick reference.

Celebrate the Small Stuff

We can sometimes wait too long to celebrate (e.g. the end of a project, quarter end, year-end).  When work projects become daunting, small celebrations and recognition along the way will lighten the load.  This is extremely important in virtual relationships when it is more challenging to build trust and camaraderie among the team.  Incorporating recognition and praise into the everyday moments will reinforce team connections and build trust.

Next step: Plan an interim celebration for a meaningful project that is currently underway.

Be Intentional

What commitment will you make to have consistent Applaud Conversations?  You can incorporate this into regular staff meetings, quarterly and annual team sessions, or in your regularly scheduled 1-on-1s.  In our staff meetings, we each share what went well the past week.  Many times, this includes a “shout out” or thank you to another team member.  You can even put a reminder on your calendar to have regular Applaud Conversations. There is no shame in that! If we schedule it or write it down, we are more inclined to do it.

Next step: Change one small thing to make recognition and celebrating success part of your team culture.

Reference:   SPARK How to Lead Yourself and Others to Greater Success. Authors:  Angie Morgan, Courtney Lynch, and Sean Lynch.

Lead Star • PO Box 328 Fairfax VA 22308 • 800-381-7780 • leadstar.us   — Do you want this newsletter? Click here to subscribe!

Chinese online payments giant Ant Financial raises $14 billion for global expansion

VentureBeat has so many interesting articles, this one is true to form. Virtual payments are worth studying…. there are so many flavors and so many surprise$. Learn, train, be ready for this … it is more than a trend and more than just money in the clouds!

(Reuters) — Ant Financial Services Group, operator of China’s biggest online payment platform, on Friday said it raised around $14 billion in what market watchers called the biggest-ever single fundraising globally by a private company.


The cash will boost Ant’s firepower ahead of a widely expected initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong and mainland China as early as next year — though the company has neither publicly set a timetable nor chosen a likely stock exchange.

The exercise amounted to the largest confirmed single fundraising round in history, according to data provider Crunchbase.


Field Guide To Alternative Payments

10th Annual Field Guide to Alternative Payments

Digital Transactions  lists 37 entries this year, of which only three appeared in our original Guide nine years ago…

  • Amazon Pay
  • Apple Pay
  • Bitcoin and more.

$$ Alipay and WeChat – Moving Money in the World

Why China’s Payment Apps Give U.S. Bankers Nightmares

“The future of consumer payments may not be designed in New York or London but in China. There, money flows mainly through a pair of digital ecosystems that blend social media, commerce and banking—all run by two of the world’s most valuable companies. That contrasts with the U.S., where numerous firms feast on fees from handling and processing payments. Western bankers and credit-card executives who travel to China keep returning with the same anxiety: Payments can happen cheaply and easily without them.”  — Bloomberg

Consumer transfers money into their wallet at Alibaba’s Alipay  with 520 million users or Tencent’s WeChat Pay app  (WeChat is a Chinese multi-purpose messaging used for many types of social media conversations, mobile payments and collaboration.)


Memorial Day – Honoring our fallen

It is a three-day weekend, celebrated by Americans with BBQs and backyard family events.

If we look at the reason for the holiday, it is somber: Honor the Military Personnel that died in service, in war, often far from home. This day has great importance to our country, our military and our families. We remember you.

There is a service held every Memorial Day at the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, CA.

Golden Gate National Cemetery
1300 Sneath Lane
San Bruno, CA 94066
(650) 589-7737
Ceremony: May 28 at 11:00 a.m.

Memorial Day across the United States.

There is a saying, “If your Dad (Mom, Son, Brother, Sister or other family member) was in the military on active duty, the ENTIRE family is in the military.” It’s true. So, for every military family I thank your for your service, and especially our ACTIVE DUTY Military heroes.  — the editor

Operation Gratitude    |  Wounded Warriors Family Support   |  Give an Hour

Picture:  NoBarriers Veterans Challenge Mountains  No Barriers Warriors Stories

Groups Supporting Veterans

There are thousands of groups supporting veterans. They range from 1-1 help and mentoring to group support in the challenging life to be able to “come home”. Find one that resonates with your abilities and time. Volunteer, this is the most meaningful and profound service that you can offer your country. America needs us to be involved and stay involved.

The Ride Home, which is the largest multigenerational gathering and tribute event for former POWs and MIA families held in the United States. It takes place on the third Friday in September — the designated POW recognition day every year — in Andersonville, Georgia, near the National POW/MIA Museum and the grounds of a Civil War prison camp. Volunteers serve in many aspects of the event —  hotel hostess, merchandise coordinator, program speaker, logistics coordinator, and honored guest escort.

Additional support is given POWs and MIA families year-round as well. We take POWs to their doctor appointments and clean their houses. Volunteers are also involved in the honor of giving some soldiers their POW medals.

nPOWER – providing technical training here in the SF Bay Area, to enable veterans to be ready for the transition to civilian life and a great career. This program provides training and support in several local colleges in the Bay Area. Volunteers are invited to help in the transition process, to review resumes and linked in postings, to discuss future plans, to help implement mentoring and technical interviews and jobs in their workplaces.

NPower creates pathways to economic prosperity by launching digital careers for military veterans and young adults from underserved communities.

In today’s economy, over 50% of all jobs require some degree of technology and digital skill, and this is expected to grow to 77% by 2020 in the U.S. Yet the job market is not keeping pace. Of the nearly 6 million jobs expected to require tech skills in the future, labor statistics project a candidate pool of only 3.2 million.

NPower currently operates in New York City, Texas, California, Baltimore, Toronto, New Jersey, and St. Louis.

May is Military Appreciation Month – Charity Navigator lists of ways to support our Veterans and military families.

Maybe you’d prefer the one to one outreach…. a few suggestions that can really help:

  • Shoveling snow / mowing the grass of a family with a deployed service member.
  • Visiting a VA Hospital to read to a recovering soldier or have a supportive conversation.
  • Giving a meal to a homeless Vet (this is the hardest service for me, heart-breaking), Thousands of Vets are on the street in SF.

The list of helpful service is long and only limited by your imagination. Won’t you consider Volunteering to Service those that Serve?



Wells Fargo/KNBR Step up to the Plate for Education

$100,000 to be awarded by Wells Fargo and KNBR Radio

You can do your part by working with your local K-12 schools to apply for “Wells Fargo/KNBR Step up to the Plate for Education” grants so that teachers receive extra funding to help create better opportunities for our children.

For the past 16 years, Wells Fargo has partnered with KNBR to provide $100,000 in grants to Bay Area schools. Professional baseball player Brandon Crawford is the spokesman for the program and has featured ads on KNBR broadcasts promoting the grants. Wells Fargo will also be encouraging our customers to submit school nominations through special advertising messages on over 1,000 Bay Area ATM screens.

Please visit http://www.knbr.com/stepup to learn more about the program, its rules and to apply for the education grants.

ArtSeed! Tenth Annual Earth Week Art-a-thon in SF


ArtSeed wants you!

Date: Saturday April 21

Time: 10am-8pm

What: Tenth Annual Earth Week Art-a-thon

Where: Tides Converge in the Presidio, parking lot entrance

1016 Torney Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94129

Transit: Take the PresidioGo shuttle (free) & MUNI Lines 28, 30, 43, 45



Call Gino 612-978-3511 or Josefa 415-656-9849

This great group does Art Lesson, Workshops, and Apprenticeships for all ages

Opportunity! ArtSeed is looking for an additional board member for their group. This is a great way to develop leadership skills.

Where & How to Find it?! use a PHOTO


Why type in vague search terms and scroll through reams of results when you can snap a simple photo and immediately find exactly what you’re looking for? That’s the premise behind the rise of computer vision search smarts, which are becoming a more common fixture in the online landscape.

Last March, for example, Pinterest launched a new feature called Lens that lets you use a photo of a real-world item to find related themes and pins, or even recipes based on food you see in the wild. The company recently revealed that it now garners 600 million visual searches each month. Ecommerce giant eBay is also now using computer vision search tools to help shoppers find items using photos.

imagine! This could be APPLIED TO MANY ITEMS! You own an old Eichler mid-century modern home, you need a pipe do0-dad, you don’t know what it is called much less where to find one. Before your garage floods…. what if you could input a picture and find the part?  Same goes for Vintage Airstreams or sportscars, you need a part and it cannot be found, and … you don’t really know when it was last manufactured…. import a picture to find it? That would be soooo gooood!!

Read the VentureBeat article: ASOS lets fashionistas everywhere find new clothes using just photos