A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Make Your First Video!

Making your first video is so much fun… but….. you have to start!

Watch this short YouTube, from a company we use… TechSmith.

You can be the best trainer in the world, but:

  • people don’t want to read
  • people don’t have any time to learn
  • people want to have fun

This applies to my group. Not Kids. Adults who will not read our carefully crafted documentation.

Along comes TechSmith to save the day! A great company with many products… we use SNAGIT for screen capture. It does so much more. It makes videos, take a look at the series of YouTubes.

check out the TechSmith blog

Tips & How To’s

For Educators

My Favorite: How to turn PowerPoint slides into Videos Wahoo!

TED: The Pecking Order

Image result for chickensIn her TED talk, “Forget the Pecking Order at Work,” Margaret Heffernan talks about the research of William Muir, an evolutionary biologist at Purdue. He studied egg laying productivity using two teams of chickens. One team was comprised of “super chickens” (the MVP’s) and the other was a group of average chickens. Muir studied these chickens for six generations and found that the average group of chickens out produced the super chickens by a wide margin. In fact, only three super chickens were still alive. The MVP chickens, those that were considered individually productive, had only achieved success by overpowering the other chickens in their group.

You’ll want to listen to the whole TED talk, a “listen lesson” in team, collaboration, and strengths.

“Workcation” increases Productivity?

This concept made me curious!

A “Workcation” is about fully immersing yourself in your work while also building in ways to get creative, relax, set goals, get a new perspective, and/or  unwind.

Kari DePhillips, founder of the PR agency The Content Factory, planned a  workcation  with one of her employees, Kelly Chase, a digital strategist, that extended over a year, changing locations, scenery and seasons. The PODCAST  Workcationing chronicles their experience (free, fun, with several short chats. Listen to the audio podcast in iTunes). OR  you can follow on: www.facebook.com/workationing  Or Twitter: www.twitter.com/workationing

Link to article: “Vacation Season is Winding Down – take a Workcation.”

STEM, Dance, Education

  • Math is essential as a tool for everything.
  • Dance fills your soul and brings energy into your life.
  • Education helps you be something you never thought of…. but will love doing.

That’s what I think! With so many kids trying to avoid math and very little diversity in Technology jobs, I know that kids are  thinking that STEM isn’t relevant or attainable…

There is a digital divide that is getting deeper everyday. My whole life has been spent in Tech, I wouldn’t have it any other way. HOW can my experience every translate to a young person just starting out?

THIS PROGRAM integrates Math, Dance and Education… powerful…. relevant – TAKE A LOOK!

Change your BRAIN

ONE MONTH? Fast Company has all kinds of info and working better and smarter…. but this article is an essential, change your brain, fit in meditation, :

This Is How I Managed To Finally Squeeze Meditation Into My Busy, Distracted Life

4 weeks to FEEL the change of mindfulness.

8 weeks to SEE the changes of mindfulness.

“I think we’re so addicted to external stimulation that we’re not often comfortable turning inward,” Newman says. “That’s why when you start to turn inward and try quieting the mind, it can quickly lead to a general sense of anxiety or agitation, which is a disincentive to establishing the routine necessary for it to become a habit.”

Leadership – From a Team

Every once in awhile, I’ll be working on a project that seems “out of whack”. It seems difficult – i.e., not enough participation or edgy questions that silence the room. Hearing “crickets”  (=no response)  always makes me wonder if people care or are paying attention. Making decisions by myself while on a team goes against my collaborative nature and ensures a lousy result.

This article was initially about kids naming their T-Ball team, but if applies so well to life as a project manager:

  • The executive makes a recommendation, and someone proposes an alternative that seems both surprising and random/out of context … yet, that’s the decision the group enacts upon because no one wants to ruffle feathers.
  • The group on the receiving end of the choice is hesitant to provide input or criticism because they don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, so they go along to get along.
  • Others outside of the group taunt the decision-makers for the “perceived” less-than-best choice (and propose alternatives that they would have selected IF they had a seat at the table).

As leaders, one of the most important things we do is make decisions. While not every decision we make requires collaboration, here are a few things to keep in mind for the ones that do:

  • Invite multiple opinions to the dialogue – encourage the quieter voices, too, to share their perspective. If you’re not hearing enough ideas, ask people if they need more time to consider alternatives.
  • Encourage respectful debate before a decision is made, which will help get all the ideas out there before a choice is settled on.
  • Don’t be defensive of your idea – and encourage others to divorce themselves emotionally from their recommendation. Collaboration isn’t about who’s right or wrong – it’s about making the best call.

This excerpt is from LEAD STAR:  “We have a whole chapter in SPARK related to decision-making – and how to take action on ideas that matter to you most. Curious? Learn more by visiting www.sparkslead.us.”

This group provides leadership contracting and more – They are also the authors of a book: SPARK, Howe to Lead Yourself and Others to Greater Success.  I recommend the book and the newsletter.  ~ the editor

Lead Star • PO Box 328 Fairfax VA 22308 • 800-381-7780 • leadstar.us  Click here to subscribe to a great newsletter with leadership articles.

Small Business – Health Benefits Discussion

Image result for healthSmall businesses with 2-50 employees are a growth engine for the American economy, continuing to grow year over year. However, fewer of these employers are offering health insurance.

The percentage of firms offering health benefits dropped from 59 percent in 2012 to 53 percent in 2016.

At the same time, medical loss ratios have increased in light of the introduction of an 80 percent minimum threshold and the rising cost of care. Carriers face a dual threat of decreasing enrollment and rising medical costs, forcing them to re-evaluate the way they do business.

Health insurance when you work in a large corporation seems like a “right” but I can assure you and you may well know, that it is a rare and unpredictable thing as a contract worker, and the same for small businesses employees. When I contracted for 10 years, changing every 6 – 12 months to a new gig… health insurance was different every single time. It can be enough stress to cause illness. Ironic, yes? In order to assist job flexibility we have to resolve this issue, with portable health care or a care account that can move with us. It has to be affordable too, which is NOT the case in most insurance for one person. I would like our country to explore basic health care, but it seems to be an insurmountable task. Many of us won’t compromise, wanting it ALL (all the benefits, Rx and extras) but some employed people are getting none – nothing – nada.  — the editor

Impacting the medical cost trend requires participation of a wide variety of stakeholders, many of whom the carriers cannot directly impact. Therefore, carriers are more likely to try to reduce administrative spend categories, where there is more that they can directly influence. The broker channel, given the high cost of commissions, is a frequent target. In theory, if carriers adopt a direct-to-employer sales model, they can cut out the middleman, thus improving service and eliminating commissions.

Full Article from Accenture Consulting.

Language and Learning: Toastmasters

I belong to a local Toastmasters group. This organization has many functions: first of all- skill-based training for better communication, increasing language literacy, learning to speak extemporaneously in a group, but it is most known for helping people overcome the anxiety associated with Public Speaking. We do learn so much more…. here is a beautiful poem from a recent speech on “Kindness”


By Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things,

feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth.

What you held in your hand, what you counted and carefully saved,

all this must go so you know how desolate the landscape can be

between the regions of kindness.

How you ride and ride thinking the bus will never stop, the passengers

eating maize and chicken will stare out the window forever.


Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness you must travel where the

Indian in a white poncho lies dead by the side of the road.

You must see how this could be you, how he too was someone who

journeyed through the night with plans and the simple breath that kept him



Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know

sorrow as the other deepest thing.

You must wake up with sorrow.

You must speak to it till your voice catches the thread of all sorrows

and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore, only kindness that ties

your shoes and sends you out into the day to purchase bread, only kindness

that raises its head from the crowd of the world to say It is I you have been

looking for, and then goes with you everywhere like a shadow or a friend.

Apply for a Educational Grant for YOUR Kid’s School

Schools face many financial hardships, it is important, more than ever, to support our Bay Area schools.

Image result for brandon crawfordWhy not apply for a GRANT??

Wells Fargo/KNBR Step up to the Plate for Education” grants provide funds so that teachers receive extra dollars tocreate better opportunities for our children.

For the past 15 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 1,200 Bay Area ATM screens.

$$$$   Please visit www.knbr.com/stepup to learn more about the grant rules and apply for the education grants.

TONIGHT July 25- Nerd Girls Hidden Figures at NASA

HIDDEN FIGURES is the incredible untold story of brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big. Photo Credit: Hopper Stone.


Come join NERD GIRLS – Hidden Figures Party – Dress the Part!   July 25, 2017  7-10 pm

Location:  Vasper Systems   580 Cody Road   Mountain View 94045

Are you in your comfort zone? GET OUTTA THERE!? — the editor