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Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, this is a time to learn more: domestic violence affects all incomes and cultures. It is often a silent and shame-filled situation that affects families and injured partners throughout their lives and also their children. Learning more is the first step, and understanding the potential signs of domestic violence and how to spot them in the workplace.

National Domestic Violence Hotline. This resource is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 800-799-SAFE (7233). Shelters are available in most communities and counseling helps break the abuse cycle.

Each year more than 10 million women and men are subjected to physical violence by a domestic partner. In fact, one in three women and one in four men will experience abuse sometime over the course of their lifetimes. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, intimate partner violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime.

Unsurprisingly, the children in these homes also suffer — every year 3 million children witness physical violence in their homes; 30 to 60 percent of these children also suffer abuse or neglect.

Robo-Calls and Customer Service

We have all received those annoying call-center calls – you can tell from the echoing sound, the pause before pick-up and the goofy-sounding person reading from a script.  When there is a data security breach at a bank or store – yes, they do have to move fast – but there should be care in crafting this type of message to the masses!  Suggestions include:

  1. Avoid confusion, have a clear message of the problem, how it affects the customer and where to go for more information.
  2. The speaker should be a person that CARES about the problem, and better if if it someone who is actually able to do something – a CEO perhaps.
  3. If data has been stolen, define WHAT DATA, and offer help in restoring the person back to a “regular” status.

Some excerpts from the article written by Penny Crossman, “How Not To Handle a Data Breach” in American Banker :

“Best-in-class organizations have done a couple of things ahead of time: they’ve engaged people throughout the organization who will need to play a role in the event a breach occurs,” he said.

And this doesn’t just mean the IT staff.

“Of course the tech team has to be involved, but wise organizations will also have CEOs and other C-level managers engaged, product managers engaged such as the person in charge of credit cards,” Smocer said. Online banking, mobile banking and call center managers need to be involved, as do marketing and public relations people and third parties, such as a credit monitoring provider that might need to provide a year of free monitoring for victims.

“You need to think about who’s going to speak with your constituencies, law enforcement, customers, the media,” Smocer said. “You almost have to lay out a plan that covers reasonable scenarios: what happens if we’re breached and private customer information is stolen, if intellectual property is stolen, if the third party we work with is breached and our customers’ information is affected. You need to assemble the team, run through some scenarios you can reasonably expect.”

There are also positive industry role models for dealing with a data breach.

In the wake of the Target breach, one credit union’s CEO called customers personally to notify them of the breach and walk them through next steps, Conroy recalls.

And as the DDoS attacks took place, PNC stood out for its deft communications work.

“PNC’s response was excellent – they were very honest with customers about what had happened, they assured customers their data and money was safe, and they provided clear communication about alternate ways to engage with the bank,” Conroy said.

November Themes

thankful its novemberNovember already!!?…. we are rapidly heading toward year end…. time for some recognition of GREAT projects, stellar efforts and completion of tasks!!

Month Long Celebrations

  • Peanut Butter Lover’s Month
  • Diabetes Month
  • National Raisin Bread Month
  • Good Nutrition Month
  • International Drum Month

This is a great time to schedule a team builder event, or something with a theme of Gratitude. We really enjoy volunteering at any one of the many community focused organizations. Here are some special days in November to build a meeting around or an excuse for a fun gathering!

Here in San Francisco, we have a tradition, Tree Lighting on Union Square, it is a beautiful event, great family fun.
Days to Remember!

  • Nov 3  National Sandwich Day
  • Nov 5  National Doughnut Day
  • Nov 6  National Nachos Day
  • Nov 9 Sadie Hawkins Day
  • Nov 11 Veteran’s Day (USA – Give a Vet a High Five!)
  • Nov 15 National Clean out the Refrigerator Day
  • Nov 16  Button Day
  • Nov 17  National Baklava Day
  • Nov 20  National Peanut Butter Fudge Day
  • Nov 21 Community Day & World Hello Day
  • Nov 23 National Cashew Day
  • Nov 24 National Espresso Day
  • Nov 29 National Square Dance Day
  • Nov 30 National Mousse Day

give thanksNovember is usually a time for gratitude and appreciation with Thanksgiving celebrated in families, around the community and in stores.  November 21 would be fun to plan an event for, you could have your meeting in multiple languages or say HELLO in as many languages are your team could call out!


hello world


October Themes are here!
December Days to remember are here!

First-Time Leader

How to be a leader? There are guides that can help you put your best foot forward.  The BRAVE model is part of the strategy outlined in the business book, First-Time Leader by George B. Bradt and Gillian Davis. The book centers around the BRAVE leadership model which stands for Behaviors, Relationships, Attitudes, Values, and Environment. These are the tools new leaders need to transition into their new roles.

The BRAVE Leadership Success Framework is comprised of five parts:

1. Behaviors encourage leaders to delegate and create value for the team. Leaders can add value by listening and fostering leadership abilities in others.

2. Relationships help leaders and teams understand the mission and vision of their companies, and lead through actions. Leaders can build an ADEPT team by acquiring, developing, encouraging, planning, and transitioning talent into new roles.

3. Attitude is “a pivot point between values and environment, and relationships and behaviors.” This feature can be tricky for new leaders because they are trying to adapt to a new work culture. Smart leaders will figure out the best way to interact with the new team.

4. Value helps leaders to align their teams with the organizations’ missions and principles. The leader must be very clear and express the mission in ways that engage the team and add value for the organization.

5. Environment provides a wider context to help leaders develop clear messages. The context directs new leaders to listen to others, understand problems, and make decisions based on relationships, attitude, and values.

In any organization, teams or individuals determine behaviors, and leaders can guide others by focusing those behaviors on successful outcomes. Organizational culture can be summed up with the following: *Be: The organization’s core beliefs *Do: The behavioral norms *Say: An expression of the culture

What? Are You an Imposter?

It happens to people that you or I might look at and say Wow – they make so many great contributions…. but they feel like they don’t fit in. 

Yes, like imposters.

It can happen for many reasons, feeling socially limited, not being part of the same community, not having the income, feeling like a misfit or not validated in your team. It can be subtle, something hard to identify. Not being recognized takes a toll. Not being able to make a meaningful contribution is a handicap to your career. How you feel about your accomplishments can make the difference between sucess and oh-hum job blues.

It is not uncommon for successful people to feel that they are imposters. They often think they are the only ones who feel this way, but this could not be further from the truth. In The Empress Has No Clothes, Joyce M. Roché and Alexander Kopelman discuss the impostor syndrome in detail in hopes of helping people manage and conquer their fears. They explore the complex reasons why the syndrome exists and the situations that trigger it in different people.   — the Business Book Summaries 

What to do?

  • Write or talk with friends about your paradoxical feelings
  • Know that you can achieve the levels of success that you aspire to
  • You may find themselves in unfamiliar territory with promotions and new assignments
  • New challenges stimulates new fears of being “discovered”
  •  Individuals can learn the difference between the stress associated with new responsibilities and the dreaded “imposter feelings”

UpGlo – our Global Workforce

In the USA over 1.8 million college-educated, skilled immigrants are under-employed or unemployed. While these talented people may work in ‘survival jobs’ they are trained and motivated to perform the jobs they know – the jobs they are passionate about.

Why is this a problem?  We need skilled diverse workers. We want these people to integrate into our communities where they can add so much value. There are shortages of skilled workers in many of the areas where they can provide skills.

You know them! They live and work in our SF Bay Area and all over the USA.

Check out Upwardly Global to find out more – for Employers and Job Seekers.  Located in downtown San Francisco and serving the global marketplace!



Do you need some inspiration for an employee meeting or a theme for an event? Look no further, October is jammed with days, Special Events and celebrations!

Month Long Events:

  • Adopt a Dog Month
  • Computer Learning Month
  • Disability Awareness Month
  • Energy Awareness Month
  • Family History Month
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • National Pretzel Month
  • Squirrel Awareness Month
Rosie is dressed for Halloween, in her festive orange and black "jester" collar.

Rosie is dressed for Halloween, in her festive orange and black “jester” collar.


Suggestion: Most people don’t dress up for Halloween in my office but they often dress up their pets! A fun idea for a Halloween themed event is: Pet Costumes! Have your group bring in wacky pictures of their pets and elect a panel of judges, award silly hats as  prizes. Voila!  You have a fun and inexpensive team event.


If your group dresses up… make a theme… or have a costume contest. It is amazing to see how creative people can be and you learn more about your team and their intrerests at the same time.

And there are also special days, here are some that are fun & interesting:

  • Oct 1  World Vegetarian Day & Creation of Yosemite National Park in 1890
  • Oct 2 Name your Car Day
  • Oct 3 Gwen Stefani, the singer from No Doubt was born, in 1969.
  • Oct 4 National Golf Day
  • Oct 5 The City of Anaheim (in California) is founded in 1857
  • Oct 6 Jason Lewis completes the first human powered circumnavigation of the world.
  • Oct 9 John Lennon is born, The Beatles, British musician and songwriter -   (d. 1980)
  • Oct 10 World Mental Health Day
  • Oct 12 In 1892, the Pledge of Allegiance is first recited by students in many US public schools, as part of a celebration marking the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s voyage.
  • Oct 13 In 1970 Fiji joins the United Nations
  • Oct 14 National Dessert Day
  • Oct 15  FORTRAN, the first modern computer language, is shared with the coding community for the first time
  • Oct 16 National Boss Day, Spirit Day
  • Oct 17  Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.
  • Oct 18 It’s Necktie Day in Croatia!
  • Oct 19 Evaluate your Life Day
  • Oct 20 Sweetest Day
  • Oct 21 International Day of the Nacho
  • Oct 22 National Nut Day
  • Oct 23 Mole Day (for Chemists, just so you don’t misunderstand!)
  • Oct 24 United Nations Day, the anniversary of the 1945 Charter of the United Nations
  • Oct 25 In 1912, Minnie Pearl, American comedian and singer, is born.
  • Oct 26 Pan American Airways makes the first commercial flight of the Boeing 707 from New York City to Paris, France in 1958.
  • Oct 28 In 1942, the Alaska Highway (Alcan Highway) is completed through Canada to Fairbanks, Alaska.
  • Oct 30 National Candy Corn Day
  • Oct 31 Halloween

My office celebrates National Candy Corn Day every year. Imagine that! And Sweetest Day is another favorite.  You may have special Company anniversaries and events  and historical markers… it is easy to find a theme.

Overloaded and Out of Energy

It happens, and in our culture many employers reward the uber-busy. It is commonplace to brag about getting no sleep, not being able to exercise or go to a doctor’s appointment. But what are you really saying?
I am too busy to take care of myself.
I am too busy to be creative. (because that skill is wiped out when we are over tired.)
Too busy to WORK SMART.

Take a look at your priorities. Try for a balance. Take time out to walk, decompress, step away from your computer. Burn Out makes everything stop. So pace yourself and take time out for YOU!

I Choose To Be Happy, Lizzie Velasquez

This powerful message is given by Lizzie on kindness, acceptance and staying true to yourself. She speaks about bullying and has been called many names, among them “The World’s Ugliest Women”.  She has a nutritional disorder that stops her from gaining weight, so she looks different, different enough that she has experienced cruelty first hand. Her strength and perseverance shine through in this TED talk. Take a Look.  (12 min.)

“Every nasty comment motivates me to work even harder. They are not going to define me, they are not going to win.”  – Lizzie

Inspired Award: Best of the Best

LifeHack bring a wealth of inspired knowledge your way. You can sign up for the newsletter or visit when you have time.
Here is a post that inspired me: full post here

20 Signs You’re Succeeding In Life Even If You Don’t Feel You Are

yes there are 20, but here are a couple to motivate you to read the full article – -

1. Your relationships are less dramatic than they used to be.

4. You let go of things that don’t make you feel good.

14. You love deeply and open yourself up to be loved by others.

20. You are happy.

I’d say, “You Choose Happy” but this isn’t my article!
I’d like to complement the author, Carol Morgan, on a great list – I got something out of each one… which will provoke more thoughts and conversations. Now, go read all twenty!