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Leadership Qualities – Leaders Are Open Minded

What does it mean to be open-minded? Does it mean that you automatically check your ethics, belief system, and personal values at the door and then blindly follow out-of-control politicians and corporate leaders? Absolutely not. That’s a recipe for disaster and a very unhappy life. If having conversations with others is enough to unseat you from your values, religious beliefs, morals, and ethics, there are a lot more serious issues that need to be considered.

Being open-minded is a mindset that rock solid leaders possess. It’s one of invitation and collaboration where they are genuinely interested in hearing the opinions of others. That’s what great societal leaders do. They’re so solid in who they are, and believe so strongly in what they do, that they don’t feel that they’ll be unduly influenced or “magically” changed against their will simply by listening, engaging, and discussing ideas.

And, don’t confuse listening to others with agreeing with them. Listening is one thing; throwing your personal operating principles out the door to please or “go along” with someone whose ideas and ideals are contrary to what you know is right for you is a completely different issue.

Coming from a place of being open-minded allows us to see possibilities where otherwise we might not. As a leader, having an open mind to differing points of view and to new ideas demonstrates to others that one is collaborative in nature, rather than competitive. While it’s important to ensure focus by adhering to an organization’s overarching vision and mission, leaders who welcome the input of others and who genuinely listen to their constituency are typically the ones who are most respected.

No matter what the situation, we always learn something new. By being open-minded to listening to others, we might understand flaws in our own thinking, learn new ways of interpreting and handling issues, and most importantly, build bridges with others. We all live in this world together; it’s imperative that everyone learn how to get along by respecting each other’s beliefs. You don’t have to agree – everyone can be right – but you need to stay true to your own personal beliefs and values.

Are you open-minded? Recall a time when you listened deeply to the ideas of others. How can you be more open to new possibilities when it comes to being a leader? What types of results do you think you might achieve?

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” — Theodore Roosevelt…

Small Business Insurance – Who Needs It?

Who Needs Small Business Insurance, Anyway?

You do! Small business insurance is one of the most critical components of planning for your new venture. Whatever your business involves working in a high-risk environment like heavy construction, or a relatively low-risk one such as running an in-house consulting business, you are constantly exposed to the liabilities that can put your business and your future at risk.

Some business owners are required to maintain insurance coverage. Restaurants, hotels, health care facilities … they all have minimal limits that are imposed upon them by their industry, municipal entities, or their landlords. But what about your small business? You may be retired or just starting out, maybe you're considering using your knowledge of antiques or your talent as an artist to start your own shop or gallery. How risky can that possibly be?

Assess the Risks

In today's world, risk management is no longer the exclusive domain of large corporations. Every small business is different, with a unique set of risks. An experienced small business insurance agency can advise you on what your present and future needs may be, and keep you up to date on any Federal, State, or Local regulatory requirements you may be subject to.

A good insurance agent will review your company needs; an excellent one will take the time to visit your company and discuss your requirements with you directly.

Be Prepared!

As your business grows, your small business insurance coverage should grow with you. It's easy to get cooked up in the excitement and activity as success begins to take root, and insurance is the LAST thing on your mind … until you need it. Make sure when you choose an agent, you are getting someone with your best interest in mind, who will continuously monitor where you are and make suggestions when necessary.

Are you taking on employees? Opening another shop or office? Considering additional human resource programs? Taking on additional risk? You may need to look at several types of coverage:

  • Workers' Compensation
  • Contractor's Liability
  • License Bonds, Court Bonds, Performance or Fidelity Bonds
  • Employee Benefit Administration

The Benefits – Because Things happen

The benefit of having good small business insurance is most obvious when the unexpected happens.

Do not be cut off guard … without proper coverage your business liability can extend to your personal life as well. Knowing you have the right coverage up front offers you both peace of mind and security. When and if you have a loss or a setback, you will be able to continue moving forward with confidence, and the tools you need to stay in business!

There is no doubt about it – Insurance can be complicated. There is so much to understand and so many details that it can quickly become overwhelming! The very best option? Find a qualified small business insurance agency you trust – one that is familiar with you, your local community and is responsive within the insurance industry as well. …

New York Personal Injury & No-Fault FAQ

Every personal injury claim is different and there are no guarantees. Below are rough answers to some questions we hear frequently about personal injury. Further below is a specific FAQ on No-Fault in New York.

Personal Injury FAQ

Q: How much do lawyers charge?

A: For most personal injury claims, there is no fee unless you collect. Most lawyers in New York charge a one-third contingency fee. When the claim is resolved, the lawyer gets reimbursed for expenses out of the award. Next the lawyer takes the one-third fee. For example, if a claim settles for $35,000, and the lawyer has $2000 in expenses, the fee is $11,000 (1/3 of $33,000). The client would get $22,000.

Q: Does the lawyer always pay the expenses up front?

A: Usually, but not always. There are two major situations where we don’t. First, some personal injury claims are not very strong, but we might still be willing to work on a contingency fee basis. In such claims, we will tell the client that they will have to pay the expenses. The other situation is when there is a good offer and the client refuses to accept it against our advice. In these lawsuits we require the client to cover all future expenses.

Q: What are typical expenses in a personal injury lawsuit?

A: In New York personal injury lawsuits, filing fees usually total less than $500. Deposition transcripts also usually total less than $500. The biggest expense is when a lawsuit goes to trial and we have to pay doctors and other experts to testify. We have paid anywhere from $300 to $7500 for a doctor’s testimony, and some doctors charge as much as $5000. Other expenses include process servers, investigations, medical records, and meals. In some cases you may need other experts. In one big case we spent about $10K on an accident reconstructionist. The other side spent about $40K on theirs.

Q: What is the process?

A: First most lawyers negotiate with the insurance company. If negotiations are unproductive, the lawyer files a lawsuit. For a few months the lawyers exchange paperwork with the insurance company attorneys. Next come depositions, where they question the plaintiff client and the plaintiff lawyer questions theirs. Then the insurance company might have the plaintiff examined by their doctor in what’s known as an IME – Independent Medical Examination. Plaintiff lawyers prefer to call this a Defense Medical Examination. Last is trial. A lawsuit might settle at any point along the way, even while the jury is deliberating.

After a trial the losing side can appeal. Sometimes even the winner can appeal. Cases sometimes settle during the appeal process.

No-Fault FAQ

When you are hurt in an automobile accident in New York State, No-Fault insurance can help with many of your costs. The following frequently asked questions (FAQ) will help you to understand when and how No-Fault pays, what it pays for, and what you have to do.

Q: Am I eligible for No-Fault benefits?

A: …

Stuck in a Comfort Zone? – Discover If You're Under Attack by "The Comfort-Zone Killer"

On occasion, we may all find ourselves wrapped up in a warm and cozy "comfort-zone" blanket, with a nice hot cup of soothing procrastination tea. It sure is relaxing for moment, is not it? The real trouble is, some stay in this seemingly safe haven for large portions of their lives and some simply never get out of it at all. There certainly is not anything right or wrong about staying in this comfort zone and some live happy lives there. Although, if one wants to break through self imposed barriers and reach new levels of potential; you must absolutely throw the fuzzy blanket in the fire and toss that same old tea out the back door.

Let's explore for a moment, the long term potential danger of choosing the fuzzy "comfort-zone" blanket, over the crisp clean refreshing air of the unknown. A common perpetual pattern that you may find yourself in is as follows. You are once again very close to reaching a new goal and then you abruptly stop short of it – only to fall back to the snug blanket of general safety from which you came. This could happen through a subconscious self-sabotage or a conscious fear-based withdrawal. However it may happen, it happens … and it is the minority workings of a deadly assassin that is killing your potential. It is extremely rare for this "comfort-zone killer" to strike with a one-time deadly blow. He is much more likely to release drops of dream killer poison into your mind ever so slowly from each retreat and each moment of self-sabotage. This crafty bandit will sit back and relish in the fact that you do not even notice him. He is so sly, so cunning … that one day you just wake up and realize that your life is full of regret and disappointment. He laughs as you remember choices that let to: unlived adventures, dreams unfulfilled, and goals never attained. A life never really lived.

That is a sad truth for some. A truth that simply does not have to become true for anyone … especially for you.

You are free to choose a different path. To live a life of completeness and delight. A life that exudes joy, abundance and passion at every turn. You are free at each of your present moments to choose the joy of the unknown, over that intimate and secluded space of your own personal comfort-zone. The unknown is the sacred space from which the universe goes to work for you, creating your personal reality however you may wish. With each simple choice for happiness, each smile given, each helping hand extended and each dream passionately bought after – your immunity grows stronger and stronger against this outlaw's poison. With each goal written down, each positive action taken towards your goals and each meditation enjoyed – another powerful nail in the coffin is pounded down for this comfort-zone killer. His days are numbered. Although, in order to defeat this …

How to Get Scooter Financing For Good and Bad Credit

With gas prices increasing many Americans are looking to scooters as a way to protect their pockets against the price of gas. While finding a fuel efficient alternative is a good decision, many scooter buyers are not protecting their pockets when it comes to scooter financing.

There are many options available when financing a scooter including credit cards, manufacturer low payment promotions, installment personal loans and financing for bad credit applicants. Educating yourself about the various types of scooter loans is important before you make a financial decision.

Here are some tips for you to follow:

1. Do not shop for a scooter that is too expensive: Today there are scooters that cost as much as $ 9000, but shopping for one of these scooters makes little sense if you can not get approved for financing.

Therefore, it is a good idea to shop online, and at your local bank for a scooter loan before you enter the showroom.

2. Watch out for low payment promotions: Manufacturers often entice you into buying a scooter with low payment promotions which structure payments as low as $ 39 for 2 years.

Low payment promotions look enticing, but are a very bad financial decision for you.

Fundamentally with low payment promotions you are only paying off the interest on your loan each month and very little is going towards the principal on your scooter.

Worse off at the end of the promotion your payment will double and your interest rate could increase to as high as 22.9{4917788a0bd7aa7369c2a945027b4fe6c9853cda4150a24fe1255b18ce3083dc} annual percentage rate.

3. Get an installment loan: Most low payment promotions mentioned above are on a manufacturer credit card.

Opting to get scooter financing with an installment loan is a much more wise decision.

With an installment loan the lender can not increase your interest rate or payment and your scooter will be paid off at the end of the term.

4. Consider a personal loan: If you walk in your bank and ask for scooter financing the bank may not have such a product.

Therefore you will likely have to ask your bank for a personal loan, which is basically a simple interest installation loan that can be used for recreational items.

A personal loan is a great way to finance your scooter and is much safer than a credit card or low payment manufacturer promotion.

5. Read the fine print: As your parents probably told you make sure you read the fine print before signing any loan document. Definitely do not enter a loan contract that you do not understand.

6. Do not borrow more than you can afford: There is little reason to purchase a scooter to save on gas if you borrow more than you can afford.

Borrowing more than you can afford will put you in a risky financial position. You must consider the cost of insurance, registration, maintenance and gear and choose a scooter that fits your budget.

7. Avoid zero down payments loans: Trying to secure scooter financing …

Plug-In Electric Vehicle-Tax Credit

There is a tax credit associated with the purchase of a “plug-in electric vehicle” (a vehicle propelled to at least a significant extent by an electric motor propelled by a battery capable of being recharged from an external source of electricity).

Tax Deductions Vs. Tax Credits – Deductions reduce the amount of your income that can be taxed. On the other hand, tax credits reduce the amount of tax owed. Congress may grant a tax credit to promote a behavior or industry, such as buying a plug-in electric vehicle.

The tax credit is called the “new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle” credit (NQPEDMV credit). Two-wheeled or three-wheeled electric vehicles aren’t eligible for the tax credit, but, for those vehicles that were, acquired after Dec. 31, 2011 and before Jan. 1, 2014, there was a separate credit available for qualified 2- or 3-wheeled plug-in electric vehicles.

For the vehicle to be eligible for the tax credit, the battery must have a capacity of at least four kilowatt hours, and the base amount of the NQPEDMV credit is $2,500 per vehicle. The allowable credit increases to $5,000 per vehicle based on a formula which increases the credit by $417 for every kilowatt hour of battery capacity in excess of five.

There are some additional criteria to qualify for the tax credit:

• The credit is allowed in the year you place the vehicle in service.

• The original use of an eligible vehicle must begin with you, the purchaser, i.e. the vehicle must be new.

• An eligible vehicle must be used predominantly in the U.S., and have a gross weight of less than 14,000 pounds.

• The credit is allowed if you buy a vehicle for lease to another, but, generally, not allowed if you buy a vehicle for resale.

• The tax benefits otherwise available for an eligible vehicle are reduced unless you make an election not to apply the credit to the eligible vehicle.

• Rules that might limit the application of the credit against regular and alternative minimum taxes are different for the portion (if any) of the credit attributable to personal use and the portion (if any) attributable for business or other for-profit use.

Although the information contained herein is believed to be reliable, the author makes no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained herein or otherwise provided. The article is for discussion purposes only.

The article does not providing tax; accounting or legal advice and the reader should rely on its own accounting, tax and legal advisors for definitive guidance as to the applicability of the enclosed information to specific circumstances.…

Authority Vs Power

Successful leaders are individuals with high levels of personal power. Understanding the difference between personal power and granted authority is a significant distinction. Many people have the tendency to use the words authority and power interchangeably; however, these terms refer to two very different aspects of leadership.

Authority is the right granted from a person or organization to another to represent or to act in a specified way. For example, a CEO of a company is given the authority by the Board of Directors to run the company. In turn, the CEO places managers in positions of authority over the various divisions, business units, or departments of the organization.

Power is the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others. Former United States President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, captured the essence of this definition when he said, “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” Everyone possesses the potential to be powerful. Power is a personal talent that you can develop and use to achieve worthwhile goals. It does not depend upon title, rank, position, or authority. It’s simply the ability to motivate others to take specific actions.

Authority is granted but always has defined limits. Power is earned and can be limitless. Authority is derived through the position. Power is derived from an individual’s personal influence, which increases effectiveness. Two leaders in exactly the same position of authority can and will have different amounts of power. A person can possess a great deal of power and absolutely no authority. Conversely, someone can have authority and absolutely no power. Leaders who have not earned sufficient power sometimes make the mistake of trying to influence others by overexerting their authority. But excessive use of authority can cause employees to rebel in much the same way that children rebel against restrictive parents.

Effective leaders recognize authority as a valuable and necessary tool when used judiciously, and they invoke their authority extremely sparingly. Instead, they use the power they have earned to create a climate of trust, cooperation, and accomplishment in which people are positively motivated to pursue their own goals and the goals of the organization. In fact, the amount of responsibility you take on is directly linked to the amount of power and influence you possess. One way to further increase your personal power is to seek additional responsibility.

To be a successful leader, you must always be yourself. Be intentional about shaping your life according to your values and priorities. Trust yourself, believe in yourself, and be honest with yourself. Others will then trust, believe, and be honest with you. It is this foundation which enhances personal power. Excellent team leaders establish healthy open relationships with others. They foster mutual commitment in the pursuit of shared goals. Effective leadership is founded on cooperation never coercion.…

How to Pick a Personal Trainer

Q: What certification should I look for in a personal trainer?

Answer:

Most importantly, no certification will guarantee that someone is a great trainer. The information taught in almost all certificates is generally outdated and basic.

It is really up to the trainer to learn outside of the certification process. A good trainer will have a mentor (preferably many mentors) that has shown them how to successfully deal with many situations, train people efficiently and effectively, and how to design a great training program.

A good trainer should also possess critical thinking skills. They should not simply do what all the other trainers are doing or copy workouts and exercises straight from a book or website.

If you are familiar with my training programs, you will know that they contain basic, no-fluff exercises. There's no standing on gym balls or other dangerous and relatively ineffective training methods. There is nothing in my programs that I can not justify. The trainer you choose should also be able to justify their exercise programs.

If I were picking a trainer, I'd insist on them meeting a very high level of criteria. After all, your trainer is in charge of your body and your health. You should demand a lot from your trainer. That's the only way your training will reach another level.

Feel free to email me for trainer recommendations across North America. I might be able to recommend someone for you. …

Personal Magnetism – Think and Grow Rich Author’s 5 Characteristics of Personal Magnetism

In the book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill discusses the importance of sex in being successful. Published in 1969 and therefore written in the mid 60s, Hill has a conservative understanding of partnership being that the man is successful and the woman is his support person.

Napoleon Hill argues that the most fundamental power to thinking and growing rich is desire (chapter 1). He also recognises that from his perspective at least, men seek to please a woman. I liken Hill’s understanding of sex transmutation to charisma. Hill claims that sex drive creates desire in men and that it also creates a type of magnetism that puts that person forward as a leader.

Hill discusses a phenomena where when inspired by their first wife, the man is ‘irresistible and invincible’. However, when the already successful man puts aside his first wife for another, his success begins to rapidly decline. Hill concludes that sex influence from the right influence is more powerful than any substitute for expediency and therefore the best creator of desire.

So, in the 21st century 50 years after Napoleon Hill put forward his argument that sex influence from the right source is the best creator of desire, is this still relevant? Interestingly, women have a much different place in society and many not only continue to work after their first child, but they are required to keep up the dual income to support the family unit in the current economic climate. Women now have careers and are seen as so much more than support person. Anecdotally, successful people that I speak to are very appreciative of their partners and even though the partner may not work the business as such, the partner is an enabler of the success of their partner. So how does this work for women, who have less sex transmutation than males. Most certainly women still have charisma and women have charisma. Most of my heroes are women and they do show personal magnetism.

Hill gives five characteristics of personal magnetism:

1. The hand shake is confident.

2. The tone of voice is coloured, musical and charming.

3. The posture of the body – moves quickly with grace and ease.

4. The vibrations of thought are emotional.

5. Body adornment – style becoming of their personality, physique and complexion.

Apart from point number 1 where women sometimes do not shake hands, women very good masters of the other 4 characteristics of personal magnetism. Their voice is pleasing and melodic to the ear, they move with purpose and efficiency, they convey emotion and caring for others and they are very good at body adornment. Many women do shake hands. In some situations, women are more likely to embrace or to kiss on both sides of the cheek. So, the principle of acknowledgment and confidence that Hill saw in the handshake is expressed by women and men in other ways.…

Is Your Personal Trainer Way Too Hot?

So hot that it's actually distracting you from your workouts?

Be careful. If you're developing a thing for your trainer, you're headed on your way down a slippery slope. If you push it, you might end up in a situation that will turn out to be very uncomfortable for you both in the end.

Why do we so often fall for our personal trainers? Well, look at them! All too often, they are these attractive, dynamic, fit people who are going to help guide us into being the best we can physically be. Very often charismatic, personable and with bodies to die for, these hot looking humans can have sex appeal for days!

The up close, hands on, personal relationship we get to have with them only makes it that much easier to really develop a sexual and sometimes emotional attraction to them. Here's this hot guy (or girl) with his hands on you, in seriously close contact, giving you every ounce of his / her attention. The fact that you're paying for that attention somehow flies right out the window. In your mind, this is more than just personal training. It's starting to be just personal.

Laura, a single professional woman, who was about 30 pounds overweight, decided to take on sessions with a trainer at her gym to help her lose the extra lbs. She looked around and chose the fittest looking guy in the place, Rob, 6'2, 210 lbs of lean muscle, with a tight narrow waist, 8 pack abs and a smile that could melt the hearts of women and men alike. Laura soon found herself so into Rob that she began booking extra sessions just to spend more time in his presence.

She then began wearing sexier workout clothes to her training sessions, and in many not so subtle ways, she let Rob know that she was game for more than just exercise at the gym. Rob and Laura ever started having a fling, purely sexual on Rob's part, but seriously emotional for Laura. As the holiday season approached, Laura realized that she would not be able to pay for any more training sessions with Rob, as she had already spent a bit beyond her budget overbooking him. The moment she stopped booking with him, he dropped her completely, and began avoiding her at the gym, not even returning her phone calls.

Laura was devastated, and threatened to tell his boss that he was having sex with his clients, which she ever did. Well, it all ended up in a big nasty mess, and Laura soon stopped coming to the gym altogether to avoid facing the embarrassment and humiliation of the situation. Rob, being one of the top money making trainers at the gym, got a slap on the wrist, and then it was just back to business as usual for him. His female clients were always trying to get in his pants, and as far as he was concerned, he was just giving some …