November 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Underwater Sculpture in Grenada Remembers African Holocaust

SOURCE: - 'Alkebulan' Pinterest Board

November 15, 2012

Leadership Tip: Phone Call Etiquette

I spend a great deal of time on the phone as part of my business. One of my clients is a nonprofit organization that requires me to regularly seek out donations via the telephone.

How you project yourself over the phone or in a voice message says quite a bit about you. Avoid sounding unprofessional with these basic rules on phone call etiquette:
  • Greetings: - Always begin or answer a call with a greeting such as hello, good morning or good afternoon. It gives the other person on the call a little time to get ready to listen, and avoids having to repeat yourself. And as my Mom would tell you, it's also just polite.
  • Be Considerate: - Always ask, "Is this a good time?"
  • Be Enthusiastic: - Your voice reflects your attitude and speaking with enthusiasm adds a smile to it. You can project confidence in your voice when you stand up during a phone conversation. Standing up also keeps conversation short.
  • Closing: - End on a positive note that makes the person you're talking to feel good. Something as simple as, 'It was a pleasure talking with you.'
  • Leave a Message - State your first name and last name, title and company, the time and date of the call, and the phone number where you can be reached. Briefly express the purpose of the call. If necessary, tell them the best time to reach you, repeat the phone number and end with a simple, 'Thank you.'.
Villagers, do you have any other phone call etiquette tips to share with us?

November 13, 2012

Black Women in Europe: Power List 2012 - A List of Our Own

A few years ago I was active in an online community known as AfroSpear. It was a group of bloggers of African descent. One of the powerful voices in that AfroSpear community was Adrienne George. She operates a blog called, Black Women In Europe. Over the past three years she has published a list of powerful Black women in Europe to inspire others to reach their full potential.

The 2012 BWIE Power List names 11 women in the following categories: Entertainment, Entrepreneurship, Law, Media, Philanthropy, Politics & Activism and The Arts.

These women are:
  1. Bola Agbaje (England) - The Arts
  2. Fatou Bensouda (The Netherlands) - Law
  3. Natalie Louise Brown (England) - Media
  4. Baroness Cecile de Massy (Monaco) - Philanthropy
  5. Doreen Lawrence (England) - Politics and Activism
  6. Pauline Long (England) - Entertainment
  7. Loreen (Sweden) - Entertainment
  8. Mariam Osman Sherifay (Sweden) - Politics & Activism
  9. Yvonne Thompson (United Kingdom) - Entrepreneurship
  10. Mirel Wagner (Finland) - Entertainment
  11. Zuzana Tvaruzkova (Czech Republic) - Media
I must admit that as an man of African descent here in America I have not heard of any of these 11 powerful Black women. I look forward to learning more about them through their full bios.

Feel free to check out the BWIE Power List for 2010 and 2011 as previously reported on this blog!

November 12, 2012

Family of Darrin Hanna Continues to Fight Those Who Taser-Killed Him

Darrin “Dagwood” Hanna was tasered multiple times during his arrest by six North Chicago police officers a year ago. Those shocks and other “tactics” police claimed they had to use to subdue Hanna, a big but gentle man according to his family, contributed to his death a week later, according to an official autopsy.

The incident sparked an outcry from Hanna’s large extended family, among them some of the area’s earliest Black residents.

In the months that followed, Hanna’s mother and son filed a federal wrongful death suit and supporters staged rallies, marches and weekly protests at city council meetings, demanding that the officers involved be removed from duty and charged with murder.

While the state’s attorney office declined to prosecute the arresting officers, an internal investigation ordered by North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham resulted in the firing of one officer who was found to have punched Hanna, 45, repeatedly in the face while he had him trapped in a headlock, the discipline of another for falsifying a report, and the forced retirement of Police Chief Michael Newsome. Last month, Newsome was arrested and charged with the theft of $140,000 in drug money.

Read the rest of the WLS 890AM article.

November 11, 2012

Racist California Girl Calls President Obama a N-Word ... and Loses Her Job

Some white folks truly have lost their mind because President Obama won re-election as the President of the United States. It is so difficult for some of them to accept the fact that we don't have an old white guy in the Oval Office that they have lost their ability to restrain their racist tendencies. For example, did you see where a 22-year old California woman was willing to lose her job over the re-election of President Obama?

I watched this young lady as she gave her insights in this video interview. I wonder if her parents, grandparents are proud about her 15-minutes of fame?

Hopefully, these folks will slow their roll as they come to grips with another four years with a Blackman in the White House. After we shake our heads in disbelief .... and laugh ... perhaps we should say a prayer for these sad, pathetic and racist folks.

November 10, 2012

Obama's Weekly Address: Extending Middle Class Tax Cuts to Grow the Economy

In his weekly address, President Obama says that it's time for Congress to pass the middle class tax cuts for 98% of all Americans. Both parties agree that this will give 98% of families and 97% of small businesses the certainty that will lead to growth, and so there is no reason to wait. On Tuesday, the American people voted for compromise and action, and the President calls on Congress to come together in that spirit to help create jobs and strengthen our economy.

Elections have consequence. It is nice to see President Obama being assertive in his discussions with congressional leaders.

November 9, 2012

Village Tip: Business Cards

We will share occasional Village Tips in support of the Declaration of Financial Empowerment. Today's tip is for those of you thinking about starting your own business.

Business cards are not just little cardstock rectangles with your name and contact information. They are a representation of you and your business, and a reminder of who you are and what you do.

But when you settle for a second rate (or third, or fourth, or fifth) business card, you might as well kiss a lot of potential customers and clients goodbye. What happens when you give someone your business card, they slip it into their wallet, forget all about it, and then come across is three weeks later? Well, if you have a flimsy, poorly designed business card, they probably throw it in the trash. But if you have a classy, high quality card, they will save it and remember you every time they see it.

So before you go home and print your business cards on your home printer, think about how those business cards will represent you. You don't want to spoil the good impression you make with a bad business card.

November 6, 2012

Village Tip: Getting an Appointment

I was talking with a colleague recently who was at the crossroads with his business. He told me that his wife was giving him pressure to give up his business and head back into the traditional job market for a W-2 position.

I suggested that he make one last all-out push for new business. Sometimes selling your product or service can be easier than getting the actual appointment. No matter how hard you try, you just can't seem to get the prospect to agree to meeting you face to face. Here is a Village Tip that may help.

At first, it is important to sell the appointment, not your service. Trying to get a contract over the phone is difficult. The appointment is when you will do the actual selling.

Ask questions where the answer must be "yes." "Would it be better for us to meet on Tuesday or Thursday?" The prospect probably will pick one or the other and--bingo--you have the appointment. You might make your dates even more specific, "I have Tuesday at 930am and Thursday at 2:30pm open. Which would work best for you?"

Asking for the prospect's help can be very effective. If the prospect says that she doesn't want to meet with you, ask him what you would have to say in order to convince her that your service can work. This way, the prospect will be telling you exactly how to overcome her objection.

Above all, don't push! After a few failed attempts to get an appointment, it is better to take a fall-back position. Tell him you understand he is not ready to make any decision. Ask for a follow-up appointment for a later time.

Declaration of Financial Empowerment encourages us 'to teach business and financial principles'. My hope is that these simple Village Tips will prove helpful to you over the coming days and weeks! What say u?

November 5, 2012

Leadership Tip: Never Give Employees Bad News on Friday

It is better to avoid giving employees bad news, such as a negative review on a Friday or before a vacation. This gives workers extra time to brood without giving them a chance to respond constructively. Weekend surprises may be easier for the manager who wants to avoid confrontation, but they are more likely to demoralize the staff than to improve performance.

November 4, 2012

Obama's Weekly Address: Recovering and Rebuilding After the Storm

In this week’s address, President Obama thanks the brave first responders and National Guardsmen for their tireless work following one of the worst storms in our nation’s history, and reassures the millions of Americans affected by Hurricane Sandy that their country will be there for them during the long road to recovery.

Our blog joins in the prayers for those families impacted by Sandy.

November 1, 2012

Celebrities for Obama: Mary J. Blige

Nice to see Mary J. Blige and other entertainers coming together to make a video called, 'Yes We Plan' in support of President Obama's re-election with a focus on the importance of Planned Parenthood.

Do you think that this is an effective video?