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Media Alert: Americans United for Life in US News & World Report

November 14, 2008 | By | One Comment

us_news_world_report_logo.pngAmericans United for Life recently started a campaign to encourage the public to Fight FOCA through the FightFOCA website.

US News & World Report reports, Abortion Foes Mobilize Against Obama

Activists seek to prevent new administration from reversing Bush administration policies, by Paul Bedard, Posted November 14, 2008

The antiabortion movement is mobilizing its forces to challenge President-elect Barack Obama should he move quickly to restore federal funding of international family planning services and make good his promise to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, or FOCA.

Americans United for Life has been in the lead on this battle,

Led by Americans United for Life and other antiabortion groups, the movement is gathering signatures to fight FOCA and meeting this weekend to map out a strategy. [Yep, we are here now…]

There are some pundits who feel that Obama will not push for FOCA in his first term. But what is certain is that Obama will not veto any legislation coming out of the Reid-Pelosi legislative machine.

While it is unclear if Obama will move swiftly on the abortion issue, activists on both sides expect him to reverse a Bush executive order implementing the so-called Mexico City language that bars nongovernmental family planning organizations from using federal money to perform abortion services in other countries or to inform patients there about such procedures.

The activists expect that move to propel action in Congress on FOCA, which sets in law a woman’s right to choose and challenges recent Supreme Court rulings on the issue.

According to foes, the new strategy to fight both will seek to capitalize on taxpayer anger at the recent Wall Street bailout.

cecile_richards_obama.jpg“Our strategy will be, ‘Do we want to use federal tax dollars to bail out the abortion industry?’ ” says one of the activists working to build a coalition to fight Obama. “Why are we using taxpayer money to fund abortion services overseas?” he said. (However, federal funding has not been used in the past to directly fund abortions overseas.)

Cecile Richards and Barack Obama

Cecile Richards is the president of the one billion dollar Planned Parenthood. Tax dollars indirectly fund Cecil Richards’ $1,000,000 annual salary. The tax payer provides the abortion provider over $300,000,000 each year. Your money. Funds Abortion. Three Hundred Million Dollars.

USN&WR closes,

While it’s an issue that was largely avoided in the presidential campaign, conservatives see it as a key test of which way Obama will move on social issues in his first year.

We Pro-Life conservatives know exactly how Obama will move — he will payback his backers, his buddies. To those he’s beholden. Cecile Richards is first in line.

So who exactly is Cecile Richards, who would deserve this liberal Democrat payback?

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, contributor to all issues liberal is a very special liberal Democrat.

She is the daughter of liberal Democrat Ann Richards.

Fight FOCAThe fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. And like Eve, Planned Parenthood is coming for a bigger bite of the apple.

Payback is coming to Planned Parenthood.

But the taxpayer, the voter is fighting back.

Fight FOCA.


Thank you (foot)notes,

Your Business Blogger(R) recommends, Obama Transition Team in Lockstep with Planned Parenthood

Charmaine Yoest, Ph.D., is president and CEO of Americans United for Life.

See Our Journey.

Visit Jimmy Akin at FightFOCA.

Ten Reasons

Jay Anderson, a smart guy from University of Virginia Law School (redundant, I know), Fight FOCA.

25 year-old Chelsea Zimmerman from Holts Summit, Missouri has a perspective on life and on Life well beyond her years. The world is a better place for her blogging.

Ronald L. Caravan has a compelling article in The Valley News Online, Between the Lines: How ironic that Obama action might threaten ‘separation of church and state’ Liberals make little sense…,

In simple terms, under the Freedom of Choice Act, Catholic hospitals would eventually be forced to perform abortions or go out of business, and Catholic bishops this week were signaling that they would go out of business before they would start aborting babies.

“This is not a matter of political compromise,” Bishop Daniel Conlon of Steubenville, Ohio was quoted in news reports. “It’s a matter of absolutes.”

Commenting on Catholic elected officials, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City stated, “They cannot call themselves Catholic when they violate such a core belief as the dignity of the unborn.”

And Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Chicago frankly stated that if Catholic hospitals were given no choice but to perform abortions, they would close rather than comply.

The Freedom of Choice Act is not a brand new proposal. So why the heightened concern now? Because of what President-elect Obama announced at a Planned Parenthood banquet in July of 2007: “The first thing I’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act…. On this fundamental issue, I will not yield and Planned Parenthood will not yield.”

“Freedom of Choice sounds so benign, but people have simply no comprehension of what a radical piece of legislation this is,” stated Daniel McConchie of Americans United for Life. “The bottom line is that if FOCA passes, you’ll have abortion on demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy for any reason in all 50 states and pay for it with our taxes.”…

Unlike the continuous left-leaning efforts to obliterate God from all aspects of public life in the name of “separation of church and state”–which it is not–the Freedom of Choice Act actually does threaten to impose government interference on a church–exactly what Thomas Jefferson promised would not be done when he coined the “separation” phrase in a letter to a church in Danbury, Connecticut so many years ago.

Leave it to the relativistic left to wrongly accuse everyone else of violating a principle, then commit that very sin themselves.

more at the jump.

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10 Nov



Media Alert: Charmaine on The Live Desk on FOX

November 10, 2008 | By | 2 Comments

“The hospital can get me the operation now?” Charmaine asked.

“Sure,” I said. “Where do you think you are, England?”

Charmaine’s gall bladder removal was uneventful and, more important, immediate. There was no rationing of health care — which we will get under an ObamaNation Health Plan.

That was exactly one week ago — the latest surgical techniques have made recovery times shorter, less painful and less expensive. Good ol’ American know-how.

Alert Readers will recall that Your Business Blogger(R) ran a number of medical device start up companies where we risked investors’ investments to lower a patient’s hospital ‘length of stay’ or LOS.

And the products and services made the world a better place as we improved patient care in a cost effective manner.

We assumed a risk in hope of a big payday, a big reward. Obama will kill this golden goose of innovative entrepreneurship.

Charmaine will be discussing the future on The Live Desk panel this afternoon. The other panelists will be Doug Schoen and Alex Burns.

The topics will be:

obama_finger_insult.jpg1) Obama’s Administration – a recreation of the Clinton Administration? What’s in store for Obama and his new team? and

2) A discussion on how Sarah Palin handled the campaign.

Obama Congratulates McCain YouTube.

Hit time will be at 2:30pm eastern. Please tune or tivo and let us know what you think.

Background at the jump, Obama, Candidate of Change, Looks to Old Hands from Clinton Era By Catherine Dodge and Kristin Jensen,

Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) — Barack Obama, elected president as an agent of change, is building his new team with old hands from the Clinton administration.

His first appointment, chief of staff, went to Rahm Emanuel, an Illinois representative and veteran of the last Democratic White House. Leading Obama’s transition team is John Podesta, who was President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff.

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29 Dec



What Is The Best Predictor of Successful Leadership?

December 29, 2006 | By | 5 Comments

Bill John knows leadership. He is a Vietnam Vet credited with a Mig kill as a naval aviator and who later commanded a combat ship. I asked him how he identified future leaders.

Past success in sports.

Your Business Blogger is honored to advise senior leaders. I once had a conversation with Bill about mentoring managers.

Rules-bound games are the key. Leadership skills start early in sports, he said. Sports leaders pull their teams together to reach a common objective. They learn these skills at a young age… and are accurate predictors of leadership talent.


The Dude with the Wildcats a few seasons ago

Bill John’s analysis mirrors the philosophy from another military hero, General Douglas MacArthur, who was the West Point Superintendent for three-years in the early 1920s.

From AmericanHeritage on MacArthur. It is noted that some of,

…[H]is eloquence is on display over the main entrance to the gymnasium. Some blank verse that he penned as Supe memorializes the strenuous regimen of intramural athletics that he imposed on his alma mater:

Upon the fields of friendly strife

Are sown the seeds

That, upon other fields, on other days

Will bear the fruits of victory.


Thank you (foot)notes:

Management Training Tip: When evaluating new entry-level management trainees, ask about sports participation.

Be sure to visit the Panzer Commander who plays all manner of contact sports. And asks the question no parent would like to hear, Dad, what’s my blood type?

Full Disclosure: Bill John is a cousin.

13 Dec



Non-Profit Corporate Governance: The Rotary

December 13, 2006 | By | 2 Comments


Web Log Awards

Finalist Please remember to vote for Reasoned Audacity for Best Business Blog. We will be in your debt. Thank you!

* * *


Alexis de Tocqueville In the United States associations are established to promote the public safety, commerce, industry, morality, and religion, wrote Alexis de Tocqueville in Democracy in America.

If Tocqueville were driving today into Anytown, U.S. of A., the first road sign he might see would be for local Rotary. And he would not be surprised at the mission of this civic organization.


The Business Monthly ‘Service Above Self’

In 1905, attorney Paul P. Harris gathered three friends together in downtown Chicago as professionals with common interests for the common good. The group expanded and began to rotate meetings among members’ offices, lending the name of “Rotary,” with a wagon wheel (now the familiar cogwheel) as the logo. As the membership grew, they realized that internal networking was not enough. Harris wanted to serve more than just that group.

Rotary International is recognized as the world’s first service club. The organization’s first contribution to the community was a horse. A local preacher’s “transportation” died and the congregation could not afford another. The Rotary stepped in. Harris’s Rotary then built the first public restroom in Chicago and the Rotary began to grow.

Rotary members donate their time, talent and treasure to the local communities.

Succession Management…


Thank you (foot)notes:

This article was orginally published in The Business Monthly as Rotary Governance this year.

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08 Nov



Donald Rumsfeld's Rules: Advice on Government, Business & Life

November 8, 2006 | By | 2 Comments

Be able to resign. It will improve your value to the president and do wonders for your performance,

One of Rumsfeld’s Rules.

Rumsfeld is resigning. He doesn’t know it, but he was one of my teachers.


Donald Rumsfeld and

Charmaine Yoest Your Business Blogger served a tour of duty in government years ago. Unlike most bureaucrats, I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t even pretend.

Not that anyone noticed anyway.

But when I was appointed, the first Rules I got from a friend were Rumsfeld’s. I kept them in a notebook and referred to them daily.

Rumsfeld’s Rules

Many of these rules, reflections and quotations came from my role as chairman of the “transition team” for President Ford and my service as White House chief of staff. Others came from experiences as a U.S. naval aviator, a member of Congress, ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, secretary of defense, presidential Middle East envoy, business executive, chairman of the U.S. Ballistic Missile Threat Commission,…Credit is given where known.

Serving in the White House

(for the White House chief of staff and senior staff)

Don’t accept the post or stay unless you have an understanding with the president that you’re free to tell him what you think “with the bark off” and you have the courage to do it.

Visit with your predecessors from previous administrations. They know the ropes and can help you see around some corners. Try to make original mistakes, rather than needlessly repeating theirs.

Don’t begin to think you’re the president. You’re not. The Constitution provides for only one.

Know that the immediate staff and others in the administration will assume that your manner, tone and tempo reflect the president’s.

I knew the following rule, and used it to confirm my usual dazed looked,

Learn to say “I don’t know.” If used when appropriate, it will be often.

Rumsfeld says that bad news doesn’t get better with age,

If you foul up, tell the president and correct it fast. Delay only compounds mistakes.

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18 Oct



Karen Hughes Is Always On Time With President Bush

October 18, 2006 | By | 3 Comments


L to R: Bush, Karen Hughes,

husband Jerry Hughes, Condi Rice

Punctuality is the politeness of kings.

Business owners have smaller margins for error than our larger big-company counterparts. One way a person, a company, can stand out and sell more is to respect people’s time. By being on time.

Your Business Blogger was reminded of this truth last year while working with small business advertisers in a trade show in Vegas. Some 10,000 of us sat of the feet of the keynote speaker Karen Hughes, presidential advisor. She was flogging her book Ten Minutes from Normal about working on the political campaign trail to get George Bush elected.

She recounted the story of President Bush’s particular concern about being on time. She once asked the President why they were leaving so early for a meeting. He said:

“Three words: Late is rude.”

President Bush (who has an MBA) likes to get down to business on time. This is is best done in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. It can best start by checking your watch. Promptness is the soul of business said Lord Chesterfield 1694 – 1773. Timeliness is impressive.

Today, Emily Post has much to say on the courtesy of timeliness. In Business Etiquette — Tips on Making a Good First Impression Post reminds us — when traveling to an appointment you should “know how to get there and how long it will take. (BEING ON TIME IS CRITICAL).” Emphasis in original.

But sometimes being on time is not good enough. One of football’s most successful coaches would tell his players to show up 10 minutes early or be considered late. This discipline is known as “Vince Lombardi time.”

Coach Lombardi won games, in part, with the discipline of punctuality. This also teaches the value of time: Man has no nobler or more valuable possession…. as Beethoven said.

Being punctual is the politeness of kings. And courtesy to your clients. It would please even the French, like Louise XVIII, who said, Punctuality is the politeness of kings.


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Thank you (foot)notes:

In the official White House photo above, Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State, does the swearing in of Karen Hughes on September 9, 2005. Jerry Hughes, Karen’s husband holds the Bible. I believe that he would be eligible to enjoy the honor of being recognized by The Denis Thatcher Society.

The Real Story: The Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC

September 29, 2006 | By | No Comments


Sean Hannity

The Peak Experience

from back stage Your Business Blogger was backstage with Sean Hannity of cable FOX fame. He was about to give a speech to a packed house of 1,800. “Delegates” as John Fund from The Wall Street Journal called the attendees. They came from across the country for The Washington Briefing, hosted by the Family Research Council.

Hannity looked great; sounded great. He was up. But he should have been down. No matter — he wanted to talk about how to make the country better. And he was a business case study on The Peak Experience.


Sean Hannity, Charmaine Yoest, Tony Perkins

In the small talk before his introduction and as he stashed his luggage (yes he carried his own bags) we learned that he had been giving speeches and doing his radio show across the country. He got only two hours sleep the night before.

We were witness to The Peak Experience.

The guy was working non-stop. And he didn’t need the money. But he wanted to give his speech for The Family Research Council, even if the scheduling fates had him sleepless in DC.

Yes, adrenaline kept him up. But it was more than a chemical dependence.

It is a cliche that doctors don’t get sick during epidemics; sailors don’t get sea-sick in a storm; electrical power-line repairmen are at their safest and most efficient when the lights and lines are out.

If there is a real emergency for your company or an extraordinary circumstance, your staff will know and will rise to meet the challenge. Especially if you, manager, have so trained and motivated your team that they know that they are making a difference. Doing important work. Work that’s bigger than themselves.

The Peak Experience works only if real. Epidemics, tempests, blown power grids are difficult to fake. (Although some CEO’s I know would try to trick the staff. It seldom works.)

The crisis, the impending event, the project must be more than a ‘stretch goal.’ Your team won’t work Sundays for still another artificial and moving target.

The Peak Experience is an emergency; an extraordinary misalignment of the stars that doesn’t take a day off, doesn’t worry about overtime. And will have your team working through days at a time.

Alert Readers will recall that Your Business Blogger holds for working only 6 days each week.

Ancient Jewish tradition holds that there are exceptions where work can be done on the day of rest, the Sabbath. If your “ox falls into a ditch,” — your livelihood is on the line or there is a life or death situation — rules can be circumvented.

But The Peak Experience, where the company ox is in a ditch, is the exception to resting.

Remember, The Peak Experience is not normal. But sometimes can be anticipated. When working the Y2K rollover, my team worked the final month — that would be December, 1999, for our younger readers — straight through. And we knew it would be a success.

The Peak Experience is a rush that will enter your company lore and last for years. Get ready. It will happen. If something looks like The Peak Experience, don’t be afraid to work the staff to death.

These unusual events should be perceived and received as 100 year floods. Very rare, low probability, high impact. But if The Experience occurs too often, then Peak begins to look like SOP. Something ordinary.

But not Hannity. Not that morning. Sean gives a soaring speech. And gets a standing O. He knew to work The Peak Experience.

And so will you.


John Fund and

Your Business Blogger

at the FRC Briefing

The Peak Experience


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Thank you (foot)notes:

Read more on John Fund’s take on the Family Research Council event at the jump.

See Evangelical Voters More Jaded in 2006

Colorado MediaMatters has a video clip.

The Cracked Door has Is there a nicer way to present the truth?

Wonkette was working. Good photos. Watch the language.

JollyBlogger is better.

Panzer Commander has photos of the FRC protestors.

Joe Carter at Evangelical Outpost has more analysis at Yes, He’s Heavy; He’s My Brother and An Open Letter to the Religious Right. Bookmark Joe Carter.

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25 Sep



How To Get More Done — By Doing Less

September 25, 2006 | By | 5 Comments

Work hard, nose to the grindstone, work long hours — and you will succeed.

This is a lie.



Mae West Everyone does it. And no one seems to want to stop.

Too much of a good thing can be wonderful, said Mae West.

Or is it?

An unusual trend among working people, is that people love to work and spend a lot of hours at the work they love. Every small business owner I have ever advised worked non-stop. And perhaps complained. And then would ask me about that work-family balance nonsense. But soon would excuse herself to answer an important cell call. (There are no unimportant cell phone calls.)

Non-stop work is bad for your health and bad for your productivity.

Studies show that working 21 continuous hours has the same effect as being drunk. Yes — working too much is a real high.

Among industrialized nations, none work more hours than the US of A. The two-martini lunch has been replaced with jolts of caffeine; to stay awake. Americans don’t drink to escape from work and sleep; we remain at work awake and become drunk. Intoxicated with labor. Starbucks has replaced Archie’s Bar.

And no one works harder or more hours than the boss. And you, the small business owner, will openly admit to working harder and more hours than any one.


(No one likes martyrs, that’s why they killed so many of them.)

Your Business Blogger would suggest that business productivity and employee health can be improved by working fewer hours.


I know. I wouldn’t want to stop either. But I have a trick. An answer to those 60-hour work weeks.

Put those hours into 6 days; not 7. Take a day off. Yes, yes, one whole day.

Stay with me now. Businesses actually have this as policy.

Chick-fil-A, with 1,250 restaurants and sales of almost $2 billion, takes a day off: closing up on Sundays.

Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, made the decision to close on Sunday in 1946 when he opened his original restaurant…in Hapeville, Georgia. He has often shared that his decision was as much practical as spiritual. Operating a 24-hour a day business left him exhausted. Being closed on Sunday allowed him time to recover physically, emotionally and spiritually…

It doesn’t have to be a Saturday or a Sunday. When I was working restaurants I took Tuesdays off. It matters not the day.

But pick a day. Then don’t work it.

Many business owners have pestered Your Business Blogger for a set of rules on what is work or not. Because work and play are the same for all North Americans. My only suggestion for your weekly day off:

Be Unproductive.



Family Friendly Leave productivity and production and whatever work is to the other six days. On that one special day: give it a rest.

Oddly, I would suggest no prohibition on exercise. We should sweat on our day of relaxation. (This is America.) Sweating and exercise are acceptable unless your day job is in the NBA or the Golf Pro Tour.

And to make sure it works, find a friend who will hold you accountable. Which you should be doing for business, anyway.

Be accountable to your private board of directors or mentor. Or better: spend the day with kith and kin. You will be more productive — in work and perhaps, in your marriage.

So. To be more productive. Do nothing, one day a week.


Update 25 July 2011, An Alert Reader sends this along, circulating on the web:

A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience; with a raised glass of water, and everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, ‘half empty or half full?’….. she fooled them all…

“How heavy is this glass of water?”, she inquired with a smile.

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how

long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem.

If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm.

If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance.

In each case it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

She continued, “and that’s the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.”

“As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again.

When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden – holding stress longer and better each time practiced.

So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night…. pick them up tomorrow.

Whatever burdens you’re carrying now, let them down for a moment.

Relax, pick them up later after you’ve rested. Life is short.

Enjoy it, and the now ‘supposed’ stress that you’ve conquered ! ”

1 * Accept the fact that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue!

2 * Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

3 * Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

4 * Drive carefully… It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.

5 * If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

6 * If you lend someone and never see that person again, it was probably worth it..

7 * It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

8 * Never buy a car you can’t push.

9 * Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.

10 * Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.

11 * Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

12 * The second mouse gets the cheese.

13 * When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.

14 * Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

15 * You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

16 * Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

17 * We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull.

Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

18 * A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

19 * Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.

20 * It was me, your friend!

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Chick-fil-A was just recognized by the Family Research Council for a family friendly; marriage friendly workplace. More at the jump.

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Persuasion: Five Points To Improve Your Voice Communication

September 21, 2006 | By | No Comments

The deadliest skill a leader can possess is the ability to persuade.


Rush Limbaugh

Photo Credit:

Your Business Blogger As Alert Readers know, Your Business Blogger is a cheerleader for lifelong learning. If there is a class that can improve my skills, such as they are, I’m in.

So to improve my ability to communicate, I though I’d sit at the feet of a wise instructor. And ask stupid questions.

(Which are the only kind I ask.)

I needed to pick an instructor who could help me in this continuous learning. I wondered — who has Rush Limbaugh worked with?

That would be Stephen D. Clouse who teaches at the highest levels in the intersection of entertainment and politics.

I joined Stephen as he lectured at the Leadership Institute in Arlington, Virginia. The purpose and passion of Clouse’s work is to train leaders to communicate — to persuade.

To be effective, Clouse says, you must be likeable. Willie Loman, in Death of a Salesman, would step out into the world with a shoeshine and smile. And have a desperate need to be liked.

Which is not unlike the first step in the sales process of establishing rapport.

But Clouse was talking about more than a need to be liked — he emphasized that to succeed at the highest levels and to persuade, you must truly like people.

Enjoy people? Like people?

I’m doomed.

But there might be help for you. Clouse gave a number of tips to improve your likeability — by improving your vocals.

1) Speak slowly. Clouse reminds us that the great communicators from Larry King to Bill Clinton to Ronald Reagan have a very slow speech delivery.

2) Enunciate each word completely. Many of us will trail off at the end of our sentences. Clouse says, “A microphone is cruel to those who do this because everything is captured and conveyed.”

3) Punch key words. Your listening audience wants to learn, and more important, to be entertained.

4) Extend vowels. Conveys warmth and emotion.

5) Natural voice in an ‘audio check.’ The sound tech will adjust levels to your voice. Be natural.

Which may require practice. The professionals make it look easy.

And professionals use professionals to coach. If you would like to contact Stephen D. Clouse, I’d be honored to make the introduction.

To communicate well will require practice. And practice. For your big show biz break read these 10 Tips. And remember…

Ronald Reagan had six years of voice lessons.


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Thank you (foot)notes:

This is an unpaid endorsement for Clouse.

The Lie: A Guide to Fibbing in the Job Interview

September 16, 2006 | By | One Comment



Sculpture by

Gianlorenzo Bernini

1652 An ancient Jewish Proverb goes He that covers his sins shall not prosper. There seems to be a disturbing trend that hiring managers are facing: job candidates who lie.

Director Mitch, The Window Manager, one of the best business blogs in the business, had a reader in a job interview with a dilemma:

How should a job candidate handle embarrassing, possibly unethical questions from a hiring authority?

He gives three interesting options. “I see the hiring process as a battle with HR and will use any means, fair or unfair, to trip them up,” says Mitch. That’s because he views questions about why any employee who left a previous job as “unethical” to begin with. So Mitch asserts that an unethical question does not deserve an ethical answer.

Your Business Blogger is not so sure.

I once asked my favorite management guru, Bill Oncken, about the challenge of dealing with supervisors who cross ethical lines from right to wrong. His wise advice was to separate, or fire, or not hire, or run away from any hint of a lack of character.

Only deal with people with integrity, says Oncken; who is filthy rich and never married with no hungry kids who need shoes and private schools. (His hobby is skydiving — out of boredom, I believe.)

But as the Window Manager outlines, sometimes you really, really need the job.

We’ve all been there. Sometimes we rationalize that “. . .the HR kumquat is a jerk who didn’t ask a fair question, or a legal question, . . . and no one will ever find out if there’s fudging on the job application. Evil deserves contempt. (Anti) Personnel departments don’t actually add value to a company, anyway.” Or so the thought goes.

When faced with an unethical boss or an unethical hiring manager, Bill Oncken, author of Managing Management Time, suggests leaving immediately. Even when the hit hurts your wallet.

“Sometimes,” Oncken says, “You have to finance your integrity.”

And this requires monetary as well as emotional maturity that not all of us possess.

I would not recommend lying as a response to any question, no matter how awful or illegal the interrogation. But Mitch does suggest humor or a superlative as a possible way out of troubling questions. As in “I took time off to train for my ascent of Everest.” Or something like that.

Humor is a dodge that Your Business Blogger used to use. My heartfelt response to questions about my misspent youth is, I’m not responsible for anything that happened during the Nixon Administration.

If humor or deflection does not work — that last sentence never worked for me — brutal truth might be necessary.

Years ago, I was once fired by a company – twice – in the same month, both times by fax, the insulting medium of the day. I would always reveal this firing whenever asked. I would explain that it was the dangerous downside of working for thinly capitalized companies in trouble. And my explanation had the added benefit of being true.

I would always get the hard stuff out of the way soonest. I would put it all on the table. Just as sales pro’s know: Whoever raises the objection, owns the objection. And get the “no’s” out early.

On my hiring travels as interviewer and –ee, I’ve learned that there are two kinds of problems: big and small.

Many small problems perhaps can be side-stepped – without being untruthful, like my little incident deep in North Carolina. (Hint: Never throw drink bottles from a ’57 Chevy at high speed.)

Early in my career, whenever that “Were you ever arrested?” silly question would come up, I would always write in NA. Drag racing on the interstate highway system was truly “Not Applicable” to the entry level sales job I was hunting. And if any explanation was required, I wanted to do it in person, rather than be eliminated by rote in HR. A face-to-face sales presentation has the highest close rate.

Fortunately, I don’t have big problems, like a felony conviction, but the terminations come close. I have been fired more times than any single reader of this reputable blog. Goodness, I’ll bet I’ve been fired more than ALL you readers combined, including Rush Limbaugh.

But there is hope for big problems on this side of eternity: Find a Friend. Any real position or client these days will be 1) A created position, 2) In high technology and 3) With someone you know.

Clients and projects and employment come these days through a network of friends and contacts. Who love you.

Like I do.

And that’s no lie.

To thine own self be true,

and it must follow,

as the night the day,

thou canst not then be false to any man. Shakespeare.

So. When to lie? Let slip a little fib?


Don’t bear false witness — even about yourself.


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Thank you (foot)notes:

It is not known if Rush Limbaugh actually reads this blog.