Archive for December 2011

Migration Makes a Connected World Brainier

Excellent opinion piece by Robert Guest for The Wall Street Journal.

First though, from the Partnership for a New American Economy (which is a snippet to the lead on the commentary):
I once asked the boss of Tata Consulting Services, a gigantic Indian IT firm, how many of his top executives had worked or studied abroad. He replied: "All of them."

The world's most talented people are exceptionally mobile. When they move to America, they make it smarter, and that's not just because they are smart. It is also because migration creates connections.
Read the commentary:  How Immigrant Entrepreneurs Turbocharge U.S. Trade

Robert Guest is the Economist's business editor.  His new book is Borderless Economics: Chinese Sea Turtles, Indian Fridges and the New Fruits of Global Capitalism

What To Ask The Person In The Mirror by Robert Steven Kaplan - Book review



What to Ask the Person in the Mirror

Critical Questions for Becoming a More Effective Leader and Reaching Your Potential


By: Robert Steven Kaplan

Published: August 3, 2011
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1422170012
ISBN-13: 978-1422170014
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press










"In the course of these experiences, I have found that almost without exception, successful leaders go through significant periods of time in which they feel confused, discouraged, and unsure of themselves and their decisions. They feel as if they should be somewhere else, doing something else. They wonder why other executives seem to have an easier time doing their jobs", writes Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School and co-chairman of Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, Robert Steven Kaplan, in his brilliant and insightful book What to Ask the Person in the Mirror: Critical Questions for Becoming a More Effective Leader and Reaching Your Potential. The author describes how leaders are not born to greatness, but that their leadership skills are learned techniques that can be added to any successful executives personal toolbox.

Robert Kaplan understands that while leaders develop their leadership skills and abilities over time, the techniques and knowledge take hard work and determination to master. The author points out that all leaders enter into periods, that are often very lengthy in terms of time, where they doubt their own skills and ability to make the right decisions and take the proper course of action. Robert Kaplan writes that it's not the role of the successful leader to avoid their times of self doubt and loss of confidence. Instead, the author shares the skills and exercises that will guide the leader to take a step back and ask what are described as a series of critical questions. These personal queries provide fresh insights into the real problems, develop solutions and a plan of action that the leader can utilize to propel the organization forward to meet and overcome any challenge.



Robert Steven Kaplan (photo left) understands that all leaders experience times of self doubt and uncertainty. This important observation leads the author to the insight that successful leaders discover how to work through these periods of personal crisis. Robert Kaplan describes the techniques that are learned, practiced, and put into action to establish effective leaders in any field of endeavor. The starting point for this long and often difficult journey toward confident leadership begins with asking oneself the critical questions.

Robert Kaplan provides seven areas of personal questioning that lead to successful and effective leadership. The seven principles are as follows:

* Vision and priorities
* Managing your time
* Giving and getting feedback
* Succession planning and delegation
* Evaluation and alignment
* The leader as role model
* Reaching your potential

For me, the power of the book is how Robert Steven Kaplan combines his theoretical framework for establishing successful leadership skills, with the practical techniques, tools, and exercises necessary to create dynamic personal change and growth. The author supports his recommendations with his decades of personal experience with leaders of all types. Unlike many leadership book authors, Robert Kaplan acknowledges that learning the essential skills of leadership is a long and often difficult process that can't be achieved overnight. Instead, the author presents a realistic overview of the entire personal leadership journey, and how many of the steps present a major challenge to potential leaders.

I highly recommend the practical and idea filled book What to Ask the Person in the Mirror: Critical Questions for Becoming a More Effective Leader and Reaching Your Potential by Robert Steven Kaplan, to anyone seeking a clear and realistic guide to developing personal leadership skills that really work to guide executives in overcoming challenges in any field. This book will transform anyone, who is willing to put in the time and effort, into an effective leader who gets things done to benefit the entire organization and its future.

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Green Standards For An Ever Changing Complex World

Walmart’s Chinese sales receipts account for only 2 percent of the company’s annual revenues or roughly $7.5 billion. Fortunately, its sales in China have risen substantially over the past decade. Not the case in the United States; they have been shrinking.

What does this mean? Is China changing Walmart or is Walmart changing China?  Looks like new green initiatives are in the works.
The world’s biggest corporation and the world’s most populous nation have launched a bold experiment in consumer behavior and environmental stewardship: to set green standards for 20,000 suppliers making several hundred thousand items sold to billions of shoppers worldwide. Will that effort take hold, or will it unravel in a recriminatory tangle of misguided expectations and broken promises?
Read the entire article here.

The Power of Presence by Kristi Hedges - Book review



The Power of Presence

Unlock Your Potential to Influence and Engage Others


By: Kristi Hedges

Published: November 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 240 pages
ISBN-10: 0814417736
ISBN-13: 978-0814417737
Publisher: AMACOM













"Executive presence begins in your head. It resides in how you think about yourself, your abilities, your environment, and your potential", writes communications expert, entrepreneur, and certified leadership coach Kristi Hedges in her empowering and career building book The Power of Presence: Unlock Your Potential to Influence and Engage Others. The author describes the critical importance of executive presence for business and career success, and provides an effective blueprint for developing a strong and confident presence for anyone.

Kristi Hedges understands the importance of of leadership presence in today's highly competitive business, career, and employment markets. The author offers compelling evidence that improving one's personal presence, regardless of of their personality or position, greatly increases the opportunities for success. Kristi Hedges provides research based evidence that simply having the required skill level is no longer sufficient. Without a presence that creates respect and attracts others, a very highly qualified and skilled person will be overlooked and not provide their ideas and talents fully to their organization. The author points out that leadership and presence enhancing skills can be learned by anyone, while building on their own individual strengths.



Kristi Hedges (photo left) recognizes that a person's inner mind must be combined with the outer impression given to others to form their authentic presence. The author dispels concerns that executive presence is some sort of act or manipulation. Instead, Kristi Hedges demonstrates that the most effective and confident form of presence is in complete alignment with their own inner beliefs and principles.

To achieve that authentic presence, Kristi Hedges shares her I-Presence™ model for the development of leadership presence. The three principles of the I-Presence™ are as follows:

* Intentional: A person's beliefs must match their internal and external messages, body language, and self confidence.

* Individual: Leaders must have the ability to connect with others at all levels.

* Inspirational: Leaders must learn how to inspire and motivate others as visionaries.

For me, the power of the book is how Kristi Hedges combines the theoretical framework of her I-Presence™ model with the practical tools and techniques to develop one's latent executive presence skills. Unlike many books that recommend adopting the entire system, Kristi Hedges reminds her readers that even developing one area of executive presence will provide a powerful and positive impact on their careers. The book is filled with exercises, and useful chapter takeaways, that can be practiced and applied both immediately, and over the longer term. The author also backs up her concepts with real world research data that underline their effectiveness and value.

I highly recommend the very engaging and hands on book The Power of Presence: Unlock Your Potential to Influence and Engage Others by Kristi Hedges, to anyone seeking to improve their personal leadership and executive presence, to enrich and enhance their business, career, and personal lives. This book will increase your confidence, your ability to inspire others, and help you to rise much higher in your career or profession than you had ever dreamed was possible.

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Get Ready to Go Global in 2012

How do you go global?  Let me count the ways.

Here are ten to start:

How to Position Your Business for Global Success

The Decision To Trust by Robert F. Hurley - Book review



The Decision to Trust

How Leaders Create High-Trust Organizations


By: Robert F. Hurley

Published: October 25, 2011
Hardcover: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1118072642
ISBN-13: 978-1118072646
Publisher: Jossey-Bass














"Trust is central to human existence. like all social animals, human beings have an instinctive need to cooperate and rely on each other in order to satisfy their most basic emotional, psychological, and material needs. without trust, we are not only less happy as individuals but also less productive in groups", writes professor at Fordham University and president of Hurley Associates, Robert F. Hurley in his comprehensive and thought provoking book The Decision to Trust: How Leaders Create High-Trust Organizations. The author describes despite the overall decline in trust found in today's society, it's critical for companies to develop trust within their organizations and its teams, to achieve peak performance.

Robert Hurley recognizes that the current loss of trust in institutions and business is an important phenomenon in our lives. At the same time, however, the author understands completely that without a high level of trust, organizations cannot achieve a high level of productivity and performance. Robert Hurley points out that without a high trust factor in a company, attracting and retaining top talent is very difficult to attain. If co-workers don't trust their managers or one another, very little will be achieved in the organization either. Robert Hurley considers trust to be at the very foundation of an organization's success. As a result, the author shares his dynamic framework for building and maintaining trust in any company, and achieving top performance.



Robert F. Hurley (photo left) understands the dynamic nature of trust relationships within an organizational culture. This dynamism is based on experience. If the employee is faced with deceit, the individual will lose trust in the deceitful person. Once lost, that trust is very difficult to regain and reestablish. On the other hand, if an employee is rewarded in a trusting relationship with managers and co-workers, the level of trust will be deepened and strengthened. For employees at the team level, or at the level of the entire organization, a culture of trust will achieve superior results over a climate of fear and mistrust.

Rober Hurley proposes the Decision To Trust Model (DTM) to enrich the trust level within organizations. The factors are as follows:

* Security
* Similarity
* Alignment of interests
* Benevolent concern
* Capability
* Predictability and integrity
* Communication

For me, tho power of the book is how Robert Hurley combines the theoretical framework for improving trust levels with the practical tools and techniques to establish more organizational and team trust. The author demonstrates how to pinpoint the areas where trust has broken down, and provides the process for repairing the damage, as well as building new bonds of trust between people. Robert Hurley strengthens his proposed Decision To Trust Model (DTM) with a step by step system for its implementation.

The author also offers two decades of research data, real world case studies, and examples of improved trust resulting in more engaged and productive employees. Robert Hurley demonstrates clearly that trusting organizational cultures operate on a higher degree of performance and are more profitable for the company.

I highly recommend the essential and engaging book The Decision to Trust: How Leaders Create High-Trust Organizations by Robert F. Hurley, to any business leaders, managers, or anyone involved in employee relations who are seeking a proven and effective system for creating, nurturing, and deepening trust levels within organizations. This book, and the processes it contains, will transform a company culture from one of fear and mistrust, to one where engaged employees perform at peak levels, and where profitability is much higher than ever before.

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Masters of Business Administration admissions questions - Shari Sekel: Brock University Faculty of Business - Interview



Shari Sekel, of the Brock University Faculty of Business was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions about the Brock University Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs, the faculty admissions process, and about applying for attaining the MBA degree in general.

Shari Sekel described the popularity of the MBA degree, what potential students need to know about the admissions process, and how the school will help students achieve the educational goals that are right for the individual.

Thanks to Shari Sekel for her time, and for her very informative and comprehensive responses. They are greatly appreciated.

Why have Masters of Business Administration (MBA) become so popular in recent years?

Shari Sekel: I think that the MBA has always been a popular degree in certain markets. Where we have seen a lot of growth in the industry, however, is in the expanded reach to different types of students. As an example, we now see several programs (including Brock’s) which do not require work experience. When combined with co-op opportunities, the MBA becomes an attractive opportunity for students fresh from undergraduate studies – those who want to set themselves apart from their job-seeking colleagues by achieving the MBA at the commencement of their careers.

We found this was particularly true in 2008 and 2009 when new bachelors grads were faced with a tight job market – the MBA was a way to wait out the economic downturn while setting themselves up with a qualification that would help them accelerate their career progression in future years.

The other area where we have seen a lot of growth in MBA offerings in Canada is the international student marketplace. The global economy of the 21st century demands leaders who are trained in business theory and practices beyond the borders of individual countries. We see a lot more partnerships between business schools in different parts of the world, greater international exchange opportunities for MBA students and a great value placed on the rich cultural diversity that international students bring to classroom discussion and group projects in an MBA program.

With so many students applying for limited MBA spaces, what crucial challenges do students face in their application process?

Shari Sekel: Applying to graduate school, similar to applying for job opportunities, is all about differentiating yourself from the rest of the applicant pool. Students can stand out through strong GMATs and GPAs but there are also other ways that students can bolster their applications. As an example, leadership experience – both paid and volunteer – should be highlighted in any MBA application.

The personal statement (also known as the statement of interest) is important because it can help admissions personnel assess applicant/program fit. I always encourage applicants to talk about two main things in their statement. First, talk about what the student is hoping to get out of the MBA program – how will the program help the student achieve his or her career objectives? Second, talk about what the program can expect to get out of the applicant – highlight experience, previous activities, unique skill sets that will contribute to the program learning environment.

Many students consider the GMAT test to be their nemesis. Is the GMAT a student;'s enemy or does it offer some real benefits as well?

Shari Sekel: The GMAT is definitely not a student’s enemy. There are a lot of instances where it can be one of the most useful parts of an MBA application. Remember, the admissions process is all about trying to predict which applicants will find academic success in the MBA program. Admissions Committees look at lots of factors when trying to make this prediction. The GPA and GMAT are generally the two main objective measures of an MBA application.

Imagine a case where an applicant graduated from his or her undergraduate program fifteen or twenty years ago. In this instance, the GPA is clearly not going to be as reliable a predictor of current abilities as a GMAT score written within the last year or so. So students whose long-ago undergraduate performance was weak can find a lot of benefit in a GMAT score that more appropriately reflects their current potential.

For another example, consider a case where an applicant studied a non-business undergraduate degree (very common, by the way) but has a keen interest in a business career. We often see that students who are not passionate about their undergraduate subject matter have grades which reflect their lack of engagement. In these cases, the GMAT offers the applicants a chance to demonstrate their capabilities in subject areas more relevant to their proposed graduate business studies. On the admissions side, the GMAT is a tool that helps us compare applicants from diverse educational backgrounds. Such comparisons are not always relevant when done using GPA alone as we typically see lower grades in some disciplines than others.



Shari Sekel, Brock University Faculty of Business (photo left)

Many potential MBA students are intimidated by the process, and are afraid to ask questions of the faculty. How can this fear be overcome?

Shari Sekel: At Brock, as well as many other MBA programs, we strongly encourage students to contact us in advance of their applications. We want to make sure that questions get answered, that the application process itself runs smoothly and timely and that the applicant’s objectives are consistent with the program options that we can deliver. You’ll read below that making connections with your schools of choice before submitting your applications is actually a great approach!

Before contacting a school, students need to have a good understanding of their own objectives and need to have done some research through program websites. Most simple questions about program specializations, start dates, fees, and more can be easily located online. Once students have learned the basics from the program websites, they should be able to create a short list of schools that seem to cover their basic needs/wants. At that point, students should make a connection with each program to talk about fit.

But students should be prepared to answer as many questions as they ask. In fact, when I counsel MBA prospects, I always start the conversation by talking about their career objectives. Doing so helps make sure that I’m providing students with information relevant to their individual circumstances.

Choosing a graduate program is a big decision – students owe it to themselves to make a personal connection with their MBA program choices. At Brock, we’re genuinely interested in finding students who are the right fit for our program – and we’ll be honest if a prospect and his or her objectives is not a good fit for what we have to offer. In fact, we’re happy to point you to another program that might be a more appropriate choice for your needs. These are the kinds of things that aren’t on the website so making that connection is definitely worth it!

How does a student know that they are the right fit for the school and courses they are selecting for their MBA program?

Shari Sekel: There are no guarantees in life. All we can do is try to predict the future. On the MBA program side, we have admissions requirements and processes that help us predict which applicants will be successful in our program. These are the people to whom we will offer admission. At the same time, prospective MBA students undertake an admissions process of their own as they decide which programs are worth their application and most likely to help them achieve their objectives.

As discussed elsewhere in more detail, there are three main recommendations that I have for MBA prospects. First, they need to understand themselves, their strengths, their weaknesses and their objectives. Second, they need to do some basic research online. Third, students need to connect with their prospective schools. Talk to people, visit campus, get advice from the program staff who’ve seen previous students come through the program. Ask if these experts have had other students with a similar background come through the MBA? Was the program a good fit for them?

At the end of the day, students won’t know until they are likely long out of their MBA program whether it was the perfect fit for them. A lot of the theory and professional skills acquired in an MBA only show their value when applied in the post-MBA workplace. The steps described above, however, will certainly help an MBA prospect make the best possible prediction.

Students often think that the admissions process is out to eliminate them. Is this a misconception on the part of some applicants?

Shari Sekel: Absolutely! Most MBA programs are looking for the strengths in their applicants. Prospective MBA students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and each application is unique. As such, it really isn’t productive to apply a cookie-cutter admissions approach. There are certainly minimum academic standards that need to be met – we are talking about a graduate degree, after all – but MBA applicants almost always offer a lot of other important factors including work or volunteer experience, diverse academic and cultural backgrounds, extra-curricular leadership positions and more. All of these things are valuable to an application and can really impress those involved in the MBA admissions process.

Is the MBA option the right one for every student; and what should they consider before applying to a school?

Shari Sekel: The MBA is a broad business degree that helps individuals pursue their career objectives – but it is certainly not the only means by which people can further their education. Students who are interested in pursuing a research-based career or further academic study at the doctoral level, for example, are usually better served by a more research-intensive graduate program – like Brock’s Master of Science in Management – where there is a mandatory thesis requirement. In other cases, a post-graduate diploma at the college-level is a viable and useful option for further education.

Before applying to any school, I strongly advise students to make a connection to an advisor for some pre-admission counseling. MBA application fees are usually at least $100 – students who connect with schools early can really make sure that their applications are targeted. At Brock, we have one individual who serves as the point of contact for all prospective students in our traditional MBA program. She works extensively with students from their first inquiry through to (hopefully) admission to the program. I also encourage students to visit campuses – look for opportunities to connect with current students, alumni and faculty at recruiting events.

At Brock, we have launched a live webinar series that includes monthly informal chats with myself and our team, Q&A sessions with current students, faculty and alumni. We’ve been able to connect with prospects from around the world – and, most importantly, they’ve been able to see, hear and ask questions of the very same people who will help them along their MBA journey from first inquiry through the graduation ceremony and beyond. In short, don’t be afraid to connect with your target schools – that is what we’re here for!

What is the first step a student should take before beginning the MBA application process?

Shari Sekel: People who are thinking about an MBA or any graduate program need to make sure that they have a clear understanding of their objectives. Where do you they see themselves in five years? Ten years? Are they looking to shift careers or industries? Ultimately, students who clearly understand their own goals are the most likely to find the best fit with the MBA or other graduate program that they choose.

Prospective applicants also need to understand their own learning styles. Do they learn best in large, lecture-based environments or small, highly interactive classes? Different MBA programs offer different advantages – only a student who understands his or her own educational needs and expectations will be able to make the best choice about their future.

What is next for the Brock University Faculty of Business?

Shari Sekel: The University is in the advanced planning stages for a new $50-million facility to house the Faculty of Business. Space for graduate programs and research are among the top priorities in the planned facility. We are currently pursuing financial support from the province of Ontario.

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5 Tips to Grow Your Export Sales

As one expert says, "Start small, but start."

Here are five tips to reduce risk, increase opportunities and grow your export sales.

Read: IndustryWeek: 5 Keys to Growing Your Export Sales

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Eliminate Excuses in 2012: Go Global

Stop making excuses and get ready to go global in 2012!

Top 10 Excuses for Not Going Global

Reasons why you should go global.

Kristin Zhivago: Roadmap To Revenue - Blog Business Success Radio

Listen to Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio



Revenue coach and author of the eye opening and results oriented book Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy, Kristin Zhivago, describes how customers have changed and that salespeople have not changed their approach, resulting in a mismatch between what customers expect and what they actually hear. Kristin Zhivago points out that not only do sales representatives not answer the most important questions from buyers, but neither do their company websites. Kristin demonstrates how to avoid the most common mistakes made by salespeople when working with today's empowered customers, She also provides a roadmap that will guide sales reps along the right path to providing what buyers really want and understanding their new buying process, regardless of the buyer's level of interest or scrutiny of the company, products, or services.

Kristin Zhivago is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on BlogTalkRadio.

The show airs live on Tuesday, December 20, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Revenue coach and author of the eye opening and results oriented book Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy, Kristin Zhivago, describes how customers have changed and that salespeople have not changed their approach, resulting in a mismatch between what customers expect and what they actually hear. You will learn:

* What customers really care about when buying

* Why customers don't buy from you

* How to utilize an effective, repeatable system to increase sales

* How to incorporate the system into your entire company and its culture



Kristin Zhivago (photo left) is a "revenue coach" whose clients range from thriving young start-ups to those in the Fortune 500, including Dow Jones, IBM, and Johnson & Johnson, and the fastest-growing companies, including Bazaarvoice and Eloqua.

Zhivago has become one of the world’s leading experts on the customer’s buying process. She speaks and teaches frequently for companies and organizations. She is the author of the blog RevenueJournal.com

Kristin Zhivago has perfected a works-every-time research method to uncover the barriers to the sale — and to identify what is working and what is broken. She then uses her findings to guide managers in creating customer-centric companies, websites, products, and services. The methods she has perfected are revealed in her new book, Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy.

After selling and marketing software and other technology products for 12 years, Zhivago founded Zhivago Management Partners, Inc., in Silicon Valley, in 1979. The company moved to Jamestown, RI in 1996. Zhivago worked exclusively in the high-tech industry until the Web emerged as a platform for commerce in 1994. She then started also applying her revenue growth methods to companies in the travel, health, publishing, food, and consumer goods industries. She spent a number of years as a "rent-a-VP," performing marketing and sales department turnarounds for CEOs, and then settled on her current role as Revenue Coach. She is passionate about helping CEOs, entrepreneurs and managers increase their revenue, using logical and straightforward methods.

My book review of Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy by Kristin Zhivago.

My book review of Rivers of Revenue: What to Do When the Money Stops Flowing by Kristin Zhivago.

Listen live on Tuesday at 8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific time.

BlogTalkRadio.com

If you miss this very informative show, it will be available for free download as a podcast for iPod, iTunes, and MP3 players; or play it right on your computer. To download this, or any other of my guest interviews, go to the Blog Business Success host page and click on Archived Segments. Once there, click on the podcast icon at the end of the episode description, to download the show free of charge for your listening enjoyment. You can also subscribe to the show feed.

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To call in questions for my guest, the number is: (347) 996-5832

Let's talk with revenue coach and author of the eye opening and results oriented book Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy, Kristin Zhivago, as she describes how customers have changed and that salespeople have not changed their approach, resulting in a mismatch between what customers expect and what they actually hear. Kristin Zhivago points out that not only do sales representatives not answer the most important questions from buyers, but neither do their company websites. Kristin demonstrates how to avoid the most common mistakes made by salespeople when working with today's empowered customers, She also provides a roadmap that will guide sales reps along the right path to providing what buyers really want and understanding their new buying process, regardless of the buyer's level of interest or scrutiny of the company, products, or services on Blog Business Success Radio.

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Roadmap To Revenue by Kristin Zhivago - Book review





Roadmap to Revenue

How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy


By: Kristin Zhivago

Published: April 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 296 pages
ISBN-10: 0974917923
ISBN-13: 978-0974917924h
Publisher: Bristol & Shipley Press











"The two activities - your selling and their buying - are worlds apart. The misalignment between what you are doing, and what your customer is doing, is costing you. You are losing sales you should be making. You're also wasting money", writes revenue coach Kristin Zhivago in her eye opening and results oriented book Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy. The author describes how customers have a buying process that they follow, and it's critical for marketers and sales representatives to understand what the buyer is trying to do during the sale.

Kristin Zhivago understands that marketing people and sales representatives are not always on the same page. Marketers believe that bringing in leads and prospects are their job; but, mistakenly, that closing the sale is not their role. The author makes it clear that today's empowered buyer requires attention from both the marketing staff and the sales people. The buyer, after all, is the person who determines whether or not to purchase a product or service. Kristin Zhivago points out that customers will tell you what they want, if they are asked properly, at the correct time, and in the right manner. The author makes it clear that the wrong time to ask is during the sales process, because buyers rarely tell salespeople what they are thinking while they are in negotiation mode.. Kristin Zhivago also offers advice on the shortcomings of focus groups and surveys, as well as the limitations of social media driven information.



Kristin Zhivago (photo left) recognizes the importance of creating and developing a system, that is logical and easily followed to increase the volume of sales. Through the use of the system recommended by the author, sales and marketing people will know what is preventing the customer from buying, and then by applying the appropriate remedy.

The major emphasis, in the system prescribed by Kristin Zhivago, is on reverse engineering successful sales to determine what went right about that process through a deeper understanding of the customer's viewpoint. With that knowledge in hand, the successful process becomes a repeatable event. The author makes clear that the system is an inclusive one, that can be applied to all sales situations. Once the system is integrated into the sales process:

* Buyers will help with the sale and provide referrals
* Internal political issues between employees and departments will end
* Marketing, sales, product development and product management will be aligned

For me, the power of the book is how Kristin Zhivago presents a comprehensive system that can be incorporated into any organization and will achieve positive sales results. The promise of the book is to build revenue through selling to customers in the way they prefer to buy. The author delivers on that promise by focusing the system on the customer, and away from the sales representative or marketer.

Kristin Zhivago guides the sales person through the entire process, including the complete review of current sales practices, reverse engineering successful sales, and providing a complete system to increase the overall number and value of sales for the sales staff. Another positive feature of the process, and one that is usually not considered in sales related books, is the inclusion of how and why the system will improve the internal culture of the organization itself.

I highly recommend the valuable and sales boosting book Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy by Kristin Zhivago, to any entrepreneurs, top managers, sales managers, marketers, sales representatives, and other business people seeking a proven and effective system for increasing their sales numbers. This book will change the way you think about customers, how they buy, and how to place your products and services in alignment with how the customer chooses to buy them.

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Select a Company Name That Reflects Happy and International

Why didn't I think of this company name?

Joy Global
Joy Global Inc. is a worldwide leader in high-productivity mining solutions. Through its market-leading businesses – P&H Mining Equipment and Joy Mining Machinery – the company manufactures and markets original equipment and aftermarket parts and services for both the underground and above-ground mining industries and certain industrial applications. Joy Global's products and related services are used extensively for the mining of coal, copper, iron ore, oil sands, gold and other mineral resources.
Global demand.  Global reach.  Learn more here.

Unfinished by Suzanne Gravelle - Book review



Unfinished

By: Suzanne Gravelle

Published: October 7,2011
Format: Paperback, 291 pages
ISBN-10: 192700506X
ISBN-13: 978-1927005064
Publisher: TRUMEDIA









"I am living in self-imposed exile. I have intentionally removed myself from everyone and everything that is familiar. Whether it is because we need to rest and rejuvenate our minds and bodies or we need to explore and work through an issue that is troubling us without distraction, interruption or influence, taking time alone, in my opinion, is important", writes traveler and seeker of the self, Suzanne Gravelle, in her inspirational and deeply moving book Unfinished. The author describes her journey of self discovery that began with her resignation from her career as a real estate agent in Nova Scotia, and continued over a long tour of Canada, where she discovered the hidden places of the nation, and those buried deep within herself.

Suzanne Gravelle understands deeply that life is not always as it appears on the surface. Beneath her life of sameness, the author believed that her true essence was being lost forever. To free her inner spirit, Suzanne Gravelle took the extraordinary step of not only seeking her true inner self, but found the need to make that personal voyage of self discovery in what she calls her self imposed exile. She began her personal voyage and adventure by leaving her Nova Scotia life, and began driving across Canada, seeking her lost soul and Canada's lost places. She could find herself and her life's meaning in those expected locations. Her inner being dwelt in lost places as well, giving the journey symbolic meaning on two different levels.



Suzanne Gravelle (photo left) finds her journey manifesting itself in her chosen archetypes of the warrior and the gypsy. Like the gypsy, the author chooses a life of travel and living on the fringes of society, observing and learning of others and of herself. As the warrior has honor, integrity, and respect for the opponent, Suzanne feels respect for her journey and the dream that lives within her. As with a voyage into oneself, the necessity of disengaging from the allegedly real world, and entering into the realm of dream forms the vision of the dreamer. The author discovers her inner gypsy and warrior honor through her entering the dream realm through travel. Throughout the voyage, the author builds on those archetypes, and forms an outline of her true self.

For me, the power of the book is how Suzanne Gravelle shares both the interior and exterior aspects of her journey. Her inner voyage is a discovery of her true self, and the development of her preferred warrior and gypsy self. It was also a journey she had to take alone, in what she calls her self-imposed exile. Her exterior venture is the literal trip across Canada, but even within the context of that long expedition, she finds the less explored places in the country. As with the still undiscovered areas of her own soul, Suzanne identifies with the lost locations of Canada. Those spots parallel her own missing feelings, and form an enriching source of understanding for her and for the reader. With the voyage ending literally at the West Coast, Suzanne's journey of self exploration completes one crucial phase, preparing her for the next act in her life's play.

I highly recommend the profound and soul enriching book Unfinished by Suzanne Gravelle, to anyone seeking a guide and traveling companion, on the road to one's own inner voyage. Whether the reader is moved by Suzanne's inner travel, or by the literal transcontinental road trip, or by both at once, this book is a deeply personal adventure not to be missed.

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For more information about Unfinished by Suzanne Gravelle, visit Unfinished on Amazon.com. You can follow her journey on her blog

About Unfinished

This is a true story of a woman who experienced such a profound awakening that she could no longer live the same way, the same life she was just one week before. She could no longer ignore the woman who was screaming to be set free from the ties that bind her to a life she no longer desired or recognized. The transformation to become the woman she really wanted to be has propelled her upon the most remarkable self-discovery journey of her life. She sold her home, gave up her career, kissed her children, grandchildren and friend’s good bye, got into her vehicle and just drove away…ALONE. Where was she going? 30,000km later she finds herself in the most unlikely place to try to piece her life together, trying to make sense of the constant feeling of being Unfinished.

About Suzanne Gravelle

Suzanne Gravelle is 49 Years old and has 3 children, 2 grandchildren who live in Nova Scotia. At the time this book goes to print she is single and homeless by choice, still travelling, seeking that place of comfort she will eventually call home. She spent most of her life living in Nova Scotia but her formidable years aged 10-25, were spent living on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. She resigned as a Real Estate Agent in Nova Scotia, to embark upon this most incredible journey, driving, exploring Canada and writing this book. Read Suzanne's extended biography.

Suzanne’s Links

Find out where Suzanne is and listen to a current interview on 1290 CJBK London, Ontario on Suzanne's blog

Suzanne’s own BlogTalkRadio radio program Wednesday mornings 10am EST

Facebook: Suzanne Gravelle on Facebook

Twitter: @tourwithsuzanne

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Subsurface Sensing edited by Ahmet S. Turk, A. Koskal Hocaoglu & Alexey A. Vertiy - Book review





Subsurface Sensing

Edited by: Ahmet S. Turk, Ph.D., Koksal A. Hocaoglu, Ph.D., Alexey A. Vertiy, Ph.D.

Published: August 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 920 pages
ISBN-10: 0470133880
ISBN-13: 978-0470133880
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.












"The major goal of this book is to provide a deep understanding of both the capabilities and limitations of the various sensor technologies used for detecting buried objects", write leading authorities in subsurface imaging and sensing, Ahmet S. Turk, Ph.D., Koksal A. Hocaoglu, Ph.D., and Alexey A. Vertiy, Ph.D., in their very comprehensive and authoritative book Subsurface Sensing. The authors describe the very wide and multidisciplinary field of subsurface sensing,and provide both the theoretical and practical applications and technologies that comprise the subject material.

Ahmet S. Turk, Ph.D., Koksal A. Hocaoglu, Ph.D., and Alexey A. Vertiy, Ph.D. understand both the strengths and limitations of subsurface sensing technology. As a result, the authors provide students, geophysicists, researchers, and engineers with a complete examination of the most important applications and technologies utilized in the field. The authors divide the book into three sections to provide the best overview of the subject: The three sections are as follows:

* The first part covers ground penetrating radar (GPR), electromagnetic induction (EMI), and microwave tomography
* The second part covers acoustic and seismic sensors, biochemical sensors, nuclear sensors, and optical sensors
* The third part includes the areas of application including geophysical, secuirty, landmine detection, and transport and civil engineering applications

Ahmet S. Turk, Ph.D., Koksal A. Hocaoglu, Ph.D., and Alexey A. Vertiy, Ph.D. recognize that their wide ranging overview of the subject will lack depth in each specific area. At the same time, that overall coverage offers practitioners with an examination of the theory, key applications, and important technologies in the field. The overview methodology of the book provides a firm foundation in the subject matter, leading to further in depth study for each application or technology as needed. Within the three principle sections of the book are individual chapters offering an examination of the wide and varied applications of subsurface sensing.

For me, the power of the book is the impressive array of multidisciplinary experts who provide their authoritative articles to the book. The expertise on offer covers a wide range of fields and subjects, but focuses on the principle areas of theory, sensor technology, and sensing applications. The sections of the various types of sensors, the mathematical and physics formulas, and the vast number of applications of the technology are especially useful. The authors are to be commended as well for including chapters that point to the potential weaknesses and limitations of subsurface sensing in all fields of study. Overall, this book is an excellent guide to the wide ranging and ever expanding field of subsurface sensing.

I highly recommend the essential and definitive book Subsurface Sensing edited by Subsurface Sensing, to any students, engineers, practitioners, business leaders, and policy makers seeking a complete overview of the theory, technology, and applications of the critical field of subsurface sensing. This book is a must for anyone with an interest or need for subsurface detection in any area of engineering, resources, business, or scientific research.

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World: Experience the Mysterious

©Laurel J. Delaney 2011, "Beach Art"
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." ~ Albert Einstein

Photo courtesy:  ©Laurel J. Delaney 2011, "Beach Art"

Gold Under Ice by Carol Buchanan - Fiction book review



Gold Under Ice

By: Carol Buchanan

Published: July 20, 2010
Format: Paperback, 408 pages
ISBN-10: 0982782217
ISBN-13: 978-0982782217
Publisher: Missouri Breaks Press












During the American Civil War, Daniel Stark saves a drowning man from the icy water of Alder Creek, Montana Territory, and sets of a series of events that traverse America from the Old West to the gold trading pits of Wall Street, in the spellbinding and fast paced novel Gold Under Ice by award winning, Montana based novelist Carol Buchanan.

Carol Buchanan moves well beyond the usual historical fiction realm, and enters into a story of Wall Street gold trading and the value of President Abraham Lincoln's greenback currency. The story of Daniel Stark, and his quest to repay his family's indebtedness, is mirrored by the larger historical drama of the Wall Street battle of the greenback dollar against the gold Double Eagle coin. The fate of America, embroiled in the horrific carnage of the Civil War, hangs in the balance. The threads of Daniel Stark's life become intricately woven in the arcane financial drama played out by the gold traders in New York. In the days before electronic trades, the gold market was a rough and ready business, that could easily determine the outcome of the war, and the future of America, in just a few failed or successful trades.



Carol Buchanan (photo left) creates living breathing characters, with realistic dialogue, who are caught up in events that sweep them to their destiny. The desires and motivations of the characters, are timeless, and provide an immediacy to the sweeping tale. For business readers, the intricacies of the gold pits, and of the battle for supremacy between gold and paper currency, are fascinating in their modernity.

The price of gold, and the value of the dollar were as as much the daily headlines in 1864 as they are today. The trades made on Wall Street could make or break a currency and a nation then, and they can still do so in the modern world. The author creates a realistic portrayal of the financial markets of yesterday, that still has relevance in the our own time. The battle between gold and paper money, the lure of riches, and the often cold calculation of profit regardless of the outcome, remain as true as ever.

Carol Buchanan tackles a potentially tricky area with the discussion and description of the Civil War era gold and financial markets. The author deftly combines the microcosm of the Daniel Stark story with the larger narrative of the national economy. Even more important, Carol Buchanan transforms the actions on Wall Street from a potentially dry and arcane topic, into a riveting part of the novel. The novel is a fascinating account of fictional characters inhabiting a historically accurate world. The novel is a page turning epic, a lesson in the often ignored financial history of America, and a series of well drawn character studies.

I highly recommend the wonderful historical novel Gold Under Ice by Carol Buchanan, to anyone seeking aen enjoyable and idea filled historical novel. The characters are memorable, and stay with the reader, long after the last page is completed. This book is well worth a read, as the events of the story feel as if they are taken from today's financial headlines, all wrapped up in a gripping adventure tale of family honor.

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Business At The Speed Of Now by John M. Bernard - Book review





Business at the Speed of Now

Fire Up Your People, Thrill Your Customers, and Crush Your Competitors


By: John M. Bernard

Published: December 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1118054016
ISBN-13: 978-1118054017
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.











"Customers increasingly demand a yes answer to each and every question they ask. They want what they want, and they want it now", writes founder and chairman of Mass Ingenuity, John M. Bernard in his insightful and practical book Business at the Speed of Now: Fire Up Your People, Thrill Your Customers, and Crush Your Competitors. The author describes how in an age of mass customization, it's essential for organizations to empower all of their employees to act quickly and decisively to take full advantage of opportunities as they arise in real time.

John Bernard recognizes that standard management practices are unsuited to cope with the marketplace sea change from the age of mass production to the age of mass individualization. Managers in many companies fail to understand that the demands on employees, by their more empowered customers, are stifled by outdated management practices. Because of this enormous shift in customer expectations, employees are being asked to deliver more than than they have the authority or tools to provide, causing a rift with customers. John Bernard offers an innovative and transformational alternative approach that empowers and engages employees at all levels, provides managers with better data for decision making, and removes obstacles for leadership and innovation.



John M. Bernard (photo left) understands that the marketplace has changed in radical ways, and that the management tools and techniques of even a few years ago, are insufficient for today's reality. The author proposes an end to micro-managing, which is not even possible in contemporary organizations. Instead, John Bernard proposes that managers engage employees to propose and develop fresh ideas for meeting the challenge of today's more demanding customers. The author emphasizes that managers must leverage the power of social media, cloud computing, and the millennial mindset, to achieve success.

Instead of counterproductive policies, including the banning of on the job social media usage and fears of cloud information storage, the author proposes the removal of fear in the workplace. John Bernard recommends that business leaders think in terms of NOW management and its revolutionary goals:

* Removing fear in the workplace
* Reducing variation in all areas of the business
* Overcoming the barriers that prevent change toward empowerment

For me, the power of the book is how John M. Bernard combines the theory of transforming a company to NOW Management, with the tools and strategies for achieving the NOW goals. The author understands completely that traditional management practices are standing in the way of employee engagement. The desire for control is also an outmoded concept that no longer works in a social media, cloud computing, and empowered employee organization. Control is simply no longer possible as today's customer will simply turn to another company for their products and services. To bolster his case, John Bernard shares data, case studies, and anecdotes of companies succeeding through the NOW formula, and their engaged employees becoming more productive, providing more value and profit for the company.

I highly recommend the inspirational and empowering book Business at the Speed of Now: Fire Up Your People, Thrill Your Customers, and Crush Your Competitors by John M. Bernard, to any business leaders and managers who are seeking a fresh and effective strategy to compete effectively in today's highly competitive marketplace. The transformation from an organization of fear to one of engagement will improve employee performance, boost the bottom line, and distance your company from the lagging competition.

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Do Your Part to Change the World

Search, find your cause, change the world -- those are the words of Barton Brooks, founder of Global Colors, working to create self-sustaining grassroots projects for the common good of each community it serves.
Global Colors came after he took a trip to a small village in Cambodia. He says he was so moved by the people and their struggles that he decided to form his own organization to help get aid to people in need. To fund the first Global Colors projects, Barton sold his only asset at the time—a Shelby Cobra replica he built by hand. "It turned into education for kids and sustaining life for some widows in Kenya, so it's kind of hard to miss it that much," he says.
Read more here.

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Mary Davis Holt: Break Your Own Rules - Blog Business Success Radio

Listen to Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio



Keynote speaker, executive coach, managing partner at Flynn Heath Holt Leadership, and co-author of straight talking and empowering book Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women's Paths to Power, Mary Davis Holt describes why there are so few women in C-level positions. Despite great strides made in diversity, women are underrepresented in the executive suite, Mary Davis Holt points out that women run companies are more profitable meaning that businesses are missing out on great leadership. Mary shares the six faulty assumptions, often mistakenly considered rules, followed by women that stand in their way. Mary provides advice and strategies for changing those assumptions to new ways of acting that will help more women achieve C-level positions. Mary Davis Holt is firm in her conviction that by changing the old rules to new ones will place women in 30 percent of leadership roles within a decade.

Mary Davis Holt is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on BlogTalkRadio.

The show airs live on Thursday, December 15, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Keynote speaker, executive coach, managing partner at Flynn Heath Holt Leadership, and co-author of straight talking and empowering book Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women's Paths to Power, Mary Davis Holt describes why there are so few women in C-level positions. You will learn:

* Why there are so few women in top leadership positions in the corporate world

* The myths and behaviors that hold women back from achieving career success

* How women can change their behavior to reach the top in any company

* What are tge new rules of business and behavior for women



Mary Davis Holt (photo left) s a partner at Flynn Heath Holt Leadership (FHHL) whose goal is to move women and organizations forward, faster. She is an executive coach and keynote speaker on business, women, and leadership. As an in-demand voice, Mary shares her hard-won insights and promotes FHHL's new rules for success to a wide range of audiences.

Prior to joining FHH, Mary held executive positions at Time Warner with oversight that ranged from finance to information technology, marketing, human resources, manufacturing, and distribution. She held a number of leadership roles in the publishing group including Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Time Life, Inc. Among her many career highlights, Mary led the management of worldwide manufacturing distribution for all of Time Inc.'s magazines (e.g., Time, Fortune, People, Sports Illustrated). She also served as president of Time Life Books and Time Life Kids.

My book review of Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women's Paths to Power by Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt.

Listen live on Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific time.

BlogTalkRadio.com

If you miss this very informative show, it will be available for free download as a podcast for iPod, iTunes, and MP3 players; or play it right on your computer. To download this, or any other of my guest interviews, go to the Blog Business Success host page and click on Archived Segments. Once there, click on the podcast icon at the end of the episode description, to download the show free of charge for your listening enjoyment. You can also subscribe to the show feed.

Add to iTunes

To call in questions for my guest, the number is: (347) 996-5832

Let's talk with keynote speaker, executive coach, managing partner at Flynn Heath Holt Leadership, and co-author of straight talking and empowering book Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women's Paths to Power, Mary Davis Holt, as shedescribes why there are so few women in C-level positions. Despite great strides made in diversity, women are underrepresented in the executive suite, Mary Davis Holt points out that women run companies are more profitable meaning that businesses are missing out on great leadership. Mary shares the six faulty assumptions, often mistakenly considered rules, followed by women that stand in their way. Mary provides advice and strategies for changing those assumptions to new ways of acting that will help more women achieve C-level positions. Mary Davis Holt is firm in her conviction that by changing the old rules to new ones will place women in 30 percent of leadership roles within a decade on Blog Business Success Radio.

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Exporting: Got a Marketing Plan?

If you are considering exporting, better get organized on the marketing front. This article might help.
Keep the research summary to one page, and break it into four manageable parts (refer to article below). The purpose of this exercise is to establish a broad scope on your research market analysis but not so broad that you overwhelm yourself. Try to begin with the end in mind: Where do you want to go and how will you know that you have arrived?
How to Develop an Export Marketing Plan

Break Your Own Rules by Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath & Mary Davis Holt - Book review




Break Your Own Rules

How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women's Paths to Power


By: Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, Mary Davis Holt

Published: September 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 208 pages
ISBN-10: 111806254X
ISBN-13: 978-1118062548
Publisher: Jossey-Bass










"We have a dream. It is a big vision...it is a leap...and it is audacious: we want to see women make up at least 30 percent of the top leadership positions in corporate America within the next ten years", write managing partners at Flynn Heath Holt Leadership (FHHL), Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt, in their straight talking and revolutionary book Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women's Paths to Power. The authors describe the myths and misconceptions that hold women back from achieving their fullest potential as leaders in the corporate world, and share strategies for changing these false rules, and replacing them with fresh ideas for success.



Jill Flynn (photo left), Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt recognize that women have moved forward in business over the past few decades, but despite these advances, women are very underrepresented in corporate boardrooms. The authors point out that fewer than one in six top leadership positions in the Fortune 500 are held by women. At the same time, the authors demonstrate that companies with female leadership at the C-level are more profitable and have a better business model for the future. The authors identified six faulty rules that hold women back from achieving their full potential as corporate leaders. These behaviors are rooted in societal norms and cultural mores, and the authors provide alternative rules to replace these deadly misconceptions, that work for the advancement of women, and achieve greater performance for their companies.



Kathryn Heath (photo left), Mary Davis Holt, and Jill Flynn understand that women have faced and continue to encounter societal pressure to follow an archaic set of supposed rules of behavior. Instead of following society's programming of letting others move ahead, and accepting a lesser role, the authors recommend that women step forward and seize opportunities for moving their careers ever upward. The authors content correctly, that these alleged rules were not and are not carved in stone. Indeed, they are not carved in anything except some antiquated societal mores.

For the authors, it's time for women to break free of these unhealthy myths, and achieve their roles as effective corporate leaders. The authors present their new rules as follows:

* Take center stage
* Proceed until apprehended
* Project personal power
* Be politically savvy
* Play to win
* It's both and...
* Stand together and close ranks



Mary Davis Holt (photo left), Jill Flynn, and Kathryn Heath provide an empowering manifesto for women in the corporate world, that for me, represents the power of the book. The authors not only dispel the myths that have derailed women's careers, but they provide a positive set of new behaviors for women to achieve success in the corporate world. The authors bolster their call to action with real world success stories of women who made it to the top of Fortune 500 companies by doing things their way. The lessons provided by these top female executives add inspirational background to the practical advice shared by the authors.

I highly recommend the empowering and myth destroying book Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women's Paths to Power by
Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt, to any women seeking to advance their careers, and moving past the barriers presented by outdated behaviors and mores. This book will transform any woman's career path into one that leads to the very top leadership roles and to the C-level in any size or type of company.

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Jim Lehrer interviews Secretary of State Hillary Clinton




PBS NEWSHOUR Executive Editor Jim Lehrer will interview United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton live onstage Wednesday, December 14, at The Newseum in Washington D.C. for Innovation and the Global Marketplace: A Discussion on American Innovation, Trade, and the next 10 million jobs.

Jim Lehrer and Secretary Hillary Clinton will discuss how America will create jobs going forward, and the future of the global economy.



US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (photo left)

The event will also include three panel discussions between leaders in the private and public sectors on the subjects of innovation and economic growth, moderated by NEWSHOUR correspondents Jeffrey Brown, Hari Sreenivasan, and Paul Solman.

Created through a partnership between the NEWSHOUR, The Aspen Institute and Intel, Innovation and the Global Marketplace will be streamed live on the NEWSHOUR’s website starting at 8:45 a.m. ET on December 14.

Viewers can join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #IEglobalmkt and by following @InnovationEcon and @Newshour.

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