Open and Frank Discussion

Posted by Tom Locke on May 24th, 2018 filed in Business, Life
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For the most part, nobody likes to hurt people’s feelings – it’s common nature.

Hence in both business and personal settings, many people remain quiet and do not express what they really feel about a subject or someone.

But is that a good thing?

Being open and frank in a positive/solution driven way alleviates the impact of personal attacks.  Studies have shown that this type of approach produces a willingness to participate as confidence and trust are established.

And, when you have more people in the conversation, you get more ideas, you get the opportunity to discuss positives and negative and you get the chance to determine the best course of action.

It does not happen overnight but through committed leadership in this approach it can happen.


Do You Have A Book In You

Posted by Tom Locke on May 11th, 2018 filed in General, History, Life
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Have you ever thought of your life as a book or movie? Maybe you should. It’s a chance to look back and celebrate all that was good and look ahead to create what you want.

What would you talk about?  Well, how about your experiences and what you have learned from them?  In approaching this, author/speaker Lee Silber suggests the following areas for you to hone in on:

Self-Help

What brings out the best in you? What would you like to improve upon?

Thriller

What is something you did that you were afraid to, but did it anyway? What would you try if you knew you could not fail?

Travel Guide

Where was your favorite vacation destination? Where have you always wanted to go?

Growing Up

What is your happiest childhood memory? What can you do now to be that happy again?

Romance

Who is the love of your life? What makes them special?

Career / Business 

What was a smart career or business move you made? What is your dream job? What type of business would you start if you could?

Others Who Have Touched You

Who have you always admired? Why? What would they do if they were in your shoes right now?

Fitness

When were you in your best shape? How did you do it? What would you like to look and feel like in the future?

Finance

What was one of your soundest investments? How much would you like to earn or have saved up?

Highlights That Are Memorable To You

Explore the highlights of your life to date, and the ones to come (Bucket List?).

 

 


Being Nice In The Workplace

Posted by Tom Locke on April 26th, 2018 filed in Business, Life
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Being nice in the workplace is all about balance.  It costs nothing to be nice to fellow employees.  Yet, sometimes we bend over backwards to not hurt someone feelings and end up sacrificing productivity.

Being nice does not mean that you agree with everything being said.  It is more about how you process and respond to information presented.  Responding in a positive and respectful manner is essential – negativity stifles innovation.

Feeling good and going to work with a positive attitude contributes greatly to a productive environment.  There is a strong correlation in being happy and being productive.   This approach also breeds one of the strongest characteristic in a good company – trust.

Lastly, their is nothing wrong with this spilling over into your personal life as well.


Reconnecting With Your Past

Posted by Tom Locke on April 12th, 2018 filed in Life, Sports ... All Sorts
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During the first week in April this year, I had the opportunity to have breakfast with my old fastball coach who is 93 years young, ambulatory and sharp as a tack.

What he did not know was that, in addition to his son, I also invited to breakfast two other players from our ball team who played for him during the 60′s and early 70′s.  He was both surprised and appreciative.

We then let him know that in September of 2019 we were going to assemble all the living members of our Ontario Championship team to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our win.  So he now has the goal of of making sure he is there to reconnect with all the players he helped mold into upstanding and successful men.

The response that our organizing committee got from our fellow team members was outstanding with many commenting how great it is going to be to get together for a joyous occasion as opposed to a celebration of life for a dearly departed.

The fact that we can jointly get together to celebrate an impressionable milestone in our lives is a legacy in itself.


The World Happiness Report 2018

Posted by Tom Locke on March 22nd, 2018 filed in General, Life
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The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness.

The World Happiness Report 2018, which ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels, and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants, was released on March 14th at a launch event at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in the Vatican. A subsequent event occurred on March 20th, celebrating International Day of Happiness at the United Nations.

In reading the Executive Summary of this report, two things stood out for me:

“The importance of social factors in the happiness
of all populations, whether migrant or not, is
emphasized in Chapter 6, where the happiness
bulge in Latin America is found to depend on
the greater warmth of family and other social
relationships there, and to the greater importance
that people there attach to these relationships.

The Report ends on a different tack, with a
focus on three emerging health problems that
threaten happiness: obesity, the opioid crisis,
and depression. Although set in a global context,
most of the evidence and discussion are focused
on the United States, where the prevalence of
all three problems has been growing faster and
further than in most other countries.”

 


The Passing of Sir Roger Bannister

Posted by Tom Locke on March 4th, 2018 filed in History, Life, Sports ... All Sorts
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On Saturday March 3 we lost a sporting legend.  But more than that, we lost a man who made his life count; a man who made significant inroads in the field of neurology; and, a man who took great pride in family.

As chairman of the Sports Council in the UK between 1971 and 1974, Sir Roger developed the first test for anabolic steroids.

In his words, “None of my athletics was the greatest achievement,” he said. “My medical work has been my achievement and my family with 14 grandchildren. Those are real achievements.”

I first met Sir Roger in August of 1993.  He and John Landy of Australia both came to Vancouver that summer to sign limited edition prints to commemorate their historical Miracle Mile run at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games that were held in Vancouver.  The prints were released to the public the following summer at the 1994 Games hosted in Victoria with partial proceeds going to support the athletes participating in those Games.

Photo 3

Sir Roger and I would meet again for the opening of the 1994 Games attending a number of luncheons and events together.

However, what I will never forget is two personal discussions I had with him.  The first came in 1993 during a signing session.  My two daughters, Cathy (aged 12 at the time) and Alana (aged 10), assisted with the signings.  When Sir Roger found out that Alana was deaf, he pulled me aside and, for about a half an hour, he quizzed me on her condition, asking about genetic background, how her deafness was discovered and how we, as a family, were coping with her situation and supporting her.  He was genuinely interested.  In our subsequent meeting a year later, he opened up the conversation with, “How’s your daughter Alana doing?”  I was both stunned and grateful.

They say in life we will experience some things that we will never forget.  My meetings with Sir Roger fall into that category … truly great moments in time.


Managing in Professional Sports

Posted by Tom Locke on March 1st, 2018 filed in Business, History, Sports ... All Sorts
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The harsh reality in professional sport is that the only thing that keeps a manager/coach’s job is the ability to win often enough to keep the owner(s) and fans happy.

Unfortunately, the winning is in the hands of the players and the manager/coach is nothing more than a guide.  Whether the players listen to the “guide” or not and they win, then the guide is considered successful.

The iconic baseball manager, Casey Stengel, perhaps said it best, “Managing is getting paid for home runs someone else hits.”


When Is Big Too Big

Posted by Tom Locke on February 15th, 2018 filed in Business, History, Technology
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Scott Galloway teaches brand strategy and digital marketing at NYU’s Stern School of Business. Galloway has been an Internet pioneer since 1992 and has owned and sold several e-commerce companies over the past couple of decades.

In Galloway’s latest book called ‘The Four’  he addresses the rise of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, and the influence these companies have on the global economy. Galloway’s conclusion is that they should be broken up for their near monopolistic power. Here are some of the stats he shares in his book that were laid out by John Thomson in his recent wifi hifi newsletter:

“So how big is Amazon? With a current market cap of $591 billion Amazon is worth more to the stock market than Walmart, Costco, T.J. Maxx, Target, Ross, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Bed, Bath& Beyons, Saks, Sears, Dillards and JCPenny combined!

If you combine Facebook and Google together, they have a market cap of $1.3 trillion. If you were to merge Disney, Time Warner, 21st Century Fox, CBC, Viacom, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Charter and the Dish Network, and then add the five largest advertising agencies in the world – WPP, Omnicomm, Publicist, IPG and Dentsu, according to Galloway you would still only be at around 90% of what Facebook and Google are worth together.

How about Apple? Apple is on track to be the first trillion-dollar company with a market cap of $900 billion. In the last quarter alone Apple earned $46 billion, twice the profits that Amazon has earned in its entire history. Ferrari is reported to work on a profit margin of around 29% while Apple’s profit margin of 32%. Stern observes that Apple’s profits in just one quarter was greater than the total revenue of either Coca-Cola or Facebook in the same period.

So what is wrong with this in Galloway’s estimation? In a phrase – too much control in the hands of four companies. These four hold a 24% share of the S&P 500 Top 50 and, at a combined market cap of $2.8 trillion, are close to the total value of every stock traded on the Nasdaq in 2001.”

With the Big Four’s technological capabilities that we tap into daily, it makes one wonder if we are in control of our lives or are just part of a fiefdom.


How To Turn An App Idea Into A Real Product

Posted by Tom Locke on February 1st, 2018 filed in Business, Technology
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APP Picture

A tip of the hat to ymedialabs freelance editor Rae Steinbach** for the following contribution:

Maybe you just came up with an idea for the next great app. That’s a start, but ideas are only the beginning. What matters is knowing how to take a good idea and turn it into something real. People have inspirations for the next great mobile app all the time, but most of them never get past the point of just being a vague conception.

If you want to take your idea for an app and make it into something that people will use, you have to know how to design the app, develop it into something that can be used, and then get people to install it on their phones. This may entail partnering with professional iOS developers or other app design agencies, or you may have the technical know-how to go it alone. In this guide, you will learn about the steps that will take you from having an idea to having a real app that people use.

The Basics

The first thing you are going to need to do in the app development process is get the basic concept for the app down. You might have a rough idea of what the app is going to do, but you need to develop a clear picture before you can really move on to design and development.

First, you have to figure out the type of mobile app you are going to develop. Consider the following question:

● What is it going to do for users?

● Why would people want to download this app?

● Does your app have a specific audience? If so, who are these potential users?

You also want to think about whether you are going to develop for iOS or Android. To determine the right operating system, you might need to do some research to find out which type of platform is most common among your target audience. As an additional point, you may also want to consider that iPhone users tend to be more profitable for companies that build a business model around an app.

Some of the answers to these questions might be easy and intuitive, but you also should conduct market research. Things like surveys and focus groups can provide information about what your target audience may be looking for in an app. You could also research industry trends and look for information about competing services.

Design & Development

Once you have worked out the basics of what you want the app to be, it is time to move on to design and development. You want to get all of your ideas down on paper, build some wireframe sketches, and do some prototyping.

You could start prototyping on your own by using one of the many prototyping tools that are available, or you could choose to start working with a design and development firm that will help to guide you through the process.

Even if you do choose to handle most of the design stage on your own, you may need to hire a developer to help build the app once the design phase is complete.

When you are looking for a development partner, you want to make sure to hire someone that has the necessary experience. Ask to see their portfolio and request a few references. Along with that, you should discuss your concept with the developer to see the types of ideas they have, and get an idea of how well they will work as a collaborator.

Launching Your App

With the development process complete, you’ll have an app that is ready to hit the market. At this stage, you need to think about what you can do to get people to install your app. Regardless of whether you developed for Android or iOS, you have millions of other apps to compete with, so you need to do what you can to raise awareness and get people interested in using your product.

One of the first steps you could take is to optimize your app for higher visibility in the app stores. One tip is to use a keyword in the title of the app. This should make it easier for people to find it as they search. You could also advertise your app on social media and through email.

It takes some time and effort to take an app idea and turn it into something that people want to use. Even when you see that people are downloading the app, that is not the end of the process. No app is perfect on its initial release; you need to look for any bugs that may have been causing problems, and you also need to look for user feedback to find ways that you can improve the experience.

** Rae Steinbach is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content.


Humorous Quotes

Posted by Tom Locke on January 16th, 2018 filed in History, Humour, Life
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I have read some beauties over the years.  Here are 3 that really standout:

“I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.” – Mae West

“I’ve never killed a man, but I have read many an obituary with a great deal of satisfaction.” – Mark Twain

“I never forget a face, but, in your case, I’ll be glad to make an exception” – Groucho Marx