|A Note From The President |
|How Did They Do That?|
|What can Ambeck Do For You
|Formula For Success|
|Fun & Games|
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Classical Pursuits is an innovative program,
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art and music in a relaxed and informal setting.
I stopped to pick up the bagel
rolling away in the wind,
annoyed with myself
for having dropped it
as if it were a portent.
Faster and faster it rolled,
with me running after it
bent low, gritting my teeth,
and I found myself doubled over
and rolling down the street
head over heels, one complete somersault
after another like a bagel
and strangely happy with myself.
David Ignatow (1914 - 1997)
If you were in Claire Stoddard's situation, what
would you do differently?
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1. Who is the god of love in Greek Mythology
2. Where was actor Leslie Nielsen born?
Answers for last month's Fun & Games
1. ME/REPEAT - Answer: Repeat after me
2. Forget me Not?
I can be repeated, But often not in the same way.
I can't be changed, But can be rewritten.
I can be forgotten, And can also be lost with death.
My first is in horses, But not in ponies.
My last is in pretty, But not in beautiful. What am I? Answer:
"Those who refuse to learn from the past are
doomed to repeat it." Arnold Toynbee
"It is not that I belong to the past, but the past that belongs
to me." Mary Antin
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A Note From The President
A Note From The President
This month I decided to take a look at the non-profit sector
because some of you may be a little curious about what it's like.
I asked Jeanne Moffat to share her thoughts.
What is it like working in the non-profit sector?
Working in the Non-Profit sector allows me to earn my salary doing
what my personal values call forth from me! I can work with passionate
people who care about the health and welfare of people and the
environment. I can forget about the push for profit above all
else, and can apply my skills and experience to advocating for
and helping to solve some of society's most pressing issues. I
can feel good about making a positive contribution to the global
How can someone enter the sector?
Entering the non-profit sector happens through several doors--volunteering
with community groups in numerous ways, joining advocacy campaigns
pushing for more progressive public policies, attending public
conferences and debates on matters of interest to the global community
and meeting people of like concern, and working for a salary in
a non-profit organization.
In order to "work for a salary", one must go through
the same hoops as required for any job placement--applications,
resumes, interviews, negotiations, evaluations. Every non-profit
organization is looking for highly qualified and experienced people,
but most non-profits will not be able to pay the same level of
salaries that would be offered for similar positions in the for-profit
world. That is a reality that one must accept before applying
for a position. However, the benefit packages are often good and
there is a definite upside in knowing you are working to enhance
the lives of people all over the world--and that is a benefit
that cannot be found in every workplace!
What workplace lessons have you learned over the years working
in the non-profit sector?
I have learned that committed people who want to save the world
(and there is a high concentration of these people in the non-profit
sector) are in a very high-risk category for burnout. "To
burn out you must first have a fire in your belly" is a quote
I remember from my research on burnout. It is hard for idealistic,
committed people to say "no" to issues and concerns,
and so more work gets taken on, and on and on it goes, building
toward an impossible workload, with often little recognition or
affirmation. Organizational support for breaks or sabbaticals
are few and far between, and few non-profits can afford to hire
"human resource managers" who might insist on more supports
Caring and experienced managers who approach management from a
human resource perspective, i.e., that people are the organization's
greatest assets, are needed in the non-profit sector. Taking care
of the people who are trying to take care of the world's problems
is one of the key organizational challenges for the non-profit
What life lessons have your learned?
I have learned that it is possible to find solutions for even
the most intractable problems--by listening, by leading with a
fair and transparent approach, by being open to new ideas and
ways of handling situations, and by affirming people as often
as possible. That is how I would like to live and to be treated
in any setting in which I find myself!
Until next time! Avil
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Review of The Right Questions: Ten Essential
Questions to Guide You to an Extraordinary Life, Debbie Ford
When I saw this book a couple of years ago, I bought it because
I know how important it is to ask the right questions to get the
answers that you are looking for. I was in a rush so I grabbed
the book without reading the back to see what it was about. Because
I was in such a rush, I didn't notice the subtitle, all I saw
was THE RIGHT QUESTIONS. I think that the book should be titled
"How to Make the Right Choices." Even though the book
wasn't what I expected, I still enjoyed it.
What Are The Ten Questions?
- Will this choice propel me toward an inspiring future or
will it keep me stuck in the past?
- Will this choice bring me long-term fulfillment or will it
bring me short-term gratification?
- Am I standing in my power or am I trying to please another?
- Am I looking for what's right or am I looking for what's wrong?
- Will this choice add to my life force or will it rob me of
- Will I use this situation as a catalyst to grow and evolve
or will I use it to beat myself up?
- Does this choice empower me or does it disempower me?
- Is this an act of self-love or is it an act of self-sabotage?
- Is this an act of faith or is it an act of fear?
- Am I choosing from my divinity or am I choosing from my humanity?
According to Debbie Ford, "These questions supply you with
the wisdom you need to make what was previously unconscious, conscious,
so that you can choose with all the power that comes from being
Let's focus on question six, "Will I use this situation
as a catalyst to grow and evolve or will I use it to beat myself
up?" Ford suggests that every person and situation in our
lives is "behaving in exactly the way we need them to at
every moment in time." This concept would be difficult for
most people to understand and accept. However, she further adds,
which I agree with, that we look at the situation with perspective
and ask ourselves what can we learn, and how can we use this to
evolve. I would ask what opportunities exist in the situation.
Five Great Ideas
- The quality of our choices will dictate whether we will struggle
in frustration or live an extraordinary life
us to pick, to select, to decide between paths. To go right
or left. To move forward or backward, be happy or sad, loving
or hateful, satisfied or discontent. Choice gives us the power
to be successful or unfulfilled, to be good or great, to feel
pleasure or pain
- We are where we are because of repeated unconscious or unhealthy
choices that we've made day after day that add up to the reality
we find ourselves in. if we want to understand why and how we
created our present reality, all we need to do is look at the
choices we made in the past
Our futures are determined
by the choices we are making in this moment
If we want
our lives to be different, all we have to do is make different
- We've all been blessed with free will, which provides us with
the power to choose how we react to our experiences in life
- Faith invites us to believe in something we cannot see, feel,
or know. Fear destroys dreams and exterminates possibilities
Our fears cause us to hold on to habits and behaviours that
no longer serve us
- The ability to rationalize behaviour that goes against what
we truly want might be our biggest curse because it makes us
masters at justifying our actions
June's Book List
The Right Questions, Debbie Ford
The Luck Factor
Do you create your own luck? Professor Richard Wiseman from University
of Hertfordshire in Britain conducted a 10-year study to determine
the nature of luck, and published his findings in a book called
The Luck Factor: The Scientific Study of the Lucky Mind.
Professor Wiseman has outlined four principles to help one increase
their good fortune:
- Principle One: Maximise Chance Opportunities
Lucky people create, notice and act upon chance opportunities.
How do they do this? They network, adopt a relaxed attitude
to life and are open to new experiences.
- Principle Two: Listening to Lucky Hunches
Lucky people make successful decisions by using their intuition
and gut feelings. In addition, they take steps to actively boost
their intuition, for example, by meditating and clearing their
mind of other thoughts.
- Principle Three: Expect Good Fortune
Lucky people's expectations about the future help them fulfill
their dreams and ambitions because these expectations become
self-fulfilling prophecies by helping them to persist in the
face of failure, and shape their interactions with others in
a positive way.
- Principle Four: Turn Bad Luck to Good
Lucky people are able to transform their bad luck into good
fortune by seeing the positive side of the bad luck. For example,
they spontaneously imagine how things could have been worse,
do not dwell on the ill fortune, and take control of the situation.
Source: The Luck Factor: Change your luck - and change your life,
Dr. Richard Wiseman
How Did They Do That?
Challenge: I actually enjoy business challenges. I find
that the issue is not resolving them, but finding the very best
solution. The process it takes to find a perfect answer has two
parts. The first part can be described in two little words - Due
Diligence, Due Diligence, Due Diligence.
A case in point. One of my clients is a large, multinational,
nonprofit, membership-based legal association that was experiencing
an ongoing communications problem with their members, all of whom
are senior lawyers. Although the organization sponsors three membership
meetings a year and sends out numerous emails updating members
on events, there were consistent complaints that members were
unaware of new products and services. Even board members seemed
to be in the dark.
Many of their problems stemmed from inconsistent, sometimes poorly
written communications with members. Some months emails went out
fast and furious and overlapped each other. Other months there
would be very little communication. It was hard for members to
keep up on new products and services and membership benefits were
Solution: After meeting with senior managers about the
problem, I recommended a branded email marketing campaign with
online links to their web site, distributed to members once a
month, with reminders of member benefits. This meant creating
an electronic template for an eNewsletter. But who would help
create the electronics of the email campaign?
First I turned to two web designers, both of whom offered design
capabilities, but not distribution. It didn't seem like the perfect
package. Then lo and behold I received a notice of an event sponsored
by the American Marketing Association, featuring a service provider
that specialized in email campaigns. I attended and not only learned
a great deal from the presentation but asked the vendor for a
proposal. The proposal was excellent and I thought I was set.
However, unexpectedly, a competitive email service provider was
recommended. I was tempted to cut off the search since I had already
expended a lot of time, but I thought it was better to explore
every reasonable option. It turned out that the second service
provider not only had an excellent product, but experience with
non-profit organizations. I recommended them to my client and
a contract was drawn and signed.
Almost immediately there was a legal glitch that needed to be
resolved and a resulting delay. A new contract had to be signed.
I considered switching service providers. And now here is the
second part of the necessary process of resolving business challenges.
After you have done all the due diligence you can - sometimes
you have to trust your gut.
My instinct told me that I had the best solution. Even though
the people involved were changing, the product offered enormous
potential for my client. I stuck it out and arranged for a second
contract to be signed. From then on, everything worked perfectly.
The new people are honest, forthright, and extremely customer
service oriented. The product, indeed, is perfect. Members are
starting to feel more connected and aware of the benefits their
membership provides. And, best of all, I now have a second customer
signed up for an email marketing campaign.
Lessons Learned: The learning process for me was extraordinary,
providing me with a new skill set, which in turn benefits my clients.
It has proven to be a highly successful project which can be replicated
What Can Ambeck Do For You:
Ambeck Enterprise provides diverse business research and analysis
services to senior executives, through the relevant distillation
of diverse facts and data.
Formula For Success
So, what is the formula for success you might ask? In my opinion,
it's those two little words, Due Diligence, Due Diligence, Due
Diligence, along with a liberal dose of well-informed instinct.
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