Leadership vs. Power

September 1, 2009 by  
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THE UN-COMFORT ZONE with Robert Wilson

Leadership vs. Power

King George III asked Benjamin West, his American painter, what George Washington would do if he prevailed in the Revolutionary War. West replied, “He will return to his farm.” The British monarch incredulously said, “If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.” On December 23, 1783 Washington did just that and retired to Mount Vernon — despite the encouragement of many to stay in power. Despite the willingness of Americans to crown him king. Thirteen years later, he would do it once again.

In 1787, Washington was coaxed back to Philadelphia to attend the Constitutional Convention. While there he provided the leadership necessary to get the fractious delegates to settle down and complete the work of designing a new constitution. Afterwards, in 1789, he was elected the first President of the United States. He reluctantly ran for a second term in 1792. He refused to run for a third term, setting a precedent that lasted 150 years, and retired once again to his farm.

Abraham Lincoln said, “If you want to test a man’s character — give him power.” George Washington passed that test. Twice in his life he walked away from power and proved that he was indeed the greatest man in the world. He demonstrated that leadership is something that you give — not take — and that power should be used responsibly.

Washington died in 1799, the year that Napoleon Bonaparte became the ruler of France. In contrast to Washington, Napoleon could not acquire enough power. His legendary lust for command drove him to take over much of Europe. “Power is my mistress,” he once claimed, “I have worked too hard at her conquest to allow anyone to take her away from me.”

Years later, having lost all power and living in exile, he lamented “They wanted me to be another Washington.”

History is rife with stories of people who abused their power. Abuse of power, however, is not just reserved for politicians and tyrants. It can be abused by managers, spouses, parents, peers and the list goes on. It is the lure of dominance over others, when it motivates people toward leadership roles, that is revealing. It reveals uncertainty, lack of confidence and fear.

It is said that power corrupts, but more often than not, it is a corrupted individual who is attracted to power. It is a feeling of inferiority, sometimes called a Napoleon Complex, that drives someone to control other people and to micro-manage their surroundings. Today we call such a person a Control Freak. Science fiction author, Robert Heinlein noted, “Anyone who wants to be a politician shouldn’t be allowed to be one.”

When we look at Abraham Maslow’s heirarchy of Human Motivation (Survival, Safety, Social, Esteem, Fulfilment), we see that someone who hungers for power is stuck in the second to bottom level which is Safety. A true leader has self-esteem and self-confidence and does not seek power to bolster his or her feeling of self worth. Thomas Jefferson observed that, “An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens.”

A true leader is motivated by a goal. A goal common to his group whether that group is a company or a country. If you find yourself attracted to leadership, stop and check your motivation. Are you driven to share your gift of understanding in the endeavor of achieving a goal, or are you motivated by perquisites of position and the power you have over others? As John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

Robert Evans Wilson, Jr. is a motivational speaker and humorist. He works with companies that want to be more competitive and with people who want to think like innovators. For more information on Robert’s programs please visit www.jumpstartyourmeeting.com.

Wedding College at Sea

September 1, 2009 by  
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Sail Away with “Wedding College at Sea”

Cruise and Discover the Keys to Success in the Wedding Business October 26-31, 2009

The “best of the best” of Houston’s wedding industry sets sail in October for five sun-filled days of networking, education, best practices, an exchange of ideas, and candid conversations regarding the latest trends in the wedding industry.

More than 150 attendees for the “Wedding College at Sea” on the Carnival Ecstasy from October 26-31, 2009 will have the opportunity to attend General Session Seminars, Break Out Seminars, Social and Networking Events, and learn how to boost their business from qualified guest speakers all the while visiting exotic ports in Mexico.

The seminars and workshops will reveal strategies and secrets for success in the Houston wedding industry, the truth about brides and budgets, as well as the ten best ways to get more bookings from bridal shows. In addition, attendees will learn step-by-step how to leverage the internet and online social media to build a community, educate customers, demonstrate success and expertise, and boost sales.

The cost of Wedding College At Sea includes: wedding college presentations, cocktail receptions and room and food on the Carnival Ecstasy.

All attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the 2009 Handbook of Making Profits in the Houston Wedding Market by Linda Miller and Laurette Veres – a $195 value. Miller and Veres share their combined 25 years of experience in the Houston wedding business. The Handbook is written specifically for the Houston market—not NYC or Ohio. Attendees will learn how to get more bookings and make more profit from each booking.

Upon completion of the cruise and courses, attendees will receive their Wedding College at Sea Diploma and 2009 Handbook of Best Practices.

Cruise Speakers: Linda Miller, Founder, Bridal Extravaganza Show “Know Your Show”

JoAnn Schwartz Woodward, Partner, Schwartz &Woodward “While Waiting for the Phone to Ring”

Kim Padgett, President, The Padgett Group “‘Tweet’ Your Business”

Tom Flynn, Founder, Sales Channel Alignment “Differentiating From the Competition”

For more information, please visit: http://weddingcollegeatsea.com or call 281-340-7777.

About Wedding College At Sea: Wedding College At Sea helps those interested in the wedding industry discover the secrets of the Houston wedding business. Learn the truth about brides and budgets while taking a luxury cruise. Uncover ten ways to get more bookings from bridal shows while receiving a Wedding College at Sea Diploma. Join over 150 members of the wedding industry as we set sail from Galveston, Texas. Everything you need to know about the wedding business in five fun filled days!

For more information please visit, http://weddingcollegeatsea.com.

Game Day Meals that Score

September 1, 2009 by  
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It’s true — the kitchen is the heart of the home. Ever notice how people always gather there? Whether baking treats, making dinner or spending time with family and friends, the kitchen is my favorite place to be. Since my day job is Consumer Test Kitchen Project Manager for the Nestlé Test Kitchens, you can bet I love to stir things up. This column lets me pass along to you some of my best recipes, tips and baking secrets.

One of the most fun things about this time of year for my family is getting to cheer on our favorite sports teams. High school, college and professional — there’s always a favorite to root for or an underdog to cheer on.

I like to serve up game time food that scores big on flavor. Pepper Jack Cheesy Mac puts a little kick into a family favorite with zesty southwest flavors. And Prime Time Pepperoni Pizza “Pie” is a touchdown when it comes to finding a meal that is easy to make and that everyone will enjoy.

And for all those at home get-togethers during the holidays, from the neighborhood potluck party to brunch with the in-laws to the “big game”, find all the delicious recipes in a free holiday recipe guide (while supplies last) at VeryBestBaking.com.

Pepper Jack Cheesy Mac (Makes 6 servings)

2 cups (8 ounces) dry elbow macaroni 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Pepper Jack cheese, divided 1 can (12 fluid ounces) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Milk 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/2 to 1 cup broken tortilla chips (your choice of color) 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Lightly grease 2 1/2- quart casserole dish.

COOK macaroni in large saucepan according to package directions; drain. Return to saucepan.

ADD cheddar cheese, 1 1/2 cups Pepper Jack cheese, evaporated milk and black pepper to macaroni; stir until combined. Pour into prepared casserole dish. Combine remaining 1/2 cup Pepper Jack cheese, tortilla chips and red pepper flakes in small bowl. Sprinkle over top. Cover tightly with foil.

BAKE for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake for an additional 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Nutrition Information per serving: 520 calories; 260 calories from fat; 29 total fat; 19g saturated fat; 85mg cholesterol; 560mg sodium; 37g carbohydrate; 2g fiber; 7g sugars; 25g protein; 15% vitamin A; 70% calcium

Prime Time Pepperoni Pizza “Pie” (Makes 8 servings) 1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) frozen pie shell 1 package (8 ounces) shredded Italian-blend cheese, divided 2 ounces thinly sliced pepperoni (about 20 to 30, 1 1/2- to 2-inch diameter slices), cut into quarters, divided 1 can (12 fluid ounces) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Milk 3 large eggs, beaten 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

PREHEAT oven to 350° F.

SPRINKLE 1 cup cheese and half of pepperoni pieces onto bottom of pie shell.

WHISK evaporated milk, eggs, flour, basil and garlic powder in medium bowl until blended. Pour mixture into pie shell. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Decorate top with remaining pepperoni pieces and any other topping you like. Place quiche on baking sheet (if pie pan is made of aluminum foil).

BAKE for 40 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

TIP: Choose 1/4 cup of any of your favorite toppings (such as chopped onions, red or green peppers or sliced black olives) and add as topping with the remaining pepperoni pieces.

Nutrition Information per serving: 290 calories; 170 calories from fat; 19 total fat; 8g saturated fat; 120mg cholesterol; 520mg sodium; 15g carbohydrate; 0g fiber; 5g sugars; 15g protein; 35% calcium

Jenny Harper is Consumer Test Kitchen Project Manager for the Nestlé Test Kitchens and VeryBestBaking.com.

Throw a Winning Tailgate Party

September 1, 2009 by  
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The weather is getting cooler. Leaves are beginning to change colors. It’s time to break out your tailgate gear and cheer on your favorite team! Whether it’s college or professional football, soccer or rugby, everyone is gearing up for the ultimate tailgate party.

Entertaining an enthusiastic crowd can be overwhelming, but with some advance planning, you don’t have to set yourself up for a loss. Try these ideas for a stress-free and memorable tailgate, courtesy of Joan C. Hanson, test kitchen director for Hormel Foods.

Easy Entertainment • Get in the game: Bring an activity such as bean bags, football or Frisbee and encourage a friendly competition of your own. • Rock and roll: Create a playlist or CD of sports-themed/team specific songs to play on an outdoor radio to get everyone in the spirit. • Picture perfect: Have a camera available for visitors to capture candid moments. After the event, use an online service to create a team-inspired collage and send to everyone as a fun keepsake.

Secrets to Success: • Be prepared: Keep plenty of napkins and disposable plates, cups and utensils handy to minimize messes, in team colors naturally! • Save time: Try convenient, pre-prepared items that contain all the flavor of homemade, such as Lloyd’s BBQ products, which offer a variety of delicious prepared shredded beef, chicken and pork to please even the pickiest eaters. • Sweet surprise: Bring ingredients for an unexpected dessert that is fun to make and eat, such as s’mores for the grill, to get everyone involved in cooking. . Cool tailgate weather calls for hearty sandwiches to satisfy your hungriest team members. Try this recipe for Toasty Tailgate BBQ Chicken Sandwiches.

Toasty Tailgate BBQ Chicken Sandwiches 1 (18-ounce) container Lloyd’s BBQ chicken in original BBQ sauce 8 to 10 cocktail or junior-size hamburger buns 1 red onion, thinly sliced 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese Assorted condiments such as pickles, jalapeños or coleslaw

Heat grill. Spoon chicken into each bun. Top with onion and cheese. Wrap each sandwich in foil and roll up ends. Grill sandwiches 10 minutes. Carefully remove sandwiches from grill, unwrap and serve with favorite condiments. Also great with Lloyd’s BBQ beef or pork varieties.

For additional time-saving tailgate recipes, visit http://www.hormelfoodsrecipes.com.

New Restaurant: Giacomo’s cibo e vino,

September 1, 2009 by  
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Lynette Hawkins’ new restaurant set to open Fall 2009.

The new River Oaks restaurant, giacomo’s cibo e vino, 3215 Westheimer Road at Bammel Lane, reflects a design concept developed by a strong and experienced team consisting of owner, architect and artist. The unexpected design factor is that almost “nothing is square” in the concept – from the bold 1950s design motif to the floor plan. It is all based on trapezoids, some planned and some inherited.

“I challenged Kathy Heard to transform this old building into a modern Venetian Wine Bar,” stated chef/owner Lynette Hawkins, “and for it to be a frame for my great visuals of glistening, colorful foods that improve their flavors as they marinate, macerate and braise in their own juices. I wanted a restaurant where my guests could grab a tray, choose multiple little dishes, mixing textures, flavors and colors, as they build their own entree. A place where they can order a panini, a glass of great wine, pay for it and be ready to eat, all in less than five minutes. I also needed a chalkboard menu to allow me to change my food daily, as well as seasonally. I love my new restaurant. Thank you, Kathy!”

Kathy Heard, owner of OPEN Restaurant Design, and Lynette Hawkins, the famed chef/owner of the now closed La Mora Cucina Toscana, did not want to leave any doubt in anyone’s mind that the new restaurant concept is anything like what had been there before. Lynette Hawkins is no stranger to perfection, and her new “eat little, well and often” concept required an architectural design that would allow her new concept to take form and to flourish.

Since her award-winning design for Bertha’s Mexican Foods Restaurant on Montrose more than 20 years ago, Kathy Heard has applied her restaurant design philosophy to all of her projects – a restaurant should be “bold, yet simple, a background for people and the food they have come there to enjoy.” Giacomo’s could not be a better example of that philosophy.

Creating the flow for people and production of food in the new concept was the initial challenge for the design team in this 59-year-old conglomeration of buildings. The cookline requires direct visual and physical access to the front line, the wine bar requires displays and information, and the mercantile aspect requires presentation. These things were achieved by reorganizing the circulation with cabinetry that serves as display and marketing with the addition of entire walls of blackboard.

The building was stripped of all things extraneous, from fussy trim to busy finishes. The new neutral exterior allows the fabulous 1950s turquoise and black graphics to shine. The new neutral interior does the same, allowing the presentation of the food and a major wall graphic by Houston artist Rachel Hecker to shine. The new accent colors, predominately red/orange and turquoise, are derived from the 1950s and from inspiration from modernist artist Charley Harper.

“Literally, nothing in the building is square,” stated Kathy Heard with a laugh. “Walls, floors, ceilings, corners, everything.” The no-where-near-a-square-anything makes Rachel Hecker’s logo design and trapezoidal wall art the perfect statement for this new concept of a restaurant.