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Getting to the Point | The Exkalibur Newsletter | August 18, 2017

The sole purpose of Getting to the Point is Helping YOU Become a More Effective Leader, but of course, there is more to life than that so we cover much more that affects us, our families and our world.

I know you don’t want to miss the Solar Eclipse on Monday, so check out the Spotlight segment for a little knowledge & history along with a list of certified eyewear so you can view it safely.

In our Business Brief, you’ll get a few tips about how to use HR to become more competitive, learn a few tricks about how to motivate people, improve your ability to analyze your competition and discover which states are the best and worst in which to do business. Hint, California is at the bottom of the list … again. We’re also announcing our upcoming Leadership Course which will begin on Monday, September 18, so stay tuned for information on that.

When we scour the web, we’ll learn about bandaids for the heart, why our taste buds may actually be in our brains and why nature vs. nurture is NOT the whole story. We’ll also see why so many adults are obsessed with Disney cruises, although I hope there is no connection to some of the recent reports that America’s drinking problem is much worse. We’ll also learn about Apple’s billion-dollar leap into Hollywood production and why protecting your phone number may be more important than ever.

As always, we’ll get a few laughs, learn about the good news from Apple and ESPN about watching multiple football games at the same time, discover some of the most dysfunctional families on TV and read about the latest release from Marc Cameron with another of the SpecOps badasses keeping us safe.

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The Solar Eclipse: Monday, August 21

You can learn a lot about the solar eclipse in Total Solar Eclipse 2017: When, Where and How to See It (Safely) and get a pretty good fix on when it can be seen based on where you live.

Here is NASA’s page, How to View the 2017 Solar Eclipse Safely, which also identifies the certified sources of safety glasses.

You can also get an interesting perspective from How Eclipses Changed History.

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Your Next Step to Becoming a More Effective Leader

I’m excited to announce the first course in the Leadership Development curriculum being launched at Exkalibur University.

Beginning on September 18, we will begin our first Leadership course, R.E.S.P.E.C.T. – 7 Remarkably Simple Steps to Earn Respect. It’s designed to help you accelerate your Leadership Journey based on this indisputable premise:

Next week, we will begin to share additional details with you, so keep your eye on your inbox for further information. If you’re already an Exkalibur Subscriber, you’ll receive a super special discount to make it easy for you and your team to enroll in our new Leadership Series and advance your professional development.

If you want to join me on this journey, click here to learn a little more about it and to let me know you’re interested. You’re not committing to anything, but it will be our cue that this is something that may interest you.

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How HR Can Make You More Competitive

This article, The CEO’s guide to competing through HR, will get you to reconsider how you’re deploying your HR assets and what you can do to become more competitive.

“The best HR departments are creating centers of excellence (COEs) in strategic areas such as organizational development, talent acquisition, and talent management. They are also providing better support to line managers via strategic HR business partners, and gaining points for pulling up from administrative minutiae to work on the long-term health of the business.”


Who, Us? Irrational? Just Because We Don’t Like Empty Spaces?

In People have an irrational need to complete “sets” of things, they make a pretty good case for our motivation to complete “sets” of things:

“New research reveals that people are irrationally but effectively motivated by the idea of completing a set, even if it means working harder or spending more money—with no additional reward other than the satisfaction of completion and the relief of avoiding an incomplete set. Imagine arriving at your boss’s summer BBQ and presenting her with five beers in a box designed to hold six. No matter that your favorite craft beer store permits you buy bottles one at a time. Chances are you’d still buy six, just to fill all six spaces in the box.”


This Is Something You Can Do MUCH BETTER

In my experience, privately-held businesses do a poor job of analyzing the competition. They figure, sure, it’s easy if my competitor is public because I can get a ton of information on them, but if you’re not public, it’s just too hard.

That’s “looking through the wrong end of the telescope”, so I hope you’ll read, Getting into your competitor’s head:

“To anticipate the moves of your rivals, you must understand how their strategists and decision makers think.”


California Sucks Wind for the 6th Year in a Row

For the 13th year in a row, Chief Executive surveyed CEOs on the Best and Worst States to do business.

“Texas was ranked No. 1 for the 13th straight year in 2017 by the hundreds of CEOs surveyed by Chief Executive. Florida was No. 2 for the fifth year in a row. Five of the remaining eight top–10 states were the same as in 2011, albeit shuffled a bit. On the other end of the spectrum, California anchored the bottom of the list at No. 50 for the sixth consecutive year, New York wallowed at No. 49 and Illinois listed at No. 48.”

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You’ll want to read How Your Phone Number Became The Only Username That Matters and be every more vigilant:

“Phone numbers are killing the username, killing the password, and making it easier than ever to go wild online. So guard it with your life, because it is your life.”

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Apple is officially open for business in Hollywood.

Apple is bringing a billion dollar checkbook to Hollywood and wants to buy 10 TV shows.

“The company is telling content makers it wants to spend $1 billion on its own stuff over the next year. That’s music to studios’ ears, and a tune they have been expecting for some time — especially after Apple hired two top Sony TV executives in June.”

“The Wall Street Journal says Apple wants to make up to 10 ”Game of Thrones“- or ”House of Cards“-scale shows …”

“Reminder: The list of guys writing checks in Hollywood now includes Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook and Google; Verizon and AT&T are coming, too. You should stop reading this and start writing your spec script.”

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A Bandaid for the Heart?

There is some fascinating new research about heart surgery you’ll find in, This team is on the verge of creating a beating Band-Aid for the heart. Just don’t call it goopy. (May require login.)


Your Taste Buds Might Really Be In Your Brain?

An interesting article in What A Mouse’s Mixed-Up Taste Buds Say About The Brain:

“Individual taste bud cells only live between a week and a month, and new ones grow in their place at about the same rate.”


Nature vs. Nature? There May be a 3rd Variable.

In How our projects shape our personalities — and how we can use them to remake who we are, there’s a third variable to add to Nature vs. Nurture:

“Many of us believe there are two driving forces behind the person known as ”you“: nature and nurture. But, according to personality and motivational psychologist Brian R. Little, there’s a third: projects.”

“There are two ways in which you can think about your personality. The first is in terms of the personality attributes that you have, or your openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeability and neuroticism (what I call the Big Five personality traits). The second is in terms of what you do, or your personal projects: for example, ‘get over my social anxiety’, ‘deliver an awesome pitch in my sales meeting,’ or ‘stop procrastinating.’”


Huh? Adults Are Obsessed With Disney Cruises?

In Why Adults Without Kids Are Obsessed With Disney Cruises, you’ll find these survey results:

“According to the industry website CruiseCritic.com—which is like TripAdvisor for seafarers—Disney Cruise Line gets higher average ratings from passengers without children than from those with them.”


Are Americans Boozing It Up … TOO MUCH?

America’s Drinking Problem Is Much Worse This Century

“The number of adults who binge drink at least once a week could be as high as 30 million, greater than the population of every state save California, according to a study published on Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry. A similar number reported alcohol abuse or dependency.”

Between the genders, women showed the larger increase in alcohol abuse, according to the report.”

NPR also weighs in on this in Women Who Love Wine: Are You Binge-Drinking Without Realizing It?

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Which Family is the MOST Dysfunctional?

If you’re a fan of TV dramas, there’s a wealth of choice out there now, more than every before, so you may have missed a few of these.

If you have NOT seen any of these, and you’re looking for action, devious plots leavened with a little mayhem, these are some good choices.

If you HAVE seen any of them, how would you vote for the most dysfunctional family … and believe me, there are four good choices here:

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Cool. Now We Can Watch 4 Games At Once

According to ESPN’s new Apple TV app lets you watch four screens of live sports at the same time, here’s the good news:

“ESPN wants to help you — if you subscribe to a pay TV service that has ESPN and if you have the most recent version of Apple TV. If you meet those conditions, you can go try out a new version of the ESPN app that will let you watch up to four different streams on one screen.”

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Dead Drop by Marc Cameron (Jericho Quinn #7.5)

The bad-ass SpecOps characters continue to pile up. Here’s the most current list:

  • the Jonathan Graves series from John Gilstrap,
  • the John Rain series from Barry Eisler,
  • the Dewey Andreas series from Ben Coes, and
  • the Scot Harvath series from Brad Thor

Now in Dead Drop, #7.5, comes another of my favorites in Jericho Quinn, another former Navy seal with his giant companion, Jaques Thibodaux in short story set in a water park.

“Every summer, thousands of families head to the nation’s largest water park, famous for its 21-story waterslide the ”Dead Drop.“ This year, one visitor didn’t pack his bathing suit. He packed explosives. When the bomb goes off, dozens of people are instantly killed. The rest are herded into the park’s massive pool by the bomber’s accomplices. An organized team of fanatical but well-trained terrorists, they seal off the entrances, turn the waterslide into a watchtower, and train their sights on the families below. But one hostage isn’t playing along. He’s special agent Jericho Quinn. He’s on vacation with his daughter. And he’s about to turn this terrorist pool party into one righteous blood bath …” (Amazon)

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