Governor Jan Brewer and Spike Lee in the Spotlight as Some Stick a Finger at Them

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Theme:– Operation C.R.U.S.H. Against Gun Violence, Bias and Clouded Vision

Is February now a “hot button” time on the calendar related to civil rights? This year beyond the African-American celebrations there’s been the issue of religious liberties raised in Arizona and gentrification in Brooklyn. Governor Jan Brewer and Spike Lee are in the spotlight as some people stick a finger at them.

Lee wonders why resources show up in neighborhoods when the racial complexion changes. One point of view says it’s a frustrating-fallout for which “blight turns into flight” then new money is marketed as urban renewal. Property value goes up as some move out (or are bought/forced out), and others move in.

The Arizona debate has been on protecting religious liberties. So Senate Bill SB 1062 was passed to give businesses the right to not serve a certain demographic group. Governor Brewer vetoed SB 1062 on the grounds that it had the potential to create more problems than it was supposedly going to solve.

In some respects the issues in Arizona and Brooklyn are related to managing social change. However beyond that, the problem with the proposed law in Arizona lies in how a closely-held belief can become a bias and whether SB 1062 would protect against an existing bias or project/impose a new bias.

What should Lee’s comments and Brewer’s veto teach us? Maybe that bias, whether institutional or social, create more problems than solutions. But they might also spur us to organize around “community branding” so that one’s self-identity is not steam-rolled by those who disrespect your self-interests.

Footnote: Civil Rights laws should protect against bias not project/impose bias. Gentrification is a social change phenomenon that could have some civil rights strains, gains and mixed-bag effects.

Build Real Crossover Appeal: Steve Harvey’s Branding Moves Hit a New Groove (Part 5)

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Brandemonium’
Where Hopes & Dreams Become Real on Breakout Teams” (Old-School Flava)

Are you ready for the red carpet preview? How about the acceptance speech review? Well that’s what you’ll find during the season of Awards Shows. We go from the Grammys to Oscars with the Stellar and NAACP Image Awards in between. Celebs like Harvey can get various awards due to crossover appeal.

It’s all a part of building diverse market branding. Some award shows are about movies, others about music. There’re the Hollywood A-listers and Fashion Ave stylistas who’re recognized for their personal acclaim or catwalk pizzazz. Harvey might say it’s about positioning your brand as a box of chocolates.

There was a time when the value of work was in the idea of widgets. So, productivity was a measure of how many units could be made in a period of time. These days making widgets has become fairly simple. It’s no longer just about the box but about how what’s inside the box meets a niche or base audience.

Harvey expands his base with new rounds of success. He’s gone from stand-up comic to radio jock to sitcom star to game show host to Image Award winner for his national talk show. Each time his base grows he brings more market value that benefits a wider niche, bringing many happy cash-money returns.

When the awards season is over he’s still building his brand like cheese. There’re many types and ways cheese adds flavor to a meal or smiles to a selfie. Whether through his appearances at conventions, book signings, movie premieres or community events, his branding keeps him in good standing.

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Brandemonium’
Where Hopes & Dreams Become Real on Breakout Teams” (New-School Flava)

Ready for the red carpet preview? How ‘bout the best speech review? That’s what’s up at award shows. Where folks get to give thanks on their toes. There’s the Grammys, Oscars and other big grabs. Stellar and NAACP Image Award fabs. Celebs like Harvey make a steal. Because of their crossover star appeal.

All a part of what they’re building. In diverse marketplace branding. Some award shows are about movies. Others honoring the music groovies. Hollywood A-listers and Fashion Ave stylists. For their acclaim and catwalk favorites. Put together in brand positioning. Like a box of chocolates for the tasting.

Was a time when value seen in work. Came from the idea as a widget clerk. Productivity a measure in unit numbers. Made in a period of time between slumbers. Nowadays making widgets is easy to stack. More than just about the box-n-go pack. But about audience base and fan niche you can track.

Harvey expands his base again and again. Building on each round of success top-ten. Gone from stand-up comic to radio jock. Game show host to sitcom star block. Image Award winner for his talk show. Brings new market value helping the base grow. With many happy cash-money returns in the flow.

When awards season over he’s still building. His brand like cheese for ad selling. Many types and ways cheese puts flavor. In a meal or smiles for a selfie savor. Through his talks at biz conventions. Book signings, premieres and community connections. Taking his branding and standing in many directions.

Tip: Building crossover appeal is about connecting with a base that loves your box of chocolates and expanding your niche to those that love your overall package.

Talkback: Are Award Shows about the award or about the recognition that can further build your brand?”

Derek Jeter’s Retirement Letter: A Case Study for Rallying the Job Market Blues

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Theme:– Operation J.U.M.P. For Jobs, Justice & Unsung Dreams

It was another day at Yankees spring training. But this one will be remembered for Derek Jeter’s retirement press conference. The throngs of media that were there was stifling. Jeter has been a Yankee for his entire career. His retirement letter on Facebook is a case study for rallying the job market blues.

He answered questions on the thinking leading up to his decision. He was asked about his health and if that played a factor. Some in the room wanted to know how Jeter sees his legacy. He went on to talk about winning and that he was living his dream. He said “being a NY Yankee is good enough for me.”

The case study comes in when you consider the key points in his retirement letter. It was more about the team with family, friends and fans as a supporting cast. But it’s also in the attention given by the media to covering the story. What would happen if long-term joblessness were to get similar full-court press?

Think about those who’re fans, family or friends who’ve been cut-off from unemployment benefits? They also have a story to tell of wanting to live their dreams. It’s just that they’re not sports pros so maybe people don’t care as much. If asked they might say “earning a paycheck again is good enough for me!”

Jeter didn’t call his agent or PR rep before writing the letter. He simply spoke from the heart. Maybe this can spark a social reset moment for dealing with the drag of long-term joblessness. He wants to experience new things in life and that’s true for those looking to bounce back, get ahead or dream bigger.

Footnote: Operation J.U.M.P. is joining in unity to motivate progress so that working professionals who’re unemployed, underemployed or emerging self-employed can be appreciated for wanting to have the best life experience just like pros on the field of dreams.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Buys WhatsApp, Jordan Davis’ Family Asks, What’s Up?

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Theme:– Operation C.R.U.S.H. Against Gun Violence, Bias and Clouded Vision

How to explain to parents the killing of their child for no reason? In the eyes of the shooter it’s because he thought he saw a gun. In the eyes of our culture it’s because the kid was black. In the eyes of the law/jury it’s in Stand Your Ground. So a guy with a hoodie buys “WhatsApp,” while Davis’ family asks, what’s up?

That’s the dilemma with the recent hung-jury factor in the Jordan Davis trial. They couldn’t agree on the first-degree murder charge. But, on the other charges that didn’t involve death, they could agree. It makes no logical sense but more importantly, the Stand Your Ground law doesn’t even make gun sense.

Michael Dunn did more to inflame a situation than to contain it. Remember, he was at a gas station where you’re not allowed to smoke much less smoke-out someone’s life. The Stand Your Ground provision in the law is a bad cocktail because it doesn’t even make legal sense to shoot first and verify later.

Those trained in law enforcement are schooled on taking-up a position of safety where possible in the event their life is threatened. Typically in an active shooting situation you’ll see them taking cover. In the Davis case, Dunn took cover after the shooting by going home, ordering pizza and not calling police.

Dunn suggests he was lost in the moment. So he didn’t think about notifying authorities. Forget the legal sense and gun sense for a second. His explanation doesn’t even make common sense. What would cause him to come-up with such a crazy excuse? Maybe it has to do with personal/system biases.

His fiancée’s testimony and written statements from Dunn make reference to his racial views. Plus, we might need to consider whether the system gives similar ‘benefit of the doubt’ to unarmed black boys as it does to the armed or unarmed of another racial background. If not, then something’s gotta change.

Zuckerberg’s Facebook keeps pushing the tech frontier. They’re always looking to expand their business. The Stand Your Ground experiment seems to be doing just the opposite. It may be giving people “the cover” to kill emerging potential. This isn’t the way to expand the benefit of equal protection under the law.

Footnote: Personal fears/biases and some system inconsistencies that go un-checked cause black boys to get caught-up in two ways or waves. It’s like the ocean wave that washes-up stuff on the shore being treated as trash and the ocean undercurrent that drags stuff back being treated as forgotten.

Bounce Back from Setback: Steve Harvey’s Branding Moves Hit a New Groove (Part 4)

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Brandemonium’
Where Hopes & Dreams Become Real on Breakout Teams” (Old-School Flava)

Recently, Joel Osteen told the story of once having tax trouble. His accountant lived in another state and wasn’t aware of some of the tax laws in Texas. Osteen learned about the problem years later when he received a huge tax bill in the mail. Harvey tells a similar story of having to bounce back from tax setback.

Osteen said it resulted in him and his family having a scrooge Christmas. Harvey said the situation was a turning point in his success. He owed thousands maybe millions in back taxes. He could have wallowed in self-pity. Instead, he used the situation as motivation to get as many comedy gigs as possible.

It gave him a new sense of “get-up and go.” He made up his mind to get past the pain and towards the gain. What could have become a nervous breakdown instead was turned into a financial breakthrough. Harvey and Osteen looked at their situations and might have asked “what do we have to lose?”

The key to getting past losing a job, a contract or potentially your mind is getting over the knock so it doesn’t become a block. No need to dig yourself a deeper hole. It’s better to look deeper into your soul. There you’ll find a re-vision for your today and a vision for your tomorrow that’ll get you moving again.

That’s how things played out for Osteen and Harvey. Both have earned more than enough to pay back Uncle Sam. Osteen says he did so by selling some assets he later inherited. Harvey did so by firing-up his comedy circuit facets. Their setbacks were used as stepping stones to bigger and better things.

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Brandemonium’
Where Hopes & Dreams Become Real on Breakout Teams” (New-School Flava)

Joel Osteen once had tax trouble. Living his life in a bubble. His tax man worked in another state. Knowledge of tax laws wasn’t first-rate. Osteen learned about it by getting hug tax bill. That was a shock and not a real thrill. Harvey tells similar story of having to bounce back. He also dealt with some tax hack.

Osteen’s family felt the scrooge at Christmas. Not a lot of money to spend at Toys-R-Us. Harvey made this a turning point. His success would come by laughing-up the joint. He owed thousands maybe even millions in money. Didn’t go over well with his honey. Using this as motivation for making things funny.

A new sense of “get-up and go.” With a perspective shift in the flow. Made up his mind to get past the pain. Working harder and harder for the gain. Could have become a nervous breakdown. Instead took him to the financial uptown. Asking “what do I have to lose?” With little time for self-pity or to snooze.

Getting past losing a job, contract or your mind. Is in moving forward not looking behind. Seeing the situation less as a knock. So it doesn’t become a bigger block. No need to dig yourself a deep hole.  Just look deeper into your soul. There you’ll find hope in revision. Moving again towards tomorrow’s vision.

That’s how things played out for these guys. Putting their game and name on the rise. Earning enough to pay back Uncle Sam. With book sales and comedy gigs that brought in the ham. Osteen by selling some inherited assets. Harvey by firing-up his comedy facets. Turning setbacks into stepping stone trinkets.

Tip: Bouncing back from a setback means asking yourself “what do you have to lose and then thinking more about what do you have to gain.”

Talkback: What’s another phrase that sends a similar message as “turning setbacks in comebacks?”

Pack Purpose for the Ride: Steve Harvey’s Branding Moves Hit a New Groove (Part 3)

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Brandemonium’
Where Hopes & Dreams Become Real on Breakout Teams” (Old-School Flava)

Those ‘in the know’ say Family Feud has seen bigger ratings in recent years. Some think it’s gotten new life with Steve Harvey as the latest host. The show airs on weeknights in regular season rotation as well as in syndication. How does Harvey juggle all this work? He says it’s in taking care of your temple.

Harvey knows something about a diet makeover and workout schedule. He takes seriously the idea that what you put in is what you put out. But that doesn’t just apply to his body. It’s also about feeding the soul. He produces maximum results in life because he knows your “temple gifts” can look good on you.

He’s normally decked-out in the finest suits. Things match and coordinate in ways that would make a mother proud. However, when you look past the outward appearance, you realize there’s a spiritual calling at work. This is how you make big G (o-d) look good which puts everything in place as it should.

When in doubt of the next career move, be sure to at least pack purpose for the ride. Where there’s purpose there’s a sense of serving some greater good. While Harvey’s work is multi-media, he also gives back through his foundation by partnering with others to mentor boys from single-parent households.

Between the start and end of the day Harvey finds ways to make folks laugh. He seems to be having the most laughs himself on The Feud. He makes a living doing these gigs because his passion goes to work for a paycheck. Your passion is in how you ‘do you’ such that others might say, “damn, you’re good!”

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Brandemonium’
Where Hopes & Dreams Become Real on Breakout Teams” (New-School Flava)

Those ‘in the know’ see a shift in gears. Family Feud’s ratings up in recent years. Some think Steve Harvey gave it new life. He’s the latest host dressed sharp as a knife. Airing weeknights in regular season rotation. Also seen in cable syndication. With many jobs in his spoke. Taking care of his temple is no joke.

Harvey knows about a diet makeover. Doing his regular workout is no pushover. Serious about the idea of what you put in. So that what he puts out makes folks grin. Not just about biceps and your core. But also about the soul’s dujour. Bringing max results in the making. As “temple gifts” look good for the taking.

Normally decked-out in the finest suits. Things paying off in his life fruits. Looking cool to make a mother proud. Even if other’s love to hear him loud. Going beyond his outward flair. You see a spiritual calling in the air. That’s about making big G (o-d) look good. Having things in place where it should.

When in doubt of the next career move. Think about putting purpose in the groove. Where there’s purpose there’s a sense of serving. Some earthly good for a greater rising. While Harvey’s work is multi-media happy. Little he does seems to be crappy. Like mentoring boys on not being sappy.

Between the start and end of day. He makes people laugh in some way. Laughing himself silly on The Feud. Not to be seen as acting rude. Making a living with these gigs. His passion goes to work for a paycheck jig. Passion is how you might burn like wood. Even making others say, “damn, you’re good!”

Tip: Packing purpose for the ride means spreading your gifts so that your 9-to-5 is as good as it gets.

Talkback: What’s different about The Feud before Steve Harvey and now?

Jay Leno Says Goodbye to the Big Stage While Others Say Hello to Stage Fright

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Theme:– Operation J.U.M.P. For Jobs, Justice & Unsung Dreams

It’s been all over the media that Jay Leno was moving on from the Tonight Show. He’s hosted the show for 22 years after Johnny Carson retired. Leno has kept the #1 ratings spot in the Latenight segment for much of that time. Now he’s saying goodbye to the big stage while others say hello to stage fright.

That’s because the news was a bit scary for the long-term jobless. First, the Bill to extend unemployment benefits failed again in the Senate. Then we received the monthly jobs reports which economists believe might indicate signs of a slowing economy. What must the long-term jobless do to get through?

Maybe there needs to be a ground swell of concern and dismay by those who pull the political and business purse strings. It shouldn’t have to take the kind of street protests like in Bosnia for folks in Congress to take action. The NY Times has reported on how they take care of themselves between jobs.

The report shows how many in the congressional brigade find ways to go from “working on the inside” to lobbying from the outside. Whether there’re loopholes that need closing is reserved for another day. If they can job hop with ease, why can’t they at least see the plight of those for which it’s not as easy?

It’s said Leno will return to his first love of stand-up comedy. Nothing seems to be in the works for doing Latenight on another network. Jimmy Fallon who’s stepping into Leno’s shoes says Jay can visit the show anytime. Wouldn’t it be nice if more officials felt the same way about the long-term jobless situation?

Footnote: Operation J.U.M.P. says if government officials can provide themselves an express route to “greener pastures” they should at least be able to provide the jobless with an entry-lane of options to a frustratingly slow job-market.

Jordan Davis’ Attorney Set to Put Michael Dunn on the Hot Seat of Justice

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Theme:– Operation C.R.U.S.H. Against Gun Violence, Bias and Clouded Vision

There’s another wrongful-death shooting trial in Florida where Jordan Davis was allegedly killed by Michael Dunn who’s pleading self-defense. Dunn fired eight shots into a vehicle (says he saw a gun) after he told teens to lower the car’s radio. Now Davis’ attorney is about to put Dunn on the hot seat of justice.

It’s hard to understand the kinds of senseless violence we hear reported in the news. Sometimes it’s gang-related while other times it’s about a person in an estranged relationship seeking revenge. There are some recent cases due to mental illness but the common element is the weapon used.

Many debate if the problem is the weapon or if it’s the user of the weapon that needs to be put in check. Interestingly, that’s not a question being asked when a teenager first has to get a driver’s license. There’s a whole permit-process by which they have to get practice, get tested and get certified before driving.

Remember when seatbelts were not being used and the government realized that avoidable highway deaths were become a public health issue? Maybe the same view needs to be taken when dealing with senseless gun violence. Otherwise we’ll have a culture of repeated tragedies due to an outlaw mentality.

There are those who compare this case to the Trayvon Martin incident. While Dunn has not presented a ‘Stand Your Ground’ defense he is being seen in a similar way. The danger with over-comparing the two cases is getting caught-up looking into the forest and not seeing trees of inconsistencies in our system.

Footnote: If a teenager as a rookie driver has to go through a permit-process before driving to help minimize hazardous drivers on the road, maybe a similar process could apply with first-time firearm purchases to help minimize senseless violence in our nation. (But maybe that’s just too logical.)

Have a Supreme Work Ethic: Steve Harvey’s Branding Moves Hit a New Groove (Part 2)

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Brandemonium’
Where Hopes & Dreams Become Real on Breakout Teams” (Old-School Flava)

Well, no need to ask who’s #1 as the Seahawks took the crown. All Champions look forward to the hometown parade. The game’s MVP Malcolm Smith has already gone to Disney World. In sports or business it takes more than luck to get to the top. Steve Harvey might say it takes a supreme work ethic.

Being heard on radio and seen on different TV channels may seem like a walk in the park. But Harvey knows something about the daily grind. He gets up early to be in workout shape. He starts the day by looking to a Higher Source. So by the time he’s heard or seen on the airwaves he’s ready for work.

It’s interesting how the Seahawks had a similar approach to the Superbowl game. They got out early doing their pre-game drills. The coaching staff and players kept to the same routine to warm-up their skills as in the regular season. By the time they got on the field they were ready for work and ready to win.

A supreme work ethic can setup your next promotion. This is true whether you’re unemployed, underemployed or emerging self-employed. It can separate the talented from the motivated. It can fuel the rise from a lower pecking order in the workplace to a higher profile in the marketplace.

While other daytime talk shows are ending, Harvey’s show is growing. It can now be seen on the recently renamed “Up” Channel. His talk show contract has been extended to 2016. No need to hate on Harvey or balk on the Seahawks. When a supreme work ethic is in the mix, your dreams are ready for the world.

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Brandemonium’
Where Hopes & Dreams Become Real on Breakout Teams” (New-School Flava)

Enough already asking who’s really #1. Seahawks rock the Broncos in the Superbowl they won. Game MVP Malcolm Smith has already gotten his award. He’s gone to Disney World as a winner’s reward. A hometown parade for the die-hard fan. Steve Harvey knows it takes supreme work ethic to be the man.

Heard on radio, seen on TV. Not like taking a walk in the park for free. Harvey knows about the daily grind. Moving forward not looking behind. Getting up early to do his workout thing. Starting the day with a Higher Source sing. So by the time he hits the office door. He’s ready for work and giving of himself more.

Seems Seahawks had a similar getup. In their Superbowl winning setup. Got out early doing pre-game drills. Kept the same routine to warm-up their skills. Coaching staff and players had a reason. Sticking to the script from regular season. By the time they got on the field. They had lots of prep and swag to wield.

A supreme work ethic can bring the next promotion. Watchout there now for the commotion. This is true whether unemployed or underemployed. Or trying to be among the emerging self-employed. Highlights of the talented versus the motivated. In going from a lower pecking order to higher-profile rated.

While other daytime shows are slowing. Harvey’s primetime base is growing. Now seen on the renamed channel “Up.” Contract extension had to fill his cup. No need to hate, complain or balk. These dudes can back-up their talk. When a supreme work ethic’s in the mix. Dreams are ready for the world and got kicks.

Tip: A supreme work ethic shows your dreams are ready for the world because you have the discipline to do the things you need to do when you need to do them so you can do (have) the things you want to do (have) when you want to do (have) them.

Talkback: How did the first play after the kickoff of the Superbowl (the Safety) affect the Broncos or Seahawks?

Mark Zuckerberg Might Have a Plan for Making Businesses More Socially Grounded

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Theme:– Operation J.U.M.P. For Jobs, Justice & Unsung Dreams

A few years ago The Social Network movie was released with rave reviews. It was based on the book The Accidental Billionaires covering the rise of Facebook. The film went on to achieve major success as has Facebook. Now Mark Zuckerberg might have a plan for making businesses more socially grounded.

He describes in an upcoming Today Show interview that he often thinks about what made Facebook blow-up. He remembers having pizza with friends at Harvard on the day after the demo was first released to students on campus. Zuckerberg says his success is due in large part because “we just cared more.”

He could have said it was due to his tech-savvy or his position of privilege. But Zuckerberg’s statement shows another path for business success. That might be what President Obama has been emphasizing in his recent meetings with CEOs. It’s certainly true for Sam Polk a former hedge-fund manager.

Polk landed a job on Wall Street at age 22 and was making loads of cash. He made $3.6 million in bonus one year and thought it wasn’t enough. But his eyes were opened wide when he realized he made more money in one check than his mother made in a lifetime. So he quit his job to become a social-preneur.

Zuckerberg took a social-media path in building wealth. Polk redirected his socially-connected path to spread the wealth. Zuckerberg was driven by passion while Polk was moved to compassion. Polk’s career shift was the most difficult one he’s made in his life. But it’s one that brings dividends to society at-large.

Footnote: Operation J.U.M.P. says if America wants to address long-term joblessness and income inequality then politicians and business leaders alike need to care more.