Hoda Kotb & Lionel Richie Make the Dream Stage Look Like a Place Where They Belong


The stage has been set with the return of American Idol’s rollout. A new slate of judges hit the road for the audition tour. Lionel Richie joins Katy Perry and Luke Bryan to give their two cents on making it in the music business. Richie as the elder of the bunch seems happy to share a hug with the contestants.

The Today Show studio was also set for the return of Hoda Kotb from the Winter Olympics. While doing the show from South Korea the studio got a makeover as they moved on from headline-making changes. Kotb got the nod as co-anchor, rising up the ranks from correspondent to guest-hosting duties.

Kotb and Richie make the dream stage look like a place where they belong. These days it’s where they’ve landed as they keep getting better at their game. It’s a kind of coming together of fate and focus that has helped to make them a force. Kotb even has things falling in place for her as a new mother.

The dream stage is where passion and style can leave us speechless for a while. The stories of Idol contestants create room for Richie to show some love. Plus, the performances are often reminders that it’s not just how they sing it or wing it but also how they bring it. Kotb can relate even for Olympic athletes.


Some industry watchers weren’t sure if Idol still had cred in the marketplace. Others weren’t sure if the Today Show would have staying power after the shake-up. But Richie and Kotb are showing young and old otherwise. Their stories of longevity and bounce-back-ability in the business are a case of turning:

  1. Talent into a unique identity

Richie first gained popularity as one of the Commodores. The group became a smash with R&B audiences. He later left the group for a solo career. He knows bringing it in your game means turning talent into a unique identity. In biz they call it USP – Unique Selling Point. My own USP is about ‘bringing more flow to life, putting more life in flow.’

  1. Timing into seizing opportunity

Kotb might not have been expecting to be named new Today Show co-host. She already had a hosting role in the ten o’clock hour where she’d be seen sipping on wine. But when the door came open she was ready to seize the opportunity. Timing isn’t just about the clock but also about delivering the right stock.

  1. Talk into more life-learning ability

Some Idol contestants show up ready to seize the opportunity. Some may be there to checkoff a bucket list item. Others are just there to get 15-seconds of buzz. But in any effort for going to the next level, the ones who move from unknown to making it on the dream stage are those who up their life-learning ability.

  1. Test into rising star-quality

When you hear the backstory of these contestants you get a sense of them taking-on life’s tests. It’s as if life was trying to separate the ‘men from the boys or the women from the girls.’ Making it on the dream stage is about using those tests to shape your unique identity and rising star-quality.

The numbers are in and Idol’s season opener pulled 10 million+ viewers. It seems the Today Show is also keeping its numbers strong. Most people start the dream journey unaware or less learned in some area of the game. But they push, pull or tear as they stretch their sail towards good times that never felt so good.

Tip: Making it on the dream stage is about how we push, pull or tear in stretching our sails towards good times that never felt so good.

Talkback: Which Singing Competition Show has created some of the best rising-star moments?

Tracks: Commodores – Sail On – https://youtu.be/Bt95h5yKyYE

Allen Stone – Unaware – https://youtu.be/o4uYo7lRgqA


Tiger Woods Not Ready for the Major Greens While Jane Pauley’s Back on TV Screens #BigTimeUniversity

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

LOL Tube – Got Funny?


Theme:–The Year of ‘Flashlighting’ – Get Seen!”
A New Way to Shine with Highlights, Insights and Media-bites that’s Exciting (Old-School Flava)

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at age 83 is back on the Supreme Court. She ruffled some feathers over the summer but is trying to lay low. Also back is Jane Pauley as new host of CBS Sunday Morning. While Pauley is good for another round on TV, Tiger Woods says he’s not ready for a major golf tournament.

In a statement to fans Woods said “I will continue to strive to be able to play tournament golf. I’m very close, taking my game from the range to the course is the final hurdle, and with your continued support, I know I’ll get there.” He’s ready to get his groove back, but it’s gonna take more than a finger snap.

It’s getting kinda hectic as Woods went from top ranking to complete halt. But he’s pumped about taking his mojo from lame to game by not feeling defeated. After working day and night on his swing he hopes to return to past performances. He’s patiently focused on having power and magic again.

Pauley has had media ranking slips and slides too. In her mid-twenties she landed the co-host spot on NBCs Today Show. Since leaving the show there’ve been some lows and highs along the way. Now forty years later she’s got her groove back in a role that feels like going from last to having a wide-cast.

Pauley said to an AP writer “I was told that the word most consistently associated with my name was ‘authenticity.’ If they had said anything else, I would have gone ‘pooh.’ But authenticity? I said, ‘Yeah!’ For better or worse, I just didn’t know how to be anything but myself.” No matter what, that works every time.

Groove-Track: Snap – The Power – https://youtu.be/nm6DO_7px1I

Theme:–The Year of ‘Flashlighting’ – Get Seen!”
A New Way to Shine With Highlights, Insights and Media-bites that’s Exciting (New-School Flava)

Justin Ginsburg’s back on the block. Trying not to say anything to shock. Supreme Court back in session. A few ruffled feathers but still a lesson. Jane Pauley also on the upswing. CBS Sunday Morning her new thing. Good enough for doing TV again. While Tiger Woods not ready for stellar career to end.

Saying to fans in a statement online. Continuing to strive as health is fine. Not able to play the big game yet. But no need for folks to fret. Getting closer to go from range to course. That’s coming from him the main source. Ready to cross the hurdle, reinvent and rise. With a snap, crackle and pop surprise.

Gettin’ kinda hectic around here. Woods’ ratings went from top to fair. Now rough and ready to take his mojo. From scratch to hatch or lame to game flow. Working day and night on his swing stroke. Making sure his performance is woke. Focused on getting back the power. With game-time magic at any hour.

Pauley’s seen her own media slip. As rankings slide and a network skip. In her mid-twenties being Today Show host. Something she might cherish the most. Lows and highs along the way. Now she’s back on CBS Sunday. Forty years later taking on new role. From last to wide-cast, feeling good in her soul.

Pauley tells AP writer. How she kept going as a fighter. Word most used to describe her then and now. Was one of authenticity worn on her brow. If anything that hit her happy spots. For better or worse to connects the dots. No matter what it works every time. Mark her words for dropping wisdom and a dime.


Tip: The best way to reinvent your game and rise just the same is letting authenticity be the major reward.

Talkback: How much longer will it take before Tiger Woods gets his golf groove back?

Groove-Tracks: Snap – Kid Cudi – Day & Nite – https://youtu.be/VrDfSZ_6f4U

Katy Perry – Rise  – https://youtu.be/hdw1uKiTI5c

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

@Adele & @Pharrell Make Passion seem Effortless and Collaboration Look Priceless! #BigTimeUniversity

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

LOL Tube – Got Funny?


Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (Old-School Flava)

The holiday season is about to jump-off. There’re ‘Black Friday’ sales all over the place. Between holiday concerts and showbiz Award events, artists are getting ready to bring their A-game. Maybe some should look to @Adele & @Pharrell for how they make passion seem effortless and collaboration look priceless.

Pharrell hosted the ‘Shining a Light’ concert and Adele did the Today Show. She once said in a memorable quote “I make music to be a musician not to be on the cover of Playboy.” That’s key for those who wonder why some people get more ‘play’ on the job, or thanks from mgmt for customer service work.

When performing she does it with ease and he with ‘executive swag.’ Their music connects with the masses without feeling mass-produced. Their performances and press appearances have enough vision to serve a broader mission but enough ‘play’ to get the creative juices flowing and fans cheering.

They have something in common off stage and behind the scenes. It’s a kind of quirky cool that as kids might have been picked-on by others. But their success tells us that a quirk doesn’t make someone a jerk as long as it’s put to good use at work. Quirks can be an asset, becoming part of our working facet.

Many love the fact that no matter how high-up in job title or on the pop music charts, they’re still relatable to everyday people. That common touch helps Adele boost airplay and album sales and attracts emerging artists to him on The Voice. Adele and Pharrell are at their best when they’re like one of us.

Groove-Track: Arrested Development – ‘Everyday People’ – https://youtu.be/ohx0m2fR4zs

Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (New-School Flava)

Holiday season about to be poppin’. Black Friday sales to start the shoppin’. Between concerts and Hollywood Award shows. That’s kinda how this season flows. Where artists A-game gets moving. And concert fans get grooving. Adele and Pharrell make it effortless. With collabs that are simply priceless.

Hosted ‘Shining a Light’ fundraiser. He was a sure crowd pleaser. Adele had Today Show audience packed. She draws a crowd, that’s a fact. Once said musicianship is her thing. Not trying to be a Playboy fling. That’s key for getting more ‘play’ at work. Or thanks from mgmt as a good customer service clerk.

When they’re in action it’s a thrill. With ease they execute their skill. Music that connects with the masses. Good for clinging the champagne glasses. Performance and appearance with enough vision. To achieve a broader service mission. Enough ‘play’ and creative juices running. And fans at their loudest humming.

Something in common off stage. Behind the scenes or from a young age. Kind of quirky cool as a kid. Maybe picked-on so they hid. But a quirk doesn’t make you a jerk. As long as it’s put to good use at work. Becoming a secret weapon or hidden asset. Also part of your biz brand facet.

Many love that no matter how high. Job title and music charts isn’t their why. They still come across really relatable. To showbiz execs and everyday people. A common touch in what they do. Helps boost sales and attract artists too. At their best when in their lane. They’re one of us even with the mundane.


Tip: As passion gets your creative juices flowing, collaboration gets your working partnerships growing.

Talkback: What’s the hot holiday gift people are talking about this season?

Groove-Tracks: Andra Day – “Cheers to the Fall” – https://youtu.be/Hrzx3obzUmY


Stacy Barthe – ‘You Wonder Why?’ – https://youtu.be/2CYR54mzLbU

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

Bear Grylls and President Obama Step-out the Bubble to Leave a Mark in the Wild – #WUWECAST

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

LOL Tube – Got Funny?


Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (Old-School Flava)

It’s not often that people get to hang-out with Kings and Queens. That’s usually reserved for folks in high standing. Then there’s Bear Grylls who gets to bond with celebrities around survival skills. He and President Obama stepped-out ‘the bubble’ to send a message to D.C. and leave a mark in the wild.

In a clip on Today.com from his show Running Wild with Bear Grylls, Obama is heard saying “This has got to be one of the best days of my presidency. First of all, I’m not in the office. Second of all, I’m not in a suit.” It’s a case of them making a point about wildest dreams by stepping out their comfort zone.

On the show celebrities take a discovery journey. They build confidence and after a while things happen less by chance and more by choice. Overcoming a challenge in the office or the wild is good for leaving a mark or being unbreakable. Plus, a sense of purpose helps with ‘leaving marks before the concrete dries.’

Grylls turned his early career as an SAS soldier into a Reality TV Adventurer. Much of his claim to fame is with beating common fears, taking climbs and surviving the wilds. For him, stepping out the bubble at work is fun, like playing with plastic wrap. Squeeze here before the popping champagne sound you hear.

He says to the British Telegraph “I don’t believe we’ve begun yet. I still think we’re at ground zero, and if we really get our act together over the next few years we can build that into an absolutely huge, huge business around the world.” Obama wants to build a legacy and Grylls wants to build outdoor adventures.

Groove-Track: Michael Jackson – ‘Unbreakable’ – https://youtu.be/GcAASD4FZM8

Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (New-School Flava)

Not often people change shoe strings. Or hangout with Queens and Kings. Left for folks in high standing. Or others with social ranking. There’s Bear Grylls who gets to bond. Around survival skills with peeps he’s fond. Grylls and Obama step-out the bubble. Sends message to D.C. leaving marks in the rubble.

As seen in Today.com clip. He and Obama take a trip. On Running Wild with Bear Grylls. Obama seemed open to new thrills. Sees it as a best day in office as president. Part of being a Beltway resident. This time he’s not in a suit. Making a point without horns to toot. Stepping out comfort zone to bear fruit.

On show celebs take journey of discovery. Building confidence in their ability. Like fire under the feet as a test. Success less by chance but choice and zest. Getting over challenge in the office or wild. Good for adult and adventurous child. Leave a mark or be unbreakable. A purpose like concrete that’s unshakable.

Grylls began career as a soldier. Now Reality TV’s freelance Adventurer. Claim to fame is beating common fears. Surviving climbs past mud, sweat and tears. Stepping out the bubble is like playing. With plastic wrap found in packaging. Squeeze here to sound the pop. Champagne flows and you don’t stop.

Telling British media it’s just the start. Of what he wants to do worlds apart. Hoping to go from ground zero. To renowned survivalist hero. Thinking this could become huge venture. An enterprise in global outdoor adventure. So while Obama works to build a legacy. Grylls hopes to build skill-set supremacy.


Tip: Wildest dreams start by stepping-out the comfort zone and building acclaim in skill-set supremacy.

Talkback: How would other politicians do if they were to appear on Running Wild?

Groove-Tracks: Leona Lewis – ‘Fire Under My Feet’ – https://youtu.be/bGCZL801OfQ

Anthony Hamilton – “Comin’ From Where I’m From” – https://youtu.be/-4LVf9qdFYA

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Breakup Gives New Meaning to an Economic Paradigm Shift


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

It seems in the space of one week we went from relationship hookup to relationship breakup (not with the same couple). First it was news of NBCs Savannah Guthrie tying the knot and adding that they’re expecting. But it’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s breakup that’s giving new meaning to an economic paradigm shift.

After 10 years of marriage to musician Chris Martin, Paltrow announced that they’re parting. It’s not the first time that celebrities have called it quits. But it’s the first time that a separation has been referred to publicly as a “conscious uncoupling.” Who knew that there was a more sophisticated way to say divorce?

Apparently, while the term is new to the cultural zeitgeist, it’s not new to the marriage therapist who coined the phrase. The idea is to approach the separation with mutual respect and human sensibilities. This way they can minimize the level of feelings getting hurt and pocketbooks getting burnt.

Wouldn’t it be nice if another approach were to be tried when dealing with the long-term unemployed? They have been experiencing a job market separation for a long time. Operation J.U.M.P. might call it a “conscious re-coupling” into the job market where they can re-connect with a sense of economic worth.

For Paltrow and Martin things are coming to a bitter-sweet end. So their “conscious uncoupling” will hopefully make the money decisions less painful. In the case of the long-term unemployed they’d like to see an economic paradigm shift that moves their self-worth from “bitter-sour to dollars per hour.”

Footnote: Operation J.U.M.P. is a new sophistication in human resources that provides a social change and empowerment approach of advancing public policy initiatives and professional incentives for jobs, justice and unsung dreams.

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


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.

Sir Richard Branson To Launch an Out-of-World Experience in Space Flight


Theme:–The Year of ‘Growmance’
Where Love Beats Fear in Upping Our Game This Year” (Old-School Flava)

After winning the X-Prize Spaceflight competition in 2004 with SpaceShipOne, Virgin Galactic upped its game in commercial space travel. That journey began eight years earlier with the vision of British Billionaire Sir Richard Branson and others. In 2014 he plans to launch an out-of-world experience in flight.

NBC Universal and its network of entertainment outlets have announced a partnership to promote the events leading up to the first commercial spaceflight next year. This ‘where were you moment’ will feature Branson and his kids among six other civilians aboard SpaceShipTwo. It’s a dream long in the making.

The journey from vision to reality is what many experience in living their dreams. The American dream is filled with examples of those who pursued greater opportunity. Many left their homeland without much to show. A driving force has been channeling a sense of purpose by turning an idea into an action plan.

In U.S. history we had the gold rush. That was part of the Western migration of people looking to secure land and get natural resources in hand. Then we had the Industrial Revolution where many experienced the home-buying rush. Now we’re in a phase of the business ‘brand rush’ defined by the social revolution.

Many a dream got started by those far less-wealthy than Branson. What exists in passion often matters more than what’s found in money. Branson and others know that a dream starts off with a deep-down rush of inner juices. So, like him, maybe 2014 is the year for an out-of-world experience in dream flight.


The Year of ‘Growmance’
Where Love Beats Fear in Upping Our Game This Year” (New-School Flava)

Winner of X-Prize for Spaceflight. In 2004 SpaceShipOne reached new height. Then Virgin Galactic upped its game. Commercial space travel would make its name. Journey began eight years before. A glimpse of Sir Richard Branson’s vision score. Plans for out-of-world experience in space allure.

NBC Universal got first right. Entertainment outlets to promote first flight. With outlets from cable to theme park. Covering the feat from morning to dark. Billed as a ‘where were you moment’ in time. Will also feature Reality TV show in prime. Branson, his kids, six others for the taking. A dream long in the making.

Journeying from vision to reality. Sure to bring new-found notoriety. It’s what many experience living their dreams. Whether in biz or on sports teams. Going for greater opportunity out the door. Many leaving homeland for another shore. Channeling purpose as a driving force. Turning idea into action-plan course.

U.S. history had the gold rush. Western migration with the land crush. Natural resources had people looking. Before the Industrial Revolution was cooking. A time many saw rush in home-buying. Heading north with family left crying. Now it’s the ‘brand rush’ biz phase. Defined by social revolution craze.

Many a dream started small. By those with little-or-nothing at all. Found in passion not just for your honey. Matters more than what’s found in money. Branson and others are in the know. A dream makes rush of inner juices flow. Maybe 2014 the year to get it right. With an out-of-world experience in dream flight.

Tip: Upping your game means seeing your dreams for the passion that it is and keeping your eyes on the prize in the world of biz.

Talkback: Will commercial spaceflight become a normal social occurrence like air travel?