Are leaders born or made? I have the answer! Baron A Rohbock
Baron graduated with honors in Business Administration and Leadership. With a passion for training and working with teams, he entered the Learning and Development field as Director of Training for Taylor Hartman, author of The People Code (previously published as The Color Code).
With a wide breadth of knowledge in leadership, Baron returned to the training industry to combine first hand management and executive leadership experience with a passion for working with people to shape results while revealing individual and collective talent. In 2011 he started Core MotivAction, an innovative brilliant training company dedicated to people and team development.
The Trust Economy: David Etheredge
From stints at Walt Disney Interactive and Microprose software to the Director of International Business Development at Hasbro and as minority partner in renewable energy company, Wind Works, David Etheredge brings an eclectic mix of passion for theatre, technology know-how, and business acumen to his current venture, SavvyCard. Through SavvyCard, David leverages the growth of mobile devices to build the “trust economy”.
Beyond Empowerment – Are We Ready for the Self-Managed organization?: Doug Kirkpatrick
Doug is a Northern California-based executive coach, organizational consultant, speaker, author and educator. He is the author of Beyond Empowerment: The Age of the Self-Managed Organization. An economics graduate of Pacific Lutheran University, he also holds a law degree from Willamette University College of Law and a Senior Professional in Human Resources designation (SPHR). He enjoys traveling to rough parts of the world and appreciates the perspective that he gains from it.
“Wealth by Design: Kevin Talma
Kevin grew up in Barbados in the sixties and seventies when there was unprecedented change happening to the environment which affected him profoundly and he always wondered why development had to destroy the
nature he loved. These observations and interest in art and environment led him to the field of landscape architecture. Kevin has been practicing landscape architecture since 1988 apprenticing in California, Hawaii, Italy and Barbados before establishing Talma Mill Studios in 1990. Kevin’s passions include art, the environment, water sports, percussion music, travel and family all of which inform his practice of landscape architecture. Kevin holds a Master of Landscape Architecture.
Lissa Rankin, MD is an OB/GYN physician, author, keynote speaker, consultant to health care visionaries, professional artist, and founder of the women’s health and wellness community OwningPink.com. Discouraged by the broken, patriarchal health care system, she left her medical practice in 2007 only to realize that you can quit your job, but you can’t quit your calling. This epiphany launched her on a journey of discovery that led her to become a leader in the field of mind/body medicine, which she blogs about at OwningPink.com and is writing about in her third book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013).
She teaches both patients and health care professionals how to make the body ripe for miracles by healing the mind and being healthy in all aspects of life, not just by promoting healthy behaviors like good nutrition, exercise, and adequate sleep, but by encouraging health and authenticity in relationships, work, creative expression, spirituality, sexuality, finances, and living environment. She is leading a revolution to feminize how health care is received and delivered by encouraging collaboration, fostering self-healing, reconnecting health care and spirituality, empowering patients to tap into the mind’s power to heal the body, and encouraging women not to settle for being merely well, but to strive for living vital, joyful, authentic lives full of “mojo.”
When not spreading the word, she chills out, paints, does yoga, and hikes in Marin County, CA with her husband and daughter.
Tom Deans Understands Family Business Relationships
Lugen Family Office is proud to select Tom Deans as the LFO 2013 Speaker of the Year Award Winner! Congrats Tom and keep up the great work.
Dr. Thomas William Deans is the author of the all-time best-selling family business book, Every Family’s Business: 12 Common Sense Questions to Protect Your Wealth.
He now speaks on the international lecture circuit full time. Having delivered more than 500 speeches, he has built a reputation as a thought leader on the subject of intergenerational wealth transfer.
His lectures and books argue that family has emerged as the greatest economic driver of all time. But the question remains: How can wealth be transferred successfully without destroying the recipient and the wealth itself?
It is a question for the times, as the greatest generation of wealth creators move toward death in record numbers. Deans explores the idea that communication is crucial to the success of that transfer, and indeed to the success of individuals, families and communities.
The idea to write Willing Wisdom came from Tom watching his mother’s parents die. One death – his grandfather’s – was comparatively quick. His grandmother’s was a long and slow ten-year decline. Despite the significant wealth his grandparents left for family and charity, it is the conversations they shared that Tom thought about the most many years later.
In the end, when it came down to their last breaths, only the care provided by Tom’s parents, not money or even the promise of money, could purchase the dignified death each experienced.
Tom is not sure when he first became curious about why our culture has lost its inquisitiveness about death and dying, but he does know, having delivered his keynote speech on transitioning family wealth to tens of thousands of people around the world, that this trend is worsening.
We live in a culture that is in awe of wealth and all that it can provide. We also live in a culture that finds it difficult to talk about and contemplate death. The two are inextricably connected.
Tom starts conversations, but rarely does he finish them, leaving that to readers and their families, friends and trusted advisors.
Willing Wisdom represents a return to the subject of his doctoral research, conducted in the US, Canada and the UK and first published in Charities and Government by Manchester University Press.
Tom lives in a forest in the beautiful Hockley Valley in Ontario, Canada, with his wife, two children and five dogs.
At a farm convention in Chicago, I was approached by an audience member who explained that gifting a working farm to her children was preferable to selling and leaving them each $5 million. When I pressed her for more details – such as – “what do your children think of your plan?” She snapped her head back and proclaimed, “why would I tell them?”
I have to confess it wasn’t the first time that I had heard someone say that silence was going to be the key ingredient of their estate plan. It got me thinking how many beneficiaries – children especially — truly know the contents of their parent’s wills?
When I put the question to my audiences, “how many people hold a copy of their parents’ wills?” Only 10% on average acknowledge they do. The more interesting question is: “how many in the audience will play a lead or significant role in providing care for an aging parent?” The response — an average of 75% — agreed they would. I find the disparity between these two pieces of data, striking.
The relationship between inheriting money and the provision of health care is an issue moving into the media and cultural spotlight for two major reasons – we’re living longer (a lot longer) and the cost of health care and assisted living are rising faster than inflation and saving rates.
For some who live much longer than the average age of 76 for men and 81 for woman, many will turn to family for financial support and care when their savings are fully depleted – the same family from whom secrets were kept when a surplus seemed assured.
Why do so many people keep secrets from those who will likely be providing them with late in life care? How do secrets serve beneficiaries or add to relationships before we become old and dependant? Talk to enough estate planning professionals and they’ll tell you it almost always comes down to a lack of trust and a debilitating fear of death.
For those who view their money as an absolute source of power and control you can see how the aging process and the concomitant relinquishing of power and control makes dying and death such a wretched, fearful experience. Compare that to individuals who seriously prepare family, friends and charitable organizations to receive not just their wealth but their wisdom and you’ll find some extraordinary relationships built purposefully over a lifetime – even when years outstrip savings.
Sharing the contents of a will requires judgment – some might call it wisdom nurtured over time. A wisdom both taught and harvested through conversations with intended beneficiaries not in the last year of life, when death seems imminent, but precisely the opposite, when death is a distant abstraction.
A will doesn’t need to be seen as a solo “end of life document” but rather a collaborative work of art monumentally improved by living in relationship with our intended beneficiaries.
It is the act of collaboration, supported through frequent and deliberate conversation about the future that we leave something more valuable than just our money. This is, in part, how our fear of death recedes when we know with confidence that our beneficiaries—our emissaries — will take our ideas and perhaps our surplus assets at death and live purposeful lives themselves.
Have you shared the contents of your will with your intended beneficiaries – the ones likely to be providing late in life care for you?
Geraldine Hamilton: Body parts on a chip
It’s relatively easy to imagine a new medicine, a better cure for some disease. The hard part, though, is testing it, and that can delay promising new cures for years. In this well-explained talk, Geraldine Hamilton shows how her lab creates organs and body parts on a chip, simple structures with all the pieces essential to testing new medications — even custom cures for one specific person. (Filmed at TEDxBoston)
Geraldine Hamilton builds organs and body parts on a chip — to test new, custom cures.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HER?
Geraldine Hamilton’s career spans from academic research to biotech start-ups to pharma. Her research focus has been on the development and application of human-relevant in-vitro models for drug discovery. She was one of the founding scientists, VP of Scientific Operations and Director of Cell Products, in a start-up biotech company (CellzDirect), that successfully translated and commercialized technology from academic research to supply the pharmaceutical industry with hepatic cell products and services for safety assessment and drug-metabolism studies.
Hamilton received her Ph.D. in cell biology/toxicology from the University of Hertfordshire (England) in conjunction with GlaxoSmithkline, followed by a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of North Carolina. Her current research interests and prior experience include: organs on-a-chip, toxicology and drug metabolism, liver cell biology, mechanisms regulating gene expression and differentiation, regulation of nuclear receptors and transcriptional activation in hepatocytes by xenobiotics, human cell isolation and cryopreservation techniques.
Robber Baron: Lord Black of Crossharbour by George Tombs
If you are a fan of tycoon biographies, this book should be of interest to you. I found it particularly enjoyable to read for two personal reasons.
First, the best biographies, in my humble opinion, are the ones which take you inside the subject’s head and reveal what drives them to excel or at least clutch at the brass ring. The author here, George Tombs, is superb in this particular area. This is partly due to the fact he has known his subject personally for a number of years while working on an authorized biography. This book is the unauthorized version which came out after Black was found guilty in mid-2007 of stealing $6.5 million from his own public company, Hollinger International, an owner of newspapers around the globe. It’s safe to assume that the two men had a last moment falling out around the time of the trial.
Second, I have been following Conrad Black’s business career on and off since about 1980 when I began my study of business tycoons and their strategies at a precocious age.
There’s actually a third reason why I found this biography such an engrossing read. I have this morbid fascination with greedy people. I’m talking about people who have an inflated sense of self-entitlement, people who believe themselves to be above the law, people who will snatch the $100 from your hand that you had intended to use to refill your child’s insulin script in order to buy themselves a Cuban cigar. I’m talking Gordon Gekko, Leona Helmsley greedy. This, unfortunately, is how Conrad Black comes across as well.
The book is so good that I read 225 pages in the first sitting. That’s probably a record for me as I hardly ever exceed 100 pages per evening.
Conrad Black is currently serving a 6 year sentence in the USA for getting caught with his fingers in a public company’s cookie jar. Despite this sad ending, he is worth studying for students of business strategy. His tycoon career began in 1969 at age 25, when he and two equally inexperienced friends purchased a small town newspaper in Quebec. Long story short, Black developed a cookie-cutter system for acquisitions and ended up acquiring over 500 newspapers in Canada, the USA, Britain, and Israel over the next 30 plus years. He was a master at unleashing the game changing “Golden Feedback Loop” as I have come to call it within an industry. Once unleashed there was no option of holding onto the status quo. It was shattered. You then had to play by his rules or go out of business.
Controversy followed Black throughout his entire career starting at an early age. At Upper Canada College, an exclusive boy’s school, (think Andover and Exeter), he was expelled for selling copies of an exam to fellow students. However, his two biggest mistakes, according to Tombs, were:
1. A decision to list his Canadian public company on a USA stock exchange where his “proprietary style of management” was much more likely to draw undesirable attention and sanctions.
2. His decision to give up his Canadian citizenship in 2001 in order to accept a British peerage offered by Tony Blair and become “Lord Black of Crossharbour”. (Canadians have not been allowed to hold such titles since 1919.)
The first decision eventually led to accusations of Black running the new US public company as a “corporate kleptocracy.” This then led to a lengthy trial where a jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to 6 years in prison.
The second decision foiled his last minute attempts to regain his Canadian citizenship so that if found guilty, he could serve his sentence in a Canadian prison where he would most likely have had a substantial portion of it reduced for good behavior.
Considering his lifelong M.O. of using public company funds and assets as if they existed solely for his personal benefit, the 6 year prison sentence handed to him at age 63 can be viewed as the equivalent of a Hollywood “Life Time Achievement Award,” according to one wag.
One final point here about Black. He never made it anywhere close to billionaire status, but I include him here because he most certainly possesses the imperial air of one.
The only slow chapter in the book is one on the subject of a Black biography, Duplessi.Maurice Duplessis was the Canadian version of a Huey Long who used a corrupt political machine and religion to keep the people of Quebec docile and ignorant for the better part of three decades. It took some effort to work through it as it had too much unnecessary detail on a side character.
All in all, this is one of the best biographies in my extensive collection. Get more information on Robber Baron: Lord Black of Crossharbour.
Update July 2010: Conrad has been set free from prison on bail and is unlikely to have to finish the remainder of his sentence. This is a consequence of a Supreme Court ruling in another case. I’m actually glad to see him out. His transgressions pale in comparison to what we have seen on Wall Street over the last few years.
Based on rigorous research, hard-hitting interviews, and original documents, this biography stands out as the most complete examination of Conrad Black, builder of the world’s third-largest media empire, the Telegraph Group. Author George Tombs not only worked in Black’s empire, but maintained steady communication with him over the years as a journalist, giving him exclusive access and insight into Black’s opinions, ideas, values, and personality. Including 100 pages of annotated transcripts from Black’s most recent fraud trial in Chicago, this up-to-date biography gives an inside view of the mogul’s struggles and successes, throughout his past and into the present.
“Tombs has the advantage of being the only Black biographer who had access to his subject.” Alan Hustak, The Montreal Gazette
“In my view, Lord Black is the best biography . . . Lord Black is a full-fledged biography that gives us much to chew on as we speculate on why Black does what he does.” Don Cayo, Vancouver Sun
“A fascinating study . . . a terrific book that engages you from the get-go.” The Gary Doyle Show, CKGL Kitchener radio station
“Benefits immensely from the author’s ability to score interviews with Black himself.” Quill & Quire
“This intimate portrait reveals a man who’s spent his life courting the rich and powerful. . . . All of this enthralling material is placed in clever juxtaposition with taped interviews with the baron himself.” Independent on Sunday
“Tombs plumbs Black’s psychology objectively, but with a sharp insight.” Editor & Publisher
“At no point does the biographer demonstrate anything but impartiality toward his subject, a fact which serves Tombs well during his coverage of Black’s highly-publicized fraud trial in Chicago.” Scene Magazine
About the Author
George Tombs, PhD, is an award-winning journalist and a professor at Athabasca University in Alberta, Canada, and at the State University of New York. He is the author of Lord Black.
Money won’t buy you happiness but it will get you the yacht that will allow you to pull up alongside of it and say “hello.” – David Lee Roth
Self-made billionaires caught my attention at a very early age. One of the first to do so was Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis (b. 1906 – 1975) who achieved global notoriety by marrying John F. Kennedy’s widow Jacqueline in 1968. (She finally agreed to the marriage after being pursued by Aristotle for years. By most accounts, her primary reason for accepting his proposal was financial security for her and her family. For Ari, she was probably the ultimate trophy wife. )
Onassis started his career with little more than ambition but eventually became part of a Greek shipping empire through marriage in 1946 to Athina the daughter of shipping magnate Stavros Livanos. By then he had already built up his own fleet of freighters and tankers. The marriage also made Ari the brother-in-law of a third Greek shipping tycoon, Stavros Niarchos, who was married to Athina’s sister.
For several decades the two brothers-in-law dominated the oil tanker business along with American billionaire Daniel K Ludwig. The rivalry between the men throughout the 1950s and 60s was intense with all three engaging in a “supertanker race” aimed at building the largest ships for their respective fleets. However, no matter how much money and power Ari accumulated, it was never enough to assuage a deep-seated insecurity. Deep down inside, he felt himself to be an outsider shunned by polite society and looked down upon by the significantly better looking and more suave Stavros.
Ari craved acceptance and respect. In early 1952 he thought that he had found a way to win both. He did so by purchasing Monaco which was Europe’s traditional playground for those possessing wealth or nobility, or both. Americans who had never heard of the place learned about it after movie star Grace Kelly became Princess Grace of Monaco in 1956 through marriage to Prince Ranier.
The way Ari accomplished this acquisition was by quietly purchasing a controlling interest in Societe des Bain de Mer, a public company trading on the Paris Bourse, which owned most of the principality of Monaco, including the famed Monte Carlo Casino where James Bond drops by to play Baccarat:
Being accepted in Monaco was the ne plus ultra of social climbing. You couldn’t go any higher. And if you owned the place, they would have to accept you. Onassis, a Greek born in Turkey, had always felt socially inferior, and having to compete with a brother-in-law like the polished, handsome Stavros Niarchos, who chummed around with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip at Ascot, didn’t make it any easier.
So Onassis had bought Monaco, where he could rub elbows with the royalty of the rest of Europe. But he had gotten more in the bargain. Monaco, however small, was its own country, with its own laws. No other nation’s laws applied. If you owned Monaco, you could do what you pleased there, and nobody would object. (Source: The Invisible Billionaire: Daniel Ludwig by Jerry Shields)
To learn more about the Tycoon Playbook, a course designed specifically for Entrepreneurs, Professionals, Small Business Owners, Family Businesses, and the next generation of UHNW families, please click here.
Specifically, the Playbook teaches high performance business owners the three most highly rewarded skills in business, namely deal-making, how to acquire cash flow producing business assets, and how to build a legacy for future generations.
Take a moment to ask yourself how your future WILL exponentially improve as you learn these high value skills from the lives of Billionaires, Centi-Millionaires, and the Best Business Minds in history!
As we approach the end of the calendar year, there is someone we recommend you have a friendly conversation with: your accountant.
The end of the calendar year carries its own due dates that create boundaries and opportunities for you. A coffee with your accountant would be a smart move. Here are a couple of things you might want to say [choose your own words, of course] to spark some useful and potentially profitable conversation:
1. There’s a rumour out there that non-eligible dividend tax rates are rising in 2014. Should I pay out a larger dividend in 2013?
2. I heard that there are changes in how we have to report my foreign assets – is there anything new I need to put together to help you prepare for tax season?
3. I have a feeling that interest rates are going up – should I top up my loan to my spouse?
4. I sold my business in 2013 and have been thinking about giving back a bit, or getting more serious about philanthropy. Do I need to make a donation before year-end to offset this one-time tax hit? Is there anything I can do to still give me some time to strategize, or do my gifts need to be finalized by the 31st?
Also, there are less urgent, but not necessarily less important, tasks like:
• Review the beneficiary elections on your insurance contracts
• Any contributions you might want to make to TFSA, RRSP or RESP accounts
• Update wills and shareholders agreements
Finally, to take this up to our more customary big picture, before you make decisions on financial issues, it’s an excellent moment to think about four things: your values, the vision for your family and wealth, the mission you’re working to accomplish, and the specific goals you are working to achieve.
This is a good time of year for you to have a conversation with your key advisors, and especially your accountant. Your decisions are worth the extra few minutes.
My Vet sends me reminder letters … Why can’t my lawyer when it comes to my Will?
Leading up to the release of my new book Willing Wisdom, I paid extra attention to the mail I received. Delivered to my home over the course of three months, were reminder letters from a host of personal service suppliers, including my accountant to file my taxes, my window cleaner, my lawn service, my insurance provider and my veterinarian.
What I didn’t receive, in fact what I’ve never received over the course of my 51 years on the planet, is a letter from my lawyer reminding me to up-date my will. Curious to know if I’m special (and not in a gifted way) I recently asked my audience – about 200 business owners from across North America assembled at a convention in La Jola California – how many of them had received an annual letter from their lawyer reminding them to up-date their will? Only seven hands shot up.
The results confirmed my suspicion that, like me, 193 people in that room had windows and pets receiving better regularly scheduled maintenance than their estate plans. So what’s the deal?
More alarming is that when questioned on the subject, half of that room acknowledged they didn’t have a will at all. When pressed further, 50% of those who did have a will confessed that it had been more than 5 years since it was last up-dated. When questioned even further almost the entire room confessed to having clean windows, healthy pets and weed free lawns.
Approximately 125 million North Americans over the age of 18 have no will and will eventually die intestate. The resulting financial and relational devastation to families is incalculable.
When I asked my veterinarian how she could be so organized and proactive in scheduling my pet’s annual check-up she tilted her head side ways (kind of like the way my dog Goblin does when I say “treats”) she blurted out – “auto-scheduler”. She might as well have added …“duhhh.”
Asking her for detail on this cutting edge 25-year-old technology she noted it was free — as in it doesn’t cost anything.
Below is the letter I received from my veterinarian word for word.
To: Tom Deans
Annual physical examinations and a personal health consultation is integral to maintaining Goblin’s health. Please call our office to schedule an appointment. We’ve missed you and look forward to seeing you soon!
Dufferin Veterinary Hospital
If you’re not receiving a letter from your lawyer reminding you to up-date your will, would you consider forwarding this article to your lawyer and help them get acquainted with the power of “auto-scheduling” and helping clients keep their estate plans up-to-date? Here’s a sample letter for them to consider sending annually to clients like you.
A will is one of the most important legal documents for you and your family to consider. If one or more of the following apply to you, please call our office and schedule an appointment.
In the past year have you experienced?
- the birth of a child, grandchild or other close family member?
- has someone close died?
- have you acquired or sold a business?
- has your financial situation materially changed?
There are many other changes in your life that may affect your will that we would be pleased to discuss, including Powers of Attorney, Advanced Health Care Directives and the selection of Executor(s).
I look forward to meeting with you.
Your Lawyer Who Totally Gets that You are Busy and Reluctant to Think, Talk and Up-Date Your Will.
And while you’re at it, please remind your lawyer that no less than four US Presidents died without a will — two were lawyers.
To Book Tom Deans, a Lugen Family Office Speaker and The LFO 2013 Speaker of the Year Award Winner, to speak to Your Clients, Donors, or Employees at one of your events, please click here.
The Triangle of Truth: Lisa Earle McLeod
Jared Diamond: How societies can grow old better
There’s an irony behind the latest efforts to extend human life: It’s no picnic to be an old person in a youth-oriented society. Older people can become isolated, lacking meaningful work and low on funds. In this intriguing talk, Jared Diamond looks at how many different societies treat their elders — some better, some worse — and suggests we all take advantage of experience.
Jared Diamond investigates why cultures prosper or decline — and what we can learn by taking a broad look across many kinds of societies.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM?
In his books Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse (and the popular PBS and National Geographic documentaries they inspired), big-picture scholar Jared Diamond explores civilizations and why they all seem to fall. Now in his latest book, The World Until Yesterday, Diamond examines small, traditional, tribal societies — and suggests that modern civilization is only our latest solution to survival.
Diamond’s background in evolutionary biology, geography and physiology informs his integrated vision of human history. He posits that success — and failure — depends on how well societies adapt to their changing environment.
Most of us take for granted the features of our modern society, from air travel and telecommunications to literacy and obesity. Yet for nearly all of its six million years of existence, human society had none of these things. While the gulf that divides us from our primitive ancestors may seem unbridgeably wide, we can glimpse much of our former lifestyle in those largely traditional societies still or recently in existence. Societies like those of the New Guinea Highlanders remind us that it was only yesterdayin evolutionary timewhen everything changed and that we moderns still possess bodies and social practices often better adapted to traditional than to modern conditions.The World Until Yesterday provides a mesmerizing firsthand picture of the human past as it had been for millions of yearsa past that has mostly vanishedand considers what the differences between that past and our present mean for our lives today.
This is Jared Diamond’s most personal book to date, as he draws extensively from his decades of field work in the Pacific islands, as well as evidence from Inuit, Amazonian Indians, Kalahari San people, and others. Diamond doesn’t romanticize traditional societiesafter all, we are shocked by some of their practicesbut he finds that their solutions to universal human problems such as child rearing, elder care, dispute resolution, risk, and physical fitness have much to teach us. Provocative, enlightening, and entertaining, The World Until Yesterday is an essential and fascinating read.