Tony’s communication advice can help one solve conflict, build more effective teams and foster stronger relationships. Tony, challenges us to better understand each one, describes their differences and asks that we flex to that individual style to be more effective in our communication with others.
According to research we can differentiate various styles of communicating into four quadrants:
The Director, Socializer, Relator and Thinker:
- Directors tend to be more forceful and up front and want people to get to the bottom line. They like being in charge.
- Socializers want to be center stage. They excel at conversation- sometimes too much so.
- Relators are about relationships, slow to warm up and loyal. They like a relaxed pace.
- Thinkers are analytical, precise and like data- neatly presented.
We are a combination of all of these styles , yet we have a primary preference, and if we are going to be more effective in getting results, the Platinum Rule counsels us to communicate to that person’s preference. Easier said than done- as a Director myself- as is the host of McCuistion; a style that is often impatient and much too direct!
Join us to learn more about communication skills, how we are similar and different, and how we can use the Platinum Rule to build relationships, personally and professionally.
This is one program you won’t want to miss if you do indeed want to foster stronger relationships.
As always we are talking about things that matter with people who care.
Executive Producer/ Producer
Speaker, Consultant in Strategy, Leadership and Governance
A Tribute to the Late Margaret Thatcher
Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s first female prime minister in 1979 and served her nation very successfully in this role until her resignation in 1990. Known for her forceful convictions and strength of character, she became known as the Iron Lady. In July of 2011, John Blundell, Institute of Economic Affairs Fellow, author of Margaret Thatcher: Portrait of An Iron Lady, joined us on a McCuistion TV program, talking about her successful career and her many contributions to British society and the political system.
(His colorful recollections, respectfully told, are worth watching: http://www.frtv.org/2012/05/13/the-legacy-of-margaret-thatcher/ on the McCuistion Program).
Ms. Thatcher earned a degree in chemistry from Somerville College, Oxford, as well as a Master of Arts degree from the University of Oxford. She worked as a chemist and then as a barrister, specializing in tax law, before being elected to the House of Commons in 1953, where she held several ministerial appointments. She was elected leader of the Conservative Party and thus became leader of the Opposition in 1975.
Never one to back down from what she felt to be right, she was known for her strong commitment to free market economics, limited government and rule of law. The former P.M. was a strong proponent of privatization, (see the NCPA study, Privatization Around the Globe” by Peter Young.) and (Dismantling the State by Madsen Pirie, which became a privatization handbook in the United States and throughout the world during the ‘80’s).
In 1988, she “predicted the “creeping Euro- federalism”, and took steps to prevent the British pound from being pegged to then European currencies. Prime Minister Thatcher fought against the tyranny of British unions, the lofty 83% taxes on the wealthy and IRA terrorism, among many other tough issues…
Intuitive and pragmatic, after meeting Mikhail Gorbachev, months before his ascendency to leadership, she told him, “We can do business together.” On learning of her death, Gorbachev said, “In the end we were able to achieve mutual understanding and this contributed to a change in attitude between our country and the west and to the end of the Cold War.” The remark was pure “Iron Lady.”
In 1992, she was elevated to the House of Lords to become Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven. An icon, respected stateswoman, and renowned change agent the Iron Lady will be missed.
Niki Nicastro McCuistion
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who wrote the controlling opinion, attempted a delicate balancing act: He said the Commerce and Necessary and Proper clauses of the Constitution cannot be bent to compel Americans to buy insurance, but said it is allowed under Congress’s tax and spending powers, which are broader, but are subject to the checks of the political system.
“The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax. Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness,” he wrote.
We heard from the National Center for Policy Analysis’s, President John C. Goodman, on the Supreme Court’s ruling today on the Affordable Care Act;
”Congress can repeal the ACA and replace it with universal health care coverage without any mandates”. Dr. Goodman noted that, as a candidate, Barack Obama opposed the individual mandate but supported universal coverage. “Unfortunately, he abandoned both ideas,” said Goodman.
How can we do this? Basically by following the McCain/Coburn/Ryan approach. Offer every American a refundable tax credit that is the same amount regardless of where the insurance is purchased: in the workplace, in a health exchange or in the marketplace. “For instance, we can afford to offer a $2,500 per adult tax credit or an $8,000 credit per family,” said Goodman. The unclaimed tax credits go to fund the so-called ‘safety net’ programs so that there is an adequate amount of money for everybody.”
“Many are concerned that if there is no mandate, people will wait until they get sick to buy insurance,” added Goodman. “The more important question is: Did we ever need the mandate at all? The answer is ‘no,’ not if we do it the right way.”
Ten years ago when people heard the term venture philanthropy there were puzzled looks. Today, it has become considerably more mainstream. George Ellis and Bob Wright join us in this brief interview, defining what venture philanthropy is; “the marrying of the head and heart; a bridge between care based organizations”
George, Bob and David Hale Smith, collaborated in producing The Little Green Book of Venture Philanthropy; the subtitle defines what this fairly new philanthropic business model is… How Business Hats and Volunteer Hearts Can Learn to Play Well with Each Other and Make the World a Better Place.
To be successful, talent, expertise and strategic thinking need to be part of the mix. Venture philanthropists expect results and accountability from the organizations they work with. They are active donor investors who want change to happen fairly quickly. Taking a more hands on role in how their money is spent and managed, they expect a more business like operation.
Eleven years ago, Bob joined us and shared insights into this fairly new philanthropic model. His fellow panelists read like a who’s who of Philanthropy- Bill Drayton, then Chair and CEO of Ashoka-founded in 1980 and still the model for the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, Todd Wagner co-founder with Mark Cuban, of Broadcast.com, and Jim Jenkins, former Executive Director of| Entrepreneurs for North Texas. The philanthropic business models they discussed have become an integral part of the nonprofit culture.
Click here to view the McCuistion TV episode on venture philanthropy with Bill Drayton from several years ago.
Thanks again for joining me in conversations that matter…
Niki Nicastro McCuistion
In January 2011, Bill George, former Chairman & CEO of Medtronic’s, Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School and author of True North, joined us on the McCuistion program to talk about character and leadership; of which he is an acknowledged expert. Dennis asked him, “There are people watching this program who will ask, how is it that you can be so focused on character and values and yet be on the board of Goldman Sachs?”
Bill George answered, “Here’s a firm that for 140 years focused on their clients. They paid their people well. They paid for performance… not stars. They were the first execs on Wall Street that didn’t take bonuses. And when they saw the problem with sub prime mortgages, they got out 18 months ahead of everyone else.”
Yet with all that said, Goldman Sachs history is problematic.
March 12, Greg Smith, a Goldman Sachs director in London resigned, and in doing so published this letter, (NY Times) detailing his grievances, including the charge the firm is ‘morally bankrupt.’
“Today is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm – first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London – I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.
To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.
It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization. I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love working for this firm for many years. I no longer have the pride, or the belief.”
2011 and 2012 show numerous challenges with Goldman Sachs. In fact we wrote about these in an earlier story.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that Goldman Sachs will pay $550 million to settle the SEC’s charges against the firm. According to Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, “Half a billion dollars is the largest penalty ever assessed against a financial services firm in the history of the SEC. This settlement is a stark lesson to Wall Street firms that no product is too complex, and no investor too sophisticated, to avoid a heavy price if a firm violates the fundamental principles of honest treatment and fair dealing.”
In April last year, the SEC sued Goldman Sachs and one of its employees for civil fraud, alleging they defrauded investors in 2007, in selling a financial product tied to sub prime mortgages. While Goldman acknowledged that its marketing materials for the sub prime product contained incomplete information, Goldman agreed to settle the SEC’s charges without admitting or denying the allegations by consenting to the entry of a final judgment that enjoins them from violating the anti fraud provisions of the Securities Act of 1933.
In its complaint, the SEC alleged that Goldman misstated and omitted key facts regarding a synthetic collateralized debt obligation it marketed. In particular, the SEC alleged that Goldman failed to disclose the role that hedge fund Paulson & Co. Inc. played in interests were adverse to CDO investors. Of the $550 million to be paid by Goldman in the settlement, $250 million would be returned to harmed investors through a Fair Fund distribution and $300 million would be paid to the U.S. Treasury.
In spite of Sarbanes Oxley abuses keep piling up with more than a few business icons. This last month we aired the story of Richard Bowen- who blew the whistle on Citi.
Yet the values of true leadership Bill George shared are sound and indicative of how a company ‘should” operate on every level- with their internal customer, the employee, and certainly their external customer. Building loyalty and good business practice is more than just an aggressive return on investment to the shareholder, regardless of how some disparage their commitment to the public, their stakeholders and employees. George’s input on integrity and what true leadership means gives us a true north perspective.
In fact Bill George was on a committee that closely examined sound business practice and how Goldman should conduct its affairs. More can be read at this link: http://www.goldmansachs.com/who-we-are/business-standards/committee-report/business-standards-committee-report-pdf.pdf
Still history is showing Goldman still has far to go.
As always, thanks for watching as we talk about things that matter with people who care.
Niki Nicastro McCuistion
Executive Producer/ producer
Business performance consultant/ coach
In Dallas this weekend the “in” place to be is the newly completed Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Designed by a Spaniard, Santiago Calatrava, the clean, futuristic lines take one’s breath away. The sweep of its arches and span inspires. So I can appreciate the lofty rhetoric surrounding it and the mystique it’s engendered.
According to city leaders, the Bridge will “connect” downtown Dallas to West Dallas. On the downtown side the skyline is dominated by the W Hotel- where you can sip a $20 cocktail and be inspired by the Bridge. On the west side, you can splurge with a $2 Corona and your income clocks in at $12,000 a year; half the median per capita income citywide.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings claims, “The city’s newest landmark symbolizes his desire to close that gap”. U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson says, “This is a structure that brings the city together”. Yet, many in Dallas call it “the bridge to nowhere”. Does the east side want to bridge the gap? Can a bridge actually bridge the chasm between a $20 drink and a $2 beer?
Not normally a skeptic, as I wandered the area and walked the Bridge this weekend, and experienced the new upscale Brewery going in, and the very much east side of the Bridge shops; my thought was- where will the person who now pays $200 a month rent move to when her place is knocked down to make way for the upscale building that will surely take place here? By the way, did I mention that the ‘hood’ directly around the bridge is Hispanic, with many of the families having lived there for generations?
The newspapers say, “The Trinity River Corridor Project, (anchored by this Bridge) is the most complex and the largest urban development effort undertaken by the city and it will make Dallas the envy of other large cities as it transforms a flood protection solution into an opportunity for community revitalization, economic development and the creation of a world-class greenway”.
We’ll see- I’m not a cynic, and I sure hope the Bridge does in fact fulfill its promise- to connect. Yet? That new Brewery- I paid $4 for a glass of ale!
- Niki McCuistion
- How do the Chinese see our economic situation?
- How has trade impacted what multinationals do?
- How has American economic and foreign policy impacted the rest of the world?
One of the points that host, Dennis McCuistion, addressed was that by-and-large we as a society do not often talk about China when discussing the American credit crisis and corporate governance, although it does impact them. He asked Angelina Kwan for her perspective.
Ms. Kwan believes that,
“The US is China’s best past and present trading partner. China wants a strong dollar. China really thinks that America has a great entrepreneurial spirit and it will get out of the current trade deficit.”
Ms. Kwan states that China will continue to work with the US and not in an adversarial role, but first and foremost as trading partners.
Dennis agrees, “We, the US and China, need each other. China is the largest creditor of the United States. We need to both figure out how they [China] will get paid.” Angelina Kwan tells us that the US needs to look at how it’s dealing with their dollars and its fiscal policy. China and the US are having serious discussions about China exporting less and the US having less dependency on exports and not relying so heavily on Asia and China.
The guests agree that trade is good for both partners. Mario Mancuso adds,
“A prosperous China is in the best interests of the United Sates and vice versa. Both being prosperous is in the global interest. These are the two largest economies in the world, and we agree on our ultimate objectives. We just can’t figure out how to implement those objectives- that’s the irony.”
He tells us, 95% of our customers are outside the US and if we build a wall, we close competitors out.
“A rules-based trading system is advantageous to competitive parties and the US is the most competitive in the world.”
US consumers benefit with better products at cheaper prices…
“An additional point, I take a backseat to no-one in terms of levying criticism, at the same time I don’t think the final chapter has been written on US economic leadership.”
And a special thank you to the Institute for Excellence in Corporate Governance,University of Texas at Dallas, School of Management, (http://som.utdallas.edu/iecg/) for providing the guests for this 4 part series on Corporate Governance.
Tune in for the rest of the story as continue to talk about things that matter with people who care…
Niki Nicastro McCuistion
1809 – 11.22.09
Airing this Sunday, September 18th at 12:30 PM on KERA, Channel 13
Dan Burrus is considered, one of the top three gurus in the country on the future. In the 90’s he wrote the best seller Technotrends and many of his key points have become fact. His newest book, Flash Foresight: How To See the Invisible And Do The Impossible, takes a look at what we can do to transform our lives- in this century and decade- and pokes holes at the traditional ways of looking at the world and how we run our businesses.
He asks, “wouldn’t it be amazing if you could predict the future and be right?” Dan states that we can indeed predict the future. And we can have a better future as a result. Dan who bases his predictions on scientific principles tells us, “we all have a sense of foresight, but we don’t know how to trust or use it, yet it is a sense we can accurately make sense of”.
In part two of this series Dan talks about how to see invisible opportunities and solutions to seemingly impossible problems. He covers several additional points from his book:
- The key to doing something that seems impossible is to see invisible solutions.
- Take your biggest problems and skip them. You’ll often find that if there is a recurring problem, that isn’t the real problem you have to solve.
- Opposites work better.
- Anticipate by solving tomorrow’s problems before they happen.
- Direct your future or someone else will. Take charge of it.
His rapid fire dialogue and common sense solutions to many of the quirks of life and business challenges we all share will leave you saying, “Now why didn’t I think of that?”
Tune in and hear more of these incredible insights, as we talk about things that matter with people who care…
Airing this Sunday, July 24th at 12:30 PM on KERA, Channel 13
What do Martha Washington, Sojourner Truth, Abigail Adams, and Ayn Rand have in common? They’re just four of the twenty women who impacted the cause of freedom in America.
John Blundell: Fellow at Atlas Economic Research Foundation and author of the new book Ladies for Liberty; offers a series of insights into twenty American ladies who made a difference in the history of our country. John spent 16 years at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London and he is past president of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University and the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in Washington, DC.
While Mr. Blundell is a Brit, he lived in the United States for many years. He was always fascinated by the American women who truly impacted our society: in politics, the arts, economics, science, education etc. Looking at the landscape available of the giants in the field, he chose twenty women from our past to represent his premise. He brings the lives of these incredible women to life, and he explores, from his perspective, why each was a leader and tells us how they changed the history of our country. He addresses each of their accomplishments, and what made their character and their contributions to society.
This cross section of women includes: Marcy Otis Warren, Abigail Adams, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Tubman, The Grimske Sisters, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Bina West Miller, Madam CJ Walker, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder, Isabel Pattersen, Lula Bell Wallace, Vivien Kellams, Taylor Caldwell, Clare Booth Luce, Ayn Rand, Rose Friedman, Jane Jacobs, and Dorian Fisher.
Tune in Sunday, July 24th on KERA Channel 13 for a journey into the past – of some incredible well known icons in US history.
Thanks again for joining us as we continue talking about things that matter with people who care.
Real Estate Foreclosures: Problems and Preventions
Airing Sunday, April 24th at 12:30 PM on KERA, Channel 13
The last several years have hit many homeowners who have little to no ability to repay their mortgages. Fourteen million of these homeowners have no equity in their homes and owe the lender more than the property’s appraised value.
Foreclosures may be up, however the foreclosure process varies from state to state. In some states short notice is given by lenders. In others, homeowners have 9 months to 18 months before a foreclosure is posted.
What can lenders and homeowners do to work together? Is it at all possible for both the lender to profit and the homeowner to keep their home?
Joining Dennis McCuistion to discuss the various options to foreclosure and how to work with a lender to keep from being foreclosed are the following panelists:
- Richard Bitner – Author of: Confessions of a Subprime Lender
- Linda Davis – Housing Director: Consumer Credit Counseling Service
- George Roddy – CEO of The Roddy Report
Join us as always as we talk about things that matter… with people who care.
Niki Nicastro McCuistion
Be sure to watch more McCuistion TV programs on our website www.McCuistionTV.com.