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Columbus Day

Published October 12, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

columbus-day

Many U.S. citizens were taught in school that Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492 proving for the first time in history that the Earth was indeed not a flat object. However, in her article, Why is Columbus Day Still a Federal Holiday, Valerie Strauss, of the Washington Post, purports that Columbus really hadn’t discovered America. Nor did he prove that the Earth was flat. Plus, she points out that there is also some question regarding the names of his ships, the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.

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Today many in the U.S. still observe Columbus Day, so we decided to post Ms. Strauss’ article to help provide another perspective about this holiday, as a tool to help us evolve and ultimately, bring about a positive change over the debate on whether we should still keep Columbus Day or consider revising it to Indigenous Peoples Day. According to Dr. Phil’s Ten Life Laws, from his book called, Life Strategies, Life Law #4 states, “We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge” (McGraw, 2000). So, with that in mind, today we decided to post Ms. Strauss’ article, to examine a new perspective on this historical event by assessing the facts as they occurred, not necessarily as they were recorded from the victors of the conquering regimes.

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Here is the rest of the article. It is our hope to inspire others to conduct their own research on this topic, to draw your own conclusions:

Why is Columbus Day still a U.S. federal holiday?

Columbus made four trips from Spain across the Atlantic — in 1492, 1493, 1498 and 1502 — did, however, change human history forever, ushering in what is known as the Columbian Exchange — the historic exchange of plants, animals, disease, culture, technology and people between the Old and New Worlds. The Old World, for example, got chocolate (and many other things) and the New World got wheat, along with bubonic plague, chicken pox, cholera, malaria, measles, typhoid, etc., which decimated the populations of indigenous peoples Columbus found living on the islands he “discovered.

As for Columbus himself, he mapped the coasts of Central and South America but never set foot on North America, and died thinking he had discovered Asia. He ruled the Caribbean islands as viceroy and governor so brutally that, according to US-History.com: “Even his most ardent admirers acknowledge that Columbus was self-centered, ruthless, avaricious, and a racist.

Columbus has long been believed to have been born in Genoa, Italy, though some historians think he was born in Spain’s Catalonia region. He sailed for the Spanish crown, and his remains are in Spain. Italians in the United States have taken great pride in him and sponsor many of the celebrations held in his name each year to honor Italian-American heritage.

So how did we got a U.S. federal holiday in his name?

The first Columbus Day celebration recorded in the United States was held in New York in 1792 to honor Italian-American heritage and to mark Oct. 12, 1492, the day that Columbus and his ships first made landfall  on an island in the Caribbean Sea.

In 1892, according to History.com, President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation encouraging Americans to mark the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s voyage with patriotic festivities.

In 1937, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Congress, bowing to lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, an influential Catholic group that wanted a Catholic hero to be honored, proclaimed Oct. 12 to be Columbus Day, a national holiday. In 1971, the holiday date was changed to the second Monday in October.

Over recent decades, the holiday has been the target of protests at Columbus Day celebrations, and some places have changed the name and focus of the holiday. For example, Berkeley, Calif., replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in 1992 to honor the original inhabitants of the Caribbean islands where Columbus made landfall and ruled. In 1989, South Dakota started calling the holiday Native American Day, and Alabama celebrates a combination of Columbus Day and American Indian Heritage Day. Hawaii calls it Discovery Day. In the Bahamas, it is called Discovery Day, and as Dia de la Hispanidad and Fiesta Nacional in Spain.

Here are some things to know about Columbus:

*He didn’t prove that the Earth is round.

Kids in school have long been taught that when Columbus set sail in 1492 to find a new route to the East Indies, it was feared that he would fall off the edge of the Earth because people then thought the planet was flat. Nope. As early as the 6th century B.C., Pythagoras — later followed by Aristotle and Euclid — wrote about Earth as a sphere, and historians say there is no doubt that the educated in Columbus’s day knew quite well that the Earth was round. Columbus, in fact, owned a copy of Ptolemy’s Geography, written at the height of the Roman Empire, 1,300 years before Columbus set sail. Several books published in Europe between 1200 and 1500 discussed the Earth’s shape, including “The Sphere,” written in the early 1200s, which was required reading in European universities in the 1300s and beyond. The big question for Columbus, it turns out, was not the shape of the Earth but the size of the ocean he was planning to cross.”

*Columbus didn’t “discover” America.

During four trips that started with the one in 1492, Columbus landed on various Caribbean islands that are now the Bahamas as well as the island later called Hispaniola. He also explored the Central and South American coasts. But he didn’t reach North America, which, of course, was already inhabited by Native Americans, and he never thought he had found a new continent. You may also remember that it is believed that Norse explorer Leif Erikson reached Canada perhaps 500 years before Columbus was born, and there are some who believe that Phoenician sailors crossed the Atlantic much earlier than that.

* The famous names of the ships he took on his famous 1492 trip across the Atlantic Ocean, the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, probably weren’t really named Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria. The Santa Maria was also known at the time as La Gallega, meaningthe Galician. The Niña is now believed to be a nickname for a ship originally called the Santa Clara, and the Pinta also was probably a nickname, though the ship’s real name isn’t clear.

The Washington Post article certainly shines a light, giving us a new perspective on the events as they may have occurred, which differ greatly than what most of us were taught in school as children. Perhaps by providing this information and encouraging a dialogue on this topic, we can make begin the healing process.

Well … that’s a wrap for today! Until next time … keep seeking the truth and stay organized!

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Sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the decision right. – Phil McGraw

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mission on sale now

For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit:

Mayr’s Author Page.

References:

McGraw, D. P. (2000). Life Strategies. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from drphil.com: http://drphil.com/articles/article/44

Strauss, V. (2015, October 11). The Washington Post. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from Why is columbus day still a U.S. federal holiday?: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/10/11/why-is-columbus-day-still-a-u-s-federal-holiday/

Listening as a Management Strategy

Published May 29, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

The word Summer written on a sandy beach, with scuba mask, beach towel, starfish and flip flops (studio shot - warm color and directional light are intentional).

SUMMER BREAK EDITION

(Originally posted October 2014)

For the most part, people are good listeners; however, many do not use their listening skills effectively. In his book Management Communication, Donald Baack (2012) postulates that the following three different styles of listening affect how a message is received and transmitted: (a) empathetic, (b) active, and (c) content listening. Active listeners listen with a reason, while empathetic listeners, for instance, combine active listening with critical thinking skills to comprehend a message while having compassion towards the messenger’s needs, wants, and feelings. Content listening on the other hand, is when the receiver makes an attempt to comprehend and retain in memory, the data presented by the transmitter (Baack, 2012). When individuals are able to identify the kind of listening they need to engage in for every situation, it will help enhance their communication skills.

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A level one listener, for instance, is the most engaged and authentic listener. A level two listener in the meantime, is less engaged and tends to miss important components like nonverbal cues. Finally, level three listeners are those who are too preoccupied with self-concerns. This can prevent them from engaging as an active listener or  receiving the message clearly.

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In the eBook, Breaching Communication Barriers, (2013) my research work revealed how effective active listening skills can play a significant role in the communication process. For example, when we are in the work place, we learn the importance of engaging in clear communication strategies because a message transmitted improperly can have dire consequences; and in a worst case scenario, that can result in an employee’s termination. To help employees, some leaders offer staff members communication workshops. Others develop programs that include activities to strengthen communication skills. Then there are companies that choose to distribute educational material to help improve and remind employees about the significance of good listening skills for clear communication, as well as how effective communication skills can help them achieve higher performance levels. In short, good listening skills provide clarification in receiving messages which is effective for breaching communication barriers.

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For an employee of a team of twenty people, for example, in addition to engaging in active listening, that staff member may also have to learn how to communicate effectively with different components like ethnicity, cultures, and other diversities. They may also need to understand how to be sympathetic and understanding under different circumstances like when shaking someone’s hand can transmit a message of disrespect to a dignitary when bowing is the accepted traditional custom. One tactic may be to ask for clarification before delivering a message, or repeating a sentence from the conversation. This can be done to clarify the individual was engaged in active listening and enthusiastic to confirm that the transmission was received as it was meant to be delivered. In conclusion, to achieve the best outcomes in the communication process, individuals must also apply skills like active listening. The key to ongoing success however, is an awareness that the enhancement of communication skills is an ongoing learning experience that continues to evolve because of advancements in technology that provide new methods of transmitting those messages.

That’s a wrap for this week’s summer break edition. Until next time … stay organized!

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“If speaking is silver, then listening is gold.” — Turkish Proverb

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Graduation Ad Ethics and Mission

For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

Media Magic Publishing.

or amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

Mayr’s Author Page.

References:

Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Berry, M. A. (2013). Breaching Communication Barriers (Vol. 2). (C. Angela, Ed.) USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Arriving Soon …

Published October 14, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

Coming Soon External Audiobook Ad 2

For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

Media Magic Publishing.

Tomorrow’s post will take a closer look at persuasive communication. Until then … stay organized!

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The best CEOs I know are teachers, and at the core of what they teach is strategy. – Michael Porter

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Times They Are A-Changin’

Published September 15, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

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In today’s business world, organizations face many changes that create both opportunities and challenges as well. In my eBook, The Value of Corporate Strategic Management (2014), my research revealed a study conducted for the U.S. Department of Labor by the Rand Corporation, suggested that the nation’s work force is becoming smaller, more diverse, more mobile, and more vulnerable to global competition (Berry, 2014). This trend presents both positive and negative implications for business leaders when it comes to the development of organizational strategies. For example, Hossenlopp (2011) reported that some of the specific challenges organizations are facing include: (a) the pressure of globalization, (b) the need to increase profits while decreasing costs, (c) chaos from mergers and acquisitions, (d) an ongoing need to increase efficiency, (e) downsizing and outsourcing, (f) keeping up with the accelerated rate in technological advances, and (g) policies and legislative changes in banking and financial reporting (Hossenlopp, 2011). These are some of the significant components that have changed the world’s work force, transforming it into an arena with smaller more diverse staff support. As a result of these radical changes companies are creating environments that are virtual and mobile. This is because of their vulnerability to the effects of globalization.

music store

Conditions in the music industry, for instance, are highly competitive and unpredictable. Wilkstrom  (2013) suggests that in order to make a profit in the former economy of this industry, the record  company’s top goal was to maximize revenue and minimize unauthorized use (Wikstrom,  2013). In addition, they continued to face risks from their dependency to identify, sign and  retain artists with long term potential as well as the continued success of their current roster. Furthermore, the growth from digital and online music markets forever changed the music industry as they continued to experience a rapid decline of the physical market.

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Success driven companies, however, are able to see trends and anticipate industry changes that will affect them and devise plans quickly to adapt to them to help maintain a competitive advantage.  Michael Porter (2011) suggests that it is just as important to identify what actions not to take as well (Porter, 2011).  Leaders therefore, must develop efficient methods to adjust to industry changes without creating a new set of challenges. For instance, by evaluating some of these components, managers can develop strategies to adjust to a smaller workforce without creating an economic crisis. This can occur by devising systems to anticipate changes rather than simply create strategies as a response to a crisis or other urgent issues and pressing situations. Because of the rapid changes in the business environment, organizations that are able to cope with uncertainty are more likely to deliver higher performances. On Wednesday we will continue our discussion on effective strategies to cope with industry changes. Until then … stay organized!

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Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it’s about deliberately choosing to be different. – Michael Porter

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Lippincott Room at Princeton University Press
 
For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at: Media Magic Publishing.
 
References:

Coulter, M. (2010). Strategic management in action (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Hossenlopp, R. (2011). Organiztional project management: Linking strategy and projects. Vienna, VA: Management Concepts.
Porter, M. (2011). HBR’s 10 must reads on strategy. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.

Wikstrom, P. (2013). The music industry: Digital media and society series. Malden, MA: Polity Press.

Rothaermel, F. (2013). Strategic management. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Tuesday’s Vacation Week Treat

Published August 19, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

Tues Vacation

Tuesday’s Vacation Post Treat

Kindess

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Dr. Smita Malhorta, M.D. Suggests In every Tough Situation Try Kindness First

“People may make ugly comments. The airline may lose your bags. Another driver may cut you off. These situations will happen everyday. How are you going to respond?
 
Although your first response like many others will be to get angry, why not try a different approach? Anger in these situations rarely solves problems. People are more likely to respond to kindness. And you can be kind and be firm.
 
Get your point across without sacrificing your integrity. It is the only response that you will not regret later. No matter how upset you are, always treat others with respect. You will be surprised at how much can be accomplished with kindness” (Malhotra, 2014).

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Stay Positive

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How Best Selling Author Dani Shapiro Uses Meditation to Stay Positive

“My meditation is my personal prayer. The phrases I include are,  ‘May I be safe and be happy. May I be strong and live with ease’. You say them quietly enough over and over just to yourself, but then, eventually, you say them to others. You pray for them by saying ‘May you be safe, may you be happy, may you be strong, may you live with ease'”  – Dani Shapiro, Best selling author.
 
 

References:

Smita Malhotra, M. (2014, July 16). 8 lessons I want to teach my daughter. Retrieved August 17, 2014, from The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/smita-malhotra/eight-lessons-i-want-to-teach-my-daughter_b_5565037.html.

Shapiro, D. (2014, July). Success through stillness. (O. Winfrey, Interviewer).

For more information or to purchase any of Media Magic’s Business Life Ebook Publications, please visit our website at: Media Magic’s Publications

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“A joyful heart is the normal result of a heart burning with love.” ― Mother Teresa

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The Tech Rehearsal

Published April 16, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Now that the lights were set, I was ready to begin the tech rehearsal for the video presentation. There were many reasons for my decision to save the video presentations in several digital formats – one of which resulted from an incident that took place about a week before I left for the trip. I had just switched internet companies at my production studio and shortly afterwards, I began to experience connectivity issues with my laptop. As it is only used as a backup system, due to my heavy production schedule, I didn’t have time to troubleshoot or call a technician to help resolve it before I left for L.A. Plus, because I made the assumption that the issue resulted from switching cable companies, I believed (hoped, rather) that once I arrived at the facility, I could tap into their wireless system without a problem. What that meant, however, was that if my laptop was used for the show, and the problem was not a wireless connectivity issue, it would hinder my ability to connect to the internet during the event, should the other platforms fail. In other words, if I needed to access the videos via YouTube with my laptop, there was a good possibility that I would again run into connectivity problems.

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The hotel staff did not provide detailed information about the audio/video (A/V) hardware that would be available to us, so I was focused on preparing for it as best as I could without it. In addition to publishing them on the YouTube platform, I saved the videos on a flash drive and also produced DVD versions. Furthermore, the files were formatted to work on electronic devices driven by the Windows or MAC platforms. My strategic management plan was to ensure the most successful outcome, so for added security, the video files were produced and tested in both formats (Windows and QuickTime files). This strategy also served to provide a sense of confidence from knowing that there were sufficient backup systems implemented should one fail.

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The A/V staff member that worked with me during the program suggested that the easiest most effective method for the presentation was to connect my laptop to their system. Although I did not anticipate using my own equipment, it was a decision I could live with because I was familiar with the operational and functioning processes, plus, I was prepared.  I could now decide which format to implement and test out first. I chose the system that contained all the videos in one place:  the flash drive. The DVDs were formatted so that each video presentation was on a separate disc. Initially, when I burned the DVDs I did so as complimentary gift for the AHC and for the honorees. I had not planned on using them for the event as my first choice for playback, and in truth, they were only considered as a final resort backup system because I believed the flash drive would be the more convenient method. Plus, I had each file saved on the laptop. In other words, I only considered their use for the presentation as a last resort. In fact, I did not bring any of them down to the tech rehearsal because my plan was to play the files directly from the flash drive.

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I inserted the flash drive and began the first video so I could set sound levels and the technician could center and fit the image on the widescreen projectors. Within a few minutes I noticed that the audio was not in synch with video. How on earth did that happen? I closed out of that file and began the next video file and noticed the same thing! What the … how the … I was speechless! I played the third video and the same thing happened. This was beyond bizarre, this was surreal! Then I tested the videos on the laptop and they TOO had audio synchronicity problems. Plus, now that we were committed to using my laptop, guess what else I discovered? I still was unable to connect to the internet – even using the hotel’s wireless system! Shock and panic started to creep in. This meant that two of the systems (flash drive and laptop files) I planned to use were inoperable as was my ability to resort to YouTube where they were also available on high definition. I had but one option left: I had to resort to the DVD platform. So I ran back up to the hotel room, grabbed the DVDs, and prayed this final system would work (gulp) … but you’ll have to come back to check out Friday’s post to find out whether I was successful or whether after investing many hours of hard work and planning it was what my daughter would refer to as an “epic fail!”

Until then … stay tuned and keep organized!

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“Security represents your sense of worth, your identity, your emotional anchorage, your self-esteem, your basic personal strength or lack of it.”  — Stephen Covey

Getting to Know Mayr

Published January 22, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

 

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Hey everyone!

As promised, here is the YouTube link to the “Getting to Know Mayr” video created at my production studio for those curious about who I am and what I’ve been up to. 

http://youtu.be/HM6jdU6PaHc

Stay tuned for Friday’s post that features my first article called Breaking the Communication Barrier …

until then … keep organized!

Mayr