At Penzeys Spices, Kindness Rules

KindPinI have never met Bill, yet, I look forward to receiving and reading his frequent emails. He is one person who is changing the world one email at a time.

You see, Bill is the CEO of Penzeys Spices, a purveyor of herbs, spices and all things gastronomic. Not only is he passionate about cooking; he is passionate about being kind to others.

Bill is not your average CEO. He is way above average, a CEO who understands what it means to pay it forward. I wish more company leaders provided an environment of love, support, and kindness. Imagine the level of true prosperity that we could experience as a society.

Being a fan of Penzeys Spices, I – like many smart gourmandes – signed up for the email list for free spices, offers, recipes, and other goodies. What I received in return was a newly-acquired taste for goodness. I’m not talking about just gourmet goodness…I’m talking about simple human goodness.

Bill is a good guy. The goodness he shares comes from his world view, his spirit, and his written word which appears in Penzeys Spices emails.

The one email that got my attention was Bill’s offer to send a free Kind pin (pictured within this article) to anyone who marched in The Women’s March on Saturday, January 21, 2017. As you recall, this national spirited March attracted unprecedented numbers of women, men, and children in Washington, D.C. who had a strong desire to share their voices with the world. And this March happened not just in cities across the United States; it happened globally, in cities around the world. The voices of the masses shared positive messages of hope, compassion, joy, love, understanding, peace, acceptance, and kindness.

In return for the free Kind pin, Bill requested that marchers share their personal stories of why they marched, and any kindness that they experienced or witnessed that day. In an email, Bill said, “I believe history will show just how important The Women’s March was, and just how great of a debt we owe those who Marched. Their humanity, kindness, and strength were just the reminder we needed of what really makes America great, at the very moment we so desperately needed to be reminded.” In total, Penzeys Spices shipped 174,139 free Kind pins to people who participated in The Women’s March.

What Bill – and Penzeys Spices – did through his generosity and act of kindness was to remind us that true change begins with one simple idea that is put into action. Thank you, Bill, for being a positive role model and inspiring others.

What type of change do you want to initiate? Get started today!

Photo credit: Christine Zust

Communicate With Credibility

Young-Professional.490f209379970f055c2ee7e62629b438219Credibility is one of those intangibles in life that can change dramatically from moment to moment. Throughout your life – and your career – you will have many opportunities to compromise your credibility. Never compromise your credibility. The credibility that you enjoy today has taken years to build. Why risk throwing it all away? Protect your credibility. It is one of your greatest assets. Your credibility is built on the foundation of your personal and professional character, and your competence as a professional.

In their seminal book, Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It, authors James Kouzes and Barry Posner in their longitudinal research on leaders asked professionals how they felt when they were in the presence of truly great leaders. The top ten replies were: Capable. Challenged. Enthusiastic. Inspired. Motivated. Powerful. Proud. Repeated. Supported. Valued.

How do you communicate with credibility? These tips will help you to consistently position yourself as a professional.

Align verbal and nonverbal language. Listen to your words and intonation. Be aware of your nonverbal language.

Lead by listening. Practice active listening. Deliver an “SOS” to your brain – Silently Observe, Then Speak.

Make realistic promises and keep them. Think before you speak. Do what you say you will do.

Speak from the heart. Create a mindset of inclusion. Use compassionate, caring language.

Be yourself. Align your values and behavior. Don’t try to mimic someone else’s behavior. Be your most authentic self.

Be an expert. Enhance your knowledge base continuously. Be a resource. Share your knowledge with others.

Be honest. Frame what you’re sharing so it benefits the other person. Know the difference between using kid gloves (being gentle) and boxing gloves (being more assertive).

Be proactive. Ask people their preferred form of communication. Ask clarifying questions to gain understanding. Seek challenging assignments at work, then follow through to get the job done.

Be consistent. Don’t flip-flop. Don’t exhibit unpredictable behavior.

To gain – and maintain – your credibility requires a great deal of behind the scenes strategic thinking. Begin with a simple self-assessment. It’s worth the time and your constant attention.

United We Stand, United We Fall: A Lesson in Brand Ambassadorship

united.com

united.com

As a professional, your actions represent not only you…they also represent your company. You are a brand ambassador when you work with customers, speak at a national conference, or volunteer in the community. You are the brand, and all it stands for. You are the face of the company. One false move, like bad behavior, can stunt or end career success.

The recent United Airlines debacle demonstrated that actions speak volumes about who you are and what you value.

The United Airlines Flight 3711 incident, which occurred on Sunday, April 2, has been reported, analyzed and picked apart by the media, bloggers and regular folks like you and me. Here’s what happened: The flight was fully booked, and passengers were already seated. One passenger, Dr. David Dao, had been asked to relinquish his seat (which he had paid for) to make room for a United employee. He refused. As a result, Chicago Department of Aviation officers swooped in with brut force, handcuffed and carted Dr. Dao off the plane. In the process, his nose and a few teeth were broken. A video captured by another passenger immediately went viral. The rest, as they say, is history. In fact, it was an historic event.

It didn’t have to be this way. A moment of thought before taking an action would have resulted in an entirely different outcome…a more positive one…for everyone involved.

Days later, top headlines are still trending:

Newsweek: Why United Was Legally Wrong to Deplane David Dao

NBC News: United CEO: Doctor being dragged off plane was ‘watershed moment’

What would a good brand ambassador do? Here are a few thoughts:

Know what your brand stands for. Your brand is that one thing that represents who you are and what you stand for. First, United’s brand begins with its name, United. That one word creates a larger-than-life image of the company. What does United stand for? Second, you may or may not remember United Airlines’ famous tagline, “Fly the friendly skies.” Because of the brut force that was used to remove Dr. Dao from his seat, one might question, “Is United really friendly?” If United’s thought leaders had really, well, thought about this, they may have come to the conclusion that the action that was being considered didn’t fit with the United brand. But things didn’t play out that way. Every employee of United is a brand ambassador for the airline. And every employee of the Chicago Department of Aviation serves as a brand ambassador for the organization.

Do the right thing. Consider the public’s reaction once the video went viral. It was clear that everyone agreed that the situation was not handled properly. We have all been in situations where our gut screamed out to us “Don’t do it!!!!!” Yet, we ended up not listening to our intuition and lived to regret our poor choice. When your conscience speaks, listen.

If protocol is flawed, pitch it. “I was just following protocol” is not a good enough reason. Sure, United Airlines had a policy. All airlines have policies, procedures and protocol. Sometimes you need to look at protocol, look at the situation, consider the outcome, and ask if the protocol fits the situation and if the outcome is one you desire. If things don’t add up, it’s time to re-examine the protocol or throw it out completely in that situation. The incident has resulted in United Airlines changing its policy.

Take quick, responsible action. The leadership at United Airlines first offered a boilerplate response to the media, saying they were examining what had happened before commenting. A few days later, United CEO Oscar Munoz apologized and took full responsibility. This was too little too late. Two days after the incident, United’s stock had fallen by 4%, roughly $1.5 billion. Although the stock has regained some of its strength, United will carry this ding on its record forever.

Be strategic. In my workshops, I remind people how important it is to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the marketplace. Technology makes it so easy to do. If you want to get ahead in your career, you have to stay ahead of the competition. A change in the airline industry began shortly after the United Airlines incident. A CBS News headline says it all: “Three airlines change policies in wake of United’s passenger dragging incident.”

Build a culture of respect and compassion. You will never find yourself in an awkward situation or have to apologize for bad behavior if you treat every person that you meet with respect and compassion. More people recognize  that this is the best way to move forward together.

The United Airlines incident is already becoming an important case study for business schools, communication scholars, human resource professionals and enforcement officers. Hopefully this is one case where we will learn from mistakes and bring about positive change as brand ambassadors.

Do Some American Women Have a “Girl Crush” on Hillary Clinton?

hillarybuttonWithin the national media coverage of the 2016 Presidential election, there is one perspective that the media hasn’t really touched upon: Why some women dislike Hillary Clinton. I have a theory: It’s called a “girl crush.”

When I accepted the position as president of a women’s organization back in the late 1980s, my husband cautioned me that there might be some women who wanted to see me fail. My reaction? First, I rolled my eyes in disbelief, then I said, “Oh, come on. You’re a man. What do you know about women? Women help and support each other.” Yes, I was young and naïve back then. I learned the hard way, through my own experience, exactly what my husband warned me about. He was absolutely right. There were women within my “sisterhood” of colleagues who did not want me to succeed*.

“How could that be?” I asked myself. “It’s (almost) 1990! Women have progressed so much. We’ve come so far.” I really believed that back then. What I know now more than ever is that women can be – and often are – their own worst enemies when it comes to helping each other move forward.

Case in point: Hillary Clinton. As a woman, I get genuinely excited about the prospect and possibility of the first female president of the United States. What a tremendous boost for women in our country, to know that we – as women – can hold the most prestigious office in America.

Then I think about the lyrics of the Grammy Award nominated song, Girl Crush by Little Big Town, and I wonder if some American women have a girl crush on Hillary Clinton.

The song is sung in a sarcastic, spiteful way and tells the story of a jilted woman who jealously wants to be just like the woman who is now with her ex. “I want what she has…Yeah, ‘cause maybe then you’d want me just as much…” In reality, the woman despises the other woman and everything about her.  She doesn’t really want to be like her; she just wants what she has.

Some American women may be viewing Hillary Clinton from that “girl crush” perspective. “If I can’t have what she has, I’m not going to vote for her!” How pathetic.

In her book, Daring My Passages, author Gail Sheehy shares a story from earlier years when magazine editor Tina Brown shared her dislike of Hillary Clinton. When Sheehy pushed for clarification, Brown finally admitted that Clinton was too “perfect.”

Negative comments that female colleagues, family members, friends, and women featured in media interviews have said about Hillary Clinton have surprised me. “She’s already been in The White House; we don’t need anymore of her.” Or “I don’t trust her.” Or “I hate her!” One longtime female friend of mine said, “I’m not voting for her just because she’s a woman.” To that friend and to American women who share those thoughts, I simply say, “Why not? Why wouldn’t you? How many years have we, as women, said to each other, ‘If you want to see change, real change, put a woman in charge!’?” How many women could deny that truth?

Of 196 countries around the world, only 28 (14%) have female leaders.

I do believe that some American women don’t see the value of putting a woman in The White House as president. But…are they the same women who don’t care if women get equal pay as men? Who don’t care if they have to work longer hours and get fewer perks than their male counterparts? Who don’t care if women are sexually violated by men? Who don’t care if women are objectified in the media? I do see the value, and I wish more women cared about each other.

Earlier this year, I reviewed Hillary Clinton’s biography and was impressed with the positive work that she has consistently accomplished throughout her life for women, girls, and families, equal rights and human rights, and healthcare. She is, hands down, the best qualified person to serve as Commander in Chief.

Recent studies show that women simultaneously use the right and left hemispheres of their brain, giving them a greater capacity to process data more quickly than men, who predominantly use the brain’s left hemisphere. By nature, women are more collaborative, nurturing, and inclusive in their actions. Women do, in fact, make better politicians. They can also multi-task better than anyone else (scan the headlines, apply lipstick, and finish writing a report all at the same time).

If there are any doubts in your mind, ponder one important question: In what ways would the world be different if women were in charge? You may be see things in an entirely different light.

(*I didn’t fail, by the way; I actually saved the women’s organization from going under, with the help of an exceptionally gifted female staff leader and a small group of like-minded women who stayed with me through some very turbulent times).

Photo: CZust

Baby Boomers Must Be Prepared for a Different Interview Process

n-MATURE-JOB-INTERVIEW-628x314If you are a Baby Boomer looking for a new job, invest the time in updating your mindset about what it takes to land a job in this 21st Century. Much has changed since you last applied for a job. When you kick into interviewing mode, you need to do more than just update your resume because a lot has changed. Here’s a sampling of what to expect:

Hiring Process. A few years ago, a fellow Baby Boomer shared her experience of interviewing with a government agency. After submitting an online application and resume, she was screened by phone with the hiring manager. About a week later, she received a call from the hiring manager who announced, “Congratulations. You got the job.” My friend was shocked that she was hired without a face-to-face interview.

Generational Differences. You may find that the person interviewing and hiring you is 20 or 30 years younger than you. Don’t treat the person like a child. Rather, treat the interviewer like every professional you meet, with respect and as an equal.

Language. Whether on the phone or face-to-face, keep your language current. For instance, “employee orientation” has been replaced with “on-boarding.” News flash: Don’t appear to be hip or cool when a Millennial is doing the interviewing by saying, “Whazzuuppp?” You’ll just look (and sound) stupid.

Questions. If it’s been a long time since you have interviewed for a job, you will notice the types of questions asked have changed. Beyond Old School questions like “Where do you see yourself in five years?,” be prepared for more challenging questions like, “How would you establish your credibility quickly with the team?” Here are a few helpful links to prepare you for the interview: The 100 Top Interview Questions from Monster.com, the Top 14 Interview Questions from CareerBuilder, and the 10 Most Common Interview Questions from U.S. News & World Report.

Transparency. Headhunters and Human Resources professionals can verify information about you with a simple click of the mouse, reviewing your LinkedIn profile, Facebook page, Twitter account, and conducting a Google Search just using your name. Position yourself appropriately on all of your social media platforms. Everything that hiring professionals need to know about you appears online. If you have been featured in a news article, it’s there. If you spoke at a national conference, it’s there. If you received a community award, it’s there.

Skills. Computer literacy is no longer an option; it is a must-have skill in today’s workplace. Beyond knowing Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint and how to navigate the Internet, understand newer time-saving software or applications. Many companies require employees (for certain positions) to have expertise in social media, like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, to name a few.

Professional Image. Your outward appearance is one way to demonstrate your level of professionalism. As you mature, remain current in your wardrobe choices so that you look vibrant, vital and stylish.What are you doing to enhance your professional look? What simple, inexpensive changes are you making that will help you look more current and in style?

Trends. Beyond keeping up to date on industry trends, know what’s happening in the workplace. Thought leader Dan Schawbel, founder of workplacetrends.com, provides an annual workplace trends prediction as a contributor to Forbes.

When you remain current with a fresh perspective and open mindset, and you also possess an extensive knowledge base, your chance of landing that job increases!

Six Ways to Power Up Your LinkedIn Profile

Fourth in a series.

linkedin-Forbes.comYour LinkedIn profile is one of the most powerful ways to present yourself to other professionals using social media. How “powerful” is your profile? Here are six tips to attract people to you.

  1. Complete your profile. A completed profile includes thorough information about your background and career history. In fact, profiles that are 100% completed are 40 times more likely to receive job opportunities through LinkedIn.
  2. Include a current professional photo. A professional photo is not one of you taken at a cocktail event, standing next to a phantom person (whose shoulder and arm remain in the frame). Invest the time to have a studio photo taken with professional lighting. If anything about you has changed, it’s time to have a new photo taken. A current photo gives you a better chance of your profile being viewed (11 times better).
  3. Write a compelling Summary. The Summary provides a quick snapshot of who you are and what you do. Keep your Summary language direct and expressive, not confusing or vague. As the word Summary suggests, don’t write a book. Keep it simple.
  4. Include your skills. Like any good resume, a profile enhances your skills. Once you include your skills, colleagues can endorse you in those areas. Your profile has a better chance of being viewed when skills are included and endorsed.
  5. Update your status regularly. Every time you update your status, your network is informed. This action keeps you top of mind with other professionals.
  6. Update/add information frequently. Over time, your professional life changes and your profile needs to reflect that. Have you changed jobs? Are you serving on a new nonprofit Board? Did you recently receive an achievement award? Have you become certified in a specific skill? When change happens, update your LinkedIn profile.

Here’s a quick task for you: Review your LinkedIn profile with a keen eye. Imagine that you are reading it for the first time. What could you do to “power up” your profile? If you need inspiration, look at the LinkedIn profiles of professionals you admire. You may discover more ways to position yourself as an industry leader.

How to Work Your LinkedIn Network

linkedin-logoPart One in a series.

LinkedIn remains the preferred social network of business professionals around the globe, with more than 400 million users worldwide, and more than 110 million users in the U.S. To get the most out of LinkedIn as a professional, you have to work it.

I remember when I received my first LinkedIn invitation from a longtime friend and colleague more than a decade ago. I was skeptical. I asked, “What is this?” “How does it work?” What I didn’t know or understand at the time when I joined LinkedIn was that it would become the power source for networking with other professionals. Once I got started, I set my goal to connect with 500+ professionals. It was easier than I thought. With focus, the goal became a reality.

The first way to work your LinkedIn network is to: Invest time in reviewing “Who’s Who” in your network by asking four important questions:

  1. What skills do your contacts possess? One of the greatest advantages of LinkedIn is that it allows you to examine the people you are connected to and the types of skills they possess. It helps you to understand if your network is well rounded (diverse skills represented) or lopsided (too many connections in one skill area only).
  2. How well do you know your contacts? It helps to know the people you are connected to. This may sound trite. It’s important to know your LinkedIn connections because they occupy a valuable spot within your network. Occasionally invitations will come from people who you don’t know. Qualify the connection if you need to by sending an email. It’s perfectly fine to vet a request from someone you don’t know. Look to see if you have any connections in common. That will help you to decide whether or not to connect with them.
  3. What’s new with your contacts? Because LinkedIn messaging arrives in your email inbox, it’s easy to track when contacts have changed jobs, added new skills or made an announcement. Visit people’s profiles occasionally to see what’s new.
  4. How are you keeping in touch? Every time you open your LinkedIn account, you will see a series of “congratulations” boxes appear, announcing contacts who are celebrating work anniversaries. You have the option to send a message. It’s a great way to keep in touch. When you review your LinkedIn contacts list, ask yourself how you can keep in touch outside of LinkedIn communication. How often do you see that person face-to-face? Are you sending them your articles or blog posts? Is it time to chat by phone or grab a cup of coffee?

What’s the point of being connected with fellow professionals if you are not truly connected?

Announced this week, LinkedIn now offers a LinkedIn Students app that is compatible with iOS and Android. The app helps new graduates find job matches based on their major, locate companies that usually hire from their college, and learn about career choices of recent graduates with similar degrees. If you have college students in your family, suggest the LinkedIn Students app to them. It could help their job search.

Here’s a quick task for you to complete in the next week: Take just 20 minutes this week to visit two LinkedIn profiles within your network. Continue doing this for the next four weeks. At the end of this brief exercise, ask yourself what you have learned about those contacts in your network. It may provide you with some fresh insights on how you are working your LinkedIn network.

Next week: Part Two.

For the USSF, It’s Time to Set the Gold Standard

pure-goldThe U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) has an opportunity to strategically position itself as the professional sports organization that represents the best interests of all players, both male and female. Doing so would totally change the culture of professional sports by treating female athletes fairly and equitably. Today’s definition of the gold standard is simply “the paragon of excellence.” It’s time the USSF put this into practice within its own organization.

Why is the topic of equality met with such disinterest or even disdain when it is one of America’s foundational core values?

Recently, five members of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team filed a federal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to draw attention to the appalling discrepancy in pay between their team and their colleagues of the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team. According to media reports, the USSF’s response to the filing was that it was “an irrational request.”

What is irrational and totally incomprehensible is this: The men’s soccer team earns about double to two-thirds more than female soccer players. Men also can earn up to more than four times what women earn in bonuses. The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team has delivered multiple wins, earning several gold medals, and in fact is the gold standard of Olympians. Read one of my earlier blog posts referencing how the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team serves as a positive role model.

If the soccer boot were on the other foot and men were earning one-half to two-thirds less than women, what do you think male players would do? They would rise up too.

Many, perhaps most, of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team members are the primary earners in their households, some juggling responsibilities with rearing a growing family or assisting aging parents. They have earned the right to make a decent income just as much as men do. Why should they be treated any differently? They work just as hard at playing an exciting game, which attracts television viewers and major sponsors, increases advertising revenue, generates publicity and boosts the human spirit.

This isn’t the first time the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team has gone head to head with the USSF. Similar conversations have been occurring for the past few decades.

It’s time for the USSF to embrace fairness and equity within the sport. The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team is a powerful, well-respected brand. It’s time to acknowledge and reward it.

And the Winner is…Chris Rock

Oscars Host Chris Rock, variety.com

Oscars Host Chris Rock Gave Diversity a Platform. Credit: variety.com

 

With all of the tension surrounding the 88th Annual Academy Awards ceremony, which aired on February 28, 2016, there was no one better qualified to handle it than comedian and Master of Ceremonies Chris Rock. And handle it he did. In his opening monologue, he put diversity front and center, and it remained there throughout the entire program. The result: He made everyone in the audience feel comfortable, laugh, and of course exhale.

Some African-American celebrities chose to boycott this year’s Awards ceremony because of the absence of African-American nominees. Those who chose to attend, like Whoopi Goldberg, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Hart, John Legend and Common, were there to support their fellow actors no matter what race or creed.

Chris Rock looked sharp – elegant in fact – in a white tuxedo jacket with black pants, a perfect rhetorical nod to the controversy at hand. His comments were fair and balanced. He was able to poke fun at the issue without offending people.

The chain of events that led up to the Awards ceremony provided fodder for Chris Rock’s raw comic talent. His example showed others how to handle adversity. Rock and writers worked diligently to create several on-topic, hilarious parody videos. My favorite was Saturday Night Live alumnus Tracy Morgan’s comic portrayal of The Danish Girl.

What can we – as professionals – learn from this historic event? For one thing, it’s a reminder that life gives you choices. You can either choose to be for or against something; sometimes you lead the charge and other times you follow other people’s leads. You also have to pick your battles because there are many in life. When making those decisions, you must ask some critical questions: What do I gain from taking this stance? How am I positioning myself? Will it help or hurt my reputation?

The game changer statement that Chris Rock made was when he said that in 1962 there were no African-Americans nominated for any Oscars, and there were no boycotts then. Instead, he said, black people at that time were demonstrating against important social issues (like being raped or lynched) rather than who won best cinematographer. And he said it in his own inimitable Chris Rock way, funny and cutting to the core of truth. Were some of his words hard to hear or even admit to be true? Yes. Therein lies the power of the moment.

From my perspective, Chris Rock solidified his image as a brilliant, talented, quick-witted comedian who chose to be collaborative rather than combative.

Another big winner at the Oscars was the Girl Scouts, thanks to Chris Rock’s plug and plea to the audience to buy Girl Scouts cookies. That product placement is sure to result in a spike in U.S. cookie sales.

The action of the boycott itself and the response of Chris Rock and the Oscars producers has encouraged conversation around diversity and will hopefully spark some positive changes on the Academy board and within the voting process.

Are You Giving It Your All?

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Aretha Franklin at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors

When was the last time you asked yourself if you were giving your all to your job or your personal life? It’s easy to skim along life’s surface without going deep. What would it take for you to go above and beyond the norm? To feel the satisfaction of knowing that you have done your absolute best?

One of my favorite annual traditions watching the Kennedy Center Honors, a program that salutes a select group of talented individuals in the arts who have reached the pinnacle of their careers and who inspire us to achieve great things. The last week of 2015, the Kennedy Center honored filmmaker George Lucas, actress Cicely Tyson, conductor Seiji Ozawa, actress/singer/dancer Rita Moreno, and singer-songwriter Carole King. One of the stars to pay tribute to Carole King was none other than the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. She brought down the house as she gave it her all. Here’s what every professional can learn from Aretha’s amazing performance:

Own your professional presence. Dressed in a stunning gown and full-length mink coat, Aretha commanded attention as she stepped onto the stage. With confidence and ease, she sat down at a Baby Grand piano, and the applause and gasps got even louder. (I had never seen Aretha seated at a piano; in fact, I didn’t even know she played the piano). She began playing – and singing – (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, co-written by Carole King and Jerry Goffin, one of the most soulful, intimate songs to reach the Top Ten charts ever.

Put everything you have into it. A woman half her age could not put the same spin on A Natural Woman like Aretha because she was singing her lived experience into the song. There is a reason she’s still called the Queen of Soul; no one else owns the title.

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A bold move: Dropping the mink coat

Do something bold and memorable. Aretha had the audience in the palm of her hand. Three minutes and 45 minutes into the video clip, she did something surprising that brought the audience to its feet: She stood center stage and dropped the mink coat on the floor, with complete abandon, showing her raw talent and vulnerability as a performer.

Connect to the emotion. No matter what line of work you are in, when you connect to people’s emotions, your message becomes much clearer and stronger. Everyone felt the emotion of the song. Carole King’s reactions were priceless.

When you’ve still got it, flaunt it. Every word Aretha sang, every movement she made was wrapped in graceful elegance. When you are a professional who performs your best, people respond well to you, no matter what your age.

When you stand front and center, with an audience of ten or 2,000, how do you present yourself to others? Take a few pointers from Aretha and give it your all.