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The 49ers’ ribbon cutting at Levi’s Stadium

The ribbon at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara officially opened the 49ers' new home.

The ribbon at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara officially opened the 49ers’ new home.

Silicon Valley was a different place when the San Francisco 49ers were putting the final touches on the plan for their billion-dollar Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

When local voters approved a ballot measure to lease the team the land for the venue in June 2010, unemployment in Santa Clara County was hovering around 11 percent. Tech startups weren’t getting nine-figure funding rounds, and average rents were nowhere near the current $2,000-a-month range.

But that was then.

On Thursday, 49ers leaders joined corporate sponsors, local politicians, and hordes of media to officially open the ultra high-end stadium with a ribbon cutting. The 49ers won’t take the field for a few more months, but the venue already has changed the sea of office parks, single-family homes and strip malls that is Santa Clara.

“Today we change the very trajectory of our city and our region,” said Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews, who teared up as he recounted door-to-door campaigning on the 49ers ballot measure with his 80-something father, who has since passed away.

He said the stadium project “helped bridge the gap” for the city between the recession and the current tech boom.

Matthews cited a figure that the city now has $6.7 billion worth of private investment either approved or under construction, which he credited in large part to the buzz around the stadium. He also mentioned a more nascent proposal by Related California to build a colossal mixed-use development right across the street.

Niners CEO Jed York focused heavily on the fans.

“You guys deserve the best stadium in the world,” he said to the crowd populated by many local big wigs. “Now you have it.”

Still, amid all the nostalgia about the colossal effort of more than 7,000 workers to build the $1.3 billion, 68,500-seat stadium, it is impossible to ignore the fact that the structure also serves as a monument to the massive amount of money that is once again circulating in Silicon Valley.

The stadium holds no less than 10 club lounges, seven of them housed in a gleaming glass building running down the sideline. Without the context of the Bermuda grass field below, it looks more like brand new class-A office building than a place to guzzle some beer and slam some hotdogs during a football game.

Prices for admission at the new stadium have been contentious since they were announced, with many worrying that die-hard fans could be priced out.

At the swanky 50-yard line club sponsored by investment bank BNY Mellon, for instance, seat licenses alone went for $80,000. Seat licenses went for $20,000-$30,000 at the Levi’s 501 club on the second level of the stadium, plus $325-$350 per ticket.

The primary concourse level for those without club tickets or luxury box seats — where seat licenses started at $2,000 — also has sweeping views of the foothills around the Santa Clara Valley and unique features like a craft beer taproom and vegan hot dog stand.

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell, who also came to town for the ribbon cutting, demurred on a question about whether pro football is still accessible to all fans by emphasizing the upgrades at new stadiums.

“Prices for football tickets, like anything else, tend to go up, not down,” he said, stressing that teams now must create “more value” for those who do show up in person.

While the 49ers and many other pro sports teams do face huge financial pressure to compete with ever-improving home theatres, that doesn’t change the math for fans who don’t have thousands to spend on tickets (at least for future seasons, since the venue is already sold out for this year).

“Pity I will probably never be able to take my family to a game,” one fan said to me via Twitter. “I will say it is an amazing looking facility.”

During his remarks at a press conference, York told a story about a recent talk he saw billionaire Warren Buffett gave about why “getting rich slow” is the most effective way to gain wealth.

“I think Santa Clara really embraces that,” he said.

Though the city will have to wait to fully realize its returns on the $850 million stadium authority loan for Levi’s Stadium, the team has already cashed in by moving down Highway 101 to Silicon Valley.

 

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The Small Business Guide to Local Advertising


View Interactive Version (via Choice Loans).

 

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This Dog’s Final Day Proves We Should Live Every Day Like It’s Our Last

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This is our “Lexie” at 4 months. I’ve had Lab’s all my life, and had to put a couple down. This story had me sobbing like a baby.

The Roberts family knew they had to put their beloved dog, Duke, to sleep after the cancer began to take over his body. So, they decided to make his final day on Earth his most special.

Duke, a black Labrador living in Houston, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his leg a few years ago, KSL notes. Osteosarcoma is the most common bone cancer in dogs. The tumors associated with the illness are aggressive and readily metastasize. Duke had his front leg removed, but the tumor only grew bigger and ultimately started to separate his ribs, making him increasingly uncomfortable.

His owner, Jordan Roberts, scheduled his euthanizing with a Houston veterinarian for Monday, July 7, according to KSL. But before saying goodbye to Duke, the family decided to take him out to enjoy the finer things in life. Roberts asked her friend and animal lover,photographer Robyn Arouty, to capture the pup’s final moments.

Duke ate hamburgers; he frolicked in a water park; he spent the day surrounded by the ones he loved most.

“It was beautiful, really. One thing just fell into the next,” Arouty explained in an email to The Huffington Post. “[The day] started with the hamburgers, then the boys came over, then other friends, etc. The splash park was spontaneous. And then Duke walked under ‘The Rainbow Bridge,’ which is ironically also a term used for the place where pets go when they die. I felt honored.”

After Duke’s story was picked up by BuzzFeed, it went viral and inspired many to share their own pet-loss stories.

“Jordan told me the other day that she felt Dukey’s purpose was to love and inspire and she’s thrilled that he is still doing it. Understandably, they miss the heck out of him, but feel very strongly that he’s still with their family in spirit. They never expected a response like this,” Arouty told HuffPost.

“We didn’t realize it at the time, of course, but Dukey’s story has created this beautiful forum for people to share stories of their beloved pets who have passed away,” she said. “Photographing [and] documenting Duke that day has really empowered people to find a way to cope and ease the pain of letting a pet go by celebrating them while they are still here.”

Read the story of Duke’s last day below from Robyn Arouty and visit Robyn Arouty Photography for more.

  • “I Died Today” by Duke Roberts
    Robyn Arouty Photography
    And I ate a lot of hamburgers. We had a party.
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    And I laughed.
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    And I thought about how much I’m going to miss it here.
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    We told jokes.
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    We were serious.
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    My friends from next door came to see me. They’re twins. When someone offered them one of my hamburgers, one said, “No thank you. I don’t want to take any from Dukey.”
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    Kristen came to see me. She’s a hoot. She’s my groomer. And my buddy.
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    While we were waiting for the vet to come, Kristen said we were going for a walk. Then someone said, “How about a play in the water at the splash park down the street?” So off we went!
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    “You know I’m going to miss you, right?”
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    “And you too, right?”
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    “I need you to help me watch over my family.”
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    “Did you hear me? This is all I want!”
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    We got wet today.
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    We smiled today.
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    We felt grateful today.
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    We broke the rules today.
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    I listened to the kids play off in the distance. And thought about my two babies at home. I loved protecting them.
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    I relaxed today.
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    I felt no pain. Even though the tumor grew so big.
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    I felt the love today.
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    I said goodbye to my beautiful friend Kira. She “saw” me standing over everybody before the doctor said it was time. I was excited & jumping & happy.
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    Well, I didn’t say goodbye. I said ’til we meet again.
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    God, I was lucky. Our time was short. But you both gave me a second chance & we lived it up together. You love when I look at you. I’ll never stop.
  • Robyn Arouty Photography
    Always, Dukey.
 

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49ers land an airline, another tech giant as Levi’s Stadium sponsors

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Corporate money magnet: The San Francisco 49ers have inked two new sponsorship deals for their soon-to-open $1.3 billion Levi’s Stadium with Citrix and United Airlines.

by  -

Banks, solar companies, Wi-Fi providers … the San Francisco 49ers’ list of corporate sponsors at its new $1.3 billion Levi’s Stadium keeps on growing into even more niche corners of the business world.

The National Football League team now has a “mobile workspace technology partner” to complement an official airline. The team announced the two partnership deals with Citrix Systems and United Airlines within six minutes of each other.

While the team doesn’t disclose financial terms of sponsorship agreements, it’s safe to say the 49ers have generated hundreds of millions of dollars from corporate sponsorship sales, led by a $220 million naming rights deal with San Francisco denim company Levi Strauss. It is especially imperative to generate high returns on the huge investment in the stadium through business deals and ticket sales (it’s already sold out, sorry) since the project was built with an $850 million loan from the Santa Clara Stadium Authority.

The perks that the new sponsors are getting also suggest that it costs quite a bit of money to get your name on a stadium where seat licenses alone went for up to $80,000.

Citrix, a Florida-based software company building a big new office near the stadium, will get an “executive briefing center” right across the street from its new digs. That setup will include a boardroom built into the 22-suite “Citrix Owners Club,” which will accommodate more than 400 guests of the company.

The space will “reflect a high-end Napa winery” and house “many original works of art,” a press release announcing the deal noted. In exchange for the swank corporate outpost, the Niners will use Citrix file sharing, conference and training technology.

Meanwhile, as part of a separate 10-year deal, United Airlines will get its name on “an exclusive club” — the “largest club space” in a stadium stacked with ritzy suites and club seats — that will hold 3,300 people in 44,000 square feet.

CEO Jed York highlights “the spectacular views of the playing field and surrounding foothills” and “luxurious food and beverage options” that will abound in the new United Club. When traveling outside the luxury suite tower, the team will use United for its chartered flight business.

Click here for a look inside the 68,500-seat stadium, which officially opens with a ribbon cutting on Thursday.

 

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New book to combat WorkplaceViolence

JB.Perroni.TCCC_.June13.56.LR_Admitted Shameless Self-Promotion.  And Well Worth It.

‘One is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace Violence’ is ready to be bought and read by all. I wanted to write this post on the book itself, so that you’ll know a bit about it.

It is intended for an audience of anyone who is interested in this deadly, time consuming, and detail oriented issue. Hopefully it will help them understand the issues and ways to attempt to resolve it.

From human resources and security managers/supervisors, business owners and C-suite executives, and even line and security officers on the front line. It is meant to be easily read by anyone who may not have a full comprehension of the issue.

Hopefully it’ll open their eyes and their minds to new different approaches to the life altering problem. From the actual employee who is a victim to the families of those murdered. Additionally, remember the psychological damage to those who only witness or are affected by it (they are ignored most of the time in the media and by others).

Section 1

                This section focuses strictly on the problem of WPV within businesses. I quote statistics that I have accrued over the course of my 31 years or so in the security field. And yes I’ve researched enough to get the up-to-date numbers.

                I’ve also worked to expand what exactly WPV actually is. There are many different facets to it. Many of those people, including business people don’t even think about, much less the media. So I attempt to sort it out and present in plain English.

                There is also a chapter on the ‘Diary of an Incident’. This tells, briefly, the germination of an incident in a plastics manufacturing plant – completely fictional. I utilized my experiences and the hundreds of stories I’ve accrued to make this as factual as possible, as well as dramatic.

Section 2

                This section contains 21 chapters, but no need to get worried about long boring chapters! This section focuses on the warning signs I’ve gathered in the past 23 years or so it isn’t an all-encompassing list, just the most prevalent. You can, and should, make your own lists about your employees.

                I tried to be brief and succinct in the chapters. Hopefully, you’ll get an idea on what to look for and what the major signs are. I’m hoping it’ll help you to ‘connect the dots’. Additionally, all of the warning signs are tied together, by the time you’re done with this section, you should see it.

Section 3

                The 3rd and last section, also the longest, is prevention. From policies & procedures to physical security to TAT, DRP, CMT, zero tolerance, and customer service. All of that is included.

                This is obviously the longest section because of the subject matter. I’ve tried to be as concise and succinct as I could be with it, but sometimes I’d have to expand things in length to ensure there were no misunderstandings.

                And this is the section where you will find all of the non-CW thinking about workplace violence and the way I think about it.

Appendix

                This part includes some resources throughout the United States of security companies, mental health professionals, & other places you can contact for information or services, including myself of course. It also includes an article that I wrote in 1991 which details more than I did in one chapter.

Conclusion

                I utilized my more than 31 years of experience in the security field and 23 in workplace violence to write this nearly 300 page ‘guidebook’. I’m hoping to be able to save at least one life. As the book title states One is too many.

                Here is a list of the e-book sites it can be bought from and And you can read my blogs on the subject (www.todays-training.com) and see updated incidents at the Facebook page – One is too many.

                Kindle,iBooks, Nook, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Books, Baker & Taylor                 e-Sentral, Scribd                                   Flipkart.com, Oyster, Ciando, eBooks, goodReads.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized authority on workplace violence prevention. He has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues. His e-book You can read more about WPV/security at www.todays-training.comor go the Facebook page at Facebook.com/One is too Many

 

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Project management for work that matters

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by Seth Godin -

  1. Resist the ad hoc. Announce that this is a project, and that it matters enough to be treated as one.
  2. The project needs a leader, a person who takes responsibility as opposed to waiting for it to be given.
  3. Write it down. All of it. Everything that people expect, everything that people promise.
  4. Send a note confirming that you wrote it down, specifically what you heard, what it will cost and when they will have it or when they promised it.
  5. Show your work. Show us your estimates and your procedures and most of all, the work you’re going to share with the public before you ship it.
  6. Keep a log, a notebook, a history of what you’ve done and how. You’ll need it for the next project.
  7. Source control matters. Don’t change things while people are reviewing them, because then we both have to do it twice.
  8. Slack is your friend. Slack is cheaper, faster and more satisfying than wishful thinking. Your project will never go as well as you expect, and might take longer than you fear.
  9. Identify and obsess about the critical path. If the longest part of the project takes less time than you planned, the entire project will take less time than you planned.
  10. Wrap it up. When you’re done, take the time to identify what worked and what didn’t, and help the entire team get stronger for next time.
 

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Top 100 Inspirational Quotes

julianbialowas22Inspirational quotes and motivational quotes have the power to get us through a bad week, and can even  give us the courage to pursue our life’s dreams. In my book,4 Keys to Happiness and Fulfillment at Work, I share surprising research into the true triggers of workplace motivation. So in the spirit of self motivation, here are 100 inspirational quotes.

1. Life isn’t about getting and having, it’s about giving and being. –Kevin Kruse

2. Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. –Napoleon Hill

3. Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. –Albert Einstein

4. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.  –Robert Frost

5. I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse. –Florence Nightingale

6. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. –Wayne Gretzky

7. I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. –Michael Jordan

8. The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. –Amelia Earhart

9. Every strike brings me closer to the next home run. –Babe Ruth

10. Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement. –W. Clement Stone

11. We must balance conspicuous consumption with conscious capitalism. –Kevin Kruse

12. Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. –John Lennon

13. We become what we think about. –Earl Nightingale

14.Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore, Dream, Discover. –Mark Twain

15.Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. –Charles Swindoll

16. The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. –Alice Walker

17. The mind is everything. What you think you become.  –Buddha

18. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. –Chinese Proverb

19. An unexamined life is not worth living. –Socrates

20. Eighty percent of success is showing up. –Woody Allen

21. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. –Steve Jobs

22. Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is. –Vince Lombardi

23. I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. –Stephen Covey

24. Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. –Pablo Picasso

25. You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. –Christopher Columbus

26. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. –Maya Angelou

27. Either you run the day, or the day runs you. –Jim Rohn

28. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. –Henry Ford

29. The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain

30. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
31. The best revenge is massive success. –Frank Sinatra

32. People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing.  That’s why we recommend it daily. –Zig Ziglar
33. Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. –Anais Nin

34. If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. –Vincent Van Gogh
35. There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. –Aristotle

36. Ask and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. –Jesus

37. The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

38. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined. –Henry David Thoreau

39. When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, I used everything you gave me. –Erma Bombeck

40. Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.  –Booker T. Washington

41. Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart. – Ancient Indian Proverb
42. Believe you can and you’re halfway there. –Theodore Roosevelt

43. Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. –George Addair

44. We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. –Plato

45. Teach thy tongue to say, “I do not know,” and thous shalt progress. –Maimonides

46. Start where you are. Use what you have.  Do what you can. –Arthur Ashe

47. When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.  When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I wrote down ‘happy’.  They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. –John Lennon

48. Fall seven times and stand up eight. –Japanese Proverb

49. When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. –Helen Keller

50. Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see. –Confucius

51. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. –Anne Frank

52. When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. –Lao Tzu

53. Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. –Maya Angelou

54. Happiness is not something readymade.  It comes from your own actions. –Dalai Lama

55. If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on. –Sheryl Sandberg

56. First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end. –Aristotle

57. If the wind will not serve, take to the oars. –Latin Proverb

58. You can’t fall if you don’t climb.  But there’s no joy in living your whole life on the ground. –Unknown

59. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained. –Marie Curie

60. Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. –Les Brown

61. Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. –Joshua J. Marine

62. If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. –Booker T. Washington

63. I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do. –Leonardo da Vinci

64. Limitations live only in our minds.  But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless. –Jamie Paolinetti

65. You take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing, no one to blame. –Erica Jong

66. What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do. –Bob Dylan

67. I didn’t fail the test. I just found 100 ways to do it wrong. –Benjamin Franklin

68. In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure. –Bill Cosby

69. A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. – Albert Einstein

70. The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it. –Chinese Proverb

71. There are no traffic jams along the extra mile. –Roger Staubach

72. It is never too late to be what you might have been. –George Eliot

73. You become what you believe. –Oprah Winfrey

74. I would rather die of passion than of boredom. –Vincent van Gogh

75. A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty. –Unknown

76. It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.  –Ann Landers

77. If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money. –Abigail Van Buren

78. Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs. –Farrah Gray

79. The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself–the invisible battles inside all of us–that’s where it’s at. –Jesse Owens

80. Education costs money.  But then so does ignorance. –Sir Claus Moser

81. I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear. –Rosa Parks

82. It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. –Confucius

83. If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough. –Oprah Winfrey

84. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. –Dalai Lama

85. You can’t use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have. –Maya Angelou

86. Dream big and dare to fail. –Norman Vaughan

87. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. –Martin Luther King Jr.

88. Do what you can, where you are, with what you have. –Teddy Roosevelt

89. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. –Tony Robbins

90. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning. –Gloria Steinem

91. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live. –Mae Jemison

92. You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try. –Beverly Sills

93. Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. –Eleanor Roosevelt

94. Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be. –Grandma Moses

95. The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. –Ayn Rand

96. When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. –Henry Ford

97. It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. –Abraham Lincoln

98. Change your thoughts and you change your world. –Norman Vincent Peale

99. Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. –Benjamin Franklin

100. Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn

101. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. –Steve Jobs

102. If you can dream it, you can achieve it. –Zig Ziglar

What inspires you? Take the “Your Motivation Quiz” to find out.

Check out Kevin Kruse’s new book, Employee Engagement 2.0, a

 

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Raju The Elephant Cries After Being Rescued Following 50 Years Of Abuse, Chains

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For 50 years, Raju the elephant was abused, held shackled in spiked chains and forced to live off scraps from passing tourists. All that changed when he was rescued last weekend by wildlife conservationists who said the animal cried when he was finally set free.

Wildlife SOS, a group established in 1995 to protect endangered wildlife in India,set out to rescue Raju on the night of July 2. Raju is around 50 years old and was likely captured as a baby and bought and sold many times over the course of his life. He was forced to work as a begging elephant in Allahabad. His legs were bound in spiked chains that made walking difficult and left him with chronic wounds. He was also beaten.

Wildlife SOS found out about Raju’s story through India’s Forestry Commission. When the group attempted to rescue Raju on the night of July 2 in the Uttar Pradesh region of India, his owner and mahout — an individual who rides elephants — apparently attempted to dismantle the effort with a standoff, Nikki Sharp, the executive director of Wildlife SOS-USA, told The Huffington Post Monday.

Raju’s captors layered tighter chains on him and attempted to confuse him by shouting commands, but their efforts proved futile. A team of 10 veterinarians and experts from Wildlife SOS along with 20 Forestry Commission officers and two policemen managed to rescue the abused elephant, according to the Mirror, a British tabloid.

“Raju was in chains 24 hours a day, an act of ­intolerable cruelty. The team were astounded to see tears roll down his face during the rescue,” Pooja Binepal, a spokesman for Wildlife SOS, said, per the Mirror. “It was incredibly emotional. We knew in our hearts he realized he was being freed. Elephants are majestic and highly intelligent animals. We can only imagine what torture the past half a century has been for him.”

Sharp echoed Binepal’s statement while speaking with HuffPost.

“[The rescue team] went in to rescue him and [his captors] had bound him up so tightly that he was in a lot of pain,” she said. “The vet and our team came with fruits and just started speaking softly to him and to reassure him that we were there to help, and it was at that time that tears flooded down his face. The founder of Wildlife SOS, who was there are the time of the rescue, said …. that really caught him off guard. They’ve done a lot of elephant rescues and the fact the the tears were just coming down … he was weeping. It was an emotional moment and everyone was more motivated to get him on the truck and to safety.”

Raju was taken to the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in Mathura. On July 4, the same day Americans celebrated their independence, Raju took his first steps of freedom. Sharp said he is doing “fabulously.” The Wildlife SOS team is prepared to help make Raju comfortable in his new life and to rehabilitate him by treating his physical wounds and introducing him to other elephants at the center.

Elephants can live up to 70 years. Sharp says they hope Raju has another 10 years or more ahead of him.

 

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San Francisco 49ers open Levi’s Stadium to public tours — for $30 per person

First Dallas, now Santa Clara. Levi’s Stadium Project Executive Jack Hill, seen here on the venue’s rooftop garden, has overseen construction of the 1.85 million-square-foot 49ers stadium after building another extremely high profile sports stadium for the Dallas Cowboys. He said the Silicon Valley venue marks the “next generation” of stadiums.


Sure, the San Francisco 49ers have already sold out their inaugural NFL season at the new $1.3 billion Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, but that doesn’t mean curious members of the public can’t check out the venue… for a price.

On Wednesday, the team announced that it will offer year-round tours of the 68,500-seat stadium for individuals and private groups starting at $25 for seniors, children and adult resident of Santa Clara, plus a $2.25 ticketing fee. Tours start at $30 (plus the ticket fee) per adult visitor for those who don’t live in Santa Clara.

That’s about what the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium charges for admission. Niners COO Al Guido recently told me that he expects the team to draw at least 200,000 people a year for tours and visits to an on-site football museum.

As I have reported, professional sports teams with lots of cash tied up in expensive player contracts are increasingly looking to diversify their revenue sources. For the 49ers that means: Offering public tours; hosting non-football events to keep Levi’s Stadium active; adding on-site restaurants dreamed up by a Michelin-star chef and rethinking merchandising strategies with the aim of increasing brand loyalty and bolstering retail sales.

“Levi’s Stadium was designed to be an attractive year-round destination, and our tour program will highlight those areas while giving 49ers fans exclusive access we can’t provide on gamedays,” Guido said in a statement announcing the public tour offering.

The 49ers already have a website up and running for tours and note that visitors can tack on an extra $10 to the tour fee to get access to the stadium museum as well. The tour webpage redirects potential customers to Ticketmaster, which currently shows tours beginning in November 2014 after the end of the NFL’s regular season.

In keeping with the luxury bent on the construction of the new stadium — which is loaded with corporate sponsor lounges, luxury boxes and club seats — the team is also accepting deposits “to establish priority” for 2014 private group tours.

The team’s website promises “the ultimate VIP treatment” for groups of 20 people or more people willing to plunk down an initial $100 deposit. The site doesn’t reveal a total price tag for the group tours but notes that a sales representative will contact those who pay the initial fee.

In addition to the various high-end tour offerings, the site also has a section devoted to those looking to book private events like weddings, holiday parties or corporate meetings at the stadium (which redirects to the same page asking for a $100 deposit with no additional pricing info). Guido told me he expects that channel to generate another 200,000 visitors to the venue.

In the meantime, you can learn more here about the 1.85 million square-foot stadium, from its rooftop garden to the football field itself. Click here for a by-the-numbers breakdown of the upgrades at the venue, like its 2,700 TVs.

 

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4 Tricks for Creating a Winning Corporate Culture

copycat

If you’re the CEO of a company, the realization that much of what you do can be copied by your competitors may be distressing, but veteran sales manager, consultant and business speaker Jack Daly says not so fast.

“Sure your competition copy what they can, but there are two things they can’t: your people and your culture,” says Daly, author of “Hyper Sales Growth,” (www.jackdaly.net).

“I specialize in corporate coaching and sales, the latter of which really counts on the talent and sustained motivation of the sales force. Even your best salesperson needs that extra shot from time to time, and the best way to ensure a driven team is to create a culture that fosters the results you want.”

Some companies are outpacing their competition because of their culture, including Southwest Airlines, Zappos and the Virgin Group, says Daly, who offers these tips for growing a business culture that inspires loyalty, engagement and the high performance those qualities produce.

•  Start new hires on a Friday – and with a big welcome. Many managers think new employees should start on Monday – the day when their new co-workers are facing a long to-do list for the week. Consider starting them on Friday, when the office is a bit looser. Also – how about throwing the new hire a welcoming party? Many offices hold going away parties for departing employees, but it makes more sense to put this enthusiasm toward the person with whom you’re making a commitment, rather than the person who’s no longer working for you.

•  Recognize accomplishments by putting it in writing – handwriting. Typing emails and instant messaging is clearly much more convenient, which is why an employee who deserves special attention will recognize the extra effort behind a hand-written note. A letter has that personal touch; the receiver knows that the manager or CEO has taken some time and effort to create a special communication just for him or her.

•  Provide lunch – for free. “One of my clients started with just 10 employees, and each day one would bring in lunch for everyone,” Daly says. “As the company grew to several hundred employees, the CEO found that free lunches were so beneficial, the company now hires a caterer to maintain the boost in culture it provides.” While many may cringe at the expense, employee appreciation outweighs the cost, Daly’s client says, and it keeps people engaged within the office, rather than having employees leave for lunch.

•  Flatten the privilege structure. It’s not a good idea to create anything resembling a class system, including special parking for upper management. “I was the No.1 salesmen at one company, but I always preferred to park with the others,” Daly says. “I’d come in at 5 a.m. and noticed that those with reserved parking arrived significantly later than those who parked in unreserved spots.” Parking should be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Upper management shouldn’t feel too entitled or privileged above other employees.

About Jack Daly

Jack Daly, (www.jackdaly.net), author of “Hyper Sales Growth,” is an expert in sales and sales management, inspiring audiences to take action in customer loyalty and personal motivation through explosive keynote and general session presentations. He draws upon more than 20 years of business experience, with several successful stints as the CEO of fast-growing companies. Daly has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA. He was a captain in U.S. Army and is an accomplished author, with audio and DVD programs.

 

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