Community conversation with: Mr. Woodard

By Dederick Woodard

BY SHANICE WILLIAMS, ALEX McDUFFIE, BREANNA BOUEY, DANIECE CURRY and SHAWNTEZE KING Fourth grade staff writers Dederick Woodard is a motivational speaker who calls himself a dream coach and likes to rap. Mr. Woodard talked to Manatee Messenger journalists in September about how to make their dreams a reality and how to reach their goals in life. “I try to connect people with their goals,’’ h

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It Starts With Self-Love

By Ingrid Ricks

I’ve been mean to myself before. But I didn’t realize just how self-bullying, belittling and cruel I could be until my eyesight took a nose-dive last year. Suddenly I could no longer see my family’s faces or the world around me. And I hated myself for it. I have always been an optimist and a doer, and have always believed I could control my own destiny. I was convinced that if I wanted some

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How I Found My Voice and Power by Writing My Story

By Ingrid Ricks

It was my own struggle with the pain from my childhood—followed by my decision to write and share my story—that made me understand the life-changing power of personal narrative. I’d tried to write Hippie Boy for more than a decade. But the emotions bottled inside me were so painful that I cried every time I opened my computer to write and decided it was easier just to keep the hurt safely t

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Harnessing Adversity -- Before It Harnesses Me

By Ingrid Ricks

The meaning of these words hit me a couple of months ago when I was in the depths of despair over my eyesight challenges. It came after a trip to San Francisco to try out a new technology that I was convinced would help me navigate my neighborhood. Instead, it was a complete bust and I was handed a white cane—the universal symbol for blindness that has traumatized me ever since I was diagnosed w

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The Death of the Salesman, Finally... (and why I wrote the book)

By Allan Langer

In the brilliant and famous Arthur Miller play, Death of a Salesman, main character Willy Loman is the sad and defeated traveling salesman, unsuccessful, tired, and living a life of failed dreams in a small apartment in Brooklyn., NY. The play is literary genius depicting an American tragedy. However, what the play also depicts is another tragedy - the tragedy that the salesperson in today’s soc

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Sales is NOT About Numbers

By Allan Langer

I saw a post the other day on LinkedIn that completely re-solidified the ancient, antiquated idea that sales is about nothing but numbers - your numbers, the company’s numbers, the closing numbers, the bonus numbers - all the numbers. The post was a meme of Leonardo DiCaprio in his role as Hugh Glass, the fur trapper in the movie, The Revenant. He is carrying his friend on his shoulders in the s

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Even the Buddha Knew What to do in Front of a Customer

By Allan Langer

Sometimes the best advice is the simplest. Just look at the teachings of Buddha. The quote above, written sometime between the 6th and 4th century, B.C., can still be applied today, for just about any interaction. But especially for sales. Think about those three simple sentences with regard to speaking with a potential or existing customer - Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind? Are you tellin

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It Starts With Self-Love

By Ingrid Ricks

I’ve been mean to myself before. But I didn’t realize just how self-bullying, belittling and cruel I could be until my eyesight took a nose-dive last year. Suddenly I could no longer see my family’s faces or the world around me. And I hated myself for it. I have always been an optimist and a doer, and have always believed I could control my own destiny. I was convinced that if I wanted some

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THREE EXPECTATIONS TO REDUCE TURNOVER

By Hernani Alves

According to the Human Capital Institute, “Approximately seventy percent of new hires decide whether to stay or leave an organization within the first six months of joining.” In case you haven’t already felt the impact of high turnover, think about this: Forbes says, “Off-the-shelf estimates are available, which might set the cost of an entry-level position turning over at 50 percent of sa

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Accountable Leadership

By Hernani Alves

AS A LEADER, HOW SHOULD ONE THINK OF THE CONCEPT OF ACCOUNTABILITY? FOR MOST, ACCOUNTABILITY IS SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS WHEN THINGS GO WRONG – THE NOTION OF TAKING OWNERSHIP OF ONE’S MISTAKES. BUT HERNANI ALVES HAS A DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW “If you have high turnover on your team, or your employees are regularly not hitting their goals, or just aren’t engaged, it’s because you’re not h

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