Viewpoints: Articles & Podcasts

  • December 24, 2018 6:51 AM | Victor Cora Nazario (Administrator)

    Written by Mali Phonpadith, CEO of the SOAR Community Network

    Original Post by the BBB Trusted Magazine:

    Good leaders are hard to come by. Meeting a great leader is even more rare considering the millions of entrepreneurial roles and leadership positions held by people across the globe. Good leaders are charismatic, innovative, and effective communicators. They inspire their teams to stay the course in accomplishing tasks and achieving business goals.

    Great leaders are all these things, and they provide appropriate tools and resources that foster success beyond business for everyone on the team. They are unapologetically transparent and make themselves accessible to others, sharing with clarity their visions beyond their professional personas. They are not shy about claiming their passion for creating real impact in the world.

    Many good leaders are incredibly skilled at motivating their teams. However, a study of 1,000 employees conducted by Corporate Executive Board (now Gartner) found that leaders who help employees connect, share information, and facilitate decision-making at levels below the executive tier have 1.6 times the impact on employee performance (Richardson, 2016). More than 75 percent of those employees surveyed said they prefer leaders who help them get things done by giving them tools and access to resources rather than simply striving to inspire them.

    Transcending from good to great leadership takes more than being a motivator; it also means leading by example and knowing when to pass the baton. To become a great leader, one must do more than inspire. One must develop other leaders for a better tomorrow. Highly respected leaders make it their missions to create solid foundations for others to succeed long after they’ve played out their roles as the visionaries of their businesses.

    A 2010 study by Corporate Executive Board shows that U.S. workers put in 57 percent more effort—and deliver higher earnings per share, according to research by Gallup—when they feel their efforts are going toward something meaningful (Ford, 2016). Great leaders want to foster fulfillment and happiness in others because they value their own senses of fulfillment and happiness. In fact, Cone Communications found that nearly 80 percent of people prefer working for companies that pride themselves on social responsibility (Ford, 2016).

    Evolved leaders know these types of stats and make volunteering and corporate giving integral programs within their organizations. Good morale is essential to a successful business, and great leaders create corporate giving programs to bolster it.

    Here are some examples of highly productive organizations that have implemented successful corporate giving programs:

    • Since 2011, Apple has matched over $25 million in employee donations, resulting in more than $50 million for charities around the world.
    • For every book purchased on its site, Better World Books donates one to Books For Africa or Feed the Children.
    • For every comforter purchased from The Company Store, it donates one comforter to a homeless child in the United States.
    • At the TripAdvisor office, lunch is provided three times a week, and employees donate what they would have spent on food to charities they choose.
    • AT&T has contributed $350 million since 2008 to help reduce high school dropout rates.

    These organizations are run by great leaders who care about the success of their businesses while also helping others on an altruistic level. They know that building a reserve of goodwill in the community means building rapport with others who will likely speak up on behalf of the company in the future. Employees also take pride in being part of an organization that seeks success above and beyond profit.

    When we think of Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington, Oprah Winfrey, or Richard Branson, we think of them as being great, advanced leaders. This category of leaders includes people who are intentional about each decision and action step. They know everything they do and say counts. They’re self-aware and have taken the time to map out their key strengths and weaknesses. They show humility, are authentic in every way, and acknowledge their imperfections. When leaders showcase their own personal growth, they legitimize the growth and learning of others. By admitting their own imperfections, they make it okay for others to be fallible, too. In this way, they consistently lead by example and walk their talk.

    These advanced leaders are legacy-driven leaders. They focus on the long-term vision and understand that each decision and action contributes to the design of their legacy. They keep an open mind while being flexible and adjust if necessary. Showing up with heart, mind, and spirit is natural for them. They bring their whole selves to the table whether they’re at work, at home, or in social settings.


    Great leaders align their personal visions and missions with the roles they get to play in all areas of their lives. They do not limit their human potential by setting goals just for the workplace. They make honest and ethical behavior a key value for their teams to follow suit. Through coaching programs, mentorship, or self-study, they continue to work on mastering the art of being an awakened human being and thus a great leader.

    We’ve all heard of this rare breed of leader, and if you’re lucky, you’ve met, developed, or been mentored by one of them. Having worked with hundreds of leaders in my years of running leadership forums and facilitating retreats, I’ve learned that the most fulfilled leaders give to others effortlessly. Great leaders know their worth, and therefore, they are able to value others.

    Beyond their focus on what needs to get accomplished in the boardroom, the greatest leaders are philanthropic, empathetic, and compassionate. They have a deep knowing that their actions matter and that the consequences, good and bad, have a ripple effect that can transform lives. These advanced leaders use this knowledge for good and allow their actions to impact others in the most positive and empowering ways.

    Ford, S. (2016, March 16). The business case for employee volunteer & skills giving programs [Blog post]. Retrieved from
    Richardson, J. (2016, Oct. 27). Leadership less important than employee connectedness [Blog post]. Retrieved from

  • December 24, 2018 6:30 AM | Victor Cora Nazario (Administrator)

    In this episode, Mitchell Levy (@HappyAbout), TEDx speaker and the AHA Guy at AHAthat (, and co-host Natalie Forest(@NatalieForest), founder of Success Revolutions and Revolutionize Your Potential (, exchange great insights with #ThoughtLeader Mali Phonpadith (@MaliPhonpadith), founder and CEO of SOAR Community Network, LLC (

    In line with our topic for this month, which is achieving your potential, Mali shares her action points on this matter. For her, reaching one’s potential has a great connection to how a person sees and understands their visions and missions in life. Being truthful to ourselves and believing that we have a purpose for our existence also plays a great part in rising to our potential. Additionally, Mali tapped into how small entrepreneurs and organizations can accomplish their prospective and purpose as a whole.

  • December 21, 2018 11:48 AM | Victor Cora Nazario (Administrator)

    IT Systems exist to make business processes more efficient. In order for this to happen, the IT department needs to have goals that are based on business objectives. These business objectives come to realization through business processes which ultimately help fulfill the organization’s mission. The scope of the IT department head can look something like the figure below.

    Perspective is everything. You can’t run an IT department that is proactive and is truly contributing to the organization if you don’t know what the organization expects from the IT function. This means that it is necessary for the organization to document processes and objectives in order for IT to align their strategy to meet these objectives by making processes as efficient as possible. The figure below shows a simplified example of two major processes that depend on IT systems. The IT systems are represented by conveyor belts and gears and the business processes are represented in the arrows.

    This view of how systems affect business processes changes many things:

    • How IT prioritizes maintenance, upgrades and service contracts
    • How IT reports to Senior Management
    • How IT assigns risk to systems (now based on the impact of business processes)
    • Skillsets of internal and external resources that support IT systems
    Now imagine if IT just has information about systems and nothing on how they affect business processes. How will reporting look? Maybe you will see monthly reports on tickets created, systems upgraded, patches applied and system downtime. You will also hear how IT is very busy and can’t get to that SharePoint project. These things matter, but they don’t convey risk and performance in a way that non-IT Executives would care to understand.

      Once there is an IT strategy that is aligned to meet business objectives, your IT function will calibrate and grease the gears according to your business process requirements. Having this view of IT is the catalyst to moving your IT function from reactive to proactive

    • November 16, 2018 3:14 PM | Victor Cora Nazario (Administrator)
      Rocky Romanella was born in New York City and raised in New Jersey in an Italian family. He began a 36-year career with UPS in 1976 as a part-time loader and unloader. From there, Romanella climbed the ranks to become President and General Manager of UPS Supply Chain Solutions. After retiring from the largest transportation and logistics company in the world, Romanella went on to serve as Chief Executive Officer and Director for UniTek Global Services, a mid-cap telecommunications solutions company. His experience in operational management, business integration, telecommunications, franchise development, supply chains, and leadership development led to founding 3SIXTY Management Services, LLC. Utilizing over 40 years of experience, Romanella embarked on writing Tighten the Lug Nuts: The Principles of Balanced Leadership, which explores the ways a true leader can add value as a trusted advisor, mentor, and visionary who uses a process approach to lead the organization and its people to new levels of success.
    • November 16, 2018 2:37 PM | Victor Cora Nazario (Administrator)
      Steve Orr gets you comfortable and confident in front of a microphone. And he makes your speaking engagements more effective and memorable. Steve also can host, develop, and produce your podcast. He launched his media consulting business after an award-winning, three decade broadcasting career. The last half was spent as a business news anchor and feature reporter at the MarketWatch Radio Network. He was regularly heard on some of the country’s biggest news stations, including 1010 WINS in New York, WBBM in Chicago, and WTOP in Washington, DC. As many as 18 million people heard Steve’s network every week. A native New Yorker, Steve moved from New York to Washington, DC in 1992 to become one of the founding news anchors for USA Today Sky Radio. After Sky Radio, he remained in Washington and worked for, among others, the Associated Press Radio Network, CNN, WTOP Radio, and WTEM Radio (now ESPN 980). Steve began his career covering news and sports for several radio stations in Connecticut, as well as Connecticut Public Television and cable TV in Westchester County, New York. Steve has been quoted as a media expert in Self-Promotion for Introverts by Nancy Ancowitz (McGraw Hill, 2010). And he has been a guest lecturer at the University of Central Florida and the City University of New York/Baruch College, teaching students about radio and TV journalism. Steve graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BA in Journalism. During his time in Madison, Steve was the sports director at the student radio station. And he was on the staff of a cable comedy show headed by Jim Mallon, who went on to produce the cult classic Mystery Science Theater 3000. The seeds of Steve’s broadcasting career and his lifelong love of radio were planted when he listened to Mystery Theater hosted by E.G. Marshall as a kid. In Steve’s free time, he writes screenplays and radio plays (and provides the character voices). He’s also a big fan of comedy improv and was accepted into the DC-area Comedy Sportz troupe in the early 1990s after pretending to strangle himself with a shoelace during the audition.
    • November 16, 2018 2:36 PM | Victor Cora Nazario (Administrator)

      In high school Julie Jakopic was an actor, president of the world affairs club, and a nationally ranked synchronized swimmer. She’s never fit neatly in anyone’s box. Not because she didn’t fit in one, but because she couldn’t or wouldn’t pick just one box. As a kid, that often meant she didn’t feel like she belonged anywhere. As an adult, that desired to explore more than one box, has been a gift. She has lead organizations in the nonprofit, public, and corporate sectors, dealing in everything from cosmetics to energy efficiency to human services. She gets to bring the best of one sector to bear in another, and she understands the crazy things that are pervasive across them all. Over her career, she has been led by, and even been, the overwhelmed frantic executive; the controlling, people-pleasing, diva-martyr. It may get stuff done, but it is soul-killing for the team and the leader. For her, it created the need and the opportunity to look back at leadership journey that started at a swimming pool, often under water where no one can speak or hear you. Ultimately, she has learned that leadership is less about what you say and more about what you do.  If you lead from a place of deep mission-driven commitment, a place of joy and service, not only will your life be happier but you will be more productive. This is the understanding that drives her to help leaders lead better – in their careers and in the rest of their lives, too. Julie created iLead Strategies to share that knowledge broadly, to help leaders create workplaces that work for their workers, deliver outstanding results for their customers, and make a real and positive impact in the world.
    • November 16, 2018 2:34 PM | Victor Cora Nazario (Administrator)

      Mali Phonpadith interviews Sarah, Aidan and Daniel, Co-Creators of Immigrant's Nightmare, educational game board and app, highlighting the global immigration crisis. Sarah introduces her sons, Aidan and Daniel, who share their motivation behind their board game concept. They share that this is not just developing and selling products, they want their products to be educational tools for children (and adults) that share the challenges and positive aspects of immigration. Their fundraising campaign through GoFundMe was launched one week before the 2016 Presidential Election. They need support from those who believe that building bridges vs. walls will lead to more unity in the U.S. and around the world.

    • November 16, 2018 2:22 PM | Victor Cora Nazario (Administrator)

      Mali Phonpadith interviews Myron Radio, a four-time author and President of The R Group. Myron is recognized as an energetic speaker, facilitator, team builder and executive coach. His clients represent a broad range of global Fortune 500 companies, including: PwC, Balfour Beatty, Microsoft, DOW Chemical, ExxonMobil, Constellation Energy, McKesson, Quintiles, ManTech and Northrop Grumman. Federal clients include the Departments Homeland Security, Commerce, and Transportation. He has been widely known for developing and executing successful strategies, revitalizing organizations and delivering impressive bottom-line results.

    • November 16, 2018 2:19 PM | Victor Cora Nazario (Administrator)

      Tony Marciante has been a restaurant veteran for over 27 years. He as been involved in all aspects of start up, operations, marketing and finance. In addition, he has built, designed and ran restaurant operations including fine dining, casual Mediterranean, Catering, Banquets and Private Parties. Tony is currently Chef/Owner of Chef Tony’s Seafood Restaurant in downtown Bethesda. He also works with individuals and companies on their social media campaigns, writes several blogs, Podcasts on a variety of topics, and enjoys business development on many platforms.

    • November 16, 2018 2:15 PM | Victor Cora Nazario (Administrator)

      Randy works with leadership teams of entrepreneurial businesses to help them gain traction, scale and stay on course. As an accomplished entrepreneur, business leader and pilot, he offers a unique perspective that engages, informs and entertains audiences. Founder of BlueCore Leadership, Randy has also served on executive teams where he led sales and operations for privately-held organizations with revenues ranging from $5 million to $150 million.