Thursday, January 20, 2011

President Obama’s Report Card

We’re entering the third year of the Obama Presidency and before we know it, the 2012 election season will be in full swing.

While unemployment levels are steep and the economic outlook is (somewhat) bleak, a great deal HAS been accomplished over the past 24 months. Learn more at:

Continue to analyze views of your party of choice (and the competition) in order to make informed decisions.

How The West Was Lost

With all the excitement about China’s President Hu Jintao’s visit to the US, everyone is aflutter. Parents are signing preschoolers up for Mandarin classes. Business leaders clamored for invitations to the state dinner.

[ Aside: First Lady Michelle O was … soooo … STUNNINGLY RADIANT! ]

Everyone is trying to figure out why we (continue to be) asleep at the switch. How did … America loose it’s “mojo?”

According to BBC World news, China will have built 10 New York cities by the year 2025. That’s right – 10! Think about it. That’s really not so far off.

For a global perspective on China rising and other economic developments, you’ll want to pre-order your copy of How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly - And the Stark Choices that Lie Ahead by Economist and Scholar, Dr. Dambiso Moyo. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 0374173257 (forthcoming February 15, 2011).

Of Zambian heritage and armed with an MS, MBA (American University), MPA (Harvard) and PhD (Oxford), Dr. Moyo was named one of Oprah Winfrey’s top 20 visionary women in 2009. To learn more, visit:

For those of us well-grounded in multicultural affairs, the story about Eastern prowess Asian business has always been a powerhouse. I’ve been fortunate to have worked as a consultant since the 1980s. Those “in the know” have always had deep connections with Eastern cultures, consultants and operatives.

My primary take away is this: Because Eastern (and African) civilizations are preeminent in the founding of world culture – they’ve had a few more centuries to plan.

Alas, America is a young country.

And, for those interested in an Asian mom’s take on parenting, you may want to purchase The Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother by Amy Chua. She’s a law school professor and her kids get straight A’s.

Although she’s currently woven into the “extreme parenting” narrative, I submit she’s doing something right! Probably simply raising her kids as she was raised. Imagine an entire country raising their kids with similar techniques. The result: a lot of brilliant people with the capacity to take over the world.

America, we have to get our average acts together. While we don't have to take anything to the extreme, we can do better. We are above average, but the test scores of our youth don't show it.

For the mean time, I’ll stick with the fine upbringing leveled by my folks, Fred and Juanita Scott of Hampton, VA; solid, common-sense training coupled with Southern roots.

I’ll put my upbringing up against any fine Asian family any day. If you arm your kids with discipline and the vision to succeed, you have family values that can will last a lifetime.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Behind the Dream

Martin Luther King Jr. confidante and attorney Clarence Jones provides a tremendous behind the scenes look at events preceding the 1965 March on Washington in his new book Behind the Dream. Jones is scholar in residence at Stanford University's MLK Research and Education Center.

To view a thought-provoking conversation on the book's contents, check out After Words on C-Span, hosted by New York's own Herb Boyd, of Amsterdam News and City College of New York fame.
Land Your Dream Job

CNN’s Fredericka Whitfield interviewed author Jennifer Remling Jan. 16, who relayed tips from her new book Carve Your Own Road about how to land your dream job:

1. Get Clarity

> internships
> apprenticeships
> take an inventory of exactly what you’d like to do

2. Leverage Education, Skills, Experience

> if you don’t have the skills, consider going back to school
> retool skills; forge your own “economic recovery plan”

3. Build Bridges to Dream Job

> test the waters
> work extra hours (at new gig) without leaving current job (if possible)

4. New Career, New Salary

> start emergency fund to tide you over
> plan for the transition

5. Networking is a Necessity

> social media
> face to face meetings


As we celebrate Martin Luther King Day, understand the power of just one vote. People in the Sudan “get it,” as they cast votes this week in support of secession.
Reportedly, some people walked for days, yes days, to cast their ballots.
If the referendum passes, the oil rich south will separate from the pipeline clad north.

As we prepare for the 2012 election season, let’s not forget those who have literally died for our right to vote. The only way to change the system, if you have problems with it, is to participate.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Conference Updates

2011 Winter Leadership Retreat & Martin Luther King Day of Service

On Friday, Jan. 14 LSJ was honored to serve as a guest speaker for the 2001 Winter Leadership Retreat, hosted by the CCNY Office of Student Life and Leadership Development (OSLLD).

I was pleased to relay my popular “You Inc. - Build Brand U” seminar. Student Life events are a wonderful way to meet the entire student body, outside of my work with Media & Communication Arts (MCA) students. I was truly inspired by the contributions of young people, particularly the breath of books they’re devouring.

The group – a vast mix of political science, pre-med, philosophy and humanities majors – also exhibited innovative social networking strategies, with a few students having a broad network of nearly 1,000 friends. These were not just casual acquaintances, but carefully crafted networks of associates. It was very interesting to learn how young people are liaising with people across the globe with similar interests. Others have used Facebook and other platforms to stay in contact with relatives and fellow students, as they’ve studied abroad. The internet has allowed them to strengthen networks.

Other students were careful not to waste an inordinate amount of time online, and valued the civility of face to face contact as they developed a substantive network of peers and mentors on the road to success.

Thanks to Daniel Fidalgo Tome, special projects coordinator, OSLLD, who put together a tremendously inspiring event. He and Robert Rodriguez, CCNY acting vice president for student affairs explained how Martin Luther King exhibited inspirational leadership qualities that enabled him to motivate groups toward vast societal change. Seminar leaders used the MLK Service Weekend as a platform to explain how student leaders can corral energy and harness skills and interests to help solve many of society’s problems.

On Monday, the official MLK holiday, CCNY students will show their strength in service to the Harlem Community. But, the efforts don’t stop here; OSLLD and the Powell Center for Policy Studies offer a wide range of service learning opportunities students can participate in throughout the year.

Blogging While Brown Conference
July 8-9, 2011 :: Los Angeles, CA :: Sheraton Gateway Hotel

Consider attending the premier conference for bloggers of color. Take advantage of early registration until May 9.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Haiti: One Year Later

Status Update … the country’s situation is still 9-1-1 emergency!

Today marks the one year anniversary of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, followed by a severe cholera outbreak. Millions of dollars have been pledged, yet little has been done. Organizations like Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network encourage us all to refocus our efforts and energies on keeping this important issue in the forefront.

Rev. Al is slated to visit the raved country soon and will report back on additional ways we can help and keep pressure on those governments and entities which have pledged support … support that hasn’t yet made it to those in dire need.

If you’re weren’t able to attend tonight's “Hope and a Future” one year anniversary concert celebration at The Apollo Theater, visit Kevin Powell and April Silver’s excellent website, Help Haiti Online, which lists various organizations and resources that are still actively working in support of Haiti. Help how you can; give what you can.

Tuscon: The Tragic Road to Our Country’s Bipartisan Healing

We Americans have an uncanny way of coming together in the aftermath of a tragedy. While six lives were lost and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others cling to life, President Obama managed to strike a chord of reason – a glimmer of hope during a dark time. To view his full speech on video or read a transcript online, see:

Visit the site often to keep up with legislative issues and learn how we all can contribute more to the democratic system.

And, as we approach Martin Luther King Day, let’s reflect on ways we can make our mark on the world in service to others.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Sketches to the Library of Congress
Marilyn Church

What she sketched for $350 a day are now priceless. Last Fall, the US Library of Congress paid an undisclosed figure for more than 3,500 courtroom sketches representing a 30 year body of work by Marilyn Church, a Queens native who drew as way to gain recognition out of a family of five siblings.

Marilyn Church is perhaps the most famous sketch artist around, capturing the likeness of the infamous John Gotti, serial murderer Sam Berkowitz, ponzi scam artist Bernard Madoff and actor Woody Allen.

Do what you love and the rewards will follow.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Phylicia Barnes Missing in Baltimore
AOL News Alert

Authorities in Maryland are stepping up efforts to locate Phylicia Barnes, a 16-year-old North Carolina girl who disappeared while visiting relatives in Baltimore. But a local police official said the national media need to take note of the case.|main5|dl1|sec1_lnk5|35355

The case has been likened to the Natalee Holloway case with one exception; Phylicia Barnes is African American. Forward this link to all in your networks so everyone can be on the lookout.

Pixar: The Ultimate in Pixels

I recently viewed CNBC’s two-hour documentary on the making of Pixar Animation Studios, which was truly fascinating. It began with the early days of creative energy, mentors that included Walt Disney animators from the 1930s (people who drew the original Mickey Mouse) and chronicled the pleasure and pain of developing a new enterprise.

Most importantly, the show revealed the founders passion for their respective crafts, which melds physics, graphic design, animation and entertainment. What inspired me was the vision of all involved (including Steve Jobs) and how they pushed each other to new heights in the development of their expertise.

Pixar is an exercise in teamwork, collaboration and risk-taking.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Let Go and Simplify Your Life

The Winter Break and multiple snowstorms have been wonderful "pauses" in our hectic lives. I’ve managed to condense thoughts and connect dots. I've taken a few moments to:

> Give thanks for what I have

> Plan ahead with purpose and look forward to the New Year

> Make a real effort not to accumulate more unnecessary stuff

> Understand that whatever you do, it’s may never be enough

> Aim for high standards and target main goals each day (you can adjust priorities)

> Get a jump on my blog posts

> Marvel at the Facebook/Goldman Sachs investment deal (Wall Street’s still one of the best “Off Broadway” shows in New York)

> Take stock of what I’ve accomplished and what I’d like to achieve in the next 20 years

> Catch up on HBO reruns (Entourage, Six Feet Under, Boardwalk Empire, Big Love – new season starts Jan. 16)

> Mull over my new meaning for “PC,” not the standard “politically correct” phrasing, but a concentrated effort to be more --

1. Persistent
2. Consistent

> Appreciate the power of pleasure reading and unstructured play

Today’s New York Times even included a feature about how humans, particularly kids need time to just be imaginative and play without a hidden agenda:

Thursday, January 06, 2011

“After the Island” and the Lasting Impact of Incarceration

Monday evening I caught an EXCELLENT late-night documentary on PBS about Rikers Island. I’m fascinated by prison shows like Lockup on MSNBC. Why? I suppose it makes me appreciate what I have and think about how hard it must be to recapture any semblance of a life -- or gainful employment -- after being incarcerated.

Here’s what I learned from the documentary, “After the Island,” produced by Fallout Pictures. Did you know Rikers’ houses 130,000 prisoners; most are non-violent drug offenders. They profiled one black woman (from Brooklyn) and one black man (from The Bronx). Both experienced the vicious cycle of somewhat petty, yet definitely prison-worthy repeat offences which had landed them in jail numerous times over a 20 year period. No, they hadn’t killed anyone. But yes, they needed to do time.
The documentary chronicled the privilege of earning their freedom as they continued to face the everyday perils of street life. According to “After the Island,” the US has one fifth of all the prisons in the world, yet we spend more on incarceration than we do on education.

In addition to their personal struggles, the documentary analyzed the lasting impact on their families, and explained how incarceration can lock generations into an endless cycle of poverty, apathy and pain. Yet despite these harsh realities, family members managed to survive (few even thrived) and provide what support they could to family members after leaving Rikers. Children of the parolees were wise beyond their years; they had to grow up fast. Youthful abandon was often replaced with real world family responsibilities.

One young man profiled in “After the Island” honestly revealed his thoughts about his father’s ongoing absences. “One day my grandmother mother sent him to the store for some milk and ice, and he didn’t come back.” He said that type of thing happened all the time; he and his sister got used to it … they had to. Hence, there was no need for explanations from family members – they knew their father was ‘locked up.’ The paroled Dad struggled trying to rebuild relationships with his children, knowing he wasn’t there during his formative years. While he couldn’t recapture the past, all struggled to move forward.

The female parolee continued to wrestle with her drug addictions – despite numerous attempts to get clean. She didn’t fare as well as the male parolee, who finally managed to get a job in the mid Atlantic region. Family members convinced him to move out of New York, away from the temptation of hustling and easy money, his former “trade.”

After viewing “After the Island,” I gained a renewed sense of institutional inequity and a better understanding of the business of prisons and limited job training programs for people when they are released. And now parolees must compete with more than 15 million unemployed Americans who are out of work and don’t have a record.

CUNY’s Efforts to Teach Incarcerated and Educate Former Offenders

The City University of New York (CUNY) will address “Higher Education in the Prisons” at the Graduate Center Friday, February 4 during the University Faculty Senate’s Winter Conference. Leading scholars will discuss tri-state area initiatives launched to bring higher education to the prisons.

At Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College - CUNY, there’s the Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions. According to press materials, the center is heralded as “the first and only public policy, research, training, advocacy and academic center housed in the largest urban university system in the United States, conceived, designed, and developed by formerly incarcerated professionals.” Led by Dr. Divine Pryor, a community advocate, academic and formerly incarcerated American, the center offers a roadmap for success for those who live in Central Brooklyn and beyond.

A New Way of Life Reentry Project™

While the situation is somewhat bleak, kudos to 2010 CNN Hero Susan Burton and others who are trying to help. After being jailed six times in the 80s and 90s, she managed to turn her life around and start A New Way of Life, a for impact organization that provides shelter and support as they transition from past offenders prisoners to a future of empowerment.

Cornelius Dupree—Free!

Finally, the subject of incarceration really struck home this week as Cornelius Dupree, Jr. was freed after serving 30 years in prison for a rape and robbery he did not commit. Alas, the power of DNA and the tenacity of the Innocence Project led to his release. Kudos to Dupree’s family, Texas officials and attorneys who tirelessly worked to overturn this wrongful conviction.

Here in America, we have a great system. However, wrongs do occur and there are a lot of people that need help. Think about how you can use your life experience to give back, because there’s so much to be done.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

For most of us, January brings a renewed commitment to self development and personal growth. For a summary of Stephen R. Covey’s popular time-tested habits, check out the Quick MBA website:

To create your own mission statement, use Covey’s unique “Mission Statement Builder” tool:

Remember habit number one: be proactive! Start to develop your mission statement NOW.

What’s next? Untold rewards!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011


It’s official! Mileuristas are the official name for Europe’s unsettled masses, college graduates who are able to earn only 1,000 euros or $1,300 US dollars per month. Similar to here in the states, many have advanced degrees, speak several languages and still live with their parents, due to the global economic

[ Milieu: the surroundings or environment you live in and are influenced by. ]

Many feel the pain of a spiraling economic downturn. The “mileurista” descriptive could definitely catch on here in the US, particularly since austerity is the new global watchword.

Try to name a country with any money. There’s is no money anywhere--except perhaps Germany, which has managed to sustain a solid manufacturing base. The smart money is on China, Africa (take a look at Kenya) and India. US and UK concerns

But, everyone hasn’t counted the mileuristas out, in that today’s global employment universe is literally an educated “gold mind.” To that end, Goldman Sachs has even unveiling an innovative investment vehicle for high-end players, enabling them to invest in Facebook before it’s public offering.

For news about the global economy and world affairs that impact your life on a daily basis, visit:

Monday, January 03, 2011

Recapture the “Inaugural” Feeling

Kudos to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his low-key inauguration and immediately getting down to business Jan. 1, his first official day in office. Budget shortfalls abound, and it’s time for us all to take a back to basics approach.

On my end, I’m taking serious stock of wants vs. needs and trying to downsize on many fronts. While there’s no need to sink into a gloom and doom mentality, most economic pundits agree there will be a few more years of belt-tightening before we see a rebound in US jobs, profitability and financial stability.

I took a moment to reflect on that wonderful day nearly two years ago when President Barack Obama was sworn in as the 45th leader of the free world. While time moves swiftly and a great deal has been achieved, we can’t let the cold air of winter ease any of us into periods of hibernation. The trick is to step lively and always ask, “What’s next?” To see what’s next on the US agenda:

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Camerapix, “Mo and Me”

I caught the wonderful 2006 “Moe and Me” documentary on BBC last night. It was a wonderful way to start off the new year and speaks to my calling to effectively create change in people’s lives by using our unique and innate talents.

Founded by the late Mohamed Amin in 1963, Camerapix is the largest documentary, publishing and film companies on the continent of Africa. “Mo and Me” chronicles the life of the founder, who is credited with pushing the 1980s Ethiopian famine onto the world stage, which ultimately led to the creation of “Live Aid” and international support from the artistic community, followed by the global support of people like you and me.

Based in Nairobi, Camera supplies footage to CNN, ABC and many Ad/PR firms. It is known to have one of the largest archives with historical footage and video chronicling the beauty and strife as Africa mobilizes it’s resources to reclaim it’s rightful place as “the” first-world continent. To learn more:

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Tips for Recent Grads

Congratulations, you now have a newly minted media/communications degree. Now what?

> Consider internships (paid or otherwise)

While everyone needs to pay the bills, experience counts big in a competitive marketplace. Often, internships can turn into part-time employment or freelance work until a full-time opportunity opens up.

> Work on the side

If you’re a social networking guru or have always dreamed of being a consultant/publicist, you may want to help friends or business contacts promote projects. This can only boost skills and add to the “recent projects” section of your resume as you continue to search for gainful employment.

You may not have to start an official business. Or you may want to take the time to consider entrepreneurship, contacting your city’s business library or business development office to obtain the correct certification. Before you know it, that part-time initiative could turn into an additional revenue stream—valuable in today’s cyclical economy. It’s wise not to put all your eggs in one basket.

For example, Jason Sadler started I Wear Your earlier this year, ran a YouTube promo looking for new hires (what a brilliant PR idea to gain exposure for his company) and will bring four employees on board Jan. 1; he’s been all over the press. The concept is that businesses “purchase a day” and then Jason’s team of 5 promoters wear your t-shirt and promote the heck out of your product online and in real time.

It’s a smart concept that breaks through the clutter and allows you to penetrate valuable niche markets that are out of your usual stream of consciousness. As you build your business, think about new markets can you create. Consider who you can tap in your circles of connections?

Tip: understand and know your value. Do research to find out what the market will bear and develop a project rate card; you can always raise your rates as you gain experience and get a few projects and outstanding results under your belt. Think about an hourly rate for your services. Roll up your sleeves and do the hard work now. If you’re confident in your talents, people will ask for more, and you want to step forward with pride and professionalism.

> Devise a “100 Day Plan”

Used by many business gurus to achieve outstanding success, think about goals you’d like to achieve for 2011, then fast-track chunks of the process into
For example, if your goal is to have a job by spring, then it makes sense to be dedicated to the task and develop an actionable plan

> Have an action plan / daily agenda

Many experts agree that if you achieve three serious goals each day you’re doing pretty well. If you set too many goals, it’s too easy to swerve off course. Develop the discipline to work on critical projects first, saving time burners like checking email and social networking sites to structured (and limited) periods of the day—unless of course you’re fortunate enough to have that as your day job! Over time, stretch to achieve five or seven goals each day.

> Get up an hour earlier

You’ll see your productivity soar. I usually rise at 4 am during the school year to write and reflect while the house is quiet. Once I get to campus around 8:30 am, at least one or two of my primary goals have already been accomplished; this allows my day to quickly kick into high gear!

> Schedule informational interviews

Speak with people you admire and trust in the area you want to work. These are not employment interviews; they put you touch with people who can introduce you to others who may have employment contacts. Let them know your areas of interest; ask about industry trends. Learn to compete in the world of ideas—help the generation above you understand what makes the 25-35 market tick! Become their “go to” resource to kick around fresh ideas.

Use the first few weeks of the new year to your advantage. You’d be surprised at who might actually pick up the phone! Be succinct and have your pitch ready. Busy people don’t have time to waste … and neither do you! You’re anxious for them to see your energy and enthusiasm so they can point you to the right opportunities at their company or one in your industry segment of choice.

> Associate! See and be seen

Force yourself into the mix and immerse yourself in the field you’d ideally like to explore. Join a professional networking group. If you can’t immediately afford the sometimes hefty fees, email or call and see if you can perhaps volunteer. Professionals usually never turn away sincere, eager young people who can assist them at special events or industry “insider” opportunities.

The Center for Communication and Media Bistro events should be on your list in the coming months. Make it a point to attend as many events as you can in any given week.

> Do your homework

Use downtime to get a leg up on the competition. For any opportunity that you’re exploring, it pays to be savvy in your approach. In order to stand out, you’ve got to do your due diligence in order to make employees see it would be unwise for them not to hire you for the position. Know your stuff and be “hungry” for the opportunity; not “starving,” (which can appear too needy) but “hungry.” People like to do business with confident people who are on top of their game.

> Let your network work for you

Work to connect or reconnect with any and everyone who can help you. Don’t always ask; be prepared to give. Be well-read and share links to industry news. Keep abreast of mentions in the trade media. Be proactive and offer to help out if there’s a project or volunteer opportunity where you might be able to meet people in the know.

Social networking is fine, but don’t forget phone calls, the power of personal handwritten notes or persuasive face-to-face meetings. By harnessing the power of a sincere thank you, coupled with a written invitation, I have literally met publishers and CEOs over the years (true) and been the envy of colleagues who marveled, “How did you do that?”

Simple, action generates results; not every time but often. You gain insight and confidence for your next step up the rung of the ladder of success by taking it one step and a time. This includes asking for advice and tips—particularly when youth is on your side! ACT NOW and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.

> Consider a move

If your family situation permits, why not consider an international move? Former students have landed wonderful opportunities in Hong Kong and Europe by taking a leap of faith, which ultimately panned out. You can always come back to New York as VP of your company’s North American business unit. Why not you? You can make it happen!

In sum, finding a job is a serious business. It takes persistence, but you’re certainly up to the task. Only you can chart the future course of your career. Best of luck in the weeks and months ahead, and do touch base to let me know where you’ve landed!

Your mentor on the fast track to success,

Lynne Scott Jackson
Distinguished Lecturer
The City College of New York

Millynneum Inc.
Marketing, Media & Public Affairs
917.748.8917 - cell