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Coca-Cola Faces Anger

Coca-Cola Faces Anger From Shareholders About Use of BPA in Cans [UPDATE] BY Dan Nosowitz Today Bisphenol-A, commonly called BPA, is a chemical used in many plastics that in recent years has been found capable of leaching into liquids when used in liquid containers like plastic bottles. It has also been the subject of large-scale recalls, since the FDA discovered it could cause all sorts of medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, liver disease, and diabetes. Many organizations have recalled products using BPA, including Nalgene, Whole Foods, and Eden Organics, but one in particular has not: Coca-Cola.   Oddly enough, Coke eliminated the chemical from their plastic bottles, but as it turns out, the plastic used to line aluminum cans still contains BPA. The shareholders aren’t happy about the level of disclosure Coke has provided so far, saying the company has “failed to provide investors or consumers with sufficient evidence that it is taking steps to address these public health concerns.” In response, they’ve scheduled a vote for tomorrow on a proposal that will demand the company fully disclose all measures they’ve taken so far.   They’re right to be concerned; BPA has proven not just a health threat but a downright disaster for a company’s public image–Nalgene in particular has suffered a huge loss in trust. Hopefully this pressure from the shareholders will force Coke to phase BPA out of their products entirely.   UPDATE:The shareholder resolution received a 22% vote. Michael Passoff, senior program director of the corporate social responsibility program at As You Sow (a co-filer of the anti-BPA resolution), says: “Overall, it is a great first year...

Real Leaders Practice Safe Stress ™

  Stress and anxiety have been at the boiling point for the last year, and depending where you live, the weather has been the proverbial icing on the cake.   As a leader in a company, your health is vital to keep the engines of your business revved and going smoothly. Sadly, when stress hits the hot button, most of us forget about eating right, sleeping soundly and exercising regularly.   More and more, usually fit executives are putting on weight, which can drive insulin levels up, causing worries about diabetes. Grabbing that handful of pretzels or peanuts for lunch or feasting on cold pizza day after day, you increase the chances of higher blood pressure.   Research indicates that losing your job can send your health spiraling downwards. Even more complicated is the fact that those whose jobs are safe feel the impact and also are having cardiac and other stress-related symptoms.   Eating, sleeping, exercise; most executives know what to do, and in easier times, do it. So, what can we learn from these complex times? The first question is: how do we maintain a healthy attitude?   Attitude is the driver!  And attitude is more complex that just having a positive outlook. It means learning how to stay in the “Safe Stress Zone™ ” and learning how to create a work setting that is not too extreme in being too flexible or too rigid. In “Don’t Bring It to Work”  there are tips and tools for leaders to create a balanced setting for your workforce.   You can also send an e-mail to maryjane@ceoptions.com, and we...

Leadership and Early Adapters

The following video has gone viral and is lots of fun to watch. It teaches some good lessons about the “first follower” as a leader. These early adapters are visionaries in their own right, and help make a movement happen.   In the video, we are talking about dancing at the beach: lots of fun and freedom and spontaneity. I would like to present a question and would love responses from all who are thinking about the ethics of followership.                                 WHO ARE YOU WILLING TO FOLLOW????   We have become so addicted to sound bites and quick, short answers that depth is replaced by clever.   Think about it: dancing on the beach, sure, what the heck, it’s fun, fast and finished.   Now ponder something that has more staying power, more meat to it…….   Would you follow the leader if it polarizes and excludes?  And more importantly, when situations become murky and the movement becomes dissident, out of control, then what? Would you stand up and say “stop?”   Please send your answers to info@sylvialafair.com and receive a copy of my white paper on “Why It’s So Tough to...

Valentines for Moms

  An important part of what we teach in our Total Leadership Connections Program is that it is an illusion to think we can separate who we are at home from who we are at work. That split causes a multitude of emotional and even physical issues for lots of people.   Even more, we teach that what we do in our present work organization is most definitely based on what we learned in our original organization – the family.   So, when I was waiting for a turn to get a haircut, I did what many of us do. I flipped through the gossip magazines. And there it was; validation from some of our favorite stars.   First I was mesmerized looking at the resemblance of mom Goldie Hawn and daughter, Kate Hudson. Their smiles are so similar and the look, alive and ready for a good laugh. Yet, it is so much more than just color of eyes or stature; it is the habits and patterns we pick up from our parents that are carried from generation to generation. They both drink cold coffee throughout the day. Who knew!    And there is Charlize Theron and her mother Gerda. While there is a strong resemblance, it is as Charlize said, “a certain cheekiness, a capacity to be direct and honest that ties her so closely to her mom.” And Kim Kardashian states about her mother Kris Jenner, “I am turning into my mom. She over exaggerates her stories all the time and I see myself doing the same thing.’   Kelly Osborne who gathered a slew of...

Tillit and Other Palindromes

  Got your attention?  I hope so. The palindrome for you to watch is an important reminder that when we look with new eyes, the context of the world changes in the blink of our eyes. Read it forwards and then read the same words backwards and see what changes occur inside you.   First, an example: “Tillit” is a Swedish word that means the same thing reading it forwards and backwards. It means “trust”, and the power of this word is that trust can only happen if both sides are aligned. You are on one side of “tillit” and I am on the other.   Now on to the palindrome that was sent to me by Barry Ginnetti, President of GMR Group, and a graduate of our Total Leadership Connections Program. It is a wonderful example of the essence of what we teach: we are all connected and no one wins unless we all do.    Take 2 minutes and watch this…THE ENTIRE THING   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42E2fAWM6rA     (This is a video that was submitted in a contest by a 20-year old.   The contest was titled “u @ 50”  by  AARP. This video won second place. When they showed it, everyone in the room was awe-struck and broke into spontaneous applause.  So simple and yet so...

Unhappy at Work

Months ago I posted a blog on why women are so unhappy at work. I am still getting responses, even though most “older blogs” are put out to pasture by the end of the day they are conceived and birthed.   I have been thinking about why there is so much gloom and doom about getting up in the morning, going to a place where we are being asked to roll up our sleeves, produce and create, and then go home for an evening of feeling full and having been useful.   It’s not just women who are unhappy at work, it seems like there is an epidemic of malaise, and even desperation. What is making it so awful, this going to work thing?   First, many of the responses I have received to why women are so unhappy at work has an element of finger pointing at, you guessed right, the men. They are the ones who shut women out. They are the ones who play the most intense power games. They are the ones who keep the glass ceiling in place.   Next, it’s the economy, stupid! Sure this is playing into our distress. Not knowing if we can bring home the bacon makes the day more gloomy and frightening. We all know someone who has been recently downsized or someone who has been out of work for a long time. There are many able-bodied, productive individuals who want to work, and there is no place for them to use their skills and talents. Always fear, is that going to be me?   So, is there a...