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On Leadership

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Toastmasters is a club wherein people hone their public speaking and leadership skills. We learn to plan effective meetings, give constructive evaluations and recognition awards, set and achieve annual goals, and more.

I was flattered (to say the least!) that my club elected me president for the next year. But, I have to admit that I’m also feeling a bit trepidacious. I want to contribute and lead, but I’ve never had experience in this field. I’ll have to find a mentor, make a strategy, and learn as I go.

Here are some titles about leadership. I think I’ll check them out:

  • Leadership Rules: How to Become the Leader you want to Be, by Chris Widener
  • Leadership the Hard Way: Why Leadership Can’t be Taught and how you Can Learn it Anyway, by Dov Frohman
  • The Intangibles of Leadership: The 10 Qualities of Superior Executive Performance, by Richard A. Davis

You don’t have to be part of an international organization to be a leader. Leadership can happen within a family, book club, or a volunteer group. Check out some of these titles and learn to apply leadership principles to any aspect of your life.

Research Plus

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

Have you heard about Research Plus? It’s a fee-based service that Calgary Public Library offers to cardholders and non-cardholders, alike.

Do you need to find an obituary from years ago? Lists of companies and their key contacts? News articles on a particular subject? Items from another library system? Research Plus can assist you with all of this research, and lots more!

Call (403) 260 – 2712 for more information.

REAP the Rewards of Green Living!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

REAP is an acronym for Respect for Earth and All People. Each year REAP organizes a week of events dedicated to sustainability, and the Calgary Public Library (Calgary’s original recycler!) is thrilled to be able to host!

REAP Down to Earth Week is a celebration of sustainable living. The annual event showcases the best in local eating, investing, shopping, and playing. Join us at the Central Library and learn how your daily choices can create a more vibrant and resilient Calgary. Meet a number of people who can give suggestions and answer your questions.

All events at the Down to Earth Week are “bullfrogpowered” with 100% green electricity. How will that work? Well, Bullfrog Power will inject carbon-free green power onto the Alberta grid to match the amount of electricity used by the events. Even better, all of the electricity injected will be sourced exclusively from producers who meet or exceed the federal government's EcoLogoTM standard for renewable energy.

What’s in store this year? Check out these events:

Local Living Lectures take place daily from 12 – 1 PM, on Central Library’s 3rd floor.

Monday, March 28 – Investing locally and the trend toward community capital networks, by Michael Shuman – author of seven books including Going Local: Creating Self Reliant Communities in a Global Age and The Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses are Beating the Global Competition.

Tuesday, March 29 – Shopping locally and the importance of independent business, by Bob Miller and Bernadette Geronazzo – advisor to all 10 Calgary Business Revitalization Zones (BRZs) and Executive Director of Marda Loop BRZ respectively.

Wednesday, March 30 – Eating locally and the role of the consumer, by Hugo Bonjean – author of In the Eyes of Anahita, Seeds of Germination or Termination, and the newly released book A People's Power.

Thursday, March 31 – Playing locally and the environmental, social and economic impact of FolkFest, by Talia Potter – Volunteer Coordinator for Calgary Folk Music Festival.

Friday, April 1 – Positive impacts of local living economies, by Stephanie Jackman – Founder & President of REAP Business Association.

Also, be sure to join us on Friday April 1st, for the grand finale: a Green Market on Friday April 1st, from 11 AM – 5 PM, Central Library’s main floor.

This will be your chance to meet some of the locally-owned, sustainably operated businesses (and products, services and organizations) that make Calgary unique. Displays will allow the opportunity to shop and interact with independent merchants that care about people and the planet as well as profits.

I’ve met several REAP members and I find them thoughtful and engaging. They truly care about sustainable business here in Calgary, and they’ll surely inspire you to investigate all the ways you can make your life - and commerce - greener!

Problem Solving 101: A Simple Book for Smart People, by Ken Watanabe

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I read this neat little book in about 2 hours. What a treat!

Ken Watanabe left his job as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, and wrote a book for Japanese children, about problem solving and critical thinking skills. The book became wildly popular among adults in the business community and is now an international bestseller.

Full of illustrations, diagrams and charts, this is a book that is clearly written and widely applicable. We all solve problems in our daily lives, but not many of us are equipped with the tools that will allow us to do it most effectively.

Watanabe presents readers with instructions for creating logic trees, methods for working with a pros/cons list, and strategies for closing the gap between where we are now, and the goal we’d like to achieve. It may sound strange that something called a “logic tree” is incorporated into a book for children, but don’t be intimidated! These tools are very, very simple.

Check out Problem Solving 101 today! Here’s the last paragraph:

If you make problem solving a habit, you’ll be able to make the most of your talents and take control of your life. You can solve not only your own problems, but the problems of your school, your business, and your community – and maybe even the world.

Sounds hopeful, doesn’t it?


by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

My favourite 18-letter word!

I had lunch today with an old friend. He works as an elementary school teacher, and gives piano lessons in the evenings. Another close friend works with developmentally delayed adults, and offers one-on-one fitness training in his spare time. I work at the Calgary Public Library, and teach ESL on the side (we sometimes study the idiom “under the table”).

If you dream of self-employment, it can be easier than you realize. First, consider your talents and skills. People are willing to pay for just about anything – whether that’s a product, service, or instruction. Next, explore the market. Who offers a similar product / service / instruction, and to whom? What are their rates, and hours of service? Then, make a business plan. Who’ll be your customer, and where will expansion lead you? Are there niche markets that still remain untapped? Finally, set up shop and count that hard earned cash!

Am I over-simplifying? Yes. But entrepreneurialism is something that can be achieved in less time and with less effort than you may suspect.

Visit our Small Business Fair and speak with a variety of people who can help you start your own business. Chat with knowledgeable library staff. Ask us about business licenses, lists of competitors, market share reports, and current statistics. Make contact with Calgary agencies who serve entrepreneurs – valuable contacts to have in your network! Finally, meet real entrepreneurs who have become successful here in Calgary. Attend lectures and ask them your questions!

Register for the Small Business Fair and all of our programs.

The Business of Bikini Boot Camp

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I operate a (very!) small business, and so I’m always interested in what other entrepreneurs are doing. Although no job is perfect, the idea of self-employment is appealing for so many, because it typically allows for lots of flexibility and freedom. You can be master of your own destiny; you can pursue a dream; you can sleep in.

As part of our upcoming Small Business Fair, we’ve got a special treat for you: A lecture by Lindsay Nealon and Dawn Koloski, of Bikini Boot Camp.

Bikini Boot Camp began in the spring of 2004 with 1 program and 8 registrants. It currently boasts over 70 programs, in 9 cities and 4 provinces!

Join us at 6 PM on Wednesday October 20th, and find out how this local small business became so successful! Don’t worry – no bikinis required!

Register for this program and tons of others in the branch of your choice, online, or by calling 260-2600. Then, drop and give me 20!

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