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Leadership – Techniques to check on health of the team

John Maxwell shares an informative leadership article related on how to influence team members who report to you. He uses the analogy of a health checkup:

Well, today I want to touch on the concept of leading your followers, but instead of teaching you what to do, I want to help you examine what you’re already doing. I’m calling it The Leadership Checkup, and it’s for anyone who leads a team. No matter how big your team is, it’s beneficial for you as a leader to take some time and assess how well you’re leading those that follow you. That’s why I have three simple tests to help you gauge the health of your leadership and point you towards opportunities for greater health.  And don’t worry – unlike your annual physical, this won’t take long at all.

1. Check the Temperature — If you want to find out where you are as a leader, then take the temperature of your team. Ask yourself these questions:

*  Are people avoiding me in the office?
*  Is there increased conflict among the team?
*  Are people leaving or disengaging?

If you answer any question as “YES”, it’s time to get out of your world and into theirs in order to get to know the people on your team better and build relationships. T

2. Step on the Scales — From time to time, if you want to assess your weight as a leader, ask yourself the following questions about your team:

*  Do people come to me with problems and solutions?
*  Do people show initiative and engagement?
*  Do people produce at their highest level because of my confidence and encouragement?

If you can’t answer affirmatively to most of those questions, chances are your leadership is lightweight where it really matters. Seeing the best in people and believing the best of people is the surest way to get the best from people.

3. Take a Stress Test  — As a leader, you need to perform a stress test from time to time to make sure the heart of your team is healthy. This means assessing the intangibles of good leadership, those aspects that relate to mission and vision. You should ask yourself the following questions:

*  Are people operating in their strength zones?
*  Do people show that they understand and embrace the vision of the organization?
*  Are people doing work they feel matters?

When your people are working with their heart and soul, your team is able to not only do more, they will do it better. The healthier the heart of a team, the more you can push that team to go farther, faster, and higher.

BlackBerry – Ends manufacturing process for smart phones

BlackBerry has just announced it will stop making smartphones and instead outsource hardware manufacturing with its partners.

BlackBerry on Wednesday said it will stop making smartphones, and will instead leave hardware-related efforts to its partners.  “The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners. This allows us to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital,” CEO John Chen said as part of the company’s second quarter earnings announcement.

“Our new Mobility Solutions strategy is showing signs of momentum, including our first major device software licensing agreement with a telecom joint venture in Indonesia,” he continued. “Under this strategy, we are focusing on software development, including security and applications.”

Once a mobile phone giant, BlackBerry has struggled to keep up after the explosion of Android and iOS. Adding insult to injury was the delayed rollout of BlackBerry 10 and disastrous launch of its PlayBook tablet.  The ailing firm tried going back to basics with the new BlackBerry Classic (pictured) and square BlackBerry Passport in 2014. Last year, the company embraced Android with the BlackBerry Priv in hopes that the popular mobile OS would attract customers, but it was no match for the likes of Samsung or Apple.

Leadership — Techniques to help peers succeed and grow

John Maxwell shares another excellent leadership article related on how to influence your peers in other positions to successfully achieve organizational goals and projects.

As a leader, you’re wired to win. You want to see your team succeed. You want to see your own career take off. Chances are, there are very few moments in the day when you’re not looking for some kind of competitive advantage. But you should never sacrifice people to your desire to win. Because the plain fact of the matter is that you can’t win without others. You need people to reach your potential.

Today, I want to touch on just a few behaviors that can help you learn to lead your peers.

1. Let the Best Idea Win — There are times when your ideas, your thoughts, your agenda, aren’t actually the best of the bunch. So instead of always arguing for your idea, your opinion, your agenda, sit back and listen to the other ideas being shared.

2. Be a Friend — First, listen. When you prove to be someone who genuinely listens to others, people will seek you out because everyone likes – and needs – a good listener. Finally, if you want to be a friend, you should develop two things: a sense of humor and a reputation for honesty.

3. Avoid Office Politics — Sometimes, politics is just dirty business. Leadership is messy, but it doesn’t mean you have to sling the mud that gets you dirty. Let your integrity be your guide when it comes to intra-office disagreements, and demonstrate a higher standard for your peers to follow.

4. Don’t Pretend You’re Perfect — Your character, your integrity, and your willingness to be authentic will do more to win people to your cause than anything else you can do. Leadership among your peers has more to do with relationships than anything else, and relationships are established when people drop their pretenses and allow others to know them as they really are.

If you want to see your team make winning a habit, you’re going to have to learn to lead your peers. Of all the lessons I learned from playing basketball, the one I’ll never forget is that the people you need the most are the people on the team with you. The truth remains the same – you can’t win without others

SanDisk – One Terabyte SD Card prototype developed

SanDisk has developed a revolutionary 1TB storage capacity for SD memory cards commonly used in camera, mobile phones, and other portable devices as documented in following eWeek article:

Imagine having one full terabyte of storage capacity on an SD card that you can use in your smartphone or camera.  You can stop imagining, because that card is real and on its way to availability.  And yes, 1TB is about two or even three times the storage capacity of two typical laptops. SanDisk, inventor of the SD cards for cameras that used to carry a mere 64 MB 16 years ago, on Sept. 20 introduced a prototype of its SDXC card at a trade conference in Europe for photo and video professionals.  SanDisk, enticing conference-goers with the prototype, did not release details regarding pricing, availability or date of release.

Facebook – Stay safe online presentation October 4, 2016

An excellent security awareness seminar will be held on October 4th as follows:

Join us via Facebook live from to daylong coverage of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month kickoff event.National experts will explore cybersecurity issues of the day, including the use of drones and internet-connected cays, at a three day kickoff for the 2016 National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

There will also be sessions on how consumers can manage their digital footprint, how small businesses can reduce their risk of a security breach, and how the education system can prepare students and train veterans for one of today’s fastest-growing job sectors.  The event is being held by the Washington State governor’s office, the Washington state Office of CyberSecurity, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance.

 Agenda for Tuesday, October 4 (all times listed are PDT):

8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Opening comments
 9:30 to 10 a.m. Department of Homeland Security
 10 to 10:20 a.m. Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit presentation
 10:20 to 10:25 a.m. National Cyber Security Alliance remarks
 10:25 to 10:30 a.m. Washington State CIO Michael Cockrill
 10:45 to 12:30 p.m. Drones, autonomous vehicles and consumer privacy panel
 12:45 to 1:50 p.m. Panel Discussion: Developing the Cybersecurity Workforce

Microsoft Security Updates – WIN7 and WIN8 removal tool for Free WIN10 offer

On SEPTEMBER 20, 2016 a “non-security” important update was offered that provides removal software tools related to the Windows 10 free upgrade offer

This update removes the Get Windows 10 app and other software related to the Windows 10 free upgrade offer that expired on July 29, 2016. For a complete list of the software removed by this Windows Update, see the update replacement information. You can find answers to frequently asked questions about upgrading to Windows 10 at the Windows 10 Q&A page.

How to obtain this update

Method 1: Windows Update — This update is available on Windows Update. For more information about how to run Windows Update, see How to get an update through Windows Update.

Method 2: Microsoft Download Center — The following files are available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:

Applies to: Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 8.1 Enterprise, Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Starter

Microsoft Security Updates – SEPTEMBER 2016

Below are key resources documenting this recent monthly Microsoft Patch Tuesday release:

Well it’s Microsoft Patch Tuesday, again, and that must mean we are girding our systems against another round of security vulnerabilities. This month Microsoft has released fourteen (14) bulletins covering fifty (50) security vulnerabilities. There are seven bulletins in the set whose severity is considered “Critical”. These “Critical” bulletins affect Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Graphics Component, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Office, OLE Automation for VBScript Scripting Engine, and the Adobe Flash Player. The remaining seven bulletins impact products such as Silverlight, Windows, Windows Kernel, Windows Lock Screen, Windows Secure Kernel Mode, Windows SMBv1 Server, and the Microsoft Windows PDF Library.

Apple iOS 10 – Thirty key changes and advanced tips slide show

PC Magazine shares key changes and advanced user tips associated with the Apple iOS 10 O/S update recently in an informative slide show update:

Apple’s iOS 10, it should be noted, isn’t having the smoothest of rollouts, much like it did with iOS 8 a couple years ago.  There are some reports of bricked iPhones, or at the very least updates that malfunction and require iTunes to complete the update. In PC Labs, our analysts updated five iPhones to iOS 10 and it worked great—on four of them. So you may want to give it a couple of weeks before you make the full install. If you’re ready to make the leap, check out How to Get iOS 10.

Leadership – Techniques to share directions with executives

John Maxwell shares an excellent leadership article related on how to influence your own manager or other executives who rank above you.  These recommendations or actions must be evaluated, timed, and acted upon carefully.

When your character is solid and your work is likewise, then you have a great foundation for “leading your leader” effectively. But the biggest struggle for most people when it comes to leading up is timing. Knowing when to push and when to pause is a big part of leading your leader well.

1. When to Push Forward — There will be times when it is necessary to approach your boss and push forward. It’s not uncommon to discover that you have information that your boss needs to know but doesn’t. Believe it or not, the view doesn’t necessarily get clearer the higher you go on the corporate ladder.

2. When to Press Pause — Leadership isn’t always about pushing forward; many times, it’s necessary to press pause. When you’re learning to lead up, think of yourself as an organizational meteorologist; you need to become skilled at reading the atmosphere of the office

Leading up can seem like a big challenge, but it is possible. By examining yourself, your boss, and the timing, you can often discover a way to make a positive influence. Every organization needs people who are willing to use their influence and lead up when necessary. No leader, at any level, wants to be the poor soul who opens the door to face a monster – especially when someone could have warned them about what was on the other side! Don’t be afraid to speak up and speak out when necessary. Just make sure you’ve taken the time to assess whether you need to push forward or press pause.

Apple iPhone – Important safeguards when selling your phone

With the advent of the Apple iPhone 7 announcements soon, PC Magazine shares important safeguards when selling your older model phone

Selling your phone can reduce the price of a new one or mean a bit of extra spending money, depending on how you look at it. But before you pack up your old iPhone and ship it out, you should know there’s more to the process than just handing it over and waiting for cash to hit your bank account. You’re going to want to back up your current phone and wipe it of all traces of you. Privacy concerns abound with phones, from photos stored in iCloud to NSA spying, so clearing your phone of all data before you hand it over to its next owner is a must.

1. Back Up — The first thing to do is back everything up before you wipe it from your phone.
2. Unfind Your iPhone — Having Find My iPhone activated can sometimes block activation by a new owner
3. Sign Out of iMessage —  iPhone users who ditched their iPhone for another platform without logging out of iMessage were not receiving iMessages
4. Remove SIM Card — SIM card is the repository of your phone number, various bits of security data, and all the info needed for billing. It identifies you, your phone, and a lot of your activity on your phone. So you might want to remove it before you sell your phone.