Lake Norman Chamber e-Brief for Friday, May 27, 2011

Chamber Members and Stakeholders:

Memorial Day Celebrations

As families gather in observance of Memorial Day, let us be focused on what we are honoring – the men and women who have sacrificed so much for the protections of our liberty.  We give thanks to the men and women, from generation to generation, who have served this country.  There are at least two local observances of that celebration:  this Saturday, May 28th at Cornelius Town Hall is the Veterans Memorial groundbreaking at 11 am and Monday at 7 pm at Birkdale Village in Huntersville. 

Local Small Business Recognized with Small Business of the Year Award

Shawn Brodof, founder of Clarity Coaching and author of The Termite Effect – 25 Common Business Mistakes and Their Hidden Consequences was recognized by the Chamber as the Small Business of the Year. Angela Swett with Image Promotions, Inc. and David Boraks with DavidsonNews.net and CorneliusNews.net were cited as Honorable Mentions.  Proclamations were issued by the Towns of Cornelius, Davidson, and Huntersville declaring May 16 – 20 Small Business Week. 

Workers’ Comp Bill Passes in House Select Committee on Tort Reform

The House Select Committee on Tort Reform voted yesterday to pass HB709: Protect and Put NC Back to Work. The North Carolina Chamber, along with key business allies, has spent countless hours this session seeking balanced legislation on workers’ comp reform to ensure our state’s business climate is competitive. After extensive negotiations between parties on both sides of the issue, a consensus bill has been approved by the committee that preserves the main objectives of the N.C. Chamber, and a broad business coalition, to create fair and balanced reform for the state’s workers’ compensation system.  HB709 will now be voted on by the full House as early as next week.

N.C. Senate Budget Panel Approves Spending Plan Which Cuts Area Transit

The Senate’s chief budget-writing panel on Wednesday approved the Republican-penned $19.4 billion state government spending plan, rejecting amendments to reduce the number of potential teacher assistant layoffs and to keep the state crime lab under Attorney General Roy Cooper.

The Senate Appropriations Committee addressed dozens of amendments over about four hours before passing the two-year budget on a voice vote. The bill, slated for a full Senate vote next week after it was approved by the Senate pensions committee later Wednesday, spends about $129 million more next year than the House plan does.  However, it still proposes spending $473 million less than what was recommended by Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue, who wanted to keep three-quarters of a temporary penny sales tax. The Republican-controlled House and Senate let the full-penny temporary sales tax expire June 30, costing the state $1.1 billion in revenue. Without that extra money, the measure closes an estimated $2.5 billion projected bud get gap for the next fiscal year largely with spending cuts.

The budget contains no money for Charlotte’s light-rail extension.  House Speaker Thom Tillis said Wednesday he believes it will be in the General Assembly’s final spending plan.

The Senate budget eliminates money to extend the light rail to UNC Charlotte and bars Charlotte transit officials from obligating state money for a proposed commuter rail through North Mecklenburg.

Asked whether he expects both projects to be in a final budget, Tillis said, “I believe they will.”

HOT Lanes Would Allow Widening of I-77

Lake Norman Transportation Commission Executive Director Carroll Gray made a presentation to the Lake Norman Chamber Board of Directors this week outlining the use of HOT lanes to widen I-77, the Cornelius Diverging Diamond, and an update on the Red line.   HOT lanes would convert the current high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes in both directions between I-85 and Mile Marker 19 i nto high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, and extend those HOT lanes northward to Exit 28 at a cost of around $64 million.  The Lake Norman Chamber supports HOT lanes in the Chamber’s 2011 Legislative Agenda.

Recommended Reading

Many of you have commented you enjoyed my recommended reading list.  I just finished a great book “Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham” written in 2005.  It’s a Charlotte Mecklenburg County Library book, although I plan to order a copy for my personal library.  I enjoyed it that much!  The book was not a theology book in as much as it focused on how Graham built his organization on the cornerstone of 21 leadership principles.

I particularly liked the chapters on character and criticism as he built his team, established his vision, and carried out his mission.  One particular quote in the book spoke to critics:   “Get a friend to tell you your faults, or better still, welcome an enemy who will watch you keenly and sting you savagely.  What a blessing such an irritating critic will be to the wise man or woman!”

I hope everyone has a great weekend and if you are traveling or out on the lake – be safe!

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The Hidden Consequence of Leadership

W.E. "Bill" Russell, CCE

Last year, a young man stopped into the Lake Norman Chamber and inquired about membership.  He, like many in our region, had been caught up in the corporate downsizing of the recent recession.  Shawn Brodof saw this not as a setback, but as an opportunity to pursue a career as a business coach and consultant.      Any one who has attended a workshop facilitated by Shawn, read his book The Termite Effect, or perhaps been coached by him, knows that Shawn approaches his decision making carefully as he examines the options looking to maximize both its potential and reward.  Shawn was eager to hear how the Chamber could benefit his new business – Clarity Coaching – and was upfront in telling me he wanted to examine other area chambers of commerce, leads groups, and business associations.

He listened intently as I shared how the Chamber could help promote, serve, and represent his business.  We talked not only about the relationships he could build through business networking but how the Chamber impacted his family and their quality of life as we work on advocacy issues such as transportation, education, health care, and business growth.

I then asked him to experience the difference membership could make in his new business by participating in our seminars and networking events as my guest.  I wasn’t surprise when he joined.  Quite simply, if anyone takes the time to attend a Chamber workshop, seminar, or networking event, and really participates, they will see for themselves the benefit of membership.  The real strength of our Chamber is not in the words of its executive or the Board of Directors but in the membership itself and how each of you support and learn from each other.

Shawn volunteered to facilitate a series of business workshops and quickly built a strong following of business members who benefited from his coaching and the lessons he had learned in his career.  While the membership appreciated his seminars, Shawn began learning from them as well and just a few months ago, published his first book gleaned from many of those sessions: The Termite Effect: 25 Common Business Mistakes and Their Hidden Consequences.

The premise of the book is the hidden damage that unseen business problems, much like termites, can do if precautions are not heeded.  Shawn created not just a plan for success, detailing the most common mistakes business owners can make, he created an interactive workbook to lay out a plan of success and blueprint to work the plan.

Shawn Brodof

In chapter seven, Shawn discusses our own unique abilities and the fact that most business owners who have truly found their “sweet spot” don’t consider work to be “WORK”.  They’re simply having fun at what they are doing.

He quoted Warren Buffett who said, “In the world of business, the people who are most successful are those who are doing what they love.”  Shawn Brodof is an example of how much we grow ourselves when we help others reach past self imposed limitations to become the absolute best. 

Termites can crumble the strongest foundations and like the termite, our challenges can shake our very core. We build stronger businesses and better communities when we recognize the promises of tomorrow in the challenges of today and the fulfillment that touching lives along the way can make. That may just be the hidden consequence of leadership.