Ho Ho Ho or Bah Humbug? by Julie Miller & Brian Bedford, authors of Culture Without Accountability – WTF? What’s the Fix

Culture without AccountabilityTitle: Culture Without Accountability – WTF? What’s the Fix
Author: Julie Miller & Brian Bedfore
Publisher: Criffel Publishing
Pages: 142
Genre: Business
Format: Kindle

What happens when businesses, families or individuals fail to be accountable for their actions and decisions? It can be devastating for business results, relationships and reputations. Culture Without Accountability – WTF? What’s The Fix? is full of real life stories of what accountability looks like, what can go wrong without it, and offers a proven process for installing an accountability-based culture—a platform for success in business and in everyday life.

Drawing on their combined years of experience in senior global leadership roles at Motorola, Julie Miller and Brian Bedford founded MillerBedford Executive Solutions in 2001. MillerBedford addresses issues that are limiting the progress of organizations, and increases business success by improving strategy, culture, and leadership. And their clients actually report having fun in the process!

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Ho Ho Ho, or Bah Humbug?

What choices are YOU planning to make over the holidays?

As we approach the holiday period, we’ve been thinking a lot about choices. Life is all about choices, and the bottom line is that we-and only we-are responsible for our choices and our actions. Here’s one of our favorite quotes;

“Everything you do is based on the choices you make. It’s not your parents, your past relationships, your job, the economy, the weather, an argument or your age that is to blame. You, and only you, are responsible for every decision and choice you make. Period.”

The way we choose to behave is the one thing over which we have total control. So here are five questions for you as we approach the holidays. What choices will you make?

  1. Are you going to make promises you just know you won’t keep? “Of course I’ll drop by your party!” “Yes, I’ll make some cookies for the Christmas event!” Or are you going to be an accountable person, and be someone whose word you can take to the bank?


  1. Are you going to be on time for your appointments? Sometimes life happens, and you can’t avoid being late –a last-minute guest dropping by, holiday traffic- but if you don’t make an effort, and you’re consistently late, you’re saying “I’m more important than you are”.


  1. Are you going to tell the truth? Do any of these sound familiar; “I haven’t had time to shop for your gift yet.”, “No-one told me”, “It wasn’t my fault”. Or are you going to resolve to fess up, be honest, and take it on the chin?


  1. Are you going to apologize if you behave badly? We’re all under pressure, particularly at holiday time, but if you choose to be snappish or bad-tempered, will you try to justify yourself, or will you own it, explain and apologize?


  1. Are you going to put yourself first, or are you going to think of others? When you’re driving to the mall for last-minute gifts, will you cut people off to gain a few moments? Will you steal the last parking space near the door, and force that elderly woman to look elsewhere?

Give these questions, and others like them, a little thought over the holidays, and decide whether you want to be an accountable, “Ho Ho Ho!” kind of person, or the kind of “Bah Humbug” person that nobody wants at the party.

Life is all about choices, and your choices become even more important over the holidays. Spread a little cheer, make the right choices, and spread some “Ho Ho Ho!” around you!
JulieIn 2001, drawing on their respective years of experience in senior global leadership at Motorola, Julie Miller and Brian Bedford joined forces to establish MillerBedford Executive Solutions. MillerBedford helps businesses and organizations improve strategy, culture, and leadership, while addressing issues that limit success. And their clients actually have fun in the process!

Their latest book is the business book, Culture Without Accountability – WTF? What’s The Fix?

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Finding My Voice by David Bernstein, author of I’ve Got Some Good News and Some Bad News: You’re Old

Title: I’ve Got Some Good News and Some Bad News: You’re Old
Author: David Bernstein

Publisher: Dynamic Learning

Pages: 202

Genre: Health/Fitness

Format: Paperback/Ebook

Life is an aging process. Each of us will go through it in our own way. How we lead our lives when we are old, particularly as we near the end, is, I believe, worth pondering. In this way, “I’ve Got Some Good News and Some Bad News: You’re Old” serves as a guide for all of us as we age, providing topics for contemplation and discussion with friends, family and colleagues. “You’re Old” uses real patient experiences to explore what happens as we age-physically, mentally, and socially. The book also examines the tremendous abilities of medicine today as well as its limits, and the social issues that adults in America face as they age. Each chapter concludes with Notes on Living Longer, and a resource section, providing topic-specific information on organizations, websites, and other expert sources that can help the reader better understand and prepare for the prize of surviving youth and middle-age: becoming old. “You’re Old” is written for the aging and the aged, their children, and younger people who aspire to grow old. It is written for the physicians, nurses and other providers who care for the elderly. The experiences explored in this book include the “good news and the bad” as the inevitable ravages of age intrude into the lives of Dr Bernstein’s patients. From the most mundane situations to the truly sublime, the tales illuminate the emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspects of aging along with the diverse strategies people use to adapt to its realities.

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  • I’ve Got Good News and Some Bad News: You’re Old is available at Amazon.
Finding My Voice
I have and always will identify myself a physician.  I do have other skills and identities such as; I consider myself an athlete, a leader, a philanthropist and an award winning published author.  In 2007 when I started writing my book I’ve Got Some Good News and Some Bad News YOU’RE  OLD; Tales of a Geriatrician I had to decide how I was going to present my subject matter. I knew I wanted to write about my experiences as a geriatrician and the valuable lessons I have learned from my patients along the way.   I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to present the information.  I started writing a book proposal to help me outline my ideas and organize my thoughts, but that did not give me the voice I was seeking.
The first story I wrote was about elderly adult drivers and the need for family members along with health care professionals to become involved in taking away keys of those who are at risk for harming themselves or others. As a completed the chapter, I had not discovered the voice that was going to be heard prominently through my book.  As I started my next story, I put myself in the mode of storyteller. This role is very effective when I tell my patients about real life events to motivate them to make changes in their lives, or understand the consequences of the decisions they were making. When I shared my writing samples with my small circle of advisors and my writing coach, I discovered through their observations that they heard my voice telling the story. It was at that moment that I truly understood how my voice was going to sound throughout my book. I owed a debt of gratitude to this  circle of critics, particularly Martha Murphy my writing coach.  Martha was the one who influenced me the most when she said, “David, I hear your voice throughout the entire story.”
Once I found my voice, each time I sat down at my computer to write, two things would come to mind. First, I was writing my book for a large audience; baby boomers.  Every time I started writing I would think about what my former high school classmates would like to know about getting older. Second, I wanted to deliver my message as if I was just talking to a patient sitting in my office or a good friend on the golf course or a dinner party.
Finding my voice was a critical element in the development of my book.  It allowed me to be genuine and authentic as I presented my stories, philosophies, and the lessons I delivered in my book.

David Bernstein, MD is a highly respected physician who is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Geriatrics practicing in Clearwater, Florida. His 30+ years of experience have provided him with opportunities to observe and empathize with thousands of adults as they age. His compassion and ability to see the souls of his patients has compelled him to share his stories in his book “I’ve Got Some Good News and Some Bad News You’re OLD: Tales of a Geriatrician What to expect in Your 60s, 70s, 80s and Beyond”

Dr. Bernstein has served as chairman of his hospital’s Pharmacy and Therapeutic committee for 20 years helping to improve patient safety and outcomes. During this period of time, he also served on the board of the local Jewish Family service and as chairman. As an associate clinical professor in the department of medicine at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, he has taught the skills he has acquired over the years to first and second year students.

Dr. Bernstein has been a nursing home medical director for 20 years. He was responsible for addressing administrative and quality assurance issues.

“When you give, you get back” he says about what his patients have told him and taught him about life and aging. His writing style of telling stories about his patients allows the reader to understand the complex emotions and struggles of growing older and losing independence. He lovingly tells these stories adding his own insights about this complex process.

Dr Bernstein is an avid public speaker, addressing various medical topics with his colleagues and with the community at large with a focus on families facing the complex problems as they near the end of life.

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Guest post by Natsuya Uesugi, author of grydscaen



Title: grydscaen

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy

Author: Natsuya Uesugi

Publisher: Xlibris

EBook: 288 pages

Release Date: July 21, 2011

Follow the lives of the main characters as they come together in the backstory to grydscaen:retribution, the first volume of the grydscaen saga. Faid is tired of life on the run in the Echelons, trying to keep his psychic power in check, he founds the Packrats establishing a safe haven for psychics. As a hacker he uses his jack to support his neurocyne habit. Lino is recruited by the Psi Faction and is sent on a mission to kidnap Faid. Riuho, Lino’s half brother becomes a prisoner of the Elite military and they experiment on him, train him and subject him to mind control, then send him out on a mission. On his return, Riuho is set on escaping and recruits Faid who hacks into the Psi Faction systems. They escape and return to the Packrats leading up to the start of grydscaen:retribution.


The grydscaen series which is set in 2055 in the near future
is a microcosm of today’s society. Technology is pervasive and infiltrates the
day to day lives of the people recounted in the book. The lead character of
grydscaen is Ameliano “Lino” Dejarre who is the son of the Viceroy of the
Pacific Territories and a prince. Lino is a clandestine psychic operative of
the Psi Faction who’s job is to fight against cyber terrorism and the
infiltrations of the Atlantea Federation which dropped the nuclear bomb called
the Dionysis Effect on the Pacific Territories.
Lino and the psychic operatives of the Psi Faction are set
against the Packrats which are seen as cyber terrorists by the government. The
grydscaen series makes a commentary about freedom and anti government actions.
Today we have activists and hackers standing up against oppression in various
countries. I think that grydscaen gives voice to that fight and shows how
things could happen in a world where there are less freedoms and the government
rules everyday life.
Psychics are oppressed in grydscaen and I wanted to make a
commentary about marginalized groups in society such as the transgender and gay
community. LGBT youth also have to face bullying in schools and can have a
difficult time adjusting to just being who they are. I wrote grydscaen to
provide positive role models to today’s youth and show them that they can be
different and still be respected. Bullying is a big problem today in person and
online. I remember being bullied in high school for just being who I was and
who I liked. This shaped who I am and I wrote grydscaen because I wanted to
give back and let gay and trans kids know that they can be accepted for who
they are.
The other topic that I touch on in grydscaen is mental
health. There is stigma about mental illness that is pervasive in society. One
of the grydscaen characters named Sati Ima has schizoaffective disorder but he
is a pilot in the military. He just needs to take medication and otherwise he
handles his symptoms. There are many people who deal with depression and other
mental illnesses that take medication. There should be no stigma to that. I
wanted to shed light on this and make it clear that people with mental illness
can lead full and fulfilling lives and they should be treated with dignity and
Grydscaen deals with difficult themes all rolled up into a
science fiction backdrop. I also talk about LGBT homeless youth in the series
as one of the characters Rom who is 16 years old lives on the streets. I wanted
to detail the plights of homeless youth and give them a voice that is often not
heard. Many people think this is just a problem in the inner cities but there
are many cities where gay kids come out and tell their parents and then they
are kicked out on the street, or for some reason or another they are running
away from abusive situations. Homeless youth need a voice and I just wrote a
grydscaen short story which is available on the grydscaen blog called “A
Storm’s Coming” which is about Rom the homeless LGBT youth.
Grydscaen makes a commentary about life and marginalized
groups in society. It calls for equal rights and equality like the marriage
equality initiative that is getting media now. When I was in college I wished
that I had strong LGBT role models that I could look up to who would have
helped me find out more about who I am. I wrote the grydscaen series to provide
this voice for those that might not feel that they were worthy of having a
voice or had no means to speak up. Grydscaen shows that a gay teenager can have
a position of power and rise up and make a change in his environment for the
better. Lino is that character and the grydscaen series revolves around him. I
wanted to give him a voice and tell about his struggles and his triumphs.
Grydscaen is about respect and being recognized for your talents. I wanted to
give back and grydscaen allows me to do that.
There are currently 4 books published in the grydscaen
series: grydscaen: utopia, grydscaen: beginnings, grydscaen: retribution and
grydscaen: war with a fifth book grydscaen: alliance due to be published this
year. I hope that you would take a look at grydscaen and the positive message
that it brings for today’s youth.
For more on grydscaen visit http://www.grydscaen.com

Finding Daddy WarbucksTitle: Finding Daddy Warbucks

Author: David Hwa

Publisher: Wellworth, LLC

Pages: 180

Genre: Christian Fiction

Format: Ebook

We never know how God may lead us. The twists and turns of life often leave us confused and deflated. For 10-year-old Haley, the unexpected loss of her father was such a twist. When all is lost, a little light in the darkness can make all the difference. The world is a big place for a little girl. For that matter, it’s a pretty big place for anyone who has lost their way.

Hayley finds her solution in a modern day prince, but she can’t pull off this miracle by herself. Nick, an attorney struggling to save his job, wouldn’t seem to be much help to a little girl trying to create a miracle. But life has a way of bringing us the people we need most, at just the right time. Still, there is so much that could go wrong, especially when her headstrong mother doesn’t fall for the prince. But there’s something Hayley doesn’t see coming, something she can’t see. Something she doesn’t want to see, something that hides in the dark where she can’t go, something unspeakable.

Follow Haley’s journey into the light and see how redemption is there for anyone, even the condemned. And see how love can find you-even through the darkness.

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I’ve started reading Rob Lowe’s first autobiography, Stories
I Only Tell My Friends
. In the first chapter he talks about a time when he
was unhappy with his personal life and frustrated with his career. If a young
Rob Lowe can feel that way about his life and career then what about the rest
of us?
Rob’s experience is a lesson for all of us, because if you can have those feelings of
unhappiness and doubt after having been a successful movie star and with his
good looks, then you know that having all of those things does not lead to
peace and happiness.
I think this is something we all know deep down inside, but are loath to admit. We would much rather have the movie career and good looks and then decide for ourselves—okay
am I happier now? Unfortunately, for most of us, we aren’t going to get that
chance. We’re going to have to take our lives just as they are, sans movies and
good looks, and get along as best we can.
What I draw from Rob Lowe is that these fears and doubts happen to all of us. No one is immune. I got laid off from my law firm back in 2009. I sold my house in DC and moved
to Colorado without a clue as to what I was going to do for a career. As I now
begin my writing career I face a blank canvas.
In truth, every day is a blank canvas. We just live under the illusion that our future is set, but we have no guarantees of anything. This unknown, this doubt that each of us
faces in life, is a universal teacher. It is harsh and unrelenting. None of us
will be able to hide our eyes from the truth forever. Eventually, our illusion
of control will be stripped away, and we will be forced to face the truth.
There is a method to this madness. There is a lesson to be learned. There are two ways we can enjoy peace in this life, faith or the lilies of the field. Faith is simple
to understand, but hard to do, and that is to simply have faith that God will
always deliver you. The lilies of the field is similar but with a slight twist
and that makes all the difference.
The lesson of the lilies of the field can be found in the Gospels.
“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
. . .
So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has
enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:28-29;
Almost every Christian knows this lesson but nearly everyone ignores it, considering it too difficult to even attempt, or believing that God would only provide for those
with enough faith to walk on water. But the secret lies in the final verse, “do
not worry about tomorrow”.
Most of us, like Rob Lowe, don’t like where we’re at and think that happiness and fulfillment exist somewhere in the future, but not now. We believe this even though we know
that we are not guaranteed tomorrow. The only reality is what we have right
now, but we persist in looking to the future for our happiness.
We only exist right now and the only time we can be happy is right now. Nothing else exists. 
This is the key. Ask yourself: Is it possible for you to be happy right now?
The answer is yes.
As for your worries about tomorrow, ask yourself: Are you okay right now?
The answer here is also yes. Because if something is going wrong with you right now you’re dealing with it, not worrying about it. That’s a big difference.
Let me give you an example. Several years ago while playing racquetball one night with a buddy of mine, I dislocated my left knee and right elbow. They had to call an
ambulance to come and cart me off to the emergency room where the doctors
“popped” me back together again.
Now, during the time I was laying on the racquetball court, writhing in pain, waiting for the ambulance, I was faced with a decision. I knew that in the emergency room the
doctors would have to “pop” me back together and that would be excruciating.
Now, I was already in pain, but the question was whether or not I wanted to
worry about the pain yet to come. I could sense the fear that came with that
worry. It was as if I could see it, sitting on the racquetball court staring at
me. I could also see how I would be turned into a babbling idiot, if I let that
fear in.
I decided to hold the fear off at arms-length. I would deal with what was already on my
plate, and not worry about the future, but deal with it as it came. So yes, I
was in pain, but I wasn’t afraid and that made a big difference.
This is the secret to the lilies of the field, deal only with what is on your plate, and
don’t worry about all the things that may be coming down the pipe.
So today, I do not know what my future holds, and like Rob Lowe in the first chapter of his book, I have no idea where my career is headed, but unlike Rob, I do my best to
not worry about it. I know I am fine today, and I’ll take tomorrow on, when it
gets here.
And if that doesn’t work I suggest having a pumpkin latte.

David Hwa

David Hwa makes his literary debut with Finding Daddy Warbucks (2014) a tale of a little girl’s journey through loss, love and redemption.

David grew up in Kansas. He graduated with a music degree from the University of Colorado and went on to obtain a Master of Business Administration from Denver University, a law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law, and a Master of Laws from Georgetown University Law Center.

He practiced securities law for many years in Los Angeles, California with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. He later moved to Washington, DC where continued his securities practice with the Commission and later in private practice with the law firm of Bingham McCutchen LLP. Following the financial crisis of 2008, David moved back to Colorado and opened his own securities law practice.

David is single and lives in Aurora, Colorado with his two leopard geckos Gordon and Carlos. He spends his days writing, skiing, and occasionally dispensing legal advice, sometimes while on the ski slopes.

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