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Latest from the MVP Seminars blog
Executives – HERE is Why Your Procurement Department is Just a Cost Center

Payroll, accounting, IT, human resources, internal audit, or legal. All of these groups and more, correctly or incorrectly, frequently get lumped as cost centers by executives.

And once you get to the C-Suite inside of a Fortune 500 company, they tend to view their organizational groups in two ways:  “Either you are generating revenue for me, or you are not.  If you are, I will invest in you in every way and will demand direct visibility to your organization.  If you are not, I will minimize my investment, and I will bury you in my org chart.”

Here’s the quick litmus test:  where does procurement eventually report in your organization?

Let me guess: Finance, Operations, Manufacturing, or in end user business units.  I have even seen procurement reporting in HR!  The HR VP justified to me “well, we buy people, so we should buy everything else too.”

Some of you will comment that “that’s not the way it is in my company.  We have a CPO that reports directly to the CEO/COO.”  I’m glad that’s true, but it’s not the norm, and it may not stay that way either – frequently, the CEO decides they don’t see the value and shove procurement back under an obscure function.

In working with large companies all over the world for almost 25 years now, the one gripe Chief Purchasing Officers have more than any other is that they are not valued by the company.

To add fuel to the fire, the sales counterparts that you are negotiating with have better systems, more staff, more discretionary funds, better data, and more resources than you.  In addition, they spend up to 20% of their time in training, while your procurement group only spends up to 2% of their time in training.

How could that be? It’s because Sales is a REVENUE generating function, and CEOs invest in those.

But executives on the “revenue generator bandwagon” are wrong.  All of them.

The problem is that they should not be differentiating between revenue generators and non-revenue generators.  They should be differentiating between PROFIT generators and NON-PROFIT generators.

Isn’t profitability the goal of every company?  Or is the goal to maximize revenue, and to heck with whether or not we are profitable?  I don’t have to tell you the answer.  It’s Business 101, page 2.

And procurement keeps trying to justify it’s worth with cost savings metrics.  Those metrics don’t work.  The reason?  Simple: the executive will simply say “OK, if you saved me $195M last year, great, then show it to me, because it’s not in my budget.  Where is all this money you keep telling me you’ve saved me?”

It’s interesting that part of the problem is that the saving go back to the end user group and they then end up using that money on something else!  I’ve only seen one organization that measures costs savings by how much is left in the business unit budget, which then goes back to the CEO’s general fund.  It was one of the oil & gas companies in Houston, Texas.

Not my favorite model, but it is one way to make sure the executive visibly sees what savings are coming from procurement strategies. Procurement departments the world over do a terrible job demonstrating their value, especially vertically within the corporation.

The reasons?  There are many, but the biggest in my experience it goes back to the fact that we are trying to influence vertically with metrics that aren’t a part of the C-Suite’s language.

What is the C-Suite’s language?  They care about the following metrics, which procurement directly influences but rarely tracks and reports:    ROI in the procurement function (department savings ÷ department costs), as well as improvements in EBIT, EPS, and corporate profitability.  That is how we should be communicating and influencing vertically.

Only then will executives start to see the value of procurement and can procurement be involved in critical planning cycles to drive upstream influence.

I invite you to watch an incredible video I’ve put together that really captures the essence of this transformation.  This is not for the casual procurement professional who is looking to jump to another profession or has one foot out the door to retirement.

This is dense, and it’s 1 hour long.  But here’s the deal, once you start, you can’t stop.   The first 22 minutes of the video capture the heart of this transformation, and the rest take you to implementation.  It’ll be the best 1 hour you’ve ever invested in your career.

Here it is, bookmark this link and watch this video:  https://tinyurl.com/Procurement-Transformation

I will leave you with this final set of thoughts below (grab a mirror):

  • Is your procurement department a value added center of profit?  Are they also PERCEIVED as a value added center of profit?
  • Are you taking costs out the supply chain or are you just shoving them back up the supply chain?
  • Are you getting more and more sophisticated at compressing supplier profits, or are you leveraging investigative negotiation strategies to create value and make the pie bigger?
  • Are you leveraging strategies to influence product and service costs to be streamlined for TCO, or are you just getting the best deal on what end users ask for?
  • Are you buying goods and services or are you buying performance results?  Hint: this is the biggest problem in procurement today that nobody is talking about.

And most of all, do you have a seat at the table with the C-Suite, or are you on the menu for lunch? 

Go watch the video above and find out how to bridge the gap from good to world-class procurement.

Now go off and do something wonderful.

Be your best!

Omid G

“THE Godfather of Negotiation Planning” ~ Intel Corp

Transgender Training added to Mandatory Harassment Training for Supervisors

Of the 90 percent of transgender workers who faced discrimination at work, about a fourth were forced to use restrooms that did not match their gender identity, were told to dress, act and present as a different gender from their own in order to keep their job, or had a boss or coworker share private information about their transgender status without their permission.

 

Harassment Online Training Demo

More than 70 percent of transgender respondents said they had to hide their gender identity, delay their transition, or quit their job due to fear of negative repercussions.

Moreover, over 50 percent of all LGBT people face lower wages, have difficulty finding jobs, are denied promotions, and are fired from jobs due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. According to FBI data, hate crimes increased this year. And LGBT people are more likely to be targets of a hate crime than any other minority group.

The study also showed that on average, “gay men earn from 10 to 32 percent less than similarly qualified heterosexual males,” and LGBT adults experience higher poverty rates than heterosexual people. And according to the National Center for Transgender Equality, transgender people are three times as likely to be unemployed and twice as likely to live in poverty compared to general rates in the U.S.

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Conflict, Business and Forgiveness pt2

In last week's show, we spoke about why some people choose not to forgive and why it's essential to do so. There are many reasons and two of the biggest are: they feel the person is not deserving of being forgiven; 2. they feel that should they grant pardon, the other party will think the incident was not serious, will not have to be held accountable, or may very well repeat  the offense. Although none of these is true, they are considered by many to be valid reasons. However, as I stated previously, to withhold absolution can have dire consequences for the one who was harmed. "Not  forgiving is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." (unknown) The act of exoneration has multiple benefits including freeing one from anger, animosity, bitterness, hatred or thoughts of revenge. It restores inner peace and joy. It reduces the risk of physical and emotional maladies or from interfering with having other healthy relationships. It also keeps the door open for a possible reconciliation of both parties at some point in the future. Forgiveness is not for the other person; it is a gift you give yourself, the gift of serenity. Assuming you have made the decision to let go of the incident, how do  you proceed? Forgiveness, for many, is not immediate. It is a process of healing emotionally and spiritually and can take some time. Keep in mind: one need not forgive and forget. To forget what has transpired, such as an assault, puts one at risk for the incident to reoccur. Forgive but remember without negative emotions. Keep in mind, too, that while some believe the old adage that time heals all wounds, in truth time heals nothing. It is the act of pardoning that heals. Here are some steps you can take to let go of the anger and move beyond the incident.

  1. Keep in mind that all of us are human and mistakes, selfish acts, fear, betrayals, disappointments and such are all a normal part of the human experience. One cannot journey through life without ever offending or disappointing others. To forgive means to refrain from judgment and to make allowances for man's imperfections.
  2. Change your perception of the person or incident. Life isn't about truth and reality; it is about perception - how we choose to see others or the world. Perception is simply a thought. We choose a thought, either one that is kind or judgmental. So ask yourself, "Am I being fair in my assessment of this person or incident? Was there a misunderstanding? Am I over reacting to what happened?" Your thoughts create your feelings (refer to T~E~~C~O Magic*). Therefore, all one really needs to do to change how they feel is to change what they are thinking. See the offender through the eyes of kindness, understanding, and fairness.

"Do not judge me until  you have walked a mile in my shoes." - Native American philosophy

  1. Realize that every experience that enters your life is a critical part of your life's journey. Each person and situation provides the opportunity for you to fulfill your Divine Destiny and to bring you into closer communion with God. Rather than find fault with or complain about what happened, find its value. Be grateful for the opportunity to further your spiritual development. Gratitude thwarts anger and bitterness.
  2. Pray. Prayer is a powerful form of communication with the Divine. It's like holding on to the hand of a fire fighter as he guides you out of a burning building to safety. Conversation with God provides us with guidance, comfort, and the strength to do God's Will rather than succumbing to our anger or desires, for our need for justice. Our first responsibility is always to abide by the Father's directives, not to surrender to our ego. "Align with the Divine" is a simple but powerful mantra to remind us that we must always respond to life from a spiritual perspective, in a way reflective of God's Love.

Also, it's important to pray for the one who committed the offense. Rather than seeking revenge, pray for their healing, for whoever commits a hateful act upon another is in need of healing not punishment. God's Way is to heal and our way must be His Way. James 5: tells us to "Pray for others so that you may be healed." This is a prayer I recite for those who have betrayed me: "Heavenly Father, please help _____ to keep their heart and mind open to you today and everyday, allowing you to work through them, with them, and in them, helping them to become the person you created them to be. And help me also to remember every day that what is happening between them and me is not between the two of us. It is always between you and I. Amen." If necessary, one can also take the following steps towards forgiving:

  1. Discuss with the other person what happened and why for the sole purpose of understanding their position. Clear up any misunderstandings. Discuss facts only. Refrain from blame or excuses. Accept responsibility for your part.
  2. Discuss how each person felt. This may be uncomfortable but is necessary to more fully understand the impact this incident has had on both parties.
  3. Decide what you both want to happen now. Do you want a reconciliation, a chance to rebuild your relationship, or would it be best to part ways, amicably? What can each party do to accomplish this?
  4. Focus on and remember everything good about the person. Remember, thoughts dictate feelings. One act of bad judgment does not erase all the good in someone.
  5. Separate the behavior from the individual. Behaviors are not who we are; they are outward expressions of our internal environment and issues. Remind yourself that this person is still a sacred child of God, deserving of love and forgiveness.
  6. Detach and let go of all negative feelings. Revisit the incident as an objective observer, not an active participant.
  7. Extract the value of the experience. Learn the lessons, be grateful, let go, and move forward.

Keeping in mind that this experience is a process and may take time and effort, how does one know if they have in fact truly forgiven the other party? When the following elements are present:

  1. Have you let go of the need to discuss it? It has served its purpose and needs no more of your time or energy.
  2. Can you think about the offender without anger or animosity?
  3. If you came face-to-face with them, would you feel at ease?
  4. Are you at peace with what happened although not necessarily happy about it?
  5. Does the thought of the other party suffering for their offense cause you sadness?
  6. Can you be grateful for the experience and see how it has actually been a blessing in your life?

Remember, forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. It is the ultimate act of self-love for it enables you to live in the peace and joy that God intended for you. Mark 11: 25 "And when you stand praying if you hold anything against anyone forgive them so that your Father in Heaven may forgive you your sins." I invite you to watch a very powerful video on the importance of forgiveness at www.FromGodWithLove.net. *T~E~~C~O Magic* in The Secret Side of Anger   Order  The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html   Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://ow.ly/OADTf Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @ http://ow.ly/OADJK Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+

Courage, Empowerment or Bravery—What’s the Difference?
People have frequently asked me, “Is courage the same as empowerment and bravery?” I don’t think so. Here is how I believe these vitally important concepts are distinctly different. Courage is an internal process. It occurs when you make a conscious decision to tap into and use your inner “reservoir” of heart, which you might not have even realized you have. Courage manifests itself when a person embarks on a journey that is in line with their “heart and spirit.” In fact, heart and spirit is the root of the word courage. Tapping into your courage enables you to stand in your true Self — your solid core. A courageous person’s leadership style exemplifies their ability to “lead self.” This is where you display your understanding of courage consciousness such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. They acted according to their convictions despite opposition or attractive opportunities that would betray their true nature. Simple everyday courage can be a powerful force for positive change, and it’s available to everyone because it’s your birthright. It’s what gives you permission to finally ask for a raise, confess that you hired the wrong person or spot, and act to the first red flags. Empowerment is a feeling, a quiet dignity and belief that every individual has value and a determination to base one’s life actions on that belief. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi demonstrate empowerment, as does contemporary activist Shannon Galpin (Mountain to Mountain) who empowered women in Afghanistan to ride bicycles when it was forbidden. Empowered individuals move societies forward. Empowerment can result when someone else bestows responsibility or faith in us. Empowerment can also be the mental outcome of a brave act. One feels empowered. Bravery is action. It is most often thought of as an impulsive act to protect others at one’s own expense, in the face of an imminent threat or danger. It carries a sense of physical threat and is usually accompanied by adrenaline-activated feats, commonly referred to as “heroism.” Our culture tends to focus on bravery since it hovers around physical courage. Physical courage is one of many facets of courage such as spiritual courage, leadership courage or moral/ethical courage.
Save Money, Save Lives and Boost Your Company's Bottom Line
This is not just for Human Resources. Employers need to use an informed approach to help boost employee satisfaction, retention and productivity while protecting the company’s legal and financial interests. It is the biggest economic burden of any health issue in the world and is projected to cost $6 trillion by 2030. Two-thirds of these costs are attributed to disability and loss of work. And yet shockingly, of the 450 million people worldwide who suffer from mental health conditions 60% do not receive any form of care. “Jobs” is the key word in American politics these days. How to get them back from other countries is important, of course, but what about helping companies retain the employees they have by successfully promoting mental wellness in the workplace?      How? Here are four ways: * Prevention: Promote mental health as part of an overall corporate wellness campaign. For example, bring in professionals who specialize in mental health and substance abuse issues to present mandatory, yet interesting educational seminars. That will help reduce the stigma attached to mental and substance abuse disorders. Businesses who have done this reported reduction in health expenses and other financial gains for their organizations. * Awareness: Changes in sleep, mood, appetite, weight, behavior, and personality are caused by many drug addictions and mental health disorders. Other telling symptoms include tardiness, missed deadlines and unexplained or unauthorized absences from work to counter these problems, it is critical that management and HR be given sensitivity training and that professional information and referral resources are readily available. Taking these steps can help employers manage situations before they get out of control. * Work-Life Balance and Accommodations: The Family Medical Leave Act entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and professionally diagnosed medical reasons, including mental illness or alcohol/substance use disorders. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” to assist people with disabilities, including mental health impairments, perform job duties. Employers can help employees with mental health issues by encouraging the use of written checklists, instructions and offering more training time. Sometimes providing a mentor for daily guidance and meeting regularly to discuss progress. * Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs designed to address substance abuse and addictions, as well as personal and family problems, mental health or emotional issues, marital or parenting problems, and financial or legal concerns. EAPs have evolved and grown in popularity during the last 25 years. The number of organizations with an EAP increased from 31% in 1985 to 75% in 2009. Providing a variety of treatment options for an employee will not only help reduce their suffering - it will curtail the incidence of impaired functioning at work. More jobs in America? According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, some 60% to 80% of people with mental illness are unemployed. In part, this is the crippling nature of the disease. But a large part of the problem that we have in hiring people who have some mental disorder is that we lack the sophisticated vocabulary to talk and act regarding these illnesses. Managing mental health should hold no fear for managers – whether they realize it or not, they already have many of the skills needed to look after their employees’ well being. Sometimes all it takes is an open mind. Mental health is the mental and emotional state in which we feel able to cope with the normal stresses of everyday life. If we are feeling good about ourselves we often work productively, interact well with colleagues and make a valuable contribution to our team or workplace. The good news is that line managers already have many of the skills needed to promote positive mental health at work. They are usually well-versed in the importance of effective communication and consultation, and the need to draw up practical workplace policies and procedures. Add to these skills an open mind and a willingness to try and understanding mental health problems, and organizations can make real progress in tackling the stigma often associated with mental health. “The problem with the stigma around mental health is really about the stories that we tell ourselves as a society. What is normal? That’s just a story that we tell ourselves.” -- Matthew Quick (Author of The Silver Linings Playbook) Invest in your employee training and development by offering Business Training Seminars that produce tangible results.  
Conflict Know When To Fight and When To Not

I'm not much of a fighter. When I was a child, my dad taught me that if someone hits you, hit them back but never be the one to throw the first punch. In essence, only fight back when you have to defend yourself. My mom's message was taken from Luke 6:29 and contradicted Dad's: "If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them." Her voice resonated the strongest with me and for the better part of my life I'd walk away from any confrontation whether physical or verbal. During my childhood, there was a girl who frequently bullied me. I continually walked away from her but she was relentless. One day, I told my older sister who took up my cause. She grabbed the girl by the hair and told her to leave me alone. She never bothered me again.   With the exception of protecting myself in a domestic violence relationship, I have never engaged in physical conflict in my life. And while my typical style of confrontation was one of silence, I have since become more comfortable with engaging in disputes of a verbal nature. While I refuse to participate in an ugly or hostile discussion, I can now more easily verbally defend what I believe in. Mankind is often quick and eager to fight. A sense of arrogance and entitlement has lessened one's ability to be patient, has classified some as unworthy of being treated with respect and dignity, and supports the belief that the self should have what they want even at the expense of others. People also have a lower tolerance level than ever before and in many instances seek every opportunity to incite an argument or fight in an attempt to assert power and dominance over others. None of these are a spiritually valid reason for fighting.  

 

There is a time and place for everything and one needs to know when it is best to follow my Mom's and Luke's advice to simply walk away and when one needs to stand up for justice as recommended in Isaiah 1:17 "Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow." Keep in mind, that when I speak of fighting, I am in no way referring to physical altercations, the destruction of property, or nasty, hateful verbal assaults or threats of any kind. The key to successfully defending one's person or position and seeking righteous justice (that is, according to Divine Law) is knowing when it's appropriate to stand tall and when it's best to let things be as they are. Having a proper set of communication and negotiating skills is essential as well. Here are some guidelines: WHEN TO FIGHT: You are defending those incapable of protecting themselves. The issue is serious and will not resolve itself or will escalate if not addressed. There is severe and real harm being perpetrated against yourself or another. The offense is in violation of God's law; it is a moral issue. To remain silent allows evil to prosper. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Sir Edmund Burke WHEN TO NOT:

 

No one is being harmed physically, emotionally, or psychologically. The only thing bruised is your ego. You have a personal vendetta against the other party. You are seeking revenge. Romans 12:19 "beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of god, for it is written, “vengeance is mine, i will repay, says the lord.” The issue will resolve itself. There is a serious risk that getting involved will only escalate matters. The issue will not matter in ten years. It's none of my business or the other party can handle it themselves. There is only a perception of harm, not a real and valid threat. The issue is not one of a moral nature.   Keep in mind, that humans are known for making mountains out of molehills; for making matters appear far more serious than they are; for seeking to exert dominance over others. If any of these are your motives for getting involved in an exchange of ideas (I hesitate to use the word fight for it's generally accepted definition of a physical altercation or an extremely heated debate) I strongly advise reassessing the situation and finding an alternative course of action. However, if you reasons are to stand up for what you truly believe is morally right, then by all means pursue your decision to address the issue.  

 

Let me reiterate: in the beginning I stated that "for the better part of my life I'd walk away from any confrontation". My choice of words accurately reflects my beliefs: life is consistently better when one chooses to not fight. (Did you notice that I listed twice as many reasons to not fight?) Therefore, be discreet: carefully and righteously evaluate each situation before becoming involved. Know when it is in your best interest, as well as the other party's, to simply let things be as they are. If intervention is essential, carefully choose your attitude and approach, motives and methods for they will certainly determine the outcome and lasting effects of your efforts.   Q: The goal of the righteous is to bring a peaceful and fair resolution to each situation for all those concerned.     Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html   Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://ow.ly/OADTf Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @ http://ow.ly/OADJK Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+


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