Author, Speaker, Radio Host & Media Personality

right man

Chris Efessiou's Blog

o-kate-middleton-570-1
Now that Will and Kate’s bundle of joy has arrived, I’d like to share with them five things I wish my father had told me about parenthood. Incidentally, if you’re not destined for the throne, worry not; this advice applies to royals and commoners alike.

Published in Family & Parenthood
Tuesday, 16 July 2013 18:38

The Bling Ring? It’s Not for Keeps

bling-ringIf you haven’t heard about the summer movie the Bling Ring–don't fret! You’re not uncool, I had no idea either until my daughter shared what a mess these teens were depicted in this movie. In short, it’s about a group of teens and young adults burglarizing the homes of several celebrities and boasted about it on social media. Paris Hilton was the target on several occasions – {alright people - contain your empathy for the poor girl!}

Tuesday, 09 July 2013 15:10

The Day the Door Came Off the Hinges

slamming-the-door-oTo a teenager, the door is everything. It’s their direct path to closing out the world, but mostly closing out the world from their parents. I’m not one who likes having lots of rules at work or at home. I prefer a few basic rules

Published in Family & Parenthood

You can never expect team members to invest in the team more than you do. A true statement that applies equally at work and at home. When a team leader invests in the team, the members will follow suit and reciprocate. While this applies in time of calm, its application and diligent execution is crucial in time of turmoil.  So, when you find yourself in a challenging situation, go to this P.L.A.C.E™.

Published in Business Topics

Understanding and effectively using your authority as an employer, a supervisor, a team-leader or as a parent, almost always means that you have to let go of something you have to gain something you want. The article below was developed by Dolores Hoffman captures my discussion with her on the subject, and was publish in the June issue of South Jersey Mom Magazine South Jersey Mom Magazine June, 2013 - Page 21 under the title "Words of Wisdom on the Art of Negotiation from the Chief Daddy Officer.”  Thank you to both for their great work. For the blog readers' ease of use, the same  is provided below.

Published in Business Topics

In some cases children have become more independent but, studies show that they have regressed in social skills and in the “people skills” necessary to establish and maintain relationships with other children and adults. Several years ago the concept of “group dating” was unheard of.  Today, group dating is a way to boost one’s self-confidence so as to feel more comfortable in a setting where most people are unknown to them.

Published in Leadership

There was a time when most college students had to ration their pocket-money carefully to have enough for an ice cream soda or a movie on the weekend. When I was in college, I had a bottle where I dropped pennies every day, and once or twice a year I’d have enough for a dinner at a nice restaurant. Today’s students are bombarded with offers for credit cards as soon as they arrive on campus. Many are saddled with burdensome credit card debt at ridiculous interest rates in addition to their student loans. Before these kids figure out what credit is for, they’ve ruined it.

Business people know that anyone can run a company without profit, but no one can run a company without cash. The same applies to life. We’ve all heard the cliché “Cash is king.” I actually believe and teach that “Cash is prince,” because “Cash flow is king.”

Many young people fail to manage their cash flow properly and run out of money before the next paycheck, unable to meet their financial obligations. They miss credit card payments, car loan payments, or, worse, student loan payments. Soon threatening letters and phone calls begin, and inevitably collection notices and derogatory statements on their credit report weigh down their credit score. In some cases, young adults before the age of 30 file for personal bankruptcy and then spend a good part of their lives rehabilitating their credit. More important, prospective employers, landlords, and other credit issuers routinely check the credit score before offering employment or approving an apartment lease.

Here is the problem most young kids run into. An amount of money goes to their bank account every week or every two weeks. They pay whatever bills are due at the time, and see a significant surplus remaining in the account. Most treat it as extra spending money and do exactly that. They spend it. This is the ultimate in a false sense of security, because while they think that the “surplus” is spending money, it is actually money that must be used to pay bills that come due later in the month. Inevitably, when that time comes they are short of cash.

money-jars-how-to-teach-kids-about-money-250x250 To prevent this from happening to my daughter, I taught her the following simple principles for managing her cash flow.

1. Create a realistic budget and stick to it.

2. Set up multiple bank accounts with online access and link them together.

3. Pay yourself weekly or biweekly. Wherever your money comes from, your employer, your parents or a school loan, deposit your check in one of the online bank accounts; let’s call it the master bank account.

4. Transfer 10% of your income from the master to a savings account.

5. Transfer the money intended to pay bills to a bill-paying account. Immediately transfer the equivalent of two weeks of expenses to this account.

For example, your rent is most probably due on the first of each month. If you are paid biweekly, transfer half the rent from the master account to the bill-paying account, and do the same with all your bills such as utilities, food, credit card payments, etc. If you are paid weekly, transfer a quarter of your monthly expenses to that account.

6. Pay all your bills by credit card whenever possible. Doing so causes you to write fewer checks and makes record-keeping simple and centralized.

7. Pay all your bills online. Program your accounts to automatically issue payments two days before the bills are due. This helps you in two very important ways:

a. Your bills are always paid on time, and that is the most important ingredient for a good credit score.

b. You avoid making the cardinal mistake of overspending and running short or “bouncing” a check.

Consider this all too familiar example: You have paid your bills with physical (paper) checks and mailed them to the intended payees on time and you feel good about it. The next day you check your account balance and discover that you have more money than you anticipated. To reward yourself, you decide to spend it on things you enjoy. A few days later the bank calls you with an “insufficient funds” message.

How could this happen? Here is how. When you pay by paper check, the money stays in your account until the check clears the bank, which, counting transit time and other factors, could take from a few days to a few weeks. Online bill payment removes the money from your account on the same day the check is issued, thus eliminating any unpleasant surprises. It is fast, secure, and automatic. It also saves you money because while many banks charge you for writing checks, most banks offer online bill payment for free.

8. Pay your credit card bills weekly. Programming your account to pay a quarter of your credit card bill each week reduces the finance charges assessed by the banks if you carry over balances from month to month. More important, you eliminate any risk of a late payment, and your credit score rises.

9. After you have followed steps 3 through 5, you should still have the money you budgeted for entertainment and the like.

10. Withdraw the full amount in cash. Use only cash for drinks with friends, dinners out, movies, etc. This is your safety valve. You can order only as many drinks as you have cash to pay for.

Keep the credit card in your wallet and you will have no unpleasant surprises.

While saving money is important, establishing good credit is even more important. When my daughter was in high school, I got a joint credit card, which she shared with me. Initially I maintained control, and later supervised how she used it. As you might expect, she made some mistakes. When mismanagement or overspending was evident, I’d e-mail her a copy of the statement and ask her to justify specific expenses. Those were not happy days for her, but they provided a forum for accountability, discussion and education.

Knowingly or not, the entire time she was learning to control her spending, manage her cash flow, and establish some savings. Most important, she was also establishing credit. Persephone secured a full-time job before graduation, and a month later she asked to be cut off from any support on my part so that she could make herself financially independent. Soon thereafter, she was approved for an apartment lease within a day, and was told the expedited approval was due to her credit score. A few weeks later, she was able to get a very nice car for herself entirely on her own creditworthiness. The following month she joined the ranks of American Express cardholders. Watching my daughter’s ability to do these things as a young lady let me know that she was well on her way to independence.

This is my opinion.  It worked for me and it can work for you.  You just have to try it!

Wise women have observed that the qualities that make for a “good” boyfriend are not necessarily those that make a good husband. The wild, unpredictable heartthrob in a romantic comedy may be great for a few dates, but he’ll probably be an unreliable partner in life. In the same way, the quiet, compliant child who never does or says anything to displease you may be an easy 6-year-old, but she may not make a very strong adult.

Allowing your children to speak their minds in a respectful manner encourages them to develop the thinking skills they will need for the rest of their lives. Don’t shut them down like a tyrant, but don’t let them become dictators. Remember that power cannot persuade the heart.

A boss that rules with an iron fist will lose every employee who can find a better opportunity, leaving him with the “rubber stamps.” The parent who runs a house that way will either lose his child when she’s old enough to leave or will raise an adult utterly dependent on a stronger person to tell him what to do. You don’t have an obligation to give them the answer they think they want, but you do have a responsibility to listen and help guide their thinking. 

In business, the most valuable people are those who can solve problems creatively by introducing fresh ideas and solutions. Those who never ask “why” may be too willing to comply with the status quo and are less likely to proffer new solutions. Others are simply not invested enough in the company to care. Understand that it is not your authority that persuades. It is your reasoning and your care.

Only weak leaders view questions as an attack on their authority, and it is their loss as well as their employees’. Stifling creativity and discouraging alternative perspectives on problems leads to the kind of myopic decision-making that drives entire industries out of business. Embracing the ingenuity of your employees brings out their best and the best for your company.

The same is true at home. Two-way communication with our kids not only strengthens our relationships with them, it also nurtures their imagination and confidence. If we think their viewpoints are important, they will too. By discouraging questions and squelching independent thought, we are telling them that they do not have anything valuable to contribute.

Expect pushback and welcome it. You are not wasting your time by doing so; you are investing in your team. Seize pushback as an opportunity to converse with and motivate your people at work and at home. That is the foundation of leadership.

This is my opinion. It worked for me and it can work for you. You just have to try it!



About Chris Efessiou: Chris Efessiou is an Entrepreneur, Leadership Expert, Marketing Strategist, Negotiations Architect, Educator, Mentor, International Speaker, Radio Show Host, and best-selling author of CDO Chief Daddy Officer: The Business of Fatherhood based on his own experience from raising his daughter as a single dad by applying his business knowledge to the business of parenting. For more information visit www.ChrisEfessiou.com, connect with Chris on Facebook, follow on Twitter and listen to his radio show Straight Up with Chris: Real Talk on Business and Parenthood Thursdays at 6:00 PM Eastern – 3:00 PM Pacific on Voice America Internet Radio

 

Published in Leadership

Bill Gates said of the information technology revolution, “There’s a basic philosophy here that by empowering…workers you’ll make their jobs far more interesting, and they’ll be able to work at a higher level than they would have without all that information just a few clicks away.”

We can readily see how this philosophy is applied in the business world. Empowered employees aremore invested in their jobs and bring their best to what they do. Good managers understand that imaginative problem-solving is far preferable to mindless compliance.

The principle can be a little trickier to apply to parenting. What does it really mean to empower your child so that he or she is deeply invested in your family? You are not going to hand the car keys over to your 10-year-old, nor are you going to hand your teenager a wad of cash and tell her to spend it on whatever she likes. Empowering your children means giving them the wisdom and skills they need to make good decisions for their current stage of life. If you do this for long enough, they will be ready to make decisions as an adult.  In fact, the process of parenting can be seen as the transition from taking care of your child to empowering him to take care of himself. 

The Whys

Remember all those “why” questions we talked about earlier? I found that answering my daughter’s endless “whys” was vital to empowering her to become her own person. When we do not take the time to thoughtfully answer our children’s questions, we can be unintentionally dismissive. We are sending the silent message that they do not need to know more than they already do, or that they are not important enough for us to bother explaining something.

Giving your children a sound explanation for why you do what you do gives them a reason to follow the rules even outside of your presence. It also forces you to think more deliberately about the rules you set.

Of course these “whys” begin very early—usually at the ripe old age of 2 or 3. Certainly there will be times when children use the “why” as a stall: “Why do I have to go to bed now, Daddy?” The key is to give younger children a true but succinct answer and move on. As the child grows, however, you will need to set aside real time to answer his questions thoughtfully.

Often your children will question why you are making a certain decision or the reasoning behind a certain rule. It is easy to feel as if this is a challenge to your authority. However, keep in mind that it is far easier to accept a ruling if you understand the reasoning behind it. As we discussed previously, giving your children a sound explanation for why you do what you do gives them a reason to follow the rules even outside of your presence. It also forces you to think more deliberately about the rules you set.

Be prepared for your children to ask you “why” about other things too. Once again, remember that all children are different and therefore curious about different things. Do not allow yourself to see this as a nuisance. This is your opportunity to share your knowledge and experiences with them. If you don’t know the answer, offer to help them look it up. If your children see you as a reliable source of information from a young age, they will continue to seek your advice as they get older.

From her late teens to the present, my daughter has consulted me on personal and business matters far more frequently than I could have ever imagined, which has been an honor and joy.

This is my opinion.  It worked for me and it can work for you.  You just have to try it!

 

Published in Family & Parenthood

Only weak leaders view questions as an attack on their authority, and it is their loss as well as their employees’.  Noting that weak leaders are no leaders at all, the fact remains that stifling creativity and discouraging alternative perspectives on problems leads to the kind of myopic decision-making that drives entire industries out of business.

Embracing the ingenuity of your employees brings out their best and the best for your company. The same is true at home. Two-way communication with our kids not only strengthens our relationships with them, it also nurtures their imagination and confidence. If we think their viewpoints are important, they will too. By discouraging questions and squelching independent thought, we are telling them that they do not have anything valuable to contribute

A boss that rules with an iron fist will lose every independent-thinking employee who can find a better opportunity, leaving him with the “rubber stamps.” In the same way, the quiet, compliant child who never does or says anything to displease you may be an easy 6-year-old, but she may not make a very strong adult.  The parent who runs a house that way will either lose his child when she’s old enough to leave or will raise an adult utterly dependent on a stronger person to tell him what to do.

As a boss or as a parent, you don’t have an obligation to give them the answer they think they want, but you do have a responsibility to listen and help guide their thinking.  Allowing your children to speak their minds in a respectful manner encourages them to develop the thinking skills they will need for the rest of their lives. Don’t shut them down like a tyrant, but don’t let them become dictators. Remember that power cannot persuade the heart.

In business, the most valuable people are those who can solve problems creatively by introducing fresh ideas and solutions. Those who never ask “why” may be too willing to comply with the status quo and are less likely to proffer new solutions. Others are simply not invested enough in the company to care. Understand that it is not your authority that persuades. It is your reasoning and your care.

Expect pushback and welcome it. You are not wasting your time by doing so; you are investing in your child. My daughter often commented to me: “You put me in my place after letting me push back at you. I have always respected you for that.” Seize push back as an opportunity to converse with and motivate your child. I always tried to create an environment where my daughter and her friends could ask unusual questions, and I would try to give thoughtful answers. I was shocked at how many of her friends—friends with loving, supportive parents—responded to this like someone getting a drink of water after a day in the desert. These children craved the opportunity to ask serious questions of adults, such as “How do I navigate through life’s challenges?” “How can I honestly talk with my parents without being judged?” and my personal favorite “How did you and Persephone develop this kind of relationship?”

If all this communication sounds like a lot of work, it is. However, the reward is greater than you can imagine. One day you will look at your child and see a mature, confident adult who is taking care of himself and making a contribution to society. You will also have a strong relationship built on years of talking and listening. I would not trade that for anything.

This is my opinion.  It worked for me and it can work for you.  You just have to try it!

 

Published in Family & Parenthood
Page 1 of 2

Recent Posts

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next

Celebrating 37 Years in the Land of Opportunity

08-27-2013 Leadership

August 27, 1976, seems so long ago but it feels like yesterday....

Read more

Turn “Back to School” to “Back to the Future”

08-20-2013 Parenting Tools & Advice

Another school year just started or is soon to start, and you...

Read more

Two Things to Give Your College-Bound Child

08-14-2013 Parenting Tools & Advice

Two Things to Give Your College - Bound Child! by Chris Efessiou...

Read more

Money Management 101: The College Years

08-08-2013 Business Topics

Congratulations Mom and Dad. You survived the teenage years! You and I...

Read more

Want that Job? 3 Easy Steps to Ace that Interview!

08-01-2013 Business Topics

Want that Job? 3 Easy Steps to Ace that Interview! by Chris...

Read more

Want that Job? 3 Easy Steps to Ace that Interview!

07-30-2013 Business Topics

No, I am not a Human Resource guru, an industrial psychologist, a...

Read more

Will and Kate, 5 Things I wish My Father Had Told Me….. You’re Welcome!

07-23-2013 Family & Parenthood

Now that Will and Kate’s bundle of joy has arrived, I’d like...

Read more

The Bling Ring? It’s Not for Keeps

07-16-2013 Parenting Tools & Advice

If you haven’t heard about the summer movie the Bling Ring–don't fret!...

Read more

The Day the Door Came Off the Hinges

07-09-2013 Family & Parenthood

To a teenager, the door is everything. It’s their direct path to...

Read more
phot phot3 phot2
photoSEIRA2-ARISTERA phot4 photoSEIRA2-DEKSIA


 

ChiefDaddyOfcr Congratulations to my colleagues William Storms and @JudiMiller2010 on their latest publication https://t.co/duTbGMJgvH
ChiefDaddyOfcr More signs that employers are taking healthcare delivery into their own hands. What do you think? https://t.co/AU8Gus4svk
ChiefDaddyOfcr I hope to see you there https://t.co/iu9Rjr1oiV
ChiefDaddyOfcr CVS may save big money because of the new tax bill. How will you or your company fare with the new tax bill? https://t.co/oLjAAC0Vzm
ChiefDaddyOfcr @British_Airways Trying to get BizClass refund and I'm being refused by Shaheem and Bhavya of your call center Pls contact me at [email protected]

Chris Efessiou's Radio Show

straight-logo


Connect With Chris

pinterestThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.