How to handle boards of directors and board meetings is a challenge many CEO’s face and one that Alex has helped many leaders navigate. Alex helps CEO’s deal with sensitive issues at board meetings, keeping competing interests in perspective, and aligning boards with company missions. This photo recently appeared in a feature article on managing and rebuilding boards for the national magazine Chronicle of Philanthropy. .more
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Swiss Marijuana
July 2001


Dear Clients and Colleagues,

During these mid-summer days, vacation thoughts vie with the eternal challenges of making a living. I have just returned from Europe where my son is a summer intern at a Swiss bank. As usual when traveling abroad, I learned some interesting things.

For example, I was surprised to learn marijuana is now legal in Switzerland. Yep, head shops are all over Bern, the capital. The wafting, distinctive aroma of burning Mary Jane floats down an elegant shopping street as freely as the yeasty smells of baking bread glide down Main Street. Told it was available for "medicinal" purposes, by the smell of things when I was there, quite a few people were feeling poorly. Regardless of this legal liberalization, Swiss banks continue to operate efficiently; public clocks are always accurate and Swiss chocolate is as tasty as ever.

The "conservative" Swiss are wondering how much longer before their farmers can grow it legally. Swiss skies, they note, and soil make for really great weed. Meanwhile, a New York friend tells me how intense the drug scene has become in Manhattan. She noted recent killings of innocents in the crossfire near Carnegie Hall and mentioned sky-high prices as part of the problem for what is easily available and affordable in Switzerland. What a world of twists and turns we live in! What's perfectly acceptable in one place has murderous implications in another. Wow.

HOW'S A CEO TO KNOW WHAT TO DO?

Many Americans could care less about what is happening in Switzerland, but I think it's relevant to notice how society is changing. Certainly, as professionals and leaders, being aware of cultural trends is as important as understanding economic ones.

When coaching executives, I find those who go furthest fastest are curious about the world around them. They read a diversity of subject material and listen well. Every leader I know wonders what the next major trend will be and how to create a company that will compete more effectively tomorrow. Futurists, economists and astrologers seem to have about the same ratio of success, making it very difficult to know whom to believe. And with cultural trends changing constantly, it is a challenge to stay on top of what's happening. Note the Swiss situation: What used to be a prison sentence is now society's good herb.

SOME THINGS ARE UNIVERSAL AND ALWAYS

No matter what else changes, a few things never change. You can be certain of this: No matter what else is happening in the world, how well you present and communicate your ideas is as critical today as it was yesterday and will be again tomorrow. This will not change. Good speakers, good communicators practice constantly. That's where LodeStar Universal may be a valuable resource for you. One of the things we do, besides consulting and executive coaching, is work with people in organizations to improve presentations, communication and marketing. - What are you doing today to ensure you are at the top of your game when it comes to speaking, marketing your company or selling yourself and your ideas?

LodeStar Universal has become well known for the Entrepreneur's Money Raising Road Shows, helping entrepreneurs raise millions of dollars. We don't say we work miracles, although sometimes our clients seem to think so. These folks pitch to a highly discriminating crowd, and we are able to make a difference. We also specialize in financial presentations, with publicly traded companies. We help them communicate more effectively with the analyst community during road shows. Again, a difficult audience.

Can you imagine that if our methods are successful in this tough environment, that we could easily help you do a better job of presenting almost anything? You bet we can! And more!

If you or anyone you know is facing challenges in Sales, Marketing, Executive Presentations, Financial Road Shows, Customer Service, please consider learning how LodeStar Universal can help you-or refer you to one of our many colleagues. Call us today at 214.696.3510 to find out more. And please consider Alex Ramsey as the keynote speaker at your next association or corporate meeting. One way to reach and inspire a wider range of employees is to have them hear the same message together. I have a repertoire of topics on peak performance, male and female communication, glass ceilings, marketing and leadership that almost any audience will find of immense value. Remember, how you use and communicate the change that is inevitable is up to you.

Peace and prosperity,

Alex B. Ramsey
President, LodeStar Universal

P.S. Email me at alex.b.ramsey@lodestaruniversal.com or call me at 214.696.3510 if you would like to receive my article You Can't Change the World, You Can Change You, describing several strategies to create more ease and harmony in your life.

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