• December 2010

Are You Ready to Go Global?

As 2010 comes to a close, our thoughts turn to the future. Experts and entrepreneurs agree that no matter what your business is, you’ll increasingly be impacted by globalization.

That’s why we asked Tom Adams, CEO of Rosetta Stone to be our December Entrepreneur of the Month. As the leader of an international language-learning software firm, he believes that American companies that don’t get on the global bandwagon will certainly be left behind. “While it’s obviously important to speak more than one language, it’s also critical to understand other cultures, employ people from foreign countries, and look five or 10 years ahead—or risk being left in the dust,” he says. Read more of our interview below.

Also in this issue:

Speaking of keeping the peace, Culinaria Cooking School chefs Stephen Sands and Pete Snaith help you keep it in your home by sharing their favorite health-conscious appetizers for the holiday season: Asparagus and Prosciutto Bundles, Eggplant and Tomato Stacks, and Vegetable Napoleon.

We’d also like to introduce you to Drs. John Jones and John Maguire, owners of the new medical office in Northern Virginia, Simplicity Urgent Care. In their first article in Be Inkandescent Magazine, Dr. Jones explains why urgent care centers are filling a critical need. “Dr. Maguire and I know that finding top-notch health care can be complicated, and the last thing patients want to do when they are sick is to navigate a complex structure,” he says. “That’s why we focus on making every visit efficient, and most importantly, simple.” Read more here.

From all of us at Be Inkandescent Magazine, here’s to your good health, prosperity, and success in 2011.

Hope Katz Gibbs
Publisher: Be Inkandescent Magazine / Founder: Inkandescent PR
Illustration (above) by Michael Gibbs: www.michaelgibbs.com

Rosetta Stone CEO Tom Adams Shows Us the Future of the Workforce


Tom Adams, CEO
Rosetta Stone

By Hope Katz Gibbs

Do you speak a foreign language? How about your employees? Have many, or any of them, mastered a second language or lived in a foreign country?

If not, you may be behind the curve in terms of the future of the workforce, believes Tom Adams, president and CEO of Rosetta Stone, Inc.

“Speaking more than one language is no longer just an asset in today’s job market; it is a requirement,” insists Adams, whose company provides interactive solutions that are acclaimed for the power to unlock the natural language-learning ability in everyone. “The United States risks falling behind in the global economy if we do not strive to be a multilingual society.”

Consider this: According to a national survey conducted by Wakefield Research, which was commissioned by Rosetta Stone, more than half (58 percent) of Americans fear that high-paying U.S. jobs will be filled by workers from abroad in the next two decades because of the country’s lack of foreign-language skills.

What’s more, Americans do not consider their lack of foreign-language skills as solely their own challenge; they see it also a challenge for the nation.

And roughly half of Americans think the lack of foreign-language proficiency has put the United States at an economic disadvantage compared to its foreign counterparts.

This perception has become a reality, according to the 2010-2011 “Global Competitiveness Report,” which was released in September. In it, the World Economic Forum found that the United States has become less competitive, falling two positions to fourth place — behind Switzerland, Sweden, and Singapore.

How do parents feel about this international trend? The Wakefield Research report tells us that nearly 60 percent of parents surveyed think that the current role of language instruction in U.S. schools is an afterthought and not prioritized as a core part of curricula, explains Adams.

“Although 70 percent of parents believe that children who have studied a foreign language can introduce themselves in that language, only a third (35 percent) of parents think that their children would know how to ask for directions, and only 20 percent think their child would be able to write a personal letter in the foreign language they have studied at school.”

In fact, 66 percent of parents surveyed believe their children will need to speak Spanish fluently in adulthood, and 34 percent feel that learning Chinese will be increasingly important during the next 50 years; 67 percent of parents reported that they would rather their children learn a second language than play a new sport or a musical instrument.

Find out more about the Wakefield Research study on YouTube.

Rosetta Stone is ready to assist. If Adams has anything to do with it, more Americans will be using Rosetta Stone’s products to learn foreign languages in the coming years. And, more foreign-born folks will be learning English.

The company’s new product, Rosetta Stone® Version 4 TOTALe™ (pronounced tow-TALLY), integrates the well-known Rosetta Course software with access to Rosetta Studio™ sessions. These live, online, conversational coaching sessions are facilitated by native speakers around the world. Their growing online language-learning community will initially be available in 24 languages for learners ages 13 and older.

Adams has translated his personal experience into his business success. The Swedish-born executive has often been the foreigner in the room. But thanks to an immersion program, he was able to make the transition to learning other languages.

“I was born in Stockholm, and my family moved to France when I was a toddler,” he shares. “I didn’t learn English until my parents moved the family to England when I was 10. It was weird being an ESOL student, but I loved being immersed in a language and culture until you come to understand what is going on.”

Adams went on to get a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Bristol University in England, and he worked as a commodities merchant in Mongolia before receiving his MBA from INSEAD, which bills itself as the “Business School for the World.” When he met the owners of Rosetta Stone in 2003, it was a perfect match.

“Rosetta Stone was the brainchild of Allen Stoltzfus, who was trying to learn Russian back in the early 1980s, but became frustrated with his slow progress,” Adams explains. “He knew there was a better way to learn a language, through immersion, which he had experienced years earlier while studying in Germany.”

Stoltzfus’ command of German was a direct result of being a part of the culture and the world of Germany, instead of sitting in a classroom. He immersed himself in the language, and learned German the way he had acquired his first language — naturally and without translation.

He envisioned unlocking the natural language ability in everyone by using computer technology to simulate the way people learn their native language ― with no translation. Stoltzfus explored the possibilities with his brother-in-law, John Fairfield, who had a Ph.D. in computer science. While Fairfield loved the idea, he and Stoltzfus had to wait until technology caught up with their vision.

That came in 1992, with the development of CD-ROMs. The Fairfield family came together to form Fairfield Language Technologies in Harrisonburg, Va. Stoltzfus recruited his brother, Eugene Stoltzfus, from the world of architecture to be the company’s first president. They named their product “Rosetta Stone,” after the artifact that had unlocked the secrets of Egyptian hieroglyphics for linguists.

Stoltzfus died in 2002, and Adams was hired shortly after to be CEO. After spending three years running the company, in 2006 he and his team decided to sell the company to the investment firms ABS Capital Partners and Norwest Equity Partners.

Today, Rosetta Stone is headquartered in Arlington, VA, and has offices in the Shenandoah Valley and Boulder, CO, as well as London and Tokyo. Adams says that more foreign offices are on the horizon.

What advice does Adams have for business leaders? Click here to read his Tips for Entrepreneurs.

Insights on business from Rosetta Stone CEO Tom Adams

By Hope Katz Gibbs

It has been said that Rosetta Stone CEO Tom Adams is a born entrepreneur.

In true British style, the Swede who grew up in France before moving with his parents to England at the age of 10, raises an eyebrow at the idea. But then confides that he believes it’s a possibility.

“I think being a good entrepreneur is an instinct,” says Adams from his Rosslyn, VA headquarters, an office that takes up the seventh floor of a high-security building overlooking the Potomac River. “But sometimes it takes a while to realize that running a company is your life’s calling.”

Adams actually thought he’d grow up to be a lawyer. “Law is a profession that trades in words, and when you don’t speak the native language it’s very hard to accomplish that goal,” he admits. “But I always have been up for a challenge, so when I moved to England when I was a child and didn’t speak any English, it seemed like something I should set my sights on.”

After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Bristol University in England, Adams’ dream moved closer to reality when when he landed a job as an assistant at a law firm. “However, I realized pretty quickly that I didn’t want to be a lawyer.”

So the then-20something set a new goal. He had already dabbled in a few entrepreneurial ventures, such as buying property, and he liked being an investor. That led him to join a commodity merchant house that bought and sold minerals and oil. For the next six years, he lived in Mongolia and eventually became the chief negotiator who worked with miners to sort through the international relations deals required to sell the country’s major exports: copper, livestock, and cashmere.

He continued to try his hand at entrepreneurship using his Mongolian connections. “I helped my mom, who was then 55, set up a cashmere import company in Sweden,” he says. “She was a language teacher, and had a knack for business. It was a huge success.”

Adams also invested in a livestock company with a friend, and while that didn’t turn out to be as profitable as he hoped, it was a great learning experience. “I knew at 28 that running a company was what I was supposed to do with my life.”

That’s when Adams decided to enroll in business school. He got his MBA at the internationally renowned INSEAD, a school that required its students to speak three languages, and it only took one year to graduate.

“It was the perfect fit,” Adams recalls.

After graduating, he landed a job at Enron in September 2001 — five days after the company’s president, Jeffrey Skilling, was fired.

“I turned up for work, and they forgot they had hired me,” he says. “Then came the tragedy of 9/11, and then Enron went down in flames. As the whole thing spiraled out of control, it took me a few months to get my head around what I’d do next.”

Deep down, Adams knew he wanted to start his own company. “I also knew that embarking on a brand new venture could be a lonely, exhausting experience,” he notes, so he went looking for a job where he could maximize his multilingual skills, global business experience, and entrepreneurial spirit.

Soon after, he met the leaders of Rosetta Stone. “The company had gained a reputation as an effective language-learning tool,” he explains. “The core belief of the founders was that learning a language should be natural and instinctive, and that interactive technology can replicate and activate the immersion method powerfully for learners of any age.”

In the last seven years, Adams has helped Rosetta Stone grow into one of the world’s leading language-learning solution providers, offering more than 30 different languages to millions of people in more than 150 countries.

In recognition of his accomplishments, Adams was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2008 Award Winner in Greater Washington.

What advice does Adams offer other entrepreneurs?

1. Be a visionary. Most entrepreneurs are “big picture people.” Know that and get good at having others be creative and come up with solutions, but guide them through the process. You’ll accomplish your goals, and build a strong team that feels valued.

2. Ask the impossible of very smart people. Of course, you want to be sure that you have the best and the brightest on your team. That means hiring people who are tops in their field. As the world goes global, it’s easier to hire foreigners who bring a new set of skills and ideas to the company. Don’t be shy about looking abroad for talent.

3. Don’t be afraid to be bold. Taking risks is practically the definition of what it means to be a successful entrepreneur. You have to have the heart, soul, and guts to stand up to conventional thinking. Don’t be afraid. Just do it.

4. Allow your subordinates to challenge you. I never think I have all the answers. As a boss, I think it’s important to create a culture where you let your subordinates challenge you. One of the core beliefs at Rosetta Stone is “speak up, speak out.” I am very careful about whom I hire because I’m going to listen to their advice.

5. Always have a seat at the table. While it’s tempting to have your second-in-command handle some of the day-to-day business, be sure you are at every important meeting that takes place. This will keep your hand in what’s really going on in your company, and it will enable you to know when changes need to be made.

6. Building a successful business is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. Keep it interesting, keep working hard, and stay dedicated to your mission. That’s what I plan to do with Rosetta Stone, and I can’t wait to see what we’ll develop into in the next 20 years.

About the Historic Rosetta Stone

The Rosetta Stone is an Ancient Egyptian granodiorite stele engraved with an inscription that records a decree issued at Memphis, Egypt in 196 BC on behalf of King Ptolemy V. The decree appears in three scripts: the upper one is in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the middle one in Egyptian demotic script, and the lower text in ancient Greek. Because it presents essentially the same text in all three scripts (albeit with some differences between them), it provided the key to the modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Originally displayed within a temple, the stele was probably moved during the early Christian or medieval period, and eventually used as building material in the construction of Fort Julien near the town of Rashid (Rosetta) in the Nile Delta.

It was rediscovered there in 1799 by a soldier of the French expedition to Egypt. As the first ancient bilingual text recovered in modern times, the Rosetta Stone aroused widespread public interest with its potential to decipher the hitherto untranslated ancient Egyptian language. Lithographic copies and plaster casts began circulating amongst European museums and scholars.

Meanwhile, British troops defeated the French in Egypt in 1801, and the original stone came into British possession under the Capitulation of Alexandria. Transported to London, it has been on public display at the British Museum since 1802. It is the most-visited object in the British Museum.

Ever since its rediscovery, the stone has been the focus of nationalist rivalries, including its transfer from French to British possession during the Napoleonic Wars, a long-running dispute over the relative value of Young’s and Champollion’s contributions to the decipherment, and since 2003, demands for the stone’s return to Egypt.

Study of the decree was already under way as the first full translation of the Greek text appeared in 1803. It was 20 years, however, before the decipherment of the Egyptian texts was announced by Jean-François Champollion in Paris in 1822; it took longer still before scholars were able to read other ancient Egyptian inscriptions and literature confidently.

Major advances in the decoding were: recognition that the stone offered three versions of the same text (1799); that the demotic text used phonetic characters to spell foreign names (1802); that the hieroglyphic text did so as well, and had pervasive similarities to the demotic (Thomas Young, 1814); and that, in addition to being used for foreign names, phonetic characters were also used to spell native Egyptian words (Champollion, 1822–1824).

Two other fragmentary copies of the same decree were discovered later, and several similar Egyptian bilingual or trilingual inscriptions are now known, including two slightly earlier Ptolemaic decrees (the Decree of Canopus in 238 BC, and the Memphis decree of Ptolemy IV, ca. 218 BC). The Rosetta Stone is therefore no longer unique, but it was the essential key to modern understanding of ancient Egyptian literature and civilization. The term Rosetta Stone is now used in other contexts as the name for the essential clue to a new field of knowledge.

Read more here.

The biggest flaw in our existing theory of capitalism lies in its misrepresentation of human nature.”

– Muhammad Yunus

What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?”

– Jim Butcher, White Night

Ripeness is all.”

– William Shakespeare

Entrepreneurs willingly assume responsibility for the success or failure of a venture and are answerable for all its facets.”

– Victor Kiam

Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost.”

– Robert H. Schuller

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

– Christopher Robin to Pooh

I may not be able to change what takes place, but I can always choose to change my thinking.”

– Michelle Sedas

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

– Thomas Edison

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

– Dalai Lama

Do not be afraid of mistakes, providing you do not make the same one twice.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.”

– Helen Keller

Traveling is one way of lengthening life, at least in appearance.”

– Benjamin Franklin

A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.”

– Albert Schweitzer

Part of your destiny is to live in the zone of maximum satisfaction.”

– Martha Beck

If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.”

– Robert Fritz

A truly forgiving person is someone who experiences all the anger merited by injustice and still acts with fairness and compassion.”

– Martha Beck

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.”

– Steve Jobs, Apple, Inc.

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

– Anais Nin

We never know how high we are
 till we are called to rise;
 And then, if we are true to plan,
 Our statures touch the skies.”

– Emily Dickinson

Death is to lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.”

– Thomas Wolfe

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.”

– Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., U.S. Supreme Court justice

If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.”

– Anna Quindlen

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

– Winston Churchill

‎Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.”

– Booker T. Washington

If you want to be busy, keep trying to be perfect. If you want to be happy, focus on making a difference.”

– Lisa Earle McLeod

Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!”

– Andrew Carnegie

You’ve got to be willing to crash and burn. If you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.”

– Steve Jobs

If you do not tell the truth about yourself
, you cannot tell it about other people.”

– Virginia Woolf

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

– Thomas Edison

Whosoever knows how to fight well is not angry. Whosoever knows how to conquer enemies does not fight them.”

– Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

‎The biggest flaw in our existing theory of capitalism lies in its misrepresentation of human nature.”

– Muhammad Yunus

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

– Charles Darwin

The quality of your life is directly related to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with.”

– Tony Robbins

But all the while I was alone, the past was close behind, I seen a lot of women, but she never escaped my mind, and I just grew, tangled up in blue.”

– Bob Dylan

Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”

– Basil King

This is the age when magical technologies make more and more radically fun ideas plausible, even easy. You’re only limited by your creativity.”

– Martha Beck

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

– Nelson Mandela

Do not say, ‘why were the former days better than these,’ for it is not from wisdom that you ask this.”

– Ecclesiastes, 7:10

Challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth. Tame the dragon and the gift is yours.”

– Noela Evans

Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.”

– Leon Joseph Suenens

No longer talk at all about the kind of man a good man ought to be, but be such.”

– Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

A lot of people have ideas, but few decide to do something about them now. Not next week. But today.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Atari

Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.”

– Albert Einstein

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”

– Magical

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

– Mark Twain

They who give have all things. They who withhold have nothing.”

– Hindu Proverb

I can’t go back to yesterday—because I was a different person then.”

– Lewis Carroll

Let us seize the day and the opportunity and strive for that greatness of spirit that measures life not by its disappointments but by its possibilities.”

– W.E.B. Du Bois

Do you have the desire to create something new; the strength of conviction to believe your creation will be successful, and the reservoir of energy necessary to thrust it into the marketplace?”

– Steven Schussler

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