• 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.

Friendship is the only cement that will hold the world together.”

– Woodrow Wilson

The follow-your-gut mentality of the entrepreneur has the potential to take you anywhere you want to go or run you right out of business.”

– Bill Rancic, "The Apprentice"

I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.”

– Thomas Edison

The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Chuck E. Cheese's

If you were independently wealthy and never had to work a day in your life, would you still choose to spend your time attempting to become a successful entrepreneur?”

– Steven Schussler

Of course there is no formula for success except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.”

– Arthur Rubinstein

Success is about finding a livelihood that brings joy, self-sufficiency, and a sense of contributing.”

– Anita Roddick

A warrior cannot complain or regret anything. His life is an endless challenge, and challenges cannot possibly be good or bad. Challenges are simply challenges.”

– Carlos Castaneda

If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius.”

– Joseph Addison

Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.”

– Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies

How do you stay resilient? It’s about momentum. Like riding a bicycle. If you stop you fall over. So I keep pedaling.”

– Diane Lane

If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more.
 If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”

– Oprah Winfrey

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

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Atari

That man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.”

– Henry David Thoreau

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.”

– Henry Miller

A man who strikes first admits that his ideas have given out.”

– Chinese Proverb

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

Some things are destined to be—it just takes us a couple of tries
to get there.”

– J.R. Ward, Lover Mine

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

– Albert Einstein

A people who mean to be their Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

– James Madison

The fixity of a habit is generally in direct proportion to its absurdity.”

– Marcel Proust

If you would create something,
 you must be something.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.”

– Annie Dillard

If it isn’t good, let it die. If it doesn’t die, make it good.”

– Ajahn Chah

It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.”

– Alfred Adler

The man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.”

– Andrew Carnegie

Many people prefer to play it safe when it comes to business matters. Are you willing to take risks in the pursuit of entrepreneurial success?”

– Steven Schussler

The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”

– Bruce Lee

I don’t do very well without fear. There needs to be a part of me saying, ‘That’s going to fail,’ so I can prove myself wrong.”

– Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe

I have spent a good part of my life convincing people that a blank sheet of paper is the greatest opportunity in the world, and not frightening at all.”

– Marty Skler, executive vp, Walt Disney Imagineering

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

– Jim Butcher, White Night

It is possible to fail in many ways…while to succeed is possible only in one way.”

– Aristotle

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

– Victor Kiam

As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

– Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”

– E.B. White

Tolerance and patience should not be read as signs of weakness. They are signs of strength.”

– The Dalai Lama

We need to learn to set our course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.”

– General Omar Bradley

That which grows fast withers as rapidly; that which grows slowly endures.”

– J.G. Holland, novelist

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

– Eleanor Roosevelt

The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Chuck E. Cheese's

Letting go of expectations is a ticket to peace. It allows us to ride over every crisis—small or large—like a beach ball on water.”

– Martha Beck

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

– Martin Luther King Jr.

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly,
 what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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

– Andrew Carnegie

Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now.”

– Jack Kerouac

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. 
Now put foundations under them.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Speaking more than one language is no longer just an asset in today’s job market; it is a requirement.”

– Tom Adams, CEO, Rosetta Stone

A person who learns to juggle six balls will be more skilled than the person who never tries to juggle more than three.”

– Marilyn vos Savant

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

– Michelle Sedas

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

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