• January 2016

Ring in 2016 by Partying Like a Rock Star — With Celebrity Rocker Michael Franti

We start off the year by celebrating six full years of publishing Be Inkandescent magazine. And, we couldn’t think of a better gift to give our readers than shining the Inkandescent spotlight on the fabulous, uber-positive rock star Michael Franti.

“From his hits, “The Sound of Sunshine,” and “Life Is Better With You,” Franti not only entertains audiences around the world — he spreads a potent message of peace, love, and acceptance. It was an honor to interview him. Click here to listen to our podcast interview. And scroll down to read our Q&A.

Also in this issue: We bring you 16 articles to help you ramp up your positivity quotient as you begin 2016.

  • Best-selling author Dan Pink shows us what it really means to harness our “Drive” in this month’s Book of the Month.
  • Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association gives us insight into the battles fought and won by the suffragist movement, which gave women the right to vote in 1920. Learn more in this month’s History column.
  • Talk about success! Read this month’s Truly Amazing Women article to find out how one of the magazine’s past Entrepreneurs of the Month, USPS leader Shoshana Grove, just landed a new CEO job.
  • For more celebrity insights, you’ll find words of leadership wisdom from one of the founders of The Byrds, Roger McGuinn.

We hope this parting lyric from Michael Franti leaves you inspired as you embark on the new year: “Don’t let mistakes be so monumental, don’t let your love be so confidential, don’t let your mind be so darn judgmental, and please let your heart be more influential. Be thankful for all that the Spirit provides, and be thankful for all that you see without eyes.”

Happy New Year! — Hope Gibbs, publisher, Be Inkandescent

Michael Franti Teaches Us the Meaning of Success

THE MAGIC OF MUSIC: JANUARY 2016

By Hope Katz Gibbs, Publisher, Be Inkandescent Magazine

In his best-selling album, “All People,” American poet, musician, and composer Michael Franti and his band, Spearhead, spread their message of love, peace, and social justice.

The band blends hip-hop with a variety of other styles — including funk, reggae, jazz, folk, and rock — and it serves as a forum for Franti’s outspoken support for a spectrum of peace and social justice issues.

Franti also founded a nonprofit organization, Do It For The Love Foundation, a wish-granting organization that brings people who are in advanced stages of life threatening illnesses, children with severe challenges, and wounded veterans to live concerts.

Scroll down for our Q&A. And click here to listen to our podcast interview on the Inkandescent Radio Network.

Be Inkandescent: Let’s start off talking about your Do It For The Love Foundation. What inspired you and co-founder Sara Agah to create this nonprofit?

Michael Franti: My better half, Sara, is an emergency room nurse, and for the last few years we have been trying to figure out a way to combine what she does in healthcare with my music. Our Do It For The Love Foundation brings people to live concerts who are in an advanced stage of a life-threatening illness, as well as kids with severe challenges and veterans.

The best part of my work with the Foundation is meeting people — such as a young woman who has lymphoma. Although she was an honors student, her disease worsened to the point where she had to stop going to school. A friend of hers got in touch with us and they all flew down to our show as a surprise to her.

When I sat and talked with her, she told me she has lived with pain her whole life, and it is just getting worse and worse. She says she doesn’t have much time to live, but that she is worried about the world, and that if she could take away everyone’s pain even just for 15 minutes, she would take it on herself. I was so moved by hearing this 20-year-old woman say that, and by meeting her younger brother and his friend, who were both 17 and who had pulled off this whole plan to get her here through our Foundation.

Be Inkandescent: That’s a big theme for you, too, the idea of taking on the world’s problems as your own and trying to come up with solutions. What inspired you to have that as your mission?

Michael Franti: When I was a born, my birth mother carried me for nine months and then she held me for one hour and gave me up for adoption to the Franti family. They are second-generation Finnish-Americans who had three kids of their own.

My mother was a public school teacher in California for 30 years, and she was very much a leader in our house. She insisted that even though we were all very different — different heights, different colors, different views on the world — she would treat all of us the same, and we would all have the same opportunities to succeed.

I learned that ethic from her, and I believe it’s the same for the whole world. We all should share the same rights and should be given the same opportunities to succeed.

Be Inkandescent: Tell us more about the work you do traveling around the world to promote your message of love and social justice.

Michael Franti: I’ve played in prisons, schools, on the street, and I’ve found that it doesn’t matter where you play, it doesn’t matter what economic sphere people are in or what their education, culture, language, or religion is … people are the same when the music starts.

You look in their eyes and see smiles, people start to dance, they start to move, eventually people laugh, they cry, they hug their friends. Music really is a universal language. One of my favorite things to do is to travel and play with people of other cultures and other musical experiences that I didn’t know about.

Be Inkandescent: Did you ever think when you were a little kid that you would be doing this?

Michael Franti: It really was not an ambition of mine. Throughout my childhood, all I wanted to do was be a basketball player, and I eventually played basketball at the University of San Francisco. My dorm room was right above the campus radio station, so I’d hear these bass lines coming up through the floor all of the time, and at first it was kind of annoying. Then I started getting the thrill of music, hearing all of these different styles of music coming out of the campus radio station — hip-hop, punk rock, jazz. At 6 a.m. they would play Chinese music only. It was a great musical education.

So I bought a bass and copied what I heard coming up through the floor. Then I started writing lyrics, poems really, and performing these poems with other artists. The mixture of the melody and the chords and the portability of being able to go out onto the street or beach, wherever, and just sit there and play — that’s what I love about it.

Click here to read the rest of our interview!

And don’t miss our Entrepreneurial Tip of the Month: Does Breaking Bread Help Make a Negotiation a Success? Professor Margaret Neale of the Stanford Graduate School of Business explains. Click here to read all about it.

Does Breaking Bread Help Make a Negotiation a Success?

Deals over lunch may be tasty, but here’s why they’re not always smart.

By Elizabeth MacBride
Reporter
Stanford Graduate School of Business

People negotiating a deal commonly have a meal or two together. Sharing a meal seems a gesture of goodwill — after all, who’s going to fight in one sentence and then say, pass the sushi in the next? You might suppose, then, that negotiating while eating can only help bring good deals to fruition.

Not so fast. While such thinking propels the lunchtime scenes everywhere from the Four Seasons in New York City to Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, new research from Stanford Graduate School of Business calls it into question.

Professor Margaret Neale and doctoral student Peter Belmi find that sharing food does help create more valuable deals in competitive negotiations. But in situations that are cooperative, such as when the two parties are friends, meal sharing reduces the overall value of the deal.

What are the two or three lessons a negotiator could draw from this research?

Neale: Food sharing would be one of my tools in my tool kit. Having a meal where you share food would be a good strategy in a competitive situation where there is an adversarial relationship. If you’re going to a lawyer’s office, and it’s you negotiating with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you might want to suggest a plate of cookies on the table. If you are negotiating to end a dispute with another company, plan a meal at a restaurant.

Belmi: On the other hand, if you have a cooperative negotiation, food sharing may facilitate a quick resolution but not necessarily a good resolution. So it might not be a good idea in a cooperative negotiation.

How do you tell the difference between the two?

Belmi: In more competitive negotiations, people want to have the best possible deal for themselves, and typically, they see their counterpart as having adversarial or opposing motives. In cooperative negotiations, typically people are more concerned about reaching an agreement for all parties involved.

Neale: In a competitive situation, you have that assessment that this is going to be really tough. We are really at odds. In the laboratory we can tell folks: This is a very contentious negotiation.

How did you do the research?

Belmi: We told participants they were negotiating in either a competitive or a cooperative situation, and then we asked them to negotiate while they ate food that was either shared or individually served during the interaction. At the end of the exercise, we measured their perception of the interaction and assessed value creation by examining the joint gain created by the two parties. We used apples and caramel sauce in one study, and then we used chips and salsa in another study. What we found is that when people were negotiating in a competitive situation, sharing the food — and by that we mean sharing, not just eating — they created significantly more value. On the other hand, people negotiating in a cooperative situation created less value.

What’s your explanation for what’s going on?

Neale: When you have a competitive negotiation, the added presence of food makes folks uncertain about how to behave. It’s that juxtaposition of that social ritual, which is cooperative, and the negotiation, which is competitive. That disconnect gets people to pay more attention to each other. They realize opportunities to create value that they wouldn’t otherwise.

What happens in the cooperative negotiation? Is everyone just more relaxed and not focused on the deal at hand?

Belmi: In a cooperative negotiation, sharing food creates a comfortable and familiar environment, and people can become more concerned about maintaining that atmosphere rather than finding the best deal. So, food sharing in that situation could restrict important information exchange and distract negotiators from finding the best outcomes. You’re also probably concerned about maintaining the relationship. The deal may be less important.

Does it matter what people eat?

Neale: It is the shared-ness of the food that’s important. In one of the studies, some participants were given their own plates of chips and salsa, and some were given a communal bowl. Those who ate from a communal bowl and were in a competitive negotiation created more value, and those who were in a cooperative situation created less value. It was the communal bowl that made the difference, not eating.

The suggestion might be: If you’re in a competitive negotiation, take someone to an Ethiopian restaurant!

Or, order appetizers. Did this research address the effect of sharing food in cultures outside California?

Neale: We did not look at different cultures specifically; however, the ritual of sharing food among humans is typically a cooperative one — and not just in California or the United States. So, the specific answer to your question is no; however, we would not be surprised if sharing food has a similar effect on negotiators from other countries and other cultures.

Is there more research to be done?

Neale: One area to consider is what happens when people bring the food instead of being given it. Does that affect the status of the giver and the receiver?

Isn’t it possible that sharing anything — not just food — would create the same effect?

Belmi: It’s not the effect of sharing in general. We had study participants share a calculator and didn’t see a similar difference in how our participants approached the negotiation.

What’s different about food, then? The biology? The ritual surrounding it?

Neale: Food sharing is cooperative and communal in a way that sharing a calculator is not. Sharing a calculator is slightly cooperative, but it doesn’t have the same kind of social overlay. With whom do we share food? Our families, people in our social circle. It’s the inconsistency between the competitive negotiation and the cooperative nature of sharing food that makes the difference. The lesson here is that you’re really trying to generate a sense of uncertainty. That helps you pay closer attention to your counterpart, and that, in turn, allows you to find ways to create more value.


Margaret Neale is Adams Distinguished Professor of Management. Peter Belmi, who was a doctoral student in organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business when this article first appeared, is now an assistant professor of leadership and organizational behavior at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. This piece was originally published by Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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

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

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

– Martha Beck

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”

– Lao Tzu

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

– Bruce Lee

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

– Ecclesiastes, 7:10

When a dog runs at you, whistle for him.”

– Henry David Thoreau

We are perfectionists. We are hungry to work all the time. We are entertained by every aspect of business and we never want to stop working.”

– Suzy Welch

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

– J.G. Holland, novelist

Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make Me Feel Important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”

– Mary Kay Ash

Running that first shop taught me business is not financial science; it’s about trading.”

– Anita Roddick, founder, The Body Shop

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

– T.S. Eliot

I’m not afraid of storms,
for I’m learning to sail my ship.”

– Louisa May Alcott

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

– Virginia Woolf

Remove those ‘I want you to like me’ stickers from your forehead
and, instead, place them where they truly will do the most good—on your mirror.”

– Susan Jeffers

If it really was a no-brainer to make it on your own in business there’d be millions of no-brained, harebrained individuals quitting their day jobs.”

– Bill Rancic, "The Apprentice"

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

– James Madison

When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”

– Audre Lorde

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

– Anais Nin

Never never never never give up.”

– Winston Churchill

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

– Leo Jozef Suenens

Don’t follow, lead. Don’t copy, create. Don’t start, finish. Don’t sit still, move. Don’t fit in, stand out. Don’t sit quietly, speak up. (Not all the time, sure, but more often.)”

– Seth Godin

The great use of life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.”

– William James

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

– William Butler Yeats

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

– Albert Einstein

Change is a math formula. Change happens when the cost of the status quo is greater than the risk of change.”

– Alan Webber, author, "Rules of Thumb"

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

– Eleanor Roosevelt

A diamond is a lump of coal that stuck with it.”

– Norwegian proverb

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

– Benjamin Franklin

You must learn to be still in the midst of activity 
and to be vibrantly alive in repose.”

– Indira Ghandi

Entrepreneurs are willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise.”

– Victor Kiam

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

– E.B. White

Inspiration and genius — one and the same.”

– Victor Hugo

Destiny is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

– William Jennings Bryan

To find what you seek in the road of life, leave no stone unturned.”

– Edward Bulwer Lytton

By your stumbling the world is perfected.”

– Sri Aurobindo

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

Most people never pick up the phone and call. Most people never ask, and that’s what separates the people who do things from the people who just dream about them.”

– Steve Jobs

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

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

– Charles Darwin

The music is all around us. All you have to do is listen.”

– August Rush

An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hoping he’ll quickly learn how to chew it.“


– Roy Ash, co-founder of Litton Industries

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

– Magical

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

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

As each woman realizes her power, she transforms the world.”

– Patrice Wynne, WomanSpirit Sourcebook

The journey is the reward.”

– Greg Norman

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which obstacles vanish.”

– John Quincy Adams

Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity.”

– Ray Bradbury

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 world I believed in, back in my most innocent, uninformed, childish mind—is real.”

– Martha Beck

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