Major progress in removing toxic chemicals from consumer products

Great news heard this morning on CBS.

Noting that Johnson & Johnson recognizes the toxic chemicals in their products and have stated they will remove them from all their products by 2015.

So relieved to see they have admitted it and will have toxic chemicals removed from Baby products by 2013 and the rest of their products by 2015.

We have tolerated (most likely without full knowledge or disclosure) these chemicals because of synthetics having a lower price tag.

In order for us to use non-toxic shampoo, soap, moisturizers etc, we have to up the ante and pay more for safety.

What is right with this picture?  What is wrong with this picture.

We call ourselves ‘mitigatetoxins’ on Twitter for a reason.

Joy to J&J now hoping the rest of the industry follows suit.


Why Managers Are Bottlenecks

Flowchart diagram

Image via Wikipedia

Why Managers Are Bottlenecks

Posted by Jeff Hajek, May 15, 2011

Quite often, whether on the shop floor or in the office, a process grinds to a halt when frontline employees have to go seek manager approval for something. Whether it is for spending that exceeds a prescribed threshold, when two employees want to swap work stations to stay fresh, or to sign off on a repaired product after a defect is corrected, if a manager is not immediately available, work flow is disrupted.

In some cases, the manager even intentionally develops a batch process to avoid interruptions. Perhaps she reviews all new spending requests on Thursday morning. Great if you come up with an idea on Wednesday afternoon, but not so good if you have your flash of brilliance at the start of the shift on Friday.

So, to combat the review processes in your company, I recommend you look at every manager approval your organization requires. The goal is to determine the underlying reason that the check is in place. Then, see if any of the assumptions that drive the review process are valid, or if they are obstacles that can be removed.

Why go through this drill? For two main reasons. The first, as mentioned in the opening paragraph, is that approval processes disrupt flow. They also add copious amounts of waste. The manager is interrupted and has to figure out what is going on, which takes their time. And, of course, there is also the time the employee spends explaining what is happening, or gathering and documenting information. Plus, and perhaps most problematic, when a file is sitting in a stack waiting to be looked at, a customer is frequently not being served.

The second, and far more important reason, though, is that approvals send the wrong message to employees. If you want a continuous improvement culture with an empowered workforce making decisions that strengthen the company, leaders have to actually give authority to their teams. Requiring sign-offs, especially for minor things, doesn’t scream empowerment.

Some common reasons approval processes exist include:

  • Lack of a Process: Some managers use ‘gut feel’ decision making. For example, when deciding whether to let someone have a day off of work, a manager probably considers several factors, but likely doesn’t use the same criteria each and every time. By defining a process, a team could easily develop its own vacation process and manage it themselves.
  • Lack of Training: When a process is in place, but is not known by teams, it is the same as having no process. Teach teams how to think the same way that a manager does, and they will get the same results.
  • Access to Information: Managers generally have access to more information than employees do. A prime example is the budget. An employee making a decision about a purchase may not know where the team is in terms of expenses. Give your teams more information, and they will make better decisions. When they are thinking in terms of actual dollars, they will also be more likely to weigh the costs and benefits of the decision, and will even filter out some of their requests on their own.
  • Risk: Asking someone to take risks requires that they get more substantial rewards. Many people will feel uncomfortable making decisions ‘above their pay grade’. Managers should keep the riskier decisions to themselves, but in truth, most frontline employees don’t want to take on deciding whether to roll out a new product or where to build a factory. They would, however, love to be able to decide to purchase a new computer monitor to replace one with a bad flicker. And they don’t want to have to jump through a bunch of hoops.
  • General Convention (AKA “We’ve always done it that way”): History is tough to overcome. If the best answer you can find about why a manager makes a decision is that the manager before made that decision, it is time to work on eliminating that approval process.
  • Psychological Factors: Some managers like having power. They like having control. They like feeling important. There’s probably even a psychological term that describes how people lacking control in one area of their lives grasp onto it in another area to compensate. This situation is particularly hard to deal with because reason and logic often don’t play a major role. If you suspect this is the case, an anonymous request to a more senior leader for a specific process improvement project, or a conversation with a trusted mentor or HR rep can help get this barrier removed.
  • Fear: When a manager has been bitten by a problem in the past, he is less likely to give up control in the future. Look at the reasons for past issues, and consider the root causes that led to the failure. You’ll find that most of those reasons could have been prevented by clearly defining a policy or process, and by making sure employees knew, understood, and followed it.
  • A Mandate: Often, a manager must approve something because of a mandate. Perhaps a director in the finance department saw an increase in overnight shipment charges, and got a policy implemented that requires all ‘red’ shipments to be signed off on by a manager. Mandates like this, though, are seldom passed after a visit to gemba, the specific place where the actual work is being done. Many mandates are established in a conference room. Try this: Mandate that all mandates be physically signed off on the shop floor after speaking to a frontline employee, and more than a few probably would end up in the trashcan.
  • Lack of Trust: While it is seldom explicitly stated, a common driver for approvals is that many managers simply do not trust their employees to make good decisions. Trust, though, is often just the surface reason. It often is related to another item from this list. Solve that underlying issue, and the trust problems tend to dissipate. Keep in mind, though, that trust issues are amplified when there is an adversarial relationship between managers and their teams.
  • Crime: This is the elephant in the room. Some leaders think that employees will steal if not monitored. The question, though, is whether employees act unscrupulously at a higher rate than managers. I’ve never seen any data that shows that ethical behavior is correlated to rank. In fact, if I were to gamble, I would bet that more total dollars in losses are related to criminal activity that comes from white collar crimes at higher levels than from ethical lapses originating on the shop floor. Regardless, in cases where there may be a temptation, consider using peer review to have teams police themselves.
  • Legal and Regulatory Requirements: Sorry. Not much to be done here. Just make sure that a qualified expert has reviewed the legal statutes and regulations, and that there is, in fact, a requirement for manager approval. Sometimes, misinterpretation creates more work.

So, again, I recommend that you take a look at each and every approval process, and determine what would need to happen to remove that need for authorization. If you want a truly empowered workforce, they have to have the authority to make decisions on their own.

Now, I am certainly not saying to just eliminate all approvals tomorrow, but I do firmly believe that it will be good for your company in the long run to improve your processes so approvals by managers become unnecessary. Just get it into your mindset that approvals are a warning sign of poor processes.

My challenge to you, before you leave this webpage, is to commit in your mind to one approval process that you will start working to eliminate. I’d love to hear the process that you are going to work to resolve. Let me know what it is at

This article originally appeared on Jeff’s Gotta Go Lean blog.

You are a Rolls Royce, which model are you?

Remember, no one can make you feel inferior with out your consent – Eleanor Roosevelt

”By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before.” Edwin Elliot

Find your strengths and use them in a positive way.

Travel the road that you have chosen and don’t look back with regret. You have to take chances to make your dreams happen.

Remember that there is plenty of time to travel another road – and still another – in your journey through life.

Take the time to find the route that is right for you. You will learn something valuable from every trip you take, so don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

Tell yourself that you’re okay just the way you are. Make friends who respect your true self.

Take the time to be alone, too, so you can know just how terrific your own company can be.

Remember that being alone doesn’t always mean being lonely; it can be a beautiful experience of finding your creativity, your heartfelt feelings, and the calm and quiet peace deep inside you.

Don’t ever forget that you are special and you have within you the ability to make your dreams come true.

~ Jacqueline Schiff ~


What is Real Success?

Catch the wave in Daytona Beach

This just landed in my inbox from Positive Thoughts (receive new thoughts daily) and felt today was the day to post.  Very thought provoking.  Enjoy this section by Tim

Everyone wants success, and yet they often
don’t know when they have it.

For most, it is the maddening chase toward a better way of  life or more of something.
More fame, power, recognition, money or material stuff.

For some, it is the understanding of a loving partner, the love of their child, or the people that they can count on when life throws them a curve.

I am coming to believe that success is not more material wealth, but peace, happiness, contentment, and love. Most of all love.

Real success is not to be sought after in the outer world, but discovered in your inner world. I am not condemning the stuff of life. We all want the things that life offers.

But we don’t need as much as we think we do.   Sooner or later you will discover that real success is friends, strangers, and anyone who crosses our path.
It is kindness shared, support given and received, listening, giving, and caring.

These will endure while your car rusts, your toys break, and you tire of the temporary gratifications that bring you what you think is real.

What matters is people.
What lasts is love.
What counts are true friends, and if you treasure these
you can count yourself a success.

What is Real Success? by: Tim

Conquer Fear

The Power of Conquering Fear – By Myles W. Miller

“You must do the thing that you fear until the fear of that thing becomes no more.”  – Brian Tracy

One day, not too long ago, I was in the middle of a 5 day fast. I was looking for spiritual answers to some situations that I was facing. On the third day, I got hit with the truth:  my attention that my life and motives had been based on fear.

I had feared that people would not love me if I stood up for myself. I had feared that people would not understand me when I needed them to. I had feared that failure would always overtake my efforts in life no matter how well I performed. Ultimately, I feared being a complete and total failure in life.

It was very shocking for me to come to this realization. I had always felt that I had a natural zest for life, but there was always a “glass ceiling” that I just could not seem to break through. I could always “see” what I could be, but actually becoming that person often eluded me.

Fear is a great paralyzer. It lulls one into believing that gloom and doom are always “inevitable.” Fear causes great people to accept mediocrity. It also causes death and destruction to lives and dreams of most people. Where there is overwhelming procrastination, there is fear.

Where there is great anger, there is fear. Where there is extreme hatred, there is fear. Where there is complacency, there is fear. Where there was failure, ultimately, fear was there.

That brought me back to something else that I never consciously realized; that fear is a mind-set. Thus, anything that is set in your mind got there from a thought or set of thoughts. However, thoughts can be corrected by consciously choosing to think better thoughts. If you constantly fear that you are going to be “sick,” you are going to be “sick.” So to correct your “sickness” before it happens, start consciously choosing “healthy” thoughts.

This ideology holds true in most walks of life. Henry Ford, world-renowned industrialist and automotive pioneer, once stated, “Whether you think that you can or you can’t, you’re right.” Ford often successfully overcame fear. You see, he only had a sixth grade education.

By most standards, he would have been considered illiterate and ignorant. Mr. Ford was so “ignorant,” that he committed himself to the “outrageous” dream of building automobiles with little formal education. Ford was so “ignorant,” that he pioneered the “V” shaped engine, something that his “smart” engineers said “couldn’t” be done. In essence, Ford was so “ignorant,” until he forgot to “fear” things that most people with his set of “limitations” were supposed to.

I’m pretty sure that there is somebody out there right now driving their family vehicle to a job that is murdering their dreams of greatness. These people are probably 1000 times “smarter” than Henry Ford was. So “smart” that they think “security” is going to come by working for someone else the rest of their lives. I sincerely believe and teach people to be bold in their journey through life. Boldness breaks the bondage of fear. Boldness is defined as the willingness to face risk fearlessly.

What do you have dreams of doing or being? What is holding you back? For the first question, I know some people will answer things becoming a singer, writing a book, starting a new business, buying a new car, and etc. However, for the second question, I know that tons of fear-based excuses will come up.

Things like, “I’m too old,” “I’m too young,” “I’m a woman,” “I’m Black,” “I don’t have a lot of money,” and the like. In this article, I have been spiritually led to tell you the truth. Your boldness will lead you to the result of question one, and defeat the untruths of question two. World-renowned writer, speaker, and pastor, Joyce Meyer, describes fear as “False Evidence Appearing Real.”

The truth of the matter is that success knows no such boundaries as race, sex, age, gender, creed, or religious preference. Thus there is no reason for fear to keep you in bondage anymore. The following are five steps to unleashing your power over F.E.A.R.

5 Steps to Unleashing Your Power Over Fear

  1. Become “ignorant” to fear
  2. Don’t let fear have time to think
  3. Always speak faith and belief
  4. Create and maintain a positive outlook of yourself
  5. Continue to execute the thing(s) that you fear until fear disappears

Become “ignorant” to fear:

Fear appears in many different forms. It can come from negative self (i.e. “I can’t do this,” “I’m not good at this,” etc.). It can come from negative media forecasts (i.e. bad predictions of the economy, bad weather reports, reports of murder, etc.). Remember the story of Henry Ford? He could have been nothing in this lifetime because of what he could not do, but his fears took a back seat to his ability to ignore any ideas that were not in congruence with his dream. Therefore, you must mute the voice of fear by limiting (or completely eliminating) your contact with fear-causing entities.

Don’t let fear have time to think:

Thoughts are powerful. A single thought can be responsible for life or death in this world. And anything that you think about long enough will find its way into the physical realm. Therefore, if you were to spend time thinking about the things that you want out of life (I mean conscious concentrate), you begin to see them. Conversely, the same is true for the things that you don’t want in life. Commit your time to faith and believing, not fear and doubt.

Always speak faith and belief:

To frame your own world free of debilitating fear, always think, act, and speak positively in faith and belief. Be bold and say things as you want them to be in your life. If it is a new house you want, say it! If it is a new car you want, say it! If it is a successful family life you want, say it! If it is a better job that you want, say it!

Create and maintain a positive outlook of yourself:

I have a motto that goes like this: “If I know who and what I am, no one can tell me who and what I am not!” No matter what the world has decided to think about me, I have decided to think great thoughts about myself. Therefore, I am free of world’s often limiting belief system. I don’t worry about things like weather reports, poor economic forecasts, what celebrity just went to jail, and who does not believe in my dreams, because if God is for me, who or what can be against me (Romans 8:31)? Decide who and what you are right now and do not be moved negativity.

Continue to execute the thing(s) that you fear until fear disappears:

Success is active. Action dispels fear. If you sit still, fear has the time to paralyze your abilities and efforts, ultimately causing you to fail. Continue to move toward your goals with great diligence and great courage!

Good luck and may success embrace you!

© 2004 Myles W. Miller for Lion Heart Enterprises

** To comment on this article or to read comments about this article,
go here.

About the Author:

Myles W. Miller is an accomplished author of countless articles and short stories on success, motivation, and empowerment. He conducts dynamic seminars and workshops and is available for speaking engagements and telephone coaching sessions. He can be contacted via phone at (877) 769-6595 ext. 418, via e-mail at or via mail at P.O. Box 4514, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-4514.

How Thoughts Work by Stephanie Dowrick

How Thoughts Work.

thoughts are things and things have wings

Posted: 13 Jul 2010 06:08 AM PDT

You can’t change unhelpful attitudes unless you understand how thoughts work.

This is something to experience- not just read about.

When you catch yourself thinking the same thought or small collection of thoughts repeatedly, especially when they are affecting your mood or outlook negatively , sit back and watch them.

”Watching your thoughts”, you will become aware of several things:

Your thoughts are running on a loop.  When you are anxious or preoccupied the same ”thought” tends to appear with monotonous regularity.

You can observe your thoughts; they are not who you are ! (As the observer, you can ”direct” them differently.)

Thoughts drive emotions : as you think , so you will feel.

Even when your repetitive thoughts seem to be the product of your anxiety, know that it is the thoughts that are feeding the anxiety rather than the other way around.

If you want to think and feel differently, it is immensely freeing to experience that:

Your thoughts are not inevitable.

Your thoughts are self-made.

Thoughts affect mood -not the other way around… Stephanie Dowrick.

Allergy sufferers, fight nature with nature, achieve relief

Reports of pollen are growing in the southern states. They are high in central Florida and many citizens complaining.  This means horrible suffering to many people.

Please consider a natural, non-toxic approach to fighting the ill effects of allergies.  There are a few out there but we strongly recommend CounterAct(R) for its inherent healing properties.  Tea tree oil is engineered into the product.

Tea tree oil is the strongest naturally occurring astringent, antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic known to man.  Healing properties beat out the toxic chemicals in most prescriptions and over the counter ‘remedies’.

This, along with the day and night cold solution, are highly recommended.  You can get more information at or contact me.

You are meant to enjoy life to the fullest.  Allow nature to sync with nature and your relief!

No Matter How Busy You Are by Jim Rohn

Very Busy

No matter how busy you are, make sure to find some time over the next week to reflect, think, give and plan.

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is the ideal time for this. Try to slow things down. Spend time with the ones you love and care about. Take some time to talk with your spouse and kids about goals and dreams for the next year. Use this as a time to recharge your batteries (and not just by watching TV the entire time), and with excitement, think about a handful of changes or additions you want for your life in the new year.

I believe you will find the act of reflecting, thinking, dreaming and planning (with your family) to be one of the most important exercises you can do that will positively impact the next 12 months.

And, remember, do not neglect to commit yourself to set this time aside, or you will find that the business of life can and will get in the way.

So, let’s all take a moment to gather up the past year of victories and defeats, growing as well as those times of stagnation, and use it to wipe a clean slate and thoughtfully design the next year the way we truly desire it to be.

Adopt a Soldier, gifting them improves your self worth

You can have best of both worlds NOW

Tis the Season for giving.  Every day we are responsible to give of ourselves to others freely, without expectation. When all the while, deep seated in your brain is the thought (pressure) of a tight budget.

Well, consider having the best of both worlds. Earning while giving.  Giving and earning.  Whichever order is of most important to you; it is achieveable through .  Yes, I’m being bold enough to say E Z Income through WowWe.

HONOR a SOLDIER, thank our Military and help them feel the love.

Create your WowWe moments, help others do the same and create a WowWe life for yourselves.

CSea Perkins says Merry Christmas and may your 2k10 be filled with abundant health and happiness.

50 Ways to Find Serenity During The Holidays

Submitted by BeaKunz on December 4, 2009 – 5:47 pm

By Maria Marsala

Manageable steps to turn “overwhelm” and “stressed-out” into CALM.


In the normal course of living, we sometimes feel “overwhelmed”, “burnt out” or “stressed-out”. I know I do, which is why I created this special list of things to do when I’m feeling less than peaceful. And around holiday time those feelings sometimes feel even more unmanageable.

As long as you’re alive, life will bring us challenges to manage. That’s why I created Serenity Self-Care Cards for myself. Really!

My holiday gift to the world? The messages below are from the cards, use them to your best advantage. And if you’d like to download your very own cards I’ve included a link for you to do that, too!


We can do something about the feeling we call stressed-out.
Sometimes “doing something” looks like
making a change
doing nothing
doing something totally different
being with someone
being alone
being with a group of someone’s
forgiving ourselves for our mistakes
being thankful that we’re alive
Peace on Earth…..

Ask yourself.”Am I being too hard on myself?”
Ask yourself.”What do I have in my life that I can enjoy at this moment?”
Ask yourself .”How important is it?”
Ask yourself.”What is my gut telling me?”
Ask yourself.”Are my goals or expectations realistic?”
Ask yourself.”Am I considering all my options?”
Ask yourself.”What is it about this situation that I can do something about?”
Ask yourself.”Who in my family or support circle can help me now?”
Ask yourself.”What is it about this situation that I can manage?”
Ask yourself.”What can I change about my attitude?”
Ask yourself.”Do I really want to be doing this?”
Ask yourself.”What needs to be done first?”
Ask supportive family members for support.
Trust that you know what’s best for you.
How’s your integrity? Are your thoughts, feelings and actions matching? If not, what can you do about it?
Forgive yourself…being angry hurts your soul.
Buy yourself…some flowers or send yourself a card!
Forgive someone…being angry uses lots of energy.
Happiness is…enjoying what you have.
Change negative self-talk into positive affirmations…I am ____________.
Tell someone who cares about you what is bothering you.
Call a friend to talk or go out for ________________.
Call someone…to let them know that you are thinking about them.
Call someone…Go out to lunch, for coffee or for a walk.
Breath…take 3 deep breaths. Hold it to the count of 3. Slowly exhale. Do this 2 times or until you calm down.
Go to the movies, concert or play.
Call a friend for support.
Find a quiet place to read a book.
Get a …massage, manicure or pedicure.
Connect…Join a club or organization. Volunteer in some way.
Make a list of the 10 things you’re tolerating.
Read a book for 30-minutes.
Write a list of the things you are grateful for.
Learn how to say NO! (without feeling guilty!)
Do absolutely nothing!
Sit down. Possibly listen to some enjoyable music with a cup of your favorite beverage.
Rent a movie that makes you laugh.
Speed up or slow down. Only you know which you need to do!
Get enough sleep…take a nap if you need to.
Exercise…go for a walk by yourself or with someone you love. Do whatever type of exercise you’re willing to do.
Spend 30 minutes doing something you really, really enjoy.
Purchase something…that you can afford and want.
Do something on your “To Complete” list… or start a list.
Find a quiet place…go into the bathroom and lock the door if you must! Close your eyes for a few moments and think about something positive.
Do something special for someone else…and don’t tell them what you did!
Draw or color. Remember that your children’s books belong to them so ask permission!
Meditate and pray… By yourself or as part of a group.
Remember…what my life purpose is.
Remember…that no one is perfect.
Saying “no” to others often means saying “yes” to you!

Learn more about our Serenity Cards for Business Owners.  Then when you are overwhelmed, tired, feeling too emotional, or just want to do something different, find your box and keep picking them till you find one you’re willing to do!

Chief Business Collaborator Maria Marsala has been publishing MORE BUSINESS ezine since 1999. If you’re ready to make more money, kick-start your marketing and live a high quality life, get your FREE tips now at

More great holiday gift-giving articles and ideas can be found in  our new Holiday Gift-giving Guide at

are you an artist and / or a wanna be?


Di Fruscia Gallery "gentle whisper"

We can all appreciate good art, be it on canvas, a sculpture, the skyline, a child’s creations or what you find to be your form of artistic talent / creativity.

We have the Artist and the ‘wanna be’ that critiques and rarely attempts to create his / her own destiny.  They are waiting and believing it will come to them without action required on their part.

Many Artists admire the works of others and a few would rather speak ill of them.  Those speaking negatively; do you consider them an authentic Artist?

For whatever silly reason, they choose to be negative rather than appreciate the skills and talents of another. aka, the critic.

The Artist has no boundaries, they think and feel before transferring into their chosen artistic talent.  Nothing gets in the way of expressing their talent.  Because of this, many admire their works.

Both Artists and Admirers are Critics.  Do you agree the Artist is typically genuine and authentic while never sharing a negative thought, word or action?  Do you also agree that the people that will not create, grow or empower others is mostly negative about the achievements of others?

I ask again, are you an Artist or a wanna be?  Which do you choose to be?  You have the control; if your aren’t quite sure how to get the positive momentum flowing, connect with me.  I sure won’t let your attitude get you in the way of success; we just replace any ‘negative’ attitude with the positive.  You will then see how abundantly you will attract like attitudes.

Whether you are responsible for putting yourself through College, being an excellent employ or disciplined enough to own your own business; we must be the Artist.  Taking control prevents others taking control of you.

Life was created to be created… CSea Perkins


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