Bill Clinton On Leadership

andrew brunhart clintonFormer president Bill Clinton spoke to Fortune magazine about leadership for their April 7, 2014 issue. In it, Clinton detailed what leadership meant to him, the great attributes of a leader, and what you can do to become a leader yourself.

To Clinton, leadership means bringing people together for a common purpose. He sees the role of a leader as organizing those people to make a plan to achieve their goals and assisting them until they do. Sometimes leadership takes the place of a public position. In these cases you have clearly defined responsibilities to accept and handle problems as they come up. Overall, leadership is about articulating a vision, developing a plan, and taking that plan to its conclusion. Clinton states, “In the modern world, I believe lasting positive results are more likely to occur when leaders practice inclusion and cooperation rather than authoritarian unilateralism. Even those who lead the way don’t have all the answers.”

Clinton had similar things to say about attributes that great leaders share. They are committed to pursuing goals, have determinations, courage, and confidence to stick with their decisions. He also noted that great leaders have enough strength to admit when they are wrong or made a mistake.

Of Clinton’s own path to leadership he said that he learned when he “was very young to respect the human dignity of everyone I met, to observe them closely and listen to them carefully.” Clinton also learned that you are usually the only thing that holds your back and that it is better to try and fail than to not try at all. Of his childhood he said he grew up “in the civil rights years, then during Vietnam, I came to see politics as a way to help other people make their own life stories better.” He also pointed to other leaders like Yitzhak Rabin and Nelson Mandela who taught him what it means to lead people in a meaningful way.

Other leaders help inspire and remind what it means to be great. In addition to Rabin and Mandel, Clinton admires Helmut Kohl, Bill and Melinda Gates, Muhammad Yunus, Fazle Abed, and Aung San Suu Kyi.

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The First Curved Coin for the US

andrew brunhart curved coinCoin collecting is still going strong as a hobby and now there is a brand new coin for enthusiasts to add to their collections. The United States mint is issuing a curved coin as part of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative coins. The coin’s curved side is decorated with seams to imitate a baseball, how clever!

This curved design has been used before by France in their year of commemorative International Year of Astronomy Coins (2009) as well as by the Royal Australian Mint for their Southern Cross curved coins. The United States Commemorative Coins were dictated by a law in 2012 that required them to be minted.

The coins will be minted in limited quantities and there are three different types. First they will mint 50,000 $5.00 gold coins, followed by 400,00 $1.00 silver coins, and 750,000 half-dollar coins made of copper and nickel. The surcharges of each of these coins are $35.00, $10.00, and $5.00, respectively. The surcharges are in addition to the actual price, which will depend on metal costs at the time of sale. These curved creations will make their debut on March 27, 2014.

On the concave side of the coin is a baseball mitt, imitating that of a mitt ready for a catch. The convex side, as stated above, is seamed like a baseball. These commemorative coins are being produced to recognize the 75th birthday of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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What the Olympics Can Teach Us About Leadership

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andrew brunhart olympicsThe 2014 Winter Olympics are captivating the hearts of many members of the global community. Many television sets are ‘tuned in’ as victors rise and some dreams end in defeat. Beyond winning and losing, Olympic athletes have a lot to show as leaders and lend themselves well to a larger metaphor of government leaders.

These athletes spend most of their lives training tirelessly in the shadows. Then all of the sudden, for two weeks, they are pushed into the international spotlight with millions of audience members. While they are competing every move they make is discussed. The commentators talk about how they prepare, they ask for statements on their performance, and they insist on getting the dirty details of their personal life to paint an accurate picture of their ‘character’ during the winter games. If an athlete makes a misstep in any of these interviews or reacts in a way that seems less than favorable towards an opponent, they can be painted as arrogant, weak, or a bad representative for their country.

This aspect of leadership, performing well in the public eye, is relevant to federal leaders. Leaders have to cultivate and maintain a public reputation. Leaders need to use failures to improve and encourage their team/employees to work together to solve problems. These traits will not only boost an important public image, but will also improve performance.

The Olympic athletes at Sochi have passed on some interesting words of wisdom that could benefit federal leadership. U.S. snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg came from obscure athlete to gold medalist and encourages others to, relish, don’t stress the big moment. Some athletes, like downhill skier Bode Miller, blame external factors for their defeats, like cloudy skies. However, the best athletes see failure as an opportunity to improve rather than a time to make excuses. Figure skater Ashley Wagner came in fourth in a national competition a few weeks ago, but then took advantage of the Olympic opportunity to help win the U.S. a bronze medal. This proves how important it is to give yourself and others a second chance to succeed and to treat it like an opportunity, a fresh start. The bottom line is, don’t let defeat get you down. Shaun White did not medal this year in the snowboarding half-pipe competition. This is even more of a blow because he has won for the past two Olympics. He could have given in to his disappointment, especially because he was experiencing it publically. Instead White jumped over the barrier to the fans and gave two young cancer patients high-fives. His strong public appearance in the face of failure is an example for leaders everywhere.

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Quality and Rare Coins

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andrew brunhart quality rareThe numismatic market is known for desiring, even demanding top quality coins. Auctions tend to reward coins handsomely, by bringing sky-high sums of money for those in Gem condition. However, this trend of quality-equals-quantity does not always apply to the rare coin market. Rare coins, often regardless of their condition, are the most valuable because of how rare they are. Recently, at auction, a damaged 1792 Half Disme sold for $28,000. In that case, that buyer was certainly more interested in the history of the coin than the actual physical condition. This proves that not everyone buys coins solely based on quality; there are other value measures to be considered.

Other cases of coins with poor quality that performed well at auction include 1895 Proof Morgan Dollars. Some can go for $60,000 and even with considerable wear the coins have sold for $35,000. Those who collect Morgan Dollars are not as interested in quality, their main objective is to assemble a collection with as many as possible. Collectors have increased demand for these coins in recent years and many who pursue series will make compromises with quality in order to get the coin.

Another example of a coin with low grade, but a lot of worth is the 1929 Double Eagle. Most of the Double Eagle’s were melted down in 1930, which makes the existing coins very valuable, despite poor conditions. Yet another example of a lower grade coin is the 1804 Bust Silver Dollar. A few years ago a buyer purchased a circulated silver dollar for $2,000,000. In this case, the buyer wanted the publicity associated with owning one of the greatest coins ever minted, even it wasn’t in the best conditions.

These examples stand to show that top quality coins are not everything. In the numismatic market there are plenty of valuable worn coins.

via Andrew Brunhart’s Coin Collecting http://ift.tt/1pkPtMm

Quality and Rare Coins

New Post from Andrew Brunhart

andrew brunhart quality rareThe numismatic market is known for desiring, even demanding top quality coins. Auctions tend to reward coins handsomely, by bringing sky-high sums of money for those in Gem condition. However, this trend of quality-equals-quantity does not always apply to the rare coin market. Rare coins, often regardless of their condition, are the most valuable because of how rare they are. Recently, at auction, a damaged 1792 Half Disme sold for $28,000. In that case, that buyer was certainly more interested in the history of the coin than the actual physical condition. This proves that not everyone buys coins solely based on quality; there are other value measures to be considered.

Other cases of coins with poor quality that performed well at auction include 1895 Proof Morgan Dollars. Some can go for $60,000 and even with considerable wear the coins have sold for $35,000. Those who collect Morgan Dollars are not as interested in quality, their main objective is to assemble a collection with as many as possible. Collectors have increased demand for these coins in recent years and many who pursue series will make compromises with quality in order to get the coin.

Another example of a coin with low grade, but a lot of worth is the 1929 Double Eagle. Most of the Double Eagle’s were melted down in 1930, which makes the existing coins very valuable, despite poor conditions. Yet another example of a lower grade coin is the 1804 Bust Silver Dollar. A few years ago a buyer purchased a circulated silver dollar for $2,000,000. In this case, the buyer wanted the publicity associated with owning one of the greatest coins ever minted, even it wasn’t in the best conditions.

These examples stand to show that top quality coins are not everything. In the numismatic market there are plenty of valuable worn coins.

via Andrew Brunhart’s Coin Collecting http://ift.tt/1pkPtMm

A Leader Is Like a Parent

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andrew brunhart leader parentLeadership expert, Simon Sinek, has dazzled over 14 million people with his TED talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” He has continued his educating the public about leadership with his new book, “Leader’s Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t.”

The driving point of his new book is that fundamentally, a leader is like a parent. Parents put their children’s needs in front of their own. They fight for their children’s success and hope that their children will live a better life than their own. Sinek notes that these are all the same attitudes of a great leader. On the CBS This Morning he said, in regard to parenting, “Leadership is exactly, exactly the same. Leaders are the ones who are willing to risk, when it matters, their own interests, so that others may advance.”

Sinek also mentions that both roles are fun in the beginning before the hard work begins. The joy of having a baby is quickly followed by the reality that a ton of hard work follows with raising a child. Sinek equates that to a company, “Starting the company, that’s the fun. But, actually becoming a leader and choosing to put peoples’ interests before your own, that’s a choice.”

Sinek stresses that great work environments are based on trust and cooperation. These are not things that you can simply tell people to do. A great leader must create an environment that fosters trust and cooperation because of dependability. Employers can do this by choosing to be a great leader and putting their employees first.

The title of Sinek’s new book, “Leader’s Eat Last,” came from a Marine general. “When you go to any chow hall…you will see the Marines line up in rank order- most junior first and most senior last. It’s not in any rulebook and no one tells them they have to. They do it because that’s how they view leadership. We view leadership as rank; they view it as a responsibility.”

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Collect World Coins

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andrew brunhart world coinsThe realm of coin collecting in the United States needs to reach beyond U.S. coins and capitalize on international markets. In his articles “Gold Coins and Quality Rules in Heritage World Coin Auction,” (January 8, 2014), Greg Reynolds notes that world coins are valued much high than U.S. coins. At the New York International Numismatic Convention, high quality gold coins post-1300, particularly those of the 19th century proved to be the most valuable at auction.

Many US coin collectors get their start in US coinage. It is easy to start this type of collection when you’re young and that is often how people become interested in collecting. However, looking beyond the US coinage can open up areas of great investment potential for non-US coins and banknotes.

Numismatics is quickly becoming a popular international hobby. As people start participating worldwide the global demand is increasing as collectors and investors expand their disposable income. Coin collecting has been a hobby for thousands of years and because it is becoming more popular today, the supply of the best material will be purchased. So now is the best time to invest in a carefully selected numismatic item to get the greatest return on your investment as it becomes more desirable.

The US may no longer be the center of the numismatic world. As you consider the thousands of years of coins throughout empires and countries in the entire world, it brings to light that US coins are overvalued. Or, the case may be, that other countries coins are undervalued. That may change as more and more international players get into the market. Even though it may be overwhelming to consider the amount of material in the world market: ancient coins, medieval coins, world coins, and banknotes, it is worth doing your research to purchase the right item. With the current trends in collecting, your investment will pay off quite handsomely.

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