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Leadership Qualities, Circa 1776

Leadership qualities 1776 founding fathers

Two hundred forty years ago, on July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, severing the 13 Colonies political connections to Great Britain. The action of these leaders put things in motion for the creation of what is today the United States of America. It was a risk, to say the least.

Of course, seeing things through required more than putting pen to paper. The Declaration of Independence was just the beginning. Without gaining the support of colonists to back these efforts, the pursuit of independence would have been short-lived. While a handful of men defined and refined the idea, it was the efforts of all involved that created the revolution, literally and figuratively speaking, which resulted in the freedoms we enjoy today.

Although not quite as weighty as the creation of an entire country, today's business leadership can still apply some of the same philosophies from over two centuries ago. While you may take the initial risk and put out your own declaration (or mission statement), you will need to inspire others to embrace your vision and make it a reality. As a leader, you can set the foundation for success and then find the right team to help you build on it.

While many of us celebrated the 4th of July with backyard barbecues, hot dogs and fireworks, it also served as a time for all Americans, and leaders in particular, to reflect on where we started, what we've accomplished, what challenges we still face and how best to move forward. All of which can also be applied to how a business develops over time. After all, "There is nothing permanent except change." (Heraclitus)

Hate Selling? Three Reminders for Business Owners

sales for business mental roadblocks

If you're a business owner, you likely started your endeavor because you believe in the product or service you can provide. Now it's your job to convince others - namely customers and clients - that they should feel the same way. To do this you need to sell, sell, sell. Not an easy task for some who feel apprehensive or equate the term "sales" with your stereotypical used-car salesman.

So, how do you get past these mental roadblocks? Remember these three things:

  • Your business exists to help solve problems

  • You are in expert in something

  • You are a friendly face

What is the Cost of Congestion?

portland oregon congestion traffic

In 2013, traffic congestion robbed the US economy of an estimated $124 billion. Without significant action to alleviate congestion, this cost is expected to increase 50 percent to $186 billion by 2030. So, what is the solution? The Portland Metro Commercial Travel Study is aimed at identifying some of the challenges and needs facing commercial vehicle drivers in the Portland-metro area. Data collected will help local agencies plan for the region's future transportation needs.

The study is currently looking for participants. If you know of anyone who has vehicles that operate around the Portland-metro region, please pass along the web address for the study: Commercial vehicle drivers making trips through the region will provide data using a mobile app for one week. All information remains secure and confidential.

Questions? Contact Synergy Resources Group at 971-202-7262 or

portland metro commercial travel study

Active Shooter Preparedness Resources for Small Business Owners

are you ready for active shooter preparedness

The tragic events in Orlando are a reminder that small businesses are not immune from violence. There are some actions you can take now, just in case. The US Department of Homeland Security offers free courses, materials, and workshops to better prepare you to deal with an active shooter situation and to raise awareness of behaviors that represent pre-incident indicators and characteristics of active shooters.

Naturally Innovative Entrepreneurs: College Students Compete in 2016 Cleantech Challenge

Oregon PSU Cleantech Challenge

Kermit the Frog once said "It's not easy being green." Several Oregon college students are proving otherwise as they compete in Portland State University's 2016 Cleantech Challenge, presented by Wells Fargo. Ten student teams from around Oregon all received $2500 to develop prototypes of environmentally friendly inventions.Ideas include a water resistant spray from the waxy surface of kale leaves; a safe tree-cutting system that holds a cut tree in place and directs its fall to a desired location when the cutter is ready and a sustainable small home design and construction process that sources all building materials from the waste stream and adheres to the Passive House energy efficiency standards.

The semifinalist teams come from seven Oregon colleges and universities: Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Portland Community College, Lewis and Clark, University of Portland, and Portland State University. They are competing for a $10,000 grand prize.

Interstate Highway System Celebrates 60 Years

Eisenhower Highway System Interstates

The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways (commonly known as the Interstate Highway System or simply the Interstate) just celebrated its 60th anniversary. Construction was authorized by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, and the original portion was completed 35 years later, although some urban routes were cancelled and never built. The network has since been extended and, as of 2013, it had a total length of 47,856 miles making it the world's second longest after China's. As of 2013, about one-quarter of all vehicle miles driven in the country use the Interstate system, although it only makes up around 2.5% of the miles of lanes nationwide. Since President Eisenhower signed the system into law on June, 29, 1956, the number of miles traveled each year grew from 626 billion to about 3 trillion. In 2006, the cost of construction had been estimated at about $425 billion (equivalent to $511 billion in 2015). At this point in time, the system has a $189 billion backlog of needed improvements, according to DOT estimates. That figure includes $100 billion for expansion and enhancement, $59 billion ton improve pavement and $30 billion to improve bridges.

Featured Nonprofit: YMCA Summer Camps

YMCA Columbia Williamette

Each summer, YMCA offers a number of day camp options for thousands of kids across the country. In the Portland-metro area, the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette offers camps that help build campers' achievements, sense of belonging and relationships through a mix of fun and educational activities at over 20 locations throughout the Portland and Vancouver five county area. Thee are Adventure and Breakaway camps, as well as specialty camps that include art, sports and more.The YMCA also provides financial assistance to low-income family households.

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