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Alka Dhillon's The OM Factor

May 6, 2015

At a book party on Tuesday evening her friends celebrated Alka Dhillon’s new book, The OM Factor: A Woman’s Spiritual Guide to Leadership - 7 Essential Tools and 7 Key Traits to Cultivate for Your Success and Well-Being.

It is a book that shapes the benefits of meditation and other tools for use by women in their careers, and all aspects of their lives. I heard about this book from her sister, Manisha Bhaskar, whom I have worked with for the past ten years. In learning more about the book I decided it was a great gift for all the women in my life and something worth sharing with the readers of The Dish.

Dhillon writes “This art of balancing harmoniously all these roles and relationships, being holistic in our approach to our well-being, as well as being successful at whatever we do in the workplace and at home during most of our waking hours, is The OM Factor.” She believes that individuals, and she included men in this, who have The OM Factor are able to deal with challenging situations as they arise. “They have learned to not react involuntarily to difficult situations but to intentionally respond to them,” she writes. “These people flow.”

For those who have never tried it Dhillon’s book, complete with illustrations, removes the mystery from meditation and guides readers toward their own personal OM Factor. Unlike other books of advice for women in business, The OM Factor's methods can be applied on the spot — in the middle of a meeting that isn’t going well, for example, or anytime anxiety strikes. It’s like having a team of leadership coaches on call. Manisha has told me it has worked for her in some of the meetings we have had and I asked if that is because dealing with me can be stressful? She just laughed.

Dhillon, the CEO of Technalink, an Information Technology and Management consulting firm to both government and commercial clients in Metropolitan Washington, D.C. She is also a first generation Indian-American,  grounded by her practice of meditation and yoga, physical and spiritual traditions that are thousands of years old.

Dhillon wrote The OM Factor as a way to teach others how to cultivate their own personal success and well-being through the tools and techniques she utilizes in her daily life. She also recognizes that encouraging the OM Factor in others is an important part of finding it in oneself.

The 7 Essential Tools Dhillon describes in the book in addition to simplifying meditation, are useful in coping with stressful situations and negative emotions that arise during the day: such as feeling overwhelmed, inadequate or just anxious. But the book is clearly not just a collection of feel-good slogans and handholding affirmations. It’s a user-friendly program of techniques that will help anyone, but especially women, be better at their jobs, more productive in their work, and happier in their personal lives. 

Alka Dhillon is an impressive and successful individual. She received the 2012 BRAVA! Women Business Achievement Award; the Top 100 Women Leaders in STEM award; the 2013 Locally Grown honor from Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, and the Abe Venable Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Agency. She holds B.A. degrees in economics and Spanish from the University of Virginia. She contributesto The Huffington Post and blogs at The Spiritual CEO. So reading about her formula for a more successful life could be helpful to so many others.

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Obama Unleashed

April 27, 2015

A good friend emailed to tell me he was watching the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday evening and was  amazed to see a column of mine highlighted in the first White House video.

It was a blog I had written for the Huffington Post entitled “Obama Unleashed”. The column was about how the President seemed to gain momentum and courage after the last mid-term elections, when Republicans took over the Senate, and was moving forward a series of Executive Orders because Congress was failing to act.

Writing my columns is always fun and of course it allows me to have my say in a way not everyone gets the opportunity to do. I take that responsibility seriously and try to be both honest and accurate. But of course my columns aren’t news stories but rather opinion pieces and not everyone will agree with my view of the world.

My columns for The Georgetown Dish and other publications are successful when they generate discussion and hopefully make people think. Whether it is a review of a play or a political column it’s fun to walk down the street and have someone stop me to comment on them. Having the White House apparently say they liked the column in such a big splashy way was great.


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Hillary Rodham Clinton Makes It Official

April 13, 2015

Hillary Clinton's campaign for President has officially begun. Her announcement video was great and Hillary said to the people of America: "I want to earn your vote. This campaign is about you; I will be your champion."

While the official campaign just began, for the past two years, many have worked with Ready for Hillary to ensure the campaign gets off to a good start. When she wins, and she will, a debt of gratitude will be owed to Adam Parkhomenko and Allida Black for founding and building that organization. No candidate for President has ever begun their campaign with four million supporters, over two million FB supporters, and a current donor list of 135,000. Ready for Hillary organized over 1,300 events in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam and with the help of Democrats Abroad in five countries. There are over 200 colleges with Ready for Hillary groups.

All those supporters will now begin work in a massive grassroots campaign. Clinton campaigns have never been easy and the media, right wing and even the very left wing of the Democratic Party will attack. We haven't seen anything in the run-up to this campaign compared to what we will see going forward. The right-wing knows this campaign is a fight for the heart and soul of the nation. Its outcome will determine which direction the people of America want to see their country go. If Hillary is president, her appointments could remake the Supreme Court, influencing the nation positively for decades to come.

Every potential Republican candidate differs with Hillary on nearly every issue. The major one being how we rebuild our economy so it benefits not just the rich. The Republican Party continues to believe if laws and the tax code help the rich get richer, we all benefit, and they tout a failed trickle-down economic theory.

Hillary has a record of supporting the inclusion of everyone in the economy. That includes women, the LGBT community, African-Americans and immigrants. She supports increasing the minimum wage, the Affordable Care Act and improving education opportunities for all. She will lead a Democratic Party that believes building a stronger and more inclusive economy cannot be done from the top down. Hillary understands workers need to be paid a fair wage, have guaranteed sick leave, paternity and maternity leave, and a real chance to enter the middle class to build a better life for themselves and their families.

Hillary will be out on the stump meeting with voters in small groups and listening to their ideas, hopes and dreams. There are about 270 days until the Iowa caucuses, and over 500 days to the election. Neither Hillary's most ardent supporters, nor those who have yet to endorse, should expect to hear everything they want in the first few days of her campaign. But over the next months, they will hear her platform and policy initiatives and realize that she is the right person to be president. Hillary will run a campaign that will reach out across party lines in the same way she did when she was in the Senate.

Hillary isn't taking anything for granted. She understands better than anyone what a Presidential campaign entails and how grueling it is. Whether it is winning large states like California and New York, or small ones like New Hampshire and Montana, this campaign will leave no stone unturned. The host of issues a President must be prepared to deal with will all get Hillary's attention and the Ready for Hillary army of volunteers will help carry her to the White House.

Because she is Hillary Clinton, we know the press is just waiting for her to make any minor miscue. They know nothing gets attention and a front page story, or more airtime, than reporting a Hillary minor mistake or presumed mistake. With Hillary they are more than willing to take something minor and blow it up. They did it with the so-called 'email scandal' and that may be just the first of such stories which could be summed up with a famous line from Shakespeare: "Full of sound and fury signifying nothing."

The Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United allowing unlimited money in campaigns is horrendous. But the fact is, until we can change it, Democrats will need to match Republican's dollar for dollar. The Clinton campaign will work to raise the money they need to promote her candidacy. My hope is the Democratic National Committee will spend the money it raises on building the best get-out-the-vote operation we have ever seen. Democrats win when our voters come out. Hillary is an inspirational candidate and making sure the voters who support her get to the polls is crucial. When Hillary's voters come out Democratic candidates for Congress, governor, state legislatures and town councils will all be the beneficiaries.

There are just over 500 days to make a statement to the world about what America believes in today and to make history when Hillary Rodham Clinton is sworn in as the first woman President of the United States of America on January 20, 2017.

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