TOXIC LEADERSHIP | a few days ago, while visiting with some colleagues in the humanities we had an interesting exchange of views about leadership – of various kinds, styles and levels within our respective professional|social worlds. The topic seems recurring and of concern to many. I took a moment to look for something that could illuminate such complex issue & found the following two pieces most helpful and educational. Have a read; let me know what you think|feel about this challenging topic.  

  • TOXIC LEADERSHIP Exhibit A | Toxic leaders breed toxic cultures. Toxic cultures develop more toxic leaders – and you don’t want to be one of them, really. You need to be aware of the impact toxic leaders can have on you and your development|growth because you will be shaped in some fashion by this type of behaviour. According to Padilla, Hogan and Kaiser, there are six characteristics of the toxic leader. Let’s have a look at them:
  • TOXIC LEADERSHIP Exhibit B | A toxic leader is a person who has responsibility over a group of people or an organization, and who abuses the leader-follower relationship by leaving the group or organization in a worse condition than when they first found them. The phrase was coined by Marcia Whicker in 1996 and is linked with a number of dysfunctional leadership styles. Their leadership style is both self-destructive and ultimately corporately harmful as they subvert|destroy internal capacity, staff moral|engagement and organizational structures. |


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TIME to CHANGE: Time for Cooperatives.

TIME to CHANGE | Cooperatives work together for the good of all members and the communities where they are based. Their values and beliefs are very different than the ones from big corporations or large transnationals. This short video tells you a brief story about what cooperatives are and were cooperatives & social enterprises intersect. Produced by Cooperatives for a Better World © | … |||

cooperative (a.k.a. co-operativeco-op, or coop) is “an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs|aspirations through a jointly-owned & democratically-controlled enterprise“. Cooperatives may include: Businesses owned and managed by the people who use their services (a consumer cooperative); Organizations managed by the people who work there (worker cooperative); a Multi-stakeholder or hybrid cooperatives that share ownership between different stakeholder groups. For example, Care Cooperatives where ownership is shared between both care-givers and receivers. Stakeholders might also include non-profits or investors; Second- and Third-tier cooperatives whose members are other cooperatives, and; Platform Cooperatives that use a cooperatively- owned and governed website, mobile app or a protocol to facilitate the sale of goods and services. –

Cooperatives 2018


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Marketing & Promotions for Small Business & Entrepreneurs with Glen Ronald | May 24, 2019 (R.S.V.P.) Thanks!

TALK SERIES | “Promotions & Networking for Small & Medium Size Enterprises” with Glen Ronald – Friday May 24, 2019 | 10:00am to 12:00 noon @ The Business Link, Suite #500, 10150-100 St. – Suggested donation: $10.00 (thanks!). About: A visual artist and sharp business entrepreneur, Glen Ronald operates Spark: The Branding Shop, a business branding & promotional product company he pioneered 20 years ago. We are thrilled to have him sharing his expertise around brand awareness, promoting particular products|services + techniques he has successfully developed over the years. ||| PS. Parking downtown can be challenging; if you can manage park & ride, we recommend it. – RSVP by May 23, 2019 to: 780.474.6058 | Or by email: | SPONSORED by: Wayfinders Business Cooperative ©

GLEN RONALD - Picture May 2019


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CO-OPS | A Growing Model of Enterprise.

WAYFINDERS LOGO 2019COOPERATIVES | There are seven general principles that all cooperatives follow.

  1. Voluntary & Open Ownership: Open to all without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination.
  1. Democratic Member Control: Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members—those who buy the goods or use the services of the cooperative—who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.
  1. Members’ Economic Participation: Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. This benefits members in proportion to the business they conduct with the cooperative rather than on the capital invested.
  1. Autonomy and Independence: Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. Any agreements with other organizations or external sources of capital ensure democratic control by the members and maintain the cooperative’s autonomy.
  1. Education, Training and Information: Cooperatives provide education and training for members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperative, and inform the public about the nature and benefits of cooperatives.
  1. Cooperation among Cooperatives: Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
  1. Concern for Community: While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and programs accepted by the members.

Source: The International Cooperative Alliance ©

Wayfinders Business Cooperative © Edmonton, AB


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HANDS - APRIL 11, 2019INTERCULTURAL INSIGHTS | A study from the University of Alberta found that the amount of hand gesturing when speaking is more connected to what a person is saying rather than their cultural identity. In a study released on March 25, Elena Nicoladis, a psychology professor at the U of A, had bilingual speakers of French, Spanish, Mandarin, and Hindi watch a Pink Panther cartoon. Participants then had to verbally summarize the story in both English and their native language while the researchers examined how frequently each participant made hand gestures. Nicoladis decided to pursue this research to explore whether cultural differences are responsible for variations in the amount of gesturing during conversations. – The Gateway © |

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ALBERTA ELECTION 2019 | Rachel Notley.

VOTE YOUR VISION & VALUES 2019WHY RACHEL NOTLEY remains my choice for PREMIER? Because she has established a refreshing new ethics in government and by extension on the social democratic political family to which I belong. But to me it is bigger than that – she has moved us all to a new civic life of respect, empathy, diversity and inclusion in several fronts, from fostering welcoming communities to newcomers to serious economic diversification endeavours, to a new praxis of fiscal responsibility with the sensibilities of a woman that shows daily how deeply she cares for her fellow citizen, all her fellow citizens.

Civic life has risen since 2015, so has the political discourse from our Premier and many of her ministers – she act and so do her followers and supporters in ways that demonstrate the well-being of others and particularly the most vulnerable in society matters. That is at its core the ethics of a social democrat – people are at the centre of her calling to serve; indeed, compassion and smart, fair, decent policy choices. And when she has been confronted with errors, or mischief, she has dealt with the matter in the public square, thinking in terms of “teaching moments” as well, usually taking the high road, and showing us the pathway to be better people.

So if compassion, ethics in government, social justice, empathy, fiscal sensibilities, strong public services to serve Albertans, if lifting people up, eliminating poverty, honouring indigenous peoples, rebuilding infrastructure, investing in massive public transit projects, strengthening our public health care services, greening our cities and transforming, expanding and modernizing our economy for a new century matters to you, then she is your choice too.

Come April 16, 2019 I know exactly for whom my vote will be cast, and frankly, what an honour it will be. New ethics in leadership, in governance, in our public life; a vision of civility, balance & equilibrium with a strong dose of empathy and forward-looking leadership. Indeed; 4 more years of a “people first” agenda. The choice is clear | LCA

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MANAGING RISK| Talk. April 12, 2019

M A N A GEVELINNE CRAWFORD TEICHGRABER PHOTO - Dec. 2019 I N G  R I S K | Insurance for Freelancers, Small Business & Entrepreneurs | with EVELINNE TEICHGRABER || Fri. April 12, 2019 || The Business Link, Suite #500, 10150 – 100 St. || Time: 10:00am to 12:00 noon || Admission: $10.00 donation is welcomed || RSVP by April 11 to: or please call: 780.474.6058.

About: Evelinne is the president of Caliber Insurance Brokers Ltd., a local firm that offers a range of insurance products in both English|Spanish. A woman of clear ethics & entrepreneurial spirit, Evelinne has developed a strong reputation through her business, providing existing|aspiring entrepreneurs with the essential tools required to manage risk in their business. We are pleased to have her expert advice. 

Sponsored by Wayfinders Business Cooperative ©


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Cooperatives 2018Co-operatives have a long and distinguished history in Canada & around the world ( … and, in turbulent|changing times, they could also be one of the policy options to explore by wise & forward-locking societies, governments and economic development institutions. BANKING | Look at banking cooperatives – in the past few years, these have grown, have kept credit available to small/medium sized enterprises, remaining reasonably stable across the country, other regions of the world, even creating jobs. Perhaps it is their unique blend of member ownership, member control, benefits and communities of trust that is at the heart of their resilience? – could it be that such approaches provide the edge over other models?

A CHANGING WORLD | SMART CO-OPERATIVES | We may be entering another “austerity period” – perhaps another cyclical crisis of our times. Maybe the time has come to take a closer look at the cooperative model, its values, performance and contribution today and what it can do for the future. To me, the resilience of the cooperative model of enterprise, resides in its values and effectiveness in offering member-owners benefits & opportunities by creating a playing field for everyone to thrive; a win-win democratic ownership if you will.

EDMONTON’S WAYFINDERS BUSINESS COOPERATIVE | Fairly new, known as a platform cooperative – an entity owned by its members, a democratically governed social enterprise operating in the clouds using a website (or) sites, mobile apps and protocols to facilitate the sale of goods and services. It is also a “social enterprise” endeavour, as it aims to serve as a newer tool for democratic & economic participation that rest upon the free participation of equal partners, engaged in the production of common resources, be they good or services, and any combination thereof.

CORE VALUES | Generally speaking co-operatives aim at developing decent & fair paid work, address issues of economic disparities/social justice, economic inclusion, empowering their members to their own “agency” as full participants contributing broadly to the betterment of their communities. We should pay closer attention, and see how cooperatives can be one of the economic development tools to transform & diversify Alberta’s economy.

About the Author: Leo Campos Aldunez is a HRP & Community Organizer|Animator, a Diversity|Inclusion Advisor; a Translator & Interpreter + Bilingual Social Marketing & Conscious Advertising Professional, based in Edmonton, AB (Canada). He is also a part-time advisor-community relationships builder for Wayfinders Business Cooperative ©

Visit:… This emerging entity is based in Edmonton (AB) and has been (in part) inspired by this European Cooperative called Smart Coop which started a few years back, check it out here >

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While I am LINKED-IN - DEPRESSION ARTICLE JULY 2015not a therapist/counsellor, I do have some experience on the subject matter – my own journeys towards balance and equilibrium, often fraught with ups & downs and unforeseen circumstances. Exercising self-discipline and self-restrain have been helpful and so I have applied the same steps other trusted and wiser friends & colleagues have used on me. I share them with you all in the hope that they can be useful in your own personal/professional journeys. These are not magic tricks nor are they intended to replace the good office of a professional mental health worker – consider them rather refreshing interpersonal tools that you are likely to possess already, in the service of others.

ACCEPTANCE – Listening attentively to your friend’s pain and sadness shows that you actually care for their well-being, not just in good times, but in ALL times. It cements trust and deepens the friendship. Tune-in to his/her body language and non-verbal storytelling, and if appropriate, a gentle touch could be helpful too.

JUDGEMENT – Being non-judgemental establishes a warm/affectionate plateau for sharing and tells him/her you’re there to listen, and if appropriate, offer some comforting thoughts, words of kindness and compassion. This is about restoring confidence and nurturing hope.

TIME & PLACE – Talking & active listening is time consuming, but, essential when trying to be helpful; be prepared and willing not to be distracted by other matters, and turn-off any gadgets you carry, including your cell phone. He/she deserves and needs your undivided attention, period. Finding the right place for such conversation should be always in the hands of your friend/colleague – if you are indeed friends, accommodate to her/his choice.

ACCOUNTABILITY – Feeling depressed carries a sense of guilt, a deep feeling of inadequacy, an alienating undercurrent of loneliness and in some cases, a desire to “exit” – you must find creative, playful and respectful ways to alleviate these dark moments in the conversation. And, manifest frequently how much you value and appreciate having them in your life, in other words, inject a strong dose of positivism, helping them to celebrate their accomplishments, no matter how small or large they may be.

APPRECIATION – Your friend/colleague is revealing his/her most worrisome feelings, perhaps even telling you things from their personal lives you didn’t know. Whatever it may be, least criminality is involved, naturally – reiterate your appreciation for their very being – this is after all a fellow human in distress, not a statistic on a report. And, offer solace, company and the possibility of doing something together; a walk in the park; or an outing to a good play/concert and exploring some good eatery in the neighbourhood afterwards; perhaps a good swim at the lake or public swimming pool.

REBUILDING THE SELF – What we are talking about here is rebuilding his/her confidence, while gaining an understanding that we cannot possibly control all events in our lives, and certainly not the lives of others. The idea is to help him/her set a new positive tone; respectfully assisting in their revelations and awareness. And, if by the end of the conversation she/he feels something illuminating has been achieved, even better. If not, wait for the next opportunity to explore the issues further; friends are truly friends, by being available and present when needed.

WHAT IS POSSIBLE? – One of the things you should try is, without imposing your “eager-to-be-helpful” calling, is to gently steer the conversation away from negative or destructive outcomes. Ask open questions, inquire as to what are the obstacles and challenges in their lives; do they have a goal in mind? What would help him/her to be motivated toward a positive and changing reality? In some ways, you are acting as a “motivational coach” which will help them to assess in more practical terms where they are grounded in their own lives.

BEING HUMAN – Nothing replaces his/her active engagement in recovering their balance; thus, while you are trying to be helpful, you must also remember it is their journey – you are simply helping them gaining further understanding as to their circumstances, the present moment, so to speak, and of course, helping to reduce the stressors afflicting your friend in the “here and now” … Hopefully, it’s an open-ended conversation with your friend; throw in a good laughter from time to time, it provides great relief. And remember; you’re accompanying him/her for as long as your presence is welcome and the possibilities for shifting to recovery, balance and wellness remain. –

About the Author: Leo Campos Aldunez is a poet, cultural worker, interpreter/translator, adult educator and multilingual social media|social marketing professional based in Edmonton, AB (Canada). He is also an associate & co-leader of the emerging cooperative platform known as Wayfinders Business Cooperative.

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ABUNDANCE for WHOM | I have been meditating a bit on the word “abundance” – it still dances with me in its complexity and paradoxes. As you know, the word often suggest “wealth” as in “material wealth,” but, it may not necessarily be so all the time, perhaps its meaning goes further and deeper and it may speak to a profound human yearning of a humanity that manifest itself daily in it most generous and empathic way – another way of being, a higher state of mind; others speak of it as a higher level of consciousness – constant challenges in our lives could also be remarkable inspiring.

  • “I do not understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.” – Anne Lamott

My struggle is my duality, a friend recently told me over lunch – the fact that I have needs & wants, yet, I also know that I have friends, relatives, even neighbours here and beyond our immediate geographical borders that have little, or very limited resources, are confronted by scarcity on a daily basis, and cannot even feed their families properly. I am worried, he continued, about my own “mental walls” metaphorically speaking – and because of it, I feel my empathy for “the other” keeps going down another notch.

  • “I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.” – Roger Ebert 

I can appreciate that of course, abundance does not necessarily has to address every single human concern, but, I ask myself; shouldn’t the basics be covered for everyone – this is humanity’s greatest challenge at this time. As a growing number of us struggle with limited resources; part of the so called “gig economy” – they find themselves often under stress on that proverbial “Camino del Proximo Cheque” – the way to the next paycheque – yet, in their daily rituals, they take a moment to acknowledge “abundance” in a deep vow of gratitude for what is given, received, manifested and accomplished over a period of time. Some words of wisdom here – by Mark Pagel, author of The Natural History of Human Cooperation

  • “You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might also pray in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.” – Khalil Gibran

I am sure the word “abundance” has a range of meanings, based who you ask & their particular station in life, their ethno-cultural backgrounds and upbringing. To some it is fullness, not needing anything, complete sustainability as it were. To others it has to do with resilience, strength of convictions, and gratitude for everyday things in their lives. Or some may say sunshine days, the joys of friendships, able to exercise safely, the arts.

To others it means there I always plenty of what life offers naturally, enough for everyone, food, shelter, love, etc., and that we must remove the word scarcity from our mind set. There are those who may speak of transitions from the personal to the collective and vice-versa. Others see the personal experience simply as a singular event, not connected to anything else but his or her own “energy field” – so to speak. Few see it as a blessing, a pure heart and a soul full of grace. Carine Clark explores as much in her inspiring TED Talk ©

  • When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” – John Muir

I truly believe – as it has already been demonstrated over 30 plus years through the Gaia Principles – that everything including humans is indeed interconnected, and that we are not island of perpetual loneliness. In fact, early societies tended to favour models of cooperation within and without to reach what may have been to them the often elusive balance & equilibrium (healing) we seek in our times.

  • “Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.” – Wayne Dyer

Is abundance circumstantial leadership and policies? Predetermined by ancestry, family of origin, geography, social standing, or a series of opportunities you may or may not see through, saw coming or felt moving through your field of vision & understandings? I am one of those who are constantly struggling to bridge the personal with the collective; so as I ponder abundance at a personal level, I keep thinking, how do we rise to meet the planetary challenges confronting us all and undoubtedly our political leaders?

Are we capable of truly focus with generosity and a “higher consciousness” on what is the essential question today – how do we as species move forward, how do we go from the “me-to-the-we.” Economist & Social Progress expert Michael Green invites us to imagine what is possible between now and 2050. –

About: Leo Campos A. is a Bilingual Storyteller, Community Organizer|Cultural Worker, Diversity & Inclusion Advocate, Personal Coach, Translator|Interpreter and Conscious Advertising Professional, based in Edmonton (Canada). He is also a part-time advisor & community outreach person with the cloud platform Wayfinders Business Cooperative ©

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