Author Archives: Stephanie Hawk

Four Key Elements to Leading

If you have followed the news for the last several months (or maybe it has been years), you may have noticed a huge drop in civility and leadership. We see people in leadership positions insulting and degrading people with whom they disagree. We seem to think voicing our thoughts and opinions on social media is synonymous with having an impact. We “exaggerate” our involvement and activism, and yet we don’t even get off the couch to try to make a real difference. True leadership requires more than voicing one’s opinions and thoughts. There are four key parts to leading: History. What a person brings to the table when leading is an accumulation of strengths and weaknesses that have developed over a lifetime. There are no shortcuts to effective leadership. It takes time as well as success and failure. Our desires for instant gratification and to solve problems quickly do not…

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You Own It!

“You own it!” This is a phrase that has several meanings. It can be, “Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of a new house or car,” or it can mean that you own the outcome or decision you just made. Unfortunately, our culture today is allowing an attitude of deflection and denial to creep into our thought processes, which is preventing us from taking responsibility for our choices. I don’t want to go as far as the victim persona, but there is a shift toward not taking responsibility for our own decisions. We are quick to blame other people: “They said this first,” or “They did this to me first.” Instead of owning what we do and say, we deflect and deny. When my kids were teenagers, I was quick to point out that they owned their decisions, actions, or words. It didn’t matter what their friends did; it…

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Why Business Cards Still Matter

Many of my staff members think I am “old school” when it comes to certain things. For one, I still keep a paper calendar to track my meetings. My paper calendar has never crashed, been deleted, and is easy to find (it sits on my desk). The Chamber staff can look at it any time to see my schedule. I have kept a paper calendar for the last 31 years and that will not change. What many of you/us have already discovered is that technology can be an “X” factor in many things, but in building personal relationships and connecting with people, what is old is new again. Another one of my “antiquated” systems is the use of business cards. Lots of people probably think, “There is an app for that.” Here is an interesting side note: the average person has 21 apps on their smartphone but only uses five…

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Four Myths About Customers

If you say it long enough, people begin to believe it. An idea or a belief starts and gets repeated and repeated, and before long, it becomes a “fact”, and then becomes a myth. A myth is a belief or story that is imaginary or fictitious. In our current political climate, many politicians claim certain things as truth even though they are untrue, and after time, more and more people begin to believe the claims. Once a myth is born, it’s hard to un-spread. I see it every day at the Chamber. Many business owners come to believe certain things about customers because they have been told certain myths since they started their businesses. Here are four myths that need to be corrected: The customer is always right. You see these types of signs in a lot of businesses: “The customer is always right.” Sounds good, and the attitude does…

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Two McAllen Chamber Innovation Grant Winners Are H-E-B Primo Pick Finalists

A Bit About Our Champions The companies and individuals that make their way through our Innovation Programs, and who are chosen as recipients of our Innovation Grant, are always a special breed. Their passion for innovative products and their ability to turn an idea into a reality is not easily found. But once you have found a true trailblazer, you’ll know. There’s a reason why Cappadona Ranch and Nuts & Cows have been chosen as Primo Picks finalist – their products and their passion. Cappadona Ranch Established in 2012 by Victoria Barrera Cappadona, Cappadona Ranch has developed from a simple family treat into the growing juggernaut that it is today. Developing a variety of healthy, home-made products from mesquite beans, including Mesquite Bean Jelly, flour, coffee, and more, Victoria has turned a food forgotten to history into a Texas favorite. Essentially discovering the value and tastiness of mesquite beans by…

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Tips on Mentoring and Coaching

Coaching and mentoring a person in the business world can be a challenge. Today’s business world has become lean and requires many people to do two or three jobs, just for the business or organization to survive. So, many times, if I mention coaching or mentoring to a business person, I get the look and expression of, “I don’t have time.” If you are lucky enough to have a business coach or mentor at your workplace – be thankful. If you are in a position to help with coaching a person in business – give it some thought. I would also suggest to you that mentoring and coaching is a two-way street. The other person has to be really interested in learning. I have seen circumstances in an organization where the person who really needed the coaching stopped listening. If you want to begin implementing mentoring and coaching in your…

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McAllen Sports – Trophies, Signage, and Really Big Murals

by Roda Grubb It’s fitting that we highlight a McAllen Chamber member who has played such a prominent role in our local sports scene – especially now that the McAllen Youth Baseball Complex has finally opened. Featuring 11 gorgeous baseball fields, an additional Miracle Field which complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards, a concession area, and plenty of parking, this facility is sure to make a lasting mark like McAllen Sports. Jorge Salcines opened McAllen Sports in 1979, following in his father’s footsteps but choosing to do it his way. “I grew up in the business, working at International stores, my father’s department stores, since I was 13,” Jorge began. “After college, I worked there until I got married. Then, I quit my job, and opened my business.” At one point, McAllen Sports grew to include seven sporting good stores and two department stores in McAllen, Harlingen, and…

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SpyTek #1 Top Source of Surveillance in South Texas

By Roda Grubb Who better to guide you in your security needs than James Bond himself? Well, not quite, but Ric Tamez spent 18 years as a police officer with the McAllen PD before choosing to become a private eye. All those years in law enforcement taught him one thing – people need someone else to teach them about the variety of protection gizmos available on the market – be it cameras, alert and security products, or alarms, to name a few. “I came up with the idea of a spy shop because I found I was so interested in spy equipment when I went to private investigators’ conferences and shows,” Tamez said. “I decided it would be a good idea to have a spy shop in South Texas.” One out of only approximately 40 similarly styled shops in the country, Tamez feels privileged to offer the opportunity to people…

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Five Ways to Think Like Your Clients

Selling Can Be a Challenge Even the most successful salespeople reach plateaus and struggle to find ways to push through to the next level. One of the most basic elements of selling is the ability to put yourself in your client’s shoes and see things from their perspective. Once you begin to understand what your client’s burning problems are and how you can help to solve them, you are on your way to building a solid relationship that goes beyond selling and enters the world of problem-solving. The hard part is sensing what your clients are thinking. With a little time, research, and empathy, you can gain key understandings about your clients. Here are five ways to start thinking like your clients and walking in their shoes: Why your company or organization? Remember, you are not the only person out there selling a solution. What your organization brings to the…

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The Four Key Things People Look for in a Leader

There is no magic formula to becoming a leader. Many people believe that great leaders are born and gifted with leadership abilities. I, however, would suggest that great leaders can be developed, and must learn that leading takes time, focused effort, and commitment. Many times, people confuse charisma with leadership and think the more charismatic a person acts, the better the leader. False enthusiasm and fake charisma are a trap and are the wrong way to lead genuinely. So, what do people want in a leader? There have been countless surveys and studies done to find the key characteristics people look for in one. Consistently, this research has shown that there are four major traits people expect in a leader: Honesty. We want to follow people who are worthy of our trust. Why would anyone follow someone else who is willing to lie, cheat, or take shortcuts? At our most…

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Four Types of Goals

Goal setting can be a challenge for some people. I try to understand their hesitation in setting goals. There may be a wide variety of reasons why they don’t like setting goals. They may think of goals as being too restrictive or they don’t like the accountability. A person may feel goal setting is a set-up for failure and eventual firing. A person may have been given an impossible goal and none of the resources to attain the goal. Whatever the reason, not setting goals is a recipe for not getting anything done. I love goals. I love trying to achieve both short-term and long-term goals. One of the key elements of a successful leader and business person is a willingness to set the “mark” and work towards achieving it. Clearly stated goals bring focus but keep in mind there are different types of goals. Exciting goals An exciting goal…

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Tourism Disruptors & 4 Key Cornerstones

Disruption is happening all around us. The business models that worked in the past are failing. Just take a quick look at what is happening in retail, transportation, healthcare, and community involvement. These are only a few of the areas experiencing disruptions. A key area of disruption that we are experiencing in McAllen is in the tourism industry and how it is marketed and consumed. The disruptions in tourism are challenging the old business models we have built. Ask any hotel operator in McAllen about how different the market is today than just five years ago and a person will get a “hearty” agreement about how challenging the market is now. Disruptors are impacting how we are operating, as well as how we should be operating and adapting to the new opportunities. Here are just some of the key elements of the disruptors: Speed of change and disruptions; increasing isolationism…

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How Small and Nimble Businesses Are Beating the Big Corporations

During the Industrial Revolution, one key concept that developed was the idea of “scale.” Scale allowed companies to reach maximum efficiency in production, distribution, and profits. It also leads to the concept that “bigger was better.” This idea that “bigger was better” continues to play out in the strategies of many large corporations in today’s market space. The idea has worked well for the last 130 years. “Bigger” gave corporations advantages that small businesses could not get, but now things are turning in favor of small and nimble businesses. Three key trends that have been identified in Hemant Taneja’s and Kevin Maney’s book, Unscaled, and which are changing the business landscape are (1) The emergence of platforms; (2) Technologies that can be rented; and (3) Artificial Intelligence (AI) replacing mass production. These three elements are letting small businesses compete against big corporations. The critical factor for success is the relentless…

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A Four-Month-Old Lab and Re-Learning Lessons

This past March, I did something my wife probably wishes some days I would have skipped, and I got another Labrador puppy (the dog was a gift from Jeanette and the Chamber staff). This is my third Labrador dog, and I tell you, each one is different just like kids can be so different. I had forgotten about the puppy stage, and for Labs, it is about two years. Lab puppies require constant attention because they will get into anything and everything, and Zoey had done exactly that these past three months. One of the new things I have started doing since getting Zoey is walking her every morning, which she loves. But it has also meant that I have given up my morning workouts. Still, Zoey is excited every morning to see what new things she will see or smell. The funny thing is we take the same route…

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Celebrating a Major Milestone With WiFi Stand

1 2 3 4 5 The road to success is paved with milestones, and local company, Wi-Fi Stand, just passed a major one – 100K in sales Established in 2016, Wi-Fi Stand has grown into a wireless industry juggernaut, working with dozens of Fortune 100 and 500 companies such as Facebook, Verizon, Netflix, Live Nation, Google, Ticketmaster, and many other of the largest names in the tech industry. The journey to create Wi-Fi Stand began at a Las Vegas conference but would eventually find its grounding in the Innovation Programs developed by the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. Wi-Fi Stand developers, Drew Lentz and Eric Slosberg, would come to participate in the Chamber’s robust programs, progressing through the I&E Network Meetings,  IdeaPlace initiative, and Innovation Grant competition. It was by using these resources made available through the Chamber that the duo was able to take their idea from a napkin drawing…

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