The We Got Mojo authors are having a get together next May to celebrate the world by doing good. We have singled out six charities that some of us lead and many support to help make these charities better able to serve their constituents. The charities range from a group helping those engulfed by sex slavery to addiction prevention and recovery and include helping African women learn to read and write, helping disabled veterans, and helping and mentoring kids of service personnel killed in action.

Guess what, you can do the same. We don’t need to wait for help from governments, we can provide help to the needy ourselves. You will be happier when you help someone reach a new milestone. Remember, the happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have! Get your mojo going and help someone.

Better Schools and Sensible Immigration are Keys to America’s Future

American economic and social policies can rebuild our country much the same way Silicon Valley continues to rebuild itself as a magnet for innovation, and economic growth. America’s freedom attracts the best of the best in the entire world. Yes, I am an immigrant. I have lived here for over 56 years and I have lived and continue to live the American dream (read my book We Got Mojo!).

While I agree with creating an economic and regulatory climate that fosters growth and innovation, new manufacturing, and great prosperity, there are two absolutely necessary anchors to our future success. First, our schools need to graduate out of high schools, tech schools and colleges highly relevant, excellent quality graduates to fill the jobs of today and the future. Mediocrity cannot be tolerated. I urge educators to re-examine the purpose of education in a growing economic environment. Our graduates should not be mired in dead-end careers with huge educational loans to repay to boot. Our high schools and colleges need to become more relevant and do so quickly. This is a challenge that will be easier said than done but it is indeed crucial. Parents, teachers, their unions, government and alternative schools need to work together rather than fight. My message to parents is to fight for the best education for your kids as ultimately this is the most important contribution you can make to them . Second best is not good enough today. Teachers unions, my message to you is let’s be part of the solution in a new world and with new ideas. Past approaches will not likely work now or in the future.

Second, we need an intelligent merit based immigration policy. We need to bring the best of the best in the world to fill the positions that American businesses cannot fill with American labor alone. Let’s turn America again into a true magnet of talent by developing an intelligent and efficient immigration policy that attracts the best in the world especially when such talent is not readily available within our own shores. Let’s verify that our immigrants have good intentions but let’s not take forever to process them.

Finally, let’s settle the pathway for those immigrants who are here and came in illegally but their only sin was wanting a better life for their families. Let’s create a dignified solution for those immigrants who have worked diligently and committed no crimes in their life in America. I am not suggesting immediate citizenship but instead a clear merit-based process that may take several years but if they follow it they can be assured that they can become permanent residents.

Efficient intelligent immigration policies, educational realignments in our schools to produce better, more relevant graduates and economically supportive business policies coupled with better border security and a pathway for immigrants living here without any crime albeit not having legal entry papers will bring dignity and growth to America again. We can all get behind that as it represents the true American spirit.






Bringing Civility to Our Political Discourse

by Dr. Raul A. Deju

Immigrant, Educator, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Author, Husband, Father, American

San Francisco, CA  February 2017     www.wegotmojodeju.com 

            2017 could go in the history books as the year with the most hatred and vitriol in recent American politics. As I look at America today, everyday life begins when the President tweets some relatively venomous words which are in turn responded by the Senate Minority leader or another leading Democrat with equal or more venomous language. Watching the language of our leaders from both parties, some of my friends seem to be unable to accept a President for whom they did not vote while others in parallel have developed great hate for the minority party. Families and friendships are being torn apart and as a Centrist I have friends in both camps who are finding it difficult to talk to each other. Both sides need to get a life and learn to talk and compromise. Without civil dialogue we will mire ourselves in a state of no progress.
            I am then reminded of my life. I came here from Cuba alone as an early teen without my parents or any immediate family. Yes, I am an immigrant and I was accepted in this country (not all immigrants are criminals- in fact America’s success depends a great deal on the success of many immigrants). I worked hard, studied hard and by my 24th year on this earth I had received a Ph. D., had a job, and had published my first book. I have spent my life working, growing businesses, writing 7 books and contributing to the fabric of our America. This country and its people became family to me and I started amassing what is now a very long list of very diverse friends. What I have loved in America for over half a century is our civility, the freedom we all enjoy and the framework available to Americans born here and those of us who emigrated here where if you work hard you can succeed. The Office of the President as an elected official regardless of its occupant has been a sense of pride to me through my entire life.
            Fast forward to today. We are awakened with tweets from the President many times in a less presidential tone than we are used to, although oftentimes we can agree with the substance of the tweets, their tone detracts from our support. Then, we are bombarded by equally or more demeaning comments from the Democratic opposition and delay tactics that only waste tax-paying dollars as they don’t change the outcome of any actions. As the battle of words heats up, the work that we as taxpayers need done by our leaders continues to float in the ether of Washington. What has happened to civility! The election is over. Let’s learn to get along. Let’s both sides learn compromise.
            In the course of my life as an American, I have accepted many Presidents for whom I had not voted for. In fact I worked as an Advisor to both a Republican and a Democratic administration with pleasure, pride and civility. I have always felt that the Office of the President is above many of its occupants and deserves my utmost support. In America, differently than in Cuba where I was born, we have checks and balances to protect us from abuses but it is our civic responsibility to work for the common good that separates us from many countries in the world.
            As a few weeks have passed since the beginning of this new Administration we all need to rally together and mark our disagreements by the principles of civility, respecting each other and avoiding nonsensical, defamatory comments of each other focusing on turning our land into a more fertile ground for the success of all instead of looking every day at a ring of the World Wrestling Federation.
            I offer a simple suggestion. Life is about compromise. Mutually satisfactory agreements and treaties are better in the long-run than one-sided deals. Maybe we can all commit to taking a week where both sides stop the demeaning language and the press commits to reporting the news as Walter Cronkite once did with as little bias or sensationalism as possible. If we try such a truce for a week and get back to the business of the nation I think we can begin to get over the rancorous state that has resulted from the recent Presidential election. Once we get over a week, maybe we can do it again and start a new chapter where we all work for a common good without noise. We don’t have to agree with each other on everything, we just need to deal with each other with class, civility, empathy and compromise.
            Let’s get our civility back and focus on being the shining beacon that the world always emulates. Let’s support our nation regardless of party affiliation. I am an optimist. After all, I am an American. Can we start now?

We Got Mojo! by Raul Deju and 35 of his BFF- now released and with 38 5 stars in Amazon. Addto your collection

Early reviews:

We all want to be successful, so what better way to advance that ambition than by reading the intimate stories of those who have persevered and frequently had to overcome imposing challenges to achieve personal and professional success and happiness. I have had Raul Deju as a significant author for my business journal and can assure you that his We Got Mojo! book will inspire and guide you on your own success journey.

James Kristie, Editor, Directors & Boards

Megatrends in Health Care 2017 Part II

In December of last year I discussed some of the Megatrends in the Health field and the opportunities these Megatrends represent for entrepreneurs. While our current health care system is loaded with conflicts and problems these also lead to huge opportunities. The Affordable Care Act was a daring step but it turned out to be not affordable and structurally not sustainable. Government and corporations need to rapidly change this unsustainable process while continuing to ensure basic affordable health care availability to everyone . As government embarks on changes to the current system there are lots of opportunities for entrepreneurs. Soon we will hopefully begin to see some of these changes and entrepreneurs can look for great opportunities. In December 2016,  I discussed opportunities to reduce admin costs, improve drug delivery, increase the affordability of life extension, execute reforms needed to reduce the cost of  malpractice litigation, take advantage of innovation and increase informatics.

In this blog, I want to focus on only one topic, the opportunity for greater entrepreneurship by unleashing the forces of competition. One clear characteristic of the health field in America today is the overwhelming amount of mandated regulations that create excessive burdens and bring up costs. Since deregulation of the airlines in 1978 nearly 40 years ago prices of tickets have averaged a whooping 40% reduction in costs. In  2016 constant dollars as an example back in 1955 (63 years ago!) a Los Angeles to Kansas City non-stop flight would cost you $575 and take you 5 plus hours. Today, that same route can be completed in less than 3 hours in a less noisy aircraft with a greater degree of safety and for an average $183 and you get frequent flyer points on top. What if we could deregulate the health care industry like we did the airline industry and bring prices down 40% (The example above brought a plane ticket down 68%). Affordability would go through the roof! Also access to health care would increase. Nonetheless in the area of healthcare, “access to everyone is essential” and government would have to make sure that the really sick and poor have access to medical care but overall in a downward price move, overall national cost of health care would go down and access should increase.

Deregulation is not without losers. In the airline industry TWA, Eastern and other airlines failed but the consumer won and new airlines such as Southwest emerged. Equally some health insurers and providers will fail in health care deregulation but with American entrepreneurship and ingenuity and open competition, the health consumers will win in the long run.

Let’s continue to watch what our legislators concoct!





5 Ways Uber, Virgin, Schwab Crush Goals and Disrupt Competitors Alike- Guest Blog

By Mark C. Thompson- Executive Coach, New York Times Bestselling author, contributing author We Got Mojo!, Leadership Advisor to the World Bank, featured in Forbes, INC., and other publications. 

“Everybody loves the idea of ‘disruption’ as long as it happens to other people,” Salesforce founder Marc Benioff mused after a Virgin Disruptors seminar in San Francisco. “You need to get to the future first, ahead of your customers, and be ready to greet them when they arrive.” Sir Richard Branson, the tie-cutting, disruptive founder of the Virgin Group, was sitting within earshot: “Yeah, if your strategy is to change the world,” he said, “you’d better start by looking yourself in the mirror” to ask a simple question:

“Does your current annual plan actually ignite any excitement?” Will your team really want to make it happen with urgency? If you’re not absolutely certain, then rally your troops around five OKR’s — Objectives & Key Results — that make growth plans stick at high-performance companies like Virgin, SalesForce, Kleiner Perkins, BetterWorks, and Google. These five will predict whether your plans are doomed for defeat or poised for progress in the new year: Staffing, Capacity, Alignment, Authority and Accountability.

  1. Staffing Strategy— Do you have the right people on the team, and are you teaching them to lie to you? Alan Mulally, the CEO who lead Boeing and Ford through legendary turnarounds, argues that the belief that “your people should just bring solutions, not problems,” is a myth worth killing. Ford appeared doomed for bankruptcy when Mulally arrived for his first staff meeting, but his team spent two hours sharing dashboards which showed green across the board. “I’m not a car guy,” Mulally sighed, looking mystified. “But I don’t understand how all that good news is possible when we’re losing billions of dollars!” He told them to come back with the brutal truth. It took awhile, but finally one executive summoned the courage to reveal a few red signals, asking for help from the entire team to find solutions. His peers held their breath, expecting the grim reaper to open some trap door under his feet.

Instead, Mulally gave him a standing ovation. That same guy, Mark Fields, not only received the full support of the management team to turn those stoplights into green, but Chairman Bill Ford and the board of Ford Motor Company gladly accepted Mulally’s recommendation to make Fields their next CEO.

You shouldn’t shoot the messenger, but too many bosses do exactly that. Worst yet, the rest of the executive team is allowed to pile on when you finally do admit you’re in trouble. When people are afraid, they hide reality until it implodes. Tremendous effort is poured into managing a secret rather than finding a solution. Rather than obsess over disrupting competitors, perhaps it’s time you ‘disrupted’ the fear of failure for ‘disruptive’ ideas at your company, says Whitney Johnson, author of Disrupt Yourself. Make sure your management systems celebrate (rather than punish) those who clarify problems and challenge business as usual. Don’t wait for the C-Suite to do this for you—start by role modeling that behavior as a leader of your team at every level in the organization. It’s disastrous to make plans and set goals without a staffing strategy that makes it safe to work as a team through difficult times. As you hire new people, be on the lookout for recruiting a deeper bench of experienced talent who love to learn rather than hold court—auto-didactic executives who have the confidence and hunger to lead and improve at the same time.

  1. Strategic Capacity—The battle is lost or won before the players get on the field. What strategy, resources and skills are necessary for your teams to lead the business transformation that you’ve outlined in your annual plan? In other words, you’ve set the table and bought the ingredients, but do they know how to cook? Leaders often engage in “wishful thinking that people can easily take the leap of faith” to execute your plan without actively “preparing them to win,” Bill Gates told me when I first met him at the World Economic Forum in Davos. We were serving on a panel focused on strategic planning, and he gave us a stern reminder that the “people expected to do the work are rarely in the room” where those great plans were conceived, mandated and “passed down like tablets from above.” If there’s any major changes in process involved in this new plan, how will you reward your staff at every level to embrace change, or have they just been asked to tolerate the changes you’ve made rather than own them? “You can’t ‘manage’ change if your team doesn’t understand how you’re supporting them” through the transformation. It may be obvious to you, but not to them. You’ve got to show them, Gates said, “don’t just think they heard you because you told them.”
  2. Alignment—Do we have a process to reward and recognize people for working together across silos to make things happen for customers? Do we have the measures in place to make that obvious? You can’t manage what you don’t measure, but we often don’t realize that leaders have contradictory rules in place that make it difficult or invisible when our team goes out of their way to collaborate, says Harvard’s Dr. Carol Kauffman, founder and executive director of the Institute of Coaching. We team taught an advanced coaching workshop during her annual summit with McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate, where we heard overwhelming evidence from behavioralists like Dr. Susan David about how “alignment on a shared vision and ownership across teams” are the two lynchpins to high performance. What that requires is a behavior David calls Emotional Agility. She suggest that next time you find your team falling out of alignment “in a moment of stress or dealing with real complexity, ask yourself: I might be ‘right’ but is my response serving me? My team? My organization? What is my objective here? What am I truly trying to do? What action here is most aligned with my values?” Think about what team behaviors you want repeated: create a structure for that and shine a light in public about those values. Celebrate those teams and individuals who demonstrate them.
  3. Authority: “It’s obviously better to manage white water than to suffer log jams,” Travis Kalanick mused during my first visit to Uber. The disruptive founder of a company that’s synonymous with disruption loves white water, because to him that means “you’re paddling hard” through difficult currents, but at least you’re “splashing downstream with urgency.” But logjams around decision making are more typical; they signal that your plans are stuck because everyone is tolerating lack of clarity around authority. It’s much easier to give people responsibility and think that we’re holding them appropriately accountable than to figure out what level of authority they should have to deliver the outcomes you’re seeking. The point here is to agree explicitly about who can make which decisions. What makes this especially difficult is that you must be willing to tolerate and support other people making choices to move ahead even when you know they are not likely to be the same choices or maybe even the ‘best’ steps you’d take. There is often a mismatch between the responsibility that’s assigned and the authority necessary to move projects forward. Be realistic about workflow so that you intentionally accelerate progress.
  4. Accountability— What makes the planning process miserable are those endless days in the weeds fighting over the wrong issues or enemies, and in the end, it’s still not clear who’s responsible for what outcomes. Admit it, you’ve probably dreaded planning, and studies show that frustration springs from too many unspoken expectations by you and your boss, along with a general lack of pre-agreed definitions of success. LinkedIn leadership development expert Prakash Venkataraman believes the core to accountability revolves around clear ownership “focusing on what you can control to create the best possible outcome.” Ownership and accountability determine the “willingness to be held responsible for an outcome” even though we can’t control perfection.

I hated the planning cycle until I was lucky to work directly for a dozen years alongside founder Charles ‘Chuck’ Schwab,  the financial services industry disruptor. He insisted that no great plans or projects proceed without four checkpoints:

  1. Identify owners for what creates growth and quality of our services.
  2. Create clarity about how every new hire will have impact on your top priorities.
  3. Establish rewards and consequences for the individual, team and organization that make it self-evident how you’re doing. It’s not the boss’ role to hold you accountable—that’s your job—your leaders are there to bust barriers and help you win.
  4. Nail the right measures to keep things on track. Whenever the planning process started to drift at Schwab, he tasked the leadership team with shifting our external focus from obsessing over competitors, for example, (a natural tendency), when we should instead be fussing over our customers. When the internal conversations devolved into conflicts over power, control or defending turf, Schwab tasked us to remind the team who pays the bills. “Our job is to create breakout customer experiences — every year it’s about making things better and simpler in measurable ways,” Schwab said. At this point, Chuck would slap the table and smile as we lurched in our seats. Then he’d point to the plans that we had all signed up for. “I’m proud that you’re all willing to be accountable for that. You own what matters most!”

            The most common confusion about accountability is the difference between blame and responsibility. In studies about people who achieved extraordinary success long term despite seemingly impossible circumstances, “the most important factor was not whose ‘fault’ caused the horrible situation,” said serial entrepreneur and Cuban refugee, Dr. Raul Deju, founder of the Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership at John F. Kennedy University, where over $2 billion in revenue has been generated by dozens of scrappy startups born there. “What matters is that you take responsibility for what you can own — that might be your willingness to serve others, to learn new skills, or the attitude you show up with and an ambition to take action.”

            Deju and 35 other entrepreneurs have captured case histories of remarkable “ownership of adversity and personal transformation” in a recently released book, We Got Mojo (available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other resellers; check it out at http://www.wegotmojodeju.com. These are personal stories about business leaders who you would never have expected to spring out of the genocide of Cambodian killing fields, the Cuban Revolution, or brutal life in the rural mountain villages of Perú. “Nothing could stop any of us in our aim to lead a wildly successful life until we abandoned the right we had to be victims.” Deju said. “Sulking and blame never fixes anything — it’s all about Mojo, the powerful realization and joy of knowing that it’s a choice to decide how to hold yourself accountable every day.”

To create greater transparency and accountability around goals, serial entrepreneur Kris Duggan, founder of Badgeville, along with legendary venture capitalist John Doerr, the first chairman of Kleiner Perkins, joined forces to created a startup called BetterWorks. “OKR’s should be at the top of every CEO’s 2017 wishlist,” Duggan insists. “When you have tools in place to measure goals with complete company-wide transparency, you get both operational excellence and more engaged, motivated employees if you’re willing to make a few changes to your performance management process.” Duggan and Doerr recommend a fresh start in 2017 by “replacing heavyweight, annual performance reviews with lightweight, frequent feedback.”

After three decades coaching extraordinary entrepreneurs, I’ve seen far too many CEO’s struggle with a leadership team whose annual plans drift dangerously without accountability. To help bring more structure to that process, last year Don Sull of MIT and I decided to become strategic advisors at BetterWorks because the key to execution on the annual plan is obvious: “Sally on your team shouldn’t be editing her Instagram photos at work — nor should she ever doubt her role as an individual contributor connecting to the company’s success,” Duggan said. “Setting transparent OKRs and communicating them to the entire company helps keep employees, like Sally, focused on what really matters.”

Duggan and Doerr’s upcoming book, Measure What Matters, is packed with evidence on over 200,000 goals achieved with transparency at more than 25% of the Fortune 500. On April 20, I’ll be hosting dozens of conversations about OKR’s with these and other thought leaders at the 2017 BetterWorks GoalSummit at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

Megatrends for 2017 in Health Care-Part I

For those of you that want to sink you mojo into huge opportunities in 2017, look no further than the health field. However, you must keep in mind that these opportunities lie where few dare to have ventured in the past and “change” here is the norm. The current make-up of the health field is on an unsustainable path and either we effect some changes or we won’t be able to afford health care as we know it today.

While our current health care system is loaded with conflicts and problems these lead to huge opportunities. The Affordable Care Act was a daring step but it turned out to be not affordable and structurally not sustainable. Government and corporations need to rapidly change this unsustainable process while continuing to ensure basic affordable health care availability to everyone . As government embarks on changes to the current system there are lots of opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Here are five rocks entrepreneurs can look under for opportunities:

  1. Opportunities that deal with increasing competition and those that reduce the cost of administration of health delivery systems without affecting the quality of care are at the top of the list. Today in America, health care administration costs including insurance billing are about 30% of  total health care delivery costs. The other advanced nations in the world average 15-18% or about half of our costs as a % of total. Opportunities that can simplify the admin processes, streamline insurance and increase competition can save hundreds of billions of dollars per year. Competition across state lines can create efficiencies. Entrepreneurs with ideas that can streamline the vast administrative pipeline created by government and insurers can capitalize on this area. Mandate minimization and market forces will ensure that corporations and government deliver what consumers want and need.
  2. The drug delivery areas are rapidly changing. Life extension through quality living, eating and exercising and drugs that can extend quality of life into the 80’s and 90’s represent important business opportunities. Such opportunities will be enhanced in coming years with some revolutionary drugs, combined with healthy living alternatives, and genetics breakthroughs. Affordability of these options is a key to success.
  3. A great deal of the US medical expenses go for malpractice insurance, in fact the number is over $60 Billion a year and that number is understated as it does not include the cost of excess testing that doctors incur to avoid even a shade of malpractice liability. Malpractice insurance reform can provide a significant opportunity for cost reductions without affecting the quality of health care.
  4. Innovation areas where medical practitioners can identify diseases much earlier can save both lives as well as dollars. This field is ripe for entrepreneurs.
  5. Health care informatics is also an important opportunity for entrepreneurs so that the vast amount of health care information on each patient is easily accessible to anyone providing health services to the patient. Health records informatics must realize the full advantages of incorporating Artificial Intelligence into these systems.

To be continued in my next blog with more health care thoughts! Have a Happy and Healthy 2017.

We Got Mojo and So Should You! The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

As the holidays approach, I am always reminded of the good, the bad, and the ugly. The good is to give thanks for the good things we can count on for now, a good family, a great country and the opportunity to be alive today enjoying the goodness of America and its people. The bad for us now is the loss of one of my colleagues and co-author of my seventh book, Harlan Kleiman who passed away less than a month ago. Harlan who was one of the leading forces shaping the creation of Pay TV Channels, passed away peacefully leaving us without his charm, his caring, initiative and great mind. Harlan authored one of the chapters in our book We Got Mojo! Stories of Inspiration and Perspiration and will be sorely missed. Finally, the ugly is reflected in today’s polarization in our country. I offer the following solution “Let’s not get further apart, but have faith in the future. Let’s move an inch closer together  each day, let’s be tolerant and build some team mojo to get through the lows and turn them into highs”. We live in the greatest nation on earth with the greatest liberties anywhere. Let’s make America even greater, without segregating ourselves into polar opposites. Let’s turn the ugly polarization into a move toward the center where all of us can use our mojo to the benefit of all. Happy holidays, and a great 2017 to all.

Now if you still have not done it, buy a copy of We Got Mojo! Stories of Inspiration and Perspiration by Raul A. Deju and his 35 BFF. Proceeds go to help the Disabled Veterans Business Alliance. Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other booksellers.

What are the Megatrends in the Business World Today!

For the next 4 weeks I will feature 4 of my favorite books for 2016 and their importance to help us understand the megatrends driving the business world today. This week, I begin by featuring “Platform Revolution” by Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall W. Van Alstyne and Sangeet Paul Choudary.

This phenomenal work shows us how platforms beat products and how you can learn to transform your organization to take advantage of a platform structure. The authors point out that Uber, Airbnb, Amazon, Apple and PayPal are platforms that totally disrupted their markets when they launched. So you are starting a new venture, you need to  learn the secrets to start a successful platform business . If you are a traditional company today, the book will teach you how you can adapt to a platform in today’s changing marketplace. This is a must read!

Next week we will feature how to deal with “Health Science” opportunities.

We Got Mojo! can take you to higher ground

The election is over in the US. The challenges in the world still remain but it is now time to come together as one country with one class of citizens and pull ahead to solve problems. The stories in We Got Mojo should inspire you and help you succeed in life.

Also now as the holiday season begins books make great gifs. Give copies of We Got Mojo and you are donating to veteran entrepreneurship. Place your order at http://www.wegotmojodeju.com or through Amazon, Barnes & Noble or other book-sellers.