Doing Good and Doing Well! | Conscious Capitalism Part One

For the last 25 years I have been speaking and consulting on culture change- subscribing to the tenets of conscious capitalism not knowing there was such a movement. It was gratifying to come across the book Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business, which echoes what I have been advocating- with clients from the United States Marine Corp to the SPCA of North Texas, that organizations can both do well and do good; whether they be a for profit or nonprofit.  [Read more...]

Purpose Driven Companies | Conscious Capitalism Part Two

Raj Sisodia , cofounder with John Mackey of the Conscious Capitalism movement joined the McCuistion program once again, along with Whitney Johns Martin: Co-Founder/ Managing Director of Texas Women’s Ventures and conscious capitalism practitioner Scott Miller: President of Interstate Batteries.

Our guests talked about the practical application of conscious capitalism and how organizations can adapt the premise of purpose driven capitalism. A strong emphasis was placed on the how to’s of engaging employees so they are excited and committed to the organization’s mission. As I talk about in my work, employees who are empowered to succeed in meaningful work and are energized and enabled by leadership who cares about their employees well being, practice the organization’s mission. The end result, customers who truly enjoy their experience with the organization, who are loyal, refer the organization to others, and no surprise- the organization is more profitable as a result. [Read more...]

Shattering the Nonprofit Myth- From Begging to Sustainability

Uncharitable, by Dan Pallotta, challenges the traditional charity think most nonprofits adhere to. Unlike other books of this genre, which advise on ways to improve nonprofit performance, Uncharitable shatters prevailing myths. I was in production for a McCuistion TV taping, on philanthropy and new methods of acquiring sustainability and coincidentally Dan Pallotta was in town, speaking to Dallas Social Venture Partners. Of course I had to meet and interview him! [Read more...]

Alex Burton: A Dallas News Icon


- Interviewed at Press Club of Dallas Living Legends 2011 event

Alex Burton, longtime radio and television newsman, died Thursday, September 13th. Alex was well known for his wit, insightful comments, warmth and general observation of the human condition. He was one of a kind.

Alex worked in radio in Canada; going on to a broadcasting job in Corpus Christi in 1961. He worked at several radio stations in the Rio Grande Valley and a San Antonio television station before joining WBAP-TV as a reporter and cameraman in 1962. He anchored Channel 5 newscasts and in 1966 was eventually replaced by another future network icon, Bob Schieffer.

His diverse career in radio and TV earned him positions as news director of Channel 39 in Dallas; KRLD-AM (1080) as a reporter and commentator and as the weekend anchor for KRLD-TV, now KDFW-TV (Channel 4.) He was also a police and courthouse reporter at KRLD-AM delivering daily commentaries; staying with them till September 1989.

Alex joined WBAP-AM radio in 1990, until the Fort Worth station picked up Rush Limbaugh’s syndicated talk show in October 1992.He then went on to a late-night talk program on KRLD and had a half-hour talk show on KDFI-TV, now KTXA-TV (Channel 21) before retiring in 1994. He continued with announcing and narration for many clients, including PBS.

At an early age he studied drama, and had thought of acting as a career path, however, “I thought about becoming a serious actor, but I discovered I couldn’t remember my lines and everybody else’s lines at the same time,” he said. “It kind of put the cap on being a dramatic actor.” Still his passion for drama stayed with him and made him an excellent raconteur. Alex’ commentaries sometimes included philosophical conversations with a pigeon, “The pigeon could say things that weren’t allowed, and then I could straighten him out.” Sometimes it was his plant- Arthur, a leftover prop he adopted and spoke to on the air.

He also was a community TV producer and served on the board of Community Access TV in Dallas. He was active with the Reading and Radio Resource, services for the blind, and was the voice of 90-second Health watch features on the ABC Satellite Network.

A true renaissance man, he also carved bowls, “I won three prizes at the State Fair,” he said. “Not the best of show or anything like that, but ribbons — first, second and thirds. I won three first prizes as a wood turner with my bowls”; fired ceramics, quilted and published several books.

Alex had a unique and colorful history, from political science at the University of Texas at Arlington, where he was named a Distinguished Alumni in 1981 to being inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2011 The Dallas Press Club honored him as a Living Legend of North Texas Journalism.

I had the honor of interviewing him at that event on the purpose and responsibility of the press. As always he was direct, took no prisoners and made you think. Alex was special, they broke the mold when  he was made. He had a significant impact on the people he worked with, the lives he touched, the savoir faire, dignity and depth he brought to each of the positions he held. Alex’s curiosity, sense of integrity, warmth and huge heart were always present, even to the very last. We’ll never forget Alex. Thank you, Alex for your joyful spirit. You’ll be so missed.
- Niki McCuistion

I’ve never met anyone who was so inquisitive, so multi-talented (he wrote a children’s orchestral piece, crafted wooden bowls, did a quilt, wrote several books, fired ceramics, and so much more), and cared so much for his community and his journalism profession. If it was a cause he believed in, he was there to serve. Even in his final hospice days, he was giving orders to check on this or that or to kick someone in the backside to get whatever-it-was further down the road. Alex was a true treasure. A light! A curmudgeon? At times. But only because he cared. We love you, Alex. And we miss you.
- David Dunnigan

Alex is survived by his wife, Mary Jane Tokar and two daughters, Mila Isabella and Sylvia Mansfield.

Memorials may be made to the Press Club of Dallas Scholarship Fund; Mail to: The Press Club of Dallas, % of E.M. Duvall & Associates, 329 Oaks Trail, No. 190 Garland, Texas 75043.

Thoughts on Freedom, the Fourth of July and Anousheh Ansari

Greetings my friends:

Yesterday, as in most cities around the US, Dallas celebrated July 4th with parades and fireworks displays, each one more spectacular than its neighbors. I participated in a few celebrations and once again thanked the Universe for the freedoms we enjoy here in the US – which not everyone everywhere does.

This mood was somewhat tarnished when I opened emails, some of which had the most intolerant statements- pointing fingers at each others’ parties and politics and religions. “Well it’s an election year, to be expected, each side slams the other”, I sighed, then shook my head and said no, darn it; “it’s the 4th of July- it’s about celebrating freedom in a country that purports to be united, compassionate, a democracy and tolerant of differences, some of those differences ones of color, race, creed and political and other ideology. In fact, some of those same differences that caused our families, even some of us, to immigrate and get away from intolerant nations and situations, sometimes fleeing outright persecution”.

I thought about the individuals who inspire us to go beyond pettiness and embrace civility. Albert Einstein, for one, who said, “our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty;” My friend Ann who talks about civility…. through her entrepreneurship and the Grace of Tea; and Anousheh Ansari, another.

Now a Dallas based entrepreneur, and the “first female private space explorer”, Anousheh, who originally hails from Iran, recently joined us for a McCuistion TV taping. On the program, she stated what I felt this way:

“Earth is our space station traveling through this Universe and the sooner we realize it… we will find a better way to live together peacefully and really enjoy the resources we have on this planet.”

Her story and how she fulfilled her dream is inspiring so I hope you tune in this Sunday, July 8, 2012 and watch on KERA or visit McCuistionTV.com next week as the full episode will be online (click here for more information on the episode).

These examples compelled me to rebut some of those email comments and instead talk about tolerance and freedom of speech and what we are grateful for on July 4th. And I got some comments back. A friend commented with her July 4th experience,

“Yesterday I was watching FOX -5 news while making dinner. They asked several people what the 4th of July meant to them. It was interesting that all said the right to our freedom but they didn’t, and couldn’t, articulate beyond that very well.” She asked as do I, “Is it that we’ve taken freedom so for granted that we can’t say what it means anymore. Do we take for granted the gifts that we have in the country and only look at what we don’t have?”

For awhile I have been thinking of, writing about, mulling over the concepts of intolerance and fear which is often media fed and not just in a political year. My friend reminded me of this and the potential recipe for disaster it may lead to. Her words, not mine,

“Where there is fear there can be no peace, internally individually or externally. It seems to me that disharmony is also being fed by the bias we hear from the many peoples throughout the world. I think that the real question is: ‘how can we, individually, make the world a better place?’ Extremists, radical thinking, bias, intolerance, continue to perpetuate the hidden fear that WE ALL store consciously or unconsciously. Words are powerful and until we begin to speak collectively about the power of peace and how we share similar values for family, community and life we will continue toward a downward trajectory”.

Thank you Anousheh and others for the reminder of what freedom and tolerance and mutual respect mean and restoring my mood and faith in people. And hope you watch the program; you too will be inspired.

All my best:
Niki