Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

Honorees Dr. Sharon Nazarian, Kalika Nacion Yap and Anne Shen Smith

Honorees Dr. Sharon Nazarian, Kalika Nacion Yap and Anne Shen Smith


Our CEO Kalika Yap was honored by the ADL at it’s 19th Annual Deborah Awards Dinner on March 6 at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills.

ADL’s Deborah Awards are presented annually to outstanding women whose leadership in their professions and civic contributions exemplify the qualities and ideals of the Anti-Defamation League.

Other honorees at the dinner include academic and philanthropist Dr. Sharon S. Nazarian, President, Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation and Chair, Community Advisory Board, Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, UCLA; and business leader Anne Shen Smith, Chairman and CEO of Southern California Gas Company.

Here’s Kalika’s speech
This particular award means so much to me as the prophetess Deborah exemplified courage, wisdom and leadership – three qualities for which without we couldn’t possibly begin to create a world free of hate. 
They’re also key ingredients in being successful as an entrepreneur.
But don’t be fooled, entrepreneurship is rarely glamorous.  In fact, ask any successful entrepreneur, the experience is more often messy, uncoordinated and full of twists and turns.  
Entrepreneurs are all too accustomed to when things DON’T go as planned. It’s incredibly challenging that even the BEST ideas can’t get off the ground.  
It’s is the only endeavor in which an empty tank can create a burst of energy, spontaneous genius and brilliant insanity.
It is also the home of so many who have made and will make history, it is why I love the work that I get to do and why I’m grateful that I get the chance to do it day after day.
And when things DO go as planned and a business or businesses grows, there’s oftentimes bitter sweetness to entrepreneurial success.  
Often, we, as business owners, find ourselves alone facing challenges we don’t know how to surmount with growing responsibilities, not just to our own families, but for those of people we employ and their families.  
So, we understand the incredible comfort that comes with having a support system, a place where you can go and be protected.  
As an entrepreneur, I have found priceless solace and support by my friends and peers at EO the Entrepreneurs Organization and NAWBO – the National Association of Women Business Owners.
We can never undervalue the importance of simply having a place you can go where like minded people are.  
I joined as an ambassador for the Anti-Defamation League Cyber Allys program because I knew how deeply impactful it is knowing that there was a safe place for you when you feel alone. 
Everyone deserves to feel safe, supported and free to be proud of exactly who they are.  
Everyone deserves the chance to know the feeling of security and self confidence – they are also key ingredients  in entrepreneurial success.  
But THE absolute key ingredient to my success has been the unwaivering support of my family, in particular my partner in life, my husband Rodney and our two beautiful girls Malia and Kailani who not only inspire me to keep going even on the hardest of days, but who are the reason every tough day is surmountable and every great day  is achievable. 
Thank you for this award and please continue to support this amazing organization.  
Kalika with her husband Rodney and daughters Malia and Kailani
Kalika with her husband Rodney and daughters Malia and Kailani

via James

The best managers have a fundamentally different understanding of workplace, company, and team dynamics. See what they get right.

A few years back, I interviewed some of the most successful CEOs in the world in order to discover their management secrets. I learned that the “best of the best” tend to share the following eight core beliefs.

1. Business is an ecosystem, not a battlefield.

Average bosses see business as a conflict between companies, departments and groups. They build huge armies of “troops” to order about, demonize competitors as “enemies,” and treat customers as “territory” to be conquered.

Extraordinary bosses see business as a symbiosis where the most diverse firm is most likely to survive and thrive. They naturally create teams that adapt easily to new markets and can quickly form partnerships with other companies, customers … and even competitors.

2. A company is a community, not a machine.

Average bosses consider their company to be a machine with employees as cogs. They create rigid structures with rigid rules and then try to maintain control by “pulling levers” and “steering the ship.”

Extraordinary bosses see their company as a collection of individual hopes and dreams, all connected to a higher purpose. They inspire employees to dedicate themselves to the success of their peers and therefore to the community–and company–at large.

3. Management is service, not control.

Average bosses want employees to do exactly what they’re told. They’re hyper-aware of anything that smacks of insubordination and create environments where individual initiative is squelched by the “wait and see what the boss says” mentality.

Extraordinary bosses set a general direction and then commit themselves to obtaining the resources that their employees need to get the job done. They push decision making downward, allowing teams form their own rules and intervening only in emergencies.

4. My employees are my peers, not my children.

Average bosses see employees as inferior, immature beings who simply can’t be trusted if not overseen by a patriarchal management. Employees take their cues from this attitude, expend energy on looking busy and covering their behinds.

Extraordinary bosses treat every employee as if he or she were the most important person in the firm. Excellence is expected everywhere, from the loading dock to the boardroom. As a result, employees at all levels take charge of their own destinies.

5. Motivation comes from vision, not from fear.

Average bosses see fear–of getting fired, of ridicule, of loss of privilege–as a crucial way to motivate people.  As a result, employees and managers alike become paralyzed and unable to make risky decisions.

Extraordinary bosses inspire people to see a better future and how they’ll be a part of it.  As a result, employees work harder because they believe in the organization’s goals, truly enjoy what they’re doing and (of course) know they’ll share in the rewards.

6. Change equals growth, not pain.

Average bosses see change as both complicated and threatening, something to be endured only when a firm is in desperate shape. They subconsciously torpedo change … until it’s too late.

Extraordinary bosses see change as an inevitable part of life. While they don’t value change for its own sake, they know that success is only possible if employees and organization embrace new ideas and new ways of doing business.

7. Technology offers empowerment, not automation.

Average bosses adhere to the old IT-centric view that technology is primarily a way to strengthen management control and increase predictability. They install centralized computer systems that dehumanize and antagonize employees.

Extraordinary bosses see technology as a way to free human beings to be creative and to build better relationships. They adapt their back-office systems to the tools, like smartphones and tablets, that people actually want to use.

8. Work should be fun, not mere toil.

Average bosses buy into the notion that work is, at best, a necessary evil. They fully expect employees to resent having to work, and therefore tend to subconsciously define themselves as oppressors and their employees as victims. Everyone then behaves accordingly.

Extraordinary bosses see work as something that should be inherently enjoyable–and believe therefore that the most important job of manager is, as far as possible, to put people in jobs that can and will make them truly happy.



The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO-LA) 26th Annual NAWBO-LA Leadership and Legacy Awards Luncheon was held at the J.W. Marriott at LA. Live last Friday, March 23, 2012.

The NAWBO-LA Awards aim to give deserved tribute to top achievers and advocates in the women’s business community and recognize their contributions to the advancement of women.

Magic Johnson, Max Azria both made special appearances to present their gorgeous, lovely wives awards. Cookie Johnson, received the Rising Star Award (which Kalika received in 2012).

Max Azria and Lubov Azria of BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP

Earvin "Magic" Johnson Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, Cookie Johnson the Founder & Co-Owner of CJ by Cookie Johnson

Kalika with EO Online guru, Stephen Jagger

with the NY Times best selling author of Tribal Leadership, Dr. Dave Logan

Congratulations to the 2012 honorees!

Lubov Azria
Chief Creative Officer, BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP

Frieda Rapoport Caplan
Founder & Chairman of the Board, Frieda’s Inc.

Cookie Johnson
Founder & Co-Owner, CJ by Cookie Johnson

Byron Reed
Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo

Patricia Watts
President/CEO, FCI Management Consultants

Julie Schoenfeld
CEO, Perfect Market, Inc.

Luisa Acosta-Franco
Head of Specialized Distribution, Farmers Insurance Group


Today is a Federal Holiday celebrating one man’s journey for bringing unity and equality to our great nation.


“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the most significant and compelling civil rights activists in history. He is often recalled as a model of peaceful resistance and a hero of the civil rights movement.



I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” ~Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream, 1963.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was first celebrated in 1986.  King was born on January 15, 1929 and was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.


Steve Jobs’ commencement address at Stanford University in 2005 is one of his most quoted speeches. It has been described as ‘life-changing’ and ‘career transforming’.

Here are some of the quotes from his address:

  • When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
  • I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
  • Death is the destination we all share, no one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be because death is very likely the single best invention of life.
  • Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
  • Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
  • No one wants to die. Even people who wanna go to heaven don’t wanna die to get there.
  • Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
  • The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Quotes from

Don’t miss EO Los Angeles first big chapter event of the 2011 – 2012 year!

About the Topic:

Every organization and company is a tribe, or a network of tribes-groups of 20 to 150 people that form naturally, in which everyone knows everyone else, or at least knows of them. In this interactive session, Dave Logan gives you an overview of how to upgrade your organization one tribe at a time. The result is unprecedented impact and financial success.

At the heart of this session is the principals’ ten-year study on over 24,000 people (published in 2008 by HarperCollins as Tribal Leadership by Logan, King, and Fischer-Wright) that mapped, for the first time, five stages of corporate culture and the unique leverage points to nudge a group forward. The five cultures are:

Stage One: criminal clusters, such as gangs and prisons, where the theme is “life sucks,” and people act out in despairingly hostile ways.

Stage Two: the dominant culture in 25 percent of workplace tribes where people say, in effect, “my life sucks,” and exhibit behavior of apathetic victims.

Stage Three: the dominant culture in almost half of U.S. workplace tribes, where theme is “I’m great.” This personally competitive cultural stage produces only limited innovation and almost no collaboration.

Stage Four: representing 22 percent of tribal cultures, where the theme is “we’re great.” Stage four is the zone of Tribal Leadership where the leader upgrades the tribe as the tribe embraces the leader.

Stage Four is the beginning of high performance.

Stage Five: the culture of 2 percent of the workforce tribes, where the theme is “life is great” and people focus on realizing potential by making history. Teams at Stage Five have produced remarkable innovations, leading their industries and the economy.

You can register at
Learn, Connect, Enjoy!

Citrus designed a short video with a few quotes from Howard Schultz’s (CEO of Starbucks) new book Onward.  Enjoy!

Members of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization attended a private event last night where the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, sat down with Willow Bay, Senior Editor of the Huffington Post to talk about his second book, Onward (released just a few days ago.)

Citrus Studios website design, Los Angeles
CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz in conversation with the gorgeous Willow Bay, Senior Editor of the Huffington Post

In the Blossom Ballroom at the Roosevelt Hotel, EO members and guests were able to hear Howard share the story of the company’s turnaround, revealing how, during one of the most tumultuous economic periods in American history, Starbucks achieved profitability without sacrificing humanity.

He spoke about:

1.  The importance of depositing into a reservoir of trust by engaging with customers in the social and digital media space

2.  VIA/Starbucks’ Instant Coffee (which he predicts will be a multi-billion dollar empire)

3.  Why he came back as CEO (out of pure love for his company, aww!)

4.  The infamous Transformation Agenda that he borrowed/stole from Michael Dell, (who he goes on long bike rides with when in Hawaii/Maui.)

5.  Firing 9 out of 11 board members upon his return as CEO.

6.  How he closed all 7,100 U.S. stores to retrain baristas on how to make the perfect espresso.

7.  How success has a way of covering up small failures.

8.  The core values that inform his leadership:

Grow with discipline. Balance intuition with rigor. Innovate around the core. Don’t embrace the status quo. Find new ways to see. Never expect a silver bullet. Get your hands dirty. Listen with empathy and overcommunicate with transparency. Tell your story, refusing to let others define you.  Use authentic experiences to inspire. Stick to your values, they are your foundation.  Hold people accountable but give them the tools to succeed. Make the tough choices; it’s how you execute that counts. Be decisive in times of crisis. Be nimble. Find truth in trials and lessons in mistakes. Be responsible for what you see, hear, and do. Believe.

The word “onward” has appeared at the end of memos that he wrote to partners since 1985. During the company’s difficulties these past few years, “onward” became a spontaneous rallying cry, a source of inspiration and a sort of call to arms that connoted how Starbucks needed to be: forward leaning, nimble, scrappy. “Onward” has come to represent the type of leadership that strives to balance heritage and innovation; creativity and rigor; and benevolence and accountability.

At the end of the evening, Mr. Schultz was given the EO-LA Entrepreneur of the Year Award and each guest received an autographed copy of his book.  Thank you EO-LA for a fun and truly memorable evening!


Best web design company, best web site design Los Angeles, CA. Citrus Studios.
Caught In Action: A New Starbucks Popping Up. Hollywood, CA, March 30th, 2011. It Awaits the Arrival of Its CEO Next Week.

Citrus Studios is in the business of helping other businesses thrive and grow.  In order to this we study and learn from the most successful CEOs and entrepreneurs in the world.

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, released his new book yesterday.  Onward, is inspiring and full of gems for any CEO and entrepreneur.  In it we see how, “companies pay a price when their leaders ignore things that may be fracturing their foundation.” This Starbucks story shows us how he restored that foundation and once again achieved profitability.

Next week Mr. Schultz will be speaking in front of a group of elite entrepreneurial leaders.  We can’t wait to share what we learn from him with our clients!

Here at Citrus Studios, we have the unique privilege of working for a female CEO.  The difference in the office atmosphere is tangible. It is a key to our success and part of what makes Citrus Studios an award-winning design firm.

By nature, a feminine leadership style is more one of collaboration and listening. People feel that whatever they are doing is purposeful and that they are cared about.

These sentiments were echoed in Switzerland on March 7th during Building Bridges: The Next Hundred Years of Women’s Leadership. This conference brought together more than 50 women excelling in the fields of politics, business, science and media.

So, how will leadership evolve over the next 100 years?

A shift is already underway, according to leadership guru Betsy Myers, a former top advisor to Barack Obama.

One in two workers in America feels undervalued, mainly because of their boss: the old style of leadership – “command and control” – doesn’t work anymore, Myers said.

Her advice for women leaders of the future: take responsibility for your career. “For women it’s having the confidence, voicing what it is you want, where you want to go and then figuring out who the mentors are in the organization that can help me get there. Because everything we accomplish in life is really due to relationships.”

For more information on Building Bridges: The Next Hundred Years of Women’s Leadership conference, click here.