Why Listening is the Better Half of Communication and Why Dads Should Listen …

Tonight, I received one of the greatest compliments a person could ever give me. It happened unexpectedly at a small, semi-private gathering of dads who get together regularly to support one another amid various fatherhood endeavors. I had been invited to visit the group and say a few words about how mindfulness impacts fatherhood, so on the way to the gathering, I ran through several potential topics from my new book, The Dadly Way: 10 Steps to More Active Fatherhood and Equal Parenting.

First, I thought about discussing the myth of father absence, particularly with respect to discussing how the stereotype of the deadbeat or runaway dad is quickly being destroyed by men all over the country, from all ethnicities and walks of life who recognize that their children deserve better than what they had growing up and desire nothing more than to prevent that from happening again to the next generation.

Then, I thought about talking to these men about masculinity, particularly about how it takes a lot of strength to build up emotional walls, brick by painstaking brick, but it takes a lot more strength to knock down these walls and make ourselves vulnerable, emotionally available, and compassionate with the ones we love.

Maybe, I thought, I could give them all a talk about EGO (Everyones Greatest Obstacle) and how often our manly notions of pride get in the way of our best intentions.

Or, we could have talked about working with others–moms, care providers, educators, medical professionals, etc.–about what a Father Friendly environment could look like if we all worked together. In my book, we define Father Friendly as: the open expression of value for the role of a father as an equally necessary parent, which is communicated through welcoming means that promote, nurture, and sustain fatherhood as a top priority.

I then briefly entertained the thought of discussing what my co-author and I refer to as the parenting wars and how frequently many of us end up sabotaging one another, one-upping each other, and embroiling ourselves in heated conflicts that inevitably only hurt ourselves and set a poor example for our children.

All these thoughts and more ran through my mind on the 30-minute commute leading up to the fatherhood group, but something unexpected happened when I walked into the room–something impulsive. As I listened to each father introduce himself and his week, ranging from young, inexperienced dads with young children to much older dads of adult children, I started appreciating each mans story for what it was.

Within each mans story, I heard love. I heard acceptance. I heard pure joy but I also heard agonizing suffering. What I heard above all else was a strong, impulsive, and nearly instinctual desire to be the best man each of them could possibly be on behalf of their children. I heard each man state in their own unique way how the only thing they each desired, above any other whim, was to be good role models for their children at any and all cost to themselves.

At that moment, the topic for the night became clear. As fathers, we are called to lead by example for our children, for better or for worse. My children are the mirror I hold up to my own life, and what I see playing out in their lives are reflections of what I have invested in theirs. This topic came straight out of the end of our book, from chapters 9 10, which discuss how the children are watching (even when we think they are not) and how our full and intentional presence in their lives are critical to providing them with the foundations they need to navigate all of the unknowns of life.

I then turned the discussion over to the dads and asked, How do you see your children reenacting your behavior, but more to the point, do you like what you see? Two hours later, the sun had set on our room and somebody had to point out to the group that it was dark. We had talked so much and shared stories so deeply engaging that we failed to notice that our light had faded, but that didnt seem to matter.

The compliment I referred to earlier? As we all got up to leave, one of the dads had the following to say:

You know what I appreciated most about having you as our guest tonight? You shared your story, related it to the lesson, and then turned it over to us to hear our stories. Thank you for listening.

Of all the lessons that we as dads–as parents in general even–can demonstrate for our children and one another is that listening is more often than not the better half of communication, and furthermore, it is a skill that most of us could stand to improve.

For this writer, merely knowing that my one act of listening had a positive impact, even if only for a few hours among a group of fellow dads, was enough to make it one of the best compliments Ive ever received.

Two Harbors Investments Corp Price Target Update

Currently the company Insiders own 0.7% of Two Harbors Investment Corp. Company shares. In the past six months, there is a change of -2.99% in the total insider ownership. Institutional Investors own 72.2% of Company shares. During last 3 month period, -0.9% of total institutional ownership has changed in the company shares.

On a different note, The Company has disclosed insider buying and selling activities to the Securities Exchange, According to the information disclosed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in a Form 4 filing, the CEO of Two Harbors Investment Corp., Siering Thomas, had purchased 3,000 shares in a transaction dated on August 11, 2015. The transaction was executed at $9.67 per share with total amount equaling $29,010.

Two Harbors Investments Corp (NYSE:TWO) rose 1.5% or 0.14 points on Thursday and made its way into the gainers of the day. After trading began at $9.35 the stock was seen hitting $9.6175 as a peak level and $9.28 as the lowest level. The stock ended up at $9.49. The daily volume was measured at 2,947,685 shares. The 52-week high of the share price is $11 and the 52-week low is $8. The company has a market cap of $3,488 million.

Two Harbors Investment Corp. (Two Harbors) operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company is focused on investing in, financing and managing residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), residential mortgage loans, residential real properties, and other financial assets. The Company focuses on security selection and implements a relative value investment approach across various sectors within the residential mortgage market. Its target assets include Agency RMBS, Non-Agency RMBS, residential mortgage loans, residential real properties and other financial assets comprising approximately 5% to 10% of the portfolio. The Company has designated certain of its subsidiaries as taxable REIT subsidiaries (TRSs). Capitol Acquisition Corp. (Capitol) is a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Two Harbors. In May 2013, the Companys wholly owned subsidiary acquired a company.

Chicago’s Talent Behind “Empire”

With a competitive tax break incentive put in place since the Richard M. Daley administration and Illinois state legislators, filming in 2013 Chicago has generated $358 million in revenue. Production companies working on television shows from “Chicago Fire”, “Chicago PD”, and “Empire” have ongoing production work for home base film professionals. Major feature films have also called the third largest city home for “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” ($24 million), Batman’ “Dark Knight” ($40 million) and “Public Enemies” generating $46.7 million. In addition to the new prospects of the George Lucas Museum here–it is sure to draw even more production power.

Most recently, we witnessed history made with the first African American actress, Viola Davis winning an Emmy for Lead Actress on a Dramatic Series, “How to Get Away with Murder,” which premiered on ABC for its phenomenal first season. In her acceptance speech she elegantly said, “You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there. So here’s to all the writers, the awesome people that are Ben Sherwood, Paul Lee, Peter Nowalk, Shonda Rhimes, people who have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman, to be Black.’

The lack of opportunities for Black talent in Hollywood has always been a deep area of concern. But with the power behind the cam- era and behind the script, the diversity of talent has opened up lanes for more work for people of color. We thank the genius of creator and writer, Shonda Rhimes for producing a continual line-up of hit series, on a major television network beginning with ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy”, to “Scandal” and her new baby, “How to Get Away with Murder.” Her shows, present an African American actor either in a leading or co-starring role manifesting a diverse viewing audience.

Gladstone Commercial Co. Plans Monthly Dividend of $0.13 (GOOD)

Shares of Gladstone Commercial (NASDAQ:GOOD) opened at 13.92 on Friday. Gladstone Commercial has a 12 month low of $12.00 and a 12 month high of $18.84. The stocks 50 day moving average price is $15.17 and its 200-day moving average price is $17.09. The firm has a market cap of $297.30 million and a P/E ratio of 105.45.

Gladstone Commercial (NASDAQ:GOOD) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, August 3rd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.37. The business had revenue of $20.70 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $20.50 million. Equities research analysts anticipate that Gladstone Commercial will post $1.54 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Gladstone Commercial Corporation is a real estate investment trust (NASDAQ:GOOD). The Company is engaged in investing and owning net leased industrial, commercial and retail real properties and making long-term industrial and commercial mortgage loans. The Company’s principal investment objective is to generate income from rental properties and mortgage loans. The Company’s portfolio of real estate is leased to a section of tenants ranging from small businesses to large public companies. The Company owns approximately 96 properties. The Company conducts its activities, including the ownership of its properties, through Gladstone Commercial Limited Partnership (Operating Partnership). The Company’s business is managed by its external adviser, Gladstone Management Corporation. Gladstone Administration, LLC provides administrative services to the Company.

Receive News Ratings for Gladstone Commercial Daily – Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts ratings for Gladstone Commercial and related companies with MarketBeat.coms FREE daily email newsletter.

Where is Two Harbors Investments Corp (NYSE:TWO) Headed According to Analysts?

Two Harbors Investments Corp (NYSE:TWO) shares opened the most recent trading session at $9.47, traded in the range of $9.46-$9.6 before closing at $9.58. Analysts are anticipating that shares of Two Harbors Investments Corp will reach the range of $10 to $12.25 within the next 12 months. The consensus one-year price target stands at $11.075. This is the average number based on the 10 brokerage firm reports taken into consideration by Zacks.

The same sell-side analysts are expecting quarterly earnings of $0.24 for the current period. According to the latest available information, the firm will issue their earnings release on or around 2015-11-03. Most recently the firm reported earnings per share of $0.22 for the fiscal period which closed on 2015-06-30.

Zacks helps retail investors understand brokerage recommendations by compiling them into a simplified ratings scale. Since firms often use different terminology for their Buy/Sell recommendations, Zacks offers a consensus analyst rating on each stock based on a sliding 1 to 5 scale, where 1 is a Strong Buy a 5 a Strong Sell. The rating score for Two Harbors Investments Corp (NYSE:TWO) currently stands at 1.55. The is the average recommendation based on the 10 firms polled by Zacks.

Taking a glance ahead of full year estimates, earnings of $0.98 is anticipated for the 12-month period, according to the analysts providing longer term projections. The analyst with the most positive view of the stock is expecting $1.06 per share. The most conservative predicts EPS of $0.82 for the year.

Two Harbors Investment Corp. (Two Harbors) operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company is focused on investing in, financing and managing residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), residential mortgage loans, residential real properties, and other financial assets. The Company focuses on security selection and implements a relative value investment approach across various sectors within the residential mortgage market. Its target assets include Agency RMBS, Non-Agency RMBS, residential mortgage loans, residential real properties and other financial assets comprising approximately 5% to 10% of the portfolio. The Company has designated certain of its subsidiaries as taxable REIT subsidiaries (TRSs). Capitol Acquisition Corp. (Capitol) is a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Two Harbors. In May 2013, the Companys wholly owned subsidiary acquired a company.

Microsoft experimenting with Cortana in your car

Microsoft firstunveiled its Windows in the car concept at last years Build developer conference. While the demo included the ability to project a Windows interface to mirror whats shown on a phone screen into a touch- and car-friendly interface, there was little mention of how youd interact with the system using just your voice.

Microsofts Windows in the car concept has now progressed to include Cortana. At Microsofts TechDays event in Taiwan today, Samuel Shen, chief operating officer at Microsoft Asia-Pacific Research, revealed that the company has created a concept that projects Cortana onto the windshield of a car. The Cortana integration lets drivers make restaurant reservations on their windshield, or see their favorite locations thanks to a virtual map.Taipei Times reports that Shen revealed we have not launched similar products due to the high cost, but we hope to have further discussions with Taiwanese partners to jointly explore future possibilities.

PSG winger Di Maria ‘surprised’ at Ibrahimovic talent

Paris Saint-Germain attacker Angel di Maria has been very surprised by how good teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic is.

Di Maria joined the Ligue 1 championin August, completing a 44 million pound move from Manchester United.

While the Argentina international has made a decent start to life at the Parc des Princes despite injury, Ibrahimovic is yet to score for his club this season.

But Di Maria said the Swedes talent was undeniable, and he had been stunned by the 33-year-olds ability.

I have played with Leo [Lionel Messi], Cristiano [Ronaldo], [Wayne] Rooney, and now I have the chance to play with Ibra, he toldUEFA.com.Id never realized how good he is, all the moves he has, despite him being so tall. I was very surprised, honestly, from the day I arrived.

So hopefully well get along well, because I think he has a lot of quality and a lot to bring to this team.

Awaiting Di Maria and Ibrahimovic in November is a trip to Real Madrid in the Champions League.Asked about taking on his former club, Di Maria said there would be no celebrations if he scored at the Santiago Bernabeu.

When I knew I would be moving to Paris, I said to my wife that I was sure we would draw Real Madrid, he said.I dont know how the people there will welcome me, but we won the Decima and many other titles together, and in my last match – against Atletico Madrid – the fans gave me a standing ovation when they knew I was leaving to go to Manchester.

Talent Alignment: 3 Things You Need to Know to Be Successful

One of the most difficult parts of being a leader is finding talented employees and putting them in the right roles. From skills and engagementto performance and strategic vision, a number of factors — none of which remain static –need to be considered to effectively distribute talent effectively.

Related: As Your Startup Grows, Here Is Who to Hire When (Infographic)

When talent alignmentis done wrong, employees feel undervalued, which could be one reason nearly 70 percent of Americans say they dont feel engaged at work, according to Gallups latest daily tracking poll. But,done right, talent alignment can have a huge impact on a companys bottom line.

CEOs of big companies, entrepreneurs looking to create a work environment that drives success and managers who want to get the most out of their teams need to consider these three things to successfully align talent and positively impact their organizations bottom line:

1. The importance of a strategic vision

From the smallest of startups to the largest of corporations, a leaders strategic vision impacts every aspect of the business. Thats why leadership-development researchers Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman have found in study after study that strategic vision is one of the most important traits an effective leader displays.

When it comes to talent alignment, a leaders strategic vision helps inform human capital decisions and steer organizational and team goals. How? By distributing talent in a way that maximizes engagement and productivity.

When leaders understand how their vision impacts employees at every level of the organization, theyre more likely to set realistic, attainable goals and align their talent to meet them. Instead of forcing employees to take on responsibilities theyre not interested in, leaders should consider the strengths and weaknesses of their team members and how each member can help the company meet short- and long-term goals.

2. Aligning talent for the future

Proper talent alignment, including succession planning and internal talent management, is arguably one of the most important keys to organizational stability.In fact, in an analysis of leadership changes at Samp;P 500 companies over five years, researchers at Agenda foundthat, with CEOs,boards preferred to hire internally. In the first nine months of 2014, 36 of the newly hired CEOs at 46 Samp;P 500 companies studied camefrom inside the organization. Thats a whopping 78 percent.

What makes long-term talent alignment planning so important? Put simply:stability.Leaders who encourage their teams to spot, acknowledge and develop internal talent create a more stable organizational hierarchy. With proper long-term talent alignment, leaders are able to determine how to develop the talent they already have and where that talent will make the biggest impact.

Related:The 7 Deadly Sins of Hiring

But, long-term talent alignment is about more than just C-suite succession planning — its about putting employees in a position to succeed and grow.

According to a September 2014 Millennial Branding survey that included 1,005 Generation Zers from around the world, the next generation in the workforce is more concerned with opportunities for advancement than anything else. That means its imperative for leaders to think about the pathways to success for all employees and align their talent in ways that will help them develop in the long run.

3. Tracking performance to uncover talent gaps

One of the best ways to assess short- and long-term performance and align talent accordingly is to track career performance. In order to excel at this, leaders need a talent- and performance-management platform that makes real-timefeedback possible.

When leaders can set, update and track goals in realtime, its easier to evaluate talent, shift priorities and give employees roles that will keep them engaged and productive.

Yearly employee evaluations are one thing, but 65 percent of the 500 US employees surveyed in Taskworlds 2015 Annual Review Survey agreed that more consistent feedback addressingconcrete strengths and weaknesses would be more productive. This is where a proactive talent alignment strategy can really make a difference.

Leaders who invest in a talent alignment platform that provides real-time, 360-degree insight and analyzes employee performance in relation to the leaders strategic vision get a better picture of where talent gaps are in the organization. This gives them the ability to reallocate or hire new talent to fill those gaps in a way that will move their companies forward.

What other factors come into play when you think about how talent alignment can benefit your business?

Related:Dont Leave Talent on the Table: A Solution to the Tech Talent Gap

Introducing the 247Sports Team Talent Composite

MORE: Bama, USC OSU top 247Sports College Team Talent Composite | Overachievers | Inside the numbers

(Photo: Ted Hyman, 247Sports)

Old school football coaches have been saying it for years – Its all about the Jimmies and Joes. In other words, talent wins football games.

Weve tried to quantify that talent in the recruiting industry using team recruiting rankings, but that doesnt always tell the full story. Today, with the release of the 247Sports College Team Talent Composite we hope to fill in the gaps with the ultimate measure of Jimmies and Joes.

What it is

At its core, the 247Sports College Team Talent Composite is a linear index, ranking college football rosters based on current talent. We do that using a proprietary algorithm that pulls the 247Sports Composite prospect rankings for each of the top 85 players on a given teams active roster.

By using the 247Sports Composite prospect rankings which pull ratings equally from all major recruiting sites, we are able to minimize inherent regional or network bias that may exist to provide the most accurate and comprehensive industry opinion on each prospect.

Using those player rankings for each of the top 85 prospects on a given roster, we use a Gaussian distribution formula (bell curve), to weight each prospects value towards his teams point total. Based on that distribution, the top 40 percent of each roster based on their prospect ratings account for roughly 80 percent of the teams point total. This formula (as opposed to a simple average of player ratings) allows us to tell a more representative story of each teams talent.

In essence, were saying that the top 40 percent of a roster represents the players that make the most impact on the game and are therefore weighted more than the back half of the roster which generally consists of redshirts, scout team players and special teams contributors. Our formula also contends that the highest rated prospects in every class will have a disproportionate positive impact than any negative impact that lower rated prospects may have.

Why we need it

Gaussian distributions and bell curves aside, the math is simple: recruit good players and youre going to have a talented roster. But building and sustaining a roster doesnt end there.

A signing class in February can look drastically different when players report six months later in August. Academic casualties, off-the-field issues, transfers and legal trouble collectively can whittle a signing class down in a matter of months. Given a few years to infiltrate, attrition can rot away at even the most heralded signing classes. If half of a talent-rich signing class is lost to transfer, expulsion or injury, what does it matter what its recruiting ranking was? (Bryce Brown, Janzen Jackson and the rest of Tennessees notorious 2009 class ring a bell?)

Or how about schools that become refuges for talented prospects looking for a fresh start? Last Thursday night former five-star Josh Harvey-Clemons and four-star Shaq Wiggins made plays for Louisville not the Georgia Bulldogs – the team they originally signed with.

There are also programs like Stanford to consider. Because of the academic prestige and the high admission requirements, transfers, academic casualties and attrition in general are rare on The Farm. Consequently Stanfords recruiting classes are always small relative to the national powers that see significant yearly turnover. Stanfords roster isnt an average of its recruiting small but strong classes, its an accumulation of them.

What we learned

With the release of the 247Sports College Team Talent Composite weve learned what we already know: Its all about the Jimmies and Joes.

According to the rankings, three of the five most talented rosters in the country (Alabama, Ohio State and Florida State) have won the last three national championships.

USC, at No. 2 in the Talent Composite, may have just lost to Stanford but with a significant chunk of its most talented players in the freshman and sophomore classes, the Trojans are likely to remain a Top 5 roster in the forseeable future and have the bodies to compete for a national title.

At No. 5, LSU made a huge statement over the weekend in support of its roster talent. Behind former five-star Leonard Fournette and a fleet of four-star offensive linemen, LSU looked like a playoff team against Auburn in a dominating win.

The ranking also validates the recruiting efforts weve seen from some up and coming programs. Clemson and Ole Miss have the nations 13th and 16th most talented rosters and the results on the field have reflected that as you saw by the Rebels win over Alabama.

On the flip side, Miami and Oklahoma have descended into mediocrity after consistently putting together some of the most talented rosters in the country in the early and mid 2000s. Now both programs are barely inside the Top 20 and their recent records reflect that.

A few schools look out of place in the top 15 given their on-field results. Michigan at No. 9, Texas at No. 11 and Florida at No. 12 are all programs that have seen their talent vastly underperform. Its no coincidence that all three have had coaching changes within the past two seasons.

There are always outliers and this ranking has its share. Oregon is back at No. 17 but their recent combatant Michigan State is even lower at No. 23. In the Big 12, Baylor is all the way back at No. 31 while TCU cant even crack the top 40 at No. 41. One of the great player development programs in the country is Missouri and its no surprise to see the Tigers sitting at No. 37 nationally. Meanwhile Georgia Tech continues to shred the ACC despite the nations 49th most talented roster.

Author

Barton Simmons @bartonsimmons

Company Shares of Two Harbors Investments Corp (NYSE:TWO) Rally 0.32%

Two Harbors Investments Corp (NYSE:TWO): 10 Brokerage firm Analysts have agreed with the mean estimate for the short term price target of $11.08 in Two Harbors Investments Corp (NYSE:TWO). However, the stock price could fluctuate by $ 0.68 from the estimate as it is suggested by the standard deviation reading. The higher estimate has been put at $12 price target with the lower price estimate is calculated at $10

On a different note, The Company has disclosed insider buying and selling activities to the Securities Exchange, Siering Thomas, CEO of Two Harbors Investment Corp., had purchased 3,000 shares on August 11, 2015. The total value of the transaction was $29,010. The information was disclosed with the SEC in a Form 4 Filing. The information is based on open market trades at the market prices.Option exercises are not covered. Currently the company Insiders own 0.7% of Two Harbors Investment Corp. Company shares. In the past six months, there is a change of -2.99% in the total insider ownership. Institutional Investors own 72.2% of Company shares. During last 3 month period, -0.9% of total institutional ownership has changed in the company shares.

Two Harbors Investment Corp. (Two Harbors) operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company is focused on investing in, financing and managing residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), residential mortgage loans, residential real properties, and other financial assets. The Company focuses on security selection and implements a relative value investment approach across various sectors within the residential mortgage market. Its target assets include Agency RMBS, Non-Agency RMBS, residential mortgage loans, residential real properties and other financial assets comprising approximately 5% to 10% of the portfolio. The Company has designated certain of its subsidiaries as taxable REIT subsidiaries (TRSs). Capitol Acquisition Corp. (Capitol) is a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Two Harbors. In May 2013, the Companys wholly owned subsidiary acquired a company.