The Power of 14 Words

“A funny thing happened to me on the way to the boardroom.” – John Carroll

Yeah, that was me some 25+ years ago. I had it all figured out. My career goal was to become an AT&T senior executive and officer before my 50th birthday, and I was on a positive track to get there. After five promotions in eight years, I was thirty-nine years old at the time and feeling really good about the future I had mapped out. Until fate intervened and changed things.

“If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your future plans.”

Because of a reckless act on my part, I had a serious accident that required multiple surgeries, bone grafts, metal plates and screws to put my lower leg and ankle back together again. The damage was so severe the surgical team could not operate for three days until they were able to reduce the swelling and stabilize my leg. After two major reconstructive surgeries, I was on crutches for nine months and had to undergo extensive physical therapy in order to resume normal activities.

To say the accident was a defining moment in my life is a huge understatement. It altered my life forever and caused me to rethink my life’s direction, my goals and ultimately, my ideal of the person I wanted to become.

Power of Words

However, that is not the real story, not the true cathartic moment. My true defining moment happened more than a decade earlier. Continue reading…

Time to Ring the Bell

Ring the BellYes, it is that time again … time to “ring the bell”!

The holidays are officially over. The Christmas tree has been placed at the curb for pick-up. The decorations are packed away in the attic. The new calendar reads 2015. So, it’s time to get back to business, right?

WAIT … hold on a minute! I am not ready for the New Year just yet. Let’s slow down a bit. Does this sound familiar?

For many of us, the New Year seems to have arrived early this year. And while we are struggling to catch up, time continues to march on. Last night, I attended my first networking event of 2015, and you could see it on many of the attendees faces, the dreaded “holiday hang-over”. Their thoughts were clearly somewhere else, not on business. To be totally honest, I was right there with them.

Why is it so hard to get started up again after the holidays? Continue reading…

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Before we scoot off to celebrate the holidays with our families and friends, I want to take this opportunity to say ‘THANK YOU’ for your business, friendship, prayers and support. It has meant so much to us this year, as our family has had to overcome some difficult challenges.

The holiday season is a magical time of the year that we always look forward to. It is a time for family, a time for reflection and introspection, a time for planning, a time for renewal, a time for hope and most of all, it’s a time to count our many blessings and to celebrate the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.

A Christmas version of Hallelujah

We feel particularly blessed this year to be able to celebrate the holidays as a family. As many of you know, my wife Laura was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer earlier this year and the prognosis for a full recovery at the outset was not promising. However, after months of cancer treatments, surgery, your prayers and God’s grace, she has battled through it.

Thank you to all of the special people (you know who you are) for being there for our family when your prayers, love and support were needed the most. We really appreciate you!

“May God send you good fortune, contentment and peace, and may all your blessings forever increase.” –  An Irish Blessing for Christmas and the New Year.

Wishing you and your loved ones a very, Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous New Year.

Enjoy the journey!

John

 

COPYRIGHT © 2014 John Carroll

 

Relaunch of the Business Leaders Forum℠

Are You Passionate About Spending More Time Working ON Your Business And Learning Strategies To Help You Achieve The Results To Move Beyond Your Vision?

Growing a business in today’s challenging economic climate can be a daunting task for any business leader. Are you struggling to find the right formula for success to take your business to the next level and beyond? Do you need expert advice to help you …

  1. Develop a “game plan” to improve your sales and profits outlook, launch new products or services, and/or marketing initiatives?
  2. Change your business direction, enter new geographic markets or develop new sales channels?
  3. Get a new business venture started and develop the blueprint that will lead to future prosperity and growth?
  4. Develop new leadership skills and competencies, and discover YOUR personal plan for success?

The Business Leaders Forum mastermind program can help you address these critical business challenges, and achieve the results to move beyond your vision in a balanced way!

I know what you’re thinking … here we go again with yet another hollow sales pitch that makes wild claims but delivers little to no value in return. Well, not this time! The Business Leaders Forum℠ is a proven strategic mastermind program first launched in September, 2009 that has helped numerous entrepreneurs, small business owners and business leaders over the past several years dramatically improve business performance, while helping them achieve their personal and professional goals.

NOW, we have incorporated the very best elements of this highly regarded mastermind program into a new, advanced business leaders’ series. Continue reading…

Make the Most of Yourself

“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Whether it’s your business, health or life, the ultimate goal is to make the most of yourself. Making the most of yourself begins with good health – body, mind and spirit. For this article, rather than talk about business, leadership and related topics, let’s shift the focus to ways to improve your health so you can be the BEST YOU.

The steps to better physical health are not rocket science. The formula is simple –20140816_111324 healthy diet, eat smaller portions, exercise regularly, sleep 7- 8 hours a night, drink lots of water, and take it easy on the desserts and adult beverages. However, committing to and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are the biggest obstacles for the vast majority of us.

Let me start with a disclaimer: I’m not a personal trainer, fitness guru, dietician or nutritionist. I’m a business and leadership coach who has become more attuned to my health and fitness levels as I’ve grown older (I’ll be 66 years young in October). From my own experience, I want to share some exercise and diet tips, particularly with all the “seniors” out there who want to continue to get better with age.

“If you don’t take care of your body, where will you live?” – Nancy Carson

As we get older, stuff happens. Our metabolism slows, we lose strength and muscle mass, the body starts to breakdown, and it becomes harder to maintain the activity and fitness levels we enjoyed in our 20’s. But that doesn’t mean we should just “veg-out”. Far too many adults (and children) in this country are overweight and out of shape due of poor diet, lack of exercise and lifestyles issues. It’s a $270 billion problem and a growing (no pun intended) human tragedy.

You don’t have to starve yourself or be a gym rat to get healthy, lose weight and stay in shape. All it takes is a little planning and intestinal fortitude on your part. Ready to get going? Here is an easy to follow workout program I designed for myself early this year to give you some ideas to get started and stay active. Continue reading…

Life is Like a Jukebox …

JukeboxLife is like a jukebox … let the music play on. And so it goes. Sadly, too often we don’t hear it, or it’s just background noise, because we are so ‘busy being busy’ with our daily routines.

It is not until we are awakened from our sleep walking by one of those life-altering defining moments (i.e. birth, death, illness, marriage, divorce, job change or loss, buying or selling a home, relocating, etc.) that we tune in to life and the world around us. It’s only then that we start to pay attention and hear the music loud and clear. Sound familiar?

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

Given what my wife has been through these past 3+ months in battling cancer for the 2nd time, after being cancer-free for the past ten years, I’m not sure I subscribe to this notion any longer. Stuff happens, both good and bad, daily as life’s music plays in the background. And in this fast-paced world today, I’m starting to believe that life is a 50%/50% proposition. Continue reading…

How to Overcome an 8-8 Mindset

No, this is not another article rant about the Dallas Cowboys performance on the football field in recent years, although there are some similarities we’ll draw upon here. This article is about you – if you are one of those business leaders who seems to be stuck in neutral and unable to find the magic formula to move to the next level.

None of us grew up with the notion of being average, just being good enough. Whether in sports, music, grades, business, etc., we have all been in-grained with the idea of being the best in our chosen pursuits. Does this seem realistic? There is nothing wrong with the quest for excellence. However, not everyone can be a top performer. Real life just doesn’t work that way.

Are your expectations aligned with reality?

Let’s talk for a moment about the ‘BIG LIE’. The big lie is what we tell ourselves when we’ve a bad day or when things aren’t going the way we had hoped, “Things are going to get better”. Continue reading…

If It Sounds Like Crap … Don’t Put It In Your Mouth!

If it sounds like crap … don’t put it in your mouth, or your heart or mind for that matter.

How often have we been guilty of saying or doing things that we have regretted later? Far too often I would guess. Yet, I still see numerous personal attacks in Tweets, Facebook posts and articles every day, not to mention the constant barrage of negative (and fake) news reports. This leads me to believe we’re not learning anything from our missteps. So why do we do it?

“People seldom improve when they have no other model but themselves to copy.” – Oliver Goldsmith

Why do we feel so compelled to hurt others through our words and our actions? Let me set the record straight, it is not a result of genetic programming. It’s learned behavior and as such, we can all do better.

How do we change this compulsion to hurt other people through our words and actions? Continue reading…

What’s Different About This Year?

Hard to believe that we are already two weeks into the start of a new calendar year. Where has the time gone, and what’s different about this year?

Well, here are a few things that are different about the start of this year compared to 2013 …

  • We’ve had record snowstorms and cold temperatures in the Midwest and East.
  • To start the year, the #1 song on the charts was ‘The Monster’ by Eminem and Rihanna.
  • Last year’s Super Bowl winner has already been knocked out of the NFL playoffs.
  • The Dallas Cowboys failed to make the NFL playoffs (oops, nothing different here).
  • 2014 is the ‘Year of the Horse’ according to the Chinese zodiac calendar.

You know, however, that is not where I’m headed when I asked, “What’s different about this year?” Let’s explore a few things you can do to make 2014 different (better).

New Year

Nothing changes until something changes. Continue reading…

10 Life Lessons from Holiday Cooking

This year ‘The Boys’, my son Daniel and I, decided to do most of the Christmas holiday cooking. It was our way of giving ‘The Girls’, my wife Laura and daughter Melanie, a much needed break to relax and enjoy the holiday. My crazy idea!!

Sweets & Treats All Done

We had no idea what we were getting ourselves in for when we started, but 11 recipes and 12+ hours of meal preparation, cooking and cleaning up our messes later, we had learned a lot from this experience. Here are some of the life lessons we took away from our holiday cooking adventure: Continue reading…