My Special Gift for You …

I have been struggling to get this month’s blog article out the door. After racking my brain this past Friday morning to come up with some creative new content to share with you, it dawned on me why … I’m burned out.

This past year I have been blogging for three different publications and have not taken a break to do what I enjoy doing most at this time of year … say ‘Thank You’. So, since I am a little late with my thank you this year, I want to express my thanks with a special gift this holiday season.

Christmas GiftMy Special Gift for You … Continue reading…

Winning in Life From Little League

Oh, those glorious days of summer as a child. How we miss them and the activities that played such a big part in our early growth and development. America’s great pastime was a big part of my summer activities growing up, and I learned a lot about baseball and much more about life from my little league experiences.

The 2015 Little League World Series began in mid-July and it always brings back many of those great memories. My last year of little league we won the K.C.K. City Championship in the 15-16 Year Old Division. Winning the championship was the single greatest moment of my life, up to that point, and taught me a lot about what ‘winning in life’ is all about.

Little League Baseball2

Baseball is a lot like life. It’s day-to-day existence, full of ups and downs. You make the most of your opportunities in baseball as you do in life.” – Ernie Harwell Continue reading…

Leadership in Difficult Times

“Leadership in difficult times” have unfortunately become the watchwords within our modern society. There is so much negativity surrounding us that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for positive leadership to rise above it.

“We live in a toxic society where religion and faith have been marginalized, marriage and family trivialized and the free market system demonized.” – Dudley Hall

Yes, it is easy to get caught up in the trappings played out by the media and on social networks about what is broken in the world today. Continuous news feeds of escalating violence, police brutality, wars and conflicts, terrorism and just plain bad behavior create an illusion that this is the ‘new normal’ – it’s not.

Make a DifferenceAs someone commented on a recent social media video post of the two women fighting in a Walmart store, “It’s like a train wreck. You want to look away but you just can’t believe what you’re seeing.” Continue reading…

Getting Your First Book Out the Door

Get Book PublishedWe all have a book(s) in us, but getting that first book out of your head and out the door is always the hardest. I know from my own personal experience.

As I tell people, my first book took 17.5 years to complete – 10 years thinking about it, 5 years talking about it, 2 years stressing about it, and 6 months writing, editing, formatting and self-publishing. Many of you may have had a similar experience with your initial book launch. The creative process from start to finish is challenging, time consuming and can be more than a little frustrating for first-time authors.

However, it doesn’t have to be such a mind numbing experience. Here are some critical things to consider to help you get started. Continue reading…

Yes, It’s Good to Be Irish

There are only two kinds of people in the world. The Irish and those who wish they were!“When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure ’tis like a morn in spring.

In the lilt of Irish laughter, you can hear the angels sing.

When Irish hearts are happy, all the world seems bright and gay,

And When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure, they steal your heart away.”

‘Tis the chorus to “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”, a song first published in 1912 at a time when songs paying tribute to a romanticized Ireland were numerous and popular both in Great Britain and the United States.

Why are the Irish so special? Let me provide you with just a few of the many reasons: Continue reading…

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

 

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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…