Bring the Other “I” Word Back

It’s time, or more accurately, it is long overdue. It is time to bring the other “I” word back. You know the one I’m talking about, not the “it’s all about me” I word, but the other one. Integrity.

Somewhere along the way we got lost. Exactly when did integrity get stricken from our vocabulary in terms of our conduct and moral code? Regardless, it’s time to find our way back. Both as individuals and as a nation, integrity should be one of the cornerstones of our value system. Otherwise, mankind’s future looks rather bleak doesn’t it?

Integrity

Integrity is defined as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness”. Words like honesty, honor, morals, righteousness, virtue, fairness, sincerity, and trustworthiness come to mind when we consider people with integrity. As a nation, integrity is defined as “the state of being whole and undivided”. In this context, the common synonyms include unity, cohesion, togetherness and solidarity.

The recent Presidential campaign has once again revealed the dark side of humanity. If this is a reflection of what we can expect from our new leaders in government, then we are in trouble. However, we are not immune to criticism here either. With the elections finally over, it is time to step away from the campaign rhetoric, the social media bashing that has consumed us these past few years, and take a long, hard look at ourselves. Continue reading…

Don’t Overthink It … JUST LIVE!

In March of 2016, I lost the love of my life to metastatic breast cancer. For the first eight months after her death I struggled to put the pieces of my life back together, and to make sense of it all.

After a few months I stopped asking my #1 question, “Why did this happen?”, because I knew from attending grief counseling there would be no answer forthcoming. At least not in this lifetime. However, two burning questions still remained … “Who am I now?” and “What’s next?”

Stop Overthinking

For months, I had prayed about the two remaining questions during my ‘5K Faith Walks’ to no avail. Then something amazing happened during one of my walks. When I pressed for answers my ‘inner’ voice spoke to me. You know the one I’m talking about, right? That little voice in your head you hear on occasion when you are able to quiet your mind long enough to listen. The voice said …

Continue reading…

Core Values: What is Missing?

What is missing from your Core Values Statement today? Hint: it is a small but powerful three letter word that begins with ‘G’ and ends with ‘d’. (Even non-believers should be able to guess this one). The answer for most businesses today is that God is missing from their core values.

In Philippians 4:13, the Bible tells us that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.

However, as business leaders, we are told very early in our careers to avoid three topics in the workplace – religion, politics (although this topic has clearly worn out the airwaves of late) and money. (Ever stop to wonder who made up these B.S. rules?) As a nation, we have become so fixated on being PC with various special interest groups to a point where we have allowed our own values and beliefs to be compromised.

Core Values

We hear a lot of talk today about transparency and the need for businesses to be more open with regard to how they communicate and share information both internally and externally. However, we can’t talk about transparency and not openly share our values and beliefs. They are what shape our character and the culture of our organizations. Consider this … If the core values for our businesses run counter to our beliefs, then are we not guilty of talking out both sides of our mouths? Continue reading…

Priming the Pump for 2021

Your location is not your destination.” – Laverne Booker

This great quote and self-help book title by Laverne Booker is a perfect lead-in for our conversation about preparing for success in 2021.

Yes, it’s already that time again. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? The fourth quarter is now over, so it’s time to start focusing on 2021, and those opportunities and challenges a new calendar year will bring forth.

Priming the Pump

“There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs.” – Zig Ziglar

As I have said many times before, great results and success boil down to three active ingredients – great people + great planning + great performance. This basic formula for success is straightforward, but there are a lot of steps in-between that are necessary to reach the destination. Continue reading…

Get Your Head Out of the Cloud

Get your head out of the Cloud! Yeah, I’m talking to you (and me) and everyone else out there. Whether your business is online, offline or both, we all need time away from the keyboard and out in the ‘real world’ in order to effectively grow our businesses.

Although it has been said many times over that advancements in technology have brought us closer together, I contend that it has done just the opposite. While technology has made it easier for us to engage machine-to-machine and automate various aspects of our daily work lives, it has also diminished the “human touch” in the process.

The Cloud2

At the end of the day, however, building a profitable, scalable and sustainable business still comes down to people and the human interaction that happens in the marketplace between consumers and suppliers. That personal connection is still a key differentiator. 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…

Let the 2nd Half Begin …

“Every success is built on the ability to do better than good enough.” – Unknown

Let the 2nd half begin … and so it has!! Sorry all of you raving NFL fans, it is not football season just yet. We’re talking about the 2nd half of the calendar year and you know what that means? It is time to step up the action!!!

 

Time to get serious about closing out the year strong and setting the stage for an even better new year to follow. Much the same as in sports, why do we humans always seem to have a greater sense of urgency in the 2nd half (of the year) than we do in the first half?

Most would say it’s a result of their efforts to recover from a slow start, an unexpected downturn in business or a major setback that put them behind in reaching their annual goals. I say it is simply human nature. We all go through cycles in life and business, ebbs and flows, much like the four seasons. As a result, our pace or sense of urgency is largely influenced by the cycle we are currently in, and how we are performing.

How can we create a greater sense of urgency for ourselves and our respective teams regardless of the business cycle? 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. The creative process from start to finish can be challenging, time consuming and 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…

The Power of 14 Words

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

Yeah, that was me some 30+ 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 that 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 9-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 priorities, and ultimately my ideal of the person I wanted to become.

However, that’s not the real story, not the true cathartic moment. My true defining moment happened more than a decade earlier. 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