The Power of Gratitude

What are you grateful for today?

A loving family, good health, new home, great career change, planned vacation trip, your faith? The list can go on and on from here. There are so many things we overlook in the hustle and bustle of daily life that we should be thankful for. Take time out to identify what you are most grateful for today and declare it!

GratitudeStart each day by saying aloud what you are grateful for, then show it through your attitude and by caring for others. Pay it forward. The next time you’re not feeling that ‘attitude of gratitude’ for all your blessings, consider this … 71% of the world’s population lives on less than $10 a day. 1.5 billion people globally live on less than $1.25 per day. Your life could be much worse and these statistics help to put things into perspective, don’t they?

Even in the darkest times, we can find a way through them by expressing gratitude for the good things in our lives, rather than dwelling on the negatives. My loving wife, Laura, passed away on March 4th of this year. Although the pain of her loss is still unbearable, I’m grateful that she’s at peace and free from the pain, the surgeries, the radiation and chemotherapy treatments, etc. she had to suffer through during her long-term battle with breast cancer. I am also very thankful for the 38 wonderful years we had together, our two amazing children, and a lifetime of great memories. Continue reading…

Success Is a Continuous Journey

What is this “success” thing we all spend countless hours thinking and talking about and preparing for? Will we recognize it when it gets here?

The dictionary tells us that success is defined as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, or the attainment of wealth, honors or power”. This infers that success is a destination, place or thing, with a beginning and an end. I would argue that our desire for success is the driving force within each of us that propels us forward throughout our lifetimes.

We all want to believe that our lives have purpose and what we do is recognized and valued. It’s only when we stop trying, stop moving forward in our quest to attain success and personal fulfillment that we fail. As Richard St. John reminded us in his 2009 Ted Talk, “Success is a continuous journey, a journey that begins with our first step”.

Success Is a Journey

The popular belief that “people are as successful as they choose to be” is highly misleading. Continue reading…

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…

Priming the Pump for 2016

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 2016.

Yes, it’s already that time again. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? The fourth quarter is upon us, so it is time to start thinking about 2016 and what 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…

Leadership in Difficult Times

“Leadership in difficult times” have unfortunately become the watchwords within our modern society. There is so much negativity that it is 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…

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…

Competition Is Not a Bloodsport

Unlike the early days of the industrial revolution, competition is not a bloodsport in the rapidly evolving, global marketplace of today. Instead, coopetition and collaboration have become the watchwords for this new era of global expansion and commerce.

When AT&T first entered the computer industry in the mid-1980s, it was their clear intent to dominate an industry controlled by IBM, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), Unisys, Wang, Data General and others. Although AT&T had been the defacto market leader in telecommunications since its inception, they soon learned that different rules of engagement applied in the computer business.

Fencing Sport

In order to survive and thrive as a new entry into the computer industry, AT&T had to learn to “plug and play” with everyone, including its direct competitors. To meet their over-arching business goals it was no longer about crushing the competition, but more about developing collaborative solutions that addressed the needs of the marketplace, by working together.

You don’t become a market leader in today’s fast-paced global economy by attempting to lord over the competition or your customers. Continue reading…

Let’s Stop Talking About Goals

Let’s stop talking about goals. There I said it. Like many of you, I’ve seen far too many articles posted these days that focus on goal-setting. Be honest, goal-setting is a total waste of time, unless it leads to results. It is time to shift the conversation.

Success Planning

There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says, “The best goal is no goal at all”. I would not go quite that far. However, what it means is that we should stop allowing ourselves to be limited by certain goals, and stay open to the possibilities ahead of us. 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…