Category Archives: Love

Tough decision? There’s An APP for That!

Life.  It’s a daily process of decision making.

  1. Should I wear blue or green?
  2. Should I drive to work or ride my bike?
  3. Should I quit my job and go live on the beach in Hawaii?  Or, maybe Tahiti?

Hawaii

Rory Vaden may call you a Should-Head for asking those questions.   He is the author of one of my favorite books, Take the Stairs.

Making decisions can be tough.  Sometimes, it’s not a matter of good versus bad.  Sometimes, making a decision is a matter of good, better and best.

I address the task of good, better and best decision making in my upcoming book SELF Centered Leadership: Becoming Influential, Intentional and Exceptional.  I share an APP to help you determine which option is the best one when faced with a decision.

Having access to my APP is reason #28 for reading my book.  It will be available soon.

I realize that you may have another daily decision to make:

  • Should I read Jackie’s book or not?

Since you won’t have the APP to help you with your decision until you get the book, I have begun a countdown of reasons WHY you should read SELF Centered Leadership: Becoming Influential, Intentional and Exceptional.

Reason #30: How to prepare for, and survive an ODYSSEY

Reason #29: How to spot the IMITATION

(Be sure to use the links to read previous posts)

And today’s reason, #28: How to use an APP to make tough decisions.

More reasons to come.  But for now, have a successful decision-making day!  See you in Hawaii?

Reason 29 – Spotting the Imitation

Imitation

I once sold a fake cake to a grocery store customer.  I didn’t know it was fake at the time.

I didn’t realize that the bakery personnel routinely decorated pieces of Styrofoam to look like real cake.

In my upcoming book, I address some aspects of life that have become imitators of happiness.  You may have been fooled once, but after reading my book, you’ll be on the lookout for forgeries everywhere!

By reading my book you’ll learn how to:

SPOT the IMITATION

That is reason #29 for reading SELF Centered Leadership: Becoming Influential, Intentional and Exceptional.  That’s the title of my book.

If you missed Reason #30 for reading my book, it is that:

You will learn how to prepare for, AND survive, an ODYSSEY.



I hope these two reasons make you want to read my book.  But if not, there are 28 more reasons coming in my blog.

Stay tuned……

The TOP 30 Reasons to Read My Book

My book is done!  Woot, woot!  Of course, editing now takes place, and there will certainly be some corrections.  But by and large, it is done.  The blood, the sweat, and the tears are over – at least with the creative portion of this particular project.

The title of my book is…

S.E.L.F. Centered Leadership: Becoming Influential, Intentional and Exceptional

While the editing and the book cover are in process, I wanted to let you know WHY you should read my book when it’s ready.

I’ve decided that, although there are as many reasons to read this book as there are peeps in the world, I’m going to provide you with just 30 reasons.  I’m going to do this by way of a count down.

Are you ready?

Reason #30 for reading S.E.L.F. Centered Leadership: Becoming Influential, Intentional and Exceptional

You will learn how to prepare for, and how to survive, an ODYSSEY. 

2013-8-15 British Columbia1

Although this book is not about wilderness survival, desert survival, or even surviving a long ocean voyage, it is about learning to keep keeping on when it becomes very hard to do so.

In my book, I share with you how an odyssey is required if your desire is to become exceptional.   Great leaders are great leaders because they have overcome great hardships.

Through personal stories, and stories of others, my book, S.E.L.F. Centered Leadership: Becoming Influential, Intentional and Exceptional, will teach you how to prepare for hardships, and how to get through them in order to become exceptional.

“The only way out is through” ~ Carol (last name withheld)

Tune in as the count down continues.  You’ll want to know all 30 reasons for reading my book.

Love Is All You Need

The Beatles

Love, love, love
Love, love, love
Love, love, love

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
It’s easy

Nothing you can make that can’t be made
No one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time
It’s easy

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love,
love Love is all you need


“All You Need is Love” ~ The Beatles
Gary Glitter, Paul Mccartney, Mike Leander, John Lennon

There are as many ways to love as there are people on planet Earth. As human beings, we feel emotions that to one person may be love, but to another may be respect, admiration, or pity.  There are no meters that measure love, and no way to confirm that someone is feeling love.

Although many poets, play writes and musicians have written about love, the emotion itself is very personal. You are the only one that knows how it feels when you experience love.

2014-8-13 Cory and Jenny gazing embrace

I recently witnessed an event that represents love – a wedding. My son was married last Saturday to someone whom he’d only known for three months.  As they both shared their experiences of “falling in love”, their stories were similar.

“I just knew he/she was the ONE”.

Very sweet, indeed. And quite contrary to the occasions witnessed when people “fall out of love”.

Sadly, a divorce also occurred in my family recently. The breakup of a family who loved once, but don’t love now is a difficult one.  Two extremes of love – the growing of love, and the dying of love.

There is an aspect of love in leadership as well. If you are to become an exceptional leader, you must understand how it feels to love, and why it is important to love.  Leadership will test your love.

The type of love needed to lead and influence others is not a romantic love, it is a charitable love; a compassionate love; a brotherly love.

As a Christian, I have learned the philosophy of love from the Bible and other scriptures. In The New Testament, Paul speaks about charity to the people of Corinth.  In my opinion, charity and the type of love needed to lead is interchangeable.

For this exercise, replace charity with love in the following scripture:

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth……

If you’re like me, you struggle with the desire to be successful in all you do. And, like me, you’ve probably also learned that success does not come without failure.  But we can be 100% successful in how we LOVE and in the CHARITY we have for others.  Feeling love, and acting out of love is NEVER a failure.

CHARITY NEVER FAILETH.

If you want to have consistent and guaranteed success in ALL that you do, then LOVE and CHARITY must be your greatest talent.


John Lennon said, “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life.  When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.  We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections.  If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open our ability to love others or our potential to create”.

How do we gain the ability to love in leadership? I’ve defined a S.A.F.E. way to do so:

Service ~ Acceptance ~ Forgiveness ~ Engagement

Exceptional leadership can be yours when you S.A.F.E.ly master the attributes of service, acceptance, forgiveness and engagement.

I welcome you to share personal stories that relate to one or all of these topics.

Have you witnessed exceptional leaders portray one of these attributes?

Is it true that all you need is love?

 

There’s a first time for everything!

Hello friends, and welcome to the new home of my blog.  The format wherein my original blog posts were housed is now becoming obsolete.  For that reason, I’ve had to transfer my blog to this new Word Press site.  This is my maiden post!

I haven’t posted much on my blog lately because I’ve been working on my book.  Thankfully, I’m getting closer to being ready for edits.

Since there is a first time for everything (and because I wanted to try out my new Word Press format), I’m going to give you a small glimpse into one of the chapters of my book….

From, “S.E.L.F. Leadership”, chapter 1…..

The one word I believe defines leadership greater than any other, is INFLUENCE. In fact, my favorite definition of leadership comes from the founder of Toastmasters International, Ralph Smedley.  Almost 100 years ago Dr. Smedley created a non-profit organization with the intent of helping people to enhance their communication and leadership skills.

Dr. Smedley defined leadership as, “……the capacity to influence others to achieve worthwhile results”. There’s that word again. INFLUENCE.

How do people like you and me gain the capacity to influence others to achieve results that are worthwhile? How can your influence become a force or power to effect change in others?

This book will attempt to answer those questions. However, I firmly believe that WE ARE ALL leaders. Each one of us influences another. This influence can be good or bad. Nevertheless, influence is the first quality we are born with, and we develop influence throughout our lives.

This book will focus on EXCEPTIONAL LEADERSHIP. Exceptional leadership trumps simple influence.

Synonyms for EXCEPTIONAL include:

  • Extraordinary
  • Noteworthy
  • Rare
  • Remarkable
  • Singular
  • Uncommon
  • Unique

The questions again were:

How do people like you and me gain the capacity to influence others to achieve results that are worthwhile?

How can your influence become a force or power to effect change in others?

I believe the answers come through S.E.L.F. reflection. I believe influence happens when you become S.E.L.F.ish. I believe that leadership is truly an odyssey to S.E.L.F. Once S.E.L.F. is attained, your influence can be felt by countless individuals, and that you can, and will be, a force and power to effect change. THAT is leadership.

There it is….your sneak peak to my first book.  It will be helpful for you to know that S.E.L.F. is an acronym for four attributes that I believe exceptional leaders must posses: SACRIFICE – EMPOWERMENT – LOVE – FRIENDSHIP.

There is a first time for everything, and I’m excited for the opportunity to share my message with the world!

 

Art Without a Frame

Washington Post Staff Writer, Gene Weingarten shared a story in the Sunday edition on April 8, 2007.


It seems that on the morning of January 12th, 2007, Joshua Bell stepped into the L’Enfant Plaza of the Washington DC Metro station and offered a free concert to commuters there.  Wearing jeans and a baseball cap, he stood against a wall near a trash can and played his violin.   

Most of the commuters in the station that morning were mid-level bureaucrat federal workers with titles like, policy analyst, project manager, budget officer, specialist, facilitator, and/or consultant.   Evidently none of these well-educated, skilled people knew the impressive title of Joshua Bell

Knowing the man playing the violin that morning was an “American Grammy Award-winning violinist“, or “one of the finest classical musicians in the world” may have caused the commuters to pause and listen.  Maybe the fact that Joshua Bell plays a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin would have, at least, aroused curiosity in the people who walked by while he played that day in the station.  And surely, once a musician of such caliber begins to play a piece of music like “Chaconne” from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Partita No. 2 in D Minor (which has been called, “not just one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, but one of the greatest achievements of any man in history“), people would take notice, stop and listen, and drink in the magnificent sound.

But that IS NOT what happened.  According to the article, Mr. Weingarten reports that, in the three-quarters of an hour that Joshua Bell played, seven people stopped what they were doing to hang around and take in the performance, at least for a minute. Twenty-seven gave money, most of them on the run — for a total of $32 and change. That leaves the 1,070 people who hurried by, oblivious, many only three feet away, few even turning to look.  $32 for a man whose talents can command $1,000 a minute.

You may read the entire Washington Post story here: Pearls Before Breakfast

Following this experiment, Joshua Bell said, “at a music hall, I’ll get upset if someone coughs or if someone’s cellphone goes off.  But here, my expectations quickly diminished. I started to appreciate any acknowledgment, even a slight glance up. I was oddly grateful when someone threw in a dollar instead of change.” 

Before he began, Bell hadn’t known what to expect. What he does know is that, for some reason, he was nervous.

It wasn’t exactly stage fright, but there were butterflies,” he says. “I was stressing a little.”

Bell has played before crowned heads of Europe. Why the anxiety at the Washington Metro?

When you play for ticket-holders,” Bell explains, “you are already validated. I have no sense that I need to be accepted. I’m already accepted. Here, there was this thought: What if they don’t like me? What if they resent my presence . . .

Joshua Bell was, in short, art without a frame.


I was reminded of this story because of an experience I recently heard about – a story that has very similar outcomes to Joshua Bell’s story. 

It seems that a business owner hired “Mack”, a talented consultant, whom the business owner had met before.  The business owner had personally witnessed Mack’s strong work ethic and varied skills.  Mack was hired by the business owner to accomplish a very specific task in the business.

Mack accepted a position as an employee in the business – with the idea that once the specific task was completed successfully, the business owner would see the worth of Mack’s skills.  Mack wanted to be viewed as a consultant to this business owner, and they agreed that after a 90-day period working together, that the business owner would pay Mack closer to his professional rate and their relationship would move more toward a partnership and away from an employer/employee relationship.

Well, just as in the case of Joshua Bell, the business owner in Mack’s story did not understand the worth of Mack’s talent and skill.  Even though the specific project was successfully completed, Mack’s position as an employee was hard to shake.  After 90 days, the business owner did not renegotiate the terms of their relationship with Mack, and instead kept treating Mack as an employee – including wages well below Mack’s worth.

Mack, on the other hand, felt that if he kept providing examples of his talent, and continued to serve the business owner with the tools of his consulting knowledge, that the business owner would see the worth of his position as a consultant, and that Mack would be paid what he was worth.  Mack believed that it would surely work out in the end, and that this business owner would become a client instead of an employer.

But that IS NOT what happened.  Mack reports that, in the 22-months that he’s worked with this business, and has provided the company with “solutions to their greatest challenges, tools, resources and innovative ways to improve essential aspects of the business, and opportunities to have greater security and safety in the business“, Mack has been given a $1 an hour raise.   

Mack, like Joshua Bell is “Art Without A Frame”. 

This business owner, like the commuters in the DC Metro Station, can’t see the pearls before him.  Many of us don’t know the priceless opportunities before us, or the valuable relationships we have been blessed with  We get too busy to stop, listen and drink in the music and the talent around us.

Are you guilty of this? 
Are there people you work with who are pearls in their talents and abilities? 
Are there individuals that add to your life, your business, or your happiness that you have failed to notice or value? 

Are you a pearl? 
Are you someone who, for whatever reason is not being valued? 
If so, what can you do to change the situation? 
What could Joshua Bell have done? 
What could Mack have done?

Three P’s of Empowerment

Would you like to be more EMPOWERED?  YOU can EMPOWER yourself when you discover the power-meant for YOU to create your own success!

Self-empowerment is developed when YOU master three characteristics:

  1. Preparedness
  2. Principles
  3. Promises

To enjoy the power meant for YOU, you must focus on preparing yourself early and often for whatever may come your way.  For instance, getting an education is the greatest preparation for career opportunities in the future.

Principles are values that YOU must live by.  Principles define who YOU are.  Are you honest?  Are you compassionate?  Do you live by the value of hard work, and understand that “luck” only comes after preparedness and principles have been practiced?  It’s true!

Anyone who is to be empowered must keep his/her promises.  Trust will take you a very long way in your relationships, career and life in general.  If you want more happiness and opportunity, then you must keep your promises.

These three P’s: Preparedness, Principles and Promises are required for you to be EMPOWERED with success, love, career, talents, and even enjoyment.

These three P’s were practiced by one of the greatest musicians of our time. 

 

Todd Sucherman, the drummer for the band Styx, recently spoke about how he empowered his career by living these three P’s.  With Todd’s approval, here is his story……

“Early in my career as a drummer, I was contacted by another band that had a gig the following weekend for which they needed a drummer.  I was available for the show as well as the rehearsal the Thursday before, so I accepted.  By Monday I received a tape of the 20 or so songs I needed to learn and I spent the next few days listening to the tunes over and over, even listening in the shower and playing along at every opportunity.  By the time Thursday arrived, I knew the material. I was ready.”

“I arrived early for rehearsal and had my gear set up well before the rest of the band arrived.  When they did, I introduced myself and offered to help them load in their gear.  After all were set up, I asked if we would be doing the songs in the order per the tape I had received.  They responded “Yes.”  I immediately counted off, “1-2-3-4” and drove right into the first song.  I got the gig within the first few moments of rehearsal.”

“If you want to succeed in this business, show up prepared, show up early, and show up ready to help in any way you can.”

~Todd Sucherman – Drummer, Styx~

Todd prepared himself by learning the necessary songs.  Then he applied principles of punctuality and service, which provided a positive path toward friendship with other musicians.  And then, he proved that he was trustworthy, and could be depended upon to perform well.  Todd had kept a promise, and his career was EMPOWERED.

The three P’s work!  If YOU want to be more EMPOWERED, then you must master the three P’s!

Watch Todd Sucherman drum solo

Have Your Cake, and Eat It Too!

Do you want to be a better, more inspiring leader?  Your odyssey toward that end must first start with yourSELF.  SELF is an acronym for 4 aspects of leadership you must develop in yourSELF before you can lead others.

Sacrifice
Empowerment
Love
Friendship

SELF empowerment begins with truth.  Listen to this personal experience to understand what I mean….

If you want to have your cake, and eat it, too, then you must stop buying imitation desserts.  So many aspects of our society, our businesses, and our relationships are fake.  Consider the following:

1. Forgery of families imitates commitment and love

The collapse of family life: Most children in U.S. born out of wedlock
More than 5 children die every day as a result of child abuse

2. Counterfeiting of food imitates health and fitness

80% of America’s Food is Genetically Modified

3. Imitating violence as entertainment

Homicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24 years old
68% of American households play computer or video games


So many aspects of our lives are imitation. We want health, happiness, and safety; yet we take the wrong path to achieve them.  Later on, we wonder why our dreams are so fleeting.

 Truth
is the only way to combat imitations, forgeries and counterfeiting.  Truth is empowering

Truth: the family unit, consisting of two married parents, is the ideal to a thriving successful society and happy, well adjusted children.

Truth: we have enough natural resources to sustain every living person.  The only reason to modify our food is for financial gain.

Truth: children need to be taught values and boundaries so they can learn from consequences to their choices.

Living with truth, and avoiding imitation is the first step to
self-empowerment. 

Good choices = good consequences. 
Bad choices = bad consequences.


Please share you thoughts on this post by commenting below……