Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Okay...so it's another Disney clip with a lesson! LOL!

Know anyone like these seagulls? These are the co-workers constantly obsessed with what's theirs, solely focused on what's theirs, what's MINE!

Ever try to be heard over the din of "MINE! MINE! MINE! MINE! ?" Not fun is it? How do you get through to these "sky carp?"

You've gotta call a halt, get their attention, and show them that if they don't quiet down and work with you, then what's theirs might not be theirs for long!

Just a bit of fun with this one, folks!

Monday, December 7, 2009


Driving into the clouds
Originally uploaded by
Here it is December of the second year of consulting and I am nearing the end of another successful project. As I take a moment to reflect I find myself thinking of how I got here.

In this time of so many people concerned about their economic woes and the instability of their future, I cannot put myself far from the realm of these concerned and worried people. But I am serene and calm and resolved to continue the path I began when I went into the consulting biz.

No one can tell the future. BUT (and yes, this is a big BUT) I believe that if you are driven to succeed and stick to a solid plan, the setbacks will come and go and you will survive. You have to create your own future. This is what leaders do. They adapt and overcome.

Challenges are many, and so are solutions. Action is what separates a good idea from a good plan. Believing that you can succeed is more than half the battle. I left Corporate America with one thought overriding all others....I will not fail. And I am not alone in that thinking.

You must be resolved to succeed. Driven, as it were, to do whatever it takes because the days of the gold watch and pension are long gone. The sooner you take control, the sooner you will be further removed from the concerned and worried and closer to the confident and calm.

Friday, November 20, 2009

What does it matter? It is in the past!

I love this clip from Disney's The Lion King. I love it because, as a consultant and a leader, I have often encountered what I call "History Professors." These are the people, and we've all met them, that always judge their future by their past.

They pontificate about how "we've tried this before and it didn't work" or "Why even try? Nothing ever changes around here!" These are usually seasoned veterans who have "been around the block" and "been there, done that, got a T-shirt and a souvenir mug." They can easily de-rail a project or a meeting, and often take a sort of twisted glee from doing so.

How to deal with them? Easy. Be prepared for them.

I love this clip because most people have seen it and when I relate it to them, it often makes them smile when they take a minute to reflect and try to see things a different way. At the very least, it breaks the tension and allows a moment to consider the future....to consider what good might come from our project or meeting.

As Rafiki says: "Yes. The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it....or learn from it."

So, all you Simbas out there....What are YOU going to do?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrance / Veteran's Day

Two Flags over Niagara
Originally uploaded by Rasheed
Today we remember those who served their country. I am doubly blessed to be celebrating here in Canada where they observe Remembrance Day with solemn reflection on the sacrifice of the men and women who have nobly served their country, just as we remember our veterans

Remember too today that one of the few nations who have stood by us in our fight against terrorism in Afghanistan and the world are our Canadian friends

To them I say thank you for your service and your sacrifice. God bless those who have served and bring those still serving home swiftly and safely to the ones they love and who miss them so much.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I've been away too long!

Hello everyone!

Sorry I have been gone so long. I realized I should get back to blogging on a regular basis so I figured I'd start with this video I shot and posted on YouTube

I happened to be in the right place at the right time to witness the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics Torch Relay. How cool is that?!?

More importantly, when I posted this, I received a comment from a viewer. It turns out that the viewer just happened to be the girl in the video running with the torch! Pretty cool, but also a modern life lesson.

You see, I had no idea she would see this and be so grateful. I just posted it to share with my family.

How often in your life do you do things for one reason, only to find that the things you did impacted people in a way you never thought of? In this digital age, so many things on the Internet are reachable by millions. In fact, the Web has made the world smaller, closer, more immediate.

In our lives, the examples we set, or do not set, sometimes reach well beyond our original intent. When that happens in a good way, it can be surprising and often impact our lives and the lives of others in ways we never imagined.

So, it is with this thought I return to this blog and hope you visit often.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Congratualtions, Joe Pollhein, Jr.! You're an Eagle!

Last night, this young man was awarded Scouting's highest honor: the rank of Eagle Scout. I am so proud of him. The award was given last night as he will be a US Marine when they have their next Eagle Court of Honor in December. Joe Jr. has been a scout since the first grade and earned every rank in scouting, 21 merit badges and his Cub Scout Arrow of Light. He will make a fine Marine and is quickly becoming a fine young man.
I want to share with my readers this poem by Mike Wood that sums up my emotions and love for my son.
This Uniformed Little Boy by Mike Wood
It seems like only yesterday, his eyes were lit with joy,
As we watched with admiration, this uniformed little boy.
Campouts, picnics, Pinewood cars, the years slipped quickly by,
The colors changed from blue to green, in the twinkling of an eye.
Soon came ranks of Tenderfoot, Second, First, and Star,
Each leading toward that final quest, once visioned from afar.
And then the rank of Life, and as life can often do,
the goal so close within his grasp, was dimming from his view.
Yet from within he found the strength to reach that final quest,
Remembering words from years gone by: I WILL DO MY BEST.
It seems like only yesterday, his eyes were lit with joy,
As we watched with admiration, this uniformed little boy.
Now with an eagle upon his chest, he soars, where once he ran,
No longer that uniformed little boy; our Son...an Eagle...a Man.
I love you, Son. I wish you all the best that life has to offer and am proud you have worked so hard in a cause worthy of your effort. Your next challenge will be service to your country. I know what you have learned here in Scouting will serve you well.
Semper Fi.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


feeling exhausted
Originally uploaded by bitzi

Life is busy.

Life is full of things to be done.

Work, home, school, career, family, church, ....the list goes on.

How do you do it all? You can't do it all right now, so take your time.

Take a break. Learn from your children and just play from time to time. Stop for a bit and just think...plan...look forward,

Too often we get caught up in this second, the right now aspect of life. If you don't think about the future, it will become the past before you've had a chance to make a difference...to leave a legacy.

Sit down and think. You'll be glad you did.

Then lead.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Personal Leadership Behaviors

What is Leadership?
Originally uploaded by naemick

Some things to think about as a leader:

1. Safe work is the only work we do
2. Lead by example
3. Your word is your bond
4. Listen first, talk last
5. Follow “The Golden Rule”: Treat everyone the way you want to be treated
6. Present solutions when you present problems
7. Take pride in what you do
8. Get to know your folks
9. Build the team
10. Manage things, lead people

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Nailed it!

Will he nail it?
Originally uploaded by The Astrid

There are times in your personal and professional life when you just know you nailed it....you did it right.

Friday was such a day for me. I have always excelled at teaching leadership and mentoring young leaders. As a consultant, I am often required to do lots of things that are germane to consulting, but do not speak to my strengths. Friday was different.

I was asked to help with a training session for the organization's young leaders. There were so many things that went well, it's hard to settle on just one. The biggest winner of the day was a discussion on roles and responsibilities and the qualities of a leader.

Not one person disengaged. Every eye was on me and interested. Afterwards, several people personally commented to me on how good the training was.

It felt good to nail it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Write a Personal Mission Statement

I am in the process of discovering my personal mission statement. It is a time for introspection, self-discovery, a look at what Stephen R. Covey calls the "deep personal life" that drives and influences our public and private lives.
It's tough. I believe it will be worth it when I am finished. I also believe it will help our family develop our family mission statement as well.
We all need direction in our lives. Why not set the course and destination for yourself? A mission statement is a tool for defining the principles by which you will live your life. It's not something you develop...it must be something you discover.
If you need help, drop me a comment. There are many resources out there that you can use to help and I'll share what I know.
Oh, and if you think just because you have an idea in your head, you already have a plan, you're just dreaming. Do the hard work of facing yourself and working to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. And write it down.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I must thank my touchstone, the love of my life, the mother of my beautiful children, for keeping me centered and giving me hope when life throws a curve. She sent me the thoughts below the other day when we got some minor bad news. It's the kind of thing she does for me because she loves me and we are a team. Thanks, baby! You're the best!

The Ten Commandments Of A Peaceful Life

1. Thou shalt not worry, for worry is the most unproductive of all human activity.

2. Thou shalt not be fearful, for most of the things we fear never come to pass.

3. Thou shalt face each problem as it comes. You can handle only one at a time.

4. Thou shalt not cross bridges before you get to them, for no one yet has succeeded in accomplishing this.

5. Thou shalt not take problems to bed with you, for they make very poor bedfellows.

6. Thou shalt not borrow other people’s problems. They can take better care of them than you can.

7. Thou shalt be a good listener, for only when you listen do you hear ideas different from your own. It’s very hard to learn something new when you’re talking.

8. Thou shalt not try to relive yesterday for good or ill – it is gone. Concentrate on what is happening today.

9. Thou shalt not become bogged down by frustration, for 50% of it is rooted in self-pity and will only interfere with positive actions.

10. Thou shalt count thy blessings, never overlooking the small ones. A lot of small blessings add up to a big one.

- Unknown

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Want some unvarnished truth about what is going on in Iraq?

Think you know what is going on in Iraq from the evening news? Listening to your favorite party line from those oh so truthful politicians we all know and love?

Here's a link to a document from General Barry R. McCafferey USA (Ret). His assessment is the unvarnished and straight-forward assessment from a man who know what he's talking about. It will give you a good look at what the folks doing the fighting know and believe about what is going on and what we need to be aware of as we decide the future of our troops and our allies.


Note: If you can't read this document with an open mind, please don't waste your time. It's not a Katie Couric fluff piece. It's a scholarly, soldierly treatment in brutal truth.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Can you be the kind of leader....

...that can inspire others?
When we take on the challenge of leadership, we are confident in our own abilities, but leadership is not about us, is it? It's about those we are honored to lead. It's about being worthy of their trust and respect. It's about being able to inspire others to burn brighter than they ever have.
Think on those who have inspired you. What was it about them that made you believe you could be more than you are? What was it about them that made them stand out in your life?
In this changing world, can we hope for leadership that is not about themselves? Dare we hope for servant leadership at the highest levels of our nation and our lives?
I, for one, am skeptical, but willing to wait....and hope....and pray.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Render the Proper Salute, Veteran!

A friend (Thanks, Tom!) sent me the following article. I think it's a great idea and will be sure to render the proper respect for our National Anthem with a hand salute from now on.

New Law Authorizes Veterans’ Salutes during National Anthem

WASHINGTON -- Veterans and active-duty military not in uniform can now render the military-style hand salute during the playing of the national anthem, thanks to changes in federal law that took effect this month.

“The military salute is a unique gesture of respect that marks those who have served in our nation’s armed forces,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake. “This provision allows the application of that honor in all events involving our nation’s flag.”

The new provision improves upon a little known change in federal law last year that authorized veterans to render the military-style hand salute during the raising, lowering or passing of the flag, but it did not address salutes during the national anthem. Last year’s provision also applied to members of the armed forces while not in uniform.

Traditionally, members of the nation’s veterans service organizations have rendered the hand-salute during the national anthem and at events involving the national flag while wearing their organization’s official head-gear.

The most recent change, authorizing hand-salutes during the national anthem by veterans and out-of-uniform military personnel, was sponsored by Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, an Army veteran. It was included in the Defense Authorization Act of 2009, which President Bush signed on Oct. 14.

The earlier provision authorizing hand-salutes for veterans and out-of-uniform military personnel during the raising, lowering or passing of the flag, was contained in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008, which took effect Jan. 28, 2008.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Greg Mortenson and Personal Leadership

Watch CBS Videos Online

Greg Mortenson is an amazing person. What he has done and is doing for the children of Afghanistan and Pakistan is truly inspiring. The Lieutenant Colonel in the video, Chris Kolenda, is a USMA 1987 classmate of mine.

Watch and be inspired....I know I was.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Great American Was Buried Today

On January 1st, 2009, the man pictured above died. He was beloved of many who met him, especially the young men and women of The United States Military Academy at West Point, where he served as "The Supe"...our Supe....from 1981 to 1986. Here is a link to the official notification of his death and obituary.
(visitors may also add their memories on the Eulogy link on the page linked above
He was a great man and a great leader who impacted my life at a young and impressionable age. He demonstrated through his personal example that we could all be more than we realized and that we could all learn leadership if we had the heart and desire and humility to do so.
He was the first to serve as Superintendent for five years and he led the Academy through great changes after the admission of women to the Corps of Cadets. He was the leader we needed at a pivotal time for the Academy and for us as young cadets. He presided over Jim Young's excellent conversion of the Army Football team to the option powerhouse it became in the late 80's and early 90's. His presence atop a mule on the sideline cheering on the Army team and inspiring the corps is legendary.
In one of the Academy hymns, The Corps, there is a phrase that fits for our Supe:
"And when our work is done,
our course on earth is run.
May it be said "Well done! Be thou at peace...."
Well done, LTG Scott. Be thou at peace.
We'll miss you.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year!

Looks like it is already shaping up to be an interesting year!

The holidays are over and it's time to get back to the business of business. Consulting is opening my eyes to a whole new world of possibility. Much like my thoughts on Volunteer Leadership, working as a management consultant is about motivating and teaching in an environment where the consultant has little to no formal power to impact behaviors and change. In this environment, one really has to think on one's feet.

I love the challenge of it.

On the home front, we will probably be moving back to our beautiful home in the Finger Lakes in July of 2009. I never wanted to be a landlord and will never be one again! More details to follow.

All the best to my readers and your families for 2009.