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.