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5 Powerful Concepts to Kickstart an Awesome 2015

 

Happy New Year 2015

This year is YOUR YEAR.

It’s a great time for renewal and for a fresh start … but don’t let yourself get bogged down by a bunch of new resolutions that you will most likely never keep.

Be yourself. Everyone else is taken. ~ Oscar Wilde

In fact, just embrace this simple mantra for 2015.

Your Mantra for 2015

Be kind to one another. Embrace your colleagues. Love your family. Love yourself.

Get focused. Dropkick the distractions. Get ahead of the curve and stay there.

Vow to act urgently when someone calls on you for aid, be intentional about only those things you can control and be compassionate when misfortune comes calling.

Do the things that only you can do. No one else will or can do them.

Kickstart 2015 with at least one of these concepts

Here are a few powerful ideas that I believe will help you get started on an Awesome 2015.

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Best wishes to you and your family for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015.

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12 Holiday Morsels to Strengthen Your Business

Yes, the holidays are here and already the list of things to do continues to grow – completing the annual budget, planning parties, visiting with friends, figuring out what to get who for when … and so it goes.

Yet, my spirit remains strong, so I’ve prepared a menu of 12 holiday treats that I hope will slide down like Amaretto eggnog in front of a winter fire.

I’ve even scoured some of my earlier columns to find the most delectable morsels.

“In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.” — Yogi Berra

So, here’s a smorgasbord of lessons learned – a few appetizers, a choice of entrees, a little dessert – from executives of both extraordinary capability and numbing incompetence  — that should grace your executive table for 2015.

1.     It’s never about you.

It’s always about them. Customers, employees, suppliers … family, friends, colleagues.

Be clear about it and thrive.

Get it backwards?

Fail.

2.     If you don’t think you’ll ever have a management succession problem, you already have one.

Keep reading. There are 12 days. Remember?

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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It seems like everyone is ready for a little R&R these days … and there’s no better time than the Thanksgiving holiday for a restful weekend with family and friends.

We can skip all of the pageantry for now ….

Thanksgiving kicks off a long holiday season … and … thankfully … it’s devoid of the frantic gift-buying, holiday card creation and party circuit pageantry that surrounds Christmas (unless you’re parked in a tent in front of Target waiting for the store to open).

Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot of fun in all of that … but don’t we often get to the end of the Christmas season … exhausted, drained and looking for another holiday to REALLY get a break?

Leave your trials and tribulations behind

So, let’s enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday and take a moment to leave our trials and tribulations behind and reflect upon all of our blessings. We have a lot to be thankful for living in the greatest country on earth, with all of its blemishes, and for the families and friends who nourish our lives.

Savor these moments.

Enjoy each others’ company, catch a little football, watch Santa arrive in the Macy’s day parade … but don’t let the moment pass by without loving the ones you love and who love you … and enjoying and embracing the blessings that fulfill our lives.

Let the gratitude pour forth~

I offer my special thanks today to everyone who contributes to the blessings and favor that grace my life and extend best wishes to you for a restful and bounteous weekend with your families and friends.

Have a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday!

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We Salute Our Heroes ….

Today, we pay tribute to the young men and women who defend the freedom we hold so dearly. And, it is never more poignant and meaningful than when our men and women are serving overseas in harm’s way.

For me, this quotation on an Arlington National Cemetery memorial states exactly why they deserve our respect, admiration and support.

Our soldiers don’t wonder “why”. They “do their duty” and selflessly accept their mission to defend our freedom and the values we cherish.

Take a moment from your busy day . . . shed a few tears as I always do . . . and remember the sacrifices they have made through the years … and continue to make every day … at great risk … but with an unwavering dedication to the service of their country.

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Rudolph led his team across the world. You can, too!

If you woke up this morning with sugar plums dancing in your head, most likely Santa made it down the chimney … and Rudolph is stretched out on the ottoman with a cup of spiced egg nog in hand.

“Seriously?” my wife said. “You’re really singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer while you’re getting dressed this morning?”

I’m afraid so.

Rudolph, The Entrepreneur?

Honestly, I have no idea how that song got into my head.

Maybe because Rudolph … along with Santa and Frosty … are the most iconic images of a secular Christmas?

Maybe because Santa brought me some cool loot?

Maybe because my daughter’s little yorkie, Lulu, is wearing her “Ludolph” outfit?

Maybe all that … but  for just a moment, I stopped to consider the words … mostly to figure out how to convince my wife that I hadn’t lost it  … yet ….

There’s a timeless message in Rudolph’s story.

Then, it dawned on me that there’s a very timeless message in this simple tune that applies to all of us entrepreneurs … and everyone else trying to find their way in this world. Here’s the message Rudolph has to share …

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You can certainly sing this! The 12 Pains of Christmas

The holidays are here and we’re still trying to figure out how we’re going to get it all done.

So, instead of asking you to work at something – anything – I’ve decided to give you a gift of holiday music.

Elmo did it, so did Ren & Stimpy, Winnie the Pooh, Shrek, the Muppets … so with animated competition like this, what can go wrong with my first effort at song-writing?

There is a remarkable breakdown of taste and intelligence at Christmastime.  Mature, responsible grown men wear neckties made of holly leaves and drink alcoholic beverages with raw egg yolks and cottage cheese in them. — P.J. O’Rourke

Yeah, I know, don’t quit your day job.

So, feel free to sing along to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas. Key of D Sharp, please.

All together now:

The first thing in business that’s such a pain to me… is the never-ending stinking eee-mail.

The second thing in business that’s such a pain to me … stuff a-cumm-u-lating … and the never-ending stinking eee-mail.

The third thing in business that’s such a pain to me … meetings, meetings, meetings … stuff a-cumm-u-lating … and the never-ending stinking eee-mail.

The fourth thing in business that’s such a pain to meKeep going … there’s more pain coming …

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We Salute Our Heroes ….

This day is never more poignant and meaningful than when our men and women are serving overseas in harm’s way.

Memorial Day

Today, we pay tribute to the young men and women who defend the freedom we hold so dearly.

Over 4,000 children lost one of their parents since September 11, 2011. Each of them cherishes the respect and admiration we pay to their fallen heroes … and ours … who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Our soldiers don’t wonder “why”. They “do their duty” and selflessly accept their mission to defend our freedom and the values we cherish.

Take a moment from your busy day . . . shed a few tears as I always do . . . and remember the sacrifices they have made through the years … and continue to make every day … at great risk … but with an unwavering dedication to the service of their country.

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It’s not about stuff – it’s about them!

 To tell the truth, I really just wanted to cry.

That was my reaction as I scanned the dining room at the Assisted Living facility into which my 93-year-old mother just moved.

Not because it isn’t a terrific facility.

It’s one of the nicest I have ever seen, visited or heard about, with a wonderful and genuinely caring staff. No, it’s not that at all.

It wasn’t weariness, either, although it did follow on the heels of a draining four-day transition, including a crushing array of painful and tedious sorting, organizing, shopping and hauling to massively downsize and, sadly, to discard even more memorabilia from a rich life of living.

This article was originally intended as my holiday message to you. It was published in the December 26 electronic edition of the North Bay Business Journal, but published in the print edition on January 9. Its spirit, however, is eternal.

Not all of it mind you.

There’s a lot of important family history to preserve

Two big boxes of family history are headed my way, as I’m the last stop for any chance to digitize and preserve almost a century of living so it can be shared throughout the widespread family.

All of the forthcoming scanning and cataloging will be a dose of dullsville … invited and welcome, yes … but infinitely time-consuming nonetheless.

It includes hundreds … more likely, thousands … of photographs, yearbook pages, commencement programs, newspaper articles, announcements and the collective minutiae that memorialize a life, two lives really.

My father, who passed away 10 years ago … as one who never let a piece of paper slip through his hands … successfully squirreled away records and magazines from as far back as the 1940s and 1950s that escaped our notice in the decade-earlier downsizing round.

It’s not just sentiment or nostalgia

You might figure that the tears are sentimental or nostalgic. I wish it were that simple. (more…)

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