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Holidays Library

Celebrate Independence Day and Honor Those Who Made It Possible

Today is usually a day for hot dogs, parades and festive celebrations of the birth of this wonderful nation we inhabit.

I t should be … but in addition, I’d like to pay tribute to the men and women of our Armed Forces. Traditionally, we remember and honor them on Memorial Day, but on that occasion, we tend to focus on those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

American Flag Independence Day

But today, we stand straighter because of their bravery and commitment. We shed tears for their innocence and selflessness as they put themselves in harm’s way for the country to which they give so much and from which they ask so little.

They aren’t encamped on a comfortable bar stool celebrating Independence Day. They’re carrying out their missions in unforgiving terrain, without electricity, plumbing or running water, with questions, maybe, but mostly with an unequivocal commitment to the cause for which they serve. Thank God there are young men and women prepared to serve, to commit rather than hesitate, so that we retain the power to meet the challenges that come our way and can enjoy this holiday in a peaceful manner.

Their sacrifices come under the most demanding circumstances we can imagine. They represent the finest spirit of dedication, courage and fortitude, everyday risking their lives, when in a single unscripted moment, they may be chosen to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Today and everyday, I honor them with humility, pride … and I’m certain, with your gratitude as well. Please take a moment from your celebrations today to pray for the safe return of the men and women in uniform, for the full recovery for those who have been wounded, and for a peaceful and rewarding eternity for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Make it a great July 4th holiday with friends and family.

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Today, We Salute Our Fallen Heroes …

Not for Fame or Reward

Not for Place or for Rank

Not Lured by Ambition

Not Goaded by Necessity

But in Simple Obedience to Duty

As They Understood It

These Men Suffered All

Sacrificed All

Dared All ~ And Died

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

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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Happy New Year! 2016 is YOUR YEAR.

Happy New Year, my friends.

L et’s see what we can accomplish together in 2016!

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Be yourself. Everyone else is taken. ~ Oscar Wilde

The New Year is always 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 most likely will never keep.

In fact, just embrace Oscar Wilde’s simple mantra for 2015.

Here are some Powerful Goals for 2016

Continue reading to kickstart your 2016 …

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Rudolph Made It | So Can You

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 egg nog in hand.

T here’s a powerful lesson in here for you.

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“Seriously?” my wife said.

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

I’m afraid so.

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?

Why is Christmas like a day at the office? Because you do all the work, and the fat guy in the suit gets all the credit.

Maybe because Santa brought me some cool loot?

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.

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.

Keep reading to get the full Rudolph Message ….

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The 12 Pains of Christmas | An Executive Sing-a-Long

The holidays are here and we’re still trying to figure out how we’re going to get it all done. You know, all the productivity stuff we talk about?

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

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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.

Don’t miss every one of the 12 Pains of Christmas

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The 12 Days of Christmas | What does is cost this year?

The cost of the fanciful mix of gifts described in the classic carol, The 12 Days of Christmas, has been tracked for over a quarter of a century.

W ho knew how expensive the Seven-Swans-A-Singing would be?

 

12-Days-of-Christmas resizedWhat a difference 5 years makes!

It was a pretty fowl year back in 2010.

Who knew the price of a French hen would increase by 233%?

Or that two turtle doves would cost 78.6% more? That a lone partridge would go up 20%?

Not that there’s anything wrong with a basket of assorted swans, geese, French hens and turtle doves … I’d prefer a beef tenderloin myself … but who would have expected in 2010, the “Christmas Price Index”, which has closely tracked the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for most of its 27 years, would rise by 9.2%, the 2nd largest increase over that period (2nd only to a 16% jump in 2003).

What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day. ~ Phyllis Diller

PNC Wealth Management has carefully tracked these costs for more than 25 years. This year, they’ve even created a Gingerbread House to explain this index and educate people about the economy.

Keep reading to find out how much this will cost you this year ….

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Be Grateful for All of Your Blessings

Be sure to take time to enjoy the blessings in your life on this Thanksgiving holiday.

T  he world will keep spinning without our business devotion, so invest your day with friends and family.

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

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others. ~ Cicero

Enjoy each others’ company … catch a little Detroit Lions football (a feature of my childhood Thanksgivings in Michigan) … or 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.

Continue reading ….

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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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