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Leadership Insights | The Prizefighter & The Preacher

Dad’s Christmas gift to me of an ornament he thought I’d like. The cow sings, too!

Dads never get any credit

Among some of us dads, we often remark, “Dads never get any credit.”

Dads teach their kids how to play ball, run, catch, dodge … but if they score a run, a touchdown or a basket … and the camera zooms in on them, don’t they always say, “Hi Mom!”

Have you ever heard the phrase, “… as good as Dad and apple pie?.” I doubt it. I never have. How about, “the father of all storms” … nope … I think you catch my point.

The Prizefighter & The Preacher

I’ve written several articles over the years, including a recent one about lessons I learned from my 94-year-old mom, but Dad deserves at least as much credit.

I lost my Dad on Nov. 16, 2001, and I still miss him every day. Perhaps my most striking memory is that he had the most unusual combination of careers of anyone I’ve ever known … a world-ranked professional boxer with a record of 82-5-0 who became a minister when he heeded the calling.

An extraordinary combination …

All his life, he loved boxing with great passion and practiced his ministry with great compassion.
He believed deeply that boxing’s demand for discipline, training and sacrifice was a way out for “street toughs,” a route through the gym and into a productive life that would be otherwise inaccessible.

He knew that every soul was worth saving and he never wavered from that commitment.

Brevity is the soul of wit …

One good teacher in a lifetime may sometimes change a delinquent into a solid citizen.Philip Wylie

He had a great sense of humor, too, and it reflected his vision of life as a joyful journey. I’ve still got a copy of a parking ticket that I may have forgotten to pay while in college.

(more…)

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Leadership Insight | Lessons learned from my 94-year-old mom

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

Winston Churchill

 

Yes, I know Mom doesn’t look 94. (This picture is only 2 years old, so she was just 92 then. :-P ) Why do you think I don’t like to stand next to her among strangers? She looks so young they may think we’re the same age. That’s not possible, of course, but do they know that?

Patience, Perspective & Preparation

In our infancy, mom and dad made sure that our clothes were clean, that we were fed, that we got our vaccinations and regular checkups. They made sure our clothes were mended, our beds were made and we were as safe as possible.

Some 40 … maybe 50 years later, it’s our turn. We make sure our parents have clean clothes and linens, that they get to their doctors’ appointments and take their medications according to schedule. We make sure they’re safe and nourished and we visit regularly.

When this cycle makes its turn, we are reminded of life’s fragility as well as our own mortality, aren’t we? (more…)

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Leadership | How many distractions are YOU creating?

“Most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time, and more tranquility. Ask yourself at every moment, ‘Is this necessary?”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

 

How many distractions do you own?

Does it seem like we’ve talked about distractions a lot in the past?

Maybe it’s just the ones in my head that makes me think so … which of course, is a distraction itself. (In the interest of full disclosure, I did write about distractions last April, “Are Distractions Destroying Your Brain?”

In “Just Plans … or Sleeping around“, I responded to the tempest by offering some ideas about how to defend your castle by building a moat, then some barricades, then some lookout posts. (more…)

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Leadership | Your mom is watching: Is your moral compass malfunctioning?

Mother very disappointed or angry

You grabbed the last piece of cake before your sister could get it. The principal called and said your daughter broke another girl’s toy because she got to it first. Your son pushed a boy on the playground because that boy got the last place on the teeter-totter.

“You know better than that!” Isn’t that what our mothers would have said — our fathers, too?

Mom always said, “You Know Better Than That”

What made them think that we knew better than that? (more…)

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Leadership | There’s a simple one-word formula to avoid an ass-whuppin’

Prepare to Win … or get ready to get your butt kicked!

Many moons ago when my daughter was 3 years old, she really wanted a Barbie dollhouse for Christmas.

She never played with Barbie dolls … never liked them much either … but she loved all the little people and things in that doll house.

We found one and hid it in the attic to await Christmas Eve when we could sneak it under the Christmas tree.

My wife and I went up to the attic around 10 p.m. that evening and it was only then when I noticed the small print on the side of the large box … “less than 500 pieces.”

Assembly Required?

What? 500 pieces? To assemble? At this hour? Alas, yes … and man, was it painful to have to stay up until 3 a.m. putting it together. How’s that for preparation? (more…)

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