Posts Tagged ‘fairness’

The Future is Yours

I just did a program for a large multinational manufacturing company, who has been in business for over 70 years. My client’s theme for the conference was … The Future is Yours. In preparing for the program, I decided to do some research on great quotes and statements that have to do with our future. I ran across a statement made by the esteemed economist Dr. Lowell Catlett that really surprised me. He said they did a study in 1960 and again in 2010, which involved over 7,000 economists, that rated their accuracy for forecasting future economic trends; their accuracy rate was 47%. He elaborated on that statement, saying: “What I just told you is, you can flip a coin and beat 7,000 economists by 3%.“ He concluded his point by saying, “You can’t predict the future, but you sure can prepare for it.”

So, I thought I would share with you some thoughts/quotes on “Achieving Success in Your Future.” I think these quotes will help to give you a productive perspective on addressing your success in the future.

The future is unknown, but a somewhat predictable unknown. To look to the future we must first look upon the past. That is where the seeds of the future were planted.Albert Einstein

Just because the past didn’t turn out like you wanted it to … doesn’t mean your future can’t be better than you imagined. – Anon

I look to the future because that’s where I’m going to spend the rest of my life.George Burns

The more you take responsibility for your past and present, the more you are able to create the future you seek. – Anon

Your future is created by what you do today … Not tomorrow. – Anon

The best way to predict the future is to create it. – Abraham Lincoln

If I had to pick my favorite quote of all of them, it would be the second one: “Just because the past didn’t turn out like you wanted it to, doesn’t mean your future can’t be better than you imagined.” I don’t care where you are in life, how low you have gotten, or how bad it has been … tomorrow you can start fresh, creating a better future. All great achievement begins with deciding what you want and then dedicating yourself to achieving it. So, my perspective on having future success is learning from our past.


If you don’t apply the lessons you have learned from your past … you will never improve your future. There is no rule that says your past is your destiny. You possess the power to create a great future: we all do. Remember, your future success is dependent on your present efforts … so, do something today that you will be happy you did tomorrow.

Let your regrets fuel your future …

so your future will have fewer regrets.





It is a new year with new opportunities and new challenges. According to Forbes magazine, over 40% of Americans prepare a New Year’s Resolutions list. Self-improvement (48%) is the top category for resolutions; weight (38%), money (34%), and relationships (31%) round out the top four “Resolution Types.”

Age seems to play a huge role in the success rate of achieving your New Year’s Resolution. 39% of the people in their twenties achieve their resolution, while only 14% of people over fifty do so. 25% of the people who take the time to write-up their New Year’s Resolution, only last one week, before going back to their old ways. That number jumps to 34% by the end of one month. The Statistic Brain Research Institute found that only 8% are successful in achieving their resolutions; now that is a depressing number.

Is there a better way to approach having a more successful year? I think so; it doesn’t take much to improve on a 92% failure rate. Instead of approaching the New Year with just a Resolution list, maybe you should “also” give some consideration to approaching the New Year with a new system for addressing each day. In preparing for one of my programs, I was researching my client and found something, I feel, would be tremendously useful to anyone; it came from their Value Statement. They created an acrostic for the word POWER.

Power - 4

If you incorporate these five values into the way you approach any task, problem, challenge or goal … you will greatly enhance your chances for succeeding. You have just begun writing the 365 page book that will chronicle YOUR new year. You are the author, editor and publisher … the one fully responsible for how your book turns out. Artist and writer, Christine Mason Miller once stated, “At any given moment you have the POWER to say, ‘this is not how the story is going to end.’” Your past doesn’t have to decide your future. You have the choice and the opportunity to start anew and there is no better time to do that, than right now.

So, instead of fretting over not accomplishing one of your New Year’s Resolutions, pay more attention to how you address, approach, and attack each day. When you have Pride in your work, always delivering an Outstanding effort, keeping a Winning attitude no matter what the circumstances, never losing sight of what is Ethical, while always Respecting others … your reputation will soar. Always remember:

It takes P.O.W.E.R. to be successful.

Forget Something?

A while back I did a huge favor for someone and never heard anything from them … zip, zilch, nada, nothing. Just a simple “Thank You” would have been nice … but they acted as if it was expected of me. To say that I was disappointed is putting it mildly.

To me, disappointed is a very powerful and scary word. You see, disappointed can turn into other “Dis” words, such as disgruntled, discouraged, disenthralled, disillusioned, disheartened, and possibly even dissatisfied with our current personal or business relationship. I might start noticing that this relationship (business or personal) is really all about YOU and how YOU can benefit; the words reciprocation or gratitude don’t seem to be in your vocabulary.

Everyone likes to be remembered, thanked or appreciated for doing favors, going above and beyond, being courteous, considerate, thoughtful or kind. Being “taken for granted” stinks. Forgetting to show any kind of appreciation for someone who did something for you … that they didn’t have to do … can end up causing you problems later on. You will never know when someday you may need a helping hand and all those people you took for granted and/or never thanked, might NOT be so readily available to help you out.

Francesca Gino, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, did some research on gratitude and looked at 41 fundraisers at a university, all receiving a fixed salary. The director visited half of the fundraisers in person, telling them, “I am very grateful for your hard work. We sincerely appreciate your contributions to the university.” The second group received no such expressions of gratitude. What was the impact of the director’s thanks? Gino said that “the expression of gratitude increased the number of calls by more than 50 percent” for the week, while fundraisers who received no thanks made about the same number of calls as the previous week.

Organizations and leaders who miss chances to express gratitude, lose opportunities to motivate people that actually costs them nothing. Simply stated: Gratitude is free and profitable. People may not show that they are upset about not being thanked … but when the time comes for them to help YOU out again, they may just be a little too busy that day. You can transform your relationships, business and personal life with the Power of Gratitude! Never underestimate the power of a thank you and never pass up on the opportunity to say those two words.

It is not happy people who are thankful.

It is thankful people who are happy.



First, Last or Next

We have all had a lot of “Firsts” in our lives; our first step, first day of school, first kiss, first dance, first car and our first job. The list can go on and on with the things we have done for the first time. Some were really hard, some we thought were going to be hard but turned out a lot simpler than we feared and some just happened by accident … but we got through them all. Then we all have had some pretty neat “Lasts” in our lives as well: the last time you had to ask your parent’s permission, the last time you had a curfew on a date, the last time you had to study for a French, trigonometry, or chemistry final …or whatever courses you hated. Life is full of lots of great “First and Lasts”.

But, sometimes the “Firsts and Lasts” aren’t fun or exciting. Sometimes they are sad, hard, disappointing or even heart wrenching. I am sure you all can think of those without me having to point them out. I don’t want to address those today. I want to stay focused and positive about a subject I feel very strong about. I feel that truly successful people, those who stay on top of their profession for years, are always moving forward. They keep relevant, thriving, and successful by looking forward and moving on to the “NEXT” challenge, goal and soon to be another accomplishment. They don’t live in the past talking about previous successes. They finish what they are doing to the best of their ability … take a moment to appreciate what they have accomplished … and then move on; they relish what life has in store for them.

Your life is going to have countless “Firsts and Lasts”, whether you want them or not, but your “NEXT” accomplishment is up to you. The day you quit looking forward to your next goal, project, plan, mission, task, or grand undertaking is the day you stop progressing. When actor/comedian George Burns was 79, his career was resurrected in the 1975 film The Sunshine Boys, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He continued to work until shortly before his death, in 1996, at the age of 100. When he died he still had future engagements booked. He had more “NEXTs” planned out all the way up to his last breath. At 86 years of age, the famous poet Robert Frost recited his poem “The Gift Outright” at John F. Kennedy’s Presidential inauguration. At 88, Michelangelo completed his sculpture Roudandini Pieta, depicting an aged man holding Christ. At 89, classical pianist Arthur Rubinstein performed his famous concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall. At 104, educator/research scientist Ray Crist finally retired after an 80 year career that began at Columbia University.

But “NEXT” is not just for the elderly. Mozart was performing piano concerts across Europe at the age of 6. Bill Gates wrote his first computer program at the age of 13 and at 31 he had made his first billion dollars. At 15, swimmer Dara Torres set the world record in the 50-meter freestyle. Tommy Hilfiger opened his first clothing store at the age of 18, with his hottest item being bell-bottom pants. What do these people all have in common? They all kept moving forward to their “NEXT” accomplishment. 

If you want to study somebody who was really amazing at “NEXT”, take a look at Benjamin Franklin. Mr. Franklin was an author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. He founded the first U.S. hospital, insurance company, police department, fire department, and book circulating library. He invented the Franklin Stove, the lightning rod and bifocals (to name a few). He was involved in founding two colleges. On top of all of those accomplishments, Mr. Franklin was also an Alderman, Governor, Ambassador and one of the founding fathers of the United States. He kept active and working right up until he died at 84 years of age. Over 20,000 people attended his funeral. Mr. Franklin’s entire life was a continuous journey of “NEXTs”. Here is an anonymous quote that I think sums up nicely the point I am trying to make. 

“You can’t start the NEXT chapter of your life, 

if you keep re-reading the last one.”

Ride For The Brand

A few weeks ago I asked you all to send me in your favorite quotes and the response was overwhelming. While I’m deciding how I am going to use all this great material, I thought I would share one quote that really stood out to me, because:

  • I had never heard it before  
  • I didn’t know what it meant and  
  • When I found out what it meant, I really liked it.

Sam Bertelsen, sent me the quote, who had it passed on to him by his Dad. Sam describes the company that he works for as … a small, fly-by-night company, called FedEx.  Sam is a real character, who lives in Montana and is fan of cowboy traditions and that is where the quote he sent me came from. The quote was, “Ride for the Brand.” It is an expression of loyalty to a cowboy’s employer or the particular outfit he rode for. I was now very intrigued about the expression, so I did some more research.

Most cattle on a cattle ranch are given a brand, a unique mark burned into the tough hide on the backside of the cow; it means that cow belongs to that ranch. But the expression, Ride for the Brand,” was more than just a mark that determined ownership of a cow. It became a symbol for those who lived and worked for the ranch and was a visual representation of the values and principles that ranch stood for. Cowboys were expected to dedicate themselves to the boss and the group of cowboys who worked for the ranch. The cowboys would defend the ranch at all costs, as if it were their own. I was really liking what my research was turning up, so I kept digging.

I then came across … Cowboy Ethics: What Wall Street Can Learn from the Code of the West – by James P. Owens. Mr. Owens listed these points to follow:

  1. Live each day with courage
  2. Take pride in your work
  3. Always finish what you start 
  4. Do what has to be done 
  5. Be tough, but fair. 
  6. When you make a promise, keep it.
  7. Ride for your brand 
  8. Talk less and say more 
  9. Remember some things aren’t for sale 
  10. Know where to draw the line

Mr. Owens even notedRide for your Brand”, in his list. The reason why I share the quote with you is I think it is as fitting today as it was in the old west. Loyalty to your company should be a given. The company you are working for deserves your best, all the time. Sam said his father also told him  … to work every day hard and ask yourself would your company hire you again tomorrow based on your performance today?  I suggest you use that quote to measure your performance every day!

If you want to advance your career with your company, then Ride for YOUR Brand.”  People will sense the pride you have for your company and the appreciation you have for working there. Remember, the cowboys would defend the ranch at all costs, as if it were their own. If I was your boss and knew that was the way you felt about our company, wild horses couldn’t pull you away from me. I would do everything I could to keep you. But, for you bosses out there, you need to understand that employee loyalty comes from employer loyalty. If your employees are delivering for you, you need to always have their back, be in their corner and singing their praises.

Being Loyal Gains Loyalty

Ride For YOUR Brand

Great Minds – Average Minds – Small Minds

“I am an office mystery.

I’m never seen but I’m everywhere.

I’m always on the job and often forecast important events.

I make an unmake morals, reputation and cooperation,

but I’m seldom blamed for my mistakes.

I have no responsibilities,

and I am one of the most powerful molders of opinion.

I add humor and anger to the office,

and I pass with the speed of sound.

I’m basic in human nature, and you must accept me.

I grow right behind you.

I am the office grapevine.”

(Author Unknown)

Careers and reputations are damaged every day by the grapevine. People are fired and lives are forever altered because of false rumors, innuendos, insinuations, and gossip from the grapevine. People who are biased, prejudiced, uncaring, jealous, impartial, and opinionated have a real tendency to taint the facts in their favor. I have no time for those types of people in my life. Most grapevine gossip is critical, judgmental, faultfinding, and negative in substance. These are all things I can do without in my life. Erma Bombeck once suggested that our national pastime in America is not baseball, it’s gossip.

Gossip is just a way for people who have nothing better to do … to help them deal with the people who are doing something better. It is an enormous time waster that really doesn’t serve any good purpose at all. There is an excellent tenet to keep in mind about people who are always sharing gossip: People who gossip to you … will gossip about you. I heard it once said that … Rumors are carried by haters, spread by fools, and accepted by idiots. That sentence alone should forever change your opinion of those who gossip and be an excellent reason to never do it yourself.

I am not a fan of people who gossip. I think people who gossip are   1. not as productive as people who don’t    2. are shallow-minded    3. definitely not management material. Here are a few simple rules to follow that I feel will help your career and your personal life when it comes to gossip.

  • If you won’t say it to them … then don’t say it about them.
  • When talking about someone, pretend they are standing beside you.
  • Never “fan the flame” of gossip nor pass it on.
  • Disengage from the conversation – fake a call, meeting or deadline.

Eleanor Roosevelt said it best when she stated: Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” Most negative gossiping people are trying to make themselves feel better about their inadequacies by trying to make you look bad. If you find someone is gossiping about you … just think to yourself that they are making “YOU” the center of “THEIR” world. WOW! You just got really important.

If you must gossip,

talk about a person’s virtues not their vices.


Getting Them Over “Fool’s Hill” Alive

I wrote an article for Father’s Day that is really appropriate for any occasion. You don’t have to be a father to get some value from the article, so I wanted to share it with everyone. Here is what I wrote:

Since this is Father’s Day, and I happen to be one, I thought it appropriate for me to throw in my two-cents on the subject. After 23 years of parenting I can say with confidence, that I am “NOT” an authority on the subject. As a father, I learned firsthand that children aren’t born with an instruction manual, so this is a, learn as you “screw-up”, job.

I remember visiting my wife’s parents after our son Tyler was born, and her Dad made a very calm, off-the-cuff statement about parenting, which I will never forget. He said: “Our job as parents is to get our children over Fool’s Hill, alive.”  Boy was he right. I also didn’t know that everything I was doing was going to be copied. I didn’t know that a 3-year-old could repeat exactly what you said, word for word … with the proper inflection, when you think no one is listening. But, I soon realized that our son was going to be a direct reflection of our effort and love. I never doubted my wife, she was the rock; I doubted me.

To me, D.A.D. is an earned title, a badge of honor, which comes with enormous responsibilities. In my mind, the D’s in DAD stand for so many things.

It was now my Duty to take care of him. I needed to instill in him Determination so he could Distinguish himself in whatever he did. I needed to teach him he didn’t Deserve success, he had to Deliver. I needed him to understand he would encounter Difficulties, Dishonesty, Disappointment, Disrespect, Defeat, Disagreement, Disobedience, and Doubt on his journey to being successful. I wanted him to know there is never a reason to stay Depressed or Dwell on mistakes, because tomorrow is always another day. I wanted him to be able to face Danger head on, Dare to be great, be Defiant to the naysayers, Demand the best of himself and live with Dignity. I needed him to recognize the importance of Dreaming but that we are all graded on what we Do, not what we Desire. I had to get him to understand greatness is achieved by those who are Dauntless, Durable and Devoted to their goals and sometimes he would just have to roll-up his sleeves and get Dirty, Demonstrating to all, he was willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

The “A” in D.A.D. was going to be simple for him to remember, but the core to everything when it comes to success and failure. Everyone is graded by their ACTIONS. His success in life would be Determined by what he Decides to Do and then Does. There are no trophies given for Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda … and you can’t take back what you did … so, act as if everyone in the whole world is watching, because they could be.

Then a chill came over me because I knew one of the best ways to teach was by example. Why should I expect more from him than I would from myself? As his DAD, I wanted more for him than myself, but it is not fair to demand more than I am willing to strive for. Do as I say, not as I do … is a lousy way to teach. Yeah, I got real scared. Would my son be proud of me; would I be deserving of the title D.A.D.?

Then I learned one more thing on my DAD journey; when they know you LOVE them, they become a lot more forgiving of your faults. Was I there all the time when he needed me? No. (his Mom was) But, he knew I wanted to be. At times, was I too tough on him , not fair, a poor listener, too strict, too stubborn in my ways … Guilty as Charged.  But, if he says just four simple words, “I love you DAD,” I will know I succeeded at what mattered most; he knows I love him and always will. All DADs deserve the title of D.A.D., if their children LOVE them.  AND … I’ll keep working on making him as proud of me as I am of him.

If you want your children to know how to live,

Don’t Tell Them How – Show Them How

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