Business and Leadership

Higher Purpose

What are you doing at 3:50 am each day?  Hopefully, you’re enjoying some restful sleep.  For one of my business colleagues, Jen, in Joplin, Missouri, it’s the time she rises five days a week to carpool from Baxter to Joplin to hit the gym with friends, enjoying fellowship and exercise.  The early morning trek filled with friendly visiting usually rolls by quickly.  However, Thursday morning, October 14, 2010, turned out to be anything but “usual”. Attending a professional training course in Springfield later that morning necessitated Jen’s driving to the gym alone – no big deal – or was it?  Not far into her trip, Jen encountered a bloodied-faced, obviously injured man along the roadside, waving his hands furiously.  With her thoughts spinning (alone at 4:30 am on a lightly traveled road; ...

Integrity Always!

Integrity – doing the right thing – is a matter of good character.  Make no mistake, this is not a ‘sometimes’ or ‘if it fits’ guideline; integrity is the very core, the essence of who we are – as individuals and is the evidence of the character by which we make our daily decisions about right or wrong. As a business leader, I observed countless opportunities – day to day decisions made by business owners, staff members, and employees – in which they faced issues that tested integrity.  While I have been thrilled on a daily basis with reports of loving compassion shown by those wise business associates, I have also been equally dismayed by reports of less-than-fair incidents.  In every case, regardless of the circumstances, the guideline is clear – act with integrity, it builds trust – it ...

How’s Business?

“So, how’s business?” As entrepreneurs, we often get asked some variation of this question. People really want to know, and true information from someone who is actually out there making things happen can be so much more valuable and interesting than media coverage. Even among good friends or in “small-talk” settings, questions such as these represent big opportunities. Your response says something about your character and subtly indicates whether you are a person with whom others may or may not want to do business. It is absolutely true that everyday conversations can open doors or close doors. I’ve witnessed both and have come up with a few guiding principles: Never Complain! You might not have had the best week. You might be concerned about the direction of the market. Clients or cash f...

Absolutes

How dangerous and destructive is the habit of using “absolutes” in everyday conversation? Have you ever thought of this? Do you hear yourself using absolutes? If so, you most probably are steering your relationships and reputation down an unpleasant and rocky road. Over the last five years of mentoring various people, I have come to recognize one common thread when my mentees talked about conflict with a spouse, fellow employee, employer and/or friend. Everyone I dealt with was oblivious to this “common thread”; however to me it stuck out like a sore thumb. It was the frequent use of “absolutes.” Many of us have heard counselors stress that we should not use absolutes in our conversations – words such as “always,” and “never”. However, until I started me...

Proactive or Reactive?

Are you Proactive or Reactive? Which one are you? We have many God given facets to our personality. By nature, we are either a “waiting” or a “moving” personality, with a tendency to be either “external” or “internal” processors. And we are, by nature, either proactive or reactive. Regardless of which category we are in, each category has strengths as well as potential limitations. Have you ever heard someone say: “That’s just the way I am. That’s just the nature God gave me?” Or maybe you’ve heard someone say, “Well, my dad was this way and that’s just the way I am.” People use these excuses for limiting behavior. Those statements are about as wise as saying there is no value in going to school...

Never Just Another Day

It was a powerful exercise for me to share the Seven Personal Pillars that have served as a foundation for me over the course of my life. These fundamental, deep beliefs have supported my sense of meaning, purpose and connection.  Please find these sessions in our archives. The opportunity to review and reaffirm these pillars reflects another practice that has proven to be very important to me: a determination to be very intentional about my day, my week, and my life. I laughed recently when I came across this quote from Zig Ziglar: “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” I love this quote, because it is so true. I believe that a life well lived begins every single day, with a reaffirmation of what’s most i...

Finding a Mentor in One Easy Step

By Mo Anderson   Donald Sadoway, noted expert on batteries and current [update] Professor of Materials Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, once said, “In a battery, I strive to maximize electrical potential. When mentoring, I strive to maximize human potential.” If you are not actively seeking mentors in the areas of your life that are most important to you, then you are not maximizing your own potential! Today I want to give you a tip for securing a mentor.   Who is a mentor? A mentor is a counselor, a trainer, and an advisor; simply stated, someone you trust, admire, and who is available to help you grow in life. In the words of Robert Frost, “I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” The same might be said for a mentor – one who awakens inspiration in another t...