Stop and Hear The Music

I wanted to share an article that my friend Mike Robbins (www.mike-robbins.com) shared in his weekly newsletter. Below is a poignant, true story. While this event took place a few years ago (2007) and you may have read it already, it was the first time I’d been made aware of it and I wanted to share this story with you. It’s an important reminder about the power of our attention – it’s not about the beauty of the music, it’s about our willingness to hear it and appreciate it. Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning. A man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about forty five minutes. During that time approximately two thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After three minutes, a middle-aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for
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If You Want To Succeed, Serve

The first time I met Dr. Stephen Covey, the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, was at an event that he hosted in his home. A mutual friend introduced us and told Stephen that I was writing a book. Stephen asked what the title was and I said, The Two Most Important Days Of Your Life. Then he asked if he could give me some advice. He has sold over 26 million books – so I said of course. 🙂 Then he said , “Make sure you write the book for the reader, and not the writer. “ Not fully understanding, I asked him to explain. He then taught me, “Life is only fulfilling when you focus on contribution, not achievement. A book will be successful when it is written for the reader; to help, teach, and inspire. Authors who write for their own agrandizement ironically never
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A Wish For Leaders

I sincerely wish you will have the experience of thinking up a new idea, planning it, organizing it, and following it to completion, and then having it be magnificently successful. I also hope you’ll go through the same process and have something “bomb-out.” I wish you could know how it feels “to run” with all your heart and lose – horribly. I wish that you could achieve some great good for mankind, but have nobody know about it except for you. I wish you could find something so worthwhile that you deem it worthy of investing your life. I hope you become frustrated and challenged enough to begin to push back the very barriers of your own personal limitations. I hope you make a stupid, unethical mistake and get caught redhanded and are big enough to say those magic words ”I was wrong.” I hope you give so much of
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How to Recognize Like The Oscars

Last night my wife and I watched the last 30 minutes of the Academy Awards. It is always fun to see who wins the big awards: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Picture of The Year. The thing that impressed me was the way that they recognized the nominees for Best Actor and Actress. Each of the nominees were introduced by a friend and colleague who knew them personally and had worked with them before. The personal relationship allowed them to share funny stories, genuine compliments and heartfelt congratulations to each of the nominees. It was moving! Whenever you are part of recognition with a team, family, organization, or business – take a lesson from the Oscars. Make it personal. Make it heartfelt. Make it real. What a difference this makes on the impact of the recognition – not only for the individual being recognized but for all who
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A Networking Observation

Yesterday I went to a networking event for lunch. There were about 80 people there and we were assigned to tables with 8 at each table. The conversation was good, but superficial throughout the lunch. The typical question was directed at the name of the company on the name tag. “Tell me about XYZ company?” or “What do you do at XYZ?” Then the event director introduced an activity. We went around the table and each of us had two minutes to answer a personal question and then 2 minutes to talk about what we do professionally. The personal question was either “What is a mistake you have made in the past?” or “What has been a memorable sporting event for you?” I don’t think it mattered what the personal questions were but the interesting thing that happened was when people began to open up and talk about personal things,
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Relationship Week

I want to invite you to join me for Relationship Week. All of next week (the week leading up to Valentines Day) is relationship week and I am celebrating with all of you by understanding how relationships are the root of all business. I will be interviewing a relationship expert live everyday next week and you can listen in for free. These experts are bestselling authors like Bob Burg, CEO’s like Dave Blanchard and social media gurus like David Riklan. You won’t want to miss these calls. So make sure you take a minute and register at https://www.relationshipweek.com – then I will give you the times and number for each of the calls next week. I look forward to learning with you and making next week a week to remember. Go to https://www.relationshipweek.com and register – it only takes a few seconds.
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19 Essential Life Lessons

I have a good friend who passed away a little more than a year ago. Richard Ellis was a successful entrepreneur, father and friend. He touched thousands of people’s lives with his wisdom, understanding and caring. Just before he passed, he shared 19 Life Lessons with some of the people he loved and I wanted to share them with you because I think there is great wisdom in each of these. 1. You won’t always succeed, but never give up believing in yourself. 2. Look for the success lesson of any failure. There is a hint there. 3. Be inspired by your mentors and leaders, but never controlled. 4. Personal growth will always precede relationship and business growth. 5. Believe and trust in other people until they have absolutely proven that they don’t deserve it. 6. Believe anyone you meet can accomplish anything, unless they prove to you they don’t
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True Goals for New Years Resolutions

As New Years fast approaches I’m sure everyone has given thought to their New Years Resolutions. What do you want to be, do and have in 2010? I believe that New Years Resolutions don’t work unless you set True Goals – goals that have everything you need to be able to achieve them. I wanted to share a quick outline on how to make a True Goal with the hope that your New Years Resolutions this year will result in making 2010 the best year of your life. Here goes – A True Goal needs three things: Vision, Mission, and Strategy Vision Provides a Picture – answering What? Mission Provides Purpose – answering Why? Strategy Provides a Plan – answering How? A true goal requires that you identify what you want, feel a deep sense of why you want it and then develop a plan as to how you will
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5 Lessons About the Way We Treat People

1 – First Important Lesson – Cleaning Lady. During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one: “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?” Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50’s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. “Absolutely, ” said the professor. “In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say “hello.” I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was
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