Everyone Wants to be Noticed

I’ve been told that I’m a positive person.  That’s always surprised me, because I don’t see myself as a positive person.  I have my ups and downs, like everyone else, and I can be just as grumpy and negative as the next person.  Recently I discovered why some feel I’m positive, and it’s so obvious that I’m baffled that I never realized it earlier.  I notice people, it’s that simple.

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Many years ago, while I was in high school, my parents received a letter from my physical education teacher.  He noted that I was very accommodating to my classmates, especially to the less popular ones, and the ones with special needs.  My mother teared up when she read the note, and I became embarrassed.  I still remember the feeling of being noticed by my teacher.  It made me feel fantastic about myself and increased my respect towards him.

I don’t think I did anything special by associating with my classmates, but my teacher recognized it and noticed me and took the time to edify me to my parents.  He singled me out and encouraged me.

There’s No Tragedy in Focus

I love the Olympics.  Every four years I’m thrilled to watch the world’s best athletes converge and compete at the highest level for the ultimate prize of being crowned Olympic champion and the right to be called “the best in the world.”

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What fascinates me; however, is when an athlete falls short of winning a medal and misses the podium.  The announcers and fans sound disappointed and lament that a particular athlete spent his/her entire life preparing for that Olympic moment and will return home empty handed.  Their words and tone make it sound as if anything short of Olympic gold is utter failure, when that couldn’t be further from the truth.

I’m honored that the staff at the Missouri River Energy Services asked me to come and speak to their delegation on the importance of building an effective Key Accounts Program.

MRES

Date: September 21, 2016
Event: Missouri River Energy Services "Tech Days"
Topic: The Importance of Key Accounts
Sponsor: Missouri River Energy Services
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

If you would like to hire me to speak at your event, click My Speaking Page

Life Takes Time

When I ran for the first time with my dad in 1981, I had no idea that decision would impact and shape my life.  I just wanted to gain my dad’s approval and be more like him.  Dad was a runner, so I ran too.

Running in the country

I didn’t achieve success early when I ran, in fact I quit for a couple of years, because I wasn’t sure I liked running.  I thought running was about my race times, medals, and finishing in first place, when in fact, I was learning so much more.  I was learning life lessons that I’m now passing onto my kids.

I’ve learned so much from the sport of running, and the greatest lesson is that life takes time.  It took seven years of training before I won my first major race, Indiana Boys’ Cross-Country Semi-State my sophomore year.

I wasn’t a productive and effective runner in college until my senior year at West Point, after three long years of injury and frustration.  I’ve tried unsuccessfully to qualify for the Boston Marathon the past three years, but I know if I keep trying, eventually I will qualify, because if I’ve learned anything from running, it’s that LIFE TAKES TIME.

The Principle behind an Extraordinary Life

Sweat drips from the brim of my hat and into my eyes.  I try to rub the burn out of my eyes and keep my pace moving.  It’s hot and I have two miles left in my eight mile run this afternoon.

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“Wait up, Dad!” I hear a voice in the distance.

I turn to find my son, Ryan, sprinting towards me.  “What are you doing, Ryan?”

“I want to finish out this mile with you.” He responds as he catches up to me, breathing heavily, but with a smile on his face.

I’m scheduled to run eight miles and told Ryan he could stop after six miles or when we find his mother and brother, Adrian, walking along the trail.  We find them at 5.4 miles and I notify him I’ll meet him at the trail-head, once I finish my eight miles.  I leave Ryan with his mother and brother, and proceed with my run, without him.

Once Ryan catches back up with me, I smile down at him, “Why did you want to continue on with me?”

I’m pleased to speak to the utility folks up in the Northwest about the latest in key accounts management.

 

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Date: September 13, 2016
Time: 10:15 am - 11: 30 am
Event: NWPPA NIC
Topic: Learn the Latest on Managing the Biggest Stars in the Sky – Your Key Accounts
Sponsor: Northwest Public Power Association
Location: Missoula, MT
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

If you would like to hire me to speak at your event, click My Speaking Page

Plan Your Life with a Pencil

I once heard someone say to “plan your life with a pencil” and to not fall in love with your current path, because it will invariably change.  Life is fueled by change and we must remain flexible if we plan to live our lives to the fullest.

Hands folded in prayer on table with pencil

Blackberry laughed at Apple when its new iPhone was introduced.  Blackberry was the gold standard back in 2007 when the iPhone joined the market.  Every business person I knew carried a Blackberry and were constantly connecting with the world through e-mail.  Apple changed the game and expanded our world.  Now the only person I’ve seen that still carries a Blackberry is the President of the United States and Blackberry is all but forgotten, a small footnote in history.

There’s been several times in my life that I thought I had it all figured out and my plan in place, but then God shook things up and I had to rethink my plan.  The truth is, life is fluid and change is a force to be reckoned with.  Companies fail, marriages fail, and friendships end because people have a hard time dealing with change.

How about you?  Are you planning your life with a pen or pencil?  Do you have it all figured out?  What’s going on in your life that is frustrating you the most?  Are you willing to change and alter your paradigm or will you remain rigid in your thinking?

There are areas in my life that are forcing me to reconsider my thinking and alter my plan.  There are variables in my life that I simply cannot control, so I must manage what I can control and don’t get so upset with the rest of it.  It’s not easy, but necessary if I desire to remain relevant.

Is something bothering you?  Is something not working in your life?  Could it be time to pull out your “pencil” and change some things?

People Don’t Sue People They Like

I recently heard a study on medical lawsuits.  The study found that the worst doctors don’t get sued, it’s the doctors with the worst bedside manners that get sued the most.  Jeffrey Gitomer, famed sales trainer and coach, famously stated, “All things being equal, people do business with people that they like.  All things not being equal, people still do business with people that they like!”

Face of beautiful woman on the background of business people

Likability is a success principle often overlooked in a hyper competitive world.  We teach perseverance, intelligence, wisdom, and attitude to name a few, but rarely do we ask the fundamental human dynamic question, “Do people like you?”

I’ve often heard that leadership is not a popularity contest and I once heard a leader say, “If people like you, then you are probably not leading them correctly.”  I was even told once, by a mentor, that people may not like you, but they should respect you.  I don’t think likability and respect are mutually exclusive.  I think they can both be achieved and that you can influence others and be respected and liked.

There is a fine line between making tough decisions and chasing the affirmation from others.  I’m not advocating that you must seek the approval of others, which is a fool’s errand.  I believe that you can influence others, earn their respect, and be a likable person all in the same.  Here’s how:

Why Healthy Relationships Must Evolve to Last

I was frustrated with my daughter, Ashley, recently during a weekend softball tournament.  I’ve been on a fun journey with her over the past few years as she’s grown and developed into a fine softball player.  I’ve enjoyed being on this journey with her and guiding her along the way.

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I’ve helped her find the right coaches to elevate her game.  I’ve made sure she’s had the right equipment to allow her to be successful and I’ve coached her on how to approach competition and how to manage winning and to endure defeat.

When Ashley started to play softball, she was 10.  I managed every facet of the game for her and she pretty much followed my lead.  Now she’s 13, and things have changed.

We had a long wait before our next game at our most recent softball tournament.  It was hot and I knew we might have a long afternoon ahead of us.  I urged Ashley to rest in the cool comforts of our hotel room, but she resisted and wanted to hang out with her friends and rest with them.  That made me uncomfortable, because I’m used to having her with me so I can manage what she eats and how much she drinks.  I wanted to ensure she rested, hydrated and was mentally ready to play softball later in the afternoon.

I’m looking forward to delivering the keynote address for the Colorado Association of Municipal Utilities in Aspen, Colorado.

 

CAMU Logo

Date: July 13, 2016
Event: Colorado Association of Municipal Utilities Annual Meeting
Topic: Lead Before You Speak - The Art and Science Behind Nonverbal Influence
Sponsor: Colorado Association of Municipal Utilities
Venue: The Inn at Aspen
Location: Aspen, Colorado
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

If you would like to hire me to speak at your event, click My Speaking Page