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The Power of (Constructive) Criticism

          I've done a considerable amount of writing in the past, and one thing I learned early on was the practice of submitting my article to others for critique. Humbling at times and often uncomfortable, my writing skills became  better over time as a result.

The Law of Adaption

It wasn't long ago that my son, John - who happens to be in corporate finance - challenged my business model.  At the time, I wasn't so sure that I knew what a business model was, let alone what ours was.  Over a period of years, however, I have learned that whatever your business model is, it must of necessity fit the market you are in.

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Restoring Vision

     Ancient text informs us that "without vision the people perish;" it is during challenging times like these that vision is tested and often lost.  

     My mentor for twenty years and author of "Awakening the Giant," the late Jim Russell, used to say that vision is the definition of a long-term goal.

What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

     Common parlance says one thing that characterizes a good CEO is that he or she always has the right answer. Yet research indicates this is not always so. "Leading from good to great," author Jim Collins says, "means having the humility to grasp the fact that you do not yet understand enough to have the answers.

What Matters Most

It wasn't long ago that I enjoyed lunch with a long-time customer and friend.  He was undergoing cancer treatment at the time, and was doing quite well.  He told me one thing that had come of his illness was a realization of the importance of faith and family.

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Be an Overcomer

     Years ago I heard something that has stuck with me ever since.  The man I was listening to said, in no uncertain terms, "it's either overcome, or be overcome."  In other words, you have two options in life:  you either win or you lose; there is no 'tie game.

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Two Economies

     I'm excited about 2009 - I think it's going to be a great year.  That's because I am on a different economy.  

     I believe there are two economies at work in our country.  One is the economy that you read about in the papers and hear on the news everyday - even on conservative talk shows.

The Extra Mile

     It has been said that there are no traffic jambs on the extra mile because so few elect to travel there.
     Not long ago Barb and I were dining at a local restaurant with my son and his wife when all of a sudden the manager showed up with a luscious dessert for the four of us.

Against All Hope

     In his business classic, Good to Great, author Jim Collins recounts the remarkable story of Admiral Jim Stockdale, the highest ranking U.S. military officer to be imprisoned during the Vietnam War.  Tortured over 20 times during his eight-year imprisonment, Stockdale is quoted as saying, "I never lost faith in the end of the story.

It’s Not the Economy, Stupid!

     I remember well the campaign slogan of the Clinton era - "It's the economy, stupid!"     Its basic message was that most of us had it  wrong; that it wasn't about politics, policies, competence, or character.  It wasn't about abortion, gun control or the definition of marriage.