“Men are what their mothers made them.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Just recently we celebrated Mother’s Day.  Many of us devotedly honored our mothers – whether still with us or passed on.  Facebook and other popular social media sites were filled with tributes to mothers and grandmothers – perhaps you were among the grateful well-wishers. We were all engaged in honoring mothers near and dear to us. . Can a mother’s  wisdom help  promote success for their children and family members? Yes! … [Read more...]

Sleepless in Mobile

“We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.”                               Marshall McLuhan, Ph.D.  I am not sleeping well . . . waking up many times during the night is normal. Last night was climatic as I woke up twice experiencing scary choking spells. After a visit with my family doctor, who is also a specialist in the area of sleep disorders, I am scheduled for a ‘test night’ at a local sleep center. Meeting again with my family physician following the sleep study, the … [Read more...]

Work While it is Day

“The early bird gets the worm.” John Ray, A Collection of English Proverbs, Circa 1670-1678   Today, I am here . . . Tomorrow, I will be . . . By the end of this week, I will . . . Three years from now, I will accomplish the goal of . . . Five years from now, I will arrive at . . .   How would you finish any or all of those statements? How will you get from this point in time to where you would like to be in the future? Physically—mentally – psychologically … [Read more...]


“Leadership is influence.”    John C. Maxwell, Th.D. “Hey, Dad, do you want to speak to the senior team in our quarterly gathering next week?”  Kelly, our older daughter and CEO of the company (HDS, Inc.) founded by her mother and me, is asking the question. “Sure,” I reply. “What topic do you want me to address?”  “Leadership,” her one-word response. As a professional speaker, it does not take much to persuade me to speak in front of an audience. Add one of my favorite topics and it is a … [Read more...]

Comfort and Joy

“Today is the only day. Yesterday is gone.” John R. Wooden (The ‘Wizard of Westwood’) It is Saturday morning – Christmas Eve. The last three days have been very busy for Carol and me.  After hosting a party for L’Arche (a local organization we support) on Wednesday, attending our company’s (Hackbarth Delivery Service) party on Thursday, Carol’s family gathered at our home for an annual Christmas celebration on Friday.  Over 30 relatives joined us. Later this afternoon, we will join our … [Read more...]

Alabama or Auburn

“A fan will grab you and hug you and will not let go. When that happens, you wish it could be that way all over the world.”    Charley Pride Newcomers to the State of Alabama will inevitably be asked the seemingly most important territorial question -- a query that will come sooner rather than later: ‘Which team do you support . . . Alabama or Auburn?’ If your position is neutral, you will likely be militantly recruited by the fan posing the question while waxing eloquently about the team he … [Read more...]

Squeezed for Time

“I am definitely going to take a course on time management. . . just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.”       Louis E. Boone How do you manage your time? Do you have a strategy? Maybe a tactic or two? I would love to hear your ideas on this subject. Here are some ‘best practices’ that have helped me over the years.  I continue to employ each of these tactics. Plan tomorrow today Before you go to sleep, pinpoint the three most important tasks or activities you need to … [Read more...]

Ross Brown’s Note

“The word that is heard perishes, but the letter that is written remains.” Traditional Proverbs A gentleman is walking down the rustic, creaky-sounding pier as I finish the cleanup task on my boat, now in its lift in the designated boat slip for our condo. As he approaches me, he  introduces himself as Ross Brown, who is  renting a condo in Building F,  located on the eastern edge of our community, across the marina water channel from where we now stand. Ross is looking for help in towing … [Read more...]

Keeping it Real

“Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.”    Oscar Wilde The exceptional person in our world says exactly what they are thinking in any given situation. All of us know at least one person who rarely holds back their thoughts. They stand out. Such a ‘stand out’ is my wife Carol, known by our children and me as someone who “speaks her mind.” Some in our extended family would call it frank speech. While there are times I wish Carol would hold back a few words (sometimes a sentence or two), I … [Read more...]


“Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care, for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.”    The Buddha “Because I said so!” is a familiar statement – a parental proclamation we heard during childhood and probably have asserted to our own children. Representing a tactic to accomplish compliance without further argument, the request often came at the end of a frustrating conversation with a parent. Do you remember? Perhaps, you were one of the few of us who … [Read more...]