I Cannot Hear You

“Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure.” Henri J. M. Nouween “Ear fungus,” he says. Just the sound of these two words, when put together, is unpleasant. This is the physician’s diagnosis after examining my ears for less than 30 seconds.  My ‘every-seven-year cerumen impaction issue (earwax)’ is more serious this time. Now two weeks later, the condition has resolved, and I … [Read more...]

The List

“Trust should be the basis for all our moral training.” Lord Robert Baden-Powell, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Most of us are familiar with the Scouts. Lord Robert Baden-Powell of Great Britain founded The Boy Scouts Association in 1908 and was the first Chief Scout. Just about everyone in the United States can quote the Motto and Oath of the Boy Scouts of America: “Be Prepared.” If you or someone in your family has been a member of the Scouts, you may be intimately aware of the Scout Law: A Scout … [Read more...]


“Example is leadership.” Albert Schweitzer, M.D., Ph.D., Nobel Laureate We are attending the memorial service for our nephew, Zachary Stevens, who is only 25 years old at the time of his tragic death, due to an automobile accident. .  His father, David, is my wife’s brother. Zack leaves other cherished immediate family members including his mother Cindy and sister Savannah. The service is being held at the church he attended in his youth. Zack’s former pastor remembers him as a leader- one … [Read more...]

The Voice

“If we always helped one another, no one would need luck.”   Sophocles (996-906BC) The gallbladder surgery is over and Lucille, my mom, is now settled in her hospital room. After talking for a few minutes, it is apparent she wants to rest. My dad, Carol, my wife, and I go to the cafeteria for coffee and a snack. After a few minutes, Carol returns to check on Mom – an ultimately fateful decision. Dad and I stay behind, continuing our conversation. About 20 minutes later, after a short … [Read more...]

The Bombardier

“At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Albert Schweitzer, M.D., Ph.D. The explosive sound of sharp shrapnel piercing the thick metal signifies that his plane has been hit – struck multiple times. Damage is substantial. A certain crash is impending. As a bombardier, he automatically performs the first task that he was taught in training: immediately … [Read more...]

A Short Book about Leadership

“The Heart of a Leader,” by successful author Ken Blanchard, is a short book about leadership and is worth reading. I love reading and studying about leadership because it is a core factor in the success of organizations, and within families and marriages. In this book, Mr. Blanchard describes a three-legged stool for success in business organizations: Raving Fan Customers, Gung Ho Employees, and financial strength. The first two in his list just happen to be the titles of other books he has … [Read more...]

Mental Toughness

Are you mentally tough? How do you know? This question came to mind recently when I had the pleasure of attending a luncheon at the University of South Alabama where the main speaker was Joey Jones, head football coach. He is familiar with the public work of the Navy SEALs, a U.S. Navy special operations unit. Getting permission from the president of the University, Coach Jones organizes an experience for the football team with the SEALs. In the several days of challenging jobs, it is now … [Read more...]

Leadership in 110 Words

Leaders say, ‘thank you.’ They do it in front of others. They write hand-written notes. Leaders praise in a timely manner– not long after your accomplishment. Leaders discover your ‘sweet spot’ – what you do well and love the most. They make sure you get a chance to fulfill your purpose in life. Leaders say, ‘I believe in you.’ Leaders are the best cheerleaders on your team. Leaders are out-front. Leaders will take responsibility for failures. They give credit to the team for … [Read more...]

Are Positive People Ever Negative?

Have you wondered if positive people are ever negative? Do they get down or experience disappointment? Do they ever have a bad attitude? The truth is, bad things happen to everyone. All of us have challenges in life. There are disillusionments. We do not get everything we want. Sometimes we lose. We have family, friends and coworkers who suffer. There is sickness and death. What we expect does not always happen. Our deepest desires sometime become our largest disappointments. Life is … [Read more...]

Leadership Is Influence

I couple of years ago, I presented a few words at the funeral of a 12 year employee and consultant to our company. Of the audiences I have spoken to in the last few years, most of them were larger in number and the topic was usually on success, motivation or transportation. What a difference it was to speak in front of family and friends who were there to honor their loved one in the midst of their grief. I have lost my own parents and my wife has lost both of her parents as well. I have felt … [Read more...]