Friday, December 25, 2009

Like & Love

Christmas night! Had a big day…lots of gifts, food and drink, visiting with family and friends, text messages, e-mails and phone calls…tired!

My wife, Jodi, gave me a very cool gift this year…a Kindle. It is a wireless electronic reading device. I am now able to download books to the Kindle in a matter of seconds. No more ordering and waiting for a delivery or going to the bookstore and paying full price. The Kindle will even read the book to you, if you like. Way cool. I enjoy books and now I will enjoy the Kindle! (BTW… I gave her a brand new vacuum cleaner…before you think badly of me, that is exactly what she wanted!)

Not only did I get a Kindle… but I received lots of other stuff too. Clothes, shoes, gourmet snacks and cheeses, several bottles of nice wine, a neat wine stopper, etc, etc. All these things I liked.

After a little while, with a full stomach and the Kindle, I have sat back and reflected a little on Christmas 2009. It was a good one. But one thing has bothered me... our older daughter, Sarah, was not able to be with us today. She and her husband, Marvin, drove in to Baton Rouge from Houston on the 22nd and left yesterday, the 24th, in order to be back in Houston for work obligations on Christmas Eve. Jodi, Caroline (daughter # 2), and I have missed her. This is the first Christmas in 24 years that I have not seen Sarah on Christmas day. (I hope this does not start a trend.)

In any event, it sort of hit me that I sure do like the “stuff” I got today. But I propose that as much as we all like the things money can buy, we love the things it can’t.

I would give up my Kindle in a heartbeat to have Sarah and Marvin at home with us a while longer. The things we love… we can’t touch. Things like relationships, conversations, laughter, contentment, a wink, excitement, anticipation, and a shared thought that hits those we love at the exact same time. I hope this makes sense to you.

A business application to the above thoughts? I think there is…it is not about just the money we can make from the delivery of a quality product or service, it is about the satisfaction (or even delight) we can bring others by how we deliver the product or service. Relationships trump stuff every time.

I hope you and your family had a great Christmas. And I hope your loved ones were there to enjoy the day with you. There is not doubt that the true meaning of Christmas also revolves around relationship. HIS was a gift that money sure can’t buy.

2010 is going to be a great year!

Saturday, December 5, 2009


As those of you who know me well can attest, I generally live my life in a state of confusion about one thing or another.

Take memory for example…it confuses me as to if it is better to have a long one or a short one? If you are studying for a test…maybe a long one is better. If you play cornerback in the NFL maybe a short one is better. If you hold grudges…maybe a short one is called for. If a selling technique you used 25 years ago was successful in a situation similar to the one you are facing now…maybe a long memory is good.

Fortunately or unfortunately I have been blessed/cursed with a good memory (or at least I had one in the past…Has anyone seen my wallet?). In school you were considered smart if you could recall things. I could do that. But experience has taught me that smart is much more than the ability to remember things.

Smart is the ability to reason through a situation. Smart is the ability to see a situation from a different perspective then everyone else. Smart is the ability to act on things that you know are right. Smart is developing relationships with those smarter than you.

A good memory does not equate to smart.

I wonder if you can have a good memory and be smart?

I doubt it.
(BTW… I found the wallet…it was right where I left it.)

What if?

I am sure we have all heard some sayings in the past that we may have doubted were true.

But what if they weren’t?

What if an apple a day really did keep the doctor away? Would we eat the apple? Sounds pretty simple huh. But do you know what is just as simple as eating an apple?

Not eating an apple.

What if working a little harder really did increase our luck? Would we work a little harder?

What if making a few more sales calls really did increase our sales? Would we make the calls?

What if being bold really did bring mighty forces to our aid, as Johann von Goethe the German philosopher said? Would we be bold?

What if you play like you practice really is true? How would we practice? (Not just in sports…but in business practices as well.)

It is just as easy not to develop a good habit as it is to develop one. Choices, choices!

What if?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Last Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, I received an email from a friend I had not seen or spoken to since college…that’s about 27 years ago. Quite the shocker. He simply said that something made him think of me. He then went to Facebook and since I was not there, he Googled me and found my business website. From there he got my email.

After catching up a bit via email he chided me for not being on Facebook. What he actually said was “It’s a nice century we live in, you should try it”. That night I did not sleep much thinking about all the rather stupid reasons that I had in my head regarding why I had not signed up on Facebook. Things like… if someone really wants to find me they can, I have enough “friends”, Facebook is for kids, and now my personal favorite…what if I can’t figure out how it works?

For the past 10 years I have done everything in my power to learn the most recent trends in business consulting and management techniques. I have conquered e-mail, the blackberry, Internet, and even keyless entry on my vehicle. Why not Facebook?

How about a silly mental block? During my sleepless night I decided to sign up. The next day I was on in about 5 minutes. It is really pretty cool.

I did not sign up to be cool or try to be younger than I am. I signed up because I could. How could I not, when I preach the value of relationships? Things are just things…but relationships are more than things…they are living, breathing, changing creatures to be valued, nurtured, and cherished. Maybe I will develop a few new relationships, maybe I will stir up some old ones...who knows?

Yeah, I’m on Facebook. Are you? It is a nice century we live in.