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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Too Much of A Good Thing

Too Much of a Good ThingThe other night as we were finishing a particularly great meal, I said, “I could eat that every day.” At that time, I meant it. The taste lingering in my mouth, the feeling of being full and the fun of sharing a meal with people I love had created a wonderful sense of satisfaction. But then I began thinking about what I had just said. When we step back and consider a statement like that, we realize that even good things, in excess, eventually lose their appeal.

You know the old saying, “Variety is the spice of life.” The reason steak or lobster is such a treat is that most of us don’t have such rich and expensive food that often. I know a family who raises their own beef so at their house, steak is “the usual.” Since they eat steak so regularly they consider it special to have macaroni and cheese or take-out chicken!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Leadership vs. Management

LeadershipIf an organization of any kind is going to function successfully, it needs both leadership and management. While some people use those terms interchangeably, they are, in fact, distinctly different and valuable functions in order to create an environment of productivity and performance.

Leaders, in the simplest terms, are people that other people follow. Think about someone who inspires you to want to participate in a cause, goal or vision. Who do you know that makes you say, “I want to be part of what he or she is doing?” Leaders cast the vision and move things and people forward.

While great leaders may motivate you to be part of something by stirring your desire to participate, they don’t always possess the organizational skills or attention to detail required to make the vision happen. A successful organization needs someone who can provide structure and efficient processes in order to accomplish the goal. Even lofty ideals need to be upheld by someone supervising workers who operate equipment, pay bills, coordinate supplies, help clients or customers and generally make sure the work is accomplished. Managers build teams and processes to ensure things are done right.

Occasionally you may encounter someone with both leadership and management skills, but it is uncommon to excel at both. In my role as a coach I have worked with people in executive positions who were frustrated and uncomfortable with their jobs and some had received negative feedback from their staff and/or superiors. In time, it can become apparent that the talented manager has been placed in a leader role, or vice versa.

One of your strongest allies in helping you make critical career decisions is being aware of your own personality, interests, skills and natural abilities. Are you a “big picture” person with a desire to share

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Are You the Genuine Article?

Self-ConfidentHave you ever been tricked into buying something you thought was authentic only to find out later that you received a counterfeit? With the explosion of online shopping comes greater opportunity for unscrupulous sellers to fool buyers into investing in products that aren’t worth the price.

On the surface, it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between a fake and the real thing. However, upon closer examination it becomes evident that the counterfeit lacks authenticity, quality and reliability. What a disappointment to realize that an expensive item like a Rolex watch, a Louis Vuitton handbag or a pair of high-tech Nike sneakers isn’t the real thing!

This is not only true for jewelry or clothing, but for people as well. It is not uncommon to find people wearing masks that portray a false image they think others want to see.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

What Book(s) Are You Currently Reading?

David TowneDuring my years as a leader in education, I have interviewed hundreds of applicants. There is one question that I ask prospective teachers that most stumble over and now, I think, I know why. The question I ask usually occurs in the middle of the interview and it goes something like this: “What book can I find on your table that you are currently reading?” Blank stares, uncomfortable shifting in the chair, silence, and usually the response is one of an excuse as to why they are not currently reading. I find it alarming that our future teachers of future leaders are not engaged consistently in the reading of great, living books.

That one question gives me an insight into the world of the prospective teacher. When I meet a candidate who is a reader, I immediately know they are lifelong learners! It allows me a glimpse in how they use their time, what their interests are, their learning style, and so much more. Reading isn’t the only thing that tells me one is a lifelong learner but it is a big indicator.

After reading the masterpiece of Thomas Jefferson by Jon Meacham entitled The Art of Power, it became clear that education, reading, and sustaining a republic were synonymous to the Founding Fathers. Jefferson once said about the training of our minds (reading), “every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories. And to render even them safe, their minds must be improved to a certain degree.”

What is happening to our minds? They are being rewired by our choices. Checkout the latest research on what we do instead of reading:

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Three Simple Tips to Help Balance Your Life

Balance your life“There just isn’t enough of me to go around! It’s our busy season at work and it’s impossible to keep up with my job demands on top of my family responsibilities. It feels like I am headed for a break-down!”

When your life seems out of control and you’ve got endless demands tugging at you from all directions, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, fatigued and just plain stressed! You know you need to do something to preserve your health and your sanity, but what can you do?

Believe it or not, balancing your life does not require massive changes. You don’t have to quit your job, abandon your family and escape to a remote retreat in order to feel peaceful and happy. In fact, true balance is something that starts WITHIN YOU first and foremost, no matter what else is happening in your outer life circumstances. Attitudes, habits and choices will determine the balance you achieve.

Below you’ll find three simple ways to begin building a greater sense of inner peace and harmony.

Quiet time – One of the first things we tend to sacrifice when we’re busy is our personal time. Instead, we devote all of our energy and attention to caring for others, multi-tasking, meeting responsibilities and “being productive.” Over time this depletes our energy and we begin to feel more and more burdened by our responsibilities.

To live a more balanced life, quiet time for yourself is not a luxury – it’s a necessity. You may believe that you don’t have any time available for yourself, but something amazing happens when you consistently MAKE time. You will find yourself feeling happier and more energetic and your focus improves – and you still get plenty done! Just a few minutes spent sitting quietly in prayer, meditation or reading

Friday, July 7, 2017

Confidence in Mind

Self-ConfidenceKristen Linaman-Weleba, MS

Has low self-confidence caused you emotional pain or robbed you of positive opportunities and desirable experiences? If so, Kristen and I invite you to follow us on Instagram – confidence_in_mind – to get the latest updates on our soon to be released online course, Confidence in Mind, along with helpful tips for building and maintaining unshakable self-confidence.

Live, Work, and Relate Well!

Dr. Todd

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Choices that Set You Free

ChoicesIt’s a common scene on the playground: Johnny does something that annoys Billy, so Billy shouts, “Stop it!”  Johnny retorts, “You can’t make me. It’s a free country!” Thanks to history teachers, we all learn that Americans enjoy a level of freedom unknown in many parts of the world. I, for one, thank God for the opportunity to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. But apparently Johnny hasn’t caught on yet to the fact that freedom doesn’t mean he can do whatever he wants no matter how others are impacted, especially if he wants to grow up and have a good life and good relationships.

As we mature, we begin to learn some of the choices we make every day in order to live well and enjoy life.  Here are a few:

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Understanding and Responding to Bullies

BullySticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Wrong! Hurtful words can leave emotional wounds long after the damage caused by a stick or stone has been healed. Cruel, harsh and threatening words often strike at the very core of a child’s sense of worth and value causing them to experience a sense of self-doubt, inadequacy and inferiority that can haunt them for a lifetime. This is often the consequence of bullying. In fact, it seems that the news reports more and more incidences in which children and teens have chosen to commit suicide rather than continue being subjected to the intense pain caused by a bully.

Although bullying has been around since biblical times, it is a growing concern among many parents. Despite the increased efforts of many caring and concerned school administrators and teachers, bullying, on and off school campuses, is on the rise.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sincere Encouragement Breeds Success

If you have the responsibility of managing employees, you are well aware that their performance has a huge impact on your job satisfaction and on the success of your business or department. Good leadership and management requires a number of significant skills, but today I want to review one in particular: encouragement.

You may have completed years of college and training, and you may have learned many impressive skills in order to rise to the position you are in today, but sincere encouragement is one of the most powerful tools you can use to motivate people to work hard and develop loyalty.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Do You a Have a Need to Be Right?

If we’re honest, we all have to admit that sometimes we can be driven by a need to be right. Whether you’re involved in a debate over politics, discussing the fuel efficiency of your favorite vehicle or arguing with your spouse about how to raise your children, there’s something satisfying about being proved right when the facts are revealed.

Need to be rightAt times, wanting to be right is simply an outgrowth of healthy, good-humored competition. For example, if you are playing a trivia game with a group of friends, whoever gets the right answer will probably tease other players, cheer for themselves and maybe indulge in some “trash talk” to rub it in that “I was right, you were wrong!” If everyone laughs along with the winner, it’s a good indication that the friends are confident in themselves and their relationship to one another. But if one of the players becomes angry or distressed, it may be an indication of an unhealthy emotional response to being wrong.

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