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Pushing Past Rejection


02.27.15

By Claude Hamilton




When was the last time you were rejected? Were you presenting an idea to your boss? Initiating a new relationship? Making a sales pitch to a client? No matter what the situation was, I’m sure it was rough. Being rejected is hard, and regardless of the other person’s intention, it always feels personal.


When I think about rejection, one particular experience comes to mind. I was just starting to build my business. I was full of enthusiasm and a sense of adventure. That day, I was looking forward to bringing a new trainee along to a couple of business meetings with potential clients.


At the time, I was still working as a diver. Diving is hard work. It requires a lot of physical strength and endurance, and I often ended my days on the job with new bumps, bruises and scratches. This time, the scratches were on my face, and because the water was dirty, they were infected. But diving had been a part of my life for so long that I barely thought about it. I met with my new trainee and we set out for our meetings, feeling keen and confident.


The first meeting was at the client’s apartment. But we didn’t get very far before he suggested we meet somewhere else. Since were already there, I pointed out that it made more sense to stay. I was startled when he responded with “Man, you know what? I don’t think there’s anything you have that I’m interested in.” It stung. I was new to the business and wasn’t used to rejection yet. But we set it aside and went to the next meeting.


This time, we barely made it past the front door. The man we were there to meet stopped up as we were walking up the stairs and told us that he wasn’t comfortable with us in his house.


It dawned on me then. With the infected scratches, my military haircut, my lean, muscular frame, I must looked like a hardened warrior—or maybe a criminal. Either way, my appearance was making people uncomfortable.



IS THE UNITED STATES ON THE SAME PATH AS ROME?


02.13.15

By Tim Marks

Edward Gibbon ( 1737-1794) wrote on this topic a couple hundred years ago in his book, The Five Marks of the Roman Decaying Culture.  In it he breaks down the fall of Ancient Rome to five basic areas that are concerning (or should be) to us today as we look at our country and current status.  These five basic areas of decline were:



 


(1). Concern with displaying affluence instead of building wealth.   How does that compare to America today?  Let me just say, “car payment.”





(2). Obsession with sex and perversions of sex.  Sad to say that many advertising companies use sex to sell a product that has nothing to do with sex, from soft drinks to automobiles.


(3). Art becomes freakish and sensationalistic instead of creative and original.  I have been to Europe a few times and see a massive difference between “art” and well what we have today.  Keep in mind that Gibbon lived in 1700s so “freakishness” was different then.   He would likely had a heart attack seeing a crucifix in a jar of urine being called art, even though he wasn’t Christian.




(4). Widening disparity between very rich and very poor.  This is getting worse each decade and it doesn’t matter which president is in office. My mentor, New York Times bestselling author and  Inc. Magazine Top 50 Leadership Expert


Free Enterprise & Economism – The Difference


02.05.15

By Orrin Woodward

Free Enterprise describes a society that allows each man or woman the liberty of economic choices, permitting the companies that best serve the customers to survive by the good will engendered.  Government and private coercion are held in check, providing a free environment for the people to thrive based upon their efforts.  Government, in the free enterprise system, plays the role of an umpire, ensuring equality of playing conditions, so that the winning team is the one that serves the customer the best, giving no special deals to any team.  Although free enterprise is the best system in theory and practice, it has rarely been understood in theory and never applied in practice.


Economism describes a society where big business partners with government to provide positive economic arrangements for the chosen few.  Government, instead of playing the role of a neutral umpire, becomes the 12th man on the proverbial football team, helping assist Big Businesses, regardless of the on the field performance.  It’s not hard to find evidence of Economism, simply glancing at any city newspaper, you will read about the latest government “bail out” of XYZ company for the sake of “protecting American jobs.”  Every bail out, in the end, is funded by tax payer dollars, which means the tax payers get to subsidize the wealthy business owner who isn’t competently running his business.  Bail outs cost more to job holders than any protection of jobs the bail out can offer, but that is of secondary importance and not the immediate concern of the politician who is only in office for a limited time anyway.  Government involvement brings in a political element into the economic sphere, damaging the ability of the customers to vote for the business which serves them best.


The sad part of Economism, a confused middle way between Fascism and Free Enterprise, is people will assume Free Enterprise has failed.  In fact, Free Enterprise hasn’t failed in Americ



Initiative: The Not-So-Secret Secret to Leadership


01.23.15

By Chris Brady

You may have heard the old line that there are three types of people in the world: 1) those who make things happen, 2) those who watch things happen and 3) those who wonder what happened.  I think it might be time to talk about the role that initiative plays in the world of leadership.  One trait common to all leaders is the initiative they show toward their vision. 


Leaders don't have to be told to do something.  Leaders don't need managers above them.  Leaders don't wait for the lights to all turn green before taking off on a trip.  Leaders take action, they take responsibility, and they don't take their time waiting and wondering if they should act.  At the end of the day, it is the go-getGreen20light732415ters that seem to become the biggest leaders.  Time after time I have seen people with less talent, less of a head start, less connections, and less information absolutely outperform others simply because they got moving!  Even if a person is not effective, the very fact that he or she is taking action usually forces an improvement in effectiveness.  Even if a person heads in the wrong direction, sooner or later he or she will get on track.


Conversely, those who deliberate, dilly-dally, hesitate, ponder, get bogged down in analysis, or have to be sure everything is perfect before taking action generally do a very good job at what they do, they just don't get much of it accomplished.  They have beautifully detailed goals printed out in multi-colors but don't ever seem to hit them, and they...



163 Miles North


01.14.15

By Terri Brady

The steering wheel was wet. I could barely hold on, but the anger inside seethed and prevented me from stopping, despite my blurred vision from the tears that jumped from my face. I ranted and raved in my head. The injustice! The money lost! The months waiting! The painful nights! The fervent prayers…all for nothing!





I drove north from the fertility doctor’s office in Ann Arbor, Michigan in a silent car that was full of noise. In 45 minutes I would be telling Chris that it didn’t work. It was the end of the line. “You can wait a year and try again,” the nurse consoled.


Does she know how long 12 months is?!!!


We were at the end of the line of treatments. Four years into marriage, and nine years into female issues, I had tried the pills, the surgeries, the shots and now a mixture of them all. “Your best bet is to do this procedure within six months of the surgery,” the doctor had said. We had saved the $10,000 needed for a chance to have our own child; it would be worth it! We had only spent $2,000 (in meds), when they told me my body wasn’t responding like a 26-yr-old’s should. “Take the shots for one more month, and it will do ‘the trick’,” they said. After another yearlong month of being a chemist mixing meds at home and waking Chris so he could administer them before I left for my engineering job, I guess “the trick” wasn’t done. The ultrasound showed only one egg. “There’s not enough of a chance of in-vitro working with just one egg to extract. You can save your $8,000, and we can try again in a year,” the specialist said.


As I drove, it was as if the devil sat on my shoulder and whispered in my ear. My anger turned into a deep sadness. Negative thoughts enveloped me.


“You are unworthy of being a mom.”


“Don’t you remember the things you have done?”


“Other women would raise children better; God is leaving the job to them.”