Tag Archives: self-improvement

A Little Help From My Friends

By Peter Lyle DeHaan , PhD

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan

“You need a hobby,” my wife once exclaimed in exasperation. I don’t recall the circumstances, but it is safe to assume that I was doing something she deemed a nuisance. Regardless of the cause of her frustration, her impromptu advice gave me pause. Yes, a pastime, a relaxing diversion, would be good, but what should I do?

I briefly considered stamp and coin collecting, both of which I sporadically dabbled in during my youth. But I realized that my interest lay solely in the hope of stumbling onto a valuable find or realizing greatly appreciated value over time. These were not hobbies but investments, investments which demanded time, organization, and planning. They would be more like work – far removed from a relaxing hobby.

I asked myself what I was interested in. What about my proclivity for watching classic movies? To be a true hobby, I reasoned, it must consist of more than watching timeless films. It seemed that to reach hobby status, I would need to collect them, catalog them, or perhaps read about them. This additional effort, however, would serve to diminish my infatuation with ageless cinema.

Next, I considered a passing, yet ongoing attraction to crossword puzzles. Even though I had only rarely picked up a crossword puzzle and was never able to complete one, it did seem like a worthy pursuit, a good complement to my interest in words and my longstanding effort to use them to help, educate, and inspire. Yes, I concluded, crossword puzzles would be my new hobby. I began looking for these word challenges, setting aside time to contemplate and complete them, reasoning that with a consistent effort I would improve. I was wrong. By my own initiative, I had not been able to develop my skills.

The turning point came by chance, on an airplane. As I puzzled over the seemingly impossible offering in the airline magazine, I sensed that my seatmate was reading over my shoulder. Finally, no longer able to contain herself, she gently whispered, “You should know 12 down.” I looked at the clue anew and an answer formed in my mind. I shared my suspicion with her and with a pleased smile, she confirmed it to be correct. Immediately, she apologized for intruding, but I assured her that her help was appreciated. Though she attempted to distract herself, a few minutes later she was again captivated by my perplexing puzzle, so I slid the magazine in her direction, allowing us both to see it. She quickly directed my attention to another clue, encouraged me think in a different direction, and then confirmed my uncertain solution.

Again, she apologized and again I said it was okay. This pattern repeated itself throughout the flight and soon we had most of the puzzle complete. I learned she was a retired schoolteacher and one of her many interests was crossword puzzles. She shared with me tips for discerning a puzzle’s theme and how to tap in to it. She gave advice on deciphering seemingly arcane clues and cutting through the deceit of intentionally misleading references. In the span of an hour, she gave me the direction I needed to improve my skills and increase my enjoyment in my nascent hobby.

Another interest of mine is horticulture, one instilled in me by my parents, but I only gave it passing attention for many years. My home’s landscape once consisted only of green grass and strategically placed trees. Inside the house were one miniature orange tree and a lone aloe plant. (Aloe is a reoccurring word in many a crossword puzzle.) To increase the greenery inside and add color outside, I endeavored to tap into this slumbering fascination with plants. Again, guidance was in order and easily found in my parents. They have more insight and experience in this area than anyone else I know. Plus, any additional information can be quickly uncovered in their treasure trove of resource books, which would rival or surpass many a library. Now my yard has an abundance of carefully selected plants and shrubs, designed to add color and beauty throughout the growing season. My indoor collection has also greatly expanded, at times prompting complaints of overflowing its designated areas.

All of us, myself included, need guidance in many endeavors, not just hobbies. A few years ago when I embarked on a consulting career, many people gave me sage advice. Three people in particular stand out. One was an industry friend who helped me sort through and clarify a transition strategy and first year game plan. Another was an industry consultant who shared years of experiences and warned of common pitfalls. The third was a consultant in a parallel industry who gave expert recommendations for a pricing strategy. Together, these folks shortened my learning curve and paved the way to success.

In similar fashion, when I bought Connections Magazine, the sellers provided a wealth of advice and guidance. Even now, with the formal consulting commitment long past, they continue to share ideas. I also needed assistance from a publishing insider and contracted with an industry guru who quickly got me up to speed on standard practices and procedures for the magazine business.

In another article, “It’s All Virtual,” I mentioned that I have outsourced key aspects of my publishing business. Though I could lay out and design each issue, it is better left in the capable hands of a graphic artist, whose creativity far surpasses anything I could offer. Similarly, I could handle advertising sales, but that important task is better suited to the focus and tenacity of someone more suited to that important role. Additionally, I tap a proofreader to review each article, performing edits, correcting grammar, checking punctuation, and ensuring each piece is clear and understandable

As with most businesses, I have an attorney to assist with legal matters and a CPA to navigate the maze of IRS tax issues. Like many of you, I have a computer and technology expert available to guide me through the latest developments with Microsoft, the Internet, computers, and software.

The point is that I get help from many people. With some, it is a formal, contractual arrangement; with others, it is informal and freewheeling. In all cases, it helps me find a quicker and better path to an end goal or desired result.

All of this is “outsourcing” in one form or another. I am convinced that any aspect of an organization could be and has been outsourced. Indeed, no person can master everything and no organization can excel in all areas. If someone else can do something you can’t, tap into his or her expertise; it is foolish to proceed under your own resolve. Likewise, if another organization can do something better than you can, form a partnership or outsourcing arrangement. Today, when excellence is expected and demanded, are you better off to do an acceptable job in house or to do a superb job with the help of others?

We can all use a little help from our friends.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD is a commercial freelance writer who provides content marketing services and does ghostwriting.

Learning from History

By Peter Lyle DeHaan , PhD

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan

One of the assignments I enjoyed most in college was analyzing case studies. I was, and continue to be, fascinated with learning what founders and their companies have done—both right and wrong. While the success stories are the more exciting and inspirational, it is the failures and missteps that are the more enlightening and educational.

It should not be surprising that I take most seriously the adage, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” For those in business, the best histories to learn from are business case studies, especially those accounts of the downfall, demise, or defeat of once prosperous and successful businesses and entrepreneurs. Of course, scrutinizing the steps taken in a remarkable turnaround are also instructive, as well as encouraging for anyone faced with a formidable uphill battle. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it Click To Tweet

I consider the phenomenal success stories, which are uplifting, to be “light” reading and as much entertaining as educational. Success stories abound of the cash-strapped entrepreneur who by focused vision and through sheer determination, bootstraps a dream into a profitable and flourishing business. In like fashion, there are many accounts of the big-business corporate executive who leads his or her company to the next revenue plateau, into a new line of business, or to revolutionize an industry. Rare, however, are the entrepreneurs who starts with nothing, these individuals are a unique breed. They have the ability to grow, change, and mature as leaders, in parallel with the evolving entity they parented. These are the business superstars; three such examples come to mind.

The first is Steve Jobs who, with buddy Steve Wozniak, yearned to bring the power of computing to the masses. Financed by the sale of their only tangible assets, the pair began making computer kits in a parent’s garage. Apple computer was born and though Jobs was for a season extricated from the company he co-founded, he to the helm, guiding this multi-billion dollar a year company until his recent passing.

The next example is found in Bill Gates and Paul Allen who founded Microsoft. Starting in 1975, by providing operating systems and programming languages, they parlayed their fledgling company into another multi-billion dollar a year juggernaut.

Then there is Michael Dell who started assembling PCs in his college dorm room, hence the humble beginnings of Dell Computer. Now also a multi-billion dollar a year company, Dell set the business and operational standards which changed an industry.

Many, if not most, businesses started with equally humble beginnings. Tales of founders sleeping in their offices so that they could offer 24/7 coverage (and save money on housing). Others started in their apartment, out of a converted warehouse, from their front porch, or even in a garage. Fortunately, those businesses that survived soon left these inauspicious beginnings. In true entrepreneurial fashion, they grew their meager investment into viable, ongoing concerns, quickly moving to more suitable and appropriate environs.

While it is not realistic to expect most businesses to grow into the multi-billion dollar size of Apple, Microsoft, or Dell, it is wise to consider their founders’ paths. Indeed, the precise traits and characteristics that serve one well as an entrepreneur, can become a hindrance and counterproductive as a business grows and matures. Although Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Michael Dell all made this transition (and had books written about them as a result), few individuals can successfully transform their leadership style each time their enterprise metamorphoses into the next iteration of scale, scope, and complexity. Case histories and business literature repeatedly shows that, all too often, the next plateau is met with disaster. Frequently, the entrepreneur turned reluctant CEO, micromanages his or her business, unconsciously reducing it down to a more comfortable size that he or she can successfully handle; at worst, the miscast founder mismanages the business into insolvency.

The astute entrepreneur, well aware of this trap, can employ several strategies to avoid this. One technique is to form an advisory board, consisting of those owning and running larger concerns, to guide the founder’s nascent climb into management acuity. Some bring in an experienced and seasoned business manager to handle the day-to-day management, allowing the entrepreneurially focused founder to concentrate on visioning, planning, or innovating — whatever he or she does best and enjoys most. One wise founder confided that he always hired management people who were over qualified and paid them accordingly – knowing that as the business continued to grow, they would easily rise to the occasion. Others go back to school and earn their MBA. Another approach is founders who send their kids to college, in anticipation that the next generation can guide the company to the next level and beyond. But that brings up a second caution for small businesses – passing the baton to the next generation.

Although studies differ by degree, they all confirm the majority of small, family businesses are not successfully passed on to the second generation and only about 15 percent make it to the third. There are many theories as to why this is the case. The leading supposition is that the second generation, not needing to make sacrifices to launch the business, lacks the requisite drive and wherewithal to persevere. Another is problems occur when the business is handed over too quickly to adult children who are still too young or too inexperienced. Some entrepreneur parents attempt to avoid these problems by making their successor children start at an entry-level position and work their way up the organization. But this fast-track status often backfires, engendering resentment from non-relatives who may be otherwise more qualified, better educated, and possessing greater tenure. In attempts to avoid this pitfall, some founders add a stipulation for their children to earn a degree and put in time at another company, gaining valuable experience and acumen before joining the family business. Although this final approach is the one that seems to offer the greatest chance for success, it is by no means a sure-fire strategy.

Other growth problems occur when a single location business adds a second location or acquires a geographically disparate competitor. Since most small business owners employ the simple, yet effective style of “management by walking around,” they find it impossible to successfully and simultaneously manage multiple locations– this is especially true for a service business. Indeed, this common management style does not work for long when the manager is not physically present. As stated earlier, the results are usually disastrous, rooted in either micromanagement or mismanagement that thwarts growth, hampers quality, and limits profitability. The solution is simple, albeit difficult. Quite simply a change in management style is required. Either the founder must adapt a new way of doing things or find someone else who can, giving them the leeway and latitude to do their job. However, neither approach is comfortable or painless for an entrepreneur used to putting his or her mark on everything that happens and in making all decisions.

A fourth problem faced by the entrepreneurial founder is addressing life-cycle changes. While some may have both the drive and ability to run a business for the remainder of their lives, most get to a point where they want to scale back, be it not handling the day-to-day issues, taking longer vacations, semi-retiring, or not working at all. These are all various forms of letting go; it is hard, if not impossible, for someone who sacrificed to launch a business, makes every decision, and oversees all activities. The solutions to the first three entrepreneurial dangers all apply to this situation. If there is a son or daughter interested in taking over the business, this may be the best solution, providing there is time to do it properly and correctly. Changing one’s management style is another option, just as is required for the growing or expanding enterprise. Still, all too many founders find themselves in a position where their kids don’t want the business and they can’t change their management style, so they opt for the only other solution; they sell the business.

Regardless of the situation or business dilemma one faces, be assured someone has encountered it before. Don’t struggle with a problem as though it is unique, because it is not. Do some research, read some business books and case studies, and whatever you do, learn from history so that you are not doomed to repeat it.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD is a commercial freelance writer who provides content marketing services and does ghostwriting.

Remember to Have Fun!

By Marti MacGibbonMarti MacGibbon

Phil, a manager at a tech firm, prides himself on his commitment to his career. He counts rigorous self-discipline as one of his strengths, and expects the same of his subordinates, privately frowning on such “nonsense” in the workplace as birthday cakes and office parties. Phil goes on vacation once a year, only because it’s mandatory. He always selects glamorous destinations because he works so hard and figures he deserves a rich reward. Phil travels with his camera, meticulously recording each brilliant sunset, gorgeous vista, and tourist attraction so that he’ll have an accurate log of all his experiences.

When his vacation ends and he returns to work, Phil reviews all his photos and is surprised that he can scarcely recall any sensation of all that “fun” he was supposedly having. He wonders why this is, and what he is missing. After some consideration, Phil realizes that he’s been so busy attaining goals and meeting requirements, both in work and on vacation, that he has forgotten how to have fun. He wonders if he really knows what fun is.

Fun is an attitude, a state of being; it’s playfulness, enjoyment or amusement. Fun can inspire you, motivate you, and empower you to change your attitude, reactions and perception of yourself. Fun and a sense of humor will propel you toward your goal more quickly and give you inspiration, motivation and a sense of well-being along the way. If you’re having fun, you’re increasing your levels of “feel good” neurotransmitters in your brain ¾ dopamine, serotonin, etc. When this happens, you empower yourself to feel better in general; you’ll find it’s much easier to be creative, energetic and empathic when you feel good.

Remember, fun is not something you look for outside yourself.  It’s something you own, embrace and develop within as you live life in the present moment. It’s easy to think that fun and happiness are things that you might wish would happen to you — things that come from a source outside you, such as a vacation or a new car — but that is a mistaken belief. You make the fun happen. It is totally up to you whether you enjoy life. Here are some tips to help you raise your fun quotient:

Develop Your Ability to “Be in the Moment.” Allow your inner self to awaken and recognize the sheer beauty of being alive. Use gratitude to build your enthusiasm for life, and stay in that attitude as you approach any task, obstacle, or occasion. Give yourself permission to wholeheartedly enjoy each moment without judging. Be playful and keep your knees loose, so to speak. Take a sip from the fountain of youth: having not yet been programmed to make a distinction between work and play, children are constantly exploring, discovering and enjoying the wonder of life. You can do the same, no matter what your chronological age may be. It’s all in your perception.

Break Out of Your Routine and Jumpstart Your Sense of Fun. Shake things up. Try learning a new language, sport or game. Take an improv class to increase your spontaneity. Go to a movie you’d normally avoid seeing. Try a totally different route to or from work. At work, take mini-breaks in the routine: at intervals throughout your day, jump up from the desk, stretch and move around, even at the risk of feeling a little bit goofy. Visit an amusement park and ride the rollercoaster, Ferris wheel, or carousel. At home, rearrange your furniture or try cooking a new and exotic recipe. Take a dance class. You’ll find your fun quotient multiplies exponentially.

Build your Fun Network. Find people you can have fun with, people you can be yourself with, people who can let go and try new activities, methods and techniques. When you find people who appreciate amusement, enjoyment and laughter, stay connected with them and look for more people to add to your “fun network.” Solitude and isolation are sure ways to suppress and stifle your sense of fun, so make sure you broaden your scope of experience socially, and in real time, not in a digital sense. Yes, social media can be fun, interesting and helpful, but there’s no substitute for real, live socializing. And the people in your network will support and energize your practice of having fun.

Celebrate Laughter. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried? When was the last time you laughed so hard your sides hurt? Kick-start your laughter engine – visit a comedy club, watch a funny movie or TV show or read a humorous book. Be silly with someone you trust. Let your hair down, so to speak, and see how much healthier, more likeable and spontaneous you feel. Get into the fun of laughing at yourself, and always take the opportunity to laugh with others.

Take a lesson from Phil’s story. It’s easy to be overcommitted to reaching your goals or meeting your expectations that you forget to have fun. Choose to laugh, feel good and amuse yourself and others — these are conscious actions, and skills that can be developed until they become second nature.

Having fun, laughing, and feeling good will improve health and performance, accelerate learning and memory, increase confidence and empower you to accomplish even more than you dreamed possible. Those who live each moment with a sense of fun and humor find it easier to tolerate, accept and amuse others. Enhance all your relationships with your new attitude. Remember to celebrate the present moment, enjoying each and every aspect of living, and fun will introduce you to yourself again and again.

Marti MacGibbon, CADC II, is a certified mental health professional, inspirational motivational speaker, veteran standup comic, author, and member of the National Speakers Association. Her memoir,  “Never Give in to Fear,” is available on Amazon.com and through her website, martimacgibbon.com. To find out more about her speaking, visit her site or call 310-210-4674.

Stress Overload? Take Action Now

By Pat HeydlauffPat Heydlauff

Betty, a working mother, says, “I have so much stuff cluttering the countertops, I can’t squeeze one more thing onto that space and can’t stand the thought of preparing another meal.” Bill, a busy entrepreneur, says, “I can’t find the top of my desk now, how can I find time for all the extras expected of me with such a reduced workforce?” Both are worried and feel the burden of stress.

Have you ever felt like this? Are you on overload before you begin your day? No one seems to escape the ever-growing stress epidemic. While some daily stress is the norm, the added pressures of world chaos, financial concerns, increased job expectations and hectic scheduling magnifies the intense feelings of helplessness.

Compounding the usual stressors tenfold is the financial crisis facing so many. A FreeScore.com’s 2010 year-end survey found that the average American in debt spends 99 hours monthly worrying about debt and only 2.6 hours on financial planning and budgeting. Carrie Coghill, director of consumer education for FreeScore.com indicated that many Americans in debt are frozen in their tracks when it comes to managing finances …they are concerned but take little action. The report summary showed that on average, consumers spent 3.3 hours a day, or roughly 14% of a full day, worrying/thinking about debt.

If one is spending more than three hours per day worrying about finances, how many more hours are spent worrying about the hundreds of others things that can go wrong in a day? It’s no wonder there is a stress epidemic facing society today.

Stop Worrying and Take Action: The more people focus on the things they feel out of control about instead of taking action, the further stressed they become and the bigger their problems loom on the horizon.  It doesn’t take many extra stressors in one’s life to drop you of balance and into a chaotic frenzy that creates more stress.

Get Rid of It: If physical clutter is standing in your way, simplify your life and get rid of it. The first step is making the decision to stop focusing on the problem and change. Taking action and actually doing it is step two.

To unclutter your surroundings and make your life easier, start by sorting all your piles of “stuff” that has accumulated into three boxes. Label box one “TRASH,” box two “future” and box three “now.” The “now” box will have only things you must attend to over the next seven days.

Everything else goes either into the “trash” or “future” boxes. Sort through your “stuff” quickly and eliminate what you don’t need, want, or use as part of your daily home or work activities. Place into the “future” box all that is not current and does not need your immediate attention but will in the near future. Everything else goes into “trash” and is disposed.

It doesn’t matter what you are sorting through, what is important is having a plan to move forward and then taking the necessary action. Not only have you taken care of the clutter on your counters, tables and desk but you have also made room for new energy to enter, which will motivate and energize you and reduce stress.

Stop Worrying – Prepare: The more time you spend worrying the less time you’ve spent on solving the problem. In addition, the more time you spend worrying the more you attract what you do not want. If you are facing financial doom, worrying about it three hours a day will not make the problem go away or get any better. There are many ways to overcome financial difficulty but worrying is not one of them.

To unclutter your thinking, use a yellow tablet and a pen (or your computer) to list the things you worry about that cause you the most stress. Review the list to see which ones you can actually do something about right now, and which are totally out of your control. For example, you may be very worried about a terminally ill grandparent or friend, but helping them may be out of your control so it should not remain on the list. You may also be worried about your finances or your heavy workload; those are in your control and should stay on the list.

Once you’ve eliminated the items out of your control, list each item on a separate page, then one at a time quickly write down all of the solutions that come to mind. In the case of financial issues you might start with things like: getting a second job, finding a higher paying job, reducing expenses, consolidating your expenses, consulting a financial advisor.

Use this process for each item and rank the solutions in order of importance starting with number one being the most important. Then take action. To succeed and maintain focus, work on no more than three items at time. If they are huge items, perhaps focus on only one item at a time. This is your action plan or roadmap to less worry, less stress and more prosperity.

Focus on Short Term Goals: Usually the experts recommend fixing your eyes on longer term goals but when you are under such stress and worried about everything it is almost impossible to accomplish anything long term so take little steps that you can handle one at a time. The result: you will worry less and reduce your stress levels.

To end the stress epidemic in your life, create your roadmap today and take action; you will overcome it, enjoy life more and prosper.

Pat Heydlauff speaks from experience. She works with organizations that want to create an environment where employees are engaged, encouraged and involved, and with people who want to be in control, anxiety-free and confident. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Engage: How to Lead with Power, Productivity and Promise and Feng Shui: So Easy a Child Can Do It. She can be reached at 561-799-3443 or engagetolead.com.

I’m OK – You’re Not OK

By Bob WhippleBob Whipple

When people vent about problem individuals at work or at home, one fact becomes obvious.  Most individuals have a long list of things that other people must do to improve but a short list of things they need to change in their own behavior.

It is human nature to rationalize one’s own shortcomings while focusing on the obvious improvement needs of others.  Since nearly everyone practices this little deception, the world must be rife with almost-perfect people who wish others around them would shape up… Hmmm – something is wrong with this picture…

When living or working in close proximity, human beings have a remarkable ability to drive each other crazy. It does not matter if it is a spouse, a sibling, or an office mate. The phenomenon occurs daily for most of us. Here are 10 commonsense tips that can change the pattern, so you will have better relations with others.

1. Reverse the roles: Before venting about another person, think about how that person would describe you to someone else. If you are honest with yourself, it might be a humbling exercise.

2. Don’t sweat the small stuff: Most married couples fight on a daily basis over little things that become habitual annoyances.  It is not the 401K account that most couples argue about daily; it is who gets the remote control or why the toothpaste tube is always topless. If we can just remember that the small stuff is really just that, then maybe we can relax a bit.

3. Live and let live: If a cubicle mate hums when she is happy, there is no reason to have a coronary over it. It is her outlet and way to be cheerful. Even though it curdles your skin, why burst her balloon by pointing out her “problem”?  If it is an unconscious habit, she will never be able to control it anyway. Buy a pair of noise-canceling head phones and play the kind of music you like. Let happy people be happy or miserable people be miserable.  Focus your energy on creating your own sphere of cheerfulness rather than expecting the rest of the world to conform to your paradigms.

4. Punch out early, don’t punch out the person: Find some way to get away from the petty squabbles before they bring you to the snapping point.  If you cannot actually leave without penalty, it does not stop you from mentally taking a break. Just go for a little vacation in your mind. Actually imagine smelling the giant pines if you love to hike. Feel the frost on your cheeks if you like to ski. Relax in an imaginary hot tub while sitting at your desk – can you feel the bubbles going up your back? Imagining happier places has kept many POWs alive for years; the same technique can keep you sane until 5 o’clock.

5. Share a treat: Just because someone drives you nuts by clipping his nails in the morning is no reason to hate him all day long. Find some symbolic olive branch, and waive it around.  Go get two chocolate bars and give him one. Bring in a bag of his favorite coffee.  When we change our body language, accentuating the positive, rather than festering about “their problem,” the other person will likely respond in kind.

6. Extend trust: The reciprocal nature of trust says that you can improve people’s trust in you by extending more trust to them. When we build a higher level of trust, the petty issues seem to melt away, because we are focused on what is good about the other person rather than idiosyncrasies that drive us bonkers. The best way to increase trust is to reinforce (rather than punish) people who are candid with us about our own shortcomings. To do this takes emotional intelligence, and it works wonders at improving relationships.

7. Don’t complain about others behind their back: Speak well of other people as much as possible. The old adage “if you cannot say something nice about someone don’t say anything at all,” is good advice.  When we gripe about others who are not present, a little of the venom always leaks out.  Never make a joke about someone at his or her expense. If someone is doing something that really bothers you, simply tell the person about it in a kind way.

8. Stop acting like children: The lengths people go to in order to strike back at others for annoying them often resembles a food fight in grade school.  Escalating e-mail notes in a kind of grenade battle is a great example of this phenomenon. It is easy to avoid these squabbles by not taking the bait. When you go back and forth with another person more than three times, it is time to change the mode of communication. Pick up the phone or walk down the hall for a chat.

9. Care about the other person: If we care enough to not fuss over little things, then we can tolerate inconveniences a lot better.  What we get back from others is really a reflection of our own vibes. If we experience prickly and negative reactions from others, we need to check our attitude toward them. While it is convenient to blame others, often we are the root cause of the negativity: they are simply a mirror. The easiest way to care for others is to always follow the Golden Rule.

10. Have your own development plan: Start out each day with a few minutes of meditation on how to present yourself better to others. Have a list of behaviors you are trying to improve. This mindset crowds out some of the rotten attitudes that can lead you to undermine other’s actions. We all have improvement opportunities.

Remember that life is short, and to expend energy bickering and griping about others really wastes your most precious resource – your time. It is much better to go through life laughing and loving than griping and hating. The good news is we have a choice when it comes to the attitudes we show other people. Make sure your choice enriches others as well as yourself.

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPLP, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of: The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, and Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind.  Bob has many years as a senior executive with Kodak and with non-profit organizations.  To bring Bob in to speak at your next event, contact him at www.Leadergrow.com, bwhipple@leadergrow.com, or 585-392-7763