Miss Cellaneous

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Sometimes there is a topic that is near and dear to me. Sometimes I just need to get something off my chest. Meet Miss Cellaneous. She is the one who I speak to when I write these. She never really fit into a category. But, she likes to hear me out on varying subjects. I hope you will join us…

Determining Your Family’s Values

Is my family prepared?

Just like any organization, every family needs a set of values. The values in a family may not be on a website or on a poster in the breakroom, but all families would do well to determine what values they hold dear.

Values help organizations and families understand what is most important and what they believe. The time to figure that out is not in a crisis or in the face of temptation. I need to be prepared and my children need to be prepared before the crisis or the temptation comes. Continue Reading…

Four Choices We All Have

Everyone Has Choices

They were in their robes and ready to be done with high school. I was the only thing between them and graduation and the family celebrations to follow.

As the keynote speaker, I knew I better keep it short and do everything I could to make it memorable. I spoke about the choices they all had. As I spoke and watched the parents sitting in the audience, I realized these choices belong to all of us.

We all control the choices we make no matter our circumstance. Those choices often determine our success in life, our impact on others and our impact on the world around us. Continue Reading…

Can Humility and Confidence Coexist?

Just Add Humility!

I spent a long time believing that if I was good at something, I needed to tell people about it. I thought it was a sign of confidence. Looking back, I realize I turned a lot of people off with that attitude.

Few people would argue that confidence is not an important trait for successful individuals and leaders to possess. But like many positive traits, confidence out of control can be a weakness. I had to learn that confidence and humility can coexist in the same person. Continue Reading…

Wisdom Versus Intelligence

Wisdom or Just Intelligence

I knew some brilliant people in high school.  They made good grades and graduated without even trying.  They went to good colleges and got impressive degrees.

I also knew some people in high school who struggled with grades.  Try as they might, they fought to make it to graduation day.  Some went to community college and then finished their bachelor’s degree at another local school with unimpressive grades.

Today, I see success and failure in both the brilliant and the average.  The difference between success and failure is often wisdom.  I’ll take wisdom over intelligence every day. Continue Reading…

I Know Your Motives!

I Know Your Motives!

I know why you said what you said!  I know why you did what you did!  I am able to diagnose your motives.  Because I believe I know your motives, I am sure you are the problem and not something else–like me!

These are all lies.  But, they are lies that we easily fall into.  I’ve done it.  I have been sure of someone’s motives.  Have I ever been right?  Maybe.  Continue Reading…

A Tribute: To A Fallen Friend And Hero

Donnie And Dave Graduation Day

My best friend, Donnie Tillar convinced me to go to West Point.  He was a year older than I was.  Thanks to his persuasiveness I joined my childhood friend as part of the Corps of Cadets.  This is a Memorial Day tribute to Donnie.

This is worth reposting annually.

Continue Reading…

One Thing That Kills Trust

"It's my fault."

Who do I trust? And why do I trust them?  There are a lot of things that play a role in whom I trust.

Integrity, consistency, and reliability are just a few.  I trust people who display these attributes – most of the time.  However, even the most honest, consistent and reliable person will lose my trust if they are arrogant.

Humility inspires trust.  Arrogance creates doubt.

Doubt kills trust. Continue Reading…

The Cornerstone of A Bad Attitude – Self

It Starts With Self

Some people are joy suckers.  They can enter any situation and suck the fun right out of the room.  It is a gift really.  A gift I appreciate as much as a good case of pink eye.  The unfortunate thing is, a bad attitude is just as contagious.

We can all have off days.  This is not what I am talking about.  I am talking about people who choose to have a bad attitude on a consistent basis.  A bad attitude is a choice.  I discussed that in:  Your Attitude Is A Choice:  Make A Different Choice.

But what is the cornerstone issue someone is dealing with?  What does that person need to change to become a joyful person versus a joy sucker?  They need less – self.

Continue Reading…

Communication: To Speak or To Be Heard?

Goal:  To Speak or To Be Heard

If I just want to speak then no thought is needed.  I can just let her rip!  If I want to be heard, then I must pay attention to what words I say and how I present them.

I was reading an article on communication recently.  The article gave me some good tips for changing my style to meet the needs of my audience.

In the comments section, another reader felt that changing his style was a cop out.  He described himself as someone who did not hold back.  As a result, people saw him as too aggressive or even caustic.

Continue Reading…

3 Disciplines For Being Productive Versus Busy

Busy Bee

“Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates.  There is plenty of movement but you never know if it is going forward, backward or sideways.”

-H. Jackson Brown

Me:  “Hey Laura.  How are things going?”

Laura:  “It’s been a busy week Dave.  I’ve been running non-stop since Monday.”

I always want to surround myself with talented high-energy people.  These people energize me.  But, they can also wear me out.  Why?  Because many believe that doing a lot of STUFF makes a difference.

Continue Reading…

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