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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Gaining Focus: Sage Advice from the Oracle of Omaha

Warren Buffett

Success requires focus. Not just a little focus. It requires a lot of focus. The most successful people are always the ones who have the greatest focus.

The best advice I have ever heard on staying focused came from Warren Buffett. He gave this advice to the pilot of his jet. Buffett asked him if that’s all he wanted to do with his life. Do you want to spend the best years of your life being a glorified chauffeur in the sky?

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Effort is Twice as Important as Talent


When I was eighteen years old, I walked on to a college campus. I have never left. I am sixty years old and there has never been a long semester since then that I haven’t spent on some college campus on one side of the podium or the other. Since 1974, I have always been at the college.

When I walked onto campus as an 18-year-old, I thought that the people who succeeded in college did so because they were smart. Now forty-two years later, almost five hundred classes later, over twenty thousand students later, I have formed the opposite opinion. Talent counts for very little. It is much more about effort.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Greatness Doesn’t Start Out Looking that Great

Kid Swimming

Once every four years, we get to sit around our television sets in awe of the amazing talent. This summer it is coming from Rio. We wonder where all this amazing athletic ability comes from.

It actually starts in the most inconspicuous way. Some little kid tries to jump but falls down like all the rest. A boy on the playground tries to run with the big kids but can’t keep up. A little girl tries to hit the ball for the first time but it hits her instead.

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Thank You for Not Being Mean

Not Mean

As I pulled up to the corner, I was explaining to my two friends in the car why I was so nice to Brian. Brian had just taken the boot off of my car in an Atlanta parking lot where we were all attending a conference together.

How the boot got there was a scam in the first place. I will spare you the details but, if you are ever park in Atlanta, read the small print on your parking stub. Brian was just they guy you called to take the boot off of your car for the mere price of $75.

It wasn’t Brian’s scam. He was just some guy who was probably trying to raise a family.

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Friday, August 5, 2016

Do You Want a Job or Do You Want a Career?

Career Ladder

I recently had a conversation with a former student of mine. Larry works for a large insurance company. The career path within the company that he would like to take is blocked. Larry needs the support of his immediate supervisor. Unfortunately, that supervisor won’t support him.

The reason the supervisor won’t support him is that this supervisor gave him a project. The supervisor told Larry that it needed to be done by a particular date. At the time, Larry said that he couldn’t finish it by that date. Larry gave the supervisor a date by which he felt the project could be reasonably completed.

Larry did turn in the project by the date he gave the supervisor but not by the date that the supervisor gave him. The fact that Larry did not finish it by the date given to him by his supervisor now is killing his career advancement within that company.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

What’s Wrong with Rose Colored Glasses?

Rose Colored Glasses

Norman Rockwell said that he learned early on that life isn’t always perfect. So he decided to paint life, not as it is but as it should be. I think that is why he is my favorite artist. Both my wife Lisa and I have been accused of seeing the world through rose colored glasses. Perhaps we do. But I don’t think that is such a bad thing.

We tend to attract the things we see in the world. If we always look at the dark side of life, we will attract more darkness into our lives. If we always look on the brighter side, then we will tend to attract better things into our lives.

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Friday, July 29, 2016

Three Great Quotes on People Skills


I heard a story a long time ago about a private in the Army who was in the bathroom. Someone came in and occupied the stall next to him. That person started smoking a cigarette that the private thought smelled terrible. So the private yelled at the person in the next stall to put out the cigarette. This private said that, if he didn’t put out that cigarette, he would make him eat it.

When they both stepped out of their stalls, the private was horrified. The person who he had ordered to put out the cigarette was a general. This private had just verbally attacked the General.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Three Great Quotes on Leadership


Perhaps the world’s greatest authority on leadership is John Maxwell. He says that everything rises or falls on leadership. Everything! That is so true. If you see a thriving organization, it is because the organization has great leadership. If you see one that is struggling, it is because that organization has a leadership problem. Time and time again, I have seen good organizations crash and struggling organizations begin to thrive when there was a change in leadership. The future of any organization is only as bright as the leaders it will attract.

So what does great leadership require? It requires three things. Organizations thrive when a great leader has great followers and there is a great connection between them. The three quotes I want to share on leadership address each “great” in this requirement.

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