Leadership – show’em how its done!

“My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.”   Clarence B. Kelland


Lead Me

No one ever says “boss me” or “manage me.”  People say “Lead me, please!”  

Leadership is different.  It requires active participation in so many ways.  Fathers(and mothers)  are the most important leaders out there.  They set the foundation of the future at the earliest stages.  You think that baby is just babbling – he or she is watching your reaction – are you paying attention are you participating?  If so, they know they are valued. 

But how??

Listen – do you have a commitment to listening with the intent of understanding?  Are you receptive to the message without judging the messenger?  Will you seek to learn and clarify the will of the group?  Do you listen without interrupting?  Are you willing to listen to someone’s rant and look for why they feel that way?  And while you listen, will your non-verbal communication reinforce that you are in fact listening with an open mind?

Envision  – Do you know someone who can balance the need for focus on the immediate needs but also see a great vision of the future?  The story of how executing day to day  connects to a great the future is the tale true leaders weave.  They know the importance of execution but also of placing the brick in the foundation for the future.  Yes, today’s problem can seem overwhelming but we can turn it into a piece of what makes us great and differentiates us.

Be Aware – Are you in touch – with your team, with your family, but most of all, with yourself?  When you dedicate yourself to being aware, you will discover things.  They might be scary but they will lead you to new understanding and new horizons.   Your inner strength will carry you through the scary parts.

Finally, be sure to say “Thank you” for even the small things – better yet, write it.  That will be your legacy.  I recently heard a story of a Senior Chief in Afghanistan who offered a bunk spot to a new Lt. who was passing through the Operations Base.  The Lt. sent him a thank you note.  The Senior Chief said it was the first time in 25 years an officer ever really acknowledged him that way.  So,

Show Gratitude


None of the secrets of success work!!!
—– Until you do.

 This is on the T-shirts and posters for the local YMCA swim team(Ocean County Tiger Sharks). Always found it clever. I have to respect the parents and coaches for reinforcing the idea that working hard and having passion for what you are doing catalyze your success.

All those books out there that talk of the success of someone in business or the “culture” that drove the success of another company certainly have something to teach us. However, there is no secret that will trigger your success like hard work and passion for what you do. The only thing other thing that successful people seem to have – a knack for understanding other people and what might help them.

That means you have to go to where the ideas are – your customers, people who might use your idea.

These thoughts were reinforced when I received a link to the School of Success – Leadership for Kids (www.schoolofsuccess.in). It was a list of 11 rules. Go read them but one caught my eye:

Rule 10: You have to leave the coffee shop and go to the jobs.

Coffee shop, my desk, the house, the local library your networking group, etc. You can put your own place of safety and comfort in there. Real life means engaging with real people. That means risk. Take your ideas on the road. Earn the right to succeed by helping others.

Good luck this week! Remember NOTSOSWUYD!!!

P.S. I would ask that you keep my son, Chris, and his teammate in your thoughts and prayers. He is being moved to a more remote and less supported part of Afghanistan. He will have no running water and no well. They will be living in mud huts in the mountains in the Afghan winter – highs around 20F. In a month, he has taken care of some IEDs and learned about the good and the bad in all people.

What can I do now?

Just read QBQ! – The question behind the question® (click will take you to the site) by  John Miller.  Good, quick read.

Subtitle- Eliminate blame, complaining and procrastination.

Simple enough read but application will transform lives and businesses.  It drives you to live in a world of possibility.  What can I do now to help make things better?  How can I change to communicate more clearly?  Now, be accountable.

The book points out the “victim” mentality many deal with on a day to day basis.   Why did “they” do that?  When will he be finished so I can do my job?  Why isn’t she a better boss?  Why don’t they listen to me?

By the way, leadership is an action not a title.  It is how you think.  Leaders are able to step up and take charge when necessary.  They are accountable for their actions.  But they are also able to coach, mentor, help, remove obstacles, build rapport, teach, and, yes, do.  Leaders see the problems and show them to the right people(experts) and let those right people take the action.  Hence, Lao Tzu – The best leader is where the people say “We did it ourselves.”

So, begin with “me”, ask the right questions, and act now.  Simple enough.

So look around and ask  “What” and “How” and focus on your personal action.  Then, Just Do It! ®

 So, what can I do to help you today?



P.S. – Many who read this may not see themselves in Marketing, but you all are.  Marketing is about eyes and ears of the business.  Can you imagine living without seeing and hearing what is going on around you?  So, please listen and watch and become part of the “Marketing” team that helps drive your business to succeed.

P.P.S. – I have started a new group to discuss Market Leadership issues on LinkedIn.  This is not just for Market Functions!  All are invited.  As I said above, you are the eyes and ears of your organization. Participate!!  Help us all get better at running the business.  Click here – Rochester International Market Leaders Association

Understand their pain!

This is perhaps the best advice any of my mentors have ever given me.  This little statement provides much of what you need to succeed in life and in business.  Many consultative sales programs begin with this rule as their base.

So what does it provide?

Empathy – When you understanding what is hurting someone, you can now connect you to them.  You can now apply your gifts and talents to help them.

Network – It gives the opportunity to connect to others who have seen this problem in the past.  You can reach out and ask for help as you seek to better understand the possible solutions.

Education – It offers you the right as well as the chance to learn about them and their business.   As you educate yourself in the key aspects of the issue, you grow as a person and as a resource.

Value – The value of friendship, the value of being a counselor, the value of consultation, the value of knowledge, the value of friendship.  When you have understood and learned about the problem and the potential solutions, you offer a real value.

Trust – Ahh, the “Trust Bucket.”  We all have them and we all need them.  We need to focus on the actions we can take to fill the Trust Buckets of those in our networks.  This requires being open, honest, helpful as well as listening.  —   Take deep care not to “spill” any of the trust – Refilling is much harder.

Leadership – help lead them from their pain to the best solution.  Lead others to the party to grow the team who can solve this problem.  Lead the teaching of pain avoidance in the future.

Teaching – help them learn how to avoid this pain in the future.

Friendship – while not all will be close friends, you will develop a bond with them.  When we work with others in a time of adversity, we form a relationship forged in fires of emotion.  These are often long remembered.

Now, go help them relieve their pain.  As you do, you will feel fulfilled.  Build your network with people you have helped.  Do not be afraid to ask others for help.  When you do, you will also have found your best life.

Until next time,



PS:  To all of you who contributed to my Tour de Cure Ride this weekend, many many thanks. You helped me surpass my goal by several times and reminded me that I should always set my goals at the highest level.  People will amaze you in how they will help.  I will proudly wear the Tour de Cure jersey awarded to those who raised over $500.  Thanks!!

Possibility Thinking

Great people are those who can make others feel that they, too, can become great.

Mark Twain

Who do you choose to follow?  Look around you.  As you meet people, do they inspire you to look for how you can grow and learn?   Do they give you a piece of their mind or a piece of their heart as they provide help and input?    I find I am looking to interact with those that strive for the true “Win-Win” and that comes from a great spirit and a giving heart.

By the way, true leadership is defined by followership.

I am surrounded by humble people of great capacity to teach as well as listen.   I am most drawn to the “possibility” thinkers.  They help me focus on the “how” of the future not the “if.”    I value the strategic plan that centers on “how might we……?”  –  a useful process that drives to your goal.  “If” is just a reason to wait and procrastinate.    I continue to look for more learning opportunities.

Each new encounter is a possibility.  This past weekend opened several opportunities to meet new people who offered to introduce me to new people.  In addition, some old friends have reached out to put me in contact with some great potential next steps for me.

Cheers until next time


I turn customer voices into business choices!


If you have not read “Oh, the places you’ll go!’ by Dr. Seuss, you should.  Even if you have, re-read it.  Much of what is required to succeed in life is there – plus his fantasy writing will take you out of your box and get you thinking.  It is not just for graduates!!

Just click on “the walking guy” below.

Stewardship – Make it your culture

Whatever happened to great stewardship?  We hear so much today about mining dangers, oil drilling dangers, over harvested forests, poorly treated employees, those out of work employees, time wasted, bloated government budgets etc.  These are critical resources to making us great.    These are resources which will help you thrive – if you can instill a culture of great stewardship.

Stewardship requires that we all take great responsibility for the assets we control.  This can apply anywhere.  It is not the dominion of the corporate executives or the “people in control.”  It is our greatest legacy when we treat all of our resources and assets with respect, protecting them from misuse and overuse.

Also, when individuals feel in control of their assets(time, money, team, etc.), they tend to make great decisions.  However it does require a few things:

Shared Values:  have you assembled a team that shares common values?  Values are not just for the leaders.  They must permeate the culture.

Shared Vision:  Does your team, company, group understand what future picture is being painted?

Shared Mission:  Moving toward the future picture often requires specific missions and projects.  These must be shared and all must be involved in driving them forward.

What does this create?  A sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves and with that comes the feeling of responsibility.   Out of responsibility comes stewardship.

Remember, it is easy to waste some time or a little money or a bit material.   It is hard to have the daily discipline to be a good steward of all that is in your control.    However, if you are a good steward of the small things, you will gain the opportunity to steward larger things.

So, can you be a good steward today?



P.S. – We recently spent some beautiful days in Washington DC.  It was great to see the emergence of Spring there and then come back to Rochester, NY and have it arrive about a week later.  Dust off the bike and get out there.  Invest in your health and well being.