It’s Okay…

It is okay to not be okay.  These are crazy challenging times.  You would be unique if you were perfectly fine.  Our lives, families, businesses and finances are all being impacted by this virus.  We are in uncharted territory and none of us really know how we are supposed to handle this.  We need to instill hope for our families, employees and organizations.  We know it is important to continue to lead.  We will get through this! 

It is okay to not be okay.  Don’t fret if you feel worried.  Who isn’t somewhat depressed? I know I feel overwhelmed.  Business owners are facing tough decisions. Uncertainty is prevalent and none of this is comfortable.  It is okay to be frustrated, even angry, by these feelings.  You have permission to breakdown occasionally.  A good cry might be a healthy thing.  However, you can’t let it overtake you.  Yes, we need to be strong for our kids, but we don’t have to be strong 100% of the time.  Crawling in a deep dark hole is not an option.  We need to be realistic without constantly succumbing to the negativity.  Acknowledge your feelings; respect the challenge you are facing and get back at it.  Don’t let the negativity overwhelm you.

It is okay to not be okay.


Trying Times

These times will test our souls.  Our faith will be tested, but it will become our rock.  Our resolve will be stretched but it will support us. Our businesses and economy will be damaged, but they will survive.  Our friends and families may be separated, but we will hold them tightly. 

Leaders are purveyors of hope.  Now is the time for us to step up.  Our employees, friends and followers need to see hope in our eyes and positivity in our voices.  It will not be easy.  They need to hear us say the things above.  They need to know there is an end to this and better days will come.  They need to know this is survivable.  It is time to instill hope.  It is time to step up as leaders.  It is time for us to pass the test of leadership.

Let’s do this together. Take one day at a time and lead with hope!   



Action is the difference between an idea and results.  No idea, thought, concept or plan goes anywhere without action.  Lots of people have great ideas; few people take the required action steps to turn ideas into results.  You know how the director of a film or TV show calls out “Action” as the filming begins?  That is the step that takes a script from something on paper to a finished product, a result that we can see.  Good ideas constantly cross our minds and enter our thoughts.  We think of ways to improve things at work, how to change things with our kids, how we might make a difference in the lives of people around us.  As ideas alone they accomplish nothing.  As ideas combined with action, they create results.  The greatest of ideas goes nowhere until an action step is taken.  Make an idea turn into results.  Take action today!


Who’s in Charge?

Sometimes I will walk into my office, a meeting, or even my own home with the somewhat joking greeting of, “Who’s in charge?”  Reactions vary, sometimes I get “You are”, or maybe, “not me”.  Then there is always someone who names another person in the room that is in charge.

I was thinking about this rhetorical question last week.  Who is really in charge?  For many of us it is our God, but on a day to day basis, we are in charge of our lives and the decisions we make.  Our faith, morals and values guide those choices, but we must act upon them. Our daily choices have results and consequences. We decide our attitude for the day.  How positively we impact others is a decision we make.  Individually, each day we choose what we eat, when or if we workout, and like these decisions we all are in control of our own productivity at work and at home.  Every single one of us is in charge.  The answer to the question is, “I am!”   

You are in Charge!



Procrastination is a problem for me. Just as the people that work for me.   I am not near as productive as I should be.  There are always good excuses to put things off.  Sound familiar? I feel a little bit like I am writing this MMM directly to myself!  There are two specific things I need to remind myself in order to become more productive…

Stop planning, start doing!
I am a great planner. There are a lot of plans in my head, notes in my desk, and lists on my computer.  I have regular work projects that need completion. There are books to write and businesses to start.  Planning is important but at some point, you have to just do it.  Plan appropriately, but don’t let the planning become the work.  More importantly, don’t let planning be your excuse for procrastination.

Don’t be a perfectionist!
Chasing perfection causes me to take longer to complete tasks.  It just takes more time to be perfect and it is almost never required.  This is actually a bigger challenge for those of us that are self-employed.  We don’t have others to impose deadlines and demand completion despite imperfections.  Just know that it always takes longer to be perfect and the payoff for that perfection seldom offsets the time it takes.


How Are Your Investments Doing? (part 2)

No, I am still not referring to your stock portfolio.  This time I am talking about your investment in your community.  Where are you giving back?  What organizations are benefitting from your time and talents?  What kind of an investment are you making in the community that supports your business?  Will you leave a legacy? 

Communities and organizations do not grow without the support of good leaders.  Just like we invest in others we should invest in our community.  The greatest thing about giving back is what you learn and how you grow by doing so.  We have all heard it said, those who give back get more than they give.  It is true, that is why it is an investment.  Be involved in your community.  Support a cause you are passionate about.  Share your time and skills for a worthwhile cause.  Make your community a better place to live.

We are meant to live in community.  We are designed to support others and be supported by others.  Be intentional about investing in your community.  Trust me, you will see a return on your investment.

How are your investments doing?


How Are Your Investments Doing?

No, I am not talking about your stock portfolio.  I am talking about your investment in other people!  One of the most important investments we make is in other humans.  We invest time, love and attention into people around us every day.  (If you are not positively investing in others you should be.)  The most valuable thing that we can give others is our time and our undivided attention.  As leaders it is our responsibility to invest in people.  We invest time with people who want to understand our careers.  Time should be dedicated to helping others avoid our mistakes.  We spend time mentoring.  Sharing the wisdom of our experiences is an investment in someone else.  Helping people through difficult personal or professional times is an investment in them.  Building meaningful and lasting relationships is a significant investment. 

We are meant to live in community.  We are designed to support others and be supported by others.  Be intentional about investing in people.  Make relationship investing a part of who you are. Trust me, you will see a return on your investment.

How are your investments doing?


In the news

You don’t need the Monday Morning Minute to comment on current events.  There are plenty of other sources for commentary on the news. However, I feel differently given the events of this past week. 
Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash – I was impacted by this more so than I expected.  I am not a Lakers fan, Kobe fan, or really an NBA fan. Perhaps, it was the fact that there were three 13-year-old athletic girls involved in the crash that reminded me of my granddaughter who is that age. Maybe, it was the thought of the families left behind and the outpouring of stories of support and love for those that were lost.  Whatever the case, it is a reminder of the fragile and short nature of our lives. I have already been blessed with 20 more years than Kobe got, but beyond that there is no guarantee. 
Coronavirus – The case count for this deadly virus is over 8,200 (as of this writing.)  This causes me think about how small the world truly is.  We loosely use the term “it’s a small world”, but the speed and distances of which this virus has spread, shows us the true small world we live in today.  We are incredibly connected, not just electronically, but physically through the travel and movement of people globally.  It also reminds me that medicine is still an art and not a science.  As much as we know about disease and disease prevention, this particular virus has a head-start on our professional medical community.  It is not a helicopter crash, but it is a life-threatening event outside of our control.
Life is precious, yet fragile.  Hold on to those you love closely.  Don’t put off saying what needs to be said.  Don’t delay going where you want to go.  Do the things now that you enjoy.  Live life to the fullest today. Remember, we are promised nothing beyond the moment we are currently living.


A Broader Focus

Do you spend time pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone?  Do you intentionally seek to grow in areas where you are uncomfortable?  Do you force yourself to focus on things you are not really interested in?  To grow as a truly well rounded and balanced person and leader, you need to be doing all three. 

Mark Wahlberg is featured in the current issue of “Entrepreneur”.  Consider this quote from that article…

“When I was younger, I was able to focus on things I was interested in, but I had no time and no desire to focus on or be disciplined about things I wasn’t interested in, he answered, “And I realized that I needed to be disciplined all around, in every capacity – and that would allow me to become successful, or at least have the best chance to succeed.”

The writer went on to state…As we get older, we don’t become different people – we become bigger people, understanding the many multitudes of things we must consider, and care about, and take on.  Our pathway to success isn’t just about going forward, but about going wide.

Take an interest in something new this week. Be intentional about going wide, not necessarily deep.


Do the right thing

…even when nobody is looking. The true test of integrity is to do the right thing even when it won’t be seen by others. The right thing is always the right thing.  You know it in your gut. Don’t let the bright light of the public eye, or the darkness of a solitary decision influence what you know to be the right thing. 

As we celebrate Martin Luther King Day today, consider this quote attributed to him.

The time is always right to do what is right.
            -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Do the right thing, even when nobody is looking.


How do you treat others?

What do you think about when you hear that question?  There are basic considerations like opening doors for others and letting people go first in line.  There are also daily pleasantries like saying “how are you” and “thank you”.  In my mind there is one true measure of how we treat people that ranks above all others; the way we speak to someone.  What we say, and often more importantly, how we say it, is the key to how we treat people.  Our words are powerful.  Our tone can be harmful.  Our decision to talk or listen sends a message. 

Never underestimate the power of the spoken work.  Unfortunately, that spoken word is easy to use in anger and retaliation. It is the first thing we use without thinking when responding to someone.  It can be made hurtful by the words we choose and the tone with which they are said.  However, the spoken word can also be used to lift someone up, to show true love and support, to encourage and to teach.  It can communicate our deepest feelings and share our most private thoughts.  The power is ours.  We make the choice about exactly how to use the power of a spoken word.  How we talk to people is the true barometer of how we treat them. 

So, when you open your mouth today think about how you really treat others?


Welcome to 2020!

Can you believe another year has flown by? This is the first full week of the new year. For that matter, it is the first full week of a new decade.  How will this year be better or different for you?  How will this decade change your life?

Have you made New Year resolutions? Do you have personal or professional goals? Maybe you have a theme or a word for the year.  What about a 2020 Bible verse? It does not matter the tool you use to motivate yourself, or the system you use to change or improve.  Sticking with it is the important thing.  If you want to make progress this year, you will need to be as interested in April and September as you are this week.  Continuous and ongoing improvement is the key.  There is nothing magical about beginning a new year.  It is, however, a great opportunity for a new outlook and some fresh thinking.  Choose what works best for you, just don’t miss the chance to make this year a great one.

How will you grow in 2020?