Sunday, December 28, 2008

Relationships Count

As I have delved into the 'blogosphere' in 2008, I have come to enjoy the time I invest writing these posts. As a result, I have learned more about others through their comments & sharing, as well as been able to read about others through their blogs. I look forward to continuing this blog in 2009 and hope that it adds value to you.

The purpose of this blog is 'Simple'. I want to add more value to your life by sharing mine in some way. Through this, I hope to continue the development of our relationship.

I want to share an excerpt from an article I read today about 'A Life That Counts' by John Maxwell:

A Life That Counts Is Determined By:
1. The Relationships That I Form
Relationships help us to define who we are and what we can become. In my own life, I can see how relationships have shaped my character, values, and interest. I consider relationships to be my greatest treasures in life and an immense source of joy.
Most people can trace their failures or successes to pivotal relationships. That's because all relationships involve transference. When we interact with others we exchange energy, emotions, ideas, and values. Some relationships reinforce our values and uplift us; while others undercut our convictions and drain us. While we cannot choose every relationship in our lives, on the whole, we get to select those who are closest to us.
Relationship Rules:
Get along with yourself - The one relationship you will have until you die is yourself.
Value people - You cannot make another person feel important if you secretly feel that he or she is a nobody.
Make the effort to form relationships - The result of a person who has never served others? Loneliness.
Understand the Reciprocity Rule - Over time, people come to share reciprocal, similar attitudes toward each other.
Follow the Golden Rule - The timeless principle: treat others the way you want to be treated.

To view the entire article, click here

I hope we all live 'A Life That Counts' in 2009.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve & Top 5 Christmas Songs

Christmas Eve is a pretty special day at our house. I enjoy it almost as much as Christmas Day. The kids' anticipation is amusing. I like to do some shopping early in the morning just to watch people. Everybody's got a story. We go to church in early evening, and have a fantastic dinner with family at night. I can't wait to hear the laughing as we do gag gifts on Christmas Eve evening as well.

When growing up, my dad and I always had a 'wrapping' party for Mom's gifts while sipping egg nog (I eventually graduated to the 'spiced' egg nog!) and Christmas music playing. I miss that, as well as the evening at my Grandfather's house in Wellsburg, WV. The Christmas music on Christmas Eve seems to hold the most spirit. I thought I would list my Top 5 Christmas songs for you:

1) It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Andy Williams
2) White Christmas - Bing Crosby (No one else sings it like Bing!)
3) The Christmas Song - Johnny Mathis - I have really only smelled Chestnuts roasting on an open fire once in my life I think and I don't know if Jack Frost ever nipped at my nose, but Johnny can belt it out!
4) Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - The Carpenters - I swear I can still smell our Christmas trees as a kid when I hear this song!
5) Sleigh Ride - Johnny Mathis

I hope that you Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas that you are Blessed with what you want this year!

Share with me your favorite Christmas Eve traditions, or Christmas songs. I want to hear them!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Top 5 Christmas movies

To continue the Top 5 theme, I 'threatened' my cousin with a Top 5 Christmas Movie list, so here 'tis. When I think of favorite movies, I think of them, specifically, as when they come I drawn to them and unable to change the channel for some reason because they make me laugh:

1) A Christmas Story - Seeing Ralphie for 24 hours on Christmas Eve/Day is a must, but I do admit, by the last time it is on...I am ready for it to be over for another year!
2) Elf - Will Farrell is the only one that could have made this movie so funny
3) Home Alone - Some of the stuff that Kevin did to those robbers was downright horrific. Would probably be a PG-13 today!
4) Charlie Brown Christmas - Takes me back to the 4th grade when we did this for a Christmas Play and we knocked over the good tree during the play. Man, was Mrs. Nolan mad!!
5) The Santa Clause - Tim Allen has always been a favorite of mine...

What are your favorites?

Monday, December 22, 2008

5 Books on my reading list in 2009

My goal each year is to read on average one book per month. While it is aggressive, I generally finish up about half of them. I am really enjoying Love is the Killer App by Tim Sanders right now. I want to finish it in 2008.
Here are the Top 5 books I will be reading in 2009. Any reviews are appreciated.
1) Do the Right Thing - I love the title and I like some of Huckabee's philosophies.
2) The Shack - After my post about Timing & Opportunity, two folks recommended this book to me and it had been suggested before, so I will heed that advice!
3) Tribes - I have enjoyed following Seth Godin's blog and his advice on marketing. I have heard good things about this book, also!
4) The Truth About You - This was a free one that I got from Thomas Nelson Publishing's web site. Get a free copy if you write a blog review. Plus, Buckingham's stuff is good to read. Normally, very data driven.
5) Every Day is Game Day - I wear a band with this on it that I received at an October retreat. It had a lot of impact on me then.
Some honorable mention books I would like to read, also are:

Got any suggestions for me? What are you reading in 2009?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Top 5 Must-read business books in 2009

My reading habits are sporadic at best, but I like reading a good business and/or leadership book. Here are my Top 5 business books I suggest for your reading list in 2009. Have you read these yet? What do you think? If not, and you read it in 2009, let me know what you thought. Do you have any favorites you can suggest for my 2009 reading list?

1) Profit from the Core - Simply loved this read with my team at Tuthill and implementing some of the concepts across our business and in our strategy.
2) Simple Church - While the title and the story is about a 'church', the processes cross lines. If both business and churches figured this out, both would grow significantly in both numbers AND impact
3) Good to Great - Classic Jim Collins read. I have read it twice. So many good concepts
4) Becoming a Coaching Leader - A process book made for leaders or managers to increase their impact on their team member's lives.
5) The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership - I don't think I could have a Top 5 reading list without a John C. Maxwell book. This was one of the first leadership books given to me in my career and it had a huge impact on my life and thus, career.

I hope you enjoy.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Top 5 Christmas Gifts as a kid

With two boys, ages 12 & 9, shopping this year has been quite fun...and challenging! For example, I asked them to list 5 things they wanted for Christmas. My 12 year old lists as #1 - Visa gift card, and #2 - Cash!!!! I just smile at him. He doesn't trust his parents to get him what he 'likes'.

Over dinner a couple nights ago, we were discussing our favorite gifts as kids. I'll show my age, but my Top 5 went like this:

1) Mr. Quarterback - I remember when I got this game and absolutely wore out every 9-volt battery we had!! I simply loved this gift. In fact, I just put a bid on one on Ebay!! (You can find just about anything on ebay, you know...)
2) 10-speed bike - Got that when I was 10 and remember riding it in the snow on the street Christmas morning. Rode the wheels off that thing for 8 years!!
3) Atari - Wow did Santa do a nice job of hiding this one. Came downstairs and looked under the tree and nothing. I thought for sure Santa would have set it up and had it ready to go. I was crushed. Then, WAY UNDER the tree I found the box. Had to be like Ralphie getting his Red Rider b-b gun!! (Remember when you used to have to reach behind the TV and move the selector from Game to TV? The little 2-prong adapter was a pain in the neck! Back then, the Atari game new, I remember, was $189.00 with no games. Now, go to a big-box retailer and get the thing loaded with like 20 games for $19.95 and plug it right in the front of your TV!)
4) Evil Knievel motorcycle - Come on, you remember the had to put it in this stand, wind the stand, and let 'er go. The walls were never the same!!
5) Mom will swear that the Big Wheel was a favorite of mine, although I don't really remember 'getting it'. I just have an old photo (withheld for pride reasons since I had my Ninja pajamas on! - We also always got a new pair of pajamas every Christmas Eve! - A tradition we have continued in our house today). The story we love to tell about the Big Wheel was when I left it on the old floor register and melted the front tire flat. Made for some tough riding and funny 'thump' noises after that!!
All kinds of memories about toys - What were your favorite gifts you got as a kid for Christmas?
Stay on the lookout for some more 'Top 5' lists as I wind down 2008 and prepare for 2009. It is going to be a great year.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How Low Can Gas Go?

I was talking with a good friend of mine this evening and told him that I could get gas here in Roanoke, VA, for $1.29 a gallon. He couldn't believe it and asked me to send a photo. I WAS WRONG!!! It was $1.25/gallon?

So, how low can it go? What are the prices in your area?

Now, you can watch the SUV sales go back up again!! So, what is the price that had you changing your driving behaviors???

I don't know why it is this low, but I will enjoy it while it lasts.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Timing and opportunity

This morning on my Facebook status (click on my link to the right to follow me there!), I asked "Why do I wait until the last minute to buy gifts?" Well. today that question was answered for least for today.

You see it's all about timing. I had my regular scheduled networking meeting from 7:30 -8:30 and was dressed to workout and talked my self out of it, but then back into it...After working out, I stayed and chatted with the owner a little bit about 'bailouts'. After discussing business and bailouts, I was feeling pretty lousy, but I knew I had to buy a Birthday card for Chris and should probably have a cake and even some flowers. If you buy at the last minute, you better do it right!

Anyway, as I stood in the card aisle trying to choose one of the many over-priced birthday cards, a Mother of one of the basketball players on the team that I coach had checked out and walked by me and stopped. She proceeded to tell me that when her son went home last night after practice that he told his dad that he really needed to come to his next practice...not to watch him..., but to meet his coach! She also expressed sincere gratitude to me for taking the time to coach her son. Now those of you who know me well, know that it took everything I had not to have tears flowing down my face at that moment. Because, that is why I coach those young kids. I want to have an impact on their lives and their parents lives and BE a role model. After that 5-minute conversation I was on cloud nine.

I am a man of faith. I believe that God had me stand in that spot and had that mother check out to cross my path and brighten my day. All of the things I did that morning and the time that I took to do them, led to that encounter. I am a Blessed man and I don't spend enough time being gracious about that. The words to Martina McBride's song Blessed say it so well:

I hope you all have a Blessed weekend. And, I'll try not to wait until the last minute for next year's birthday!!