Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Possibly Unpopular and Timeless Principles

“You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.

You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence.

You cannot help men permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.”

William J. H. Boetcker (1873 – 1962)

An Extraordinary Minute is apolitical – plus my commitment is that they be read in one minute or less – so my comment here is brief:

We face many choices in the days and months ahead, individually and collectively. My suggestion is to filter our decision making through proven principles of accomplishment and the lessons of history.

A foundation pillar of my work for the past 40 years is personal responsibility. I do my best to not fall prey to the “victim culture” all too common in modern society and to “own my life.” You might be well served to join me in this effort.


Monday, January 26, 2009

How Will You Choose to Live Your Life?

A video that was submitted in a contest by a 20 year old.

The contest was Titled "u @ 50".

This video won second place. When they showed it , everyone in the
room was awe-struck and broke into spontaneous applause.

So simple and yet so brilliant. Take a minute and watch it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Where Do You Stand?

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

Thomas Jefferson

Many years ago a mentor of mine gave a popular speech in which, when talking about the value of total commitment, he said “on this rock I stand and world, you will adjust to me.”

Pretty bold and somewhat catchy don’t you think?

As a young man learning some important life lessons I was impressed. Later I went to Japan on a consulting engagement for three months that turned into twelve years—thus I still do not offer seminars on planning—and the client organization was headed by a CEO who had been with me at that great speech and liberally quoted from it.

As I got to know the organization better, it became clear that while the speechmaking was grand, the execution was a lot less than 100%. When I questioned one of the Vice Presidents about this disparity and specifically the “on this rock I stand” line often quoted, he replied in describing his boss, “His rock has wheels.”

Our personal power and effectiveness is to a large degree determined by our awareness of our principles, our taking of personal responsibility for having them show up in our lives and our ability to fully communicate them to others.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Ahhhh .... The Mystery is Solved

If you are wondering where the post announcing my upcoming appearance on The Jean Chatzky Show on Oprah & Friends Radio on XM 156 has gone, here's the deal:

I've been in communication with a friend who pointed out that my prior communication had the unintended side effect of suggesting Oprah Winfrey has built her wealth on carefully crafted legal papers. This sloppy and inaccurate communication dismisses years of hard work by Ms. Winfrey, countless millions given to charity and a global platform that has at its base, empowering each of us to be our best.

I am an enthusiastic admirer of Oprah's work in the world and to suggest anything less was a misstep that I sincerely regret - that being said I do look forward to have you listen in to Jean's show on Jan 21st to hear about finding your best self when it comes to finances.

If you've got a comment or three about Robert's inappropriate communication and apology or want to share about your own experience in this domain, I'd love to hear from you. Just hit the comment link below!


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Denial, Self-deception and Rationalization

“All human beings have an innate propensity for denial, self-deception and rationalization. Some of us are at war with this dangerous proclivity, and some of us are trying to get a PhD.”

Douglas Bell

My friend Doug Bell has been a successful entrepreneur and has lived a lifelong personal development commitment. Recently I’ve noticed that he has been slowly but surely moving from student to teacher and sharing his life lessons with others. Fortunately, I’m included as both a friend and as an eager learner.

I like this quote from Doug a lot, especially the distinction indicated that we have a choice. We have the opportunity, even the obligation, to examine our current reality with more rigor and insight. What is really true about our “Self” … note the capital “S” … what’s really true about our family, our work, our community and our institutions? Is our life journey leading toward more awareness, more compassion, more positive action? Or, as another friend colorfully says, are we “engaged in a headlong dash toward Hell?”

Personal growth guru Byron Katie’s famous “Four Questions” (useful when looking at an issue in our lives) begins with “Is it true?” As we confront and move through the increasing changes in our lives, we’ll have the opportunity to ask “what’s true” and, when that discovery process is complete, make infinitely better choices.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009


“May you live, eat, work, sleep in peace;
Walk, run, garden in peace;
Speak, listen, breathe in peace.
Decide: ‘I choose peace from now on.’

Miles Kierson

Perhaps like you I am blessed with wonderful friends and family who communicate during the holiday season with positive wishes for the New Year. I received this one from friend and management consulting guru Miles Kierson and since it resonated so strongly with my deepest aspirations, I thought I’d share it with you.

Peace is an elusive state for many of us. It is hoped for, strived for and challenging to create on a consistent basis. My little joke – and not a joke – is that if you want to find the biggest population density of angry people, join a peace organization in Boulder, Colorado.

Peace, it seem to me, must begin with each of us. It comes from eliminating those attitudes, beliefs and actions that lead us away from peace and toward celebrating those events, people, thoughts and environments that help bring out of us our best, our most peaceful state.

With sincere wishes for peace in your life and for our world in 2009,