Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wisdom from Bessie at 104 Years

“I thought I could change the world. It took me a hundred years to figure out that I can’t change the world. I can only change Bessie. And, honey, that ain’t easy either.”

Annie Elizabeth “Bessie” Delany
(at 104 years of age)

Some of these quotes are only diminished by any comments from me. This might be one of them.


And let us all know of any of your hard-earned life lessons by commenting below!

With love and respect,


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Truth

“The truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it; ignorance may deride it; malice may distort it; but there it is.”

Sir Winston Churchill

One of our “Eight Elements of Personal and Organizational Effectiveness” is to BE HONEST – to tell the truth first to yourself and then to others.

Some of us have become somewhat desensitized to dishonesty. If you are into excuses , they abound in this domain! Some advertisers, the person doing repair work on our home or automobile, politicians ….. and many more examples, model deception if not outright lying. This has the unfortunate side effect of generating a culture where truly being honest is more and more the exception, certainly not the rule.

Lots of “stuff” clears up in our personal and professional lives when we simply tell the truth. Let me know your truth by commenting below.

With love and respect,


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Magic of Conflict

“In a conflict we must move from a point of view to a viewing point”

Tom Crum from The Magic of Conflict

I’m a big fan of Tom Crum, his seminars and his books. It occurs to me that this simple sentence has profound meaning and value. These are words that you either just “get” or they might require a seminar experience!

There’s a lot of conflict today at all levels of human interaction. For greater peace of mind and more harmonious families, organizations and nations, we need to develop greater awareness of conflict, its sources and how to successfully defuse it. You could start with Tom’s book...Available at

With love and respect,


Friday, May 7, 2010

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake


4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (MicroSafe)

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.

Pour in the milk and oil and mix well..

Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.

The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!
Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

EAT ! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).

And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!

Responses to my "Love and Respect" Question

Thought, humorous, edgy, loving .... the variety of responses here and in the "comments" section are amazing and appreciated.


and with love and respect,


I think it adds warmth and depth to your already thought provoking emails. Most business people leave the love and respect out, thinking it's not necessary to "get things done" when in fact that it is the secret behind the why and the how.

I understand his point when dealing with strangers. Nevertheless, it is the essence of you and your wisdom -- and I personally, as I think I once told you, have always thought it lovely and meaningful. Do you think: "Retain me and send cash" is too crass?

Well Robert – it makes me feel cared for by you when I read the words….I personally love and respect my clients and they know it by the way I treat them. Isn’t love all there is in life – really!!

I like it. I wish more business people had the courage to use words like "love." Can't imagine what the objection to "respect" might be...

I would sign my emails to you with the same words except that you already use them. I like what you say, so my recommendation is too keep them. If you did not, I might think it was coming from someone using your name.

Robert, I wish there were more love and respect in the business world! I'm sure your friend meant well but he/she is simply off base. You teach us to be who we are. Keep the message.

Personally, I have always found the closing wish of love and respect to be inspiring and a reminder to myself that-- even if I may disagree with the addressee on some point of content or style -- we are all, as Ram Dass said, "One in Drag."

I like being loved and respected. I vote you keep using them, and keep sending me your emails. I read them all and they uplift me every time they arrive. Thank you.

Doesn’t bother me, although I have to admit that I’ve thought respect is a bit subsumed under love and therefore redundant.

I have often said that "love" is the word that should be used more,,,,but it seems used less!For the work we all do-you are right on!! Your friend may need more love!

"With Love and Respect" is an authentic expression of the human named Robert White. To change the expression to something else which is more acceptable to another is to deny aliveness. An act you counsel against at the core of your ministry. A dishonest behavior.

your "friend" should consider the facts that you are you and he is he. Words don't define a man, actions do. So, in my book, "love and respect" reflect who you are and what you do.

I vote for Love and Respect. I believe it shows your sincerity, etc. No change. People who do business are people. You are in the people business. It shows you are in touch with reality. There is too little love and respect now days. You love your fellowman. what's to be namby pamby about. I could go on but no point. KEEP the love and respect. Your business associate is one man's opinion. Keep movin forward you are great and I appreciate your e-mails

I am in most ways a person you would call Mr Business and without throwing out a useless pun I love with love and respect. Keep it up.

Regarding the sign-off, "with love and respect," if I had never met you, I might find it a bit personal. And - I have met you, in a small-group presentation. That sign-off seems completely in character and I am not at all put off.

Robert, keep the sign off….it is uniquely you and very powerful….it certainly is my experience of you despite our go-arounds from time to time. Perhaps your friend needs more love in his life.

I guess I can see where your friend is coming from, but it has never occurred to me that this “sign off” was inappropriate in any way. However, I’m a pretty “touchy/feely” kind of guy and therefore this does not register as inappropriate. However, those of the more hardened composition may be taken back by this; although it would be good for them to use the word “love” more often in their daily interactions.

Bologna. That is my response. (ha!) I would not change your signature response – it is filled with your authenticity and it comes through. So he is not into love, huh? You might ask him how that is working for him. 

I love it! Please continue.

I in fact, DID notice it right away the first time a good friend forwarded me one of your emails (to which I subsequently subscribed on my own.) I personally LOVE it. I was struck by it the first time I saw it (in a positive way) and found myself entertaining the idea of adopting something similar for my own "sign off." I think if we all treated each other with love and respect, one by one we would help to create making the world a more peaceful and loving place. Every time I read one of your emails and see your sign off "with love and respect" it strikes a chord in me -- I feel respected and honored and feel inclined to pass that on to someone else. Please don't change it because some "business person" thinks it's inappropriate. Hooey, I say! With love and respect to you too!

Keep it. It's highly effective, person to person, and it helps the week's medicine go down.

Living in Hawaii…. It is normal to use “aloha” for good bye, hello, etc. Which means …. Full of life, breath, love, etc. The two words used together are fine. I can always use both. Thanks for your thoughts…. I don’t always agree or disagree with what you send, but always thought provoking. If individuals don’t “unsubscribe”, then they are not put off. Aloha…..

Here is my two cents - Don't Stop using that sign off. In the world of "business" we forget the humanity, which is really what makes up the business. When I see your "love and respect" I feel both. It makes my day.

I find that some people are uncomfortable with the terms Love and Compassion, yet throw around Passion or Passionate without thought. I feel the world needs more Love, Compassion and Passion.

I do notice & I think your valediction is just right. Good work, Robert!

I like your sign-off and wouldn't change a thing because, knowing you as I do, it comes from your heart. From my perspective, those who are "put off" are afraid to use the word Love in business. This speaks of their reluctance to acknowledge that Love is the basis of everything including them, other people, business, etc. I also understand the reasons about not using the word Love in business but personally thing they are misguided. Go for it!

ABSOLUTELY NOT! I love it. I think love and respect are sorely missing in this culture at this point in time. Please don't stop! With LOVE and RESPECT,

Perhaps the person who made the comment to you was talking more about themselves than to you. It seems businesses have reduced themselves to the level of least uncomfortable for everybody and call it "politically correct." Looking at the condition of US business and government, the words at the end of the letter are merely a form and tell nothing about the true sentiments of the writer. If business people and politicians had to be honest, maybe they would sign "With greed and deception", "WIIFM", etc.

I know the words "With love and respect" for you are not a form nor did they come without the price of self introspection and facing your real values as a person. When you decided to end your letters with those words, perhaps you gave some real thought to why you wanted to use them and decided to take the risk.

So, I say, keep doing it. Somebody's got to tell the truth and take a risk to go beyond the form of political correctness and inject something real into our communications. Maybe it will spark somebody to shift themselves by struggling with their own uncomfortableness.

He's right. Love and respect are terrible ways to set a tone. WhatEVER. Beyond that, it's your sign-off. Whatever tone is in the content of your e-mail should already be set by that point, so just a retarded supposition. I'm shocked you even took this comment seriously. Wow.

This is in response to your extraordinary minute posting today. I believe your "business" advisor is unfortunately suggesting that Love and Respect do not belong in "business" communications. It might be helpful for you to suggest that he/she read David Whyte's book The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America" It is the very separation of the self from business that has created much of the turmoil we see today in our world. The notion that our core values of love and respect have no place in the workplace is at the root of our difficulties.

I might take it a step further, in our race for the legal tender, we are not embodying the qualities of love and respect in our larger society either, inside or outside of the “work” environment. Words have power, value and meaning. I, for one appreciate your salutation, I also appreciate your courage for using those specific words. If we are not here for love, what are we here for, to make money? Is that our highest purpose? If we cannot respect one another, (and say so directly) what kind of a society are we creating?

On occasion, I have used "in health and happiness" to sign off my communications. I often get excellent feedback from business colleagues that they appreciate the reminder that health and happiness can be part of a daily work routine. Imagine that! ...offered with genuine love and respect!

I see nothing wrong with that at all.

! I have often wondered what the "respect" meant for you and the words have always stood out, but I never thought negatively about them. How can someone have an issue about "love" and "respect"...I think it is more about a projection for them, than about you or your message. I think in today's busy world, respect makes sense...respect for someone's time to read your words and it suggests humility on your part. You can always try "disrespect," but that may not go over too well. Maybe you should end each letter based on how you are feeling that day if it is different from these words.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"With Love and Respect"

“With love and respect”

I’ve signed thousands of messages with these words and recently a friend whose business advice I value suggested I cease using them at the end of my Extraordinary Minute e mails. He feels they suggest the wrong “tone” for my business oriented readers.

I’ve got my “reasons and intentions” for using this particular sign-off yet sharing them might prevent your valuable feedback. Are you put off by these words? Do you notice them at all? Do you have a suggestion for a better choice? Please let me know by commenting below. I’ll be grateful...and for now,

With love and respect,