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Dad | The Prizefighter & The Preacher

Among some of us dads, we often remark, “Dads never get any credit.

Dads teach their kids how to play ball, run, catch, dodge … but if they score a run, a touchdown or a basket … and the camera zooms in on them, don’t they always say, “Hi Mom!”


Dad’s Christmas gift to me of an ornament he thought I’d like. The cow sings, too!

Dads never get any credit

Have you ever heard the phrase, “… as good as Dad and apple pie?.” I doubt it. I never have.

How about, “the father of all storms” … nope, although that construct may have some merit. 😂 (Mother’s Day was officially established in 1914. Father’s Day not until 58 years later in 1972.)

I rest my case.

The Prizefighter & The Preacher

I’ve written several articles over the years, including one about lessons I learned from my 94-year-old mom, but Dad deserves at least as much credit. I lost my Dad on Nov. 16, 2001, and I still miss him every day.

Perhaps my most striking memory is that he had the most unusual combination of careers of anyone I’ve ever known … a world-ranked professional boxer with a record of 82-5-0 who became a minister when he heeded the calling.

An extraordinary combination …

All his life, he loved boxing with great passion and practiced his ministry with great compassion.

He believed deeply that boxing’s demand for discipline, training and sacrifice was a way out for “street toughs,” a route through the gym and into a productive life that would be otherwise inaccessible.

He knew that every soul was worth saving and he never wavered from that commitment.

Brevity is the soul of wit …

One good teacher in a lifetime may sometimes change a delinquent into a solid citizen.Philip Wylie


He had a great sense of humor, too, and it reflected his vision of life as a joyful journey. I’ve still got a copy of a parking ticket that I may have forgotten to pay while in college.

The car was still registered to my dad, so the final notice showed up in his mailbox. You’ll love the note he wrote to the traffic violations bureau:
(more…)

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Leadership Insights | The Prizefighter & The Preacher

Among some of us dads, we often remark, “Dads never get any credit.

Dads teach their kids how to play ball, run, catch, dodge … but if they score a run, a touchdown or a basket … and the camera zooms in on them, don’t they always say, “Hi Mom!”


Dad’s Christmas gift to me of an ornament he thought I’d like. The cow sings, too!

Dads never get any credit

Have you ever heard the phrase, “… as good as Dad and apple pie?.” I doubt it. I never have. How about, “the father of all storms” … nope … I think you catch my point.

The Prizefighter & The Preacher

I’ve written several articles over the years, including a recent one about lessons I learned from my 94-year-old mom, but Dad deserves at least as much credit. I lost my Dad on Nov. 16, 2001, and I still miss him every day.

Perhaps my most striking memory is that he had the most unusual combination of careers of anyone I’ve ever known … a world-ranked professional boxer with a record of 82-5-0 who became a minister when he heeded the calling.

An extraordinary combination …

All his life, he loved boxing with great passion and practiced his ministry with great compassion.

He believed deeply that boxing’s demand for discipline, training and sacrifice was a way out for “street toughs,” a route through the gym and into a productive life that would be otherwise inaccessible.
He knew that every soul was worth saving and he never wavered from that commitment.

Brevity is the soul of wit …

One good teacher in a lifetime may sometimes change a delinquent into a solid citizen.Philip Wylie


He had a great sense of humor, too, and it reflected his vision of life as a joyful journey. I’ve still got a copy of a parking ticket that I may have forgotten to pay while in college.
(more…)

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Leadership Lessons | Do you have the magic elixir of True Grit?

What Does It Take to be a Great Leader?

Nothing in life travels in a neat formation accompanied by bugles and cavalry. A lot of it shows up filthy and unkempt, prominent in the mess we’ve made around our foxhole. These lessons are typically the offspring of hubris, naivete and ignorance … or from overlooking the land mines hidden beneath our feet.

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Being in the lead and winning is not the same thing.” ~ Rory McIlroy

What a dramatic Masters finish tells us about succeeding

No, really, I had no intention of writing about the Masters golf tournament — again. You might want to start by looking at Madness or a Masters in Business … but, this 75th anniversary “tune-a-mint” that ended a few weeks ago offered more lessons than a kindergarten classroom.

What is True Grit? Do you think you have it?

Most of us think of Rooster Cogburn, either in the persona of John Wayne or Jeff Bridges, when True Grit is mentioned.

But, what is true grit? Never say die? It’s never too late? All those, and more, applied to the crushing legion wrangling for the green jacket on that fateful Sunday. Eight players shared the lead over a few hours on Sunday. As in life, the contrasts were remarkable.

Rory McIlroy, who held the lead over 63 holes of the tournament, entered Sunday with a four stroke lead and watched it quickly evaporate as his game imploded — he shot 80 on the final day — as contenders climbed over him from every side. Eight players as far behind as seven strokes down tied for the lead at some point on that bucolic Sunday afternoon.

Life is perplexing blend of success and failure (more…)

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Productivity Tip | Who doesn’t love a home-cooked meal?

A Weekly Personal Productivity series to help you get more done!

Every Thursday, I’m sharing a new Personal Productivity Tip to help you get more done. Each Productivity Tip is a remarkably simple tool or concept that can be quickly implemented to make a real difference in your personal productivity. When you apply many of them together, they’ll make a big difference in improving productivity, achieving accountability and staying focused on the things that matter the most in your life.

You may want to check out some of the posts in this Productivity series, including the the value of checklists; the importance of getting rid of the crappy stuff; the nightmare of the cluttered mind; and that feeling of being buried all the time. You can also leverage your resources and apply the lessons of the ARCI chart and the S.M.A.R.T. goals to boost the accountability of your entire organization. One more thing. When in doubt, write it down.

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It’s hard to beat a home-cooked meal!

Is there something more delectable than sitting down to a home-cooked meal … fresh, hot with flavors wafting through the air?

Some of you may be chefs who prefer to cook it yourself, but I suspect that the vast majority of us savor a meal where our only job is to sit down to enjoy it.

Maybe we’ve exerted a little energy to open the Cabernet to go with it, but not much more.

That’s the same feeling we need to create when we sit down to contemplate our Action Dashboard to begin the day.

Ready to Savor (it’s all actionable). Fresh (it’s all up-to-date). Hot (it’s ready to eat as soon as you sit down).

The Weekly Review is where all chopping, cutting, food prep gets done

Even if you don’t love to cook, you’ll still need to help with the food prep that takes place in the Weekly Review. That’s where all the chopping, cutting, shaving … preparation gets done so the meal can be enjoyed. To create a powerful personal productivity system, (more…)

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Vol. 60: Creating a Responsible Culture

Build a Responsible CultureLast time, we discussed how to create a responsible culture where each individual accepts accountability for their actions and decisions.

In our discussion of this subject, we’ve ranged from the baseline of personal accountability to a broader organizational culture, to the battle-tested power of after action reviews.

So, if the power of an accountable organization is so obvious, why aren’t we all doing it?

Victimization has a stranglehold on American business

In “The Oz Principle,” a book by Craig Hickman (recently reissued in a revised and updated edition 10 years after its original publication), the overgrown roots of a victimization mentality is chronicled as one of the most corrosive forces in American business.

The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it.~ Lou Holtz

Mr. Hickman pulls no punches in deriding the plight of victimization that he believes has a stranglehold on American industry.

How many of these lines have you heard during your business career?

* “That’s the way we’ve always done it.”
* “That’s not my department.”
* “Someone should have told me not to do that.”
* “Why didn’t you ask me?”
* “Nobody’s followed up on this. It can’t be that important.”

Victimization is a corrosive force in American business

It’s fodder for a Saturday Night Live skit, isn’t it? (more…)

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