Leadership 101: Standing Alone

Our company had enjoyed a consistent stream of revenue from a long standing customer for over 20 years.  While we were not a single sourced supplier, we were a preferred one, being highly trusted and favoured. I was reminded of that special relationship when I assumed the role of President. To the shareholders and management, the margins we collected on the products we sold to this one specific customer provided significant bonuses and dividends, increasing our company’s and individual standard of living considerably.

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The story is told of a group of 12 members of a support group who were all suffering from the same life-threatening health issue. Conventional treatments were failing, so they decided to follow the advice of a friend to visit a doctor who used unconventional methods to heal incurable diseases. To their surprise, the doctor’s unusual treatment was successful. After travelling some distance, two of the groups’ members realized they had not thanked the doctor for his help and for saving their lives.  The two decided to travel back and see the doctor who upon their arrival was not only shocked, but also thrilled because these two were humble and honest enough to say “thank you.”

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In the Strangest of Places!

We sat in the hospital room waiting for my son to wake up from his four-hour surgery. It was a family gathering. The surgery had a fifty per cent chance of success and, if the outcome was  negative, he would require a major change in lifestyle and activities. The doctor finally arrived and informed us everything went much better than expected; the odds worked in my son’s favour. As he began to wake, though still under a good dose of morphine and in quite a trance of tranquility, we told him the good news.

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Don't Panic

The time arrived for me to lead a workshop on “Building a High Performance Organization,” the second element of my agreed upon participation in the American Society for Training & Development – Middle East North Africa Conference. I was well prepared, quite anxious to start and confident my audience would be engaged. However, a few minor preparations were required before I could begin. The AV team had to attach the lapel microphone. I had to switch from the previous presenter’s computer to my own and test the visuals.

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Valuing our Differences - Celebrating Diversity

There are a number of various cultural, religious and secular celebrations at this time of the year. Some of these include:


National American Indian Heritage Month – November
All Saints' Day (Christian, Roman Catholic) – November 2
Dia de los Muertos "Day of the Dead" (Mexico, Latin America) – October 31-November 2
All Souls' Day (Roman Catholic) – November 2
Birthday of Baha'u'llah (Baha'i) – November 12
Diwali (Buddhist, Hindu) – November 3 
Hijri New Year – November 4-5 
Day of Ashura (Islamic, Muslim) – November 10

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I Wish It Were All Black and White!

Several years ago during a friendly game of billiards my friend Craig exclaimed, “You can’t make everything in life black or white; it just doesn’t work that way!”

For years I had tried to make life fit into the “black or white” box. I thought doing so would help me sort life out more easily and better deal with matters. But all it did was create frustration. As years passed I grew to understand that, with the exception of morality, nothing else about life was black or white. Many a time, issues, events, decisions, judgements and directions were placed before me, but the answers to so many questions were not that simple.

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Wherever You Are, Be There!

I was startled by the noise. "What was that? It's the alarm clock. It's time to get up. It's 5:30 am." Hearing those words from my wife, Linda, made me groan. With darkness covering the house, I slowly and reluctantly began my journey. The warmth of the bed's comforter was replaced by the morning's cold air. The ritual of cleansing and dressing occurred without any thought. I kept my eyes closed for most of it. I watched the news while chewing cold cereal. Not even a hot coffee, though welcomed, was able to provide the stimulus to ignite the senses.

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