Archive for January, 2007

Why we look for another job.

Spoke with a friend this morning who is contemplating a job change. He’s currently working for a major financial corporation in the south and has been quite successful at it. One of the first things you’ll notice after meeting my friend is that he is very detail and goal oriented. I guess this is the reason we mesh so well together.

After inquiring why he was attempting to make a job change I was reminded why most of us seek another employer. Many so-called business experts will tell you the main reason we change jobs is to make more money. Additional salary is definitely a factor in the decision however I’ve found that most of us, me included, leave jobs not because of bad pay but because of bad bosses.

In my friends case it’s not so much a bad boss that has him looking for another job, but a revised business plan that will conflict with his personal, professional and family goals. It’s important for all of us to do a career check-up from time to time. We need to make sure that our company’s plans coincide with those we have not for ourselves but most importantly our family. If our plans are headed east and our employer’s is headed west the result will be a collision that is not beneficial for either.


Giving leads to gaining

One of the greatest legacy builders of our time passed away one week ago. For 26 years a secret Santa roamed the areas in and around the Kansas City area handing out $100 bills. Over those years many people including the media had attempted unsuccessfully to identify this secret Santa. It was only a few months ago that the world was introduced to Larry Stewart, the secret Santa. Stewart, 58 was dieing of cancer and thought it would be best if he “outed” himself in the hopes it would impress someone to keep the practice of secret Santa going.
Before he died, Stewart handed out $100k this Christmas running his total up to $1.3 million over the 26 years of secret Santa. A quote from Stewart before he died summed up his feelings on giving, “That’s what we’re here for,” Stewart said in a November interview, “to help other people out.” Stewart, from the Kansas City suburb of Lee’s Summit, made his millions in cable television and long-distance telephone service.
Stewart started secret Santa after being fired from a cable company for the second straight year. As he put it, “It was cold and this carhop didn’t have on a very big jacket, and I thought to myself, ‘I think I got it bad. She’s out there in this cold making nickels and dimes.” He gave her $20 and told her to keep the change.
As Larry Stewart has proven and I can attest, if you’re going through a tough time financially, the best way to open the door to prosperity is through giving to another. I encourage to read the newspaper article I’ve linked below and after doing so, start being a secret Santa. Remember, giving leads to gaining. ARTICLE

Man to man

Ok guys, you know I love passing along information on new ideas and the people behind them. Dee Lauderdale, a good friend of mine has started a blog and podcast entitled GuyPod. The purpose of the podcast and blog is to initiate manly discussion about God. It’s a great concept that focuses on one of the most important issues affecting our society today. I encourage all of you men who read my blog to surf over to, read the blog and download the podcast. I further encourage you to provide feedback on the site and make the podcasts a source of your weekly “hour” of self improvement and leadership education. As you’ll find out, Dee wants manly discussion, the kind you have with your teammates, about the factors that positively or negatively involve men’s participation in the local church.

Playing field to board room

Athletes are no strangers to the fact that what you learn on the playing field can be directly transferred to the business world. Leadership, servanthood and teamwork are just a few of the many lessons athletes learn on a daily basis. Noticing the business success of former athletes,’s Alison Stein Wellner has just released a report that reveals reasons athletes succeed in business. The following is an excerpt of the report but I encourage all of you to click on the link to read the entire article, especially all you athletes.

Eye on the Prize, Secrets of Entreprener Athletes
For CEOs and CEOs-to-be, sports may be a more effective training ground than any business school, according to both psychologists and entrepreneur athletes themselves. Athletic endeavors help CEOs and CEOs-to-be develop such leadership skills as self-discipline, morale building, and teamwork. In a Harvard Business School study of roughly 30 graduates who had become entrepreneurs, almost all the respondents reported playing individual or team sports during their early years. “Many felt strongly that competitive sports had prepared them not just to compete in life but also to deal well with winning, with losing, with setbacks, with training, and perhaps most importantly, with others,” the report states.

Dirty Job?

While perusing the net I came across the following list of the most bacteria laden jobs. Since we are entering the winter cold and flu season I thought it might be nice to share these with you.

•Radio DJ
•Television Producer

He who is greatest among you shall be your servant

I’ve read and listened to many of the great sermons and speeches given by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and am amazed and touched each time I do. Everyone knows about the “I have a dream” speech but one that I think is just as important is “The Drum Major Instinct.”

If you never take the time to read any of Dr. King’s speeches or sermons I do encourage you to read the following excerpt of “The Drum Major Instinct.” I encourage you to read the excerpt below several times and record it in your memory bank. If you want to be great, if you want to leave a legacy that lives on beyond you days on earth, then these words are your blueprint.

If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That’s a new definition of greatness.
And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, (Everybody) because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love. And you can be that servant.

Dr. King left a legacy that keeps on giving and will continue to do so for as long as mankind exists. He inspired men and women, regardless of color, to greatness. He encouraged mankind to serve others and to stand up, in a non-violent way, for what is right

Would you like a hug with your order?

Have you ever ordered lunch and got a side order of hugs? I hadn’t until today.
I had the great pleasure to meet a friend for lunch at Ivey’s in Madison, Alabama (suburb of Huntsville). I’ve heard alot about Ivey’s however this was my first chance to dine with them.
Ivey’s specializes in home cooked-southern foods. Chicken, pork chops, roast, it’s all great. Their desserts are awesome too. But, what makes Ivey’s so special is owner/manager Ms. Swanner.
I noticed Ms. Swanner soon after we had taken our seat. She was wearing a red apron and giving patrons a small bowl of her homemade banana pudding with a little something extra, a hug. Each person in the restaurant didn’t have a choice, they had to take a sampling and they had to give her a hug. She finally made her way over to our table where she introduced herself to me and expressed her appreciation for me dining at Ivey’s. Not only that, she made me get out of my seat and give her a hug.
After eating a great pork chop, green beans and cole slaw I was stuffed and decided to pass on dessert. That was until Ms. Swanner made her rounds again and changed my mind. As she put it, “If you’re not gonna order dessert then you at least have to have a few bites.” Ms. Swanner brought me a more than a few bites of her banana pudding.
What was meant to be a half-hour lunch meeting turned into an hour and a half. My friend and I couldn’t escape the presence of this great lady. We went into Ivey’s expecting great food and left with the feeling that we had been in the presence of an angel.

Now, is there any wonder why Ivey’s Restaurant is doing so well? Is there any wonder why people stop by Ivey’s on their way home just to see Ms. Swanner?
For all of you “Fred Factor” fans, Ms. Swanner is definitely a Fred.
Oh yeah, one other thing…as I was leaving Ms. Swanner poked her head out the door and asked “Jim, are you going home, cause if you are, take some of this banana pudding to your kids.” Wow, not only did she remember my name but remembered me telling her about my kids.

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