Christmas Blogging Break

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Holidays

As we near the end of Advent and near Christmastime, I’ll be taking a blogging break until after the first of the year.

Here’s wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, Fröhliche Weihnachten, Feliz Navidad, Buon Natale, and Mele Kalikimaka!

Lead. Inspire. Achieve.

-Mickey


Mickey is a consultant, author, and keynote speaker. He believes everyone can reach high levels of performance if inspired and led. During his 30 year US Air Force career Mickey commanded thousands of Airmen, managed portfolios worth billions of dollars, and worked with military, civil, and industry officials around the world. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the Eisenhower School at National Defense University in Washington DC.
Mickey is the author of seven books, including Leading Leaders: Inspiring, Empowering, and Motivating TeamsMickey’s Rules for Leaders, and The Five Be’s: A Straightforward Guide to Life.

Sign up for my mailing list and get Mickey’s Rules for Leaders ebook as a thank you!

Happy New Year! (And a Gift for You)

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Holidays, Monday Motivation, Resources

 

 

Everyone sets goals for the new year, so here’s a little help for making and keeping your goals in 2017.  Here’s hoping you have the best start for a great year, and achieve the things you want for yourself and for your family!

I put together an entire page with resources to help you make 2017 your highest performance year yet!


Mickey's Rules for Leaders eBook CoverMickey believes everyone can reach high levels of performance if inspired and led. During his 28 year US Air Force career Mickey commanded thousands of Airmen, managed portfolios worth billions of dollars, and worked with military, civil, and industry officials around the world. He is a Distinguished Graduate from the Eisenhower School at National Defense University in Washington DC.

Mickey is the author of seven books, including Leading Leaders: Inspiring, Empowering, and Motivating Teams, Mickey’s Rules for Leaders, and The 5 Be’s For Starting Out. He’s a frequent contributor to industry publications and writes for his own blog and GeneralLeadership.com.

 

Sign up for Mickey’s mailing list and get the ebook Mickey’s Rules for Leaders as a thank you!

 

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Mele Kalikimaka! (Merry Christmas!)

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Holidays, Monday Motivation

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

 


Mickey's Rules for Leaders eBook CoverMickey believes everyone can reach high levels of performance if inspired and led. During his 28 year US Air Force career Mickey commanded thousands of Airmen, managed portfolios worth billions of dollars, and worked with military, civil, and industry officials around the world. He is a Distinguished Graduate from the Eisenhower School at National Defense University in Washington DC.

Mickey is the author of seven books, including Leading Leaders: Inspiring, Empowering, and Motivating Teams, Mickey’s Rules for Leaders, and The 5 Be’s For Starting Out. He’s a frequent contributor to industry publications and writes for his own blog and GeneralLeadership.com.

 

Sign up for Mickey’s mailing list and get Mickey’s Rules for Leaders as a thank you!

 

My Christmas Card to You: A Christmas Story from My Mom

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Holidays, Pure Inspiration

One of my Mom’s fondest wishes was to be published. She wrote a lot and submitted time and time again to publications like Ladies Home Journal, Life Magazineand Readers Digest. She received rejection after rejection, but she never gave up! Sadly, cancer took her from us before she could get her work published. I think she’d definitely have been a blogger if she’d lived into the internet age. I think she’d have been very popular.

Like many people, Christmas always takes me back to my childhood and memories of my Mom telling us a story she’d made up in her head while we sat beneath the tree and the family creche. Recently, I had the chance to look over some of her surviving work and found this little gem of a story. It is the tale of a lost little boy in Bethlehem named Joab, and his unlikely meeting with a Child he would never forget.

To honor Mom and her stories, and of course the Christ Child for whom we celebrate the season, I wanted to share this with you tonight. Imagine yourself in a dimly lit room, in your pajamas, seated between the glowing Christmas tree and the manger scene, listening to the story Mom is crafting just for you tonight. This is my Christmas card to you, my readers.

Merry Christmas, everyone. May your Season be filled with light and family, love and security, and the hope of new life brought forth in a manger embodied by the Christ Child this winter night. “I bring you glad tidings of great joy! For you this night in the City of David, is born unto you a Savior, Who is Christ the Lord!”

 

 


A Christmas Story for the Little Children

by

Pam Addison

The sun shone weakly in the pale sky, but no warmth was on the hard brown earth. Joab was so tired and so cold. Somehow, in the great influx of people into this town, he had become separated from his mother and father. Since the early morning, he had walked and called and cried. He knew that it wasn’t long until the sun set, and the dark lonely night would be upon him.

For a ten year old boy to be away from his parents for the first time was hard enough, but to be alone in a big city and to be lost and cold was even worse. The sun dropped even lower in the city of Bethlehem and a chill breeze began to blow down from the hills. With the tears cold on his face, Joab sat down in front of the biggest inn he had seen on his wanderings. He thought that if he could just wait where there were the most people, perhaps his mother and father would pass by and find him. Peering inside through a dirty window, he saw the bright fire and smoke from the torches that lined the walls. Mostly he saw the food on the tables. Once again cold tears fell on his small face as he remembered how hungry he was. The lump in his throat was greater than the hurt in his stomach.

Although it was almost completely dark, people were jostling one another up and down in the narrow crooked street. Fat merchants, slim girls and their hawk-eyed mothers; Roman soldiers who smelled of leather and horses as they passed with armor clanking and shining as it caught the reflections of the lights of the houses.

Once again Joab looked inside the inn and gathering his courage around his pounding heart, he started to go in. Even if no one took pity on the frail little stranger, at least he would be out of the bitter wind.

As he pushed open the splintered door, the noise hit his ears with a crash. Joab stood dumbfounded with the door latch still in his hand. In one corner, a group of strange people played lutes, harps, tambourines, and flutes in a wild and exotic melody. The smells of roast lamb, hot bread, wine, smoke from the blazing fire, and the odor of unwashed men were so overpowering it made Joab’s head reel and his eyes water. A fat pompous owner stood shouting orders to a tall thin young girl. The men at the tables all tried to outshout him and each other, and banged their cups on the tables in order to get the attention of the frantic servant girl. A flying cold of dirt from the floor, and a curse made Joab duck and quickly shut the door which he was holding. He sidled over to the corner and sat holding his breath for fear the red-faced owner would throw him out. All of a sudden, through a shift in the hazy air, the servant girl’s eyes met his. Joab almost jumped in fright. He just knew she would say something to the innkeeper who was still yelling, seemingly at no one and everyone at the same time. The brown haired girl set down the tray of tankards and stole to the corner where Joab huddled in misery.

“My name is Esther, don’t be afraid. Come with me quickly!” she said, taking a furtive glance over her shoulder. Taking his hand she led him around the tables until they were at the kitchen door. “Go inside and wait for me. It’s alright.” So Joab slipped into the warm kitchen and sat near the fire. It seemed an eternity before the girl came back. Without a word she fetched him some warm goat’s milk and a piece of cheese. Handing them to the boy she said, “Now tell me what your name is and what you are doing here by yourself?” Joab saw her smile and salty tears dropped into the cup of milk. Esther put her arms around his shaking shoulders and Joab sobbed out his story. Esther hugged him and said, “You must stay here tonight and in the morning I will take you to the Temple where I know you will find your parents. But you cannot stay inside the inn, for if you are found we will both be beaten. My master wants only those who can pay in gold. I know of a place that is warm and dry. It’s dirty but it will do for the night. Come, quickly.”

Without another word, the two children hurried out the back door–Esther in the lead with her worn sandals flying over the frosty ground. Down the hill they ran and just below the rise in the hill was a barn. The two pushed open the creaky old door and in the bright moonlight Joab saw piles of moldy hay, cobwebs, clods of dirt piled everywhere, and one lone cow chewing on a stalk of grain. With questioning eyes, Joab looked at Esther. “I’m sorry Joab. This is the best I can do. Tomorrow I will you find your parents. Snuggle down into the hay and it won’t be so cold. I can’t leave you a candle for they might see the light and find out what I have done. Sleep well, little one, and I’ll come for you in the morning.” With that she gently pushed him inside and closed the big door. Pulling her shawl more closely about her, she ran back to the inn with only one backward glance.

Standing inside the dark barn, Joab swallowed his fear and determined to be as brave as his father would have him be. Besides, he thought to himself, if Esther was right he would be rescued in the morning. With that, Joab decided to make the best of the situation. The moon put one small silver finger into the barn and Joab saw a pile of hay that didn’t look quite as dirty as the rest. He inched his way over to it and with a big sigh settled down for the night. Despite everything he had been through, despite the cold and the dark, he soon drifted off into a child’s easy slumber.

After a while, he suddenly awoke to hear the heavy footsteps of a man. He knew in his thumping heart that the owner had somehow found his hiding place. He shuddered at the memory of Esther’s warning of a beating, and crawled even further down into the haystack. The big brown door swung open and Joab shut his eyes and pulled himself into a small ball. He could hear the man moving about, and the terror in his heart almost made him cry out. Carefully, he opened an eye and the dim lantern light in the man’s hand he saw it was not the owner at all! A small sigh escaped him as he saw that it was only a wayfaring stranger like himself. Joab started to get out and speak to him when the tall brown-haired stranger left the barn taking the light with him. In a moment Joab saw the feeble light returning. This time it brought the man—and a woman wrapped in a blue mantle riding on a donkey. Joab knew there would be no talking for there were dark shadows under her eyes. Joab saw the man lift up his arms and helped the young woman from the donkey, saying, “You can rest now, dear one.” The man had spread his cloak on a pile of hay and the woman settled herself and smiled up at him with a tired smile. “Thank you, Joseph dear,” she said. Unwilling to interrupt the quiet talk of the two people, and with a strange calm in his heart, he closed his eyes again and drifted back off to sleep.

The next thing that woke him was a blinding light and the feeling of tender warmth, so very different from the dark cold of the night a little time before. Joab thought that morning had come and so he rolled over to see if Esther had come for him. When he opened his eyes, they almost popped out of his head and his mouth flew open. To his amazement, a musical sound of voices came from everywhere! The only people he could see were the brown-haired stranger and the young woman—–but wait!—–no!—–There had been another stranger in the night. Wrapped in white cloths and nestled in His mother’s arms was a tiny baby! And yet what kind of baby!!?? There was such a glorious shimmering light about Him, Joab couldn’t be sure he wasn’t dreaming. Joab was completely dumbfounded and bewildered by what he saw. He was afraid of the music, soft and crystal-like—–almost, he thought, as if millions of birds had put liquid gold into their throats and were singing a lullaby. Taking a closer look at the baby, Joab saw Him smile and suddenly the air was filled with the sound of soft flutterings and silken music. Shimmering lights of the rainbow and gossamer voices moved and filled that old barn. Joab was really frightened now. As quietly as he could, he crept forward to go around the opposite side of all that wonder and start for the door.

He had just put his hand on the door when it flew open and a group of men rushed in. They were breathless with excitement and dressed in the rough garb of the hill people. They stopped just inside the door and one of them asked, “Is this the Child? Is this the Messiah? The angel told us we would find Him here. Is He the Promised One?” At a nod from the woman, they went forward with wonder in their eyes to where the three were. Joab watched as the woman with the blue mantle held the Babe for them to see and welcomed them. They fell down on their knees, seemingly unaware of the light and the music that came from nowhere and yet from everywhere. Joab pondered a moment–trying to remember what had been taught to him about the Messiah who was to come.

Without thinking he walked back to the circle of glorious light and nudging between the rough men still on their knees, he found himself face to face with the Baby and the Mother. Looking at her face with its tender smile and then at the Baby, he knew (and how he knew he didn’t know) that this baby was the Messiah. Joab whispered, “He’s beautiful!” The woman looked up at him with all the beauty of heaven in her lovely eyes. She drew him down beside her and there he stayed far beyond the time when the men and the music had taken their leave. There he stayed until morning sleeping peacefully when Esther came to report that his parents had finally come to the inn and were waiting for him.

Joab stood up and the Mother kissed his cheek gently, sending him on his way. With a last look at the beautiful Child resting in His mother’s arms, Joab ran to relate to his mother and father his night of heavenly wonder! They looked at him with curiosity, exchanging puzzled looks that soon gave way to relief of finding their son who had been lost. “Come Joab,” said his mother, “Let’s get you some breakfast.”

Joab never forgot that glorious night, and when he was troubled or hurting he remembered the bright light of that beautiful Child.


Mickey's Rules for Leaders eBook CoverMickey believes everyone can reach high levels of performance if inspired and led. During his 28 year US Air Force career Mickey commanded thousands of Airmen, managed portfolios worth billions of dollars, and worked with military, civil, and industry officials around the world. He is a Distinguished Graduate from the Eisenhower School at National Defense University in Washington DC.

Mickey is the author of seven books, including Leading Leaders: Inspiring, Empowering, and Motivating Teams, Mickey’s Rules for Leaders, and The 5 Be’s For Starting Out. He’s a frequent contributor to industry publications and writes for his own blog and GeneralLeadership.com.

 

Sign up for Mickey’s mailing list and get Mickey’s Rules for Leaders as a thank you!

 

Respect and the Power of Nice: Setting the Example

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Holidays, Practical Leadership
(photo courtesy Hawaiian Airlines)

There has been considerable talk in the press and in the blogs on the importance of people treating each other with respect. It’s a subject I write about often because it’s central to leaders inspiring people to be their best, and groups forming into high performing teams.

Whether it’s travelling, shopping in a crowd, or just trying to survive that family or social gathering without losing your patience (or a family member!), ‘tis the season for practicing the art of being nice. On a recent flight I got to see the “power of nice” in action.

The boarding and takeoff were uneventful. As we waited for our beverages, I chatted up one of the flight attendants and she made the comment about how nice everyone was being on this flight. I didn’t think I (or anyone else I’d seen for that matter) was being anything other than “normal” polite, but she sure thought so. After she made the comment to me I made a point to listen to how the other passengers were treating each other and the cabin crew. Sure enough, I noticed people deferring to each other, saying “yes Ma’am” and “no Ma’am” to the cabin crew.

I fly a lot, and I see how hard people in the travel industry work to make sure our travel is safe and pleasant. Because of that, I always try to be nice and respectful to the cabin crew. They have a really tough job, frankly are not paid nearly enough, and so it always amazes me when people treat them like–well, not like how they’d like to be treated. Clearly, though, something on this flight was different.

At the end of the flight the flight attendant who’d noticed everyone being extra nice got on the PA and told us we were the nicest group of passengers she’d had and we’d made the flight very pleasant for her. I’m not taking credit, clearly, but I have to wonder how many “splashes of nice” among the passengers it took to ripple among 300 people on a crowded holiday flight. Perhaps it only took a few people to start it, but at the end all 300 hundred of us got off the plane in a much better mood than we started. Great lesson there.

So why did it happen? Maybe it was because it was Thanksgiving, or because we were all being mindful of a fairly vicious political campaign season. Truth be told, it really doesn’t matter. For whatever reason, people decided to be nice and respectful to each other.

It’s a lesson leaders can learn as well. When leaders set the example, the team follows. If you’re surly and short, people around you will be the same. If you’re respectful and positive, your team will follow suit. The key is to set the example and be the sort of person you want those around you to be.

After a rancorous political season, the Christmas holidays offer us an opportunity to reset our attitudes and set a good example. You’ll never know what battle someone is fighting, so be nice.

 


Mickey's Rules for Leaders eBook CoverMickey believes everyone can reach high levels of performance if inspired and led. During his 28 year US Air Force career Mickey commanded thousands of Airmen, managed portfolios worth billions of dollars, and worked with military, civil, and industry officials around the world. He is a Distinguished Graduate from the Eisenhower School at National Defense University in Washington DC.

Mickey is the author of seven books, including Leading Leaders: Inspiring, Empowering, and Motivating Teams, Mickey’s Rules for Leaders, and The 5 Be’s For Starting Out. He’s a frequent contributor to industry publications and writes for his own blog and GeneralLeadership.com.

 

Sign up for Mickey’s mailing list and get Mickey’s Rules for Leaders as a thank you!

 

Memorial Day – Flanders Field

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Holidays

imageIn 1915, Canadian artilleryman John McCrae penned poem about loss and remembering. I share it with you today as a way to honor all the men and women who never returned from battle.

 

 

 

Flanders Field

John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Friday Link Around – Mother’s Day

Posted Leave a commentPosted in From the Blogs, Holidays
Graduation Day, August 1987
Dad, me, and Mom, Graduation Day, Texas A&M University, August 14, 1987.

This coming Sunday is Mother’s Day! If you’re reading this and haven’t done something to honor your mom yet, you still have two days!

My Mom was always a strong presence in my life and my family–and along with what my Dad she taught me a great deal about how to be successful in life. As one of the “Great Women in My Life,” Mom taught me to love God, to love words, and to love life. I wrote a piece at Catholic Exchange some years ago about her and the other “Great Women” in my life; you can find it here. She died in 1990, and I think of her often, especially during milestones in my life or my family’s life. She would have loved hearing about my adventures Mom never met my kids, but I’d like to think that through me she’s spoken to them anyway.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.

 

The history of Mother’s Day

AskMen: Last Minute Mother’s Day Gifts

FamilyLife.com: Ten Ways to Honor Mom

Book Suggestion: The Art of the Hand Written Note

Shameless Plug for My Book (If Your Mom Likes Motorcycles)

#OptOutside with Mom in a National Park

DecentFilms.com: Top 10 Movie Moms


Mickey's Rules for Leaders eBook CoverMickey believes everyone can reach high levels of performance if inspired and led. During his 28 year US Air Force career Mickey commanded thousands of Airmen, managed portfolios worth billions of dollars, and worked with military, civil, and industry officials around the world. He is a Distinguished Graduate from the Eisenhower School at National Defense University in Washington DC.

Mickey is the author of seven books, including Leading Leaders: Inspiring, Empowering, and Motivating Teams and The 5 Be’s For Starting Out. He’s a frequent contributor to industry publications and blogs.

Good Friday Link Around [UPDATED]

Posted Leave a commentPosted in From the Blogs, Holidays

It’s Holy Week in the Christian calendar, so this week’s links are all about Easter. As a trivia, history, and liturgy “geek,” I think this stuff is interesting so I’m bound in my geekness to share it with you!

The days of Holy Week have their own names, beginning with Spy/Holy Wednesday, then Holy Thursday (sometimes Maundy Thursday), Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and of course Easter Sunday. Why Spy Wednesday? What the heck does Maundy mean? Well, “Spy Wednesday” because that’s the day Judas agreed to betray Jesus, and “Maundy” comes from the Latin phrase from that day’s Gospel.

From Wikipedia:

“Maundy” is derived through Middle English and Old French mandé, from the Latin mandatum, the first word of the phrase Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos (“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you”), the statement by Jesus in the Gospel of John 13:34 by which Jesus explained to the Apostles the significance of his action of washing their feet.

In the Catholic Church, Thursday through Sunday is called the Easter Triduum. Which of course, means “Three Days” in Latin. See? That high school Latin is coming in handy!

The Eastern churches won’t be celebrating Easter on the same day as in the West. Why you ask? Well, it’s because they use the Julian Calendar and the Western churches use the Gregorian Calendar. Yes, that’s right: Julius Caesar and Pope Gregory XIII are still running things!

Ever wonder about the word, Easter? The actual proper name of the day is different between East and West.  In the West, it’s called the Solemnity of the Resurrection of the Lord–”Solemnity” being the highest rank feastday. In the East, it’s called Pascha (English: Passover).

Besides the interesting historical and liturgical aspects (well, interesting to me anyway!), there’s other traditions, too.

Easter Bunnies? Easter Baskets? Colored eggs? The History Channel has a good rundown here. Wait, flying bells in France? 

For Christians, Easter follows Lent–a period of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving–and so as you can expect there are many traditions that center around food. Germans have lamb, in France it’s, well, lamb and asparagus, in Mexico aquas frescas, in the UK is–ok, more lamb–AND hot cross buns. In the Pacific, the Chinese apparently often eat at a buffet. No, really. Here in Hawaii kalua pig is the standard Easter fare.

In my family, we have a tradition of making what we call “Easter Bread” to have for brunch on Easter Sunday. It’s a recipe that came from my mother’s family when they emigrated from Naples, Italy. The actual Italian name was probably “Torte di Pasqua” (Easter Pie), and contained various types of cured meats, cheeses, hard boiled eggs, and herbs. In Rome, a little north of Naples, it’s called pizza rustica.

My family’s recipe was clearly heavily Americanized, with pepperoni, bacon, ham, swiss cheese, provolone, hard boiled eggs, and parsley. It seems Great-Grandmother got to America and had to make do with what she could find here. I’ve done some research, and I think I’ve gotten a recipe that’s probably closer to the original. My Gramma was pretty tight-lipped about the recipe, but as mia famiglia dispersed around the country, I’m passing it on to you so we keep the tradition alive:

Easter Pie (makes one 12” pie, serves 6-8)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ingredients:

Crust
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (adjust as necessary)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coarse black pepper
1/3 cup water (add more if needed to mix flour, but be careful!)
3 eggs well beaten

Filling
3 oz salami or other cured meats
5 oz ham
2 oz crumbled pancetta
2-3 hardboiled eggs (whole or chopped, whatever you like)
3 oz pecorino romano cheese
3 oz provolone cheese
1-3 oz mozzarella or other cheese as “filler” to stretch the filling as desired
Italian seasonings (we use basil, oregano, and parsley), about 2 tbsp

201297_1973999437509_2180694_oMethod:
Combine ingredients for crust and work into a ball. Ball should be moist but not sticky. Separate the ball into two equal portions, one for the top and one for the bottom. Roll them very thin to the size and shape of a medium pizza (bigger is better). Place the bottom piece of dough on a baking stone/pizza pan sheet.

Chop ingredients for filling into small pieces, except for the hard boiled eggs.

Roll the dough balls into disks, and place one on your baking sheet. Round pizza sheets work best! Place the hard boiled eggs on the bottom of crust. Cutting them in half long-ways works best. Mound the filling up on the bottom dough, then cover the filling with the top piece.

Trim the excess dough, making two braids, four “pretzel” shapes with three loops each (about 1 1/2 inches across), and a crown of whatever design works. Serrate the edge of the pie, that represents the Crown of Thorns. Criss-cross the braids, those represent the whips with which Jesus was beaten.

Place the one “pretzel” in each quadrant made by the braids, each represents the Trinity (three loops). Place the crown on top, that’s Jesus’ crown as King of Kings.

Brush the whole pie with egg yolk, sprinkle liberally with sugar, and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees, checking often to make sure it doesn’t burn on the edges. Cover the edges or crown with foil as needed. When cooked all the way through, let rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Enjoy warm or cold. Some like to dip it in marinara sauce as well.  Buona Pasqua!


Mickey's Rules for Leaders eBook CoverMickey believes everyone can reach high levels of performance if inspired and led. During his 28 year US Air Force career Mickey commanded thousands of Airmen, managed portfolios worth billions of dollars, and worked with military, civil, and industry officials around the world. He is a Distinguished Graduate from the Eisenhower School at National Defense University in Washington DC.

Mickey is the author of seven books, including Leading Leaders: Inspiring, Empowering, and Motivating Teams and The 5 Be’s For Starting Out. He’s a frequent contributor to industry publications and writes for his own Leading Leaders blog, and GeneralLeadership.com.

Here I Am, Send Me

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Holidays

There’s a statue of Airman on the Academic Circle at Maxwell AFB, Alabama with a simple inscription: Here I am, send me.

That’s what we thank veterans for on Veteran’s Day. We remember their service because when their country called, asking “Whom should I send? Who will go for us?”,  young men and women stepped forward and said, “Send me.”

Ours is an all volunteer military, no one is forced into military service in the United States. That means that our military is staffed with people who, in time of war, volunteered to serve. They said, “Send me.”

To our country’s warriors past and present, God bless you and keep you.

Remembering 11 September 2001

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Holidays

On this Patriot Day, it’s hard to believe it’s been 14 years. I remember my thoughts and feelings so vividly that day, and I remember passing over the still burning wreckage in Manhattan in July 2002 as I went to join my comrades at war. Let’s pause and remember the lives lost, lives spared, and heroes proved on that terrible day and resolve to ensure it never happens again.

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In Memoriem

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Holidays, Quotes by Famous Leaders, Veterans

image

“It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.”

– William Tecumseh Sherman, General, US Army

My deepest thanks to the men women who’ve given their “last full measure of devotion” and to the families who “laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom.” Good Memorial Day to all

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou! (And Giveaway) -UPDATED Winner!

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in Giveaways, Holidays

image

UPDATE:
Marc is our winner, congrats! Look for an email from me with instructions on how to claim your prize!

Happy New Year from Hawaii!

I’ll resume weekly blogging next week, but in the mean time I thought I’d ask you to comment with your 2015 goals. A few of my goals for 2015 are to ride in the Haleiwa Metric Century and Honolulu Century Ride, and to publish at least one book and one article in a mainstream business mag.

Goal setting is different from resolution making in two important ways. First, good goals are usually more concrete and achievable. Second and perhaps most importantly, people actually intend to reach goals while resolutions usually die out by March. (Just compare the gym on Jan 2nd and March 2nd for some validation of that last statement!) Leaders should take the time to set personal goals, and keep them in mind as the year progresses. Don’t forget to reach a little when goal setting! A well-balanced leader can harmonize personal and professional/organizational goals; a practice that inspires his teammates to be well-balanced people too. Healthy employees make for a productive team!

Now for the giveaway!

I’m giving away a signed copy of Leading Leaders to one lucky reader. All you have to do to enter is comment below with at least one (1) of your 2015 goals! Winner will be selected at random on Jan 3, and the names posted on Jan 4th!

With warm aloha from Hawaii and best wishes from my family to you and yours!

Pearl Harbor Day 73rd Anniversary

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Holidays, Veterans

image

We’re privileged to live near hallowed ground: the battleground where 2,000 Americans lost their lives on December 7, 1941 during the attack on the military bases on Oahu. It’s humbling to live and work in a place where the history is never locked away in a book or museum, but part of our everyday lives.

Each morning I climb the stairs to my office in Building 1102 at Hickam Field past the scars of that day. In those days, what is now the headquarters of the US Pacific Air Forces was the barracks for the Airmen of the Hawaiian Air Force. One hundred eighty-nine men lost their lives in my building, another 303 were wounded. I remember them each time I see the bullet holes in the stairsand the walls outside. Seeing those battle scars everyday is a constant reminder of the importance of the work we do to keep the peace in the Pacific.

Technology allows us to participate in the remembrance ceremonies, even from far away.

The National Park Service and the U.S. Navy will host a joint memorial ceremony commemorating the 73rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor on Sunday, December 7, 2014 on the main lawn of the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, looking directly out to the USS Arizona Memorial, at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

Follow the remembrance ceremony live on the Web.

This Pearl Harbor Day, pause a moment and remember the heroes of December 7th and all our World War II veterans. May the fallen rest in peace, and the veterans enjoy the peace so dearly bought and bravely won.

Fun Facts About American Thanksgiving

Posted Leave a commentPosted in From the Blogs, Holidays

Via Stars And Stripes

Thanksgiving is among America’s most popular holidays, a time for food, family and football in celebrations that date back to the earliest days of the nation. In fact, the history of Thanksgiving is more complicated than the national myths about “Turkey Day.”

Here are some facts about the holiday that you may not have known:

Read the rest here.

”But Young Men Think It Is… ”

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There’s a famous poem by World War I poet-soldier A.E. Housman entitled Here Dead We Lie that speaks to me about the cost of war, and the courage of the men and women who fight them. When ever I’ve visited a military cemetery or seen a soldier’s grave at a civilian cemetery, I often think of Housman’s poem.

Here dead we lie
Because we did not choose
To live and shame the land
From which we sprung.

Life, to be sure,
Is nothing much to lose,
But young men think it is,
And we were young.

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The words are melancholy, and remind us that although sometimes we have to fight there’s always a terrible cost. We do our best work as soldiers when we keep the peace.

This Memorial Day, my hope is that each of us will pause and reflect on the courage and sacrifice of the men and women who’ve laid their lives down to defend our country, to liberate the oppressed, and to confront aggressors. If you know a Gold Star Family, please seek them out and thank them for their loved ones’ service. Don’t forget to thank them for their continued service as they bear the burden of a family member absent from their lives. If you’re so inclined, I’d also ask you to consider donating to a local veteran’s memorial fund.