The Happy Jar
I just delivered a free speech. I am a great believer in free speech, but an even greater believer in paid speech. However, there are good reasons why someone like me would deliver free speeches. For instance, to support a charity or a cause I believe in. Or if the audience is full of people who hire speakers.
If you've ever spoken at a dinner or ran a workshop at a conference, you'll wince when I mention the dreaded "token of appreciation" presented to the speaker. In your head you think, "Oh no, not another T-shirt." I have my share of T-shirts, golf shirts, letter openers, books that do not interest me, sweets, ball caps, and pens. I don't need any more.
Sigh. I suppose that's the price of free speech.
Which brings me to my recent free speech, at the end of which I braced myself to face Dreaded Token. I was presented with a lovely gift bag brimming with colorful paper -- the perfect camouflage to conceal Dreaded Token until he was ready to pounce. Mercifully, Madam Group President did not make me open the bag in front of everyone.
As I was preparing to leave, I sneaked a peak inside the bag. To my surprise, there was a candy jar with dozens of tiny plastic smiley faces glued to the lid. Around the lid were foam-rubber multi-colored letters that read "Happy Guy". Wow! It was hand-made. Madam Group President took the time to craft a personal gift. How thoughtful. Dreaded Token, you have met your match. Meet Happy Jar.
If you have ever been a parent, valuing more the hand-made card your little daughter scribbles for you than any present she could buy, you know how I felt when I met Happy Jar. I can't wait for my daughter to be old enough to draw so I can feel that way more often.
In life, little things really do count. You might be tempted to dismiss them, but they are the seeds that grow up into the garden of your life. Not all little things are good, but yours can be ? if you are willing to make a small effort. Madam Group President could have handed me a T-shirt or a ball cap or leftover fruit cake from last Christmas. (Yes, I was once presented with left-over fruitcake.) But she invested her effort instead and I have something wonderful to write about today.
You can make someone's day just by making that same little effort. I sent an encouraging e-mail to lift a friend's spirits today. It worked. Those carefully chosen words brought her mood right back up. I'm sure you can guess how great that made me feel, too.
When Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the epic This Is The Place raved to me about the writing in my book, I felt on top of the world. (It's not the huge $75 royalty checks every three months that inspire authors to write.) She then raved to Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com and a dozen other book review web sites. Do I have to tell you how her little extra effort made me feel?
I know I am blessed to be surrounded by so many thoughtful people, but I also know that we reap what we sow. What are you sowing? Are you making the time to give a little extra to people around you? Are you sowing seeds of happiness in your garden of life?
With the right seeds and a little extra effort, you may find more Happy Jars in your life than Dreaded Tokens. And of course, let us not forget the magic words to keep those Happy Jars coming: "Thank you Madam Group President."
David Leonhardt is The Happy Guy. He is a motivational speaker and author of Climb Your Stairway to Heaven: the 9 habits of maximum happiness. Buy the book at Amazon.com.
About The Author
David Leonhardt is The Happy Guy, and author of Climb your Stairway to Heaven: the 9 habits of maximum happiness.
Visit him at http://www.TheHappyGuy.com
Leadership Is Action?Not Position!
People respond to good leadership! Period! It is in all aspects of our lives, not just business. A mother is a leader in her home; a son may be leader of a team sport or a daughter the leader of the debate team. A group relies on the person in charge to actually lead them to success. A true leader is highly ethical, honest and respected.
The Death of Potential
While reading my latest book on politics and economics, I came across a reference to a bible story called "Parable of the Talents'. In this story three servants are each give 'talents' (a monetary denomination used by the Greeks). To the first, the master gave 5 talents, to the second he gave 2 and to the third he gave 1 talent. The master gave each a different amount of money (talents), according to their ability. Two of the servants doubled their money and the master was pleased with their results. The third servant, fearful of losing it, buried his money where no one benefited from it, including himself. When the master summoned the third servant to get an accounting of what he had done with his talent, he was angry and displeased to find out the servant had simply buried it and where the money had no opportunity to earn interest. The servant tried to explain to the master that he knew how 'exacting' the master was and he did not want to lose His money. The master didn't buy it. He ordered that the one talent be given to the first servant who was able to convert 5 talents into 10. (Reference Matt 25:14 and Luke 19:12). Although I believe the story or parable was strictly about economics and frugality, it can be extended to include, not only money, but true talents (i.e., ability). The cornerstone of my book, The Logic of Success, is the premise that unless you find out what it is you were meant to do, true happiness will elude you. Finding out what it is you truly want takes time, patience and perseverance. In the first chapter I discuss how to create 'search patterns' to find your true calling. (Get a Free copy at www.thelogicofsucccess.com). Now, I want go beyond the obvious of telling you about your hidden talents (you already know you have one, two or more). I want to address the 'How' talents were (and are) buried within us. As children, we all loved to discover new things. We even did things when others advised us not to (e.g., touching the stove when Mom said it was hot). We wanted to learn, we wanted to discover for ourselves the world around us. Failure and pain were not yet transformed into anxieties. As we got older, we were expected to act a little more responsible and accountable for our actions. Like in any soap opera drama, this is the scene in your life where 'society' steps in and starts benevolently imposing its norms on your behavior. You are now expected to:
Communication Skills & Leadership - Organizational Communications Processes in Leadership Activity
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By definition a leaders leads a team to take action in favor of the vision.
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J. Paul Getty planned to enter the U.S. Diplomatic Service, but, when he got out of college, the Oklahoma oil boom caught his attention. Since his father had already prospered in the oil business, he was irresistibly attracted to the prospects of wildcatting, and he decided to postpone his diplomatic ambitions for two more years.
Mr. Shoaffs Simple Strategies to Success
(Excerpted from the Jim Rohn Sampler single CD)
Helping Others Develop Their Potential
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A Lasting Leadership Lesson: How One Leadership Talk By George Washington Saved The Revolution
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A Leader?s Ultimate Goal ? Connect to Engage!
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Leadership Success and its Greatest Barrier: the Law of Administrivia
Years ago, a very wise, and often cynical boss of mine asked me for a definition of management. After reflecting on the question I proceeded to give him an intellectually careful and, I thought, accurate definition. He allowed me to complete the answer and then came back with his definition which was, "Management is just one darn thing after another." After having a good laugh, I thought about his remark and concluded that he had basically identified what makes life so challenging for those in leadership positions. The flow of "things to do" never seems to stop.
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My grandfather used to speak of the days when people drove the world. It was a time when people were proud to contribute and move society and industry forward at full steam. But, people were proud of themselves! However, before he died, one of his observations was that "we have come to mediocre times."
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There lives within every individual a power, an energy, an incandescence of spirit that is being constantly held in check, like a dimmer switch turned way down.
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Lee (L.B.) Weiss (Sept. 21/25 ? April 30/82)
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