Archive for January, 2013

31
Jan
13

read to succeed

motivationalbooksdangerous

Books, books, good for the soul

The more you read the more you know.

The more you know, the more you achieve

So read great books, if you want to succeed!

 

Do you know how much reading it takes to make a difference in your life? A few words are all it takes; and then a few more words and pretty soon you’re spouting this stuff off in meetings or to friends and they are marveling at your brilliant insights.

If you are paid to manage people or to lead a team; if you have direct reports; if you are responsible for getting the resources of various people garnered toward one common goal, then listen very carefully: Reading is not an option for you.  Those under you leadership depend on your judgment and your wisdom to lead them to their individual and collective success.

Do you want to improve? Do you want to improve the lives and status of those under you? If the answer is no, my advice is to immediately go to your HR or supervisor’s office and resign. There are two ways to learn at work : through On-the-Job Training and through the influence of various bosses, co-workers, and subordinates. In short, the people you meet and the books you read.

If you immerse yourself in corporate manuals, instructions, and regulations you become knowledgeable and this is good. But anyone who’s ever sat in the leadership chair for one minute knows that productivity has more to do with how you influence people for the good of the company than with any individual interpretation of a corporate document.

I can remember as a young Captain in the Air Force when a crew chief came up to me. I knew the regulations cold and could recite them in my sleep. We had the best statistics of any unit in the Department of Defense. But when he casually told me that people knew that I was really smart, but sometimes the problem was in how I came across, that bullet went straight to the heart.

You see, people really don’t care what they know until they know you care. I used to think such mantras were touchy-feely hogwash for people who weren’t very smart.  Chalk one up to immature leadership skills. Thank goodness I realized that knowing how to do a job let’s you drive it, but knowing why drives you! And once you’re in the driver’s seat, you can take the team exactly where they need to go with a much smaller chance of wrecks and detours.

So here’s a great way of showing your team that you’re not only a smart, but a very enlightened leader that is intent on truly making the work environment a place of growth and encouragement. Check out our Corporate Read to Succeed Program. For ten dollars per month per employee, you can all learn and think together and find ways to take your establishment to a whole new level! And check out some of the comments by trainers, managers, and speakers that have already seen the transformational power of books at work in their organizations!

24
Jan
13

Invasion of the Mind Snatchers

sutherland_invasion_1978Passion is the element in which we live; without it, we hardly vegetate. 
Lord Byron

Growing up I loved Saturday afternoons in the ‘70s because the Creature Double Feature was on TV. Many of these classics made an impression on me, especially Invasion of the Body Snatchers which was first released in 1956. Several weekends ago, I watched the 1978 remake with Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum, and Leonard Nimoy and all my childhood fears were reanimated, this time in my adult mind.

For those of you who have been living under one of these diabolical pods, the movie is about space invaders who replace human beings with duplicates that appear identical on the surface but are devoid of any emotion or individuality. After the takeover, they explain, life loses its frustrating complexity because all emotions and sense of individuality have vanished. How lovely; prepare to be assimilated!

The movie’s horror component comes from the unstoppable onslaught of dehumanization and the fear of the loss of individual identity as the new creatures attempt to install a tightly organized, conformist society (in 1956, there were many who stated it was a political statement on the advancement of McCarthyism and communism in America).

As I watched the remake, I was struck by how relevant it was in today’s world. As a child of the 60’s and 70’s everything was groovy. Different strokes for different folks. Live and let live. And if you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with.

Today, we are being stripped of our ethical and religious identity and becoming one homogeneous group. There are cities that no longer allow flags or celebrations of religious holidays. Ethnicity is also downplayed as our great melting pot of a nation is becoming bland and non-descript under the scorching heat of political correctness. All is being stripped away; there can be no individual identities as we walk around with a blank stare, buzzing about the hive, doing our drone duties.

No one has any passion so there is no desire to get ahead or change their status. Leave it to the government; after all, absolute power doesn’t corrupt absolutely in our new world order. There is no love, no sacrifice, no frustration; indeed, nothing worth dying for. You can’t make the world a better place for anyone in particular because that upsets the global status quo; shut up and color, you colonialist, capitalist pig. We’re all just vegetative carbon-based units.

Can you imagine?? Why, even the creator who made man in His own image gave him the ability to choose. Are we going to take even that away? Are we trying to create a truly better image of man by stripping away anything that defines our very being?

So wake up people! Stop walking through life asleep and reclaim your individuality, your humanity, your destiny. If you don’t, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness will be a thing of the past, even in your dreams.

 

18
Jan
13

Manipulation with an expectation of vindication

humorkharma

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey

This week international sports-cycling legend Lance Armstrong publicly admitted that he had doped during all seven of his Tour de France victories. This was after years of denial, lying during testimonies, and attacks on those who spoke the truth.

While falls from grace sometimes never happen publicly, with some taking their secrets to the grave, there is no hiding when you do bad things. It all comes out. Karma may not hit you on the head in this lifetime, but it certainly will in the next.

Armstrong’s career was built on ill-gotten gains. It’s no different than conning an old lady out of her savings even if you use that money to feed the poor. You did “good” at the expense of doing “bad” and that is inexcusable. In legalese, they call it the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine: any evidence gained illegally is tainted whether it is accurate or not.

Defenders point to the good he did to help children through his philanthropy and the Livestrong Foundation. Their rationalization is rooted in Machiavellianism where the end justifies the means. Even the Good Book says “Treasures gained dishonestly profit no one, but righteousness rescues from death.”(Proverbs 10:2)

Like any publisher, I look for authors whose work embodies the philosophy and ethics of our readership. I take their written word as proof of their beliefs since most of the time I do not meet them in person. One particular author wrote an extraordinary book of high standards exhorting the reader to live their life in a truthful manner. As soon as the book came out, I discovered the author was not who they represented themselves to be. I immediately pulled the book from our website and other promotional channels. You see, even if it sold 100 Million copies and made me rich beyond my wildest dreams, I don’t want to profit from the fruit of the poisonous inkwell.

No one should be punished for the rest of their lives for white collar crime but if they think an apology and restitution erases the consequences of their actions they are idiots. Trust is like a sheet of paper. Once you wrinkle it up, even though you smooth it out there will always be creases and it will never be seamless again. Think Before you Act, should be changed to Think of the Consequences Before You Act. We can justify anything to ourselves due to our inherently selfish, short-sighted natures. But if we take the next step and consider how this will affect everyone else on the planet, it just might save us from crumpling up everything good we’ve written on the pages of our lives.

11
Jan
13

four things in four years

fourFour years ago this week I made a decision that I knew was coming for the past 45 years. In the words of ole blue eyes, “I’ve lived a life that’s full, I traveled each and ev’ry highway”. But I was ready to travel the biggest unchartered course of all, and ready to no longer be doing things “My Way”. I came home to carry on what my father started.

Here are the top four things I’ve learned over the past four years that have not only kept me alive but actually enabled me to thrive.

  1. It takes time: I recently read a book review on Amazon where the reader stated, “My only disappointment with this book is that it does not offer any real secrets to becoming successful overnight.” That’s right, despite the fact that we live in a society addicted to YouTube videos and reality shows devoid of any reality, there is no such thing as an overnight success. It takes doing things repeatedly for years, sometime decades, or even a lifetime, to gain any traction. If you’re not willing to dedicate your life to sharing your gifts, then you’ve got nothing worth sharing past your 15 minutes of fame. But if you know “why” you are doing what you’re doing, time doesn’t even enter into the equation and you’ll never ask the self-serving question, “how long will it take?”
  2. No one can grow your business but you: If I had a nickel for everyone who promised me they could grow my business I’d have at least $200. The fact is none of them can do this. How do I know? I’ve hired plenty of them to do it! In doing so, I helped them grow their businesses, but after a while I realized they were the only ones in the relationship getting paid. You really are the only one who can truly take yourself to the next level. Sure, you can game the system by timing sales to produce an artificial “bestseller” but that’s not true organic and sustainable growth. I can pay to gain millions of followers on twitter. So what?? Be honest. You do the work. And always remember, if you want it bad, that’s how you’re going to get it, and usually after you paid someone else dearly for it.
  3. Eliminate the waste: My father used to tell me, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” Never were truer words spoken. This gem applies to everything in your life. Stay focused on what you do best and to hell with the rest. And the bottom line is that you must produce a bottom line, otherwise you will not remain viable. Waste can come in the form of people that suck your time, drain your resources, and don’t do what you are paying them to do. If they are not with you, they are against you, and it’s time to eliminate them.
  4. The more you give the more you get: My father told me that the more books he gave away the more money he made. I used to assume it was because he was a salesman of unprecedented skill and star quality. But the truth of his point is that freely sharing books and what he learned from them was his way of tithing. You don’t give to get; that’s trading. You give because that is the true meaning of life. And life rewards us when we comply with this gorgeous truth. I have a plaque in the office given to my father thanking him for donating $200,000 to a particular college. I remember wondering if there would ever be a time when we could do that again in a single year. Well guess what? After four years of numerous free speeches, countless giveaways, sponsorships of wonderful people and events, and the publishing of hundreds of thousands of books, we were able to give $189,500 this year alone. Close enough: I’ll take the cigar!

People ask me how I do it. The answer is simple: stay focused, work hard, use discretion, have a purpose, and try new things. If they work continue; if they don’t discontinue. And that, my tremendous friends, is what I’ve learned in four years!




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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