Advice for the Graduate (Or Anyone Else Wanting to Succeed)

You’re at a great time in your life and it’s time to “get in the game”. In other words, it’s time to make the decision to “Step Up and Play Big”. But, what does that really mean? Consider the following:

To Step Up and Play Big:

  1. You recognize that you alone are responsible for your life, career and future.
  2. You know that you can have more but also recognize that you must be the right person to work for it and earn it.
  3. You recognize that it does not require as much extra effort as one would think to perform at a higher level.
  4. You regularly question the “status quo”  and be open to finding or creating new opportunities
  5. You recognize that your habits define you. As such, you’re always looking for ways to enhance existing habits and learn new ones to help you elevate your game
  6. You see mistakes as an opportunity to learn something new
  7. You know that as you learn and apply new habits and behaviors you begin to stretch the limits of your capabilities. This “stretching” will make you feel uncomfortable.  Your long term success will follow as soon as you realize that you must “get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable”
  8. You don’t play it too safe and accept less than what you are truly capable of doing.
  9. You act with “quiet confidence” – that is, there is no need to talk about what you do or how well you do it; your actions are all that others need to see.
  10. You are willing to confront fear and take risks to move forward. Nothing will come to you unless you act first and that’s where taking risks enters the picture.

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Testimonials – How Not To Ask

I recently received a “form” e-mail from someone who provides services to my business. They wanted to know if I had a minute to provide them a testimonial about the service they provide.

What this business owner failed to release is that every now and then some personal contact with a client is a good thing. You get to know your client better and the challenges they face. That one on one contact also allows you to remind the client first hand about the value you offer. And once they acknowledge that value, you’re in a great position to ask for a testimonial; a referral and even more business. Call me old fashioned but “form” letters are just that “form”. Now I’m sure this business owner was thinking about a fast way to make the request. Sometimes speed needs to take a back seat to building and maintaining a quality business relationship. The only time speed is important is in how you deliver your service and solution to your client. Continue reading

Try Me

Paula and I are wrapping up a fun trip to California where we visited with our son Andrew and his wife Gina and our newest and 7th grandchild Allison Kate Ruisi – born on 3/11/16.

On one day of our visit we took a trip to the Kids-R-Us section of Toys-R-Us to pick up some baby supplies.

While Paula and Gina searched for supplies, I roamed the aisles and eventually gave in to one of my deepest addictions – I cannot resist pushing the “try me” button that toy manufactures include in their packaging to lure more buyers. Continue reading

Fly Like an Eagle

Recently my wife, Paula and I went to the movies (a usual Friday night event) and saw “Eddie The Eagle” starring Taron Egerton (as Eddie) and Hugh Jackman as his coach. The movie while not an Oscar hopeful is a true story and depicts the struggle of one man to achieve his goals in the face of everyone telling him “what he could not do”.

Here’s a little history about Michael Edwards aka – Eddie The Eagle (Source: Wikipedia): Continue reading

Another One (Two) Bites the Dust!

Wounded Warrior Project parts ways with CEO & COO

“The Jacksonville-based Wounded Warrior Project abruptly parted ways Thursday with CEO Steven Nardizzi, & their long-term COO as a result of national news reports that uncovered a dramatic increase in lavish spending habits. A statement released by the board Thursday night said the organization needed new leadership to strengthen some policies and procedures while also helping to restore trust in the organization among all constituencies.”

Well, as the song goes “another one bites the dust!” Actually. In Wounded Warrior’s case, it was two who bit the dust!

When I was promoted to Senior Executive Vice President and a Member of the Office of the Chairman at USLIFE (NYSE), the ink was not yet dry on my press release when I got my first “in your face” lesson in leadership and good judgment from my best friend and closest business associate who said “Congratulations on your promotion but don’t ever believe your press release and do something stupid! You’re our leader and we are all depending on you.” At that moment, I realized that if I was going to be successful in my role as the leader, I needed to earn the trust of my team every day! Continue reading