Sunday, April 27, 2008

Happy Birthday!

I happen to manage a large workforce in my current occupation.  Probably around 350-400 employees.   Every month, I sit down and personally sign Birthday cards for my employees. While I'm doing this, I sometimes wonder if they even read them or care.  
Then, as I visit my stores and locations, an employee will approach me and thank me for their card.  And there it is.....the answer I need.  Yes, they do appreciate my effort to recognize the most important day in one's life.  

Happy Birthday!  What do you think about this day?  Have you ever thought about it?  Is it the most important day in a life?  Do you recognize and remember to wish someone Happy Birthday?  

On April 25, 1966, God brought an angel into this world.  She was born in Wheeling, West Virginia.  She would later move to Houston, Texas and at the age of 17, meet a lost, poor boy who would then fall in love with her forever.   On June 16, 1990, she blessed the young man with the ultimate commitment of love, she married him and took his name.  
He would never be the same after that day.  He knew that God would never had introduced an Angel to him if he didn't believe in him and have bigger things in store for his life.   She would be by his side providing him with love, support, and the inspiration to grow up and become a successful man.  Successful in college, business, life, and as a father and husband.  

So this week, on April 25th, I once again thanked God for my Angel as I do every night before I go to sleep.  Her birthday is a day that I recognize as a gift.  It is the most important day in her life and means as much to me, her parents, siblings, children, and close friends, as to her.  

My Angel has blessed me with three other Angels.  My children.  So you can now see why I consider a birthday to be the most important day in life.  It can change many lives, generations, and the world.....

Now go out there and commit to recognizing the birthdays of your loved ones.  Haven't they changed your life?  How hard is it?  

Happy Birthday!   

Sunday, April 20, 2008

CEOs, layoffs, self employment, LIFETIMERS.......

This past week, my employer decided to reduce staffing to "improve shareholder value". Although we were told this was inevitable when we went public with our stock, we could never imagine the extent and depth of these reductions in the workforce.  In situations like this, the company always refers to their people as "staff" or "labor"....... Isn't that funny?  We don't just say "people", we refer to them as workforce, labor, or staff.  When the news or media question the reason for the reductions, the company always says it's what's best for the shareholders.  
These are the people that have invested their money in company stock and look and expect a return on their investment. 
This business model is really interesting.  CEOs basically take over companies and have to improve the bottom line.  The quickest and easiest way to do this is reduce expenses or staff. The remaining workforce must perform more work for the same pay.  This improvement in productivity is then "recognized" by the CEO and shareholders and everyone is told what a fine job they're doing.  
Then, months go by, the stock isn't moving like the Board of Directors expects so the CEO announces another round of reductions...... and so the vicious circle continues.  
The share price goes up, the Senior Managers or "shareholders" get richer, more people lose their jobs.  

I don't blame the CEOs for taking advantage of this model and maximizing their compensation. 
I only took this opportunity to once again remind myself how we need to really take actions to insure our own financial independence and freedom.  This decision will probably not include being employed by a company.  Employment really is another way of defining forfeiture of our freedom or destiny.  We let an entity and it's representatives dictate our financial position. 
A major issue with this model is that when the employer or representative is dissatisfied with our work or output, we can be disposed of and replaced.  

Now look at self employment.  If you run your own business, you may upset one or two clients but you're able to rebound and continue if you diversify your customer base.  

Which business model seems to be the wiser choice if one's truly concerned with managing their "lifetime"?  

Let's all get out there and figure out how to generate income in a new business model where we call the shots and control our own destiny.  

Sunday, April 6, 2008

My Last Lecture

On the front cover of today's Parade magazine there is the story of Randy Pausch, a Computer Science Professor at Carnegie Melon University. He is 48 years old and diagnosed with Terminal Pancreatic Cancer and given only 3 months to live.
He is asked to give his Last Lecture as a Professor and decides not to cancel, instead putting himself in a bottle that would one day wash up on the beach for his children.
He shares a couple of priorities we all should embrace:
  • Always have fun
  • Ask for what you want
  • Dare to take a risk
  • Look for the best in everybody
  • Make time for what matters
  • Let kids be themselves

Rather than try to steal his thunder, I recommend that you visit and search for the article. There is a link to the video of is last lecture on youtube. I will post it on the left side of my blog under favorites for you. It's about an hour and worth watching. How often do we get to give a last lecture or prepare a legacy speech for our family and friends.

This may be an exercise we all should perform. Prepare a Legacy Lecture.

I'm going to start working on mine......

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Easter TIME!

Easter is an interesting time of year for me. My mother passed away on Good Friday and I couldn't help but ponder the coincidence of her passing. She had sacrificed her family to come live in the United States and raise my brother and I. I now appreciate her sacrifice more than ever and even own a pendant in honor of her. The story of the resurrection is often debated and misinterpreted.
I was watching some sermons on television Easter morning and couldn't help but notice a couple of good ones.
The pastor was talking about the importance of Easter and the validity of the story. He went on to make the observation that every person in this country recognizes the story of the resurrection throughout everyday of their lives. How you ask?
By looking at the date or day of week. Our calendar is based on this act. We believe this is the beginning of "time" and mark it as AD. (After Death) We consider all of time before this event as BC (Before Christ).

I thought this was a very interesting observation and it made me appreciate the story of our most popular maker even more. It reminded me how important it is to give thanks on a daily basis for our blessings and live life to the fullest. I could now tie the Date with my opportunity to express my gratitude.

The second sermon was regarding how we should live our lives. The pastor said that there seems to be too much emphasis on living a "humble" and mediocre life when translating the Bible. He went on to say that this was not a teaching of the Bible and that our maker wants us to maximize our lives in every way. This would include our wealth, resources, happiness, family, love, fellowship, etc.....

Again, we only have so much time on this planet, let's make the best of it while we're here in all facets of life. We should pursue joy and not have any regrets or reservations due to other people's sentiments. Just make sure we shine our light on others as we move through time....