Friday, November 17, 2017

John and Jillian…here’s how life works…or should...

“You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” Coach John Wooden

I believe that we all wonder, every now and then, if the good things we do when no one is watching come back to us…you know…the karma thing.

Yesterday, I had a wonderful example that they do.

I was in a meeting that did not look like it was going to end well. As things wound down a staff member came in with some information that totally changed the direction of the meeting; turning it into a huge win.

Jillian is one of those “easy to like” folks. Always positive and up-beat, she showed initiative in finding the information needed to take the meeting to a different level. 

There are tons of people who would never have gone to the trouble. They either aren’t aware or avoid anything that doesn’t directly impact their job and them.

Jillian didn’t have to step up, but she did. I don’t know if her actions were karma payback for some of my efforts or…and this is even more interesting…a good deed that I’m supposed to return. 

Look around, what simple, good deeds can you perform? Open a door, pick up a piece of trash, let someone in a line on the highway. I’m convinced that the little, good things mount up.


Whatever the process, thanks, Jillian…I’ll keep it going.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Lying, posturing and down-right slithering-in-the-mud low-lifeness.

If you’re like me you’re about 99 percent tired of all the political silliness, intrigue, lying, posturing and down-right slithering-in-the-mud low-lifeness.

Seriously, don’t you think the sentence above encapsulates what’s going on?

Over half of Americans are worried about what’s going on the country today. 

According to Time Magazine, The American Psychological Association (APA) just released the results of its annual Stress in America survey. The survey showed that the biggest stressor for 63% of us is the state of the U.S. 

The other two top vote-getters were money (62%) and work (61%).

The tough thing about all this is that when it comes to our thoughts about America we are getting more and more polarized in terms of what we watch, who we talk to, who we believe, what we think and what we say. 

And, that ain’t helping!

Here’s a simple start to getting a grip: It’s one question, a suggestion, and one more question.

When folks start spouting the stuff you disagree with, simply say, “That’s interesting. Why do you believe that?”

Now, here’s the suggestion: Don’t automatically assume they’re an idiot or a bad person. They simply have a different take on the situation than you do. One of the biggest problems for us right now is belief that folks who think differently are idiots and/or bad people. When we think that our feelings and thoughts about them take off into some dangerous territory (Ex. let’s do away with them to make the country better…sound familiar?)

Finally, here’s the second question (and it’s a tuffy): Can I resist telling them what I think if they don’t ask? Too often the only reason we engage people is to tell them what we think…or complain…over half of our conversations are of a negative nature…so, think about it.

That’s it…question…suggestion…question.


If you are concerned about where America is going and you seriously want the future to be better, actually listening to each other is the first step.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

“So…what’d ya think was going to happen?”

That’s the question I always want to ask folks who come to one of my programs without anything to write with nor anything to write on.

I get that fact that it could be any of these issues:
Lots of folks aren’t in meetings or educational opportunities very often. 
They aren’t in jobs in which tools like pads and paper are used.
They don’t have a very high opinion of continued education or staff development training
They didn’t have positive experiences in earlier educational settings 

But, my take on it is that anytime—as an adult—you are in any sort of meeting you can’t rely on your memory.

So, for work meetings, doctor’s appointments for yourself/children/parents/etc., parent/teacher conferences…anything in which you need to remember information…


You need something to write with and something to write on.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Tomorrow I'm Dressing Up As the New Mike...How About You?

As I’m sure you know, tomorrow is Halloween. 

If your costume for Halloween was the “New You” what would it be like? 

Here’s the interesting part: Give a thought to what your outside would look like…but, spend more time on what your inside would be like.

Think about your life in terms of Fun (easy to tell what is most important to me by what comes first), Mental/Intellectual, Physical, Spiritual, Financial, Relationships, Career, Community.

What new habits in these areas would you exhibit in your life?

What’s the New You like?

Monday, October 23, 2017

Being Thrown From the Boat

"My mom said she learned how to swim when someone took her out on the lake and threw her out of the boat. That's how she learned how to swim. I said, 'Mom, they weren't trying to teach you how to swim.'" Comedian Paula Poundstone

Is your history that the only way you learn is through pain and hardship. Maybe there's an easier way.

Maybe you could look for better ways to learn and try some of them.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Believe it or not, today is a BIG Day in more ways than one.

First, it’s National Boss’s Day. Whether you have a good boss or one you’d like to drop down the elevator shaft, find one good thing to say about them…to them. (And no, if the boss is someone you don’t respect and admire, the compliment, “You don’t sweat much for a fat person! does not count) Catch them doing something right. They’ll be appreciative and, in some cases, amazed.

Next, it’s National Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day so let’s start filing or dropping all those cat photos and I HATE DUKE! graphics into the trash.

Speaking of….it’s National Cat Day. If you have a cat…wait, that’s not right…people don’t own cats…cats decide to stay around. Give'em a treat and laugh at their sneer.

And finally, it’s National Liqueur Day. I’m a Grand Marnier guy, but if you want something that is so good you won’t believe it…try Frangelica.


Big Day!!! You can clean your screen, bump your boss, caress your cat and sip some smooth. This is a day to remember!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

What About This Question?

Just received the note below from a seminar participant. She is referring to my suggestion about The Question Corner. In ANY type of meeting you should write, What? Why? Who? Where? When? Where? How? and How Much? in the upper left-hand corner of your notepad. The questions raise your level of attention and retention, help you come up with better questions and lower miscommunication. 

Seems like it worked for her.


Good Evening Mike,

I know we will see each other at class this week, but I was excited and just had to write to thank you.  

Because of your class last week I went into a meeting today with my list of who, what, when, where, why & how much questions.  For the first time, using your tips from class, I was able to listen, ask the appropriate questions and leave the meeting well educated and confident.  I followed up with her after the meeting as instructed.  Because of all this I will be able to put together a strong presentation to the new market.  

Thank you again for your time and knowledge.

Edie