Saturday, April 29, 2017

Own It

No matter how often you have heard this before, you and you alone have to come to grips with any definition of success; it has to be yours, not someone else's. Doing your best at what seems like a lousy job is not a means of survival but of seeing the possibilities of winning. The most common stumbling block to success is when people, for one reason or another, tell themselves their best efforts will neither be needed nor recognized .

 Those that can give four dollars worth of work for every three dollars of pay will be doing far more than earning points with their boss , they will be creating their own conditions for success. Such success need only be a standard of pride in oneself, it will be enough. It will be enough, and more than likely , it will ultimately be recognized by others.

Friday, April 28, 2017

True Success

From Muhammad Ali-

Success is not achieved by winning all the time. Real success comes when we rise after we fall.
I am grateful for all my victories, but I am especially grateful for my losses, because they only made me work harder.
No one starts at the top. You have to work your way up. Some mountains are higher than others, some roads steeper than the next. There are hardships and set backs, but you can't let them stop you. Even on the steepest road, you must not turn back. You must keep going up. In order to reach the top of the mountain, you have to climb every rock.

True success is reaching our potential without compromising our values.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Build your foundation

Build your foundation upon faith.
In life, there will be setbacks. There will be challenges, there will be obstacles.
Sometimes you may feel as if your obstacles are insurmountable.
These are the times you must be strong.
If you experience prejudice or injustice, keep your head up and your heart open.
Bitterness will only weaken you. Don't let anger consume you.
Never let resentment into your heart - it will only weigh you down.

Muhammad Ali

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Take Responsibility

Take responsibility for everything you do.

One great quality that Leaders have is the ability to take responsibility- we all know that responsibility ultimately gravitates to the person who can shoulder it. We must be strong enough.
The more you stand behind what you do or what you decide, the more you will be able to feel that it is a reflection of yourself.
It is your integrity that is at stake when you genuinely take responsibility for what you do.

Make clear choices and stand behind those choices.
Be fully present in whatever you are doing.- Once you have committed yourself to an activity, an appointment, a relationship, you have committed yourself to being there in an active and engaged way. Integrity means consciously committing yourself to reality, to what is right under your. Nose. It means emerging yourself wholeheartedly in whatever you are doing.

Committing yourself to reality means doing everything you can to eliminate comparisons, fantasizing, wishing, or all the other mental distractions that not only take you out of the moment but also rob you of your power.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Do your homework

Do your homework.
There is no such thing as being overprepared , especially in today's highly competitive marketplace where changes are occurring at lightning pace.
If you are committed to a particular profession, you must know everything you must everything you could possibly know about that profession. If you are applying for a job , you must know everything there is to know about the company and the people who work for it.

You must always operate on the axiom that knowledge is power, and the more knowledge you have about something, the more completely you can control the situation.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Establish good habits

We all have habits that we've picked up consciously or subconsciously over the years.
But are they good habits, or are they leading us toward failure?

The trick is to develop good habits- ones based on proper technique- and master the art of repetition so that these habits become second nature.
The only way we systematically acquire good habits is by being organized. We start of each day knowing their is a purpose in everything we do. The day is not merely something that happens to us. It's something we control and shape with our actions. Getting organized will start to put some discipline in our lives, give our day the structure that we all need. If we're not organized, we set ourselves up to be unfocused, to underachieve and ultimately fail, our best intentions wasted.

Do not put things off. 
Do the unpleasant things early in the day, thus freeing yourself for what you enjoy doing. Get yourself in shape to be mentally and physically prepared for your day and strive to impress not only the people that you are meeting for the first time but also the people you see every day.

Do your homework.

Saturday, April 22, 2017


Good skills are essential, and they start with listening. The ability to interact with people in meaningful ways on a daily basis is essential to the long term relationships we want to build with them and to the impressions those people will have of us.

One thing yo avoid is having to be right all the time. Many people make this mistake and in their desire to always be right, they inhibit constructive communication and prevent relationships from developing. Your goal is to communicate better, not to win every discussion or treat every conversation as if it's a contest with a winner and a loser.

You always must communicate both your needs and goals to other people so that everyone can benefit from this knowledge. People want to know why they are being asked to do things. They want to feel they are part of the process. So don't things fester. Confront problems immediately because if they are not attended to and dealt with, they invariably get worse.

The key is not to burn bridges.
You are trying to create allies , not enemies.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Be the adult

We do not always agree so rather than stamp your feet - Be the Adult.
I see it every day in business, people get ticked off at someone and they start being negative and pushing back and the gap gets bigger and the device gets wider and most times it gets to a point of no return... be the adult.
If you lost it already with that person then swallow your pride and apologize, start again..find the bridge.
You do this for yourself as much as for them, it is so much easier to have allies when you go to work then enemies and it grows because people talk, Facebook, tweet, email..and before you know it your reputation has taken a hit. Rather you are right or wrong you spend your energy and time deflecting and being defensive and then you hit is all exhausting.
Be the Adult and find a way to gain allies and do your job better, not once in a while but every day.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Love- Power - Money-

Love-Power and Money are the three things that drive us -
They are reasons why we do what we do- every day.
We all need someone to love and we need confirmation that what we do matters.
We all look for Power, either individually or over others.
We all need money to survive.
Knowing we all have that in common where we differ is where we put our emphasis and time and what we prioritize.
Power and money are the evils and they can rule our every day if we allow it.
More power leads to more money..but how much is enough ?
Springsteen has a lyric that says poor men want to be rich - rich men want to be king.
He also has a lyric that says Listen to your junk man.
Both lines are very prolific and true.
If we allow power and money to rule our very life and our every day we lose our soul, all those people you may envy because they have the fancy cars and the big boat and toys have most likely sold a bit of themselves to have them and to maintain them, it is never enough.
Meanwhile that blue collar worker like a junk man may not have that glamorous job or that big boat or toys but listen to Springsteen goes on to say in the song - he's singing..
Try not to get caught up with the Power and the money and concentrate more on the love .. singing is much better way to go to work then teeth clenched and stressed.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The cycle

There is a lyric in a song that says " I drink because I'm lonesome and I am lonesome because I drink".
Another says " hurt people- hurt people "
We lash out at people because we are angry , and we get angry with ourselves for lashing out.
All cycles.
How do we break the cycle? First -recognize it, second -stop blaming yourself, third- make a conscience effort to change.
You will never break the cycle until you do the first two, then you need to get up every day and repeat one and two. If you need help ask for it, that is also part of the process. 
Baby steps.
I wrote a blog piece earlier about the difference from speaking the truth and hurting people, there is a way to confront those that effect us without being mean or destructive. Think how you want to say it and when and if you feel yourself losing it back off and try again another day.
The idea is to build bridges not walls, that is with yourself as much as it is with others.
You CAN break the cycle IF you decide you want to.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

PowerPoint Presentations

Back a few decades PowerPoint presentations were the rage, if you were presenting and didn't use it then you were oblsolete. Now everyone uses them and they are boring as hell.
Most presenters have no clue how to best use their PowerPoint so they end up throwing up graphs and statistics and then follow it up by reading them...boring.
If you know your product and you are excited about it then show your audience, once you start reading your slides or throwing up bar graphs you start losing your audience one by one.
If you are going to use a PowerPoint just throw up your basic talking bullets of your talking points and/or pictures to drum home your speech.
Keep your audience focused on you and your message NOT trying to read a screen from 10-30 feet away.
It is best to also include your audience, use them to drive home your point , study them ahead of time.
Knowing your audience and preparing properly is the key to a good presentation.
Do not rely on slides.. practice your presentation several times. I use to go through my whole presentation with my wife or kids and make notes a long the way.
Do not miss a great opportunity to convey your thoughts and passion by being lazy or to slick, just be yourself and speak from the heart..not from a PowerPoint.

Monday, April 17, 2017


Learning is always challenging yourself.
You always hear the same line in great athletes, their toughest critic is themselves.
Block out the noise and what other people are doing or what they think and concentrate on doing what you do better - Challenge Yourself -
How can you improve your part of the process ?
How you do your job better ?
If you did good today, how can you do it better tomorrow?
Especially with today's technology there is always ways we can improve, don't settle.
One thing for sure there will always be someone around you that is hungrier and maybe more motivated, don't be envious or angry - be motivated-.
Learn every day, learn from everyone around you every day, rather it is their attitude or their process or style - take it in and make a mental note and see the positive.
Challenge Yourself !

Friday, April 14, 2017

What If

If God had a name what would it be?
And would you call it to his face?
If you were faced with Him in all His glory
What would you ask if you had just one question?
And yeah, yeah, God is great
Yeah, yeah, God is good
And yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah
What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Tryin' to make his way home?
If God had a face what would it look like?
And would you want to see if, seeing meant
That you would have to believe in things like heaven
And in Jesus and the saints, and all the prophets?
And yeah, yeah, God is great
Yeah, yeah, God is good
And yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah
What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Tryin' to make his way home?
Just tryin' to make his way home
Like back up to heaven all alone
Nobody callin' on the phone
'Cept for the Pope maybe in Rome
And yeah, yeah, God is great
Yeah, yeah, God is good
And yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah
What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Tryin' to make his way home?
Just tryin' to make his way home
Like a holy rolling stone
Back up to heaven all alone
Just tryin' to make his way home
Nobody callin' on the phone
'Cept for the Pope maybe in Rome

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Money and Power

Money and Power is unfortunately the driving force in everything around us.
As soon as we " grow up " and enter adulthood money takes over, that is why we think so fondly about our youth. When we are very young before money takes over we enjoy the simple things, we have time for the simple things and we only know stress from what we see in adults.

Then we turn 16 and want a car, well that cost money and we need gas and insurance and so it begins.
It is a real shame because we only have so much time here on this planet and we only have so many hours in the day and we give most of it up for money. Then the real shame is we end up having to " play the game" and sometimes follow the leader even if we know the leader may be wrong or simply not nice but the leader has the Power, the other and power.

Power is normally driven by wanting and needing more money and to gain and retain power some will sell their soul if they must.

Business is cruel and in my over 40 years in business I have seen it get uglier.
From the 80's till now I have seen a change for the worse, leaders are now not home grown and are not plucked from the working force.
Because Leaders are not working their way up the ladder as they use to they do not really know what the workers do, thus the show Undercover Boss, I have only seen a few episodes but bosses are sent down amongst the workers and are astonished on how hard they work and their life stories.
It is hard to gain respect from your peers when you do not earn your way up and without their true respect it is hard to lead.

I have seen the separation of power and money and the leaders and the true workers even get more separated. To the top now their workers are numbers and in the way of making more profit. Because they did not work their way up they forget their workers are the reason they even have a place of business and are the reason WHY they profit.

But because they want more power to obtain more money they will run over who ever they have to.
I am sure there may be some small buissnsees out there that do not adhere to this theme but they are getting few and far between. I know friends and family in all walks of life and very different occupations but they all have the same exact stories, people in leadership positions that just don't get it and just don't really care about real change or their workers.

Power and money should NOT be our compass. There is so much more in life to enjoy, look around, try to remember your youth.. don't sell your soul.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


The thing about liars is they lie so much they truly start to believe their own lies and there lies the biggest problem.
I relate liars to alcoholics, you see only when a alcoholic admits to himself  that he or she has a problem can they begin to heal and change and the more liars lie and they more they live in their alternative universe the less chance they have to see themselves. And that is the crazy part, just like an alcoholic where everyone else can see that they have a drinking problem the same is true with liars.
 Maybe like an alcoholic they have glimpses of clarity, when sober most alcoholics have moments that they know they have problem, unfortunately they normally mask those feelings with more booze and so continues their cycle and spiral.
 Do these liars have moments of clarity?
I am not sure that people that create these lies and their alternative universe have moments of clarity because what happens is they normally form a circle of those that just go along with them , maybe they hold power of some kind and all though people see through their BS they find it safer and easier to just agree and nod their heads.
The harm is then the liars never really get the truth fed back to them and it just feeds into their world and their lies get bigger and deeper, just like alcoholics liars will have their day of reckoning too and both have a wake of people they leave along the way.
I see this more in more in life, business and politics, speaking truth to power sounds noble and easy but when the person spewing the BS holds the power it can be challenging to say the least. People will most likely either go along or simply separate themselves if possible , either way the head BS'er remains in his or her world and most likely hurting others along the way.
As always we can only truly ever change ourselves so remember the only true path is one of honesty.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


I recently heard a cancer survivor tell her story and she said her husband told her as she was going through her treatments- don't die before you die.
For some reason those that go through cancer treatments and survive are much more in funded that tomorrow is never promised, well I guess there isn't a big mystery why they are in tune , it is because they were threatened and all of a sudden they realized all they had taken for granted.
Why does it take for us to almost lose something to appreciate what we have?
Take a moment and give thanks for all you have, I often tell people that if you are healthy and your family is healthy then the rest is minor. Don't waste a day being angry or vengeful, it will weigh you down and waste your energy. We only have so much oxygen and energy in a day- use it positively.
Do not wait for someone to take something good away from your life for you to appreciate it.
And do not be afraid to reach high and take on more - Don't die before you die.

Monday, April 10, 2017


If you want to improve- plan ahead!
Planning is pivotal to avoiding stress and succeeding, it does not mean you will never have issues or problems but it sure will shrink down the possibilities.
Think ahead, what will you need to do your job ? How much time will you need to do it.
Do you need help or assistance? What about goals for the week or the month?
Learning from our mistakes is crucial in our planning.
If you wait till the last minute to plan you are setting yourself to fail and it is all a reflection on you. At the end of the day you can point the finger elsewhere if there are problems but it falls to you and it is your reputation. 
Ask questions, there are basic questions that you know you should ask - ask them. Today we have many tools at our fingertips with google and applications- use them. Become self sufficient, the less you rely on others the more you stay in control and remember it is your reputation .
Plan ahead !

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Your House

Just worry about YOUR house !

Do not worry about all the drama or what the other guy is doing or who said what to who..just worry about yourself and your family.

It is easier said then done especially these days of the social media it is vey easy to get sucked into stuff that has nothing to do with you or sucked irmors and gossip...DON'T.

Before the days of cell phones and the internet when a new driver would come on board he would ask for my suggestions and how they could succeed. They already knew how to do their job, load, pack, build a tier in their trailer etc so the biggest thing I would say is to avoid truck stops because that is where other drivers would fill their heads with all their negative. 
Drivers would go into truck stops whistling and happy and come out pissed off and angry and all over stuff that most likely had nothing to with them. 

Of course not in all cases but the moral of the story is just worry about your house and how to improve what you do and remember the positive and why you are even out there to begin with..
to provide for your family...YOUR HOUSE.

Friday, April 7, 2017


Honesty is definitely the best policy.

Be yourself, be honest with others and you will go a long way.
Being honest also means to not be hurtful, there is a time and place for everything.
Some people take great pride in saying whatever they want to who ever they want and pass it off by saying I am just being honest. Being honest does not give you a free pass to hurt people or to spread gossip that may effect others.

Be smart, you know what is hurtful and what is not.
When in doubt take a breath and pass, you have nothing to gain by slamming others. You can be honest and true to yourself without bringing others down.
 Plus always remember you may not know the whole story anyway so give them the benefit of the doubt, say your side and leave it at that.

Everyone is going through something and it may effect them at the time, on that day and it that situation, you will be there some day too and will appreciate it when others give you the space you may need.

It comes back around- be honest but not mean or hurtful.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Losers and winners

The one thing I have learned in business is losers look for someone to blame and winners look within.
Everyone messes up, it's is how we learn. If you do not mess up you are probably not reaching outside your comfort zone or working hard.
It comes with the territory but I have found that some people cannot admit to to their mistakes or their failures, they need to blame someone else- anyone else.
People that are confident in themselves make mistakes too but they do not blame other people, even when other people may even have contributed, they shoulder the heat, learn and move on.
People who fail and need to blame others need to take a good look in the mirror, what could they have done better? How can they prevent making the same mistake again ?
When you point to other people or name other people when things go a stray you just look weak.
Walk tall, learn from your failings, get up and hit the wall again and always shoulder the blame.
Don't look weak.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

What it is all love

A response from my last blog posting from my daughter-

 Thank you, Dad!  I feel so blessed to have strong supporters in my life, and I don't know how they pick which family to send you down the chute to after they tickle you with the feather up in the clouds and the green light turns to FAMILY, but I can't believe my luck that I landed with you and Mom and Michael David.  When I started teaching, I really just could not even believe the giant range of childhood experiences people can have.  I realized HOW MUCH I had taken it for granted that Michael and I had two parents who loved us so completely and wholly, and who worked hard and took such good care of us and fed us dinner every night and listened to us and read to us and told us school was important and danced with us and said we could do anything we wanted and meant it.  Most of my students came from one-parent homes, or lived with an aunt or a grandmother or in foster care, and their families were all doing what they could, but there were sometimes issues of addiction or abuse or neglect, or family members in prison.  I reflected every single day-- and still do-- on how amazingly strong my foundation at home was.  I want Gus to feel as loved and supported as I always have, so thank you for teaching me how to be a parent.  I love you so much, Dad!

Little Miss Magic, Ph.D.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


It is good to see results.
It is satisfying to see results, especially in long range plans and/or strategies and even more satisfying when it comes to simple philosophies of life.
Like everyone else I had no experience in parenting but I had a vision and a philosophy and I knew I wanted to do my best to create a loving and happy home when I was married.
I also knew that I wanted my children to have a good education, no one in my family had ever gone to college that was something the rich folk did. I was raised by hard working parents and grandparents, my grandparents came here from Portugal , they all worked hard and normally held more than one job at a time but college was never mentioned. I was determined to somehow give my kids the opportunity for a higher education and knew that my wife and I would just figure it out along the way, and we did.
Both my son and daughter graduated college and have very good careers in education and yesterday my daughter earned her PhD in Philosophy and is a Doctor..amazing. My mom was always proud of my kids and has passed on now but I know that she would have been crying and smiling yesterday.
Yes, it sure is satisfying and rewarding when you have a goal, a vision, a philosophy and you stick to it and follow your heart ..I can attest that it works and there is no greater feeling.
Follow your heart and don't listen to the nay Sayers or the negative, go for the results you envision.

Congratulations Dr. Jillian!

                                       Jillian on the swing set with her son Gus- the sky is the limit

Monday, April 3, 2017

It's business

To quote The Godfather " It's not Personal , It's Business

People have a tendency to make everything personal, especially when it comes to business, years ago when I started in dispatch one of the VP's asked if my manager " liked" me , he said that if he " liked" me I was all set. At the time I did not respect my manager he was very mean to a lot of people and did even do his job well or know dispatch very well  but I put on my blinders and just did my job as I was new there and needed my job.
I thought rather he liked me or not should not be the question, the question should be - do I do my job well.
That was my first real introduction into how some businesses work and I didn't like it. People should not have to worry about kissing up to their boss or worried about if their boss likes them, they should only be concerned about doing a good job and constantly learning how to do it better.
When I chose to speak out about management and some of their falsehoods I was told it was because I didn't like them but I always tried to separate the two, my personal feelings and my business opinions, they are separate and my personal feelings I keep private.
You can not always get along with everyone so in work it should be about finding a bridge with everyone, including your boss.
Try not to cloud your mind with rather you " like" a person, - at work  make your decisions on pure business , what is best for YOU and your company and your co- workers. Once you know what is best follow it, if that means eliminating the negative then just do it- rip it off like a band aid and move on.
It's Not Personal, It's Business