Saturday, December 12, 2009

Wise Decisions

Read this online article published by on December 2nd, 2009:

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — With a public apology, Tiger Woods disclosed his "personal failings" and acknowledged he had "not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves."

He did not mention the allegations of an affair in Wednesday's statement, saying he would deal with "my behavior and personal failings" alone with his family.

His appeal for privacy likely won't close a shocking saga involving one of the biggest names in sport.

Rachel Uchitel, a New York nightclub hostess who has denied having an affair with Woods, had scheduled a Thursday news conference with her attorney in Los Angeles. But attorney Gloria Allred canceled that appearance Thursday morning, citing unforeseen circumstances. She earlier had planned to make a statement about Uchitel's relationship with Woods.

Last week, the National Enquirer published a story alleging the world's No. 1 golfer had been seeing Uchitel, and that they recently were together in Melbourne, where Woods won the Australian Masters.

Uchitel denied having an affair with Woods when contacted by The Associated Press.

Woods has faced intense media scrutiny after a car accident outside his home early last Friday morning and sordid allegations of affairs. In a 317-word statement on his Web site Wednesday, Woods acknowledged he had "let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart."

The statement followed an Us Weekly cover story of a Los Angeles waitress claiming she had a 31-month affair with the world's No. 1 golfer. Woods' words were posted three hours after the magazine released a voice mail - provided by the waitress, Jaimee Grubbs - that Woods left on her phone three days before he rammed his Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant and tree outside his Florida home.

"Personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn't have to mean public confessions," he said on his Web site. "I will strive to be a better person and the husband and father that my family deserves."

The investigation into Woods' accident ended Tuesday when the Florida Highway Patrol issued a $164 citation for careless driving. The inspection of his personal life is seemingly just beginning.

It is an odd turn for Woods, whose career as a golfer, a pitchman and perhaps the most recognized athlete in the world has been largely without blemish since he turned pro at age 20.

Read more:,28136,1944650,00.html#ixzz0ZW7EvsOd

What's your reaction to the recent revealing of Tiger Woods' character? Identify 2 or 3 things he should have done to be better prepared for the temptations great leaders are exposed to.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Speak Wisely!

Negativity kills - literally!
The highest POW death rate in U.S. history occurred during the Korean War. Crazy thing is that the Korean Military did NOT use any physical abuse or torture. In fact, fewer cases of torture or cruel punishment were used in this war than any other American involved war. All POW's had adequate food, shelter and water. Yet, why were so many soldiers killed?

American soldiers were not hemmed in with barbed wire and no armed guards surrounded the camps. Yet no soldier ever tried to escape. What's even crazier is that American soldiers broke rank and turned against each other and developed loyal ties to the Korean Military!

Some soldiers had such despair that they would crawl into corners, pull blankets over their heads and simply die within days.

Again, I ask, why were so many killed? Upon returning to home, these soldiers often would not make any contact with any relatives or loved ones. A new disease developed - hopelessness.

These soldiers had completely given up - mentally and physically. How did the Koreans accomplish this? The Koreans denied any emotional support that could be achieved through interpersonal relationships. Koreans had the POW's use negative communication toward each other. NO POSITIVE COMMUNICATION EVER REACHED THESE POW's!

My point? Our words, attitudes, actions and emotions towards each other are more powerful than we realize. I have read a proverb that says something like, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue. They that love it, eat the fruit thereof."

Effective leadership involves deliberate, positive communication that empowers and motivates others. Write 3 to 5 little sincere, deliberate notes of encouragement to people in your life and post the effects these notes had on others as well as yourself!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Adversity = Opportunity

Noah Parton, 6, got prosthetics from foundation started by Jordan Thomas, right.

Leadership can be born from turning difficulty and adversity into opportunity. Jordan Thomas, the athletic captain of his HS Golf Team, lost his leg in a boating accident. Fortunately, his family could afford good prosthetics. However, while in the hospital, Jordan discovered other children are not so fortunate. Since this accident in 2005, Jordan has created the Jordan Thomas Foundation and has raised over $400,000 to help children who need prosthetics.

Jordan's adversity has become his life changing work. The message we can learn here is leadership, influencing other people for good, can stem from turning tragedy into opportunities for good. For the full story, see

What other examples come to mind that bring this same message?

What difficulty do you have in your life right now that you can turn into an opportunity to do good for other people?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Leadership in Action

Headquartered in Los Angeles, the Rubicon Project launched in 2007 with a mission to automate the $65 billion global online advertising industry.

Here is what Dan Neil, a LA Times Author, wrote about Rubicon in March of 2009 (

“Starting in 1997 in his dorm room at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Addante and a group of tech-savvy friends were pioneers in the ad network business (an ad network is a kind of brokerage, placing clients' advertising on publishers' websites). In 2007, Addante formed the Rubicon Project with the same cadre of Web veterans and $22 million in venture capital. The company opened the doors of its techno-hip West L.A. headquarters in April 2008 and since then has blown up to become the third-largest online advertising company in the world -- behind only Google and Yahoo -- as measured by reach, according to the online monitoring firm Quantcast. Rubicon processes more than 35 billion ads a month from 375 ad networks, placing them on more than 14,000 websites, including those of the Washington Post, Newsweek and USA Today (it is currently in discussions with Tribune Interactive).”

Reading a short bio/history on Rubicon posted above, what character qualities would you say Addante contained to succeed so much in such a short amount of time?

What kind of “person” or “leader” is a fast-paced, successful, tech-savvy 21st Century company looking for?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Motivation Video 1 - HW

Inspiration plays an imortant role in leadership. As a leader, you must continually have resources that inspire you to achieve your goals. Secondly, you must also develop the skills to inspire others. Enjoy this motivational clip by Hannah Wilson. Comment on what quotes inspired you the most.

Brandon F

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Speaking with Actions

U.S. 6th President, John Quincy Adams once wrote, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." What caught my attention with this quote is the first phrase, "If your actions..." Abe Lincoln also said once, "What you do speaks so loud I cannot hear what you say." Trustworthy leadership is found in action. The consistency in DOING right things for the right reasons builds trust in our leadership.

How can one lead in larger, important matters if he or she has not first been faithful in the little "day to day" decisions? One true measure of the effectiveness of one's leadership is the daily faithfulness of DOING RIGHT, not just verbally committing to doing what is right. People will believe what you do before they believe what you say. May we lead through action before we ever verbally invite others to follow our lead. Without consistent, right, day-to-day actions, where would we lead those who follow?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Principle Based Life

I recently read the quote, "When a life is based on principles, 99% of the decisions are already made." At first glance, this seems to oversimplify decision making in life. However, knowing what the right decision to make is not as difficult as following through with the right decision. Living life and exercising leadership requires successful application of principles. Principles are character-based ways to choose the right path at the right time. Principles make decisions easier to make, especially when under pressure.

For example, I have commited to maintain right relationships with everyone I know. Because of this principle, no question or doubt exists when I gain knowledge of how I may have caused an offense with someone. My immediate goal then becomes, "How can I make this right?" I do not have to agonize over what I should do; the decision has already been made. As John Maxwell once stated, "Successful leaders make right commitments early in life and manage them throughout their lives."

What principles are you learning that you desire to commit to now and manage throughout life? Remember that these principles will ease the burden of making difficult decisions in life.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Definition of Leadership

As John Maxwell states, "Leadership is influence." I would agree with this 100%. Leadership is the ability to empower other people to accomplish something.

After listening to Evan Schaefer's presentation on Thursday, I realized his experiences in HS equipped him with abilities, skills and the confidence to take risks in college. I noticed his list of leadership positions in college and graduate school extended above the average involvement of a typical college student.

Use each day as an opportunity to deliberately influence someone who crosses your path and better the lives of other people in and outside of your program.

Who is someone who has had influence in your life?
For me, it was Jim Probst. A HS Coach who inspired me through his constant example of excellence in all that he did. I was greatly impressed with his amazing athleticism but it was his faith, character and leadership that inspired me the most. His influence has forever shaped my vision in life.