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?