It never ends

    I used to think there would be a point when my stress level would drop and I would finally feel ‘successful’. I think I’ve finally realized that point doesn’t exist. It’s very similar to how I feel about my son and his disorder. “When he finally crawls… Once he walks on his own… When he makes it through elementary school then….. If Danny is mainstreamed and getting a’s and b’s..” Well, truth is, it doesn’t matter…. There will always be another ‘if only..’. What’s important is our attitude toward acceptance of the moment. If we worry to much about what is to come, we will miss the greatness of what is now.

    So it’s ok to have goals and think about the future, but only if it doesn’t keep you from seeing the positiveness of today!!

    George Bush, is ‘positiveness’ a word??

    Eulogy for a Friend

    Is it bad form to re-post a post when blogging?  I’ll plead ignorance and declare that some topics are so important that they deserve repeating.  Over two years ago, I wrote about eulogizing your employees.   This is a fundamental part of positive leadership. The overall concept is that a eulogy is wasted on the dead and wouldn’t we all rather hear the good things people have to say about us when we are alive.  Some of you may remember the movie ‘Waking Ned Divine’ from 1998 and the scene ‘Eulogy for a Friend’ where Jackie eulogizes his friend Michael who is sitting in the congregation. “The words that are spoken at a funeral are spoken too late for the man that is dead. What a wonderful thing it would be to visit your own funeral.. to sit at the front and hear what was said.”   Remember that your employees are your greatest asset and I believe that positive comments, inspirational words and motivating support produce more than harsh words meant to prod. Don’t miss the opportunity to eulogize someone now before it makes no difference to them. You have the chance to lead the legacy of others. We underestimate the power of the spoken word – it is your choice to use that power to tear someone down or to bring them up and lead them to greatness. This doesn’t just hold true in business – it also holds true in our personal lives.   Parent, teacher, minister or friend – we all have the power to eulogize those around us and pay it both backward and forward.

    The only obstacle to success is yourself – by Carol Craig (originally published in FloridaToday)

    If anyone has had a career path that screams “equality,” it’s probably me. I seem to gravitate to areas that are traditionally dominated by men. I continually get asked to describe the obstacles or challenges I faced as a woman in those male-dominated fields.

    And the truth is, obstacles are obstacles. … I like to believe the only obstacle is yourself. I know it sounds a little Norman Vincent Peale, but it’s true. There are very few things that are impossible and most of the problems come from ourselves – and we let that get in the way of success or just doing the things we want to do.

    The Harvard Business Review reported in September that women “remain distressingly underrepresented at the top levels of institutions around the globe. … In corporate America, women hold only about 15 percent of C-Suite jobs and 17 percent of board seats. … Only 4 percent of companies on the 2013 Fortune 500 list are led by female CEOs.”

    While many may see me now as one of the women who is tipping the scales, I still experience gender discrimination in business. It was only about six months ago that I was asked, “Are you familiar with the term ‘C corporation’?” I was a little shocked by this, would a man be asked the same question in a high-level business discussion?

    I know some of these attitudes can be cultural, as well. I was touring a businessman from Israel though our manufacturing facility in Cape Canaveral, and he said, “A woman runs this? You’re the woman?” I could see the mental shock on his face.

    Manal Al-Sharif, a Saudi woman, was jailed after driving a car and challenging cultural customs in 2011. Al-Sharif says it’s not so much about rule of law as it is about women’s attitudes about themselves: The danger is internalizing an oppressive society’s insistence that women are inferior. She concludes that change can only happen “if women stop asking when, and start taking action now to drive our own lives.”

    Amanda Woerner reinforces this idea in Self magazine: “People who are happiest and most successful have one key thing in common. If they take an emotional hit, they don’t ball up in a fetal position and give up.”

    I am lucky my parents told me I could do anything I wanted. The perceptions other people have about us affects the way we see ourselves and respond to adversity. While I’ve had a lot of personal obstacles to overcome — being one of few girls in engineering classes, one of just a few women to go through flight school, starting a business and immediately having a son with a disability — nothing I am writing here should be considered exclusive to women.

    Whether you are a man, minority or fit any other demographic that faces adversity, I encourage you to embrace the fear, passion, perseverance and competitiveness to recognize the patterns and identify on your own what it takes to overcome yourself.

    The Giving Tree

    Most of you are familiar with Shel Silverstein’s children’s book called ‘The Giving Tree’ but you may not be familiar with the song by Plain WHite T’s with the same title. It is officially my favorite song at this point in my personal timeline. So much so that I have actually tried to memorize the words – which is becoming an increasingly difficult task given my advancing age (queue the cries of ‘you’re not old!’ and ‘you look like you are in your thirties!’ .. Ok – That’s reaching a bit but consider it poetic license). I played the song for Danny a few nights ago and he immediately recognized the reference, declaring that The Giving Tree was one of his favorite books when he was young and he really should read it again soon. I turned to him and said ‘Danny – am I your Giving Tree?’. Without hesitation and also without looking up from his iPod, he calmly stated ‘Always have been’..

    And we drove the rest of the way home listening to the rest of the song and not saying a word.