Sunday, May 31, 2015

Hymn For Today

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ Blood and Righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ Name
On Christ the Solid Rock, I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

When darkness seems to veil His Face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the vail
On Christ the Solid Rock, I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

His Oath, His Covenant and Blood
Support me in the ‘whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope and stay
On Christ the Solid Rock, I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

And when I hear the trumpet sound
O may I then in Him be found
Clothed in His Righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before His Throne
On Christ the Solid Rock, I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

Happy Sunday To You All

Good morning this morning. Hope you had a restful night, because I did.

I thank God for making it possible for us to be alive today, many who went home from sleep desired to be here today but they are not opportuned. That we are alive is not because we are holier than them, it is just of God’s own grace and mercy for which we must continue to give Him thanks and praise.

It is Sunday, a day to go worship Him in His Holy Sanctuary, kindly see that you do that.

There is nothing else we can give to God except to sing to Him and worship Him always.

Let us be merry in the Lord’s presence, even though He lives in us, but He acknowledged that a Temple is a necessary place for the congregation of His people so let us not forget the assembling together of the Saints militant.

While you do that, may He continue to look down upon you with grace from His Heavenly Throne.

He lives in me, He also lives in you, acknowledge Him today.

Have a very pleasant Sunday

3 Essential Money Lessons To Teach Your Children

When your mother is a financial advisor, you tend to learn about money at a very young age.

Gail Winslow, a financial advisor with RBC Wealth Management in Washington, D.C. and mother of six (and grandmother of six more), says she gave her kids an allowance when they were eight years old, and immediately began teaching them the basics of managing money.

“If they wanted to buy gum with their allowance, they could, but if they wanted something bigger they had to learn to save for it,” says Winslow. “If they didn’t have the money saved, they didn’t get it.”

Think that’s young?

Darla Kashian, a financial advisor and first vice president with RBC Wealth Management in Minneapolis, says that kids as young as three-years-old understand that you exchange money to buy things.

She gives her two children—ages five and eight—one quarter every Friday for each year of their age.

In other words, one gets $1.25 per week and the other receives $2.

“It’s so important to teach kids about saving for the future and to express your family values,” says Kashian.

“We actively save money for our philanthropic activities and talk to our kids about it.”

Winslow and Kashian have a wealth of information to impart to their kids, but here are three lessons they agree are essential.

1. Pay Yourself First

“Put away money from every single paycheck starting with the very first one you earn,” advises Winslow.

“Don’t wait until the end of the month because there won’t be anything left.”

Kashian says that understanding how compounding interest works is crucial to growing wealth.

“The ability to postpone gratification now for greater things in the future is a lesson that should be taught as early as possible.

Understanding the power of compounding interest is a part of that lesson.”

“Every child should be taught to be mindful of what each decision they make means for their financial future,” says Kashian.

2. Understand How Debt Works
Kashian requires her kids to have cash with them if they want to make a purchase. As she puts it, “I’m a human being, not a bank.” 

And she’s already talking with her children about how to pay for college.

“My goal over the course of their growing up is to have transparency,” she says. “I want to make sure that none of our expectations come as a surprise and that none of the financial realities of life come as a surprise.”

“Do not ever charge anything you can’t pay for,” warns Winslow.

But Winslow also says that part of understanding debt is knowing that the occasional debt can be financially beneficial. 

She says one of the best investments in the world is a 30-year mortgage, especially when interest rates are under four percent.

3. Integrate Your Values with Your Money

“Integrating your values and your money means that teaching your kids about money becomes part of a bigger mission,” says Kashian.

“If they learn to think about their values while they’re making decisions then it’s easier to understand when to save for the future and when it makes sense to spend money.”

When her children buy something with their own money, Kashian pays the sales tax. “I want them to understand that I believe in taxes as a way to support our community,” she says.

Kashian comes from a working class family that didn’t have extra money to spare for the violin lessons she wanted to take.

After some family discussions, her father agreed to pay for every other lesson if she could pay for the rest.

“I never missed a single violin lesson because I understood what it cost,” she says.

Kashian says she wants her children to understand their privilege to be raised in a household with money, and to know that the money comes from the family’s hard, honest work.

She says parents and grandparents need to learn to articulate the planning, the sacrifices, and the savings required to provide special experiences for their children and grandchildren.

Final Thoughts on Money Lessons for Kids
“Teach your children to be reasonable with their money—and not extravagant—and to save, save, and save some more and they’ll live a secure life,” says Winslow.

Kashian says that parents shouldn’t be nervous about teaching their kids about money.

“It’s kind of like the ‘New Math’ — just stay one step ahead of your kids and learn alongside them if your experience growing up wasn’t optimal,” she says. “It doesn’t have to be super-complicated. You can always ask for help from a financial advisor—that’s the key to long-term generational wealth.”

How Successful People Work Less And Get More Done

As co-founder of and CEO of Zillow for the last seven years, 39-year-old Spencer Rascoff fits most people’s definition of success. As a father of three young children, Spencer is a busy guy at home and at work.

What’s the one thing that Spencer refuses to do on the weekend? Work—at least, in the traditional sense. Rascoff says:

“I never go into the office on weekends, but I do check e-mail at night. My weekends are an important time to unplug from the day-to-day and get a chance to think more deeply about my company and my industry. Weekends are a great chance to reflect and be more introspective about bigger issues.”

A new study from Stanford shows that Rascoff is on to something.

The study found that productivity per hour declines sharply when the workweek exceeds 50 hours, and productivity drops off so much after 55 hours that there’s no point in working any more. That’s right, people who work as much as 70 hours (or more) per week actually get the same amount done as people who work 55 hours.

Successful people know the importance of shifting gears on the weekend to relaxing and rejuvenating activities. Like Spencer, they use their weekends to create a better week ahead.

Related: 10 Truths We Forget Too Easily

This is easier said than done, so here’s some help. The following list contains 10 things that successful people do to find balance on the weekend and to come into work at 110% on Monday morning.

1. They Disconnect
Disconnecting is the most important weekend strategy on this list, because if you can’t find a way to remove yourself electronically from your work Friday evening through Monday morning, then you’ve never really left work.

Making yourself available to your work 24/7 exposes you to a constant barrage of stressors that prevent you from refocusing and recharging. If taking the entire weekend off handling work e-mails and calls isn’t realistic, try designating specific times on Saturday and Sunday for checking e-mails and responding to voicemails. For example, check your messages on Saturday afternoon while your kids are getting a haircut and on Sunday evenings after dinner. Scheduling short blocks of time will alleviate stress without sacrificing availability.

2. They Minimize Chores
Chores have a funny habit of completely taking over your weekends. When this happens, you lose the opportunity to relax and reflect. What’s worse is that a lot of chores feel like work, and if you spend all weekend doing them, you just put in a seven-day workweek. To keep this from happening, you need to schedule your chores like you would anything else during the week, and if you don’t complete them during the allotted time, you move on and finish them the following weekend.

3. They Reflect
Weekly reflection is a powerful tool for improvement. Use the weekend to contemplate the larger forces that are shaping your industry, your organization, and your job. Without the distractions of Monday to Friday busy work, you should be able to see things in a whole new light. Use this insight to alter your approach to the coming week, improving the efficiency and efficacy of your work.

4. They Exercise
No time to exercise during the week? You have 48 hours every weekend to make it happen. Getting your body moving for as little as 10 minutes releases GABA, a soothing neurotransmitter that reduces stress. Exercise is also a great way to come up with new ideas. Innovators and other successful people know that being outdoors often sparks creativity.

I know that a lot of my best ideas come to me while I’m surfing. While you’re out in the ocean, the combination of invigorating activity and beautiful scenery creates the perfect environment for an influx of creativity. Whether you’re running, cycling, or gardening, exercise leads to endorphin-fueled introspection. The key is to find a physical activity that does this for you and then to make it an important part of your weekend routine.

5. They Pursue a Passion
You might be surprised what happens when you pursue something you’re passionate about on weekends. Indulging your passions is a great way to escape stress and to open your mind to new ways of thinking. Things like playing music, reading, writing, painting, or even playing catch with your kids can help stimulate different modes of thought that can reap huge dividends over the coming week.

Related: How Successful People Stay Productive and In Control

6. They Spend Quality Time with Family
Spending quality time with your family on the weekend is essential if you want to recharge and relax. Family time on the weekend is so important to Spencer Rascoff that he flies home for the weekend, no matter how far away he is, even if he has to be in the same city the following week. Weekdays are so hectic that the entire week can fly by with little quality family time. Don’t let this bleed into your weekends. Take your kids to the park, take your spouse to his or her favorite restaurant, and go visit your parents. You’ll be glad you did.

7. They Schedule Micro-Adventures
Buy tickets to a concert or play, or get reservations for that cool new hotel that just opened downtown. Instead of running on a treadmill, plan a hike. Try something you haven’t done before or perhaps something you haven’t done in a long time. Studies show that anticipating something good to come is a significant part of what makes the activity pleasurable. Knowing that you have something interesting planned for Saturday will not only be fun come Saturday, but it will significantly improve your mood throughout the week.

8. They Wake Up at the Same Time
It’s tempting to sleep in on the weekend to catch up on your sleep. Though it feels good temporarily, having an inconsistent wake-up time disturbs your circadian rhythm. Your body cycles through an elaborate series of sleep phases in order for you to wake up rested and refreshed. One of these phases involves preparing your mind to be awake and alert, which is why people often wake up just before their alarm clock goes off (the brain is trained and ready). When you sleep past your regular wake-up time on the weekend, you end up feeling groggy and tired. This isn’t just disruptive to your day off, it also makes you less productive on Monday because your brain isn’t ready to wake up at your regular time. If you need to catch up on sleep, just go to bed earlier.

9. They Designate Mornings as Me Time
It can be difficult to get time to yourself on the weekends, especially if you have family. Finding a way to engage in an activity you’re passionate about first thing in the morning can pay massive dividends in happiness and cleanliness of mind. It’s also a great way to perfect your circadian rhythm by forcing yourself to wake up at the same time you do on weekdays. Your mind achieves peak performance two-to-four hours after you wake up, so get up early to do something physical, and then sit down and engage in something mental while your mind is at its peak.

10. They Prepare for the Upcoming Week
The weekend is a great time to spend a few moments planning your upcoming week. As little as 30 minutes of planning can yield significant gains in productivity and reduced stress. The week feels a lot more manageable when you go into it with a plan because all you have to focus on is execution.

30-Minute Workout, No Gym Required

Who has time to burn megacalories? 

You do! 

This speedy workout from Equinox instructor Lashaun Dale, based on her popular Cardio Bootcamp & Sculpt class, will blast up to 350 calories in just under 30 minutes, and you’ll build strength while you’re at it.

Do this routine just three times a week to drop winter weight. (Planning a beach vacation? Add a brisk 45-minute walk on alternate days to burn another 250 calories a day. You’ll toast more than 2,000 calories a week!)


God Is Strong

When you are at your weakest
God is strong

When you are down and out
God can revive you and lift you up again

When all seems lost and there is no hope in sight
God will shine the light and show you the way

When your strength is gone and you are at your lowest ebb
God's strength comes to the fore

His strength is always available when you need IT

So, instead of struggling with life and getting badly disappointed
why not ask for His Strength?

Believe it

Embrace it

Rely on it

7 Things The Best Leaders Never Fail To Do

How does a seemingly ordinary woman become a super-successful business leader?

What qualities do you need to reach and then effectively fill a top leadership position? And what qualities or actions are likely to hold you back?

To find out, Kathy Hurley and Priscilla Shumway, who are themselves business leaders, interviewed 24 women holding leadership positions in a variety of industries to find out how they accounted for their own successes.

 It's a close look at the building blocks of success for today's executives and entrepreneurs -- both male and female.

Hurley, who has spent 40 years as a senior executive in education at Pearson, IBM, and the Learning Company shared some of the most important advice she and Shumway gleaned from their interviews:

1. Never trash anybody.
"Never, ever say that you will not work for someone, because he or she may be your next boss," Hurley warns. Leadership begins with knowing how to work for someone you wouldn't normally choose, she adds. "Working for someone who is challenging or impolite takes its own set of leadership skills and qualities. If you can do so with success (and a little grace), your superiors will take note and likely reward you with opportunity."

Being able to deal with any kind of person will stand you in even better stead if you become an entrepreneur. Customers come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments, and some of them will make the worst boss you ever had seem like Mother Teresa.

2. Always network, even when you don't think you need to.
"We have discovered more opportunities at non-networking events than you can imagine," Hurley says. "Talk to people. When you are sitting on a plane, in line at the DMV, or at that conference that you really didn't want to attend... all these places provide an opportunity to meet someone new who just may be your next connection into a new job or the business partnership for which you've been searching."

3. Always give credit to others.
"Recognizing achievement in others is one of the best qualities of a leader," Hurley says. "Not only does it build confidence in the person you've recognized, but it demonstrates that you place value on supporting the success of those who work with you and for you."

Over time, this is going to become an even more important thing to do, as the labor market for those with top skills becomes tighter. In-demand employees who can work where they choose are likelier to choose a boss who makes them feel valued and is quick to share the spotlight when things go well. Be that boss.

4. When things go wrong, err on the side of generosity.
"You will make mistakes, your colleagues will make mistakes, and life will just deal you a bad hand sometimes," Hurley says. When bad things happen, don't blame, don't rant, and don't panic. Instead, approach the problem with a sympathetic ear and an empathetic soul, she advises. "Those who work for you will appreciate your soft touch and those who may be observing you will appreciate your ability to limit drama in the workplace."

5. Develop relationships that go beyond a specific job or company.
"Jobs may change but people stay the same," Hurley says. Thus, she says, "Being a leader within your company is valuable, but being a leader within your industry is priceless."

With that in mind, she recommends building long-lasting relationships with people throughout your industry. "They may one day be your boss or co-worker, or they may even be your next reference," she notes.

6. Surround yourself with smart people.
It's easy to be intimidated, but the best leaders hire and promote people who are as smart as they are themselves, or smarter. "If you can manage to throw in a few who also possess humor and humility, you will be limitless in what you can achieve," Hurley says.

7. Spend a lot of time listening.
"It is a powerful activity," Hurley says. "You do not have to be the idea person or the loudest person in the room." Instead, she says, reflect on what you are hearing. "When you are able to listen and reflect on the ideas in the room, you are usually in a better position to contribute to your team." You'll be a better leader as 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

How To Build An Extraordinary Organization

I'll share a personality flaw with you; I'm not much of a follower, which is likely why I'm an entrepreneur.

Yet, some people cast a light so bright that you can't help but follow the path they illuminate into the future. Peter Drucker was one of those people.

In the many years I knew Peter Drucker and in my many conversations with him, I came away with these points as the ones to effectively use while building an extraordinary Organization and also while living an extraordinary life

1.        Don't just manage, lead.
Drucker had a problem with the concept of managing knowledge workers.

He felt that leadership was increasingly becoming a shared responsibility.

He believed in pushing down decision-making to those closest to the process.

To lead, in Drucker's mind, was to empower people by providing the resources for success rather than a roadmap with turn-by-turn directions

 If that frightens you, he said, then you have the wrong people leading your organization.

2.        The way to keep good people is to give them a chance at the moon.

During the 20 years I was building my company, we didn't lose a single one of the eight people on our senior leadership team.

The same was true of nearly all of our top performers.

We compensated people fairly, but that's not why they stayed.

Drucker taught me that what drives the best people is a challenge that allows them to reach beyond themselves to be part of something greater.

It's what Peter Diamandis calls a "moon shot," a goal so large it creates a gravity to draw people to it and keep them in its orbit.

Besides, challenge only scares off the people that you need to scare off.

3.        Before figuring out how it should be done, ask why it's being done.

Drucker had an issue with using Industrial Era metrics for the Knowledge Age.

He felt that all too often we streamline tasks without first asking why the task is being done to begin with.

One of the simplest yet most profound lessons I learned from Drucker was to always question the task's reason for existence before fixing it; does it add value, and if so, how?

Drucker was a master at asking questions.

In the ten years I knew him I'm not sure he ever actually answered a single question of mine directly.

Instead he would almost always rephrase or reframe my questions. Challenging conventional wisdom was his forte -- he often called himself and "insultant," who scolded people for a fee. It taught me to never be afraid or ashamed to say, "I don't know," and to ask "why?" until I did.

4.        If you are bored it's your fault.
Drucker didn't tolerate laziness.

He was constantly in motion.

 I once asked him if he felt he shouldn't slow down at some point -- this was when he was about 90.

His response was that hard work was bad only for those people who didn't have purpose or passion.

If you have a reason to work hard and/or a passion for what you do then there will never be enough hours in the day.

But Drucker also balanced work with great passions in other areas of his life: his teaching, his love of Japanese art, and his willingness to mentor and pay it forward.​

5.        Treat your employees as though they were volunteers.
This is one of those perspectives that is completely unintuitive when you first hear it.

Drucker spent the last part of his career working a great deal with nonprofits and volunteer organizations.

He wanted to bring business acumen to nonprofits but he also believed that for-profit organizations could learn a lot from how non-profits attracted volunteers.

"Volunteers," he would say, "leave at the end of the day and only come back if they want to."

When you think about the work ethos among Millenials and Gen Z, who need a deep sense of social purpose in their work, it's obvious that Drucker was ahead of his time.

6.        Abandon the past. (No, really, I mean bury it!)
How do you manage the accelerating pace of change?

You do it by "organized abandonment" -- consciously killing off yesterday.

Drucker chose his words carefully.

One of my favorite quotes of his is that "the hardest thing to do is to keep a corpse from rotting."

Yeah, not a pleasant thought, but how often do companies hold onto the past with their best and brightest while the future passes them by?

Not a bad lesson in business and in life.

7.        Be humble.
This last one is how I'll best remember Peter Drucker.

If anyone had a reason to be boastful and arrogant, it was Drucker.

He had been on the front lines of more change than a hundred men and women could see in a lifetime.

Yet he was anything but arrogant.

Drucker had no reason to mentor me and offer his time, but he did.

The last letter I received from him was in response to a very grateful thank-you note from me for his mentorship and his decade of professional and personal guidance.

He responded to my praise by saying, "Tom, even if I apply a discount of 90% to what you have said, it is still far too kind."

That was Drucker; brilliant, gracious, and humble.

We would all do well to follow his lead.

10 Quick Ways To Supercharge Your Career

Truth be told, you’re making it hard for others to support your career. 

At least that’s the case if you are skipping any of the ten basic principles on this list.

In the spirit of full disclosure, not every item on this list is easy to implement, but each is easier to live with than the frustration of watching your talents go underutilized:

1. Kindness first. 
The first thing you do, every day, should be to help a few other people.

Do this without fail; put it on your calendar. Introduce others.

Promote the best work of your colleagues and/or clients.

Help those on the margins, not just the already rich and powerful.

This habit will not only make you feel better, but it also will shift the way that others perceive you.

2. Admit weakness. 
Hands down, the best thing a capable professional can do is to openly admit where they are weak.

Because this gives your colleagues an opportunity to help you, which makes them feel more capable and appreciated.

3. Be both confident and competent. 
Confidence without competence makes you little more than an empty suit.

Competence without confidence is a tragic waste of your gifts.

To enjoy long-term success, work to balance these two essential elements.

It’s not easy, but getting the balance right will make an enormous difference to your career.
4. Be superficial occasionally. 
Did you crop your spouse out of your LinkedIn LNKD -0.66% photo?

Does your Twitter TWTR -0.43% image look like you were on the lam from the law?

Do you cut your own hair?

Much as I love the idea of living in a meritocracy, the truth is that we all make snap judgments based on appearances. Invest some time and money in looking your best.

5. Don’t wait for the title.
If you want a promotion, act like you already have it.

Do more than is expected of you, even if it means working nights and weekends.
6. Simplify your goals. 

Nine out of ten professionals I meet can’t explain simply what they want next in their career. If you can’t understand what you want next, no one else can, either.

Keep stripping away bits and pieces until you are able to explain what you want, even to a seven-year-old.

7. Be authentic. 
Don’t pretend to be someone else, and don’t pretend to care when you don’t.

Be 100% honest.
Be 100% yourself.
Most importantly, if you say you are going to do something, do it.

8. Connect proactively. 
The world never stops, and you can’t ever settle for the people you already know.

Never stop reaching out to dynamic people with interests that could overlap with your own.

Avoid getting stuck in a box; even if you are 72, reach out proactively to 23-year-
olds who have energy and ideas.

9. Change your own damn career. 
People always wait too long for external forces to change their status.

You have the ability to change your fate, as long as you are willing to pay the price to get what you want.

10. Proof your own work. If you rely on others – subordinates, assistants, etc. – to catch your errors, you will get soft and dependent. Personally make sure your work is perfect.

How To Avoid The Three Deadliest Career Traps

One minute a business executive has money, power and respect… and the next no one returns his or her calls.

When this happens, the executive can be dumbfounded and perplexed. The “sudden” shift seems inexplicable. But to many others, what happened is obvious and perhaps even welcomed.

Thanks to the consistency of human nature, there are classic career traps that cause smart people to self-destruct.

If you avoid these traps, you can protect your career and preserve your ability to be effective.

These principles don’t just apply to CEOs. Many people have power, and these traps surround positions of power. 

If you are hiring others, you have some degree of power over them. If you purchase goods from other businesses, you have a degree of influence over those vendors.

The more responsibilities you take on, the more these traps need to concern you.

1.The “ego-driven blind spot” trap
Like the rest of us, you are not perfect.

One of the biggest challenges to acquiring power is that fewer and fewer people are willing to give you objective feedback.

If you suddenly are praised as a genius, your internal alarms should sound. You’re not smarter than ever, you’re just surrounded by people who dare not point out weak points in your reasoning.

Everyone has flaws, and it is crucial that you both understand and monitor your own weaknesses.

Set up systems that enable you to detect potential dangers along the paths you are pursuing:

Encourage employees to submit anonymous feedback.

From time to time, hold meetings at which the sole purpose of all gathered is to play devil’s advocate with regards to your existing strategies.

Foster a culture in which it is a badge of pride to “beat the control,” which means putting forth a strategy that can be proven better than the existing one.

Engage objective and independent observers whose role is to second guess you.

Even if 90% of the time they can’t convince you to change course, those occasions on which they prevent you from veering off the road will be invaluable.

2. The “repeat past successes” trap
Successful people tend to repeat the strategies that made them successful. While this often makes sense for a time, the only constant in our world is change.

It is difficult to name a company that has had the same level of success for ten years’ running. Likewise, over a five to ten year period, your access to information and the sophistication of your technology changes radically; you have to adapt as these fundamentals shift.

I’m not suggesting you follow every fad. Hype and overblown promises abound.
But never stop testing your own skills and strategies, even in ways that may seem silly to you.

For example, I’d encourage even top executives to invest a little time in learning to code.

You are not going to become a programmer, but you won’t be able to understand the detail that underlies most businesses unless you understand the details involved in programming.

3. The “use power too personally” trap
It would be futile to count the number of leaders who fell from grace because they crossed a line and used power to have an affair or otherwise feed their own desire for pleasure.

This may be the biggest trap of all.

If you want to not only maintain a successful career, but also help lead your company in the right direction, then use power for the benefit of others:

Empower your employees, so that they can delight your customers.

Enrich your investors, by viewing their faith in you as a solemn responsibility.

Enhance the communities in which your organization operates, by understanding that your success is only sustainable if theirs is, too.

Putting things in perspective
The harsh reality is that career traps are just as common as career opportunities.

Remain confident but humble, and don’t step into an obvious trap. 

The smartest people I know get up every day aware that their toughest challenge is doing what they know to be right, instead of what is immediately gratifying.

An earlier version of this article appeared last year on LinkedIn, and one reader commented, “My brother and I could have used this a few years ago when we, separately, lost fantastic jobs because of these faults.”

Take these words to heart, and you’ll never have to write a similar comment.