Making a Difference

 

Not since March 1, 1961 have people cared as much about “making a difference.”  Then, President John F. Kennedy envisioned America reaching out to help other nations with skills and talent that would make a difference, particularly in third world countries.

With our global economy as poor as it is, many people seem to be asking, “Have I made a difference?”

Personally, this question has plagued me since the very time that John F. Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”  It seems like our leaders [today] need to ask themselves that very question.

As I look at people like Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Warren Buffet and Millard Fuller.  Each of these men have certainly made a difference in the quality of our lives today. If we add early Americans like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin the list gets even longer.

All of these men are heroes to me.  Each of them are making or have made a significant contribution to America.

Over time I finally realized that I’ve already made contributions that will have a ripple effect that will be way beyond my control.  Let me share of few of these contributions with you so that you can develop your own list. [Read more…]

Excuses

 

For years these two great friends were neighbors.  They laughed, played and sometimes even traveled together with their wives to fun destinations.  It seemed that they shared everything. Even there homes were similar.

Bob was a gadget and tool collector.  He had everything ever needed to repair or fix or make just about anything around the home.

John was handy.  He was the Jack of all trades but not really the master of many.  John was also the borrower.  He never bought when he could borrow.

On a bright and beautiful spring Saturday morning, John went next door to Bob’s house to borrow the mower he’d used every Saturday for years.  It was just past 9am and Bob and his wife were just getting round to their first cup of coffee when John knocked at their back screen door.

Bob went to the backdoor and there was his good friend John.  Through the screen door John said, “Hey good morning buddy, can I borrow your lawn mower?  It’s Saturday you know and time to mow the lawn.”

Bob hesitated a minute.  He thought about what he was really hoping to do; spend time with his wife and suddenly said, “No, you can’t borrow the mower.”  He started to step away from the door to be with his wife when John said, “Hey buddy, you always loan me your lawn mower.  Why not?” [Read more…]

Ask for what you really want

Ask for what you really want

The first big contract I ever secured was huge for me.  I’d worked on it for several months.  There were calls on the Owner of the company, the Engineers and of course the Purchasing Agent for the company.

In those days (or back-in-the-day) every document was created on a typewriter.  In this case the contract with the client was over 5 pages.  The fifth page was also the signature page.

After months of talking, the Purchasing Agent agreed to our terms including pricing that was predicated on a lot of new business from the firm.  Once we agreed, it took another day to have our Sales Secretary (we didn’t have Assistants back then) to type it up.  She was a particularly fast typist but he had five of us all wanting some of her time.  So, I waited my turn.

The next morning the contract was on my desk.  I immediately drove the 45 minutes out to the client’s business.  I waited another 20 minutes to see the Purchasing Agent.  He was a big man with a great sense of humor.  He saw me as an eager young man wanting to get somewhere in a hurry. [Read more…]

My Flight was Hijacked

My Flight was Hijacked

In the early 80’s I traveled to Saudi Arabia for a week.  I was fortunate to spent one week there and then another week in Kuwait.

The week in Kuwait was miserable if not worse than Saudi.  We lived in a tent on the desert.  During the day, it was 140 F on the sand and 130 in the shade (the far side of a drilling rig (oil).

After the week was over the Camp Manager took me into Kuwait City where I stayed at the Hyatt Regency.  It was great to get a shower, be able to sleep in a real bed, change into fresh clothes and feel “normal” again.  My around the world trip (this time) was half over. Christmas wasn’t too far off and I was looking forward to being home with my wife and six children. [Read more…]