The Secret To A Good Meeting Is the Meeting Before the Meeting

The Secret To A Good Meeting Is the Meeting Before the Meeting 
I am going to precede my posting by putting my call to action here at the top. Please click “Like”, Share and certainly leave me your thoughts and comments. Let’s share with each other and help each other to be more effective Leaders.
If I have learned one thing, I have learned that having a meeting for the sake of having a meeting is not the best way to do things. Further, allowing meetings to go on and on because round robin discussion has taken on a life of its own. Many times this implies that the group attending has not done the required preparation for the meeting.
Yes, this may seem to be coming across hard, but I am sure you will agree with me that time is the most important commodity that you have. Your time cannot and should not be wasted. In fact, by ensuring that your meetings flow smoothly allows you and your team to get on to the tasks at hand and not waste time and efforts.
Let me ask a few basic questions and see if any of these fit into your situation(s):
1. Have you ever planned a meeting only to be bushwhacked by the people attending? In other words, you lost control of your meeting.
2. Have you ever had people always arrive late because they think that by doing so they show their importance? Of course, this is disruptive to your flow.
3. Or how about never showing up for the meeting which makes you wonder where they are and why.
I am sure that if I asked you that you could come up with a few things of your own that you have and are noticing at your meetings. There are basically 2 main reasons why meetings fail:
1. The leader does not have a clear agenda
2. Other people attending the meeting have their own agenda.
Here is what I have found out and as a result of following this procedure have had great meetings and oh by the way, they don’t take all day / night to hold. 
Hold a Meeting Before the Meeting.
-The Meeting Before the Meeting Helps You to Receive Buy-In
the more you can do before the meeting there is less of a chance for negativity to seep in.
-The Meeting Before the Meeting Helps Followers to Gain Perspective
give the “influencers” the right perspectives before hand and they will help influence the others.
-The Meeting Before the Meeting Helps to Increase Your Influence
Leadership is influence, nothing more nothing less. You must invest time in your people. If you only have time for your people at meeting time…you are in trouble.
-The Meeting Before the Meeting Helps You Develop Trust
You as the leader must be an agent for change. It is no fun to have to continually and constantly “run the gauntlet”! Here is the time to answer questions and let your people know of your motives. Because you are doing this one on one or in smaller groups your trust factor increases exponentially.
-The Meeting Before the Meeting Helps You Avoid Being Blindsided
This is pretty self explanatory. Do what you need to do so that you don’t get caught by surprise. You need to know in advance what to expect.
Let me conclude with some serious advice:
1. If you can’t have the meeting(s) before the meeting…don’t have the meeting.
2. If you do have the meeting(s) before the meeting, but it does not go well…don’t have the meeting.
3. If you have the meeting(s) before the meeting and it goes well…HAVE the Meeting!
“Good planning always costs less than good reacting” – W. Schmidt
A Leader Never has to recover from a good start. So there you have it. Give it a try. I have not been disappointed now that I follow this mentality. I was before.
Peace. BB

It’s not always a requirement to fill someone else’s shoes…let alone their body armor.

It is not always a requirement to fill someone else’s shoes…let alone their body armor. Or how David transformed a paralyzed army into a fighting force through the Law of  Victory.

This week we are taking our Leadership and the Bible from 1 Samuel 17: 19-58
The Law of Victory: David defeats Goliath and Everyone Wins.
We all know the story of David defeating the Giant Goliath with a sling shot and stone but what you may or may not know is a little bit of the background involved. You see, David was a very small young man compared to that of King Saul or any of the other Hebrew soldiers. And certainly he was just as small as compared to that of the Philistines let alone Goliath. When the thought of David fighting Goliath was brought up, King Saul thought it ridiculous but none the less he was prepared to let him go and fight. But he felt so concerned that he gave David his own personal body armor to use. Well let your imagination run wild here as David literally was swimming in this armor. It was almost as if he was wearing a modern tank around him. EXCEPT that he could not move with it. He could not fight with it. He would have lost with it! Actually, Saul did not like David and would not have been upset had David been defeated in the upcoming battle with Goliath
Well as I say the rest is history…David went up against the giant with nothing more than a sling and a stone but most importantly some very key and important concepts (7 in all) that I will mention below. Before I mention them, just remember that you can not always go into battle or run your life by trying to wear someone else’s shoes let alone their body armor!
1. His perspective differed from others. – He didn’t see what everyone else saw…an invincible giant. He saw an opportunity.
2. His methods differed from others. –   He decided to use proven weapons that he knew would work, not the conventional ones.
3. His conviction differed from others. – He recognized Goliath had no covenant with God, while he felt passionately committed to God’s covenant.
4. His motives differed from others. – He heard Goliath’s threats against the God of Israel and knew God could beat him.
5. His vision differed from others. – He wanted to make Yahweh know to the world as the most powerful God on earth.
6. His experience differed from others. – He brought to the battlefield past victories over a lion and bear, not months of paralyzing fear.
7. His attitude differed from others. – He saw Goliath not as a threat too big to hit, but as a target to big to miss.
So I ask you. Are you prepared to wear what you have or do you still feel you need to fill someone else’s shoes?

God Can Use Even a Reluctant Leader Johah 3: 1-3

God Can Use Even a Reluctant Leader Johah 3: 1-3

I was watching Joel Osteen last night and he was speaking of the story of Jonah. Thought I would re-post this…and ask you, are you ready for a “do over”?

Water tends to seek its own level and most of us usually prefer to choose the path of Least Resistance. It is because of this that we tend to be reluctant when it comes to running the gauntlet .

Such was true when God called upon Jonah to take up the call and seek to cause Nineveh to repent of their sins. This was not to be an easy task but God was looking to form a divine partnership that would allow God to work thru Jonah and show His Strength and compassion. There are many times in live that we too tend to ignore our inner voice and run not walk from that task. And it is in that running that we tend to stumble and fall. This was to happen clearly to Jonah. He was given a choice: Help God in His Glory or end up in the Big Fish. I think you can imagine that the Fish was not the most pleasant of options. Eventually, Jonah came to his senses and went about God’s task of helping to bring repentance of sins in Nineveh. And as a result, God was compelled to spare Nineveh from destruction.

We as Leaders may not always understand why God wants them to do certain things but we should and must realize that it is not through our understanding but more to the obedience of His instructions. One can only think as to what the results may have been in the annals of history had Jonah not come to his senses and followed God’s plans. One can only imagine in our daily lives what the outcomes could and would be if we would give up our reluctance and follow that of our inner voice.

Thank God, that most of the time He gives us a 2nd Chance to get it right. Kind of like a “do over”. My call to action for you is to think of those times you have been reluctant and ask you to decide moving forward….God’s Plan or the Big Fish!

Peace. BB

Clear the Mechanism…Yours!

Clear the Mechanism…Yours!

I remember watching the Movie “Gettysburg” where the Sargent Major was describing to the Commanding Officer on the eve of battle that he needed to caution his troops about staying calm and focusing of the task the lay ahead. For in the heat of battle, he went on to say, when things were progressing so fast, it was not uncommon for the men to panic and force more than one projectile into the weapon and thus jam everything up preventing them from firing. Or even worse, causing the weapon to blow up in their face.

And then I think of the days of my early basic training in the military when we were using blank ammunition of just how easy it was for our weapons to jam and how easy it was for us to force and jam another round forward really messing things up. What I learned during those early days of training that I would (hopefully) remember as I progressed through life, was to take my time and when the jamming of life occurred would be to “clear the mechanism”.

Now I clearly realize that in our everyday lives, that we don’t go around with weapons in our hands but we do in fact, go through each and every day with an awesome and very powerful weapon. That weapon is us and it flows through not only our conscious self but more importantly through our sub-conscious self! I just recently went through some additional training with my teacher and mentor, Dr. Paul Scheele and one of the things that caught my attention during that training was that of the 11 million bits of data that we as humans process each and every second, that only about 70 bits of data occur in our conscious mind. That statement alone is eye opening about our awareness. I will bet that even as you read this (blog) or hear my (podcast) that you are thinking and processing quite a bit in the back of your minds. More than likely, in color and full sound playing. Think of the times that you have wanted to do something, knew that you could do it, but consistently failed to accomplish it. Let’s not bother to count them for you would surely lose track. 

We possess amazing gifts as human beings. WE are learning organisms, born into this world equipped to find answers to the problems that face us. The human brain, mind, body, and emotions are designed to make us perfect learners, providing us with all we need for success in life. However, on the other hand, even with all our enormous capacities, many of us daily face the reality of not being able to accomplish the important goals we have set for ourselves. Like a riddle or puzzle, the answer(s) has been in your hands the whole time. And once you discover the answer, you wonder how you could have missed it up to that point.

I would also like to provide in this writing / podcast an excerpt from Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” where Frankl quotes from Nietzsche: “He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How.”  The explanation of those prisoners in the death camps during World War II, who gave up on life, who had lost all hope for a future were inevitably the first to expire. They expired less from the lack of food or medicine than from the lack of hope, the lack of something to live for.

So in conclusion, with all that goes on in your life day in and day out and the complexities that go along with them, it becomes all the more easy for you to try to push through with the effect of jamming round after round in the chamber of your life. You were designed the way you were for a purpose and a reason, with the ability to think through and thus allow you to clear and reset the mechanism. So today and from now on, I encourage you to do just that when you think that it could not get any worse. Stop, pause, clear your mechanism and reset.

You can do this. You need to do this and if you are to survive the rigors that everyday life presents, you must do this.

For information on how I can work with you in your quest to learn how to “Clear the Mechanism” and the Courses that I offer…contact me at

How’s Life Going at YOUR Ground Zero?

DSCF0002Lest we forget to remember, we will surely remember to forget.
I have yet to run into a living person on this planet we call Earth, who has not had to experience some sort of trial or tribulation in their personal, family or professional lives. Sometimes, the trials and tribulations may impact just one of the triad that I just mentioned but there are times when those same trials and tribulations may impact the entire triad at the same time.
Perhaps for the sake of helping those out who may not fully understand where I am going with this article, I would first need to define my concepts of what “Ground Zero” and “Trials and Tribulations” stand for.

Definition of:

    ground zero

  1. 1:  the point directly above, below, or at which a nuclear explosion occurs
  2. 2:  the center or origin of rapid, intense, or violent activity or change; broadly  :  center 2a <the party town that served as ground zero for those corporate … bashes — Rich Eisen>
  3. 3:  the very beginning Trials and Tribulations

    Troubles and Events that cause suffering, etc.

    I recently had the opportunity to visit the area where the World Trade Center Twin Towers were supposed to be. The Twin Towers that once stood majestically reaching up into the sky. The same Twin Towers that were the landmark that let you know that you had arrived in NY. The same Twin Towers that brought people from all walks of life and from so many countries together to conduct the business of trade. The same Twin Towers that I had passed so many times when I was growing up and living in NY. The same Twin Towers that I looked for each and every time that I flew into any one of the the NY Airports when I was returning home to visit my mother or that I would pass through on my way to the various military locations that I attended during my time in service. 

    But alas upon my arrival to the space where the Towers once stood were vast open holes in the ground that have been turned into Memorialized Fountains that left you standing there in total awe. Upon closer viewing, the majesty of the cascading waters falling from the outer fringes of where the walls to the building once were and would have been to the exact center point of an eerie black hole as the waters were swallowed up obviously to be recycled so that this effect would go on and on. The impression that I got from this was so similar to watching those science fiction space movies where where a super nova or a black hole has occurred and everything and I mean everything would have been sucked into and of itself. Thus, the impression of the buildings coming down that fateful day were captured in the design of these fountains. You could almost hear it and feel it happening as we stood there. Any yet, other than the sound of the cascading waters falling, there was a calm about the area. At this point, I should point out, that on the day that we chose to visit the site, that it was raining. Sometimes very heavy, sometimes a bit lighter but constant. Wait, there’s more. As we approached the very walls enclosing the fountains, you could clearly begin to see that each and every person who lost their lives that fateful day, were etched in perpetuity on those stones. It was as if when you went to lean upon the walls that you would be touching the lives, the very souls and spirits of those whose lives had been ended that day. It was as if you would become one with them. It was as if you were helping them to remain alive.

    My next stop of this journey of remembering and not forgetting was to traverse through the Ground Zero Museum. There was so much to cover in this museum but it was more than a museum. It was more of a symbol of remembrance and reminders of what was and what is. The honor and humbling that was felt as I moved through was brought to a completely emotional moment when we arrived at the hall of pictures. This was an area that was hallowed to be sure. No photos were allowed to be taken nor would I have expected anyone to want to do so. The respect and honor paid by not just some but by all the visitors was so, so humbling and heart warming to me. I can’t remember being anywhere else in my life where this was as strong as it was that day. On the walls were the photos of each and every one of the people that died that day as well as from the original bombing attempts in the mid 1990’s. These were pictures of people who had come from all walks of life and all races and creeds. Because I live in Bermuda, my wife, son and I made a point of locating the pictures of 2 Bermudians (Rhondelle Tankard and Boyd Gatton) who perished that day. Yes, two people, in the prime of their lives who had come from a small isolated island in the Atlantic Ocean to be a part of the grander scheme of things in the modern business world. 

    So I have been very deliberate to paint a picture with words of a situation that occurred at ground zero. So vast and devastating that the wounds of which will take many, many years to heal and surely that while they heal, they will not ever be forgotten. But what about you? What is going on in your life that has caused those around you and things about you to explode and cause grief, misery and hardship? Have things gotten so bad and troublesome that you cannot and do not see any hope in sight? Well, let me let you know that 3 words come to mind…Feel, Felt and Found. I can truly say from the bottom of my heart that I know how you feel, I felt that way too and here is what I found out. I too experienced a devastating ground zero effect in my life. I thought that there was no hope. That there was no point in going on and questioned whether seeing tomorrow was worth it or even going to happen. What I found out was that eventually one can work through the anguish and heartache that causes all these negatives to flourish. That believing that there is a force that comes from a Higher Authority that is there to offer pathways to new beginnings. So I ask you, are you going to stay and sit in the rubble of your ground zero or learn from that of what took place at the World Trade Center?

    Now while that would have seemed a logical ending for this posting, I chose to add just a bit more information to really bring it home to each and every one of us…

    But yet, all was not sorrow on this day that my family and I chose to visit this “Ground Zero”, for just a short distance away rises up in splendor and majesty the New World Trade Center Tower to show the World that you may get knocked down and all may seem lost but with the rise of tomorrow’s sun dawns a new day for each of us. As the phenix rose from the ashes to a new creation, so too will you have that ability. The choice is Yours. Never, never, never forget this!

Only in Silence, God Speaks…coincidences don’t happen by coincidence!

We are in today’s society surrounded on any given day and at any given time by hundreds, even thousands of noises, activities, telecommunication signals and so, so much more. Further, as if that wasn’t enough, we have so many things happening at both our conscious and sub-conscious levels. But even with all of that, we as humans, have an ability to tune all of that out and focus on silence and allow our inner self to hear a message that to us can be referred to as a coincidence.

I love two stories that one of my mentors at the John Maxwell Team, Roddy Galbraith, tells during his speaker’s class. The first one is about a man who goes to sit in the quiet solitude of a church so as to meditate on how he could be a better person. All throughout his meditation, he is disturbed by a man who walks in and begins to seek the help of him. The second story tells about another person who is driving through a crowded and busy town (any town) and is asking his higher power to help him find a parking space. Well he suddenly comes upon a parking space and then says to his higher power “never mind”. I found one.

Then just last week, while I was visiting my family in the USA, I went into a Barnes and Noble Bookstore when I happened to pass by a book entitled “When God Winks at You” by Squire Rushnell. Of course, I walked past it and then shortly a few moments later was drawn back to it and yes, I bought it. I had no intentions of buying this book. I was not looking for this book but perhaps the book was looking for me. And then the next day I was sitting in church, listening to the homily that the priest was giving when he uttered the words “Only in Silence, God Speaks”. 

So why am I mentioning all of this? Because, clearly, coincidences don’t happen by coincidence. Author Squire Rushnell in his book refers to this as a “Godwink”. My business partner states that these are what she refers to as “Godincidences”. My mentor Paul Martinelli refers to this as a “Boop Moment”. That time when you are doing something and suddenly and without warning a thought, a concept, an Idea pops into your mind in the form a “boop”. I am sure you know what that sound sounds like because you too have heard it. But because our Creator has given us free will, we begin to question the thought. We begin to question the communication. We begin to question the reality as to its validity. How often have we gone through our routines of our everyday challenges “asking for a sign” from that higher source expecting some sort of “alakazaam” moment? But the truth, the reality of it is just that…He speaks to us in silence. We have to be ready to receive the message. We have to be open to receive the message. We must be in the right environment to receive the message. And then, comes the most important aspect…we have to realize that we need to act on the message! What I have come to realize from the messages that I personally have received is that there appears to be a date and time stamp on it. Now what do I mean by that? I mean that the message received will not last forever. And when we choose to act on those messages, won’t you agree with me, that many good things come to pass in your life? Won’t you agree with me that the solutions you need come across your path? Won’t you agree with me that there are times that the solution message may not have been the way you thought it would be but it worked? Back in early 2011, I was at a cross-roads in my life. Not quite 57 years of age, I was fast approaching that magic number 60. And then it started. I began to receive emails about a new concept and team that was being put together, the “John Maxwell Team”. And that they wanted “ME” to be a part of it. Me? Where did “they” find out about me? Why were they contacting me? I knew of and had indirectly met John Maxwell because he had spoken at a few of the Amway Functions I had attended in the mid 1990’a and naturally I had a few of his books growing dust on my bookshelf (just me?).  Well not thinking anything of it, I hit delete. This went on several times, each time hitting delete, when finally over a couple of days, the 5th one arrived in my in box, I had to pause and look up and say to Him…”Okay, okay, I got it. I get the message”! So I opened the email and reviewed the presentation and not even half way through it, I ran upstairs to where Margaret was and blurted out “I’ve got to do this”!  Well the rest is history. Five years later now, I am a very active member of the John Maxwell Team out speaking, coaching and helping others which includes to date, a trip to Guatemala where I rediscovered “my why”. That age number 60 I was so concerned about is in my rear view mirror and not even a thought as I continue on my journey of destinations knowing that He will continue to speak to me in the silence.
So here is what I would like to leave you with…take the time to realize and recognize that even with all of our modern technology that the answers you seek will come to you in ways that you least expect and during those quiet moments you experience. It means that you should schedule time in your busy calendars to have that quiet time. Try it out. You may find that it will grow on you. You may find that more positive things will happen to you the more that you realize that He will speak to you in non verbal ways. That HIS communication with you will always be a direct personal message through any number of mediums. That no matter how uncertain our lives may seem (in that moment) that He will always help to move us towards certainty. I ask you today to take note that there is indeed a mighty force out there, bigger than all of us, watching over us, directing our lives. And that what we perceive to be ordinary is very extraordinary in the form of a Godincidence or Godwink. And that is no coincidence. 

Let me know. I look forward to hearing how your coincidences are going.
Peace. BB

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Leaders should and must look in the mirror from time to time. It’s always important to tell the truth so that you will not have to try to re-remember what you said in the first place.

Friday July 8th 2016
It would seem that we live in unique times. The news abounds on any given day about what our Leaders are doing or fail to be doing. Of course, it is usually the political leaders that we pay the most attention to but Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. They come from many different avenues of our society…business, political, education, military, law enforcement, religious just to name a few.
Regardless of from what venue leaders derive, one thing that must be attended to by all leaders is a “Motive Check”. Leaders Must Do the Right Thing for the Right Reason! Perhaps you were curious as to why I stated in my title that Leaders need to look in the mirror once in awhile. Well the main reason is to check themselves out. Yes, that is correct. Leaders can so easily get caught up in doing things for image sake. In case we forget, leaders are being watched by so many people and when you least expect it. But of late, I have noticed that some purported leaders seem to think that they have a force field of some kind around them and are impervious to anything and everything and how dare you question their motives. To some out there, you would think that a rendition of the Emperor’s New Clothes were in effect and that many of us refuse to recognize and acknowledge what is so obvious that even a blind person could see what is going on. I don’t say that to be rude but to show reality.
One of the lessons that I teach from John Maxwell’s Book “Everyone Communicates. Few Connect” is to ask leaders when does “first impression” mode cease. After some thought and discussion, the answer clearly comes forth that first impression mode never ends. I can remember being taught that you have 8-10 seconds to make a first impression and that may be true with those that you are speaking with up close but clearly we always have to remember that as Leaders we are being observed by people we don’t even know are observing us.
Sometimes as Leaders, we forget and get caught up in facades and hypocrisy. You remember the scripture (loosely translated) that those who fast should not show that they are fasting and that those who have title should not walk around flaunting it. We are compelled as Leaders to ensure that we do good, give to charity, prioritize what we do and ensure that our values are in order. Of course, as this is a Leadership and the Bible posting, we should also realize that prayer is of immense importance. For those who may not have prayed in a while, it couldn’t hurt to try it again for the first time.
You may be wondering what this might have to do with Leadership. Well suffice to say that many of us if not all of us have told a “little white one” at some point in our lives. Well you out there in the business world will run into instances where by your telling it the way it is will end up being more beneficial than your having to do other wise. Surely, you will also run into those around you who may not always be on the up and up as they try to fix that which gets worse the more they try to fix it.
That was a mouthful, wasn’t it? When you tell the truth, you simply are telling it like it is from your perspective. Remember that where you are is where you are! The truth you tell today will be the same truth that you tell next week, next month etc. A non-truth is not like that. You would have interjected some non-truth and when you are asked again to recount what you said a week, a month etc. you will be hard pressed to remember exactly what you said and you will probably need to interject another non-truth of some kind. It will get to the point where you end up in over your head. John Maxwell always likes to say “that when you are in over your head, it does not matter how deep the water is”. How true this is!
But the most important part of this posting is to remind Leaders of the need to establish, define and action the Core Values.
1. Do the right thing for the right reasons
2. Relationships will make or break you (Sounds like an Inner Circle statement)
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff (and it’s all small stuff)
4. Judge yourself before you judge others
5. If you need something…ask. If you have something…Give
6. Stay true to YOUR Convictions. Stay the path
7. **When you tell the TRUTH you will never have to remember what you said**
Just remember that the TV shows are full of Law and Order and other types of stories that put people in front of lawyers and the courts and under cross examination people convict themselves because they could not get the story straight.
In closing, how many of the Leadership Laws can you deduce from this above list? If you are a leader or looking to become a leader, there is no time like NOW to do what you need to do to become that leader. Remember the law that people first buy into the leader and then they buy into the vision
Be the Leader that you are meant to be. Stay out from getting in the water above your head. For if you always tell it like it is, you won’t have to remember what it is that you said because it will always be what it is.
What are your thoughts? Send me your comments. Peace. BB 

Let us not forget to Remember July 3rd and what would help ensure the preservation of these United States of America!

We are actively celebrating the 4th of July Weekend, the remembering of the Events leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the creation of the Eagle of a New Nation dedicated to the proposition that All Men are Created Equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. And rightly so that we take the time to celebrate the Birth of a Nation, Our Nation, that has allowed us to be born and raised in a Country that so, so many others seek to become a part of because of what has become known as the “American Dream”.
But what many are not aware of, is that these dates of early July also depict a time of Civil Strife (The American Civil War / War Between the States) when 2 opposing Armies made up of Americans all met to fight a significant Battle in a small Pennsylvania town known as Gettysburg. While there were many battles in the years of the Civil War 1861-1865, it is well known and realized that the Battle of Gettysburg was the pivotal battle and perceived turning point to helping the Union to ultimately win. But what is even further little known is that it was due to a speech by a Union Colonel from Maine to a group of discontent soldiers that would help bring about a victory for the Union Forces at a time when the Southern Forces were about to cause a major upset.

The speech that rekindled loyalty and arguably won the US Civil War… Was not the Gettysburg address, it was the speech that Colonel Chamberlain gave to a large group of deserters that had been given to him the day before the biggest battle of the entire war. He desperately needed them to join his Northern Maine regiment for the upcoming battle.

…in that battle many historians agree that it was Colonel Chamberlain’s holding of Little Round Top that won the day, and was the turning point in the whole war, in favour of the North.

As you read his speech, made entirely off the cuff, note his skills at using the word “we”, his constant linking of the overall aim of the war with the present choice the men face, and most of all his repeated use of three points together, as he spoke, one of the most powerful techniques in presentations. I am including that monumental, momentous and yet simple down home speech.
So as we do indeed celebrate the Birthday of the United States of America, we also need to celebrate the preservation of the Union that 240 years later still holds and gives hope to all who live within these shores.

Colonel Chamberlain approached all of the deserters just after they arrived, and spoke to them together, as a group:

“I’ve been ordered to take you men with me, I’m told that if you (laughs quietly) don’t come I can shoot you. Well, you know I won’t do that. Maybe somebody else will, but I won’t, so that’s that. Here’s the situation, the Whole Reb army is up that road aways waiting for us, so this is no time for an argument like this, I tell you. We could surely use you fellahs, we’re now well below half strength.

Whether you fight or not, that’s up to you, whether you come along is… well, your coming.
You know who we are and what we are doing here, but if you are going to fight alongside us there are a few things I want you to know.
This regiment was formed last summer, in Maine.
There were a thousand of us then, there are less than 300 of us now.
All of us volunteered to fight for the Union, just as you have
Some came mainly because we were bored at home, thought this looked like it might be fun
Some came because we were ashamed not to
Many of came because it was the right thing to do
And all of us have seen men die
This is a different kind of army
If you look back through history you will see men fighting for pay, for women, for some other kind of loot
They fight for land, power, because a king leads them, or just because they like killing
But we are here for something new, this has not happened much, in the history of the world
We are an army out to set other men free
America should be free ground, all of it, not divided by a line between slave states and free – all the way from here to the Pacific Ocean
No man has to bow. No man born to royalty
Here we judge you by what you do, not by who your father was
Here you can be something
Here is the place to build a home
But it’s not the land, there’s always more land
It’s the idea that we all have value – you and me
What we are fighting for, in the end, we’re fighting for each other
Sorry, I didn’t mean to preach
You go ahead and you talk for awhile
If you choose to join us and you want your muskets back you can have them – nothing more will be said by anyone anywhere
If you choose not to join us well then you can come along under guard and when this is all over I will do what I can to ensure you get a fair trial, but for now we’re moving out
Gentlemen, I think if we lose this fight we lose the war, so if you choose to join us I will be personally very grateful.”
114 out of 120 deserters joined with the regiment immediately, with another 4 joined up later.

Is your Phoenix built and ready to fly”? And most important, “Are you ready to fly”?

Friday April 22, 2016

This week’s Blog post is entitled “Is your Phoenix built and ready to fly”? And most important, “Are you ready to fly it”?
I guess the first and best place to start with this posting is to go back to the classic film released in 1965 and later the remake of the same name “The Flight of the Phoenix”. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the movie and the plot, let me take a few moments to briefly describe it for you. The story describes several men struggling to survive their plane crash in the formidable  Sahara Desert. The crew and surviving passengers come from all walks of life as well as nationalities. Naturally, the radio does not work and while they have an abundant supply of dates (yes, those dried pieces of fruit) water on the other hand will only last about 10-15 days. The story clearly covers all aspects of whether to give up and die or to attempt to overcome their obstacles and survive. It is a story that matches “wit” against “braun” and “pride” against “logic”.  They set out to build an airplane from what was left of their crashed airplane and they name it the “Phenix” after the mythical bird that arose from the fire and ashes. I guess you will need to see the movie to find out the outcome. The Story and ‘our’ everyday lives clearly have  much in common and it is through the fundamentals and implementation of John Maxwells 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership that today’s posting applies.
I write this from my perspective and look forward to your feedback on agreement or differing point of view. In life, we will experience many instances whereby things may not be going as well as one would like. To the point of failure, distain, disillusionment, grief, down right just not caring anymore and defeatism. We have a choice. We can either roll over and give up the ghost or we can learn and grow from the experience(s) and rise anew better and more able to take it to the next level. Quite frankly, from a religious point of view, I have come to believe and understand that my God (Grand Overall Designer) has and is putting certain obstacles in my path to test me and prepare me for the greater things that He has planned for me. How I handle my challenges, failures and defeats will determine if I am prepared and ready for the greater that awaits.
Every once in awhile, I play the song whose lyrics refer to “I get knocked down, but I get up again. Nothing’s ever gonna keep me down” (enjoy the link below on this)  I am also reminded of the classic scene, not to mention the entire movie “Spartacus” (2nd link below). That classic scene where the Slave army under Spartacus was defeated and when the Roman General offered to spare the life to anyone who would turn Spartacus over to him instead chose to the man to stand up and say, “I’m Spartacus”! You see, they had chosen to all rise from the ashes in the quest for their freedom. You have a choice. Are you going to rise from the ashes no matter how many times it takes and fulfill YOUR destiny? Or are you going to allow others to knock you down and try to keep you down so that they can rise up at YOUR expense? The choice is yours. That is why Leadership training is so important. That is why you must continue to grow.
So what are your comments, feelings, thoughts on this topic? I would love to hear from you. Which of the 21 Laws did you find?
Not only am I a Phoenix but I am an Eagle. How about you?
Peace. Bermuda Bob

I Get Knocked Down but I GET UP Again!

I’m Spartacus


Mommy, when I grow up, I want to be…President?

Friday March 4th 2016


     I am sure that I was no different than hundreds and even thousands of other young American children back in the 1950’s/1960’s when asked the question…”What do you want to be when you grow up?” And of course, every young boy (we were years away from women’s lib) would respond from everything ranging from a jet fighter pilot, GI Joe, Buck Rogers, Superman, a doctor, a fireman all the way to that prestigious person, President of the United States.
     Yes, that’s right, my generation was taught that any boy in America could and had the right to grow up to be President. Even I thought that this was possible for me. I was a second generation American. My father’s relatives were just like thousands of other immigrants at the turn of the 20th Century “Coming to America” landing at Ellis Island in New York Harbor in search of a better life for their children and themselves.
     So what are the requirements in order to run for what has become the most important Leader of the Free World and maybe even the world itself?
According to the U.S. Constitution which is the Document that guides and governs all actions that conveys how America should be run clearly states that a person must be:
  1. A Natural Born U.S. Citizen
  2. Be at least 35 years of age
  3. And has lived in the United States for 14 years.
     Now of late, there seems to be some confusion over the letter of the law as to what a Natural  Born Citizen implies. WE were taught back in our day that you had to be physically born on US Territory. That if you were born to American parents overseas that that was not acceptable. In today’s political climate this appears to be an issue or a non issue. There are many, many reasons why someone would want to grow up to be President but unfortunately, the road to get there has become muddled. In today’s world, it seems that you need to be part of a political machine. It seems that you need to already hold a political office and running for President is a natural progression. It seems that all too often we find people who run for office with their intent is on being a professional politician. This IS NOT and WAS NOT the intent when the Founding Fathers back in the 1780’s were writing the Constitution. We are in the midst of watching as the “established” Parties are trying through the democratic process to determine who will be their choice for the candidacy to run for President of the United States. Clearly the people have a major say but the Party is running scared and doing all it can do to influence and ensure that a “political” person of their choosing is chosen. Let the games begin. I am sure by now that you have realized that I am referring to the current race for President and includes two guys by the names of Trump and Sanders. The point of running for an office is to serve the people that they represent. Emphasis on the word “Serve”.
     Oh the world of politics. We hate it and yet we can’t seem to get enough of it. Thus, it is so important to refer back to history from time to time. I say this because what is being portrayed in the press is that there is upheaval in the Republican Party. That there are major splits. There are issues with the Democrats as well. So I am going to go back in time to the mid 1860’s during the American Civil War. The current President, who by the way had more failures in his life than you can shake a stick at and who was not a professional politician knew that if an amendment to the Constitution declaring the rights and citizenship of the recently freed Black slaves was not passed before the Civil War was brought to an end who knows what would have happened to them. Well believe it or not, there was a rift within the Republican Party. 3 different points of view and each one thinking they were right. Lincoln was able to bring about a successful resolve to this matter but at great cost. Let’s now jump to the 1980’s when a man by the name of Ronald Reagan tried to become President of the United States. A former Hollywood movie star and yes, even a former governor of California but when the time came to run for President, he too had to buck the machine and the name calling that went with it. I wonder where the United States would be had Reagan not been elected? Under his watch the U.S. managed to revive the economy, managed to once again have pride and patriotism, managed to bring about an end to the Cold War.
     In a phrase that Dr. John C. Maxwell, the World’s #1 Leadership and Management Authority (and my mentor and partner) uses in his latest book “Intentional Living” states…”I want to make a difference doing something that makes a difference with people who make a difference at a time that makes a difference.” I add to this a phrase from Charles Dickens’ Classic Novel “A Tale of Two Cites”…”It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” I will add just a bit more and say that “It is the times”.  People get into politics for many reasons the most important of which is because they feel a calling to serve others. To put others first and to add value to them. To find a way to connect and not just try to communicate. Politicians need to remember that defining moments will always define your leadership and that if you find yourself getting kicked in the butt enough times, you will either get your “but” out of the way or realize that you are making a difference because you are clearly out in front.
     So as I bring this to a close, I state again that anyone born in the United States (male or female) can aspire and grow up to be President and we need to once again teach our children to dream to grow up to be the many things that await them out there that in many cases have not even been thought of yet.
So yes Mommy, when I grow up, I want to be a Leader…the rest will follow.
linda b078
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