A Date in History that Changed the Fate of the World

d_dayIt was on Omaha Beach that the battle turned, and with it, history.”

“I was able to go there and vicariously contemplate what I doubt I would have had the courage to do — cross that beach under fire, and then return to the attack at the sea wall. I marvel at the men who did.”

“It is one thing to ask for sacrifice with an end in sight. But how much can you ask from your people when all there is for them is war and death, and there is no end?”

“It was not the generals and staff members who turned the tide on Omaha. It was captains and sergeants who made the difference.”

[above quotes are excerpts from George Friedman’s article, “Thoughts on Omaha Beach”.  Full article is included following my message below] Continue reading

The German Way

germany-flag“The will is the soul of the work.” – Old German Proverb

My schedule this past week had me at the Contingent Workforce Strategies (CWS) conference in Berlin, Germany.  The event was a tremendous success, and the interest in MSP and RPO is growing rapidly across Europe.  Some of you know how passionate I am about the workforce solutions industry, so It is uplifting to see new customers embracing its value proposition.  I am leaving Germany energized and excited the emerging contingent workforce management market developing in Europe.

You have no doubt noticed several  of my leadership messages feature observations made during my travels.   To be fair, I travel far too much (I am working to find a better balance).  But I must admit that one of the benefits of my job is the opportunity to experience different cultures.  I am one of those people who embraces those experiences.  When I travel, I try to view life through their eyes.  See things from their perspective.  And find the lessons and the wisdom in their ways. Continue reading

In Memory of Bret Montague

“As I grow to understand life less and less, I learn to love it more and more.” – Jules Renard

“Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments.” – Rose Kennedy

“Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.” – Isak Dinesen

“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln

Life.  What a beautiful thing…only darkened by the tragedy that is often ends far too soon.  How does it go?  The good die young.  Those we love most are often taken from us at the most inappropriate time.  Life is fleeting.  Life is short.  It gives, and it takes away. Continue reading

Balancing Work with Life

balance“I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.”  [Zig Zigler]

I often stress the importance of work/life balance to my fellow team mates. So for this leadership thought posting, I thought I would feature that concept. And, given that we are deep in the middle of the summer holiday season and now in the middle of a holiday week (July 4th) whose Wednesday calendar placement seems to have given many of us the opportunity for a very long weekend break, this quote is perfect. And of all of the quotes I’ve seen about work/life balance, this one seems to put it all in the right perspective.

I’ve often used my leadership thought posting to impart some wisdom around how to be a better leader in all aspects of life. Clearly many of my past entries have focused around the importance of leadership in managing your teams, in working with your teammates, and in servicing your clients. Make no mistake, it is important for you to build a company of leaders that are known for the quality of their work and the character of their team.

But it is also important to seek a balance in the order of things. Much like the Tao religion/philosophy that seeks harmony with the yin and yang in all things, we aren’t going to be productive or effective in work if we aren’t at harmony with the other aspects of our life. Our health. Our family. Our friends. Our interests. These are all important as well.

OK, maybe that’s getting a little too deep for this week’s message, but you get the picture.

Words of Wisdom

“Now my little eaglet, stand on the edge of the nest, take a deep breath, and soar.  I want to watch you fly!”

[Linda H. Tumlinson – 1945-2012]

I hope I am not out of line with this week’s quote, as it touches on a rather personal note.  But since I believe in personalizing my messages, I’m taking a chance and sharing it.  This week’s quote comes from my mother, Linda H. Tumlinson.  It’s an excerpt from a letter she wrote me on the day I graduated from college.  Please bear with me as I share the wisdom behind this quote, while paying a small tribute to the person who most shaped my life.

As some of you are aware, I lost my mother this past week after a long and lengthy battle with Lupus.  She was an amazing woman.  After serving as a parole officer for 25 years, she went on to found one of the first shelters for battered and drug addicted women in Houston (The Shoulder) and served as a key executive with Prison Fellowship Ministries.

A truly selfless person, she had a gift for seeing the very best in a person, and for believing in them when others may not have.  She knew the character of a man (or woman), and was willing to take risks to give them the chance to let that character shine through.  She was not judgmental, but she did expect you to be accountable for your actions.  But most of all, she could see potential in every single person and would push you to achieve it regardless of the circumstances.

I’ve carried this quote in my head for over 22 years now.  It is such an amazing quote.  So full of hope.  So full of anticipation.  And so full of promise.  It shows faith, trust, and belief.  How can you not strive to be your absolute best when you’ve been given such words of encouragement?

I am sharing this quote for two reasons.  One, I believe it is a fitting tribute to a wonderful person.  Two, I want you to have it.  I want you to own it.  And I hope it inspires you to achieve more than you ever thought possible simply because someone believes in you that much.

PS – thank you so much for all of the support you’ve given me through this tough time.  You will never know how important it was in helping me through it.  As was sharing this quote, so I appreciate you allowing me the latitude to do so.