Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

A Tribute to J. Francis Angier on His 90th Birthday

dadOne of my favorite poems was written by Edgar Guest entitled “I’d Rather See a Sermon than Hear One Any Day.”

It relates to much of the ways I see my father.

Like many fathers, Dad gave me a great deal of advice over the years. And like many sons, I rarely listened to it.

But, you see, I did observe my father. I saw what he did, and what he didn’t do.

He never had to tell me about being honest and having integrity, he just lived honestly and with integrity.

He never needed to lecture me about hard work and industry. I saw him work hard every day of his working life.

My father never needed to talk to me about being respectful to women. He just was. In fact, I never heard him denigrate women in any way. And he was always respectful and honoring of my mother.

He didn’t have to preach safety—although he did. He just went out of his way to practice safety in everything we did. It’s likely why most of his crew survived being shot down over Germany in the fall of 1944. And none of my family was ever seriously injured on our farm.

Dad didn’t talk much about humility and generosity. He simply demonstrated it all the time.

He didn’t spend much time explaining the value of good planning. But he planned his work and his business carefully.

He didn’t have to advise me on the value of education. Because he was a lifelong learner. And he read, and still does read, every day.

Dad didn’t tell us to love our country. But we knew he was a patriot and how much his country—and his service to it—meant to him.

So although the advice was there, what mattered most was demonstrating his best at being a good man. And it made all of us boys want to be a good man as well.

He set the standards pretty high. And I know I haven’t lived up to them all the time. Perhaps he didn’t either. But I know he did his best.

His sermon was, and still is, his life. And it mattered.

I’m so proud of you Dad. Happy 90th birthday!

ron-cover-smallNote: His first book, Ready or Not: Into the Wild Blue,
is available on Amazon (print and Kindle version)

Who’s On Your Team?

Many small businesses—especially solopreneurs—don’t think of themselves as having a team. But they actually do. It might not be the same as a sports team or project team in a larger organization, but you do have a team—at least you should.

Even our household has a team. My wife and I are the primary members, but there are others. There’s Mark and his team who mow, blow and edge our lawn. There’s Steve who fertilizes and treats for weeds and pests. And Wesley who keeps the pool chemicals just right. Emily cleans the house and George keeps the bugs and termites away. Victor is the guy we call for handyman projects.

They’re all part of the team, and they make our life and work easier and more effective.

In your business, you most likely have people to call on for graphic arts and printing. You probably have an accountant and an attorney. Perhaps you even have an Advisory Board and or a MasterMind Team, which I highly recommend. Perhaps you have a virtual assistant and/or an IT person to help you with your computers, phones, printers and software. I hope you also have a personal coach.

So you see, you really do have a team, even if you never really thought about it in that way. A team is there to support you and your organization in achieving your purpose. Your team allows you to accomplish far more than if you tried to do everything yourself. And a good team is a triple win—a win for you, for them and for those you serve.

Trying to do it all on your own is a setup for frustration and likely failure. Going it alone simply doesn’t allow you to grow very well at all.

The first step is to identify your team—who are all the players who help get the job done. And then start thinking of them as your team—even if they’re not full time. Nurture them. Thank them. Let them know they are part of your team and that you appreciate their contribution.

My favorite acronym for TEAMS is Together Everyone Achieves More Success.

So who is on your team?

By the way, I currently have one opening for a one-on-one coaching client. If you would like to be personally mentored by me in building you and your business, eMail me at with your contact information. I will then schedule a no-cost consult to determine if you, I and your objectives are a good fit. Just put COACHING in the subject line. Serious inquiries only please.

Can You Tell a Good Story?

In a recent Achievement Code Training about becoming a clear communicator, I was talking about the effectiveness of telling good stories.

I have a sign in my office that says, “Facts Tell and Stories Sell.” Stories truly are important in building rapport, holding attention and making our points more entertaining and memorable.

During the training, one of our participants asked a good question. He wanted to know how you get good at telling stories. Well, I’m the son of a very good story-teller, and I think I tell a pretty good story myself. But I hadn’t really thought about how one becomes good at this art.

Obviously one gets better with practice. But I think what this person wanted were some concrete methods for improving our ability to spin a tale that teaches.

Toastmasters International is a good place to practice and get feedback on all kinds of presentations. So joining your local Toastmasters could be a good place to start.

Beyond that, I think it’s a matter of analyzing a good story when you hear one. What got your attention? What made it interesting to you? How did you relate to it?

The sweet spot is to tell a story that’s not too long, yet not too abbreviated. And one that’s not so detailed the listener gets lost but not so general that it lacks the richness that paints a picture.

Share the emotions you were feeling. Talk about why you felt a certain way and what memories it brought back.

Taylor Sternberg has a formula he uses to construct an engaging story. He recommends breaking your story into six parts:

1. Who: Start with who is involved. Was it you alone, with another person, or a group of people. How are you related to those people?
2. What: Communicate what the action was, such as being at a party or driving to a friend’s house.
3. Where: Actively describe where you are, using senses. If you’re good at establishing the location, you can get the listener to start re-living the senses with you.
4. Conflict: This is the bulk of the story. What is the importance of this story? What happened, and what action did you take to try to resolve what was happening?
5. Resolution: How were you able to handle the task set up in “conflict”?
6. Tag: This one is a bit tricky. It’s the aftermath of the resolution and usually is a joke or the big finish of the story.

I encourage you to try your hand at becoming great at telling short stories to improve your ability to communicate more effectively.

And don’t say, “To illustrate my point, let me tell you a story.” Just tell the story. And let your story do its work.

I can think of no better investment of your time and effort than the study and practice of becoming a clear and effective communicator.

And right now, you can grab these two FREE resources with proven techniques to help you deliver more powerful presentations.

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