Ladder Climbing 101: Four stages of Ladder Climbing

  • Choose the right ladder.
  • Setting the ladder.
  • Climb your ladder.
  • View from the top. Sit, Stand, or Move on from the top.

Choosing the right Ladder:

Choosing the right ladder depends on the view that you expect to see when you reach the top. It might be to see what is on the top shelf in the cupboard or what is in the gutter on the roof. Choosing the right success ladder requires the same thought. Will your success ladder accomplish your vision? What do you want to see when you reach the top?

I have seen vans with ladders stacked ten high on the roof. Sometime they are so high that they look like the van will tip over on its side. Each ladder has a specific use for the painter. He brings them all to the job, then chooses the right ladder for the right job. The painter has a vision. It’s a completed paint job. Which ladder shall I choose to finish the job? Continue Reading

Ladders:   Finding a Success Ladder

A ladder is what we use to reach something that we perceive we cannot reach with out it. The something is beyond our normal reach. We determine what we want to reach. We decide whether we can reach it on our own. If we can’t reach it on our own, we need a ladder.

It’s interesting that when we look at our careers, goals, projects and stuff in our life, our success depends on the ladder that we choose to climb in order to reach that personal destination. It is a success ladder. This is not any different than selecting the right ladder to reach the top shelf in the garage. Continue Reading

Education is the Foundation for Innovation

When we look at innovations, the new things that come into our life, it is simply a new idea or process that was spawned by all the ideas and processes that preceded the innovation. Every innovation, invention, was the blending of personal experience and the experience of previous generations. When we understand that education is the foundation of all innovation, we have the greatest potential for success.

Birds flew long before man got into the airplane. We had to ask and understand how birds could fly. We developed wings, put them on man and machine and they didn’t work. We had to understand differential air pressure and flow over a surface. Ultimately we had to learn the processes of lift and propulsion. After all that, the Wright brothers combined all that information and designed the wing that could lift the airplane off the ground. The invention of the airplane was the summary of many individuals’ successes and failures. Those who learned from their own and others’ experiences eventually moved forward. They were the innovators. Continue Reading

It’s not where you grow up

It’s not where you grow up…it’s where you end up that counts. It sounds simple but understanding and embracing something that simple can change lives. Our future will be determined by our response to our environment better known as our circumstances. We enjoy rags to riches stories because they prove that success can come to anyone who works for it. Success comes to anyone willing to learn and grow.

Who’s in control?
We have choices. If we accept that we are a product of our circumstances, then we will be like a leaf floating on a pond. We will go where the current takes us. When our circumstances over whelm us, liked a soaked leave, we will simply sink to the bottom of the pond. But, if we believe that we can respond to and change our circumstances, we will determine where life’s current will take us. Continue Reading

The Skull Session

The Skull Sessions … turning ideas into assets
Brainstorming, skull sessions, or solution sessions are designed to generate multiple options to solving problems or developing growth scenarios. Team members often have ideas but they never get beyond the thought stage. Skull session is a tool that can turn ideas into assets. A skull session is different from a staff meeting. Staff meetings are agenda driven in order to keep people motivated and focused on the execution of the business plan. The staff meeting is good for developing and enhancing relationships among the members of the team. Continue Reading

Knowledge vs. Capital - Business 101

There is an old saying that most businesses fail because of lack of knowledge or lack of capital. Capital can be hard to find and easy to lose. Knowledge is easy to find and hard to lose. Knowledge is abundant and available, and once you have it, you can’t loose it. Capital is worthless if not use properly. Knowledge, on the other hand, can be used over and over, even after the capital has been lost. It’s called learning from our failures or from our mistakes.

Knowledge is the critical ingredient for successfully executing a business plan. The learning process involves three phases: Creative Analytical Execution. Each phase requires an investment of time and patience in order to maximize benefits. It is interesting that when we look at a business that is in trouble, the cause and the solution to its problems will be found in one of these three areas. Like planning a trip…decide where you want to go, learn how to get there, and then go. And people who get lost on vacation either didn’t know where they were going, didn’t get directions or didn’t listen to their GPS. They think they know. Continue Reading

Add Some Tools To Your Toolbox

Is it important to learn something everyday?
As a parent, at what time in your children’s development do you feel that they can quit learning? We know that our children will have a different opinion. They go through growth periods when they feel they are topped off. They know all that they will ever need to know. With our wisdom, we know that they will need more so we wait for the moment when we can continue to teach, coach and mentor. But as a parent, when do we know it all? Would our parents accept that we know everything or would they simply wait for the moment when they could continue to teach, coach and mentor? Continue Reading

Seeds:  Wheat or Weeds

There are many biblical references to ‘reap what you sow’. But even if your persuasion is not biblically founded, the principle applies in our daily lives. We can reflect on our current circumstances and sometime blame life for dealing us a bad hand…a poor harvest. But if we just stop, catch our breath and think about how we got to where we are today, we would see that we planted a few wrong seeds or planted them in a weed patch.

Coming from the farm, I learned very early that you don’t mess with Mother Nature. You reap what you sow. Planting the right seeds in the right ground at the right time gave us the best chance to harvest the right crop. We seeded clover just after the last spring snowfall. We planted oats before the last frost and planted corn after the last frost. We planted wheat after harvesting the oats in late summer. We spread manure in the winter and spring on the old cornfields and after the last hay was harvested, we spread the manure on the old hay fields before planting the corn in the spring. Continue Reading

Kids ask the tough questions

A little boy asked his grandpa a question. Grandpa smiled and answered the question. The little boy quickly asked another question and grandpa answered it. He immediately followed with another question. This time grandpa looked at his four year old grandson and said, “Matthew, you have a lot of questions, today.”

The little boy looked up at his grandpa and replied, “But Grandpa, I need a lot of answers.”

Kids ask the tough questions. The questions are pure and innocent. They are not couched in political correctness, politeness, or family or social conventions. They come from the child’s observations of us and their environment. Continue Reading

The Lifestyle Stream: The River tells many tales

If you want to know what the river will look like when it flows by you, go up stream the day before. If you want to know why you are where you are in life, look to the past and the decisions that you made. If you want to know where you will be in the future, look at the decisions that you are making today.

Upstream is the future, downstream is the past, and what is in front of you is yesterdays’ today and tomorrows’ future. You can’t change what was upstream today, but you can change what will be downstream tomorrow. If life is simply the water flowing down the river, what we see is our today. We can’t change what flows before us today but we can change what will flow before us tomorrow. Go upstream. Continue Reading