Thursday, December 24, 2009


A number of years back my wife and I became much more intentional about creating some family traditions, especially around days and seasons that are special to us.

For example, the day after Thanksgiving we always head out to get the Christmas Tree. Watch this short video of my 8 yr old son transporting the tree to the van. My other two younger daughters are with me as well.

As it is Christmas Eve I thought I would take just a few minutes to share some of the ones we have been practicing for a while, related to this special ocassion.

Maggiano's - our favorite restaurant as as family (besides Jason's Deli) is Maggiano's Little Italy in Oak Brook. Each year we get all dressed up and head out for a great meal. We order a couple different appetizers and five or six main dishes (for our family of 10!) and usually finish up with some good dessert. And, we always have leftovers to enjoy later. Yummm.

Movies - we usually try to watch one or two of the old-time favorites together (Holiday Inn, White Christmas, Bells of St. Mary, etc.)
Sleeping out - the children and I always camp out in the living room together in sleeping bags. It is getting harder and harder on this old body, but I still enjoy this aspect of our Christmas Eve.

So, what are some traditions that you and your family engage in? What memories are you creating together with those you love? If this is an area of weakness for you, let me encourage you to start today. Don't worry about the years lost. Look ahead with fresh vision and anticipation.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Seize the day!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Do You See What I See?

Here is an excerpt from the newsletter that I just sent out this morning. Enjoy!

Creating Hope - This Is Your Time!

"You were meant to be here tonight...This is your time!"

Those are just a few of the inspiring words uttered to his team by coach Herb Brooks only minutes before the U.S. Olympic hockey team faced the Russians in the 1980 Olympic Winter Games. As most of you know, those "boys" went on to stage one of the greatest upsets in sports history. (Click here to watch the full speech from the movie "Miracle". It's only 2 minutes...and very worth it.)

Many others have inspired great hope in their followers through their words and their deeds. I think of great men like Martin Luther King Jr. and Winston Churchill. One had "a dream" and the other saw "their finest hour..." Read more...

Seize the day!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Building and Maintaining Strong Relationships

Here is another excerpt from a previous newsletter.

Simple Building Blocks

Maybe you're thinking, “Are you kidding? Building and maintaining relationships is NOT simple." I agree that people and relationships can be dauntingly complicated when looking at the big picture. However, most successful relationships can be built and maintained using relatively simple building blocks...the smaller pictures.

Consider communication as a small picture. The most common reason for "on the rocks" relationships is poor communication. Many factors play into a relationship, but the ability to be heard and understood by one another is the ultimate bottom line. Therefore, your ability to properly engage in the ordinary conversations of everyday life with your followers will be a critical building block in your relationship with them and your success as a leader. Read more...

Seize the day!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Why is Having an Executive Coach Helpful?

Before I get into the value of executive coaching, here's a quick personal update: Things have been really busy for our family lately. We hosted a Regency Ball on November 13 (check out for pictures and videos). It was fantastic, and it also consumed us for a week or two beforehand. After a week of recovery we enjoyed a very nice Thanksgiving day and weekend. We bought our Christmas tree, started decorating the house, played capture the flag and also went to our local Wheaton parade.

At the beginning of my Thanksgiving week I spent two days on my "Getting Things Done" implementation. I am now officially a GTD'er. If you have no idea what I am talking about, check out my last two blog posts. They are just a sliver of what I have been learning as I have read David Allen's book. I highly encourage you to check it out if you are looking for more stress-free productivity in your life.

On another note, recently one of my sons and I made a brief video clip about the value of having an executive coach. Take a quick look at this video to find out what I had to say.

Feel free to visit my website for more video clips and access to previous webcasts.

Seize the day!