Food for Thought

1.20 Points to Understanding Through Postive CommunicationRalph Waldo Emerson

2.A Good LeaderTed Lenio

3.The paradox of our age (1995)Reverend Bob Moorhead

4.Sixty Thoughts About Life and WorkGeoffrey M. Bellman

5.A Poem About ResponsibilityCharles Osgood

6.What it Takes To Start a StartupBrian O’Reilly

7.Paradoxical CommandmentsKent M. Keith

8.The Seven Social SinsFrederick Lewis Donaldson

By: Ralph Waldo Emerson. American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century, (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882).

1.See the other person’s point of view. Try to understand, not judge.
2.Be open, not dogmatic.
3.Question and clarify with open- and close-ended questions. Let others talk themselves out.
4.Maintain calm and composure. Show affirmation and agreement when appropriate.
5.Don’t be defensive. Hear the other person out.

7.Look for areas of agreement and things that you have in common. See how they’re right.
8.Don’t argue and tell them that they’re wrong.
9.Admit mistakes and errors. This leaves room for the other to do the same.
10.Express gratitude for their honesty.

11.Develop a ‘yes/yes’ affirmative, agreeing momentum.
12.Can the other person (opponent) be right ? Partly ?
13.Is there truth or merit to their position ?
14.Will my reaction relieve the problem, or just my frustration ?
15.Do I want to win, or solve a problem ? What price is paid ?

16.Is this difficult situation an opportunity ?
17.Seek the other person’s advice, suggestions. Is there anything we can do about it ?
18.Don’t make others wrong and point out errors.
19.Let them ‘save face’ and look their best.
20.Be sincere. Come from the heart.


By: Ted Lenio

•A good leader is fundamentally a servant – supporting and respecting the points of view, unique experiences, backgrounds, and needs of each of the members.

•A good leader realizes that strength and truth reside in the whole of the community, not in any one member alone – and most especially, not in himself.

•A good leader doesn’t have all-or any-of the answers. In fact, he approaches with an open mind the questions, the how’s and why’s of issues and celebrates evolving solutions to issues and problems. He is open to discovery and surprises.

•A good leader tries to be unbiased, acknowledging all who speak. He is sensitive to feelings and suspends judgment until the discussion is open.

•A good leader does not do most of the talking or dominate. In fact, he is the model listener, helping to draw and the members, making sure that all have their own opportunity to contribute. He is even comfortable with silence. He focuses with attention, shows concern, paraphrases, is patient, doesn’t interrupt, and remains poised and emotionally controlled.

•A good leader does not try to be the most conspicuous member of his group, looking for attention, honor or praise. In fact, he puts others first, offering encouragement. He models the rule of conciliator, compromiser and consensus builder. He facilitates, moderates and summarizes.

•A good leader accepts criticism without becoming defensive, listens to advice, and has a sense of humor about his weaknesses.

•And lastly, a good leader revels in the process, though it may be a struggle at time. He is joyous in the opportunity to offer his talents, skills and specialness in service and relationship with others. This is his true award.


By: Reverend Bob Moorhead, a prominent pastor in Seattle, for his congregation at Overlake Christian Church and was published in a booklet called Words Aptly Spoken.

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy less.
We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time.
We have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.
We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less.
We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast food and slow digestion; big men and small character; steep profits and shallow relationships.
These are the days of two incomes but more divorce; fancier houses but broken homes.
These are the days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.
It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember to say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember to say “I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away.


By: Geoffrey M. Bellman the author of The Consultant’s Calling. Written on his sixtiest birthday.

1.Love yourself and you will need less reassurance.
2.Learn who you are becoming.
3.Your anxieties are trying to teach you something.
4.Truth is friendly even when you don’t like it.
5.Revel in what you bring to the world.

6.Money is energy. Not good, not evil.
7.Express your appreciation.
8.Have young friends.
9.Your strengths are also your vulnerability.
10.Save early and often. Savings represent options.

11.You are becoming what you are doing. The rest is talk.
12.Your credit card bills and calendar reveal much about your life.
13.Love yourself now; do not wait until later when you will be perfect.
14.Forgive yourself when you make a mistake. Now do it again.
15.Saying no is the other half of saying yes.

16.When in doubt, choose hope.
17.When your mistakes become patterns, get concerned.
18.Notice your absolutes. Let go of as many as you can.
19.It’s often not that important: just prick !
20.Develop healthy habits, the earlier the better.

21.Love others for who they are today.
22.Your momentum is taking you somewhere. Notice.
23.Be honest with yourself -and then with others.
24.Aspire to what you will never achieve.
25.Spend less than you earn.

26.Find a partner and create a life together.
27.If you CAN measure it, it is NOT that important.
28.Living is a dynamic, not a destination.
29.Put personal time on your calendar first and don’t give it away.
30.You create the world by seeing it.

31.There is so much in the world that you do not have to do.
32.Create choices for yourself and other.
33.Your questions are more intriguing than your answers.
34.Remind yourself of who you are becoming each day. No one else can.
35.Play the hand you are dealt.

36.Choose the work that feeds your dreams.
37.The world can tell you anything you want to hear.
38.Everyone is in process; no one is done yet.
39.When you play others’ games, you play by their rules.
40.You are creating your life now-whether you know it or not.

41.Debt decides your future for you.
42.Seek daily guidance from your more knowing self.
43.You can’t forgive in others what you can’t forgive in yourself.
44.Whatever love means today, it can mean more tomorrow.
45.What you don’t want to know about yourself is also you.

46.Some of what you must learn cannot be taught.
47.Notice why you are here right now: To give ? To get ?
48.Tend your friendship. They become more valuable with age.

49.Appreciate all that your shortcomings have given you.
50.Doing something is often more important than what you choose to do.

51.Imagine seeing that all of like makes sense.
52.In the midst of your most important life changes, you will not understand.
53.Serve something larger than yourself.
54.Sink deep roots.
55.New sight is more useful than new skill.

56.Leave everything a little better than you found it.
57.Build on what is alive in people.
58.Perseverance prevails.
59.Respect all work and the people who do it.
60.Bring who you are to what you do.


Charles Osgood, a radio and television commentator in the United States.

There was a most important job that needed to be done,
And no reason not to do it, there was absolutely none.
But in vital matters such as this, the thing you have to ask
Is who exactly will it be who’ll carry out the task?

Anybody could have told you that everybody knew
That this was something somebody would surely have to do.
Nobody was unwilling; anybody had the ability.
But nobody believed that it was their responsibility.

It seemed to be a job that anybody could have done,
If anybody thought he was supposed to be the one.
But since everybody recognised that anybody could,
Everybody took for granted that somebody would.

But nobody told anybody that we are aware of,
That he would be in charge of seeing it was taken care of.
And nobody took it on himself to follow through,
And do what everybody thought that somebody would do.

When what everybody needed so did not get done at all,
Everybody was complaining that somebody dropped the ball.
Anybody then could see it was an awful crying shame,
And everybody looked around for somebody to blame.

Somebody should have done the job
And Everybody should have,
But in the end Nobody did
What Anybody could have.


Entrepreneurs with the right stuff don’t think much about taking risks or getting rich. Instead, they are obsessed with building a better mousetrap.

By: Brian O’Reilly Reporter Associate Natasha A. Tarpley, June 7, 1999.

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Getting the entrepreneurial bug, are you? Tired of reading about all these pubescent little CEOs who did nothing more clever than sell books or airline tickets over the Internet and made a billion? Meanwhile, you, despite 15 years at that same desk job, have been nursing this fabulous idea that could make you the richest and most powerful person in the entire brake-shoe industry…. Whoops. Better not tip your hand, or someone will teal the idea. But it’s big. Big, big, big.

There’s just one problem: Every time you think about pursuing that dream, your palms sweat. No steady paycheck! No dental plan! No time for golf! And those hungry venture capitalists expect you to take a second mortgage to help fund this scheme. If it bombs, you and Martha will spend your golden years in a trailer park, caddying at the country club. How, you wonder, do these entrepreneurs summon the brass ones to risk everything–income, lifestyle, self-esteem–on one crazy idea that probably won’t work anyway? Are they thrill-seeking lunatics?

Better hunker down at that day job, bub. Entrepreneurially speaking, you ain’t going nowhere.

Despite their image, entrepreneurs are not the Evel Knievels of the business world. Nor do they think much about risk, sweaty palms, wealth, power, or failure. All of that may come eventually, but words like “risk” and “failure”–even “power” and “money”–don’t preoccupy the nascent Michael Dells or Larry Ellisons beavering away in the garage next door. If you are terrified at the prospect of becoming an entrepreneur, or are busy dreaming of the money and power that success will bring, you’re probably not cut out for this line of work.

People who spend time around the types eager to start the World’s Next Great Company describe a very different person. Unlike Mr. Brake Shoe, he or she is wildly enthusiastic about the idea and utterly convinced of its success. Failure? Yeah, it’s a theoretical possibility. But the consequences are insignificant compared to this great, great idea that will change the entire industry and maybe the world, and change how people live and create great value and a great company and…(breathless enthusiasm usually continues for several minutes).

One reason entrepreneurs–the ones most likely to make it, at least–behave like men and women possessed is that they have experienced a flash of understanding known as “entrepreneurial insight,” says professor Ian C. MacMillan, a guru of entrepreneurship at the Wharton School who has counseled innumerable startup wannabes. They have seen, in their mind’s eye, the better mousetrap, the great unmet need, the changing tide, the big opportunity. Because they see it so clearly, they feel they know exactly what must be done to prevail.

Entrepreneurial insight enabled Ken Olsen to grasp a way to make computers far more cheaply than IBM; he started Digital Equipment Corp. It helped retailing whiz Merritt Sher of San Francisco see that small specialty stores, often obscured by giant department stores at suburban shopping centers, would flourish in new, smaller “strip malls.” And it has actor Robert De Niro convinced he can turn the Brooklyn Navy Yard into a successful East Coast movie studio. “I could be wrong a little bit here and there,” De Niro told reporters recently. “But you cannot fail at this.”

People who regard uncertainty as an adventure are far more likely to become entrepreneurs than those who see it as a threat to an orderly way of life. Richard Branson, the British billionaire, started Virgin Records and Virgin Atlantic Airlines. But he probably has gotten more attention for his efforts to circle the world in a hot-air balloon. He figures it’s no coincidence that he likes risky balloon ventures and risky business ventures. “Being an adventurer and an entrepreneur are similar,” he says.

“You’re willing to go where most people won’t dare.” When he decided to start the airline, his advisers called him crazy. “You know the joke,” he says. “The easiest way to become a millionaire is to start with a billion and go into the airline business.” He did it anyway. “It’s not about making $2 billion or $3 billion. It’s about not wasting one’s life”


By: Kent M. Keith, The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.


From a sermon given by Frederick Lewis Donaldson in Westminster Abbey, London, on March 20, 1925.

The Seven Social Sins are:

Wealth without work.
Pleasure without conscience.
Knowledge without character.
Commerce without morality.
Science without humanity.
Worship without sacrifice.
Politics without principle.