• education,  excellence,  respect

    Does “meeting the requirement” equal excellence?

    A discussion in my online class made me think about this. A classmate objected when I encouraged the group to finish a group task worth 4% of our grade early in the week so we could individually concentrate on another task that is worth 10% of our grade and a major requirement in our doctoral program. The classmate accused me of being aggressive, and I was told that she had “met the requirement” for posting by midnight on Sunday. (aggressive v. assertive… that is a post for another day) I am the very best at procrastinating when I have a paper due. It is amazing how many pressing chores I…

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  • books,  business,  discipline,  excellence,  personal development

    Can negative be positive?

    Successful basketball coach Bob Knight seems to think so. His new book, The Power of Negative Thinking: An Unconventional Approach to Achieving Positive Results, was recently reviewed on the Success.com website. Of the tidbits they share, this is my favorite: Demand results. To win, you have to demand action and expect the upmost productivity out of your employees. “Successful leadership is [about] being hard to please.” I also saw a preview of Knight being interviewed on the David Feherty show on the Golf Channel and saying, “A pat on the back gets some things done. A kick in the ass gets more things done.” I’m not sure Knight’s approach would…

  • excellence,  goals,  happiness,  pets

    Lessons from a Cowboy

    Cowboy was abandoned in a foreclosed home during the long, hot summer of 2012. No one found him until about 30 days after he had been left behind by his not so loving family. He weighed 3 pounds. All I can think is that there had to have been a water leak somewhere in that house that allowed him to stay hydrated and not die alone and sad. Today Cowboy weighs a healthy 10 pounds. He lives in a loving home with playmates, regular meals, and a spot snuggled up at my feet each night. Amazingly, he shows few ill effects from his abandonment. He still eats his food way…

  • business,  decisions,  ethics,  excellence,  personal responsibility,  productivity

    Defeating the energy vampires

    I am a person who strives to treat each person I meet with respect and kindness, and I expect that those with whom I choose to work, socialize, and develop intimate relationships would treat me in the same manner. As a result, I am always temporarily taken aback when folks don’t respond in kind. Of course, I realize that humans aren’t always on their best behavior. We all have bad moments and sometimes even long, dark bad spells in our lives. However, once we schlep off those dark webs, we make our apologies and amends and rejoin the ranks of our mutually respectful peers. There are, however, those who derive…

  • education,  excellence,  personal development,  spiritual direction

    Acting for a better future

    I heard Martha Stewart interviewed on America’s Test Kitchen this morning and she said something that resonated with me. She commented that since her grandchildren have been born she feels a sense of responsibility for “making the future a good place for them.” (Find the interview HERE starting at about the 13:29 mark). Of course, I don’t have children, but I feel this sense of responsibility when I look at the students I see each day. I want these students to learn more than a skill. Anyone can learn a skill. I want them to become good thinkers who can in turn shape a good future for their own children.…