Showing posts from 2008

Just because it was a tough year doesn't mean we can't be thankful.

It was a rough year. Watching my seven year old son awake from eight hours of surgery and anticipating his next three months in a body cast was numbing. Spending dinner with close family friends and reviewing travel photo albums with their beautiful daughter while her best friends, my daughters, were away visiting their cousins in Florida was delightful. It was devastating five days later when her father called to say she'd fallen into a terminal coma. To lose the last vestige of someone I referred to as a mother die when my godmother died in December forced me to reflect on the passing of a wonderful generation of our family's WWII era cousins. To see my mother's cousin's husband die made me wish for happier times, when we'd spend every Christmas Eve together. To hear my first friend describe how most of the black kids from our NJ neighborhood died young makes me question community in America. To learn two admired Brown classmates; one a freshman hall mate who

Where are the Leaders?

Just because someone is in a powerful position doesn't mean he or she is a leader. Given: I am very thankful I was born and raised in America. I can't think of a better place to live or a better system wherein to raise my family. My great grandfather Julius was a Lithuanian immigrant. His first boss assaulted him while pushing Julius to a production record laying railroad tracks. After being stuck with a long pin in his backside, Julius, nicknamed "Bear" for his 18.5 inch neck, arms, and calves, turned and cold-cocked his abusive foreman. Fearing deportation, or worse, Julius sprinted to his sponsor's apartment (in those days, in order to gain entry to the United States, immigrants had to pass rigorous physical exams and be supported by a family whose innate incentive was to make the new person self sufficient). Hiding and shaking in his closet, the police arrived and escorted Julius to the courts where his sponsor and interpreter explained to the judg

Noah's Recovery

Just because a 7 year old boy is in a body cast for 10 weeks doesn’t mean his life stops. The good things we learned: In the beginning, we moved Noah in his cast like prized China. By the end of the ten weeks, he was climbing from his bed to his wheelchair, unassisted, and maneuvering his wheel chair with precision and speed. He also pulled himself around on the floor, building his upper body. His spica cast weighed around sixty pounds, ran from his ribcage to his feet, with a two foot long bar separating his ankles. During the last few weeks in his cast, Noah climbed on my back to wrestle. Visits are great. Our first visitor at the hospital, following Noah's surgery, was Reverend Bob MacFarlane from Marion's First Congregational Church. He delivered Noah a hand knitted prayer shawl, created by the church's knitting club. Noah loved the visit and the shawl. He kept it on his lap. He also distinguished Reverend Bob from priests by stating: "Reverend Bob has a w

Patience + Persistence = Progress

Expectation: My wife and I, like most parents, do everything possible to protect our children from danger and pain. Doubt: When he was an infant, we noticed our son's left hip clicked and it was not flexible. It did not open as easily, or as much, as his right hip. Trials: We took him to an expert Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon named Michael Ehrlich who determined Noah has Legg-Perthes disease. In these patients, proper blood flow does not reach the head of the femur; it dies, and regenerates in about 70% of the cases. The malformed head does not fit well in the hip's socket, thus causing tightness and muscle spasm. He was placed in traction every night between the ages of one and six, when MRI's showed normal bone formation. Noah was given freedom to participate in physical education and we put away the traction apparatus. Most recent pictures showed further femur deformation. We consulted with Dr. Ehrlich and our family friend, who trained Dr. Ehrlich during his Mass Gene

Does the End Justify the Means?

Given: My parents, grandparents, and most adults in my family and immediate community, including my teachers and coaches, were my role models. Based on my memory, they were not cheaters. To my observation and awareness, they did not lie, cheat, or steal to make short term gains or to get ahead. They worked hard. They were honest. They were selfless. They were self critical. They were creative. Thanks to good leadership, they lived in an area with good opportunities to succeed. People were satisfied with making their lives better than their immediate ancestors. The culture encouraged and rewarded integrity and community. It punished shortcuts and people who broke rules to get ahead. Talent was recognized because standards were clear. Talent outweighed connections, and packaging. Doubt: In recent weeks purported character flaws have dominated media outlets. A vaulted athlete (Roger Clemens) was accused of taking performance enhancing drugs. To raise its moribund basketball program, the

A Giant Victory

Given: The Pats were expected to win the Super Bowl. They are the only team to finish a 16 game NFL regular season undefeated. They entered the 2008 Super Bowl with an 18 – 0 record. Most prognosticators expected them to beat the 10 – 6 Giants, who started their season with two losses, and accumulated six. At the time, fans called for the Giant’s Coach Coughlin to resign, and for their quarterback, Eli Manning, to be benched. A former star, Tiki Barber, criticized Manning for not being a strong leader. The sports betting line hovered around fourteen points in favor of the Pats. In New England, fans were eager to see Brady and Moss carve through the Giant defense. For the past 17 years, my family and I have lived in New England and I follow the Pats. Yet, I also support the Giants because I am a New Jersey native and was raised a diehard Giants fan. My father’s childhood next door neighbor was Giants’ legend Alex Webster. Alex’s younger brother Jim was my dad’s best friend.

Please Help

Greetings! It was a good year, and let's hope 2008 brings greater treasures. With this in mind, I'd very much appreciate your help with four inquires. Job satisfaction and performance is directly linked to one's relationship with his or her boss. As a result, my clients want strong working relationships. I offer them one on one coaching programs, team development sessions, seminars, retreats, and very well received Practice of Management Certificate of Completion programs. The certificates are granted to successful graduates by either my corporate clients or to my clients through accredited universities. Below please find the related inquiries. 1. I want to expand all my services in 2008, and in particular, the certificate programs. If you know people at organizations wanting to identify, select, and develop their management and leadership talent, I'd greatly appreciate your contacting me in private. 2. The proven tools, theories, and cases my clients use to influence t

Happy New Year!

From the Lowest Depths there is a Path to the Loftiest Heights Given: It was the last night on the trails and everyone was looking forward to ice cream at base camp the next day. Fourteen days of hiking fifteen to twenty miles per day with forty pound packs on our backs, and eating rationed, dehydrated food, leaned our bodies. It also helped me get in shape for my sophomore high school football season. Our goal was to merge with another New Jersey group and greet the sunrise atop the Tooth of Time, a jagged outcropping of rock; its silhouette branded the Philmont Reservation on belt buckles, shirts, and coats. It was a fitting end to an eventful fourteen days where we tested our endurance, courage, and communication skills to help our unit remain together and safe. I was also relieved. My boots started coming apart about half way through the trip. It looked like they would finish the trail. We woke at midnight and started hiking, to insure seeing the sunrise on the Tooth’s pea