Information on Year-End College Scholarships!


The end of the year is upon us, and there are two separate college scholarships available for around $500 each. 

For consideration, please send your paperwork to 1457 Winterfield Court, Kennesaw, GA 30152

Completed applications must include:
1) A short letter of recommendation from a current professor or teacher;

2) A verifiable record of participation in the arts, technology, science clubs, contests, athletics or other activities;

3) A typed 150 word essay that responds to the question, “What does it mean today to be a Scholar, a Servant, and a Steward?;”

4) A recent report card or transcript.

Best of luck to those interested, and as always, remember to encourage excellence!!

Ethical Interviewing: From the Other Side of the Table

By: Suzanne Ostrander


In corporate America, it seems like we are constantly hearing about how to ace an interview, from tips on what to wear to final resume edits.  We are taught the proper questions to ask, and the customary behaviors for following up.

What about the other side of the equation, though?  It’s not unreasonable to assume that many employees outside of the HR department will be involved in the interviewing process. Members of a job applicant’s potential department need to meet and have the opportunity to interact with a candidate, in order to make a well informed decision from the company’s standpoint.

So, where do we draw the line when it comes to how much we allow non-HR employees to get involved in the interviewing process?

It’s wise to remember that HR personnel have been trained on the ethics of holding interviews.  Not only is it immoral to make “false promises” to a job candidate, but it is extremely unprofessional. Unfortunately though, interviewers are giving exactly this type of false hope to applicants all of the time.  Perhaps it starts out innocently.  The interviewer may be completely convinced that a candidate has a position “in the bag” so he gives a verbal promise to the hopeful candidate.

What happens next?  Oops, the interviewer that made these promises didn’t realize that there was a new mandatory test or additional qualification that must be met. Suddenly, the same candidate does not appear to shine as brightly.  Or, it could be that the very last candidate blew everybody away in the interview and he gets the job instead.

If a non-HR employee becomes involved in the interviewing process, it is imperative for he or she to refrain from making a “job promise”.  It’s one thing to have a good feeling about a potential fit, but it should be left at that.

Another possible solution would be for companies to hold periodic recruitment training for all HR and non-HR employees involved in interviews.  It can take years to build a good company reputation, but just moments to destroy it.  If we aren’t careful, we could be sending the wrong message to the people who walk into our doors.

Aside from the ethical issue, I tend to cling to the “golden rule” when it comes to interviewing: Treat others the way you would like to be treated.

Let’s face it, we’ve all been on the other side of the table before.  At one point, even the biggest business executive, manager, or CEO was just a young intern or new college graduate applying for an entry level position.  It’s not just the young ones we should be kind to.  What about those looking for a career shift or the people between jobs doing everything they can to find a position to pay the bills?

Regardless of the reason for their job search, no candidate wants to be promised a job one day and then login to Linkedin the next day to read about the person who received the job.  Sure, you could probably get away with doing it, but just remember- at one time, that person was you.

Let’s try and remember to treat others as kindly and professionally as possible when it comes to holding interviews, as well as our interactions in everyday life.  If we are ever tempted to act otherwise, or if we forget, remember Galatians 6 verse 7: “Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. We reap what we sow”.

In other words, God sees everything, and he knows our hearts.  Even though good deeds come back to us, those who truly love the Lord treat others with kindness because it’s in their nature. Our love for God should be our motivation, not the reward.  What’s even better is that when we put God first and focus less on ourselves, God’s blessings seem to be even more abundant.

I hope you are blessed by this message and, as always, I urge you to encourage excellence in your everyday lives!

To read more about the ethics of interviewing, click the link below:

SHADOW: The Newest Technology for Remembering Dreams


By: Suzanne Ostrander

For as long as I can remember, I have been captivated by the phenomenon of dreams. Some are good, some bad, some recurring with a possible meaning, and let’s face it, some are completely hilarious and random.  Long ago, I read about scientific research that indicates a distinct pattern to all of our dreams.  According to science, if we are diligent enough to record our dreams as soon as we wake up every morning, we will begin to see a distinct pattern over time! Maybe I am corny, but I find that fascinating!

The problem to this theory for me is obvious, though.  Kudos to those of you who are natural “morning people”, but I never have been and probably never will be.  The first thing on my mind once I hear the alarm is to reach for the snooze button. The next tangible thought probably involves a cup of coffee.  According to the scientific theory of dream recollection, by the time I am semi-functional and ready to record the details of my dreams, too much conscious time has passed and I have already forgotten many of the pertinent details that should be recorded.

So, for those of you who are fascinated by this theory, but despise the notion of “the early bird getting the worm”, science has created a solution.  With the new SHADOW technology, you can speak your details into an electronic device to be recorded and played back.  It may be a bit humorous to hear how groggy we may sound when this is played back, but I say- if it works, why not?!

Click below to read the original article that gives details on this newest advancement in scientific technology.  As always, remember to encourage excellence today and follow your “dreams”!

Three Essential Rules to Communicating with Recruiters

ImageBy: Suzanne Ostrander

The below article on is an excellent guide that gives us all guidelines on the proper etiquette when it comes to communicating with corporate recruiters.  If you have any other useful tips for working with headhunters, I would love to hear your thoughts.  Thanks for reading and remember to encourage excellence!

Stranger Danger: How to Keep a New Hire from Becoming an Unfamiliar Face


By: Suzanne Ostrander

-Kennesaw, GA You feel like you’ve missed the memo, but unfortunately there was no memo to begin with. In fact, that’s kind of the problem.

It all started two weeks ago on a Monday morning.  You thought the unfamiliar face who showed up at your meeting might have been an auditor. You give a friendly smile to the same gentleman as you pass him by in the break room the next morning, because hey- you always want your visitors to feel welcome!  When returning from lunch on Wednesday afternoon, you are somewhat surprised to still see him roaming the halls carrying what seems to be an important stack of papers and an even greater sense of urgency. Once again, smiles are exchanged by both parties, as you secretly think to yourself “this guy must be a big deal”!  Thursday rolls by uneventfully and the next thing you know it’s quitting time on Friday and you’re the last one to leave the office.

Or so you thought….

Like an eerie movie, you notice an unfamiliar, dark sedan next to yours in the parking lot. Who else is here? Curiously, you begin walking up and down the halls.  Nothing seems out of place, until you get to the last cubicle on the left.  That’s when you see it.  Apparently, the friendly yet relatively ambiguous man who you took to be an auditor, is now sipping on the company coffee in his own office.

He is neither an auditor, nor is he here to clean the toilets.  Congratulations, he is your new colleague.


Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation in your own office? The above example was written from the perspective of a clueless employee, but I can only imagine what it would be like for the new hire himself.  Starting up a new job can be scary enough.  It’s even worse when you’re “thrown to the wolves” and surrounded  by nothing other than unidentified faces.

A successful company is not just about training employees to execute tasks.  While the notion of productivity is important, we can only go so far in our career endeavors without an underlying network of strong relationships established by kindness and strengthened through trust.

Many of these relationships begin on your first day at the company.  It rests on the shoulders of management to properly introduce any new employee in his group, albeit full-time, part-time, temporary, hourly, or contractor.  Of course, managers might not always be able to identify every vendor, prospective client, or job candidate who walks into the front door.  If they have an email address, however, the “worker bees” need to know who they are.

Announcing a new hire can be easily achieved via a company memo (you know…the ones you always miss?) or a casual, yet informative quick announcement in an office-wide meeting.

Timing is essential, though. Experts say that this should probably be done on the first day. Therefore, if a manager does not get an opportunity to gather everybody for an announcement on a new hire’s first day, he should take five minutes to send out an email to introduce the newest member of the group and make him or her feel welcome.

Earlier, I mentioned the aspect of trust to be the single, most unifying force in all relationships.  How can this failure to welcome a new employee damage both the new hire’s sense of trust for the company, as well as the rest of the employees’ trust for the company?

There are many ways, really.  To begin with though, the new employee may begin to question how much faith the company has invested in him or her.  Perhaps it could make the new team member think that, despite being hired, management may not be expecting them to make it very long.

Let’s flip the coin, and view the scenario once again from the perspective of the confused and uninformed employees. At first, many employee’s may simply assume they “missed the boat” (a return to the repeated”missed memo” theme).  Maybe they were on the phone with a client or daydreaming in a staff meeting.  Who knows, maybe they just had to go to the bathroom!!!  Yet, I imagine that once this event continues to occur with new people throughout the office, the other employees will start to notice management’s failure to explain who the man in the suit is sitting next to them.  Other employees may also begin to wonder how much faith management has in the newest addition.  They may even wonder if they were excluded from the announcement, because their position was perceived as irrelevant to the new hire’s. Nevertheless, in all scenarios, management’s failure to introduce their new hire has likely created a stir, not to mention confusion among the rest of the workers.

The solution? Always welcome and properly introduce your new employees! No excuses. We never get a second chance to make a first impression, and new-hires who start out on the right foot are most likely to make long-term commitments to their companies!

As always, remember to encourage excellence with everybody you interact with!  A friendly gesture or simple act of kindness can result in 20-years or more of employee loyalty!! Sounds like a fair exchange to me!

God Bless,


Click below for tips on introducing new-hires to the office culture:

Dave Ramsey on Building a Successful Business

Entrepreneur-pictureMoney Management expert, Dave Ramsey has given valuable advice to entrepreneurs looking to get their feet wet with a new business idea.  According to Ramsey, too many talented individuals fail in this effort because they act too hastily.  To all you big thinkers, Ramsey suggests to start working on it part-time, after coming home from work.  Taking on part-time work in addition to a full-time job can be a challenging and tiring task, but according to Ramsey, it is much easier than losing everything to an idea that didn’t work out.  Eventually, once you begin generating steady income sufficient to cover your bills, then it’s time to begin considering making it a full-time job.  Remember: some of the best multi-million dollar companies started out in someone’s garage!

What has your experience been with acting upon a new business venture? I would love to hear from you.  As always, remember to encourage excellence!


For direct access to’s article on Dave Ramsey’s insight, click below:

Tough Love

Tough Love

Kennesaw, GA- Some tough love advice from New Zealand for young people.  Go make something happen today. Encourage Excellence!

Northland College (NZ) principal John Tapene has offered the following words from a judge who regularly deals with youth.

Always we hear the cry from teenagers ‘What can we do, where can we go?’

… My answer is, “Go home, mow the lawn, wash the windows, learn to cook, build a raft, get a job, visit the sick, study your lessons, and after you’ve finished, read a book.”

Your town does not owe you recreational facilities and your parents do not owe you fun. The world does not owe you a living, you owe the world something. You owe it your time, energy and talent so that no one will be at war, in poverty or sick and lonely again.

In other words, grow up, stop being a cry baby, get out of your dream world and develop a backbone, not a wishbone.

Start behaving like a responsible person. You are important and you are needed. It’s too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday.

Someday is now and that somebody is you…

Good Habits for Success

Kennesaw, GA Image

Folks who know me, also know I can be a little eccentric, absent-minded, and sometimes in a world of my own.  Encouraging Excellence is a motto that was embraced by me to keep others positive and myself focused on the big picture of what we can accomplish if we put our minds and hearts into making a difference.  Here is an article about the daily routines of some highly accomplished people as they made their impact on the world.  You will enjoy reading about some of the weird things these famous people would do.

Encourage Excellence every day. Bryan

Ian Brooks on Success


Kennesaw, GA-

A friend of mine sent me this recent quote that really hits home on how we gather information and make decisions.  Let me know what you think about it.

 “You have to self-train, you have to read, you have to study. You can’t expect to be spoon-fed anymore. The world is moving too fast to spoon-feed the information. You earn your success in life.” 

— Ian Brooks, European head of innovation at Hewlett-Packard, as quoted by Computerworld UK Oct 4, 2013

 Remember to encourage excellence in others today….


1 Question

Using customer satisfaction surveys are all the rage these days and the folks at Harvard who study  these things determined that using just a few very concise questions were enough to get to the heart of a solution.  The same goes with our own lives.  Once we know our core principles, we can continually ask ourselves, “is what I am doing right now getting me closer to my goal(s) or further away?”  Wow, how would our lives change if we asked that one simple question over and over as we go about our daily lives?  Think about it.
Remember that encouraging excellence in others is a very worthy effort by all of us.