The Truth About Trust

The Truth About TrustBy: Suzanne Ostrander

David DeSteno, Ph.D. argues that the decision to trust is a risk worth taking.  In his recent publication, “The Truth About Trust”, DeSteno, a Northwestern University psychology professor, argues that the notion of trust “affects how we learn, love, take care of our health, and conduct business”.  According to DeSteno, the”human longing to believe in another person’s integrity and reliability” is an exhaustive, yet ongoing subject of research for researchers, doctors, and other professionals in the field of psychology.  In “The Truth About Trust” DeSteno suggests that the benefits of trusting another far outweigh the risks in situations that would not normally arouse suspicion.

In other words, while it is often wise to be cautious, being too paranoid will only harm your relationships in the long run.  This advice seems simple enough, yet most people could benefit from hearing it.

If you have read this book or are familiar with this author, I would love to hear your thoughts!  Remember to encourage excellence today and everyday.

Organizational Inertia

Organizational InertiaKennesaw- Friends, as you know, I am a huge fan of Peter Drucker (The Age of Discontinuity) and Richard Koch (80/20 Principle). Large companies have to adapt to rapid change in our new economy both internally and externally.  If you work for a Fortune 500 company, take some time to study how you are going to contribute this year and how you can add measurable value to the bottom line.  Like a manager of mine once said, revenue and margin solves most problems.  Encourage excellence today.

George Wallace’s “Laff it Off”

Laff it OffIn Comedian George Wallace’s book, “Laff it Off”, he reminds us that “we don’t stop laughing because we grow old- we grow old because we stop laughing”. As a frequent performer throughout Vegas and comedy clubs across America, Wallace inspires and relates to a variety of followers ranging from white collar workers, to homemakers, to everything in between. For information on George Wallace’s book, click the link below to be directed to his website:

http://www.georgewallace.net/

In light Wallace’s philosophical approach to laughter and life, I have provided some of my favorite quotes on laughter that I could not live without. I hope you are blessed by these quotes and that you never forget to stop laughing everyday.  As always, I remind you each to encourage excellence throughout your daily endeavors.  Remember: laughter is the best medicine!

“In those whom I like, I can find no common denominator; in those whom I love I can: they all make me laugh” -W.H. Auden

“If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane”. -Robert Frost

“I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.”
― Maya Angelou

“And I have one of those very loud, stupid laughs. I mean if I ever sat behind myself in a movie or something, I’d probably lean over and tell myself to please shut up.”
―J.D. Salinger, “The Catcher in the Rye”

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”
―Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol”

“Life is worth living as long as there’s a laugh in it.”
―L.M. Montgomery, “Anne of Green Gables”  

“The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”
― Mark Twain 

Eric Lusk Awarded as this Year’s Scholarship Winner

Eric Lusk photoBy: Suzanne Ostrander

Congratulations to Eric Lusk, this year’s Foxwerthe Consulting scholarship recipient! Eric is a student at Toccoa Falls College, a Christian-centered school in the Northeast mountains.

Eric has proven himself as an exemplary student, as he has managed to excel in both academics and athletics as a full-time student and baseball player at Toccoa Falls.

When asked what it means to be a scholar, servant, and a steward, Eric has referenced his ability to rely on his education, which has taught him that learning is “a lifetime concept”.

From Kindergarten through the twelfth grade, Eric has reaped the benefits of being exposed to an ongoing study of the Bible as part of his curriculum.  As a young child, Eric watched his family teach Sunday School until he eventually started helping them teach a class of first grade students.

Eric has been blessed to be a blessing to others, as he has served on two different mission trips at Cumberland Christian Academy.  In Denver, he worked throughout the homeless shelters to assist those living in poverty.  Eric also served as a missionary in Barbados, where he “performed dramas and puppet shows to demonstrate the Gospel to children in schools”.

As a steward, Eric has credited all of the ways the Lord has entrusted him with his “time, talents, and treasures”.  While Eric notes that he is still in the process of learning about his unique spiritual gifts, he has recognized that essentially all believers in Jesus Christ are instrumental in His ministry.  Every believer, regardless of his or her age or ranking in the church, serves as a steward to the kingdom of Heaven.  One of the most important lessons to us as followers of Christ is that our talents have nothing to do with us; it is God alone who has awarded us these gifts.  I believe that Eric has done a marvelous job in using his resources to glorify God.

Congratulations to Eric in his academic, athletic, and missionary pursuits.  As a follower of Christ, I am inspired by this young gentleman and know that we will hear great things from him.  I would also like to recognize his family for raising an outstanding young man with such a bright future!

Congratulations again to the Lusk family and Merry Christmas to all of our readers out there!

Slow Computer Got You Down?

computer rageI couldn’t help but laugh as I saw this cartoon online this morning.  If you are reading this blog, chances are you have been in this guy’s shoes at some point or another.

Before I received a new computer, I used to joke around by claiming that there should be a support group or similar 12-step program for people who find themselves in a daily battle with their desktop, tablet, or similar device.  A battle in which we, as humans, are destined to fall short to an inanimate device.

Before you resort to  chucking your past-its-prime monitor out your office window, have a seat, drop the sledgehammer, and read on about some simple ways to improve the speed of your device.  Of course, there comes a time throughout man’s inevitable plight with technology, in which he must learn to simply cut his losses and purchase a new unit.  I call this rule #11, since it is not listed below. In most cases, your colleagues (and your blood pressure) will thank you.  If all else fails, remember that it is a machine incapable of fathoming human emotion, and physical damage to the unit will not improve its efficiency in any way, shape, or form. 🙂

The below article from Foxnews.com is a great reference to keep handy for those unpredictable glitches that we are all accustomed to.  If anything, search the funnies for a cartoon and remember that laughter is always the best medicine!

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/12/18/10-ways-to-fix-slow-computer/

Robert Frost

Robert Frost“In three words, I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on”.

Have a wonderful day, and remember to encourage excellence to everybody you interact with!

The Difference Between Customs and Habits

Pre Black FridayHappy belated Thanksgiving to all of the readers out there! Despite the inevitable stress and chaos that the holidays may bring, I hope you had the opportunity to spend moments with family and ponder the many things that we have to be thankful for!

In a similar vein, words cannot express how thrilled I was to read about the decades old “blue laws” in the states of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine that have banned the new fad of shopping on Thanksgiving day.  I know everyone may not agree with me on this idea, but I would support a similar ban on professional sports activities on Thanksgiving Day, as well.  Before I get myself into trouble, I should note that I am in no way against the notion of watching football on Thanksgiving with the family.  However, in order to watch the game, it requires athletes, staff, and spectators to be away from their families on a day when we are meant to be surrounded by loved ones, while pondering the things we have to be thankful for.

Perhaps I am a little old school, but some things I like to keep close to tradition.  It is my traditional way of thinking that has led me to wonder where do we draw the line between customs and habits?  It holds true to the customs of the first Thanksgiving to gather with our friends and family and profess our love and gratitude.  Yet, what about the new trend of shopping on this sacred day, or going to sporting events instead of seeing our families? It’s true that the three wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to honor the birth of the newborn King, Jesus. I’ve always believed that gift giving is okay, as long as we  remember the reason behind why we do the things we do around the holidays.

The idea of football on Thanksgiving is actually really nice, provided you are with your family for the day.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could all just go back to playing touch football in the yard with our families instead of leaving them to watch a game on Thanksgiving?

That said, I do believe it is wonderful that certain states are prohibiting America’s newest spin on a sacred holiday. Even when it’s masked with the phrase “pre-Black Friday” it does not cover up the underlying truth behind the activity: going shopping on Thanksgiving Day instead of being with your family. New traditions can be fun and I believe activities like wearing the same pjs, exchanging ornaments, or watching a movie as a family will only enhance the holiday experience. It’s when our actions keep us away from our families that we begin to see a divide between custom and just habit.

We could all use a reminder of what the holidays really mean.  So, I encourage you all to stay with your families this holiday season if you can and to keep Christ in Christmas! As always, please remember to encourage excellence to others in all that you do!

Nietzsche on Encouraging Excellence

soaring eagleGerman philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once spoke the words “the higher you soar, the smaller you appear to those who cannot fly”.  The phrase is speaking to those who may be deemed an underdog or have the odds against them.  We are told never to give up, to work hard, and believe in ourselves throughout life’s inevitable obstacles. Nelson Mandella once said, “It always seems impossible, until it’s done”.

What are some ways that you can reflect this philosophy in your life?

Living Life the Ed Foreman Way

Ed ForemanAtlanta – Friend, no one encourages excellence as wonderfully as Ed Foreman. (www.edforeman.com)

In 1996, IBM brought Ed in for a half day seminar at our annual meeting to share his life lessons and recipe for a successful career. From a poor farmer’s son to being elected to Congress from two states and successful business owner and motivational speaker, Ed has changed lives with his wit, charm, and positive outlook. Please click on his homepage to watch his videos and learn more about him.

Although Ed is getting up there in years, his positive attitude and enthusiasm will inspire you to encourage excellence in others.