Pro Verbs

Pro VerbsWhen push comes to shove, what do you do?

The first natural reaction is to Freeze, while a response is chosen to Fight, or take Flight.

The decision to Fight is made with an affirmative answer to this question, “Big enough to matter and small enough to win?”

The decision to take Flight is, generally, made within the context of, “Run away to live another day.”

At the moment you’re scared silly, who cares the most about your life? Remember, the rest of us are busy slaying our own dragons and enjoying periods of calm between bouts. Does anyone else really care about your anxiety attacks?

People turn to the professionals. Surely, they have a magic wand to calm frayed nerves and to keep the monsters at bay. Nope. Sorry. Contract professionals are hired guns. They are paid to be very good in specific areas of expertise. They are not magicians.

So… we’re back to you and your choice. What do you do?

Within the question is the answer.

Let’s take a look at the simplicity:

You
Do
What
… ever, to create the life You want.

You become the Professional, the one who cares the most about your dreams, your goals, your vision, for YOU.

Once your arms are tightly wrapped around the reality that the world is what You make of it, the Pro is ready for Action.

Ready, Fire, Aim?

As a professional, you know better. Activity without purpose is dangerous. You are, definitely, Ready. Is your immediate Target crystal clear in your sights? If so, squeeze.

Will you miss the mark, at times? Yes. Will you FAIL (First Action In Learning)? Yes. Will you, eventually, waltz into a reality beyond your wildest imaginations? Yes!

There are few guarantees in life. This is one.

If you become a PRO in caring the most about the passion at the core of you and DO your best to share that with all in your sphere of influence, YOU will enjoy an abundant life.

You will be a person of action, a living example of a Verb: The part of speech that expresses existence, action, or occurrence in most languages.

In other words, YOU will be a Pro-Verb: A word or construction (creation) that takes the place of a verb or verb phrase, such as do in the sentence, “She likes ice cream and I do, too.”

YOU will become a PRO-fessional DO-er: someone skilled and confident in the daily practice of life. As you give your best in service to others, fear retreats and faith advances.

When push comes to shove, remember, you’re in good company. There’s a whole book dedicated to the brave men and women passionately committed to this discovery:

Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline,
to help them understand the insights of the wise.
Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives,
to help them do what is right, just, and fair.

You guessed it. The name of that book…

Proverbs

www.kimfoard.com

Dare

DareRecently, I enjoyed the opportunity to ask a young man the secret to his success.

He continues to thrive while others failed to survive.

His three responses lock into, and rhyme with, one word: Dare.

To have the courage; To challenge someone to do something requiring boldness; To confront or oppose boldly; To be courageous or bold enough to do something; A challenge.

Two years ago, as he accepted the challenge to give his life in service to many, he quickly observed and shared this pearl of wisdom, “In school, the attitude is that no one can fail. In our business, failure is deadly. If we make a mistake, people die.”

From the abstract of academia to the fantasies of the political realm, false propaganda is postulated as, “Too big to fail.” Pride does go before a fall. Arrogance mixed with ignorance is a volatile combination.

Those clamoring for national leadership positions have much to learn from those on the front lines of life. These are the lessons the wannabes can learn from a young man who dares to be responsible for himself and those in his sphere of influence.

This young leader of men and producer of wealth has a story to share, encapsulated in these three words:

Aware

Prepare

Care

Those three words rhyming with Dare are mine. Yet, this is his story. When asked about the top three lessons gleaned and what might keep others safe, this is what I learned from him.

Aware

“Don’t believe what anyone says, until you check it for yourself.”

The world is what we make of it; if it doesn’t fit, make alterations. In other words: if it is to be, it is up to me. Talking about something, or what might be tried someday, is a worthless substitution for getting it done.

Prepare

“Don’t become complacent in what is working; imagine it all coming apart.”

Those who are builders put it together one piece at a time. They understand what it takes to make it hum; while it does, they’re less than bum. In their minds, they break down the systems; to build them again, until they’re glistening gems.

Care

“Don’t think there are any unimportant details; pay attention to absolutely everything.”

Every small cog is of importance. Fix it before it breaks. Measure it to manage it effectively. Tools in the hands of those who know how to use them receive tender loving care. The hands of those hard workers have earned their compensation. Much more important than the money is the compassion for people.

In watching his eyes and body language, I was reminded of earlier days. Always, his heart has been generous, attitude respectful, and spirit strong. From the very beginning, I’ve heard, “Dad, I’m a hands-on kind of guy.”

Much more than hands on, he dares to be Aware, Prepare and Care.

For that, we’re all thankful.

www.kimfoard.com

Little Things

For Want of a Nail

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.

And, all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

All of us encounter big challenges throughout our lives: some, of our own making; others, from the hand of fate. When we are standing nose-to-nose with the Monster, there are two choices: Forfeit our dreams and the prize; or, Chisel the beast down to size!

Mile by mile, it’s a trial,
Yard by yard, it’s hard,
Inch by inch, it’s a cinch.

Little things make a big difference:

1.) In the entire universe, there is only one YOU. The fingerprint of your touch is unique in the lives of those in the sphere of your influence.

2.) While respectful of the very tangible Role Power by those in authority, you hold in your hands the greater intangible Relationship Power to enlighten, empower, and encourage.

3.) The person most mature in any relationship will lead the way by being proactive, patient, and kind. You have the ability to break down dissenters by loving them to pieces.

4.) All good things in life must be built. By doing your planning and preparing to succeed in being a good steward of Time and Money, the sanctuary of a home nurtures innovation.

5.) Construction is an ugly business. From the bits and pieces of a beginning, masterful creations are the result of your passionate brick-by-brick effort to deliver value to the world.

6.) By asking, seeking, and knocking, you will hear ideas, find truth, and walk through open doors. Each person has something to share.  Care abundantly; Listen intently; then, Do good.

7.) Focus only on changing “Things” within your Control. “People” change, only, when they make the decision to behave differently. Forget about pleasing others; Work on yourself.

Big things and big people have their reward in the daily headlines. They are so proud of their largess. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Salvation of the kingdom will be done by the little people, who humbly tighten the nails to save the shoe, save the horse, save the rider, save the day, and preserve the kingdom for the benefit of everyone!

www.kimfoard.com

The Carpenter

The CarpenterEmpires come and go; Builders last forever.

The thing built is less important than those doing the building.

In fact, the real value in anything is the individual.

Because the physical is temporal, we find comfort in measuring the creation. Less comfortable is acknowledging the intangible value of the creator.

Silver Bullets and Silver Platters are two of the greatest dangers known to humankind. The idea that Magic and Coattails can remediate anything holds us back from our true destiny. We learn by doing and the fun is in the doing!

Regardless of how we define success, there is a Secret to its acquisition: It must be built.

Happiness, peace of mind, abundant resources, ample opportunities, great relationships, and contentment are included in my definition of success. All of those attributes are a choice to be made each morning and their achievement is only possible by my conscious decision to produce. As my head touches the pillow each evening, only I can know the quality of effort for that day.

Others will judge what they can see and measure: the Empire. Regardless of what is built, it begins to decay at the moment it is finished. Within families, I see this every day. Senior builds an empire and then expects Junior to maintain it. How silly! We all want to be builders. More than what is built, the joy in is the how and why of doing the construction.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a song is worth at least a million. For those who are builders, this song by John Conlee from his Harmony album reminds us of the value:

The Carpenter

Let us now praise the carpenter and the things that he made
And the way that he lived by the tools of the trade
I can still hear his hammer singin’ ten-penny time
Workin’ by the hour till the day that he died

[chorus]

He was tough as a crowbar; he was quick as a chisel
Fair as a plane, Lord, and true as a level
He was straight as a chalk-line; right as a rule
He was square with the world; he took good care of his tools

He worked his hands in wood from the crib to the coffin
With a care and a love that you don’t see too often
He built boats out of wood, big boats, workin’ in a shipyard
Mansions on the hill and a birdhouse in the backyard

He was tough as a crowbar…

He said anything that’s worth cuttin’ down a tree for
Is worth doin’ right; don’t the Lord love a two-by-four
If you asked him how to do somethin’, he’d say just like Noah built the ark
You got to hold your mouth right son and never miss your mark

And you’ll be tough as a crowbar…

Maybe that’s why, two thousand years ago, the Son of a carpenter encouraged others to build. At His death, the physical creations left behind began their decay. What continues to grow to this very moment, and beyond, are the relationships He formed in love.

We have the opportunity to build on that foundation. What we build is our choice. How we do it is more important. Why we make our choices will be the legacy of memories. Long after our masterpieces become relics of the past, the relationships we form, today, will be the beginning of foundations for those who are influenced by our commitment to build.

Empires come and go, because they are made of stuff.

Builders last for forever, because their actions are making the world a better place.

That, my friends is a legacy for all of eternity!

www.kimfoard.com

Maverick Concepts

Maverick Concepts


Embracing the reality that no one else can fully understand our individual Business experiences, these thoughts fit well in the category:

“Easier said than done.”


1.)  Value is a perception. Given that your Business is the BEST, each Stakeholder defines that differently. Regardless of what we believe, offer, and do, the value is subjective to the understanding of the Customer. When we understand “fully” what they need and want, a menu of options can be presented for their consideration. The first step to understanding is to Care; the second step is to Listen. Then, our Customers are interested in our ideas.

2.)  People buy what they want, not what they need. Many times, they don’t know what they want. If we can broaden their horizons, they might want what we have. They just don’t know it, yet! Beyond the things they need, waits opportunity; Customers want solutions to problems. The bigger their problem: the greater the opportunity, for them and us. Rather than sell into a need, mutual benefit grows from letting them buy what they want.

3.)  Commodities are subject to price manipulations; Uniqueness isn’t. One business appears to be just like the next. Until… we have “something” no one else can deliver. At that moment, the messenger becomes Priceless. Example: Plumbing supplies can be purchased by the Consumer at the “lowest” cost; their Value is dependent upon a Plumber knowing what to do with them. By knowing how to “fix the leaks,” we move from the problems of the Past through the Present Value into the opportunities of the Future.

By changing the rules of the traditional game, we can stand out, stand up, and stand for something special in the minds of those we serve.

At that moment, there are no competitors. We stand alone!

www.kimfoard.com

Real Deal

TomorrowMuch more than an audition for opening night of the playbill, Life, this is the Real Deal.

So real, in fact, I want to share insight from my children. To be precise, they are young adults, who are taking Relationship Strategies to increasingly higher levels for the benefit of all.

They are priceless gifts. Yet, at times, they will also purchase tangible expressions of reminders for me. This last Father’s Day, my son presented “Easy 88“, a bronze of a cowboy making a great ride on a bull. A few days ago, a beautiful bouquet of flowers arrived from my daughter in acknowledgment of birthday “Fifty-Five“.

Within the last couple of years, she has also given me Words, inspiring words:

Family ~ Forever, For Always and No Matter What

Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes to us at midnight all clean and perfect and puts itself in our hands. And hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.

In regards to Lessons Learned from yesterday, the most important one can be expressed by a single word:

Forgiveness ~ Let go of the notion that there can be a better, or different, yesterday.

The purest definition of a “Rut”: a grave, with the ends kicked out.

When we replay the past in our minds, over and over, a rut forms: a pattern of thinking. Really, those familiar grooves are the equivalent of a broken record: ’round and ’round the same track, while expecting new music. Does insanity come to mind?!

A common theme in my Family is music; always has been, always will be.

It is the best way to convey messages for us to remember.

Better Get To Livin’

Song Information
By: Dolly Parton & Kent Wells
Original Appearance: Backwoods Barbie

People always comin’ up to me and askin’
“Dolly, what’s your secret?
With all you do, your attitude
Just seems to be so good
How do you keep it?”
Well I’m not the Dalai Lama, but I’ll try
To offer up a few words of advice

Chorus:

You better get to livin’, givin’
Don’t forget to throw in a little forgivin’
And lovin’ on the way
You better get to knowin’, showin’
A little bit more concerned about where you’re goin’
Just a word unto the wise
You better get to livin’

A girlfriend came to my house
Started cryin’ on my shoulder Sunday evening
She was spinnin’ such a sad tale
I could not believe the yarn that she was weavin’
So negative the words she had to say
I said if I had a violin I’d play

I said you’d better get to livin’, givin’
Be willing and forgivin’
Cause all healing has to start with you
You better stop whining, pining
Get your dreams in line
And then just shine, design, refine
Until they come true
And you better get to livin’

Your life’s a wreck, your house is mess
And your wardrobe way outdated
All your plans just keep on falling through
Overweight and under paid, under appreciated
I’m no guru, but I’ll tell you
This I know is true

You better get to livin’, givin’
A little more thought about bein’
A little more willin’ to make a better way
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Keep your chin up
Just hang tough
And if it gets too rough
Fall on your knees and pray
And do that every day
Then you’ll get to livin’

The day we’re born we start to die
Don’t waste one minute of this life
Get to livin’
Share your dreams and share your laughter
Make some points for the great hereafter

Better start carin’
Better start sharin’
Better start tryin’
Better start smiling
And you better get to livin’

If we do it right, the livin’ that Dolly encourages is more like playing, than working. As with all things in Life, though, there is a fine line. On the one hand, we must acknowledge this is serious business, because at the end of our Play, all of the props go back in the box. On the other hand, we learn the most when we are playing and having fun.

And, that, my friend, is the point: We are to learn, grow, care, share, and love.

There’s a story about a southern farmer who goes out into his field early one morning to catch his mule for the day’s work ahead. To his dismay that mule was nowhere in sight. As the farmer headed back to the house, he passed an old, abandoned, hand-dug well. Sure enough. At the bottom of that well was Clyde.

Since the farmer was poor, he had no money to hire the equipment necessary to lift that much weight from that far down. He was rich in friends, though. So he asked his neighbors to bring their shovels. As sad as it was to lose Clyde, the right thing to do was to fill in that deathtrap.

From the mounds of dirt excavated when the well was originally dug, the farmers began the serious business of burying Clyde and making sure nothing else was ever harmed by the long ignored danger of a pit.

Making the best of a bad situation, they shoveled quickly. As they were finishing up their work and upon hearing something, they paused to look up. To their amazement, they watched Clyde jump out of the well.

You see, while they were shoveling dirt down the hole onto Clyde’s back, he simply shook it off and stepped up.

The gifts from my Son and Daughter are much more than plaques and bronzes, They are the evidence of their success in “shaking it off and stepping up”. Through no fault of theirs, they have experienced The Pit and the Bad Hands of cards dealt to them.

With courage, poise, determination, and grace they have chosen to shake it off and step up, time and time, again. The bull and bouquet speak volumes about their character.

From the mouths of babes and the examples of our young people, we learn to: Preserve a childlike sweetness and innocence, while growing out of our childishness.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

One thing I have always understood: Family and Work are the two legs carrying me across the stages of life.

I believe purpose in life is discovered by acknowledging a power greater than ourselves; accomplishment is possible by being a conduit for timeless and priceless gifts. The greatest gift is a chosen, purposeful effort, often done in the face of fear, to nurture our own growth and the growth of others!

Let’s get to livin’!

www.kimfoard.com

Blinkin` Thinkin`

Blinkin' Thinkin'Only in my wildest imaginations might I have guessed that the answer to making the world a better place would come from a Ford Service Advisor in a dealership far, far, away.

In her opinion, the problem with people is a warranty. You know: An Entitlement.

She went on to explain, “Regular customers want their vehicle serviced, or need something fixed, and they are able and willing to pay for it. Warranty customers are demanding and are usually disappointed in something we say, or do.”

I’m glad it was a telephone conversation, because I cringed. It was as if I had crested a hill and the sky was alive with emergency flashers, blinking wildly: This is important; pay attention. At least once a year, I struggle to keep my emotions in check. The last time involved an episode over a warranty.

Last year, I purchased a brand new, redesigned, Ford Lariat F-150, pick-’em-up truck. One of the first things I noticed was that it cornered like it was on rails. In making one of those corners, I reached across the padded center console to get a grip. What I felt was other than smooth.

As I got home, parked, and went over to the passenger side to take a look, I found a break in the leather upholstery. Just a flaw in the material, I thought. The local dealership took a look, listened and agreed with my interpretation of the situation. After receiving photos taken by the dealership, Ford Motor Company said, “No. Looks like abuse by the customer.”

Now, many times, after putting 80,000 miles on a rig, I have been teased about that new showroom look, by friends. Strangers will hop in and make a comment, “Well, I can tell: no kids and no dogs!” (Been there; done that: another story for another day.) Never have I been accused of vehicle abuse!

Since I’ve been working hard for the last several years to build a better me, I was able to practice keeping my words gracious. I’m pretty sure my facial expressions, body language and tone of voice were all screaming like a toddler.

All because of a bad belief, that: I was entitled to special treatment.

Every day, we hear reference to Entitlement Programs designed by our Government to help us:

  • Like Unemployment Benefits: really, is it a benefit? I thought having the skills to work and provide value to the marketplace, with or without a job, is a benefit.
  • Like Social Security: really, is it security? I thought tapping into a passion for life and using our unique gifts for the benefit of others is always in style.
  • Like Public Education: really, is it education? I thought preserving our individuality and creativity, to discover new and better ways, brightens each step of our journeys.
  • Like Health Care: really, is it care? I thought Customers only care about what Professionals know, after they know how much we care, by carefully listening.

Who, really, cares the most about you and your family? Yes; you do.

In the strictest sense of the word and as we break it down into its true meaning, the word “En-title-ment” simply means: to give a Title, raise in Rank, assign to a higher Position. For those into Pedestals, good luck with that. For the rest of us, please, with help like that: who needs it?! In fact, Government can be explained in the words of Pogo: I have seen the enemy and he is us!

Each of the social programs was created with pure intent: to provide a bridge to opportunity. They can never be a way of life. Life does not come with a warranty and intelligence does not arise from legislation; to believe so is pure, unadulterated, stinkin’ thinkin’. In fact, to live so is to remain immature. In this case, though, no one is available to change the diaper.

There is a story about Henry Ford wanting a V-8 engine for his automobiles. He asked his engineers to make one. After several months, they returned to say it couldn’t be done. Henry explained why it was important for families to travel in safety, with the increased power of more horses under the hood.

Off the engineers went, to try, again. After many more months and with conviction, they reported that the task was impossible. Henry said firmly, “Boys, you don’t understand. You can either build me a V-8 engine, or I will find someone who can.” They built Henry his V-8.

In recognition, comes this quote: Whether you think you can, or can’t, you’re right.

At the crossroads of life, when you come to the moment of decision, remember your choices: Stinkin’ Thinkin’ or Blinkin’ Thinkin’.

Please, choose wisely!

www.kimfoard.com