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    September 2009

    Remembering 9/11: The Real Life Hero of We Were Soldiers

    September 11, 2009 1986 Views

    american-flag-2aSeptember 11th will live forever in the memories of Americans. We here at Simple Truths want to honor service men and women who have, that day and over the past eight years, devoted their lives to improving the state of our world. We also want to honor the memory of those who lost their lives in the event eight years ago today.

    As a tribute, we would like to share a special radio interview with the author of A Tender Warrior. Lt. Gen. Hal Moore served America during the Vietnam War. Named as one of the top 100 military generals of all time, Hal Moore fought the famous Battle of Ia Drang, where he and his 300 troops were outnumbered by the estimated 2,000 soldiers surrounding his company. They endured the battle, and General Moore commemorated their struggle in his book, We Were Soldiers Once... and Young. The book was made into a 2002 movie called We Were Soldiers, starring Mel Gibson. Here's what General Moore had to say to his men the first day he took command:

    "We're a good Battalion, but we're gonna get a hell of a lot better. I will do my best and expect the same from each of you. We will be... without equal. We will be the best infantry Battalion in the world! Now go back to your barracks and get rid of all the 2nd place trophies. From now on, only 1st place trophies will be awarded, accepted or displayed in this outfit. In our line of work if we come in second, we are defeated on the battlefield. From now on, we are interested only in winning! We are without equal!"

    Di Chapman, founder of the company Quotepourri (unique products designed to encourage and inspire), had the privilege to interview Hal Moore on her radio show, Better Times After 50, hosted on AdviceRadio.com. Click here to hear the General talk about the battle.

    Equally notable to the General's bravery is his desire to reconcile. Here's an excerpt from A Tender Warrior:

    Ever so gently, General An placed his arm in mine as we stood over a foxhole. We had traveled a very long journey from war to peace. Col. Tran Minh Hao, one of An's soldiers, accompanied us during the battlefield visit. As we dined that night in Pleiku, he beautifully expressed through a poem the unity we all felt in the circle that day. "...We have come to you this afternoon... feeling the loss of each of you... we come to span a bridge... untroubled by ancient rifts... we look together towards the future... we leave old hates for new friendships... forever in peace and harmony." Spontaneous gestures of respect and friendship followed Hao's poem. I took off my wristwatch and offered it as a gift to General An. Gladly, he accepted the gift. Then, he removed his much-prized three star pith helmet and offered it to me. Stunned, I accepted his most personal gift. Our eyes locked, as the door to our hearts had been fully opened to each other.

    Click here to hear Hal Moore speak about his journey to reconciliation.

    We hope you have taken something away from this salute today. Stand tall and walk proudly!

    How to Double (or Maybe Triple) Your Productivity!

    September 10, 2009 1602 Views

    HammerRecently I heard a friend of mine talk about time management. At the end of the day, he asks himself:

  • Did I invest in others?
  • Did I accomplish any tasks?
  • Did I learn something new?
  • If he answers "no" to one, two, or all of those questions, he concludes that his day was not as productive as it could-or should- have been.

    That frame of mind reminds me of a quote from Amy Jones, author of Twice as Much in Half the Time: "Knowing what is most important in your life should guide you as you make decisions each day." Sit back and think about your day: Did you answer "no", or "yes"? If "yes", then congratulations on today, and you have tomorrow to do the start again. If "no", then guess what... you also have tomorrow!

    Thoughts? Ideas of what you will accomplish tomorrow? Share them in our comments sections!

    New Website and Movie!

    September 9, 2009 1718 Views

    Here at Simple Truths, we know it can be a pretty negative world sometimes. That is why we feel so honored to provide you with positive thoughts and ideas to help you get in the right frame of mind. We just celebrated our fourth anniversary, and as we look back we can see how we have continually grown and improved the way that we serve you with encouragement. Thank you for helping us reach the world!

    In fact, I am happy to announce the newest way that we have grown our business: Inspired Faith. Inspired Faith is a sister company to Simple Truths, and the way things are done will be the same: pair inspiring quotes with breathtaking photos, and deliver it to you in movies and books. However, the content will be of interest to those in the Christian faith (and those who enjoy faith based content).

    To give you a better idea of what we have to offer, watch this short movie for the first gift book, The Second Mile. If the link does not work for you, please copy and paste http://www.thesecondmilemovie.com into your browser's URL and enjoy the movie. We hope that you have a blessed day today!

    Energy for Leadership

    September 4, 2009 1761 Views

    On the Simple Truths LinkedIn page, we discussed the question, "What new ideas have you heard about leadership?" Members shared some brilliant insights, such as, "I have found that I hold myself more accountable to be a good example", and "I found the best responses and results came when team members were regularly acknowledged, praised and motivated on an individual basis! Something as simple as a 'Good morning or Good evening!' every day to the front-line staff from the Department Head, knowing your team's names and a bit about them personally made each one feel great." Click here to weigh in on the discussion.

    Well, today I have a message from the archives to share with you from The Essence of Leadership about energy. Enjoy!

    Some people think leaders are born. I don't. I think leadership skills can be honed if we understand our strengths and weaknesses, and this understanding starts by knowing what to look for.

    That's what The Essence of Leadership is all about. I've tried to capture the most important qualities of a leader by sharing a few of the lessons I've learned along the way.

    I've been very fortunate in meeting and working with many great leaders in my thirty years as an entrepreneur. I've also loved reading biographies of successful entrepreneurs and great leaders. Their insights about choices they made, their values, their passion for serving their customers, their courage, their ability to overcome adversity...these all made lasting impressions on me.

    What are some of the qualities that separate the good from the great leaders? Here's a short excerpt from The Essence of Leadership titled "Manage Your Energy" that I hope you'll enjoy.

    Not long ago, I had the opportunity to spend some time with best selling author John Maxwell. The conversation turned to how managing your energy can be one of the keys to leadership. John felt that leadership and energy were joined at the hip. It is impossible to have one without the other. He said that it all starts with knowing yourself, knowing your limitations, and knowing when you perform best. The key, for him, is to schedule his most crucial activities when his energy levels are at their peak. John, for example, schedules his important meetings and his writing time in the mornings when he feels the most energized. Activities of less urgency are scheduled in the afternoons.

    Also, as he winds down at home in the evenings, he saves an hour or two for writing letters and for light reading. Of course, he said, a schedule doesn't always cooperate, but following this general philosophy has served him well. Speaker and author, Jim Cathcart, says that to be at your best, find your zone of optimum velocity by observing the pace and intensity at which you perform best. This is the zone at which you are most creative, unstressed, happy and productive.

  • Above the zone: First you experience stress and frustration, then anxiety, and finally burnout. At this level you are overwhelming yourself with too much to accomplish at one time. Lighten up a bit to get back on track.
  • In the zone: You are at your best. Not stressed, going with the flow of work naturally, productive and self-assured, challenged but not overwhelmed, motivated and able to roll with problems.
  • Below the zone: First you experience boredom, then apathy, and finally depression. You feel useless and artificial; self-esteem suffers. Bite off more and take on a greater challenge to get back on track.

  • For me the key to managing my energy is exercise. It almost sounds too simple to be important, however, without exercise my energy levels and my attitude "take a hit." Lastly, protecting and replenishing your emotional energy is critical for every leader. Mira Kirshenbaum, in her book The Emotional Energy Factor, offers a refreshing, down-to-earth approach:

    "First, you plug the leaks: learn to recognize what drains your energy - life situations, toxic people, or habits such as worry, indecision or guilt. Second, you identify what fills your tank - pleasure, prayer, anticipation, or fun - and give yourself more."

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