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    November 2009

    New York Times Bestselling Author Andy Andrews' New Book: The Butterfly Effect

    November 18, 2009 2432 Views

    Andy Andrews, hailed by a New York Times writer as someone who has quietly become "one of the most influential people in America," is a best-selling novelist and in-demand corporate speaker for the world's largest organizations. He has spoken at the request of four different U.S. Presidents and at military bases worldwide. Andy is the New York Times Bestselling author of The Traveler's Gift, The Lost Choice, Island of Saints, The Noticer, and Return to Sawyerton Springs. He lives in Orange Beach, Alabama with his wife, Polly, and their two sons.

    Please enjoy our short movie version of Andy's new book published by Simple Truths, The Butterfly Effect, followed by a movie clip that highlights Andy's transition from living homeless under a fishing pier to becoming a renowned speaker and author.

    How have you been encouraged by The Butterfly Effect and Andy's story? Who are the people in your life who have made an eternal impact on you?

    Developing Self-Leadership

    November 18, 2009 2137 Views

    "He who is required by the necessity of his position to speak the highest things is compelled by the same necessity to exemplify the highest things."

    -Gregory the Great (450-604)

    Taekwondo

    In college, I had the privilege of leading my school's Taekwondo Club. I found it to be a fun, but demanding role. On good days, I got a great workout, developed our techniques, and had a blast with my team. However, sometimes there were bad days. On bad days, it was a challenge just to show up . . . let alone run laps, practice drills, or spar! The worst part, I noticed, is that everyone on the team seemed to be lethargic on the same day.

    Taekwondo

    I have to level with you: on bad days, I felt like throwing in the towel and ending training early. However, I knew that my teammates were watching me. If I left, then my example would have been a discouragement to the team. I had to get in the right mindset and attitude to prove that our circumstances should not dictate how we act. After all, if we quit when it was tough in practice, how would we ever be able to succeed when it was tough in tournaments?



    125x125_RTLD

    I am an avid fan of John Maxwell, which is why I was thrilled when we published his newest book titled The Right to Lead last week. The most profound lesson on leadership I took from reading that book is that before leading others, you must lead yourself. He said, "Commitment in the face of conflict creates character." At our tournaments, my toughest opponent was never the athlete standing across from me. He was always myself, as I could never imagine winning anything without first beating my own lazy attitude. John goes on to say,

    Courage teaches us what should be feared and what ought not to be feared. Only by taking action do we gain that knowledge. And from that knowledge comes an inner strength that inspires us to persevere in the face of great adversity-and inspires others to follow. In the most difficult of times, courage is what makes someone a leader.

    It is no doubt that, with the year coming to an end soon, you are looking for a way to lead your team to finish strong. How do you plan on leading by example? Or, on the converse, how have leaders inspired you through example?

    Stop and Smell the Flowers

    November 13, 2009 2042 Views

    "Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer."

    -Leonardo DaVinci

    As the weekend approaches we, here at Simple Truths, find ourselves in weather a bit colder than last weekend. The realization that winter has arrived is undeniable! What do you have this weekend? No doubt with the holiday season on our heels, you are quite busy!

    Today, to give you a quick encouragement, I would like to share a picture with you. The season for flowers has passed, and about the only green living thing around here right now is grass. So, I thought it might be appropriate to throw a splash of color to complement the scene outside, even if these wildflowers are only on your computer screen:

    WildflowerBouquet

    I wish you the best this weekend, and that you might have some time to stop and smell the flowers in your life!

    Celebrate Veteran's Day in Words and Actions

    November 11, 2009 2151 Views

    Flag"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

    -John Fitzgerald Kennedy

    Today we celebrate Veteran's Day by thanking those who have sacrificed and still do so for our freedom. I, personally, am reminded of classmates and friends who have voluntarily committed years of their lives to ensure that I can continue to experience the safety and independence I currently enjoy. I admit that I take their service for granted... so that is why I am encouraged by Lt. Gen. Hal Moore. As Mac shared on Monday, we were honored to be visited by Lt. Gen. Hal Moore in September of last year, and even more honored to publish his life and realizations in our book A Tender Warrior: 5 Leadership Lessons to America. His desire to bring his soldiers home alive was only equaled by his dedication to peace after the war. Please enjoy the movie summary to the General's book:

    As Mac wrote before, war is an unfortunate consequence of the world in which we live, and it is incumbent upon us to seek out peace. Standing in the gap between the world we live in now and the peaceful world we desire are the service men and women of the military. We are blessed to have people like Hal Moore, who fight to protect innocent people and preserve ideals, yet at the same time care deeply about reconciliation between enemies. Let's remember them today, and instead of simply talking about how much we appreciate them, let us live out that sentiment by writing to our friends and relatives in the field. Or, if you do not personally know anyone, here are some sites that can connect you with a soldier:

    http://www.anysoldier.com/WhereToSend/

    http://soldiersangels.org/letter-writing-team.html

    http://www.amillionthanks.org/

    http://letterstosoldiers.org/site/

    Mondays with Mac: Remembering Those Who Serve Us

    November 9, 2009 1542 Views

    As Veteran's Day approaches, I'm reminded of the brave men and women who sacrifice home, family, and comfort to serve in our nation's military. War is not glamorous, and I can only imagine the inner strength of those who endure great suffering on behalf of their country.

    Last year, I had the privilege of meeting one of our nation's greatest military heroes, Lt. Gen. Hal Moore. I had read General Moore's moving books, We Were Soldiers Once...and Young and A General's Spiritual Journey, and I had seen the movie about his life, but nothing could prepare me for the amazing experience of meeting General Moore in person. His kindness, humility, and passion for life and people were incredible. When he visited our office to discuss publishing a book with Simple Truths, he insisted on meeting everyone in the office. At 86 years old, he carried himself with a liveliness and joy rarely seen in people of any age.

    I was so honored to be able to publish General Moore's book A Tender Warrior: 5 Leadership Letters to America. I would like to share some of the wisdom contained in that book with you here:

    When the blood of any war soaks your clothes, covers your hands, and soldiers die in your arms, every breath forever more becomes an appeal for a greater peace, unity and reconciliation between nations.The place was the far western Ia Drang Valley of Vietnam, on the Cambodian Border. The dates were November 14-16, 1965. I was the commander of my air cavalry troopers and accountable for them. We charged the enemy with bayonets fixed to our rifles in face-to-face combat. As we attacked, bullets were flying everywhere, like bees around a nest.Most of the bullets passed us by--many did not!As we charged, bayonets ended lives up close and personal. We looked the enemy in the eye, often only a foot or two away. You see and feel the instant loss of life that you have inflicted. You see and feel the loss of life of your own soldiers.I still see the boots of my dead sticking out unnaturally from under their ponchos, laces tied one last time by their precious fingers. I still carry the wounded to the helicopters as they bleed, die silently, or scream and beg to live one more day . . . and I still hold those who die in my arms, with their questioning eyes, as some called for their mothers. Their eyes go blank and my war-crusted fingers close their eyelids, knowing a terrible truth that will devastate a family back home in America when that terrible telegram arrives within 36 hours. I still hear the ugly noise of war.

    General Moore finishes this letter with an appeal to all of us:

    "When the heartbeat of one soldier stops forever, the heartbeat of our nation should accelerate. It should drive us to ensure that this life was not sacrificed in vain. It should rouse us to seek better ways to understand and deal with international differences."

    Even as we remember and honor our nation's great heroes, let us not forget to strive for peace as a nation and in our own lives. War is a terrible reality in our broken world, but as General Moore reminds us, it is not the only reality. We must hold these two ideas in tension--respecting the great sacrifice of our military heroes and seeking a more peaceful world. Hatred of war can never lead to neglect of our dear veterans. This Veteran's Day, may we all make a point of thanking the veterans in our lives. If you don't know any personally, write a letter to a soldier using one of the following websites:

    http://www.anysoldier.com/WhereToSend/

    http://soldiersangels.org/letter-writing-team.html

    http://www.amillionthanks.org/

    http://www.letterstosoldiers.org/formletter.html


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