MAGNIFICENT MEN! Leadership Lunch
Lessons for successful living
Thank you Roger, Frances, Dawn, Bruce, Cory, Sabrina, Terramer staff, Stewart Richey, friends, colleagues, and all of you in support of cc4ms.
With reference and reverence to previous speakers, I am so pleased to be here.
I am well aware of the problem being addressed at this gathering.
I am here to assist with providing a solution.
I no longer carry a football, although I always seem to be juggling many.
I am not on national news, but I had a starring role in “this land is people”
And I am not a brilliant and successful lawyer or politician, although I spend far too much of my life with both.
However, in spite of these short falls, I have enjoyed a varied and full life.
And I want to share lessons learned on that journey with you.
This is “one man’s” journey in the presence of, and supported by many.
To place one’s dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss,
However, I am humbled to share my “lessons for successful living” with you!
A few days back “home” in nova scotia recently, always reinforces my
Belief in living and loving as if there is no tomorrow!
“Life is all about people”
And “home” is where the heart is!!
Moreover, I have learned that the heart that gives – gathers!
Talent is God-given; be thankful!
Praise is man–given; be humble!
Conceit is self-given; be careful!
In fishing terms: “we are the line, the lore, the rod and more”
“Confucius” noted, as detailed on the terramer bookmark,
(I hear, and I forget)
(I see, and I remember)
(I do, and I understand)
I believe that, we must be totally “involved”.
In living the life we were given and create the circumstances we want.
I focus on forgetting the past and concentrate on looking forward to the future.
My promise to myself has always been to:
Risk more than others think is safe!
Care more than others think is wise!
Dream more than others think is practical!
Expect more than others think is possible!
However, no one cares how much we know, until they know how much we care!
“Acres of diamonds”! (Tell the story)
I have learned over and over, journeys worth taking – are seldom easy!
And I believe life’s journey must include:
- Creativity – making something out of “0”, that single thought, that “ah hah” moment, that idea!
- Innovation – “simply teamwork” – working together proactively to turn ideas into reality!
- Failure – learning what not to do! Experience is the name everyone gives to his or her mistakes!
- Success – the accomplishment of an aim! Life is either a daring adventure or nothing!
“Life is the meaning we make it”, therefore, make it meaningful!
Security is mostly a superstition!
Look beyond the moon and reach for the stars.
I have also learned that, those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.
I thank so many individuals for sustaining that sunshine over so many years;
Learning gives us knowledge.
And I believe only those who dare to fail greatly, can ever achieve greatly!
However, it is positive mentoring based on experience
that supplies the ability to relate to the real world;
Mentoring helps us learn life skills and molds our attitude.
Mentoring begins with the magical sensation of someone reaching out and whispering, “yes you can”.
This is when dreams are created and bridges built, to reach beyond the realm of the possible.
Through perseverance, persistence, and fortitude,
And by striving to live our dreams and making them come true.
We must each epitomize our own lessons for living!
We must dream big, we must think big.
We must execute and we must deliver on these dreams!
Every minute, every hour of every day!!
Most of us have ideas and never act on them.
Most of us have “dreams” and never “pursue” them.
I believe life’s true purpose is to pursue happiness!
Life is about having the courage to take flight.
To dance beyond the breakers!
We must care about each other and demonstrate
The true meaning of community. (May I help?)
We may often be viewed as mavericks. (I see mavericks as visionaries).
The true embodiment of family and community.
This community was built by men and women of strong character
Who inspired others, and acted as catalysts, and
It is imperative that we also continue to be catalysts,
Inquisitive, devoted, hardworking, fun loving, supportive and
Caring individuals, who see value in each other and in the community
Around us, and try our best to add to it.
To leave a legacy!
Take up the reins of leadership with fervor and demonstrate.
We must share a love of this community, of each other!
What we have done for ourselves alone, dies with us.
However, what we have done for others, lives forever!
And this is epitomized daily by most of you and in particular,
Frances and her cc4ms team.
I believe, as Eleanor Roosevelt, said,
‘the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.’
This province, this city are (big dream) country.
I am now a ‘cfa’ (come from away), with regards to my nova scotia “home”!
I arrived in Alberta with a pocket full of dreams. For me, most have been fulfilled!
Yet I continue to dream, to aspire. To be better.
Dreams are the touchstones of our character. Make them a reality!
I have learned that, without a dream, nothing happens.
We are just drifting through life without a destination.
It is a well known fact, that we will only find what we look for, nothing more or nothing less!
Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has attained in life, as by the obstacles which have been overcome!
Nothing is impossible!
Think of….. Alice in wonderland…
1) White Queen – run to stay in the same place!
2) Red Queen – nothing is impossible!
As you listen to a few of my life lessons
I ask that you take a moment to pause,
Listen, think, dream,
And, reflect on your own personal journey.
“as Chaucer stated, we are all pilgrims journeying to Canterbury individually, why not walk together and tell each other our stories.”
Lesson 1: Live with Passion!
Life is not a dress rehearsal!!!]
Therefore, we must
Live while we are alive.
Live each day to its fullest.
Live the moment.
Look for the positives in everything. We have all learned that,
Every cloud has a silver lining.
George Bernard Shaw noted that,
“people are always blaming their circumstances for what they are.” Personally,
I don’t believe in circumstances!
Persons who get on in this world, who live a full, passionate, meaningful and successful life, are the persons who get up and look for the circumstances
They want – and seize them! They execute!
We must stop wishing and start doing! As Ian Tyson sings, because –
“wishing don’t make it so”.
Start looking! Start doing! Start believing! Start living!
Living with passion, is about living life with purpose.
Walk with quiet strength everyday – but carry a big stick!
I believe, and I have learned, if you don’t like what you are doing, change!
If you don’t like where you are standing, move!
I am always striving to do that which I cannot do in order that I may learn how to do it!
It is your life! It is our life!
Live it as if there is no tomorrow!
Live the present! Live with passion!
New oceans cannot be discovered,
Unless we have the courage and the passion
To enable us to haul anchor and to
Lose sight of the safe haven on shore!
Lesson number 2: Lead with Vision
My life has been an amazing and rewarding journey,
That had led me, from the back-bay and back-country of nova scotia
To global travel, and to the boardrooms of many prestigious organizations,
And the lecterns of world of renowned universities, societies and: charities.
I have learned during this journey that, honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
A visionary leader has confidence, courage, empathy, integrity,
Visionary leaders know and demonstrate that they can do great things.
These leaders are like eagles, they don’t flock. You find them one at a time!
However, I have learned that leaders are leaders not because they necessarily do anything extraordinary, but because they do ordinary things better than anyone else!
A true visionary leader is unwavering in faith, does not stifle others,
Believes in impossible things, and makes them become a reality.
Visionary leaders believe,
If we fear failure and fear doing something wrong, we may never get it right.
However, I have realized that you can often learn more from your failures than your success!
Visionary leaders’ mottos mimic Nike – “just do it”!!
They believe that human capital, social capital, and intellectual capital, are the foundations for building
Financial capital. (three finger question!)
1. Family & friends
Which would you choose?
Visionary leaders encourage and, encouragement is the act of
helping people discover their own beauty, power, potential, and uniqueness. Yes!!
Great leaders have vision!
They never seek shelter in a safe harbor! They seek adventure and answers in unchartered waters!
Visionary leaders live outside of the box! They are not afraid of failure.
Visionary leaders always reach for new horizons.
They demonstrate that, when you can do common things in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world!
Lesson 3: Listen with Respect
Listening is an emotional as well as a physical act.
Listening shows respect for the speaker.
As hamlet stated, “we know what we are, but know not what we may be,”
We must discover by listening, and experimenting with what we may be!
We live in a world of unpredictable but imaginable dangers.
However, we must remain optimistic.
We must listen carefully, and live the life we have imagined.”
“to thine own self be true!” (hamlet, act I, scene iii)
“dream big dreams”
Never believe that you cannot, do it!
My father would often say,
“go with your heart grant, and if it feels right, just do it!”
I listened intently because, he always reminded me that, “you never lose, if you don’t quit”.
(the archer story)
Thanks to his guidance, and endless support, I became increasingly consciousness of my own inner strength which lead to my quest for knowledge. And, to me, education is all about listening and communicating!
However, educating the mind without educating the soul may be sorely lacking (theology / galilee)
We must be focused and listen carefully, and we must live each day as if our life has just begun.
Lesson 4: Communicate Openly
Consecutiveness is important.
Togetherness is important.
Participate! Share! Volunteer! Enjoy!!
We all require communication and interaction.
We are a social species.
We must lead by example.
Share. Tell stories!
Re-discover the beauty in ourselves and others! Look others in the eye,
Feel grateful for their presence.
Communicate with your partner, your spouse, with your children, brother, sister, family, your colleagues.
Communication is about understanding!
Aulden “ridiculous” story:
Say “I love you” and mean it!
Like buroughs, say to yourself:
“the longer I live and the more I connect, the more I communicate,
The more my mind dwells upon the beauty, the potential
And the wonder of the world and its people.” I have learned,
Things that matter most, must never be at the mercy of things
That matter least.
Never sweat the small stuff!
Healthy discourse is the route to understanding!
No matter what form of communication we use to be successful,
If we concentrated and honestly communicated on the really important things in life, there would be a shortage of fishing poles and golf clubs and an abundance of churches, mosques, synagogues and the art forms such as ballet, music, painting, etc.
Culture, as a form of communication, constitutes an essential dimension of our humanity in its individual and social expression.
It is the key to three fundamental dimensions,
(1)learning to know,
(2)learning to be and
(3) learning to live together!
Lesson number 5: Celebrate Being
Family, friends, teachers, and colleagues,
All impact our lives.
I fondly remember those who have inspired me to do much more than I thought I was capable of doing.
They were, and remain my hero’s!
However, we can’t all be hero’s, because someone has to stand on the curb and clap as hero’s go by!
I believe, we must move away from empty heroes and individuals who just look good or play the money game well.
To me, this is not enough to be a hero.
Don’t settle for style, succeed with substance!
To be a hero, you have to positively change someone’s life as well as your own!
Frances, and all of you, by being here today, are heroes!
As were my parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, teachers, colleagues,
They were and are my change masters! I wasn’t just a son, a brother, a student, a friend, we did, and continue to share our uncertain, yet marvelous life journey together!!
We did not, and still do not know our destination. However, we do know when we reach the far horizon, there will be another. That is the joy of life’s journey!
People are important! Celebrate them! Befriend them! Love them!
Robert Kennedy, using a quote from
George Bernard Shaw, in the “celebration of life” stated:
“there are those that look at things the way they are
And ask why? However, others, me included, dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”
“dream” and ask “why not?”
Every single day!
Reflect! Visualize! Imagine! What our lives can really be.
I believe, based on life long experiences, that five, twenty-five, fifty or a hundred years from now, it will not matter what our bank account was, the sort of house we lived in, or the kind of car we drove.
But, I believe the world may be truly different because we positively impacted, celebrated, and contributed immensely to someone else’s life!
Lesson number 6: Share Experiences
We are all students of life! What do we do with the lessons?
We all have experiences and important lessons
To teach, share and learn from others.
Experiences contribute to our success, yet, our greatest lessons / successes often come from our greatest failures! (Edison light bulb story)
Which I have learned more than once throughout my lifetime.
It is essential that we learn from our mistakes,
So we don’t repeat them.
Life’s like a movie! Write your own ending!
Key point: “insanity – doing the same thing over and over
and expecting a different result. (Einstein)
Make time to focus on the experiences that challenge you
And those that create opportunities to share with others.
Don’t worry about the past. (what was your big worry last Friday?)
We have no control over it!
We must share and give back to the individuals who have supported us on our journey.
We must encourage others!
My lessons have allowed me to teach and interact with students, individuals and groups that have come from all over the world.
Working together, with a common focus in the family, with friends, charities, in business groups, in the classroom.
Sharing experiences, living our imagination, supporting each other.
We are connected!
Working together and telling stories (mini united nation’s) Queens’s entrepreneur in residence
This connection, this trust, the telling of stories, the openness, this communication, this sharing of experiences, provides the true meaning of life.
We must all strive to be involved, engaged, caring citizens of the world.
With the potential to be builders of a better global civilization,
Built on love and understanding, and open communication!
We are building bridges, not barriers!
We are truly living, not just existing!
Lesson number 7: Dedicate Time
Time and tide! Wait for no one!
Use time wisely!
My first love and positive use of time is reading.
I have always and continue to make (dedicate) more time to read!
Reading is the foundation of wisdom!
I belong to an outstanding book club. George Brookman and Cliff Fryers are here today!
We celebrate life with quality time together!
Reading takes us to a land far away. To a ship at sea. To a distant mountain,
An ancient city, another civilization, to another galaxy. Imagination personified!
What a wonderfully, proactive use of time.
However, personally, “I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, all the friends I want to see.”
This was brought home to me several years ago by an old fisherman in Nova Scotia.
Pause briefly to tell the 24 hour “make time” story!!
“tell the story” schnare – in chester!
However, no matter how much time we have
As a family,
As a society,
We sometimes lose our way.
A favorite peanuts cartoon depicts
Charlie Brown and Lucy on a cruise ship. Looking forward, looking backward, going nowhere!! Can’t get my chair open!
But by making time for love, guidance, friendship and support
We always seem to recover. Time heals! That is human nature!
We must “make” time.
(Arizona blackberry story!)
Make time to think – it is the source of power
Make time to dream – it is the touchstone of our character
Make time to read – it is the foundation of wisdom
Make time to work – it is the price of success
Make time to play – it is the secret of perpetual youth
Make time to laugh – it is the music of the soul
Make time for friendship – it is the route to happiness
Make time for charity – it is the key to eternity
Make time to pray – it is the true power of the universe
Make time to love – it is the privilege of living
Remember, we each are given a precious 24 hours in every day!
And it is how each of us use them that makes a difference in our lives!
Lesson number 8: Focus on Children
Back to the future!! Children are the foundation of our future!
“we are all unique”
It has often been said, that to see the real world we must see it through
The eyes of a child.
We shouldn’t worry that children do not listen to us!
Worry that they are always watching us, learning!
Unfortunately, I believe we stop being children. We stop imagining.
We stop exploring. We grow up! (Mackenzie – “orbiting the giant hairball”)
We become serious. We lose perspective.
(Joshua bell, a $3.0 mm Stradivarius)
I have learned that we should celebrate every day with the exuberance of children, and thank those who have taken us under their wing over the years and who have encouraged us to imagine, dream, grow, explore, and never lose the child’s quest for knowledge!
On behalf of our children we must share the gift of freedom, and the gift of education.
We must make certain, that the three most dangerous words in the English language:
Woulda (would have),
Coulda (could have),
Shoulda (should have)
Are not part of our, or our children’s, vocabulary.
We must adapt Nike’s “just do it” and Obama’s “yes we can” philosophy.
Never believe we cannot! And never let your children, our children, believe they cannot!
“May I help?” are the three most appreciated words in the English language. Use them often with your children, with your friends, with the elderly,
We must know the true meaning of “I love you” and practice it daily because,
Children must grow with a positive attitude. Don’t ! No! Stop! / me! Mine! More!! Are unacceptable! As they are among the most stifling words at our command!
We must look for alternatives with a positive connotation!
We must never stop dreaming! Imagining!
And we must encourage our children to do the same.
Encourage them to believe! Believe in themselves!
To dance beyond the breakers!
To never be afraid to dare! To question! To try!
I have truly learned that, the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams, and execute. And, children above all, are unfettered dreamers! Understand, encourage, celebrate, listen to, and cherish our children, and our grandchildren!
They are our future.
The future of this global community!
And they have the world at their fingertips.
(grandson story – 1) don’t have to learn anything, just
Have to know where to find it)
Lesson number 9: champion we-ism
We have become collectors of things! (cots) and losers of relationships! (lors)
However, I believe the true meaning of life, is exemplified by helping our fellow man!
Martin Luther King suggested that, “we must all learn to live as brothers or we will perish as fools.”
This requires a dramatic shift in current thinking from me-ism, me myself and I, or, me, mine, more!
So dominant today, to we-ism, remember, (may I help?) Stressing, support and sharing with family, community, country, world, and I have learned that, the most important word in wealth is “we”!
We should not be judgmental until we walk in someone else’s shoes.
We must strive to make them part of our we!
We have to find new worlds within ourselves! I have learned that, the way of “we” is within!
And it takes a we to make a me.
I encourage you to champion we-ism! And make it an everyday habit.
You and those around you, will be wealthy beyond belief.
Lesson number 10: Build a Legacy
I have learned, and history proves over and over that,
One person can make a difference!
Jesus! Mohammed! Grande! Mozart! Michelangelo! Lincoln! Hitler! You! Me! Yes, each and every one of us!
Caring individuals have always encouraged me to have faith in the future! Have faith in oneself! And have made me realize that, we must keep the faith, show fortitude, be optimistic, build a legacy, no matter how difficult the situation!
And stay on course, live outside of the box,
Reject conventional wisdom!
With a smile in our heart. As I have previously noted, we will never discover new oceans.
If we always sail in a safe harbor! I have learned that, the reasonable man adapts himself to the world as it is known; if it “isn’t” broke, don’t fix it!
The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. If it “isn’t” broke, make it better!
Therefore, I believe all progress and the potential to build a legacy depends upon the unreasonable man or woman who
Walk to a different drummer!
They go where there is no path and leave a trail! As Anne Morrow Lindberg suggested, the shape of our lives started with family.
The shape of our current lives is determined by many things;
Our background and childhood, friends, teachers, colleagues, our intelligence, and our opportunities, our mind and its education, our heart and it’s desires, our spirituality.
Personally, I have always wanted to give, to share with my family, friends and community. To perform my obligations to my fellow man and the world, as a man, as a friend, as a brother, as an uncle, as a cousin, as a father, as a grandfather, as a businessman, as a teacher and as a committed citizen.
I want to be at peace with myself. I want a worthy purpose. To share with an open heart and a clear vision.
To say that I have truly lived. That I have contributed to building a legacy, I have learned we must never be afraid to go out on a limb – that is where the fruit is!
(briefly mention the aging population as a very imminent
(enter the world with nothing, leave the same way)
(the five generations story) (I have seven)
And true test!)
And, I ask all of you to join me, to join each other,
With the same commitment. For you,
“the Calgary commitment” to ensure this small piece of paradise, this pioneering legacy of the “just do it” mentality, is better than the way we have found it and have lived it!
Physically, socially, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually!
We must have cradled and encouraged our children, contributed positively to our community and comforted and cared for our elderly with love!
That will be our legacy!
I ask of you at any gathering, to look to your left and look to your right.
Smile. Say hello. Shake hands.
Be one, in the community of man / woman. When you return to your room, the next class, the office or home today, tonight, tomorrow, next week, communicate openly and positively!
Hug your partners, spouses, parents, children. Show positive emotion!
Cherish your friendships. Focus only on the positive.
Let the negative destroy itself!
And, as I have learned, life is not a dress rehearsal!
Life is a one way street! There is no turning back!
I have also learned, lived and believe, there may be no better way to define success and to honour yourself, your friends, your families, this community, the global community,
And to celebrate our lives in a positive, successful, and
Meaningful way than that expressed by Emerson.
“to laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people, and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics
And endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world even a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded. These are life’s lessons well learned.
I have also learned that, it is imperative we cherish and celebrate this life! It is the only one we get on this planet.
Enjoy the journey. Tell each other stories! Give often of yourself!
Give with gratitude! And ask nothing in return!
The heart that gives – gathers!
Gratitude is– the moral memory of mankind! The glue that holds us together!
I have always loved Kipling’s “If”.
Please leave the world a better place than how you found it!
May you find your “acres of diamonds”!!In every thing you do!
I believe we all walk around with a greater vision of ourselves and our world. Everyone!
The challenge lies in expressing that vision.
Courageously, putting ourselves out there every day and saying yes! This is who I really am. This is what I am meant to do!
Thank you for caring! Thank you for sharing! Thank you for listening!
Thank you for supporting Frances and cc4ms!
It is a very worthy cause! Every success possible!
May you share your own lessons for living with your family, friends, and the global community!
May you be truly blessed! Thank you!