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STOKE THE FIRE WITHIN

A Guide to Igniting Your life

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Available at the Notre Dame Bookstore and corbypublishing.com.

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Could this be the Quote of the Year for 2012

To me, it has to be one of the best quotes of the year 2012!

 

Where I live, here in South Bend, IN, the St Joseph Chamber of Commerce had its annual Salute to Business Luncheon in the early part of the year.

 

The Small Business of the Year Award went to Communication Company of South Bend. Upon accepting the award, Daniel Schmidtendorff, a co owner, said this:

 

"We made a decision not to participate in the recession."

 

How cool is that?! That's one of those statements where you lean back and go, "Whoa!"

 

It reminded me of a coach who was getting his team ready to go out in a game that the experts thought would go down to the very end. Before sending them out, he said to the team, "You know, there is no law or rule that this game has to be close."

 

The team looked at him. The message got through, as they won handily.

 

I am going to be speaking on Attitude soon to an organization at their off sight retreat. As we were lining things up, their leader said that, by golly, they had decided in 2012 they were going to get back to a positive, can do attitude rather than the "stay hunkered down" approach so many have taken the last few years.

 

I realize certain industries have had it harder than others in the past few years, but it certainly helps to have as positive of an approach to things as possible. It starts with leadership. The co owners of the Small Business of the Year where I live took a confident approach, and they have grown in trying circumstances.

 

Leadership is a fascinating subject. Because I interviewed so many leaders during a quarter of a century in broadcasting, I love speaking on the subject, and reading on it.

 

At the Chamber event I talked about, the guest speaker was Bill Graham who talked on the subject of "Likeable Leadership." He had a great recent example of the Super Bowl winning coach Tom Coughlin.

 

Four years ago, prior to winning his first Super Bowl with the Giants, the team was about to fire Coughlin.

 

But he pleaded for his job and promised he would change, Graham said.

 

He was told to communicate better and be a better leader. He was also told no one connected to the team liked him. His wife told him to treat the players the same way he treats his grandkids, Graham said.

 

He was 61 years old at the time, but opted to change.Coughlin started engaging his players with some fun activities like a Casino Night where he handed out all the money. He did other things to let them know he appreciated their efforts.

 

That season the team kept coming together and beat the previously undefeated New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

 

Since he changed his ways, he's had a .640 winning percentage, up .150 from his just under .500 previous days. - Jim Meenan, South Bend Tribune article

 

I agree about 'Likeable Leadership.' In all my years the best leader I ever had was former WSBT TV President and General Manager Jim Freeman. He made you feel important. He communicated, and he had what I feel is one of the most important attributes of a leader: you wanted to do a great job to please him, not because you felt intimidated by him.

 

He also had the ability to see things in people they did not see in themselves. Years ago he took me to lunch and said that because viewers perceived me as so positive when I delivered the sports news of the day on the News, he wanted me to also start doing regular Positive News stories. That led to a twice weekly "Making a Difference" feature that was a huge hit with viewers who were craving for more positive news at night. To this day, I use many of those clips in "How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing" and other talks. All because of a likeable leader that made me better than what I was...

 

So, hats off to the Small Business of the Year and their decision not to participate in the recession, and here's to more Likeable Leadership. It has helped Tom Coughlin win two Super Bowls in four years!

 

- Charlie Adams, Motivational Speaker
574 807 2279 || Email Charlie