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Archive for March, 2013

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013
The Attitude of Taking Pride in your Work
By Speaker Charlie Adams

I recently spoke on attitude as it relates to customer service to all of the Customer Service Managers of Martin’s Supermarkets, known for their outstanding customer service.

The picture above is of the discussion we had at the end of my 2 hour seminar on how to take top rate customer service to an even higher level. While Martin’s has “got it going” with customer service, there is a lot of average customer service out there. A major reason is the attitude of a lot of people not only when it comes to service of the customer but in taking great pride in their work. It all comes back to attitude.

In my upcoming book “How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!!” (Corby Books) I have an entire chapter devoted to attitude in the work place. It includes a contribution from Richard Lowe of Boulder, Colorado, a man who cares deeply about doing your best. This is a wonderful example of seeking excellence no matter what your job is:

I was recently thinking about why so many people seem to accept ‘good enough.’ As if simply completing a task adequately with minimum expenditure of energy is the objective. The quicker and blunter the solution, to say: mopping a floor, is preferable to *caring* about the quality of our work. Of course mopping is to most people a mundane task to be dispatched with as expeditiously as possible, like doing the laundry, or taking out the garbage or mowing the lawn. But when mopping is necessary, there is a way to elevate it into something redeeming.

If I choose to *care* about the quality of my work, I will consider it a challenge to learn something every time I do it: How does the amount of water I squeeze out of the mop affect cleaning this floor? Does it make a difference that loose strands are dangling eight inches below the body of the mop head? Would it help in any way to trim these stragglers? Is there a more effective way to section this floor in my mind to make sure every square inch has been mopped well? Does it make an appreciable difference to change the water after each mopping?

These questions are driven by both curiosity and caring. Taking pride in the quality of our work brings with it an enormous measure of freedom and satisfaction. It’s not about being a perfectionist; sometimes the challenge is with Time: to finish the job adequately in a very finite space of time. Then it becomes a matter of efficiency and pacing and discipline. The job becomes a healthy challenge because I *make* it a healthy challenge. Otherwise it’s just drudgery at a hurried pace.

Is it possible to cultivate this attitude in others? I strive to model this state of mind and action to the clients I teach, who overwhelmingly see mopping as a job to just get done, with minimal caring involved; to make some money. To the degree this attitude is exercised, we are slaves to such tasks. To the degree we care and take pride in the quality of our work, we are the masters of them.

Even in the mundane; especially in the mundane, we are presented with opportunities to challenge ourselves, and in doing so to contribute satisfaction, healthy pride, and integrity into our soul’s account. I think of it as the mortar (attitude) which holds the bricks (accomplishment) together. The quality of that mortar is entirely in my hands.”Richard Lowe

Richard … is my cousin. We are both 50, both from Mississippi, and just months apart. He hit 50 two months before I did and didn’t keel over, so that inspired me! I have always appreciated his insights and sought them out for the new book.

In my television news days part of my job was to be a positive news reporter at one television station. As I share in my Attitude seminars now, it made a huge impact on me because of the people I interviewed.

I once did a story on a lady who was a custodian for a local elementary school. She was a GREAT example of taking pride in a job. On the surface her job would be to keep the school clean for everyone. That’s a huge job and a critical one because without custodians, places would be a mess. Well, Marcia Elsbury went way beyond her job description and when I met her I found her to be SO positive!

Besides cleaning she also read books to the students in classrooms, took parts in plays, dressed up as the Easter bunny, brought in treats and all kinds of things. I remember the principal saying that she went way beyond her job description. One teacher told me that Marcia was the kind that initiated things. You might be thinking, “Well, how did she have time to do all of this with all of her cleaning duties?” I got the answer when I interviewed her for the feature. She said because she got to know the kids so much better she hardly ever had messes. They went out of their way to pick up things through the day and kept things way cleaner than normal! They loved her positive attitude and giving spirit. When I talked to her she said she didn’t look at the kids as just students. She considered them her grand kids. She told me those kids had a mountain of love to give and she loved to receive it and give it to them. She loved her job!

She cared…deeply.

In my upcoming book ‘How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!!’ (Corby Books, Notre Dame, IN)
there is a chapter on having the attitude of doing your very best at work.

Contact me and I would love to talk about how the 2 hour or half day forms of this seminar can help equip your people with a set of positive and championship attitudes!

Charlie Adams


Putting a positive spin on things!

Your 60 second motivational minute
Charlie Adams Positive Spin
Charlie Adams Positive Spin

Bucket List destinations for you

Visiting some of the most inspirational places in the world
Since 2006, I have had the opportunity to host inspirational group travel experiences for Edgerton’s Travel. I have started including short video clips of unique destinations as they may be places you want to go to one day. Building a solid foundation in your organization or life is critical, otherwise you could end up being a leaning tower like the one in Pisa :)

The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy with speaker/author Charlie Adams
The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy with speaker/author Charlie Adams

Charlie Adams Motivation

Keynote/Seminar descriptions

“Stoke the Fire Within!”

This peak performance keynote is tailored to the theme of your event.

Here are complete details of the ‘Stoke’ keynote

“How to Build a Positive Attitude an
d KEEP the Darn Thing!!”

This 2 or 4 hour experience equips your people with the attitudes to be more positive, team oriented and solution centered.

Here are complete details of this keynote/seminar

“The Spirit of Customer Service!”

This 2 hour program can be delivered along with the Attitude program, as attitude and customer service are so closely connected.

Contact Information:

574 807 2279

Thursday, March 14th, 2013
‘On Fire’ Fitness and Nutrition
By Speaker Charlie Adams

In my upcoming book ‘How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!!, (April 2013, Corby Books) one of the chapters is on how exercise and good nutrition can impact your attitudes.

During my quarter of a century in covering peak performers in television news, I was inspired early on to make fitness a priority in life. Now past 50, I had a fitness test delivered by Greg Bennett, Exercise Physiologist, this past Friday.  He found my aerobic capacity indicated my functional age was 40. Diastolic blood pressure was 62 with 80 being desirable and 115 high risk. Total cholesterol was 183 with 200 desirable and 240 high risk. Body fat was 22% with the range for my age (50) being 18 to 24%.
photo Charlie Adams fitness

With cardiovascular disease being responsible for 48% of deaths in the U.S., I made a decision this year to include fitness/nutrition in the 2 hour and half day forms of my seminar “How to  Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!!.” Many meeting planners and company/organization leaders have told me how important Wellness is to them. As a speaker, I have tailored my How to Build a Positive Attitude seminar to include realistic tools that can motivate folks to make better exercise and nutrition decisions.

In talking with Greg after my check up, we went over diet tips and I set goals to get my weight down from 235 to 223 and body fat from 22 to 20%.

“Fat in foods is not the enemy so much as sugar,” Greg told me. “Salty finger snack foods are a culprit.”

We went over eating habits that I am going to focus on more such as steel cut oatmeal, apples with chunky peanut butter (no sugar), eating 5 to 6 smaller meals in a day, more plant proteins such as red or black beans, nuts and berries. He suggested lean chicken meats, rotisserie turkey, multi colored peppers and if I need cheese in meals to try a little sharp cheddar because the taste is so bold you don’t need as much. Greg had all kinds of ideas like low fat string mozzarella cheese, pistachios without shells, greek yogurt, Special K cracker chips and tomatoes for their lycopene benefits. He talked about shopping on the outer parts of a grocery store compared to the inner parts.

As a speaker, I have always felt a responsibility to be in shape in front of audiences. In this newsletter I wanted to share some personal observations and habits.

* The first thing I do is make exercise a priority for somewhere in just about every day. My schedule is different all the time. If home, I try to work out early in the morning at the place I go to locally. If I am traveling I use whatever the hotel has and if they don’t have much I do pushups, planks and cardio boxing in my room or outside if the weather is good. I do little things like taking the steps instead of the escalator. If I am in a big airport that has the option of steps or escalator I will take the steps two at a time. There are times I am the only one doing it.

* I do group classes. I find there is a bond in group classes where you can feed off the energy of those around you. Everyone is working hard and that can inspire you and keep you going. At first I was reluctant to try group classes so what I did was drag my 19 year old (at the time) son with me when he was home from college during break. If you find yourself hesitant to go, do your best to get a friend or relative. I know the first time you do a group class is scary because everyone else has been there a bunch and knows the routine. Just get in there and take it step by step and before long you will be having a very positive experience. Hey, I have done Zumba Hip Hop! If I can do that class then you can do anything! I have done everything from Zumba Hip Hop to Body Pump to Insane Abs to Turbo Kick and on and on.

* I have a trainer, Cindy Wagner, that I work with from time to time. I do not need to set up sessions with Cindy so that I will come to the fitness center. I am self motivated. However, I think many people do need that kick in the rear that comes with knowing a trainer will keep them accountable in sessions. I work with Cindy because she shows me all kinds of different exercises that I work into my routines.

* I listen to my body. I try not to push it too far, especially since I am in my 50’s. I am not one of those macho guys in the weight room asking someone to ’spot’ me while I try to bench press 350 pounds. I could care less about being able to lift massive weights. In over 30 years of exercising regularly I have never had an injury because I don’t push it too far and I listen to my body.

* No matter where you are regarding fitness now, start something. I did a one on one interview with George Foreman years ago (I use his grill to prepare lean chicken). He had come up with a product that was basically a couch pillow. His goal was  to encourage sedentary people to stand while watching television and move over the pillows during the programs. It was a start.

* The cardio machine I swear by is the stepmill or something like it. It is basically a big ol’ black machine where you step and step and step and step. I will set it to sixteen level after warming up and go hard for a minute or so and then hit stop and rest for thirty seconds or so. When the clock gets back down to a few seconds I hit start again and go for a minute or so. I do this for awhile and sweat like crazy. I can feel the calories pouring out of me. I took to this approach after reading that Michael Strahan (who replaced Regis and co hosts with Kelly  Ripa) got down to 8% body fat partly because he does interval cardio on machines.

In the book ‘How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!!!” I will have much more on personal fitness and nutrition habits that have worked for me.

I have included two resources for you to read at your leisure. The first is a story I did on a Chamber of Commerce President (who was a mayor before that job) who dropped 70 pounds several years ago and has kept it off. There are very helpful insights in it!

Here are some highlights from the feature on Jeff Rea:

“Charlie, I didn’t do a fancy diet. Instead, I set my mind to eat better and smarter. My schedule as Mayor had me grabbing a Coke here, a candy bar there. I cut out soft drinks. I had been having seven or eight a day – that’s 180 calories each and all the sugar. I switched cold turkey to water. That was tough, and I got headaches. Now I use Crystal Light flavor packs in water. I started eating wheat bread instead of white. Eating out, I would eat half the portions and take the other half back for lunch the next day. I tried to focus on what I was eating late at night. I cut out the bag of chips at 9 at night. They say if you can repeat a pattern 12 weeks, it is ingrained in you. That’s what happened to me. You train your stomach. I had a chili cheese dog at the golf course the other day. My stomach said, “Jeff, we don’t eat those anymore.”

“Charlie, I think diets lose weight real fast, but people put it back on fast. I lost 75 pounds over this time by setting a simple but powerful goal: to weigh less than the week before. That really works. During the first 52 weeks, I lost 50 pounds. Sometimes it was just a few ounces, sometimes a pound.”

“I have gone through two major wardrobe changes. I did not save any of my ‘fat’ clothes. They are all gone. I don’t plan on going back to where I was.” – Jeff Rea, St Joseph Co. Chamber of Commerce President/CEO

For more on how he went from barely being able to walk around the block when he started this transformation to running in a marathon in Alaska, click below . . . . .

Here is the story of the Incredibly Shrinking CEO/President

Here is more on trainer Cindy Wagner and her quest to get ‘the vein’


A Monument to Spirit, Sacrifice, and Commitment

Taking you into the National WWII Memorial
A new feature in here in the blog will be a short inspirational video that I have produced.

Just under ten years ago, the National World War II Memorial was dedicated. You may have never had the opportunity to see it in person. While hosting a group inspirational trip to D.C., I produced a documentary on the Memorials, including this one. The Freedom Wall on the west side of the memorial has 4,048 gold stars on it, each representing 100 Americans who died in the war.

Speaker Charlie Adams takes you to the National WWII Memorial
Speaker Charlie Adams takes you to the National WWII Memorial

The memorial stands as an important symbol of American national unity, a timeless reminder of the moral strength and awesome power that can flow when a free people are at once united and bonded together in a common and just cause.

If you know someone connected to WWII that has not been able to make it to D.C. to see the Memorial, feel free to forward this to them.

To forward

Charlie Adams Motivation

Keynote/Seminar descriptions

“Stoke the Fire Within!”

This peak performance keynote is tailored to the theme of your event.

Here are complete details of the ‘Stoke’ keynote

“How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!!”

This 2 or 4 hour experience equips your people with the attitudes to be more positive, team oriented and solution centered.

Contact Information:

574 807 2279

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Charlie Adams, Speaker

Charlie Adams Motivation
* Stoke the Fire Within (keynote)
* How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!!! (2 or 4 hour seminar or keynote form)

Photo Charlie Adams at Conference in Antigua
This Tuesday newsletter contains inspirational stories from my main keynotes or seminars:

* Stoke the Fire Within

* How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!!

Join Our Mailing List!

Colorado Rockies Family Group Motivational Trip

July 28-Aug. 3, 2013
hosted by speaker Charlie Adams

*River Rafting
*Horseback Riding
*Zip Lining
*U.S. Olympic Training
…and more

A wonderful opportunity for family members to bond closer while Edgerton’s Travel takes care of all the arrangements

More on the Most Positive Person I know!
By Speaker Charlie Adams

I will be delivering a keynote form of ‘How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing’ for Dept. of Agriculture staff tonight. No doubt, I will talk about the most positive person I ever covered during my years as a positive news reporter in television news. Brett Eastburn weighed 2 pounds, 11 ounces at birth.He had a rare congenital birth defect known as Quadrimembral Amputee Deficiency. He was born with no arms or no legs. As I have written about here before, he also was born with no handicaps or disabilities, in his mind.

His parents took a positive attitude right from his birth. “I already had gone through a miscarriage and a stillbirth,” his mother Barb Eastburn told writer Bill Moor. “So I said, ‘OK, we have a baby here. Let’s go with this.’”

(photo of Brett as a baby..he used prosthetic arms and limbs up until 3rd grade when he quit using them)

I have read his 2012 book “I’m Not Missing Anything” twice and underlined many parts of it.  Here are some quotes of his from the book that can inspire you:

“I was born this way. And it may surprise you that I thank God every day for making me the way I am. I have grown to think that God has made me this way to show other people the potential they have, and to help them through their own adversity.”

“One of my favorite pictures is of my father holding me in one hand, all two pounds and eleven ounces of me, showing off his new baby boy. And, as the story goes, he’s saying to his friends, ‘Look what I made.’ In his eyes, I was his perfect baby. I wasn’t missing anything.”

“Strike three, but you’re not out. When we put in 110 percent effort at the third try and we have not accomplished what we set out to do, most of us stop. We tell ourselves, I just gave my best three times, so I must not be able to do it. This is simply not true. Never stop at anything you want, especially on the third try. Once you have given up, that is when it is over.”

“Most people make the mistake of trying to do an entire project at once, no matter what the job. Break it down into simpler tasks. Take things one step at a time, one piece at a time. You’ll be surprised at how easy it becomes.”

“Almost no one becomes a success overnight. In fact, I may never get to the place I’ve imagined for myself. But I’m enjoying the process of trying to get there. If today is the best I’ll ever be, I’m thankful for the cool stuff I have, the interesting places I’ve been and the amazing people I’ve met. I am just playing the hand I was dealt.”   – Brett Eastburn

Years ago I produced a video documentary of Brett that I often show when I deliver How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing! On May 27, 2000 I had the opportunity to be at the wedding of Brett and Chrisa. They have been happily married ever since.

Brett has impacted so many lives through his motivational programs, with Chrisa helping to run their No Boundries business.  While physically he is 2 feet and 2 1/2 inches (he always says to not forget that half inch!) he is always growing in life. In recent years he has developed a stand up comic routine that is so good that no comedian wants to follow him. “I would be on that show Last Comic Standing but I can’t stand,” Brett once joked to me.

Here is a short video of me sharing much more about Brett’s story including how he utilizes a sense of humor to stay positive:

The most positive person speaker Charlie Adams has met
The most positive person speaker Charlie Adams has met – click arrow above to play

When I write or speak, I am big on leaving tools with audiences or readers. Below is a link to a 7 part series writer Bill Moor did on Eastburn. It is filled with motivational insights for you to read at your leisure:

here is the Series on Brett Eastburn by writer Bill Moor

Here is the link to his 2012 book I’m Not Missing Anything by Corby Books



Charlie Adams Motivation

Keynotes to ignite your events and seminars to help your people grow in peak performance and positive attitude

“Stoke the Fire Within!”

This peak performance keynote is tailored to the theme of your event.

Here are complete details of the ‘Stoke’ keynote

“How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!!”

This 2 or 4 hour experience equips your people with the attitudes to be more positive, team oriented and solution centered. My book on this (with the same title) will be out in April of 2013. I am very excited about this book and the tools it has in it to help people build a set of championship attitudes. I am thankful that already 8 corporate, educational and church organizations this month have booked the seminar or keynote for 2013. Contact me to learn more about how it can help your organization or your event. The link below has more details…

“The Spirit of Customer Service”
This 2 hour seminar helps employees to take their customer service to another level. It is built from insights of having interacted with thousands of customers during a quarter of a century in broadcasting and having worked almost 30 group travel trips for Edgerton’s Travel, a company dedicated to customer service since 1924. 

Contact Information:

574 807 2279

motivational videos from previous keynotes

Charlie Adams delivers motivation to Sales Staff

delivering peak performance tools to Sales staff

Charlie Adams at Hesburgh Library

talking positive attitude with staff at a University

Fairbanks opening keynote photo

setting the tone of a conference of educators with Stoke the Fire Within


574-254-0188 || Email Charlie