Don’t chase the snake

When I was 10 years old, one of my best friends was Bob Queen.  One afternoon while exploring the back acreage of our farms, a snake bit Bob. Seeing the snake slither off, my immediate response was to run after the snake, track him down and repay the scoundrel for what he had done to my friend.  Bob, however, being a much wiser hunter and outdoorsman, quickly pulled out his knife, lanced the bite, sucked the blood out and spit out the poison.  The focus for him was on his own well being, not on repaying the snake.  How often … Read More

Not till God tells me………

“Dan! I’m feeling like I’m in a dead-end situation, but I’m not going to move until God tells me to do so!” I received this note recently from a reader – and it represents thousands of similar notes I’ve received over the last 20 years. The writer continues, “Dan, I’m miserable, frustrated, anxious, sick, exhausted, bored, nervous, worried, concerned, restless, fearful, frightened, apprehensive, troubled, upset, angry, exasperated, incensed, infuriated, discouraged, aggravated, maddened, offended, disappointed, distressed, anguished, tormented, suffering, afflicted, suffering, persecuted” – well, you get the idea.  But he’s not going to move until God himself “tells” him to. Just … Read More

And the times, they are a’changin

Change we can count on – but that doesn’t mean opportunities are decreasing.  True, not all change is progress, but all progress does require change.  Embrace the change by positioning yourself for new options. I recently worked with a young lady who had lost her job, making in the mid 70s.  Panicked and convinced she could never find another job in that income range, she had decided she would have to start her own business.  However, after identifying her unique “areas of competence” I advised against that and encouraged her to do a creative job search.  In a short period … Read More

Don’t forget how to fish

We’ve all heard the old saying, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.”  How do you best help someone who is struggling?  If third-world natives are living in poverty, should we send them money?  Or could we teach them how to plant crops or provide a goat that will nourish their family and allow them to sell the excess milk?  If an unmarried woman has a child, should we reward her for having additional children in the way of living quarters and medical care, or … Read More

The Sufferings of Layoff Survivors

Are you breathing a sigh of relief because you survived the most recent round of layoffs?  CNN reports that there seems to be much more focus on the people getting laid off than on the “survivors”, as we call them.  Marc Detampel, senior manager with Arthur Anderson, says “For those being laid off, there are severance plans, outplacement, counseling, communication, and talk about a ‘soft landing.’  But for the rest of the corporate population, the survivors, there’s almost a philosophy that says, ‘Hey, they’ll be happy just because they still have the job.” Now The Families and Work Institute reports … Read More

Jobs come and go – but beauty and grace continue

There are two bluebird families making nests outside my window this morning.  A group of robins are getting their morning drink from our feeder.  The chickadees are moving into a newly hung birdhouse as well.  A brave groundhog just ambled from our barn to the wooded area along the fence. Yes, work needs to be done, plans need to be made, but I don’t want to miss the beauty around me today?  In 1988, I experienced a major business failure.  Our business was sold at auction, leaving us hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.  The IRS demanded the immediate … Read More

Was it a failure or a step toward your success?

The unexpected changes happening today are causing a lot of people to think they have “failed.”  But have they really, or is that occurrence a necessary step toward success?  Is it possible to be extraordinarily great in any area of our lives without going through those inevitable “failures?”  Can a world-class golfer get to greatness without hitting a lot of balls in the lake?  Can faith be mature and strong without going through doubt and radical uncertainty?  Does a person ever find that perfect job without going through several disappointments or even firings first?  I think we need to change … Read More

You’re Fired

One day in 1990, A.K. Verma went on what you might call “extended” leave from his job as a senior electrical engineer at India’s Central Public Works Department. He hasn’t shown up for work since. And it finally caught up to him: Verma was sacked for his absence — on Jan. 8, after 25 years as a no-show.  He did ask for a leave but then just never came back.  I can’t imagine a company having its hands tied in not being able to fire a dude like this.  The only business model that works is if a person can choose … Read More

Just drifting through life

I recently worked with a 60 year-old gentleman who was living in a week-to-week motel room.  Four years ago he was in a banking position with a six-figure income, first class flights and lots of perks.  As a result of a merger, he quickly ended up with no job, no money and no prospects of either.  He stated, “I have essentially drifted through life.”  It’s funny how not having a plan can periodically lead to success anyway with failure lurking close behind.  Taking the path of least resistance makes very crooked rivers and very frustrated people. Just this week another … Read More

Outta Work but headed for “Work I Love”

Last week I sent out a note in our weekly newsletter that mentioned if you are out of work right now you could send a brief note to [email protected] explaining how you lost your job and what you are moving TO.  And that we would be drawing a name each week for our Ultimate Fresh Start Package. About 10 minutes after the newsletter went out, the messages started rolling in – and have not stopped.  While many are very sad and disheartening, I was also thrilled to see the optimism sneak in – even for those of you who are … Read More