Letting Others Help Increases Success

Today, we have an Executive MBA Executive-in-Residence Program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. It is an opportunity for Executive MBA Students to be mentored by senior executives from around the global.

It is only possible with tons of help – executives willing to share their time, students willing to give their “free day” up to learn from the executives, and staff members who are willing to spend their entire day (after flying from around the globe) to support everyone.

Thank you all so much.

So today, let others help you – your opportunities, success, and happiness will grow!

Have a wonderful day,


The Unexpected Source of Success

I was working with a graduate of the MBA program from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He is a rather senior guy with significant leadership and management experience with a multinational corporation. We were chatting about a variety of things – from the state of the world markets to the nuances of leadership. Given my passion for understanding the underlying factors of success, I asked: “We both know that expressing gratitude is important – yet how can we make it concrete?”

He didn’t say a word, but instead whipped out his mobile phone. Then he said, “Do you remember this?” and begin to play a year old voice mail message. This grad had volunteered at an event last year. One of my colleagues told me that he had done an amazing job, so I took 30 seconds to tell him. No embellishments, just the facts.
“That’s how you make gratitude concrete,” he said. “And, it’s a free ‘secret’ to greater success!”

So today, just notice someone doing something right and share what you see.

Have a great Thursday,

The Big “O” Will Positively Change Your Life.

What’s the difference between “giving ‘til it hurts” and making an offering? On a material level, there’s likely no distinction at all. Two people can give the same time, money, energy, or effort and have remarkably different experiences. The first feels cheated, resentful, and drained having given out of peer pressure, guilt, or hoping to get something in return. The second feels joyful, appreciated, and ready to give again having given out of commitment, sincerity, and appreciation. The Big “O” offering is a gift with no strings attached, not a bribe for future gain.

So how can each of us give “gifts” with a generosity of spirit? A wise friend once told me to find something I truly believe in and give because I want to. So what do you truly care about? Give a little of yourself today. Instead of losing anything, you’ll feel like someone actually gave to you.


How Far Do You Have to Go?

Ever look at someone and think, “Boy, does she have a long way to go.” That thought could even be about you. And while an individual’s supreme potential may not yet be fully revealed, each person deserves your deepest respect for possessing it. So as you meet people throughout your day, acknowledge each one with dignity and respect.

Have a great weekend.

Warm regards,

Thank You for Being Alive

People talk a lot about gratitude these days – documenting appreciation for everything from a delicious piece of apple pie to our excellent health. But what about a little gratitude for the people we encounter each day – even the ones we’d like to avoid, who get on our last good nerve. 

Now I know that there’s not much positive reinforcement in society for this type of gratitude. Nations, organizations, and many religions encourage us to assert our differences. The media also helps us “forget” that we’re all human beings struggling to survive, with similar hopes and dreams. 

Conflict and violence naturally flows from this disconnect. Ever notice how people almost hungrily wait for one of “those” people to make a mistake, so that they can pounce and diss them. 

I challenge you to be a maverick and search for and acknowledge the humanness in each person you encounter. I’ll bet that gratitude and joy will naturally flow into your life. What a bargain – so much for so little! 

Thanks for reading,

Don’t Miss an Opportunity

My colleague, Monica, was heading to her office today in London. Now Monica is one of those people who are a bright spot in anyone’s day, ever advancing, and fiercely determined. Yet today she was a bit under the weather and not up to par.

Then a former client, from her previous job, saw her and rushed over to greet her. He was so happy to see her, deeply appreciative for the advice she had given him in the past, and acknowledged Monica for the positive value she had added to his life. 

Guess what? In that moment, things changed for the better. While Monica’s was not suddenly 100% healthy – she definitely felt better.

 Today, be on the lookout for opportunities to sincerely thank someone for making your life better. In the process, you may jump start his or her day.

Thanks, Monica for doing that for me.

Have a great weekend,

“Please.” “Thank You.” “You’re Welcome.”

Have you noticed that “give me that” has replaced please? Or, that allowing a motorist to cut in front of you receives a vulgar hand gesture instead of the traditional thank you wave? It seems that more and more individuals are tossing common courtesies down the toilet. I challenge you to buck that trend. 

Please do this and thank you for taking the time to read this Encouragizers™ blog post. 

See, it’s that simple. So if you remember three phrases – “please,” “thank you,” and “you’re welcome,” you’ll be a treasured addition wherever you go. 

Enjoy your day,

Make a Gratitude Adjustment

When I got up this morning, I immediately starting to think about the things I was not relishing – cutbacks in the number of buses and trains on the CTA, the impending foot of snow, meteorologist, Tom Skilling is predicting for Chicago, and an extra pound on the scale from too many sweets over the weekend. So guess how I felt: annoyed, worried, and mentally chubby. Waiting out in the cold for the extra crowded bus didn’t thrill me either.

“Wait a minute,” I thought to myself. “Your attitude is heading you for a less than happy Monday if you keep this up.” While I don’t usually respond to my internal questions with an audible response, I did say “you’re right” out loud.

So what’s a person to do? I decided to make a Gratitude Adjustment. I started to look for the things about myself, the people around me, and my circumstances that were okay – even great. Each time I thought of another item I appreciated, right here and now, I felt a little bit better. While I am not yet jumping up and down for joy just yet – I am certainly headed in the right direction.

So if you are even a tiny bit grouchy today, make a gratitude adjustment. Speaking as someone who just did, I can see and feel a delightful Monday unfolding.

Thanks and Happy Monday,

Support is More Than Spanx

Sarah Blakely, CEO and founder of Spanx, is a great inspiration of what is possible with vision, determination, and tenacity. She created a line of undergarments for women (and I hear that there is a new line of garments for men) that supports their midsection with great comfort and a cleaner, leaner image. This is awesome – some would say essential, yet I would say incomplete.

I am a big believer that support can come from make people, places, and things. In fact, I believe that encouragement and support is like a huge buffet. It is a veritable smorgasbord of ideas, comfort, and cheerleaders who can help you advance your goals and dreams, get through rough spots, and give you hope for the future.

There is one thing about support of any kind; you usually have to ask for it. People in our lives are usually not psychic and often don’t want to intrude. You may even need to tell them what you need. They will appreciate you for this and  this way they don’t have to guess – and horror of horror guess wrong and make things worse.

So while Spanx give your support and confidence with the way you look, the people in your life whom who allow to support you boost your heart and spirit – and by helping you, they gain encouragement and hope, too.



Go for the Gratitude

It’s so easy to see what doesn’t work in your home, work, school, and community and then share your negative findings with anyone who will listen. I have certainly been known to do this – to my detriment. Yet to be truly happy, respected, and credible, it is essential that you go for the gratitude.

What does this actually mean? Going for the gratitude requires that you approach each person and situation with a broad sense of appreciation. Then find ways to express your gratitude for the great things that you see – from something simple like making a phone call just to say hello or writing a note to a more elaborate gesture like a luxurious dinner or two tickets to a sporting event. Let you imagination, heart, and budget be your guides.

For the next 30 days, Go for the Gratitude and notice how your life changes. Then report back.