My longtime good friend, Dale Triplett, tweeted me just a few minutes ago to announce that he is offering his new children's book, Benjamin Oliver Flanagan, at zero cost--as in FREE--for just a couple days.
I immediately downloaded the book to my Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader and read it in a jiffy.
Benjamin Oliver Flanagan is a heartwarming story, delivered as a fun and rhythmic poem and accompanied by playful illustrations from Kevin Scott Collier, that tells us about a boy, his toys, his almost tragedy, his rescuer father, and his newfound trust.
The father in me was touched by the words of Benjamin's dad...
"Just respect the things you love, And trust in your Father."
There's a lesson here for the child in each of us.
Please take a moment to share your thoughts about Benjamin Oliver Flanagan below.
I am happy to say that I've never had any doubts that my kids loved me or that the words they wrote in the cards were sincere.
On the other hand, I'm somewhat embarrassed to say that there were times when I actually believed the messages that were preprinted in the cards.
I was the World's Best Dad!
The Best Dad in History!
One in a Billion.
My image appeared next to the "father" entry in the encyclopedia.
According to the cards, if you broke me down into my basic elements, I was fun, brilliant, supportive, playful, hip, cool, and kind.
I was a legend in my own mind.
It was all hype, and hype can be dangerous if you actually start believing it.
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"Why do some of the sharpest leaders step up in the workplace but flake out when they walk into their home? Is it fatigue? Work overload? Or are they just out of their element?" (Dave Stone, Southeast Christian Church)
We also know the stories of Average Joes like you and me who get so busy "providing" that they forget to provide what their mates and kids really need and crave--a close relationship with their husbands and kids.
Dave Stone, author of Building Family Ties with Faith, Love, and Laughter and Raising Your Kids to Love the Lord, suggests three critical times when you can lead your family in Leadership Begins at Home, over at Michael Hyatt's blog:
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Do you remember being a little kid?
Other than my chores, I had not a care in the world.
I followed the space program closely and have fond memories of waking early on the West Coast to watch the televised--In "Living Color!"--launches of Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions with my mother. These were exciting days as the nation responded to President Kennedy's urgent call to land a man on the moon within the decade, but the threats that prompted his call to action escaped my attention. Duck and Cover! was just a game.
Maybe I should have put more effort into my studies, but I generally didn't let school work interfere with my fun time at home.
Instead of worrying about the past, present, or future, I simply played. I played all the time, even when I was supposed to be engaged in serious work!
Posted in Blogs, Creativity, Family Fun, Fathers, Health - Emotional, Health - Mental, Health - Physical, Health - Spiritual, Husbands, Marriage, Raising Godly Children, Relationships, Self-Improvement | Permalink | Comments (0)
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Violating my own rules for productivity this morning, the first thing I did was to open Facebook.
For those of us who haven't figured it out yet, that is exactly the LAST THING we ought to do if we want to get great things done and create epic products. But that's a topic for another post. Not this one.
This post is about the barriers we build.
Did you notice I titled this, "What Barriers Have You Built?" rather than, "Have You Built Barriers?"
That was intentional.
We all build barriers--to business, to open and honest communications, to personal relationships, to feedback--and it is important to identify and demolish them.
So, getting back to my Facebook visit, here is what prompted me to write this today. One of my colleagues, who also happens to be a Facebook friend, posted a link with the short comment, "Interesting read." Those are two of my favorite words--interesting and read--so I clicked the link.
Here is what came up:
I didn't click the link or read the story, and The Washington Post advertisers did not get access to my eyeballs today.
This Washington Post Social Reader "offer" created a barrier between the content (their product) and me (their intended customer).
This is not just a barrier for this one click. Based on my previous encounters with barriers of this type, I will simply avoid Washington Post links in the future so I don't run into this frustration again.
It is not that I am embarrassed about reading The Washington Post or unwilling to share, but rather that I dislike being manipulated.
Whatever their purpose, The Washington Post has essentially--and most likely unintentionally--blocked me from their site. They don't have a corner on the market for words and I can find plenty to read elsewhere.
This begs the question: What barriers have you built?
When it comes to your personal relationships:
When potential customers visit your physical or virtual place of business:
Of course, we can find plenty of conscience-easing excuses for these barriers.
I am a busy person, so I have to read when I am at the table with my family.
I have a lot on my mind, so that's why I don't engage in conversation.
I am an important person, so what you have to say doesn't really matter to me.
You're just one customer and I have others, so I don't mind driving you away.
I have to take inventory, restock my shelves, chat on the phone, or whatever, so I don't have the time or energy to smile, welcome you, or offer assistance.
Good employees are hard to find.
Whatever your excuses are, they are just that, excuses. Excuses are not the same as action and they don't really excuse anything. In fact, rather than excusing anything, excuses only prolong the inexcusable.
Don't make excuses for the barriers you've built.
Instead, take a step back and look at things from the other side--through the eyes of your spouse, kids, friends, customers--and then tear down every barrier you find.
What ideas do you have to help the rest of us demolish the barriers we've built? What works for you? Click HERE to share.
Technorati Tags: barriers to business, barriers to communication, communication, customer service, Facebook, godly children, husbands, leadership, marriage, parents, relationships, Social Reader, The Washington Post, wives
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Do you freely share your love and affection for them, or are they starving for your attention?
As parents, we are blessed with the opportunity to raise our kids to love God and those around them.
We are fully accountable for the outcome and we cannot slough off the responsibility we have for loving and nurturing our offspring.
As with all relationships, communication is the foundation for building strong ties with our children.
Answering the question, "What should we communicate to our children?", The Maternal Lens offers, "19 Things we should say to our Children," and they are right on the mark.
Just to tease:
1. I love you! There is nothing that will make me stop loving you. Nothing you could do or say or think....
2. You are amazing! I look at you with wonder! Not just at what you do, but who you are. There is....
3. It's all right to cry. People cry for all kinds of reasons: when they are hurt, sad, glad, or....
4. You've made a mistake. That was wrong. People make mistakes. I do....
5. You did the right thing. That was scary or hard. Even though it wasn't easy, you did it. I am proud of you....
6. I'm sorry....
By the way, this piece can be a great bonus for your own relationships, you caring husbands and wives!
Click here to read the entire post at The Maternal Lens.
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