Letting Go

Posted by Tom Locke on August 1st, 2019 filed in Business, General, Life
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Want to reduce your stress level?  Then, let go of stuff.

What plagues too many of us in the present is usually regret from the past or a concern about the future – things we can’t change or control. If you let these things go, you will live with less stress and anxiety.

Respect and appreciate the past, be excited about the future – but, live in the now.  Make your next decision your best one.

Be Careful What You Ask For

Posted by Tom Locke on July 4th, 2019 filed in Business, Humour, Life, Music
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A colleague of mine was over at my place the other day and noticed I had a jukebox.

We played a few tunes and then he shared with me that he was a big fan of a Canadian rock band from the late 70′s and had connected with the former lead guitarist via social media.

My colleague’s wish was for the band to get back together again and through correspondence and the building of trust with the former lead guitarist, he persuaded this band member to confidently reach out to the other former members to see if they would be interested in getting back together.

Lo’ and behold it happened.  The band reunited, practiced for 9 months and subsequently played to a sold out crowd and a standing ovation.

The response to the band has been nothing short of fantastic since.  And the band has now persuaded my colleague to be their manager!

All of a sudden his wish/dream has become somewhat of a nightmare and he feels a little overwhelmed in trying to learn what a manager does, offer guidance/direction and balancing this new found, non-paying initiative with his full time job and his family.

The Art Of Small Talk

Posted by Tom Locke on June 7th, 2019 filed in Business, Education, General, Life
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Small talk is generally defined as conversation about things that are not of any great importance.  The topic of weather is a great example.

However, when one focuses small talk on a subject that is of interest to the one who is being addressed then it can be of value.

Dr. Justine Coupland is an expert in the field of sociolinguistics, which is the study of language in relation to social factors. In her book, Small Talk, she provides comprehensive analysis of the powerful and positive effect that small talk has in social interactions. She writes,

“Small talk cannot be dismissed as peripheral, marginal or minor discourse. Small talk is a means by which we negotiate interpersonal relationships. This is a crucial function with significant implications for ongoing and future interactions.”

For me small talk is an art that allows one to connect with another via a subject of interest and is actually a subset of listening.  It also assists in setting the table for engagement.  Successful leaders use small talk with sincerity.

A Trick To Being Happy

Posted by Tom Locke on May 24th, 2019 filed in Business, Education, Life
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In actual fact being happy is a state of mind that you have the power to choose.  For example, if you decide to wake up in the morning and be grumpy all day, there’s almost 100% chance you will succeed.  However, if you choose to be happy that day, you have given yourself the opportunity to indeed be happy.

To increase your chances of being happy everyday, you might want to consider sharing this emotion with others by making them happy.  Happy people are often the people who make others happy – one of the best methods/tricks I know to keep a smile on my face and my life in balance.

The Blame Game

Posted by Tom Locke on May 17th, 2019 filed in Business, History, Life
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I was somewhat taken by surprise the other day to read some correspondence from a CEO who began complaining about his company’s performance by pointing the finger at his suppliers and shareholders.

As Marilyn Paul points out in a recent article:

Where there is blame, there is no learning. Where there is blame, open minds close, inquiry tends to cease, and the desire to understand the whole system diminishes. When people work in an atmosphere of blame, they naturally cover up their errors and hide their real concerns. And when energy goes into finger pointing, scapegoating, and denying responsibility, productivity suffers because the organization lacks information about the real state of affairs.

As the great basketball coach John Wooden put it, “You are not a failure until you start blaming others for your mistakes.”

Accountability and believing in yourself are what it takes to be successful.  Moving forward in this vain you will find success and will encounter like minds who see the value in you.

It is not always easy.  If you don’t keep going to the plate, you will never hit a homerun.

Being Better

Posted by Tom Locke on May 10th, 2019 filed in Business, Education, General, Life
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For me, being better, is a state of mind marked by achievement.

To do so, I focus on daily activities I choose to participate in and, in most cases, have control of.

Here are four of them:

  1. Honouring your To Do list and checking things off accordingly.
  2. Do things when you are most energetic and alert.  Corollary – you will relax better.
  3. Whatever you choose to do, do it – e.g. exercise, eat right, learn something new.
  4. Give that little extra. Engage the challenge of “just one more thing”.

If you follow through on the above, you will win the day and will feel better for it.

Reliving My Youth

Posted by Tom Locke on April 12th, 2019 filed in Business, Humour, Life, Music
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I have just returned from Southern Ontario, an annual trip that saw me suffer through another Blue Jay opening day loss.

However, last weekend, I had cause to drive to Windsor, Ontario and follow up on an old rock band that was playing a sold out reunion after 39 years.  This band and their story are key components to a documentary pitch my production colleagues and I are making to CBC.

In short, the concert was a blast and I was pumped.  The group was fantastic and energy from the audience made me feel like I had gone back in time to the late 70′s/early 80′s.

The capper for me however, was visiting a local establishment, The Thirsty Butler, which was across the street from the concert venue.  It was there that I saw something I had never seen before, the promotion of the drink of the evening named after the band – TEAZE.

Check this out!

The Teaze Drink

The Teaze Drink

Marketing & Product Integrity

Posted by Tom Locke on March 24th, 2019 filed in Business, Education, Humour, Life
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A couple of weeks back I was watching a segment on a local news program about products designed to creatively introduce manners to young children.  This segment inspired me to go to the website of the person who was interviewed to find out more about her products and how one would use them to interact with kids.

I reviewed the products and subsequently made an online purchase with the goal of giving them to my two grandchildren at Easter.  My grandchildren are 5 and 3.

Upon receipt of the product, I received a very timely, well constructed, personal email from the founder of the company.  It was an appropriate blend of good marketing and product integrity.  She said:

I want to thank you for ordering from my company, Manners&Co.

I created my products to be engaging and fun for kids. As a teacher, I understand the importance of interactive learning!

After a year of designing and testing, we finally launched our TableMAT and TableTALK products last month. I am overwhelmed by the wonderful reviews and support.

I want to ensure you are completely satisfied with your purchase. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I want these products to make a positive difference for your children and your family; I’ll be happy to assist in any way I can.

She concluded her email with tips on how to best use the products.

I have a very good feeling about the products and my daughter is very excited about my grand kids receiving them this Easter – hopefully they will replace the “high” from the chocolate I won’t be giving them!

Surprise, Surprise

Posted by Tom Locke on March 11th, 2019 filed in Education, General, History, Sports ... All Sorts
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Just when you think you have seen and read everything there is to know about Roger Bannister and John Landy’s legendary Miracle Mile race of 1954, something comes along that you never knew existed.

Such was the case for me on Friday March 8 when I was at the BC Sports Hall of Fame meeting up with the curator, Jason Beck.

Before leaving, Jason asked me if I had ten minutes to look at something related to the race that had literally been donated to the Hall a day earlier. He opened up a ring box and proceeded to show me – the shell casing from the policeman Sergeant Cookie Ryan’s pistol used to start the Miracle Mile – see the image below … ITS ENGRAVED.

Cookie has longed since past. The donation of his prized casing was made by his son, Michael. The story on it can be found in the March 9 weekend edition of the Vancouver Sun.


MM Shell Casing From Starter Pistol

      MM Shell Casing From Starter Pistol



Being Mindful

Posted by Tom Locke on March 1st, 2019 filed in Business, Education, General, Life
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One of the buzzwords today in business is “mindfulness”.

Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment.  It affects all walks of our lives, not just in business.

A good example where many of us fall down in being mindful revolves around our habits in the use of our cell phones.  How many times have you found yourself diverting your attention to your cell while you were supposedly engaged in a conversation with an associate?  How many times have you found yourself being distracted at the dinner table by your cell phone?  These are just two examples of not being mindful.

A simple question to ask yourself throughout the day is:  “What is the priority at this moment in time”.  If it is the person you are talking to or the event you are attending, then simply put your cell phone away. And, don’t get distracted by others – focus your attention on the person or the task/event at hand.

By being sensitive to realizing the priority in the present moment, you will become mindful and quite possibly, more appreciated.