True Leadership

Posted by Tom Locke on May 11th, 2017 filed in Business, History
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True leaders are admired as they have the ability to engage others.

And as Dwight D. Eisenhower pointed out:

Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he/she wants to do it.


Going With The Flow

Posted by Tom Locke on April 28th, 2017 filed in Business, Life
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Challenges and problems are part of life.  However, when we see these as potential sources for opportunity and growth, our mindset becomes a positive one.

Challenges and problems can also teach us to be gracious, humble and patient.

I think Robert Graham, PhD, a consultant on stress and happiness, summarized a pro-active approach to challenges and problems the best.  He suggests:

“… if you spend less time running away from problems and trying to rid yourself of them – and more time accepting problems as an inevitable, natural, even important part of life – you will soon discover that life can be more of a dance and less of a battle.  This philosophy of acceptance is the root of going with the flow.”


Putting Things Off

Posted by Tom Locke on April 2nd, 2017 filed in Life, Music
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The last month has been a challenging one.  In five different instances, I had a friend and/or family member be unexpectedly faced with a serious health issue.

In talking with them all, one thing came out – life is too short and we should not put anything off we wish to do – especially those things that put a smile on our face.

In an email from a close friend, I read these words:

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of “I’m going to,” “I plan on,” and “Someday, when things are settled down a bit.” 

Sound familiar?  For another take on this, revisit Harry Chapin’s ballad “Cat’s In The Cradle” from 1974.

Rugby Sevens – More Than A Game

Posted by Tom Locke on March 17th, 2017 filed in Humour, Life, Sports ... All Sorts
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Last weekend, I attended the Rugby Sevens tournament here in Vancouver.  What a blast.

Watching 14 extremely fit human beings ( 7 per side) go all out for 14 minutes (length of one game) was something else.  Strength, agility and speed became a given while watching these athletes.  As you got more into the game, you could see the strategy unfold.

But that was not all you could see.  The crowd was unbelievable.  Garbed in all kinds of costumes from “bottles of beer” to “Ninja Turtles” to the “Pope”, you could not help but shake your head and smile about the fan creativity.

In addition, the crowd, although loud, was not unruly, playing a key role in the positive atmosphere that surrounded each game.

I can hardly wait until next year.

Doing Things

Posted by Tom Locke on February 24th, 2017 filed in Business, Life
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One thing that my mother drummed into me at a young age was:  ‘If you say you are going to do something, then do it.”

Getting known for being a doer of right things brings respect.  And, if more right things were done, our world would be a better place to live.

Mark Twain summed it up best when he said, “Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.” 

The Similarities Between Generations

Posted by Tom Locke on February 10th, 2017 filed in Business, Education, Life
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Despite the differences in goals, approaches to work and communications styles, employees from different generations do have some things in common.

Supporting me on this are people performance consultants, N-Gen (  To that end, they have identified 4 areas of commonalities:

1.  Effective Leadership - Each generation may have different ideas as to how a leader should act and what qualities they should possess, but all employees, across all generations, want to work for leaders that they respect and whom they trust.

2.  Appreciation & Recognition - Employees from of all generations want to be appreciated and recognized for their work. While the type of recognition and the frequency of this recognition certainly varies from generation to generation, the basic premise remains the same: employees want to know that their hard work, dedication, and skills sets are valued, appreciated, recognized and rewarded.

3.  Work/Life Balance - Employees from each generation desire time to spend with their family and friends. Employees want to be part of an organization that values a work / life balance.

4.  Debt & Savings -  Across the board, each generation has the same financial priorities: buying a home, saving for children’s education and retirement.

Headline Hunters

Posted by Tom Locke on February 3rd, 2017 filed in Business, Education, Life
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Over the last few years, it has become quite apparent to me that people don’t take the time to read and often go with the headline of a story or the subject line in an email as being enough information.

My colleague, Lee Silber, in San Diego laments:

“I’ve come to realize that some people don’t read any more. The problem with this is when they receive an e-mail they skim through it and miss things–important things–and often embarrass themselves when they reply–if they reply. This may make them look lazy, sloppy, and unprofessional.

“The irony is by trying to save time by not really reading something, it can lead to wasted time down the line. Later, they may have to explain themselves for not knowing something they should, showing up to something on the wrong day or time, or not showing up at all (in more ways than one).” 

I concur with Lee’s comments but I am also a realist.  Hence, on the email front, I spend considerable time in conveying all the pertinent information in the subject line of my emails.

Minor League Play … Major League Experience

Posted by Tom Locke on January 28th, 2017 filed in Business, Life, Sports ... All Sorts
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Over the past few years, I have watched and experienced the transformation of minor league baseball team, The Vancouver Canadians.

The Canadians are classified as ‘A’ Ball and play a short season out of the friendly confines of Nat Bailey Stadium in Vancouver (affectionately known as the “Nat”).

During the past few years, they have spruced up the stadium and paid close attention to the public with an emphasis on community and family.

Their ticket prices are very affordable and there isn’t a bad seat in the house.

They have spent a lot of effort at providing quality food and beverages at reasonable prices and at having children participating in pre-game activities and the singing of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” during the seven inning stretch.  They also have a play area where kids can let off steam while their parents watch the game.

These efforts have been worthwhile.  In terms of attendance, they ranked 21st out of 176 minor league baseball parks this year and 1st in the ‘A’ Ball classification.  With a seating capacity of approximately 6,000, the team attracted over 222,000 fans this season in only 36 home dates.  They would have drawn more but were unable to make up 2 additional home dates due to rain outs.

One other thing that needs to be acknowledged is the commitment of the Toronto Blue Jays, their major league affiliate.  The Jays have supported them well with up and coming prospects.  The Canadians won the North West ‘A’ League three times in a row – 2011, 2012 and 2013.

The Canadians also give back to the community via the Vancouver Canadians Baseball Foundation, an initiative that via baseball provides hope, self development and opportunity for our youth.

A classic example of success as a result of listening and giving back.

Petrol Pump Wisdom

Posted by Tom Locke on January 5th, 2017 filed in Business, History, Humour, Life

Today I received an interesting email that was forwarded on to me from a good friend.

The email put a smile on my face.

The email was about a Johannesburg filling station that has become quite a landmark with its daily #PetrolPumpWisdom – uplifting quotes written on a large chalkboard in front of the station.

Some motorists say they deliberately travel this route just to read the quote which brightens their day.

Here are a few of their offerings:

Stop trying to make everybody happy – you’re not Tequila

It’s better to walk alone then with a crowd going in the wrong direction

and my favourite

When you forgive you heal; when you let go, you grow

The lady behind this wonderful initiative at Hutton Hyde Park is Alison Billett.

She says: “We inherited the board from the previous owner, Dick Hutton, when we bought the filling station from him almost 20 years ago.

“We continued the tradition and it has become a landmark – more so now that it’s on social media!”

Finally, here’s a quote that could assist many with their New Year’s resolutions:

When you make a commitment you build hope; when you keep it, you build trust


Season’s Greetings

Posted by Tom Locke on December 22nd, 2016 filed in History, Life
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During this time of the year, it is too bad that the spirit of loving mankind is often couched by political correctness.

My feelings about this is best summed up in following that I paraphrased from a Facebook offering:

I Don’t Understand What The Big Deal Is …

If you are Jewish, tell me:

“Happy Hanukkah”

If you are a Christian, wish me:

“Merry Christmas”

If you are African American, proclaim:

“Joyous Kwanzaa”

If you don’t prefer any of the above, just say:

“Happy Holidays”

No matter what you choose, I will not be offended.  

I will be thankful that you took the

time to say something nice to me!