FAILURE: Predictor or Prelude?

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FAILURE: Predictor or Prelude?    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”  Winston Churchill.   To predict is to use information to support probable future events.   Predicting failure as our future is holding to a tight belief that past performance will very likely be repeated.   Again, Churchill says, Stop…re-think the belief that past failure is a predictor  Again, Churchill states, ” Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Henry Ford also understood failure as Prelude, which means he understood failure as continuous opening, discovering, learning, encountering.   Ford spoke of failure this way:  “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”

What about J.K Rowling, the most prolific and successful writer of the late 20th, early 21st century?  What has she discovered about past failure as predictor or prelude?  She states, ” Failure is so important.  We speak about success all the time.  It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.”

So, I ask you, my Inspiration Impulse Reader, how do you weigh in?  Is failure-to-success a function of keeping on, keeping on as a risk-taker with life’s opportunities to be a continuous, optimistic learn at home, at work and in the community?   I believe so.   I am not familiar with  Eloise Ristad, but I do love what she writes about failing into success:  “When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.”

Over the past month, I have had the opportunity to come alongside a professional who has been grappling with the issue of failure as predictor.   As I have listened with an intuitive mind to this professional talk about the fear of being defined by past failures, I have noticed that failure always seeks a final verdict.   Failure always wants a tombstone.  Failure always says, ‘Let’s settle up.’  Failure declares, “Game Over; Go Home. You’re Done.”

When the predictive mental habit of failure speaks like a hammer hitting your head, it feels like a nightmare you are waking up to daily.   Ultimately, this nagging nightmare can become what we carry into each day and accept as the Truth.

The fact is that the nightmare of permanent, unending failure is a nightmare of a mind  denying the hopefulness of becoming a Forever Learner.   When we transform failure from Constant Nightmare to a Forever Learner, we stop beating our head against a closed door called Success and, instead, we put our hand on the doorknob of the Success door and turn it, ever so gently, with our mental/emotional/spiritual intention to purposefully step forward  into  a new room of learning.

Many people have come my way over my lifetime to tell me how they have beat their on a door of failure they can’t open.  My counsel has  always the same.  Beating your head against failure’s door  will not heal you. Get your hand on the doorknob of Today, and turn that doorknob, knowing your past is never intended to predict anything.  Your Past is life learning leading you forward.  Open the door named Now.  Walk forward with your Past.  It predicts nothing. Simply walk forward knowing you are creating anew.  C.S Lewis understood failure as  Prelude.  He wrote, “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.”

A good week awaits you!  Embrace it.  Pursue it.  See it. Feel it.  Invite your Past to move purposefully with you.


Suite 700     EXPLORING NEUROLEADERSHIP     I would like to introduce you to an extraordinary OC Influencer for Good.  His name is Dr. Robert Adamik.  Over the last 10 years, Bob has become a professional colleague and friend to me.   He is a gifted professional who has energized and focused his life by being a prolific researcher and life-skills practitioner helping individuals discover how to think, act, relate and perform with excellence.  For more than 30 years, Bob’s professional world has been in HR guiding people to embrace their unique abilities and talents in their work world.

About ten years ago as the Great Recession hit America Bob created ETHOS.  The organization, ETHOS, became Bob’s gift to 1000’s of work professionals  to come together…network, re evaluate their professional tool set and stay inspired and purposeful while exploring a new place for their talents and skills.

It was during this period that Dr. Bob…how his many friends and colleagues call him…began what has become

his passionate exploration into the exciting world of neuroscience and leadership.  Now ten years later, Bob has read and synthesized over 50 books on brain research, psychology and leadership.  Bob is one of a growing community of national leaders and researchers helping business leaders understand how to lead,manage, collaborate and shape the now emerging, early 21st century story  called NeuroLeadership.

Last January, I invited Dr. Bob to present a highly interactive  workshop he has developed on his work with NeuroLeadership.  The workshop, NeuroLeadership and You was presented by Passkeys Foundation.

Our 27 attendees experienced a rich morning of discovery.  Bob’s skills as a Facilitator were simply outstanding.  In the months following the event, Bob and I have reviewed and evaluated the workshop and we have decided that we want to make this workshop available again to our Inspiration Impulse and Institute for Community Impact audiences.  So, we have a date, Saturday, Morning, July 15th, 9 am-12 Noon including breakfast at the Atrium Hotel off MacArthur across from JWA.

I am providing you with the link that will take you to  the  EXPLORING NEUROLEADERSHIP workshop and registration information.  On that Saturday you can join with other OC Influencers for a morning of extraordinary discovery that will push the needle of self discovery dramatically forward.  I promise that the tools and insights you will experience at this program can offer you a transformative look into your personal and professional life.

Here is the Event and Registration link.  Go learn.  Hope you can make it: Saturday, July 15th

Have a great day.



Angel in the Sky

Is that REALLY what I am seeing in the sky?  Is that an angel?  It sure looks so.  Is that a sign signaling change?  I think we all fantasize at times about signs pointing to change…change in careers, relationships, challenges, desires…you name it

One of the great inspiration speakers and writers of the 20th century, Jim Rohn, once commented about change.  He stated, “Change comes from one of two sources.  First, we may be driven to change out of desperation.  Sometimes our circumstances can become so out-of-control that we almost abandon our search for answers because our lives seem to be filled only with irresolvable questions.   But, it is this overwhelming sense of desperation that finally drives us to look for solutions.”

The second source that drives us to make changes in our lives is inspiration.  Hopefully, that is where you find yourself right now…about to become sufficiently inspired to make major dramatic changes in your life.”

So, is it desperation or inspiration that is moving your Change Needle for some reason these past few days, weeks, or months?  Is it possible that you are reading this POST and finding it curious that I am talking about the subject of change and you are responding with a curious thought….Is Russ reading my mail?

I was asked yesterday at a lunch meeting why I write the Inspiration Impulse.   I write it to inspire change in me and change in others.   I need inspiration daily.  I need to use my mind for inspiration.  I need to wear angel wings for the purpose of soaring with hopefulness knowing  today I can find myself brightly energetic and engaged  invading my life and  yours with something I trust gives you pause to put on your angel wings to soar freely beyond fretful or fearful circumstances.

I was at a breakfast meeting earlier yesterday and listened to an abbreviated Life Story of a very fine Influencer for Good business professional of OC.  As I listened to him talk about his WHY for being fully engaged as a 70+ professional bringing good to the lives of others, I said to him, “You are a Hope Giver.  You come into people’s lives to be a doorway of Hope.”

The man found my metaphor about him to be curious.  I  knew the intention of my words: to validate his gifts as agent of inspirational change for himself and others he contacts daily.

So,  let me ask,  “What do you see in that picture at the top of the page?  If I am not mistaken…”Is that you, I see?  Is that you…an angel of inspiration…offering a bit of guidance that lifts the life of someone who wants to soar on the shoulders of your wings.”

Why, not let it be so. Why not be an Influencer for Good allowing a simple image in the sky to move you into the  role as an inspiration change agent.

I believe you would agree with me, inspiration is much for fun on this Tantalizing Tuesday than is desperation.  So, today,  be  inspiring Hope offering words, thoughts, ideas that lift you up and do the same for others.

Influence for Good is HAPPENING in OC

Passkeys Foundation’s 2016 initiative, The Institute for Influential Community Impact has put together a fantastic Advisory Team of OC Influencers for Good.  In the development of the institute, Dave Elliott, founder, spent 1-1 facetime with many community leaders, sharing the vision and mission of the institute and seeking input.

Dave knew it would be valuable to harness the energy and interest of an Advisory Team. The Advisory Team has been gathering its head of steam as Institute Storytellers and  as mentoring influence to Dave.

I don’t have Advisory Team headshots yet…but I do have the names of our Advisory Team. So,  to bring a little life and color to the Advisory Team, I am interspersing some Team Member photos with ALL of the Advisory team names.  The photos were taken at the March  Institute Launch Event.

Orange-County-Corporate-Event-Rafael-Photography-017  Advisors Jan Ibey & Bob Karcher are joined by Kip Kolson, Richard Porras, & Tim Bauer.

Advisors Jeff Black & Cindy Goss are joined by Larry Brose, Dawn Reese, Jay Bettinger & Rick Hardy.

Advisor Ron Hopkins is joined by Richard Ward, Marty Erlabaugh, Kyle Maguire & Sharon Barlow.

  Advisor Lara Devito is joined by  Chelsea Flynn,  Robert Santana, Tim Jemal & Tom Nguyen.

  Advisor Bill Sanderson is joined by Chris Kinerson, Les Walker & Bill Black.

   These 2 need all the help they can get from the Advisory Team of the Institute for Influential Community Impact.

Exciting news to report: The Institute’s first Local Community Forum has 15 registered participants!  The 2-day Santa Ana Forum meets on May 19-20 with attendees discovering, discussing  and learning  together about Santa Ana community needs and issues overviewed in 7 Community Pillars of Influence presentations by seven Santa Ana community leaders focusing on : Arts & Entertainment; Business, Education, Faith Community, Family & Social Services, Government and Healthcare.

Finally, be sure to get on your calendar the Influence for Good Leadership Breakfast to be held at the Radisson Hotel on Wednesday, June 22nd.  Business and Professional leaders attending the breakfast will be engaged in a lively interaction with 3 non-profit explorations…presented by The Wooden Floor, OliveCrest and Doing Good Works.

Yes, it’s time to find out how you can exercise your personal~professional influence for good through the Institute’s emerging presence in OC.



What distinguishes the Workplace Champion from the Workplace Chump?   One of the great NFL Coaches of all time, Bill Parcells, described it well in his succinct statement: Blame No One…Do Something.

Do you know how easy it is to play the upper hand at work?  Blame somebody…for something!  You don’t need to yell to play the blame game.  No,  the Workplace Chump who perpetually plays the Blame card is often far more sophisticated than  using  this Johnny-One-Note strategy.

Often, The Blame Game card is not played in the heat of a problem.  Rather, it’s played around  the edges of a workplace snafu…with veiled derogatory comments about a colleague dropped here, there, and everywhere.

In the late 80’s I was the CFO-COO at  a mega-church  where I directly reported to the Sr. Minister~CEO, an extraordinarily talented woman leader.   My  scheduled weekly meetings with her were always 1 on 1.  Soon after I took on the role, I learned  when I was in the cross hairs of her Blame Game strategy which she used with regularity at her weekly meeting with her Ministerial Staff and Dept Heads,  I would experience the Staff Ministers or Department Heads come by my office to tell me… I really was not the cause of the problem…which would be the 1st indication for me there was a problem for which I was being blamed by the Sr. Minister.

In the first six months of my employment, this scenario became part of my regular professional life.   After six months  I  knew I needed to be a Big Boy…and do something when the Blame Game came my way.  In the second six-months  I created my  Do Something Strategy which was to stick my head into Sr. MInister’s office after such incidents and ask, “Can you update me on…”    Oh, what fun that was!  But, seriously, over the course of a year,my  Boss’ Blame Game strategy slowly disappeared…largely because I purposefully addressed her Blame Game with positive action and she learned to trust me.

Here is what I can pass along to you about the Workplace Blame Game:   (a) It’s everywhere present in the workplace;  (b) It’s usually perpetrated by individuals who are:  insecure, fearful, or overly ambitious; (c) The Blame Game professional has underdeveloped skills to demonstrate trust as a core integrity value.

Yes, there are times when you or I…in the heat of a frustrating work moments, will voice a comment of blame about someone’s performance that infringed upon you, your performance, your plans. etc.   Such moments are not the purpose of this Blame Game blog post.

But, if you are one who is constantly measuring your professional value at the expense of minimizing the contributions of anyone and everyone who appear  to: (1) never perform to your expectations…then allow today’s Post to be a momentary Stop Sign…meant for you…to look in the mirror and ask, ” What do I need to do TODAY…in my relationships with colleagues, staff, and vendors to adjust my Workplace Game and stop playing the Ace of Blame.

The Ace of Blame does not need to be the main card your hold in your hand.  You can choose to discard it.  Do something,Today.


sun in hands


IT HAS BEEN SAID… I am not a product of circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.  Stephen Covey  

TODAY…It is freeing… It is refreshing… It is revealing… Knowing you are not in jail cell named STUCK.  Freedom’s keys are yours.

Are there Great Distractions that immobilize many professionals during their work week.   The answer is Yes.  Great Distractions  are the unexpected dilemmas that appear in  your professional life.   Great Distractions can immobilize you when you become the victim, not the creator with unexpected, unplanned, unscheduled….circumstances involving colleagues and co-workers.

The poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox said this about  Great Distractions: “One ship sails East, and another West by the same-same winds that blow;  Tis the set of the sails and not the gales that tells the way we go.”

W. Clement Stone commented once about 3 ways to set our sails to determine the way to move forward when  Great Distraction catch your sails and you feel Stuck going nowhere.

When a Great Distraction appears… 3 keys are helpful to get Un-Stuck:

  • Have The courage to Say No:  Don’t compromise long term gain with short term, reactive thinking.  When necessary, say No to a distraction to avoid having your day move into a cul-de-sac of decisions based on insufficient information.
  • Have the Courage to Face the Truth: Often,  unexpected input from others is Untimely, Mis-leadng, Inaccurate  These 3 are Deceivers.    When unexpected input appears as The Great Distraction, ask yourself: What is the Truth I need to understand?
  • Have the Courage to Do the Right Thing:  When The Big Distraction shows up as as someone’s Self-interest,ask yourself: What Right Action am I seeking to discern that serves the Good in the apparent conflict of interest.

LIGHT ON MY PATH…THIS DAY…   I Am  unhurried awareness in the midst of a storm.  I Am  clarity found in confusion.   I Am  courage in your awareness that says NO.   I Am the courage in your awareness that  faces the Truth.  I Am  courage in your awareness that takes Right Action.

Inspiration Impulse Reader:  Was this inspirational post meaningful to you?   Is there a friend or professional colleague who you believe might appreciate receiving today’s Inspiration Impulse Message.  If so, forward this Blog Post to one person.  Be the WE COMMUNITY bringing influence for good  to someone who matters to you.


COOPERATE…Noble Motivation    I place my hands in yours.

IT HAS BEEN SAID… The leaders who work most effectively…don’t think I, they think WE; they think Team.  This is what creates trust.  Peter F. Drucker            

TODAY…Venture back in your memory to your high school years, when you were on an athletic, drama, debate team… Can you remember a stand-out coach?  If so, do distinctly recall you had a Coach you admired who was a You +Me Equals WE LEADER and Motivator.

Leaders who lead with with WE get their I…out of the way!  In doing so, they tap into the creative opportunities shaping WE actions. What does WE leadership look like?  You’ve experienced it…probably created it.   WE leadership percolates with  the recognition that every person is an essential, vital contributor and producer of shared results.  WE leadership energizes the power of the One…multiplied.

Long, long ago, Marcus Aurelius wrote, ‘Men exist for the sake of one another. ”  Such a grand statement finds its story of influence for good in  leadership excellence.  It”s impossible to fake this WE leadership.  At the center of WE leadership is trust.   WE organizations are defined by confident, competent and trust driven work relationships.

LIGHT ON MY PATH…THIS DAY   I Am building a home called WE.  This home is built with trust….which is the fragile bond that says, ‘you matter’.   I Am  timeless wisdom that invites all who seek to live in the home of WE to speak with my Voice: I Am the voice of encouragement and connection.

Inspiration Impulse Reader:  Was this inspirational post meaningful to you?  If so, forward it to one person.  Be the WE COMMUNITY bringing influence for good to someone who matters to you.