Is it the Truth?

That’s the first question in the Rotary 4-Way test. Having been a Rotarian for 14 years, I’ve come to lean on that question a lot.

Last week, former Senator George Mitchell produced his expose of the steroid and Human Growth Hormone (HGH) scandal that has rocked Major League Baseball. It named names; big ones. Over the weekend, news came out that one of those players, Andy Pettite admitted to taking HGH. Pettite has been a star pitcher for the New York Yankees and Houston Astros for many years. His name being linked to the scandal was a shock. The fact that he’s “coming clean” is very refreshing.

Mitchell’s report included Pettite for just a few pages and never linked him to steroids. Pettite acknowledges that he only used HGH back in 2000 for two days while recovering from injury. He was injected by the man who also “outed” potential Hall of Famer Roger Clemens. Clemens has been implicated in a much larger role for both steroids and HGH, which has put his once lock solid election into the Hall now in jeopardy.

What’s most refreshing about Pettite is that he didn’t waste any time confirming his use of HGH. At the time, it was not a banned substance, so in his mind he wasn’t breaking any rules. His sole purpose was to re-gain his health more quickly, and he had heard HGH could do this. The fact that he came out so quickly and corroborated the story, pledged his allegiance to the integrity of baseball, and issued no bitterness towards the report makes me believe him. That and the fact that Pettite has always been viewed as an upstanding guy only add credence to his statements.

This is in stark contrast to Clemens, who issued a tersely worded statement through his attorney that he never used steroids. The preponderance of evidence, plus the fact that Pettite’s story links the same trainer, makes one lean towards not believing Clemens. “The Rocket” is at an age that seems inconceivable that he his body has held out as it has. He has struggled with injuries over the past years and it makes one wonder what steps he would take to perhaps be considered the greatest pitcher to ever live. Now, regardless of whether you believe him or not, or whether there is any firm evidence, his name has been tarnished and sits alongside Barry Bonds with a mental asterisk next to it.

I don’t know Roger Clemens to judge his character. My gut feeling is he’s guilty. My gut also tells me Andy Pettite is a stand-up guy who wasted little time facing the music. The fact his name surfaced will quickly subside.

Think about the power of honesty in your world – personal and business. Have you ever dealt with people who have been, let’s say, less than forthright? How has that impacted you? The bottom line is that in the relationship driven world we will always live in, honesty is more than just the best policy. It’s the most important one.

P.S. Here’s something else that’s true…it’s down to the final two weeks of my Birthday Special for the Panic to Power Boot Camp in March. You only have two weeks to lock in my special price before your investment goes up. Join all the others who have taken advantage and register today. To learn more, click here…

Stage Time…

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to perform on stage at a small festival in Tacoma called, The Dickens Festival, named after the famous author Charles Dickens. Leading up to the event, I actually dreaded going. It was an hour trip each way to give a 5 minute Tall Tale in front of a small audience for free. I was feeling sorry that I accepted.

When I got to this small bookstore in Tacoma, I noticed how energized the area was. I watched a talented magician and wonderful dancers perform before me. Then, my friends Bob Ingram and Wes and Amy Peper showed up, as they were also on the ticket. By the time it came for me to go up, I was jazzed. Bottom line – I’m looking forward to next year!

The moral of the story – My friend and mentor Darren LaCroix always talks about “Stage Time”. From a professional standpoint, it was a great chance to get on stage and practice. My audience laughed and seemed to enjoy themselves, so hopefully I added value to their day. If you are a speaker of any kind, whether its Toastmasters or speaking to service clubs, take advantage of all the “Stage Time” you can get. Not only will it make you a better presenter, but you may have fun at the same time!


P.S. My birthday special for my Panic to Power boot camp in March is quickly approaching its deadline…only 2 weeks! Go to my store to learn more and register!

Positively Successful

The Seattle Seahawks clinched their fifth straight NFC West Division title on Sunday with a win over the Arizona Cardinals. It was a game they dominated from the start and they finally put to rest all the pre-season talk of another team like Arizona or San Francisco becoming the new “king of the hill” in the division.

What strikes me as special about this team over the past few years is the level of teamwork and unselfishness that they exude. Stories abound about players having to accept lesser or different roles to meet the needs of the team during the course of the season. Shaun Alexander, Bobby Engram and Patrick Kerney were three players named by coaches and teammates. A few years before that, the team had trouble climbing out of mediocrity even though they were loaded with “talent”. What they found was that they had to clean house of some of that “talent” that didn’t have the team attitude and rather the “What’s in it for me”.

Surrounding your “team” with positive and successful people is vital for your success, too. Regardless of whether your “team” is your family, workplace, or a team you coach, attitude is more important than “talent”. Take a look at your relationships. Can you honestly say that the people who surround and advise you are team players? Now, in a family, you may have to work harder at building better dynamics than in a workplace environment. At work, people can be let go, like what the Seahawks did. The bottom line is that for your “team” to function at full strength, the “we” has to be more important than the “me”. When you surround yourself with positive and encouraging people, you will find successes in all aspects of your life.


P.S. Meet some positive and encouraging people at my Panic to Power Boot Camp on March 18 in Seattle. They will help you become a more successful communicator. Take advantage of great discounts before December 31. To learn more, click here

In Need of Noah’s Ark

For the second year in a row, I’ve been down in Palm Springs when my home state of Washington has been devastated by flooding. I’ve watched in horror and sadness as many people have had tragedies from the rains and floods. My home is safe and for that I’m thankful. The pictures on the news look straight out of Katrina a few years ago. Let’s keep all those adversely affected in our prayers and hope for a quick return to normalcy.


Who’s Number One?

If you are a college football fan like me, you’ve probably been amazed at all the volatility in the BCS standings, especially with the top ranked teams. It seems that on a weekly basis, there has been a major upset and whoever the new #1 and #2 teams are, they have been bounced out by someone else. It happened again this past weekend when Kansas was defeated at home by Missouri, who then claimed the #1 spot themselves. I can’t remember a football season that has been as unpredictable as this one. It makes for a very entertaining time for football fans.

How volatile is your business? Do you go through stretches where things seem topsy-turvy in your world? That may not be as entertaining to you as a college football season. The reality is that change and volatility are part of any business or industry. How you respond to it will decide your success or failure.

The one constant you always have is how well you present yourself. There’s an old saying that a great salesperson will never be without a job. That’s because regardless of the times, if you are a dynamic and persuasive presenter, you will be highly sought after.

Take preventative measures to offset the change in times for your business. Don’t overlook the most important business skill that can put you head and shoulders over your competition, regardless of volatility. Communicating and presenting will make sure you stay #1!


P.S. Need some help with your presentation and sales skills? You’re in luck! My next Panic to Power Boot Camp is scheduled for March 18 in downtown Seattle. Your investment will pay dividends over and over again in increased sales, improved confidence, and more money in your pocket. To register and take advantage of great Early-Bird discounts, click here.

Apple Cup at 100

It’s Apple Cup time again, this time for the 100th time. I’m heading to the big game tomorrow to root on my Dawgs with my daughter Kelli. Both teams have struggled this year, but there’s no doubt everyone will be up for this one. The pride of our state and schools are on the line.

Rivalry games like this create a great bond, not only for the fans on the same side of the ball, but with everyone. As long as respect is a factor, which it should always be, good natured ribbing and fun is always a great part of the game. I have many friends that are Cougs (really), and we always have a great time getting on each other. I have even had an annual running bet for a beer during next golf season with good friend who matriculated at WSU. Fortunately for me, I’ve been on the winning side most of the last few years. I just hope he doesn’t want to do the same thing with hoops!

Here’s hoping for a great game and of course another Dawg victory. Go Dawgs!


The Big Ouch: Blondie’s Best Lesson Saved for Last

“She’s gone.”

Simple words spoken by Dr. Monica as the shot laced with an overdose of anesthesia gently ended the life of our family dog Blondie at 5:15 pm on November 19. We had scheduled this time because we brought Blondie home as a 6-week old puppy on Monday, June 1, 1991 at 5:00 pm. Sort of a fitting end. The 6,016 days in between were full of love, loyalty, and friendship.

I’ve been compiling for some time lessons I’ve learned from Blondie. Maybe I’ll write a book on them because they are lessons we humans can use at any stage of our lives.

The final lesson she taught me through this process is this – we are blessed with gifts and in some cases there is a time to give them back. The reality of letting go and helping a loved one through the dying process is a fact of life. No matter how well you prepare, until you go through it there is a huge unknown. Now, even though every death in our family will be painful and different, Blondie has taught me that it can be done with dignity, courage and love.

Yes, I know she was a dog, not a human. She was also a binding member of our family for 16 years; a common bond of love for not only our immediate family, but our extended one as well. Parents, siblings, and friends have all shared their sorrow with us. In fact, one of my daughters close friends left a bouquet of flowers on our doorstep last night. That’s one of the many gifts pets bring. They can be the “glue” that brings people more closely together Giving back the gifts are painful, yet always with a lesson to be learned. I want to thank all of my friends and family who have wished us their condolences. Each one is special and appreciated.

Finally, I want to especially thank the wonderful people at Poulsbo Animal Clinic, especially Dr. Monica and her assistant. The opportunity to say farewell to your pet in the privacy of your own home is something I can’t say enough about. Blondie hated going to the vet and this way it was just like having visitors to the house. No other people, no sterile environment; just peacefully passing away at home with your family by your side. Isn’t that the way we would all want to go?


The Gettysburg Address – November 19, 1863

Today is the 144th anniversary of one of the greatest, if not greatest, speeches ever delivered. It’s short…for you fellow Toastmasters, it’s about the length of a Table Topics. But its powerful. In honor of this day, please see the text below. You will also see the only known photograph of President Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg per the Library of Congress.


Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal”

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow, this ground — The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.

It is rather for us, the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Only the Shadow knows…

Today, I have the privilege of having a guest shadow me for the day. Our Rotary Club came up with a brilliant idea of having teachers shadow business people for a day so they can in turn pass on insight to their students. The business people then will usually make an appearance and address the students. I hope I can carry out today without boring my shadow too much!

Any time teachers and business can work together, it’s a win-win situation. Business and entrepreneurship has changed in the 25 years since I’ve been in school, and young people need to know how it works. The teachers also gain value. Actually, I can say that the business people in turn also gain great value from learning from their shadow. That and the opportunity to present to a bunch of teenage kids is something everyone should have to go through at least once.



P.S. Fearful to speak in front of a bunch of teenagers or adults? Panic no more. My next Panic to Power Boot Camp is right around the corner on March 18 at the Mayflower Park Hotel in downtown Seattle. To register now, contact me at 360-271-1592 or

The ONLY way to watch an NBA game!

That’s me at courtside of the Sonics-Pistons game last Sunday. The Sonics are a new client of mine and they were gracious to put me and my family at courtside for the game after we met (thanks to Chris Fryar). This opportunity came about because of my presentation at the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. For those of you who are professional speakers, do what my mentor Darren LaCroix always says – Stage Time, Stage Time, Stage Time. The more you speak, the more opportunities you will have. Who knows, you may end up in the front row!


P.S. I’m just announcing my next Panic to Power boot camp in downtown Seattle on Tuesday, March 18. Details to follow on my web site. If you can’t wait (and why should you), contact me now to register at I have a very special Early Early-Bird special!