Sunday, April 29, 2012

Book Review: The Inner Circle

Have you ever stayed up way past your bedtime to finish a good "page-turner" and then be so disatisfied by the ending you couldn't sleep? That was me last week with The Inner Circle by Brad Meltzer.

I'm hoping this book is the first of a series, and there will be another book or two to tie-up the loose ends. Of course, with a book so heavily entrenched in conspiracy theories perhaps that's how the author intended the book to conclude...with more questions than answers.

If government cover-ups and secret combinations (to borrow a phrase) get you going, this is your book. It wasn't quite the thriller of Dan Brown's books (Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, The Lost Symbol), but still good. At times while reading the book I was reminded of the movie National Treasure with Nicholas Cage...but a little more dark.

It's a book full of twists and turns that involve murder and blackmail in Washington DC...involving everyone from a lowly archivist up to the President of the United States. One thing that it doesn't do is make you feel better about the U.S. government. Of course, the author hosts a show on the History Channel about conspiracy that's probably to be expected.

If you don't mind hanging on a cliff at the end, it's a good read.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I Deserve A Break Today

I don't like McDonald's food. Okay, I adore the fries and their $1 Diet Cokes. The apple pies aren't bad. And I resolve to eat at least one Shamrock Shake every March.

But I saw this MickeyD's commercial the other day, and it cracked me up...probably because I can relate.

Not to mention, McDonald's is clearly trying to attract the working professional with this TV spot. Interesting marketing strategy to go after a lucrative demographic.

Check out the link here on YouTube.

Monday, April 23, 2012

It Pays To Be Positive

I subscribe to an online newsletter from author and motivational speaker Jon Gordon. He offers good advice for both professional and personal life. I received this post today, and thought it was worth sharing.

11 Benefits of Being Positive
"Over the years I've done a lot of research on the positive effects of being positive and the negative effects of being negative. The research is clear. It really does pay to be positive and the benefits include enhanced health and longevity, happiness, career advancement, athletic performance, team building and financial success. Being positive is not just a nice way to live. It’s the way to live. In this spirit here are 11 benefits of being positive." --Jon Gordon

1. Positive People Live Longer - In a study of nuns, those that regularly expressed positive emotions lived on average 10 years longer. (The Nun Study)

2. Positive work environments outperform negative work environments. (Daniel Goleman)

3. Positive, optimistic sales people sell more than pessimistic sales people. (Martin Seligman)

4. Positive leaders are able to make better decisions under pressure. (

5. Marriages are much more likely to succeed when the couple experiences a 5 to 1 ratio of positive to negative interactions whereas when the ratio approaches 1 to 1, marriages are more likely to end in divorce. (John Gottman)

6. Positive people who regularly express positive emotions are more resilient when facing stress, challenges and adversity. (Several Studies)

7. Positive people are able to maintain a broader perspective and see the big picture which helps them identify solutions where as negative people maintain a narrower perspective and tend to focus on problems. (Barbara Fredrickson)

8. Positive thoughts and emotions counter the negative effects of stress. For example, you can't be thankful and stressed at the same time. (Several Studies)

9. Positive emotions such as gratitude and appreciation help athletes perform at a higher level. (

10. Positive people have more friends which is a key factor of happiness and longevity. (Robert D. Putnam)

11. Positive and popular leaders are more likely to garner the support of others and receive pay raises and promotions and achieve greater success in the workplace. (Tim Sanders)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Book Review: Eat Mor Chikin

I really didn’t need another reason to love Chick-Fil-A, but I found one. It came from learning about the family behind the company.

Last July I was invited to attend an event in which Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy was the guest speaker. His father, S. Truett Cathy, opened the first Chick-Fil-A restaurant in 1967. I was so inspired by the presentation, I purchased the book Eat Mor Chikin, Inspire More People by Truett Cathy. I started reading the book shortly before my dad became ill last August. I took the book with me to the hospital one day, and then misplaced it. I searched the hospital room and the lost-and-found with no luck. I was bummed, but then soon forgot about the book with the physical and emotional fatigue that came along with my father’s illness and passing.

Then last month, as I was headed for Scottsdale on a business trip, I was going thru the laptop bag at the airport and I discovered the book safely tucked away in one of the zipped pockets…right where I left it eight months ago. I was so excited! The book was marked where I was last reading, and I delved back into the pages to learn more about my favorite fast food restaurant.

One might classify Truett Cathy as a self-made man, but he would never take the credit for Chick-Fil-A’s success…he gives the credit to God. His values are reflected in their Corporate Purpose “to be faithful stewards of all that God has entrusted to us.” And it didn’t hurt that Truett Cathy was/is a hard-working, smart businessman.

Here are a few of the inspirational quotes from this book:

Page 10: "To receive a blessing, we often have to take action first."

Page 35: "I’d like to be remembered as one who kept my priorities in the right order. We live in a changing world, but we need to be reminded that the important things have not changed, and the important things will not change if we keep our priorities in proper order."

Page 40: "Our decision to close on Sunday was our way of honoring God and directing our attention to things more important than our business."

Page 92: "My policy has always been to share my business problems with my family. It’s uplifting for me to know that our children are praying for me about the business decision I must make. I also hoped that if I shared my problems with them as children, they would share their problems with me and let me help them when they grew older."

Page 102: "One of the most important principles we live by: The family comes first. What does a man gain if he gains the whole world and loses his family?"

Page 123: "I hope that people see something in the way I live that leads them to seek the One who leads me."

Truett Cathy’s success is certainly admirable. But for me, it was the “why” is inspired to achieve rather than the “how” he achieved that was truly remarkable.

Makes me want to eat Mor Chikin.