Tag Archive for 'Gene Griessman'

Small business owners have the right stuff

One of my favorite books is The Words Lincoln Lived By, by our good friend and Brain Trust member, Gene Griessman. That’s where I found this Lincoln quote about tenacity:

“I expect to maintain this contest until successful, or till I die, or am conquered, or my term expires, or Congress or the country forsakes me.”

Sound familiar? If you are a small business owner, I bet it sounds very familiar. It might even give you a little chill when you read those 140-year-old words. you know, hearing the essence of your being translated into the spoken word in a way in which you may never have actually spoken it out loud.

As an Army officer I was taught to be responsible for everything my unit did or failed to do. In small buisness, and you’ve heard me say this before, “You turn the lights on, you turn the lights off. Whatever it takes.”

Tenacity. I sure do like that word, and I admire tenacious people. Are you tenacious? The tenacious have the courage of their convictions. Courage, period. Passion. A strong spirit. Maybe even an indomitable spirit.

If you are a small business owner you know how far down inside of you that you have to reach to rise above all of the challenges, train wrecks and surprises that are thrown at you. Sometimes deeper than you knew you could. Testing your mettle. I don’t care what anybody says, astronauts are heroes, but they don’t own the franchise on “the right stuff.” Small business owners have it, too.

I am so proud of you.

The Middle East revolutions and you

The potential for revolution in the Middle East has been brewing for many years. One of the reasons includes differences in ideology between those who want a more secularism and those who want more fundamental theological influences. But the main motivation for popular unrest and revolt is lack of opportunity for the younger generations. Regardless of which country you consider, this last reason cuts across all borders and forms of government.

So the die is cast and the revolts, which began in Tunisia, have now cascaded to Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and Iran. Some of my experts say this could become a global issue. The question seems to be not whether the revolts will continue or be successful, but rather will the result be positive or negative.

Last week, before the outbreaks in Bahrain and Yemen, we asked our radio and Internet audience what they thought would be the outcome of the Egyptian revolt. Here’s what we learned:

About four out of ten respondents were optimistic and said they thought a new democratic government will be created to represent all Egyptians. But more than half took the other side of the issue and voiced their concern that Islamist influences would prevail, causing Egypt to become more like an Iranian theocracy. I’m happy to report that a tiny percentage of our respondents reported that they “just don’t care.”

My friends, what is happening in the Middle East right now should concern everyone. From the price of oil, to control of major shipping lanes, to potential problems in Europe, to the war on global terrorism, what happens in the Middle East in the next six to 12 months will directly or indirectly influence our lives and businesses.

Once again, we continue to live the Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times.

I have been covering the evolving events in the Middle East on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show. To listen to these conversations, please click on any of the links below and leave your thoughts.

To participate in the current poll question, visit SmallBusinessAdvocate.com and vote.

Potential paradigm shifts from the Eqyptian revolution, featuring futurist, Joel Barker

Will the Middle East unrest cascade around the world? featuring trends expert, Gerald Celente

Could Egypt’s unrest impact the global economic recovery? featuring David Adler, high-net-worth writer for Financial Planning magazine

Could the Egypt revolution have been predicted? featuring Gene Griessman, author of The Words Lincoln Lived By and The Achievement Factor

The Griessman Diversity Creed for small business

Many times in this space I have the pleasure of quoting smart people who have said something that I want you to hear. Eugene Griessman is such a person, and a long-time friend and member of my Brain Trust. Gene’s thoughts are oft quoted, but one piece he wrote caught on so much that, for almost 10 years, it continues to pop up around the globe. It’s called The Diversity Creed, and with all of the intolerance in the world right now, I thought you would appreciate this piece of Griessman wisdom, and I offer it with Gene’s permission.

Gene Griessman ©1993

I believe that diversity is a part of the natural order of things - as natural as the trillion shapes and shades of the flowers of spring or the leaves of autumn. I believe that diversity brings new solutions to an ever-changing environment, and that sameness is not only uninteresting, but limiting.

To deny diversity is to deny life - with all its richness and manifold opportunities. Thus, I affirm my citizenship in a world of diversity, and with it the responsibility to…

Be tolerant. Live and let live. Understand that those who cause no harm should not be feared, ridiculed, or harmed - even if they are different.

Look for the best in others.

Be just in my dealings with poor and rich, weak and strong, and whenever possible, to defend the young, the old, the frail, the defenseless.

Avoid needless conflicts and diversions, but be always willing to change for the better that which can be changed.

Seek knowledge in order to know what can be changed, as well as what cannot be changed.

Forge alliances with others who love liberty and justice.

Be kin, remembering how fragile the human spirit is.

Live the examined life, subjecting my motives and actions to the scrutiny of mind and heart so to rise above prejudice and hatred.

Care. Be generous in thought, word, and purse.

This is Jim again…great words and wisdom from a great man. Gene Griessman is not only a very smart man, but he’s also an Abraham Lincoln scholar and one of the top Lincoln portrayers in the world. He was on my radio show, The Small Business Advocate, recently to talk about Lincoln’s thoughts on leadership. Please take a few minutes to listen, and, as always, leave your thoughts. Listen Live! Download, Too!

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