Working on a Dream




Monday, February 28, 2011

Bruce Springsteen - Radio Nowhere

Is there anybody alive out there?

Leadership Value #4: Focus on the Future

After people know what you are all about, they want to know what is your vision
This is always a question reserved for leadership.

People want to know that if they follow you, where will you take them.

I have found that some people are just better at "seeing" into the future than others. And I believe that this is a gift that some folks either have -or they do not.  Great leadership helps the group lift their heads and peer into an unknown world but at the same time they keep everyone optimistic and on target. 

If you were to ask me, I would say that the key to this whole process is having an open heart.  This will ensure that you stay adaptable and not become too rigid.  I have seen many good people lose a humble heart along the way and just settle for mediocrity.  

So if you desire to lead.  Ask yourself these two questions:
Where am I going?
Where am I taking the group?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Funny Friday's: The Topic, When Dad is in Charge.

When mom leaves. And dad is in charge. Things happen like this...and never get reported back to MOM.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Leadership Value #3: Values Matter

Imagine you're sitting in a room with your colleagues and the door to the conference room opens up.  A man walks in you have never met before.  He then says, "Hello, I am your new leader."  

What questions immediately come to your mind?

One that I guarantee will float to your noodle is "WHO ARE YOU?" 
Which translates into,  "What do you stand for?"   

People want to know what you are all about.
-What you believe in. 
-What you value. 
-What are the issues you will fight for.
-What do you care about.
And please do not underestimate the word --you--- throughout this post.  If you plan on pretending your way into leading others, you may be able to fool people for awhile, but over time you will be found out.  Life has a way of pressing a person until they fold or crumble.  My advice is to invest in yourself and find your voice. 

The reason is because people are busy trying to figure out if they ought to be following YOU

Remember, your value system is the core of who you are.  And it influence's every aspect of your life. 

I will close with a quote from Kouzes & Posner:

"To act with integrity, you must first see clearly.  Just as sunlight burns away the morning fog, the more light you shine on what you stand for, what you believe in, and what you care about, the more clearly you'll see those road signs pointing in the direction you want to go" 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Baby Anthony’s Story: Couple shares powerful tale of faith — and loss

Baby Anthony’s Story: Couple shares powerful tale of faith — and loss

I want to thank the New Castle News for printing this. 

Leadership value #2: Credibility

Credibility is the foundation of leadership.

YOU have to believe in you -but people have to believe in you too.  And the absolutely best way to accomplish this is by doing what you say you will do

-DWYSYWD. Get this tattooed in your mind & heart-

You have to remember there are a lot of jaded people out there, who have been disappointed with immoral leaders and poor institutional leadership. And sure, most hold leaders to a higher standard than themselves.  But in the end, you are out in front.  People have placed their trust in you.  

So the Bottom line is --If you want people who willingly follow you instead of having to follow you...then it is time to build up your Credibility. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Leadership Value #1: YOU must believe in YOU.

Leading starts with the individual. 

When you can look in the mirror and come to the realization that YOU matter, then you are ready to start leading.

Too often, we run to others to get things done, but a person who believes in themselves first looks inward.  The is vital.

Jim Collins agrees with this sentiment as he has always emphasized "First Who, Then What." 

-In other words, The person/team is more important than the task-

-Case in point:  During Donald Trump's Apprentice finale, the two final contestants were given the choice to either pick the team or the event
The winner rightly chose her team over the event. 
By doing this, she was loading the deck with talent and brains to help her win               ---no matter what the task was--- 

Decide today that you matter. 
When you do.
You have just thrown your hat into the ring to fight for a change. 

What you want to know about __________.

                                                     Yep, that's right. 
                          ---What you want to know about Leadership. 

Sure that word can mean a million different things to a million different people.
And yes, there are good and bad leaders.
But the importance of great Leadership is vital if you want to impact others.

That is why I am so grateful for authors Kouzes & Posner for writing a little book titled, The Truth About Leadership.  In this book, they outline the top 10 fundamentals for you to be effective at leading.

Over the course of the next week, I will share their findings with you. 

Here is to the journey!

Josh Wilson - I Refuse

Surprisingly refreshing song by Josh Wilson. Listen to "I Refuse" and reflect on how you are impacting the world around you.

Anthony's Rant: Snow & People who like it.

Anthony’s Rant.

-The Issues:
1. Snow.
2. People who like it.

Enough is Enough.

What I am about to write is Politically INcorrect, and I do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings. So please take this in s-l-o-w-l-y….

-I am a Snow-A-Phob-

I came to this admission last night when I was watching Channel 4 News and the Weather Man sadly showed a picture of the entire United States blanketed in white.

There were No States.
No Lakes.
Just a massive picture of Snow-Ma-gedon.

I am so over this cold ugly weather, and while I am ranting about the Snow-phoon outside…I want to take a few seconds to comment on the people who somehow like what is happening all around us.

-To the snow-lovers, I issue a Challenge:
Last night, if you were to stand outside in that Snowicanne for let’s say10 minutes...
Did you really like that like that experience? And would you recommend it to others?
(Your enemies don’t count either) If so, I will gladly take back any ill words against the powdery stuff.

     And before you get all, “I still think it is still awesome!” on me -consider this...
You know that over sized hamster from Punxy that is held by the guy on the cover of the Monopoly box? Punxy Phil comes out once a year to tell everyone if there is going to be an early spring.

-Well, apparently even he is sick of the snow too-

When that groundhog was interviewed about why he did not see his shadow, he said, and I quote:

“How could I see my shadow … when I can’t even open my eyes because they were frozen shut!?”

There you have it.
Snow and people who dream of it --everyone is over you and your gloves…even that 6lb Gerbil.

Look, we can all deal with a light falling of the flakes,
But when you can go ice skating on a gravel pit
--You know you are in a Snowtasrophe!

And no one really likes that…not even you.
So man up and quit Snowtending already.

Monday, February 21, 2011

6 Leadership Lessons from Lincoln

President Abraham Lincoln is considered one of (if not) America's greatest presidents. 
-What made him so great?
-What made is legacy live on for generations?

-Below are 6 qualities that Honest Abe displayed that made his life and his legacy great-

1.  Awareness of Own Weaknesses:
Kearns Goodwin noted that one of the weaknesses acknowledged by Lincoln was his tendency to give people too many chances and because he was aware, he was able to compensate for that weakness.

2. Ability to Control Emotions:
Lincoln treated those he worked with well. However, he did get angry and frustrated, so he found a way to channel those emotions. He was known to sit down and write what he referred to as a "hot letter" to the individual he was angry with and then he would set the letter aside and not send it. If he did lose his temper, Lincoln would follow up with a kind gesture or letter to let the individual know he was not holding a grudge.

3. Know How to Relax and Replenish:
Lincoln understood the importance of relaxation and humor to shake of the stress of the day and to replenish himself for the challenges of the next day. Lincoln had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to tell funny stories. He encouraged a healthy atmosphere of laughter and fun in his administration.

4. Go Out into the Field and Manage Directly:
Lincoln established lasting connections with the troops by visiting the battlefield and hospitals, which also helped bolster morale.  He held public receptions and made a point of shaking everyone's hand and speaking to each individual.

5. Strength to Adhere to Fundamental Goals:
In the summer of 1864,  the war was not going well for the North. Members of his political party came to Lincoln and said that there was no way to win the war and he might need to compromise on slavery. Lincoln held firm on the issue of slavery and turned away from this advice.

6. Ability to Communicate Goals and Vision:
Lincoln had a "remarkable ability to communicate his goals to his countrymen. He made concepts simple and communicated with an understanding of the concerns of the citizens.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday's with Charlie

Charlie's favorite Day:  Saturday.
 Charlie's favorite place:  The Park.

Today, Christen, Charlie, and the team leader all packed up and ventured out into the wild.

Below are the pictures of our daring adventure.

(Me giving Charlie directions.  Charlie not listening)

(Me threatening to take the toy home...if he does not run back to me)

(Charlie running into the woods after a Squirrel)

(Charlie spots the Squirrel)

 (Christen about to give Charlie a treat)

(Charlie telling me to tell Christen to throw his toy already!)

                                                                     (Charlie, after the park)

-Sharp Hair Question

 I can't help but wonder...

Product DetailsIf a balloon were to fall from the sky on top of this girl's head...
Would her hair puncture the balloon and burst it?

Any ideas on this?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Why Guys need their Gals


Did you know?
According to a study done at Stanford, one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman, whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends?

The Reason?
Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality “girlfriend time" helps to create more serotonin (a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being).
Remember...Women share feelings --whereas men often form relationships around activities.
Guys rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain things or how their personal lives are going. Jobs? Yes. Sports? Yes. Cars? Yes. Fishing, hunting, golf? Yes.

--But their feelings? Rarely.

On the other hand, women do it all of the time.  The Professor at Stanford even said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.

As a matter of Fact:There's a tendency to think that when we are "exercising" we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged—not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!                    

-I believe the following quote is appropriate to conclude:
Sure God created man before woman, but then again you always make a rough draft before creating the final masterpiece.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Road to Success

Below, is the poem that I have had outside of my office door for the past 8 years. 
Now, more than ever   ---I need it.

The Road to Success is not straight

There is a curve called Failure,
a loop called Confusion,
speed bumps called Friends,
caution lights called Family,
and you will have flats called Jobs.


If you have a spare called Determination,
an engine called Perseverance,
insurance called Faith,
and a driver called Jesus,
you will make it to a place called Success!

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
-Philippians 4:13

Monday, February 14, 2011

Don't Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

 Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;

Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,

Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,  
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,

So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.
- Author unknown

Psalm 73: 23-26
Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.

You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

Mystery to Me: A poem dedicated to my son.

My son,
You will always be a mystery to me

When I pick up your tiny hospital band
So small, it fits right in the palm of my hand
When I do, I always picture the things together that we would do…

And then, Baby Anthony
Quietly, in my heart I often sit and wonder
Would you have grown up to play ball?
Like dad –would you have been big and tall?

Or like mom,
Would your favorite color have been blue?
When you grew up,
Would you have been eager to tell the truth?

Yes, My dear son
You are a mystery to me,
Now when you mingle with the angels-
I know that you are looking down on mommy and me

I can’t help but imagine…
When would you have taken your first step?
How would our doggie Charlie Brown have reacted when you two first met?

Every now and then
As I walk through the store
I catch myself wondering,
Would you have loved a certain toy?
Or would you be content to just hang out with the other girls and boys?

Sadly, other times I ponder how
We never got to hear your precious cry
And I hate that I will never get the chance to stand at the front door
And wave to you goodbye …

A mystery to me you will always be-
Just nine days old
To mommy and me

Written by Dad, with love.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Funny Friday's: The subject, Jorts.

According to a dictionary somewhere men are not allowed to wear jean shorts.  They have been outlawed.   
In 1992, a severe case was brought against Jean Shorts (or Jorts) by the good citizens of the United States...aka.  The Fashion Police. 

The reason(s) submitted below are in picture form and thereby need NO words for you to understand why this law has been strictly enforced.

Proof Number 1:  The severely long mullet Jort.

Proof #2:  The Bike Messenger Jort

Item #3:  The "I'm Too Close" to you Jort team.

Fourth:  The "I made you dress like me" Jort lovers.

Number 5:  The "Hello, I live in New Castle" Jort.

6:  The "Hi, I'm Brett Favre getting drafted into the NFL...I will be awesome for like 89 seasons...and then ruin my life" Jorts.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

- Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

Yes, this is long. But, if you are a leader, then you will want to watch this.

---I am an Artist.

Question:  If someone were to ask you what profession an artist involves himself in...what would you say?

I am betting you would say that an artist spends time in some fashion either painting or is musical.

Can I tell you something?    -----I am an artist. 

                         I do not paint nor am I musical (concerts in my car don't count).

So let me explain.  According to Anthony's Dictionary, an artist is someone that creates.

And a person that creates is also a person that Dreams
And a person that dreams is also a person that Sees.
The person that sees, is the person that Inspires....

Now let me ask you another question.  Look around you.  Seriously. 
Everything your eyes took in was not around at one point in time.

   ----It took someone to Create.  Someone to Dream. Someone who stepped out and saw something that was not there. 

And that takes courage.

Daniel Pink writes about this subject by way of a story.  He tells of a teacher experimenting with 2 groups of students.
-a class of 1st graders
-a class of seniors
The teacher stood in front of the group of 1st graders and asked "How many of you are artists?"    Everyone in the class raised their little hands.


The teacher stood in front of a group of seniors and asked the very same question. 
Two lifted their hands.

What has happened to all the dreamers?
Who has crept in and whispered into these kids ears that they are not creative?

I tell you that the future belongs to those two students that still considered themselves artists.  Sure they may never take up guitar or pick up a paint brush, but they will have the ability to See. To Dream. And to Inspire.

-And for that 
the future is theirs- 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What Steve Jobs & Bruce Springsteen Can Teach you

Here are 5 entrepreneurial qualities that Steve Jobs shares with Bruce Springsteen—principles that any leader must have to achieve breakthrough success.

Do What You Love. Bruce Springsteen is passionate about writing meaningful lyrics. Really passionate. “More than rich, more than famous, I wanted to be great,” he said. This philosophy sounds very similar to Steve Jobs who once said, “Being the richest man in the cemetery didn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying, ‘I’ve done something wonderful,’ that’s what mattered.” Being an entrepreneur requires long hours, sacrifice and an unflagging commitment to making your vision a reality.

Put a Dent in the Universe. According to Springsteen, he and his band mates were almost “messianic” in their zeal to change the world. Steve Jobs, too, wanted to “put a dent in the universe.” Innovation doesn’t take place in a vacuum. Dreamers inspire evangelists. Steve Jobs inspired the original Macintosh team to put in grueling hours because they really thought they were out to change the world—and the Mac most certainly did. Never underestimate the power of vision to propel a brand forward.

Obsess over the customer experience. Springsteen’s band-mates said that he would obsess over the smallest details, like the exact sound of a drumstick. They would spend hours and hours until the track sounded just right. Steve Jobs is equally as obsessive. He said to have a “pixel level” obsession with every aspect of the user experience. Of course there is a point at which obsession becomes detrimental but in today’s business climate where customer satisfaction continues to erode, perhaps a little obsession over the customer experience is a good thing.

Eliminate the clutter. Remarkably, Springsteen actually left songs off the album, Darkness on the Edge of Town because he didn’t believe they fit with the theme of the album. Steve Jobs is also obsessive about eliminating anything that detracts from the focus of a product. If a button doesn’t have to be there, it’s not. Jobs once said, “We’re as proud of what we don’t do as are about what we do.”


What do you think? 
Would you add anything to this list? 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Why Anthony is a Motivational Cheerleader

One of the leader’s most important roles is that of cheerleader.

Think about it
Have you ever worked for the person that was so dead serious they seem to be seriously dead?
 (...They just haven’t stopped breathing so we can bury them without breaking the law!)

Leaders, something to keep in mind is that people must be motivated if they are going to work at an acceptable level. As a leader, an easy way you can provide motivation is with praise and recognition.

We need leaders who add value to people and the organizations they lead; who work for the benefits of others and not just for their own personal gain; who inspire and motivate rather than intimidate and manipulate.

-Take 1 minute & think of a time when you had someone believe in you.  How did you respond?  I bet you gave them your best
The reason you did this is because you were responding positively to someone that you knew was trying to help you and cared for you. 

If you are in a leadership position...try this: 
Look for something positive/unique in each of your teammates.  Then compliment them & their action(s). Be sure to tell them why it means so much to you!  You will be amazed at how people respond to your positive words!

Proverbs 16:24
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
making people happy and healthy.

Monday, February 7, 2011

New Charity Update

Since I issued the challenge to donate 25 cents for every person that follows this blog, the charity, "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" has received numerous donation from the good people of Working on a Dream.

I want to thank you!

Working on a Dream's goal is 400 followers and we are at 244. 
We are over half-way to the goal!

Meeting my Destiny #3: Jesus

---Destiny encounter number three: Jesus

On the one hand, I could say that this journey started out when I was a little boy staying at my Nonnon's house. In the morning, she would sit at the dining room table; grab an old pair of glasses, and a Bible.  She would already be up, and when I would walk downstairs, I would see her reading. Nonnon would invite me to sit next to her and she would start reading the Bible out-loud to me

                                                                                   ...In Italian.

See, Nonnon's Bible was not in English, so I did not understand a word she was saying. But I did feel her love for Jesus. It just oozed out of her. As the day turned into night, and bedtime approached, the final part of her day was kneeling in prayer right in front of a lit picture of Jesus.
In this picture, His arms were open and I got the feeling from the picture that He was ready to embrace anyone at anytime, for anything. Again, if you were to ask me to repeat her prayers, I could not. They were in another language...But I was fully aware that the person she was praying to was no stranger to her.
She loved Jesus and it showed in the way she would talk to Him.

Years later, I found myself a senior in high school. The time in between was filled with the stuff of everything a boy does from the ages of 13-18. Sports, hanging out with friends, thinking that everything was the most important event in the history of the world...

Then, by chance one day, I was invited to a church camp and it was there I met a man that was simply bigger than life itself...Dave Glass. (youth pastor at 1st Alliance at the time)  Soon after, I started attending youth group and became interested in this "Christian life."

Youth group was filled with fun, fellowship and a hearty dose of preaching. [Most people complained about the preaching and wanted more fun, but I never really cared about the games. I had the idea that church is where the Bible is preached, so if you wanted fun and games –go join the basketball team.]

Anyway, some time passed, and I watched as my friends dedicated their lives to Jesus. The really powerful element about all of this was that their lives were being changed. I saw new commitments, new lifestyles, and new passions arise in them. This made a very big impact on me.

A few months later, on one Sunday night in October, a man named Pastor Don Jones stood up and preached a message that has changed my life. He talked about sin, its consequences, and how to have a right relationship with God. I found myself broken inside. I remember sitting in the back of the church and just wanting to run up front, and give my life to this Jesus.

-But I didn't. I didn't know how-

After the service, I talked with some trusted people, and I made my mind up that next week I was going to embrace Jesus. So next week I made my way to the church and walked into the service with 10 minutes remaining.  I had my Jerry Rice jersey on and just walked up front to the altar. I can remember people staring at me as I walked up front like it was nobody's buisnes. 

But it was there that I was met by Pastor Dave and more importantly there I embraced Jesus.

That was over 15 years ago. Since that time I have went on to Bible College to major in Youth Ministry, I've received a Master of Divinity, and currently am working on my second Master's degree, which is Organizational Leadership. I say this not to brag, but to bring up the point that before Jesus, I had no plan, no direction, and no real purpose.

David says in the Psalms that "God took him from the miry clay and put his feet upon a rock." (Psalm 40). In a real way, I was drowning in the mire and did not even know it.

The ironic thing was that my life was filled -but it was empty with anything of real substance.

Sometimes I sit and I wonder...
-Where would my life be without Jesus?
-What would I be doing today?

You see, I was drowning, not in water, but in something else.
                                                                                             --A purposeless life.
The Apostle Paul says that "He considers everything a loss compared to knowing Christ."
I have a feeling that he would understand just what I am saying here about an aimless life.

In the end...My Destiny was to meet the One who sets Destiny in motion.
The One that is responsible for all my other meetings with destiny.


Is it time you met your Destiny?
Is it time for you to stop trying to keep your head above water and fighting the waves?
Embrace Jesus. His arms are open wide.

For You.

-Any time -Any place

"Come to Me, all who are heavy of heart and I will give you rest."