A Book Review – “The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do”

Responsible Leadership

A Book Review of “The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do”, written by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller.

Though I have been a supervisor before, when hired for my latest assignment, I was thrust into a mix where the problems were known company wide and discord was the mood of the day. I knew I had to do something different if I wanted to get the team running smoothly in 6 months. In the management section of the local book store, I found “The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do”, written by the team of Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller. This is a wonderful book, just 125 pages, full of insights and steps that helped me accomplish my goal and earn an Employee Recognition Award after 6 months in my new position.

The main point of the book is this: A responsible leader must be able to See the future, Engage and develop others, Reinvent continuously, learn to Value results and relationships and Embody values in all team members. The most important point of the book is “a good leader is one who serves”. A brief summary of the points will help you understand why this book was so helpful to me. Each point is explained in detail.

Seeing the future does not mean using a crystal ball, but to have a plan and goals as to what the future should be. Have a workable plan and develop the steps to make the plan succeed is how you see the future. The future does not just happen; it is what you do today that makes the future of tomorrow.

Engaging and developing others is a great way to make your future succeed. No man is an island and all tasks go better with assistance. Ask others their opinions and their ideas. Encourage them to get involved in the process towards the new future and help them to succeed in the process.

Reinventing continuously means you must watch for constant opportunities for change and analysis. Just because something was always done a certain way does not mean it is the best way to do it today. Time management, delegation of duties, a shifting of job responsibilities and then new training of team member may be all you need to improve your team and see results.

Value project results and building strong relationships may be a new direction for you. Investing in the relationships of those in your team will build trust and understanding between all the team members. When you like the person you are working with, you feel freer to share ideas, discuss failure and find solutions. If your relationships are growing, so will your results. Its easy to value results, we all want to succeed. The harder part of the equation is to build and develop strong, trusting relationships with all team members.

Embody values in your team members, your relationships and your results for the team. True leadership is built on trust. If you don’t trust the person leading, you will not follow them no matter how great their plan is. To build trust, you must maintain and exhibit values others can relate to and embody. Trust, values and strong relationships are traits of great leaders. Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson all had unyielding values and strong relationship with those they served.

This book is written in a conversation style that is easy to read and I found enjoyable. It was insightful and humorous while at the same time, very instructional. I enjoyed the style of this book and found it to be an easy-read. The last few pages of the book have information about the authors and other training programs offered by them. Contact information is provided as well as phone numbers and web site information.

If you are a supervisor or learning to be one, read “The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do”, written by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller. I am glad I did!


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The Health Benefits of Forgiveness

Forgiveness Exercise: Throw the Orange!

When someone hurts us deeply, it can be very difficult to forgive them. Whether it is a childhood hurt or a more recent act, the pain can be unbearable, and in some cases, debilitating. However, the longer we hold on to the hurt, pain, humiliation of the injury, we are the one who suffers. To go forward in our lives and to live the life God intended for us, we must forgive those who have hurt us – regardless of the intent or purpose.

To help us in the act of forgiveness, we must remember the following principles.

  • Forgiveness does not mean acceptance of the act. It’s okay to say, “It is not okay!”
  • Forgiveness does not mean denial of the pain or the hurt.
  • Forgiveness does not mean the relationship will improve or get back on track. Some relationships are too difficult for us to mend without God’s intervention.
  • Forgiveness does not mean to “forgive and forget”.

Forgiveness is simply the willingness to “let Go and let God”.

  • Let God take control of the situation FOREVER.
  • Let God decide the proper punishment or discipline or repercussions, if there are any.
  • Let God fill you with peace and serenity.
  • Let God bless you and watch over you, especially in the most difficult of relationships.

To help you in the act of forgiveness, the act of letting go, try the following exercise:

  1. Buy a bag of oranges.
  2. Find a black permanent marker. A thick point works best.
  3. Find a basket (or bucket, box, bag) big enough for all the oranges.
  4. Take your oranges, marker and basket and go to a quite location, one where you can feel God and not be interrupted.

On each orange, in big black letters, write your feelings regarding the person who hurt you.

For example: on one orange write one word to describe how you were hurt, such as “pain”, or “humiliation” “embarrassment”, “guilt”, “anger”, “frustration”, “betrayal”. Write whatever you need to. Get the feelings out. Once you have used all your oranges or ran out of things to write on the oranges, take a deep cleansing breath and gather all the oranges together in the basket. With the basket filled with your pain, pray to God and ask Him to accept the basket and all the pain it represents. Ask him to take it all away from you and fill you with peace and tranquility.

Now the fun part…take each orange, read what it says and ask God to take the feelings away from you…now THROW THE ORANGE AS FAR AND AS HARD AS YOU CAN!

Take each orange in turn and throw each orange as far and as hard as possible. Do this until all the oranges are gone. Once your basket is empty; praise God for his love and compassion. Only through God can we forgive others. It can not be done without replacing the hurt with love, and only God can replace the hurt. Forgiveness is an act that can help us live the life God meant for us to have.

By throwing the oranges, you are throwing off the hurt. By praising God, instead of feeling a heart full of pain, you will experience the renewing emotions of love, peace and tranquility.

Don’t accept the pain caused by others – by recognizing the pain, giving it to God and casting it away – we can live happier, more fulfilling lives. So buy a bag of oranges this weekend – experience God’s love in your life!


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Let Love In

Let Love…


Let love fill your heart

Make your cheeks blush

Let love interrupt your thoughts

Fill your head with dreams

Let love give you more courage

Than you will ever need

Let love send you on a journey

New adventures new company

Let love direct your life

Fearless, bolder, filled with dreams




People say love changes you. This poem is written with that thought in mind. Let yourself fall in love again. Feel new emotions, experience new dreams, share new adventures. Let love change your life.

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How to use Writing Prompts in a Short Story

Seeking Inspiration for Writers

Have you ever sat at your computer, searching your mind for something to write, knowing you needed to get something on paper with a deadline fast approaching? There are several sources where a writer can go for inspiration. You can read a book, edit an old story, read the newspaper or call a friend and ask them what they are up to. Ideas for stories, poems and articles can be found almost everywhere.

Getting Rid of Writer’s Block

There is a wonderful book you can read called Take 10 For Writers written by Bonnie Neubauer.  This book is filled with over 1000 ideas to get your brain working and the words flowing. This book is filled with ideas and uses a simple creative format to encourage you to look at old ideas from a new angle. I love this book as it has given me lots of ideas for creative writing projects.

Use the Internet for Inspiration

If you are in internet user, there are several writing prompt sites on the internet that can help you as well. Simply type “writing prompts” in the search box of your favorite search engine and you will discover many sites to ease your frustration. My favorite site is: http://www.creativewritingprompts.com/ . This site is very simple to use and full of thousands of ideas to get your mind flowing. The one I picked was number 57 which gave me a list of five items I was to use in a short story.

Use the following 5 words in a short story or poem

Plastic bottle

  • Hockey puck
  • Dirty handkerchief
  • Crumpled note
  • Unhinged door

Why Use Writing Prompts

Once you find a writing prompt that peaks your interest, run with it and see where your mind goes. Don’t worry about it making sense, don’t edit as you write – just make something up. Try to think of it as a game for your mind; a game without rules. For an example, I have taken the writing prompt I read and I have started the story below. For fun, think about how you would finish the story.

A Writing Prompt Begins: Crumpled Notes and Handkerchiefs

It was not a good day for Tess; in fact, the whole week sucked! It all began last Sunday when she was running late for ice skating in the park with her best friend Carol. As she left the house, Tess had let the door slam behind her. The screws had worked themselves loose and the unhinged door fell with a crash to the front porch. Disgusted with herself for letting the door slam so hard, Tess had just left the door on the porch; planning to fix it once she got home.

Once at the iced over pond, Tess gave Carol a hug and they took off their shoes and laced their ice skates. Still talking, they headed out to the edge of the pond. They had not seen each other in a while so they were not really watching where they were going. As they rounded the far end of the pond, a hockey puck flew right across their path, causing both women to fall on their knees. Hitting her knee hard on a rough patch of ice, Carol cut her knee, turning the white ice bright red. Trying to help her injured friend, Tess reached into her pocket for her handkerchief but only found a crumpled note she had shoved in her pocket the day before. Quickly shoving the note back into her pocket, Tess reached into her other pocket.  Pressing the handkerchief against her knee, Tess was able to calm Carol and stop the bleeding.

As Tess and Carol inched their way to the side of the frozen pond, one of the boys from the hockey game approached them. “We are so sorry”, the 12-year old boy said, “we did not see you skating on that end of the pond. Are you okay? We really are sorry.” Before Tess could reply, a tall, athletic young man wearing hockey skates approached them, shoving the boy to the side. “I have a first aid kit”, he said, “let me help you.” As the young man helped Carol to a nearby bench, he continued talking. He explained he was the coach of the hockey team and though they usually practice on the indoor rink in town, he felt the boys needed some fresh air and he had driven them to the pond for their practice session. Removing the bloody, dirty handkerchief from her knee, the young coach reached for a plastic bottle filled with water and rinsed the blood from Carol’s knee.


Now it’s your turn….how would you finish this story?

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Filed under Everything Else, Poetry and Stories

Loneliest Time of Day

The loneliest time of day for some

Is the hour just before dawn

Before the sun rises, before the shadows are gone

The lonely are loneliest just before dawn


They recall the life of the night before

Following the trail of clothes on the floor

The music of a party over long past

Allowing them to revel in the past


But I feel a wonder at each new day

As the rising sun scatters shadows away

The morning light brings me beauty and light

Chasing away the coldness of last night


No, morning is not lonely for me

For I see a day of adventure waiting for me

With bird songs and street sounds filling the air

Morning is a time best often shared


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Are plants afraid of scissors?

Are sunflowers sad on a cloudy day?

Does a waterfall feel rushed?


When daises dance in the wind

Do they feel joy?

When a rose petal falls

Does the flower feel sorrow?


When darkness comes and

Blooms close for the night

Do flowers dream?


If nature is life

And nature gives life

Does nature feel alive?


Fear, sorrow, sadness, joy

Our lives are filled

With emotions

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My Pencil Poised

I sit here with chin in hand

My pencil poised on paper

My mind is buzzing

 Words tumble and fall

In all areas of my brain

They fight for a place up front

A bouillabaisse of letters and words

Searching for significance

Demanding to convey a sentiment, a thought

With eyes closed

Ideas form more quickly

My pencil is ready

 My fingers grip tightly

Eager to record each expression

One word, two, a phrase springs to life

Words flow as a poem begins

The page fills quickly

My pencil is content at last.


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So Many Books

There were so many books at Barnes and Noble’s

That I wanted to buy but I wasn’t able

Up at the counter with my chin in my hand

I said to the sales clerk… I have another plan


At my low bank balance I did curse

As I put my wallet back in my purse

I pulled out my phone and I began to type

Amazon.com, open morning and night


I entered the ISBN number

Of the books I had found

And quickly my frown

Was upside down


For there on my phone

Was each book I was seeking

At a lower price

And with free shipping


I clicked and I scrolled filling my cart

With Barnes and Nobel’s heavy on my heart

There is much to be said for a book held in hand

And my first choice is a bookstore to find what I can


But as money is the king of the land

I must cut costs wherever I can

Thanks Barnes and Noble’s, mortar and stone,

But I must go with the prices found on my phone.

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Pray when you see pain … Pray to experience joy Let prayer feed the soul

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January 20, 2017 · 2:16 AM

Have you seen the movie, “Mud” with Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon? Here is a review of that movie.


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