Archive - January, 2009

Rabbi Yossi – Jump Higher

I had a great meeting last week with Rabbi Yossi Grossbaum, founder of Chabad Jewish Community Center of Folsom. His story is inspiring:

Rabbi Yossi was born and raised in a family of Chabad emissaries in the vibrant and friendly Jewish community of Melbourne, Australia.  He attended Yeshiva College (Melbourne) for his Elementary & High School education, and later continued his studies at the Educational Institute Oholei Torah in Brooklyn, NY. In 2001, he was chosen as a Yeshiva exchange student and sent for two years to Toronto, Canada. Upon completion of his studies in 2004, he received his Rabbinic Ordination from the Central Lubavitcher Yeshiva in New York. Ever the trail-blazer, Rabbi Yossi, was the founding director of the highly successful Student Outreach Organization of the Yeshiva Lubavitch in Toronto.”

Our conversation was about staying the course through difficult challenges.  Many of us are facing tough economic times.  This means not having enough money to pay all your bills, right?  Or, spending your savings on groceries instead of keeping it for retirement. I know my family is in a tough bind. Maintaining our belief that we’ll still accomplish great things and overcome obstacles is hard.

Rabbi Yossi reminded me of a concept similar to the old addage, its darkest before the dawn.  I couldn’t find it in hebrew, however, he explained that a more effective jump is always produced when starting from a crouching position.  Historically, great discoveries and terrific achievements often occur just beyond decline and struggle.

Here’s hoping…

Staying on task

Our family trip back east was a great one.  We were fortunate to make some great memories.  A common thread was the importance of focus and concentration.

I had the pleasure of meeting with Michael J. Bowers, former Attorney General of Georgia, and a twenty year mentor and friend to my brother, David. Mr. Bowers will tell you that the three most important factors for success are focus, focus and focus.  It's one of his favorite mantras to new associates at their firm, Balch and Bingham LLP.

Another great example came from my nephew, Alec.  He gave me a great tour of The Lovett School.  Aside from getting choked up from Alec's beaming pride in his campus, I found the emphasis on maintaining focus by "Staying on task," remarkable.  How fortunate to be learning this kind of focus in elementary school as a primary ideal.    

Concentration magnifying glass
My presentation, "Tips on Being an Effective Human" has a popular slide
entitled, Harness the Sun – like burning Ants with a magnifying glass. 
The idea is concentrating your efforts like the rays of a sun through a
magnifying glass.  Not so pleasant I guess, if you're an ant fan, but
you get the idea, right?

Generosity – Give and Give Some More

Being generous is a form of art.  A generous gesture
can take most any shape. Getting ready for a visit with my brother's family I
find myself thinking of some black duffle bags. 
That’s right!  When my son was
born my sister-in-law, Amanda, showed up with three big bags of clothes.  Now, this may happen every day.  In this case, they traveled a coupla thousand
miles, with toddlers in tow.  Amanda, as
it happens, had gathered clothes my nephew had grown out of AND she petitioned
neighbors and friends to do the same. 
Imagine our surprise at the airport…all those bags!  Clothes for our son.

That's what I consider true generosity. You give your all,
and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing." Simone de Beauvoir

How Can I Be More Effective?

How can I be more effective?  Is there a road-map I can use to improve my effectiveness?  What system or process does Jeff Marmins evangelize?  I hope to address these questions by establishing an amalgamation of ideas as a premise for *most* of what my ramblings are about here at

Time has shown that no one philosophy works for everyone.  We are all a work in progress, attempting to execute and learn concurrently.  I have a passion for examining ways to improve processes for efficiency in sales and relationship management. That kind of “workflow improvement” finds its way into other aspects of my life.  I also made my share of mistakes in years past that push me to learn and encourage effectiveness through character, values and principles.

Core Values as the driving force to an improved level of effectiveness

This model is the root of the “system.”
Driving Forces of Effectiveness


The model states that time-tested values such as  Vision, Identity, Purpose, Order, Concentration, Integrity, Harmony and Progression drive effectiveness to your desired level.  Each of these can be explored with some depth.  I’ll address each individually in separate posts. Collectively, they combat “resisting forces” like, “Too many things to do, Fatigue, lack of purpose, not enough money, not enough time, mental fragmentation, etc.”

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