Tag Archive - Character

How to Pull the Knife Out of Your Back

Have you ever said something stupid?  I have.  Maybe you spoke out of turn? Let something slip that you shouldn’t have?  I did.  I also know some pretty smart folks that have done the same.    What did you do?  Humbly apologized, I hope.  I also offered to do what I could to make it better, sans excuses.

It doesn’t always work, right?  We all make mistakes but sometimes you’re still at the mercy of the maturity on the other side of the table.  Granted, some open-mouth-insert-foot moments are worse than others.  Forgiveness can take time.

Here are 3.5 tips for how to act when you’re the one that got “dissed”…

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Great grandmothers: inspiration and spiritual leaders

What a great inspirational story from CBS News Sunday Morning.  You are never too old.

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Pittsburgh Steelers Achieve Victory With Heart

 Character, selflessness and focus
are the reasons
that the Pittsburgh Steelers are Super Bowl Champions. 
Steelers Super Bowl XLIII super-bowl-trophy

Coach Tomlin:

“…The standard is the standard. We don’t choose to point fingers. We
stay humble in times of excellence, and achievements individually are part of a team. By the same token we don’t point the fingers as members of the team. The issue has been, is and hopefully will continue to be winning in this game indefinitely for the Pittsburgh Steelers. That’s where the focus is. We care less how others may judge portions of our football team or portions of our football game and are more concerned about the final outcome, which is having one more point than our opponent…”

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 jeffmarmins.com.

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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Lessons from Ronald Reagan

Doing some housekeeping in an old organizer I came across an undated page of notes.  I had titled it "Ronald Reagan – Lessons" and it had this list:

  • Never Be mean spirited 
  • Know and have convictions
  • Strive to know and do the will of God.  
  • Bigotry and prejudice are the worst things a man can be guilty of.
  • Match optimistic temperament with bold, persistent action.  
  • Never slight or embarrass others. 

90 Year Old Die Hard Steelers Fan Gets Team Logo Tattoo

She is hardcore. What a terrific character!
Go Agnes! Go Steelers!

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Julia Allison and the reason i need to keep doing this blog

So, I imagine I owe Ms. Allison some credit for providing me inspiration.  I’ve struggled with whether or not anyone is really interested in a blog about character and principles. See my post Principled Rant, 8/13/2005.

I picked up a recent copy of Wired with Julia on the cover.  She knows how to garner attention and readership.  She’s eye candy with no accomplishment other than infamy.  And, the article discussing her tactics was an interesting approach – advice on how you, too, can do the same.

Here I am giving little, albeit more, web cred to Julia.  It is in the interest of sharing that there is a better, more character based road to travel.  There is a more generous means of establishing connections to others.  And that’s the discussion i hope to foster.

Wouldn’t it be great to build the same kind of audience and following for interest in how to be more effective through Integrity?  Harmony?  Focus? and having a purpose!

Sisu – Sustaining Courage

Silhouette of a man holding his arms up in victory on top of rocks

A while back I came across a company that advertised “Sisu” as a character quality they were seeking in new-hires.  Great word.  It’s what I want to think of being when I start my day. It is who I am and what I aspire to be.  As defined in Wikipedia, It is not momentary courage, but the ability to sustain the same:

Sisu is a Finnish term that could be roughly translated into English as strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of

Courage - Japanese characteradversity. The equivalent in English is “to have guts”, and indeed, the word derives from sisus, which means something inner or interior.

Usually sisu means the will and decisiveness to get the things done against impossible odds.  It reminded me of Stephen Covey’s statement that true character is revealed in the crucible of life:

“A man’s true confidence is rooted in the wells of courage, and courage is evidence of character. In the end, a man’s character is revealed in the crucible of everyday challenges.”

Life brings moments when extraordinary courage is required.  Decide.  Have the will. Get things done.

The Season for Gratitude

The following was posted by Robert Greenlaw on the Character First! Newsletter:

November provides a great occasion to count your blessings and give thanks.

Teach your children the definition of gratefulness: “letting others
know by my words and actions how they have benefited my life.”

Make a list of those who have benefited your family, and discuss
ways you can show your appreciation. Remember that gratefulness is more
than a feeling. It involves expressing appreciation for others’
contributions. Consider these ideas:

  • Cp559800Write “Thank You” notes to schoolteachers.
  • Make food or desserts for someone who has helped your family.
  • Send notes of appreciation to city leaders, police officers, or other public servants.

Recall the good things that happened this year, even the unexpected benefits of disappointments.542579fallfoliagechangingleavesposters

Grateful relationships should be the rule all year.  It is the season, however, to give your old coat, your unused toys, some canned goods or whatever you can spare.  If you don’t know where or how to do this then connect with your local Rotary Club.

Sales Mis-lead?

Ever create that great proposal, deliver the value, and walk away from the meeting excited and enthusiastic about your prospect’s response?  Yea?  Ever have the guy not even return your phone call for the next two months?
Perhaps we all have had a similar experience.  My prospect and I even serve together as Board members of a local organization.  We know each other and see each other every week.  Believe it or not, he ducks me like an eleven year-old on the playground.  I finally let him off the hook on voice mail and said, “Listen, I’m a big boy and understand if the answer is NO and/or I’m willing to negotiate.  Either way, no pressure, it’s OK to call and let me know.”  I had a few opportunities to confront him in person and he offered several excuses for not calling.   Effectivehuman_phone_call

The lesson: It’s a low character move to not deliver an answer no matter what the answer is.  Why not make an effort to maintain good will, offer encouragement or explain why the timing is poor?  As it turns out, my lesson was, “This isn’t someone I should do business with or certainly shouldn’t refer other people to do business with either.”  Another lesson was, when I do see him, to be a gentleman and not make him uncomfortable by feeing like we have to have “THE TALK.”

Perhaps the call to say NO ends up with a better proposition and a win forJust_say_no_effectivehuman_1
both parties.  Or, perhaps the call is just, NO, but offers the opportunity to re-connect on another opportunity in the future.  Either way, it’s a more honest and harmonious outcome and you won’t have to sneak out of the room early when the other guy shows up.

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