RESPECT – We all want it

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Respect Time to Play


I woke this morning with the word “RESPECT” running through my mind.  I realized that getting respect and being respected is a huge priority in my life.  I also believe others feel being respected is necessary in theirs.  I choose to write this article to provide an opportunity to bring awareness to unconscious actions we may have – to spark a change that will eliminate frustration and create more happiness in our lives and in the lives of others.

Let’s look at some ways we may be disrespected and you can see that I may be on to something here…

Let’s look at our family.  Do your family members respect you?  Do they arrive on time* to dinner or show up when they promise to be there (or do you wait frustrated for them to show up or call)?  Do they jump to conclusions without giving you the benefit of the doubt in a situation?  Do they speak with you the way you would like to be spoken to (and vice versa)?  Do they leave things on the floor or not clean up after themselves? The clean up part — we can excuse this behavior as “lazy”, but I believe it really is a respect thing, especially if there was communication to explain expectations.  Did you ever stop to think WHO has to clean up behind us when we don’t do it ourselves?  (This is valid inside and outside of our homes in public places like parks, restaurants, parking lots, public restrooms, etc.).

Let’s look at work.  We spend the majority of our day at work.  Feeling satisfaction and appreciation are most important in the workplace.  These feelings can be synonymous with feelings of respect.  Do you feel taken advantage of or not recognized for your knowledge or abilities?  I think this is all connected… we are emotional beings, after all.  I believe being recognized for your accomplishments and feeling good about being in your workplace are major parts of having job satisfaction.  This could also include fair pay for your service.  Knowing there may be economic hardships in today’s workplace, I know of situations, and have personally experienced, where staff “goes to bat” and actually takes cuts in pay to keep an organization together.  The basis for such an event would have to come from a feeling of respect and satisfaction – or else, truly, they’d “bail out” instead of staying during a turbulent time.

One thing that is, perhaps, my biggest pet peeve is people who don’t return calls or follow-up as they said.  This is a huge phenomenon in business – there seems to be a “game” that people play that all parties may not agree to prior to the beginning of a relationship.  Any sales person can understand what I’m talking about.  Personally, I always go out of my way for others.  I drop anything at hand to help out, and I always see the big picture, perhaps sometimes bigger than the person who I’m meeting with can see.  There’s so much potential in everything that we do – every project we start, every vision we have, every book we write, every story we share.  I see the end, the possibilities, perhaps to a flaw.  I see the dreams people have and what they can offer to another, and I want to make their dreams happen. 

I can give tons of examples where a person will call in distress.  Jim (my husband) and I will usually drop everything to accommodate a meeting, always coming armed with research and suggestions.  How many times have you gone on a sales call or attended to a customer or a client, work really hard to accommodate their needs, and they don’t return calls back?  They’ve apparently fallen off the face of the earth.  My sister, who has been in sales for her whole career, says this is the story of her life.  She works really hard for a prospect, gets them all the info they need, and never hears from them again despite fruitless attempts for follow-up. 

Or, how about when you go on a date –

Why do we have to “hurry up and wait” and guess what the other person’s thinking or doing.  We eventually get the message that they’re not interested in a work or personal relationship; but, OUT OF RESPECT, a quick call or follow-up email should be made.  I do my best to do this.  I, personally, know how bad one feels waiting for a call that may never come.  There are terms to support this, for example, “poker face”, or “games people play”.  I just believe, in consideration of the feelings of another, these games are unnecessary and create significant hard feelings and tremendous frustration in the one waiting.  Sometimes people are on timetables or have things they need to accomplish and they are really waiting on that phone call or email.  I believe respect and consideration for another go a long way.

AND… here’s another one.  Did someone say they were going to do something and then not do it?  Respect comes into play with this, too.  No one likes to wait for something that a person promises that never materializes. 

This is something that causes hard feelings and frustration that is super easy to eliminate. 

I know that sometimes people may “bite off more than they can chew” and become inundated with responsibilities to a point where they cannot physically accomplish what they said they would do.  In that case, just a quick phone call or email to follow up to the other person who is waiting for the “something” would be most welcome.  I NEVER promise someone something and do not follow-up.  NEVER.  That is a super priority of mine; one of integrity and conscious.  You need me, I’m there. I’ll go out of my way to support another and their endeavors.  Think of yourself, think of your actions, think of the actions of others.  If we all consider and respect another, this world would be such a less frustrating place.

I can recall countless situations where I felt I was slighted in my past, and I know I took these actions personally and wound up with terribly hurt feelings.  Still, to this day, I wait for people who say they are going to do something and the “something” may not ever materialize.  The most important recent growth factor I can acknowledge in myself is that now something may bother me – when it happens – and then I will realize it and, within a few minutes, re-rationalize it and let it go.  I work on this every day and am far from perfect.  I try not to take things personally and rationalize that it’s not necessarily an intentional situation of disrespect purposefully done TO me, but perhaps unintentional on the behalf of the other party.  They may not even realize they did something to hurt my feelings or hold back a project I’m working on.

My goal, every day, is and always has been, to take into consideration how other people feel.  To know what my actions will do to them, to realize what I should do or how I should approach something to make someone feel good about themselves.  Am I perfect? Absolutely not; but my intentions are true and I do my best to be aware of how my actions affect others.

I believe respect and consideration go a long way to make amazing relationships… personal and business.  Acting without respect and consideration causes significant hard feelings and conflict.  I believe it may be, truly, one of the largest priorities that should be considered prior to our actions throughout the day.  Perhaps we can try to preface our thoughts or actions with questions like, “If I do ________, then _________ will happen”, “If I do ________ then that will make this person will feel like ________”, “If I do __________ that will make someone feel good”, “I will be taking advantage of _________ if I do _________”. 

No one likes being taken advantage of or feeling badly.  Our actions can easily cause that to happen.  If we’re aware of the ramifications of our actions, we can totally change the course of the day, week, or life of another.

*A quick disclaimer to all my family who read this:  I’m always running a little late.  It’s not a respect thing or done in any way maliciously, but caused by continuously trying to fit 25 hours into a 24 hour day.  It’s something I’m aware of and working on, which is a step towards change.  Hey – I’ve got lots of things I want to do!

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of Time to Play: = Resources for a Better Life.  It’s Time to Enjoy YOUR Life!

I've Seen the Future…


I have been traveling non-stop for the past few months as opportunities were awarded to me that I just couldn’t turn down.  And you know how much I love to travel!!  These incredible trips have all been true learning experiences.  One of the benefits of being an experienced traveler is that I have a lot of practical experience to offer my clients.  I think of the trips as “research” in order to help my clients get the most from their vacation dollars.  But believe me, no one has to twist my arm!

One of the tips I can pass on to my clients is to consider the “timing” or calendar when booking a vacation.  A recent trip I was on happened to coincide with local May Day Celebrations.  May Day falls on May 1st and is an ancient spring festival and usually treated as a public holiday in many cultures.  This meant that the city center in Budapest that we were supposed to be exploring was completely shut down to traffic and we could not get into that city to see any sites.  Banks, attractions and shops were closed.  It was very disappointing and in the future I will make it a priority to advise all my clients to be aware of this type of “calendar” event.

I’ve also been noticing a very exciting technology trend that is showing up on cruises and specifically on my Scenic River Cruise trip to Europe.  You are given a GPS-activated “Tailor-made” device which allows you to independently listen to directions and commentary whenever you’d like.  A Scenic Tailor-made app can be downloaded for free on your Smartphone, or you can take one of their pre-loaded devices.  This is truly touring at your own pace.  Complimentary electrical-assisted bicycles are available which include special mounts to hold your personal GPS-guided tour system.  I was very impressed by the freedom this entitles you and my other travelers felt this was at times a vast improvement over using conventional local tour guides.  And one more note about the Scenic River Cruise, the food was outstanding!  You really needed to use those bikes after the wonderful meals they provide to you.

When I started to write travelblogs about my trips, it was really to help me remember my own experiences and memories.  But as I write this latest travelblog, I realize how happy it makes me to pass on good information and hopefully some of the passion I feel as a traveler.  Travel is our life and excellent customer service is our strength.  Give Chris and myself, at Cruise Planners American Express, a call to find out the latest travel deals and weigh in with your best travel tip on our comment section or on our FaceBook page.  I might just use it in my next travelblog! Happy Travels!!!  Call us at (631) 893-4232 for any of your travel needs or email to

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The Kid Who Taught Me Something!


I have been off the grid for a little while now doing research for a new book I’m working on.  It had required me to take a step back from a lot of outside influence and really spend a good bit of time in deep thought and reflection.  It has been a very rewarding time and it has allowed me to really gather insight and a deeper understanding of what I have learned over the years.  I find it funny how as soon as I plug back in and go online to do some research, I stumble upon a boy genius with an extraordinary story and an amazing IQ.  I have to say that my time away from all the outside influences made me extra receptive to what this young teenager had to say.  

In my quest for new information and some deep subject resources I stumble upon this young man named Jacob Barnett.  He was diagnosed at a very young age with moderate to severe autism.  The doctors said he would never be able to function on his own let alone even be able to tie his shoes.  Jacob however defied the doctors predictions and after being removed from the special education programs, he went off and learned on his own and today he is regarded as the hottest upcoming scientist of our generation with expectations of rivaling Einstein, all at the age of 15.  What a far different prediction then the ones saying he would not be able to tie his shoes.  

My story with Jacob came from a youtube video that I found.  Jacob was speaking on TED TV.  I had came across some articles about Jacob in my research but had never heard him speak.  I was intrigued to here what he had to say and how he communicated with an IQ reported at 170 or above.  My interest was even greater after reading several articles from skeptics who questioned his ability.  This made me more interested to see for myself.  I can tell you that after watching this short video of him speaking, I came away with an enormous amount of information that opened my eyes to an wonderful idea.  Jacob simply blew me away.  Perhaps it was the fact that I avoided external info as much as possible over the last couple months or perhaps because my brain just was clicking, whatever it was I GOT IT!  A fresh concept!  A very new approach and I owe it all to a 15 year old young man who was told he would never do a thing.  Here is what I learned from Jacob.  

Learn, Think, Create!  Jacob spoke about the exact thing that I was doing over the last few months and he actually explained the validity of it.  Jacob said his story required him to STOP LEARNING and START THINKING.  That was exactly what I was doing.  I had stopped learning and absorbing the outside influences.  Jacob told his own story of being removed from school and that allowed him to finally stop learning and start thinking.  

Let me explain this as simple as I can.  The message was to move from LEARNING which is just memorizing existing information and into the realm of THINKING and then finally to the place of NEW CREATION.  His message reminded me off a saying that I heard in my younger years, “Forget what you know and remember what you don’t.”  That was kind of Jacob’s message.  Forget all the programming that we have been uploaded with and start THINKING AND CREATING ON OUR OWN.  Steve Jobs was legendary for this and so have all those who come before and challenge the status quo.  It was radical at first to here but it made so much sense and to be honest it was also exactly what I was doing.  Jacob had to unplug to actually begin to thrive.

Let me close this article for now.  I will however leave you with a challenge I took from him and I will give to you.   Move from LEARNING to THINKING to CREATING.  Below is the process!

1. THINK about the field you are passionate about!    THEN…….

2. Instead of THINKING about the field. BE THE FIELD……… This allows you to finally begin to…

3. CREATE – Creation is something that the Wright Brothers did with the AIRPLANE and what Einstein did with MATH!

Go get to it!!lightbulb

Who said? It’s Time to Enjoy Life. It’s Time to Play.

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Time to PlayMy daughter, Jacquelyn, amazes me sometimes.  She’s 19 years old and I believe that she is very worldly and insightful.  She’s got a lot of common sense and insight.  Pretty much, I think she’s taken after her father in this area! (LOL).  I learn from all of my children, and learned something very important from her that I’d like to share with you.

As many people may know by now, I am a huge proponent for education.  I believe education is power, and do agree with many I have discussed this fact with – education alone is not enough.  I believe you need to learn what you need to know so you can enjoy life (what I say all the time about why we provide the resources and articles that we do on; AND, you need to take what you’ve learned and take action to make your education work for you. 

That being said, Jackie told us the other day that she did not feel she was benefiting from attending college for right now.  She said that she wasn’t learning things she enjoyed.  She said that she needed to figure out what she wanted to “be” first, before wasting time and money to attend school at this time in her life.  She further noted that, between working almost full-time and going to school she had no time to enjoy her life.  She said the way she was going, she had no time to learn how to play the ukulele, take photos, exercise, or go to the beach.  She just wasn’t enjoying herself and felt exhausted.


Neither her dad nor I became upset.  I was actually quite impressed that she was able to realize this and make a decision to take action towards change.  I guess she’s been listening to me “preaching” the concept of Time to Play – that you need to learn what you need to enjoy life and that it’s TIME to enjoy life – before it’s too late.  Hey, you never know what tomorrow will bring, and my biggest hope is that people will take advantage of every moment so that they will have no regrets.

I, myself, started to re-learn what I needed to enjoy life.  I had gotten so busy on “the hamster wheel” running here and there, doing “stuff”, working so hard, and (etc.)… that I truly felt I had forgotten how.  As I talked to so many other people, they had forgotten how, too, which is why the concept behind this endeavor is so important.  I’ve truly set out to help 1 million people realize they need to consider the Time to Play Philosophy (you have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance to enjoy life) and to provide resources to them so they can pick themselves up, dust themselves off and move forward. 

I live and breathe the Time to Play Philosophy.  Nevertheless, I am only human and, at times, find myself slipping back into old habits of working so hard or for long hours, and becoming tired. 

Jackie’s discussion with us really hit home.  She’s 1,000% right, and it’s so important – and necessary – to keep reminding ourselves what is important to us, each and every day.

Ask yourself if you are currently happy, healthy, have money to pay your bills without stressing out, and a work life balance.  If you are, keep it up, keep growing, and keep moving forward.  If you’re not, start learning what you need and start looking for ways to make changes.  You don’t have to change everything all at once, but changes can be small and progress towards a goal. 

Who said we need to go to college, get a job, work till we are so tired, retire with “a few good years” left to do what we “always dreamed of doing”, and then just die. 


I think many of us need to revisit our preconceived vision of a “normal” life that so many of us adopt.  I don’t believe taking those once a year vacations are enough.  I also hate that so many of us wish our days away waiting for the weekend.  I believe that we need to plan something wonderful into each and every day to create relaxation in our lives, to make us smile, to make us feel fulfilled.  The adoption of this way of life is not easy.  Start by taking a few minutes of each day and do something you enjoy.  Work up to making every day count, and then work up to making every second of every day count.  After all, every second is actually precious, even though we may forget…

“I’m too busy – I can’t do this now”, I hear you saying. 

I ask you – if not now, when?  It’s hardest to start to implement changes, but it is rewarding once we do.

It’s time to Enjoy YOUR life.  It’s Time to Play.

Time for Maintenance?

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Car maintenance

With maintenance

I woke up thinking about my daughter’s boyfriend and his car.  There seem to be a bunch of things wrong with it, all at the same time, which we expect will cost a lot of money to fix.  Last night he was sitting at our kitchen table, dismayed. 

Of course there is never a budget to use for this type of purpose – when something unexpectedly breaks.  In this case, we all understand how hard our lives are without transportation, and, I’m sure we all have been in this same type of situation.  I, personally, don’t know anything about cars and maintenance.  The only thing I know about a car is that you put the key in to turn it on to make it go.  One day, maybe, I’ll tell you how I added oil through the little dip stick thing when I knew it needed some.  When I was around 19 years old, because of lack of my preventative maintenance, I had to replace a transmission at a most inopportune time in my life.  Of course it was also at a time when I had no money to pay for it.

That started me thinking about how we ignore things like that “engine knock” until we can’t ignore it anymore.  I’m not just speaking about ignoring maintenance that our car or home may require, but “maintenance” for our own bodies, our minds, and more.

There’s a saying by an unknown author, “Pay now or pay later. But pay you will”.  This can be associated with every part of our lives if you think about it.  If we ignore our health, we will pay for it sometime in the future.  If we ignore our relationships, our jobs, our clients, our kids, our faith, our …. well, pretty much everything…. we might just wind up paying for it in a way that will be displeasing to us down the line. 

If I’m not being clear enough, I’ll define what I’m trying to explain a little further.  If we ignore the things in our lives like our health, jobs, or loved ones, we might wind up with a negative outcome that we certainly may not want: we may become sick, we might lose our job, or we might have a displeasing relationship.  If we choose to ignore our negative thinking or something internally bothering us, that might, too, affect every area of our day including our health and performance. 

Think about it.  The concept of not devoting time for maintenance to things that we should attend to, both internally and externally that affects our lives, can lead to unfavorable outcomes. 

This proactive-type of thinking ties into the Time to Play Philosophy: you need to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance to have quality of life.  If you really think about it, this concept is very valid.  But, many times we ignore things because we don’t have time to address them, or we ignore things because we just don’t want to deal with something.  In my observations and my own experience, if you ignore something long enough, it will eventually come back to “bite you”.

What to do?  Take an evaluation of your health, happiness, financial situation and work life balance.  Those things you have pushed aside for way too long.  Make a list of priorities of where you can BEGIN to address these things.  Need to lose weight?  Need to look for a new job?  Need to start that retirement or college savings account?  Need to find a way to better organize or delegate at work so you can enjoy more freedom and flexibility? 

Yes, looking proactively at your life situations instead of the easy way out (for now) of ignoring things may seem overwhelming.  The “for now” in that sentence re-emphasizes that ignoring is easy – for now – but may not provide you with an easy end.  My philosophy is to learn what you need to know to enjoy life.  That’s why I started Time to Play.  So I could regain control over things that would enable me to better enjoy MY life. 

Look at your list.  What can you do to make one small change… just one baby step… to start to do that “maintenance”?  I believe that one small change is better than no change at all.  And, you may be surprised to find that once you start to make little changes, your life may become more pleasant and settled.

Time for maintenance?  Take a look.  It’s definitely easier to “pay” now with a little prevention than to “pay” later with negative health, marriage, job loss, or worse.

If you need a jump start, we have all sorts of coaches to help you in your journey to make changes or improvements.  Just give us a call at 631-331-2675 or email:

It’s time to enjoy YOUR life!  It’s Time to Play! = Resources for a better life.  

What's Wrong with the Campaign to Ban the Word "Bossy"?

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What do Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook), Condoleezza Rice, The Girl Scouts of America, Jennifer Garner, Diane von Furstenberg, Jane Lynch, and Beyoncé have in common?

Answer: They are all sending the wrong message to young girls if they want them to be happy.

“The campaign to ban the word ‘bossy’ is unintentionally creating a foundation for young girls to grow up to be unhappy women,” says Rebecca L. Norrington, Happiness Specialist and author of RealitySpirituality: The Truth About Happiness (available April 2014). Rebecca says banning words because they are “offensive” actually subtracts from an individual’s happiness. Rebecca further states:

1)    When an individual chooses to allow words to have power and influence over her emotional state, she can expect to feel bad and, ultimately, be unhappy.

Solution: None of us were born with an ability to be offended. We all had to learn how to be offended. What you learned, you can unlearn.


2)    All labels, and I mean all labels, subtract from happiness. You can’t label something “good” without having an opposite opinion of what’s “bad.” In addition, it’s illogical to believe all women and/or girls feel the same about one word. 

Solution: Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. The same concept applies to labeling anyone ‘bossy.’ Rebecca says, “I was born bossy, and I never thought of it as a negative term.” Eliminate labels and substitute a neutral thought with one like, “I’m experiencing reality.”


3)    “I’m offended.” What does that even mean? For their own personal reasons, women who believe being labeled ‘bossy’ is offensive can change that belief in an instant. How?

Solution: Change the definition and connotation of bossy. You don’t have to change the dictionary; you can change your perspective in your mind. Can you imagine a world where no one is offended by mere words? Can you imagine how strong an individual would be if words no longer had power over how s/he felt? When you rise above unconscious, conditioned responses, you will be happier.


4)    Controlling others. When you attempt to control anyone outside of yourself, you are essentially asking for an unhappy ending. One of the reasons people try to control others is because of their own internal disconnect. We were not born needing others to do, be, and/or act like us.

Solution: Realize that the only thing you can control is your own behavior, responses, and perspectives. Wanting to control someone else needs to be examined closely, while looking in the mirror.


5)    The real issue has nothing to do with banning the word “bossy.” The real issue is deep-rooted and personal to each individual who supports this campaign. 

How to connect with the person you are talking to? Silence

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Our last comments were focused on communicating by phone. Your business success is influenced by your phone success. For those that think I am just talking about cold calling you are wrong. When on stage people can see you as you are, but when you speak through the phone they see you as they visualize you. This means you have to let the confidence in your voice speak for itself, whether it is a cold call or a client contact.

Besides the items mentioned last week, posture, preparation and visualization, there is one other element and that is silence.

Why are you calling? Perhaps you have this covered in your preparation but if not lets do that now. Why are your calling them? To get them to buy your product? Yes, ultimately that is true but on the initial call? I don’t think so. If this is a truly a cold call then this call is just like networking. Brief intro as to who you are, what you offer and then how you can help them.

Ask the questions. I will refer you to Tim Healy as to what those questions should be, but I will tell you that from a communication skills standpoint you need to be comfortable with the pause, but not silence.

Being able to pause when you are presenting to a live audience, on a webinar or to a person on the other end of the phone is a communication skill that is not to be overlooked.

Let me ask you a question. The weather outside has been incredible, how has that effected you?

How long did it just take you to answer that question and begin reading again. This is why you need to pause. Let the other person answer the question.

If you are talking to an audience or on a webinar you may want to let your audience know in advance that you want them to answer questions. Keeping them simple and safe in the beginning will help to get them more comfortable speaking during your presentation. But does the same strategy work if you are making a cold call or a sales call to an existing client?

My response to that is, yes it does. Don’t ask about the weather though or how are you doing? Those questions tell me this is either a social call or your killing time til you get your self organized.

Communicating by phone should still include the key elements that any live speech would have, connecting with your audience. This is done by interacting with them through questions, comments and by listening. Getting on your podium and talking about how great you and your services are means the only person you are effectively communicating with is yourself you must learn to pause and listen.

For more information about public speaking, presentations please contact me at:

Strategies of Success Motivational/Sales Training Speakers Bureau
Confidence from within communicated effectively

Customer service is something we do every day of our lives – at work and AT HOME.

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Reputation photo from



Every one of us works in customer service, no matter what our job.  And, customer service is not only something we do as part of a work situation, but customer service is also something we do as part of our friendships and family relationships.

As part of providing good customer service, our actions and interactions are so important. 

OK… stay with me here.  What we do and what we say can easily be misunderstood, cause hard feelings, or ruin reputations.

Let’s go back to associating this in the way we act or do ANYTHING — at work and at home.  Those of us who have children, those of us who are married, those of us who have any family members or friends at all (that’s pretty much everyone alive) can say something that is not interpreted the way we intend and start a snowball of negative feelings.  We really have to be so careful what we say and do.  Not to say we should be on guard for everything, but we really do need to consider what the affect of our actions or statements could be.

As far as at work, each of us provides customer service not only to ourselves but to the others who work with us.  Things happen so fast, and, sometimes, we can destroy a client relationship or a co-worker relationship with just one action or statement.

Many of us run on impulses.  I did this the other day myself!  I called to check in on a client and they started going on about a dissatisfaction that had nothing to do with myself or my own actions… but the response I made caused a defensive / angry reaction in them.  With the fact that they were displeased and I was trying to “help” sort out their issue, they misconstrued what I was trying to convey.  Luckily I was able to explain, and they “got it” and all is good; but we don’t always have that opportunity.  Sometimes a relationship could be severed with no opportunity to repair it.

Reputations are on the line every moment of every day and with every interaction — at work and at home.

A positive reputation is priceless. 

In my 48 years alive I’ve seen it again and again.  You can do years and years of good work and good efforts, and it’s over in a second.  There’s always a story in the paper about a fall from grace.

My intention with this article is to put out there that, instead of “jumping the gun” when making a statement or performing an action, it may sometimes be worth taking a breath before answering or acting.  Think first, act or talk second.

I believe it’s better to PREVENT a negative situation from occurring in the first place instead of having to try to patch it up or repair a damaged reputation or relationship.

Any thoughts, tips or words of wisdom are welcome!  Contact me with a comment or email  

Good Leaders Do Both


If you’re a leader, your behavior has the biggest impact on the results your organization produces – good or bad. A leader’s personal preferences get automatically translated into “the way we do things around here,” which is how I define corporate culture. It’s the leader’s personal criteria for success, whether conscious or not, that governs what gets emphasized and what people ignore.

 Do Both

The downfall of too many leaders is being stuck in one particular mode of behavior or style, and being blind to others. For example, some leaders are very effective setting goals, establishing objectives, holding others accountable, and motivating employees to work harder, faster, and better.  

Yes, a results focus is important and necessary. But – being too results oriented can become monotonous, uninspiring, rut-like, and to an extreme, a sweat shop. What do highly- effective leaders do? They do both: they draw upon two opposing styles – direct opposites. They realize the importance of setting goals and being accountable (achieving results), AND they also realize the importance of the direct opposite: in this case, building pride, commitment, and loyalty, and enabling employees to participate in setting their goals.

 Opposites Make Sense

It’s human nature to think opposites are mutually exclusive – “either/or.” We assume we can’t have two opposites at the same time. You can either be decisive or reflective; a big-picture thinker or detail-oriented; a risk-taker who makes bold moves, or cautious, making incremental adjustments; you can run an organization by managing performance, or do it by bringing out the best potential in people. It’s natural to think one or the other.

 When we value one way over another, we tend to devalue or discount its opposite. That’s because we tend to look at opposites in the negative. For example, a results-oriented leader who operates with a sense of urgency and an unwavering commitment to making the numbers, might look at his direct opposite, the person who values teamwork and collaboration, participation, and building trusting relationships, as being too slow, permissive, indulgent, lenient, detached, weak, or even aloof.

Teach others this behavior

Imagine you’re a hospital CEO. You most-likely value stability, consistency, reliability, established routines, control, careful monitoring, and plenty of documentation. After all, human life is at stake. But how long can your hospital exist, let alone, thrive, in today’s hyper-competitive environment without also being innovative, flexible, creative, adaptive, and open to change. Sustainable success today requires embracing opposites simultaneously.

 In our current business climate of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA), no single solution ever can be good enough. Sometimes we need stability, and other times, change. And sometimes, we need both at the same time. The most-important leadership behavior all leaders need to adopt – and to teach others – is to stop assuming everything is an either/or decision. With every decision a leader makes, the manner of thinking must embrace “AND/BOTH” – where leaders simultaneously consider the positive attributes of both opposites.

Thanks to You, Korte Travel Named 2014 Best of Long Island Travel Agency


Wow!  The new year is starting off great!

Chris and I just found out that Korte Travel has been named “2014 Best of Long Island Travel Agency” in the ninth-annual Bethpage Best of LI poll conducted by the Long Island Press … and we couldn’t have done it without YOU!

We would like to extend a big thank you to all of our clients who voted for Korte Travel.  We are very honored that so many of our loyal clients not only took the time to nominate us, but followed-up by voting for us during the three months that voting was open at the end of 2013.

On top of that award, you may have read that I recently achieved Accredited Cruise Counselor certification by completing a comprehensive program of cruise training and product instruction that puts me in an elite group of cruise planning professionals.

From planning a short cruise in the Caribbean to a dream cruise around the world, I have the skills and experience to advise you on how to select a cruise line, where you should – and shouldn’t go, and how to save money.  For more information, please give us a call at (631) 893-4232, or  Let’s go cruising!


Toll Free: (631) 893-4232 ~ 866-81-KORTE (56783)
Local: 631-893-4232

Babylon, NY 11702