Character.

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A few weeks ago Scott Raecker, Executive Director of Character Counts in Iowa spoke at a luncheon for my organization.

It really got the wheels in my head spinning faster. I say “faster” because for those who know me, they are always spinning. Sometimes so fast I have to take a few minutes to try and communicate them to you, other times…really slow. Like when I make a horrible(-ly  awesome) decision to watch guilty pleasure TV, which is everything good on Lifetime Movie Network and Investigative Discovery.

When I watch my guilty pleasure TV, I realize that they have characters. We associate the word character with fiction. Something that is not real. Imaginary.  Here comes my epiphany…character is anything but fictional.

Do you ever think about the kind of person you want to be?

Not famous driving your semi-truck of cash to the bank to deposit. Not sitting in your penthouse in NYC after you made your millions with that fabulous product that you sold on Home Shopping Network.

The person you want to be in your day to day interaction with others. The person you want to be when no one is watching. 

Abraham Lincoln once said, “I will treat you like a gentleman, sir. Not because you are one, but because I am.”  Put that quote into perspective.

Your character has nothing to do with anyone but yourself.

I won’t sugar coat it (although everything is better with sugar).  We all cross paths with people every day that get under our skin. They miss a deadline which causes your job to be ten times harder that week. They yell and scream when you do something wrong. Then they yell and scream  when you do something right to correct the problem for them. You can’t make everyone cupcakes. You don’t have to like them, but how you respond to their actions is important. Being kind and fair in return does not mean you respect them as a person… it means you respect yourself. 

I encourage everyone to work hard to be a person of good character in your workplace, home, and community.

Life is a lot easier when you aren’t playing a fictional character. The best person you can be is yourself.

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2014: Love and Marriage!

 

 

 

I am pleased to share that I will be marrying my best friend in 2014! Yes, he’s definitely my better(and taller) half. Looking forward to growing old together and sharing in a journey! 

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“You are the way my heart beats and you are the words my tongue speaks.” – Go Radio 

You’re Bound to Suck at Something.

Perfection.

One thing all of us need to come to terms with. Perfection is unattainable. If you strive for perfection, chances are it’s going to hinder yourself from being your best.

Let’s get this straight. Your best is not perfection, it is simply the best YOU can do. Your best will not be your co-worker’s best, your friend’s best, or your spouse’s best.  So take time today to come to a realization that life won’t stop if you aren’t good at something. In the good spirit of celebrating my best, here is my list of some of my bests….and things I just plain suck at. 

Things I Suck At:
Mental math Knitting
Reading the “terms and conditions” (can I get an AMEN!)
Texting back in a timely manner
Only eating “just one” French fry
Things I Am Good At: 
Cooking
Event details and logistics
Public speaking
Rapping Ludacris lyrics
Fresh ideas on marketing and special events

You get the idea. {You’ll always be good at something, and suck at something else. } Life is one big equilibrium. Celebrate it!

Perfection

Life is One Big Group Project.

Last Thursday at work I was going through scheduling various committee meetings for upcoming events. Dates on the calendar are closer than they appear, and after being out sick various times that week (I’ve chugged more liquid cough medicine than any rapper). I realized I had to kick my butt in gear to get caught up. As I sat in my final meeting of the day and looked around the table…it hit me. Life is one big group project. 

You know what I’m talking about.

College flashback. You’re sitting in your Principles of Marketing class and your professor announces his next assignment. It will be done in groups of 3-4 people. The project is due in two weeks with a 20 page paper, PowerPoint presentation and mock sales pitch to a panel of business professionals. —This is the part where you panic.

Things are easy to get done on your own time and at your own pace. Group dynamics are tough. You’ve got the 30,000 foot thinkers, the do-ers, the strong silent types, and the people who hope the most work they have to do is just show up for a meeting or two. You push through the project and everyone falls into their respective roles, and miraculously you get it done. The workforce is not that much different. Personalities and ideas will clash. Some will work hard, some will barely work.

Life isn’t about getting by alone. It’s about working together. It’s much more fulfilling to be celebrating at the top with a group than by yourself. So take your group projects as a great challenge to better yourself. After all, “works well with others” never seemed like a bad phrase to add to your resume.

What a Golden Retriever Taught Me About Life and Business

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{This is Mabel.} She spent 12 wonderful years chasing rabbits, trying to be a lap dog, nose diving into our family pond and following my Grandpa Bill and Dad around the farm all day. She was there to steal softballs when we played in the yard, greet us when we got home from school, and drag dead animal carcasses onto the front porch and make Mom mad. She enjoyed rides in the golf cart and being a self-taught hunting dog. On Thursday, March 28th, the Dunn family lost one of our most valued family members.

Thinking about what Mabel meant to our family made me think about {what we mean to each other.} Mabel learned many tricks, but Mabel taught me many things too. Many things I take into my career and in my relationships with others.

{BE LOYAL} To your family. To your friends. To your values. To your faith. To yourself.

{NEVER HOLD A GRUDGE, MOVE FORWARD.} Everyone is going to make mistakes. Some will be big, some will be small. Some will make you frustrated, others with leave you dumbfounded. Forgive. Mend. Move on.

{ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS.} Take naps. Get dirty. Snuggle up with someone you love and be lazy. Chase after something again and again…sooner or later you may catch it.

Mabel will rest in peace in her favorite place.
Where the sunsets are beautiful, the sunrises peaceful.
Mabel will rest in peace in her favorite place.
Back by the Dunn family farm pond.

RIP Mabel. We love you.