Character Counts!

July 9th, 2008 by Gallagher John 1 Comment

What an amazing match!! If you are a tennis fan or not, the Wimbledon championship between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal should go down as one of, if not the most exciting tennis match ever played. These two players battled in the longest match, both in time and games, in Wimbledon finals history. Federer had won 5 straight titles at Wimbledon. Nadal had one 4 of the last 5 against Federer. These two clearly are athletes that may go down as the two best players ever!!!

I found myself glued watching each stroke for a couple reasons:
First, the shear focus of each of these players is phenomenal. I can only imagine the things going through their mind as they played this match. But, to me, what was more apparent was the CHARACTER of these two professionals both during and after the match. There was no taunting, trash talking, or prideful outburst from either player. As they continued to each hold serve for nearly the entire match, they simply kept playing. After the match, Federer called Nadal a deserving champion and was humble in defeat. Nadal referred to Federer as a great champion and was happy to be on the same court. I pointed this out to my children as well as we watched. Neither of these players threw their racket when they lost a point. They didn’t scream at the official if they felt there was a bad call. THEY JUST PLAYED THE MATCH.

These displays of Character were resounding to me. These two are champions on and off the court and are leaders in their sport that I will continue to watch into the future.

Watch others celebrate. Does their true character come out? Do they make you want to continue to ‘play’ with them, or do they make you wish you weren’t even in the same building? Are you happy they are on your team? AND…What is YOUR character in Victory? I can learn from these two players… Character Counts…in Defeat AND Victory.

Independence Day – More tears!

June 30th, 2008 by Gallagher John No Comments
Good morning friends.
This weekend, I attended a patriotic church celebration outside at a local church. Songs were sang, the Baptist preacher – PREACHED, the orchestra played. What an incredible service. Afterward, we had hot dogs, hamburgers, and chips. The all American lunch!!
A couple posts ago, I asked what made you cry and I told you some things that made me cry. Well, a service like this is another tear jerker, for many reasons:
1) Before the service started, the Prelude was a Country song entitled “Have You Forgotten” – Never heard of it? Look it up on iTunes and download it. It is worth the 99 cents. Tear starter!!

2) When How Great is our God played, I was taken back to when my oldest son was baptized and how I cried uncontrollably at the responsibility and the love I had for him. As he sat by me and sang, yesterday (at 11 years old!), I realized just how blessed I am. Tears welled up… then…
3) The orchestra played and the choir sang America the Beautiful. As I looked around the over 2,000 in attendance at the local high school football field, a few stood out. There was a group of 20 in the front of the bleachers that stood and sang AS THEY SIGNED!!! You see, they were deaf. They couldn’t ‘hear’ the music, but their passion was incredible…Tears flowed
3) Then, How Great Thou Art played…Can anyone listen to this song sung by an incredible choir and orchestra and NOT have tears well up??
4) And to top it all off, the National Anthem played as service men marched across the field from our armed forces. Four of the servicemen came across the field with the Flag and posed with a rendering of Iwo Jima flag raising.

To not cry simply would have been un-American!!

We live in the greatest country in the world. Whether you are republican or democrat, Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish, Italian, Irish, or German, war supporter or not, etc. Where else in this world could you go where you can sing your beliefs, gather with others, express your viewpoints, and live the life we lead? Nowhere. And we have so many people to be thankful for giving us that right.

There are too many in our country that forget this. They view our Bill of Rights as their right to say whatever they want & criticize yet not act, abuse the system. There are those that feel they have the right to act however they wish, but they forget their RESPONSIBILITIES as well. For them, their should also be a Bill of Responsibilities!!!!!!

So, as we celebrate our independence this week, please take the opportunity to thank someone you know who served and protected our land, and continues to protect our land today!

And, if you hear someone who complains and bickers, someone who wouldn’t be happy if you handed everything to them on a silver platter (they would want Platinum), rebuke them as well!

I hope you all have a blessed week and a safe, happy 4th of July!!

What was I thinking?

June 22nd, 2008 by Gallagher John 2 Comments

Yesterday, I was cutting the grass at my in-laws’ home. As I pushed that lawn mower around for nearly two hours, you can imagine that the constant hum of the Briggs & Stratton engine can be either an annoyance, or for me, a calming effect. For me, the sound of the engine is so loud that I can actually hear myself think! It actually is when I hear myself the loudest. Someone can be yelling at me from just a few feet away and I can’t hear even their voice, but I can hear my own internal voice…loud and clear!!!

What are some of the things that I think about?

  • Well, I often think about how I can cut the grass in the least waste pattern. How can I knock off 5 minutes each time I cut the grass?
  • I think of other things that need to be done around the house
  • I think of ideas to improve current business ideas
  • I think of new business ideas
  • I also think of relationships I have that may not be going the way I want and how I can improve those relationships. How I can provide feedback to someone with whom I want to grow

The problem is…by the time I am done cutting the grass, I have forgotten all of those thoughts and have not documented them. This could be the direct result of too many long nights in college!! In any event, I need to figure out a way to capture these thoughts. I can’t take action on them if I can’t remember them!!! I hope I am not the only person who suffers from this phenomenon called “Short-term memory loss brought on by many good times in college”!!

Maybe I need a peaceful place. I could take John Maxwell’s advice and have a ‘thinking chair’, but the problem with a comfy thinking chair is that they are better for NAPS!!

I guess I will have to start carrying a notebook or recorder with me and stop the lawnmower several times and write the ideas down, or speak them into the recorded. (There goes that idea of taking 5 minutes off each time!). However, if I were THINKING, it may actually be more beneficial if it took me 15 minutes LONGER to cut the grass, while capturing all of the thoughts…Hmmmm…

Questions for thoughts this week:

  • Where are you when you are ‘thinking’ your best ideas? I don’t think you have to find this place as Maxwell suggests to ‘Find a thinking place’. I believe it already exists and we are just not AWARE of it consciously.
  • What do you do to capture those thoughts so they don’t get lost? Do you need to carry around a notebook or recorder? I do!
  • Most importantly, are you acting on those documented thoughts? Do you make time in your schedule to reflect on these ideas, bounce them off your priorities, and decide whether the thoughts need to be turned into action?

I hope you all have a great week. If you want to keep receiving this without an email, just subscribe by entering your email address into the top left spot on the blog.

John Gallagher

What makes you cry?

June 10th, 2008 by Gallagher John 1 Comment

Last night I was at my oldest son, Brendan’s, 5th grade promotion event. It was about 100 degrees in the gym with nothing but a couple fans moving around. It was HOT!!!

Until the 60 third graders stood up and sang their class song: My Wish by Rascal Flatts. As I watched my son, I got chill bumps up and down my arms – and a tear or two flowed down my cheek – they are welling up as I type this today. In case you haven’t heard it, here are the words to the chorus:

My wish for you is that this life becomes all that you want it to

Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small

You never need to carry more than you can hold

And while you’re out there getting what you’re getting to

I hope you know somebody loves you and wants the same thing, too

That’s My Wish

Music is something that inspires me. I share it with others when I hear a song that inspires me. One way I try to build relationships.

John Maxwell says that to get to know someone better, ask them these three questions:

1) What makes you laugh?

2) What makes you cry?

3) What do you dream about?

Watching my kids play sports, sing in their school events…those things make me cry. Tears of pride, but tears, nonetheless…like a big baby!! An inspirational song brings tears to my eyes.

I want to get to know all of you even better. Let me know what your answer is to one of those three questions above.

If you get a chance, download My Wish on your iPod. Listen to the words. Know that it is my wish for you as well!! Have a great day!

SiMPLE LEADERSHiP – Intentional Relationship Building

June 8th, 2008 by Gallagher John 7 Comments

I just ‘graduated’ from Leadership Roanoke Valley. When we had our graduation dinner, someone in my group said “Stay in touch.” When you graduate from something, whether you ‘graduate’ from a a school, a job, a neighborhood, a city, or some other new start, one of the favorite ways to end the conversation is ‘stay in touch’. Too often, I say, “I’ll stay in touch”…and I don’t.

One of the things that I believe is that Life is about relationships, the rest is just details. However, if I don’t focus on the details of initiating, building, and maintaining relationships, then relationships suffer.

And so, here I am. Starting a ‘blog’. I don’t claim to be an expert on this, so I may miss some of the ‘details’. It is my goal with this blog, though, to share my story. It is built with YOU in mind. AND, it is built with ME in mind as well. With this blog, I hope to add value to your life, and in turn, you will respond with things that are on your heart as well.

Why the title “SiMPLE LEADERSHiP”? As I was dreaming this up, I looked on my nightstand at the two books I was currently reading and took a word from each. I will discuss the books more in the future. Those who know me well can probably guess one of the authors! You also know that leadership development and focus (aka, simple) are core values I live by.

If you are reading this, you have made an impact on my life in a positive way. It is my hope that you will ‘stay in touch’ by reading it. If you are moved, respond to it by clicking on the envelope or the ‘comments’ below. If you want to keep getting it, subscribe to it by clicking on ‘Posts’ below.

I want to be more ‘intentional’ at keeping in touch. This is just one tool for me to do that.

Question(s) for action:

  • Who in your life have you committed to ‘stay in touch’ with?
  • What are you doing, iNTENTiONALLY, to build that relationship…one small detail at a time?

Your friend, John Gallagher