1. a settlement of a dispute in which two or more sides agree to accept less than they originally wanted
  2. something that somebody accepts because what was wanted is unattainable
  3. exposure to danger or disgrace


  1. to settle a dispute by agreeing to accept less than what was originally wanted
  2. to undermine or devalue something or somebody by making concessions
  3. to expose somebody or something to danger or risk

Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

It is interesting that the third definition for compromise is “presenting danger or disgrace.” I never thought of compromise as inherently dangerous.  Compromising on techniques, timing, dinner plans, house design, selecting a school for your kids, and where to take a vacation isn’t risky or disgraceful.  It may be a matter of respecting the other person enough to try for a win-win.

However, compromising on your principles is another story. The danger is to your integrity and that is dangerous indeed!

Commitment to The Team

Commitment in the work place is a rarity. The very word can strike fear in someone’s heart – or create a mental image of something nebulous applicable only to personal relationships.

Most people are only as committed as it is convenient to be. Commitment is often not recognized or even part of the daily vocabulary. People generally give very little thought to what they are committed to and, yet, their results are clear indicators of where their commitments lie.

The majority of people are only committed to the team as long as their personal objectives are met. When something begins to require more effort than a person is willing to put out or requires them to subordinate their own agenda for the greater good of the team, out goes their “commitment”!

Commitment is a promise made and kept, even when you don’t like someone on the team, are having a bad day, or don’t get what you want. When you have a group of people fully committed to the team, everything improves, from culture all the way to personal rewards.

John C. Maxwell points out that commitments are easier to keep if tied to personal values.

If you value excellence over mediocrity, you will give your best effort every day.
If you value a paycheck over excellence, you will only give the minimum necessary – just enough to keep from getting fired.
If you value your personal agenda over that of the team, then you may become a superstar on a team that doesn’t need you.
If you value loyalty, then commitment to the team is easier.
If you value your word, then a promise given is always kept.

Commitment is a choice, not a condition. There’s no such thing as a little bit committed. You either are or you aren’t.

Up Shit Creek Without a Paddle?

black Labrador trying to climb out of the river

I met with a group of friends recently and somehow we landed on to the topic of odd phrases we all use, but don’t know where we picked them up. We also aren’t sure what some of them actually mean.

  • Beat around the bush. (What bush and why?)
  • Slicker than deer guts on a doorknob.(Really? Did someone actually try this one? Ewwww!)
  • Best foot forward. (We only have two. Which is the best one?)
  • Bite the bullet. (Sounds painful to me.)
  • Break a leg. (How did this become the way to wish an actor best wishes? Sounds pretty mean to me.)
  • Bury the hatchet. (This is suppose to mean that you stop fighting, but sounds more like a form of attack to me.)
  • By hook or by crook. (What are we supposed to do with the hook or crook???)
  • A shot in the arm. (Ow! How is that good?)
  • Acid test. (Sounds painful again.)
  • As happy as a clam. (How do we know that clams are happy?)
  • Bats in the belfry. (Sounds like a scene from a horror novel.)
  • The birds and the bees. (How in the world would explaining sex to a child involve birds and the bees?)
  • Brownie points. (Like in Girl Scouts?)
  • Heebie jeebies. (This is one is just odd. What is a heebie jeebie?)
  • Catch 22 (Is there a catch 21?)
  • Up shit creek without a paddle. (Very visual!)
  • The whole shebang. (Can you have part of a shebang? And, what is a shebang?)
  • Talk to the hand. (Diva move?)
  • Spill the beans. (How did beans come to refer to sharing a secret?)
  • Nitty gritty. (Fine sand?)
  • On Cloud Nine. (Where is Cloud Nine and why is it better than the other clouds?)
  • Paint the town red. (Why is red wilder than say blue or pink?)
  • More bangs for the buck. (More noise is better?)
  • Make a beeline for… (Bees never travel a straight line. Why would making a beeline be a good idea???)
  • Hunky-dory. (What exactly is a hunky-dory and why is it a good thing?)
  • Throw a hissy fit. (Adults hiss when throwing a temper tantrum?)
  • Cute as a button. (I have seen a few cute buttons but not sure I would say they are all cute.)

What other odd sayings you use?

Leadership Lessons

Lessons from Leaders

I attended a three day leadership conference recently. It turned out to be an amazing time with some of the most successful leaders in the Nation.

Here are some of the lessons I picked up.

Given today’s economy and the culture of entitlement, most people will never retire. They will die first.

See more in others than they see in themselves.

Decisions should be made based on principles, not circumstances.

Do what is necessary. Then do what is possible. And, soon you will find yourself doing the impossible.

Your strongest opponent is right between your own ears.

Be the person you were born to be. Not the one you have been allowed to be.

Have a great day or not. Your choice!

Excuses are there to explain poor performance.

Doubt is 100 times stronger than belief.

Quitting is like farting in a Smart Car – it affects everyone!

Quit putting yourself down for what you are not and lift yourself up for what you are.

Don’t try to fill your hero’s shoes. Fill your own and walk in her footsteps.

For those who believe, no proof is required. For those who do not, no proof is possible.

Your mortgage on your house should never be more than 1 week of your paycheck.

Consensus doesn’t make the untrue true.

Quit waiting for your ship to come in. Build it or swim out to it.

Encourage = instill courage

Quitting is a permanent solution to a temporary problem

It is not what we do once in awhile that creates our future. It is what we do consistently.

I hope you found one or two points helpful. I am sure you found at least one that made you smile and another that made you wince. Growth will do that to you!

Now to implement them!


Most of us were taught: “go to school, get good grades, find a safe, secure job, and stay there until retirement.” I did go to school; earned grades (ok, they weren’t anything to brag about), found an incredible job with a veterinary school, but can I retire?  Absolutely!

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 80% of the USA population will retire on 33 – 50% of what they are making at the time they retire. Could you afford to take a 50% pay cut right now? 

Oh, your 401K or 403B is going to make up the difference? Really? Did you see what happened to the stock market in 2008? Do you realize that all those people who were planning on retiring between 2008 to 2020 no longer can because their 401K is now a 101K?   Many poor people who were already retired at the time of the stock market crash have either gone back to work or are desperately living on Social Insecurity.

I don’t mean to be a doomsayer, but we really need to teach our citizens and ourselves to think differently about money. Retirement is NOT an age; it is an income.

What would you do if your current income kept coming in every month even if you never returned to your job or business again? Would you spend more time with your family? How about travel more? Would you live somewhere else? What charities would you support or even donate your time to on a regular basis? Would you spend your time helping improve our environment? Rescuing animals? Helping change our laws or legal system?

I don’t know about you, but my “retirement” started the day I realized that my financial education is my responsibility. I hope you are taking care of your financial education. Don’t leave your future in the hands of a stock“broker” or get your financial advice from your brother-in-law who carries $10,000 in credit card debt.

Learn from those who have the life style you want and do what they did. Learn so that you can have and can give! Start right now!


I usually take two one-month vacations each year. This time is spent recharging my batteries by turning my mind to things that don’t require my mind.

  • gardeningchocolate Labrador, Koto, lying in a field of flowers
  • playing with the dog
  • hiking with my husband
  • shopping with friends
  • reflection (aka napping)
  • building a new shed
  • painting the house
  • visiting with family
  • writing blog articles (and you thought I used my mind – ha!)

All of the above actually do require my mind, but on different tracks than my day-to-day profession. Vacation time allows me concentrated time to stretch my brain in other directions or to just let it shut down for a bit. Both are valuable.

I hope you allow yourself proper time to recharge and restore yourself throughout the year. Become an expert on vacationing and the benefits are huge!

Boost Your EQ

You would think that an adult who is married, raising children, earned an advanced degree and holding down a prestigious job would have enough life experience to have developed a decent level of emotional intelligence. Unfortunately, life experience does not bestow emotional maturity.

Emotional intelligence requires deliberate effort. It doesn’t happen accidentally or as a by-product. Wouldn’t you agree that you know at least one or two brilliant people who could use a boost in their personal emotional quotient?

Where are they going to get this boost? They aren’t unless they choose to grow and seek out the resources to do so.

You can’t coerce, threaten, bribe, inspire or force anyone to grow and change. But you know this already. I bet you have tried to get someone to grow up. Change only comes when the person is willing and committed.

We all could use at least a little boost in our emotional intelligence. What are you doing to increase yours?