Thursday, December 18, 2014

Stop complaining

Dealing with complainers and whiners



“What you're supposed to do when you don't like a thing is change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it. Don't complain.” ― Maya Angelou, Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now

Complainers are the first cousins of gossipers. For them life is not fair. They often carry a healthy dose of jealousy everywhere they go. They may also suffer from “excusitis,” the failure disease. They often become victims of their own circumstances.



A victim sees the past as the reason for their failures. A victor sees the past as the reason for their success. 

1.      Help them take responsibility for their problems. Don’t take the monkeys from their backs. When they get sick of feeding their monkeys they will divest their monkeys.

2.      Don’t be infected with their complaining. Have no sympathy; do have empathy for first time offenders.

3.      Help them shift their thinking from problems to solutions. Ask them to write their complaints/problems along with their proposed solutions. Watch most complaining go away quickly.

4.      Help them work on their self-esteem. Whiners often suffer from chronic low self-esteem.

5.      Help them go from “have to” to “get to.” Help them see a new perspective without hitting them with a 2” x 4” (it is illegal). Help them focus on blessings instead of curses.

6.      Vaccinate those around them. Apply no complaining rules and perform attitude checks regularly.

7.      Help them get a life. Help them find a purpose and the complaining with be significantly reduced.

Pass these nuggets on to others.    
We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give. Be a giver in a world of takers.

Be blessed and be a blessing to others.
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)

Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Deal with them

How to bring the best out of others



We are all in the people business; the relationship building business.

The principles of dealing with people don’t change and have been known for hundreds of years. No matter what field of endeavor we play, the rules of the game are the same, when it comes with human interactions. It is proven that 85% of success comes from mastering the skill of dealing with people. The other 15% comes from technical skills, which are constantly changing and updating. Master the ability to build relationship with people and you will have plenty of time to keep updating your ever changing technical skills. Here is a solid list to get you going.

1.      Expect greatness. Build expectancy in others and they will live up to your expectations. Respect everyone, trust is earned.

2.      Uplift and encourage others. Be an uplifter and not a downer. Refrain from complaining, criticizing and condemning others. Never forget we are all at different stages in life, independent of our ages.

3.      Find and bring out strengths. Every human being has genius inside. Help others find their purpose and rekindle their dreams. Help them envision a better future.

4.      Give grace, no one is perfect. We tend to judge others by their results; we judge ourselves by our intentions. Flip this the other way around. Don’t judge others for we don’t know their stories of overcoming.

5.      Enjoy seeing others prospering. Great joy is found in seeing others learning, growing, and improving their lives. Give plenty of praise, appreciation, and recognition.

6.      Let their heart speak and listen. In the heart we find the truth. Be patient and you will be rewarded with the ability to help others.

7.      Learn to deal with difficult people. Don’t be a difficult person yourself. Learn how to deal with the troublemakers and the couch potatoes. Help them to use their positive energy into something productive. Learn how to help the couch potatoes overcome the two knobs, the TV and the door knobs.

When dealing with people we find the greatest frustrations and the greatest joys.

Pass these nuggets on to others.    
We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give. Be a giver in a world of takers.

Be blessed and be a blessing to others.
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Why teams fail to deliver results

Why teams fail



Team stands for together everyone achieves more. A great example is the Chicago Bulls in the decade with Michael Jordan as the leader. When Michael Jordan played, his team played better and so did the rival teams. Often teams do not achieve this level of performance, raising the question why teams fail to perform. I have seen this in sports, in business, and in other endeavors. Hope the following helps to explain why teams fail.

1.      Poor leadership. Lack of a team leader with a clear vision and purpose. Lack of clear definition of what success looks like.

2.      Lack of trust. Inability to establish trust at the onset. Lack of collaboration and cooperation.

3.      Individual egos. The power struggles. Conflicting personalities.

4.      Lack of clear member roles and responsibilities. Lack of accountability.

5.      Poor planning. Poor timelines and time management. Procrastination.

6.      Poor communication. Poor conflict resolution skills. 

7.      Lack of ability to ask the right questions. Not asking questions about each member’s talents and abilities and how to leverage them. Asking problems instead of solutions oriented questions.

Will you join my cause to fight mediocrity in the world?
Pass these nuggets on to others.    
We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give. Be a giver in a world of takers.

Be blessed and be a blessing to others.
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)

Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy

Monday, December 15, 2014

Healthy, Wealthy and Wise

The value of wisdom



What can we learn from our elderly wise?

Failing to learn from our elders is to fail as a society. Imagine the wisdom inside the 75 million baby boomers? Be selfish and don’t let them carry with them to their graves, be humble enough to asking them to share their wisdom with you. Here is the tip of the iceberg regarding picking the brains, the hearts, and the spirit from wise elders.

1.      Living by priorities. Living a life of no regrets. Valuing the right things. Being defined by who we are and not what we do.

2.      Accepting and dealing with others. Having the right perspective in life. Caring for others. Learn to respect and trust others.

3.      Preparing and enjoying meals with others. Listening to their advice on living longer. Taking time to savor meals, especially those sweet treats.

4.      Collecting and sharing stories. Listening to their stories. Asking good questions. Asking them what they would have done differently.

5.      Dealing with gains and losses. Having persistence and determination. Having the will to be a finisher.

6.      Having patience and humility. Praying, giving and accepting grace. Eternity is a long time to be wrong.

7.      Having gratitude. Counting our blessings. Serving above self. Giving back and paying forward.

Lessons are repeated until lessons are learned. When the student is ready the teacher appears.

Will you join my cause to fight mediocrity in the world?
Pass these nuggets on to others.    
We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give. Be a giver in a world of takers.

Be blessed and be a blessing to others.
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy


Sunday, December 14, 2014

What is your excuse

Reason or excuses


Reasons or excuse, the results are the same.
Be careful, when we make excuses we get to keep them.
Turn the excuses into reasons and watch your life change for the better.

Take it to heat!


1.      Don’t have time and/or money. I am too busy and I am broke. Turn these two most common excuses into reasons. Start investing time. Stop spending money and start investing in yourself. Get a self-education to change your perspective. Read the book the Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz.

2.      Don’t know many people. You will need six to carry your coffin. It is too hard. Anything worthwhile is hard. Don’t negotiate success. Pay the price and you will realize later you got a bargain.

3.      Too old. I have never done it before. It is not guaranteed or safe. I have had bad luck before. Then there is more urgency. There is no safety or security in mediocrity. Experience is on your side. Luck stands for laboring under correct knowledge. Roll your sleeves and get going.

4.      Not good in sales. I am afraid of others will think. Don’t worry they are not thinking. Make friends and find their needs. Sales are a natural process. People like to buy; they don’t like to be sold. Get started.

5.      Failed before. I am afraid of failing again. My spouse will not let me do it again. You are a step closer to being successful. Get started again. Get moving and stay moving and momentum will carry you onward.

6.      This is not a good time. I want to spend time with my family. Let me think and pray about it. When I do something I really go at it full steam. I don’t know how to get started. Now is the best time to become all that you were meant to be. Have faith. Take the first step. The next step will be revealed. Get moving.

7.      Don’t have the education. You are right. If you knew how to be successful you would be by now. I am not good with the big picture stuff or with details. You can be self-educated. Take the first step in the right direction.



Successful people think differently than unsuccessful people. Get the right information from the right sources so you can take different actions to produces the right results.

Will you join my cause to fight mediocrity in the world?
Pass these nuggets on to others.    
We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give. Be a giver in a world of takers.

Be blessed and be a blessing to others.
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)

Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Become a blessing

Money is a blessing



Money is widely misunderstood by most people. Those that take the time to educate themselves about money are the great stewards of money. Our thinking towards money determines our financial health, our wealth. There are three overriding principles about wealth creation: long term thinking, delaying gratification, and using the power of compounding. Money is important so be disciplined when it comes to money. Be a master of your money, not a slave of your money. Follow the sequence below and you will prosper beyond your wildest imagination.

1.      Defining money. Money is a good that acts as a medium of exchange in transactions. Money is not the same thing as wealth or currency. We cannot make ourselves richer by simply printing more money, a practice being widely used as of late. The more money is in circulation the less is the value of money. The paper notes we carry in our wallets are not money, they are currency that can legally be used as a means of exchange.

2.      Money understanding. Money comes and stays to those who understand it and respect it. Money is a tool and a blessing. To many people money is a mystery or a monster; widely misunderstood. There are many money principles that have endured for thousands of years. Failing to understand and follow proven money principles results in mismanagement of money, a source of ruin for many people. The best way to understand money is to view it as a game. To win the money game we have to understand the rules, the offense, and the defense of money.

3.      Earning money. From neck down we are all worth minimum wage. The more value we provide the more money we can earn. There are basically four ways to earn money; as an employee, as self-employed or as small business owner, as a big business owner, and as an investor. All four ways are necessary for a healthy economy to function properly. The first two involve the exchange of time for money and the second two involve levering a business system and money itself to generate money. The results in each of the four ways are significantly different. Here is another way to look at ways to earn money: put ourselves to work for money, put others to work for money, put a system to work for money, and put money to work for money. They sound very different, don’t they?

4.      Saving money. Saving money is the first key to financial freedom. Spend less than you make. Very simple, yet most people violate this principle as they are lured by the easy access to credit. Pay yourself first. Live within your means. My dad used to say that those that don’t take care of a penny will not take care of one million either. Start saving a small percentage of your income and increase the percentage over time as you earning increase. Build an emergency fund and a savings fund. These will improve the quality of your sleep.

5.      Sharing money. Money used to bless others comes back multiplied, thus sharing money is the second key to financial freedom. Those that place their money at the service of others become very wealthy. Others just don’t need money; they need the help we can give and the love in our hearts. Start by sharing your blessings and you will be very blessed indeed. Use your blessings and the tools of your trade to bless others less fortunate than you. The power of compounding works in giving. When we bless others they are likely to pay forward and bless others in multiple ways; it is called paying forward.

6.      Investing money. Money is a wonderful slave and a tyrant master. The third key to financial freedom is the discipline of regularly investing money. The best investment one can make is in oneself. First work for money than put your hard earned money to work hard for you. Use the power of compounding to multiply your blessings. The right investment always brings a return while and most expenses only bring short term pleasures.

7.      Spending money. There is a reason for spending money being the last and not the first on the list. Spending beyond the necessary to meet our basic needs should be the last item on the list of money fitness. There will be a point in the life of a financially fit person, when money can be used to meet one wants; there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. The thinking of financially broke people is exactly the opposite; they start by spending money to get things they want.

Hope this help you to expand your money literacy.

Will you join my cause to fight mediocrity in the world?
Pass these nuggets on to others.    
We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give. Be a giver in a world of takers.

Be blessed and be a blessing to others.
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy


Friday, December 12, 2014

Elusive yet real

The right thinking makes it so.



What is leadership?

Leadership can be simply defined by positive influence. The influence exerted by a leader comes from many sources. Contrary to popular opinion, leaders are made and not born. Leadership can be learned. Here are some nuggets on leadership so you can realize that you too can be a leader.

1.      Take initiative. Leaders lead from the front and the back. Leaders show the way and have the back of their followers.

2.      Have hunger. A leader’s hunger creates the internal tension necessary to take the right actions. Leaders are always attacking the status quo by setting bold and audacious goals.

3.      Ask big questions. Leaders have the ability to ask the big questions that others lack the courage to ask. Leaders show others where to look for the answers to big questions.

4.      Have influence. Leaders create a ripple effect by who they are and what they do everywhere they go. A leader’s clues are found by studying the processes producing the results leaders create.

5.      Have character. Leaders put their character on the line in all they touch. Leaders have their character do the talking while they are moving in a positive driven direction.

6.      Have staying power. Leaders are always driven by a cause and a vision of making things better for others. A leader’s influence is spread by the power freely shared in the communities they serve. 

7.      Love freedom. Leaders count their blessings. Leaders don’t take their freedoms for granted. Leaders are free to love the lovable and unlovable alike.

            Everyone can be a leader, because everyone can serve.

Will you join my cause to fight mediocrity in the world?
Pass these nuggets on to others.    
We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give. Be a giver in a world of takers.

Be blessed and be a blessing to others.
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)

Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy