Coping With COVID-19

Posted by Tom Locke on March 28th, 2020 filed in Education, General, History, Life
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Reach out and touch someone – VIRTUALLY!

Interacting physically with family and friends has been part of our lives since the beginning of time. We are wired to do so.

At this time, being unable to do so, or recommended/mandated not to do so, is tough on many. However, thanks to technology we can interact. The advancements and cost effectiveness of cell technology and video conferencing has been able to create environments where it’s “almost like being there”.

This will probably be the interaction of choice for a while. With that in mind, I have started phoning and videoconferencing with my family and friends as opposed to just shooting off an email or a text.

To date this approach has allowed me to have some great interaction … with each session ending with a smile on my face.

I hope you will consider doing the same. It will help your sanity and the sanity of others. We are all in this together.

Bill Gates’ Secret

Posted by Tom Locke on March 19th, 2020 filed in Business, Education, History, Life
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I just finished reading Alex Banayan’s book “The Third Door”, a story about his mission to interview some of the most success people in the world to get some insight on what got them to where they are today. The fascinating part of the book is the journey he took to get these interviews.

In Banayan’s meeting with Bill Gates, Gates emphasized building genuine, trusting relationships. According to Bill, if you are an unknown entrepreneur and the person you are dealing with doesn’t know you, why would he or she even do business with you? On the other hand, if you have built a relationship with them, to the point they have become a mentor or friend, you just might not have to negotiate.

This book should be on the short list for people entering the marketplace – especially those with an entrepreneurial spirit. 

Clearing The Clutter

Posted by Tom Locke on February 20th, 2020 filed in General, Life
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I recently took a good look around my home and found all kinds of things I no longer needed, wanted or used. I have packed them up for sale.

It felt good to free up space and get a little cash for things that no longer served my life. I know letting go is hard for some people, but when I looked at old VHS’s (Yikes!), CDs and DVDs for example, the decision was easy. Plus, I feel better, lighter, and smarter for freeing up the space and moving on . . . with cash in hand.

To assist in making things easier to sell unwanted items was the discovery of OfferUp, an onsite portal which is simple to use and is a most viable alternative to garage sales, Craigslist or eBay.

Making Someone’s Day

Posted by Tom Locke on February 11th, 2020 filed in Business, General, History, Life, Sports ... All Sorts
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Back in early November, my wife and I decided to visit our favourite antique and collectibles shop, Etta’s Attic, in Ferndale, Washington.  That’s when we came across a unique deck/director’s chair.

This pristine chair was a 1980 World Series promotional piece from Pepsi-Cola.  Per the descriptive tag attached to the chair, it was a gift to Harold Walton from the Pepsi-Cola Company.  After purchasing the chair, I subsequently heard back from the dealer who confirmed, via the folks at Etta’s Attic, that it was indeed a gift to Harold Walton, the Founder and then President of the Walton Beverage Company.  This claim was substantiated by the inscribing of the name “Harold” on the back of the top banner of the chair.

Further research uncovered the fact that Walton Beverages began distributing Pepsi-Cola in 1934-1935.  This is somewhat significant given the fact that during the Great Depression, Pepsi-Cola gained popularity following the introduction in 1934 of a 12-ounce bottle. Prior to that, Pepsi and Coca-Cola sold their drinks in 6.5-ounce servings for about $0.05 a bottle. With a radio advertising campaign featuring the popular jingle “Nickel, Nickel” – first recorded by the Tune Twisters in 1940 – Pepsi encouraged price-conscious consumers to double the volume their nickels could purchase. The jingle is arranged in a way that loops, creating a never-ending tune:

“Pepsi-Cola hits the spot / Twelve full ounces, that’s a lot / Twice as much for a nickel, too / Pepsi-Cola is the drink for you.”

Coming at a time of economic crisis, the campaign succeeded in boosting Pepsi’s status. From 1936 to 1938, Pepsi-Cola’s profits doubled.

As interesting as this was, what was more fascinating was the fact that I was able to purchase this unique antique. It also made me wonder if the people at Walton Beverages, which is still going strong today, even knew about the chair.

So, I contacted the company and was eventually put in touch with one of Harold Walton’s granddaughters who works at the company. As suspected, she did not know about the chair or the story behind it.

Late last month, my wife and I drove back to Ferndale with the chair in tow and subsequently presented it to Mr. Walton’s granddaughter.

She was excited to receive it and proclaimed that the chair would remain on display at company headquarters for all to see.

Delivery of Chair to Walton Beverages

Taking Charge

Posted by Tom Locke on January 18th, 2020 filed in Business, Education, General, Life
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Nobody tells your story better than you do.

Following up on my previous post on The Power Of The Present, we must realize the following, “If it is to be, then it is up to me”. And what better time to make things happen then the present.

And it does not have to be a chore. With a small change in our mindset, it can be fun. Plus, being your own advocate allows you to control the creativity, marketing and promotion of what you have committed to achieve. As an offshoot, there no room for blaming others and a better focus on solutions/results.

This approach can be of great value both in business and in your personal life.

The Power Of The Present

Posted by Tom Locke on December 30th, 2019 filed in Business, Education, General, Life
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One of most sharing authors, creative consultants and workshop presenters is Lee Silber, who lives in San Diego.

Over the years, I have referenced his books and articles in my course on creating your competitive edge and relationship management.

One of the fundamentals for creating your competitive edge is to not only know yourself but to be at peace with yourself – especially as you move forward. It makes the journey all the more worthwhile.

Supporting the above is a recent one pager by Lee about “Every Breath You Take – The Here And Now”. Lee proclaims that we all must let go of things from the past that impact/plague us in the present. More importantly, he advises that we must forgive ourselves and others for things that happened in the past … and then forget them, allowing us to move forward with a clean slate. Hence, if we are 100% focus on what’s happening in the present, we will be better at what we’re doing and we will be doing things more attentively and with less stress.

We make better choices when we are attentive and stress free … and that correlates to shaping and controlling a brighter future.

If this has been of value to you and you would like to read this whole article, get in touch with Lee at He would be happy to send a complimentary copy to you.

Gut Instinct – On The Way Out?

Posted by Tom Locke on December 7th, 2019 filed in Business, Education, History, Life, Technology
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Michael Eisner, former CEO of Walt Disney, described gut feeling “as the sum total of all of your past experiences, from the time you were a child to where you are today”. According to Eisner, “that sum total enables you to make reasonable decisions”.

According to Forbes, ask any executive whether they study data before making a key decision and almost all will say they do, but what’s fascinating is that only one out of ten executives will then do what they data says is the right path, if it contradicts their gut feeling. According to executive staffing firm Crist Kolder Associates, the average age of a Fortune 500 CEO is 58 which may explain why there is still a reliance on instinct above data when making pertinent decisions.

Per the latest Wifi Hifi newsletter, it is guestimated that by the time millennials reach an age where they are sitting in the CEO chair, they could be driven 90% by data and 10% on instinct.

Undeniably, massive streams of data from web analytics and social media stats play a huge role in influencing decision making. It should come as no surprise that data analytics is one of the hottest areas to find a job. Data Scientists will tell you that by extrapolating the numbers, you remove the emotion and subjectivity out of a decision and well, you move forward, based on objective rational analytics.

In other words the numbers don’t lie. That may be why, according to Forbes, only 20% of CEO’s trust the competence of their Chief Marketing Officer (creative) compared to 90% of CEO’s who trust their Chief Financial Officer (numbers).

So, as to future decision making … time will tell.

Moving On

Posted by Tom Locke on November 16th, 2019 filed in Business, General, History, Life
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If you’ve been offended by someone – forgive them. If you’ve offended someone – apologize. Don’t drag around resentment with you. It only serves to make you sad and bitter. It doesn’t matter who was right. Someone once said: “Holding a grudge is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Don’t take that poison. Forgive, forget and move on with your life.

Life is not about getting even … it’s about getting ahead, making your life count and positively impacting others.


Posted by Tom Locke on November 5th, 2019 filed in Business, Education, General, History, Life
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Call me old school but it is sure disappointing witnessing how people treat one another today. Whatever happened to the golden rule of treating others like the way you wish to be treated?

In the history of the world, no one ever went wrong by being polite. In fact, many people will tell you that life is better when we treat each other with respect. Unfortunately, this form of common decency does not appear to be that common today.

But it doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. All it takes is a few consistent gestures of kindness and respect and you will see a positive change in those you interact with. Hopefully, it becomes contagious.

During my upbringing my parents constantly kept me on tract with the use of two phrases – “Please” and “Thank you”. They echo respect, dignity and harmony and open a lot of doors.

A Lasting Moment In Time

Posted by Tom Locke on October 23rd, 2019 filed in General, History, Life, Sports ... All Sorts
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Back in 1993 I commissioned a young, up-and-coming artist to do a painting of elite mile distant runners, England’s Sir Roger Bannister and Australian John Landy, to commemorate their historic race at the 1954 British Empire & Commonwealth Games held in Vancouver; a race that would for ever after become known as the Miracle Mile.

With only 90 yards to go in this legendary race, John Landy glanced over his left shoulder to check his opponent’s position. At that instant Bannister streaked by him to victory in a Commonwealth record time of 3:58.8. Landy’s second place finish in 3:59.6 marked the first time the four minute mile had been broken by two men in the same race.

The Miracle Mile painting and prints originally signed by Bannister, Landy and the artist were introduced at the 1994 Commonwealth Games held in Victoria, BC. The original painting hangs over the my fireplace at home and over the last 25 years, I have had a number of runners, sports enthusiasts and professional speakers reach out to me for a signed print.

It’s truly amazing what this moment in time has become a metaphor for – from breaking barriers to achieving goals to dedication/commitment to a sport. Case in point, this past August I was contacted by Phredd Evans, a high school Assistant Principal in Jones, Oklahoma.

Phredd has a saying he shares with his students, “What’s behind you doesn’t matter”. To support this, he reached out to me for a print so he could place it in his office as a reminder to students that looking back can be costly.

Phredd Evans and Miracle Mile Print

Kudos to you Phredd. May this legendary moment in time continue to inspire your students – new and old.