Marching To The Beat Of Your Own Drum

Posted by Tom Locke on August 21st, 2021 filed in Business, General, Life
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By focusing on our strengths and natural tendencies, being true to who we really are, and not caring what is normal or what others think, we can do amazing things. I’m finding as I get older I am more inclined to do it “my way” and not worry so much what other people think. It’s quite freeing and I feel more in control.

COVID Challenge Becomes An Opportunity

Posted by Tom Locke on July 30th, 2021 filed in Business, Education, General, Life, Music
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The pandemic has certainly altered our business and personal lifestyles. Many of us have become very proficient at video conferencing and have been “forced” to learn how to properly interact with loved ones who are constantly around us – significant others and kids.

During the past year and half, my travel time has decreased significantly and has allowed me to revisit some projects that have sat for a great deal of time on the corner of my desk.

One of these projects relates to my passion for music. As a result, I have spent the last 18 months following up on the encouragement of the fans of Treasure Island Oldies, to write a book on the five minute featured music segments I have created/produced on a weekly basis for the show over the past 20+ years.

My new music “Fun” book, ‘Moments In Time‘, is designed to entertain, inform and not offend, as it is time to put some smiles back on people’s faces by reflecting on simpler, memorable times through the artists and music of the 50s, 60s and 70s that we and/or our parents grew up with. It is scheduled for release this fall.

Effective Promotion

Posted by Tom Locke on June 27th, 2021 filed in Business, Education, General
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Promotion of a product or an event can seem quite daunting, Breaking things down into manageable tasks and associating timelines to them is essential. It is like eating an elephant. It is doable … one piece at a time. It’s all about pacing and pacing is energy saving.

Success in promotion is based on the axiom that nobody tells your story better than you do. So, if you are prepared, you will be able to tell your story via any avenue at the drop of a hat. If you take promotion on as an opportunity as opposed to a chore, you will find it rewarding and enjoyable.

Motivation & Persistence

Posted by Tom Locke on June 3rd, 2021 filed in Business, Education, General, Life
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One of the great motivational speakers of our time was Zig Ziglar (1926 – 2012). One of his memorable quotes was “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it.

Being and keeping motivated is an ongoing commitment and one that produces results. Getting started is often the toughest hurdle in the journey to sustainability and success. According to Ziglar, “You don’t have to be great at something to start, but you have to start to be great at something.

Supporting the above is this short inciteful video featuring some iconic people you know.

What Matters Most

Posted by Tom Locke on April 9th, 2021 filed in Business, Education, General, History, Life
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Throughout my career and personal life I have had the opportunity to be involved with people with disabilities. It was through various interactions with individuals and organizations within this community that I became extremely conscious of how lucky I was in growing up healthy and how fortunate I was to be able to support those less fortunate than myself.

If you can walk, run, and dance without pain, celebrate your good fortune. Being healthy and free of limitations is priceless. If you are pain free, COVID free, and free to do the things you want, count your blessings.

Someone else is dreaming of the things you take for granted – why not give them a hand up?

Effective Emails

Posted by Tom Locke on March 18th, 2021 filed in Business, Education, General, Life, Technology
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We live in a sound byte world and people do not read today. It’s not that we don’t read, it’s that we don’t read as much.

When we see a large block of text in an email we either ignore it or skim through it (not really retaining anything).

So how do we get our colleagues to read our emails, retain information and take action if prompted? Well, I suggest the following:

  1. Use the subject line in your email to get to the point
  2. Keep the body of email short and focused on what was laid out in the subject line
  3. Limit the email to one big idea or takeaway
  4. Use statements, not open-ended questions. (e.g. “If you agree, please respond ‘Yes’; if not, give me a call” as opposed to “So what do you think?”)
  5. If you are delivering criticism, be specific and respectful
  6. Reaching out from the heart now and then. A short, sincere and thoughtful message can make someone’s day.

By respecting the time of those you are writing to, you will increase the potential of the results you are trying to achieve.

Life Fulfillment

Posted by Tom Locke on February 14th, 2021 filed in Business, Education, General, Life, Travel
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It’s been over 20 years since I spoke with a former business associate and friend, Dan Koch. Via ZOOM, we recently got caught up. Our conversation soon turned to his career journey(s) as chronicled in his new book, My Four Corners … Life as a Bloody Foreigner.

Dan grew up in the shadow of Rhodesia’s independence turmoil. As civil unrest grew, he made the decision to leave his homeland and start again.

His first stop was England. It was there that he uncovered an opportunity in Saudi Arabia. Subsequent to this, he was able to move his young family to Canada. It was in Vancouver where we met.

Despite a long and successful interlude in Canada, at age 50, Dan found himself at a crossroads in his life, looking for a further challenge. And he found it – in Russia.

It was his time living in Moscow that really resonated with me, from a career perspective. It was there that Dan was able to apply his leadership skills in recognizing, developing and managing talent to make a measurable difference, a difference that led to team buy-in, profitability and trust throughout his organization.

In tandem with the foregoing was the buy-in and trust of his family who played an integral role in this grand journey. This was a great read – one that makes you stop and think about your journey.

Doing What You Are Good At

Posted by Tom Locke on January 29th, 2021 filed in Business, General, History, Life
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Time flies when you’re having fun or doing something you enjoy and are good at.

Isn’t that true of us all? If we can focus on using and developing our strengths instead of feeling like a failure because of our shortcomings, we will be more productive. And perhaps what you love to do and do well isn’t as in demand as something else – no matter, I say do it anyway.

Doing what you are good at or love to do will put a smile on your face. And heaven knows, we need more smiles.

Coping With Burnout

Posted by Tom Locke on January 7th, 2021 filed in Business, Education, Life
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Burnout was sure a topic of discussion in 2020 – especially in the medical community and with their front liners. And there does not seem to be an end in site.

Burnout has also been prevalent in other businesses and industries. And the home front has not been immune from it.

So how do we cope, knowing that adrenalin only goes so far in emergency and stressful situations.

First off, we need to identify the symptoms of burnout.

Per a recent article in the Harvard Business Review (“HBR”), thanks to the pioneering research of psychologist Christina Maslach and several collaborators, we know that burnout is a three-component syndrome that arises in response to chronic stressors on the job. Let’s examine each symptom—exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy, appreciating the fact that they are correlated.

Exhaustion is most central and involves physical, mental and emotional fatigue.

Cynicism is away of self-distancing yourself and can be brought on via work overload. However, it is also likely to occur in the presence of high conflict, unfairness, and lack of participation in decision making.

Inefficacy refers to feelings of incompetence or lack of achievement or productivity and can lead to disengagement.

In terms of recovery and prevention, HBR suggests the following strategies given that situational factors are the biggest contributors to burnout.

  1. Prioritize Self – Care – It’s essential to replenish your physical and emotional energy, along with your capacity to focus, by prioritizing good sleep habits, nutrition, exercise, social connection, and practices that promote equanimity and well-being, like meditating, journaling, and enjoying nature.
  2. Shift Your Perspective – This require you taking a hard look at what you are taking on and determining what is controllable and what isn’t. In tandem with this, it involves you challenging your mindset and assumptions.
  3. Reduce Exposure To Job/Personal Stressors – This involves resetting the expectations of colleagues, clients, and even family members for what and how much you’re willing to take on, as well as ground rules for working together. This can be done mutually and will probably be better received and appreciated as “we’re in this together”.
  4. Seek Out Connections – Empower colleagues/friends and find coaches and mentors who can help you identify and activate positive relationships and learning opportunities. 

Getting The Most Out Of Everyday

Posted by Tom Locke on December 17th, 2020 filed in Business, Education, General, History, Life
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For me the past is a reminder and an education while the future is something filled with promise. But in between is the present where we experience in the “now” – the most important part of our everyday lives.

So get the most out of your “now” as it is truly a gift. (Maybe that’s why they call it “the present”.)

Live Like There’s No Tomorrow.

“If you live every day as if it were your last, one day you’ll be right.” —Steve Jobs