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Welcome to The Innovative Professional's (TIP's) Letter!
Sunday, September 19, 2004
Written & Published by Philip E. Humbert, PhD
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Table of Contents:

1. The One-Minute TIP
Welcome Notes
What If You Never Had to Work? 
Quotes of the Week
Strictly Business:  Leadership Begins With Listening   
Resources and Tools for YOUR Success!
Humor:   And Then He Made Women 

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1. The One-Minute TIP

For all of his faults (and there were many of them) and for
all the craziness in his life (and there was lots of it),
Howard Hughes knew the power of focus. He could say a
clear, resounding YES! to the things that interested him.
Even when it meant ignoring enormous pressures and losing
millions of dollars and being labeled "irresponsible," he
could concentrate on a FEW THINGS and achieve incredible
results. He knew his priorities, even when the rest of the
world thought he was crazy. We can learn from that.

2. Welcome Notes

This week I had a powerful illustration of the old saying
that "we see what we look for." Last week I wrote about
learning from Benjamin Franklin's habit of concentrating on
one of thirteen "virtues" each week throughout his life,
and three people wrote to remind me of Franklin's
weaknesses. They pointed to his mis-treatment of his family
and neglect of his wife (absolutely valid criticisms) and
said that because of those blind spots they did not view
Franklin as a "successful person" and could not learn
anything from his life.

I pondered those emails but in the end, I disagree with
their premise. Whether he was blind to his obligations (as
Isaacson's biography, supported by Cokey Robert's excellent
book, "Founding Mothers" suggests) or whether he sacrificed
family concerns for the nation as Morris' biography suggests,
we can still learn from the strengths he modeled for us.

None of us is perfect. We do the best we can. We make
choices and we must live with them, and I would argue that
looking for perfection in a difficult and imperfect world
is an exercise in futility. I would never defend Franklin's
flaws; I merely hope to learn from his strengths.

3:  What If You Never Had to Work? 

There is a famous question that has helped people clarify
their goals for generations, and it usually goes something
like this: "If you won the lottery and never had to work
for the rest of your life, what would you do just because
you love it so much?"

This week I've been reading about a young man who faced
that exact situation.

I've been reading "Empire," the biography of Howard Hughes,
who inherited his father's business and became a millionaire
before his 20th birthday. What struck me is that he never had
to work a single day in his life.

Now, clearly Hughes had a troubled life and he's an easy
person to criticize. He was mentally ill and did many things I
consider immoral. But one thing he didn't have to do was WORK.

Yes, he was a playboy and I doubt that he worked very hard
by most people's standards, but he constantly set goals. He
shattered records for trans-continental and around-the-
world flights. He spent millions making movies that stand
as innovations and classics to this day. He built the
largest airplane ever made, and made it out of plywood!
While his interests were often undisciplined and mis-
guided, he pursued them with single-minded passion, and no
one can deny that he GOT THINGS DONE.

Clearly, I do not view Hughes as a model for my own life
except in this one area: He knew what he wanted and he
went after it.

In my work as a coach and keynote speaker I meet incredibly
talented people. I meet people with the resources to change
the world in amazing ways! Their raw talent often takes my
breath away.

And yet many of them actually achieve very little because
they never DECIDE what to do with their lives.

They can have and do so many things that they think they
can have it all.

Television, the internet, books and tapes bring the world
into our homes and offices. We are educated and rich. We can
travel, and opportunity is all around us, and yet somehow
our freedom ends up confusing us and we become over-whelmed.

This week I talked with an amazing woman. She is physically
beautiful, young, healthy, and educated. Her work has been
praised and published internationally. She's been on national
television and leads an incredibly rich life, and yet she is
frustrated and nearly broke. She wants to be a wife and mother,
and a nationally-acclaimed writer and speaker. She is owns
a dynamic business, and (of course) she is exhausted.

While I admire her enormously, I declined to be her coach
for one primary reason. She indicated she would not cut
back on any of her activities. She would not choose, and
she would not delegate, and I saw little chance for real
change in her life.

In our own ways, many of us fall into the same trap.

We have our work and our families, our hobbies and our
dreams. We have so many options and choices that, in the
end, we refuse to choose. We are unwilling to say "no" so
we become unable to say a clear, powerful "YES!"

For all of his faults (and there were many of them) and for
all the craziness in his life (and there was lots of it),
Howard Hughes knew the power of focus. He could say a
clear, resounding YES! to the things that interested him.
Even when it meant ignoring enormous pressures and losing
millions of dollars and being "irresponsible," he could
concentrate on a FEW THINGS and achieve incredible results.
He knew his priorities, even when the rest of the world
thought he was crazy.

We can learn from that.

4. Quotes of the Week

"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream
things that never were and ask why not."
                                     -- George Bernard Shaw

"The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human
being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind!"
                                     -- William James

"Inspiration grows into full-scale creation through
persistence and imagination."
                                     -- Carol Lloyd

"Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.
The soul that knows it not, knows no release from little things."
                                     -- Amelia Earhart

5. Strictly Business:   Leadership Begins With Listening

Too often, leadership is defined as giving orders. Many
entrepreneurs and professionals still used a model of
leadership that is best suited to the military or other
situations where life and safety are critical concerns, but
in business that is rarely the case.

More often in business, leadership is about listening to
people and helping them get what THEY want in the light of
a larger context.

Effective leadership is about working WITH your staff to
help them get what they truly want, whether it is
recognition, respect, job satisfaction or income, in the
context of the business' over-all goals for growth,
customer loyalty or increased sales.

Effective leadership is about listening!

The best salespeople listen to find out what the customer
wants, and then they find ways to provide it. The best
managers listen and understand the needs and desires of
their staff. The best entrepreneurs are experts as
listening to the marketplace for feedback about change, new
trends, and new services.

Remember the old saying that we were born with two ears and
one mouth. The obvious lesson is to listen twice as much as
we speak. I think it was Yogi Bera who once observed, "You
can learn an awful lot by listening." In business, that is
certainly true.

6. Resources and Tools for YOUR Success!

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7. Humor:    And Then He Made Women

I rarely use "gender humor" but last week I poked some fun
at the advantages of being a male, so when Bill Barrows
forwarded this from "J.", it touched me and I had to pass
it along. I hope you'll enjoy it, and pass it along to your
friends, as well.

By the time the Lord made woman, he was into his sixth day
of working overtime. An angel appeared and said, "Why are
you spending so much time on this one?" And the Lord answered,
"Have you seen my spec sheet on her? She has to be completely
washable but not plastic, have over 200 movable parts, all
replaceable and able to run on diet coke and leftovers, have
a lap that can hold four children at one time, have a kiss
that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart,
and she will do everything with only two hands."

The angel was astounded at the requirements. "Only two
hands!? No way! That's too much work for one day. Wait and
finish tomorrow."

"But I won't," the Lord protested. "I am so close to
finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart.
She already heals herself when she is sick AND can work 18
hour days."

The angel moved closer and touched the woman. "But you have
made her so soft, Lord." "She is soft," the Lord agreed,
"but I have also made her tough. You have no idea what she
can endure or accomplish."

"Will she be able to think?", asked the angel.

The Lord replied, "Not only will she be able to think, she
can reason and negotiate the most complex situations."

The angel then noticed something, and reaching out, touched
the woman's cheek. "Oops, it looks like you have a leak in
this model. I told you, you put too much into this one."

"That's not a leak," the Lord corrected, "that's a tear!"

"What's the tear for?" the angel asked.

The Lord said, "The tear is her way of expressing her joy,
her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment, her love, her
loneliness, her grief and her pride."

The angel was impressed. "You are a genius, Lord. You
thought of everything! Woman is truly amazing."

And she is! Women have strengths that amaze men. They bear
hardships and they carry burdens, but they hold happiness,
love and joy.

They smile when they want to scream. They sing when they
want to cry. They cry when they are happy and laugh when
they are nervous. They fight for what they believe in. They
stand up to injustice. They don't take "no" for an answer
when they believe there is a better solution.

They go without so their family can have. They go to the
doctor with a frightened friend. They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel and cheer when their
friends get awards. They are happy when they hear about a
birth or a wedding. Their heart breaks when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member, yet they are
strong when they think there is no strength left. They know
that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart.

Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors. They'll drive,
fly, walk, run or e-mail you to show how much they care
about you. The heart of woman is what makes the world keep
turning. They bring joy, hope and love. They have
compassion and ideals. They give moral support to their
family and friends. Women have vital things to say and
everything to give.


If you are a woman, I hope I've reminded you. If you are a
man, pass this along to the women you love.

Have a great day!


Be kind to yourself and to someone else, and have a
wonder-FULL week!

Philip E. Humbert, PhD,
Resources for Success!
President, The Philip E. Humbert Group, Inc.

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Copyright (c) 2004, all rights reserved.
U.S. Library of Congress ISSN: 1529-059X
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