The 10 KIDmandments: Ten Principles for Raising Successful Children

When I set out to write my book, The 10 KIDmandments, my aim was to inspire other parents who, like my wife and I, embrace the journey towards becoming the best parents we can be. I still don’t think I have all the answers, but through my writing I became even more aware of the importance of establishing guiding principles for how we raise our kids. The principles set forth in my book are meant to inspire discussion and exploration of your families values and guiding ideals. The choice to be a great parent is ours. We are incredibly fortunate to be blessed with children in
Read More

What Are The Differences Between Faith, Religion, and Spirituality?

“All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness… The important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.” —Dalai Lama Faith, Religion, and Spirituality (FRS) – is a deep subject for such a short blog, but ohhhh what an important one. In my experience, many parents teach their children about religion, but great parents teach their children the differences between faith, religion, and spirituality. That’s why KIDmandment 10 is Faith, Religion, and Spirituality. It is important that we teach our kids how to understand these sometimes complex and confusing ideas – and how they fit into their lives.
Read More

Finding Presence and Purpose: Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth

A few weeks ago I wrote about on of the first “self-improvement” books to capture widespread attention, Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends & Influence People. This week, I want to discuss a more recent book that launched its author into the ranks of influential thought leaders, Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. What makes this book different from its contemporaries? Tolle’s purpose “is not to add new information or beliefs to your mind or to try to convince you of anything, but to bring about a shift in consciousness.” This kind of thinking is precisely what led me
Read More

Parenting and Productivity: Finding Balance at Work and Home

The balancing act between achieving advancement at work (in order to provide for our families) and having quality time to spend with our families is a constant struggle facing the modern working parent. Now more than ever, if we want to get ahead, it seems like we have to be completely dedicated to our jobs. Add advancements in technology and the increasingly global economy, and what once was a 9-to-5 commitment is creeping closer and closer to 24/7. There are many reasons working parents are finding it so hard to leave space in their career aspirations for family time. The advent of the “cloud” and the smartphone has given us the ability to work from practically
Read More

Wisdom From Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People

Believe it or not, the first self-help best seller was published in 1936. Although it was written during the Great Depression, its lessons remain as important as ever. In fact, I could argue that they are even more relevant today! Modern technology means that less and less communication happens face-to-face, and we are in greater need of ways to improve our communication and connection skills. Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People has influenced my work, parenting, and general life practices. It also inspired many of the lessons I wrote about in KIDmandment 5 — Relationships & Communication Skills. Carnegie includes over 30 principles in his book (which
Read More

KIDmandment 8: Setting the Table for Healthy Habits

“Monkey see, monkey do” is a pretty apt way of describing how our kids learn from us. When we set an example for our kids, we can be pretty sure that they're going to copy us, for better or for worse. When it comes to our health and eating habits, the example we set for our kids (and the meals we cook for them!) set the foundation for their choices as they grow up. If we don't take care of ourselves, we can't expect our kids to develop healthy habits. If we are out of whack and making poor health choices for ourselves,
Read More

Self-Actualization: Our Ongoing Journey

“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. This is the need we may call self-actualization… It refers to man's desire for fulfillment… to become everything that one is capable of becoming…” - Dr. Abraham Maslow What does it mean to have a successful life? This is one of those big questions that I often ask myself — “What does success mean to me?” It's a topic that I've explored before on this blog, and it was definitely on my
Read More

The Leader’s Role: Someone Has to Enforce the Rules

In my blog on the Rs: Rules, Respect, and Repercussions, I explored KIDmandment 7 and how it comes into play when raising children. Clarity of expectations is vital at home and at work as well. Despite their importance, nobody really relishes being the enforcer of the rules. Parents want to love and nurture their children, not discipline them. But understanding the repercussions of our actions is an important lesson that can't be skipped over. The same is true at work. Very few people come in to work in the morning hoping that they get the chance to enforce the rules that day. Ideally, the rules exist as guidelines
Read More

The Rs: Rules, Respect, and Repercussions

“The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity.”  ~ Benjamin Franklin, Inventor and Politician Rules: Creating Clear Expectations One of the lessons I have learned from being the President of a company is the importance of making rules and following through with them. I am a big believer in rewarding people who follow the rules and achieve their goals and establishing consequences for those who do not.
Read More

Operation Breakthrough: Serving Children of KC’s Urban Core

When I set out to write a book about the lessons learned as the President of City Wide and as a father of three daughters, I wanted the proceeds to support a cause related to raising great kids. Operation Breakthrough, which is located in my hometown of Kansas City, was the perfect choice because helping children thrive is their #1 goal every day. Operation Breakthrough’s Mission: To help children who are living in poverty develop to their fullest potential by providing them a safe, loving and educational environment. A History of Service Operation Breakthrough is one of the largest single-site
Read More