Make Your Dream A Reality!

Laura Novakowski  -  Nov 30, 2011  -  , , , , ,  -  Comments Off on Make Your Dream A Reality!

“The question for each man to settle is not what he would do if he had means, time, influence and educational advantages; the question is what he will do with the things he has. The moment a young man ceases to dream or to bemoan his lack of opportunities and resolutely looks his conditions in the face, and resolves to change them, he lays the corner-stone of a solid and honorable success.”
Hamilton Wright Mabie

When we stay focused on the problem or the issue that is standing in the way of our dream – we hold ourselves back.  We stop moving towards achieving our dreams.  Instead, we spend time complaining, commiserating and crying.

Mabie’s second question becomes much more relevant, “What will we do with the things we have?” Let’s make a list.

1.  Have a dream.  Dream that you want to win a Nobel peace prize, write a Pulitzer winning novel, become the next Microsoft, own a house on Maui, travel around the world.  Mentally ignore the boundaries and limiting factors, whatever the dream, go for it.

2.  Review your assets.  Evaluate what you have in your personal and professional toolbox.  Assess your talents, strengths, relationships, education, experience.

3.  Create a plan. The dream now can take shape.  Planning will help turn that intangible dream into a tangible reality.  When we plan, we take positive action towards a dream that may not be achieved in our life time.  But, perhaps it can be. We will NEVER know if we don’t try.

4.  Take action. The first action step is to write down the goals that will help to achieve the dream.  Simple to-do lists become mini action plans for each goal that will take you closer to your dream. To-do lists can be great fun but be careful not to make them a laundry list that takes over with tasks that actually take you away from making your dream come true.

5.  Measure results.    Maybe, the book you write doesn’t even get published.  At least, your wrote the book.  Perhaps, you only traveled from one country to another and didn’t make it around the world, yet.   Measuring and monitoring progress is important to helping lock in success and motivation.  It helps us to keep on keeping on.

If we want to make our dreams a reality, we have to work with what we have and then we will “lay a corner-stone of solid and honorable success.”

Too Much Disease, Too Little Health

Laura Novakowski  -  Nov 16, 2011  -  , , , , , , ,  -  Comments Off on Too Much Disease, Too Little Health

Today, the emphasis seems to be on disease. Disease in a person. Disease in a business. It seems that everywhere we go there is an emphasis on disease.  This macabre approach has caused me to invest perhaps a life time of study in attempting to understand what quite frankly makes very little sense to me.  My personal preference has always been to emphasis health, to seek opportunities and growth.

As a starting point, let’s look at some definitions of disease:

  1. A disorder of structure or function that affects the  condition of a human, living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that results in impaired normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms that affects a major system or function.
  2. A particular quality, habit, or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or group of people.
  3. A harmful development.

In  my opinion, these definitions can apply to a human or a business equally as well.  While it is extremely important to pay attention to issues, challenges, pathogens that can and do cause a great deal of harm  and distruction; it is becoming so prevalent that most of the dollars in healthcare and business are being spent on repairing disease because it has reared it ugly head so largely that a person or business can barely function let alone survive.

We fight disease to stay alive.However, in fighting disease, we are failing our health.

Now let’s look at some definitions of health:

  1. The overall condition of an organism at a given time.
  2. Soundness, especially of a body, mind or business.
  3. Freedom from disease or abnormality.
  4. The optimal level of functioning.

As with disease, these definitions for health can apply equally as well to humans and businesses.  The last definition for health is my personal favorite.  What person or business doesn’t want to “function at their optimal level“?

Unfortunately, when we focus too much on disease, we will always, always get not enough health.  Why not shift our focus to health and see if that doesn’t help to control the disease more effectively.

I would love to hear your thoughts.



Believe in the Underdog

Laura Novakowski  -  Nov 09, 2011  -  , , , , , , , ,  -  Comments Off on Believe in the Underdog

A young girl believed in a horse she found him wandering in a field.  He was nothing but skin and bones.  She named him Pippin.

Watch this video, it’s amazing.  The song is Underdog by Lost Trailer.


When Do We Need Chaos?

Laura Novakowski  -  Nov 02, 2011  -  , , , , , ,  -  Comments Off on When Do We Need Chaos?
Just because the world, the economy and perhaps even our businesses are in turmoil, does not mean that we have to succumb to chaos.  Instead, we can appreciate that the chaos around us affords so many opportunities.
Friedrich Nietzsche helps put our receptiveness to chaos into perspective…
“You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.” 
So, when do we need chaos?
We need chaos when we…
  • have fixed on a plan and it’s the wrong plan
  • are in a relationship that is unhealthy
  • have found enough pain that something has to change
  • are settled in comfort and not prepared for a storm
  • have lost our perspective regarding what is significant and important
  • are acting on goals and objectives that are no longer relevant
What do you think?

Why Not Establish Key Elements for Leadership Success?

Laura Novakowski  -  Oct 26, 2011  -  , , , , ,  -  Comments Off on Why Not Establish Key Elements for Leadership Success?

“If your actions inspire others to dream more,
learn more,
do more and become more,
you are a leader.”
John Quincy Adams

Leadership is more than just a title or a position. Comprised of numerous and often undefined facets, leaders struggle until they define some simple, fundamental elements that can help to focus energy and talent around those leadership components that will have a positive impact on their business. For me, there are five elements that can help set apart the mediocre from the extraordinary in terms of leadership that can lead to ultimate business and life success.
    1. Results centered. The results centered person has not only clearly defined objectives and goals for themselves, but they always communicate and clarify those results to key stakeholders.
    2. Influence people. Not through coercion or manipulation, instead, the successful leader has the ability to inspire others to get on board with the key desired results.
    3. Initiate and manage change. Not waiting until the year end financials or customer service complaints arrive, successful leaders proactively measure and monitor consistently employee and customer interests and satisfaction.
    4. Business acumen. Understanding the critical elements of their business, successful leaders have an understanding of their products and/or services, as well as their roles and responsibilities.
    5. Build partnerships & teams. Leaders appreciate that without followers there is no need for leadership. Establishing strong relationships, selecting the right employees, the right partners and the right customers takes skill and talent.


Being labeled The Leader can be a daunting responsibility. Establishing key elements can help successful leaders focus time, talent and energy towards cultivating attributes that can lead to thriving relationships, growing business and sustainable communities. I thought I would share with you my key elements. Now, I am interested in learning what others identify as those key elements that have led them to business success.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

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