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Ideas@Work! - Strategies for Success

August 2, 2006

In this issue...
Point to Ponder
August can be awesome - choose to make it so!
Chase your passion (not your pension)
Success Library
Complimentary copies of Bob's books
Last minute notes and ideas
You have the power to create the life you desire... Discover how
Thanks for reading this issue...

Point to Ponder

One percent better!

"Excellence results from doing 100 things 1 percent better, rather than one thing 100 percent better." Author Unknown

One of the biggest obstacles to growth is the misguided quest for the big idea, the big break, the big sale, or the big change. In reality, success, sales, and growth happen one step at a time, one improvement at a time, and often a simple, one percent at a time.

Sure there are many stories of major breakthroughs and advances, perhaps you've even experienced one or more yourself.  However, when you look at what led up to them, you'll often see multiple efforts to improve, research, prepare and experiment. I know that is often the case in my life and business. I work and prepare in advance of the successful completion or creative breakthrough.

It would be so easy, if we could simply wait until the big, million dollar idea drops into our brains or laps and then reap the benefits. It would also be unrealistic to live that way. It would be like buying a lotto ticket as a means of paying your monthly bills.

Leaders are never fully satisfied with where they or their teams are; they have what many would call creative discontent in that they can always see ways of tweaking or making it better. Many of the ones I meet or work with sure live this way. Keeps me on my toes.

Peters and Waterman (In Search of Excellence) wrote, "The essence of excellence is the thousand concrete, minute-to-minute actions performed by everyone in an organization to keep a company on its course."

Sam Walton of Wal-Mart was famous for looking at his competition with the eye of learning one thing he could use to make what he and his team did a bit better.  He built a large, successful, multi-national company from a very little one by applying this concept of continuous improvement. Jack Welsh made some amazing and profitable changes in GE by doing the same thing. My friends at The Brick also follow this path to increased success in building a better business and supporting and empowering a better team. Their goal is to create a 'company of leaders' who will each take increased personal responsibility and creative action to improve their operations and service to their customers.

What are your competitors doing better that you can apply?

I've seen many people fall to the trap of waiting for the 'big idea' - a completely novel idea for a product, project, or service. They sit and wait for sudden inspiration or brilliant flashes of insight. By focusing only on big ideas, we can easily become blinded from seeing smaller, otherwise 'good' and 'valuable' solutions.

Like the story I heard of an employee in the GAP mailroom who noticed several packages being couriered to the same address. He checked into it, compiled them into one package with instructions on distribution at the receiving end. His 'small' change in process saved his company ten's of 1,000's of dollars each year.

While not as flashy or showy, these smaller insights and ideas often represent very workable and profitable options.

Some can even lay the foundation for other great ideas. Encourage your team to capture or share their ideas with you and investigate all of the options contained.

Consider that the original idea for the $1 billion dollar a year, Levi Strauss Dockers line came from one of their 'dock' workers in Argentina.

Take some time this month to mentally or physically tour your company, to reflect on your career or professional skills.

  • Are there 10-15 areas where you can make changes that will give you a 1% improvement?
  • Write the ideas for improvement down and schedule specific time to make them happen.

One percent better can be your rallying call in the pursuit of excellence and success in your leadership, career, or company.

2006 Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey

Author, Create the Future!


August can be awesome - choose to make it so!

"Nobody is a real loser - until they start blaming somebody else." Coach John Wooden

John Wooden was one of North America's greatest basketball coaches (UCLA Bruins under his leadership set a recordbreaking series of NCAA championships) who led and inspired his teams to greatness and victory. He earned the respect of players, competitors, and fans alike. One of his motivating statements (above) admonished his players to take personal responsibility for their actions.

August can be one of your more productive months, if you choose to make that commitment and side-step taking the easy way out in making excuses for your actions. I know, in the past, I have allowed myself to buy into the 'August is slow' fallacy. It may be slow in some areas, but it is a great time to move ahead strategically, to create new marketing ideas, and creative pieces, or do some writing (of this ezine in advance) so when I am more busy away from the office I will continue to grow my business and serve my clients and readers.

If you are in the greater Edmonton region here are two very talented people you might want to know. Remember, August is a good time to work 'on' your business!

  • Laird Farr with Mail Boxes Etc. provides more than just mail box rentals and photocopying. He can help you with the design and delivery of top quality promotional materials for your business. Laird and his staff can be a valuable addition to your team.
  • Irene Gaudet with Vitrak Creative can help you harness the creative power of your mind, to maximize your message on the web. If you've been 'thinking' about going online or redesigning your web presence, Irene can help.

What 3 things can you commit to doing this month that will move your business, your leadership, or your career profitably to the next level?

PS: This picture is of a young John Wooden. At the age of 92 (July 23, 2003) he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His inspiration did not diminish with age. That is something to consider as you continue your personal leadership path.


If you are new to our Ideas At Work! family, welcome aboard. If you've been with us a while, I hope you'll enjoy our new expanded format. You can jump ahead to the articles if you have already read this introductory note.

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Chase your passion (not your pension)

by Denis Waitley

Lisa, our youngest daughter, recently earned her master's degree to start a career as a high school English teacher. I doubt she was more excited about her graduation than her parents were. As we entered the stadium for the commencement services, it dawned on me that after putting seven children through college and graduate studies, I'd finally be able to fund my retirement plan.

It was very hot in the concrete arena. A midday sun beat squarely in our faces. I suspected that the exercises would be long and merciless. As the graduates filed in, I was amused to see slogans taped to their tasseled caps. "Will work for food!" "Get my room ready, Mom!" Our daughter's read, "Thanks Mom and Pop." Some wore bathing suits beneath their gowns. Some blew bubbles with a pipe and soap. Most were ecstatic about finally leaving school, visibly impatient for that night's parties and for freedom and the opportunity to earn.

Olmos "Stood and Delivered"

As the warm-up speakers droned on about politically correct issues, I wondered whether any time would remain for the main speaker. In fact, his address lasted barely ten minutes, which may have set a national record for brevity.

(Winston Churchill holds the international record: thirty seconds to repeat "Never give up!" nine times.) That main speaker was Edward James Olmos, the actor-activist who played Jaime Escalante in an inspiring movie about inner-city students called Stand and Deliver. Olmos stood up, removed his cap, and regarded the graduates. "So we're ready to party?" he asked. "Yeah, let's party!" they answered in unison. "I know, thank God it's Friday," he resumed. "But commencement means to begin, not finish. You've had a four-year sabbatical from life, and now you're ready to go out there and earn. You're only beginning Real World 101 in your education."

"One more thing before we leave," he continued. "Please never, ever work for money. Please don't just get a job. A job is something that many of you had while you worked your way through college. A job is something you do for money. But a career is something you do because you're inspired to do it. You want to do it, you love doing it, you're excited when you do it. And you'd do it even if you were paid nothing beyond food and the basics. You'd do it because it's your life." (Editor's note: Amen to that!)

What he was saying, which I have tried to recall and interpret in my own words is that many of you will go out and try to get the highest-paying job possible, regardless of the industry, regardless of the opportunity, regardless of the service or product the company may provide. If you chase money, it may catch you - and if it catches you, you'll forever be its slave.

By letting money pursue you but never catch you, you'll always be its master. By always doing what you love, loving what you do, delivering more than you promise, you'll always be underpaid - which is how it always should be.

For if you're paid more than you're worth, you may be restructured, reengineered, replaced, fired, declared obsolete, disposed of. Overpaid people are overdrawn in their knowledge bank account. People who are underpaid for the level and quality of the service they provide are always in demand and always ahead of the money in their knowledge and contribution. So money and opportunity are always chasing them. This is what I got out of the commencement speech that day.

Olmos concluded with a charged voice and moist eyes. "Chase your passion, not your pension! Be inspired to learn as much as you can, to find a cause that benefits humankind - and you'll be sought after for your quality of service and dedication to excellence. This passion will make you oblivious of quitting time and to the length of your workday. You'll awake every morning with the passion of pursuit, but not the pursuit of money ..

Those who do more than they're paid for are always sought for their services. Their name and work outlive them and always command the highest price. Chase your passion, not your pension!"

The graduates were stunned. Many cried with joy. I was speechless, which is rare indeed. Olmos was no actor speaking for an honorarium. He was all passion, pure and simple. "Maybe we should have taught that in a class," I heard a faculty member say.

(Editor's note: That is a statement of purpose and very much missing in our education system.)

Motive in Action

Motivation is a contraction of motive and action. An inner force that compels behavior, it comes from within, not from any external circumstance. You know where you're going because you have a compelling image inside, not a travel poster on the wall, a financial statement with a big bonus, or a slogan in the hall. The performance of may externally motivated individuals begins declining as soon as they win contests of one sort or another. I've personally witnessed this among Super Bowl champions and World Cup teams that lost the incentive to maintain their excellence after winning the cup, the honors, and the cash.

If you're really committed to peak performance and leadership, you must motivate yourself from within. Studies of achievers show that inner drives for excellence and independence are far more powerful that desire for wealth, status or recognition.

The Inner Drive

Behavioral scientists have found that independent desire for excellence is the most telling predictor of significant achievement.

In other words, the success of our efforts depends less on the efforts themselves than on our motives. The most successful companies, like the most successful men and women in almost all fields, have achieved their greatness out of a desire to express what they felt had to be expressed. Often it was a desire to use their skills to their utmost in order to solve a problem. This is not to say that many of them did not also earn a great deal of money and prestige. William Shakespeare, Thomas Edison, Estee Lauder, Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, Sam Walton and Bill Gates all became wealthy. But far more than thoughts of profit, the key to their success was inspiration and inner drive by creating or providing excellence in a product or a service. All were motivated by the desire to produce the very best that was in them.

Go for the Inner Applause

The late Ray Kroc, a former neighbor of mine who founded McDonald's Corporation when he was in his fifties, stressed the importance of people working for the inner satisfaction, not just for the money. Ray said most people find it difficult to associate applause with their work when they can't hear literal applause - but the important applause should come from within. It is the faster heartbeat, the pride and satisfaction of accomplishment.

Kroc told the University of Southern California's Business School that the first thing a business executive needs is love of an idea.

If you don't love your concept, drop it. If you prostitute yourself at an early age by taking a job where the money is, you'll be working for money all your life. Loving their work is particularly important for younger people. If they lose that love early, they may never grow to anywhere near their potential for self-actualization.

Hire People Who Have Empowered Themselves

An inner drive for excellence motivates you always to be the best you possible can in whatever you do. Leaders and managers should take special note here. They must be careful in their use of external motivators - money, perks, prestigious offices and titles - in trying to inspire their team members and employees. Enduring motivation must always come ultimately from within the individual.

That's why empowerment and vision are so crucial to team performance and quality. Their power and their vision, not those of the leader must compel team members. Interviewing potential members, you should look for internally motivated individuals who hold their work important for its own sake, who love their field or their industry, who seek the exhilaration of testing their limits and contributing to the world. Be wary if they show more interest in your compensation package than in their contribution package.

Put Your Signature On Your Career

No one exemplifies the concepts in this article better than Antonio Stradivari, an Italian violin maker who lived from 1644 to 1737. Stradivari died at the age of ninety-three, at a time when the average life expectancy was a little over thirty-five years. He taught himself his trade. His tools were primitive, and he usually worked alone until later in life, when his sons joined him. Stradivari had a passion. He put the best of himself into every violin and viola. When he was finished and was certain that his craftsmanship measured up to his personal standards, he signed his name on the instrument.

Nearly three hundred years later, his violins sell for hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars, and Stradivarius is a synonym for quality throughout the world. But far from every man or woman with uncommon standards of excellence become celebrities. At this very moment, thousands or tens of thousands are working unknown and unsung in industry, the arts and the sciences. The public has never heard of them and probably never will; yet they refuse to turn out shoddy work. They are in the minority, but that's where they've always been - playing for a gallery of one, for their own inner applause. Remember, people who consistently do things well set their own standards and make themselves measure up. In so doing, they:

Give the best of themselves to benefit others, making their work a source of joy and satisfaction while they experience deep self-respect from being uncommon contributors.

Build a kind of security that lasts a lifetime or beyond, because respect for quality always abides and will always command the highest price. If you accept nothing but excellence from yourself and feel entitled to put your name on your work, both will endure. The bitterness of poor quality lingers on long after the sweetness of low price.

Chase your passion, not your pension!

Copyright 2005 Denis Waitley International. All rights reserved worldwide. Reproduced with permission from Denis Waitley's Weekly Ezine. To subscribe to Denis Waitley's Weekly Ezine, go to or send an email with Join in the subject to

PS: Picture is a much younger, braver me coming down on a Mexican beach... what a ride!


Success Library

Each month I have the pleasure of sharing a few suggestions for your professional and personal development.

Add these to your success library.

Hey, it's summer. In addition to continuing to read for your professional growth, read a few books that are non-business for the pure enjoyment of reading something that engages your creative mind and allows you to play.


Complimentary copies of Bob's books

Here is your chance to earn a complimentary shopping spree from the creative collection of writing from Canadian author and Ideaman, Bob Hooey. Select from over 30 leadership, career, sales or business success development publications.

Simply pass on Bob's name and website to someone you feel would benefit from exploring the innovative services he has to offer. If they consider engaging him you could be selecting from over 30 publications.

Click here for more information on this new referral rewards program. This is Bob's way of saying thank you for recomending him to your friends and professional colleagues.


Bob Hooey working in the creative offices of Ideas At Work! Last minute notes and ideas

July Jottings

July has been a very busy month with 'family' and friend activities: A family reunion, a wedding, and a road trip to Drumheller (never been there... wow).

The Brick Way! is finished! The Brick creative team, under the leadership of Terry Cowan, are truly amazing. It is currently being printed and will be distributed to their 7,000 team members next month (August). What a great experience and opportunity to learn and grow. Client is 'very' pleased with how it turned out and wants to share it with his counterparts (24 of the top leaders in his industry) in the USA and Mexico. Wow! (Wed) My copy is being couriered to Langley Store for Friday morning. Awesome!

Brick founder, Bill Comrie just received the Order of Canada. Very nice to see Bill acknowleged for his contributions in business and the community. I've had the privilege of getting to know him while working with him on a few projects, he definitely deserves this award.

It was also a productive time at home and in the office. Finished the creative office and writing room (actually writing this article from there - see picture) in one of my spare rooms on the main floor. Saving lots of time on my morning commute to the Freshly painted with a large u-shaped desk, it is a great place to work and reflect. It is non-cluttered and my commitment is to keep it that way, by 'only' bringing and keeping reference materials and work related files up here. The rest will continue to be kept in the downstairs main office (the one with the hot tub) or reference library.

I can swivel and look outside at the countryside just a stone's throw away. I can look outside and watch as the wind blows through the trees and the grass, or the various birds gather, or the storms pass through. Or, just daydream! I love it! Nice to be able to take a break by walking out on one of the decks or into the yard to enjoy the flowers my sister and a close friend have planted and I am now learning to care for and water.

Got started on some serious work done on Quantum Success and am now poised to have it done over the next month. I am so impressed by the quality of our coauthors, I can hardly wait to share it with you. Currently we have 45 authors who have generously contributed their work. Take a peek at who is helping with this project to help raise awareness and funding for Laura's Hope. I hope to see us add a few and provide the wisdom from 52 by the time it is released in September.

Working on advance Ideas@Work! ezines so I will be well ahead when the fall travel hits.

My CAPS friend, Robert Manolson invited me to an Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Speed Networking event on the 25th. Kind of like speed dating, but for business. Lots of fun and a great way to meet some new people, including some new subcribers for this ezine. (Hello again!)

Haven't done much of this type of networking over the past few years, but since I am looking for a few additional business and presentation coaching clients and of course, opportunities to speak closer to home it made sense. When I lived in BC, I would speak for the local chamber and board of trade during the year and they would give me a complimentary membership instead of a mug. This allowed me to drop in occasionally when I was in town. Perhaps your local chamber has something like this, or might appreciate you making that suggestion.

Nice to see a few CAPS friends there as well, including Michelle Devlin, Pam Robertson and Graeme Burns. Saw my friend Kristen Cholak (cousin to my brother-in-deed Jerry) who works for Wayne Lee. She is doing some work for an interesting event in August (17-20th) called the Earth Festival in Athabasca. If you're around, why not check it out. Even met Elizabeth Taylor (ok, not the famous actress, but a good addition to the Chamber team).

August awaits

I'm looking forward to spending the day (Aug. 2nd) with my NSA friend Doug Stevenson participating in his Story Theater workshop in Vancouver. Also, a chance to visit family, friends, and professional colleagues on the coast. (Note from Vancouver: Just finished the day with Douglas... he is even better... and so I am for the experience! But that is a different story!)

Mid month, I will be working with a great client and friend to tweak and prepare for his upcoming presentation on leadership for the Advantage Board in Calgary on the 25th. Redesigning the success materials we plan to give each of the CEO's and their emerging leaders who attend.

Have a couple of personal writing projects on the go which will be available in our new referral rewards program. This will be a work in progress as we evolve and experiment with ways to say thanks for those of you who pass along our name and recommend our services.

I am setting aside some time to rewrite and expand 'Beyond the FIRST Sale!" and revisiting the sales training program it supports to tweak and make it more effective for those who invest the time with me. I did an earlier version of this book for a seminar company a few years back (licensed to them for that period). My plan is to make it a part of my fall efforts to help my clients and their sales teams make more money and sell more services and products by building solid long-term mutually beneficial relationships. The plan is to make it available in both an e-book and a print version.

I will be working on completion of "Attitude Counts" over the next few months in my 'filler' times. This is a motivational e-book based on many of my favorite quotes, stories, and experiences and what they have meant or mean to me and where they can help you and your team succeed. Time permitting it will be available for Christmas 2006.

Also, investigating adding a merchant component to our websites so you can actually order some of our publications online.

Have been given the privilege of being a part of a very special event in September called the Speaker's Gift Box. More about that and how you can benefit in our September issue.


You have the power to create the life you desire... Discover how

I don't often pass along offers from other people, but my friend Wayne Lee is amazing! I've had the opportunity to work with him on several occasions and walk away inspired and awed each time. He continues to get better.

So... check this out!

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In his intensive one-day Ignite the Magic Within Empowerment Seminar, Wayne will teach you how to use his 3-Step Strategy to Discover, Design and Deliberately Create a magical life.

In this dynamic and empowering seminar, you will learn how to:

Use Wayne Lee's Life is MagicTM philosophy to guide your inner MAGIC of Motivation, Awareness, Goals, Imagination and Choices to ultimately create your desired life.

Breakthrough the illusions of fear and self-doubts that are stopping you from achieving ultimate success.

Achieve laser-like mental focus to become the best you can be.

Reduce stress and increase relaxation.

Discover who you are and who you want to become.

Focus on your dreams and set goals to achieve ultimate success.

Use self-hypnosis to program yourself for success.

Adopt specific ways of successful thinking, feeling and acting.

Replace bad habits with productive behaviour.

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Live the laughter and be inspired with Wayne's highly energizing and mesmerizing comedic hypnosis show following the seminar.

Ignite your inner MAGIC and make a dramatic change in your life.

Register Today!

"A very powerful experience! His ideas presented can be easily adapted and used daily and throughout life." S. O'Toole

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September 23, 2006

Conexus Arts Centre

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Edmonton, AB

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September 30, 2006

University of Alberta Conference Centre

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October 14, 2006

University of Calgary

MacEwan Conference & Event Centre, Ballroom

Saskatoon, SK

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October 21, 2006

TCU Place - Saskatoon's Arts & Convention Centre,

Salon C

Ignite the Magic within...


Koi as seen by Bob Hooey Thanks for reading this issue...

Expand your world - grow!

I remember the first time I visited Hawaii (back in the mid 70's) seeing the Koi (Japanese Carp) in a pool and being amazed at these 'giant goldfish'. Someone later told me that when Koi are kept in a small bowl, they will only grow to be 2 or 3 inches long. Put that same Koi in a larger tank or pond and it can easily grow to 6-10 inches in length. Put that same Koi in a huge lake and you would certainly see it grow to several feet in size.

Perhaps this is a good idea or analogy for our own growth as leaders, in our careers, or in our various business adventures. Our growth is often determined by the size of 'our' world and how we perceive it and embrace it. The dimenisons to be considered are not the 'world's' but our own. It is how we perceive the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical opportunities we enounter and how we expand in dealing with them that count.

I've seen this proven with leaders I've worked with in presentation skills or strategic development, in companies growing through to the next level, and inviduals who stetch and grow under adverse conditions to succeed.

Make a commitment to expand your world, your abilities and your skills - to grow!



Thank you for reading this issue of 'Ideas@Work! - Strategies for Success'. We know your time is valuable and our commitment is to make sure each issue has some solid value for you and your team. We are committed to helping you and your team profitably move to the next level.

Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey would be pleased to be a part of your success team and to work with you for your conference, meeting or training event. For more information about customized keynotes, professional/personal leadership training and coaching, seminars/retreats, please visit or call our Creative Office at: (780) 736-0009

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#10, Creativity Corner
Egremont, AB T0A 0Z0