Ideas@Work! - Strategies for Success

February 5, 2008

In this issue...
Point to Ponder
Slaying Your Own Giants
Toastmasters International Convention comes to Calgary, Alberta
Last minute news and views
Thanks for reading

Point to Ponder

"It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live." Marcus Aurelius

Lost another good friend late last month. "He simply went to bed and forgot to wake up," as my 95 year old buddy Steve told me.

When we suffer the loss of someone close to us, it cannot but impact us on a deeper level. Certainly a time to pause to ponder and to reflect on thier contributions to our life.

Someone once told me, "When someone dies, we are diminished in some way by their loss."

I suppose that is true, but we retain a part of them in our memories, in our minds, and in our message as impacted by their interaction in our lives. Peter was an important part of my life. His cousin, Dan Small, spoke briefly about his life and shared some of the stories from earlier years.

Peter Small was many things: a son, a brother, an uncle, a cousin, a hard worker, a mechanic, an inventor, an innovative farmer, and a philosopher ("it will be better, next year"), plus a real friend to many of us. I had the privilege of his friendship over the past 7 years, since I moved out into the country Northeast of Edmonton, Alberta. I will miss his kind spirit, his gentle personality and mischievous sense of humor, his hard won words of wisdom, and his genuine soul and smile in my life.

Peter was a founding member of the Egremont Bachelors Club, of which I am a junior member. I have often told folks as I travel to speak across North America, that "I am the young, studdly one." PAUSE, "OK, the young one!" I go on to explain our membership consisted of Steve (95), Mike (80), Peter (78) and myself. This usually garnered a chuckle or two.

Mike and/or Peter faithfully came every day (unless they were away or working in the fields) to pick up Steve for lunch and again for coffee about mid afternoon. I would often join them for a coffee break, when I was up to my eyeballs in a project or prepping for a presentation. I loved being able to discuss the world's challenges with these three warm hearted, wise men, and anyone else who would join us. I also loved being able to share my travels, travails, and occasional triumphs with my friends.  But, now there are three...

I share this with you because life is short, even for those in their 70's, 80's, or 90's.  We need to embrace life; not just exist, to face each challenge, and to stretch ourselves to our fullest. Life is an adventure to be lived to the fullest; each day is a gift (that is why it is called the present.)

My challenge for each of you is to live your life to the fullest, to leverage your abilities and skills, and to leave a rich legacy for those who follow. My friend Peter did!

God willing, talk to you next month. Make it a fabulous one! 

© 2008 Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey

I consider myself blessed with so many rich friendships and Peter's passing gave me reason to pause and to ponder each one and their gift in my life. To so many, I cannot possibly name, my deepest gratitude for your investment, love, and encouragement in my life.

PS: Picture is taken from Peter's memorial service program.


Slaying Your Own Giants

by Chris Widener

I read an old story the other day. It is one that almost everyone is familiar with, and as I read it, I realized that it is filled with a strategy for successfully defeating giants. Yes, giants. We all have them in our lives: self-doubt, bad habits, financial difficulty, bad relationships etc, can all be giants in our lives.

The story? David and Goliath. Take a journey back in time with me and see if there isn’t a great deal of truth in this story that we can apply to our own lives today.

Here are the timeless principles I see in this story of the little guy beating the giant:

Expect giants to block the way to the Promised Land.
Too many times we go for our dreams expecting that it will be like a cakewalk at the county fair. Not true! If you want to get to something as great as the promised land you imagine for your life, realize that the world isn’t just going to roll over and die. No, competitors will do anything they can to keep you out. Naysayers will stand before you and tell you it can’t be done. Giants will appear and you will have to go through them to get where you want to go. Don’t go into your journey with your eyes closed. Expect to battle a giant or two!

Attack your giant for a reason bigger than your own victory.
For David, his reason was to defend the honor of God, since the giant was taunting God. Yes, he heard that he would get a wife out of the deal, but his biggest reason wasn’t personal. The same is true with us. Yes, we will gain a lot from our successes but I have found that personal gain is usually fleeting in regard to long-term joy and happiness. Those things that bring a deep sense of personal satisfaction come from accomplishing something positive for an altruistic reason, or for some cause that transcends us!

Recognize your own strengths.
When asked if he thought if he could really defeat the giant, David reflected on his past successes. He thought about all those times that he was guarding his father’s sheep and had to ward off animal attackers. Surely if he had killed both a lion and a bear, this human – even if he was nine feet tall! – wouldn’t be much to do a way with. David knew his strengths. He knew what he could do, and he would do it again and again until he reached his goal.

Don’t use someone else’s armor.
Okay, the king was convinced: David could go ahead, but first, the king put his armor on David. Like a 10 year old in his father’s suit, David walked around in the armor. "No thanks," said David. He knew what he needed and it wasn’t what worked for someone else. Yes, we need to take advice, but what works for one doesn’t always work for everyone else. There is no cookie cutter path to success. There is more than one way to skin a cat (By the way, who came up with that disgusting analogy? But I digress…). "Dance with the one that brung ya," they say. So on your way to success, stick with what works, not someone else’s plan or strategy. David knew a slingshot would work just fine thank you.

Take five weapons, though you may only need one.
This was one of the really fascinating parts of the story. David obviously knew that he was good with a slingshot. Good enough to kill a giant, at least. So there was some assurance and self-confidence there. But he also knew that sometimes things go awry. He knew that sometimes it takes a few shots to kill the giants. So, even though eventually he only needed one smooth stone to do the job, he had four others for backup! What about you? Are you five deep in the resource pocket? If not, find a few more stones to do battle with your giant with.

Run toward the giant, not away from it.
Here was another interesting point. The story is sure to mention that David ran toward the giant. Why? To get a good shot! So many of us run away from our giants, hoping that if we do we will be able to avoid giants all together. Not true. We will just have to do battle with another giant somewhere else, and all we have chosen to do is go the circuitous route rather than the direct one. Move in close to your giant, and let him have it!

Make sure it is dead after it falls.
One shot and David’s giant took a tumble. Did David party? Nope, he went and made sure that Giant wouldn’t rise to haunt him another day. He went in close and with a big swipe of his sword, took the giant’s head off! Giants have way of coming back to life, so be sure that you have really conquered your giant before you move on!

Just like David, you CAN conquer your giants! You CAN move past them into your own promised land! Just stick with these age-old guidelines and you will be well on your way!

Here they are again!

  1. Expect giants to block the way to the Promised Land.
  2. Attack your giant for a reason bigger than your own victory.
  3. Recognize your own strengths.
  4. Don’t use someone else’s armor.
  5. Take five weapons, though you may only need one.
  6. Run toward the giant, not away from it.
  7. Make sure it is dead after it falls.

Take up your slingshot and take a few throws at your giant today!

Chris Widener is a popular speaker and writer as well as the President of Made for Success and Extraordinary Leaders, two companies helping individuals and organizations turn their potential into performance, succeed in every area of their lives and achieve their dreams. Visit his websites at and © 2008 Made for Success. Used by permission of the author . All rights reserved worldwide.

Picture is of a very old oil painting: Caravaggio 1573 – 1610 - oil on panel (91 × 116 cm) — 1606/07 on display in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna


Toastmasters International Convention comes to Calgary, Alberta

Toastmasters began in the US and soon became an international organization which helps people with both their communication and leadership skills. Canadian clubs helped make Toastmasters, International.

Once in awhile Toastmasters hosts a convention outside of the US borders, for example this August in Calgary.

As some of my readers may know, I began my journey to becoming a professional speaker, leader, and trainer (and author, altho' I didn't have that on my list then) in Toastmasters back in April of 1991. It has been an interesting path that has challenged me to stretch, and frustrated me at times; but one that has been instrumental in rebuilding my life following a devastating divorce; rebuilding it better than I could have ever imagined. It has been a rewarding journey as Toastmasters has become a part of my family and my foundations for success.

I recently accepted an invitation to be their keynote speaker at a special Leadership Lunch they will be hosting on Friday, August 15th. This is indeed a privilege to give back to an amazing organization that has contributed so much in my life. Haven't set the title for my presentation yet (thinking about calling it, "The Power of ONE! You do make a difference); but you can bet I will be carefully crafting it with so many eager 'evaluators' from around the world in my audience.

This year we will see more Canadian faces doing breakouts, getting the Golden Gavel, and even keynotes. I am honored to be included with these great speakers and leaders.

Interestingly enough, this invitation celebrates a 10 year anniversary of sorts for me. Ten years ago (July '98), I had just finished my role as District 21 Governor for nearly 4000 Toastmasters in BC. Ten years ago (August '98), in Palm Dessert, I walked across the main stage to be inducted into the Toastmasters International Hall of Fame as the 48th Accredited Speaker in the world... becoming only the 7th Canadian to earn this coveted professional level designation. Another Canadian, long-time Toastmasters and CAPS friend Ross Mackay, earned his last summer, to bring our Canadian Accredited Speaker team to 8.

What a difference a decade makes!

Picture is, then incoming Toastmasters International President Terry Daily, DTM presenting me with my Accredited Speaker plaque in Palm Dessert, California in 1998. 


Last minute news and views


  • Worked on updates and additions to our various speaker, joint-promotional sites. Calgary Speakers, Edmonton Speakers, Vancouver Speakers, Manitoba Speakers, Kelowna/Okanagan Speakers and Atlantic Canada Speakers are up and new speakers joining every week. More ideas and regions to explore this year.
  • Launched year two of Secret Selling Tips for our friends at The Brick. New focus and look to what is being sent out to their sales teams across Canada, including embedded flash video sales tips in each issue. Worked with Dave, their enthusiastic new VP Sales to make this a more accessible and valuable tool for his teams. Great guy to work with in making this an even more productive sales leaders success training tool.
  • Moving into our second season for the Alberta Speakers project. A few changes due to changes in work, but it looks like most of our partners will be involved again this year. And, of course we are open to adding new speakers for this project which includes online promotion and selected print and other promotions.
  • Drove to Calgary to spend some time with my Tempe, AZ friend Ed Scannell who was speaking at CAPS Calgary. Definitely worth the drive. Ed and I belong to the NSA-Arizona Chapter. I joined last year as my long term goal is to be able to winter, at least part of it, in a warmer climate. I figure, I can write from anywhere. "Have laptop, will travel... wire Hooey"
  • Had the privilege of facilitating some board vision discussion for GROWTH Alberta.
  • Later in the month, I hosted the 3rd annual GROWTH Alberta Business Excellence Awards evening in Barrhead, Alberta. Seeing the looks of the faces of those being honored, including The Egremont Hotel (Graham and Colleen), as they saw their videos for the first time was worth the drive. What a great idea, to recognize and honor those who serve us so well! Kudos to Jodi, Pam, and their team for this amazing venture.  

February will be fabulous

  • Just finished editing and publishing an updated "BIG DREAMS - small steps" for a public "Speaking for Success" program I am facilitating in Hinton on the 29th.
  • The following day I will be doing a program entitled, "And now our next speaker..." in support of the Yellowhead Rotary Arts Festival Society as well as the local Toastmasters, on being an effective MC and other fundamentals of speaking. Should be a wonderful weekend, so if you know anyone in Hinton, pass along an invitation.
  • Beginning work on two new Leadership writing projects prior to my Toastmasters' keynote in Calgary. One will initially be an e-book similar to what I did with Quantum Success with guest leadership experts and authors. This could become a print version later this year. The second will be another pocket wisdom book, like the one we did for Secret Selling Tips, only with a leadership theme. Like to keep myself busy, as you know.
  • Will be creating a special webpage for our Toastmaster leadership audience, so they can access several ebooks and other leadership tools and resources following my presentation. Want to load it with lots of value added articles, books, whitepapers, tools and tips.
  • Moving ahead writing and creating SST year two issues, so we are well ahead of publication schedules. We have synchronized our French and English versions this year; we need to work ahead so our translator has enough time to do her work. Sandrine is a gem and I am grateful for her assistance in this area.
  • Working on systems to allow us to have sales teams sign up and pay on line. This will also allow us to either work out an affiliate program or have sales folks selling this program (and future Secret Leadership Tips) across North America.
  • Irene is working on creating a new website for our Success Publications which will allow folks to purchase some of our books, CDs, and other products online. Going to convert some of the earlier workbooks to ebooks and make available.
  • Hopefully going to take a break either this month or next (depends on schedule) and get a warm break from the cold. Am planning on attending the NSA Platform Skills JAM in Las Vegas in April, but would be nice to get thawed out before then. anyone want to go to Puerto Vallarta and go sailing and write it off? Call me... 

Picture is a couple of years back in Cancun while speaking for a client in Feb. Just to remind myself that there is warmth out there. We are experiencing sub-arctic weather. The day of Peter's funeral we awoke to minus 44 degree temperatures... without the wind chill.


Thanks for reading

Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey would be pleased to be a part of your success team and to work with you to help make your conference, meeting or training event a success. 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

Ask about a customized conference, coaching or training package to suit your specific career, company, or organizational needs.

Ask about our innovative leadership and/or sales leaders' motivational training programs.

PS:  My friend Peter was, as I mentioned, a farmer and philosopher. I remember a few years back when he and his brother Mike had been snowed out twice prior to harvest saying, "Well, I guess the harvest is over for this year." And it was... but they went back in the spring and harvested what they could prior to planting again. We can learn from this philosophical attitude.


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What's new?

Check out this cool website my webmaster, Irene created for CAPS Edmonton, speaking colleague, Bruno Wiskel, The Prosperous Farmer.  Bruno is a member of our Alberta Speakers promotional team.

The Prosperous Farmer

Check out her work on Jeff's updated site. Jeff is also a colleague from CAPS Edmonton.


Check out a new project Irene is working on:

Muffins 'N Megabytes

Check out my Applied Improv roommate from our Banff conference, on David Letterman. This was to have aired earlier but was delayed due to the writer's strike.

Zohar on David Letterman


Professional speaker, author, leadership, sales, and business success expert

Bob is a long time (over a decade) leader and professional member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers, a member of NSA-Arizona, as well as the International Federation for Professional Speakers.

He is proud to be an active professional member of these amazing groups of people dedicated to polishing their craft and to better serving their clients and audiences.

Bob is the co-founder and a past president of CAPS Vancouver, an honorary founding member of CAPS Sask., an honorary member of CAPS Halifax, as well as being an active member of CAPS Edmonton. He served as CAPS National Director (2000-2002.)

He would be happy to discuss how he can work with you to equip and motivate your leaders, their teams, sales teams, or volunteers to grow and to succeed.

Call him today at 1-780-736-0009 to explore leveraging his innovative Ideas At Work with your organization. Or, email him at


Graham and Colleen Waterman win GROWTH Alberta Business Excellence Award

Graham and Colleen Waterman from The Egremont Hotel's Watermelon Patch Pub were honored by GROWTH Alberta.

I had the privilege of introducing them, along with 15 other winners in an amazing evening hosted in Barrhead, AB.

One of the highlights was watching their faces as the feature video of them and their business was played prior to receiving their award.


#10, Creativity Corner
Egremont, AB T0A 0Z0