It's Cold Outside-Time for a Good Book

Why not read something people you know are reading, like this this one—The Claret Murders?  

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The Claret murders tells the story of a fictious mystery during the real life 2010 Nashville flood. It is available in hard cover, paperback, kindle and other digital formats.  If you prefer listening to reading, then get this great story on Audible. You can also buy, a signed library edition at www.tomcollinsauthor.com.

Here is what one reader had to say:

“I am typically not one to enjoy murder mysteries due to my own craving for believable plots. That doesn't stop me from reading one now and then. Collins's novel strains the bounds of my beliefs in some ways as there are tools at Rollins' disposal that would be the envy of any spy! However, the difference between this novel and those I've read in the past is the management of characters and the interweaving of real events with a believable plot. I could see myself in places mentioned in the novel (some of which I have seen) and almost felt the invisible witness to things not even Rollins is privy to view.

Curious as well is the use of drones for reconnaissance, something once unbelievable yet with the news of 106 governmental agencies being granted rights by the FAA to fly them, quite believable now. The story-telling ability of Collins keeps you engaged and makes it hard to stop reading. And his prescience for anticipating the use of drones by non-governmental entities may be foretelling the expanse of their reach and capabilities in the future.

The Claret Murders was an enjoyable read for me and as a skeptic to murder/mysteries, that is quite a feat. I recommend this to anyone who loves to read a good story.”

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores.
Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

The Best Pies

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Over the New Year’s family dinner table the discussion was “Pies.” In the old south there are two kinds of pies:

Pecan pie or jes' pie (it's just pie)  i.e. no pecans. Over time a poor translation of the Southern dialect resulted in jes' pie becoming known as “chess pie” among those who spoke in a more sophisticated vernacular.

It is kind of like a Hershey’s Candy Bar – you can have it with or without nuts.

Jes' pie may have started out as pecan pie without the nuts, but by the time it had metamorphosed from jes' pie into chess pie, it had its own recipe.

The people around the table declared that most pecan pies were too sweet or too gummy—the exception was the pecan pie of Alice Collins, who everyone declared made the best pecan pies.

Well the secret is out! I discovered Mother’s recipe for both pecan pie and chess pie. What made hers the best? It was probably the simplicity of her recipes.

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If you have trouble reading ingredient #3 in the pecan recipe, it is White Karo syrup. 

Her chess pie recipe starts out the same with ½ stick of butter and three eggs but only a ½ cup of sugar and no syrup.  Instead she adds a teaspoon of vinegar, a teaspoon of vanilla, and a tablespoon of white corn meal.

 

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores.
Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

 

What's that Green Stuff?

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The family became much smaller last year, 2018, with the passing of my mother and her sister, Aunt May. To this day, we are still dealing with issues like insurance policies, etc. As I was dealing with one of those that involved going through old documents, I ran across a culinary gold mine—my mother’s favorite recipes including her famous “Congealed Green Salad.” This culinary delight made its appearance at every holiday gathering of the family. This was not the first thing a younger member of the family would turn to. They were more likely to turn up their nose at the dish initially. After all, green is not an appealing food color. Even green vegetables are not usually on your “favorite foods list”. Nevertheless, the Congealed Green Salad eventually won over even the most timid. Once you were brave to try a spoonful, you were forever hooked. Here is mother’s recipe in all its well-used glory!

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores.
Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Five Best Books on Leadership and Management

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Sure, I write fiction, mysteries, but of all the books I have written I am most proud of the one non-fiction work, The Language of Excellence. The book codifies the leadership and management concepts that I used to succeed in business. Gary Slaughter, author and nationally recognized management expert, places The Language of Excellence as one of the five best books on leadership and management. This is what he recently wrote:

“Over the past fifty years, I’ve devoured dozens of leadership and management books. In fact, I’ve also taught hundreds of leadership and management workshops to Fortune 500 corporate executives.

In my judgement, The Language of Excellence by Tom Collins is among the best five books I have ever read on this subject. The other four include these classics:

The Motivation to Work by Fredrick Herzberg
The Practice of Management by Peter Drucker
On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis
The Transformational Leader by Noel Tichy

Moreover, The Language of Excellence replaced One Minute Manager on my ‘best five’ list. OMM, written in 1982 by Ken Blanchard and Spenser Johnson, has sold over 13 million copies and been translated into 37 different languages. Despite OMM’s popularity, The Language of Excellence is far more informative and easy to apply.”

Most of my life has been spent in business. As a corporate executive I made and loss money for other people, before going solo. By the time I was running my own company, I had learned what worked and what didn’t work. My lessons were learned on the firing line and by reading and listening to the experts. I am a great fan of contemporary business authors like Jim Collins, Tom Peters, and Nancy Austin. But it was their predecessors, including Peter Drucker, who were at the cutting edge of modern business management methods and leadership concepts. If you are just starting in business, or if you are a seasoned business leader constantly searching for the answers, their works as well as The Language  of Excellence needs to be on your bookshelf. Better yet, they need to on your desk, and in the case of The Language of Excellence, it needs to be in the hands of those you depend on to help you succeed in business and life.

All five of the best books on the subject are available on Amazon and other online bookstores.

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The Language of Excellence is available in hardcover, paperback, and digital formats. Volume purchases for corporate training and gifting as well as signed copies are available on the author’s official website, www.authortomcollins.com. From now until December 25th enter the code GIFT at checkout for free shipping and a 20% discount. To buy now click on SHOP NOW.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

"The Language of Excellence" by Tom Collins

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Looking for that perfect gift for the business leader or young professional in your life. Give them a signed copy of the book successful business leaders are talking about–The Language of Excellence.

From now through December 25th get free shipping plus a 20% discount by going to www.tomcollinsauthor.com. Or click on BUY NOW and enter the code GIFT at checkout.

Here is what business leaders are saying:

“Over the past fifty years, I’ve devoured dozens of leadership and management books. In fact, I’ve also taught hundreds of leadership and management workshops to Fortune 500 corporate executives. In my judgement, The Language of Excellence by Tom Collins is among the best five books I have ever read on this subject.”—Gary Slaughter, Management Expert and Author. 

“Tom Collins' The Language of Excellence just may be the only guide book to personal and business excellence you will ever need to read. A must-read for achievers.” C. Robert Hicks, New York Times bestselling author of The Widow of the South and A Separate Country.  

“Collins defines the essential ingredients of business with masterful simplicity and clarity. I wish I had read this 30 or 40 years ago.” —Edward Rosenberg, Designer/CEO Spectore Corporation

“Not only is Collins an accomplished businessman, but he is also a two-time stage IV cancer survivor who has clearly demonstrated great determination and the ability to overcome difficulties and carry on successfully. His book teaches you how to equip your team to deal with almost anything business or life will throw at them.” —Doug Ulman, President / CEO at Pelotonia and former President/CEO the LIVESTRONG Foundation

Select Amazon Reviews:

  • “This book is filled with common sense that is so lacking in corporate business practice today. Principles transcend business and apply to life across the board.”

  • "Section V, People: The Foundation for Excellence" is worth the price of the book.”·      

  • “I have read countless leadership books and they all either say the same thing or are difficult to implement. Tom Collins book is excellent and an easy read but what really stands out is the advice to quickly inculcate the tools for achieving excellence in your leadership teams. A must read for start-up organizations and young entrepreneurs.”

  • “I could see this book as being a part of a company’s on-boarding process and employed regularly. Anyone in management can find value in employing this book. Buy it - distribute it - read it - use it.”·      

  • “I’m re-ordering more copies today for all the young managers in my life. This book should become a well-worn tool in any organization serious about achieving excellence and fostering the right corporate culture.”

  • “I've found these principles incredibly useful in both my personal and professional journeys.”

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Signed copies of my books including The Language of Excellence are available only on www.tomcollinsauthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.

Published by I-65 North, Inc.

President Donald J. Shrek

Re: “How to Find a Good Leader”,  November 3, 2018, Peggy Noonan)

For those of you (Trump Haters and Never Trumpers) still angry and confused by the election of Donald Trump, perhaps you would be enlightened by the animated movie, “Shrek”.

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Shrek is an ogre who lives in a swamp. He is crude, smelly, rude and uses ear wax for candles. He likes his life just the way it is. Because the cowardly prince, Lord Farquaad, has confiscated his property—Shrek has to bargain to get his swamp back.  The deal is that Shrek must rescue the Princess Fiona who is under the spell of an evil witch from a remote castle guarded by a fire breathing dragon. He dons a helmet and sets off with his donkey to rescue the princess.

Shrek and Donkey locate the castle, cross a rickety bridge over burning lava, and find the princess. Fiona is anxiously waiting for a gallant hero, but Shrek is not gallant, shakes her roughly and simply says Lets go! Fiona who was expecting something more, protests-- I am awaiting  a knight so bold as to rescue me. Should this not be a wonderful romantic moment?  You should sweep me off my feet and take me down a rope to your valiant steed!  You could recite an epic poem, or ballad…..

She continues to complain upon hearing the dragon roar:  You didn’t slay the dragon?  But this isn’t right! You were meant to charge in, sword drawn, banner flying.  That’s what all the other knights did.

Shrek, sarcastically:  Yeah, right before they burst into flames.  (Think all other Republican Congresses and Presidents!)

After a harrowing escape from the dragon and crossing the lava, Fiona insists that Shrek remove his helmet so that may share “true love’s first kiss”.  Reluctantly, he takes off the helmet. A shocked Fiona exclaims, You’re…an ogre!

Shrek replies: Oh, you were expecting Prince Charming?

Fiona:  Well, yes, actually.  This is all wrong.   You are not supposed to be an ogre. 

And so, this the lesson of Donald J. Trump.   Sometimes we don’t always get the leader that we expected or imagined.  The hero who is brave enough, bold enough and persistent enough to save the day--or the country—may not meet the highest standards of probity, eloquence and political correctness.

Or, you can refuse to be rescued by an ogre.  You can return to your lofty tower prison and wonder why your country was lost to socialism, mob violence and poverty.  You will compromise with the dragon and the evil witch as you “work together to get things done”.   There you will sit, waiting, growing old and demented, softly humming:  Someday my prince will come, someday I will find the one…….   

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Post was jointly conceived and written with my wife, Martha.

For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Just When I Thought It Couldn't Get Any Worse!

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First it was blackmail. Now they have stolen my identity! I spent the morning filing a Fraud Alert and updating my LifeLock information.

Apparently, the bad buys got my name, Social Security number and date of birth off the dark web. That’s all they needed to get new credit cards.

Fortunately, thanks to an alert vendor and LifeLock, the fraud was detected, and the cards shut down before the bad guys had a chance to activate them. Let’s just hope there isn’t more that I haven’t discovered yet!

If this happens to you, immediately contact one of the three major national credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax or TransUnion, to place a fraud alert on your credit report. Whichever one you contract, that credit bureau will notify the others. The fraud alert puts lenders on notice that your personal information has been compromised. Because of the fraud alert, new lenders must take extra steps to determine that they are dealing with you—the real person.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Will Stealth Voters Determine the Outcome in November?

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The pollsters could be surprised again by stealth voters this November?

Who are these stealth voters? They are the secret  balance of power opposed to our dysfunctional national government and especially to the current radicalized misbehaving Democratic party, and by extension they support Trump. Unseen, they could tip the scale in Trump’s direction. They are people who do not wear Make American Great Again hats. They don’t put signs in their yard or bumper sticker on their cars. They are stealth, because they don’t want to be attacked, ridiculed and intimidated by the radical mob. But, they vote. THEY VOTE!

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

While the Cat's Away, 2004 production

This treat is for former Juris, Inc. team members and those familiar with the company prior to its purchase by LexisNexis.

In 2004 I underwent the first of a couple of major surgeries. The video jokingly depicts what can happen While the Cat's Away. It was written, produced and performed by the Juris, Inc. team to welcome me back. What can happen when the boss is away? A lot!

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

I Stand Corrected

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In my prior post updating readers about the attempted blackmail, I said that the men I knew didn’t spend their time viewing porn. But, it depends on your definition of porn. My wife reminded me about the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, Playboy magazine, Hustler, etc. and “it was not just for the articles”. As she pointed out, there was a time when Hugh Hefner was celebrated—even among the liberal Hollywood crowd.

And, women are reading—Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, etc. with articles like 50 Ways to Seduce a Man, and lots of info on looking sexy and hot.

Yes, men do like to look at beautiful women and women aren’t exempt from looking and thinking about men. I think God made us that way.

The Internet porn I was talking about in my prior post seems different from the magazines. Not sure what makes it different. I suppose it is the anonymous side of it—something doable in secrete. Whereas, the magazines are on store shelves. That must be a validation of some sort. Apparently, the Internet is different enough that someone would be willing to pay a blackmail demand to keep from having their Outlook contacts know they watched a porn site.

To read my original post go to Attempted Blackmail. For the follow-up go to Blackmail Follow-up.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Blackmail Follow-up

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Well, nothing happened. The day I was supposed to be exposed came and went with no mega email burst to all my contacts. I say nothing happened, but I changed a lot of passwords and I started using a password system, Dashlane, to protect myself. And on day two, the blackmailer dropped his price from $6000 to $1000—still wanted payment in Bitcoin.

I have also learned from law enforcement that this scheme is rather common. I wonder just how many people are taken in and actually pay up. I guess it doesn’t take many to make the blackmailer happy. It is a poor commentary on society, that the assumption is a lot of people are secretly watching porn. I should add that the “Me Too” movement promotes the idea that all men are lecherous dirty old men. If we are not molesting women, we are in a dark room somewhere watching porn.

I think that is a bad rap. At least in the circle of my friends and business associates. It is a stereotype that places men in a guilty until proven innocent position—as our new Supreme Court nominee is discovering. It appears there is no equal footing when it comes to the issue of innocence or guilt. Maybe in such matters, it was always one sided—just the other way around. But either way, the presumption of guilt is dangerous and destructive for society.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Attempted Blackmail

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September 7, 2018, I received a blackmail message. I might not have taken it seriously, except that the opening sentence read “I am well aware that xxxxxxxx is one of your passwords.” AND IT WAS! That got my attention. The blackmailer demanded $6,000 to be paid in Bitcoin. I was given one day to comply, or the blackmailer would expose my “misbehavior” to all my contacts.

According to the blackmailer, I had visited his or her porn site and the blackmailer had used my computer’s camera to record me. Luckily I’m not guilty so I knew it was a scam. I reported the blackmail effort to the FBI and my local authorities which happens to be the Williamson County TN Sheriff’s Department. According to Officer Carter, the scammer gets email addresses and passwords off the dark web and broadcasts blackmail messages assuming that some of the recipients would actually be guilty of frequenting porn sites and would pay up to avoid the embarrassment of exposure.

The Web is a dangerous place. I receive hundreds of emails every single day. Most are deleted without ever being opened. Emails from an unknown source can include all sorts of devilment. And unfortunately, some who are up to no good have learned to disguise themselves as a source you are familiar with.

The best practice is to conduct yourself as if the world is watching at all time. Don’t send an email you would not want others to read. Don’t go to places you would not want others to know you frequent. In short, always conduct yourself as a gentleman or gentlelady.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Succeeding for the Long Haul

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The young Nashville based management team of Lonely Planet has been studying my book, The Language of Excellence. The picture was taken on September 5, 2018 when I met with them to discuss the book and answer questions. At the point in the discussion pictured, I was explaining that anyone can be accidentally successful. You can have your Andy Warhol 15 minutes of fame. But you cannot accidentally succeed for the long haul. Long term success is not achieved by accident. Tom Peters and Nancy Austin in their book A Passion for Excellence say it this way:

“…there are only two ways to create and sustain superior performance over the long haul. First, take exceptional care of your customers (for chicken, jet engines, education, health care, or baseball, etc.) via superior service and superior quality. Second, constantly innovate. That’s it.” “There are no alternatives…”

It seems simple:
      Customer Care
      And Constant Innovation
Yet for most companies it appears too difficult. History is littered with the bones of short lived enterprises.

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The Lonely Planet team studied The Language of Excellence to learn management and leadership concepts required for long term success. Including concepts like the model for Excellence: 

I told the team that it was not enough for them to study the book. “To lead you must become a teacher. When all members of an organization understand the implications of important management and leadership concepts, magic happens within that enterprise.”

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To read what business leaders are saying about The Language of Excellence go to http://www.tomcollinsauthor.com/reviews-the-language-of-excellence. For more about The Language of Excellence at a discounted price for bulk purchases go to http://www.tomcollinsauthor.com/language-of-excellence/. For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.

Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Wind River Mysteries

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In a prior post I mentioned that while recovering from knee replacement surgery, I read the first fifteen Margaret Coel novels set on the Arapaho Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. The Wind River mysteries might never have been told except for an incident that occurred when Ms. Coel first set foot on the reservation. To hear the surreal story of that first visit to the reservation in her own words go to the following website:   http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/160133/9fa7a260a9/458451033/99855a255e/.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

TWO CERTAINTIES

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Perhaps the most important model in my book, The Language of Excellence,  is the one for TWO CERTAINTIES. The term “death and taxes” in the flip chart image is often quoted as the two certainties in life voiced by Benjamin Franklin. The graphic pairs Franklin's common sense terms with the words “change” and “judged” because change and judged are better descriptions of the two certainties as faced by businesses. For deliberate long-term success, an enterprise must have an understanding and acceptance of the two certainties— (1) we either purposely change to improve, or natural forces erode and change us for the worse, and (2) what we are is determined through the judgment of others.

I wrote the The Language of Excellence as a teaching aid. I discovered by accident that when all members of an organization understand the implications of important management and leadership concepts, magic happens within that enterprise. It is as if someone pulls back the curtain and turns up the lights. Suspicions disappear, replaced by unity.

To learn about the behavior of change, to gain an understanding of the rule of the fewest, to be able to put a name to observed phenomena such as the life cycle and suboptimization tears down the iron curtain between “management” and “employees.” A team arises—a competent team, one that shares a core set of beliefs and a common sense of direction—eager to help write their own playbook.

I want to clarify that I claim no origination credit for the concepts in The Language of Excellence. They are a compilation of ideas collected, distilled, reshaped, blogged, and even tweeted during fifty years of on-the-job training and a lifetime of reading and listening to the great minds of business—people like Peter Drucker, W. Edwards Deming, Nancy Austin and Tom Peters. The use of graphics and trigger words that bring those visual images to mind was inspired by usability improvements contributed by icons in graphical user interfaces (GUIs), by the power of Tom Peters’s model of excellence, and by the effectiveness of Model-Netics, the graphic image-laden management training courses of American General during my brief tenure with the company.

The concepts inside The Language of Excellence, like the Two Certainties apply to life as well as business. The book is one of the best gifts one could give to a young professional. It can be invaluable to the entrepreneur starting a new business or to a seasoned executive frustrated by the difficulty of steering an unresponsive corporate ship.

The Language of Excellence teaches the skills for long-term purposeful success. The concept of the Two Certainties conveys that for that long-term success, you must learn to deal with and manage change, and you must accept that you and your accomplishments are what others perceive them to be. 

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For more about The Language of Excellence at a discounted price for bulk purchases go to http://www.tomcollinsauthor.com/language-of-excellence/. For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

I-65 NORTH

Commenting on my recent post about my book The Language of Excellence, Marshall Martin said that even years later his business vocabulary still includes "ceremonialism, majoring in minors, indispensable man and I-65 North" among other phrases. 

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Those who haven't read The Language of Excellence are probably wondering what I-65 North has got to do with it. I use “I-65 North” as a metaphor about business. It is also the name of my publishing company. 

Business is a journey; one that involves constant change and where success is determined through the eyes of those who judge us. The role of a leader is to get people moving in the same direction toward a common destination with a clear understanding of the rules of the road for getting there. I-65 North conveys the idea of a journey with everyone traveling in the same direction—north. North is analogous to the idea of upward progress (the pursuit of excellence).

While the destination of the business journey is set and communicated by an organization’s leader, individuals are not robots. If you are on the team, it is because the organization believes in you as an achiever, but many things shape how each member of the team performs in pursuit of the destination. There is not one performance style that has a monopoly on success. The analogy of the interstate conveys this flexibility. Individuals determine their own rate of speed on the journey north, provided they do not go so slow as to impede others or so fast as to recklessly endanger others. As an individual within the organization, however, you cannot go south, east, or west. You as an individual are in control. It is your vehicle, but the leader sets the direction and destination.

Business is a journey. The role of the leader is to get everyone traveling in the same direction.

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For more about The Language of Excellence at a discounted price for bulk purchases go to http://www.tomcollinsauthor.com/language-of-excellence/. For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Lonely Planet is reading "The Language of Excellence"

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The Nashville headquarters of the company Lonely Planet is using my book The Language of Excellence in its management training program. A bulk purchase program is available for companies and organizations that want the book for training or promotional purposes.

The book is a powerful training tool—one that makes doing and saying the right things, making the right decisions and avoiding the wrong ones, a habit.

The book is also the perfect gift for a company’s business clients or prospects. Sales organizations use signed copies of the book as a door opener—a gift that has the capacity to increase the recipient’s business and personal success.

Author and management training expert Gary Slaughter said The Language of Excellence by Tom Collins is among the best five books I have ever read on the subject of management and leadership.  For a list of the best five management and leadership books click on FIVE BOOKS.  

For more about The Language of Excellence at a discounted price for bulk purchases go to http://www.tomcollinsauthor.com/language-of-excellence/.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Where is My Next Book?

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Due to my knee replacement, I have made zero progress on my next book. Pain and pain medications are not compatible with creative writing.

I have been, however, taking advantage of my convalescence to listen to a lot of books on Audible. A fun one was Fannie Flagg’s The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion. Better than the book itself, was listening to Fannie Flagg’s vocal interpretation of the characters as she narrated the story.

I also read the first of fifteen of Margaret Coel’s mysteries that take place in the Arapaho Wind River Reservation. And, I have listened to six of R. Allen Chappell’s books set in the Navajo Nation.

Coel’s and Chappell’s mysteries are wonderful examples of using strong geographical and cultural canvases to tell their stories. In several books, Coal successfully takes a bit of Arapaho history and uses it as kernel for a completing fictitious story. The little bit of real life at the story’s center makes her mysteries even more believable.

I have not spend all my time on mysteries. For book research I read Skunk Works by Ben R. Rich, Bogeys and Bandits by Robert Gant, Viper Pilot by Dan Hampton, TopGun Days by Dave Bio Baranek, Operation Overflight by Gentry and Powers

I already have the story for book seven, my next book, in my head. When I finally start putting it into the computer, it will be a better story because of time I have spent with Flagg, Coel, Chappell, and others.

Writers don’t just write; they read!  They read a lot.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Knee Replacement Recovery

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At this point, I can honestly say my new knee is great. The problem is all the old stuff that connects to the new knee. 

Recovery from knee replacement is harder than I expected. Progress is not linear. There is no straight line to “better.”

After a few weeks of rehab and continuous improvement, I started to have terrible pain when my patella, or kneecap, stopped tracking correctly. It seems the muscles on the lateral side of my leg were overpowering those on the medial side pulling the patella to the left where it had no place to go. That took several weeks of therapy with an Electronic Muscle Stimulator to get under control. Things were on the mend again and then I developed iliopsoas bursitis. Iliopsoas bursitis is an inflammatory response in the bursa located under the iliopsoas muscles (hip flexor muscles). The iliopsoas muscle is a group of two muscles located toward the front of the inner hip. The result is pain and a lot of it when lifting the foot or leg—so much so that range of motion becomes extremely limited.  Forget stairs—you just can’t do it!

Right now, I’m giving therapy a rest. That seems to be the treatment—if it hurts don’t do it!

I saw the surgeon a week ago to hear something they don’t tell you until after the surgery. “It takes about year to fully recover.”  Whatever happened to “We'll have you up and walking in no time.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

 

Getting a New Knee

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I have not done a lot of posting lately and may not be doing so for a while.  I’m getting a new knee next week.  Everyone I know who has had a knee replacement seems to be very happy with the results.  Having gone under the knife a few times, I have to admit that I’m a bit apprehensive about it.  Who knows, I may be so happy with the results I’ll go back for another one.

My daughter, who is a personal trainer, has been preparing me with pre-surgery workouts to build the leg and hip related muscles. The truth is those workouts may be worse than the surgery. I have always said, she could write a book, How I Got Even with My Daddy.

I have been doing a lot of research for my next mystery/adventure. I finally put words on paper—just one sentence:

“Before you read or listen to my story, I ask one thing of you -- pray for all the men, women, and children I have killed.”

If that gets your attention, stay tuned!

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.