Little Lessons

A Light Needs Darkness to Shine

Posted by Mark Fallon

Sep 22, 2017 5:00:00 AM

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"Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." – Kate DiCamillo

On a bright, sunny day, go outside with a strong flashlight. Turn on the light. You probably won’t see any difference.

Sit in a dark room. Light a single match. Your surroundings are transformed.

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Topics: goals, inspiration, love, running, marathon

The Illusion of Control

Posted by Mark Fallon

Sep 15, 2017 5:00:00 AM

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“The hotter things get, the more important it is to keep your cool.” – Harvey Mackay

My flight was scheduled to depart at 8:50am. While the airport is only 18 miles away from downtown Chicago, the drive can easily take an hour, sometimes longer. I scheduled for the shuttle van to pick me up at my hotel at 6:30. I was outside at 6:15, and 5 minutes later the van pulled up. This was going to be an easy travel day.

The driver had to pick up passengers at 3 other hotels, with the last person boarding at 6:50. This was later than my plans, but I stayed calm. Plenty of time, and there were some amusing conversations between the driver and the passengers.

When we reached the highway, the morning traffic jam was in full swing. As we crept along, you could feel the anxiety rising in the van. Some people had flights earlier than mine. The driver checked his navigation system, and it said we should get to the airport by 7:55.

A half-hour later, we heard the system announce we would arrive at 8:00.

Shortly after that, the voice said that another 10 minutes of delay had been added.

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Topics: goals, attitude, reactions, control

Leadership Books That I’ve Enjoyed Reading

Posted by Mark Fallon

Sep 8, 2017 5:00:00 AM

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“If a man or woman is fond of books he or she will naturally seek the books that the mind and soul demand.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Recently, a friend posted a question on Facebook – “Mark, What's the best book about leadership have you read and recommend?” That’s a good question, and difficult to answer.

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Topics: Reading and Books, leadership, inspiration, learning

Two Powerful Words

Posted by Mark Fallon

Sep 1, 2017 5:00:00 AM

 

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“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” – John F. Kennedy

Decades ago, my Aunt Jean took me to my first high-end restaurant. She explained the menu and wine list to me, and how to ask for help from the wait staff. After we ate, she went through the bill and demonstrated how to calculate the tip. Since I went to college near her office, my aunt would schedule dinners like this on a regular basis. Those dinners prepared me for the business world as much as my classes did.

It was time to carry on the tradition. Last week, I took two of my nephews out to a nice steakhouse in Boston. I shared what I’d learned from my Aunt Jean, and from the next 35 years of fine dining. We laughed, told stories and promised this would be the first – not the last – time we’d have a night like this.

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Topics: communicate, thankfulness, appreciation

Problems Don’t Get Easier – Until They’re Solved

Posted by Mark Fallon

Aug 25, 2017 5:03:00 AM

 

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Topics: success, hard work, goals, motivation, attitude

When You Can’t See the Road Ahead

Posted by Mark Fallon

Aug 18, 2017 5:00:00 AM

Foggy Road.jpg"As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Last week, I was driving through the hills of central Pennsylvania. I travelled along a road that followed the Juniata River. Most days, the green hills make the scenic drive so enjoyable, the hours pass quickly.

However, this day I couldn’t make out cars just a few hundred feet in front of me. Due to temperature inversion, clouds lingered in the valleys, obscuring the view of the hills. It was only clear right along the river and at the tops of the highest peaks. The interchange of glare of the sun and gloom of the clouds meant constantly switching between sunglasses and driving glasses.

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Topics: goals, journey

Switching Things Up

Posted by Mark Fallon

Aug 11, 2017 5:00:00 AM

coffee cup deck.jpg“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” – Vincent Van Gogh

About 10 years ago, I began running marathons. One of the elements of training is the weekly “long run”. For me, a long run is between 12 and 20 miles. That translates into 2 to 3 and a half hours of running. Now that I’m 55, those runs can take a lot out of me.

Until recently, I almost always completed my long runs on Sunday. I often travel on Mondays, so I had a built-in rest day on my calendar. I’d leave the house around 6:00 on Sunday morning, returning around 9:00. After refueling, stretching and recovering, it would be close to noon. That meant it was time to start reviewing my calendar and packing for the week.

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Topics: change, inspiration, attitude

Everyone Needs Sales Training

Posted by Mark Fallon

Aug 4, 2017 5:00:00 AM

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"Sales are the engine that pulls the train. Everything else follows." - Harvey Mackay

Last year, I read several books on sales training and even attended a seminar. I'll do the same thing this year. You should too. Regardless of your job.

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Topics: Reading and Books, leadership, selling

A Lot of Hard Work, and a Little Luck

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jul 28, 2017 4:12:00 AM

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"Nothing worthwhile comes easily....Work, continuous work and hard work, is the only way to accomplish results that last." - Hamilton Holt

A hot and humid Sunday morning in July. Instead of finding a cool beach breeze or shady swing, I was on my hands and knees weeding the front flower beds. Pulling the weeds not only gives the plants more room, the light tilling of the dirt helps the ground better absorb water. After a few sweaty hours, with a cold glass of ice water in hand, I sat and enjoyed the beauty of the hydrangea and lilies.

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Topics: hard work, motivation, attitude

A Good Reason to Run

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jul 21, 2017 5:02:00 AM

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“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis

Ever since I started running marathons 10 years ago, the most common question I hear is, “Why?”

  • I love taking on challenges where I may not succeed?
  • I enjoy the uninterrupted, unconnected quiet time during 18-20-mile-long training runs?
  • I’m just a stubborn “son-of-a-you-know-what”?

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Topics: veteran, running