Monthly Archives: December 2011

Up In the Air

As this Tuesday Minute comes to you, I am in Montana, on my way to Yellowstone National Park for a winter vacation adventure! The temperature is low and the snow is high. It’s commonly said that a change of scenery is good for one’s perspective. I am certainly experiencing a major infusion of new scenery, and hopefully new perspectives will appear in their time.

Food for Thought ~

The French novelist Marcel Proust advises us that the “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” There are people who travel who remain as they were before. And there are people who don’t travel who vigorously explore new ideas, thoughts, and feelings. The important thing is to encourage and nourish our personal expansion, as a person and as a leader. We are, and always will be, an unfinished symphony.

Question of the Day ~

How might you expand your perspective at this time?

And now for something fun and entertaining, here’s a link to a very witty commentary on the buzz words of the day. Enjoy!

For those of you who may now have a few spare minutes to complete my mini-survey seeking feedback on my Tuesday Minute With Mary, here’s one final opportunity and request to please add your opinions and suggestions to help me plan the future of this endeavor and to shape it in the ways that matter most to my readers. This is post #104, the end of year two, and my last edition for 2011.

Here’s a fitting quotation for the year end, from Ovid, the Roman poet – “Take rest, for the field that is rested yields a beautiful crop.” I hope your holidays are peaceful and include a little rest. I’ll be in touch in 2012!

Special Edition ~ December 20, 2011

To my clients, colleagues, and friends, old and new ~
Thank you for your business, your friendship and your goodwill.
May health, happiness and prosperity
Be yours in the coming year.

Happy Holidays!


We all want Peace on Earth, and the place to start is with what’s closest to us: ourselves, our families, and our places of work, where we spend 60% of our time. The workplace is a great place to practice compassion, kindness, understanding, and patience. We can teach ourselves to minimize making assumptions, hasty judgments, gossip and blaming. If trends and fads can “go viral,” how about peace?


For most of us, that question brings to mind some special places, and usually includes a few businesses that we remember fondly. Most likely, several were small, locally-owned businesses. Some of my most vivid memories are of time spent with high-school friends at McCord’s Candy Shop in Lafayette, Indiana.


FOR EVERY DOLLAR SPENT AT A LOCAL BUSINESS, 45 CENTS IS REINVESTED LOCALLY. For every dollar spent at a corporate chain, only 15 cents is reinvested locally. Focusing our economic activity locally creates local jobs and contributes to the health of our own community. Shopping locally and doing business with locally owned companies is a very important act of economic responsibility. It’s something we can do. Our own friends, neighbors and families benefit, and we can play a valuable role in supporting this wonderful place we are fortunate to call home. For more information about local companies and organizations, how you can support local businesses, and the difference it makes, visit the website of GoLocal Sonoma County.

The 2011 Home Stretch

A term originally used in horse racing has been extended into general usage – “the home stretch” – and I like the mental image it conjures up. This time of year lends itself nicely to the metaphor: the heightened temperature and pace of activities during the holidays, the year end of business, frequently also the fiscal year end and target date for completion of projects, the turning of the calendar to begin all over again. All of these coincide to create a “race to the finish” feeling in these last few weeks of 2011.

Food for Thought ~

I would like to suggest that a good way to approach this final stretch is to remove ourselves from the racetrack mindset. Step off the track, revisit your values and priorities and then choose your activities accordingly. Oftentimes, we have beliefs, expectations, and habits that it’s time to let go of, to lighten our load so that we can move more easily and effectively though our lives and our work responsibilities. One of the roles of a leader is to continually model your values, especially under stressful conditions, as this time of year can be. Make your 2011 home stretch as healthy and positive as possible, for yourself and those within your sphere of influence.

Question of the day ~

How do you approach this time of year? Is it a frenzy of activity or do you pace yourself according to your values? What example are you setting for your organization?

Your responses to my survey are pouring in – thank you! The more the better! Many people have told me they have it on their “to do” list, so here’s the survey link again. It’s a very brief set of questions that will take just a few minutes, I promise! Your answers will be tremendously valuable in helping me plan for 2012. Thanks very much for your cooperation!

Practicing What I Preach

As a marketing advisor, I often encourage my clients to ask their customers’ opinions. There’s a wealth of information available if we ask! So, I’m practicing what I preach and asking you, my readers, for your opinions about my Tuesday Minute With Mary. January, 2012 marks my second anniversary of writing this weekly series. That’s 104 consecutive weeks of mini-essays, “rain or shine.” Although the essays take only a minute or so to read, I dedicate several hours (and usually more) to writing and publishing each one. (Was it Mark Twain who said it takes a lot longer to write a short letter than a long one?)

My statistics from Constant Contact are very good – my readership rates are twice my industry average! The comments and replies I receive each week are very positive indeed. Yet I want to take this opportunity to conduct a somewhat more systematic assessment of your preferences so that I can determine what, if any, changes might be desirable. New technologies offer new options, and my readers’ needs and preferences evolve as well.

I have created a very short mini-survey with just a few salient questions. I would truly appreciate your taking a few minutes to complete the survey. Here’s the link.

Thank you very much in advance for responding to this request. Your answers will help me plan my time and shape my communications in the ways that matter most to you.