9 Facts and 10 Quotes for Memorial Day

Memorial day

Time to Remember

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer in the United States.  It’s a weekend of family events and often is associated with hot dogs, the opening of pools, and picnics.  Many people may forget the real reason for the holiday.  As we enjoy the long weekend, let’s remember those who gave their lives for our freedom.

 

Fact: Memorial Day started as Decoration Day.

It started when soldiers and family would decorate gravestones.

 

Fact: James Garfield gave the first Memorial Day speech.

The Ohio congressman and future President spoke at the Arlington National Cemetery.

 

Fact: Decoration Day honored those who died in the Civil War.

Over 620,000 died on both sides of the war. Later, it expanded to recognize all wars. In fact, it would likely not have continued as a holiday otherwise.

 

Fact: Some Southern states celebrate a separate day to honor fallen Confederate soliders.

Later, we expanded its meaning to recognize soldiers who gave their lives in conflict.

 

Fact: Several towns claim to have started Memorial Day.

Waterloo, New York was recognized by Congress as the official town, but others claim to be first including Boalsburg, PA and Carbondale, IL.

 

Fact: In the USA at 3PM, you should remember those who gave their lives for the country.

From baseball games stopping to Amtrak trains sounding a whistle, many organizations will recognize 3PM on Monday as a time to stop for one minute to reflect.  Memorial Day also designated by Congress as a time to pray for permanent peace.

 

Fact: Americans will eat 818 hot dogs per second or 71 million in a day.

Los Angeles consumes more than any other city in the United States.  On July 4th, Americans will enjoy 150 million hot dogs.  Line them up and it would cover a trip from D.C. to L.A. more than five times.

 

Fact: Many confuse Memorial Day with Veterans Day.

Where Veterans Day honors everyone who has served in the armed forces, Memorial Day honors those who paid the ultimate price and died for the country.

 

Fact: Every grave in Arlington National Cemetery will have a flag for the holiday.

Quotes:

“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.” -Billy Graham

 

“Aspire to be a hero than merely appear one.” –Baltasar Gracian

 

“I won’t forget the men who died who gave that right to me.” –Lee Greenwood

 

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” –Joseph Campbell

 

“For love of country they accepted death.” –James Garfield

 

“Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.” –George Washington

How Belief Writes Your Leadership Story

Belief sign with a beautiful day
This is a guest post by Bill Blankschaen, author of A Story Worth Telling just released from Abingdon Press. A writer, speaker, and content strategist, he blogs at Patheos and Faithwalkers where he helps people live an authentic life. Follow him on Twitter.

Belief is the Key Ingredient

Every day you lead, you are writing a story. You don’t have to be a writer or even put pen to paper to make it a good one. But you do need one key ingredient: belief.

Regardless of your beliefs about spiritual matters, your leadership legacy will be determined by your faith. By faith I don’t mean going to church or engaging in religious rituals, as important as those practices may or may not be to us. I simply mean doing what we believe to be true, often in spite of what we see, sense, or feel.

????????????????????????????????????What we believe to be true determines what we do. And what we do is what gets results. Our motion reveals our devotion to what we believe to be true.

The entrepreneur who launches a new business believes in the product or service the new venture will provide. The CEO who initiates change believes she knows where the market is headed and how the company can best prepare to capitalize on it. The individual who steps away from a comfortable career to tackle a new challenge does so because he believes a better story is possible.

If we want lasting results from our leadership — results that get talked about long after we’re gone — we must start with understanding how what we believe to be true writes our leadership story.

 

“Your leadership legacy will be determined by your faith.” -Bill Blankschaen

 

6 Critical Things Belief Does for Our Leadership

1. Belief gives clarity to our mission.

My new book, A Story Worth Telling: Your Field Guide to Living an Authentic Life, shares several stories of ordinary people who stepped out to fulfill their dreams because they believed it was the right thing to do. They believed their story could have value, so they began a quest to achieve a specific end. When we know what we value, we find our way toward it. Roy Disney, a man who knew a thing or two about making tough decisions, said, “It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”

“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” -Roy Disney

 

2. Belief gives direction to our team.

The direction derived from belief doesn’t only help us as individuals, it also guides everyone we influence. As Jack Trout said, “At the end of the day, people follow those who know where they’re going.” If you don’t know what you believe to be true, you’ll tend to drift wherever other forces take you. Drifting never inspired anyone to do anything but walk away. However, what you believe to be true will have consequences for your team — so choose wisely.

“At the end of the day, people follow those who know where they’re going.” -Jack Trout

 

3. Belief inspires us to act courageously.

Why Attitude Always Matters from Technology to Healthcare

It’s All About Attitude

One of my company’s board members is also one of the Internet’s earliest pioneers. In the past few years, I have had the opportunity to hear him tell stories that are instructive, but also mind blowing. At one meeting, I recall him sharing an example of what he learned about product marketing and branding. Because of his humble style, I almost miss the product reference. Wait, I think, did he just share how IBM’s ThinkPad name was conceived? Yes, and much more.

 

“Think big, act bold, start simple, and iterate fast.” –John Patrick

 

John Patrick doesn’t brag or seek attention, so most people don’t realize he was a founding member of the World Wide Web Consortium at MIT or a founding member and former chairman of the Global Internet Project. He was also the head of Internet Technology at IBM and is currently the President of Attitude, LLC.

Most people would just stop, retire, and enjoy life. Not John Patrick. Only a few years ago, he decided to get his doctorate in health administration.

He has authored two books: The first, Net Attitude: What It Is, How to Get It, and Why Your Company Can’t Survive Without It, and one just out called Health Attitude: Unraveling and Solving the Complexities of Healthcare. Both books deliberately have the word “attitude” in the title because John Patrick is a passionate believer in attitude.

 

“The prescription starts with a single word, attitude.” –John Patrick

How to Market Above the Noise

European man of thirty years in glasses closes her ears loud mus

Above the Noise

 

Does Your Marketing Matter?

What makes some messages stand out above the noise?

 

Marketers everywhere have been busy in the past several years keeping up with mobile, new technology, and the fundamental changes in a social media world. Though the pace is increasing, it is also important to review the basics of marketing to ensure that what you do matters. Linda J. Popky, in her new book, MARKETING ABOVE THE NOISE: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing that Matters goes back to basics and offers an approach that combines timeless principles with today’s technology. Linda is the president of Leverage2Market Associates, a firm that helps transform organizations through powerful marketing performance.

 

“Asking for input and not using it is wasteful and dangerous.” –Linda Popky

 

The Promise of Social Media

How has social media changed the way companies interact with individuals? What are companies doing well? What are they not doing well?

The good news is that social media opens the possibility for powerful real-time communications and conversations between companies and their audiences—including customers, prospects, employees, and the local community. The bad news is that social media also raises expectations amongst those audiences, while creating distraction and noise that often makes it harder to be heard.

The result is many organizations do not use these channels effectively. The key point about a conversation is that it’s two way. It’s not a monologue of marketing or sales messages from a company to customers. And it’s not an opportunity to bombard them with information that doesn’t fit the audience.

 

“Successful organizations analyze external forces.” –Linda Popky

 

More and more companies are using social media to engage with their customers, and they’re learning to listen effectively. However, they also need to bring back what they learn to the right groups in the organization to effect change. Too often this is still lip service.

For example, several months ago, I had a very negative experience with a major national retail chain. I tweeted about this and almost immediately received a response and apology from their Twitter customer care manager. The problem was they assured me I’d be hearing from headquarters soon to resolve the issue. Not only didn’t that happen, but the Twitter customer care manager moved on and left me hanging—a huge missed opportunity on their part, which is indicative of how much room there is for improvement.

 

Timeless Marketing Truths

Are You Building a Bridge or Digging a Gulf?

Bridge across Irrawady river (Myanmar)

Bridge Builders

Last year, I was at lunch with an extraordinary networker.  Almost everyone passing our table would stop and say hello.  I don’t think there was a single person in the restaurant who didn’t know her.  It wasn’t superficial either.  I watched with great respect for her ability to recall details of the person’s family.  She would ask questions about health issues, about family members, about friends.

It’s no wonder that people call her for connections. Her list of friends seems to have no end.

 

“Language designed to impress builds a gulf. Language to express builds a bridge.” -Jim Rohn

 

Fast forward to a different day, a different scene, and a different person.  This time I was observing a business meeting.  One of the men had an incredible ability to build rapport.  He was reaching people on an emotional level.  His ability to quickly build trust was amazing.  Two people would argue and he would synthesize the arguments and find common ground between them.

Both of these people are bridge builders. They are able to build connections with people. Because of that, they radiate positivity, success, and confidence.

 

Gulf Diggers

Contrast this with people who are divisive and negative.  They seem to repel people and not even know it.  Instead of building bridges, they create gulfs.  Many people say not to discuss politics or religion because the topics can be divisive.  I have never followed this advice and find it easy to discuss sensitive topics.  Why?  Because I am genuinely interested in people’s beliefs and opinions.  That’s how I learn. The key is to do it with respect and to borrow techniques from the world’s greatest bridge builders.

“Got it,” you think, “negative versus positive.” Not so fast.

 

Driving Others Away

Some people who build gulfs are actually unknowingly repelling people in a different way.