Drop the hammer and pick up the shovel

“Drop the hammer and pick up the shovel.”

—attributed to J.A. Dever

Image of a shovel full of dirt

Image from Flickr by Daniel R. Blume

If you are a student of leadership and management theory, I’m sure you are fully aware that the old school “Command and Control” Taskmaster, or in this case, “Drop the Hammer” approach to success is history.

With the intense competition for talent, organizations and their leaders must create collaborative and cooperative cultures wherein each employee can develop and contribute in a meaningful way to remain engaged. Without the side-by-side pursuit of individual and organizational achievement, many top people will seek their futures elsewhere.


Where would more of a “Pick up the Shovel,” team leader approach to people and results be just the ticket for you and your organization to thrive today, and well into the future?

Hope can Always Cope

“Hope can always cope.”

—P.K. Thomajan, 20th Century American Designer

Image of hands holding light

Photo from Unsplash by Diego PH

I’ve done a bit of research on hope as a coping mechanism. Here are a few of my findings:

Indicators of Hope:

•  Focus on progress
•  Positive interpretations
•  Selective attention
•  Goal Setting

Ways Hope can be sustained:

•  Family responsibility
•  A life with purpose and meaning
•  Having quality relationships including a significant other
•  Past experience
•  Goal attainment
•  Community support


How can you be a more hopeful resource for yourself and others, to better cope with the challenges and setbacks that come your way?  Where could you use a bit more hope today?

The greatest pollution problem

“The greatest pollution problem we face today is negativity.”

—Mary Kay Ash, late Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics

Image of a smoke stack

Image from Unsplash by veertezy

How much do you care about the environment? What are your feelings about the pollution level in our waterways and air? How close to your home is the nearest landfill, toxic dump, treatment plant, or abandoned lot?

Negativity is a form of noise pollution. How bombarded do you feel by the incessant verbal, video, and other media messages spewing toxicity into your world?


What actions can you take to stop contributing literal and figurative pollution, to create a more positive and beautiful world? What additional actions can you take to clean up or help reduce the various forms of negativity/pollution caused by others?

When You Say YES to Others

“When you say, ‘YES’ to others, make sure you are not saying, ‘NO’ to yourself.”

—Paulo Coelho, Brazilian Author

Image of Book Cover

Throughout the seven years I’ve been writing The Quotable Coach blog, I’ve posted numerous times about saying, “Yes” and “No” to requests made by others in our personal and professional communities.

To add a bit more bite to this subject, I’d like to add the words, “Oh,” “Heck,” and even “Hell” before the No’s and Yeses, to see if it creates a bigger shift in how you react and what you agree to do.


Where would saying, “Hell No!” to others and “Hell Yes!” to yourself a few more times make the biggest difference in your world?

You may consider using the concepts from the book, The Power of a Positive No by William Ury to find more polite ways to communicate your decision.

Friday Review: Optimism


Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Here are a few optimism-related posts you may have missed. Click the links to read the full message.

The optimist already sees the scar over the wound; the pessimist sees the wound underneath the scar.”





An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out?




Optimism is essential to achievement, and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress.”




The Latin Root of the Word Decision

The Latin root of the word “decision” literally means “to cut.”

Where are you currently wrestling with a life decision? How long has this issue been on your mind, and perhaps a cause of sleepless nights?

For most of us, making the right or best decision is of significant importance and can have considerable payoffs or consequences.

What if you used today’s quote as a way of assisting you by simply limiting or cutting off some, most, or the majority of the options you may be considering?


Consider looking up the book or the term The Paradox of Choice. See how this concept can assist you in making even better decisions in the future.

Something that will inch you closer

“Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow.”

—Doug Firebaugh, home-based business consultant

Image of a one-inch ruler

If you are reading this post in the morning, I hope it inspires you to take a particular action or two to improve yourself and your world.

Select a single area of focus in which the effort and hopeful outcome will bring a big smile to your face when you rest your head on your pillow tonight.

Inching closer to your personal and professional goals reminds me of what some people call the “One Percent Rule.” This rule encourages us to strive for a one percent improvement on some worthy task or objective.


In what area can and will you provide that extra one percent to inch you closer to a better tomorrow?

The butterfly counts not months but moments

“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.”

—Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali winner of the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature

Close-up image of a butterfly

Image from Unsplash by Boris Smokrovic

The life cycle of a butterfly has four stages: Egg, Caterpillar, Pupa, and Adult.

Surprisingly, most adult butterflies live only one or two weeks, but some species hibernate during the winter and may live several months.

Whether their lives are weeks or months long, time to fulfill their purpose is short for these remarkable and beautiful creatures. They must somehow be conscious to this fact and see the importance and urgency of not wasting a single moment.


How can and will you cherish every moment of your life, and take coaching from the butterfly to transform your world?

Heaven is under our feet

“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”

—Henry David Thoreau

Image of TESS Satellite

Image from NASA.gov


NASA has been engaged for many years in the search for exoplanets, with a wide variety of highly sophisticated and expensive instruments. If you care to do a bit of reading, check out these links:

The Spitzer Space Telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope
TESS: Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite
The James Webb Space Telescope

Exoplanets orbit stars outside our solar system. Scientists have discovered thousands of them to date, and the numbers continue to grow. Perhaps the biggest question is how many are actually out there, and more importantly, how many have life, or could sustain life?

Although it is guesstimated that there are trillions of exoplanets, and that the sheer number of them adds to the potential that they could harbor life, they are all too far away to visit – even in multiple lifetimes.


How and in what ways can and will you honor and cherish our beautiful planet? What can you do to leave it far better than you found it, for the sake of the earthlings and space travelers of the future?

Friday Review Priorities


What are your priorities in life? How do you prioritize your priorities? Here are a few priority-related posts you may have missed. Click the link to read the full message.


“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.”





“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”





“Dig the well before you are thirsty.”