Week of 9/19/22 Cover Image
Buy now

Week of 9/19/22

Morning Minute 9/19/22

Thomas was dying.

Mary, his wife, and their daughter, Julia, were at Thomas’s bedside. He had been bedridden for 12 days, slipping in and out of consciousness. His injuries required that his arm be amputated. After surgery he spent several days in a coma. Then for 3 days he seemed to get better. However, the pneumonia came back and he faded fast. Darkness enveloped him and he passed away.

Thomas was a devout Christian. He lived his life following the teachings he received from his Bible. He stated once, “God has fixed a time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, no matter when it might overtake me.”  He prayed over every decision. He fervently believed that God was in control of his life.    

Being a Virginia native in the mid 1800’s, he was affected by the law prohibiting the teaching of slaves to read. Being a professor at VMI, he violated that law constantly, employing the Bible to teach slaves how to read. He used his house for these classes until there were so many that he moved the them to a local church. Because he was frequently away from home, he insisted that his family and the local minister continue these classes. This ministry continued even in his absence. With this training, many slaves escaped to the North to gain their freedom.

When war broke out between the states, he did not support secession. However, when called upon to defend Virginia, he answered the call and joined the fight. Having fought in the Mexican war, his skills were needed in defense of his state. One night as he and a group of men were scouting out a road, they were suddenly attacked by Union soldiers. Galloping away from the attack he was wounded by Confederates in the darkness and confusion. Thomas died 12 days later.

Thomas, like so many who fought for the South, understood that slavery was evil. He did what he saw as his duty to defend his state and the people who lived there. Few soldiers who fought for the South actually owned slaves. Hopefully, this true story will encourage us to understand why so many people who despised slavery felt compelled to fight for the South.

Thomas’s last name was Jackson. You know him as General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.

And that is today’s Morning Minute.  

You will find many stories of leaders in my book WORK WITH ME NOT FOR ME which is available on Amazon, in e-book, paperback, audio book, and hard cover.

These Morning Minutes may be found at our website  

#leadership #coaching #teambuilding #honor #integrity

Morning Minute 9/21/22

“You want to run that by me again!”

That was the question from a client. I answered, “Sure, no problem. Let me explain the process so you can put this issue to bed.”

Let me go back to the beginning.

This client called me. He was very upset. “I am going to stop having weekly team leader meetings because they always end up in a “bitch” session where everyone complains, points fingers at other team leaders, and nothing gets done! If we can’t address and solve problems during these sessions then there is no reason to meet together!” I shared with him an old, but very effective way to ensure that this never happens again. He asked me the question above after he heard this process. Let’s see if you can relate.

The great author and teacher, Dale Carnegie, shared the following mandatory process for introducing a problem or opportunity in a meeting. You must require that every member attending the meeting answer these 4 questions when announcing an issue to be solved or an opportunity for improvement.

  • 1.What exactly is the problem or opportunity?State it exactly so that all will understand the issue.

2.What factors caused the problem or opportunity? Share ALL the factors leading up to and/or still creating the issue.

3.What are ALL the possible solutions to the problem or opportunity? Do not accept only one solution. There are always at least two and many times several solutions. The person must share them all.

4.Which solution do you suggest?The person who starts the conversation must ALWAYS share which solution he/she thinks is best.

The person leading the meeting is required to keep information flowing so that decisions are made, responsibilities assigned, and issues get resolved. Using this process ensures that meetings are productive. It requires responsibility of those who bring up issues to be prepared to answer these 4 questions.  

You can use this process in a one-on-one discussion with another team member, with a family member or your spouse. It places the responsibility on the person who starts the conversation to think it through completely before bringing it up.

Email me at to get your free template for effective team meetings. Go now and have a productive, accountable meeting!

That is today’s Morning Minute.

To access this and other morning minutes visit us at