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Bob McMillanAn Opinion

By Bob McMillan
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Some Every Day Adages

Over the years, I have used a number of “sayings” or “adages”” to express myself at various times or even to make a point during a conversation. Let me take you through some of them today – and you do not have to quote me if you decide to make use of one or more.

The one which I probably use the most in encouraging others is quite simple.

Nothing happens in life unless you show up. The challenge is deciding where it is best to show up.

That adage is true in all dimensions of a life. It can be everything from attending a meeting or to going for a job interview. And showing up in the wrong place can be a complete waste of time.

Next is one where I feel even more strongly about today.

The name of the games is to communicate. With all forms of Internet and electronic communications, there is a tendency for people not to respond. It could be the sheer volume, or it could be today’s habits. For example, some 20 percent of invitees to a wedding do not answer the invitation. Why, is beyond me? But, make no mistake if you are not communicating in your life, you will end up being out of the game!

Next, there is an adage, which I use a great deal in relation to boards which I have served on.

As a participant, you have to know when to speak up and when to shut up.

It has been my experience that speaking up too often in any setting can be a negative. The person who listens and measures when to express a point of view tends to be listened to more carefully then someone who is a chatterbox.

And here is another one relating to speaking. There can be two points of view after someone delivers a speech.

It is either, thank God the speech is finished, or that talk was so interesting, I wish it had been longer.

Some speakers just go on and on too long. I find that a shorter presentation brings on more questions.

Another favorite of mine is quite simple. It is difficult to support someone who does not walk the talk.

Let me explain. Many politicians opine on all sorts of topics. They talk a great deal about what is right and wrong. Then, they live lives which do not follow the moral standards expressed in their talks. That discourages many people.

Many years ago, I worked for a gentleman who always called a few people each day – different ones who had not called him in some time. One day, I got up my courage, and asked him, “Why did you call so – and – so when he never reaches out to you?” The answer was straightforward.

Never call someone just when you need them.

What my boss meant by that answer was quite simple. It is better to build relations with people by calling when there is not an agenda. Then, if you do “need them” down the road, they will be far more receptive to any call.

Finally, there is one saying, which I learned from my TV show.

You can get away with almost anything if you do it with a smile.

If, while questioning a tough guest on my show, I showed anger on my face or even was too strong in my questioning, the guest would win the discussion. On the other hand, if I did the questioning with a smile or a pleasant face, it was easier to get away with tough questions.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a smile on your face.

Robert McMillan Website: