Reflections – Tribute to a dear friend

By : jeffwhitaker Category : Blog Posted On : July 26, 2014
Mike Schurman Saying good-bye is never easy. Marking a chapter in your life and turning the page almost always causes a time of reflection. This weekend I said good-bye to a dear friend, my first News Director, a man who impacted my career early on as a journalist. Michael Schurman was a newsman’s newsman. His deep love of journalism, most especially radio news was clear from the first time you met him and heard his deep, distinctive voice. Right out of the gate at my first job in radio news at WOND 1400 AM, as my boss Michael taught me some fundamentals of the business I would carry with me to this day. It’s interesting as I look back and reflect on those fundamentals, I realize they apply just as much to life as they do to journalism. He taught me to... Always be proactive, to go after the story, dig deep. Don’t wait for it to come to you. Be a man of your word, honest and trustworthy with your sources and they will be the same with you. Don’t settle for less than your personal best. Always strive for excellence. Mike was passionate about getting the scoop on a good story, defending and being a voice for the underdog and most importantly to him, love and care for his family. Over the years when we spoke, he would always end our phone conversation by saying, “if there’s anything I can ever do for you, just let me know.” You already have Michael, you already have. When Michael passed away this last week at the age of 71 from a battle with Alzheimer's and Kidney Cancer, I put together this tribute to his life. Michael Schurman Tribute

How To Make Life Changing Choices for 2014

By : jeffwhitaker Category : Blog Posted On : December 31, 2013
2014 Calendar Target Shows New Year PlanEvery December 31st as the calendar rolls into a new year, people all over the world resolve to change this or that, to improve, give-up, begin, alter, examine. But statistics show that no less than a week or two into the new year, most of those resolutions are either totally abandoned or altered to the point that they really don’t make a difference in how we live out our lives. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
We’ve all been handed a blank, white pristine sheet of paper. But you say, you don’t know the debt, the baggage, the past I’m bringing into the new year?  No, I don’t. But that doesn’t mean you can’t layout this blank sheet of paper we’ll call 2014 and map out a plan to get you from where you are to where you want to go this coming year. 
In spite of where you find yourself today, I’m telling you that the choices you make today will (NOT can) WILL change your tomorrow. And this is where it starts.
Imagine the ONE thing you want to see change in 2014.  Not three or five or ten, the ONE thing. I’m talking about an over all personal mission statement, one sentence that describes where you want to be, who you want to become, how you want others to see you. Once you’ve settled that, then divide areas of your life and set one major goal in each of those areas that will in turn help you achieve your overall ONE thing.
Those areas are physical, mental, career, personal, financial and spiritual. I’ll outline a quick of example of what I mean. 
Let’s say your ONE thing this year is to become a person who invests in others and makes a positive impact in lives each day or it could be you want to finally land your dream job or get into a new home.
Whatever it is, allow the steps you take in the various areas of your life to support your overriding ONE thing for the year. That could translate to the following:  You want to become a person who invests in others and makes a positive impact? Develop healthy eating habits to assure you’re setting a good example for those you influence, read books that give you tools to pour into others. You get the idea.
The key to increase the chances of these choices sticking is to assign tangible outcomes for each of your categories. In other words, make sure you can measure what you set out to achieve. It’s not good enough to set out to improve your finances. Decide you are going to save a specific amount of money or invest a specific sum each week with a desired outcome by a specific date. Example: I will have saved “X” amount of dollars by “X” date. Or maybe in the area of personal, I will spend “X” amount of time each week with my spouse or children, etc.
I like to use the S.M.A.R.T. method whenever I look at any type of goal setting.
Specific - The more general your goal, the less likely it is to be accomplished.  It’s not enough to say you want to loose weight.  Be specific.  How much? 
Measurable - Establish concrete criteria.  How will you know when you’ve achieved your desired outcome?
Attainable - It’s not enough to set a goal, it has to be a goal that you are able to visualize as having accomplished.
Realistic -  Can you see yourself reaching the goal?  It can be ambitious.  It can be lofty.  But it must be realistic.
Timely -  When will you reach your goal. Attach a timeframe. Begin with an end in mind.
Follow these steps and watch your life change for the better in the new year.  
Choices we make today impact changes in our lives tomorrow.  Feel free to share your ideas for ways to insure change and personal growth in the new year.

3 Keys to Grab Your Audiences Attention

By : jeffwhitaker Category : Blog Posted On : December 3, 2013
Relax Note Showing Less Stress And Tense You’re called on to deliver a presentation at work or someone asks you to speak at a dear friends funeral or maybe give a toast at a wedding reception. We’ve all been there. Our mind goes blank. What do I say? How do I start? I just can’t do this!! Relax. Learn to incorporate these three key concepts and you’ll do fine. 1. Just Be Yourself. I know it sounds simple, but I tell my college class at the beginning of each semester, the most important thing to remember when addressing any kind of audience is to be who you are. The legendary broadcaster Paul Harvey once said that if you try to be someone else, the very best you can ever hope to be is second best. There is only one you. Be the best you, you can be. (tweet that). 2. Share Stories. People relate to stories. It’s that simple. Pretend you’re sitting with some friends over a casual cup of coffee. Tell them a story that relates to the topic you’re speaking on. Doesn’t matter if it’s a serious occasion, a business presentation or toasting a friend at his retirement. Everyone relates to a good story.”Do you remember as a kid? … Have you ever? … It was a snowy evening and we decided to head out in the cold to pick up a pizza.” You get the idea. Stories engage audiences immediately. Begin with a story. End with a story. 3. Stick With The ONE. Whenever you speak, I don’t care what the occasion, decide the one thing you want to leave with your audience. Not three things, not five, the one. When all is said and done, what do I want them to remember? It could be: You only live once. Dreams can come true. Bob is the most loyal friend I know.  Your audience has a limited ability to retain what you say. They will remember stories and the main point you emphasize. Once you decide on “the one thing”, find ways to repeat it. Drive it home several times during your talk. Follow these three steps and watch your presentation move to a new level. If you want more helpful tips like this, sign up for my blog. I’ll also let you know about more upcoming practical information I will be sharing in the weeks to come.
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