Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Barack Obama - RHB of the week

In the fall of 2007, my wife and I were in Boston on business. While strolling near Boston Common, two university students approached us and asked if we were American citizens. We replied we were visiting from Canada. They smiled and moved on. I looked around and saw them passing out flyers extolling the virtues of a guy named Barack Obama.

I started tracking the US political race a lot more closely and found that many of Obama's viewpoints closely resembled my own. That we need to look beyond our own special interests and reach out and connect with people who do not look or act like us. That there is both business and personal success in morality and that many things are possible if we choose not to live in silos.

The tipping point came when I heard him speak in Berlin.

The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, Christians and Muslims and Jews cannot stand.

President Obama is inspiring millions of Americans today. He represents an achievement that many thought they would never witness. But there is a danger in placing too much hope on the shoulders of one individual.

I've heard him state that his biggest challenge is getting the citizens of his country to take responsibility for their own lives and not wait around for the United States government to solve their problems. A great lesson for all citizens of the world. Get out of first gear and start doing things without immediate expectation of reward (third gear).

Barack Obama - Real Human Being of the week!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Let's be that one card

You probably know a girl or a guy like Stephanie. You might call her amazing or you might say he's a good guy.

He might be the guy working at the local coffee shop or perhaps he's the mechanic servicing your car. She could be your accountant or the lady who runs the local daycare.

They make you smile and they make you think; they transcend their occupation.

Stephanie was my favourite teller at the local bank in Oakville. Whenever I dealt with her I felt like a real human being rather than just another customer.

When in line, I would wave other folks to go ahead of me until her wicket opened up. It is amazing how much conversation you can squeeze in between 3 cheque deposits but Stephanie humanized the process of banking.

Last year, Stephanie headed off to Italy to work at a law firm in Milan. Just before Christmas, I received an email from her.
YA know champ! I put a light bulb in my bosses head and made the man proud.. I was in charge of the office Christmas cards and they are only sent to business contacts etc... The bank that we deal with in Milan is "poor" and kill us with their mistakes (and with my TDCANADA TRUST training/standards- they would be closed!)

So I suggested to my boss that we send a X-mas card... He said "What, they are horrible Steph, they give poor service etc..." I agreed however I explained how at my bank we would get showered with gifts/cards/baked goods etc, because we took care and people noticed.. So I said I know that they will not get one card, at best BUT lets be that one card..

After pleading with him, he said yes and I made the label and sent the card... Today when I came back to work, my friend had said that someone from the bank had called our office and she was so happy and said thank you for the card!

My boss came in and added "That girl Stephanie is such a good girl"....

He is an awesome boss and I couldn't ask for anyone better but we all can improve in little ways..

Dave, you are a wonderful human being and I'm going to drill with all my might to get you and your talk to Italia!

Take care champ!

Friday, January 09, 2009

The best kind of humour is self-deprecating

The 3rd rule of the Real Human Being is "get over yourself."

Want to make fun of someone?

Make fun of yourself.

I am a speaker at a carbo-dinner for the Burlington, Ontario HSBC Chilly Half Marathon this Spring. I thought you all would get a kick out of my photo and introduction for the promo.


Dave Howlett is an award-winning marathon runner who will show you how unflinching courage, brutal training and steely-eyed focus will allow you to meet your personal goals. He has a PB of 2:14:07* and won the 1996 Boston marathon**

Dave Howlett is an professional speaker (www.davehowlett.com) whose humorous and educational talks have entertained hundreds of audiences worldwide. Since he rolled off the couch 15 years ago (don’t be impressed…the guy married a personal trainer), Dave has slurped and burped through 14 marathons and will be completing his 5th Ironman in Austria this summer. He has also taught “Howlett’s Heavy Breathers” marathon classes.
In his spare time, Dave designs beautiful custom jewelry for discerning runners by stringing together lost toenails.

If you are nervous before the big day…Dave’s philosophy of living through laughter will keep you entertained until the finishing line!

* in the 10km
** taxi-assisted