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Thoughts For The Week – “A Culture Of Lifelong Learning”

Posted on December 22, 2015 under Thoughts for the Week.




*An explicit focus on ‘lifelong learning” for everyone is perhaps the most significant advantage any organization can create.

*Make it a part of your mission statement   -   it should be spoken of in the same breath with profitability, customer service,  and great quality. 

*Financial support to the initiative is critical.

*REDUX:  it has to apply to the entire organization!

*Non-work related learning experiences are a must as a part of the ‘lifelong learning’ package.

*Involve the employees’ families in the process

*HIRING:  ‘lifelong learning’ opportunities, accomplishments, and goals need to become a part of the hiring and evaluation process.

Craig J. McConnell

“Entering Adulthood II”
Continuing to) Make Sales People Memorable

(striving to) Re-imagine Retirement


1 Seaside Lane #203
Belleair, FL 33756

53 Chula
10902 Big Canoe
Jasper, GA 30143

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Retirement Reimagined – Adulthood II – “The US Needs Paid Family Leave — For The Sake Of Its Future.” (a TEDTalks video)

Posted on December 18, 2015 under ADULTHOOD II, Retirement Reimagined.


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As a part of my Retirement Reimagined ‘never stop learning’  regimen, I watch  two TEDTALKS daily.

Here’s what I learned yesterday.

Sad but true: The U.S. is still one of only four nations in the world that fails to guarantee the right to paid maternity leave (Swaziland, Lesotho, Papua New Guinea are the other 3).

Here’s a map of how different countries around the world fund legally required paid maternity benefits. It’s compiled by the United Nation’s International Labor Organization, which has some of the best comparative data on the subject. The pink blotches represent countries where new mothers are on their own and no paid leave is required by law. (Note that Australia is pink because the Aussies added paid parental leave in 2012; the data are from 2011.)

PHOTO: Women carry wood in the town of Kerema, Papua New Guinea, Sept. 5, 2014.




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“We need women to work, and we need working women to have babies. So why is America one of the only countries in the world that offers no national paid leave to new working mothers?

In this incisive talk, Jessica Shortall makes the impassioned case that the reality of new working motherhood in America is both hidden and horrible: millions of women, every year, are forced back to work within just weeks of giving birth.

Her idea worth spreading: the time has come for us to recognize the economic, physical and psychological costs of our approach to working mothers and their babies, and to secure our economic future by providing paid leave to all working parents.”

Why you should listen?

What do breastfeeding and paid leave for working mothers, sustainable eye care, hunger, green investing, giving shoes and the business case for LGBT equality have in common? 

For Jessica Shortall, they have all been opportunities to change the world: challenges that need sustainable solutions and require a deep understanding of market forces, audiences, and cultures. They all require an intense dive into data, and they all benefit from powerful storytelling.

Shortall has provided strategy consulting to dozens of businesses, social enterprises, non-profit organizations and campaigns in the US, UK and beyond. Her first book, Work. Pump. Repeat: The New Mom’s Guide to Surviving Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work, was inspired by her own experiences of circumnavigating the globe with a breast pump. She interviewed hundreds of working mothers and dozens of HR professionals to create a practical, relatable, judgment-free guide for women who want to try to continue breastfeeding after they’ve returned to work.

Shortall started her adult life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan, and she haven’t stopped searching for ways to change the world since, across non-profit and for-profit worlds. In the early 2000s, she co-founded and franchised a non-profit organization that is now active in more than 40 communities. In 2006, she received an MBA with honors from the University of Oxford, as a Skoll Scholar in Social Entrepreneurship. She went on to spend three years providing consulting services to social entrepreneurs. From 2009 to 2014, she was the first Director of Giving at TOMS Shoes, hired to build out the now-iconic One for One giving mission and strategy. 

She currently lives in Dallas, TX with her husband Clay and her two children.

The US needs paid family leave — for the sake of its future.

By the way, the video is (all of) 16 minutes long.  Enjoy!…

10 U.S. Companies With Radically Awesome Parental Leave Policies (Google ‘em):  Goldman Sachs, Johnson and Johnson, Netflix, Microsoft, Adobe, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Google, and Bank of America.

Craig J. McConnell

“Entering Adulthood II”
Continuing to) Make Sales People Memorable

(striving to) Re-imagine Retirement

1443 Hagen Avenue
Dunedin, FL 34698

53 Chula
10902 Big Canoe
Jasper, GA 30143



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Retirement Reimagined – Adulthood II – “Why Blogging Is Important” (to me)

Posted on December 15, 2015 under ADULTHOOD II, Retirement Reimagined.

I had an epiphany of sorts last night:  anyone who stops learning is OLD; whether at 20, 66 (yours truly), or 80; anyone who keeps learning stays young.

So, eight months into my second attempt at retirement (and 60 days after returning from our ULTIMATE ROAD TRIP and just months away from planning our ULTIMATE ROAD TRIP II WEST COAST VERSION), I am more convinced than ever that maintaining my blog is going to be critical to my health and well being  - even if no one ever reads it.


For me, blogging forces me to look beyond the obvious and hopefully to ask more questions (‘he who talks the most loses’).  It seems the more I blog, the less I take for granted and I think, for me,  this will  translate into improving and exercising my memory ( since my Dad lost his battle with Alzheimer’s a few years back, this can’t a bad thing).

Blogging forces me to keep reading and to keep learning – period, end of story.  If I am not careful, I find myself spending too much time absorbing other people’s content – not a good thing.

Blogging has to make me a better writer and I will never complete my ‘great American business book’ if I don’t become a more accomplished ‘person of letters’. PRACTICE MAKE PERFECT, BUT PERFECT PRACTICE PRODUCES PEAK PERFORMANCE (somebody famous said that, not me)

Blogging forces me to be more organized and disciplined.   When asked at the end of the day ‘what’d I do all day?’ I need to be able to respond with more than:  ‘not sure, but I sure was busy.’

And last, but certainly not least, blogging enables me to stay in touch with family, friends, and colleagues.  The positive responses BJ and I received from my attempt at being a wordsmith during our ULTIMATE ROAD TRIP,  made the trip even more enjoyable. All too often, when the adventures and challenges of life come calling, we get too far, too busy or too distracted and forget the important people in our lives.

So there you have it.  Some days I will  be serious.  Some days I will  try to make you think.  Some days I will try to make you smile.  But fear not, on all days, I will  be brief.


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I would love to take credit for the thoughts below, but  It was written by Michelle Combs;

“I’m too old for this shit.”  – Detective Roger Murtaugh 

“There are things I am too old for. Time does change a person and I am finding that it is easier to accept these changes than to fight them.”

These are things for which the ship has sailed:

1. Shutting up – I no longer want to keep my mouth shut when I see an injustice. Or feel one. It’s not that I never spoke out, there were times when I did, but it was usually on behalf of someone else. Not for myself. I’m done with that. I don’t know how much good it will do, but if I get treated like shit, I’m going to shout about it.

2. Worrying how I look to others – Randy and I had breakfast at an upscale cafe this morning, well, upscale compared to Waffle House. We were going grocery shopping afterward. My hair would have looked okay if I hadn’t run out of dry shampoo, Also, it’s possible I was wearing jeans that should have been washed 3 wearings ago. But really…jeans don’t ever get dirty, do they? There were four women sitting at the table next to us and every one of them was wearing an infinity scarf. I had a brief moment of panic. I kind of looked like a pan handler and Randy…well, he definitely looked like a pan handler. What would the infinity women think of me? Then I decided that their opinion of me wouldn’t change how my bacon and avocado omelet tasted. For the record, Waffle House has better coffee.

3. Guilty Pleasures – I no longer have any guilty pleasures. I just have regular pleasures. I don’t feel guilty about liking Lady Gaga. I don’t feel guilty about reading every Stephanie Plum book and I certainly don’t feel guilty about getting obsessive about a TV show and watching it over and over. I have moved on from Supernatural and Doctor Who. I am currently re-binge watching The Walking Dead. Because Daryl.

5. Making excuses for my messy house – You know why my house is messy? Because I don’t feel like cleaning right now. Also, it’s messy because I’m unorganized and a bit of a slob.

6. Accumulating shit I don’t need – Oh my god, I cannot convey how much I am done with this. Nearly everything we have isn’t necessary or entertaining or comforting. We have less than two years before our baby boy graduates and starts college. During that time, it is my goal to relieve ourselves of at least half of everything we own. Maybe more.

7. Spending unnecessary time with people I don’t like – I actually started this one a few years ago. I used to go to lunch a few days a week with a group of coworkers. I don’t like them. They are mean, petty, and we don’t share the same interests. One day, I looked at them while they squabbled over sports or politics or a work project and thought what the f@#k am I doing here? And then I stopped having lunch with them. Life is too short to spend unnecessary time with douche twizzles.

8. Finding the good in every person I know – Sometimes, people are assholes. I’m sure, even with the biggest asshole, if you do enough digging, you’ll find something good about that person. But why would I do that? Why have I done that? I don’t want to waste any more time than I have to on unpleasant people. People make their choices. If they decide to be insufferable twat monsters, then so be it. I no longer feel compelled to find something attractive about people like that. I just want move on from them as quickly and painlessly as possible.

There are 8 things that I am too old for. What are you too old for?”

As always, thanks for being here; have a great rest of the week.

Craig J McConnell

“Entering Adulthood II”
(Continuing to) Make Sales People Memorable
(striving to) Re-imagine Retirement



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“First Impression” Reminder and Thoughts For The Week

Posted on December 7, 2015 under Sales 101, Thoughts for the Week.

Sales 101: We ALL Need To Work Harder At Making A GREAT First Impression

Scientist say we have the attention of a goldfish –  7 seconds. 

Which translates to: you better be ready to amp up your attitude when you meet someone. 

*square the shoulders

*stand up straight(er)  -  make yourself  ’BIG’

*smile, make and maintain eye contact, and generate energy

Follow the example of a master of the first impression  – Disney.  They pay as much attention to their parking lots and parking lot attendants as they do to their rides.  These folks are hand selected and selectively trained to be ‘parking lot professionals.’






Craig J McConnell

“Entering Adulthood II”
(Continuing to) Make Sales People Memorable
(striving to) Re-imagine Retirement

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