Families with Special Needs

There may be no more difficult and demanding family challenge than caring and providing for a special needs child. Over the last 40 years, I have been with couples in the hospital when they first learned their newborn had Down Syndrome or another cognitive disability. Families face every day a focus and discipline few of us ever know when caring for a child who might have cerebral palsy or some other physical challenge. At 13 …

A Storied Life

In the early 1970s, my generation was experimenting with competing lifestyles. Rock and roll had morphed into heavy metal, and many moved to the beat of Janis Joplin, Cat Stevens, The Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin. Some of my friends were dangerously using illegal, even lethal psychedelic drugs such as LSD, heroin, and speed. Others had escaped from the confining cage of parental expectations; instead, they hit the road to explore America! Hair was long; …

Good, Bad, Best

Someone wiser than I offered me sage wisdom years ago, that I pass on to you. Lost in memory is the specific moment in my much younger life when I heard this sentence, but its precision and power still walk the corridors of my soul. “The most difficult decisions in life,” my mentor observed, “are not between what is good and what is bad, but between what is good and what is best.” Each day, …

Discovering the Cadence of Care

Introducing a client-care practice culture starts with one gesture, one conversation, one thoughtful question at a time. My pastoral training and years of experience do not give me a pass when it comes to being purposefully engaged and fully present with another human being. Yes, it may flow easier for me because I have honed these skills for more than three decades; but, I know each one of us is capable of learning our clients’ …

Checking the CRM Boxes

What we know about a prospect or client is the heart and soul of CRM (customer relationship management). Publicly traded company Salesforce (symbol CRM) is one of many enterprises addressing this process. This is not an endorsement to buy or sell Salesforce nor a comment on its products, but rather an observation that CRM and its competitors’ robust technologies create a process that uses what is known about a client to drive marketing, sales, retention, and …

Advisor Integrity

Maybe the most nagging issue we face as professionals is squaring what we hope people think about us with what we know about ourselves. Perhaps this struggle is best illustrated by the photograph of the little duck calmly cruising a pond, head focused, feathers all in place, while beneath the water, his little feet are frenetically paddling with all the gusto a duck can muster. The caption? “I may look calm on the surface, but underneath, …