I am happy to announce that my next book will be available soon! Own Your Future - Building a Better Tomorrow is a project done in collaboration with friend and colleague Michael Lanthier.
The book is designed for younger and older audiences covering not only financial decisions but also career and lifestyle choices that we all must face. It should be available by December 2012. We will keep you posted here as well.
Here’s the blurb and cover.
Own Your Future - Building a Better Tomorrow A new book available in December 2012 by Grant D. Fairley and Michael H. Lanthier that helps you navigate through the defaults, drift and despair of the present economic crisis. Learn about keeping wealth in an age of bubbles, bailouts, battles, booms and busts. It will also position you to have a long-term strategy to give you and your children the brighter future you thought would be yours to give.
WHAT’S THAT SMELL?
Cottages like most buildings have their own distinctive smell. Particularly those cottages that are seasonal tend to have certain scents that change with the calendar and the activities of the cottage dwellers. If you are coming from the city to Muskoka, you already experienced the freshening of the air and the richness of the oxygen as you made your way past civilization. Along South Mary Lake Road, we would drive by a series of white pines standing guard that exuded a wonderful pine scent that confirmed we were getting close to the beloved cottage. Stepping out of the car at the cottage, our senses were greeted by a variety of smells from the leaf litter in the forest to the breeze from the lake depending on the time of day and the weather. It was quite a contrast from discerning the metallic smells of industrial Windsor or the smell of grains being processed at Hiram Walker’s downtown. Those first few moments at the cottage offered a bouquet of distinctive reminders that you were in Muskoka.
When it came time to open the screen door and then unlock the main door, it was as if the cottage exhaled the breath that it had held since the cottage was closed in the fall. You could take in the combination of wood and fabrics that had been waiting to be reawakened for the summer season. As is traditional for most cottage goers, this important event typically was connected to May 24th weekends. The new flowers might be planted and some potted plants were spread around the property to add some extra colour during those first couple of months there. It was that wonderful time of hope and optimism for a new cottage season.
The best mornings – even if the floors were cold – were when you awoke to the smell of bacon and eggs cooking and coffee percolating. Mom would often also have a batch of Quaker Oats bubbling which she assured us would “Stick to your ribs.” When questioned why we would want oatmeal or anything else stuck to our ribs – she explained that this would keep us from getting hungry rather than eating something that was digested quickly. We felt better about the oatmeal after that. Adding to that the wisps of smoke coming from the fireplace and traveling up the chimney to be carried away through the woods, you had a perfect Muskoka morning.
The only thing that could surpass the ecstasy of that experience in cottage life would be to catch the hint of smoke as you returned from an early-morning canoe ride in the mists of Mary Lake and find those smoky scents also included the bacon and eggs and coffee as you opened the door. Of course, the aroma of Grandma’s meals or baking would also enchant anyone who experienced it.
Growing up in the 1960s when smoking was more prevalent meant that you could become quite a connoisseur of tobacco smells as a boy even if you did not smoke. (Thankfully, it was not something our family ever did. We had other vices of course…see paragraphs above…) Grandpa Cowan used to smoke cigarettes and then on a whim switched to cigars. We became used to smelling the scent of some very fine cigars as we would walk on the road or sit on the screened porch. His favourite brand (based on the beautiful wooden boxes we received for storing little boy stuff like marbles) was White Owl.
As mentioned elsewhere, the first Gandalf I knew was the kind grandfatherly Ben Jackson from the original cottage who was very senior in years when I remember meeting him. He was one of those talented pipe smokers who could blow smoke rings, allow wisps to float up or just puff gently on the sweet smelling tobacco. Did I mention he could blow smoke out his ears? Remarkable sights for a young boy to see.
There were many smells of the cottage as you roamed through the woods, in the ferns, over the meadows, in the dark forest, by the beaver dam, under the pines, on the beach and in the lake. Each one of these aromas is imprinted on memories and emotions of those growing up at the cottage in Muskoka.
Excerpted from Up to the Cottage - Memories of Muskoka by Grant D. Fairley
There are some executive coach programs that work to keep a distance between the Executive and the Coach. We understand that. We just disagree. As our the name of our executive coaching association suggests - The Fellowship of Executive Coaches - includes the concept of Fellowship. It has many layers of meaning but among them is the simple concept of two “fellows” in a “ship”. Disregarding the gender - that means that the best executive coach is “in the boat” with the executive. We’re not standing on the shore making suggestions and pointing out errors from the safety of dry land. Great executive coaches are in there with you - pulling together with you to navigate through the sometimes dangerous and sometimes still waters of your life and career.
Our belief that there should be an effort for the executive and the coach to become friends is based on a healthy understanding of what friendship is. A healthy friendship - no matter where you find it in your life - has a number of common characteristics.
True friendship is based on mutual respect. Otherwise, it is a co-dependent relationship. Many coaches keep their ten foot pole handy - don’t get too involved in the big issues facing the executive. Be cool and dispassionate. Keep your distance. That approach misses the point of the executive coach.
True friendship is based on a willingness to invest in the relationship. As soon as a relationship is strictly a job - many important benefits of a friendship immediately disappear. Friends want to see each other grow and develop as healthy and effective persons.
True friendship is based on persistence. That means the friendship is there for good times and the bad ones. Otherwise - you’re one of those “fair-weather” characters.
True friendship is based on trust. This is especially critical for effective executive coaching. If the executive does not have a sufficient level of trust to discuss the real challenges, fears and opportunities he or she face - the coach will be only going through the motions.
True friendship has unconditional positive regard. That means that the relationship has at its core that I’m going to assume and encourage your best self. Does that mean you want fall down and blow it? Of course we all will. But as a coach - I’m here to encourage your potential and your opportunities to experience you best life experiences.
True friendship is accountable. For the executive - that means working on those challenges and opportunities that have been identified. For the coach - that means putting your all into encouraging the possibilities and potential in the executive.
A Friend In The Night
If there is a healthy friendship at work as part of the coaching process - then that means the coach sticks with you when the road becomes dark. The coach is your friend in the night who will not abandon you when times are tough. They walk along side you and share the road you must face.
A Friend In The Day
We often assume incorrectly that we need friends when times are tough. That’s of course true. But we also need friends to walk with us during the bright days of our career and life. It is during the fair times that we must prepare ourselves for the inevitable tough dark days that are part of the mix of life.
A Friend In The Twilight
We all understand the good times and the dark days that happen in everyone’s life. What is just as important is having a friend in the twilight. Twilight is that strange and dangerous time when we are between day and night. Our eyes have not adjusted to the darkness or the light during that hour. We can make some large mistakes when we are in the transition period between the good times and the bad. The good executive coach will stand with you during the twilight as your sun is rising or setting or if the clouds have overtaken your night sky.
Choose an executive coach who will value your friendship and who will work for you to succeed. At VIP and Canadian Executive Coaching we’re investing in your success. We’re also proud to earn the relationship with you and be able to call you our friend!
How To Give Great Customer Service By Delegating Authority with Grant Fairley on Blog Talk Radio -
Great customer service happens when people dealing with the customers either have or have immediate access to someone who has the authority to make a decision. Learn how sales are lost by no one having the power to say “Yes - we’ll take your money!” Grant Fairley is your host today.
How To Give Great Customer Service With Email with Grant Fairley on Blog Talk Radio -
Great customer service and email seem to be opposites. How can you be effective using email to communicate with your clients? What email strategies can make email a positive part of your customer service strategy? Join Grant Fairley of Strategic Seminars for a review of some of the big ideas about using email well.
Great Customer Service - Keeping Your Word by Grant Fairley on Blog Talk Radio -
For those in any aspect of customer service, keeping your word is essential to success. Listen to Grant Fairley discuss why this is so important and how you can ensure your best customer service.
Team Building - Dealing With Conflict Through Forgiveness by Grant Fairley on Blog Talk Radio -
Tense times makes team building even more critical to the success of any organization. Grant Fairley of Strategic Seminars talks about a key part of conflict management for any business, government or other organization. In this show as part of a series on team building and leadership, Grant will discuss the importance of forgiveness as a powerful tool to moving forward personally and to making your organization more effective.
For those with fond memories of cottages and cabins that were full of character and characters, check out this book of stories about one family’s cottage life. Share your memories with us here.
Little traditions perhaps started on a whim can last a lifetime. So many of those extra efforts at creativity or building a relationship, set patterns for our life and the relationships that are to follow.
I had a great relationship with my paternal grandfather who regularly made time for me as he did for my brothers. Joseph Fairley was 66 when I was born. He and my grandmother Lilias Fairley had immigrated from Scotland to Canada in the mid-1920s. As is often the case, Grandpa was not as someone in his mid-sixties seemed a great deal older than people do today who are in their seventh decade. They really were a decade or more older than their years if we met them now. Perhaps it was the accumulated effect of the many challenges of their life living through the ups and downs of depression and wars. Certainly the anti-oxidants found in our improved nutrition are part of the story. Tired as he was from his lifetime of work, it would have been easy for him to grab the rocking chair and hope the noisy grandson(s) did not stay too long.
Instead, he would take us on adventures together. For me, it was a short trip by car to the riverfront where we would begin our quest. We would stay until we saw a flag, smoke and two ducks. Why he came up with this combination I do not know but it was the standard for our visits.
So we would sit or walk by the Detroit River on the Windsor side pausing to notice the wind and the waves. People might be fishing or pretending to be fishing as they slept in their lawn chairs on the walkway overlooking the fast moving current.
These busy narrows between Lake Huron and Lake Erie (with a nod to a fine if not great Lake St. Clair) channeled the many “lakers” and “salties”, Great Lake and ocean frieghters to make their way up and down the river. Add to that the occasional tour boat from Boblo Island and the many pleasure craft and the river was always entertaining to watch. Before long, one of these boats could be seen to fly their flag. Often a county flag or two and occasionally a corporate flag could be seen. Flag? Check.
Back in 1960s, these boats often were still steam powered with coal as the fuel. Before long, one of these great ships would be building steam and with the fires burning, you would see some black smoke pouring out of the ship. Smoke? Check.
Grandpa loved strawberry ice cream. Having spent much of his career working at Silverwood’s Dairy, he knew good ice cream when he tasted it. Many an ice cream cone was shared between grandfather and grandson over those years.
The last quest to be fulfilled was to spot two ducks. As I recall, this was never done in earnest until we believed it was time for us to go back to his house where Grandma was waiting. Wildlife was plentiful enough that when the time came, we could usually spot a couple of ducks. I believe that in a pinch, we would accept swans as an exciting bonus substitute with seagulls as a sufficient but disappointing one. Two ducks? Check.
No matter, we had our adventure time together. Now it was off to enjoy time with a loving grandmother who usually had a fine meal waiting for us to finish our afternoon together.
Flag, smoke and two ducks? Simple? Yes. Significant? Absolutely! They were profoundly important as part of a shared time together between grandfather and grandson, all those years ago. Make memories with those available in your life. Use the simple things to etch a sense of well-being on family and friends.
My new book - Up to the Cottage - Memories of Muskoka -
Up to the Cottage - Memories of Muskoka is now available in paperback on Amazon and elsewhere. It is a collection of stories of cottage life on Mary Lake near Huntsville in Muskoka, Ontario. You can find it on www.harcote.ca for Canadian purchases as well. It is also available on Kindle.
Rev. Hugh F. Cowan, 1870-1943 Presbyterian Minister in Canada, author, historian.
The Bible pictures life as it ought to be; literature pictures it as it might be; history portrays it as it was and is.” Rev. Hugh F. Cowan — La Cloche: The story of Hector Macleod and his misadventures in the Georgian Bay and La Cloche districts United Press 1928
Chronic Pain in Kids....A look at what all that 'texting and gaming is doing to their health" -
This is an important alert to parents of kids and teens who are spending hours and hours gaming and texting. There are long term health issues coming from these teenage tendencies. Written by a pain physician and MD
A hungry child can not digest their education.” Grant D. Fairley — http://www.strategic-seminars.com/quotes.htm
Speech recognition software is the stealth solution flying under the radar today that will revolutionize all our tomorrows.” Grant D. Fairley — http://www.strategic-seminars.com/quotes.htm