Here’s What Happened When I Got an Invite to Dinner With Marc Benioff – CEO of Salesforce

When is the last time you met someone you’ve read about and admired for a long time? This happened to me last night with Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce. How did this occur? I love Salesforce, believe in the platform and tell anyone who will listen why. As a result, I was invited to a dinner on the 50th floor of the IDS Tower in Minneapolis to meet Marc and witness a preview of the Dreamforce keynote address. It turned out to be an enchanting evening and way different than I imagined! Getting an invite to dinner with Marc … Read More

7 Ideas to Help You Kick Fear Where it Hurts

Fear Can Be Like a Gut Punch

Fear is the bane of many people’s existence. Fear manifests itself as sickness, broken relationships, opportunities missed and regrets. It doesn’t have to be that way and there are strategies you can use to kick fear where it hurts. Recently, I read the book Hunch: Turn Your Everyday Insights Into the Next Big Thing by Bernadette Jiwa. I liked it so much, I read her two of her other books, Marketing: A Love Story and Meaningful: Stories of Ideas That Fly. After that, I corresponded with Bernadette on Twitter, she responded and asked me what my one, big takeaway was … Read More

Learning to love order and gaining freedom in the process

Order is not my strong suit. Add process and my eyes glaze over. At least, that’s what I thought in my younger days. Yesterday I read a quote from Winston Churchill that resonated with me: “In the first 25 years of my life I sought freedom. In the next 25, order. And in the last 25 I learned order is freedom.” Funny enough, though, for the last 25 years it doesn’t feel like I’ve been chasing structure. I do struggle to find it. And when I do, it’s fleeting. Maybe that’s why the universe favors entropy? At least that what … Read More

5 Resolutions for Year Fifty-Two of My Life

Yesterday was my 51st birthday. Below are five resolutions for year 52 of my life. I think of them as compass-like and guiding. I am a steadfast goal setter and this feels like a different exercise. Goals are specific, measurable and attainable and my five resolutions are more like guideposts. Don’t get me wrong, and I haven’t gone soft. I love a good goal setting, strategy session and that hasn’t changed. Today, what I’m writing about are some bulwark-like thoughts to help me smooth out my rough edges and strive to make Year Fifty-Two my number one. The Five Resolutions … Read More

What a Difference Seven Years Makes

Seven years ago today was a hard day for me. I wrote about the 10 Things I Learned When I was Knocked From My White Horse 18 months ago in an article published by the Success Blog. This story was shared more than 25,000 times on Facebook and from this I infer I’m not alone in jousting with life’s adversities. Since writing the story, my life has continued to evolve. I am humbled by how the words I wrote, at a time when I was simply trying to keep myself positive and be of service to others, ring true for … Read More

Five Reasons You Should Stay at a Ritz-Carlton Once a Year

The first time I stayed in a Ritz-Carlton was in April of 1991 in St. Louis, Missouri. I went there for a work meeting and before that I had never heard of such a place. Growing up in Minnesota, we didn’t have any in our city. Amazingly, we still don’t. In May of 2005, I had the opportunity to attend a customer service training session conducted at the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, California by their staff. The training was an incredible experience for me, and as a result, I am hooked on the brand. Whenever possible, I stay at the Ritz-Carlton. Is … Read More

She said, “I will.”  Again.

Yesterday,  Jean LeClaire said, “I will,” when asked by Father Rolf Tollefson if she will love me and honor me all the days of her life.  On February 9, 1990 she said words similar to these but instead to The Honorable Patrick Burke during his lunch break at the Hennepin County courthouse. I remember that day as a cloudy, chilly February day in Minnesota. We don’t have photos, I recall no fanfare and a simple get together at the bar where I worked part-time as a bartender served as our “reception.”  I don’t write this as a lamentation. We were … Read More

An Amazingly Small World….

According to Worldometer, there are about 7.3 billion people in the world today. Bangkok, Thailand is the 15th largest city in the world with about 14.3 million people. Even with this data, it’s humbling to me how small the world may be at times. My daughter, Anne Gaslin, is away for this year teaching fourth grade in Phuket, Thailand. During her first semester she learned a lot and had a favorite student named, Frank. He is pictured above with his sister. Young Frank became something of a Facebook phenomenon via Anne’s photo chronicles of his funnier antics during the semester. … Read More

2015 – A Year to Remember!

Last night, my wife Jean and I celebrated a nice, simple New Year’s Eve with Jean’s sister, Denise. Jean made a wonderful salmon and beet salad that was a thoughtful diversion from the heavy, butter laden dishes consumed on New Year’s Eve’s of the past. Going around the table, we each talked about some things that we wanted to accomplish in 2015 and I ended my list with, “and I’m glad that 2014 is in the rear-view mirror.” It was here that Jean looked at me and said, “For 2015 I want to have it end where we don’t say … Read More

Missing a Friend…Father Howard Hansen.

Father Howard Hansen entered my life on Holy Thursday, April 17, 2003. At the time, I was not ready to meet him or understand the impact that he would later have on me. Fr. Howard died on Palm Sunday, April 17, 2011.   I attended the Franciscan Retreat Center’s Men’s Holy Week Retreat for the first time in 2003 and it was here that I met Father Howard Hansen for the first time. Fr. Howard was a Franciscan Friar dedicated to his vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Immediately I felt connected to him because of his booming voice, tremendous … Read More