Friday, August 22, 2014

Leadership according to General George Patton

Are you a leader or a manager?    If you google this question you will get more than 87 million hits.   It is an interesting question though.   I came across an article this week in Inc. Magazine titled “The General Patton Approach to Leadership and Success.”  In it the author of the article summarizes George Patton’s leadership principles from a Patton biography published in 1979 by one of Patton’s staff officers, Porter B Williamson

I won’t list them all but here are a few to think about:
  • ·         Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  • ·         An active mind cannot exist in an inactive body.
  • ·         There is no power in a bushel of blubber.
  • ·         Talk to the troops.
  • ·         Know what you know and know what you don’t know.
  • ·         Never fight a battle when nothing is gained by winning.

And here are my two favorites:
  • ·         Never make a decision too early or too late.
  • ·         Revenge belongs to God.

I find myself faced today with a difficult decision regarding a client.   Difficult decisions are always, well, difficult.   But the path to success is paved with difficult decisions regardless of how you define success.   I never have really considered the concept of the timing of a decision.  “Never make a decision too early or too late” is a talent that I must work on.  

I read another article recently, also in Inc. Magazine, that listed the 7 Habits of People with Remarkable Mental  Toughness.  Being a great leader and mental toughness go hand in hand.   A quote from that article that has stuck with me is - Successful people (leaders) are great at overcoming fear in order to do what they need to do. (Of course, that doesn't mean they aren't scared--that does mean they're brave. Big difference.) 

I am interested in how you define leadership and success.   Send me an email at with your thoughts.   Also follow me on twitter at @sperrycpa.   

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Happy Anniversary Brenda & Jack - August 16, 1974

Another example of how time flies by.   My sister and her husband Jack are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary today.   August 16, 1974 seems just like yesterday.   On August 15, 1974 all the men that were in the wedding party went to the lake and got sunburned.   I got to tag along even though I was just 16.  You should see the pictures.   We are all red faced.   Brenda still likes to remind Jack of that.

I was telling someone this week that I measure the passage of time by the presidents.   By the time that the next president serves 8 years, assuming they are reelected, I will be 65 years old.   Obama is in his 6 year. Wow how fast the past 6 years have gone by. I know, some of you don't think so but please don't politicize my rambling about the passage of time.

I have a good friend, Ken, who is my age.   He helped me move some furniture two weeks ago today.   The following Thursday he had to go in for a stress test.  He failed.  He had to have quadruple bypass surgery last Tuesday.   I went to see him yesterday.   The lesson I learned this week is that I don't want to have open heart surgery.   My how time passes by quickly.

I have decided that I am going to stop letting the little things make me so angry.   It is not Godly.   It is not healthy and it just gives the advantage to the person or situation that made you angry in the first place.  I don't want to give the advantage to anyone and I don't want to have open heart surgery.   My how time passes by so quickly.

I am going to Sandye's brother's youngest son's birthday party this afternoon.  Matt's son is turning three.  Matt was born on December 19, 1977.  He will be 37 this year.   I remember the day Matt was born.  I had just completed the first semester of my second year at the University of Arkansas.  December 19 was the day I got home for Christmas break.  My how time passes by so very quickly.

If I stay healthy, I could live another 30-40 years.   The focus of the first 56 years of my life have been on education, family, making money.  All important things.   I have decided that the next 30+ years need to be spent on God, family, serving others and going to the beach.   My how time passes by so quickly.  I had better get started.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

City Rock Bluff

There is a special place near Calico Rock called City Rock Bluff.   I have a story about the bluff from way back in February 1979 that includes rain, snow, dark and a bottle of Jack Daniels being opened and the top pitched out the window of the pickup.   But that is for another time.   Too many memories.

You may remember the post of my Christmas wish list from last winter.  There were several toys on the list.   I have a new item I want to add to the list this year.   I want a remote controlled helicopter with a controllable video camera.  My on personal drone.   Here is a great video from YouTube posted by someone flying their helicopter off of City Rock Bluff.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mom and Dad

Mom tells a great story about when dad proposed.   Seems like they had been dating for a while.   Dad had graduated from college and had bought the drug store in Calico Rock.  He was 20 or 21.   Mom had moved to Little Rock and was living with some college girlfriends and working.   They had probably talked about getting married but there had been no formal proposal.  

So the story goes that dad went to Little Rock to visit mom.   He shows up at the house where the girls lived.   Mom was on the couch when he came in.   His proposal went something like this, “I’ve been drafted.  What are we going to do?”   Dad is a very smart man with many talents.   However, romance isn’t one of them.

I am glad mom said yes.  

Brenda and I have great parents.  They have taught us well.   Hopefully we are good parents because of the example our parents set for us.

Tomorrow is mom and dad’s 61st wedding anniversary.   Tell them thanks for me if you see them.

Here is the link to my favorite Reed’s Rambling.   Read it and you will understand why.
 Girl Friends (July 26, 2012)

This is a link to last week’s Rambling.   It’s good to.
The month of May (May 22, 2014)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Simple Life

My wife and I decided to spend the weekend at Calico Rock Arkansas.  My mom's birthday is this weekend and I wanted to be here to say Happy Birthday and hug her neck.  It was kind of a last minute decision so we didn't get here until about 10:00 last night.  I wish I could have taken a picture of the moon and stars.  Wow.  I had forgotten how many lights are in the sky.  Living in Springfield MO only the brightest stars make it through the glow of the urban night.  The rural Ozarks aren't heaven but it has to be close.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Things I don't understand

Things I don't understand or would like to know the answer to:

  • Why the winter's seem to be colder and the summers seem to be hotter?
  • Why the concept of God has gotten so complicated?
  • Why it is so unpopular to be a proponent of compromise instead of divisiveness?
  • Why moderation is considered a bad thing?
  • Why one day I stepped out of the shower and their stood a "not young man" in the mirror looking at me?
  • Why my grand children are near perfect and everyone else's are just kind of perfect?
  • Why the US Tax Code is over 3000 pages long and so complicated?
  • Why so many people currently incarcerated in the US prison system are poor and minority?
  • Why there is a movement to drug test people before they can receive food stamps but there is no movement to require executive's on Wall Street to be drug tested?
  • Why the middle class in the US is disappearing?
  • Why I didn't make better financial decisions when I was 25?
  • Why I didn't go ahead and get my master's degree when my dad wanted me to and is it too late to get it at my age?

Knowledge - How to grow and prosper

I had a conversation with my 23 year old son this morning over our regular Saturday morning breakfast.  Our conversation this morning was about reading and critical thinking for the purpose of gaining knowledge and being in a state of continuous learning.   Sam is about to graduate from college.   He is interested in those things that will define who he is as an individual and as a young professional.   The current buzz phrase is “personal brand.”

I wrote Sam an email listing the books he should read and have in his library.   I thought it was worth blogging the email.    Here it is:


These are books I think you should read in order:

1.       The Dip – By Seth Godin (should read at least once a year)
2.       48 Days to the work you love – by Dan Miller (should get the actual book, not digital, to use for reference)
3.       The Millionaire Next Door – by Stanley Thomas
4.       The Dan Sullivan Question by Dan Sullivan
5.       The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
6.       7 Habits of Highly Successful People – by Stephen Covey (as I suggested, you should listen to the abridged version of this.  Might get a copy of the book for reference)
7.       Leadership and Self-Deception by the Arbinger Institute (this is another one you should add to your “once a year list”)

Other books that need to be on your reading list:

1.       Unbroken – by Laura Hillenbrand
2.       The Outpost – by Jake Tapper
3.       Good to Great – by Jim Collins
4.       Great by Choice – by Jim Collins

Be sure to go to TED.Com and watch How Great Leaders Inspire Action – by Simon Sinek.   Here is the link to the video -

Another Simon Sinek video you should watch is on youtube – “Love your Work”  - Here is the link -

There is a book I have never read but should.  Maybe we could read it at the same time.   It is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

You should look for books that are highly rated that talk about developing your personal “brand.”

I suggest you setup an Amazon account.  You can start a reading list there.   Once you have books on your reading list, Amazon will suggest others.  See where it will lead you.

Love you,  Dad

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Late Night

I don’t remember Steve Allen or Jack Parr when they hosted the Tonight Show.   I thought Johnny Carson was great and still miss him.   Jay Leno was a good steward of the show for 20+ years.  I never watched Conan O’Brien.  Still don't.   I think Jimmy Fallon is going to be as great as Johnny Carson.   

I didn’t see Jimmy’s last Late Night show the other night.   One of the things I like about Jimmy’s show is the music.   On his last show he joined with the Muppets to sing my all time favorite song – The Weight.   I love this song.    In case you missed it, here it is from YouTube.