Tag Archives: determination

What Matters Most- Promises

“I told the other kids not to worry. I told them that if you were alive you’d save me…”

The 1989 Armenian earthquake needed only four minutes to flatten a nation and kill over thirty thousand people. Moments after the deadly tremor was over, a father raced to the elementary school to save his son. Looking at the masses of rubble and stone, he remembered a promise he had made to his child, “No matter what happens, I will always be there for you.”

Standing and sobbing with the other parents, he decided to start digging. He began to remove one giant stone at a time. The authorities urged him to stop. They said, “It is too late. They are all gone.”

But the man refused to stop. For eight hours, then sixteen, then thirty-six hours he dug. His hands were raw and his energy drained. But he refused to quit.
Finally, after thirty-eight exhausting hours of blood sweat and tears, he heard a faint voice… “Arman, Arman! Daddy! It’s me!” Then the boy uttered the words that should give each leader pause:

“I told the other kids not to worry. I told them that if you were alive, you’d save me. And when you saved me, they would be saved too. Because you promised, ‘No matter what, I’ll always be there for you.’”

Arman, with his grandfather

Arman, with his grandfather

Promises Made, Promises Kept
It Begins with soulful honesty

• Remember your promises as a leader, big and small
• Remember to trust in the foundation of leadership and personal influence
• Ask yourself: is there any rubble that you need to remove?
• Ask yourself: where do you need to keep your word?
• What are the promises you have made to yourself you need to keep?

Note: Leadership is being a man or woman of your word. Fighting for others that we love. Doing the work that others say cannot be done.

“Leadership is an affair of the heart because we love those we lead”

“Sometimes you have to push through quitting points to save others”

Be willing to keep your promises this week!

You matter to me,
Steve Gutzler

The Stuff that Dreams are Made of: The Determined Dreamer

Question: Where have you been tempted to give up?

Question: Have you thought about tossing your dream to the wind?

Question: Can you look at one man’s life and be inspired to begin again?


Abraham Lincoln:

• A man instrumental in bringing an end to slavery
• A man responsible for bringing the most famous speech- The Gettysburg Address
• He guided a nation through its single greatest test- the Civil War
• A man history stands in awe of

Look at the score board of his life!
He actually had a losing record in life:

1. He had a very difficult childhood and was raised in incredible poverty
2. He had less than one year of formal schooling
3. 1831: He entered his first business: it failed
4. 1832: He ran for public office: he was defeated
5. 1833: He started another business: it failed
6. 1834: He ran for public office: he won!
7. 1835: The girl he was about to marry died suddenly
8. 1838: He was defeated as Speaker
9. 1840: He was defeated as Elector
10. 1842: He was married to Mary Todd. They had four sons. Only one son lived past the age of 18 years old. The other boys died at ages 4, 11, and 18.
11. 1843: He again ran for Congress: he was defeated
12. 1846: He was elected to Congress!
13. 1848: He was defeated for Congress
14. 1855: He was defeated for Senate
15. 1856: He was defeated for Vice President
16. 1858: He was defeated for Senate again

Let me ask you, if that was your scorecard, would you have run for President?

Three lessons from Lincoln:
1. He was resilient and always pushed through quitting points. You can too!
2. He was known for his ability to build bridges with people who earlier opposed him
3. He believed that failure is not an outcome but an attitude. Choose to have a successful attitude!

My Favorite Lincoln Quote:
“I do not like that man. I must get to know him better”

I encourage you this day to step back and re-think any setback or perceived failure you have had. It truly is preparing you for the magnificent purpose you were created for.

Be determined in your dreams!

Feeling Stronger,
Steve Gutzler

Bringing Out Your Brilliance: Determined like Diablo

“How good are you? Well, I’m very good!”

I was finally going to take my own advice. For years I have been recommending recreation. As in “Re-Create-tional” activities to stay balanced and to re-charge your emotional batteries and creative juices.

So here I was ready to reinvigorate myself with horseback riding. I had been given a free trial gift certificate. The appointment had been set- a 90-minute ride up into the foothills. I had been riding once or twice before and had fond memories of the experience; I especially enjoyed the pony rides in circles at the fairs when I was 5.

A cowgirl approached and simply asked , “Do you ride much? How good are you?” For whatever reason, I fibbed, told basically a bold-faced lie, “Well, I’m very good! Lots of riding experience in my background!” Really, I just didn’t want to be stuck with one of those old has-been grey horses that don’t have any spark left in their eyes. I wanted a horse with some zip and get-up, a horse that would trot and gallop!

I grew up watching “Bonanza” and I wanted to play Little Joe and Ride ‘Em Cowboys!

They brought out a beautiful horse named Diablo. Diablo was a girl horse, but maybe I should use a different word… I’m not sure but I think she was emotionally unstable. I know she lacked emotional intelligence! She was angry from the beginning. She was stubborn. She must have been part mule!

It took me 30 minutes to get her out of the barn and stable and up the trail. It was not a good match. The plan was to enjoy a relaxing ride up to the bluff and enjoy the meadow there…. Ahhhh. There would be a breeze and we could gallop across at a nice pace…ahhhh.

As you may be guessing, the day did not go as planned. Instead, as soon as we got to the bluff, Diablo U-Turn hooked on me and started galloping for home. I pulled the reins but nothing happened, except that she went faster. I screamed. I said “Woooooaaaahh.” Nothing was working. She was hell bent on getting back into that barn.

As we raced towards the barn at full speed, I had two choices, either bail off Diablo or duck low going through the door. I decided to duck. She stopped immediately once she was inside and walked happily into her stall. I could almost hear her say “Ahhhhh, home…”

The cowgirl came back, looking confused, and asked “Back already?” Trying to save face, I said “Yeah, I just wanted a quick little ride today. Thank you!” As I walked away from Diablo, I muttered to her “You’re nothing like Little Joe’s horse…”

I have to give Diablo some credit; she knew what she wanted!

  1. What is your one thing that you want?
    You cannot market to the masses. You cannot shoot a bunch of shot-gun pellets everywhere. You must focus on your ONE MAIN THING.
  2. What is your primary goal?
    I’m going to suggest you narrow your focus in the next 90 days.
  3. Get clear on your brand and your message!
    Find your strength and stay with it!
  4. Become an expert in your field
    Knowledge is power. Hone your craft.
  5. Get single-minded and determined.
    Not to say you can’t enjoy variety. But you must know what you want and know your one big goal.

There will be days when people try to pull in you lots of directions away from your purpose and goal. Stay true and vigilant. There is a good word: VIGILANT!

If I could suggest one more thing to every leader I know, it would be to write down your one big goal. Then put 10 action items under that goal as to how you will make it happen!

Here are some closing thoughts that I refer to when I am veering off from my one big goal:

  1. Goals create positive energy and hope
  2. A clearly articulated goal offers you a North Star to guide you out of rough seas and into clear waters
  3. Know exactly what you want and clearly write it down

Determined like Diablo,
You matter to me,
Steve Gutzler