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Leadership and Motivation MOM

Posted at Saul's Notes by Saul Klein
Aug. 12, 2009

When WE were kids (those of us old enough to remember three television channels, one television set in the house in black and white, test patterns, television going off the air from midnight until 6:00 AM, Mighty Mouse Playhouse, Fury, My Friend Flicka, Captain Midnight, The Lone Ranger, The Cisco Kid, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans (and Trigger, Bullet, Pat Brady, and Nellie Bell), Kukla, Fran, and Ollie, Jim Bowie, Crusader Rabbit, Jack Benny, Sky King, and Davey Crocket (Coon Skin Caps), our first experience with leaders and leadership was usually with our parents.

Here’s a shot of my partner John Reilly sitting on his Dad’s lap watching the Howdy Doody show in 1947 on their giant TV screen.

Now, we don't necessarily think of our parents as leaders when we are youngsters, but that is exactly the role they filled. My mom had plenty of motivational and leadership quotes for me and my sisters when we were growing up, quotes which I am sure had some effect on our outlook on life. Today's parents may have some resistance to some of the old, proven ways, or may just not have the time, so why don't we create posters with these time tested words of wisdom and motivational statements and put them in the kid's rooms so they see them every day? Today, everywhere I go, I see posters with quotes and motivational and leadership statements. Forget Leadership 101, I think sometimes we can use a dose of Leadership MOM. With that in mind, consider a series of posters with the following quotes from yesteryear. How many do you remember and from which ones do you think the kids today would benefit?
“Don’t cry over spilt milk.”

"Children should be seen and not heard."
"Do as I say, not as I do."

"Speak only when spoken to."

"Don't make me say it again."

“Monkey see, monkey do.”

“And don’t you forget it.”

“We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”

“If it were a snake it would bite you.”

“If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.”

"Because I said so."

“Don’t be a crybaby.”

“Boys don’t hit girls.”

“Don’t run with scissors in your hand.”

“You’ll spoil your dinner if you eat that.”

“Eat your dinner - people in China are starving!”

“Don’t chew with your mouth open.”

“Don't make me stop this car.”

“You can be anything you want to be.”

“No playing until your homework is done.”

“No singing at the dinner table.”

“No watching TV at the dinner table.”

"Put that stick down before you poke your eye out."

"Be sure to wear clean underwear in case you're in an accident"

“You can’t go swimming until 30 minutes after you eat.”

Some of the above may sound a bit harsh by today's standards, but I can tell you that they taught me a lot about the "pecking order" of life…even the last one. While I never knew anyone whose eye was poked out with a stick, I knew that it was best to obey, or I might hear. "Wait until your father gets home!"

Surfacing ideas and concepts in a repetitive way can work miracles. That is why there is such popularity with motivational posters and motivational calendars and slogans. Repetition works its subtle effect.

When I went to the Naval Academy in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the walls of the Naval Science Building (Luce Hall) were lined with famous naval sayings. Looking at these statements each day on our way to class embedded in our consciousness certain values…

"Fight her till she sinks and don't give up the ship." Captain James Lawrence.

This helped teach me perseverance.

"Men mean more than guns in the rating of a ship." John Paul Jones.

This helped cement in my mind the value of my men, and the value of the team.

"He who will not risk cannot win." John Paul Jones.

Later in life I heard "no guts no glory."

This is a fact of life in the business world and the world of investing.

"When Principle is involved, be deaf to expediency." Commodore Maury.

Integrity is an essential element of leadership and this quote reminded me of this almost daily for 4 years.

"If the mast goes, we go with it. Our post is here." Midshipman Jarvis on the USS Constellation in 1800.

Duty and sacrifice…at whatever cost, be prepared to do your duty.

So, what if we take all of these quotes from Leadership MOM, create posters, and put them up in the kid's room and around the house? This could be a great new way to help inspire the next generation. Just in case this is one of those MILLION DOLLAR IDEAS (like pet rocks), I just acquired the domain ParentingPosters.com. We can also offer t-shirts with all of the quotes.

User Comments

1. RE: Leadership and Motivation MOM

Written by: Marilyn Urso
Aug. 19, 2009

Very true and I do remember most of the quotes and all of the tv shows!  I have to admit that when I raised my children I didn't use many of those but here are a few I think will hold value forever:

1. Don't cry over spilt milk - learning to 'move on' is an important lesson for us all!

2. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it - learning to work towards a goal even when it seems impossible is a key to success.

3. If it were a snake it would bite you - how true, the obvious solution to our problems is so often overlooked because we are too close to it.

4. If you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all - this one speaks for itself

5. You can be anything you want to be - the key to this one is teaching our children to figure out what it is that they want to be

6. Because I said so - teaching our children to respect authoiry and to understand that sometimes you just have to listen to mom is a good thing.

Thanks for the trip down 'memory lane'

2. Leadership and Motivation MOM

Written by: Joy Carter
Aug. 20, 2009

My nephew graduated Friday from Basic training in anticipation of moving onto Special Ops and then the Seals.  He says he loves all of the Motivation that I send him.

I copied yours to encourage him more!!!

Life gets you down.....these words will motivate you (one way or another), especially yours!


3. RE: Leadership and Motivation MOM

Written by: Saul Klein
Aug. 21, 2009

Hi Joy,

Best of luck to your nephew. I learned a lot from my time serving our country.

Here is another from Leadership MOM:

"If you want it done right, you just have to do it yourself."


4. RE: Leadership and Motivation MOM

Written by: Steve Chaszar
Sep. 14, 2009

 quick thought... thanks for the PHOTO content and insightful comment.

As a new Realtor but longtime techie... the photo shown should be set with a reminder of context, my opinion... on this day... that TV/RADIO in the background  was "state of the art" tech. The proud family in the foreground display the rewards of pride, hard work, and dedication to family/relationships.

Mr. Reilly and all decendendants of hard working - forward thinking - action taking mentors should be proud.

It works. 

FAMILY, Hard/Smart work, Honesty, Focus, Dedication, Truth, = reward. PRIDE!

Always has, always will.

... my opinion,

Steve Chaszar



5. RE: Leadership and Motivation MOM

Written by: John Reen
Sep. 16, 2010

Hi Joy,

Best of luck to your nephew.

6. RE: Leadership and Motivation MOM

Written by: Margi Swick
Oct. 2, 2011

Saul, I repeat this one often....my Mother often would tell one of the three of us (one sister, one brother), DO SOMETHING, EVEN IF IT'S WRONG!  It usually was intended because we were being lazy...but it's funny because it has given me a "freedom" to make choices based on many things, but know that it might not work out.  Not afraid to fail, but willing to make the attempt. 

7. RE: Leadership and Motivation MOM

Written by: john herman
Mar. 20, 2012

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Saul's Notes

Blog by Saul Klein
San Diego, California

A collection of notes and observations by Saul Klein, CEO of Point2 Technologies and InternetCrusade.


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