Joe Contrera is the Founder and President of ALIVE @ WORK LLC, a leadership development company dedicated to helping Extraordinary Leaders Achieve Extraordinary Results. He is the author of three books. His latest, Extraordinary Results: Mastering the Art of Leading, Coaching, & Influencing Others, is quickly becoming a must-have resource for leaders in organizations across the country. It will not only change what you believe about leading, it will help you build your leadership skills so that you can successfully influence others.

Forgiveness: Elephants Do Forget!

“But I think it’s about Forgiveness.” Don Henley. Forgive and Forget? While that sounds simple it isn’t always easy! Sometimes atrocities happen in life caused by the actions of another person. Those are extremely difficult situations to forgive … and yet it has been proven that forgiveness in those horrendous situations actually sets the victim free, not the offender.

The Truth About Effort & Self-Worth

Effort is a good thing … unless you find yourself tying your sense of self-worth and value to it! I remember standing in the hallway of St. Francis De Sales School with my fingers crossed. I was in 2nd grade and I was hoping and praying that Sr. Miriam Therese would call my name so I could go up and claim my highly coveted prize … a small blue and white button with the word ‘EFFORT’ emblazoned across the front of it.

Putting Yourself Out There: When Authenticity and Risk Collide!

This is a story about a book, a book about what happens when authenticity and risk collide. I started writing my soon to be released book, I Could Love No One Until I Loved Me in early 2009. At the time, I was going through a pretty traumatic time in my life. It was the onset of what some called the ‘second depression’ and my business had been significantly impacted. In what felt like a matter of days, we went from having our best year ever to having one of our worst … overnight.

Surrender and The Courage To Change …

It takes courage to change the “things” in our lives that are not working. It takes even more courage to change ourselves. Why? Because in order to change ourselves we have to admit that “something” about us is not working … and that, in-and-of-itself requires courage. As human beings we have a propensity to look outside of ourselves and focus on trying to change those around us. We prefer believe that other people are the cause of our pain, aggravation, or undesirable results.

Honestly … Can We Talk About Truthfulness?

With what seems like a continual flow of untruthfulness from our politicians and the media, is it any wonder that we have become numb to truthfulness. “Reality” television shows retake scenes until they get it to a point that will captivate the audience … and in doing so they move further away from the truth and further away from reality. Whether it is by omission or the careful selection of one’s words … being untruthful is the same as lying!

Your Money and Your Life: Frugality, Scarcity, or Abundance?

When we say that someone is frugal … what do we mean? Are we implying they are cheap, a tight wad, a penny-pincher … or are we implying that they spend money wisely? You can interpret frugality in a number of ways. For example, a single Mom raising 3 kids on her own because her loser ex-husband has an entitlement attitude and refuses to get a job that supports his kids NEEDS to be frugal.

The Cost of Losing A Customer … $10?

What is the true cost of losing a customer? Recently Jen, my significant other and I were attempting to reschedule dental appointments for our kids at Southwest Dental Group here in Ahwatukee, AZ. We were brand new clients and had just started going there the previous week (they don’t do a cleaning the first time you go there, they just tell you what they think you might possibly need and then you come back a second time for the actual work – can you say inconvenient?).

Being a Leader: More or Less?

When it comes to fishing, most fishermen use a leader (an additional section of wire or line) to connect the hook or the lure to the fishing line. The type of leader used is determined by the situation or objective. For example, sometimes you need a stronger leader so a larger fish doesn’t snap or bite through the line and cause problems. In other situations a thinner, lighter, leader is needed so the fish doesn’t see the line and get distracted.

Leadership Engagement – Are Your Leaders Authentically Engaged?

One of the hottest topics in the ever-changing world of human resources continues to be employee engagement. And while there are as many different opinions about engagement as there are suggestions on how to improve it … human resource professionals continue to search for solutions to this complex idea.