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    . . . Make Lemonade

    John A. Wojtecki
    John A. Wojtecki
    Doctor John A. Wojtecki has 45 years of experience in Human Resources, Safety, and Training serving the toy, food, plastics, steel, and office furniture industries. John operates his own consulting business and is a Certified Facilitator in Real Colors. He is a volunteer with the Quad Cities Mediation Service. He posts monthly on his LinkedIn account.

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    When last we met, we began a review of Zack Friedman’s 2019 book: titled “The lemonade life.”

    On page 8, I was impressed with Zack’s premise that one should, “have the conviction to think unconventionally.” This concept fully supports continuous improvement. Thinking unconventionally allows the business owner and/or the employee to allow the creative juices to flow. I am reminded of a needlepoint I once had on my desk that stated, “Limits exist only in your mind.” If you can dream or envision something, you can work to apply those dreams.

    When applying those dreams in your sphere, have you thought about something in the future? This could include going into business. On a personal note, this could include a family vacation, a contribution to your community, or rehabbing a room. A coat of paint would be a possibility. Perhaps it could be a new or different job. On page 75, Friedman gives an example where an individual in China identified a way to “think bigger.” The example Friedman used was Jack Ma and the company Alibaba. Where there was nothing before, there is something big now.

    When examining what is now, Friedman reminded me of a practice that I have talked about previously in an interviewing article. Friedman stressed the importance of thank you notes. There is a citation that, “Research shows that we underestimate the value of expressing gratitude . . . and then reflecting on your own feelings . . . can decrease your negative emotions.”

    A habit that is encouraged by Friedman is that every morning, write down three things that one is thankful for. When one writes down (physically writes) thoughts expressing gratitude, it can, “lower blood pressure, improve immune function, and facilitate better sleep.”

    As I write this on the morning of Friday, Oct. 16, I am saddened by the announcement yesterday of the passing of Dick Maeglin. I am thankful that I, and my family, had the opportunity to be neighbors for a while and to observe a better Muscatine through his efforts. When he was a neighbor and mowing his lawn on a tractor one day, he took my son, who was about five at the time, and gave him a ride on the mower. I still have a picture of those two on the tractor. The smile on my son’s face getting off the tractor was priceless.

    Through the years, I invited Dick in to see what we were doing with leadership development. He was always inquisitive and looking for opportunities, being unconventional. I loved the unassuming approach and his willingness to be honest, to laugh, and to see a need and work to fix that need. I know he has been instrumental in assisting his granddaughter in starting a business where there is a need.

    Dick’s impact on Muscatine from starting MCSA, in Sister Cities, and to bringing a smile to a young lad by riding a lawnmower cannot be denied. I am thankful for Dick Maeglin. He made plenty of lemonade.

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