My New Years Eve toast to you is from a Very Special Bottle from Scotland

Good Morning Pioneers, I just returned from Scotland where I spent time with some good friends at Edrington - makers of some of the world's greatest spirits.

I brought back a very special bottle,  to open on New Years Eve.  The bottle is not a special bottling of  Highland Park  - or even the world's most precious and meaningfully unique of Whisky's The Macallan .

This year I brought back a bottle of Anchor Gin from Cutty Sark.   What makes this bottle so special is the message on the bottle.  A message so important that it is in the glass itself….

“Our ACTIONS DEFINE who we are.”   


While everyone can agree with the words  “Our ACTIONS DEFINE who we are!”  Living the words takes energy.  And in today’s digital, hyper compressed world it’s hard to find the energy to take action.  It’s far easier to sit, ponder, complain and even whine about what is not happening in our company, our community or our world.

Our ACTIONS DEFINE who we are is a statement that defines Innovation & Leadership… Innovation is about taking action.  It’s about being proactive not reactive.  It’s about leading your company, community, department and yes yourself.     Leadership is about action.   And great leaders know that the only place to lead is from the front.... and yes that means being the "get your hands dirty"  as project leader on a challenge that is VERY Important!

I'm currently rereading - Henry David Thoreau's classic Walden.   His lessons are as true today as they were 161 years ago.   I've listed below a few excerpts.... (The book is long in the Public Domain and can be downloaded on your iPad, etc. at no cost)

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country.   A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed.

When we consider what is the chief end of man, and what are the true necessaries and means of life, it appears as if men had deliberately chosen the common mode of living because they preferred it to any other. Yet they honestly think there is no choice left.  But alert and healthy natures remember that the sun rose clear. It is never too late to give up our prejudices.

What old people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can. Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new.   

I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Things do not change; we change.

And a few more Thoreau Quotes - not from Walden - to reflect on as the calendar prepares to flip over...

“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.”

“be yourself- not your idea of what you think somebody else's idea of yourself should be.”

“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.” 

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.”

“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.” 

So where ever you are - what ever your beliefs… on New Years Eve  I will open the bottle of Anchor Gin and drink a toast to you … Here's to the Innovation Pioneers, the Dreamers and Doers, may we all find the energy and passion in 2015 to make all of our ACTIONS DEFINE who we are!

See you next year...