Ross A. Hill: June 2010

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

An Amazing Week

This has been an amazing week.  The past 7 days have been the biggest roller coaster ride I can remember in a good long while.

Business way up, then way down, then up, then down and now up.  Each up and down have very specific things I can explain.  Major developments.  The bank is strong and doing so well.  We are blessed.  We are having a better year this year than ever before.

Golf, lost a heart breaker match against a really good player.  I was up, then I was down.  Then I beat my sons later in the day...that is always an up time :).  Then on Monday I played in a tournament and did not play well so I was down...then to my surprise they claimed we won first place in the third flight!  Hey, beggars can not be choosy.  It was worth a plaque and a couple of shirts in the pro shop...way up!

Friendship, got a little side ways with a great friend over something rather stupid, way down.  Then all was forgiven, now I am way up!

Blog, working for months at renaming it and repositioning it.  Thought we had the perfect name and then it blew up, way down.  Then we worked hard on a new name and nothing came up and we finally decided we had the name all along...way up!  Now we are ready to move forward with other new developments related to this work...way up.

Health, I had some test this week.  No fun, painful, way down.  Looked around the waiting room and decided I was in pretty good shape compared to most in there...way up!

As the Lord said, "don't worry about tomorrow each day has enough trouble of its own."  Emotions can run you ragged.  Stay focused on the one that loves you and provides for you each and everyday.  That will smooth those low and high places out a bit.


Overcoming Disappointments

I have received a number of comments on my blog from last week and yesterday.
Today I received this insight from Joel Osteen that I felt would be helpful as well.

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past"
(Isaiah 43:18, NIV)

TODAY'S WORD from Joel and Victoria

The Bible tells us that every person, no matter how much faith they have or how good they are, will face disappointments. It may be something simple like not getting the promotion you hoped for, or not closing a business deal you worked so hard on. Maybe you didn't qualify for a house you really wanted, or maybe something more serious happened like a relationship not working out, the death of a loved one, or some kind of illness in your body. Whatever it may be, the reality is that we're all going to suffer some setbacks. I believe one of the main keys to overcoming disappointments is learning to let go of the past.

If you feel "stuck" today, you may want to examine what you're holding on to. Be willing let go of past disappointments by choosing forgiveness. Who hurt you? Who wronged you? Release it to God. Do you need to forgive yourself? Do you need to receive God's forgiveness? Make the choice today to forgive. Let go of the past so you can overcome disappointments and experience the bright future God has in store for you!


Monday, June 28, 2010

Satan Attacks

It is interesting how life works.

I wrote a 3-part series about Who Are You last week and in my concluding remarks I said that God said the most important thing we can do is to love God with all of our mind, body, soul and strength.  The second most important thing is to love my neighbor as I love myself.

The three part series was well read.  Well, you know what happened don't you.  I immediate came under attack.  The interesting thing is where it came from and WHY it came on me.  I was honestly trying to do the right thing.  Go figure.

This I know, God's grace is sufficient for me.  I will not be discouraged.  I will not be changed.  I do love the Lord with all of my mind, body, soul and strength and I continue to love my neighbor as myself.

To God be the Glory,

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Who Are You? - Part 3

This is my last segment on this item for now.  I don't want to wear you out on one them but this theme is the basis for you to live a fulfilled life.  I also know that in the area of physical fitness the core is everything.  You can hardly pick up a golf magazine that does not have an article about the core in it.  So for us to know who we are at our core is absolutely essential. (If you have not read parts 1 and 2 of Who Are You? please read those blogs before you continue with this posting.)

To me the core of our body is our Heart.  The core of our being is our Soul.  The core of our knowledge is our Mind.  The core of our strength is the Lord.

So what is in the center of your Heart, your Soul, your Mind and your Strength?  Have you reflected upon your life and written it down as I have suggested?  I sure hope so.

I know what the answer should be.  Jesus teaches us in Mark 12:30 the greatest Commandment "Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."  He went on to say the second is this "Love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no commandment greater than these."

The core must be solid, unchanging, unwavering, the very essence of who we are and thus what we stand for.  The Bible is telling us that Loving God and Loving our Neighbor HAS TO BE OUR CORE.

As you reflect on these words image a world, your world and how it would be different if you followed the Lords commands.

Who Are You? - Part 2

Did you spend time reflecting and thinking about YOU today?  Did you think about what makes you tick, about your values.  Have you spent some time thinking about your key relationships and what you should do to make them better?

As you reflect on your life, who you are, what you value let me ask you some other questions.  What is at the core of your belief system?  What is solid, unshakable, unbreakable?  What is at the very center of who you are?  Do you have items at the core of your life, your being, your soul that you will not change or forsake no matter what happens to you, no matter who demands it of you?

What are they?  Write them down.  Reflect on them.  Do yourself a favor, take time with this project.  Get them right.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Who Are You?

Have you thought about it lately?

I think it is important to think about it often.  Life can change us and if we are not careful we can wake up and realize we have become something other than what we want to be.  It can happen to the best of us.

We have to take time to inspect our life, our actions, our words. We have to reflect on what we are doing and where we are headed.  The relationships we have with our kids, our spouse, our parents, our co-workers our Lord.

How is it going?  Are you getting the results you believed you were going to get?  Are you on target?  Where do you need to adjust?

Who are you?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lesson's Learned from OU Baseball Coaches

Whether you are a fan of OU Baseball or not, you and I can learn a few things from the coaches.  Let me explain, stay with me.

A decade or more ago the coach gave the players a rope and made everyone hold on to it from time to time during spring training, the season and the Big 8 tournament.  The idea was to teach them that they had to all pull the rope the same direction to reach their goal. It was a fantastic illustration and they went to the college world series and did very well.  They won the title!  OMAHA, Neb. -- "Twenty-five guys pulling on the same rope."  The 1994 Oklahoma baseball team's season-long motto that inspired them to a 42-17 regular-season record continued to spark OU during postseason play where the Sooners produced thier second baseball national title in school history with a 13-5 rout of Georgia Tech.

This year the coach gave all of the team members practice shirts with the number 540 on it representing the number of miles from OU to Omaha, Nebraska.  The goal was to make it to the last college world series to be played in the most famous college baseball stadium in the world! Well, once again, the coach focused the team on the goal and they made it.  Last night they won their first game after two rain delays lasting a combined 6 hours.

The Lesson's Learned from the OU Baseball Coach are (1). Great leaders get everybody totally focused on the goal(s), (2). They use something simple, yet clear, to help their team focus, (3). They keep the goal ever present through the use of an object, (4). They make it simple so anybody can understand it and/or explain it.

If you are having trouble reaching your goal(s) stop, reflect and see if everyone on the team, all of the stakeholders are totally focused on the goal.  Try adapting these lessons to your situation.  By they way if you are an avid reader like me, you might think you have read this before in the best selling book, Good To Great.  You might be correct!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fathers Day 2010

I hope you had a great Father's day.  I did!
I got to spend some quality time with some of my kid's on the golf course.  The only way it could be better is if they all had been there. I taught them how to play the game and they are getting really good. In fact, one of them beat me Saturday by 1 stroke. I let him win! :) NOT!

For me Father's day has never been about receiving gifts and being treated like a king for a day.  My kids do a great job, heck, I got new golf club this year!  Instead it has been a day to spend with my kids celebrating our relationships.  That is fun and that is what it is all about.  When the kids were young it was fun but now that they are adults I Love It.  I love watching them become successful and fullfilled as adults.  It is fun watching them interact with their spouses and watching them father their children.  But, it is really fun competing on an even plane with them.

Being "Dad" has many great benefits.

Something Worth Thinking About

A friend sent me the following thoughts and I think it is worth sharing with you. Imagine that you had won the following prize in a contest: Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400.00 in your private account for your use. However, this prize had rules, just as any game has certain rules.
The first set of rules would be: 
Everything that you didn't spend during each day would be taken away from you. You may not simply transfer money into some other account. You may only spend it. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400.00 for that day.

The second set of rules:
The bank can end the game without warning; at any time it can say, It's over, the game is over! It can close the account and you will not receive a new one. What would you personally do? You would buy anything and everything you wanted, right? Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love, right? Even for people you don't know, because you couldn't possibly spend it all on yourself, right? You would try to spend every cent, and use it all, right? ACTUALLY, this GAME is REALITY! Each of us is in possession of such a magical bank.We just can't seem to see it. The MAGICAL BANK is TIME! Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life, and when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is NOT credited to us.
What we haven't lived up that day is forever lost. Yesterday is forever gone.
Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time....WITHOUT WARNING. SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds? Aren't they worth so much more than the same amount in dollars? Think about that, and always think of this: Enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think.
take care of yourself, and enjoy life!
Here's wishing you a wonderfully beautiful day!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rocking out at Chris Tomlin - Toby Mac Tour 2010

Raynell and I rocked out last night under the stars at one fantastic Christian concert!
It was so much fun. Great music, great friends, great venue, celebrating and worshipping the Almighty.

I kept thinking how great it was to be able to praise God...wishing it would never end.

Then it hit me...It was almost like God spoke in a loud voice, "this concert is a preview of eternity! One day it will never end!"  


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Do You Ever Wonder, Where is God?

And then the next thing you know He shows up?

Seems like this happens to me consistently.  Just the other day I was telling my wife and some very close friends about an issue I was having trouble dealing with.  I was frustrated and just could not figure it out.  I had prayed about it over and over yet I was more frustrated than ever.

We talked about it and we prayed about it.  My friends had some good insight but I was still very frustrated.  The next morning I got two, not one,  TWO emails early in the morning.  Both spoke to the very issue I was frustrated about.  I had not discussed the problem with either  of the writers of the emails but God moved and spoke to me through the emails.

God knows my weakness, He knows my heart, He knows my need and He loves me so much he speaks to me, not once but TWICE!  Just when I am frustrated and wondering where is God, He shows up.  He is Amazing!

Wal-Mart Versus the Morons

This was sent to me by several of my faithful blog readers with the request that I pass it along.  Please read it through, it's a pretty sobering insight

Wal-Mart Versus the Morons

1. Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart Every hour of every day.

2. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute!

3. Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) than

Target sells all year.

4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target + Sears + Costco + K-Mart combined.

5. Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people and is the largest private Employer, and most speak English.

6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the World.

7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger & Safeway combined, and keep in mind they did this in only 15 years.

8. During this same period, 31 supermarket chains sought bankruptcy.

9. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world.

10. Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the USA of which 1,906 are Super Centers; this is 1,000 more than it had 5 Years ago.

11. This year 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur At a Wal-Mart store. (Earth's population is approximately 6.5 Billion.)

12. 90% of all Americans live within 15 miles of a Wal-Mart.

You may think that I am complaining, but I am really laying the ground work for suggesting that MAYBE we should hire the guys who run Wal-Mart to Fix the economy.

This should be read and understood by all Americans




To President Obama and all 535 voting members of the Legislature,

It is now official you are ALL corrupt morons:

The U.S. Post Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right and it is BROKE.

Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is BROKE.

Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is BROKE.

War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $ trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to "the poor" and they only want more.

Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and they are BROKE.

Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it right and it is BROKE.

The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to get it right and it is an abysmal FAILURE.

You have FAILED in every "government service" you have shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Hard Heart

I recently read about a leader that had it all.  He had everything, a fancy home, a great job, money, fame, prestige and a future.  All of the things that people think make you happy.  But, he had a huge problem.  He also had a Hard Heart.

He was The leader of his country yet he lied constantly.  He had countless of opportunities to do the right thing, he committed to do the right thing both privately and publicly.  Yet, when it was time to do the right thing he refused to do it.  In fact, because of his Hard Heart he never intended to do the right thing.

In the end, he lost it all because he had a Hard Heart.

How is your heart?

What is Your Bank's Specialty?

Do you know what product your bank specializes in?

Most people have the mistaken belief that all banks do the same thing.  That is like saying all restaurants serve the same food. 

Some bank's specialize in certain products and other banks specialize in doing things a certain way.  It is true  everybody spells B-A-N-K the same way.  But the level of service and the interest in the product you need vary greatly by bank.

The next time you are having a problem getting your bank to do what you want done you need to ask yourself a question.  Why?  Is it me or is it my bank?  Then start asking your banker about their experience in the area you have a need.  Most likely you will find out that the problem is not YOU but rather the BANK.  They just don't do what you need done.

Can it be that simple?  YES!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Personal Responsibility

Taking Personal Responsibility is not fashionable today.  In fact, many people find it just about completely impossible to take personal responsibility.  Many of our government leaders refuse to take personal responsibility.  A sad state of affairs.  But at least one great American believes it takes personal responsibility to create an atmosphere where people can excel and succeed.

Read his statement; "It's always up to us how the day goes for the people around us."  I love that quote!  "It's always up to us"!  Isn't that great!  That is PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY if I have ever heard it.

The statement was made by Benjamin Zander, Conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra.  He is a world renowned expert.  He has been on 17 International Tours, featured on numerous TV interviews and features including 60 Minutes.  He has also been a music professor for over 40 years. He knows what it takes to create a place where people can excel and succeed.  He says it takes personal responsibility.

When we have knew employees join us at Bank2 I tell everyone of them that I want this to be the greatest place they ever work.  That I want them to excel and succeed.  But I also tell them they have to protect what we have created.  It takes personal responsibility to protect the atmosphere we have created.  They have to be proactive and help protect our atmosphere. PERSONAL RESPONSIBLY

Positive Relationships - Invaluable

 Almost daily I am reminded how important the personal relationships I have formed  through the years are to me and my success.  I am eternally grateful that my parents taught me to respect others and to treat people with the Golden Rule.  I only wish that I was better at doing it and had spent even more time perfecting those skills.  I fear I have miss-treated too many through the years.  I am committed to spend more time perfecting this skill.

But, I am so thankful for the positive relationships I have formed.  These relationships are worth there weight in gold.  I have learned that for the most part people love to help people.  When you have a positive relationship with people they have a desire to help you even more.  

It is amazing how willing and eager people are to help.  Nearly every day I am blessed by people that want to help me.  Just yesterday, some former employees that I have not talked to for over a year were extremely willing to help me.  They were a huge blessing.

Positive Relationships - Invaluable!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Power of Our Decisions

Each day we get to make hundreds of decisions.  It starts with what time we are going to get up and it ends with deciding to turn out the lights and go to sleep.  We don't really stop to think about all of the decisions we make in the course of a day, nor do we consider most decisions to be significant.

However, I am learning that there is power in making decisions.  The fact we get to choose is a powerful concept and one that many people in the world do not have the right to make for themselves.  Just think, we get to decide if we are going to be kind, to be loving, to save, to conserve.  We get to decided if we are going to smoke, if we are going to over eat.  Get it?  We get to decide.  Not someone else.  I get to decide for myself.

I can not blame someone else for my poor decisions.  Someone else can not take credit for my good decisions. In America I get to decide. Furthermore, as a Christian I get to decide.  The question is; are you making good decisions?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Wedding Bells

Back from KC and the big wedding!

Raynell's youngest son Blake was married Saturday to Lindsay McCune in a wonderful candle light church ceremony.  Lot's of fun!  What a dress!  Lindsay look absolutely BEAUTIFUL!  Blake looked dashing in his tux and in his SUIT the night before at the rehearsal.  Blake never misses a chance to dress up.  He should have been born 60 or 70 years ago so he could have worn a suit every day.

Well, that was the last of the kids getting married now we are on to the soon to be 13 grand kids we share.  It will be fun attending all of those weddings and NOT having to pay anything for the privilege!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Simplicity Is a Lost Art

Simplicity is a lost art.  I read a lot.  Things like blogs, articles, books, management reports, bank regulations, etc.  I listen to the news, listen to speeches, to Congressional testimony, listen to other CEO's and managers explain different items and many times I find my eyes glazing over.  People just make things so complicated.  Even ministers seem to make things difficult to understand.

WHY?  What is the purpose?  Are they trying to show how smart they are? I don't get it and I don't need it.  Do you get it?  Do you need it?  I am totally convinced that in most situations we have lost the art of boiling things down and making it simple to understand.   

I use to work for a great guy in Cincinnati, Ohio.  He would always make me write my "great ideas" out and he would make me write an explanation about a problem or an issue I was having.  If my writing was more than one page he refused to read it and refused to let me move on my plan.  He insisted that I boil it down to simple equations.  If I couldn't do it he was not going to waist his time reading about the issue or idea.  Did it frustrate me? Sure.  Did it teach me how to communicate, boil things down and get focused on the real issue(s)?  Absolutely!

If you want people to understand something, to follow you, to work with you to accomplish something you need to make it simple.  Boil it down for people and help them see what has to be accomplished to be successful. Help them see it can be done.

Just the other day one of my buddies and I were working out a problem. The tasks seemed overwhelming and we had no idea how we could accomplish it with our limited resources.  I took my usual tact, got out my calculator and figure out that we only needed 12 leaders to lead 4 trips a year to accomplish our goals.  Our attitudes instantly changed from wondering "how in the world we could do it" to "KNOWING we could accomplish our task".  It took less than a couple of minutes to totally change our view. This is not a one time example.  It literally happens all of the time when I use this tactic.

Simplicity doesn't have to be a lost art...try it!  

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New Chickasaw Museum Cultural Center is World Class!

Today, I visited the new Chickasaw Museum and Cultural Center in Sulphur, OK.  It is about to open to the public in a few weeks and when it does you must to go see it.  I would put it on par with some of the things at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

This is a world class place that will only get better as the landscaping and other items mature.  The 110 acre campus is located just south of Highway 7 on the west edge of Sulphur.  It is about a 100 miles away.  The museum and cultural center is made up of 4 or 5 buildings and an incredible real Chickasaw village.  The buildings are very attractive with lots of cedar, stone and glass.  The landscaping, water features and views are wonderful. The exhibits are simply outstanding and state of the art. 

The Chickasaw Tribe started dreaming about this museum back in the 60's and some 50 years later, through much work, dreaming, planning and saving they started construction about 5 years ago.  Today they have built and paid cash for a $50 million dollar world class facility.

I predict it will become a huge tourist attraction.  In addition to folks from all over the country, I believe large numbers of people from Europe and from Asia will visit this center annually.  It is a wonderful learning experience and will be a place to study the Chickasaw heritage for generations to come.   Don't miss this fantastic museum, it will be your loss if you do.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Information Overload-7 Steps Easy Steps To Eliminate It

Do you suffer from Information Overload?
It has become a real problem in our society.  How do you overcome the problem?  How do you keep it from happening again?  Not surprisingly, this topic has become a common conversation in the circles I am running in.  I have some useful ideas I would recommend you try if you are suffering from Information Overload.
  1). Turn off all non-essential communication.
  2). Eliminate all non-essential emails and text communication.
       2-a).  Unsubscribe to every non-essential email catalog, advertisement and newsletter you receive.
  3). Choose carefully what you listen too, watch and read.
  4). Stop all non-essential subscriptions.
  5). Stop thinking you have to watch the news every night, especially the 24 hour news stations.
  6). Turn the radio off when driving.
  7). Schedule some down time everyday.
       7-a). No TV, No Radio, No Email, NO Text, No Tweets, No Conversations, No Reading,  just a few minutes of solitude.

If you are suffering from Information Overload put these tips to use immediately.  I know you may think the world will fall apart or you will miss something.  And of course you are correct.  You will miss the stress associated with Information Overload, and that is about all you will miss.   Please try it and let me know the results in a few days.