Archives For dreams

“It’s not how will we survive, but how will we prevail.” 

As a little boy he would often cry himself to sleep at night. In the 6th grade at a boarding school in England, he struggled painfully with his studies and was hopelessly failing. During recess, he would run into the woods and hide because the other boys would relentlessly tease him. They said he had a head that was too big!

Finally, one day the school master sent a note home to his mother. It simply read, “Your boy shows a conspicuous lack of success.” His mother used it as a tool for motivation instead of humiliation.

Years later this little boy had grown into Sir Winston Churchill. He waved that very same note as he was sworn in as Prime Minister of the British people twice (1940-1945 and 1951-1955).

He became the “Voice of Hope” and a great world leader who took on Hitler and the evils of Nazi Germany. In one of his great speeches he said, “Everyone is asking on the streets, ‘How will the British people survive?’ We are asking the wrong question. It’s not how will we survive, but how will we prevail?”

He taught the British people to have a prevailing spirit!

What about your personal leadership?
• Has someone tried to pin a note on you like “a conspicuous lack of success?”
• Has a so-called failing or setback in your business or relationship convinced you to devalue your personal worth?


It is time to shift!

Simply put, let those “small voices” fire you up. Shift from surviving to prevailing! Churchill hit the pinnacle of leadership in his 60’s and 70’s. It is not too late for you or for me!

I remember over 25 years ago when I was about to move my little family to Seattle to start my life over. I had a leader I respected deeply tell me “Steve, you are making a big mistake. It is too risky. Don’t do it.” He chuckled as he told me I would be a “casualty.”

It was exactly what I needed to hear! It fired me up! There were some tough and turbulent times. We didn’t know a soul and we were lonely. But years later, Seattle is home and we love it. I am grateful to have established a prevailing leadership company teaching other organizations to prevail! I have new life-long friends and scores of great memories with plenty more to be made! The leader who gave me the negative advice has since passed away. But I still owe him a lot. That was my Churchill moment.

You can have one too!

“I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.”

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is courage to continue that counts.”

For information on keynote presentations, team workshops, and one on one coaching, contact Steve at:


“My mother always washed our whites twice- the Whitest of Whites”
–Gene Juarez

Being from Seattle there are several iconic landmarks, the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and of course the boathouses like the one from Sleepless in Seattle.


We also have some pretty powerful icons, Microsoft, Boeing and, ahh, Starbucks. I am proud and humbled to say each of those are valued clients of mine. I’ve trained teams and built extraordinary relationships with some spectacular leaders from those successful world-class companies.

If you are from the Seattle area, there is another name that might stand out to you, Gene Juarez, Salons and Spas. It is the place for hair design, personal style and the promotion of well being.

A couple years ago I was privileged to emcee at an amazing event where the founder of these salons was speaking. None other than Gene Juarez himself.

Gene came from humble beginnings. In 1971, he started his business with his imagination, his dreams and a handful of rich values passed down from his parents and his culture.

I would like to focus on three points that stood out to me in his message and really impacted me. I was there scribbling down these points while he spoke and wish to now share them with you.

Imagine how values drive your success:

Value #1: Chop Wood and Carry Water- Work-Ethic

Kind of a working-man version of “get to work!” his parents taught him the value of personal drive. He said his parents would often tell him that no one works harder than the Juarezes! Gene said “No matter how tough the economy is, if you out-work your competition, you can succeed”


Value #2: Whitest of Whites- Excellence

Like I mentioned, Gene’s family came from modest means. His mother washed their clothes in a wash barrel, scrubbing each article by hand. She always washed and bleached the whites two times, even though it was twice as much work. It was a matter of pride and excellence to look your best. This is so clearly reflected in his salons and spas today; when you walk into a Gene Juarez, it sparkles with excellence!



Value #3: Woman in the Mirror- Service

I love this one! Gene related to us at the event how when cutting a woman’s hair he would ask her questions about how she wanted to look. He would study her eyes. Eyes, he said, are the gateway to the soul. She would either turn and speak to him in mild, timid ways, or she would look down and not feel pretty or confident. Sometimes the woman would look confidently in the mirror and express her desires. The key Gene said, was to study her eyes, her body language. His goal was to meet individual needs, to make her feel beautiful. It was attention to their personal feelings about themselves that set his service apart! Personal and powerful! When they stepped out of that chair, away from the woman in the mirror, he wanted them to feel extraordinary about themselves.



  • On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your work-ethic of late?

No matter what you do, cut hair, sell insurance, lay tile, freelance write, own a small business, or work for a large corporation, work ethic is number 1.

I coach all my clients to blueprint out their week. Work hard on things that matter! Get away from what I call “fake work,” those trivial pursuits, those endless hours on twitter and Facebook. Instead, get busy on your “high-value accomplishments.” You’ll soon see greater results and profits!

  • On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your Excellence?

It starts with appearance and moves to your craft. Look good and perform your best. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but strive for excellence. No one is inspired by low expectations so expect the best from yourself! Do excellent work, eat excellent food, read excellent books, spend time with excellent people. Excellence- make it your new mantra!

  • On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your Service?

My dad operated a family restaurant for nearly 30 years. He always told his employees and his children, “Treat everyone like a 10. There are no no-counts that come into our restaurant.” Treat everyone like royalty. Do the extras, give them extra and you will hear those magic words “I’ll be back!”


As you head into a new business cycle, imagine and commit to a new level of supreme values personally and professionally. You will see greater results, rewards, and profits!

Who knows, some day you may become a city icon



Contact Steve:

Question: Where have you been tempted to give up?

Question: Have you thought about tossing your dream to the wind?

Continue Reading...