No. 27 - Why I like Cowboys

In business (and in Washington D.C.), too often a courageous-think-and-act-outside-of-the-box individual is pejoratively labeled a cowboy. As if being a cowboy is a bad thing! Whoa! That’s exactly what I want on my team.Why? Because I know cowboys — real cowboys. They are about inspiration, not regulation. They don’t worry about rules but rather principles, values, and character.Cowards are not tolerated among them. Courage isn’t about bull-riding, it’s about speaking up and saying what needs to be said when others are afraid to; taking action when others won’t.They “cowboy-up” when things get tough, and they don’t quit on you. They keep their promises and don’t dodge and spin or whine. With a happy soul and maybe a grin, they speak directly and purposefully — and they mean what little they say. They don’t much go for windbags.James Owen wrote the book “Cowboy Ethics” (Stoecklein Publishing). It’s what he, a Wall Streeter, felt his peers could learn from the Code of the West: “The West is a place where the fence is always tight but the gate is always open to friends and neighbors. It is a place where a man can make tough decisions without looking over his shoulder or worrying what someone else will think. A cowboy gets his strength from knowing what is right and what is wrong and being true to his beliefs. That is the essence of the Code of the West and the true cowboy way.”And then there’s the line from “The Shootist,” John Wayne’s last film: “I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people and I require the same from them.”That’s why I like cowboys (and married one).- DebraP.S. If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.

No. 11 - CEO Whisperer...The Backstory

This month’s issue of Fortune features Tony Robbins on the cover with the bold headline "The CEO Whisperer."  That is a domain name I’ve owned and used for many years, so I was quite proud to see it prominently featured.  Didn’t hurt that it brought some nice hits to my site, is quite a pro.  We were on the same speaking docket for YPO (Young President’s Organization) in Mexico City some years back where I got to spend time with him and his entourage, and see the power he presents from the stage and behind the curtain.People often ask where my domain name came from. Well, I’m married to a cowboy and he knew of the man known as the “horse whisperer” famous for calmly talking and developing trust in improving a horse's behavior — while never breaking down the spirit of the horse.So being around the cowboy and his horses I’ve learned that people can be like horses in that some will test you, some will teach you, and some will bring out the best in you.- Debra Benton