055: How Leaders Set The Tone [Podcast} – Todd Stocker.com

how leaders set the tone podcast.001As a Leader, you set a tone.  Is it a positive, life-giving one or does it make those who follow deflate?  How do leaders set a positive tone?


I answer a question from Tina regarding social media boundaries

Setting the tone.  First let me tell you what that means, then share a story about my wife from whom I got this idea

Setting the tone means creating the environment around you that sets a particular mood.  This is a bit morbid, but when you walk in a funeral home, what is the mood that is usually there?  Somber.  

Counter that with the tone of an amusement park like Disneyland.  Bright colors, happy music, the characters walking the streets and there’s that song… “it’s a small world!”  Again it sets a tone. 

So let me tell you about what my wife does and how it dovetails with setting the tone.

My wife is a flight attendant and sometimes is lead.  She loves it!  Not because she’s the boss.  Not because she gets to hang out in first class.   But because she sets the tone for the flight even before they leave the crew room.   

She’s professional,  fun, and makes everyone feel confident and safe.

So how does she do it and how can we learn from her? 

  • Portrays confidence physically…  Stands tall
  • She has a positive attitude.  
  • Just verbally in the tone of her voice.
  • She’s encouraging to others…  
  • She believes that others have value and can do the job.

Basically, as lead, the other attendants and by extension the passengers trust Kellie because she believes in them.  

So in your leadership situation… At home, work, church, community….  What tone are you setting?   When you walk in the room, are people uplifted or a they brought down?  Do they trust you?

You want to set a positive, life giving tone no matter what your interactions. And it starts with you.  Make sure you stay healthy physically, emotionally spiritually.  Make sure you find time to reflect and recharge.  Make sure you are learning and growing in all areas of life and this will help set a tone that is positive, energetic and leads to success.  



019: Why Its Important To Laugh – Todd Stocker.com

a good laughToo many people take life too seriously. No matter what your situation, a good laugh can create a positive attitude which can change your life. Here’s how.

Show Notes:

We tend to grow out of our laughter. 

When was the last time you laughter – either a chuckle or a gut-wrenching laugh?

Benefits of laughter:

  • A hearty, gut-busting laugh can engage all 43 of your facial muscles (not to mention the gut you just busted)
  • Releases endorphins and other “happy chemicals”
  • Changes your attitude – general sense of well-being.
  • Positive effect on other people, when done at an appropriate time.
    • Not good when your in a meeting where the subject matter might be intense.  If you’re in contract negotiations, light humor might suffice. 
  • Laughter breaks down relational barriers
  • Sometimes you have to find ways to laugh.

Look for things that are funny.

On those dark days, where you’re just not feeling humorous,  even a fake laugh can afford you some of the benefits… it can actually even turn into a real laugh.

Try a little laughter.

Quote:  “The nicest thing about a laugh is that so much of you has a good time” Marsha Perlman

“A cheerful heart is good medicine” Proverbs 17:22




How You Talk Affects Everything! – Todd Stocker.com


[These questions come from readers.  If you have a question, ask it here.]

In recent years, parts of the way I talk have bugged me.  Not my public speaking so much, but my everyday conversation.  There are times when I’m mid-sentence and I realize how negative my word choice is and how I sound more like a complainer than a Christ-follower.

The reason I’ve become so sensitive to my negative speech is it affects me, my attitude and the people around me.  Speaking about anything or anyone with a defeatist attitude drap-colors your day.  It molds your hours and heart into bitterness and keeps you from enjoying the miracles that bounce around you.  

This doesn’t mean ignoring wrong or disparity in the world, but solution-side-speaking helps with attitude, function and accomplishment.  Speaking right inherently opens your spirit to helping rather than hurting. Most importantly, speaking in the positive brightens other people and they begin to trust and respect you [read a verse on that].  

So think of your speech today.  Ask the Holy Spirit to make you keenly aware when negativity begins to creep around your conversations.  Can you turn it into something better.  

If you need help, ponder one of my favorite Super Bowl commercials in recent past.


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A Perspective On Life’s Storms – Laura Dekker – Todd Stocker.com

maidentripI recently watched a documentary called “Maidentrip” in which 14 year-old Laura Dekker spent 18 months sailing around the world.  Here’s the kicker.  She did it alone.  

She comes from a family that basically lives on the water so her skills and abilities were heartily grounded.  Yet, to take on a trip like this would make even the most seasoned sailer quiver.  

A crew flew to her destinations of port and captured her on-land film footage.   However, the on-the-water footage was taken by Laura herself.  Much like a vlog (a video log), she recorded her thoughts, feelings and experiences as her tiny boat cut across the world’s oceans. 

One of the most impactful scenes for me was when she hit a storm in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.  Filmed by her from inside the boat, the waves, wind and rain hammered the vessel.  I was expecting her comments to be ones of fear.  Yet her commentary was, “I love seeing the wave splash across the bow.  The spray is so beautiful and bobbing around makes this all fun.”  

My mouth dropped open. Here she was in a near life threatening situation and she calls if fun.

The word is perspective.  Laura knew that she could rely on her experience and equipment to make it through the storm.  She knew that even in the worst cast scenario, help was only a short distance away.  This knowledge released her fear, gave her perspective and allowed for even a bit of fun.

I know that many of you reading this feel like you are in a tiny boat on a big ocean being battered by an even greater storm.  I know many of you wrestle with the sails of doubt and the ropes of fear.  What would happen if you knew that our God is right there with you?  How would the knowledge of him being an ever present help in times of trouble change your perspective?  Yes, storms need tending to.  They need managing and navigation.  Yet, is there a possibility that the next wave could be the most beautiful one you’ve seen? 

Sail on.  Stay The Course.



Why Everyone Should See The New Cinderella Movie

Cinderella.001I took my 18-year-old daughter to see Disney’s latest rendition of the classic story, “Cinderella.”  Expecting the theater to be filled with little children and moms, I was surprised to see that most of the audience were adults, men and women alike.  There is a reason for that.  The movie is epic.  The piece is beautiful.  The messages are life changing. Yes, go see it if you haven’t!

Here is why you should see this movie and one of the reasons I’m in love with this latest adaptation.  There is a key phrase that Cinderella’s mother taught her as Cinderella grew up.  The phrase is “Have Courage — Always Be Kind.” [Tweet that.]

Courage is simply the ability to move forward even while facing obstacles and fear.  Most of us give up as a wall of struggle stands between our opportunities and goals.  Most of us are paralyzed when fear grips us and we don’t live the life of our dreams because of it. 

Kindness is the basic ability to respect and love others as ourselves and to treat them as highly valued creations of God.  Simple kindness dressed in the garment of a positive attitude is generally lost with many people.  We don’t see the raw heart of gentleness often enough. The onscreen Cinderella, however, is a perfect example.  

What would it look like if our society lived a life of Courage and Kindness? What if we lived as God would have us live with Courage and Kindness rather than Fear and Pettiness? 

Today, remind yourself that in the face of fear, have Courage.  In a moment of relational stress, be Kind. 



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perceptionPerception is everything.

Dogs look at their owners and say, “You love me, you shelter me, you feed me, therefore you must be God!”

Cats look at their owners and say, “You love me, you shelter me, you feed me, therefore I must be God!”

How is it that two people can experience the same event and come away with two completely different opinions.  How is that when there is a car accident there are 10 different accounts of what happened.  It’s perception.

Our perceptions about life are formed through the filters of our experiences.  Those experiences are often neutral in meaning.  But then we choose to add a positive or negative meaning to those experiences and that shapes our perceptions.

Simply put, we decide whether life is good or bad based on how we respond to the events that happen to and around us. Over time, whether we respond in the positive or in the negative becomes our “default mode.”  But you can change your defaults. You can toggle the negative off and toggle the positive on.

Are you adding positive meaning to the events around you or is your default switch stuck in a negative perception mode?

Life is life.  It’s how we add meaning to it that makes all the difference and changes our perception.



How NOT to accomplish your goals

Enjoying pure freedom | Man on a jettyA friend of mine has jumped on the weight loss journey. I hadn’t seen this person for a few weeks but knew that she was significantly lighter than before. When I did see her, she looked great. I could tell, even as a guy, that she had lost a decade of pounds. My natural inclination was to say, “You look great! I heard how much you lost.” But instead I chose a different bent and said, “You look great! I heard how much you gained!” She obviously looked at me with one eyebrow jetting up and the other frowning down revealing both her confusion and irritation. Then I said, “Yes. You’ve gained beauty. You’ve gained confidence. You’ve gained comfort.”  She smiled.

You see, the problem with New Years resolutions is that they tend to focus on the negative and not the positive. We sprinkle our statements with words like “lose” “stop” and “quit.” I think that is a wrong mindset and why statistically most people fail at their resolutions by January 15th. The Bible says that we are to think and focus on whatever is good, healthy positive and helpful (click to read the verse).  That is where true change happens. That is where the vision of your goal is energized.

So as you think and plan for this next year, write down the “gains” and not the “losses.” Don’t lose the weight, gain the comfort. Don’t stop bad eating, gain healthy options. Don’t fear change, embrace progress. Remember that God gives us a new start every year but more importantly, every morning!


break through weight loss(note from Todd:  “This past year I gained all of the above by dropping 40 pounds.  I wrote about it in a short ebook.  You can check it out by clicking the link below.  Several people have already achieved their goals using the 5 keys.  If you have read the ebook, I’d love to hear your feedback.  Make a comment on Amazon.  It’d really help others.  Thanks!)

CLICK HERE for “Break Through Weight Loss”



The Minnesotan-Jamaican Attitude

There’s a Superbowl commercial slated for this year’s commercial roster that is getting quite a buzz.  I’ll spare you the controversy, but basically it’s about a Minnesotan whose attitude has been completely changed because he bought and now drives a Volkswagen.

His now positive attitude plays out in a casual Jamaican accent which for Americans is the quint-essential stereotype for relaxed happiness.  I’m not blogging because of the commercial or the accent, but because the man combats his co-workers negativity with his own optimism.  “No worries mon.  Everything will be alright.”

My challenge for you today is to think about how your attitude affects your life-perception which affects how you talk which affects how others feel around you.  Think it through.  Maybe today you need a Jamaican accent to brighten your day.

No worries.




You’ve heard that phrase “Check your attitude.”  A recent encounter with an unlike man reminded me of the truth of this encouragement.

While on vacation, we drove up to the Rocky Mountain National Park outside of Estes Park, CO.  Mountain peaks, warm breezes and thick trees outlined our route as we pulled up to the small, one person guard shack on the way to Bear Lake.  A tall, weathered man donning a green hat and shirt greeted us.  Friendly fellow.  Big smile.  We paid our entrance fee and began to drive away.  As we did, my wife said, “Have a good day.”  He met us eye-to-eye and said, “Ma’am.  Everyday is a good day.”

I wonder if he always had that positive attitude.  Probably not because he’s human.  However on that day, not only did he celebrate the minutes and hours that hed been given, but he helped us celebrate our day as well.

Your attitude is seldom only yours.  How you view the world and interact with reality rubs off on people around you.  Northpoint Community Church in Atlanta just finished a series called “Climate Change.”  Even their opening message video helps you realize how our attitude affects others.  (You can see that video and message by CLICKING HERE).

As I think back to ‘Mr. Mountain Man’ at the guard shack, I am reminded to always check my attitude.  The result of which doesn’t only affect me but also those whom I love.

Question:  What are some ways you can CHECK YOUR ATTITUDE?  Write a comment below …