Gourmet Chicken Salad – Making My Wife’s Lunch

I love to cook, and I love to create. I also love my wife very much! So I make her lunch on the days she goes into the office.

So today, I’m sharing a simple lunch salad recipe my wife loves. Why? We are called to serve others – for me, this starts at home.

Gourmet Chicken Salad by Jim Johnson


* 2 boneless, skinless grilled chicken thighs (or half of a chicken breast) – note: this is a great way to use leftover grilled chicken from the night before. I marinate mine in a sesame ginger marinade. I find this makes the best tasting chicken for the salad.)

* 5-7 green seedless grapes cut in half

* 1 Tbsp of a great relish – I use Sechler’s Hungarian sweet relish. It’s made about 40 minutes north of my city. Simply the best relish!

* 1 overflowing Tbsp of mayonnaise (use your favorite)

* iceberg lettuce chopped

* fresh spinach chopped

Putting it together: Simply mix the grapes, relish, mayo, and chopped chicken together. Place on the lettuce/spinach.

Try this easy and incredibly tasty salad.

Preparing for 2019 by Jim Johnson


This is that time of year.  Budgets have been turned in.  We are closing out one year and getting ready for a new year.  Strategic planning sessions have happened.  Follow-up sessions may still be on the calendar.

What are you expecting for your business in 2019?  Growth?  Increase in revenue?  Larger market presence?  I’m sure most of that and more is true.

But what about YOU?

What are you expecting out of YOU in 2019?  Now is the time to prepare.  Here are some things you may want to consider:


If you know me, you know I am a big advocate of reading.  The past 2 years, I set a goal to read 12 books/year.  I did it 2 years ago.  This year, I’m on track to read 19.  My goal in 2019 is to read 24.  How will I do that?  I’ve already established a simple process that I learned from Jeff Olson (author of the Slight Edge).  Read 10 pages/day.  Most business books can be read in 1 month with this process.  I am capable of reading 20 pages/day.  This process works.


Make 2019 the year you better connect with the community of leaders around you.  Find a meaningful networking group.  Or start one like my brother and I did last year (we can help you do this!).


Make your work and your passions about serving others.  What you receive back will be more than you can imagine.


Take time to think about big ideas and then take action on it.  Experiment.  Collaborate.  Innovate. The world needs your creative passions to emerge!  Get out of your rut and start asking yourself, “What if…?”

If you are looking for something to jump-start you, pick up the book Atomic Habits – Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results by James Clear.  I just recently heard about this book and ordered it.  I started it last night.  It’s not about goals but about the processes (habits) we can create to help us achieve far more than we thought possible.  It is outstanding so far!  If you have read Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit or Jeff Olson’s The Slight Edge, this book is an excellent compliment to those.

Why Failure is not the Opposite of Success


By Peter Barron Stark | March 4th, 2013 | Leadership

Michael Jordan, maybe the greatest basketball player of all time, was cut from his varsity team at Laney High School in Wilmington NC. In the NBA, Jordan went on to miss more than 9,000 shots and lost over 300 games. Twenty-six times he was entrusted to take the last shot and win the game…but missed. But when asked about failure in his famous Nike commercial, Jordan said, “I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Jordan is right. The opposite of success isn’t failure. The opposite of success is not trying. If you seldom fail, there’s a good chance you’re playing it too safe. J.K. Rowling, who became one of the wealthiest people in the world because of the Harry Potter series, stated, “It’s impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well have not lived at all.”

The following six tips will help you to push the envelope of failure and truly be the leader who is able to make your team one of the most admired in your company or industry.

Set a goal to outlearn your competition: If your goal is to be a leader, get out in front. What I mean by this is that you need to be thinking and learning about new ways to do things. Maybe it’ll be improving a process, providing even higher levels of service to customers or introducing a new product. Think, learn and then put the outcome of what you have learned into action. Action is what changes the world.

Create and Innovate: To create and innovate, you need to set aside time to think. If you spend all your time doing tasks that take little thought, and hold a high chance of success and accomplishment, you leave very little of your time to be creative and strategically think. Creation and innovation result in change. And with all change, it’s uncomfortable and there’s a chance for failure. Don’t let that stop you.

Fail faster and more often: When asked about failure at Google, Research Director, Peter Norvig, said, “We do it by trying to fail faster and smaller. The average cycle for getting something done at Google is more like three months than three years. And the average team size is small, so if we have a new idea, we don’t have to go through the political lobbying of saying, ‘Can we have 50 people to work on this?’” This is such a great point. If you set a goal to fail more often and faster, there is a good chance that the impacts of a potential failure, won’t be that great.

Be resilient: Unless you are lucky and everything thing you do and touch turns to gold, you’ll have failure in your life. When you ask successful people about adversity, most times they will tell you that it is the adversity and failure that has enabled and propelled them to be successful. Tom Hopkins, the great sales trainer said it best, “I never see failure as failure but only as the negative feedback I need to change my course of direction.” Make a note about what you learned, get excited and move forward quickly.

Have a sense of humor: If you have the ability to laugh at yourself and your failures, you will create an environment where others will be comfortable making a mistake or trying something that doesn’t work.

Celebrate success and failure: Celebrating success is easy. Celebrating what did not work takes guts. In fact, most leaders think that the best way to handle someone else’s failure is to not say anything about it. But, when a leader has the guts to say, “I wanted to bring some special recognition to Sandy in today’s meeting. A lot of you know that Sandy spent the last month developing a new process for our software. We implemented it last week and many of you know, it didn’t work as planned. But I want to recognize Sandy for three reasons. First, she had a vision to improve our system. Second, she had the guts to try a new idea that we had no guarantee that it would work. And third, after it failed, she came into my office and said, ‘I am not giving up. It did not work this way but there has to be a way that will be significantly more efficient for us to operate.’ Sandy, you make me proud. Let me know what else you need from me or the team to make this work.”

As you think about the significant successes you have accomplished to date, you’d most likely agree that anything worthwhile that you have ever accomplished took more than one attempt to get it right. Most significant successes are preceded by a series of attempts that didn’t quite produce the results we were initially trying to achieve. With that in mind, develop a healthy respect for failure, seeing it as a part of the continuum to success, not the final result. Remember, the opposite of success is not failure, it’s not trying in the first place!

Peter Barron Stark Companies is a nationally recognized management consulting company that specializes in employee engagement surveys, executive coaching, and leadership and employee training. For more information, please visit http://www.peterstark.com