Micheal has been so very gracious to offer FIVE copies of his wonderful book, The Wisdom of Yawdy Rum for our giveaway contest.
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Deadline January 30th, 2009 midnight, EST
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The Wisdom of Yawdy Rum ~ An old New Orleans jazz musician and a secret that will harmonize your life, The Wisdom of Yawdy Rum blends memoirs and inspirational writing with a spicy mix of New Orleans jazz, cuisine, and history. It is a story about relationships, self-discovery, finding balance, setting priorities, and finding the courage to change.
Perfect for Starting a New Year!
YAWDY’S WISDOM (excerpt) ~ The Wisdom of Yawdy Rum shares concepts from easy-to-understand music theory and common-sense thinking to illustrate seven basic principles that can teach anyone, in any situation, how to harness the power of paying attention.
I. LARGO ~ Slow down so you can pay attention.
II. D.C. AL FINE ~ Go back to the beginning. Play it through in your mind. THINK.
III. DYNAMICS & TEMPO ~ Pay attention to your senses.
IV. THE SCORE ~ Write out a description of a successful outcome.
V. REPEAT ~ Repeat goal centered actions and behaviors.
VI. REST ~ Take time to rest.
VII. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF ~ and don’t hesitate to ask the Band-leader for help.
Carrie’s Conversation with Micheal Lane:
Carrie: Why did you write The Wisdom of Yawdy Rum?
Micheal: I’ve had a goal for many years to write and speak professionally. And I simply came to a point in my life where I realized if I was going to achieve that goal, I needed to take action. For years I’ve been a great fan of authors like Og Mandino, Richard Bach, and Mitch Albom. I think simple, motivational stories move us at a deep level; staying with us and providing critical guidance. I decided to write a story in that same fashion.
Carrie: What is The Wisdom of Yawdy Rum about?
Micheal: The Wisdom of Yawdy Rum is about traditional New Orleans jazz, corporate politics, and hurricanes — both real and emotional. A senior marketing executive meets Yawdy Rum, an old New Orleans jazzman who turns out to be a sage. The story focuses on their friendship and the wisdom Yawdy has acquired through his life as a musician, and on the danger facing New Orleans from the threat of a gulf hurricane. The story offers insights into the life of a successful executive wrestling with the demands of corporate politics, an exhausting travel schedule, and the challenge of balancing work with the needs of a family trying to raise an autistic child.
Carrie: Where did you find your inspiration?
Micheal: In Feb. 2005, I was walking back to my hotel in New Orleans after a late-night business meeting. I stopped under the awning of Reverend Zombie’s Voodoo shop on Saint Peter Street in the French Quarter. Historic Preservation Hall stood directly across the street from me. I could hear the beat of the traditional New Orleans jazz radiating from the building. Standing there, staring through the drizzle at the weathered old facade, I suddenly felt the presence of an old jazzman. His energy, his grace, and his wisdom were almost palpable and I instantly felt a connection between my personal situation and the lessons that I could potentially learn from someone who had the kind of life experience as this imaginary jazzman. Out of this, I created the fictional character Yawdy Rum to convey a message of wisdom and hope in the face of change.
Carrie: Is there a real person named Yawdy Rum or is his character modeled after someone in your life?
Micheal: Yawdy Rum is a combination of many people I’ve known. Through my research on the book I came to know a wonderful Twin Cities jazz musician, a legend — Irv Williams. I suppose he is the closest to my perception of Yawdy. Irv is well over 80 years old and still plays jazz several nights a week. If you study anything about New Orleans jazz, you’ll find a great number of traditional jazz musicians who had warmth, humor, and unique wisdom to share. I think Yawdy’s character is a little of each of them, as well. I also heard my own father and my grandfather’s voice come through repeatedly in Yawdy’s words.
Carrie: What aspects of your corporate life had the greatest impact on the development of the book?
Micheal: I was a senior officer for a major corporation generating nearly $500 million in annual revenue serving over 16,000 customers across North America. In that role, I had the opportunity to experience first hand the dynamics of a senior leadership position — the travel, the constant demands, the politics, and the insecurities of upper level managers. I drew from those experiences to bring tension and real life stress into the story.
Carrie: In which aspects of your life — personal or professional — has Yawdy’s wisdom revealed itself to you?
Micheal: I’ve benefited from Yawdy’s wisdom on both levels. In the story, Yawdy relates a process for bringing harmony into our lives. It centers on paying attention to what’s going on and using our senses to gauge where there’s stress. The first step in this process is to slow down. In my own life, learning to slow down is something that’s taken me years to learn. My wife and I have an autistic son. The only way we’ve been able to help him grow has been to slow down our parenting process. We’ve found that by going slowly when we’re working with him, we’ve been able to judge how much he really understands, measure his progress, and help him through the rough spots.
Carrie: How did you arrive at the principles outlined in the book?
Micheal: They came from my grandfather, my dad, my wife, and my experiences over my years in the business world. But, I wasn’t able to frame them in an understandable, easy-to-apply manner until I coupled them with the basic theory from music. What struck me from learning to play guitar was the direct relationship between simple music theory and the things I’d been doing over the years to be more successful in other areas of my life. Things like paying attention, having written goals, repeating goal-centered actions, believing in myself, asking for help from others, and taking time to rest. Those are the points I bring out in the book. Most importantly, I’ve learned that when I focus my attention, I can improve the results in any area of my life I choose. That’s the central point of Yawdy’s wisdom, but it’s also much more than that. The principles in the book relate to us at a sensory level, as well.
Carrie: Can you give an example of how you, or someone you know, has put these principles to work in real life?
Micheal: Anytime you talk to someone who has made a significant change in their life, and you ask them how they did it, they’ll usually say something to the effect of, “I wanted to change my life, so I worked on that one area harder than anything. I made it my central focus.” In my own case, I’ve used the principles outlined in the book to gain insight, and find the courage and motivation to make both personal and career changes.
In the book, one of Yawdy’s success principles is to believe in yourself and to not hesitate to ask for help. I mentioned my autistic son. Simply understanding autism is a challenge in and of itself. It’s like trying to put together a thousand piece puzzle and all the pieces are the same color. My wife and I believed in our ability to raise an autistic child, but we’ve had a full team of professionals helping us all along the way — literally — ever since he was a toddler. We’ve had speech, occupational, behavioral, and all kinds of medical experts helping us throughout the process. His upbringing has been a team activity. On a professional level, I recall an employee who was creating havoc in the sales organization I was managing. He possessed excellent sales skills; however, his inability to get along within the organization had him headed for a disaster. Rather than terminate his employment, I took the time to slow down and understand what was going on in his life — what was behind his behavior and why he was acting out in the manner he was. I learned things about his past and his childhood experiences that astonished me. It turned out that he was simply acting out the negative behaviors he had seen modeled as a child. Once someone took the time to understand him, help him unlock the complexities of his behavior and show him how people perceived him, he changed. Sometimes that’s all we need — someone to help us slow down and see how our actions may be derailing our success.More about Micheal Lane:
An experienced leader and successful marketing executive, Micheal Lane brings humor, personality, and strategic thinking to his work as an author, professional speaker, sales and marketing executive, and business consultant. Lane realized his lifelong dream of becoming an author after more than 30 years in corporate sales and marketing in the salt industry. His award-winning novel, The Wisdom of Yawdy Rum, is available in book stores and online. Lane pulled from his professional and personal experiences to write The Wisdom of Yawdy Rum, a story that blends memoir and inspirational writing to teach readers how to bring lasting positive change to their lives by learning to use the power of paying attention—such a simple principle, yet one so hard to master. In addition to his work as an author, Lane is the founder and president of Mike Lane Productions, through which he provides professional speaking and consulting services. Lane specializes in presentations that educate, motivate and inspire a wide range of audiences. Prior to becoming an author and professional speaker, Lane was vice president and director of sales and marketing for one of the largest privately held corporations in the world. He has completed nearly 2,000 hours of specialized training in sales, marketing and professional speaking. Lane completed his formal writing training at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, in addition to completing the MBA Alternative program through the Minnesota Management Institute at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. Lane resides in Excelsior, Minn., with his wife, Sharon. They have three grown children. Lane is an active supporter and volunteer for Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity.
For more, visit Micheal Lane’s websites: