In my presentation “Embracing the Employeepreneur”, the message is about allowing your employees the opportunity to take some ownership. I’m a HUGE fan of Southwest Airlines, and this video is a great example of why. How do YOUR employees let your customers know how much they enjoy their jobs?

Get High With Me!

Fitness continues to be a major part of my life. Over the past (nearly) year and a half, commitment to a regular exercise plan and paying more attention to what and how I eat has helped me shed 40 pounds (net -meaning I’ve put on lean muscle and dropped even more bulk fat) (Special thanks to the training staff at Fitness Together-Kingspoint Village). When you combine that with a renewed sense of center in my spiritual life (read: I found an amazing church home that really suits me), and (since we made it “official” by posting it to Facebook today) a new girlfriend.

It is no wonder I started out 2009 with two of the most financially successful months I’ve had in over a year and continue to ride the wave of good fortune and success as new opportunities are presented to me each day. Maybe there is something to this Power of Attraction stuff after all!

I’m on a bit of a “runners high” as I write this blog tonight. By settling in at a comfortable (read: slow) pace, I found a rhythm tonight that probably would have let me run twice as far as my typical run. Using the tools at, I mapped out the route I ran tonight and thought I’d share the route here on the blog.

It’s not that I expect you’ll want to come on over and run the route with me sometime, rather, it serves as yet another subtle way to share the tools we use to find success each day with others around us on in this increasingly negatively influenced world.

SO, here are your three steps for fitness success today:

1) Turn off the television. You will be AMAZED at just how much the negative sensationalism is fed into your brain every day by the mainstream media. Television is powered by one thing: ratings. Fact: Info-tainment scores higher ratings than pure news. It’s just a fact.
2) Feed your head with positive energy: Seek out books, people, time for quiet reflection and open your mind to a spiritual way of thinking. I’m not saying you have to become a monk or a “bible-thumper” or anything any more extreme than just stepping outside yourself to view your life from about 40,000 feet and understand how significant a positive spiritual influence can be for you.
3) Get off your butt. Continuing to talk about what you “should be doing” about your lack of fitness isn’t going to fix the problem. I don’t care if you hire a trainer, go for a walk, participate in a cycling event (Registration opened today for the Tulsa Tough 2009 rides, including the spandex-free Townie Ride- borrow a helmet, dust off that bike and join us!) , or email me at and tell me what day you want to come over and run the route below with me. Need to walk it? Okay! If that’s the push you need, I’m going to help you get that ball rolling. Come on over, and we’ll get a success “high”, together!

Popular Music and Senior Citizens…Yep, They ROCK!

This blog features a number of outstanding individuals who have dared to defined their own success. As I’ve been saying a lot lately, these are people who have chosen to “Own it!” in their own lives.

My brother found an amazing bit of footage from a group suspiciously like the one featured in the 2007 documentary Young at Heart. I hope you’ll enjoy. OH, the last song they cover is worth the watch. Old people rock!

Cooksey Article Published in Performance Magazine

The latest edition of Performance Magazine includes an article written by me with the same title as this blog, “Your Success. Your Terms”. I was excited to have been asked to write for this great publication, and hope you enjoy the article.

Read it on their website, then return here to post your comments!

Link to Cooksey’s Article at Performance Magazine

Run Your Own Race – I Did!

One of my goals for 2008 was to run a 5k (3.1 mile) race. Yesterday, I did it!

Saturday marked the 31st running of the Tulsa Run. Okay, the BIG race is a 15k, and I’m not ready for that, but I did participate in the 5k. As odd as it sounds coming from me, it won’t be my last. What a great experience!

At race time, it was a little over 40 degrees (Fahrenheit) with no wind. My “runner friends” tell me that was about as nice of conditions we could have wanted. I have to agree. It was a great!

Many runners sported t-shirts supporting one school or another, some group from their employer or club, and a plethora of political candidates up for election next month. One of the hot issues in Tulsa is the condition of our streets. It’s been an issue for some time, and I found it ironic that prominently in the 2nd or 3rd block after leaving the Start line, was an enormous pothole many runners had to swerve to avoid. Okay, point taken, I’ll check the “YES” box in propositions One and Two, allegedly to Fix Our Streets….yet again.

The course (see map) proceeded out of Downtown Tulsa, crossing an overpass into the Riverview neighborhood, before zigging over Denver Avenue and down the hill to Riverside Drive, along the Arkansas River. Shortly after hitting Riverside, was a turn-around (where we quickly passed a local cover band playing to the crowd – sorry I couldn’t tell you who it was, as I was rockin’ to my iPod by that point in the run). Then…the fun began.

About 2 miles into the run, the route turned back toward Downtown – UP Denver Avenue for about a mile. It’s safe to say the pace was a little slower after the turn, since it was certainly more UPhill. That’s okay, I’ve been feeling pretty good lately, and the training runs on asphalt (vs. treadmill) have definitely paid off. Then I saw him. My “inspiration man”.

Over the past 12 months, I’ve worked tireless hours training and changing my lifestyle to shed myself of a net of 30 lbs. I say NET because I’ve lost more than that in fat, while adding lean muscle. I must say, I’m in the best shape of my life, and say THANKS to the guys at Fitness Together Kingspointe Village for getting me off on the right foot!

With about half a mile left in the run, I was alternating a little more between my running pace and a brisk walk (runners call that “intervals”). There was another runner I noticed was swapping a lead back and forth with me. He was wearing a brown hat which sported a simple, two-word message on the back, “Size Matters”. That was all I needed. I had my mark. NO WAY was he going to beat me at the finish of this race. I am 6’3″, 260 lbs and running two races. First, I was competing against the clock. Based on my training runs, under 38 minutes was a given, and under 35 would make me VERY happy! Second, running in the “Clydesdale 230+” class, I was running against the other “big fellas” out on the road. So, in my case, size really DOES matter!

Closing in on the finish line in front of the newly completed, Cesar Pelli designed, BOk Center it was time to kick it up a notch. I couldn’t read the clock, but felt good about my pace…besides, I had uncovered my competitiveness with the “Size Matters” guy and needed to settle this once and for all. In my head, over the thumping bass in my earbuds, I heard a voice urging me to “Finish strong, Cooksey! Finish strong!” and sprung into a finishing sprint for the past 10th of a mile. As I kicked, I passed about 20+ runners who were simply spent, including my “hat brother”. When I checked the Official Results online today, I had finished 10th in the Clydesdale 230+ class (out of 27, thank you very much!).

My official time: 33:04. The site lists something called an “Age Weighted” time of 32:22. Either way, I am STOKED! It was my race and I beat my goal.

What goal will you set for yourself, commit to, and attempt? Leave your comments here on the blog!

The Man in the Arena

Here is an excerpt from Teddy Roosevelt’s Citizenship in a Republic address delivered at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910. The quote below is one of his most famous, referred to as “The Man in the Arena”.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

[ Read the entire address at Leadership Now.]

In what arena do you stand each day?

A Cell Phone Salesman?

Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of “reality television”, but I do have one weak spot. For some strange reason, each Monday night I am glued to my TV for Hell’s Kitchen. Chef Gordon Ramsay lets his ego fly in what amounts to a boot camp for culinary hopefuls. He has no choice but to be tough, given that the grand prize is a stint as the Executive Chef for a multi-million dollar restaurant at Las Vegas’ Green Valley Ranch. (I still don’t know how Aaron, the “asian-cowboy” ever made it onto the show, but I digress.)

Over the past few of weeks, however, a story has risen which truly caught my attention. It is the story of Paul Potts, a cell phone salesman from south Wales. While I’d caught bits and pieces of Mr. Potts story across the internet, it was an interview on NPR’s Day to Day I had downloaded as a podcast that captured my heart. Truly a story resonating with reason for why no one should ever give up on their dreams.

The story is told here, in this clip from Britain’s Got Talent, a show pop-icon Simon Cowell is involved with across the pond. Be sure to watch his face when Mr. Potts steps to the stage with his awkwardly pudgy body, chipped front tooth, and nervous demeanor. Then watch the reaction, not only from the judges, but the audience as Potts belts out a sound no one on earth would have expected from this fellow. Opera. It was absolutely stunning. In an instant, this cell phone salesman won the hearts of underdogs around the world, catapulting himself onto the world stage. (See his final, winning performance of Nessun Dorma here.)

This week I was reminded that God works “behind the scenes” to make so many things happen in our lives. Call it luck. Call it divine intervention. Call it talent. Simply stated, it is success! Never quit! Ever!

Paul Potts, you have a fan in me!