This may seem like a strange title for “99 Words for Leaders to Live By” or for Living Life in general, but the truth is, it follows directly from the first three on my list: Integrity; Honesty; and Trust.”

From my perspective, one of the major problems in our world today is that people don’t own their lives — they find excuses for everything. Ergo, it’s okay to lie, cheat,  treat people badly, act like only they matter, find reasons that they are right and everyone else is wrong, be a jerk, step all over everyone in the course of making their life work for them…

Do I sound upset? I hope I do, because this IS a huge issue.

There is a scene in “Silver Linings Playbook,” where the lady protagonist is talking to the male protagonist about how she has given and given of herself until she is empty — and she is wondering why people can’t give of themselves. Why people keep taking without offering something back. Sometimes you do reach a point where you’re all given out and you would like nothing better than to have someone put their arm around your shoulders and say, “Thanks. I appreciate you.”

Are you one of the givers? Or one of the takers? Do you own what you do and say? Do you REALLY own what you do and say without offering excuses for everything that doesn’t fit who you think you are? Or more importantly, who you want to be?

Yes, we all fall away from our ideal at times. That’s what this blog is about, really — reminding ourselves. That’s what I’m doing for myself, too.

Here’s another cute quote, that  is very appropo : I have a tee shirt from “Life is Good” that says, “Be the person your dog thinks you are.”

Now THAT is something to live up to.

One way or another, pets are who they are — not much subterfuge there. You get out what’s been given and if you’ve given love, you get that and more back.

Ownership is about being love, being kind, being honest, being trustworthy, having integrity, really making an effort to be the person you think you are and want to be. Every day, many times a day, we do things, make decisions, say things that speak to our ownership of ourselves.

Who are you going to be today?

Who are you going to be tomorrow?

Own it!!!

Love, Joe Koob

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“Maybe it is because they don’t understand

or trust each other . . .

Maybe it is because they don’t understand

or trust themselves.” 

This quote comes from my little Children’s-Adult book “Purple if for Searching.” It is an answer to a question about why nations go to war.

Trust is, as many things we will discuss, a complicated issue.  Perhaps  trust is most fundamentally about what a child feels when they enter this world —  their trust of their parents is a pure as it gets…. we all had that once — maybe only for a short while;l if we were lucky, for much longer than that.

Trust, after our start in life, comes from experience. If our experiences have been positive and supportive, we trust more naturally; if not…

How trusting can a child who has been consistently neglected be? Abused? Screamed at?

How trusting is a woman who has been raped? Harassed? Put down? Treated less than?

How trusting are those who have been cheated upon? Pushed around? Bullied? Told they were less than?

We want to trust. We truly hope others trust us. But really, it isn’t always so easy for many of us.

If you have read early versions of this blog, you will remember the “Black-haired Beauty” posts. Yes, Arwen, is still with us — now a grand old dame. Unfortunately, she is pretty sick with cancer and we are enjoying each day we have with her. She has been a model of how trust grows from kindness.

I think we can learn a good bit from dogs/pets. I had dogs in the family growing up and now  as an adult with Arwen. I have seen the scope of how life has treated them. We had a shelter Beagle who had been so badly abused he would run under a bed and cower, thumping his tail loudly if you even raised your hand. Thumper had been badly abused.

Arwen is at the other end of the spectrum — she’s been loved, cared for, and treated the best we possibly could. She’s responded in kind.

Trust is something that weaves through our lives and those of us who have issues with it, it is because of how we have been treated. We struggle with it every day. In some ways it is a relearning process. Thumper eventually got much better; but I doubt he ever forgot.

As a Nation and a World we are struggling with trust today. It almost seems like people don’t think it is important any more. Folks… it has never been more important.

The best we can do is show the world the kindness it takes to bring trust back and to reject all  that negativity breeds. That’s our task — every day — be trustworthy, be kind, choose positivity. Maybe someone will notice.


Joe Koob






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This may be one of the toughest words on this list of “99 Words for Leaders to Live By.”


Generally speaking we want people to be honest with us — even if it hurts.


Being completely honest all of the time is very difficult to do.

So where are the lines drawn?

What about “little white lies.”


Am I being honest if I tell only part of the truth and hold back some information for “the betterment of all concerned?”


Am I being honest if I tell the truth, but in such a way that the listener believes I am not telling the truth? Or they can’t discern whether I am telling the truth or not?


There are likely many situations we can come up with where “honesty” as the best policy can be very difficult.

Perhaps Shakespeare adds a bit to the understanding of this discussion:

“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Making choices about truthfulness must come from the depths of who you truly are — and yes, they do come from your “Integrity.” If the choice you make comes from your best intentions, without guile or subterfuge, and without personal gain holding sway; then you have likely done the best you can under a given circumstance.

Weighing honesty is something we do every day; perhaps, quite a few times a day — your best choices come from your best YOU.

“Farewell: My blessing season this in thee!.”

Joe Koob


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I wrote several “Business-related” books a few years ago centered around “Managing Change.” One of these is particularly close to my heart: “Honoring Work and Life: 99 Words for Leaders to Live By.

I have decided, since there is so much distrust in politics today (and in business as well), to discuss, at the rate of about one per week, these 99 words — to weigh these and my thoughts about them against what is happening today. It is a sad, sad statement that our leaders (whatever side of the aisle you may look to) have lost their way in regards to almost all of these.


I don’t know about you, but this, I truly believe, does belong at the head of the list. One thing we have within ourselves that defines who we are more than anything else is our integrity — our honor. AND there are no two ways around whether we have it or not.

How do you see yourself? Can you look in the mirror and truly say — I AM the person I want to be. I place my honor at the forefront of my choices, my actions, my beliefs? And though I sometimes make mistakes; or perhaps make the wrong decision when I am weighing many factors in a difficult situation, overall I can say that INTEGRITY is one of the foundations of who I am.

Yes, we all do make some choices that later seem to feel wrong, or not as wise or honorable as we would like, but what characterizes a person with real integrity is how they feel about those dicey choices they may have made in the past… as well as that they strive to make better choices as a result. They learn from their choices, don’t repeat the past, and make amends when they can.

Do you feel, as I do, that far too many people — especially those we should be able to look up to for guidance and truth — seem to have completely lost their connection to the center of who they are/should be. Integrity and honor just don’t seem to matter any more. Actions speak for who they are; not their grandiose words of “leadership.”

Integrity sets the foundation — if its not there; then we need to let the world know that it is what we value.


Joe Koob





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Talk with your actions — always.

Today, starting now, we all should live our lives by living what we believe in our hearts.


The Golden Rule suggests that we should act as if we are are interacting with ourselves. We should be the person we think other people should be to us.

Do you want people to treat you badly, lie, cheat, steal, be dis-honorable, do poor work, yell at you, blame you, charge you more than they should, treat you as “less than,” offer excuses all the time, do poor quality work, stomp on your beliefs, take your freedom,… ? This could be a really long list and you could add to it, because you know exactly what I mean — you’ve been treated badly, likely recently.

Or would you rather put the REAL YOU out there, as you would like others to do, too?

We make these types of choices many times a day. Somewhere within everyone I believe there is a sense of what is right and honorable and what is not. Some people have REALLY lost their way, in this regard, it seems;  but I do believe they once knew where that place was within their hearts. Somewhere along the way they made choices that caused them to lose that truth, that honor, that understanding.

I don’t think most of us have; though — I think we forget to honor it and we find excuses not to honor it.

Is money, or power, or things, or one-up-manship… is ANYTHING really worth losing that truth?

LIVE YOUR TRUTH again. Start now and don’t lose sight of it, ever. Because… this IS your life and every day speaks to who you are and where you are going with it. Honor who you are at heart.

THAT is how we will change the world.

Now get out there and hug someone; just because somewhere deep inside I bet you would really like a hug.


Joe Koob


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A Universal Truth?

It seems that this might be a good time in history for the world’s major religions to get together and come up with some truth about life that crosses all boundaries — something that doesn’t rankle even the most devoted followers. Is there such a truth?

Well, I’m not entirely sure, but I do know that what may be as close to a universal truth as can be found, and something that does cross a good many religious boundaries is…

… well we call it the Golden Rule:

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Believe it or not, this is not a principle, value, truth expounded by just one religion — it crosses far more lines in the sand than you might think. In a wide variety of subtle ways it IS found as a truth/tenet/saying in many of the world’s religions.

So why don’t we GET IT?

This saying does not tolerate:




But it does work well with: Compassion

It isn’t about:


Treating people badly

“I’m better than you; you are less than me.”

However, it goes hand and hand with: Kindness

Certainly it doesn’t mesh with:





Ill will

Taking what is not yours; what you have not earned; what you THINK you are entitled to

Forcing others to your will, beliefs, view of the world

I believe it is fundamentally about acceptance of others for who they are and allowing them the space and rights to live a life with the same opportunities of truth that you have.

Perhaps most importantly — if one truly ascribes to a set of beliefs where this is one of the central tenets — then most of humanity have many adjustments to make. Somehow I don’t think this truth means: ” I can do anything I want, anytime I want, no matter the consequences to others, as long as I can seek forgiveness now and again for a free pass to the hereafter. I really don’t think it means that. Just how I feel.


Joe Koob

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My New Book


Sorry to be away so long, but for awhile there I was once again struggling with my meds. That seems to have settled down considerably and there is hope in a new treatment that will hopefully solve this concern as time goes by.

In this blog I would like to introduce my new (old) book that I am publishing for free over the course of the next several months on a new blog: http://purpleisforsearching.wordpress.com.

I wrote Purple is for Searching many years ago — circa 1971-1972 — and very nearly got it published back then, but being completely unfamiliar with the publishing world, I let several opportunities slip away. Much thanks to several senior editors for their encouragement to a young writer. It is also the first book I ever finished.

When I wrote this work I had in mind to make a statement of the times, and as such , wanted to couch that in the guise of a children’s book: not unlike, but very different from The Little Prince. Thankfully I had the artistic talent of my dear sister to draw upon. I am publishing this book in her memory.

If you would like to read this book for free on my blog, please go to the address above. However, it is also available for all the different e-readers at their respective on-line sites or at https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=purple+is+for+searching for $2.99.

I also hope to eventually offer a free version in its “Purply” entirety on its own website: purpleisforsearching.com. However, that is still a bit down the road.  Unfortunately, e-readers and the blog do not offer the opportunity to publish the work as it is on paper with purple lettering and precise formatting.

Hope you have all been well. Please stay in touch, and as a taste for “Purple”:

Purple is for Searching 1600x2500 (2)

Purple is for Searching


A Book for Children of all Ages


Joseph E. Koob II

illustrated by

 Katherine R. Koob



Enjoy with

a spot of tea

a cup of coffee


a mug of hot chocolate


if you dare


some nice

Lemon-Blueberry Scones*


*see recipe at end of the book



after all






an adult book for children.






it is really, simply


A children’s book for adults


One day in City

        a baby boy was born. His name was Littlewhiteyellowblackboy.

Which wasn’t a very appropriate because he wasn’t

        white at all . . .

                or yellow . . .

                        or even black . . .


                                         He was purple.

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