Author Archives: Chris Ruisi

Last Call: Closing Words from Chris in a Speech to MMWUC Graduates

As we noted last week, this will be my father’s final Monday Morning Wake Up Call. My father’s content on his website, including this and other Monday Morning Wake-Up Calls will continue to be available via this website.

Growing up, my father typically had the last word. And though as I child I hated to admit he was right, the fact remains that he almost always was. So, it is only fitting that my father has the last word on the morning message that he created. 

The following text is from the address my father gave at my high school graduation in June 1996. To this day, I can hear my father’s voice and see him standing at the podium on the stage looking at the graduating class of my high school.  He was 47 at the time and at the height of his career at USLIFE as the President and COO.    

When he wrote and spoke these words, the only people who referred to him as “The Coach” were those kids that played on his Little League baseball teams (myself and my brothers included). But, if one reads the words, it is impossible not to notice that they bear striking resemblance to the messages he conveyed later in life via his writing and work as “The Coach.” Most importantly, these were not merely words; rather, both before and after this speech, my father practiced and lived every lesson in his speech for the entirety of his lifetime. 

In closing, on behalf of my mother Paula, my brothers Christopher and Andrew and our wives Mary, Chinda, and Gina and Chris’ 8 grandchildren – Jonah, Olivia, Bennett, Sophia, Alexa, Christina, Allie Kate, and  Laynie – we wish to thank you all for supporting our family as well as following my father’s emails.

–Steve Continue reading

Chris Ruisi Bucket List

Question: What’s a Bucket List? Answer: A Stupid Activity!

I sometimes hear people say, “Well, scratch that off my bucket list.”

From what I understand a “bucket list” is a list of those things one has not done before, but wants to do before dying.

I’ve wondered, what happens when your bucket is empty? Do you just collapse where you are and a “ready for pick-up” alert goes out via your iPhone to your funeral director of choice? Or, how do you pick something to go on your list; what’re the criteria you use? If you’ve done something that you’ve enjoyed, can you go back and do it again? Or is that a violation of bucket list rules (and who makes those rules) prohibiting you from any further selections? Continue reading

Do You Try or Do You Try?

The title as written is not a typo! It is meant to demonstrate that the word “try” can have two very different meanings and outcomes depending on how it is defined in your mind.

For example, on the “plus” side of the word try, is the recognition that to succeed at anything, one must take action towards a goal or outcome. Before we take the action, we go through a mental process evaluating what needs to be done and any risks associated with what we are planning to do. If it all makes sense, we start the process by “trying.” And this requires that we have a healthy mindset set evidenced by our courage and commitment to act. Also factored into this equation is our willingness to make a mistake and learn from it.

The other side of the word “try,” like Star Wars, has a “dark side.” Here, “try”… Continue reading

Chris Ruisi Trusted Leader

Consistency: The Path to Becoming a Trusted Leader

It’s a known fact that consistency builds trust and trust is one of the key attributes a leader must have. Leaders need to demonstrate consistently to their teams that they can be trusted. When people trust someone, they tend to listen to that person and are willing to follow them.

Let’s look at five simple “consistent” actions a leader can take to build their trust factor: Continue reading

Chris Ruisi on Failure

Are You 100% “All In” Every Day?

I find it interesting when someone says that they “know what they need to do.” You can almost see them patting themselves on the back for having recognized their need to act. Unfortunately, their recognition never turns into action and they continue to struggle with making the same mistakes, never progressing beyond their own self-imposed status quo.

Taking “knowing what you need to do” and translating that into specific actions is where many stall and fail. Why? Because they don’t realize that the required actions have as their foundation the clarity on what needs to be done; the self-discipline to actually do it; the persistence to work at it until they’ve succeeded; and the resilience to push through any barriers or obstacles they encounter. In other words, they lack the mindset to be 100% All In.

This 100% All In mindset allows you to take full control of your life or as I say to Step Up and Play Big and be the master of your circumstances. Here’s what a 100% All In mindset looks like: Continue reading

Chris Ruisi Success


Much has been written about how one can achieve success. The vast majority of what is out there is very good. However, to be a success, in whatever you do, you have to start acting like you’re a success – now. I have yet to find a “success switch” that when flipped, one automatically is successful.

Despite what you might believe or have read, you can control the majority of your destiny. It all starts with making a choice; deciding what you want, and then taking the necessary steps to achieve your goal.

Before you go out and buy all the books and videos about success (and you should buy the right ones), start with these four simple but yet important actions to help you experience the essence of success and get you on the right path for the “journey”— Continue reading

Chris Ruisi Knowledge

Well, If You Ask Me…

As some of you may know, back in 2014-2015 I hosted a weekly “live” Internet radio show on Voice America. What follows are some of the key learning highlights from these shows. The learnings then from my great guests are just as valuable now as they were then—read, learn and apply. Continue reading

Chris Ruisi on Happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness

Our founding fathers said it best when they wrote:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all
Men are created equal, that they are endowed
By their Creator with certain unalienable rights
that among these are Life, Liberty
and the pursuit of happiness.

While the Declaration of Independence does not guarantee happiness, it makes it very clear that it is our job to pursue our happiness. Only we can make ourselves happy, and only we can see our dream and only we can live it.

But how does one “pursue happiness?” Consider the following: Continue reading

Leader Team Chris Ruisi

Stop Trying to Destroy Your Team

The single most important factor that will determine the success of your company is the quality of your team. Specifically, how you select, develop, utilize and measure them. To me, these four functions represent one of a leader’s key strategic responsibilities. Yet, many business leaders/entrepreneurs seem to go out of their way to self-sabotage their people efforts. How do they do this? Well, consider the following: Continue reading

Chris Ruisi-Feedback

Feedback: Every Leader Needs It

Most leaders “say” they want feedback. Yet, leaders today struggle with how to get others to provide it in an effective and constructive way.

Just in case you are wondering, no organization does the “feedback” thing perfectly. However, every company, including yours can do a better job at soliciting it and then deciding if and how to act on it.

Just because you’re in charge doesn’t mean you don’t want or need feedback from your team. If you are a trusted leader, they will willingly offer it in a professional and meaningful way. In fact, if you are a trusted leader, you are doing a good job of encouraging it. If you’re not sure how to ask, try this approach; ask periodically: Continue reading