What Is Your Story? Farewell Dr. Dan

Sandy and I just had our last annual physical with Dan on 02-27-18. He retired the next day. We began going to Dan in 1989 when we moved from Fayetteville to NLR with SW Bell. He was referred to us by our friends John and Pam Andrews. His nurse, Denise, got very forceful with me in 2014 which led to early detection of cancer. I truly believe many people would stick around longer to make more memories with their family if they have a Dan and Denise in their lives.

As you read Dan’s farewell, notice a life of service to others. Also notice this. So many of us sit around and complain about Healthcare but Dan is not Healthcare. He is a person with a servant’s heart that has cared for thousands over four decades. In his farewell, he did not even drift towards the negatives, he remained true to the positives and advancements in medicine. That’s why he has cared for Sandy and I for nearly three decades.

What will we write someday? Will it be a story and legacy of positives or will it be a story of whining, moaning and complaining? It all comes down to our choices. Best wishes to Dan in the next chapter of his story.

Dan Dillard

After 44 yrs as a family physician in Little Rock, my wife Pat and I (4 dogs!) are retiring to Clinton, AR. Our cabin sits on a hill with 23 acres looking across the rolling Boston Mountains (foothills of the Ozarks).

It’s been a very satisfying career with a multitude of changes and we’re ready to kick back and relax! Office call back then was $6 and there were no CT scans, MRI’s, ultrasounds, laser or robotic surgeries, arthroscopic or laparoscopic surgeries, arteriograms with stents, or joint replacements. No organ transplants were available. Very few drugs were available for hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, severe infectious diseases or cancer (none for high cholesterol). All records were written (no dictation systems).

“Taking call” meant staying at home by your phone as there were no cell phones to allow one to go watch one’s child in school activities that particular night. HIV wasn’t known then and hepatitis B or leukemia was a death prognosis (now possibly curable). No trauma centers were in Arkansas where the trauma surgeons were on site in the hospital rather than being called at home. No limbs were reattached. .

“Premies” born too early rarely survived. And, the list goes on….Children I saw back then are grandparents now (I have one grandson, Indiana Dillard, age 2 in Seattle but another grandson coming in 2 months- – -it’s a late start as a grandfather but aren’t they wonderful and precious! My 2 sons (Daniel Jr and Case) are in their 30’s. I truly appreciate my family, classmates, friends, and neighbors over these many years and wish everyone only the best in the future!! – Danny (Dr Dan) Dillard

Best wishes and thank you for a life of service Dan Dillard,

Greg Gilbert

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Well Done = More Margin

This was in my morning devotional. Something very strong hit me.

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ – Matthew 25:21 NIV

It did not say;

Well said


well thought out


well planned


well organized


well brainstormed


well journaled


well posted


well blogged


well presented 


well anything


Well Done.

It says “Well done.”

Another way to look at this Scripture is Well Done; not medium well, medium, medium rare or rare. In life, Well Done normally means we have been burnt a few times, scorched a few times and felt the heat many times.

Oh, I almost forgot. I read this after finishing my morning exercise. That means it was DONE!

 The only road to “More Margin and More Memories” is through “Well DONE.” We have to first get good at a few things and then we can move on to many things.

A great day is when you can look back on your accomplishments for the day and tell yourself, Well Done. That’s when you will begin to see margin increase and when Margin increases, Memories can increase.

Raise your glass to “More Margin, More Memories.”

Greg Gilbert

We will not bombard you will emails or sales. We want you to receive items that will help you obtain Peace Of Mind And Bigger memories. We also want to hear your success stories of implementing changes that increased Margin in YOUR Life.

We want you to be able to answer the question;

Who Has My Margin?

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Stay With Me. It’s Time For A Change. Let’s Find Out; “Who Has My Margin?”

Welcome to More Margin, More Memories!

Click below if you had rather listen to the Online Radio Broadcast of this blog.

Some of you have joined me over the years as I shared leadership lessons and “Mr. HR With A Guitar” from St. Louis to San Antonio, Boston to Biloxi and Paris, TX to Pennsylvania. Some have joined me through my books at GregGilbertAuthor.com  Thank you for trusting me with your time. The more candles I put on my cake, time becomes even more precious.  That is why in 2016, I began a new chapter in my life.

I have spoken to hundreds of audiences and thousands of attendees about the principles of leadership. In 1978, an attorney scared me when he said, “If it’s not written, it did not occur.” I began journaling immediately. I recorded the ah ha and the oh crap moments of my life and what led to each. I recorded the successes and failures I witnessed over decades of leadership, Human Resources and life. The material in my presentations and books came from those real life experiences.

I’ve been privileged to share these lessons with thousands. The feedback kept me doing it but one of my slides and 72 attendees convinced me it was time for a change. This is the slide;

I had no way to measure if I was making a difference. I wasn’t willing to fall for the overused motivational speaker starfish story of “I made a difference to that one.” (Google it if you haven’t heard it. It’s good the first time but gets old after the 50th speaker tells the same story.) The only thing I could measure was the number of attendees. Over the years, I was fortunate enough to share the lessons of great leaders and mentors in my life to over 7,300 people. Here is how 72 people convinced me that it was time to do something different.

I was speaking at a three day conference that was attended by 80 leaders from all over a particular state. I had them for only 90 minutes and there were many speakers that could help them become “Better” in their jobs. I heard a few of the speakers and took notes from the other speakers. I watched the crowd. I counted only eight attendees taking notes at any given time during the time I watched and listened. The others didn’t even have pen and paper or an electronic device to be able to take notes.

When I spoke, it was no different; the same eight took notes. It’s not that I have earth shattering leadership news but I promise, I shared lessons that could improve their quality, quantity, safety, moral and attendance if taken home and applied.

I called them on it. I challenged each one to return to work and show their manager what it cost in transportation, meals, salary and conference fees to attend the three day seminar. I then challenged them to show their manager how they would return that investment just two times. Not 10X, just 2X. I have the utmost confidence that did not occur. It would’ve been much cheaper for those companies to keep those managers on the job because NOTHING WOULD CHANGE for most of them.

“I’m still the same old me” is a line from a country song. It should NOT be our personal mission statement.

A few months before this event, I began studying to take my Life and Health Insurance exam. I’ve had an interest in life insurance because I have seen the benefit a few times in my own family. I knew it could be measured. I knew if I did a good job, someone would use what I provided and eventually someone would benefit. It could be decades after we sat at a kitchen table and I may not even be here to see the impact When I walked off that stage in St. Louis that day, I knew what I wanted to pursue. I wanted something I could measure. That brings us here.

This sign even made me feel better about what I was doing. I was curious about what I could accomplish and I joined a company that had a list of over 130,000 customers nationwide that were wanting to be served by major carriers. That allowed me to measure my impact and clarify my purpose.

Let me put you at ease. I’m not trying to convince you to sell or buy insurance although we are hiring. I need help getting to those 130,000 potential customers. We will split them; 65,000 each.

I named my company Margin Financial Group. Our Mission Statement is; “Offering Peace Of Mind And Bigger Memories.” I’m very familiar with compensation plans because of my HR background and I know that wages have not kept up with expenses. The salary increases I experienced in the 80’s and 90’s are a thing of..well..the 80’s and 90’s.

Many families have little or no MARGIN between their income and their expenses and there are only two ways to change that; cut expenses and/or increase income. Life insurance will increase Margin in the case of a death but increases expenses immediately. We must have the Margin to plan for the unplanned. Life insurance is more about priorities than a budget. The insured will never benefit from life insurance. It is a very unselfish act because they never see the harvest from their seeds. That is where some of the Peace Of Mind comes in.

The rest of the Peace of Mind and the Bigger Memories come in NOW instead of LATER. I want to help people increase their Margin NOW. It starts with the slide above; “What Matters Is Measured.” The first thing we must do is answer this question; “What is my margin?” The next question is; “Who has my margin?” More detail is covered on the webpage WhoHasMyMargin.com

I want more families to have Bigger Memories like this;

I want more memories like that.

This blog and upcoming podcast will address short ideas (much shorter than this blog)  that we can all use to increase margin in our life. Margin does not only exist in our finances. It exists in our vocations, relationships, marriages and our health.

I can remember the first time I heard one of my HR buddies say; “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much room.” It was funny and the entire room laughed but it is NOT the way I want to live my life. I don’t want my life to be like a self imposed haunted house. The more candles on my cake, the less I like surprises.

I hope you stay with me for this ride because I believe we can all make a difference in our families by changing just a few things. As I’ve said from the stage hundreds of times; “My job as a speaker is not to tell you what to do. Most of the time you know what to do. My job as a speaker is to inspire and encourage you to ask yourself four questions;

  1. What can I stop?
  2. What can I start?
  3. What can I improve?
  4. What can I repeat?

That will remain my job as a speaker, writer, Online Radio Host and Insurance Consultant. My goal is to increase my Financial Margin to 100%. That means my expenses are half of my income. Join me on the journey. Let me know of your successes AND your BIGGER MEMORIES when they occur. I can’t wait to hear from you. If you know others that could use a Big Ol’ Slice Of Margin, tell them about us. Just send them to MoreMarginMoreMemories.com

Greg Gilbert

We will not bombard you will emails or sales. We want you to receive items that will help you obtain Peace Of Mind And Bigger memories. We also want to hear your success stories of implementing changes that increased Margin in YOUR Life.

We want you to be able to answer the question;

Who Has My Margin?

Join the “More Margin, More Memories!” Community

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Our Rodeo; Our Rules!

our rodeo

We were extremely vetted tonight. I’m OK with it now but I was not OK with it during the process. It started with Sandy, Kasen and I attending Championship Bull Riding at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City.

To start with, they had built a wall around their rodeo. In order for us to get inside the walls, I had to apply for and purchase entry a few weeks ago. That was the first vetting. They checked my debit card to insure there were funds for the tickets plus $10 for ticket master and $3 for the event center on each ticket.

Once I passed this vetting system, I was able to print 3 tickets. Then, as we were walking out of the parking lot, there was a sign that said no purses over 6X9 inches. This was our second vetting. This resulted in us returning to our country, I mean car, and doing what the police tell you to never do. We left the purse in the trunk of our country and started our journey again.

Once we made the extremely uphill trip to the top, (everything worthwhile is ALWAYS UPHILL), Sandy’s clutch bag was opened and vetted by the security person. I was then asked another vetting question. I guess it was on the sign after the purse but I didn’t see it.

You see, I’ve carried a pocket knife since second grade but I couldn’t lie to security man. The metal detector wand man was waiting for me to assume the “give me a T” cheerleader position. I could not pass this vetting.

I told Sandy and Kasen to enter through the walls without me. I said I would do what I could to meet them on the inside, someday. I waved as they passed through the glass wall. They waved as they stood inside. They had been cleared to be inside the walls. I was willing to do whatever necessary to meet their requirements and be reunited with my family. It was their rodeo, their rules. I had requested entry.

55. That’s how many steps were on the three tiers back to the parking lot. I walked down the stairs and through the lot again to leave my 16 year old Case John Deere pocket knife in my country. There was also 55 steps back to the top. Forget that motivational, worthwhile uphill stuff. I wasn’t in the mood. I was having a few choice words with the 9/11 religious idiots that started this mess.

I reached the top, assumed the “give me a T” position and passed this vetting. I was reunited with my family and we hugged. (Not really but we will in the documentary.)

This is a late night report because I took Facebook off my phone weeks ago. This was good because it allowed me to clear my head. We were in our seats 45 minutes prior to the rodeo. This would’ve been plenty of time for a Facebook venting session on vetting and would’ve taken my attention from my family.

But here’s what changed my mind and heart. The lights were dimmed. Fireworks began as they introduced 25 young bull riders. I saw my grandson’s smile as he watched and listened. I was witnessing his first rodeo.

Then we were asked to stand and remove cover. (Remove your hat if you are wondering.) The rodeo announcer with a voice that compared with Paul Harvey said the sweetest prayer and asked for blessings and safety for each cowboy, our military, law enforcement and our country. Then our flag appeared on the big screen waving ever so gently. I don’t know if I’ve ever sang the National Anthem so loud and proud. P.S. No one took a knee.

After two hours of great action, some prayers for an injured bull rider and watching my grandson laugh and clap, it was over. You know what? Inside those walls was a pretty special place. Yes; I had to jump through some hoops to get there but as I said earlier; their rodeo, their rules. Yes, the rules have changed since I slapped Stoney Burke’s hand as he rode his horse around the Four States Fairground Rodeo arena in the 60’s. He didn’t know or care that I had my pocket knife in my pocket.

The world changed on 9/11. We have to change. I’m not the guy that likes to see our freedoms and liberties whittled away but I’ll share this with you. If I have to go through a few inconveniences to increase the safety of my wife and grandson inside the walls of a rodeo arena or the borders of our country, that’s not too much to ask.

In fact, I’ll do whatever it takes to see my grandson bow his head in prayer and his hand on his heart during our National Anthem with a few thousand others. Honoring God and country; I believe that’s how a country was started that people around the globe are drawn to.

Our Rodeo; Our Rules!

Greg Gilbert

My Tribute To Bob And Bob’s Rules!

bobs rules


I lost a great friend and mentor yesterday. I lost a leader that played a huge role in my personal and professional development as a young supervisor. A family lost a husband, dad, grandfather and brother. Bob Harmon of Sherwood, AR passed away on January 13, 2016.

I was promoted from a telephone repairman to a supervisor in 1978. I’m so thankful a few months after my promotion, an attorney scared me when he said, “if it’s not written, it did not occur.” This began my 38 years and counting, habit of journaling. In 1980 I moved from Blytheville, AR to Fayetteville, AR and began working with Bob. Notice I said I worked WITH Bob. I never felt I worked FOR Bob. My journaling continued through this assignment and the remainder of my career.

A few years after retirement from Southwestern Bell, I was contacted to design a leadership development program. The material for this program was pulled from over two decades of journals. It was designed using both personal and witnessed successes, failures and what led to each.

As I look back on the course development process, it was amazing but not surprising, how many leadership and life lessons came out in the five year period I worked with Bob.

In 2015, I combined all the leadership and life lessons into a book titled, “Leading Like You Owned It-Why We Never Wax A Rental Car!” I called Bob when I began writing the book. He thought it was so funny when I told him “Bob’s Rules” would be a chapter. What I didn’t know until now is what a huge role Bob Harmon played in my leadership foundation.

This morning as I thought about this tribute, I did a word search for Bob in my book. It was no surprise that Bob’s name came up many times in my search. That is a reflection of the personal and professional impact Bob Harmon had on a young Greg Gilbert.

I’ve shared these lessons with thousands across the country and sold a few books in the process. The influence of Bob will live on through my programs and book. This fact was proven on December 8, 2016 as I received a text from Lin. Lin had attended one of my seminars years ago. The text read, “I need a Bobisam!” I had no idea what that meant. I called Lin and asked, “what in the world is a Bobisam?” She said, “no, I need a Bobism, a Bobism.” I guess autocorrect does not recognize the request for a Bobism….yet. My only regret is not calling Bob and letting him know there is still a demand for Bobisms.

I wanted to share with you just a few chapters where Bob Harmon influenced my life, my leadership and will hopefully continue to influence others through my programs and book.

Bob, thank you for investing in me so I could invest in others.


Chapter 24. Trust, Guts And The Benefit Of Both! 

I share my leadership seminar in different cities around the country. I share this in two different manners. The first is I am invited to present “The Power Of Better!” on-site at leadership meetings and conferences.

The second method is by picking a location and notifying local industry of the seminar. I normally pick the smaller locations because they normally have limited access to leadership development. In many cases, I will partner with a SHRM group, Chamber or local college.

In 2014, while calling industries to notify them of an upcoming seminar, I ran into this response from a Human Resources Manager; “I can’t talk to you and you can’t talk to me. I can’t make any decisions. It all must go through corporate. They never ask for my two cents worth and there is absolutely no need to e-mail the information to me.” When I tried to give her the website of the seminar, she wouldn’t take it.

I finally got a laugh when I asked if she would give me her two cents worth if I offered a penny for her thoughts. She said, “not unless corporate approves it.” Do you think she felt valued? No or No? Do you think she felt empowered? No or No? Do you think she felt her leadership was “For her”, “Against her” or “For themselves?” She was unwilling to even hear the website and review the free tools for managers. I felt as if I was attempting to hand her a Bible on a busy street in Communist China.

This reminded me of a situation early in my management career when I became aware of outside leadership development courses. I was looking for new tools for my leadership tool box. This  occurred over 30 years ago.

Note to my manager;



There is a manager seminar coming to Fayetteville. I heard about it on the radio. It is $85 and is four hours. I can handle my business that day and would like to attend with your permission.

Let me know so I can register. Seating is limited.

Thank you,



This is the note I received immediately from Bob.



I received your request to attend the leadership seminar. You are responsible for  the Fayetteville Maintenance Center and have nearly a million dollar annual budget. If you can attend and your business not suffer, go. I have not been, nor do I plan on scrutinizing your hundred dollar decisions. In the future, I trust your judgment. We both benefit from your leadership development. Remember rule # 1; If I have to do your job, I don’t need you. Besides, if you pick up one idea to bring back, it’s worth it.

FYI me on these in the future because I may attend also. I will let you know if I hear of any similar courses in the area.



Pay close attention to this leadership lesson.

When I received this note, do you think I believed my leadership was willing to invest in my success?

Do you believe I felt trusted? Yes or Yes?

Do you think I felt empowered? Yes or Yes?

Do you think I felt he was:

For Me?

Against me?

For himself?

When your team knows you are “For Them”, they will walk through walls for you. I would walk through walls for Bob over 30 years after receiving this note.

If they believe you are “Against Them” or “For Yourself”, they will do just enough to get by OR leave UNLESS they are the less than 5% that will do the right thing even in the absence of leadership. You cannot build a successful team with only that 5% AND they will eventually leave incompetent leadership.

Even though my company had internal training, every leader I worked with was open to outside perspectives.

Do you think Bob had the guts to make this decision on HIS own? You bet he did. He had a multi-million dollar budget and was not being scrutinized on HIS $100 decisions.

Are you willing to forward an e-mail of a $100 leadership development seminar to your leadership team and allow them to decide whether to attend or not? You would find out who sees the value of personal development. That is Leading Like You Own It.

While we are on the subject of trust, let me share something I wrote in my journal years ago. My high on trust, low on rules organization will always beat your high on rules low on trust organization.

I had also written in my journal this statement; Rules Minus A Relationship Equals Rebellion. I’m not positive, but there were probably two teenage daughters at home when I wrote this in my journal.

Upon recently revisiting my journal, I realized this applies to all ages. I’m not referring to the type of rebellion that overthrows a company. I’m referring to the type of rebellion that does just enough to get by and cost companies billions of dollars every year. 

Chapter 47. Bob’s Rules. 

In 1980, I reported to a new position in a the Fayetteville, Arkansas Test Center. My manager, Bob, took me to lunch on the first day. We ordered our meal and he said “I only have two rules”;

Rule Number One – “If I have to do your job, I don’t need you.”

Rule Number Two – “I will never jump in front of you in your organization to solve a problem. I will make you aware of the problem and always give you the opportunity to solve it first. You will probably like your way of solving the problem better than mine. Welcome to the Test Center.”

This was one of many great leaders that contributed to this book and my leadership seminar. I was held accountable. I’ve adopted “Bob’s Rules” and shared them with thousands, but they are never “Greg’s Rules”.  They belong to Bob and are worth sharing. 

Chapter 65. We Will Always Beat Me.

Early in my career, I was an enabler. If you had a problem, all you had to do was bring it to my office and I would take it. It was like I had a sign outside my office and was wearing a tee shirt that said “bring me your problems.” Eventually, I began to feel like a porta potty at a music festival; the recipient of what others did not want.

Something had to change. Bob’s Rule from 1980 resurfaced; “If I have to do your job, I don’t need you.” I began a new process. This was probably a suggestion of a mentor, leader, seminar or book. I would hate to go through life totally dependent on my original thoughts.

When someone shared a problem, I acknowledged the problem and requested they bring me two possible solutions. This opened the floodgates of ideas. Many were so much better than mine. Our creativity is amazing when challenged.

This drastically reduced my work load and stress level. This is a form of delegation and must be mastered to be successful at a higher level.

However, to reap the full benefit of this process, you must possess one trait. You must be willing to truthfully, honestly consider the ideas of others as sometimes better than yours. This process does not mix well with a large ego.


This is such a small sample of the influence Bob had on me and one of the true definitions of leadership is the ability to positively influence others.

I hope all of you are fortunate enough to have one or more Bobs in your life. If not, please allow books, videos, seminars and podcasts to become the Bob in your life. However, I do believe the only thing worse than not having a Bob in your life, is having a Bob in your life and not becoming a Bob to someone else.

Bob, thank you again for investing in me so I could invest in others,

Greg Gilbert