Monday, December 23, 2013

Finding Happiness in the Holidays

By Jim Owen, Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer, Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership

I’m often asked, “What’s the payoff for integrity?” That’s a topic I touch on in my speeches, and I’ve got several answers. But to me, the most compelling one is that being clear on what you stand for, and living by those beliefs, makes you a happier person – it’s as simple as that. That’s long been my conviction, based on my own observations and experiences. It’s also confirmed by what we hear from those who have articulated their personal set of principles and values in our Standing Tall workshops. They say it’s a good feeling to spend time becoming a better version of yourself.

But my personal belief about what brings true happiness has now been reinforced by science. Summing up 40 years of research by social scientists, a recent New York Times article said happiness derives from three main sources: our genes, which account for about half of our personal happiness quotient; the events in our lives, which have relatively short-lived impact; and finally, our values. 

As the article noted, “It turns out that choosing to pursue four basic values of faith, family, community and work is the surest path to happiness.” And, unlike our genes or the things that happen to us, the set of values we choose to embrace is the one happiness factor in our control.  

To me, this is welcome and timely message for the holidays. It’s a great reminder that what enriches our lives isn’t what’s under the tree, but what’s in our hearts. Together with my cherished wife, Stanya, and the entire Cowboy Ethics team, I wish all of you a holiday warmed by love of family, friends, and humanity. And all the best for a joyous New Year!  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Competing with Heart

By Jim Owen, Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer, Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership

If you’re the kind of person who cultivates Try in your life, you probably find inspiration in the stories of others. And once you start looking, you discover there are stories of Try all around us. Recently I happened on a running blog with a story I found so moving  that I wanted to share it with all of you.
The first-person account of Mike Cassidy, a runner in this year’s New York Marathon, the story starts out on a familiar note. Who among us hasn’t taken on a tough challenge, only to find ourselves with confidence faltering midstream? Although Mike is a seasoned marathoner and has trained hard, he finds himself feeling subpar this time out, and is soon struggling just to keep going against the chill wind.
It’s when he catches up to his hero, legendary runner Meb Keflezighi, that the story becomes truly extraordinary.
Mike realizes that his idol, too, is struggling to keep going after a spate of recent injuries. The vision of himself blazing past one of the best marathoners of all time fleetingly crosses his mind, but the way the race actually played out was even more amazing. Check out the photograph and you’ll see what I mean.       
But this isn’t just a story about never giving up. Meb’s humility and spirit of generosity demonstrate what it means to be a hero. Beyond that, Mike discovers that he’s not only competing for himself. “In striving to be our best,” he realizes, “we could bring out the best in others.”  His story of competing with heart gives added meaning to what Try is all about.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cowboy Gratitude: Giving Thanks for Our Partners

by Jim Owen, Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer, Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership

In this season of giving thanks, the cowboy is, as always, a source of inspiration.  Throughout their history and right up to the present day, cowboys have rarely possessed much in the way of material goods.   Yet they know they are rich in their love of the earth and the sky above, their simple, rugged way of life, and their strong sense of community.  In short, cowboys remind us that the best things in life aren’t things. 

As the Thanksgiving holiday draws near, I’d like to share what I’m especially grateful for this year—that is, all the people and partnering organizations that work every day to help us get out the word that “everyone needs a code…a creed to live by,” and spread the message that character and personal principle still matter above all. 

While we at The Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership have big aspirations, we are a small foundation.  On our own, we have limited reach and resources.  So all along, our approach has been to share our ideas freely and let others take it from there.  

The results have been nothing short of astonishing! So many people have not only been inspired by the concepts of Cowboy Ethics, the Ten Principles to Live By, and The Try, but have also been moved to put these ideas into action in their businesses, schools, youth groups, public agencies, and community organizations.  And a few, like the extraordinary team at The Daniels Fund, have provided financial support to those groups, helping them to advance and scale their work.  

Some of our partners—like the University of Wyoming College of Business, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, 4-H, Future Farmers of America, Boy Scouts of America, and Colorado Boys Ranch—I’ve come to know well through years of collaboration.  I’m still amazed that the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming managed to raise the funds to build a $1 million Cowboy Ethics Club facility for teens in Casper!  And almost every week, I hear from someone who has called or emailed to let me know they are using the principles of Cowboy Ethics or The Try in programs of their own.  But we can only guess how many more are out there, living their codes and letting others know how the cowboy has inspired them, too.  I would love to hear from any and all!

So this is what I will be thinking of as we bow our heads over the Thanksgiving table. Being able to count on your “pards” is a big part of the cowboy tradition.  I’m humbled and immensely grateful to have so many I can count as mine.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Living the Cowboy Code - It's Also about Community

by Jim Owen, Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer, Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership

For anyone who wants to be someone of character and live an ethical life, knowing what you stand for is essential.  But cowboys remind us that having a code to live by isn’t enough.  What matters is living your code, and how it shapes the decisions and choices you make each day.  As cowboys say, it’s about actions…not words. 

So I was very much struck by a recent op-ed piece in the Casper Star Tribune, forwarded by Mark Zaback, CEO of Jonah Bank, one of the first companies to embrace the Code of the West as the foundation of its business practices.  Called "Living up to our Cowboy Code of Ethics," it was written by Kim Summerall-Wright, Executive Director of the Casper Housing Authority.  With sobering statistics, it makes a strong case that homelessness is a worsening crisis in our communities. 

Beyond that, the op-ed reminds us that the principles of the Code of the West—adopted by the State of Wyoming as its official state code—call upon on us to help work toward solutions for people in need of shelter.  If we truly believe it’s our obligation to “Do what has to be done,” we can’t dismiss rising rates of homelessness as someone else’s problem.  

Of course, in these challenging times, our communities face a host of unmet needs, and we can’t each be directly involved on every front.  But the point of the op-ed still holds.  As we think about principles like “do what has to be done,” “live each day with courage,” and “know where to draw the line,” we need to look beyond the orbits of our own daily lives.   In the days of open range, a cowboy was someone you could count on to lend a helping hand when needed, and that hasn’t changed.  The Cowboy Code has always been about how we live, not just as individuals, but also as part of our community.  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Goldman Sachs Story: Why Every Business Needs a Code to Live By

by Jim Owen, Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer, Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership

As someone whose first career was in the investment industry, I was fascinated to read the Wall Street Journal’s recent review of a new book called “What Happened to Goldman Sachs.”  Written by someone who, like the book’s author, had formerly worked at the firm, the review underscores the perils of corporate leaders who forget—or never bothered to define—what their companies stand for.

In an industry populated by smart, successful people, Goldman was for decades at the top of the heap in terms of reputation and cachet, not to mention profitability.  The key to its success was its culture.  Goldman was known for recruiting the smartest, most driven people on Wall Street, and demanding that they operate with an almost superhuman work ethic.

The firm excelled at finding ways to profit. But it kept greed under control by placing one business principle above all: “our clients’ interests always come first.”   Partners made sure this principle was heeded, knowing that any hint of a conflict of interest or unethical behavior would put the firm’s sterling reputation and its fortunes at risk.   

The book chronicles how Goldman’s culture eroded and morphed over time, causing many of its most talented people to leave the firm. It’s a classic tale of “the slippery slope.”   Regulatory changes reshaped the competitive landscape, leading Goldman to dump its circa-1869 private partnership structure and go public. Suddenly, the firm’s long-held business principles had to compete with the goal of delivering high returns to shareholders. At the same time, as federal regulators issued a flurry of new rules, “Goldman’s standards drifted away from its business principles and toward the management of legal liability,” as the book reviewer puts it.

I’m sure many of Goldman’s former partners were saddened by allegations that Goldman used clients’ information to trade against them, as came to light in 2010 and 2011, and by the subsequent Justice Department and SEC criminal investigations of the firm.  Among other things, Goldman was accused of knowingly peddling “junk” securities to investors, a breach of trust that showed its vaunted “clients-first” policy had become a sham. 

Goldman has survived and, after a spate of financial troubles, continues to prosper.  But the tarnish to its reputation is irreversible, and it will never again be held in the esteem it once enjoyed.  Goldman is an object lesson for any business leader who doubts the importance of having “a code to live by.”  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What it Takes to Succeed – from the Employer’s Perspective

By Jim Owen, Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer, Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership

When you’ve got a message you want to share with the world, it’s always great to get reinforcement from thoughtful and knowledgeable people.  So I was gratified to read the Wall Street Journal’s recent interview with Bob Funk, founder of the fifth largest employment agency in America.. 

In recent weeks I’ve been out on the road, talking with audiences about what it takes to succeed in America today.  And on that score, Bob Funk and I are of like mind.  He believes that “anyone who really wants a job in this country can have one” if they meet three conditions.   First, he says, you need integrity.    That happens to be my first secret to success as well.  But that raises another question—namely, what does integrity mean to you?  Definitions vary, but to me, integrity means living by a code – the values and principles that matter most to you –and striving to make your words and actions line up with those beliefs.  (This is what our Standing Tall workshops are all about.)   

Mr. Funk lists “a strong work ethic” as the number-two requisite for getting a job. And once again, that squares nicely with what cowboys call “Try”—that is, bringing a can-do attitude and 110% effort to the  tasks or challenges at hand.  I’m such a believer in Try that I wrote a book and produced a documentary film about it.  His third requirement for being employable is that you need to be able to pass a drug test – which, I agree, is a given. 

Notice that nowhere in the interview does he mention grades, diplomas, or SAT scores.  Evidently Mr. Funk believes, as I do, that employers care as much or more about character as they do about credentials.  You can teach someone job skills, but you can’t teach someone to have integrity or take pride in their work.  Those are qualities we each have to develop and strengthen on our own.   

It’s a measure of Mr. Funk’s own integrity that in the interview, he gives his reasons for opposing ObamaCare even though its passage would likely boost his own business.  Without getting into a debate over the health care law, I want to applaud any business leader who speaks out for what he sees as the good of the country—and I hope his example will inspire others to do the same.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Simple Question - or Is It?

by Kent Noble, Executive Director, Center of Cowboy Ethics and Leadership

If a close friend were to ask you, “What do you stand for?” would you reply without hesitation?  Or would you respond with the old “deer in the headlights” look? 

Prior to my involvement with the Standing Tall program, I’m not sure I could have articulated my views in a meaningful way.  In fact, my response might have unfolded something like this:

Questioner: So, Kent, tell me what it is you stand for?

Kent: I’m sorry—I’m not sure I know what you mean.

Questioner: I’m just curious.  Have you ever thought about what it is you stand for—you know, what are your core values—your strongest and most important beliefs?

Kent: Well, of course I have—hasn’t everyone?  I believe—I believe—it’s important for me to be the best father and husband I can possibly be—yes, that is definitely what I believe, and it is absolutely very important to me. 

Questioner: Great—that makes perfect sense.  What else?

Kent: What else?  Uhhh—well—ummm—I believe you should work hard and be honest—yes, you should definitely be honest—and you should also try to be a good person—yes, you really must treat others well—ummm—did I already mention working hard?  (Meanwhile, I would be thinking, “man, please don’t ask me ‘what else?’ again.”)

The point I’m trying to make is that before the Standing Tall program was developed, I only had a foggy notion of what it is I stand for.  Sure, it was all somewhere inside.  But I really hadn’t brought my deepest beliefs and values to the conscious level where I could easily convey them, let alone build my life around them.  

Over the last 18 months, I’ve noticed my situation isn’t all that uncommon.  In fact, now that we’re conducting Standing Tall sessions for a variety of business and community leaders, I would say very few people have spent time clearly defining exactly what it is they stand for.  If you find that hard to believe, try asking someone the question yourself.  You’ll probably find the hypothetical conversation I’ve outlined above is pretty typical.     

Could this be why we’re consistently bombarded with scandalous headlines from the worlds of business, sports, politics, etc.?  And what about the people in our lives?  Don’t we all know  good people who have uncharacteristically become involved in bad situations?   If we were simply more in touch with our most important values, would things be different?  If we identified exactly what it is we stand for, and then built those beliefs into our daily lives, might we become stronger, more confident, and more principled versions of ourselves?  

Obviously, we all have values.  But we don’t always connect with them in a profound way.  We sometimes keep our principles tucked away as opposed to fully integrating them into our lives. I think that's precisely why the Standing Tall program has taken root across the country.  People realize that they’ve never really taken the time to stop and think deeply about their core beliefs.  Our workshops guide busy professionals through the process of defining their values and putting them into action.  And, based on the testimonials we’re receiving, developing your personal code is a real “game changer,” especially if you keep it in the forefront of your mind. 

So, if you haven’t brought your strongest and most important beliefs to the conscious level, think about the difference it could make in your life if you did.   Then, should anyone ever ask you what you stand for, you’ll be able to respond, “I’m glad you asked.  Pull up a chair.” 

Friday, August 23, 2013

In Memoriam: Julia K. Anderson

When Jim Owen and the rest of the Cowboy Ethics team were deciding whom to profile in The Try, Julia Anderson – the pen name for Klaudia Birkner—immediately stood out as someone with profound life lessons to share. Marji Wilkens interviewed her for the book, returned to spend personal time with Julia, and soon joined her circle of friends and supporters.  Through Marji we had frequent updates on Julia, whose abiding spirit shone through despite her worsening physical condition. Upon learning Julia’s passing we asked Marji to write a tribute to her friend, who lived a life of Try up until the very end.               

On August 9, Julia K. Anderson passed away peacefully at her home. She was 40 years old and the strongest, most courageous person I’ve ever met.

I first encountered Julia in 2009 when I interviewed her for The Try. To me, her life looked like a tale of unmitigated woe: a difficult childhood in foster care, the onset of blindness, and then a promising ski racing career cut short by a mysterious disease that left her bedridden. I expected to find some amount of self-pity or longing for things lost. What a delight instead to meet a woman of ferocious determination with a sparkling mind and spirit.

I soon became part of a small group of friends who visited Julia regularly. I always came away amazed and grateful for our conversations. Julia was a teacher, and I was one of her privileged students.

Our little team took Julia skiing, ice-skating, to the park and on other outings. Ordinary excursions perhaps, but you have to understand that Julia’s body was like a floppy rag doll. It took an hour or more to dress her for skiing and get her into hip-to-toe metal braces. Then the arm braces went on. She looked like Ironman until we zipped up her US Ski Team jacket and she glided to the lift. On the slopes Julia was fast, sleek and beautiful. She last skied on February 23, 2013.

From Julia I learned two life lessons. The first is that hope can keep you alive. She never stopped researching her disease and treatments. She read countless medical textbooks and advised her physicians, feeding them research papers. As her beloved neurologist said, “I learned that she was always right.” Julia always believed that with the right information and right attitude things could get better.

The second lesson I learned is the meaning of “purpose.” Julia believed that we are all here to pay attention, learn, and see our life as a complete whole. Every experience, even its bleakest, darkest moments, has its place in the tapestry of life. She summed it up this way: “When I think about the past, I see that what was negative at the time turned out well in the end. Certain things had to happen for me to know what I know and be who I am.”

Since Julia has been gone I’ve tried to think about life as she did. Stuff happens. Get over it. Don’t let anyone define your limits. Nothing is impossible unless you say it is. Live fully and pay attention. Fight to the end. If all that isn’t “The Try” in action, I don’t know what is. Thank you, Julia, from the bottom of my heart.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What's Your Roadmap to a Meaningful Life?

This post is from Kent Noble, Executive Director of the Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership.

This week a man’s reputation was ruined through a series of lies and denials he perpetrated on the public, his teammates, and his sport.  Ryan Braun, a five-time All Star and former National League MVP and rookie of the year, was suspended for the rest of the season by Major League Baseball for the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). 

While many players have been banned over the years for using steroids, it was Braun’s in-your-face repudiations that drew the ire of so many.  Moreover, like Lance Armstrong, Braun didn’t appear to care whose character he impugned as long as he retained his fame and fortune.

While we could spend the better part of a day discussing professional sports and the use of PEDs, I would prefer to consider why some people are anchored to a defining set of principles, while others drift aimlessly in pursuit of glory and greed.

At some point in our lives, I believe most of us are confronted with the inner uncertainty—am I here for me, or am I here to make a difference? 

Even with our innate desire to do the right thing, this consideration can be sobering as it often seems easier (not to mention more rewarding and fun) to pursue a lifestyle that primarily benefits our self-interests. 

As we each consider our unique path and destiny, some will select a road of service and/or giving, while others will choose to pursue a trail of self-indulgence.  More yet will opt for a route somewhere between the two extremes. 

At the end of the day, whether you’re Ryan Braun or your community’s “person of the year”, each of us is responsible for the path we choose and the consequences associated with our decision.  Unfortunately, there are too many examples of professional athletes, Wall Street insiders, politicians, entertainers, corporate executives, and others in the spotlight who choose to pursue self-centered temptations and excesses. 

So, what should we do if we don’t like the path we’re traveling?  Well, fortunately, we can adjust our internal GPS and take an alternate route.  By following these three steps, we can develop a roadmap for a course that precisely reflects the type of person we want to be: 

1.     Decide exactly what it is you stand for—in other words, what are your core values?
2.     Communicate your values—that’s right, tell people what’s important to you and what you expect from yourself.  Now that’s pressure!
3.     Commit to “walking the talk”, especially when it’s difficult to do so.  Remember, if you don’t, Step 2 is going to make you look bad.  We told you the pressure was on!

Obviously, this process requires a significant degree of buy-in from the individual.  Defining, declaring, and pursuing your principles takes dedication and persistence.  However, if you commit to examining life’s big and small decisions through this lens, we feel confident you’ll blaze a trail that will result in a meaningful and rewarding journey.   


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Welcoming Kent Noble

We have an exciting announcement to make: Kent Noble has joined the Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership as our new Executive Director. What Kent brings to the job is not just an impressive background in business and academia, but also a deep passion for what he is doing. 
Kent Noble

Kent and Jim began working together while Kent was assistant dean at the University of Wyoming College of Business, where he helped forge a working partnership between the College and the Center.  

Luckily for us, the more involved Kent got with our Standing Tall approach to business ethics, the more enthusiastic he became. In fact, it was Kent who took the initiative to build the program concept into a thought-provoking, interactive workshops in which participants create their own “code to live by.”

The program quickly caught on, and as Kent explains, “leading the workshops was so immensely rewarding that I realized this was how I wanted to spend the rest of my career.” 

Besides leading Standing Tall workshops all across the country, Kent will be involved with the Center’s programs across the board, helping me spread the word that "we can all be heroes in our own lives.” We’re honored that he’s chosen to join our team.  

Monday, April 8, 2013

An Extra Supply of Try

We wanted to share with you some of our favorite stories from Jim Owen's book The Try. Over the next few weeks we are going devote our blog posts to telling you the stories of an inspiring group of individuals.

Our first profile is one of our favorites, Ty Murray the King of the Cowboys.
No one possesses Try quite like Ty.

The Try: Ty Murray Preview from Havey Productions on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Live Your Code Each Day

The Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership has been working with Kent Noble at the University of Wyoming College of Business to bring the "Standing Tall" program to more and more folks. The program includes graduates from nearly 40 Wyoming communities, 19 states and seven countries.

Graduates of the "Standing Tall" program create their own personal code to live by each day. Take some time to check out their codes and how they are putting them into action. Graduates display the image below on email signatures and in their offices to share about their commitment to "Standing Tall."

We are glad to see more and more folks committing to their own code and "Standing Tall" in their communities.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

An Inspiring New Message

Jim Owen has inspired audiences all across the country with his concept of Cowboy Ethics, and the belief that "we can all be heroes in our own lives."

Now he has a new presentation with a timely and thought-provoking theme: What does it take to succeed in America today? His answer: It's all about THE TRY. In a compelling 35-minute talk, he makes the case that now more than ever, qualities of character - like grit, guts, and heart - are the critical ingredients in career and life success. His message is as relevant to organizations, communities, and business teams as it is to educators, parents, and students.

Click on the video to watch a preview.

Preview Jim Owen's Speech from Havey Productions on Vimeo.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Boys and Girls Club Adopt Cowboy Ethics Program

Cowboy Ethics has been named the premier program of the Boys and Girls Club of Central Wyoming. We are excited so many young people are learning the cowboy code and implementing the principles into their lives. 

January 22, 2013 12:10 pm  •  by Lani McBee

The Boys and Girls Club of Central Wyoming has a saying: "Great Futures Start Here!"
In 2011, the club adopted “Formula for Impact,” an initiative that gives the club a clear direction to ensure they make a difference and help kids.
The club hopes members have fun in a safe and positive environment, surrounded by supportive relationships. Members are also given lots of opportunities and recognition. The goal is to help each member achieve academic success, a healthy lifestyle and good character and citizenship. That’s why the club’s motto is “Great Futures Start Here!"
Academic success for a club member is defined as being a graduate from high school who's ready for college, trade school, the military or employment. Project Learn is an example of the club’s targeted programs for education and career development. Tutoring is offered every day after school in the Power Hour. Even kindergartners participate in the Power Hour. Mills Elementary School requires 20 minutes of reading every night. Older club members might read to the younger members to help them meet their reading requirement and at the same time develop their leadership and mentoring skills.
Healthy lifestyles at the club are defined as adopting a healthy diet, practicing healthy lifestyle choices and making a lifelong commitment to fitness. The club's SMART programs are all about prevention and education. They address problems such as drug and alcohol use or premature sexual activity, and offer self-esteem enhancement programs for girls ages 8-17. They also promote and teach responsibility to boys ages 11-14.
Each of the club’s locations offer arts and craft programs on a daily basis, along with daily gym activities aimed at getting all of the kids up and moving. The clubs also offer numerous sports leagues.
Good character and citizenship are also important at the club. Being an engaged citizen involved in the community is urged. Members, for example, are encouraged to register to vote and model strong character.
Today, the premier program of the clubs is a Cowboy Ethics program.
Cowboy Ethics is based on the James Owen book, "Cowboy Ethics." Titled the Wyoming Youth Initiative, this program empowers young people to create and live by their own code. The program promotes ethics and leadership among Casper youth -- the Code of the West.
Jessica Baxter is the program development coordinator. She's responsible for the planning within local clubs and training for other organizations. Andrew Snead is the program coordinator responsible for implementing Cowboy Ethics at the club’s teen center, the juvenile detention center and Casper’s high schools. The programs focus on inspiring and engaging young people, helping them to decide for themselves what they want to stand for and what kind of person they want to be.
The Code of the West is comprised of 10 principles by which to live, such as "When you make a promise, keep it!" or "Remember that some things aren't for sale."
The code curriculum is built around the 10 principles. Discussions might begin with words such as honor and respect. The age-appropriate learning activities vary and might be a game, role playing, or a written exercise. Through these activities, kids have a chance to determine for themselves the connection between the principle of keeping a promise and the concept of honor.
Group members seek out and discover the answers to three questions: What do I believe? Why do I believe it? And how does my life show it?
Baxter is working with the staff at Woods School to implement the Cowboy Ethics initiative as a pilot program for the school’s K-8th grades.
Twice a month program coordinators visit Woods and lead group activities and Woods' teachers regularly employ Cowboy Ethics activities in their classrooms.
Students say the program has had an impact on them and that they enjoy talking to each other about problems and fears. One student said, “I think we could all use come cowboy ethics and learn a few more manners." Another said, “I do think this code benefits you because it helps you learn who you really are and not someone you're not."

Article originally posted in The Casper Journal.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Excellent, Humbling, Inspiring and Enlightening

This just in from Facebook:

Scott Pavick shared:

“Mr. Kevin Harney, owner of Stalco Construction, provided all of his employees the

opportunity to meet Mr. Jim Owen and Mr. Kent Noble in person. The presentation
explaining Cowboy Ethics and The Try and how these principles were derived and
utilized was nothing short of excellent, humbling, inspiring and enlightening. Stalco
Construction has now adopted the Code of the West as a basis to the way our company
will be run. Mr. Harney has provided a copy of Cowboy Ethics to each of his employees
not only as a gift, but as a reminder of the basics and values this country was built on. It
will provide inspiration to better ones self as well as bring the basics back to conducting
business. Lets recapture what America once stood for. On behalf of the employees of

Stalco Construction, I thank Kevin for providing this gift of true American values.”

We love to see stories like Scott’s as more and more businesses are Standing Tall. Speaking of which, here's another inspiring article recently posted in BEEF Daily about faith and the cowboy code of ethics. Keep living true to your code and share your stories with us anytime.
The Cowboy Way Is Backed With
Morals, Values
Jan. 14, 2013 by Amanda Radke in BEEF Daily

Ranchers follow a code of ethics dictated by a strong moral compass.

Even in the middle of a cold and sometimes harsh South Dakota winter, I can always find beauty all around
me. The trees glitter with frost, the snow sparkles on the hills, and the sun shines down on the cattle as
puffs of breath steam from their mouths. Birds chirp, cats hunt for mice in the barns, and our faithful farm
dog is afoot as we do chores.

No matter what the weather, we’re responsible for the livestock, and that’s one of the first lessons I learned
growing up on a ranch. Rain, sleet or snow, our cattle relied on us to take care of them. And it’s not just a
business decision; it’s the right thing to do. This cowboy code of ethics is often called the “cowboy way,”
and it’s instilled in most cowboys and cowgirls from the time they are old enough to sit up straight and pay
attention in church.

Perhaps it’s good old-fashioned values, or maybe it’s something more. Whatever it is that makes cattlemen
so great, it’s certainly worth talking about.