Developing People...
Inspiring Success

“Focus on the open field. If you focus on the obstacles, you’ll hit them.”
Mike Carrel, former CEO of Zamba Solutions Corp.

Volume 2, Issue 5 -- May 2005

In This Issue

Feature Article  |  Resources  |  Fast Facts 
  Survey  |  What's New  |  About Regina | Blog

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Feature Article - Parachute Over Your Obstacles

I recently received an email story, author unknown, titled, Your Parachute. It was about a U.S. Navy jet pilot, Charles Plumb, who was shot down after 76 combat missions and spent 6 years in a Vietnamese prison. He had to overcome numerous obstacles but he survived his ordeal.

One day Plumb ran into a man who recognized him saying he was the sailor who had packed Plumb’s parachute that fateful day. The man told Plumb that he was delighted to know that the parachute he had packed had worked and was glad it had saved him when he had been shot down.

Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about this man, wondering how many times he may have seen him and ignored him. Never bothering to say hello simply because Plumb was a “fighter pilot” and this man “just a sailor.” This man had spent many hours below deck, carefully and laboriously packing parachutes, holding the lives of many men - including Plumb’s - in his hands.

Why am I sharing this story with you? Each day we need to spend time packing our own parachutes so that we are prepared when unseen obstacles come our way.

What does this mean? We need to take time to nurture our bodies and souls to ensure that we are always in peak working condition both physically and mentally. We need to take time to nurture others that are facing their own obstacles, however large or small, as we move along our own journey. And, we need to take time to nurture and build relationships with those people who we can trust to provide the support we need along the way.

What we most need to do is pack small parachutes everyday. You do this by acknowledging and recognizing those people around you by taking time to say hello, how are you, please, thank you, have a nice day, congratulations, sorry, feel better, and whatever other words or actions that a person may require from you to get through the day.

Next time things get tough and you are facing challenges you feel you can’t overcome, take out your parachute, pull the cord and watch your parachute unfold. If you’ve done your part, you shouldn’t have to ask, “Who packed my parachute?”

Regina Barr is a management consultant and speaker with a special passion for helping women achieve leadership success. Regina helps companies develop strategies to attract, develop and retain women leaders. Her consulting firm, Red Ladder, Inc., also helps organizations and their leaders develop their full potential through strategic project management and coaching. For more information visit or

Copyright 2005 Regina Barr, Red Ladder, Inc.

Resources This page titled, After Hours Inspirational Stories, provides a number of short inspirational stories on overcoming obstacles.

Overcoming Obstacles; A Self-Hypnosis Journey for Unlocking Creativity, Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem by Melissa Rose. This CD provides a guided mediation to help you identify and unlock those obstacles keeping you from attaining your life's potential and give you the tools needed to accomplish your goals. This weekly column by Sue Morem focuses on Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace.

Fast Facts

April Survey Results - Overcoming Obstacles

50% of respondents AGREED that when facing a challenge, they tend to avoid it by focusing on something else or procrastinating.

Only 30% of respondents AGREED that they welcome adversity in their work/life -- that they feel empowered after overcoming the obstacle.

50% of respondents AGREED that they feel like a failure if they're unsuccessful at overcoming an obstacle or challenge they are facing.

Only 10% of respondents AGREED that they have a hard time asking for help when they are faced with a new challenge or something that they've never done before.

90% of respondents AGREED that when facing a challenge they don't give up until they have succeeded.


Each month we will be asking for your input on a short survey. This month our survey is on procrastination.

What's New

Interested in hearing Regina speak? Here are some upcoming programs that are open to the public:

May 5, 2005, North Carolina Banker's Association, Women in Banking Conference. Topc: Breaking Barriers: Climbing the Corporate Ladder, Greensboro, NC.

May 18, 2005, 7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Financial Women International & Minnesota Bankers Association, Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, Bloomington, MN.

Contact us at for information on how to register.

About Regina
Regina Barr, President of Red Ladder, Inc., holds a BBA in finance/management and an MBA in management/ marketing. An advocate of lifelong learning, she is currently enrolled in the Master of Arts in Human Development at St. Mary's University in Minneapolis, MN. Her focus: leadership and issues facing women in business. Regina has over sixteen years in the financial services industry where she has a broad range of leadership experience in product, sales, and marketing.
Email Regina

What our clients are saying...
Thank you so much for presenting at our seminar. Everyone walked away with a self-reflecting commitment and lots of ideas about what they can do to grow as a leader.” -Colleen Davis, Executive Director, AIM to Succeed

Copyright (C) 2005 Red Ladder, Inc.  ~  
 651-453-1007  ~  Inver Grove Heights, MN  55076