Failure To Thrive

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Many doctors use the term failure to thrive (FTT), to describe a state of decline in elderly patients, which could be brought on by chronic diseases or functional impairments. Manifestations of this condition include weight loss, decreased appetite, poor nutrition, and inactivity. The most prevalent syndromes and predictive adverse outcomes of patients with FTT include: Reduced Physical Function, Depression, and Cognitive Impairment. In most cases, the root causes of patient deterioration are not identifiable, and the symptoms are irreversible. To prevent prolonged suffering, the diagnosis usually prompts discussions of end-of-life care options. Depending on the environment, failure to thrive can affect between 5 to 40% of aging adults, and is commonly listed as the cause of death.

When I first set out to write Welcome to the Big Leagues, I was completely unfamiliar with the term failure to thrive and its impact on the elderly, however. At the time, I was unpleasantly shocked by a somewhat similar data set that I did feel the need to address ... Results of a 2012 Gallup Poll that revealed how 48% of Americans considered themselves as either struggling or suffering. After immersing myself in this data, I recognized how managing wellness was a most essential, and often overlooked, element of our overall career success. That's when I decided to place a major effort in cracking the code on wellness and detailing all of the steps necessary for readers to thrive in both career and life on a sustained basis.

Those who know me often heard me say that knowing what not to do is a good first step towards determining what to do. Assessing a person's failure to thrive presents a prime example of this. If you currently consider yourself as being in the vast pool of the struggling, and are completely unsure of how to break out of it, start with the understanding that you can't keep doing what you're currently doing. Pulling from the three syndromes of FTT mentioned above, let's examine how developing a strategy for each area can help you to thrive at work.

Cognitive Impairment - The best way to combat cognitive impairment is through the development of acute cognitive awareness. We must learn how to acquire and maintain the right mindset, as well as commit to the right way of doing things. Today's workplace can be a very taxing environment that will put every pressure on you. So the first mode of attack is ... do not let it! As cliché as it sounds, keep a positive mental attitude and control your mood. Go out of your way to socialize and engage with colleagues, and stay clear of those who dwell in pessimism, as they will likely drain the life out of you. Make a concerted effort to surround yourself by the winners within your organization. This can occur outside of the office by joining colleagues for volunteer work. The benefits and happiness gained from helping others can be enormous.

It is extremely important to learn the right way of doing things. Finding a good mentor or reading Welcome to the Big Leagues will both help with this. It used to be commonly believed that practice makes perfect. This couldn't be further from the truth. Practice makes permanent; which could be permanently wrong, as is the case with the baseball batter who has a hitch in his swing. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Therefore you must identify everything that you are doing wrong and educate yourself on how to do it right. There is a right and better way to do everything, so never give up on the pursuit of continuous improvement or the desire to reach full potential.

Depression - In the workplace, depression can be both a cause and a consequence of failure to thrive. Loss of concentration, memory and a short attention span are just a few of the signs that have led so many in today's workforce to use anti-depressants. In order to avoid immersing ourselves in this dark subject matter, let's consider the depressed as being in a slump. Many athletes and business professionals have faced the dreaded slump but, more importantly, most were able to work their way out of it. Listed below are a few of the steps they all followed when doing so ...

1. Discover your purpose: If you haven't already identified your purpose ... your things that matter ... your core values, then there is a good chance that you can easily become derailed or try to progress through life aimlessly. Take the time to distance yourself from everything, remove all distractions, and write down a list of your values. After creating this list, start living it. Pursue everything you do with conviction.

2. Set goals: The best way to drive improvement is by setting goals that lead to it. But be careful not to starting off too big too soon. This will likely become overwhelming, result in failure and have an adverse effect. Set yourself up for success by starting small. Every baby step in the right direction compiles into a great step over time. Re-familiarize yourself on the joys of accomplishment. After you have a few victories under your belt, you will naturally look to up your game.

3. Stay motivated and inspired: Do not seek immediate gratification. Sustained success will not happen in an instant. Enjoy the journey. Learn from all setbacks and failures, and commit yourself to reaching greatness. Believe in who you are and consult with those who believe in you. Remember that motivation is an internal engine and an inspired mind is a healthy one that will likely lead to the next epiphany.

Reduced Physical Function - The loss of our ability to successfully perform activities is a huge detriment that would stifle any career. We are only worth the skills that we possess. Therefore the key to thriving will be in our ability to transform reduced physical function into enhanced physical function. The only way to up our game in this arena is through the acquisition of new skills. Every role in corporate America comes with a list of core competencies, so be sure to master yours. I strongly recommend joining business-related networks, attending seminars, reading books and going after certifications or advanced degrees, as all are demonstrated ways of how the most talented strove to keep skill development and career growth trajectory alive.

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"In the business world, greatness only comes to those who consistently perform at peak levels and work hard to raise the bar from there. Welcome to the Big Leagues is a profound guide; packed with essential tips and powerful stories to coach rookies on how to achieve all-star performance, while getting the most out of career and life."

Luigi Sciabarrasi, Senior VP, DTZ

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
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Luigi Sciabarrasi, Senior VP, DTZ

"In the business world, greatness only comes to those who consistently perform at peak levels and work hard to raise the bar from there. Welcome to the Big Leagues is a profound guide; packed with essential tips and powerful stories to coach rookies on how to achieve all-star performance, while getting the most out of career and life."

"I've read Welcome to the Big Leagues twice and found it to be just like watching a movie, where you pick up more the second time around. This book is very powerful and packed with real world advice that college students, graduates, and millennials will all benefit from."

Spencer Hughes, Radio Host, The Spencer Hughes Show

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Spencer Hughes, Radio Host, The Spencer Hughes Show

"I've read Welcome to the Big Leagues twice and found it to be just like watching a movie, where you pick up more the second time around. This book is very powerful and packed with real world advice that college students, graduates, and millennials will all benefit from."

"Carmine identifies the critical components that are necessary to live, survive and succeed in the corporate world. He does so in a manner that parallels the world of baseball and adds a dash of humor along the way. He is right on the mark and hits home as I relate back to the early part of my career. The corporate world is a very competitive environment that can be loaded with stress, ill feelings towards others as well as being a very unhealthy place to be. It is only those who understand how to identify roadblocks and how to handle them who thrive in such settings. In his book, Carmine has done an excellent job in highlighting all of this and giving some great advice to the corporate rookie, but I will also say that it is a refreshing read for us veterans that have been through it. I found that I was very entertained and recommend it to all."

Peter Gebert, VP Finance, Mannkind Corp

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Peter Gebert, VP Finance, Mannkind Corp

"Carmine identifies the critical components that are necessary to live, survive and succeed in the corporate world. He does so in a manner that parallels the world of baseball and adds a dash of humor along the way."

"Finally a 'manual' for true professionalism in today's corporate workplace. From my seat, I have witnessed far too many times a recurring theme: Rookies, newcomers, young employees all looking to go from A to Z without any stops in between. This book should be a mandatory read for all job applicants and veterans like us who could surely use a refresher. Carmine Del Sordi knocks it out of the park."

Todd Kauffmann, Senior VP, UBS Financial Services

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Todd Kauffmann, Senior VP, UBS Financial Services

"Finally a 'manual' for true professionalism in today's corporate workplace. From my seat, I have witnessed far too many times a recurring theme: Rookies, newcomers, young employees all looking to go from A to Z without any stops in between. This book should be a mandatory read for all job applicants and veterans like us who could surely use a refresher. Carmine Continue Reading

"Welcome to the Big Leagues does a very good job of guiding the corporate rookie through the minefield of joining corporate America and providing a path to a successful career. Having played the game for close to 40 years; which included owning the roles of coach and mentor, I highly recommend this book for rookies and veterans alike."

John Sorci Jr., VP Global Operations, Symantec

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2014-09-24T16:00:37+00:00

John Sorci Jr., VP Global Operations, Symantec

"Welcome to the Big Leagues does a very good job of guiding the corporate rookie through the minefield of joining corporate America and providing a path to a successful career. Having played the game for close to 40 years; which included owning the roles of coach and mentor, I highly recommend this book for rookies and veterans alike."

"Every business rookie and professional will recognize themselves somewhere in Welcome to the Big Leagues, as it presents thought provoking stories and solutions to the challenges we face in our daily lives. Del Sordi creates a powerful tool that helps readers to align actions with who they want to be and where they want to go in life."

Jack Morgenstern, Global Head, Wipro Technologies

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Jack Morgenstern, Global Head, Wipro Technologies

"Every business rookie and professional will recognize themselves somewhere in Welcome to the Big Leagues, as it presents thought provoking stories and solutions to the challenges we face in our daily lives. Del Sordi creates a powerful tool that helps readers to align actions with who they want to be and where they want to go in life."

"Very creative! Welcome to the Big Leagues is a unique thesis on how to make an impact on the corporate environment. Using baseball as the backdrop, the reader is able to easily absorb and remember the lessons, the author, Carmine Del Sordi, is conveying. Very few business books speak to both physical and mental wellbeing; which further makes it essential to read."

David Tu, President, DCL Inc

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2014-03-14T16:28:33+00:00

David Tu, President, DCL Inc

"Very creative! Welcome to the Big Leagues is a unique thesis on how to make an impact on the corporate environment. Using baseball as the backdrop, the reader is able to easily absorb and remember the lessons, the author, Carmine Del Sordi, is conveying. Very few business books speak to both physical and mental wellbeing; which further makes it essential Continue Reading

"As a manager and mentor of recent college graduates throughout my whole career, I have finally found a guide book to recommend to those that want to succeed. Welcome to the Big Leagues gives straight-forward advice to new entrants to the maze that is corporate America. Passionate, practical and with a purpose!"

Jeanne Phares, VP, Group Controller, Macerich

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Jeanne Phares, VP, Group Controller, Macerich

"As a manager and mentor of recent college graduates throughout my whole career, I have finally found a guide book to recommend to those that want to succeed. Welcome to the Big Leagues gives straight-forward advice to new entrants to the maze that is corporate America. Passionate, practical and with a purpose!"

"Welcome to the Big Leagues is a very enjoyable read that’s packed with many insights on how to succeed in corporate America and life in general. I strongly recommend it for all new college graduates who are now ready to up their game."

Andrew Del Matto, CFO, Fortinet

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
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Andrew Del Matto, CFO, Fortinet

"Welcome to the Big Leagues is a very enjoyable read that’s packed with many insights on how to succeed in corporate America and life in general. I strongly recommend it for all new college graduates who are now ready to up their game."

"The corporate rookie of today could benefit from additional support, as the demanding and competitive business landscape has become less forgiving of mistakes and poor decisions. Welcome to the Big Leagues emphasizes the importance of actively managing a host of critical success factors like the ability to drive results, strong collaboration and fiscal responsibility. It provides readers with the much needed edge on how to succeed."

Bettina Koblick, CHRO, Symantec

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
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Bettina Koblick, CHRO, Symantec

"The corporate rookie of today could benefit from additional support, as the demanding and competitive business landscape has become less forgiving of mistakes and poor decisions. Welcome to the Big Leagues emphasizes the importance of actively managing a host of critical success factors like the ability to drive results, strong collaboration and fiscal responsibility. It provides readers with the much needed Continue Reading

"Welcome to the Big Leagues offers inspiration, humor, and the much needed insights to overcome the barriers that exist in the business world. It is a very enjoyable read where the author shares his personal stories in a way to help others."

Sally Jenkins, VP Marketing, VMware

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Sally Jenkins, VP Marketing, VMware

"Welcome to the Big Leagues offers inspiration, humor, and the much needed insights to overcome the barriers that exist in the business world. It is a very enjoyable read where the author shares his personal stories in a way to help others."

"Carmine presents this treatise against the backdrop of professional baseball; it is a highly entertaining read, providing humor and insight to cement his points and advice. Welcome to the Big Leagues is not only a guide for the corporate neophyte, but a useful guide for evaluation at any level in one’s career. After 30 years in technology development, I have found that it brings clarity to events that have affected my own professional career. I strongly recommend the read."

Steve Menchen, Scientific Fellow, ThermoFisher Scientific

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
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Steve Menchen, Scientific Fellow, ThermoFisher Scientific

"Carmine presents this treatise against the backdrop of professional baseball; it is a highly entertaining read, providing humor and insight to cement his points and advice. Welcome to the Big Leagues is not only a guide for the corporate neophyte, but a useful guide for evaluation at any level in one’s career. After 30 years in technology development, I have found Continue Reading

"Welcome to the Big Leagues embodies Carmine's passion and commitment towards achieving greatness. The valuable tips and concepts apply throughout all industries and business sectors. With three corporate rookies of my own, I bought each a copy."

David Laverty, COO, Nixon Inc

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
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2014-03-14T16:03:36+00:00

David Laverty, COO, Nixon Inc

"Welcome to the Big Leagues embodies Carmine's passion and commitment towards achieving greatness. The valuable tips and concepts apply throughout all industries and business sectors. With three corporate rookies of my own, I bought each a copy."

"A positive wake-up call to remind us on how to do things right again. Welcome to the Big Leagues logically details the methodologies needed for building a blue print towards success. I wish I had this when I was entering the working world after my undergraduate degree. Every college graduate with the aspiration of performing at full potential should read this book."

Jay Kaufman, VP Marketing & Strategy, Annai Systems

Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
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2014-03-26T20:14:08+00:00

Jay Kaufman, VP Marketing & Strategy, Annai Systems

"A positive wake-up call to remind us on how to do things right again. Welcome to the Big Leagues logically details the methodologies needed for building a blue print towards success. I wish I had this when I was entering the working world after my undergraduate degree. Every college graduate with the aspiration of performing at full potential should read Continue Reading
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7 Responses

  1. I've heard of Failure to Thrive, but never really knew what it meant. It's interesting that 48% of Americans consider themselves as either struggling or suffering (in other words failing to thrive). I find it interesting as the majority of Americans I know have never shown this side. I'm trying hard to compare the examples to the people I know and failing, I guess I know a lot of positive, upbeat people and for that reason I count my blessings. You never know who out there needs your help and support.
    • Yes, the number is shocking at first but when you consider the five aspects of well being that are measured: Physical, Occupational, Economic, Mental and Social, I do know plenty of people struggling in one or more areas. We struggle with obesity, unemployment, bankruptcy and many forms of melancholy that have a great deal of the nation on antidepressants.
  2. Sarah, I guess I know both types of people. I have known several people with severe financial difficulties, severe relationship difficulties, debilitating addictions, life threatening diseases and others just struggling to survive. And then I know many people who are succeeding beyond what they originally thought was possible. And I keep discovering that mindset is the key to success or failure, even to healing from many illnesses. Carmine, Very important article. I didn't realize that the statistic was as high as 48% of Americans. I remember now that I had attempted to log in to leave a comment using Wordpress.com and could not gain access. This time I logged in with Facebook. Dr. Erica
    • Thank you for your comments Dr Erica. Another stat that blew my mind is one that I am using in my presentation on Welcome to the Big Leagues. This data shows how people get over the loss of a spouse quicker than depression from being unemployed. I was very surprised by this, but it supports my golden rule to rookies ... Never quit a job without having another one to step into.
  3. I'd never heard of "Failure to Thrive" being applied to elderly people. The first time I heard the term was when my youngest was a baby and wasn't gaining quickly enough to suit the doctor. They wanted to stick the label on him, but couldn't, because he was doing well in every other way. I like your tips for depression, or rather being in a slump. I know when I'm depressed, the last thing I want to do is rise above it and take steps to get out of myself. But that's exactly what is needed, and when I do it, the sun begins to shine and I find myself moving forward again.
  4. Carmine, we appreciate you! I have experienced this through my Grandmother's, ascending. I was overseas, being out processed from the U.S. Air Force. She just gave up her will to live. Started 6 months prior to a Red Cross message, reaching me in Germany. I made it back and one week after seeing her. She died. Just gave up living with me by her side. A awakening moment, in my life. My family states, she just stop functioning. That included speaking to anyone. Until, I walked in that Hospice. She would not do anything, during those long last months. I looked in her eyes and a spark, awakened. She had my only sister, Drenna. Complete getting her normal looking. While, I waited outside with a huge family gathering. Next, only me. Allowed in that private room. Chilling conversation and that was it. She told me, that only knowing I would come home, kept her just willing enough, not to let go all the way. I feel that our willingness, is the beginning of changing things to improve, our overall health and welfare. Then, knowing what we want. That is the core purpose, we feel. Once that one thing is decided on. Based on our love and passion, with skills. Then, we can only gain clarity, with purpose and a strategic plan. The focus to execute daily activity. This will manifest, the end result we visioned as our goal. Understand, that our vision will change as we develop, into a enhanced person of awareness. Thank you, for having this empowering article. We all can learn and feel from your sharing.
    • Thanks for the reply and sharing your story William. I'm very glad that you were able to have those last words with your grandmother, more so, that you had a strong relationship with her. Similar to my story with my mom. These hospice workers are like saints. I seriously don't know how they do it. Your views are also very similar to mine. I teach my audience to first identify their core values, only then can they pursue all choices in life with conviction... Best, Carmine

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