Sunday, December 28, 2008
The purpose of this blog is 'Simple'. I want to add more value to your life by sharing mine in some way. Through this, I hope to continue the development of our relationship.
I want to share an excerpt from an article I read today about 'A Life That Counts' by John Maxwell:
A Life That Counts Is Determined By:
1. The Relationships That I Form
Relationships help us to define who we are and what we can become. In my own life, I can see how relationships have shaped my character, values, and interest. I consider relationships to be my greatest treasures in life and an immense source of joy.
Most people can trace their failures or successes to pivotal relationships. That's because all relationships involve transference. When we interact with others we exchange energy, emotions, ideas, and values. Some relationships reinforce our values and uplift us; while others undercut our convictions and drain us. While we cannot choose every relationship in our lives, on the whole, we get to select those who are closest to us.
Get along with yourself - The one relationship you will have until you die is yourself.
Value people - You cannot make another person feel important if you secretly feel that he or she is a nobody.
Make the effort to form relationships - The result of a person who has never served others? Loneliness.
Understand the Reciprocity Rule - Over time, people come to share reciprocal, similar attitudes toward each other.
Follow the Golden Rule - The timeless principle: treat others the way you want to be treated.
To view the entire article, click here
I hope we all live 'A Life That Counts' in 2009.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
When growing up, my dad and I always had a 'wrapping' party for Mom's gifts while sipping egg nog (I eventually graduated to the 'spiced' egg nog!) and Christmas music playing. I miss that, as well as the evening at my Grandfather's house in Wellsburg, WV. The Christmas music on Christmas Eve seems to hold the most spirit. I thought I would list my Top 5 Christmas songs for you:
1) It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Andy Williams
2) White Christmas - Bing Crosby (No one else sings it like Bing!)
3) The Christmas Song - Johnny Mathis - I have really only smelled Chestnuts roasting on an open fire once in my life I think and I don't know if Jack Frost ever nipped at my nose, but Johnny can belt it out!
4) Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - The Carpenters - I swear I can still smell our Christmas trees as a kid when I hear this song!
5) Sleigh Ride - Johnny Mathis
I hope that you Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas that you are Blessed with what you want this year!
Share with me your favorite Christmas Eve traditions, or Christmas songs. I want to hear them!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
1) A Christmas Story - Seeing Ralphie for 24 hours on Christmas Eve/Day is a must, but I do admit, by the last time it is on...I am ready for it to be over for another year!
2) Elf - Will Farrell is the only one that could have made this movie so funny
3) Home Alone - Some of the stuff that Kevin did to those robbers was downright horrific. Would probably be a PG-13 today!
4) Charlie Brown Christmas - Takes me back to the 4th grade when we did this for a Christmas Play and we knocked over the good tree during the play. Man, was Mrs. Nolan mad!!
5) The Santa Clause - Tim Allen has always been a favorite of mine...
What are your favorites?
Monday, December 22, 2008
Got any suggestions for me? What are you reading in 2009?
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
You see it's all about timing. I had my regular scheduled networking meeting from 7:30 -8:30 and was dressed to workout and talked my self out of it, but then back into it...After working out, I stayed and chatted with the owner a little bit about 'bailouts'. After discussing business and bailouts, I was feeling pretty lousy, but I knew I had to buy a Birthday card for Chris and should probably have a cake and even some flowers. If you buy at the last minute, you better do it right!
Anyway, as I stood in the card aisle trying to choose one of the many over-priced birthday cards, a Mother of one of the basketball players on the team that I coach had checked out and walked by me and stopped. She proceeded to tell me that when her son went home last night after practice that he told his dad that he really needed to come to his next practice...not to watch him..., but to meet his coach! She also expressed sincere gratitude to me for taking the time to coach her son. Now those of you who know me well, know that it took everything I had not to have tears flowing down my face at that moment. Because, that is why I coach those young kids. I want to have an impact on their lives and their parents lives and BE a role model. After that 5-minute conversation I was on cloud nine.
I am a man of faith. I believe that God had me stand in that spot and had that mother check out to cross my path and brighten my day. All of the things I did that morning and the time that I took to do them, led to that encounter. I am a Blessed man and I don't spend enough time being gracious about that. The words to Martina McBride's song Blessed say it so well:
I hope you all have a Blessed weekend. And, I'll try not to wait until the last minute for next year's birthday!!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
- A wonderful wife and two fantastic sons
- Great family & friends - I wish we were closer and could spend ALL holidays together, but I am thankful that we stay in touch
- A roof over my head and food on the table
- Living in a country like no other that gives me the freedom to practice my faith, and succeed when I work hard
I am also reminded of many past Thanksgiving memories. Growing up in Follansbee, Mom simply loved cooking thanksgiving turkey. We had a huge turkey, mashed potatoes, and homemade stuffing. We could eat the stuffing and turkey for leftovers Thanksgiving night, cold stuffing for breakfast on Friday, and creamed turkey for days!! Mom always had fresh Pumpkin pies as well and Dad had to have the canned cranberry sauce. Little things like remembering the plates (Pfaltzgraff brown) stick in my mind. I am thankful for those memories, also!!
Now, we have moved, started more family Thanksgiving traditions, and we travel to different places each year. This year, we came to Myrtle Beach! We usually have quite heated discussions trying to remember where we ate the past few years!
I wish all of you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving.
What are you thankful for and what are your Thanksgiving memories?
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Wikipedia defines a pet peeve as "a complaint about specific behaviors, rather than general dissatisfaction". I define it as something that just torques me off and gets my blood pressure to rise.
Well, here are my TOP 5 PET PEEVES that occur while shopping:
1) Driving the wrong way through a parking lot to take shortcuts. Why is it so difficult to use the lanes that are provided? And, if you do it, can you keep it below 55 MPH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?
2) Driving the wrong way up the aisles when you can only get in the parking spot from the opposite direction.
3) Leaving an empty shopping cart in the middle of the parking lot next to parked cars on WINDY DAYS WHEN THE SHOPPING CART CORRAL IS ONLY 10 FEET AWAY!!!! I like to go up right behind them and take the cart just as they leave it and say "Don't worry, I'll get this for you. I know you are in a hurry.
4) Using a center turn lane as AN ACCELERATION LANE. If you do this beside me, I will likely drive with you on the side and make it difficult for you to exit this lane until you STOP.
5) There are 500 parking spots, but sure enough, someone will INTENTIONALLY park right next to my vehicle where I am parked and be sure to park so that I cannot open my door to get in my car!!!!!
I feel better now. Remember my recent post about Abraham Lincoln and not sending emails? This just doesn't work with Pet Peeves, but at least I can post it here rather than pointing someone out in the parking lot and embarrassing my children!!!
Other than this, I REALLY enjoy shopping...What are your pet peeves in the shopping season? I will try to avoid them!
Friday, November 14, 2008
I have a friend & colleague, Daniel Brown, who just finished reading a great book: Becoming a Coaching Leader . He and I were reviweing it today and he had some great thoughts about how it impacted his view on leadership. As we discussed it, we thought of the power packaged inside the 'tip' of a ball point pen. The power to impact the lives of the important people in our lives with a $0.69 'tool' called an ink pen!
Leaders, take note. If you take an ink pen and a piece of paper and take 2 minutes to write a personal note to someone, it can have an impact that will leave a legacy. Imagine how you would feel (or have already felt!) when you receive a:
- Birthday card from a friend in the mail
- A kind note of congratulations when you get a promotion or win an award
- A note of mercy and grace from someone who cared when you lost a family member or friend
- A Thank You note for something you did for a friend in need
- A 'Thinking of You' note that simply said hello.
Now, I know what you might say. "Well, I sent an email to them", or "I said hello to them on Facebook", but the feelings of receiving an email versus receiving a hand-written card are totally different. Why is it so difficult to take the two to three minutes necessary to hand write a note to someone and let them know you care? I admit, I am guilty of the email/Facebook copout! But, a personal note....with a REAL STAMP (not a machine stamp!)...now that has a lasting impact. I am willing to bet that you all have handwritten notes you received from someone that when you find them in the drawer, you read them again, and it brings a smile to your face.
Another friend of mine, Jim Karger, wrote a powerful book Why Work Isn't Working Anymore. In it, he devotes and entire chapter to the 'Care Card'. I am compelled to think that if we all read the chapter of this book, we could replace the word 'Work' in the title of the book with 'Church', 'Family', 'Country', 'Politics', and on and on and on.
The power in the 'tip' of a ball point pen has the potential to leave a seismic impact.
So, are you willing to INVEST $0.69 to save the world?! The $750 billion bailout would buy a lot of pens and have a BIGGER impact...
Who has had an impact on your life? Let them know. WRITE them a note.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
The bad parts of communicating via email:
1) You can't hear 'tone' in an email. Unless, YOU USE ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. ARE YOU YELLING AT ME?!
2) You cannot communicate 'intent' via email
3) You can't clarify mis-interpretations.
I know there are many other challenges in communicating via email.
I have heard that you should never go to the grocery store when you are hungry. (That doesn't work with the liquor store!)
I suggest that you don't send emails when you are upset or angry. Once you hit that 'SEND' button, it is tough to get it back. Sure, you can try to 'recall' the message, but normally that is too late.
Abraham Lincoln was a wise man. Obviously, he didn't have to deal with the challenges of email, but he did use letters to communicate. If he was upset when writing, he had a fantastic approach. He would write his letter, store it on the corner of his desk, and then come back and read it later. This would give him time to clear his head, and be sure that he wanted to send the letter or re-write it based upon what he 'heard'.
Last night, I got my Irish up and started to type a heated email. I chose not to hit the SEND button, stored it in the DRAFT box, came back and read it an hour later, and was thankful that I did not send it. I hit the DELETE button instead of SEND! There have been other times that I have sent communication and regretted it.
So, when it comes to sending email, be Abraham Lincoln.
Have you ever sent an email that you regretted and it resulted in a damaged relationship? Or, even better, have you typed one, reviewed it, and NOT sent it to save a relationship?
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Have a great week!
Monday, October 20, 2008
He didn't just bump him...He broke down into linebacker stance....shuffled with the QB...and Forearm shivered him!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you kidding me??????!!!!!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
He used the music video below to illustrate this message. I encourage you to take a few minutes to watch & LISTEN. It is powerful!
Throughout the past few days, the coaches of Building Champions used video clips, music, quotes, and books they had read and/or written to inspire us. They also spoke from their hearts to all the leaders there.
In my life, music, video, and reading are things that inspire me and have defined a lot of the teaching methods I have used in my career. Everybody has a story to tell and they tell it in different ways. In the near future, I will look to manage this blog to add some of the media that inspires me and I hope it adds value to you as well.
There are many other ways you can be inspired. Are you being intentional finding time to REFLECT on those things that inspire you, PLAN the time to develop yourself and CONNECT with those critical accounts in your life. Remember, our days (and seconds - just watch the video!) are numbered!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Chris and I were able to attend breakout sessions on Marriage and Parenting. I attended other breakout sessions on Daily Disciplines and one that has stuck with me the most for my personal growth was the session titled Every Day is Game Day. One takeaway with regards to an inspirational quote for me: "What you did yesterday determines who you are today. What you do today determines who you are tomorrow."
It has been a powerful week as well with music, video clips, and letters from family showing their love for me. That was a great surprise! I look forward to sharing some of these things that inspire me with you on this blog.
Today we finish up. Then, off to Seattle to throw some fish!!
Have a great day!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
When we got started at the retreat, the music was energizing. CEO Daniel Harkavy opened up with a great video of the current challenges we are facing in our economy, and simply asked the room of about 175 leader, "What's Next?" It set the stage well.
Some things that stuck with me after Day 1:
- Key words for the week: Intentional, Disciplined, Simple, Grateful
- Definition of Discipline - "Do WHAT you should, WHEN you should, WHETHER YOU FEEL LIKE IT OR NOT!" - Great definition
- Work smarter , not harder, does not imply that you don't have to continue to work hard!
- Two of the coaches struck me with tips they gave: 1) LEARN - Come with a humble spirit and ask the question in each of your interactions "What can I learn from this interaction?" 2) LISTENING - "Don't listen to agree or disagree. Don't listen to like or dislike. Listen to learn. I really have to be aware on this one.
- One of the Coaches presenting came up to me and thanked me in the hall at the end of the day. He said he focused on me visually because I was affirming and it made it easier for him to present. I was happy to help and I learned something for presenting in large groups. Look through the crowd and pick out two or three folks visually who are affirming your message. It does make it easier to present and give confidence.
Chris and I finished off the night with a nice dinner with some of the folks we have met here.
Day 2 goals for me: 1) Intentionally connect with at least two more people. 2) Listen to Learn! Be aware of when I am judging what is being said as agree/disagree.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
- The greatest CEO’s from the greatest companies in history had one distinctive characteristic that separate them from other leaders. The trait is humility.
- If it is about you…you will not build something great. And only you know if you are all about you.
Jim said many more things at this conference. What we need is a little humility. He says that "only YOU know if you are all about you." I agree with that to a point. God knows as well, but I am challenged with this every day. I believe my purpose in life is to add value to others. The question becomes: "Am I doing it for me, or for others?"
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
As I watch the news right now, I am taken back to the second Leadership book I read over 12 years ago. It was a gift from a mentor and friend of mine, Tom Carmazzi. The title was The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. In it one of the laws is the Law of Timing which states that "when to lead is important as what to do". And, it further says that the right decision at the wrong time is met with resistance..., the wrong decision at the wrong time is disaster...and the right decision at the right time is met with support.
Now, I have never been a fan of Nancy Pelosi, and that would be an understatement on my part. However, her 'speech' today just before the vote bashing the Republican right is a clear sign of her lack of leadership and her total ignorance of the Law of Timing. Whether what she said was right or wrong, it was the WRONG TIME to be on her stump and go partisan politics. Would the Bill have been approved without the speech? I don't know, but I assure you that her timing was simply atrocious.
Investors lost a trillion dollars today as the Stock market fell nearly 10%. Nearly 2/3 of Americans are in the stock market, whether they own stock, mutual funds, or participate in a 401(k), or EMPLOYED by a company on the stock market! There has been a lot of talk comparing Wall Street and Main Street. Wall Street = Main Street...
This country is crying out for strong leadership. If some of our congressional leaders understood the Law of Timing, it would go a long way to influencing my vote in a few months...
Friday, September 26, 2008
We face problems on a daily basis. We face problems that are on a much smaller scale, but that seem to be as important to us as well. Family, finances, where to eat dinner, etc.!!
In any event, when I solve problems, the key is to always have alternatives. For every problem, there are always multiple solutions. Some better than others. But, the key is to have alternatives. Here is a simple process I use when evaluating a problem:
1) Define the problem in a sentence format.
2) Brainstorm at least 7 possible solutions to the problem. If you can't think of at least 7 on your own, then ask a confidant, family member, or friend. Two heads are better than one is normally the case in problem solving. But, don't stop until you have at least 7 options.
NOTE: Doing nothing is normally an option, but RARELY a good option!
3) Ask yourself the question "What options did I not consider?" This will normally generate a few more alternatives.
4) Rank the alternatives against your goal and your values.
5) Do a 'gut-check'. If it doesn't feel right, you need to understand why. You may have to go back through steps 2 through 4 again. Trust your instincts. Not your ego, but your instincts!
I am sure there are other ways to solve problems (5-Why's, 7D, family meeting, etc.). What works for you in business and life?
So, my question for our govenment as they make a decision that ultimately could cost me and my family a lot of money is "What options did you NOT consider?" If I had the confidence that they used a process to come to the answer of a bailout, it would be easier for me to support it, even if I don't agree with it. (This is an entirely different topic for the future. Supporting a decision even when you don't agree with it)
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I just finished listening to the Maximum Impact lesson entitled "In Praise of the Incomplete Leader" by John C. Maxwell. I clearly had a few takeaways from this:
1) As a leader, I am not strong in all areas of leadership...AND that is OK. Believe me, I have plenty of weaknesses.
2) I have to recognize that all leaders and team members are not going to be 'like me' and that is a good thing. I talk about this in the Building Champions interview I did about a week back. When I started a new career with my mother-in-law in real estate, I worked really hard to get her to do things my way rather than focusing on the areas of her strength and allowing our team to be more successful as a result. BIG MISTAKE on my part
3) There is a need to surround yourself with people who are stronger in areas than you are. This is how you will continue to grow, both personally and professionally.
What are the key areas for your business/life/home that are critical in your development? Are you strong in all those areas? If not, congratulations! Go out and find resources(hire, delegate, confidants) to complement the areas of your leadership weaknesses. If I can fulfill any of those resources for you, let me know.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Click here and then click 'Listen to Past Calls' then click the September 2008. You can listen from the play button, or right click on it and save it.
Give me some feedback on it as well!!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
I don't 'get 'em'. But, maybe I am not supposed to get them. You see, if it were just an ordinary Microsoft commercial, it would be pretty boring and we wouldn't be blogging about it all over (it is being blogged and chatted about by lots of folks!). So, by making a DUMB commercial, are they really generating buzz to chat about Microsoft, which makes it Brilliant Marketing? It won't make me go out and buy a new computer with Vista!!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
When I get a copy, I will be sure to put a link here so that you can here.
For those who were on the call, I hope it was beneficial for you and added value to you. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
We were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.
As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a pick up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon. We drank Kool-aid made with real white sugar. And, we weren't overweight. WHY?
Because we were always outside, playing...that's why!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were O.K. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms. WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them. Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.
Imagine that!! The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers problem solvers and inventors ever.
The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. If YOU are one of them? CONGRATULATIONS! You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.
While you are at it, share it with your kids so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were.
Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it ?
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Have you forgotten? I haven't. My prayers go out to the families who were affected 7(now 8!) years ago today. It seems like such a short time ago, and yet, sometimes it seems forever ago. My thanks goes out to those protecting us from another event like this in our country.
CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO TRIBUTE BY DARRYL WORLEY
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
But, I also find Lou Holtz, with his ability to tell a story, relative success in most of his endeavors ,and his unique leadership style, to be fun and easy to read.
Now, when I read a book, I like to mark it up. This allows me to go back and review the main points I picked up and try to apply them to my life in some way. The pages that I mark up with a pen also get 'dog-eared', so that I can easily refer back to those pages. I can tell pretty early on in a book if it will keep my attention by the number of dog ears. For me, a great book would have at least 10 dog ears!
Upon completion of this book, I had 8 dog ears, so my rating would be an 8/10. I say this is pretty good for an autobiography! Some of the takeaways from this book:
- Chapter 2 was titled "Success is a choice" - In it Lou says " Everyone's life is a compilation of the people he meets, the things he does, and the decisions he makes." - Profound. He goes on to say that no one but you determines your success in life and that making the right choices paves your way.
- His family lives spread out through the country and they get together regularly for a 'family meeting'. In the acknowledgements, he details the 'agenda' for the trip so that the tough items can be discussed, adults get their time, kids and grand kids their time, and lots of family time! I thought it was great and would like to try it next time our family is able to get together for a week like we did this summer at Myrtle Beach. Now that my brother has also moved away from Follansbee, I want us all to be able to get together like this on an annual basis.
Once I got started on the book, it was difficult to put down. I recommend it for your reading pleasure, even if you are not an ND fan or from Follansbee, although clearly those qualifiers attach me closer to the story!!
Monday, September 1, 2008
The report also says that there are 120,000 new blogs started each day, or one every 1.4 seconds of every day!!
There are many methods to 'socially network'such as:
So, how many of these words have you heard of, and which ones are you using?
I think it is important for all of us, at many levels, to at least be familiar with some of the terms listed above. From marketing real estate to fuel transfer pumps to PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES, the next generation of text messagers, bloggers, internet surfers, blackberry users, iPhone users, iPod, podcaster, CONSUMERS requires it!!
I heard a comment from author John Maxwell on one of his monthly CD's recently when he said that one of his biggest frustrations about publishing his books were that once they were printed, they were frozen in time. He is exactly right. However, a blog, social network, twitter, etc. is more timely and fluid. When you learn more and grow, it can be added to the social network immediately.
Did you hear that? I did. It was the book publishing/bookstore industry screaming as they pull their hair out trying to figure out what to do to embrace this technology trend! Maybe they should twitter about it!!
P.S. - Remember when we thought CD's were the best media for music and we had to use a Road Atlas to find our way to vacation?
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I would have to say it has been a while for me. When Joseph got home from his second day of school and Mom& Dad asked him how his day was, we got the typical response "Good." Then, I told Joseph that the Lego he ordered came in the mail. All of a sudden, it was "The best day of my entire life!". His elation was genuine and spontaneous.
Those are the little things in life that make for the best days of my life!
What would it take for you to say that it was the "BEST day of your life" with genuine enthusiasm. What is your 'lego'? Even better, what would it take for us to wake up every morning and say "This is GOING to be the BEST day of my life!"
Or, are our expectations so out of whack that it would take a small miracle rather than making someone else smile, having someone tell you 'thank you' or 'I appreciate you'.
Better yet, why don't you make it someone else's BEST day of their life by doing one of the things above. Give 'em a Lego Separatist Spider Droid!!
Monday, August 25, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
In Stephen Mansfield's book, I find that he does a nice job of detailing the story of Barack Obama's faith from his birth to today. As a man of faith myself, I found the book to be an easy read. The author states right up front that he is not a Barack Obama supporter, but the book is fair in it's presentation. In the first few chapters, Senator Obama's faith history growing up is described and later in the book, the author does a nice job of drawing comparisons to other Presidents and presidential candidates including Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and George W. Bush.
What I really appreciate about the book is that it provides us with the information needed to make a choice about Senator Obama's faith journey. For example, the author invests a lot of the book on the relationship of Obama and his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. It asks the right questions: "Why did Obama Stay at Trinity United Church of Christ, not just for some twenty years, but even after his pastor's radical views became public?"
Anyone unsure of the positions of Senator Obama on faith-based initiatives, as well as the life he lived growing up should read this book prior to making their choice for the next President of the United States.
This book did not change my view on who my choice for next President for me. It did; however, answer some questions for me, while generating a few new ones as well.
I want to thank Thomas Nelson publishing for the opportunity to read this book. If you get a chance, take a look at Michael Hyatt's blog. He is the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing.
Friday, August 15, 2008
I have to admit that teaching them the value of managing their resources(time, especially!) has been a challenge for me. One of the tools I have used in my personal life is called the 'Time Block' where I outline where I need to invest my 'time' and then 'block' it out on my weekly calendar. I use Outlook for this. Each block of time is broken into 30-minute intervals on a daily basis and I try to plan my 'perfect' week. It includes activities for the key areas of my life: 1) Faith, 2) Those closest to me - Chris & the boys, 3) Family & Friends, 4) Self (physical & personal development), and 5) Finances.
My kids needed something similar, but nothing I tried seemed to work. They had their goals & they were simple - allowance & time to do things THEY wanted to do. To achieve the goals, there were certain basic expectations we had as parents, but at the end of each week, the lines were blurred. So, I set about to set up a 'visual control' for the kids as well. If a time block worked for me, why wouldn't it work for the kids? In fact, how better to get them to manage their priorities in life, but to get them to block their time at a young age?
I needed the time block to be simple and colorful to keep their interest, and visual for me to check up on their expectations and 3M graciously obliged by introducing a post-it weekly planner. Those who know me well know that sticky notes are a necessity of mylife! In fact, my brother-in-law saw this at my house and said "Staples saw you coming when they brought this out!"
I set the example and outlined my week on the post-it calendar and used it to model for the kids development of their own. The process was fun and painful at the same time. The kids enjoyed the cutting & pasting, but didn't really like that they had to write down when they needed to do it. They also wanted to create 'shortcuts' - "Dad, can't I just write this down on Monday and they write 'every day' on one sticky, instead of making 5?" Nope...Every day. Below is the outcome of the exercise...
Purple = family time
Green = Basic expectations (make bed, put away clothes)
Orange = Projects - These items are allowance earners(clean garage, vacuum basement, READ BOOKS)!!
We posted these in the garage right by the entry door to the house. Now, I am not naive enough to think that everything will not be perfect and the kids will NOW do things without being asked. Even I don't hit my time block 100% and I have been doing it for years! However, in the first two weeks, the boys are much more aware of their responsibilities.
So, tell me, what tools do you use to manage your priorities? What about your children - how do or did you set their expectations?
Sunday, August 10, 2008
'Standard Work' for Sunday Morning
1) 6:18 get up after hitting the snooze twice because there is just no reason someone should get up at 6:00 on Sunday if they don't 'have to'...
2) Put on a pot of coffee
3) Walk out to get the paper - What a beautiful day it is today! About 60 degrees & sunny.
4) 'Organize' the paper for reading - Pull out all the junk ads and put them aside. Does Dick's Sporting Goods really EVER have a sale, or are they just trying to fool everyone with this ad?
a. Homes section first (need to review my ad for accuracy & other realtor ads for ideas!)
b. Main reading section - Sports first, of course!
c. 'Extra' section last as it has the Sudoku puzzle...Even after the comics (yes, I still read the
comics! Lots of good stuff in the Dilbert strip)
d. Then the ads - Target (pronounced tar-jhay here in the South!), and of course, the Staples ad. Free Glue today!! Showing my age here as I have evolved from Best Buy to Dick's to Sears to now Staples as my favorite ad!!
e. Skim Parade magazine - Of course, the best issue is the how much people make issue. Also, found a new number puzzle in the Ask Marilyn section that is pretty cool called Numbrix.
f. Tear out Sudoku puzzle and mess up the Extra session for Chris (she is still sleeping peacefully, though. She'll never know. I digress. I love to watch her sleep. She is at peace...More on that in the future...)
g. Hopefully, I finish just in time to watch Ed Young Television.
h. 8:30 now. Time to get ready for church...Day gets hectic from here as it really isn't enough time to get ready. But, I love those first 2.5 hours...My Time...Church, lunch with the family, Open House, and today...Leave for the beach for a few days. Sneak in a couple more days before the kids go back to school..
OK. my Sunday morning has just been thrown for a spin. Instead of Ed Young being on, it is replaced with the Olympics. Phelps going for 8 golds..1 down and 7 to go...Have you all read how much he will actually swim in the next 10 days or so? What a machine!
Tell me about how YOU spend YOUR Sunday mornings.
Have a great week
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Click on the link to listen in. It is humorous and very poignant as well. Don't worry about where you go to church...just love each other!!
Have a great week y'all. Don't let opportunities pass you by this week to add value to someone's life!
Saturday, August 2, 2008
That is how majority of people would respond. But some Japanese farmers took a different approach. If the supermarkets wanted a square watermelon, they asked themselves, "How can we provide one?" It wasn't long before they invented the square watermelon.
The solution to the problem of round watermelons was not too hard to solve as the farmers did not assume it was impossible - and simply asked how it could be done.
They found out that if you put the watermelon in a square box when they are growing, the watermelon will take on the shape of the box - and grow into a square fruit.
This made the grocery stores happy and had the added benefit that it was much easier and cost effective to ship the watermelons. Consumers also loved them because they took less space in their refrigerators which are much smaller than those in the US meaning that the growers could charge a premium price for them.
There are a few lessons that can you can take away from this story which may help you:
Don't Assume: The major problem was that most people had always seen round watermelons so they automatically assumed that square watermelons were impossible before even thinking about the question. Things that you have been doing a certain way your entire life have taken on the aura of the round watermelon and you likely don't even take the time to consider if there is another way to do it. Breaking yourself from assuming this way can greatly improve your overall life as you are constantly looking for new and better ways to do things. This was one of the most difficult things for me to do because most of the assumptions I make, I don't even realize that I'm making them. They seem perfectly logical on the surface, so I have to constantly make an effort to question them.
Question habits: The best way to tackle these assumptions is to question your habits. If you can make an effort to question the way you do things on a consistent basis, you will find that you can continually improve the way that you work. Forming habits when they have been well thought out is usually a positive thing, but most of us have adopted our habits from various people and places without even thinking about them. It's a never ending process, but by doing this, you can consistently strive toward making all aspects of your life more enjoyable instead of defaulting to what you have now.
Be creative: When faced with a problem, be creative in looking for a solution. This often requires thinking outside the box. Most people who viewed this question likely thought they were being asked how they could genetically alter water melons to grow square which would be a much more difficult process to accomplish. By looking at the question from an alternative perspective, however, the solution was quite simple. Being creative and looking at things in different ways in all portions of your live will help you find solutions to many problems where others can't see them. I am not a creative person, but I've found that the more that you look at things from different perspectives, the more creative I have become. It's a learned art and builds upon itself.
Look for a better way: The square watermelon question was simply seeking a better and more convenient way to do something. The stores had flagged a problem they were having and asked if a solution was possible. It's impossible to find a better way if you are never asking the question in the first place. Try to ask if there is a better way of doing the things that you do and constantly write down the things you wish you could do (but currently can't) since these are usually hints about steps you need to change. Get into the habit of asking yourself, "Is there a better way I could be doing this?" and you will find there often is.
Impossibilities often aren't: If you begin with the notion that something is impossible, then it obviously will be for you. If, on the other hand, you decide to see if something is possible or not, you will find out through trial and error. Take away the lessons from the square watermelons and apply them to all areas in your life (work, finances, relationships, etc) and you will find that by consistently applying them, you will constantly be improving all aspects of your life.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Who comes to your house, invited or not, and has "refrigerator rights"? The best relationships are those where you are comfortable enough when you go to a friend's house and open the refrigerator door to help yourself! I want relationships with refrigerator rights. Welcome to my house. Help yourself to my refrigerator, friend!!
When you see Chris, my wife, ask her to forgive me for taking a photo of our fridge before she was allowed to clean it out!!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
So, fill in the blank for me on the following. Each blank has the same answer. Send me your responses and I will let you know the various responses I get. Some of you may have already read this book, so play fair!!
"It is not enough to unite the ______ around the same what (purpose), but they also must be aligned on the same how (process."
"Leaders of the ______should outline the simple process but then allow leaders to implement with freedom and creativity."
"Recruit and offer accountability based on your simple process. Implement in each ______ department. Unite people around the simple process."
" A simple ______ is a group designed around a straightforward and strategic process that moves people through the stages of growth. When people not only commit to the beliefs of a ______ but also to the simple and strategic process, the energy of everyone is unleashed."
" Simple ______ who desire to eliminate programs will inevitably offend the past or some individual."
I could add so many more, but you should get the flavor. So, FILL IN THE BLANK.
Hope you all are doing well.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
I found myself glued watching each stroke for a couple reasons:
First, the shear focus of each of these players is phenomenal. I can only imagine the things going through their mind as they played this match. But, to me, what was more apparent was the CHARACTER of these two professionals both during and after the match. There was no taunting, trash talking, or prideful outburst from either player. As they continued to each hold serve for nearly the entire match, they simply kept playing. After the match, Federer called Nadal a deserving champion and was humble in defeat. Nadal referred to Federer as a great champion and was happy to be on the same court. I pointed this out to my children as well as we watched. Neither of these players threw their racket when they lost a point. They didn't scream at the official if they felt there was a bad call. THEY JUST PLAYED THE MATCH.
These displays of Character were resounding to me. These two are champions on and off the court and are leaders in their sport that I will continue to watch into the future.
Watch others celebrate. Does their true character come out? Do they make you want to continue to 'play' with them, or do they make you wish you weren't even in the same building? Are you happy they are on your team? AND...What is YOUR character in Victory? I can learn from these two players... Character Counts...in Defeat AND Victory.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
"We must suffer from 1 of 2 pains: 1) The pain of Discipline 2) The pain of Regret. The difference is...Discipline weighs ounces, but Regret weighs TONS!!! " Bill Hart - Coach at Building Champions.
Which pain do you suffer from? I don't think I like my answer alot of the times!!!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
What are some of the things that I think about?
- Well, I often think about how I can cut the grass in the least waste pattern. How can I knock off 5 minutes each time I cut the grass?
- I think of other things that need to be done around the house
- I think of ideas to improve current business ideas
- I think of new business ideas
- I also think of relationships I have that may not be going the way I want and how I can improve those relationships. How I can provide feedback to someone with whom I want to grow
The problem is...by the time I am done cutting the grass, I have forgotten all of those thoughts and have not documented them. This could be the direct result of too many long nights in college!! In any event, I need to figure out a way to capture these thoughts. I can't take action on them if I can't remember them!!! I hope I am not the only person who suffers from this phenomenon called "Short-term memory loss brought on by many good times in college"!!
Maybe I need a peaceful place. I could take John Maxwell's advice and have a 'thinking chair', but the problem with a comfy thinking chair is that they are better for NAPS!!
I guess I will have to start carrying a notebook or recorder with me and stop the lawnmower several times and write the ideas down, or speak them into the recorded. (There goes that idea of taking 5 minutes off each time!). However, if I were THINKING, it may actually be more beneficial if it took me 15 minutes LONGER to cut the grass, while capturing all of the thoughts...Hmmmm...
Questions for thoughts this week:
- Where are you when you are 'thinking' your best ideas? I don't think you have to find this place as Maxwell suggests to 'Find a thinking place'. I believe it already exists and we are just not AWARE of it consciously.
- What do you do to capture those thoughts so they don't get lost? Do you need to carry around a notebook or recorder? I do!
- Most importantly, are you acting on those documented thoughts? Do you make time in your schedule to reflect on these ideas, bounce them off your priorities, and decide whether the thoughts need to be turned into action?
I hope you all have a great week. If you want to keep receiving this without an email, just subscribe by entering your email address into the top left spot on the blog.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Until the 60 third graders stood up and sang their class song: My Wish by Rascal Flatts. As I watched my son, I got chill bumps up and down my arms - and a tear or two flowed down my cheek - they are welling up as I type this today. In case you haven't heard it, here are the words to the chorus:
Sunday, June 8, 2008
One of the things that I believe is that Life is about relationships, the rest is just details. However, if I don't focus on the details of initiating, building, and maintaining relationships, then relationships suffer.
And so, here I am. Starting a 'blog'. I don't claim to be an expert on this, so I may miss some of the 'details'. It is my goal with this blog, though, to share my story. It is built with YOU in mind. AND, it is built with ME in mind as well. With this blog, I hope to add value to your life, and in turn, you will respond with things that are on your heart as well.
Why the title "SiMPLE LEADERSHiP"? As I was dreaming this up, I looked on my nightstand at the two books I was currently reading and took a word from each. I will discuss the books more in the future. Those who know me well can probably guess one of the authors! You also know that leadership development and focus (aka, simple) are core values I live by.
If you are reading this, you have made an impact on my life in a positive way. It is my hope that you will 'stay in touch' by reading it. If you are moved, respond to it by clicking on the envelope or the 'comments' below. If you want to keep getting it, subscribe to it by clicking on 'Posts' below.
I want to be more 'intentional' at keeping in touch. This is just one tool for me to do that.
Question(s) for action:
- Who in your life have you committed to 'stay in touch' with?
- What are you doing, iNTENTiONALLY, to build that relationship...one small detail at a time?
Your friend, John Gallagher