Friday, August 29, 2014

The Fruits of Our Labor

The summer in concluding. Soon the sun will shine less, the nights will be longer, and the days will be colder. As we get our last taste of summer our distractions fade with the sunshine.

It's time to buckle down!

Did you know that Snow Monkeys grow thicker fur in the winter? We can all learn a lesson from the ability to adapt as the environment gets harsh.

I wear a million hats in life: Business Development Director, Educational Committee Member, Volunteer Instructor, Blogger, Dad, Husband, Coach. There is one consistent in all of these seemingly disparate walks of life:


No matter how hard you try to do that right thing there are always those who have something to say.... a customer who needs more attention, a co-worker who questions your intent, an event attendee who wants volunteers to be well-trained professionals, a social media prowler who spends their day critiquing free information, a kid who thinks rules suck, or a parent who thinks your coaching style is insensitive.

Life's divine impossibility is pleasing everyone... get a pair!

I can tell you with certainty that the hardest thing to do is to participate. Most people don't volunteer because it is easier to criticize, condemn and complain. Trying subjects us to judgement.. most people don't like being judged.... and after a while we all give up on our dreams.

We have to be accountable for our effort and actions. If we know we've done our best it is equally important to stick up for ourselves. The critics will remain sequestered to their basement because cowardice fears intuition.

Emotion is not a strategy...! 
You can get pissed but you better have statistics (or a good story) to back you up!

Hard Work is Inarguable...!
Smart people don't always win because they get frustrated and give up. If you work hard and endure you can achieve anything.

The Best Advice I've Given
I told my daughter years ago...

"Be nice to everyone but don't take shit from anyone"

...word to live by...

Don't Forget to Remember!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

How I Met Your Mother

Dear Sam -
Happy Birthday Buddy! I cannot believe you are 9 years old. You know by now that you were born one year to the day that your Mother and I got married. I just wanted to let you know how very proud we are of you and how important your contributions to this world continue to be. I am so very happy that you are my son!

I'm hoping years from now you can look back on the things I write in this blog and share the credit for all the wonderful things we have achieved together.

There is nothing more important in this world than family and friends. All of our energy is powered by love. I heard once in a movie a guy said the love inside him made him strong, so strong that he could beat up anyone. I don't recommend beating up anyone, but finding someone to love always helps. There was this song this guy wrote and he was requesting of a friend to look after his girl. Please look after your Mom and Sister when I'm not around. Girls like it when you guard their honor.

I hope you find some great friends to share your life with. I hope you feel free enough to dance in public. I hope you learn as much as you can and share with as many people as possible. I've discovered that people who teach are immortal. That when what we teach is shared there are parts of us that grow in others... like branches on a tree. I take a lot of comfort in that.

Don't fear anyone but respect everyone. In the bible, Matthew speaks of treating everyone equally. You should treat hard working people with the dignity they deserve. You should ignore people who talk too much. It's also good to know that people are going to make mistakes and that they appreciate it when you show them empathy in their times of self-doubt. Never doubt yourself!

I've worked really hard my entire life. I've also gotten really lucky. If I turned a different corner, I may have never met your mom... what a sad thought that is. I think I was always going to find her and that you were always going to be my boy. You are always going to be my boy! I'm so glad to have found so much love in my life and I wish the same for you. In order to find it you have to be willing to search.

Give your Mom and Sister some kisses for me.

Happy Birthday Sam!



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Being Philip

The paper on my doorstep speaks of war, sports accolades...and death. I see a name that initiates memoriam to a person who has left a piece of themselves with me. They are immortalized by films, record albums, photo albums or years of blog posts. Many people have diaries that are locked up in dusty drawers, others have opened their journals to armies of strangers.

People know us for the work we do. Who we are outside of the office is seldom revealed. So we leave behind that which is documented. We are seldom our true selves when we know the camera is rolling. So we form of a version of ourselves who we become in the perception of others.

Some times we take solace in places with inviting door mats. These are not always the places that we really need to be but they may be safe from judgement. No one wants to be criticized, but how long can we ignore responsibility for the sake of what is comfortable. 

Do you fear change or responsibility? Are you afraid of how wonderful you can be?

Men like Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams may have gotten too large for life. They may have lost the ability to remember the little things. People may be disillusioned by those who had it all and chose to conclude their stories by their own pen. We don't get to see the words in the diary locked in the drawer. We only know what has been documented and shared.

To recognize potential lost makes it even more difficult to say goodbye. 

It is possible to be honest with ourselves without settling into a life that is not challenging. Our greatest challenge is accepting honesty and using it to better ourselves (and others).

We all just want to be loved. How much time do we waste pretending to be tough.

Nothing is hopeless. The answers are everywhere.

Don't Forget to Remember!


Friday, August 8, 2014

The Contribune

I've just returned from Oxford, Ohio where I had the pleasure of teaching a 3 day intensive Leadership course to some of the world's brightest young minds. In teaching, I often learn as much as my students. In being around young people, my soul is always replenished.

We cannot ignore the generational tug-o-war that exists in today's workforce. Many Baby Boomers are retiring while the youth of today are refilling the human intelligence funnel. We see those new to the workplace striving to become relevant while the old guard is hoping to stay relevant. In prior posts, I have sighted my frustration with senior leaders who protect their knowledge base. Over the past few days, I spent time with older people who were overwhelmingly intense about sharing as much as they could to strengthen their legacy. 

It's become increasingly apparent to me that if we are able to share our ideas with multiple people, we can live forever. That which we share can be the fertilizer to grow trees under which we may never sit... our challenge is to celebrate that. 

People don't always say Thank You but that doesn't mean they are not thankful. 

I had the chance to talk to a person who said he saw me present 3 years ago and that inspired him to get more involved in our organization. This massively rewarding interaction is not unique. Changing the world requires developing and sharing ideas in rapid fire. It takes the guts to try, the willingness to fail, and the foresight to know you will be criticized. There are days when we are unsure if we've made any difference at all.

Keep Filling the Bucket...
If we are aware that sharing can create an immeasurable legacy how can we measure our success? 

I've dedicated my life to proving the relevance of the programs I create for world's finest companies.... sharing ideas without measuring their traction is metaphorical wind pissing. With that said, faith matters most! If it is evident that we believe in what we are sharing someone will put it in their bag and save it for a rainy day. We will all need an umbrella at some point in our lives.

Why would I leave my Northern California sanctuary to sleep on a cot in Oxford, Ohio? Because I don't want to die with my ideas. Why create anything that is not intended to be shared...?

Don't Forget to Remember!


Friday, August 1, 2014

Matters of the Heart

Zach Braff had a dream... to make a film financed by normal people. He was able to create a contributory viewer experience produced by more than 40,000 people. Those who contributed got a dogs eye view of the film making experience.. the songs, the dialogue, the images of life fading and the rebirth of the soul.

Process aside, there are lessons to be learned from a person who dares not adjust artistic content for marketing purposes.

Hiding in a Fishbowl
I know people who have suffered a loss from which they never recovered: a deal that could have made their career, that job they really wanted but didn't get, the time they got fired for trying something new. Winning is easy, getting your ass kicked only to stick your chin out and ask for more... that's down right heroic.

I have won more than I have lost in my life. I've adopted the practice of celebrating the victories and taking lessons from the losses. No one bounces out of bed with the intent to be inferior to anyone else. Champions have enough confidence in their ability to know that if they try again their odds of victory increase.

The world is a fire breathing dragon...grab some marshmallows and make s'mores!

Remembering What it Feels Like to Try
I would never want to disappoint my children. In the heat of the moment, I fail to recognize that letting my kids down is an impossibility. They have far more faith in me than I do in myself.

Our challenge is not to be perfect but to fail famously with the courage to understand why an occasional loss can be more important than winning all the time.

Interpretive Faith
Faith is a bench in our favorite park. It's always there and at times it provides an excellent resting place.

Every faction of life has its fanatics; people who see only in black and white. The world is painted in water color for a purpose. With every splinter of sunlight comes a new opportunity to figure out what genuinely matters... and to allow that to guide us.

The film Wish I Was Here is a reflection of human struggle. Our frustrations are rooted in what isn't. The only way to change the past is to make the future better.

The Future is Yours to Determine.

Don't Forget to Remember!