Stuck. In search of Wu-Wei.

stuck-mud-digging

“The paradox of Wu-Wei arises…”

The phone rings. I glance at my watch. 5:20 p.m.

We have a problem. We need your help.

Just one time, one time, it would be nice to get a different script at the end of the day. Dreamworks ~ The phone rings: “Hey DK, great news….”

My periscope is up and scanning the horizon. (Is the house burning or is it a pan on the stove that’s on fire? Fur is up.)

The interrogation commences.

Start from the beginning.
What options have you explored?
Did you check this? What about that?
Did you ask this? Did you ask that?

The team has done a thorough job is assessing the situation. (House is not burning. But it’s a large pan on the stove that’s smoldering.)

The anxiety is climbing. (Is that fear I’m smelling?)

The team, sensing a dead-end, turns to feeling out my receptivity for an exception approval. Meanwhile, I’m winding up the next series of questions and readying the cannon to fire: [Read more...]

Rise

rise-robert-ingersoll

 


Source: ArtPropelled

Driving. With my alcohol.

breathe-steam-portrait

4:40 am.
I’m rumbling down I-95.
Dave Matthews is blaring through the speakers. And has been joining me on the morning ride all week.

You’ve been off. Haven’t found your rhythm. It’s back. You’re burning it from both ends.  The adrenaline – - it’s pumpin’.

I look down at the gas gauge. And then to the estimate of the mileage remaining. Annoyed at the interruption. Need to stop. Better stop. I pull over to the Mobile station.

I’m listening to the clicks on the pump.  And find myself drifting off.  There’s mist coming from my nose, rising up, and then disappearing into the darkness. I breathe in deeply. Exhale through the nose. And watch the show again. Magic. A Miracle. My morning moment of meditation.  And like the wisp of air, Pessoa’s disquiet rushes to fill the stillness.

You’re more comfortable moving. You find peace in motion.  Yet, you know it ain’t peace.

It’s hanging on my bulletin board in the office: “business is the art of getting people to where they need to be faster than they would get there without you.”  A Hugh McLeod illustration.  A Big red hand with index finger pointing up – #1.  There it is. Your strength. Your core competence. The transference of your disquiet to others.  Pushing the pace.  Injecting your adrenaline. More. Better. FASTER.
[Read more...]

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call: You up yet?

cute,close-up,photography,funny


“The pictures were taken by veteran nature photographer Steven Kazlowski.  The images were taken in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, along the Arctic Coast of Alaska.  There are currently around 20,000 wild bears living in the Arctic Circle.  That number could be cut by two thirds by mid century if the Arctic continues to warm due to climate change.  In 2008, the US government declared polar bears an endangered species and banned all American hunters from returning from Canada with their trophies.  Norway is the only country that has banned all hunting for the species, with Russia, Alaska and Greenland allowing native communities to hunt the bears as a food source.”

DON’T MISS Kazlowski’s other incredible pictures of the polar bears here.


Quote & Image Source: Dailymail.co.uk

Gotta know when to hold ‘em

cards, leadership, management

I’m on a conference call.
A long conference call.
The discussion is stretching and swirling in a loop.
I can feel my patience growing thin.

Is this normal brainstorming? 
Or part of the creative process?  
Or is this a complete mess?  
Or is my lack of sleep clouding my judgment? 

My mind drifts.
I call up one of my favorite management books: QBQ by John Miller.
John would suggest that I ask the Question Behind the Question?

Why am I amped up?  
What have I done to contribute to the rudderless direction of this call?  

I think about that for a moment.
Nah, can’t be me. Of course not.

I let the debate go on. I listen in silently hoping the solve is coming.

I turn to gnawing on a finger nail.
Aren’t you too old to be biting your finger nails? Disgusting habit. [Read more...]

10 Guaranteed Steps to Leadership Excellence

business,leadership,lead,manage,management

  1. Be strategic. Be Tactical. Be a firefighter.
  2. Push for productivity. For excellence. Pull. Pull with PURPOSE.
  3. Set pace. Drive. Pause. Stop. Change. BALANCE.
  4. Build Relationships. CARE. Keep adequate distance.
  5. Learn. Coach. Nurture. Correct.
  6. Hire. Upgrade. Right-size. Fire. (sigh)
  7. Lead. Manage. Own. Delegate. Follow. Release.
  8. Show Strength. Be Resilient. Be Tough. Be Fair. Be compassionate. Admit weakness.
  9. Cheer. Rally. Celebrate. Recognize. Recover.  Regroup. INSPIRE.
  10. Be on. Be on. Be on. Be on. Be on. Be on. Be on. Be on. Be on. BE ON.

 


Image Credit


 

Riding MetroNorth. In reflection.

team

Stack ‘em up and rumble. Dawn till dusk. Conference calls. One on one calls. Meetings. Emails + Texts: 175 and counting (the day isn’t over). Swinging a gas powered weed wacker. The day: A half-high-five. Many routine ground balls. No major drops. Grade? Falling forward.

I’m on the 7:15 pm MetroNorth railroad heading home.  The overhead air conditioning vent is heaven; a cool shower drying sweat from the sweltering cross-town walk.  I close my eyes. And drift back to the day’s highlight. A working lunch. I’m 7 minutes late. I apologize and sit. The team waited for me before digging into lunch.

We’re 10 minutes in.  The racing, charging, driving of the prior four hours burns off.  My heart rate slows. I’m not tapping my foot. I’m not pushing the pace. Not glancing at my watch. Not thinking ahead to the next meeting. I’m watching. And listening.  I’m actually present. [Read more...]

Work: Why do you get out of bed in the morning?

funny-gif-dog-leash-walk

Make sure they understand the “Why” or…you may realize same outcome. :)

Simon Sinek: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And if you talk about what you believe, you will attract those who believe what you believe…But very, very few people or organizations know why they do what they do. And by “why” I don’t mean “to make a profit.” That’s a result. It’s always a result. By “why,” I mean: What’s your purpose? What’s your cause? What’s your belief? Why does your organization exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should anyone care? Well, as a result, the way we think, the way we act, the way we communicate is from the outside in. It’s obvious. We go from the clearest thing to the fuzziest thing. But the inspired leaders and the inspired organizations – regardless of their size, regardless of their industry – all think, act and communicate from the inside out…I always say that, you know, if you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money, but if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.”


Simon Sinek, 39, is the author of the best seller: Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.  He popularized the concept of the Golden Circle (‘Why’ first. Then ‘How’. Then ‘What’.)

241px-Golden_circle - Simon Sinek


Image Source: Themetapicture.com; Quote Source – Ted.com.  Wiki for bio and Golden Circle Chart.

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call: One time only.

bird, photography,bald eagle, eagle,,black and white


Image Source for Juvenile Bald Eagle: Thank you (again) Fairy-Wren

Related Posts:

Connecting those threads

Picaso - Cory Smith

New leadership books pour over the dam each day claiming to share a secret sauce.  A cow rhythmically chewing and regurgitating its cud. But far less effective.  It largely comes down to these eight lines from James Autry.  Period.

Listen.
In every office
you hear the threads
of love and joy and fear and guilt,
the cries for celebration and reassurance,
and somehow you know that connecting those threads
is what you are supposed to do
and business takes care of itself.

~ James A. Autry


Source: 800CEORead - Bring Your Emotional Self to Work.  The words above were written by James A. Autry and are included in Love and Profit: The Art of Caring Leadership (p.32).  And all of this reminds me of the John Maxwell quote:  “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Image Credit: Cory Smith – Ix.com

5:00 am. And Inspired.

forest, woods, aspen, birch,trees


Good Wednesday morning. Here are my selections of the inspiring posts of the week:

Olive @ Olivethepeople with her post titled The Subway Samaritan: “He was crazy. At least I thought so. At least at first. You see…

Tina @ Practical Practice Management with her post titled Who Made an Impact on You. I’ve read similar iterations of this thought but it never seems to get old and always seems to leave me in wonder. “Name three friends who helped you through a difficult time…

Sedone @ Getting Better, Man. with his post titled Giving Happiness a Helping Hand aka Beware the Silent H*. “I’m dedicated to giving happiness a helping hand, although sometimes I want to give it the finger…And don’t miss the short video.

[Read more...]

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call: Let’s Go! Now!

Lilac-Breasted-Roller-Bird-Photo


The Lilac-breasted Roller “is found in sub-Saharan Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula, preferring open woodland and savanna; it is largely absent from treeless places. Usually found alone or in pairs, it perches conspicuously at the tops of trees, poles or other high vantage points from where it can spot insects, lizards, scorpions, snails, small birds and rodents moving about at ground level. Nesting takes place in a natural hole in a tree where a clutch of 2–4 eggs is laid, and incubated by both parents, who are extremely aggressive in defence of their nest, taking on raptors and other birds. During the breeding season the male will rise to great heights, descending in swoops and dives, while uttering harsh, discordant cries. The sexes are alike in coloration. Juveniles do not have the long tail feathers that adults do. It is also the national bird of Botswana and Kenya.” (Source: Wiki)


Image Source: Fairy-Wren

Related Posts:

5:06 am. And Inspired.

Inspired with Nature


Good Wednesday morning.  All of my inspiring posts of the week come from a single source.  Thank you Sandy Sue for pointing me to Peg-o-leg’s Ramblings who has started a series of guest posts called “Should Have Been Freshly Pressed.”  Peg awards the bloggers a “Freshly Pegged Award.”  Here’s some samplings:

Life In The Boomer Lane with her guest post titled Why I’d Rather Be 65 Than 5, 15, 25, 35, 45, or 55I hate that my body moves more slowly than it used to, that when I roll over in bed, my back hurts, that sex is accomplished in mostly one position, that photos of myself scare me, that I can no longer run up and down the stairs or sit in a pretzel position on the floor or reach way under the bed to grab something. I hate that reaching way down into the crib to pick up my grandson must be planned like a military operation . I hate that my memory fails at the oddest times, that I am beginning to lose a grip on pop culture, that I think a lot about being home in bed with a book when I am out in the evening. I hate that people in charge can look younger than my children…” Great post.  Read more here.’

Misty @ Misty’s Laws with her guest post titled The Last Straw…To My Heart. “I have an admirer.  I am being wooed on a daily basis.  I see him almost every day and he gives me what I so desperately need.  He satisfies my cravings and soothes the beast within.  He gives me the ability to face the day.  He provides me with the fix that I need before I can function every morning.  He is . . . the drive-thru guy at my Dunkin Donuts...” Read more here. [Read more...]

For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake bitter bread

bread bakery

“…Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.
And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine.
And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.”

- Kahlil Gibran, (1883-1931) from The Prophet – “On Work”


Sources: Bakery Image – The Girl on the Moon; Quote – katsandogz

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call: Let’s Go! We’re hungry!

cute, nature


Image Source: Thank you (again) Anake Goodall

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T.G.I.F.: Mary & Chuckles


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4 minutes to go

funny, laugh, humor, business, work, boss,idiot, cartoon

4:26 am. And Inspired.

baby, cute, inspiring, emotional, photography


Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.

  1. Thank you Megan @ Make Something Mondays for her post More Than Photographs where she shares the photo above and a collection of similar inspiring shots.  See more here
  2. Russ Towne @ A Grateful Man with his post: There is Greatness in Goodness.   ” I just flashed back to a scene in the movie where a man with many flaws who has wanted his whole life to be great and failed over and over again finally does something that is indeed great. The woman he is with says something to him that is profound. It went something like this: Yes, you were great. “But you were also something much better than that…Read more here.
  3. Julie @ jmgoyder with her post Gutsy9′s Growth: I look forward to each post (pictures and updates) on G9′s development.  G9 is a orphaned baby peacock which Julie has adopted.  And there has been an exciting new development.  “But guess what? I think he might…Read more here.
  4. Renplus @ for her post titled Cocoon Breaks Open. “The enormity of Monday’s layoff didn’t sink in until yesterday, and I allowed myself to grieve finally. It needed to happen, and I was proud that I could experience it, release the pain, and move forward. Some beautiful things that I never expected really touched me, though…” Read more here. [Read more...]

T.G.I.F.: It’s a beautiful day (Cow-style)

cab·in fe·ver: Irritability, listlessness, and similar symptoms results from long confinement or isolation indoors during the winter.

32F yesterday with chilling winds.  Spring can show up any time so we can frolic around like Dairy Cows in Holland.  I’ve been around cows.  I’ve never seen this before.  Here’s 30 seconds of happy (very) wrapped in U2′s “It’s a Beautiful Day.”


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4:58 am. And Inspired.

Narvik, Norway, Arctic Circle, snowboarding, extreme sports, jump, sunset, sunrise, mountains


Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.

  1. Thank you olavstubburd for the photo which was shot in Narvik, in Northern Norway, inside the Arctic Circle.
  2. Colleen @ The Chatter Blog with her post When You’re Not Good Enough: “What do you tell yourself when you start facing the realization you are not good enough for something?  Not that you can’t do something.  But that you can’t do something well enough to excel, continue and progress. What Do You Do?…Without a doubt I am not good enough to test for master level…Can I accept that I cannot move ahead, test, progress…Can I do that? Is accepting that I have done “enough” a manner of growing?…
  3. Kurt @ Cultural Offering with his post A Life Well Lived. In Praise of RamseyEveryone has stories of the best dog in the world and we have ours – the story of Ramsey…Ramsey grew up with our children.  He played with them, watched after them, slept on and at their beds.  He was an incredibly good natured dog, friendly to most everyone…He never wandered or got in much trouble; instead he was content accompany anyone who might be going on a walk, playing or working in the yard.  His idea of excitement was running laps as fast as he could around the yard in a frenzied fit of joy.  He was that kind of dog…” Heartwarming story.  Read more[Read more...]

T.G.I.F.: Loooooong Week


Source: themetapicture.com

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5:16 am. And Inspired.

black and white, photography, Luca Setti


Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.

  1. The photo above was taken by Luca Setti.  Check out Luca’s other shots at Luca Setti Fine Art Photographer. (See Galleries section.)  Awesome and Inspiring.
  2. Elena @ Live Simply, Travel Lightly, Love Passionately & Don’t Forget To Breathe with her post: Old-Fashioned. “In a town, that has so many healthy, but plastic-looking women, with ridiculous hair extensions, it’s truly empowering to be walking it, my way…knowing, that family of a sick child has to pay for a wig, according to that family’s income level, is more than enough reason for me, to donate my hair to an organization that gives it for free.  The family is going through enough pain and trauma as it is. I know, because I lost my father to cancer.  Authentic and inspiring Elena.
  3. Rob Biesenbach @ Act Like You Mean Business with his post Fewer Inspirational Quotes, More Original Thinking, PleaseThe Internet has ruined quotations for me.  I love inspirational quotes as much as the next guy…But enough is enough…Now some people may feel they’ve got no special wisdom or insights to share. Bull. You’re just not looking hard enough…”  Excellent wake-up call and post Rob.
  4. Steve Aitchison @ Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life with his post What on Earth is Stopping you? “Times are changing fast and more and more of us are realizing it’s possible to create a life for ourselves instead of life creating us. There is something more you should be doing. There is something waiting for you. There is a spark inside of you waiting to be lit. There is craving, a feeling, of something more important you should be doing. There has never been a better time to start…So, tell me this.  What is stopping you?[Read more...]

Sunday ends at 4:13 pm

””

(Note to Self: Hmmmmmmm.)

Here are some excerpts from a Dailymail.co.uk article titled: When the weekend ends: 4:13pm on Sunday is when we get the blues ahead of the working week.

  • Anxiety about the working week ahead officially starts at 4.13pm on a Sunday, according to a poll.
  • Four out of ten adults admit that their Sunday is spent feeling anxious and full of dread.
  • The mild sense of depression  begins half way through the afternoon and continues into the evening.
  • Some 44 per cent of us are jealous of our colleagues’ weekend escapades – not helped by the fact that 75 per cent of us don’t bother to leave the house on Sundays.
  • Sundays should be a day to relax and enjoy the last of the weekend break but the results show that people are instead spending their Sundays thinking about work for the week ahead, so they are the most dreaded day of the week. [Read more...]

4:15 am. And Inspired.

Autumn-colored Sedges in The Enchantments


Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.

  1. The photo above was taken by Lee Rentz @ Lee Rentz Photography Weblog.  Check out Lee’s other shots in Washington State at a post titled When We Walked Through the Forests of Gold.  Inspiring.
  2. Sheri @ The Other Side of Ugly with her post No Small Thing.Existence is no small thing. To be alive and made up of the very particles of the universe that you live in is no small thing. To have eyes to see, hands to feel, ears to hear, mouths to taste, minds to think and hearts to love is no small thing”…Terrific.
  3. Ofe @ Tropical Spice Living with her post What Every Boy Should Know where she shares 20 lessons that Mothers should impart with their sons.  On point and heartwarming…I won’t be a spoiler.  Check out her post.
  4. Ed Batista with his post The Meaning of Life.  I’ve been thinking about this post all week.  Haunting. Eye-opening. Here’s an excerpt: “…The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day.  That is real freedom. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default-setting, the “rat race” — the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing…” Check out Ed’s post. [Read more...]

T.G.I.F.: When my inbox is getting flooded with emails

Baby and Balls


Source: whatshouldwecallme

5:23 am. And Inspired.

photography, penguins, nature, inspirational,inspiring,paul Nicklen,photo contest,art,antarctica


Good Wednesday morning.  (Wednesday seemed to come in a hurry this week.)  Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.

The photo above was shared by Canadian Art Junkie in a post titled Paul Nicklen’s World Press Photo Winning Shot of penguins in Antarctica’s Ross Sea.  Be sure to check out Nicklen’s other nature shots in the post at this link.  (Very inspired.)

And here’s more Paul Nicklen inspiration.  DK at Lead.Learn.Live with his December 2012 share of Nicklen’s Ted Talk on The Fear Leopard Seal.  Yes, shameless self-promotion of my own share.  But come on people – not 1 like? This is one of the most inspiring nature talks/videos you will ever see.  It’s a longish 18-minute clip and you need to hang in until the end.  It will be worth your time.

S.L. Hoffman at Eagle-Eyed Editor with the post Top 10 books you don’t want to miss in your lifetime.  Tell me it ain’t so.  I haven’t read one book on this list.  And no, I haven’t read To Kill a Mockingbird.  Check out the link to see how many you’ve read.

[Read more...]

4:01 am. And Inspired.

Ha Ling Peak, Alberta, Canada, mountain, sunrise, river, landscape, photography


Good Thursday morning.  (Yes, we’re mixing it up a bit.  Slept in yesterday.)  Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.

That’s Patrick Latter‘s photograph above of Canmore Mountains in Alberta.  Be sure to check out Patrick’s blog, Canadian Hiking Photography, where every post is an inspiration.

John E. Smith @ The Strategic Learner with his post: Why We Have Social Media.  John’s post reminded me of the incredible virtual friendships that I have made on this blogging journey.  Thank you all for reading, following, commenting, sharing and joining me for the ride.  I’m grateful.  Check out John’s short post at this link. [Read more...]

Running. Against the Wind.

rainy-days-running-man

Out the door. 6:30am.
Driving to a team meeting in Manhattan.
Freezing rain. Tap tap tapping on hood of car.
Passenger side wiper banging on an ice chunk. Curse. In a hurry. Again.
Fwap. Fwap. Tap. Tap. Fwap. (You could stop and clear it pal. You could. Or you could keep watching and listening to this show. Show plays on.)
I fan through playlist.
Dreary day. Fog. Rain. Icy conditions.
Feels like, looks like, Detroit. I rifle through playlist hunting for Bob Seger.
And, land on “Against the Wind

Traffic slowing. Yellow caution lights frenetically flashing.
Salt truck scattering its melting magic on I-95.
I turn my attention to the lyrics.


↓ click for audio (Bob Seger – “Against the Wind”)



It seems like yesterday
But it was long ago…
We were young and strong, we were runnin’
Against the Wind

Running. To get on travel teams. To get grades. To get out of high school. To get the girl. (No one would have me!) To get to college. To get to adulthood. To get. To acquire. To, To, To, something else… [Read more...]

Monday Mantra: Cleaning Piece III

Cleaning-piece Yoko Ono


This one made me think.  (And I averted my eyes away from the double negative as I re-read this 3x.)

If you are curious about Yoko Ono’s Cleaning Piece I, II and IV (I was), you’ll find them @ Ibloghappiness.


Source: thisisnthappiness

Ten Thousand Hours of Practice to Mastery…

Dilbert Mediocrity


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5:14 am. And Inspired.

desert


Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s my selections for the inspiring posts of the week:

Alex Jones @ The Liberated Way with his post titled The Little ButterflyAn hour ago an Admiral butterfly emerged out of nowhere fluttering about my head.  In this cold season it is amazing to come across a butterfly let alone in my own home.  In wonder I blinked at this amazing beautiful creature fluttering around the light, apparently it must have been hibernating and had awoken…Read more at this link.

New blood.  John Zimmer @ Manner of Speaking with his post: A Truly Heroic Speech.  Six year-old Benjamin Wheeler was one of the victims of the 14 December 2012 shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Recently, Benjamin’s father, David Wheeler, gave testimony at a public hearing before the Connecticut State Legislature’s Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety...  Read more at this link and be sure to watch the video clip.

Back for an encore. Ray Visotski @ A Simple, Village Undertaker with his post titled “That Was Us“… Oh, the simple life we lived…still seems like so much fun, how can you explain a game, just kick the can and run?…Read more at this link.

More new blood.  Let’s hear it for candor and a few laughs.  Lily Reed @ We All Shine On with her post “Failure“…The past two days, I’ve seen the internet full of FAILURE talk. I don’t mean cutesy memes…Hang on. Failure means that you LEARNED something, right? I mean, if you look at something and say, ‘Wow, that was @#$%%^ up!’ What was your next step? I’m thinking you inhaled. BAM! Another chance.  Read more at this linkAnd, if you liked this, be sure to check out Now I’m Complaining and Almost 4, Bobby’s Learning How to Ride.

And the Hump Day Inspiring Image of the Week comes to us from Bodhisattvaintraining who takes us to Umbria, Italy – with olive trees, pencil pines, sunflower fields and Lake Trasimeno. SIGH.  Another bucket list destination…

olive trees, sunflowers,pencil trees, Italy, photography

 


Image Source: Desert via Schmackebaetzchen.  And, thank you Stephen Edwards at LifeRevelation for pointing me to Lily.

T.G.I.F.: Bing. Bing. Bing. Bing.


Source: videohall.  Related Posts:

Today’s Siren Call

inspire, inspirational,keep going, persevere


Source: nevver

Picture of Bliss

Bliss

bliss

/blis/

Noun
  1. Perfect happiness; great joy.
  2. Something providing such happiness.

 


Bliss Definition: Google

Patience Grasshopper. Patience.

foot tapping, funny, laugh, business, multitasking, work, professional,

Michael’s in my head again. Jabbing. Jabbing. Jabbing. Gracefully dancing and landing punches like Sugar Ray. With similar effectiveness. Each one leaving a mark. Punch line popping: You are RUDE.

If you want to pay someone a quiet compliment, give them some serious attention when they are speaking.

I’m in the groove. Making up lost time on a long neglected project with a looming deadline. And, then a colleague with unscheduled “drop-in” meeting walks through my door. My flow is interrupted. “It will just take a few minutes,” was the request. Rather than setting expectations as to my time upfront or scheduling a meeting to accommodate the discussion, I reluctantly shoe-horn it in.
We’re five minutes in. And we are wading. In a swamp. My mind begins to wander. (My foot starts tapping. I start playing with my pen. I sneak glances at my watch. TRIGGERS. Susan’s post intrudes: You see the triggers pal. The alarms are coming at you in waves. Pull up. Pull up. Do not go to the “automated response.”

T.G.I.F.: Sooooo happy to be running to the weekend…

gif, nature, T.G.I.F., TGIF, Friday, happy, black and white


Source: black and white gifs

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All The Best Things In Life…

Illustration, chart, venn diagram, life, living, regret, embarrassment, fear, relationships, communication


My initial reaction to Wendy MacNaughton’s illustration was “Wrong!  Wrong! Wrong!”  I let it marinate and then returned to it.  My reaction shifted to “please, please, please let it be wrong.”


Wendy MacNaughton.  I’m a big fan. She’s an illustrator and graphic journalist with a long list of brand name clients including the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, NPR and a slew of others.  Some of my other favorite illustrations include:


Source: Explore

And. It’s off to work…

work, off-to-work, gif, funny, stress, laugh

 

 


Source: suddenlycourage

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Nothing comes from doing nothing

charlie brown, waiting, take action, do something, success

“I’ve seen people waiting, watching and hoping someone else would step up, take ownership and make things happen. I’ve seen people stuck in blame-gear while others are doing the work and solving the problems. And I’ve seen people hesitating while others are committing. No surprise these were the same people complaining in my office when others received bigger increases, better assignments, or more interesting projects.  But, people who are winning at working become the someone else that others are waiting for. They step up and do something. They know when to act, and they feel better about themselves when they do. That’s because action feels better than inaction and commitment feels better than non-commitment. Both build your self-esteem. Here’s the bottom-line: you can’t be winning at working if you’re waiting for someone else to be the someone you could be.  In my way of thinking, winning at working means you commit to offering the best you there is. Sometimes that means you have to dig a little deeper for your courage or push yourself outside your comfort zone. But it’s like Shakespeare said, “Nothing comes from doing nothing.”

~ Nan Russell


Source: Success.bz – Someone Else.  Image: 3eanuts

Make it a Level 5 Good Morning

black and white

Something so simple.  Yet, so true. Yes, it takes time.  Yes, an introvert would need to leave the safety of their comfort zone.  Making a human connection.  I care.  You matter.  Need to work up to top of the ladder.  See full and worthy post from The Chief Happiness Officer:

“Please do not underestimate the effect of something as simple as saying good morning at work.  Studies show that when you have a good start to your work day, you’ll typically have a good day. Here’s our easiest and best tip for kicking your work day off with happiness: The Level 5 Good Morning.  We call it that because there are several approaches to saying good morning at work:

  • Level 0: You ignore people completely
  • Level 1: A somewhat unintelligible grunt
  • Level 2: Saying good morning without looking at people
  • Level 3: Make eye contact as you say good morning
  • Level 4: Also say something more than just good morning, e.g. “How are you?” or something more personal.
  • Level 5: Also touch the other person – e.g. a handshake or a pat on the shoulder.

At what level are the typical good mornings in your workplace? And what would happen if you took it to level 5?”

Even a dog can learn to do it for Pete’s sake…

husky, animal, dog tricks, pet tricks, gif


Image Sources: Whale and Dog.

Life is going by too fast…

Charlie Brown, Linus, Peanuts, Baseball, learn


Source: Thank you Not Perfect Me

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And, it’s off to work…

juggling, multi-tasking

Source: touchn2btouched

Billion a Second…

black and white, girl, freckles, eye, close-up, portrait, face

This meeting was no different than any other.  No different from the hundreds of meetings in the days, the months before.  Where I’m on to the next meeting while attending the one in front of me.  Meetings with a replicated loop.  Mind whirring…processing.  Me pushing. Me prodding. Agitating.  Me wanting and needing more. Extraction. Creating discomfort.  Manufacturing urgency.  I’m not looking for you to love me.  That’s what your dog is for.  This morning, my level of consciousness had been ratcheted up by a few lines from Daniel Bor the night before.  And, I roll into the first meeting of the day.  I’m listening.  I’m watching.

[Read more...]

We are what we do every day. Nothing more.

snowflake, differentiation, unique, inspire, inspiration

“The snowflake moment we idolize, that final and glorious crystalline state which Bentley captured on black velvet time and time again, does provide justification for everything else. It is the end, and so must mean something, must make a bold statement about the substance and quality of our existence. But the snowflake moment is just one of a countless million moments, an isolated still shot of an existence that is predominantly defined by its very motion. We are what we do every day. Nothing more.

~ Scott Schwertly, The Snowflake Moment


Image Credit: Thank you headlikeanorange

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call: Now!

yellow, ducks, duck, bright yellow

Source: BeverleyShiller

You got your talkers. And you got your…

illustration, cartoon, blah blah, talking too much, funny

“There’s two kinds of people in this world when you boil it all down. You got your talkers and you got your doers. Most people are just talkers.  All they got is talk.  But when all is said and done, it’s the doers who change this world. And when they do that, they change us, and that’s why we never forget them. So which one are you? Do you just talk about it, or do you stand up and do something about it? Because believe you me, all the rest of it is just coffee house bull$4!+.”

– Rocco (Boondock Saints II)


Image Credit: FatmohnScoop

You are what you do. Get on with it.

wsj.com: Eight Principles of Successful Optimists

If there were one guiding principle that encapsulated all pragmatic optimists, it would simply be: “judge your worth not by what you own, but by what you create”…In my travels documenting and working with a number of these individuals I’ve observed number of core principles they all seem to share, and they’re principles any of us can adopt:

  1. Have an unashamed optimism of ambition. (Don’t feel embarrassed to say that things can be better. Have no qualms about imagining an improved world and advocating for it, no matter how much derision you may receive at the hands of the cynical.)
  2. Engage in projects that are bigger than you are. (“Find something more important than you are and dedicate your life to it.”)
  3. Your ideas are for sharing, not protecting. (Pragmatic optimists happily let their ideas go out dating.)
  4. Making mistakes is OK, but not trying is irresponsible.
  5. You’re defined by what you do, not by what you intend to do. (Pragmatic optimists aren’t interested in what you might do if you had more time, or if your manager was more understanding, or if you were the manager, or if it was next week.  You are what you do. That’s it. Get on with it.) [Read more...]

The Musher is at the back…

For once, I didn’t hover. I didn’t smother. I didn’t micromanage. I didn’t edit every page of the presentation deck. I didn’t pour over the agenda. I stepped away. I trusted.

Several hours before the event I tried to inject. I was told to step away. That I was being a “buzz kill.” Let it be Dave. Let it be. And so, I let it be.

Our town hall is held 2-3x per year.

The large auditorium filled slowly. Too slowly for me. (It’s always too slow for me.) My anxiety climbing. Yet, it filled.

These meetings start slowly. A sense of unease. Shifting in the seats.  It is near the end of the day and minds are turning to the commute home, to family, to dinner.

Front line team members gave business updates. Not senior management. Not middle management. [Read more...]

Are you an effective manager?

I’ve been slacking on the “Lead” part of “Lead.Learn.Live.”  I’ve been distracted with “Premium” Hot Chocolate, Grilled Cheese sandwiches and painted pumpkins inspired by Jackson Pollock.  Here’s one of two leadership primers to kick off the coming week.

The Harvard Business Review authors of Does Management Really Work? conducted research over a 10-year period involving thousands of organizations to determine whether companies adhere to three practices that are considered essential elements of good management.  Before we get to the 3 basic elements, two of the key findings of this research were:

1) Many organizations throughout the world are very badly managed

2) Effective Management execution on the basic practices is strongly correlated with better results

Take a pause before hitting the “read more” link.  (I’ve already done it…so play along.)  What exactly are these 3 essential management practices?

[Read more...]

TGIF: OMG, so close to the weekend…


Source: themetapicture.com

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