Archive for the ‘Faith, Life, and Leadership Experiences’ Category

Its time to leave the Hyphenated-World we live in…

December 28, 2016  |   Faith, Life, and Leadership Experiences   |     |   4 Comments

Author Note: "I've been thinking about what I want to write about for quite a while. The nice thing about writing my posts is I write when I want and the content is what I want to write about. All the well-respected bloggers will tell you exactly how to get more followers and share all kinds of best practices and tips for a successful blog. When I write what I think people want to hear it never comes from my heart. If its from my head maybe its not bad, but it just isn't worth me taking your time to read it or my time to write. Either way I don't have my self-identity completely wrapped up in whether I'm a well-read blogger/poster/writer of heart things. It has to be that way. So, here I go with something that's been on my mind for a ...

When I think about ME…

June 21, 2016  |   Faith, Life, and Leadership Experiences   |     |   0 Comment

When I think about me... I rarely if ever see much of anyone else's point of view. My "listener" is shutdown and locked up tight right from the get go. I'm looking for personal justification. I want my ideas reinforced by shared ideologies and so I surround myself with clones of my own thinking and background. Its a narrow sample size of diverse ideas. I become even more blinded about what others are going through and/or how they want to contribute to me. I can't feel their love and concern or even their hurt or pain. It's me and my world...it truly is a "me-world". I am fixated on a narrow band of issues and ideas. It is challenging to even consider anything outside my view out the front door. Yet neighbors exist on each side of me. I can start to make excuses for ...

Relationship: The critical element of life

When we think about our lives or the lives of those we know and admire, there are usually qualities or aspects of that person that we appreciate or treasure. It could be they helped us out when times were economically tough or sat quietly next to us at the passing of a loved one. They might be a parent or guardian that built into you values that now in your "ripe ol' age" you can appreciate. They likely disciplined you severely or had a very tough and timely conversation with you to get you straightened out. Maybe forgiveness and a kind word when it seemed undeserved. With so much of our life spent in career and work, often it may be the boss that gave you a chance or talked straight with you when it really mattered. The coworker that helped you finish a project in addition to their work load. ...

Peculiar is, as Peculiar does: Are you defined by your values and your differences.

July 17, 2015  |   Faith, Life, and Leadership Experiences   |     |   1 Comment

Recently I was working with one of my peculiar friends delivering training to some folks. We were driving back to the airport and just reviewing the session in our minds. These folks weren't my clients and I was helping my friend/colleague. The conversation evolved to how people showed up over the 2 days we were there. Coaches, facilitators often assess this aspect of "showing up". Its a combo of the person's contributions, attitude, and overall presence in the room. I said it seemed that a few folks weren't too tolerant of some of the more "peculiar" folks in their ideas. Not that they were rude, just not asking for the opportunity to understand a point of view better. I thrive on gaining different points of view. As coach its my job to illicit broader perspective and in fact, seek it out. In doing that, I role model the ...

Wisdom: Leaving “well enough” alone…

Have you ever heard this or even better had it aimed directly at or to you? "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!" ("For crying out loud" can be added either prior to or after for more emphasis.) "ENOUGH ALREADY!!!" "I've taken all I can TAKE!!! BACK OFF, will ya?!!!" "What is it about NO that YOU don't understand?!!!" "If I've said it ONCE I've said it TWICE...." "What, are you NOT LISTENING or just PLAIN STUPID?!!!" "LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE!!!" Was it said in a way (or a tone of voice) that you knew--- you just took a conversation one step beyond what someone could tolerate? I wish with all my heart I could say I haven't done it. Alas, I've been unwise and lacked the sense to know that I needed to just leave "well enough" alone. I am a driven person. My theory is ...

Wisdom: Embracing Truth

I remember one of the questions a senior fraternity brother asked me when I was a freshman pledge. We had to get all the "active" members to sign our "paddle". That piece of oak was our companion for 7 days of sleepless nights and endless questions. Those signatures were a key ritual. (I will save you a lot of detail on "hell" week...its really pretty tame.) Each pledge had to go to each active member and receive a question. It could be about history of your college, the fraternity, or local chapter trivia. It was a good way to make pledges seek out answers and gain more wisdom and knowledge. We often were given hints on where to find what we were looking for, but just as often we were left to seek it on our own. Occasionally a few ...

A Poem for a Father: Hard Hands

My dad was a man that loved family and farming. He grew up very poor by today's standards, moving from rented farm to rented farm. This took place in March sometimes by choice and other times because the farm got rented to someone else. The month of March was when things shifted. When one renter moved on and another came onto a place before the possibility of the next crop was put into the ground. That's the way he grew up...the son of a tenant farmer. You made your living working hard for very little. That's my heritage. Early in his marriage to my mother they continued to rent farms and move every 3-7 years. My mom had 3 men in the house when she married dad. My grandfather and great grandfather (both widowers) and my dad. How many women would do that today? She really liked ...

A Poem for a Sister: Read Me A Story

From my earliest memories I recall loving to be read a good story. This poem is a tribute to my sister Mary. Had she not loved reading and books she may not have seen fit to read to a pesky little brother. I'm not going to elaborate on pesky...but she might in a reply to this post! The gift my youngest sister gave me by reading me story after story was huge. Many were from the "My Book House" 12 volumes pictured below. As you read the poem, imagine a 12-14 year old girl taking the time to read to a hyperactive 5-7 year old farm boy. Now, especially imagine her reading to a young 6 year old boy who had just lost his fingers in a farm accident. Her reading was a healing balm. Mary went on to eventually get her masters in Learning Disabilities. Guess what she focused on? Yep, ...

A Poem for a Farmer: Sunlight Captured

Just a little set up to how I write poems and how this particular poem came about. I'm not sure exactly where my poems come from really. Its almost like the poem has me and not the other way around. They are born out of moments of deeply felt "muse" that hits me when it is ready. The amazing part is that they take very little time to write. I do go back and tweak them, but only with minimal refinement or typo work. This poem came to me one day in 2006. Many years after an experience of being a farm boy and farmer. I grew up watching my father plant corn, soybeans, oats, and alfalfa. He loved farming. One day we were filling the planter box with corn seed and he picked one up and said..."everything it needs to know to grow is contained within this seed". This poem ...

What I Learned At Recess: Leadership Skills Experienced and Acquired

This post is a summary of the previous writings on my "recess learning". It was interesting to reflect on this experience some 50 years or so later. It still impacts me today. We tend often to only focus on the negative experiences in life. You should look at your own life experiences to see how they have impacted you positively.  Influence skills are deeply shaped as kids and at recess these became finely honed. Your ability to influence (or be influenced by) others plays out pretty quickly after the bell sounds for recess...and we are off to gym or playground. Good leaders are building a coalition at restroom breaks, during projects in the class room, and at the lunch table. Indeed a great leader is always aware of opportunities to share their dreams and plans. Influence on others is really fundamental to the success of all leadership efforts. Whether its ...