Working on a Dream




Friday, August 31, 2012

The 3 questions that changed everything for me

Below are three developmental coaching questions that you want to sit down and ask every one of your key leaders. As you will see, the focus of the three questions are not externally focused, rather they are internal.  In other words, the questions are directed toward yourself. 

My suggestion is to prepare yourself.  Because a lot of what they will say will be potentially hurtful to you, but it is valuable information you will need to thrive.

-The key is total honesty, an open heart, an open mind and thick skin.

Number one what are my personal existing strengths?
[What am I already doing great around here? & what are my natural strengths?]

Number two what are my personal development challenges?
[What things do I need to overcome in order to be successful?]

Number three what specific suggestions would you give to me in order for me to grow to my fullest potential?
[What are the barriers that I need to overcome in order to achieve success?]

These 3 questions changed my life.
-I sought out older, wiser people that new me and loved me.
The feedback that I received was abundantly helpful and propelled me foreword in more ways that one.

-Who can you find in your life to sit down and ask these 3 questions to?
-What do you think are the answers you will receive when you finally sit down to get these questions answered?
-What is holding you back from asking someone these questions about yourself?

The 3 questions above are found in the above book by Marshall Goldsmith.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Your New Job Description: Passion

"Give me one hundred men who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergyman or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon the earth.
-John Wesley

I love Wesley's words... Honestly, I heard the quote years ago and it has stuck in my mind like a dagger.
It's one of my favorites.

It's raw.
It has that, I'll get the job done Without you ... Despite you... all I need is a group of like-minded passionate people on my side kind of feeling to it.

Have you noticed that having passionate people around you makes all the difference in the world?

Another famous example of gathering a team of like-minded passionate people can be found in Earnest Shackleton's job description for his daring expedition of the Antarctic.   

---Could you imagine reading this job description in your local newspaper?

I have noticed that many young people entering the work force are full of ambition, but their bosses generally are not looking for men and women with the type of ambition that both Wesley and Shackleton are calling for.  Most businesses steal the fire in your belly and provide steps on how you can become the average Cog.
Entailed in the above job description's is a calling so rare with many jobs today.
We are told from youth that, "the nail sticking out is the one that gets pounded in."  This advice is nothing more than a calling for the hum-drum; this is the stuff of boredom and yawns...
-Let me ask you a question:
-Have you ever left your house to listen to a boring band?  
-Do you ever go to the store to pick up the latest sleepy book? 
-I Doubt It.  

-I bet you picked the concert and the book(s) that stood out-  

Recently, I ran across a coffee mug with these words on its side.

-It was a breathe of fresh air for me.

I can only imagine that the person who owns that mug would be one of Wesley's 100 or that they would be sailing right next to Shackleton as he set out on his mission.

I'll bet you that working next to this person is never boring.
I'll bet you that this is a man or woman that sees their job less in terms of drudgery and more in terms of a calling.

-I wonder where you fit in this whole conversation?
-Are you content just watching life pass you by?
-Would you be one of the 100?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

For my Parents

On vacation I found a biography by Jay Leno that he penned early on in his career
I was mostly skimming through it, until I found this story on the very last page of the book.
It was extremely moving for me because it reminded me of the sacrificial love that my parents showed me over my life. I am sure that as you read the story, you will also feel the same if you've been blessed with great parents.

"When I was 14, before I had my drivers license, I scraped up $350 to buy a crappy old 34' Ford pickup truck. Even though I couldn't legally drive, I just wanted to have my own car. The truck actually ran, but it was a dented up nightmare. Every day after school I worked on fixing it up: sanding, filing, painting, buffing.
As a present, my mom and dad got me brand-new upholstery for the seats.

Then, one day, I slammed a door a little too hard and the window just shattered. I did not have any money to replace it.

Around that same time. I finally got my drivers license. My favorite thing to do was to drive myself to school. My high school was a big flat building, where you could see the parking lot from every classroom.
----------One day it began to rain very hard
Because of the broken glass, I sat in class and watched my truck, and the new upholstery, get thoroughly drenched.  And I could not do anything about it

Then, suddenly, through the window, I saw my mom and dad tear into the parking lot. They screeched up next to my truck and dragged a huge piece of plastic out of their car.

Then they covered the truck in the pouring rain. My dad had known that the rain would ruin the new upholstery. So he left the office in the middle of the day, picked up my mom, and bought this hunk of plastic to save my seat...

I watched them do this.

And I just began crying right there in class...That memory has always stayed with me. There are so many things to miss about my parents..."

I am not sure why this story grips me so much.
It actually leaves me with a large empty feeling in the pit of my stomach each time I read it.
I am not sure if it does the same for you ...
Perhaps it is the way Jay tells it. He is reminiscing, which means his parents have passed on as he is writing it.  To me, there is a sadness to that.  Looking back and remembering the great times you had with those you loved the most and then having to put the pen and paper down only to live life without them is deeply sorrowful.
Or maybe the story moves me because I see my parents in the story...
Getting drenched in the rain for their son.
Putting themselves second for me ... again.
Sacrificing over and over.

--When I am honest, it is both.

I love you mom & dad.

Me & Mom! 
Some people say we look alike... ;)

Dad goofing off at Christmas.
He is wearing his new snow shoes on his head!
-If you have or had parents like Jay's share this story in their honor.

Lessons from Noah

Monday, August 20, 2012

6 Years: Happy Vaca-sary!

We started the trip from Pa. to Fl. at 7 p.m. and drove all the WAY through
until we reached our destination. 
Walking into the condo was a huge relief.
-I was literally sick after driving for so long-
The next day, we found ourselves at the beach!
-Bath Tub Reef-

We took a long walk one day and found this quaint dock.
This is the place where a boater pulling a guy on a water ski drove by us and decided to soak us with water.
My Reaction: I got up to find rocks for when they come by by again...
Christen's Reaction: That was refreshing
See, most of you think that I made the above up...
But I literally took this picture moments before we got Water Launched.

Since I am a million times bigger than Christen, I took the brunt of the water...

This is Amato. 
Amato is as Italian as they come and he took a liking to us the very first night.
This is the first of a few glasses of Vino with our Pisano.
And finally, this is how I spend most of the next day after our arrival.
-My knees hurt, I moved like Dr. Frankenstein's creation,
and my stomach was literally in knots.
-But, hey we did it!

Don't miss my next post with even more pics from our
6 year Vac-asary

Go ahead; take a Bite out of Me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Here's why you HATE your workplace.

--Let's keep this simple.

At work, we expect certain things.
Things, if management were to pay attention to would greatly enhance our work moral.

In Dov Seidman's powerful book titled, "How," he provides a short list of three vital areas that if your company's leadership would pay attention to, would make all your (and their) dreams come true.

The first area of significance is Equity. 
The above word sounds a lot like the word "Equal."  Equality is something we all desire
At work we all want to be treated equally: equal pay, equal respect, equal job security.  Nobody likes it when the pretty girl gets away with everything. And nobody likes it when the boss' grandson shows up to the meeting without combing his hair.  Business need to understand that treating people fairly across the board is not an option.   

The second area of significance is Achievement.
When we are working our tails off, we want our boss(es) / organization to recognize it and celebrate it.  No, we are not immature, no we are not walking around looking for a pat on the back, but the vast majority of workers put in a lot of effort making someone else's dreams come celebrating achievement becomes vital. 

Finally, an area that all employee's want is Camaraderie.
No one, and I mean, NO ONE likes getting up in the morning and heading to work only to want to throw themselves out their car door at 55 MPH because they can't stand the thought of their co-workers.  Having pleasant, productive relationships with those at work is very important.  Yes, this means the rotten egg that is constantly ruining it for everyone else MUST go.   

When businesses ignore those 3, simple values -here is what is left...

[You can either read more, or just rent the movie Office Space...]

-Dissonance & Cynicism-

Because when your company fails you
... you fail it.

--What do you think? 
Is there anything that you think needs added to the list?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The reason for America's Demise? Horrible Parenting!

The best evidence that there is intelligent life in outer space? It's found in the fact that they have not contacted us.

Below Is a story, that in a nutshell, displays what's wrong with this Country. Every school teacher along with every decent human being will understand as they read this...

[If however, you find yourself confused over what's wrong in the story, this is your cue to remove yourself from human contact by getting a one way ticket somewhere --choose either a really cold or a really hot area. (It will lesson the chances of us running into you somewhere...)].

Police said a 14-year-old stole a car on Sunday then led officers on a chase that ended in a crash on a Parkway East ramp.

Investigators said the chase began when a man called 911 after he saw someone driving his friend's stolen vehicle on Rodi Road.

"My friend had called me and said, 'Melissa, where are you going? Why are you driving like a maniac?' At that point I said, 'That's not me. My car just got stolen.' He turned around and he started following the car," said Melissa Leon.

When officers caught up with the stolen car, the driver tried fleeing and led them onto a Parkway East ramp where he crashed and flipped several times.

Channel 11's Dave Bondy spoke to the mother of the 14-year-old accused of stealing the car. She said what her son did was wrong, but the owner of the car made it too easy for her car to be stolen.

"My son was wrong for taking that vehicle but someone jumped out of their car and a 14-year-old seen the opportunity to take the car. He didn't break the car to steal it. They left the keys in the car. I think as an adult we have some type of ownership to being responsible for our vehicles," the boy's mother said.

Troopers said the chase was called off before the teen flipped the jeep on the Parkway East. The boy's mother said she doesn't think police should have followed her son.

"He had to no right to chase my son. It could have been a situation where maybe it was just a joyride down the street. Maybe he wanted to go further than he felt like walking," she said.
The teen was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital where he is listed in critical condition.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I stand with Jesus [& Chick Fil A].

Today thousands will be supporting Chick Fil A restaurants across America.

---I will be one of them.

Over the past couple of weeks there has been a lot of strife over Dan Cathy's stance on gay marriage.

Many accuse him of being a bigot, many accuse him of being intolerant, many accuse him of being small minded.

Whatever your conclusion is, I am here to tell you that Cathy stands with good company.
-Because he is standing with Jesus-

Several times Jesus affirmed and reaffirmed that marriage is to be between a man and a woman.
Therefore, every time you fight for gay marriage, you are standing in direct opposition to the One that originated the institution of marriage.

With this in mind, let me get to the heart of this issue. It is important to realize that today is not about chicken, and it is not even about gay marriage.
-Today is about World Views.

See, Man does not have the right to redefine this issue. I heard a quote a few weeks ago that I think applies in this situation. "God has created man in his own image. and ever since, man has been returning the favor." Meaning, we have wrongly switched roles with our Creator. We think that God should bow to our views, our desires, our will. Please cast your pride off, and realize that it works the other way.
---------------------The created bow their knees to the Creator.

Furthermore, I find it funny that people want to bring up the fact that Chick-fil-A might lose some customers over Cathy's stance. Whether the company does or not; it's not as important as obedience to God and his Word. In my estimation, a person standing on the Truth is always in the majority anyway.
And besides, money is not as important as pleasing the One that gives you breathe.

As I said in the beginning of this post, I will be at Chick-fil-A today. Not just to eat a ridiculously good sandwich, but I will be there with cold bottles of water ready to hand out to anyone that has questions and anyone that is spewing hatred.

I go the extra mile because the world never rests. Have you noticed that sin never takes a day off?
--I say, "Light up the Darkness."

I go the extra mile, because I follow in the footsteps of the One I support.
--Which is not necessarily Chick Fil A.

It is Jesus.

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."