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Ideas, Insights, And Inspiration From Unlikely Places

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I recently read a tweet (source) about how Kobe Bryant changed his fade away jump shot after watching a Discovery Channel show about how cheetah's hunt. It called out how interdisciplinary learning can be one of the greatest advantages in life. If Kobe Bryant had only spent his time learning about other great shooters in basketball and studied video of their shots, he might not have come up with what he did. Looking outside what most people consider normal you can find all kind of new ideas.

I have found in my life that I discover a lot of ideas from unlikely places. I've learned ideas to apply to software development from reading about manufacturing processes. I have tried things as a parent that I learned from management books. I have learned how to be a better leader from reading theology books. The answers we need are not always in the most likely places we will look.

Ironically some of the greatest discoveries in history were found by accident. Look up the histories of pe…

What Should I Do With My Life?

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As we are getting closer to graduation season and my daughters are coming to the end of another dance season it is impossible to ignore the fact that there are some of these girls that we've known for a decade or more are moving on to college and the next chapter in their lives. I just finished reading Tribe Of Mentorsby Tim Ferris and couldn't help but reflect on this transition as I read through the closing statements which talked about how the big questions we ask ourselves in our lives are probably not the right questions we should be asking. We shouldn't ignore planning but asking ourselves, "What should I do with my life?" is a bad practice. How many people know what their plan is getting out of high school and it actually taking that path? How many people in their lives use
the degree they went to college for? I am but I didn't decide on my major until my junior year in college, even then my career has taken a few turns along the way I certainly didn&…

Don't Be Afraid To Work Yourself Out Of Your Job

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One of my key philosophies in my career has always been to look at working myself out of my job. This quote though takes that idea to a whole new level:
I'm going on the road and I'm trying to replace you. Your job is to teach the new guys how to take your job and know they can't do it." - Erik Chinander I know that sports is different than a typical workplace but I love this. If you are operating out of a scared mindset that you need to protect your job, and keep everyone below you, what often happens is you end up making yourself look weaker and you certainly make your team weaker.

If you want a winning team, help make sure everyone is working to be better than you and that you are working to be better than everyone else. I have always looked at it myself that there is enough change new opportunities are going to come up, new challenges will arise that I might be interested in. If I'm so buried trying to hold onto what I have it will be harder to let go of it wh…

Things Aren't Going As You Planned - Now What?

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No matter how much you think you have a plan and a schedule in your life, things will come up that will take you off track. You have a plan for the day or the week and you get sick so you can't do any of the things that you were planning on. Problems come up that you have to deal with but they take away from the work that was on your schedule that day.

You can complain about your problems, or you can figure out how to adapt. I get that things aren't going as you planned, but this is reality now. The next steps are up to you. Your attitude is up to you. It might feel like you don't have control over anything, but you have more control than you think. It is just one more problem for you to solve.


Don't Let The Perfect Be The Enemy Of The Good

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I've heard this saying a number of times recently, in a variety of formats. I like the version that is attributed to Voltaire mostly because I like pretending to be smart by quoting Voltaire.

There are too many times we don't like to move forward because we don't have all of the information, haven't covered all of the scenarios, or feel like we don't have all of the experience we need. We don't apply for our dream job because we feel like we don't have the experience needed or are simply afraid of being told we aren't right for the position. We don't want to start writing because we feel like there are lots of other writers that are much better than us. The part we never see is the countless hours of practice and bad writing that happened to become better, to be the writer we see today.

Everyone starts out as a novice, a beginner. You can still make music even if you aren't Mozart. You can still write even if you aren't Shakespeare. You can…

Nobody Gets Through Life Without Any Scars

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I had to take my 12 year old daughter for one of her two annual checkups for her heart recently. Two days later I see this tweet from @montaguemaura:
Don’t hide your scars. They are evidence that you are fighting. You have to be in the battle to win it.You can’t get through this life without a few battle scars. Nothing to be ashamed of. God has Grace for that. My daughter has been through a number of battles, that has left her with some scars. We all have scars though, some you just can't easily see.

Our life is not defined by what does or doesn't happen to us. We aren't defined by our scars, we are defined by how we react. We all have struggles that we go through. We have challenges, mistakes and regrets. We follow a path we think is right, only to realize we made the wrong choice. We say things we shouldn't have and don't speak up when we should. We are even the cause of some scars in others.

The terrible times and bad mistakes are not the last door to ever be op…

Everyone Wants To Get There Fast

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We are working on a project now at work that has taken much longer than we at first estimated. It is a terrible feeling to miss the mark the way we have, but the number one reason we are taking longer is because we are trying to build something beyond a one time fix, something with real lasting power that will work for lots of similar situations down the road.

There is always a trade-off, the more people you involve, the more scenarios you try to fix with your solution, the longer it will take. Hopefully those extra meetings and the extra time has a benefit of something far greater created for the long run.

You have to know what your goal is, and as a leader be okay with making a sacrifice because you can't have it all. Is your goal to be first in a hundred meter sprint or do you need a relay like the Pony Express to get something over a great distance? Everyone wants to have their cake and eat it too, no one ever has.