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Showing posts from 2013

Build Your Army To Go Into Battle

While I'm not one to believe that life is about winning and losing, there is something to be said about competition and battling. Perhaps that is why I enjoyed playing sports growing up, there was a desire to be a part of playing on a team and winning. It was a great feeling to win, but often it was as rewarding to play well together as a team, win or lose.

I have a job now and a family, doesn't leave a lot of time for sports, but I can still see that competitive spirit in me. I think there is a reason that some of my favorite movies are Gladiator, Braveheart and Lord of the Rings. The epic battles with strategy, heart, and the hero, rallying their army to fight for what is right. Even one of my favorite passages in the Bible, Ephesians 6:10-17, speaks to putting on the armor of God, to be His warrior.

That carries over for me into my work. Too often people just go through the motions of life, going to work to simply collect a pay check. I want there to be something more. I wa…

Who Do You Want To Follow?

Kenny Bell, a wide receiver for the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team had one of the greatest quotes I can remember hearing in some time in a recent post game press conference."I would play for Bo Pelini against Satan himself and a team of demons at the gates of the underworld."You can read the full transcript at The Omaha World Harold. A little background is that there is a lot of heat on the head coach and some fans want him fired, like any portion of a crazed fan base seems to want these days, regardless of record or any other sensible measure. So of course after a tough loss the question these kids of course are asked is what they think of their coach, and the quote above was part of Kenny Bell's reaction.
What intrigues me so much is wondering how many people feel that way about their coach/manager/leader. We all have someone that we are accountable to, do they stir that commitment and passion inside of you to the point that you would follow them anywhere? 
If you do…

Who Is Teaching Our Managers?

Management is a word that is used so frequently in business today that I think we lose site of what it means to be a manager. There is project management, task management, financial management, server management, content management, the list goes on and on. These have much to do with managing things, in a sense we all do that, but a manager is in charge of people. Because of that we need to put a lot more emphasis on what those people do and the fact that it is so different then simply managing a list of things.

One of the biggest gaps in business, and I would probably think this reaches into all areas of the world, is that we have a lot of very smart people, that get promoted because they are good at their jobs, and ultimately they become responsible for people. They have reported to people their entire career that are in the same boat, so we are perpetually identifying new managers and not teaching them how to manage people.

When I first became a manager, that was me. I focused on t…

Can People Change?

There are two schools of competing thoughts about people and their ability to change. I believe that most individuals fall generally into one of these two areas.

Those that believe that people are generally the way they are and they really don't change.Those that believe anyone can change I am of the mind that people can change, the key is that only they can choose if they are going to change or not. You can't make anyone change. You can guide, offer corrections, point out mistakes and how to do things better, but ultimately if there is a change to be made the individual needs to decide for themselves if they are actually going to change who they are.
I think this is an important point and why most people get hung up in the two schools of thought. Because people have to make a choice and take actions, be purposeful about changing who they are, most people don't change. But everyone has the power to change. 
If you think about yourself how does it feel if you were never able…

Best People To Learn From In Your Organization

If you are a manager or a leader within your organization there are two groups of people that I think you can learn the most from as far as making your team run better.

First is the new people, fresh into your organization, without the baggage and history clouding their judgement and decisions. I make it a practice to talk with my new employees after they have been with the team for 90 days and get their insights. It doesn't matter if they are an experienced veteran changing companies for a new opportunity, or someone entering the workforce as their first real job. The information they have can help you see things with a new perspective since you are one of those people with a clouded view.

What do you like that we do?What do you understand now that you wish someone would have explained earlier to you?What is one thing you would change?What do we do well you think we should do more of?Who are the individuals that have been the most helpful to you? What did they do that was so helpf…

Learning About Humility As A Football Fan

I played football a little bit growing up but I was made to play basketball and baseball, but over the years I have become a pretty big fan of the game. I'm a hard core Minnesota Vikings fan and focused most of my attention on the pro game, until recently. You see I've been blessed to be related through marriage to two exceptional young men who have worked hard and realized their dreams of continuing to play football at the collegiate level. This is something almost every boy dreams of growing up, just pick your sport. It has been an interesting experience as I've paid closer attention to stories in the media as well as fans, coaches and players on twitter. The passion that fans can show for their team can take some rather ugly turns though. If things aren't seemingly perfect the fans can turn very quickly. I am amazed at the level of hatred that fans can fire out at their so called favorite team. This got me thinking, what is a fan? What does the behavior of fans tell…

Combating Complacency

Sometimes I think I get lost in my own thinking that I begin making up terms like Defensive Complacency and Offensive Analysis. Let me help you with my definitions of these terms:


Defensive Complacency – The state of being content with how things in your organization are run, so much so that when someone questions things or believes that you can achieve more, you talk about the reasons it is the way it is.Offensive Analysis – The act of asking questions about why things are done the way they are in your organization, but done in a way that creates a sense of being attacked by the person being questioned.

If we were all asking ourselves how can we make things better, on a daily basis, would either of these conditions exist? I get a lot of people don't like change, but what have we done in our society that has created an environment such as this? Everyone wants to not be miserable at work, but do we bring the misery on ourselves by not working to make things better? If I had more tim…

We Need More Mercy At Work

Mercy is a word that seems to not exist in the workplace, why is that? We are all human, therefore we all make mistakes. When you make a mistake don't you realize it and feel bad? You know you messed up, you are probably beating yourself up over what happened, recognizing where you went wrong. Then, you get copied on the email chain or overhear a conversation where people are talking about the mistake you made. Nobody will come out and call you names, but you can hear it in their voice and you are convinced that everyone thinks you are the biggest idiot working at your organization. Don't worry though, because the vultures will be circling their next victim because someone else will be making a mistake soon enough and they will forget all about you.

Choose to be different in your workplace:

If someone else makes a mistake, support them, step in and ask if there is anything you can do to help them recover from it. If you were in that situation, how good would it feel to have som…

Third Times the Charm

Let’s hope that is the case as I look to launch another site. I first got into blogging back in 2006 and had few starts and stops along the way with a couple of different sites. It never really went anywhere as other activities of life distracted me at various points. However I think the real reason that I didn’t stick with it was I was doing it for the wrong reason. I think I had this view that if I didn’t have a regular posting pattern, or a theme, or valuable piece of information that was new and unique that I was failing. I was looking for a goal of number of posts per week or month, the number of visitors to my site, or the number of followers I had. All of that was the wrong goal, now my goal is to simply write. I feel like I have ideas that are inside of me and I need some sort of outlet, and as you will come to find there seems to be a chaotic pattern of thought so I’m not exactly sure where this is going. Just a fair warning that there are no guarantees on what you find here …