Here’s What You Can Control

Embed from Getty Images Ellie's face turned maroon.  "I'm angry!," she screeched.  She was playing a board game with her twin four year old sister, Evie. Ellie gets intense.  I'd never seen her this irate.  Why was she angry?  No other reason than her sister was ahead of her on the board.   That was deemed unfair.  I calmed her down.  She resumed playing. The girls proceeded to butcher the game.  I resisted my urge to control and correct.  I let them play on, refereeing only … [Read more...]

Lighting Matches on a Windy 4th of July

I closed the last book. They sat there awkwardly. Some looked at me blankly. Others' minds and bodies wandered off.  Mrs. Bush said, "What do we say?" The class mumbled, "Thank you ... ," not quite in unison or unanimity. "What dooo we saayy?!,"  Mrs. Bush repeated with greater expectations. The kids screamed, "THANK YOU!" I was the "Mystery Reader" for Evie's class. She's one of my twin 4 year olds.  I read 3 books ... two too many for the attention span of ten 4 year olds. They tuned in and … [Read more...]

Are You Leading Learners? Sink or swim

Embed from Getty Images Ellie stood at the side of the pool.  "I want my floaties!"  I told her she wasn't getting her floaties.  I needed her to be brave.  She melted down like a Bomb Pop in the Texas summer sun.  I walked to the edge where she stood.  I encouraged her to just let me hold her in the water.  She got in cautiously. I floated her around, holding her by her bathing suit.  I encouraged her.  She relaxed.  I told her to put her face in the water as she swam.  "No.  I'm … [Read more...]

Today Is A Good Day for No Words

Reid said, "I normally don't have a loss for words."   I replied awkwardly, looking for something to say.   "Today's a good day for no words."  Reid was at the Peace Rally the night before.  He drove out of the parking garage, where one of the snipers was setup, 25 minutes before the assault on the police and protesters began. It's the day after five police officers were killed in Dallas.  My wife, Jen, and I were at the noon prayer vigil at Thanks-giving Square in downtown Dallas.  This is … [Read more...]

Are You Free? The Captivity of Choice

I spent 2 days in Huntsville.  Standing on concrete.  Hands through the bars that secure 7'x9' rooms containing two bunks, a small seat and a steel toilet.  I heard stories from men in their  20s  through their 80s.  Black, latino, white. All putting their faith ... possibly in blind desperation ... in God.  A Vietnam vet who claims innocence.  A recurring petty criminal.   A man who made a mistake in judgement and is desperate to restore what is probably already lost. I sat in the mess hall. … [Read more...]

Are you listening?

View image | gettyimages.com Tom told Jim that he appreciated that he listened.  Tom's past managers didn't.  Or at least Tom felt that way - which is what matters.  Jim realized he had no choice.  He was new to the job and the technologies involved.  He couldn't help unless he fully  listened.   He discovered that his gap in technical knowledge had made him a better leader. Math students show their work and walk  the teacher  through the work.  The math teacher watches, listens and asks … [Read more...]

The Top Reason Your 3 Year Old Is Terrible

http://gty.im/185664072   She was writhing naked around on the bed.  She was excited with a huge smile on her face.   My heart rate was rising. We had to be somewhere in 20 minutes.  We were running out of time.  She didn't care. I was frustrated.  She wouldn't cooperate.  Why would she?  I was cramming her into a modern construct that is meaningless from a biological evolutionary perspective. 3 year olds show us how we've gone astray in our attempts to scale and find meaning. Jen, … [Read more...]

Of fear and faith

Do not eat from the tree of knowledge.   The first commandment.  Why?  Because our natural state is one of needing to know.  We need certainty. And when we can't have it ... Which is always, we make a choice.  Fear or faith. We hesitate and doubt in the face of the unknown.  We fear.  Or we head forward and quest to prove what we hope and trust for.  We faith. The realities do not vary.  The attitude and perspective does. We create a possibility and choose to believe in it to the point where … [Read more...]

What are you waiting for?

I've been waiting too long.  Since I've been over waiting, I'm publishing this without sitting on it or proofing beyond a quick glance over. I can't remember the last time I published anything.  The longer I go the harder it gets.  The more I wait for.  I wait for a better idea.  I wait for a better way to say something.  I wait for a thought that will be provocative yet will not offend the wrong people. I wait more and more.  Mostly to feel safe.  To feel secure.  And the longer I wait … [Read more...]

Who Cares About What You Do?

  It doesn't matter what you do. It matters what you do does. It matters what the impact of what you do has on your Customer, client, friend, son, mother or husband.  The more impact, the better (Hopefully, that impact is positive). You say, "I talk to my wife 6 times a day. I'm a good husband." Great! Good for you. What's the impact? Maybe she wants you to leave her alone. Maybe you're driving her freakin' bonkers. It's not about what you do. It's about what is create by what you … [Read more...]