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...]

4 Types of People, 2 Get Things Done – Which are you?

  There were two girls climbing concrete ramps that run along the side of a set of  stairs.  They were 7 to 10 years old.  One asks the mom to join her.   The mom said,   "No, that's for children." Doing silly things that might be a little dangerous, fun and/or make you stand out as a fool is for children?  What's for adults?   Being serious, fitting in, avoiding danger, risk or fun? I battle the urge to control my kids.  I try not to tell them not to do things.  Constantly, I see … [Read more...]

Tis the Season

Tis the season to ask big questions.... The depth of winter is upon us.  The pendulum swings toward new life for the next 6 months. What new life will be born in you?   What new life will you birth into this world?   What fear will you face down?   What wrong will you forgive?   What unjustice will you stand up to?  What life giving words or actions will you take toward a friend, an enemy, a stranger, a neighbor? These are life or death questions.   Life or death answers, too. Which … [Read more...]

How Tired Are You, Really? 3 ways to know

  On any given day of the week the alarm goes off.  The alarm is either my phone or my kids.  The first thought that floats on the cloudy surface of my mind is, "I'm so tired.  I need a break".  I haven't even started.  Yet I need a break already? I go to the gym three days of the week.  It's a group workout.  I sign-up in advance.   I groan when the alarm goes off.  Then I roll out of bed.  I have to be somewhere.  Class starts at 6am.  After my first set, I'm fired up.  I get … [Read more...]

The Number 1 Reason You’ll Go Off Track

I headed for the airport. I kicked myself in the ass as I went. I didn't accomplish what I intended to at the conference. There were several people I intended on connecting with. Relationships I wanted to build. I didn't connect with any of them. A wasted trip. I could have put time on calendars, setup appointments. I could have written specific goals before going. I didn't. I just showed up. The conference had a set agenda that took two full days.   No room for my plans. Without setting my own … [Read more...]

The Key To Going From Try to Do

  Give someone 24 choices of jam... They'll  taste a lot of them.  They'll enjoy them. More often than not, they won't commit to them. They don't buy.   6 choices of jam and the commitment rate jumps.  Many more buy with fewer choices We've bought into the lie that choice equals freedom. A diner offers a 12 page menu.  You can choose from Hungarian goulash to spanikopitas to bagels and lox to burgers.  It takes long to decide and you're likely to second guess your choice - - - … [Read more...]

The Rule of the Exception

  I just wrote an email of encouragement to my wife, Jen.  We started this habit 8 years ago.  Once a week, on Wednesday, we email each other encouragement.   There's enough encouragement to make a book. The encouragement is a great way for us to refocus on what we like about each other, love about each other and want for each other.  It's a great way ... until that day that's too busy.  Those times when I say to myself, I can't right now ... I'll get to it later.  The days when I lay … [Read more...]

Are you qualified?

  We are all in sales.  Whether it's selling our idea of a great vacation to our wife or selling a Ford Pinto to a bizarre classic car enthusiast. We are all buying something, too.  It can be your 3 year old's proposal to have a cookie before dinner or the ill-advised, 3,000 calorie loaded potato skins at Hooligans. Qualifying is the key to make the most of our time (and effort) for selling and buying. A key goal is to get to 'No' quickly.  So you can know whether the prospect … [Read more...]