Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bitten By the Modern World

Back from a busication…that’s a word I just made up…business trip/vacation. I started to post some blogs while on the trip but I was concerned about the "I'm gone" issues.

However, a friend in our group is a Facebook posting maniac! She was immediately posting all kinds of pictures of the fun things we were all doing in Charleston.

Elaine and I started wondering how many folks saw the pictures and thought, “Those people aren’t home.”

There are a range of issues jumping out:

Recently, I’ve read about thieves checking Facebook and other social media for clues about who might be away from home or office for extended periods.

A story on ABC TV this morning talked about the scanners people are using in restaurants and at gas pumps to steal the info from our credit/debit cards when we scan them.

I’m fighting some bad computer viruses right now that are so annoying I’d love to spend about 90 seconds in phone booth with whoever thought this stuff up.

I know, I know, worrying about all this is about half-way paranoid, but it’s worth considering.

Technology does a lot of great things for us, but there are a range of worries we often don’t give enough consideration to…hacking the cloud, for instance.

And yes, I’ll agree that we can’t worry about everything or we spend our lives locked up at home watching for the black helicopters and burying our trash in the back yard.


I’d just appreciate it if someone would give me the list of 5 things I can do to keep myself technologically safe most of the time.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9/11 A Different Way of Looking At It

Each year on this date we should take a moment to remember; not just the folks lost on 9/11, but those to whom we owe our freedoms.

Increasingly though, I’ve been thinking that the absolute silliness we see in the public arena and the attention we pay it does not honor those who have sacrificed so much.

The waste of time, money, energy, good people and power is appalling. I’m not pulling for elephants or donkeys—although I’ve been called both at various times, deservedly and not—I’m simply saying…enough…we deserve better, but we’ve unfortunately been getting what we deserve because we are getting what we pay attention to, the extremes.

Democracy is messy, I get that. As Winston Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”

So, if we want to honor democracy, if we want to honor America, let’s step away from the extremes. Let’s step closer to the middle where things actually get done, where public discourse is not like an argument on a kindergarten playground.

If we really want to honor 9/11 and its deeper meaning let’s stop facing each other. Let’s turn together, en mass, towards the opportunities and threats we see.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Write It Down

“So shall it be written, so shall it be done.” From Yul Brenner, who played Ramses II in Cecil B. de Mille's 1956 film The Ten Commandments.

People who write down their goals get 37% more done than those who don’t.

Whatever you need to get done or want to accomplish (goals), write’em down and keep’em in front of yourself.

Monday, September 8, 2014

You're Outa Here!!!

While working this morning I had the TV on as background noise. A story on ESPN’s Sportscenter showed an umpire ejecting the Los Angeles Dodger’s manager and a pitcher after a blow-up.

What if the workplace was like that? Someone does something stupid and a workplace umpire (the boss) ejects them for the rest of the day.

Yes, I know it happens in some workplaces when people REALLY screw up. And yes again, I know some folks wouldn’t learn from it…they’d keep screwing up. And yes one more time, I know it doesn’t happen because lawyers get involved and start making things harder to do what needs to be done.

But, what if it did happen? Some folks would get it. They’d shape up. And the others, today and in my better future, they’d get a “Good-bye” and be shown the door.

When was the last time you acted out at work or in life and someone should have walked up to you and said, “You’re outa here!” and did that point-to-the-showers motion?

Here’s the deal: If you can remember that moment, what did you learn? If you can’t remember a moment like that you’re not trying hard enough, you’re not living life out on the edge enough.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Thought That Will Stop Your World

Have you ever had someone say something to you and the world stopped? You get those goosebumps on your arm and realize the comment/question/challenge was coming from somewhere far beyond a simple conversation; it could be God, life, fate or simple common sense.

Yesterday, my good friend, the philosopher Chuck Nall, said something to me that was so important I’ve thought about it ever since.

He said, “Mike, if you change your customers you change your life.”

He and I have talked about the fact that I have long needed to reassess the customer mix for my little business. I’ve been working with the same clients for almost 30 years. They are wonderful folks and I love working with them but their world is changing and as it does mine will, too…and not necessarily for the better.

I’ve known that I needed to be more proactive and the proof of what happens when I have the chance to work with a different type of client is there; I’ve been successful, the clients appreciate my work and the rewards are dramatically different from my current client base.

“Change your customers, change your life.”

On so many levels my work has centered on change for the last decade…it’s almost as if the topic as been a message from…well…out there. I’ve written about it, talked about it, tried to help individuals and large organizations deal with it. We all experience change, it’s simply a matter of using it as a positive or letting it roll over us as a negative. Could be that it’s time to get serious about my own change.

Maybe you’re at a point in life at which you need to hear the same type of comment. I’ll be delighted to be the friend who offers it.
Try this: Fill in the blank on the following statement: “Change your _________, change your life.”

Do you feel the goosebumps?