Monday, September 29, 2014

Congratulations to an Allstar!



I’ll go ahead and say that I’m not a huge baseball fan; more into college football.

But, I do know who Derek Jeter is. The future Hall of Famer for the Yankees, Jeter ended his career this past weekend after a season-long retirement tour.

Another player, White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, ended an 18-year career over the weekend.

I’d never head of Konerko even though the folks on ESPN had some wonderful things to say about him.

Every day we have the opportunity to come in contact with people who are doing great at their jobs but we never know who they are.

If you run into someone who is doing a good job don’t just assume that that’s what they should be doing and that you deserve it. Realize that in today’s workplace in which 84% of workers are disengaged or actively disengaged receiving good service or coming in contact with someone doing a great job is a rarity.

I’m the poster child for finding a manager if I’m getting bad service. But, I’m also the person who will go tell the manager or supervisor about the great service I’m getting if that happens.

We all hear about the stars like Jeter who get all the press, and I’m sure that the folks in Chicago know all about Konerko, but few of us know about Jane Doe, showing up for work on time with a positive attitude and doing a great job day after day.

Jane deserves some accolades, too. If you run into her tell her I said, “Thanks.”

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Standing In Middle of I-95



Do you ever get the feeling that you’re standing in the middle of an interstate highway? Cars and trucks are flying by, the noise is deafening, your fear factor is sky-high and you feel that if you take a step to the left or right you’ll end up as a bug on a bumper.

We all have times like that.

I do a lot of interstate driving and I’ve noticed that traffic moves in groups. Sometimes the groups are large and may stretch as far as you can see ahead or behind. At other times the groups are smaller, 5-10 cars and trucks zooming up behind, around and by me, and then they’re gone.

I keep noticing, though, that there are gaps between the groups of cars and trucks.

More and more I see those life-standing-on-the-interstate times in the same way. If I can stay calm, appreciate the support of others and look for inner strength, I can wait until the traffic moves on by. Then the highway opens up enough for me to walk (or run) to the safety of the side of the road.

I know, though, that life doesn’t happen on the side of the road…that standing there is only a brief respite. Sooner or later I’ll be out playing in the traffic again.

Monday, September 22, 2014

What If the World Is Asking?



What if the world is asking for what we have to give?

What if all we really need to do to start getting the life we want is to say to the world, in one way or the other, “It’s over here! That stuff you want, it’s right here!”

How cool would that be?

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’m…just…sayin’.

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.