Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Don't Be Like the Ants

“It is not enough to be industrious, so are the ants. What are you industrious about?” James Thurber

We live in such a distracting world.

Where do you focus your energy?

Monday, March 30, 2009

How's That Workin' for Ya?

Saw a quote last week that went something like this, “Weather forecasters are wrong often enough that you can’t totally trust them. But, they are right often enough that you can’t totally ignore them.”

Don’t remember who said it, but the truth factor is pretty high.

Here’s the question: How often are you right?

Hold on. Your answer was probably something like, “Pretty often.” I mean you’ve made it to adulthood, you’re alive, and, more than likely, fully-clothed. So, you’ve made a range of right choices throughout your life.

However, what assumptions have you made about people, situations and stuff, that might not be right?

Increasingly, I’m trying to ask the “How often are you right”? question in a different way. I’m asking: “How’s this working for me?” I’m finding that in a range of issues I’ve made assumptions, or been lazy and gone with a past decision out of habit, or not made a decision at all…I’ve gone with someone else’s decision or choice, and it wasn’t right for me.

I seem to be easing into a time of life in which I’m asking the question of everything from friendships to business ideas; from health and fitness habits to spiritual issues; from clothes to hairstyle.

Increasingly, I’m slowly but surely discovering what works for me. Maybe I’m just slow. Lots of people figure this out earlier in life. Or, maybe lots of people go with the flow, with what’s easy…with what someone else says is right. I’d rather be slow than not figure it out.

What works for you leads to more Perfect Workdays…and a more perfect life.

Friday, March 27, 2009

All You Can Do

Sometimes ya just gotta say…that’s all I can do.

Am in Chapel Hill this weekend hosting a get-together for the fraternity organization I’m the president of. I’ve kinda been on pins and needles wanting this to be a great event because I think the world of the young guys who comprise the active chapter and I LOVE seeing looks on the faces of the alums when they see guys they haven’t seen in years…sometimes, decades. The food is set up, one of my best friends has made sure the yard and house are in great shape, and we’ve gone to a lot of trouble and expense to let people know the event is happening.

However…..the weather is not cooperating. Rain, rain, rain. On Thursday afternoon when another great fraternity brother helped me move a ton of memorabilia into the new house, it kept doing the on-off, on-off, rain.

But, you know what? I’ve done all I can do. I can’t control the rain. All I can control is all I can control. And I’ve done that.

In your workday, do you spend a lot of time worrying about what is not under your control?

All you can do is all you can do.

Have a great weekend. I’m planning on it.

Go Heels!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Leadership from Front to Back

Everyone is a leader. Whether they…or you…want to be a leader, everyone leads.

Leadership is always moving in either a positive direction or a negative direction. There is no standing still. In fact, the people who are standing still are leading in a negative direction.

Are you moving yourself and others ahead or back? If you don’t think you have an effect on others read the first sentence again. Your co-workers, family, friends, and total strangers who are in line at the gorcery store with you are aware of your presence and you never know who's taking cues from you. Are there practical, everyday things you can do to lead in a positive direction? Absolutely!

Not long ago a friend was telling me about an acquaintance who, when he meets people now, says, “Tell me something good.” We encounter so much bad news (the media leading us backward) that he decided he had had enough; he wanted to hear something good. But, he also wanted to try and start changing peoples’ thinking and, therefore, their lives. So, he used the greeting as a way to snap them out of their backward slide and help them, at least for a moment, to move in a positive direction.

Catching people doing things right is another way to lead in a positive direction. Every day you should catch someone doing something right in your work life and personal life. Colleagues want positive affirmation and family members, especially children, crave it. Catch someone doing something right, praise them, and watch them smile. That’s positive leadership.

If you listen to the pronouncements of public officials they are trying to sound positive without sounding too optimistic. It’s because they know that if the economy, or health care, or defense isn’t all blue birds and lemonade in 30 days the media will hammer them about it.

However, when Ronald Reagan became president he stepped up and essentially said, “We’re America. We have problems and we’ll solve them. Think positively. Do your work the best you can. Take your family out to dinner. Enjoy life.” And the stock market jumped with optimism.

That’s leadership.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Your Bug-Ability Factor

What’s your “bug-ability” factor? How easily are you distracted or annoyed? How often does someone get on your “last nerve”?

If it happens pretty often it’s easy to see that you aren’t going to have as many Perfect Workdays as you might if you weren’t so easily annoyed.

Dr. John Hunter, the father of modern surgery is quoted as saying, “My life is in the hands of any rascal who annoys me.”

I’m not sure that quote is correct. It probably should read, “My life is in the hands of any rascal whom I LET annoy me.”

In today’s stressful times it’s easy to be so overwhelmed by all the issues in life that we let small annoyances blow up into big issues.

But, back to the opening line. What’s your bug-ability factor? I’ve found that people who are easily annoyed often think that life is an entitlement….No one should interfere with whatever I have planned in life!!!! Any little thing is like someone spitting in their Kool-Aid.

People who aren’t easily annoyed often see life as a gift…every day’s a holiday and every meal’s a banquet!

High bug-ability slows you down…and keeps you from having more Perfect Workdays.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

On-line Banking and Mojitos

I have some friends who think (well, it’s more like hoping and praying) computers are a fad. They’re hoping that one day everyone will turn those boxes on their desks and in their homes into aquariums and televisions (ok, so we’re not that far from the second one).

But, I’m no Luddite. I love what computers do when they work the way they are supposed to work

Take on-line banking. I fought paying bills on-line for quite awhile. The whole idea of hitting a button and having hundreds of my dollars flying around was a little scary.

Now, I’m into it whole hog. Paid a bunch of bills last night and am buying my Tar Heel football tickets on-line today. No more writing checks, stuffing envelopes and licking stamps.

If you have not jumped into on-line banking you need to do so. Sitting in line yesterday just to make a simple deposit had me thinking, how do I make deposits on-line?

Having a Perfect Workday means having some time for yourself. One of the ways you can find those stolen minutes is by looking for ways technology can make your life simpler. A few minutes spent learning how to check your balance and pay a bill on-line can help you find those minutes.

However, I have to be honest. If the United States Postal Service starts making the glue on stamps to taste like a Mojito, I’ll ditch on-line banking faster than dropping 3rd period French.

Monday, March 23, 2009

March Madness as a Leadership Laboratory

While I’m sure some of you aren’t into March Madness I have to say that I love it…for reasons that have nothing to do with basketball.

Sure, I’m into the games my Tar Heels play. But, I’m REALLY into the games—inside the game—that the coaches and players are playing.

March Madness is the best laboratory for leadership I’ve ever seen and it’s free, on nationwide television.

Watch how coaches differ in their approaches. Some are demonstrative, Roy Williams at Carolina and Mike Krekr7cda&per (…mmm…you know, the Duke coach) are two of those. Other coaches are quiet, focused, and rarely raise their voices. Oliver Pernell from Clemson is an example. Two different styles; both effective.

Watch players lead on the court. You’ll see point guards and big men directing their teammates and leading by example.

Try this, turn the sound off and just watch the game. Watch the coaches and players interact and you’ll see an ebb and flow that is easy to miss with the sound on. You’ll see leadership and followership in action.

March Madness is here. Two weeks to go. After this weekend, it's serious now. No more tomorrows.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Here's To The Finish Line!

Sometimes, when you reach a goal or finish a big project there’s a feeling of…mmm….is this it? Whenever that happens to me it reinforces the understanding that it’s the journey that counts.

However, this ain’t one of those times. Last night I finished the final corrections for my book, The Perfect Workday, and approved the proofs. The next step is printing and then I get to hold one in my hand.

I’m trying not to have that, “OK, where’s the next dragon that needs slaying?” feeling. I’m trying to slow down a little.

This weekend might be a time for some celebrating. The book has been a long time in planning and writing. Thanks to the smart people at self-publishing.com the production will, hopefully, be the easy part.

If you reach a milestone you should celebrate. Especially, in tight times like we are in now, you need to find reasons to lift your spirits.

What big project are you working on? What goal are you striving for? There’s got to be more to life than sitting on the benches in the bottom of the galley like Judah Ben Hur and rowing the years away.

Wherever you are, raise a glass with me this weekend. Here’s to the race! And here’s to the finish line!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Choices, Choices, Choices

How do you make choices? Do you use a linear, logical, decision tree style of decision-making? Or, do you go with how you feel?

One of the wisest people I've met, psychologist Bob Dick, says we have three areas from which we draw the emphasis from which we make decisions...choices: Physical, Emotional, and Logical.

It's rarely an even input. It isn't one-third, physical, one-third emotional, and one-third logical. We usually have a dominant area.

Bob made a suggestion I found interesting. He suggests that you sit quietly, close your eyes and ask yourself a question to which you need an answer. Then, see what your body tells you. Does your chest get tight, head feel like it's lighter, or some other body area have a sensation that might be sending you a message. (and, yes, sometimes the answer you get will make you laugh or...well...you get the idea)

The exercise can be useful when the decision is difficult and the messages are mixed; your logic tells you one thing, your emotions tell you another.

How do you make decisions? Email me and tell me...mike@perfectworkday.com

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Why Did I Do That?

OK, so I’m sitting at the extraordinary Pioneer Buffet in Archdale, NC, yesterday having lunch with a good friend. The Pioneer is one of those places that if you want to OD on collards, rice and gravy, roast beef, mac and cheese (did I mention gravy?), fried chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, turkey, salads, okra, stewed tomatoes, and graaaaavy, you can do it.

Someone once told me that if I was fortunate enough to go to heaven when I died that my idea of heaven was a buffet where I didn’t need a plate. St. Peter would just give me a fork and point me at the food.

I didn’t go crazy at lunch; ate pretty healthily, believe it or not. However, when it came time for desert I grabbed another plate instead of a bowl. I loaded it up with a BIG spoonful of apple cobbler, another BIG spoonful of banana pudding, and BIG dollop of ice cream.

When I got back to the table I started in on my treasures and…stopped after two or three forkfuls. I looked at the plate and thought, “This is absurd.” And pushed it away.

My friend is making some great progress in getting healthier, and one of her key strategies is to ask the question, “Why did I do that?” when she makes a choice that might negatively affect her health and fitness. She says, “Occasionally asking ‘Why?’ can tell you the reason you make choices. Knowing the reason can help you make a better choice.”

So, I asked myself, “Why did I do that? Why take so much desert when a forkful or two would satisfy?” My answer was kinda embarrassing; “Because I always have.” And because I always have I’ve always fought a weight battle. Pushing the plate away was a good moment.

The next time you make a choice and the outcome gives you pause, ask the question, “Why did I do that?” You might not like the answer, but it’s likely that you’ll be another step along the road to truth.

Gravy.....mmmmmm

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Babes and Bozos At Work

Ok, so the title of this section grabbed you. If you are a woman the simple fact that I used the word “Babes” may already have cranked you up. Interestingly, most guys won’t get similarly exorcised about men being referred to as “Bozos.” Therein lies one of the basic differences between men and women in the workplace.
I’m not stupid enough to believe—or certainly not to say—that one sex is smarter than the other. A former president of Harvard University has already done that and was hammered for it. So let me offer my politically correct disclaimer: No, I don’t condone sexual harassment, men or women in power using their positions to obtain sexual favors, telling off-color jokes to people who don’t enjoy them, sexual innuendos in or out of the workplace unless they are between consenting adults, or visiting porn sites on company computers.
So there.
The simple fact, though, is that we are different and we often bring those differences to work with us. I believe the differences can enhance the workplace, but today’s culture of political correctness has created a level of hair-trigger anticipation that seems to neither tolerate nor forgive the inevitable slips, slides and stumbles that occur when two creatures as different as men and women work together.
I promise you that if you come to work with a gender chip on your shoulder you won’t have a Perfect Workday. If you do, you’ll spend most of your time so overly sensitive about a wide range of issues that the possibility of totally focusing on your work vanishes.
This isn’t the “Boys will be boys and girls will be girls” explanation. This is the, “We are all adults in the workplace and unfortunately some don’t act like it sometimes” explanation. Your co-workers range from brilliant to boorish; consider the sources.
If someone says something or does something that crosses your sword then pull them aside, in private, and explain your concern. If they do it a second time take’em public; just be aware that life may not be fair.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Assignment for the Week: The CARESS Method

Good morning, class...today we're going to talk about listening. Here's your assignment for this week: I want you to try and actively listen to the people you come in contact with.

Active listening is hard work. Here's how you do it: You'll use what is known as the CARESS Method.
- Concentrate on what the person is saying. Listen for nuances; little changes in tone, or feeling, that offer subtle meaning.
- Acknowledge that the person is trying to communicate with you. Give them a nod or a "mmm hmmm" to let them know that you are with them.
- Research areas that you might not be clear about. Ask more and better questions.
- Exercise Emotional Control. You want to listen to what they are saying, not how they are saying it. Don't let the person's emotional state interfere with your ability to clearly understand.
- Sense the non-verbal. Are they telling you what they are showing you with body language. As s young person once said; does their video match their audio.
- Structure of the message will be how they give it to you. Do they tell you the most important item first, or do they need to give background and then reveal the most important issue?

Active listening reveals so much additional information. Truer meanings and clearer communications are possible with active listening. But, as noted, it requires a willingness to focus and pay attention, and in today's world that can be difficult.

Class dismissed.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Change is Gonna Come

Just about everything I read in the newspaper is bad. Even talking to my CPA on Thursday morning when I handed over my taxes, was bad.

So, how’d we get in the mess they keep describing. Here’s my two-cents worth; at critical times we resisted change. It’s a cliché to say “change is hard,” but as one of America’s great philosophers, Jimmy Buffett, sang, “Cliches say what they mean and mean what they say.

I’ll be the first to admit that changing is tough. I’m trying to change right now and it’s about to do me in. Why don’t we change when we see it’s needed? Here are five reasons:
- We see change as a loss of control
- We are overwhelmed by it
- We believe the change is wrong
- It’s the flavor of the month
- We want to avoid embarrassment or pain

You know what killed the dinosaurs don’t you? No, it wasn’t smoking, or eating too much fat, or global warming (I can tell it’s Friday)…it was an inability to adapt, to change, fast enough.

Change can be scary and exhilarating, both at the same time.

The best way to handle change is to take it one small step at a time. Actually, that’s a cliché…and it isn’t true.

Almost all the compelling evidence about changes such as dieting, life shifts, and societal changes shows that fast, dramatic changes work better than the incremental steps. Fast changes cause show quicker results, which feed efforts because you see some success, which leads to more quickly accepting the change.
Change something this weekend….and look for a new cliché.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

OK! So Decide!!

Got back today to a ton of emails. I'm sure you've experienced the same thing.

I get questions all the time; "How do I deal with all the emails I get?"

There is only one thing you can do...decide. Like many situations in life, you have to make a decision sooner or later what to do with an email. You can read and respond now, read now and click off with the goal of responding later, you can skim by with the good intentions of later action, you can delete it. But, you have to decide sooner or later.

By not deciding a couple of things happen; you miss a wonderful opportunity, you miss information that is important and could help you and you later regret missing it, you miss something you're later glad you missed (or didn't know you missed, which is pretty much the same)...did I miss anything?

By missing an important email the situation will sooner or later decide itself...good or bad.

It all comes down to deciding. Decisions can be difficult. There are only four things you can do about a decision: Delay, Delegate, Don't Do It, or Do It!

Every time I open my emails after being gone for awhile they remind me of the importance of making a decision.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Are You a Turtle, Shark, Teddy Bear, Fox, or Owl?

Am in Lenoir, NC, presenting a leadership program. We've been talking about the conflict leaders experience, and how followers experience and deal with the conflict leaders create.

How do you deal with conflict?

There are 5 conflict profiles:
- The Turtle immediately backs away from conflict. Unfortunately, if people get the idea that you are a Turtle they know that you will step bac, or fold, when conflict hits. Eventually, Turtles feel like doormats.
- The Shark immediately steps towards the conflict. Some Sharks have a "tear it up" attitude about conflict. This works in some situations, but if you are a Shark you'd better be careful; sooner or later you'll run into a bigger Shark.
- The Teddy Bear wants harmony. "We'll do it your way," should be their mantra. Somewhat like the Turtle they are often overwhelmed. But, the good thing about Teddy Bears is that they will usually stand up for the few things that really matter to them.
- The Fox is the compromiser. The Fox will give up a little, if you will give up a little. The Fox is often a manipulator.
- The Owl is the win-win person. The Owl is always trying to think through the conflict and find a way for everyone to win.

The first three categories; The Turtle, The Shark, The Teddy Bear, are all automatic reactions. The Fox and The Owl are higher orders of thinking.

Knowing how you address conflict can help you deal with it whn it comes, and help others handle it if you are creating it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What Troubles?

One of my favorite all-time movies is Jeremiah Johnson, with Robert Redford.

It’s the story of a soldier in the 1800s who wants to be a mountain man. So, with no training and few supplies he goes to the mountains to learn to do it. No sitting around thinking about it; no going through endless meetings; no agonizing over the rights and wrongs. He…just…goes.

I’ll cut to the chase: As you can imagine there are a mountain (pun intended) of challenges, elations, successes, heartbreaks, and failures. Indians try to kill him (and then revere him when they can’t). White men use him for their purposes (which he does not agree with but goes along with them because they appeal to “what’s right”). He shows all the sides of a human; love, sadness, tenderness, and a level of savagery that is in all of us, just waiting to be released.

For me, the best moment of the movie is near the end. Johnson is sitting at a campfire with an old mountain man (actor Will Geer, Grandpa from the Waltons) who had been his mentor. The old man recognizes the toll the mountain life as taken on Johnson. He asks, “So, Pilgrim, ‘twas it worth it? All that happened, all the troubles?”

Johnson barely hears the man and responds, “Eh, what troubles?” The life he had led was the life he wanted to lead, whether he knew what was coming or not. All that happened was simply part of living the life.

How many of us will so live our lives as to be able to look back and say, “Eh, what troubles?”

Monday, March 9, 2009

It's Too Easy

Too easy.

Over the weekend I heard the phrase “too easy” a couple of times. The context in which I heard it, in fact, the context in which “too easy” is almost always heard, was negative.

It got me to thinking…mmm…too easy.

What’s wrong with something being too easy? Do we need to be challenged at everything? Does everything in life have to be some March From Bataan slog that finds us bloodied and spent at the end of it for it to have value? If someone makes something look too easy does that take credit away from them; unfortunately, in our society, yes, it does.

So, let me get this straight; outstanding athletes who make a catch, throw, or shot look easy aren’t to be congratulated? Actors who are so good that they look natural and we believe them: so good at what they do that we are pulled into the story and forget the façade of theater, aren’t to be appreciated? Business people who just seem to touch an idea and it makes money don’t deserve the money (Ok, maybe I am a little out on the edge with the big bankers and mortgage folks)?

Too easy.

Too easy almost always comes in the eye of the beholder. Only in a few cases will the doer say, “it was almost too easy.” When you hear that comment coming from someone who performed the easy act a couple of things may be going on. First, they could simply be being modest and trying to protect you. What they might actually be saying could be, “This thing you just saw me do is so damn hard or complicated that there is little possibility that you could ever do it, but I don’t want to hurt your feelings.” Or, they suffer from the same put-down syndrome many of us do and they are, in fact, putting themselves down for the achievement. Finally, they could have been in a state of flow in which all their talents, skills, and abilities were highly focused and they accomplished the task in what researchers understand to be a light trance…so, it seemed easy.

Too easy.

Don’t we all wish it was too easy? Now, come on…if you’re sitting there thinking, “Man, I wish most of life was hard as hell. In fact, I wish things were a lot harder just so I could pull myself up,” then you are making life a lot harder than it has to be.

I want things to be too easy. There are lots of activities in life I want to spend my time on. I want to take the time I save doing the too easyand spend it on those other things that I’m not very good at, but that make life worthwhile.

If you accomplish something in life, and it seemed too easy, relish it.

You know, now that I think about it…this blog was waaaayyyyy too easy for a Monday.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Riding the Bullet

A very smart woman told me recently, "Life is all about choices." I've thought about that almost constantly for a few days and, since I believe in omens, I'm seeing messages everywhere I turn.

Two quotes that have appeared in the last few days really jumped out at me.

I'm not sure who said, "Are you willing to pull the trigger and ride the bullet?" I get a dangerous, almost thrilling, feeling when I read and think about the quote. To me, it so implies action that I get the feeling of, "Do it! Do it now!!"

The second quote is from the late Edward K. Graham. He was addressing a freshman class at UNC-Chapel Hill in the 30s or 40s and, referring to their collegiate experience, he said, "What do you want; and what are you willing to pay?" This quote is much more contemplative. You have to consider what you want and what you are willing to pay.

I see the two quotes as being very different. The first is about action, the second begs you to slow down and think. It seems that they evidence two different philosophies of life. The first could imply a "Live for every day," way of looking at life. The second, obviously, takes a longer view.

Or, they are connected...you do the second, you consider...and then, having made the decision, you pull the trigger and ride the bullet. But, once you pull the trigger, you're riding the bullet whether you want to or not.

A final thought, if you take too long to consider, to think about it, the target moves. At that point, being armed and ready to fire is a moot point.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Soft as Angels

If you tend to be squeamish at all you might not want to read today’s blog.

Yesterday, I had one of those moments of clarity that, I believe, are the foundations of wisdom.

Here it is: Richer, smarter people probably make fewer biological excursions (go to the toilet) than poorer, less-smart people.

If you haven’t run screaming from the room…let me explain. Yesterday, I had an occasion to visit a Fresh Market in Chapel Hill in search of toilet paper. An investment property I’m involved in needed some TP and Fresh Market was the closest place to find it.

I’m not a regular patron so I asked a young woman at the checkout for directions, “Aisle three,” she said.

As I walked through the aisles in the direction she pointed I saw a wonderful selection of fresh vegetables, tubs of nuts, about 13 kinds of designer salsa, and more hummus than I knew existed.

Now, I have to tell you, you’ve got to be pretty smart to visit Fresh Market ‘cause, unlike most markets, there are no big signs above the aisles to tell you where things are located.

When I reached the area where I believed aisle three would be I stood at the end of the aisle, looked down it, and couldn’t see any shelves of TP like I would see in Food Lion, Lowes Foods, or Harris Teeter. So I started walking up and down the aisle.

Now, I have to confess that I have attended a number of outstanding institutions of higher learning and possess two degrees. I consider myself reasonably well-read, and actually make a good living teaching people how to think better. But, as my wife keeps reminding me when I misplace something, "sometimes you just have to look down." So I did.

And there it was. Fresh Market sells one type of toilet paper, Angel Soft. And it comes in a little four-pack. Unlike Food Lion, where you have 9 types of TP, including the kind you used in elementary school, the kind with the wood chips in it, and they have the packs with 130 rolls, Fresh Market has one brand…4 rolls.

My misguided logic would be that if you own a grocery store that has rows and rows of fresh vegetables and fruit and nuts…roughage, 19 kinds of hummus up-to-and-including prime rib (OK, I didn't actually see prime rib hummus, but from what I could tell, it might exist), and 13 brands of salsa, you’d have more than one brand of TP, with only 4 rolls in it.

I guess they know their customer, though. Fresh Market's profile for a customer trends toward higher income and educational levels than Food Lion and some of the other markets. So, maybe I was out of place.

But, at least the brand is Angel Soft.

And, yes, it really is.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Yogurt and Apples, or Lasagna and a Nap?

I received a call yesterday from a writer in Chicago. She's doing a story about practical ways companies can help their employees get healthier in tough times.

She said, “I’m looking for examples like putting yogurt and apples in the vending machines instead of candy, or opening the doors to the stairwells so people can walk or have contests to see who can run the stairs fastest.”

As my wife might say, “If I go missing, don’t look for me racing people up the stairs in my office building.”

Let me give you a contrarian take on the workplace health issue: For the next 24-36 months organizations of all types and sizes need to focus less on yogurt and running than they do on lasagna and catching people doing things right.

In great times when things are running wide open and everyone is striving to get ahead we can focus on getting leaner, meaner and faster. Workplace diets, running up the stairs, and peak efficiency are in style.

But, right now people are anxious. They need some comfort food and support. I’m not saying that being efficient isn’t important. In fact, in tight times the two things that will get us through it are increased productivity and creativity. And you don’t get that by telling the galley crew to “row faster!” and feeding them starvation rations.

Getting together for comfort food once a week tells people you care about them and gives them a chance to pull together. Catching people doing things right supports them and gives them confidence.

If I go missing, look for me kicking any vending machine with yogurt and apples.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Future Looks Bright...Go Heels!

If you have any reservations about the future of America, and you are tired of all the bad news, let me raise your hopes.

As the president of the alumni association for the fraternity I was in at Carolina, I had the opportunity last night to meet with the young men in new chapter.

If these guys are the future, I'm breathing easier. What I saw was a ton of energy and focus. Their ability to grasp a challenge and run with it was exhilerating.

When you get a group of young males (18-20 yrs old) together the testosterone factor is pretty high, anyway. But, you can tell whether the energy is positive or negative within a couple of minutes. If the energy is negative you can tell that bad things will have the potential to happen. If the energy is positive, though, as I saw last night, it seems that the world lays at their feet...anything is possible.

At no time did I have the feeling that I wished I was that age again...and the absence of that feeling surprised me. I was heartened to realize that I have been there and done that and that the real joy will be in being able to watch these young guys fly.

Go Heels!