Your 10 Steps for Holiday Cheer

Christmas, Excellence, Holiday
Your 10 Steps for Holiday Cheer      The Holiday Season is the time we are supposed to enjoy each other’s company, celebrate family, and do kind things for those around us. It’s the time we pay attention to the needs of others, look for ways to serve, and remember the finer points of humanity. Unfortunately, the material nature of gift-giving, the stress of the holiday rush, and the anticipation and act of spending time with family when we may have a strained relationship with them brings out the worst in many of us. Terms like “Monsters-in-Law”, “Evil stepmother”, “Spoiled Children”, and many others take on a new meaning during the most joyous time of the year. Holidays are awesome, but not without effort and stress. As you return home to…
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With Thanksgiving

I’ve listened to the back and forth about the truth about the Pilgrims, Thanksgiving, what they really ate, and whether or not they had a celebration with the local Native Americans. Frankly, I really don’t care. I’m sure that there was some level of backbiting, conflict and greed during these first few years of the Massachusetts settlement. Normal life, with all of its comforts and opportunities, still has much of the same conflict, problems, and misunderstandings. Throw in starvation, a new land, separation from their former lands, customs, and expectations, and I’m sure each of those things were amplified, manifest to some degree among even the kindest of people. It is easy to apply my 21st Century wisdom while I sit in my warm home, sipping a hot drink with…
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Veteran’s Day Perspective from a Friend

          Below is a story I’d heard before, but needed to hear again on this Veteran’s Day. Thanks be to my friend Donk Strasburger for sharing it with us. The emotions, pride, humility, and sense of brotherhood are what make Veteran’s Day so important to me and every other Veteran.           Why does it matter? Why the emotion? Because seldom in life do we get to experience the deep feelings that come with being surrounded by, or even tangentially knowing people who are willing to give their lives for someone else, for something more important than their own personal thoughts, dreams, desires. Seldom do you get to associate with people who, at the drop of a hat, will lay down their lives…
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Your Vector

  After little time as an Air Force Academy Cadet, I realized that I was competing with some of the smartest minds and capable young leaders in the country, and among them I was average at best. Tough blow for a National Honor Society, lettered high school athlete who had heard many times how good I was. I was just average at best, and to survive I needed to work above average. My first two years of sprinting and struggling yielded what I was coming to expect—average. I was not smart enough to cram for exams and beat my classmates. I was not athletic enough to stand out in sports beyond a participation pat on the back. I was not the natural leader that drew people to me and put…
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Using John Boyd’s Vision for Excellence

Colonel John Boyd was known by some as Genghis John for his in-your-face tactics and approach to arguments.  He was known to be somewhat sloppy, a bully of ideas, and unorthodox in his approach to problem solving.  But under his approach was a dogged genius that has become foundational to many military and business leaders. The attached diagram is at the heart of one of his greatest intellectual breakthroughs.  Initially used for air to air combat, the “OODA” Loop has since been applied to problem solving, market analysis, military campaigns, and simple business decisions.  It is genius in its simplicity, and transformational in how it frames literally any situation. Taken a step further, the OODA loop is a baseline for effort, focus, and development individually, for a team, or a…
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Influencing – One Text at a Time

Personal Value, Uncategorized
Even the simplest, routine actions can have the most lasting impacts on those around us, and even on ourselves. When my youngest daughter Emma was about 4, she went into this mode where she insisted that every door in the house had to be shut at all times.  We joked that you had to keep your hands away from the doors for fear of losing a finger.  When I commented to my wife that Emma had issues with doors, she overheard me and whispered to her mom, “I don’t have issue with doors.  I just like them all closed.”  As quirky as that sounds, we’ve found that her OCD determination has become a blessing for both her and those around her.  Daily. Emma received her first smart phone about 3…
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