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Veteran’s Day Perspective from a Friend

Veterans
          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

Uncategorized
  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

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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Freedom

Freedom, History, Holiday
  In the drafts of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote the words “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.  During the years leading up to the American Revolution, thinkers on both sides of the Atlantic considered the meaning of life, liberty, and property, but Jefferson and the drafters of the Declaration preferred “pursuit of happiness”. They understood marketing to the masses. These words were relatively new to so many people, conceptual at best, yet they caused an inner stir in the hearts of so many. Too many throw out the founding documents and critical thinking of the 18th Century with 21st Century perspective and historical ignorance. Many find it ironic that Thomas Jefferson and so many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence wrote words about freedom when they themselves ‘owned’…
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Memorial Day–Reverence to Every Name, Every Face

Veterans
Not by design, but fittingly I just finished a book about the 45th Infantry Division during World War II, titled “Liberator”. Formed around a group of National Guard Regiments from the west, the 45th Thunderbirds stormed ashore on the beaches of Africa, Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, and finally the southern coast of France. Their losses were staggering, the suffering of its men unimaginable, their courage against terrible odds, weather, sickness, and the stress of battle is enough alone to celebrate their lives each Memorial Day. The book focused specifically on a young man named Felix Sparks who joined the Army in the late Thirties to escape poverty and starvation. He became a company commander towards the end of the Sicily campaign under General Patton. He led his company in Salerno, was injured, and went AWOL from…
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