Month: February 2013

Why Do Some People Make A Difference, & Others Don’t?

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A good friend reminded me, “It’s the people who show up that make a difference”.3206283106_1dc3d53e4b

You’re not be the smartest person in your industry.  But you can show up.

You are probably not the most skilled individual in your company.  But you can show up.

You may not be the most personable person in your locality.  But you can show up.

Show up.  You don’t make a difference if you’re absent.  Show up for business. Show up for the important meetings.  Show up to evaluate, to communicate, to invigorate others in your tribe.  Show up.

It doesn’t matter if someone else is better, faster, stronger, prettier, smarter or richer… Show up anyway.

John Keating, in the movie Dead Poets Society challenged his students as they looked at the pictures of student classes from years gone by.  He said, “They’re not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? – – Carpe – – hear it? – – Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.” 

What are you still sitting here for?  Go show up, and make it extraordinary!

JARGONAUTICS- The word for the day is “Aflockalypse”

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JARGONAUTICS- The study of new JARGON as it invades our lives…  Here’s today’s lesson…met deadbirds lc 0130.jpg

Why does bad stuff happen, and why does it seem to come in waves, or bundles, or piles of trouble?  Look around the world and you will have to agree.  This world seems to be in a constant cycle of chaos, crises and various kinds of confusion.  Celebrities die in groups of threes… storms and weather cataclysms seem to come in bunches.  Even in our own circles of friends and families we seem to notice that when bad luck hits, the best thing we can do is brace ourselves for rounds 2 and 3 that are soon on their way!  It’s like an “aflockalypse.”

Aflockalypse: When all those birds fell out of the sky.  Remember?  It’s happened in Arkansas, it happened in Oklahoma, in Louisiana, in Sweden & in Australia!  Dead birds falling out of the sky for no apparent reason?!  Was it aliens?  Global warming?  Government testing new biological weapons?  Whatever it was, it was foul. (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun.)  But stop and think about it from the bird’s perspective.  One minute, they are enjoying the warm sun on their beak, and the brisk wind under their wings… the next minute, it’s a nosedive to the pavement, dead as a Thanksgiving turkey, only smaller, with all the feathers, beak and guts still intact.

Since these events there have been experts, religious leaders, conspiracy nut jobs and guys sitting around the coffee shop who have come up with their own explanations of the “day the birds died”.  But I’m not sure the most important thing for us to discover is just what killed the birds.  I’m thinking maybe, just maybe what we need to get out of this craziness is one simple truth…

Sometimes weird stuff happens, and life seems to go berserk for no reason.

I know that’s probably too simple minded for some folks.  That’s OK with me.  But ask anyone you know, and they are likely to bear witness to the same eternal truth.  We live in a screwed up world, an although we’d like to find some purpose, intentionality or plan in all of the bad things that happen, it sometimes seems impossible to find.  So what do we, what CAN we do?

  1. Hang on.  In the Bible it uses this phrase a number of times- “It came to pass”.  Let’s break that down into 2 parts… “It came”; why did it “come”?  “To pass”… yes, chaos en masse has  overwhelmed your world… but hold on, because “it came, to pass.”  When your world is out of control and the circumstances are about to drive you into the dark, moist corners of a cave somewhere to hide, just wait a bit before you pack up the doomsday rations and head out.  “It came… WHY?  To pass”. 
  2. Find good.  Although not everything happens for a reason, something good, positive or beneficial can come out of our negative circumstances if we will just make it happen. Sometimes that means looking for the positive consequences, and sometimes it means taking the lemons that life has pummeled you in the head with, and making lemonade and a lemon pie to go with it!  Look for the blessing in the bad, for the victory through the pain.  You CAN find it, and you CAN make it happen.
  3. Reach out.  Chances are you aren’t the only person suffering.  You’re not the only bird dropping out of the sky!  One of the best things you can do to help yourself through those “aflockalyptic” times is to show kindness to a partner in pain.  A kind word from an empathetic voice goes a long way towards starting the healing process of another person.  More than that, it will works it’s own medicinal magic on your suffering as well.  Try it, you’ll be amazed.

So don’t panic the next time a flock of dead pelicans drops in on your day at the beach.  It will be OK, really.


Kooky… Whose fault is it?!

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We’ve all met a mind loser… a nut… short fused, loud mouth, psycho reactionary freak…  

A person that doesn’t really care what’s acceptable social behavior, but instead thinks it’s acceptable to over react to bad stuff in their life.  It doesn’t matter to them if they seem childish, because they don’t think they are being childish.  They couldn’t care less if you or anyone else disapproves of their tantrums or crazy actions… it’s all justifiable in their mind.  Sure, they’re funny to watch, and most people don’t give them any credibility or respect when they act this way.  There bombastic behavior isn’t going to change the situation or those around them.  It’s more likely to make things worse, and leave people thinking the person is a kook.  I think they are a kook.  So what?

  1. I will demand better of myself.  I do this by making myself accountable to people that are trustworthy, and give them permission to reel me in if I start acting or reacting like a jerk;
  2. I will expect the same level of accountability among those I lead, to step up & challenge each other if wackiness begins.  Team members can be honest sounding boards for their peers.
  3. I will hold to this standard for those I lead.  John Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence”, and as a leader I will influence my tribe, my group, my family to rise above craziness.
  4. Finally, I will be brave enough to expect I standard of civilized words and actions out of those I follow.  Just because someone is in a position of leadership doesn’t grant them “Kook Immunity”.

Be better than this guy in the video, no matter what sets you off.

Build better teams by teaching them to challenge each other for the good, to expect greatness not goofiness out of each other.

Challenge the collective by leading from the front, and not promoting stupidity by being passive towards it as the leader. Confront, correct, challenge and move forward.

Live your values, even when it may cost you with your boss, supervisor or owner.  It’s never wrong to ask people to do the right thing, or act the right way.

Near the end of the video, after all of the screaming, poking his butt with the phone, stripping and spending time in the closet, we hear the dad yell from the other room to “SHUT UP!”… and the kookiness stopped…  Is anyone out there brave enough to yell “SHUT UP!” at the kookiness we encounter?

Anybody listening out there?

Anybody every confronted kookiness?  Let me know what happened, and maybe it will help someone else do the same!