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Posts Tagged ‘Perspective’

…gentle reminder

March 23, 2015 Leave a comment

I spent a few hours with an individual this past weekend that inspired me to remind myself (and of course anyone reading this) of a few things;

1) As cheesy as this is, this quote from a sad attempt at sustaining a franchise says it all. “We seem to have reached the age where life stops giving us things and starts taking them away.” Now that’s powerful stuff! Now, I’ve always told folks to remember that work/life balance is not a balance – it is a choice. I am sure I stole that from someone, but if I cannot remember who from – then I think it is okay. Enjoy the good, the bad and in-between as there is a point in everyone’s life that whatever plasticity exists – decays.

2) All of your problems will still exist the next day – trick is to figure out what you need to do to work smarter and solve them rather than carrying them around like rocks in your pockets. I do not like rocks in my pockets as they make funny sound when I walk. The next point speaks to this, but made a conscious decision not to carry rocks, by creating measurable chunks of achievable deadlines. Try it until it becomes a habit, like it you will. Repeat it, you shall. Yes, I was channeling my inner Yoda.

3) I was deftly reminded of Parkinson’s Law. It states that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. Holy crap, that is an oldie (’55) but goodie! There are some insightful corollaries, applying to task management as well as technology use – very durable thought construct. Draw lines, meet them (make sure you define done) and find closure…move on to the next line.

Just a few random thoughts.

…make wise choices,

-sk

 

…the claw

July 28, 2014 Leave a comment

This past weekend, I spent some time with the family at a beach town in NJ. It was a great time to reconnect with the little ones and spend time relaxing a little. During the course of our wandering on the boardwalk we came upon the usual kids games (skeeball, air hockey..etc). Usually, the kids gravitate to the magical claw games in the hopes of scoring some overpriced shoddy toy. I end up paying a small fortune for this accomplishment.

This time, things were different when we walked up to the machine. First, they were much more expensive than the usual $0.25 – $1.00 range. Second, the cause for the price increase was a guaranteed winner every time. First blush, I was happy as I would avoid the temper tantrums and overspending. Thirty minutes later, all three kids had their toys as the game allowed them to grab until they secured a toy.

As we walked away, I was satisfied that time/money was well spent and kids were happy. That was, until we walked up to another bank of machines after lunch. These were only $0.50 a try and were the traditional claw games. Traditional, in that the claws had weak springs and the toys were heavier than what the claw can lift. Thereby, greatly reducing the chance for a successful toy recovery.

So I watched the kids as they walked up to the machine and popped the money into the slot. No surprise that the claw did not grab a toy…but what happened next was a surprise. Kids were upset because “the machine was not as easy as the last one…and they should all be this easy”.  They actually commented on the toys in this machine were better than the easy machine. In fact, they were the same crappy quality and same thematic design.

I was definitely not looking for a life lesson for the kids here, but certainly found more than a few that day!

Yes, I spent more than the $3 I did on the previous machine with the new machine (a lot more). Yes, the toys attained were basically characters from the same story line as the previous machine (same toys). Yes, the kids were frustrated, angry and wanted to give up. But they did not…they kept on trying, learning from their mistakes and making decisions that ultimately lead to a favorable outcome.

…make wise choices,photo

-sk

…going dark

May 19, 2014 1 comment

Last week, I attended an IT leadership summit here in NJ. I attend a few of these a year, as time permits, as I like to stay connected to peer groups and thought leaders. The typical schedule tends to balance content, sponsor presentations and peer networking. Usually, I tend to focus on the areas that interest me and catch up on email during the ones that may not. In previous events (in some cases), out of an eight hour day – I might focus on only  few hours worth of content.

This time, something different happened…something very different. My phone died a few hours into the conference as I neglected to charge it on the drive down to the event. While I did bring my trusty battery pack, I was determined to travel into the event light and left it in the car earlier.

Of course, two choices were before me….walk 10 mins and get the kit – or engage in the event. I was too lazy to walk and had a great seat right next to one of my favorite speakers . I was not about to risk losing the spot.

Needless to say, the content (most of it) was very relevant in ways I had not originally anticipated and I walked away with some great ideas. At each break, I met someone new and after the event chatted with some of the organizers to provide some feedback and ask follow up questions.

Now, I have been to more than a few of these in the space of just the last three years. I can honestly say that I have never done this before. It took something relatively silly in order to broaden my perspective. I am not going to pretend like I am some genius here…but in this case, I was habitually myopic.

It took a short departure from technology to realize it.

…make wise choices

-sk

…woohoo

December 30, 2013 Leave a comment

As 2013 comes to a close, I have come to think back to the many things that I have learned in the past 12 months. Learning is growing – and the moment one has nothing left to learn, they have failed. Yes, it is my opinion and sure I could be wrong. If I was going to sum things up and extrapolate one massive lesson what would it be, that would have created such a strong impact?

I thought about this for a few minutes and it popped into my brain…well, after the dancing Steamboat Willie. So much of this blog, and my personal ethos is about delivering on commitments, service and pushing oneself past the proverbial comfort zone. The capstone of this would have to be the notion of taking a step back, reflecting on accomplishments and recognizing when something has been completed. From that, taking away what was learned as a result.

For me, that clarity is accomplished by celebrating what you have done and not who you are  – yes that’s deep (well for me it is). It is so easy to look at factors that you cannot easily control  and either over/under emphasize those elements that you feel have either contributed your success or failure. Almost everything is malleable, however, some things are vastly simpler to manipulate. One thing, in particular, that most have direct control over is the setting and completing of personal and/or professional goals.

Whether large or small – those goals are yours to own and yours to execute! Embrace the action of achievement and cast aside those that would dilute your accomplishments by placing you in a category.

…make wise choices,
(Happy New Year)

-sk

BTC

 

 

…multidimensional excrement

November 6, 2013 Leave a comment

Often within the workplace and/or in our personal lives, we talk about the notion shit rolling downhill.” The vernacular, in spirit, is meant to convey downstream decision-making having an often catastrophic cascading effect on individuals further down the perceived power ladder.

Also, being in a position that allows the foresight of impending doom and stepping aside is almost worse than making a bad decision/letting others suffer. When this is a systematic issue along multiple levels of the power ladder – you have a perfect storm that creates a poisonous culture.

Now, enter the impact of technology on the above. Shit rolling downhill only works if there is a limited form of unidirectional communication (i.e downhill)  that is shaped and controlled. There is the notion of the Crest of Ignorance which basically pools all the bad news until it overflows down the power ladder. This is beautifully illustrated, using real-world-scenarios here.

That is no longer the reality and communication activities flow in a non-linear fashion. There is a communications bubble that is dynamically shifting based on amount and urgency of information being shared.

So, in fact, shit can no longer roll downhill. There is no downhill. The proverbial shit ends up seeping everywhere. Good for visibility, bad for channeling accountability.

…make wise choices
-sk

…the worm

May 15, 2013 2 comments

I was sitting in my backyard sipping some rum and enjoying a nice cigar the other day. Enjoying the signs of spring, I spied a bird swoop in and peck at a worm on the ground. It had rained the night before so food was plenty and the birds were having a great time feasting. As I watched the bird take the worm and start to eat…another bird swooped in on top of the first one.

It basically thumped the bird and took its worm.

The message of the day? The early bird may get the worm, but it takes a whole lot more to keep it.

Don’t get hung up on acquisition only…retention is equally as important.

…make wise choices,

-sk

…sticky sunshine

March 9, 2013 Leave a comment
Been a bit…got lazy..
The other day I watched Louie (love me some Louis CK) and it’s the episode that depicts him struggling through a stand-up routine in an Atlantic City lounge. So he’s not doing so well – folks not engaged, low energy and a generally depressing tempo of jokes. Louie goes into a rant on how much casinos stink and that folks are idiots for giving their money to Donald Trump (his venue was the a Trump hotel). Naturally this does not sit well with management and after an emotional back and forth, he quits. He puts his personal ethos for comedy (no holds barred..) before receiving a clearly needed paycheck.
Later that night, while moping around feeling sorry for himself, he stumbles into a much larger venue with Joan Rivers performing. This lady is, of course ancient and is walking the stage and actually making folks laugh. He chats with her and fast forwarding to the end – she has a very motivating perspective.
She reminds him that certain folks have a calling to do something great. In her example – this is to be a comedian (of course). Sometimes things suck, sometimes they don’t – but you never ever quit. Sure she makes some crude references to Betty White’s body parts and discusses some sexual acts that I’ll not repeat – but the message is clear. Beautifully and passionately conveyed from an old comic to a younger comic. Well done!
I do not know why – but for some random reason, this episode charged me up and put some pep in my step!
The message here, is that motivation comes from the strangest of places. You may not always see it coming but when it hits you, it sticks.
…make wise choices,
-sk

…grand resolutions

January 1, 2013 Leave a comment

As I sit here, watching the final remnants of the Twilight Zone New Year’s Marathon, I reminisce about the previous year and the things that have come to pass. Every year seems to bring both wanted and unwanted adventures. Positive and negative experiences, some rich and fulfilling and others wasting time that I will never recoup.

One thing is pretty consistent, my personal drive does not change, diminish or falter (save for purposeful course corrections). It is not triggered by calendar events. Some of the most annoying things that I have read via various social media outlets, hell, just about everywhere…is the notion of starting over or beginning something wonderful in the new year.

Now, I can understand the advertising aspect and timing to merchandise products/services…etc – I get that. What gets my proverbial goat, is the fact that so many folks actually use Jan 1 as a catalyst to start something different, better…etc. Such ferocity and drive, much like a grand flame – burning with a bright light – very admirable concept. How many measure and push themselves after the temporal novelty has given in to the mundane drudgery of everyday life? I think you know the answer to this question.

I am not perfect, not even close. I have no desire to be, quite honestly. However, when something needs to be improved, augmented and/or ceased – it is done when it needs to be done, not when it is a certain time of the year.

Maybe in 2013, I’ll change my mind and do something different – or maybe I won’t.

…make wise choices.

-sk

 btw. Odd advertising, in every commercial break during the 24 hour episode marathon…Cialis, Sonic & Furniture stores….I don’t like the target demographic that  I have been placed into…not one bit!

…oil and water

December 17, 2012 1 comment

I often think about the impact technology has on our lives. The fact that we are constantly connected to one another, whether we like it not, can be a daunting one. Digital peer pressure and the expectation for prompt answers (regardless of time) to various forms of communications seems to be increasing.

What was once a notion of work-life balance has become a concept of work-life integration. In some cases, there is a clear line when one is “off” from their job. That being said, in many careers in globally connected companies – that line has become nothing more than a gradient.

We should accept this new normal and its impacts our lives. We must learn to ensure that we maintain a vigil in under/over commitment towards one end of the extreme or the other. It is no longer enough to balance. I believe that balance assumes a fulcrum of some sort exists as well as a clear understanding of the “weight” on each side. This is largely a fallacy.

I’ll argue that the weight is continuously shifting so much as a focus on balance has become a source of conflict. If we focus in integrating the two, I believe that allows for less personal energy expenditure on a perceived balance.

This allows us to focus on what’s important at the moment while operating within a larger context.

…make wise choices.

-sk

…double tap

November 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Two days (among a few others) that remain etched into my mind are before us. Yesterday, marked the 237th Marine Corps Birthday  and today marks Veteran’s day here in the US. One is a joyous occasion celebrating the continued existence of the most fierce fighting force in the world. The other, a day of reflecting on the past and present men and women that gave service to our Nation.

Both events have an underpinning that I have discussed a few times in this blog – the notion of service. Doing something beyond yourself, and in many cases with no personal gain as a motivating factor whatsoever.

We do what we can so that others can do what they must.

Actively support organizations that help our warriors return to civilian life and contribute, to return to whatever normalcy they can and help support the families that they leave behind.

http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/

http://www.taps.org/

http://www.fisherhouse.org/

…make wise choices,

-sk