My kids used to study judo just down the street from my house. One day, as I was dropping them off, I noticed a new guy, an instructor, was there in place of the usual black belt sensei. This guy looked like maybe he knew something about judo; he had that old, venerable, Mr. Miyagi-san thing going on, but he wasn’t even ablack belt! I was a little disappointed that this normally really solid club would allow a person without the proper credentials to instruct the children. Humph! What kind of school is this that has some guy, with a funny looking red/white belt, to take over the class??
If you know anything about judo you know how flat out, upside down and backwards wrong I was! Upon siding up to one of the junior instructors and asking, casually, “Uh, who’s this red belt guy?” I was told that this “red belt guy” was the founder of the club and one of the highest ranking judokas in the state!!”Uh, that’s, ah, great that he, ah, still has time to, you know, instruct our children,” I mumbled, humbled, back.
My understanding then and now is so baby, so infantile. I know in part and see in part because that which is perfect is not yet. Why is it that I think that I know something when I don’t? Continue reading
A few weeks back I had what I considered a really good work day. It started with an exciting problem-solving meeting with a friend and client in the morning, then a cup of coffee in one of my favorite book stores skimming the new book section, and later another meeting with a potential client brainstorming how to grow their business. I drove home that afternoon feeling pretty darn positive about the whole day. I realized that there are certain elements that make up that proverbial “good day” for me, i.e.challenging assignments that I feel contribute in a meaningful way to helping people. If that happens I’m singing a pretty happy tune.
Speaking of singing, every time I hear the phrase “it was a good day” I always fill it in with Ice Cube’s “didn’t have to use my A.K.” I went and found the lyrics and now have a pretty good idea of what Ice Cube characterizes (at least back then in this rap) as a good day 🙂 Continue reading
Hahaha! Someone actually video-ed footage of the TEDxHonolulu 2011 conference that I had the honor of emceeing. I think they stopped recording me right around the time I was reviewing the “rules” about no pictures or videos 😉 I’m happy they did, though.
Mahalo to the Hawaii Vacation Blog peeps!
My youngest son has recently (every since watching Friday Night Lights) expressed a desire to play football. Specifically, his goal is to be the starting quarterback on our nearby high school team. He has been homeschooled his entire academic life but we are seriously considering this. He’s never played before and we’re not – or weren’t – even a football watching family. We didn’t even play Madden on our xbox!
My response to his goal was “Go For It!!” I always want my children to dream big dreams. Realistically, it’s going to be a big challenge but he throws a better spiral than me (granted not too difficult to do but still…) and has been consistently hitting the weights in the garage. Is that all it takes? Of course not. There’ll be other skills, both physical and mental, that he’ll have to develop and that’s good. I want the challenge for him. I want him to be able to envision a long(er) range goal, work hard for it and either make it or miss it but have no regrets about it.
One of the side benefits of his interest is a chance to talk about people that I remember influencing me as a kid. One of them was Walter Payton, a running back for the Chicago Bears during the 80’s. In looking for some articles on “Sweetness,” I found this video on Walter’s work ethic that I immediately emailed to him. Obviously, there are direct lessons for my son here regarding his approach to football and training. A little more indirectly there are the same core values transferrable to our everyday life, goals and achievements.
Thought I’d share it here. Be challenged. I am.
I’m writing a review of two companies and their products – Concept2 Rowing and MacSpeech. One makes me wildly ecstatic and the other wildly frustrated. One is awesome, one sucks. Let me start with Concept2.
This is one of my all time favorite companies in the world. Their product is solid! I purchased my rower used off a craigslist ad and have been impressed with it from the beginning. I’ve worked out with a couple of other brands and they just don’t feel as, I don’t know, dependable. Every time I get on it it works – smoothly. I’m not a big maintenance guy and it still works – smoothly. I live in Hawaii near the beach where everything rusts and this rower still works – smoothly. What else could you ask for? How about exceptional customer service?
I’m using the Model C. They’re up to the E model now. When I first bought my rower I decided to upgrade the computer to better track my crossfit workouts (Why else would I get a rower but for “Fight Gone Bad??”). I contacted the company through their website, found my product and, BAM! they’ve got it out the door and on it’s way. Over the years I’ve had to replace the battery, a wire and a couple of obscure nuts and bolts. In EVERY case, the communication with Concept2 was fast, helpful and positive. In fact, in one instance, where I was missing one screw I lost somewhere in my garage, Concept2 just sent me a pack of them – for FREE!
I’ve never been to a retail establishment (do they have one?) but in every on-line and on-phone interaction have been impressed with their organization. In all my “moment of truth” encounters they’ve left me smiling and satisfied.
I love this company! I wish I could buy more things from them. Maybe another rower? Certainly not to replace the one I have because it’s still going strong but maybe to get another as we expand our workouts. They really are that good. They definitely do NOT suck.
Let’s turn the page now and look at Macspeech. Continue reading
What does it take to be a PERFECT LISTENER?? I found this listening test a few years back. It’s from a John Maxwell book on leadership (bonus points for whoever can tell me which one of the 5000 books he’s written it’s from!) and I’ve been talking about it in workshops and seminars for a long time now. The thing is I’m just not sure anymore if I really like the test or if I still want to use it.
Try this test first, see what you score and let’s talk about it.
Always= 4 points Usually= 3 points Rarely= 2 points Never=1 point
1. Do I allow the speaker to finish without interrupting? _________
2. Do I listen “between the lines”; that is, for the subtext? _________
3. Do I repeat what the person just said to clarify the meaning? _________
4. Do I avoid getting hostile and/or agitated when I disagree with the speaker? _________
5. Do I tune out distractions when listening? _________
6. Do I make an effort to seem interested in what the other person is saying? _________
Got it? Good. Now, if your score is more than 24 you’ve scored excellently on this test but your math skills aren’t all that ;). A perfect score is, of course, a 24, which requires that you answered “always” to each of the 6 questions presented. Now, this is obviously not some deep, heavily researched test that’s been normed across multiple groups with large sample sizes. But still, any “test” is supposed to provide some measure of understanding, skills, or knowledge acquired.
Does a perfect score on this test mean that you really are a perfect listener? Let’s look at some of these questions and find out. Continue reading
I’m not against PowerPoint, don’t think it’s from hell or the “devil’s tool,” and don’t have a problem with using it for presentations. What I do have a problem with are presentations that bore me, that could have easily been a one page handout or email, and presenters that don’t communicate with me no matter what software they are or aren’t using.
That being said, here’s a picture of the MOST INFORMATIVE SLIDE I’ve seen in a long time! It’s part of a presentation Jonathan Hoag delivered at the Drowning Prevention/Ocean Safety Conference on Kauai just last week. It was so good I actually took a picture of it so I could refer back to the data.
Basically, it’s a way to figure out how big the waves are going to be based on data gathered from off-shore buoys. This is gold.
Maybe it’s just me and the fact that I’ve NEVER been able to figure out how to figure out this whole buoy, time interval, period, direction thing but for the first time I got a glimpse of what it was supposed to be about. I’m giving props to Jonathan for a clear description and effective use of PowerPoint for my increased understanding.
Overall, good stuff. It wasn’t a “perfect” presentation – those are rarefied events. There’s a couple of things I would offer to improve but who cares?!? I can now look at buoy data and figure out how big the waves will be next week! I’m set! See you on in the surf 🙂
p.s. Here’s an image and a link to a NY Times article on really bad Powerpoints. Worth reading.
We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Powerpoint (NY Times article)
I just had a 5 star service experience at my local refuse yard and it’s not the first time. In fact, just about every time I go there I get what I would consider good to excellent customer service. It’s not a place you would normally think of when you picture exemplary service but, Ritz-Carlton or not, the system works.
Here’s 5 reasons why the Kailua Refuse station is getting an A+ from me.
Our values steer our actions. – Polynesian Voyaging Society
A year or so ago my youngest son participated in a canoe race in Waikiki that was the busiest and most fun contest all year. There were so many people on the already crowded beaches; it was crazy. It was a slightly different format than normal. Usually, the canoe clubs of my son’s age (14 and under) did a quarter-mile on a flat straight course. In this race, the annual Walter Macfarlane Regatta, they would paddle straight out into the waves, circle a buoy and race back in, hopefully timing it just right to surf a big set back in. The waves that day were pretty a good size, definitely not for beginners. For safety, the association substituted an experienced adult in the steers-person seat (number 6) to see the younger crews safely out and back. My son’s crew didn’t win that race but they had a great time in the surf.
He hewa i kapua ka`auwa`a panana`ole.
The fleet of canoes without a compass landed at Kapua by mistake.
The person who is steering a Hawaiian outrigger canoe is responsible for making directional choices and course changes. They use a specially shaped paddle that is weighed in ounces to adjust the direction of a 500 pound canoe.
Our lives, our choices and actions, are likewise steered by what appear to many as small, unimportant things: our values. I’ve seen enough people and organizations over the past 20 years as a pastor and as a consultant who either minimized the importance of their values, had no values or had mission/vision statements that were not in alignment with their values. They had no compass, no way to know where they were or where they wanted to be. Continue reading