Monday, December 31, 2007

"Fill 'Er Up Please!"

You don’t see many full service stations around much anymore, do you? Well, at least not here in the Midwest anyway. Maybe it’s because as a society, we are becoming more independent. Or, maybe as a business, service stations didn’t feel it was value added to the customer. Or, (I hope this isn’t the case), maybe customers became less grateful over the years, and failed to tip well. I haven’t done any research on the subject, so I really have no idea what the reasoning is. All I know is that I could remember a time when my parents would roll down their windows and say “Fill ‘er Up Please…..Unleaded will do just fine,” (sorry if I have dated some of you ;)). But now, you just don’t hear that anymore.

So what’s the point, you ask? Well, for some reason, this service station scenario popped into my head while I was reading the book How Full is Your Bucket, by Tom Rath and Donald Clifton. Well, not so much the service station, as the automobiles that come in for the fuel. See, in the book, the authors really stress the importance of filling others’ buckets with positive events (hence, the “Fill ‘er Up Please” quote). See, everyone has this internal bucket, and others can either dip from the bucket with negatives, or fill the bucket with positives. As others dip from your bucket, you lose motivation, become less productive, and in turn continue the cycle as you begin to dip from others. However, as other people fill your bucket with positive interactions and comments, your morale increases, your productivity increases, and the workplace can become a more thriving workplace. In fact, they have researched and researched and realized that the magic ratio is 5:1. That is, production becomes most efficient at 5 positive interactions, to every one negative interaction.

So, how does this relate to a car? Let’s think about this a minute. Your car needs to be constantly filled with fuel (the positives) to be able to produce (that is run). If your fuel tank (the car’s bucket) runs out of those positives, then it stops. It can’t perform. Isn’t this similar to humans? As people constantly introduce negatives into our world, don’t we begin to perform less and less, until at some point, our bucket becomes empty and we just give up? Apathy sets in? We have to be conscious of this, and remember that people need praise and need to be “filled up.”

I want to recommend this book to all of you. It has really opened my eyes as to how I interact with others. It’s amazing what very minor changes in both verbal and nonverbal cues can do. It can mean the difference between a negative experience and a positive one for others. Remember, as you fill others’ buckets, yours will be filled as well!

What do you think? Do you agree with this book? Let me know your thoughts, so we can begin a discussion!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Well, Christmas has come and gone with a snap of the fingers. All of the holiday shopping, the Christmas movie watching, and Santa Clausing has been here....and now gone.

It was a hectic time of year for many (myself included), as plans were made with relatives and friends. Travel was abundant. The snow was abundant (especially here in Iowa, which is welcome since we haven't had a "white Christmas" for a few years)! It was a crazy time indeed (for my family)...........but a good "crazy!"

Time was definitely precious the last few days, as we traveled to and from various family's homes. But, it was amazing as well, spending quality time with relatives, friends, and especially our kids! It was awesome to see how our toddler's eyes lit up when she realized that Santa had eaten the cookies, and drank the milk that she left out for him. It may not sound so amazing to you, but when my wife and I realized that the most exciting part of Christmas to her was giving (giving Santa cookies) over getting spoiled with gifts, we knew that she understood what Christmas was all about. It was also awesome to see our 6 month old baby's eyes light up as she opened her first present on her very first Christmas!

I know the memories will be plenty from this year's Christmas celebration with family, but more importantly than that was for me and my family to remember the true celebration of Christmas: the birth of Jesus. If you are wanting to know more about the true meaning of Christmas (for Christians anyway), you have to check out this post by Robert Hruzek

So, from my family to all of yours: We hope you had a great Christmas and we wish you a magical 2008! Don't forget to take a step back, inhale deeply, and enjoy this holiday season. And, may God bless all of you in the upcoming year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wise Beyond His Years

My wife sent me this in an email, and I had to pass it on! This really touches home with me due to my Christian faith. However, even if you aren't a religious type, I feel this clip is a touching clip and teaches a valuable lesson, not only in life, but also leadership!

There are many lessons learned from this clip. Besides a very important one: that God understands what you are going through, there is another lesson learned when dealing with leadership. Being wise in your leadership is learning from your past mistakes. The gentleman in the clip summed it up great: "Yeah, but see buddy: That's what makes you wise. Somebody that learns from their mistakes!"

We all make mistakes. It's how we choose to react to those mistakes. I say own it, fix it, learn from it, and move on.

note: youtube video courtesy of fr8nklozano

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Consistent Follow Through

“You’ve got to be more consistent in your follow through.” These words were spoken to me early on in my bowling career. Well, I should say my bowling hobby, since I sure don’t make any money doing it.

See, for a bowler, follow through is an extremely important aspect of the game. You can have a great approach, a brand new ball, but if you stop your arm as soon as you lay the ball down, it will slide out and not make it back to the 1-3 pocket, thereby limiting your chance of a strike. Follow through is what puts the revs on the ball, and what allows the ball to turn over and head for the pocket. Of course, I could “geek out” here and explain the other aspects of bowling, like oil pattern, ball speed, ball selection (including cover stock choice, weight block design, radius of gyration, differential, skid/flip), the geometry of line selection; but I’m not going to do that. What’s important here (and my main point of this post), is that follow through is extremely important.

Of course, isn’t follow through extremely important in leadership as well? I found myself asking that question recently when I realized that I am becoming a typical “manager,” in that I talk a good game. However, true leadership is distinguished by not only what you say, but also what you do; your follow through. That is where I have begun to struggle, and where I am focusing my efforts; following through with action, on the words I choose to say.

How important is follow through?

  • Follow through builds trust

  • Follow through builds respect (even when that follow through is on a disciplinary action)

  • Follow through builds confidence

It shows that you will do what you say you will do, and that is what people look for in a leader. They don’t want someone who is all fluff and no substance. Follow through is extremely important, and to your followers, even the small things matter!

I’ve got to be honest here: I have lacked in my follow through the last several months. It’s a weakness that I have found, that I am going to be pouring my focus into. So, how are you on follow through? What keeps you from following through? I’ll have more thoughts on this in a later post, but I want to know your thoughts now!

note: image courtesy of

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Another Two “Simple, Yet Powerful Words”

Human nature tells us we need to feel appreciated. We need to be “lifted up.” We need to be praised. Employees need this; friends need this; Co-workers need this; our bosses need this. So, in sticking with my theme, I feel there are two more simple, yet powerful words that can be used: “Good Job” (or Well Done)!

“Good Job” are two more simple words that can be very powerful to a lot of people. Employees/Subordinates/Coworkers/Family/Friends (you name it), need to hear these two words. Of course, I’m not advocating false praise here. You shouldn’t just go around spewing out these two words to anyone and everyone, increasing the chance of dilution. I mean, everyone needs to be lifted up and appreciated, but not when the praise is undeserving.

On the contrary, the receiver of these words needs to truly be deserving of them. When someone has done something well, then you need to acknowledge that job well done. It’s really about accountability, isn’t it? So many managers and leaders today do a great job of holding others accountable when a mistake happens, or something goes wrong and fails. But, I say we need to be equally good at holding others accountable when something goes right; or when success happens. In fact, I would say that it is more important to hold others accountable for their successes by sharing these two simple, yet powerful words than it is for their mistakes.

I’ve seen leaders throughout my life who constantly harp, constantly criticize. They’re always looking for the negatives, the improvements. Trust me, I’m a perfectionist. I’m constantly analyzing my accomplishments and how I can improve upon them. However, when it comes to other’s accomplishments, I am willing to leave a job well done, at just that! “Good Job!” If there’s room for improvement, maybe as leaders we should save that conversation for another time and let the person bask in his/her accomplishment and praise.

But of course, I’m just one man; one idea; one opinion. I want to know what you think! Is it just as important to share the “Good Jobs” as it is the mistakes? What are your thoughts?
Other Posts in the Two Simple, Yet Powerful Words series:

Friday, December 14, 2007

Outstanding Blogs

Troy Worman at OrbitNow! has started an Outstanding Blog meme. The list of blogs that he has compiled is amazing, and I am honored that he has included this blog on his list. More importantly though, this list provides a huge amount of qualtiy reading material. I can't wait to start diving into some of these other Outstanding Blogs. I really hope you all will take the time to visit these as well. The task looks daunting, but it can be done (it may just take a little time).

So, without further delay.....I hope you enjoy your travels through the wonderful blogosphere! Remember...This is Troy's list...I'm just "paying it forward" (with a couple of my additions at the end).

1. 100 Bloggers
2. 1-800-HART
3. 37 Days
4. 3 Thumbs Up Award
5. 43 Folders 500 Days to Fame
6. 7P Productions
7. 800-CEO-READ
8. 901 am
9. 9 Rules
10. About Every Little Thing
11. Abundance Journal
12. Accidental Taorist
13. Act Now
14. Adam Khoo
15. All Kinds of Writing
16. All This Chittah Chattah
17. Am I Famous Now?
18. Andy Beard
19. Andy Wibbels
20. Angela Maiers
21. Annika Italia
22. Anita America
23. Anomaly
24. Arloo
25. Around the Web
26. Attitude, Ultimate Power
27. Attraction in Action
28. Ask Lucid Spiritual Development
29. Aspie Chronicles
30. A View from the Isle
31. A Writer’s Words, an Editor’s Eye
32. Achenblog
33. The Artsy Asylum
34. Adam’s Peace
35. Advice Library
36. Agent Genius
37. alexander-t
38. Alex Shalman
39. A Life Unrehearsed
40. Alister Cameron, Blog Consultant
41. All Things Workplace
42. All This Chittah Chattah
43. Amrithallan
44. Another Blogger
45. Antonella Pavese
46. Antonio Thornton
47. Applied Imagination
48. Arizona High Tech Talent Partnership
49. Art of Money
50. At Home Writing
51. Ask Dr. Kirk
52. Astronaut Projects
53. Attract More Customers
54. B5media Homepage
55. Bailey WorkPlay
56. Balanced Life
57. Bankerchick’s Scratchings
58. Behind the Glasses
59. Bell Ringer Public Relations
60. Better Business Blogging
61. Better Projects
62. Big Blog Directory
63. BigBlog Media
64. Bizhack [Now Sparkplug9]
65. Blog4Bloggers
66. BlogBlog
67. Blog Business World
68. Bloggeratto
69. Bloggers Buzz
70. Blogher
72. Blogosquare
73. Blogs et IE
74. Blog U
75. blogvert
76. BMindful
77. Branding and Marketing
78. Brand Autopsy
79. Brandywine Books
80. Brazen Careerist
81. Brightmeadow
82. brunotorres
83. Business and Blogging
84. Business Blogging Tips
85. Business Blog Hive
86. BusinessBlogwire
87. Business Performance Coaching
88. Business Pundit
89. Beyond Blinking Lights and
90. Be Excellent
91. The Blog of Dysfunction
92. The Blogger Links Benefactor
93. Bad Language
94. Balanced Life Center
95. Bizhack [tag]
96. Biz Plan Hacks
97. Biz Stone, Genius
98. Black in Business
99. Blog Chalk Talk
100. Blogebrity
101. Bloggers Pakistan
102. BloggersBlog
103. BloggingBlog
104. Blogging for Business
105. Blogging Pro
106. bloghacker
107. The Blog Herald
108. Blogkardesligi
109. blogmundi
110. Blog Network Watch
111. Blogopreneur
112. Blogspoke
113. Blogwrite for CEOs
114. Blood and Treasure
115. Brain Based Biz
116. Brain Based Business
117. Brain Waves
118. Brand Autopsy
119. Branding and Marketing
120. BrandSizzle
121. Brandsoul
122. Brian Kim [dot] net
123. Brian Shih [dot] com
124. Believe
125. Because Netiquette Matters
126. Build a Solo Practice, LLC
127. Business Pundit
128. BuzzoodleThe Blog Columnist
129. Carpe Factum – A great blog on accomplishment, project management, and other topics – A MUST READ!
130. Cheezhead
131. Chris Brogan
132. Circaspecting
133. CK’s Blog
134. Change Your Thoughts
135. Chief Happiness Officer
136. C is for Corrie
137. Creatorship
138. Christina Jones
139. Creative Think
140. Career Strategist
141. Carnival of Creators
142. Confessions of an Executive Recruiter
143. central iown bloggers
144. C’eclair
145. Chartreuse (BETA)
146. Chepners House
147. Christine Kane
148. Chris Street Blog
149. church tech matters
150. Circaspecting
151. Clever Start
152. Climb to the Stars
153. Comunisfera, Observatorio de e-Comunicacion
154. Confident Writing
155. Conversation Agent
156. Core77
157. Continuum Wellness
158. Confused of Calcutta
159. Consumerist
160. Consuming Experience
161. Content Done Better
162. Conversation Agent
163. Copy Blogger
164. Copywriter Underground
165. Coudal Partners
166. Crazy Aunt Purl
167. Create Business Growth
168. Creating a Better Life
169. Creating Your Name Brand
170. Creative Curio
171. A Creative Journal
172. CSS Mania
173. Cultivate Greatness
174. Customers Rock!
175. Customer Relations-The New Competitve Edge
176. CustServ
177. Candice
178. Creating Passionate Users
179. competizione
180. Come Gather Round
181. Customer Service
182. Claudia Imhoff
183. ceslava
184. Change This
185. Chaos Scenario
186. Cheezhead
187. Chinmayd
189. Chris Brogan
191. Church of the Customer
192. Circular Communication
193. CK’s Blog
194. ckwebb
195. Cogniview
196. Conference Calls Unlimited
197. Conversation Agent
198. Converstations
199. Copyblogger
201. The Copywriting Maven
202. Cosmedia
203. Cottontimer
204. Couch Culture
205. Count Wordula
206. Craig’s site
207. Creating a Better Life
209. Cuileann McKenzie
210. customers are always
211. Cypherhackz
212. Clear Your Mind
213. Changemaker: Change Your Life
214. California is a recipe for a Black Hole
215. Scrapbook Marketing
216. Customers Are Always
217. David Gauntlett ::
218. Dawud Miracle
219. Doc Searls Weblog
220. Daily PlanIt
221. Daily Tech News
222. Dave Olson
223. david finch
224. Digital pr Italy
225. Diva MarketingDigBusiness
226. The D Spot
227. Disruptive Thoughts
228. Dorais Techlog
229. dorion
230. Dossy’s Blog
231. Dr. Deborah Serani
232. duller.kukuchew
233. Documenting Fanaticism
234. Decadent Tranquility
235. Daily Blog Tips
236. David Airey
238. eMoms at Home
239. Emotion Creator
240. Employer Ease
241. The Engaging Brand
242. Eric Mack Online
243. Extreme Leadership
244. Fliptron Presentations
245. Freakonomics Blog
246. Get Fresh Minds
247. The Happy Burro
248. Have Laptop Will Travel
249. HBS Management Consultants
250. HD Biz Blog
251. Heart of Business
252. Hee Haw Marketing
253. Hidden Helper
254. Hillybilly Phd
255. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Blogosphere
256. Holly’s Corner
257. Homeless Family
258. Home Office Women
259. Hoshichan
260. How To Be An Original]
261. How to Blog by Emily Robbins
262. How to Save the World
263. Hungry for Hunger
264. Ideas for WOMEN
265. If Else
266. If Then Else
267. Indeterminacy
268. India PR Blog
269. Influential Marketing
270. Innovating to Win
271. Innovations Bliss
272. Innovation Zen
273. Inspired Business Growth
274. Internet Bazaar Tips!
275. I Succeed by Helping You Succeed
276. Its a numeric life
278. I:Eye, lifestyle directory
279. I Got News for You
280. illumiblog
281. Implementing Scrum
282. Inside Fatherhood
283. inspiration bit
284. Invincibelle
285. Ian McKenzie
286. It’s Not about Your Stuff
287. Inspiring and Empowering Lives
288. The Jeff Pulver Blog
289. Jamdo
290. James Gang
291. Janice Tips and Tricks
292. Java with Jesus and Jen
293. Jazz Cafe Borja
294. Jeremy Jacobs
295. Jeremy Wright
296. Jibstay
297. Jim Gibbon
298. Jobpundit
299. Johansundkvist
300. Joi Ito
301. Joshuaink
302. Joy of Autism
303. Joy of Six
304. Juggling Frogs
305. jules . ca
306. Just Thinkin’
307. JOHO the Blog
308. Jaffee Juice
309. Jamloceng
310. Jason Clark
311. Jersey Todd
312. Jibber Jobber
313. John Curtis
314. John TP
315. Jontus Media
316. Joyful Jubilant Learning
317. Just Make Money Online
318. The Kaiser Edition
319. Kickass Web Design
320. The Kiss Business Too
321. kmarblogsome
322. Knit 1 Blog Too
323. Know HR
324. Kicking the Gourd
325. Keith Dsouza
326. Keng
327. Katalyst Blog
328. Kevin Eikenberry Kinetic Ideas
329. Know More Media
330. Learned on Women
331. Leutola blogi
332. Levite Chronicles
333. Life as Mission
334. Life Beyond Code
335. Life Dev
336. Life in the Office
337. Life as I See It
338. Life Learning Today
339. Life of a Belly Dancer Wannabe
340. lil duck duck
341. Lip-Sticking
342. Listics
343. Little Mayvelous Things
344. Live Your Best Life
345. Living Leadership
346. Logic + Emotion
347. Loic Le Meur
348. Lorelle on Wordpress
350. Realtor Weblog
351. Life Through My Eyes
352. The Lives and Times
353. Laws of the Universe
354. Living with Multiple Personalities
355. Leadership Notes
356. Legal Andrew
358. Life 2.0
359. Life Clever
360. Leadership and Other Ramblings
361. Lead Quietly
362. Litemind
364. Linkedintelligence
365. Law of Attraction Playground
366. Keep It Simple
367. Lumpy’s Corner
368. Light Within
369. Logical Emotions
370. Making Life Work for You - A passionate and inspiring writer
371. minidiario jhispanos
372. Mad Baggage Rambling
373. Make It Great – Makin’ it great everyday!
374. Mama Mouse’s Chatter
375. Management Craft
376. Manage to Change
377. Managing Leadership
378. mandarine
379. marcel
380. Marketing Hipster
381. Marketing Roadmaps
382. Marketing Tools Review
383. MBA On the Run
384. Media Dragon
385. Mediator Tech
386. The Man in a Box
387. Middle Zone Musings
388. Mimi Writes
389. modern fabulousity
390. monetary web
391. Monk at Work
392. Multifaith Hall of Fame
393. Medical Blog Network
394. Motivation on the Run
395. Made to Be Great
396. Make Blog
397. managementboek nl
398. Managing with Aloha
399. Marketing Basics
400. Marketing Headhunter
401. Marketing Neophyte
402. Marketing Pilgrim
403. Mark Jaquith
404. May It Please the Court
405. MBA On The Run
406. Mental Floss
407. Michelle Styles
408. Moments of Clarity
409. MojoPages
410. Mom Gadget
411. Movie Marketing Madness
412. Money, Meaning, and Beyond
413. Mujeres de Empresa
414. Michael Stelzners Writing White Papers
415. Micropersuasion ::
416. Monsur
417. MySites Advisor
418. Mindworks
419. LogoBlog
420. Marie Millard
421. Media Hunter
422. Micropersuasion
423. Miss604
424. Moment on Monday
425. Motivation on the Run
426. My Beautiful Chaos
427. Naked Conversations
429. Neat & Simple Living
430. nektros
431. Next Up
432. Noah Grey
433. No BS Finance
434. No Ones Listening
435. Notebook Web of Cedric Giorgi
436. The Net-Savvy Jobseeker
437. Neal Pollack’s Alternadad
438. Neat Living
439. NewYorkology
440. NO!SPEC
442. Novelist in Training
443. No Maximum to Human Potential
444. National Networker
445. O
446. Occupational Adventure
447. Office Freaks
448. Office Politics
449. Off the Hoof
450. O’Flaherty blog
451. Ohad News
452. One-by-One Media
453. One Reader at a Time
454. Online Sales Success
455. Oomph
456. Opposite George
457. Organic Leadership Blog
458. Organizing Queen
459. Out of the Cube
460. Overheard in
461. Own Your Brand
462. Parking Lot
463. The Parody
464. Pause
465. Passion Meets Purpose
466. Perfectly Petersen
467. Performancing
468. Philabytes
469. Pig Notes
470. Pixelscribbles
471. Planet Webdev
472. Political Calculations
473. Ponto media
474. Pop URLs
475. POW!
476. Power of Four Way
477. Priscilla Palmer
478. Problogger -
479. Psychcentral
480. Psychology of Clutter
481. Publishing 2.0
482. A Politically Incorrect Entrepreneur
483. Perfectly Petersen
484. Petrona
485. Phil’s Proof
486. Pingable
487. Plagiarism Today
489. Polliwogs Pond
490. Pothole on the Infobahn
491. Practical Leadership
492. Presentation Zen
493. principled innovation
494. pro Blog Design
495. ProBlogger
496. Productivity Goal
497. ProffBlogger
498. Priscilla Palmer
499. pvt guy
500. Public Relations India Open Source PR
501. Pure Blogging
502. Purple Wren
503. The Publishing Spot
504. QLog
505. QMusings
506. zlythern
507. QAQNA
508. Questallia . . .
509. Quick Online Tips
510. Quipping Queen
511. Qwerty
512. Randa Clay Design
513. Real Blogger Status
514. Real Lawyers
515. The J spot
516. Real Estate Agents World
517. Rebecca ThomasDesigns
518. ririan project
519. Roberta Ferguson
520. R Web Designs
521. The Reign of Ellen
522. Random Mangus
523. Ramblings from a Glass Half Full
524. Rothacker Reviews
525. Random Good Stuff
526. Reader Appreiciation Project
527. Ratcliffe Blog
528. Rattle the Cage
529. Reality Wired
530. Redbank TV
531. Re:Retro
532. Rooms of My Heart
533. Runners Lounge
534. Ririan Project
535. Rohdesign
536. The Road Map
537. Rothacker Reviews
538. Resonanace Partnership
539. Rohdesign
540. Remote Control CEO
542. the-ripple-effect
543. Robert Paterson’s Weblog
544. sambharmafia
545. Save Darfur
546. Science and Politics
547. Scott Hodge
548. scribbit
549. Sean’s Obsessions
550. Seb’s Random Thoughts
551. Semantic Drift
552. Servant of Chaos
553. Seth’s Blog
554. Shai Coggins
555. Shake Well Before Use
556. Simplenomics
557. Simplicity
558. Sippin’ Whisky
559. Six Sigma Companies
560. Slacker Manager
561. Slightly Mordant
562. Small Biz Survival
563. Snapup
566. Sparkplug9
567. Spooky Action
568. Spirit in Gear
569. Spirit in Gear
570. Straight from the Barrel
571. Strategic ConversationsOut of a Stormy Sleep
572. Strategic Public Relations
573. Startup Princess
574. Stenstropedia
575. Steve’s 2 Cents
576. Stronger Teams Blog
577. studentlinc
578. Success from the Nest
579. Successful Blog - The Queen of Blogging!
580. Steli Efti
581. Serenity Quest
582. Small Business Blogging Scout
583. Shirley Buxton
584. Six Degrees of Inspiration
585. Small Business Enterpreneur’s Blog
586. Scorpias Gaming Lair
587. Scot Herrick
588. Scott Free Thinking
589. Scott H Young
590. The Social Media Marketing Blog
591. Search Engine Guide
592. Selfish Giving
593. Sensational Color
594. Service Untitled
595. Shards of Consciousness
596. SHO( )OT MY BLOG!
597. Sifry’s Alerts
598. simplerich
599. sirjoe
600. Skinny Moose Media
601. Small-business-Resources
602. Small Business Transitions
603. Small Dogs Paradise
604. Smart Wealthy Rich
605. Social Patterns Search Engine Marketing
606. Solo Business Marketing
607. Soul Terminal
608. Squibble
609. Sramana Mitra
610. STATS
611. Steve Olson
612. Stop/Start
613. Stories by REL
614. Storm Chaser
615. Strategic Name Development
616. Strategic Design
617. Strathlachlan
618. Student PR
619. Sui Generis
620. Success Begins Today
621. Success Creeations
622. sudelblog_de
624. Sumeetjains’s Treasures
625. Sylvia’s Insight
626. Symplebyte
628. Tamara
629. ThoughtSparks
630. Tax Girl
631. Tech Buzz
632. Technical Bliss
633. Techno Marketer
634. Technosailor
635. The Blogging Times
636. The Blog Studio
637. The Business of America Is Business
638. The Code Cave
639. The Good Blogs [tag] — A Community of good blogs.
640. The Good Life [tag]
641. The Ink Blog [tag]
642. The Zehnkatzen Times
643. ThirdAge
644. Thomas Clifford
645. That’s What She Said
646. Thoughts & Philosophies
647. Tlog
648. The Power to Connect
649. Toddler Planet
650. Tune up you EQ
651. Twittering on the Edge
655. TechZ Online
656. The Creativity Club
657. The Killing Train
658. The New Flatness
659. The NonBillable Hour
660. The Thinking Blog
661. The Zero Boss
662. Think Positive Blog
663. Tiny Gigantic
664. Today is that Day
665. To-done
666. Tom Watson
667. Torres Burriel
668. Trevor Hampel
669. Trizle
670. Troika
671. Twenty Steps
672. Typehacks
673. Unconventional Thinking
674. Upper Fort Stewart
675. Usabilityworks
676. Unraveling The Spiritual Mystique
677. unpopular web culture
678. Ubuntu Switch
679. Unmediated
680. Urban Jacksonville
681. Urban Monk
682. Urlfan
683. The VA Assistant
684. Viaspire
685. Viral Garden
686. Virtual Impax
687. Virtual Impax
688. Vaspers the Grate
689. Vamsi Gangavalli
690. Verge New Media
691. Vintage Faith
692. Virtualosophy
693. The Virtual Wire
694. Vitaly Friedman
695. The Vocabulary Reclamation Project
696. Walking Portland
698. What Would Dad Say
699. What’s Innovation Got to Do With It?
700. Writing Clear and Simple
701. The Wrong Advices
703. Weblogg-ed
704. Weblog Tools Collection
705. Web Worker Daily
706. Wilson’s Blogmanac
707. walk on
708. Words of a Broken Mirror
709. Workboxers
710. Working at Home on the Internet
711. working solo
712. Workout4bloggers
713. Wuching
714. The Write Path
715. Wintermute’s blog
717. Web and the City
718. What’s Next Blog
719. What’s Your Brand Mantra?
720. Where Is Basil?
721. Whimspiration
722. Wishful Thinking
723. WonderBranding
724. Wooster Collective
725. Word Sell, Inc
726. Work for You
727. Working Blogger
728. Writers Blog Alliance
729. Writers Unbound
730. Writing Great Ezines and Blogs
731. Wyome
732. Yap 3.0
733. Your Human Experience
735. You Already Know This Stuff
736. You Got Foo Ypulse
737. ZenChill Power Tools Blog
738. ZNet Blogs
739. Zoli’s Blog
740. ZoomStart
741. Zulit
742. Fake ID
743. Free Range Studios
744. Frog Design
745. Future Farmers
746. Hear, Hear
747. Local Projects
748. Mule Design
749. Proboscis
750. Rebar
751. Samorost
752. Stamen Design
753. Troy Worman Me. Now blogging at ProcessGeek.

My Additions:
J. Erik Potter
Backyard Conversations - Bob Loch
The Brand Chef - Andrew B. Clark

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Where Did He Go?

"Wait! What time is it? What day is it? Where have I been? Has it really been 2-1/2 weeks since my last post? Oh one will come back. I've let everyone down. My reader's are going to be dissapointed. Have I just created "blogger suicide" by taking too long off between posts? My head's spinning......." Okay, time to slow down and take a step back, and let's try to explain what's been going on.

Yes, these were all thoughts going through my mind the last couple weeks. I wish I had some great excuse for not writing in 2-1/2 weeks, but I don't know that I do. I've been stuck. In a funk. Maybe it was writer's block, (which is just a myth as shown here by Scott Ginsberg), or blogger's block? The thing is, I have lots of topics I want to write about, but I just haven't gotten it done. I've still been "out there," in the blogosphere, reading and commenting, but I failed to give my own blog the proper attention it needed. And for that, I must apologize, and ask my readers for forgiveness.

So, where did I go? After some reflection, I realized that much has transpired in the last two and a half weeks. My 2-1/2 year old daughter contracted Pneumonia, and my 5 month old daughter has an ear infection and RSV (a nasty virus that attacks the respiratory system). Couple those with one of the most busy times at work I have ever seen, and "Voila!" as they say! My mental capacity became drained very easily.

I know those are just excuses, but to me, they are very valid. Beyond that though, I think it's important to realize that many people hit the "mental wall." Tim Johnson just posted on his website the other day about his struggle with writer's block (or maybe it's thinker's block) on his new book. April Groves talked about finding balance on her blog. Well, I realized that the last 2-1/2 weeks I was knocked out of balance when the tight rope I was walking on snapped.

Lucky for me, there are places to turn when needing a swift kick in the pants (or at least a little motivation). Joanna Young over at confident writing had a post on 5 tips to beating blogger's block. If you ever find yourself in my shoes the last couple weeks, give it a look. Or, you could email Tim Johnson asking for a swift kick in the a--. He is very responsive and seemed eager to help ;)

Seriously, though, thank you to those that questioned where I'd been and what I'd been up to. I do apologize to the readers for taking such a long break....But hey, in my previous post I did say I was taking a "short hiatus, returning on Thursday." I guess I failed to mention which Thursday!

Thank your for your patience. I'm officially back - full strength. Look for good stuff in the coming days!
note: picture courtesy of Google Images via

Monday, November 26, 2007

It's Just Another Day!

Another year older and another year wiser (so I hope)!

I know that your birthday is suppose to be a special day, but for me today seems like "just another day." Of course, I'm sure it had to do with having to go to work today. Couple that with spending my evening at a coffee shop studying and working on a paper and presentation. (Now, before we decide to lynch the professors that are causing me this work, I better let you know that I do have an art for procrastination)! I know...I know...It's a terrible habit (procrastination, that is), and it's one I hope to break very soon!

But, although it seems like just another day, it's still a day to celebrate! The good Lord has given me another year on this planet. Another year with my family. Another year with my friends. It's been a very good year for me. One full of growth. My family grew by one very special girl (my 4-1/2 month old), and I feel that I have grown both personally and professionally.

So, although today may sound "ho-hum," I've still been able to keep a positive and grateful attitude. Why? Because although every day is just another day, it's still a day to celebrate!

Here's to hoping your days are days of celebration!

P.S>I must send out a "Happy Birthday" wish to two good friends of mine since high school. I've been blessed to share this wonderful day with the both of them.

picture by fadingsunset77, courtesy of

Night Owl or Early Riser?

You’ll remember that I am posting a ___ or ___ question every once in a while, just to mix things up a bit in an attempt to learn more about my readers and fellow bloggers. I’m hoping this will just be a fun little way to learn more about each other as we continue our wonderful journey through the blogosphere.

So, today I’m wanting to know if you are a “Night Owl” or an “Early Riser?” Are you one that likes to stay up late, or would you prefer to hit the sack early so that you can get up in the morning feeling refreshed? Maybe where you currently are on this is not where you would prefer to be!

I am much more of a morning person than a night owl. I can get up feeling rather well in the morning, but I’ll fall asleep during a late night movie 85-90% of the time! My real problem, however, came right after college (when I first started working). See, I had groomed myself in college to be a night owl, but then realized that I needed to switch back to a morning person so I could get to work on time. I’ll tell you this: Being a mixture of both can be bad news. I was staying up way to late, and getting up way too early!

So what about the rest of you? Are you night owls or morning people? Please share! Let’s see where the conversation leads us!

Also, I will be on a short hiatus for a few days. I have found myself a bit overwhelmed as I try to finish up a paper and presentation for a Wednesday night graduate class I take from Tim Johnson, as well as study for an exam for a different graduate class on Tuesday. The deadlines are fast approaching. It’s crunch time, so I’ve got to "DO THIS!" (sorry, just a little motivational pep talk for myself). I’ll try to be back in full force by Thursday.

Other Posts in the ___ or ___ series:

pictures courtesy of and

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Blogospheric Tailored Thanksgivings

Happy thanksgiving to all!

As I sit here reflecting on everything I’m thankful for, I have realized that I could go on for hours. I am most thankful for my wife and my daughters, my career, my true friends, laughter, happiness, my current place in life……..and on and on I could go. Really though, my previous post on my belief statement could help serve as a list of things I’m thankful for.

So, instead of laying out everything I’m thankful for, (as that will be reserved for my family gathering on Thursday), I thought I would tailor the following thanksgivings to what and who I have been thankful for over the last two and a half months from a blogospheric perspective.

I’m thankful for…..

Timothy Johnson because he was my inspiration to enter the wonderful blogosphere – and he is a creative mind with a big heart
Troy Worman and all the connections he has created through his compassion and generosity – and for the honor of being called an ON! Blog
Liz Strauss
for opening up her blog on Tuesdays for many to gather for great conversations, Klondike’s, Fat Tires, and fellowship
J. Erik Potter and Bob Loch (two fellow blogging classmates) for continued support, as well as their help and advice on this blogging journey – and for the building of new relationships
Ann Michael for the great discussions we’ve had on her site at Manage to Change
Erika Andersen for initiating our first conversation – and for the inspiration for my “Two Simple, Yet Powerful Words” series
Steve Farber for being the first one to post a comment on my blog (what an honor!) – and for the inspiration I gained from reading his two books
Don Frederiksen’s teachings on how to “lead quietly”
Starbucker’s inspiration for getting me to start to think about my “belief statement”
Drew McLellan’s thoughts on how to begin to change the world – and for his guest lecture in class on social media
Robert Hruzek’s “What I Learned From…..” group writing project and his other thought provoking and inspiring posts
April Groves’ and her passion for children
And, the great conversations, discussions, learning I have been a part of.

I know I’m leaving out so many others. I want to say “Thank You” to everyone who has not only visited this site, but who has allowed me to meander on theirs. Your passion and your writings really do inspire others!
picture courtesy of

Monday, November 19, 2007

My Belief Statement

My original inspiration for this post came from Starbucker's recent post on his belief statement. As I have been compiling my list over the last few weeks, I was "unintentionally" reminded by Drew McLellan's post that it was time to get my belief statement out there. I am confident that this statement will change over the next several months/years as major life events continue to occur, however, it is my hope that this statement remains largely in tact, no matter where I am in life's journey. So, here is my belief statement (in no particular order):

I believe in.........God's mercy and grace, the covenant of marriage, my wife's decisions in everything she does, the authenticity of both my daughters' smiles, constant learning and continuing education, humor as a healer, the ability to laugh at myself, the power of a "thank you", the power of the blogosphere, leading the team in "assists", taking a pitch, a grande-nonfat-extra hot-almond-latte, the perfect 300 game, the strike of a largemouth bass on a yamamoto senko, serving as a role model for others (especially young adults and my kids), a purebread Beagle, a dog serving as anyone's best friend, eternal life, my family, a Cubs world series win in my lifetime, the Iowa State Cyclones, the Drake Bulldogs, empowering others, relaxing on the couch, a hot and steamy shower, the contagious power of a smile, the pursuit of perfection, God's forgiveness, prayer, and the continual search for conversations on leadership and motivation.

What is your belief statement? I'm sure I've let out some things in mine (so I will probably be updating it rather soon!).

Courtesy of Drew McLellan's blog, these are other people and their posts on their belief statements:
Starbucker Ellen Weber Maria Palma Mike Sansone Tom Vander Well Mary Schmidt

Friday, November 16, 2007

Two More Simple, Yet Powerful Words

I’ve decided to kick off a series of posts pertaining to “Two Simple, Yet Powerful Words.” You’ll remember in my previous post that I tackled the words “Thank You.” I suppose you could also go back to another previous post where I talked about “Just Smile.” So, what’s on the docket this week you ask?

We’re all human and we all WILL make mistakes. It’s a part of life. No one is perfect (although I constantly strive for perfection). We all have those times when we let others down. We may fail to follow through on a promise. We may say something we later regret. In business, we may be late on a delivery, err on a decision, or fail on our quality. The point is humans make mistakes, which brings us to this week’s two simple and powerful words: “I’m Sorry.”

I know! It’s tough for some of us to admit fault and to take ownership of our mistakes. But, that is exactly what needs to happen. When you screw up: Accept it, Fix it, and Apologize. People need to hear "I'm Sorry." When they are feeling let down, depleted, wronged (and we are the cause of these feelings), then we need to say these two simple, yet very powerful words. Being able to admit fault and apologize for that fault can help a leader gain respect from his/her followers.

It’s really about accountability, isn’t it? As managers/leaders, we are always taught to hold others accountable. But, don’t we first need to start by holding ourselves accountable? We won’t gain the respect of our peers/subordinates/employees/bosses, until we are accountable for our actions (whether they are successes or failures/mistakes)!

Erika Andersen over at The Simplest Thing That Works has a great post on “Just Say Sorry.”
Here is an excerpt from her post:

"My opinion? Refusing to acknowledge that you're wrong is a sign of weakness. And lame apologies are worse than no apologies at all. Seth Godin has a great list in a recent blog post, of apologies from worst to best. "

"The two kinds of fake apologies I dislike the most are the I-couldn't-help-it-so-it's-not-really-my-fault apology and the it's-really-your-problem apology. "

Erika really nails it on the head doesn’t she? We can’t just say we’re sorry. We have to really mean it. The apology must be authentic!

Did you read Erika’s post? She has a great story on the nicest apology she has ever received? What about all of you? Tell me your stories (both good and bad). Let’s discuss and really show the power of these two simple words!
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