Monday, June 30, 2008

The Anticipation Mounts for One Massive Conversation

The excitement is building as time gets nearer! That's right, folks, the second edition of Age of Conversation is getting closer and closer to hitting the book shelves. The editors have rounded up the writings of 237 authors and contributors, and are feverishly working to finish the editing process. It won't be long now!! Can you feel the anticipation growing? I can't wait to get my hands on this work of art! What exactly am I talking about here? What's the hype all about you ask? Well, check out the first edition of the Age of Conversation, or better yet, why don't you purchase a copy here!

I'm getting excited, aren't you? I can't wait to see what these 237 authors have in store for us:

Adrian Ho, Aki Spicer, Alex Henault, Amy Jussel, Andrew Odom, Andy Nulman, Andy Sernovitz, Andy Whitlock, Angela Maiers, Ann Handley, Anna Farmery, Armando Alves, Arun Rajagopal, Asi Sharabi, Becky Carroll, Becky McCray, Bernie Scheffler, Bill Gammell, Bob LeDrew, Brad Shorr, Brandon Murphy, Branislav Peric, Brent Dixon, Brett Macfarlane, Brian Reich, C.C. Chapman, Cam Beck, Casper Willer, Cathleen Rittereiser, Cathryn Hrudicka, Cedric Giorgi, Charles Sipe, Chris Kieff, Chris Cree, Chris Wilson, Christina Kerley (CK), C.B. Whittemore, Chris Brown, Connie Bensen, Connie Reece, Corentin Monot, Craig Wilson, Daniel Honigman, Dan Schawbel, Dan Sitter, Daria Radota Rasmussen, Darren Herman, Dave Davison, David Armano, David Berkowitz, David Koopmans, David Meerman Scott, David Petherick, David Reich, David Weinfeld, David Zinger, Deanna Gernert, Deborah Brown, Dennis Price, Derrick Kwa, Dino Demopoulos, Doug Haslam, Doug Meacham, Doug Mitchell, Douglas Hanna, Douglas Karr, Drew McLellan, Duane Brown, Dustin Jacobsen, Dylan Viner, Ed Brenegar, Ed Cotton, Efrain Mendicuti, Ellen Weber, Eric Peterson, Eric Nehrlich, Ernie Mosteller, Faris Yakob, Fernanda Romano, Francis Anderson, Gareth Kay, Gary Cohen, Gaurav Mishra, Gavin Heaton, Geert Desager, George Jenkins, G.L. Hoffman, Gianandrea Facchini, Gordon Whitehead, Greg Verdino, Gretel Going & Kathryn Fleming, Hillel Cooperman, Hugh Weber, J. Erik Potter, James Gordon-Macintosh, Jamey Shiels, Jasmin Tragas, Jason Oke, Jay Ehret, Jeanne Dininni, Jeff De Cagna, Jeff Gwynne & Todd Cabral, Jeff Noble, Jeff Wallace, Jennifer Warwick, Jenny Meade, Jeremy Fuksa, Jeremy Heilpern, Jeroen Verkroost, Jessica Hagy, Joanna Young, Joe Pulizzi, John Herrington, John Moore, John Rosen, John Todor, Jon Burg, Jon Swanson, Jonathan Trenn, Jordan Behan, Julie Fleischer, Justin Foster, Karl Turley, Kate Trgovac, Katie Chatfield, Katie Konrath, Kenny Lauer, Keri Willenborg, Kevin Jessop, Kristin Gorski, Lewis Green, Lois Kelly, Lori Magno, Louise Manning, Luc Debaisieux, Mario Vellandi, Mark Blair, Mark Earls, Mark Goren, Mark Hancock, Mark Lewis, Mark McGuinness, Matt Dickman, Matt J. McDonald, Matt Moore, Michael Karnjanaprakorn, Michelle Lamar, Mike Arauz, Mike McAllen, Mike Sansone, Mitch Joel, Neil Perkin, Nettie Hartsock, Nick Rice, Oleksandr Skorokhod, Ozgur Alaz, Paul Chaney, Paul Hebert, Paul Isakson, Paul McEnany, Paul Tedesco, Paul Williams, Pet Campbell, Pete Deutschman, Peter Corbett, Phil Gerbyshak, Phil Lewis, Phil Soden, Piet Wulleman, Rachel Steiner, Sreeraj Menon, Reginald Adkins, Richard Huntington, Rishi Desai, Robert Hruzek, Roberta Rosenberg, Robyn McMaster, Roger von Oech, Rohit Bhargava, Ron Shevlin, Ryan Barrett, Ryan Karpeles, Ryan Rasmussen, Sam Huleatt, Sandy Renshaw, Scott Goodson, Scott Monty, Scott Townsend, Scott White, Sean Howard, Sean Scott, Seni Thomas, Seth Gaffney, Shama Hyder, Sheila Scarborough, Sheryl Steadman, Simon Payn, Sonia Simone, Spike Jones, Stanley Johnson, Stephen Collins, Stephen Landau, Stephen Smith, Steve Bannister, Steve Hardy, Steve Portigal, Steve Roesler, Steven Verbruggen, Steve Woodruff, Sue Edworthy, Susan Bird, Susan Gunelius, Susan Heywood, Tammy Lenski, Terrell Meek, Thomas Clifford, Thomas Knoll, Tim Brunelle, Tim Connor, Tim Jackson, Tim Mannveille, Tim Tyler, Timothy Johnson, Tinu Abayomi-Paul, Toby Bloomberg, Todd Andrlik, Troy Rutter, Troy Worman, Uwe Hook, Valeria Maltoni, Vandana Ahuja, Vanessa DiMauro, Veronique Rabuteau, Wayne Buckhanan, William Azaroff, Yves Van Landeghem

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Perseverance: As Taught By An 11-Month Old

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you will have realized that I love learning life lessons from my children. As a friend and professor of mine has said “Sometimes children make the best professors.” What an accurate statement! You’ll remember that I’ve been taught a variety of lessons from my two daughters, ranging from adversity to persistence to smiling. Well, it’s time to add one more to the list! This story is my lesson on perseverance, as taught by my 11 month old daughter:

If you have kids (or have been around kids) you realize that you’re always coming up on different milestones. You remember the first word they said. You remember when they started crawling. You may even remember their first “all-out-on-the-floor-wailing-and-screaming-fit.” Well, my 11month old (she’ll be one year on July 3rd) has hit the “walking milestone.” She can now stand up on her own and take 2-3 steps before she falls to her knees and cruises to her intended target.

As I’ve watched her through this stage over the last few weeks, I have really seen what perseverance can do for a person. My daughter started by walking along furniture, until one day she decided to “let go” and immediately fell down. This didn’t stop her though. She continued to try, time after time, day after day until she was able to stand by herself, in balance, without falling. Then, she was ready to take a step. I remember her looking around, trying to figure out how she was going to get to her toys now that she was standing. She tried to take a step and down she went, falling to her hands and knees. Again, she stuck with it, immediately getting up and trying again, time after time, day after day, until she was able to take a couple steps. Yes, she’s fallen. She’s bumped her head. She’s scraped her toes and knees on the pavement. Yet, she has persevered; bound and determined to walk to where she wants to go.

As a parent, it’s a proud moment seeing the will in your child’s eyes, and the perseverance in her actions. It’s been an amazing journey for her as she continues to strive towards walking, persevering through all her falls, and bumps, and bruises.

Couldn’t we learn something from this? I mean, after all “Sometimes children do make the best professors.” Don’t we all fail sometimes, whether in work, or play, or life? We fall down. We get bumps and bruises along the way. When it happens though, what’s our response? Do we give up? Do we quit trying? Or, do we do what my 11 month old daughter would want us to do, and keep pushing on, ever persevering towards our ultimate goals?

Something to ponder on today!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Selfish Blogging

It's time to be honest. Honest to you and honest to myself. See, I originally started blogging for selfish reasons. I wanted to try and build a professional network. I wanted to pick the brains of experts so I could learn more about leadership and motivation. I wanted to be center of attention. It was all about what I wanted.

Then, I hit a point where I realized that the conversation and dialogue was what I was truly after. I loved the thought of being able to communicate to people thousands of miles away, while I built my network up even more. Still selfish.

Now, I'm coming to the realization that I still am a selfish blogger. I'm always thinking about what interesting piece I can write to generate more traffic. How do I get more people to read my blog?

This is all wrong for me! What my focus should be on is what do my readers want to see, and can I provide them something of value. It's not about me. It's about them. It's about you. Who cares how many people read my blog. Shouldn't it really be about how many lives I can have a positive impact on through my blogging? I think it's time to change my focus! Instead of trying to generate traffic, or trying to create awe inspiring posts, it's time to just be "real." It's time to put my thoughts out there in the hopes that someone is affected positively. It's time to be more authentic. It's time to be more like these bloggers (who are out there providing inspiration to others):
Of course, we'll always check our technorati rank, and our analytic stats, and we'll always give out some link love, and there'll be some selfish tendencies, but maybe we should decide why we are blogging. What's your true motivation? If your reason is to make a profit or get more attention, then that is fine. To each there own. I've just realized that those aren't my main motivations. All I suggest is to take a look at your focus, decide what path your blog should go down, and then set it on "cruise control" and enjoy the ride! Whatever motivation you have, own it.

So, do you need to adjust your focus?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Doings of an Effective Leader

"Effective leaders are not preachers, they are doers."
- Peter Drucker

Following the theme Mr. Drucker laid out for us, I'd like you to help me finish this phrase.

"An Effective Leader..............."

  • Creates vision
  • Instills confidence
  • Reduces chaos
  • Actively listens
  • Elicits teamwork
  • Commands respect
  • Shows compassion

What am I missing? I know there are many more doings of an effective leader! I'd love to have your input!

Monday, June 16, 2008

A-maze-ing Monday

Have you ever had a case of the Mondays? Well, I think many of us get that way sometimes. It's hard to get back at it after a fabulous Father's Day weekend. So, I thought I'd break up the Monday monotony a bit. Here you go....Enjoy!

note: drawn by "me"- Eric Peterson

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Place to Call Home

I've been trying to get a friend to start blogging, as I think he has a lot of knowledge to offer the world. Although he hasn't fully jumped into our sphere yet, I'm hoping that this may be a start! Everyone knows how the housing market has been lately. My friend has decided to put his house on the market, and felt that a dedicated blog might be a good way to advertise. I must give him props as he is thinking outside the box (the box of hiring a realtor). Although he has thoroughly enjoyed the last few years in a great neighborhood in the Urbandale/Waukee, Iowa area, he is wanting to move his wife and 2 kids closer to the rest of his extended family.

With that said, if you are looking for a fabulous house, in a great neighborhood, in a wonderful suburb of Des Moines, Iowa, then please give this house a look! It really is an amazing deal (and no, it's not in danger of flooding)!!!

note: I really want to help this friend out!! Any spreading of the word would be greatly appreciated by myself (as well as my friend)!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What Kind of Sports Car Are You?

I'm a Chevrolet Corvette!

You're a classic - powerful, athletic, and competitive. You're all about winning the race and getting the job done. While you have a practical everyday side, you get wild when anyone pushes your pedal. You hate to lose, but you hardly ever do.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz, and share below in the comments!

note: Thanks to Phil Gerbyshak and Troy Worman for sharing their "sports cars"!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

"Duck, Duck, Goose!"

Do you remember playing this game when you were young? To jog your memory, you would get a group of people and sit in a circle. One person was “it” and would go around touching everyone on the held while saying “Duck, Duck, Duck.” Finally, the person would touch someone’s head while saying the word “Goose,” which caused the person sitting on the ground to get up and chase the “it” person around the circle. The object of the “it” person was to get around the circle and sit down, without being caught by the “goose.” What a great game that was!! But, where am I going with this?

Well, it seems that game was really all about favoritism. You did it. I did it. Everyone did it. Maybe you had a crush on “that girl” (or “that guy”), so you always chose them to be “the goose.” Or, maybe you always chose your best friend as the goose, or that one kid that looked goofy when he ran. Whatever the reason, everyone seemed to play favorites.

Times haven’t changed have they? We’re all grown up now, and we still fall into this trap. Doesn’t favoritism come into play in our working environments? Have you had a manager always give the “fun” job, or the “challenging” job to a certain individual? Or, maybe it seems that a coworker always helps out a certain person, but will never help you. It’s around us all the time. You’ve seen it in your organizations. It’s really just a form of office politics isn’t it? But, how do you deal with it? Do you accuse? Do you shy away? Do you get even? What’s your strategy for dealing with favoritism in the workplace?

This brings me to my next post: Should a leader play favorites? Is there a place for favoritism in the workplace? Hmmmmm……Something to ponder for a couple days!

note: picture courtesy of

Friday, June 06, 2008

To Lead, You Must Love

“You can’t lead the people, if you don’t love the people. You can’t save the people, if you don’t serve the people.” - Cornel West, University Professor at Princeton

I came across this quote while I was drinking my morning cup of mild brew the other day. The quote was #284 from “The Way I See It” series on Starbuck’s 12 oz cup:

I personally think this quote is great. I know it uses the “L” word that is hard for people in the business world to incorporate into their daily language, but think about it. Doesn’t a leader need to love/respect/appreciate his followers to truly be an effective leader? Doesn’t there need to be some sort of relationship? Or, will the people follow out of obedience? And if so, does a leader want obedience or true commitment? To me, obeying an order is much different than committing to a task. True leaders gain commitment from their followers, not just compliance!

But then again, some leaders just want a task completed (which doesn’t take much commitment). Or wait; are these leaders, or actually just managers? What are your thoughts?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The King of Excuses

That’s me to a “T”! I just recently figured this one out (although I’ve suspected it for some time now). Yes, I am that guy; the one with an excuse for everything!

My enlightenment came after 6 long weeks of taking a break from blogging. A fellow blogger, who I respect greatly, said “It’s been over a month since your last post. What gives?” In my response to him, I realized that I really am the “King of Excuses.” I always have them. Yes, they may be true, but they are still, in fact, excuses. Let’s take a look at a few, and then tell me what you think:

  1. In response to why I haven't been blogging - “I’ve had some health issues the past month. I had strep throat, pneumonia, and an abnormal EKG all in the same week.” (I’m glad to say that everything is now okay! I just have to get another chest x-ray to make sure the pneumonia’s gone)!

  2. In response to where I’ve been lately“The spring weather has played a part. I’ve finally gotten to spend more time with my girls, playing outside daily.”

  3. In response to why I didn’t work out with a friend a few mornings“I had a rough night’s sleep. I just couldn’t get up this morning.”

I could go on and on! I started thinking back over the past few months and have realized that I do have an excuse for everything. Every area of my life is touched by my excuses. Maybe they are “good” excuses, and maybe they are “bad” excuses. Either way, they are still excuses.

Do any of you have this problem? Is it a problem at all? Why does it seem that many of us just can’t say “No?” Instead, we have to offer a reason (an excuse) as to why we are saying no. Why does it seem that many of us just can’t say “I’m sorry I failed you,” or “I’m sorry I hurt you?” Instead, we have to try and explain (give an excuse) as to why we failed or hurt. Finally, are excuses really only a selfish way to make yourself feel better for something? Do excuses offer any benefits to the other party?

This one’s really got me thinking. Stay tuned for more of my thoughts/struggles with excuses!