Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sweet 16

Happy Birthday Ellen!  Now sweet 16.  So where did the term sweet 16 come from ... and why not sweet 60 :)    I'm sure sixteen year old boys don't appreciate the term sweet 16.

Well the answer is no real basis.  The celebrated term primarily in the US and Canada seems to indicate the coming of age to adulthood.  However for Judaism and Christianity the celebrations of mitzvah and confirmation come much earlier. 

Maybe it has to do with driving.  In Ohio 16 is the official age for getting a drivers license and Ellen has already scheduled the test on Tuesday.  Good luck Ellen and Drive Safely.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Vistage Moai

Today was the monthly Vistage meeting.  We ended the meeting introducing ourselves to a potential new member.  It was interesting to hear the various testimonials ( e.g. the value Vistage has for them personally)  of twelve of the Vistage 1107 group.

There are five of the twelve that were "charter" members (now 11 years).  That qualifies as near loyalty (see previous day's post) - maybe a moai. 

Every meeting I leave with self improvement jewels:

(1) "Blue Zones" Dan Buettner's 9 secrets to live a long live and his Ted's Talk
(2)  B.D. 's comment about great sculptor who responded to how he created such a beautiful sculpture of a Horse.  "I just start with the stone and take away anything that is not a horse."
(3) A.S.  "Instead of dialing 911,  I decided to do a 119 call to you"
(4) J.B  "Career Happiness is finding out what you want to do .....  and who you want to work with"
(5) J.B. "Create your -  'I wish, I wonder' list"
(6) Reflections from the All City meeting -  "What is your Customer Experience Map"  and tell me about a Customer Experience that is unique for a customer (sustainable but not scalable ).

Always a high point of my month.

PS  -  The Ted Talk mentions the Okinawan tradition of forming a moai that provides a secure social network. Our Vistage group doesn't come close to the 97 year moai of the Okinawan ladies - but it's a good start :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Loyalty Rewards

What defines loyalty?   U.S.A. companies search for the holy grail of brand loyalty in consumers to harvest a lifetime of purchases.  So I began thinking about what companies or products have I been loyal to for over twenty years (since 1996).  Sony, Cincinnati Bell, General Motors, Yahoo, Sams Club, Kroger, Allen Edmonds, Microsoft, Amazon, PNC Bank, Schwab, Verizon, Vanguard, Delta Air, Hertz, Marvel, Duke Energy, Accenture and a few food brands. 

Some of what defines loyalty is "first to market" as is the case with my bank, brokerage,  and wireless provider.  Those relationships are "sticky" and requires effort to change. Others becomes convenience (location/monopoly related), Microsoft, Kroger, Delta Air, etc.

There have been some loyalty tests for many in my list, but each company was able to survive the temporary dissatisfaction with appropriate customer service. 

Loyalty in human relationships (see "Earn a Friend"), or in groups (clubs, ideologies, religion, nationalism etc.) is quite different and not necessarily exclusionary.  Sometimes loyalty is misplaced as duty and recklessly followed to one's demise. 

Loyalty is best described as commitment. Commitment requires passion.  Sustainable passion means willing to forgive.  Loyalty takes time and tests but yields a lifetime of rewards.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Three decisions matter

The three most important decisions you ever make in your life all depend upon your philosophy:

• Which God to believe in, if any. A good God or a bad God? A God beyond good and evil? An absolute or non-absolute God?

• Which person to marry, if any. What kind of person do you want to be most totally and intimately bound to forever?

• What career to work at, if any. What you do also reveals what you are.

All three choices depend on one’s philosophy of what is good and what is bad. These three decisions stay with us until our deathbed.
This final lecture (#14 "Final Questions: Who's to say Who's Right") of Peter Kreeft's  Ethics: A History of Moral Thought says it all.  The three most important decisions in your life mark the borders in your life puzzle that reveals the portrait you are painting.  Interestingly, these three questions are the hardest to answer and to know  completely.  I think each answer requires taking risk - or a LEAP OF FAITH.
Each of us will wrestle with doubt and arrogance; misfires and bulls eyes; struggles and comfort; pressure and peace; and in the end wonder - was my philosophy (the answers above) right?  Does it (or Did I) make a difference?
I do believe one thing completely - no decision creates no meaning in life.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Wrangling Look

As K.C. walked into my office to go to lunch, he looked at my face and blurted - "What's with that wrangley look?". He was of course referring to the 17 day stubble of growth protruding from my face.  (thankfully no picture of me is attached)

Now wrangley is not a word so did he say wrangling, or wrangled - regardless he got his point across.  Actually the verb wrangle has several choices on meaning:

 (1) to argue angrily with someone
 (2) to get (something) by clever methods or by persuading someone
 (3)  to control and care for (horses, cattle, etc.) on a ranch

Definitely the early beard look reminds us of a western cowboy herding cattle up to Montana.  Add to that Susan's dislike of the new look and you could say that there is an argument brewing.  Or the real answer is that it was my way (a clever method) of persuading Ellen to join me in a six week study of the Book of John (the suggested next steps from the week at JH Ranch).

So - for six weeks the wrangle will grow - in face, and spirit.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Earn a Friend

This last week I set a goal to not access computer or email after 6pm and limit the use during the weekend.  Not an easy feat.  How did I fill that time?  Gardening, Reading, Movies with Ellen, Napping, and Relationship stuff.  I even took time to complete a project in my backlog - Relationship Matrix.

I dreamed up a matrix to quantify relationships or friendship.  I figured that a friend can be viewed as a function of elapsed time known and quality time "earned". 

Aristotle said that friendship transcends justice and that it is the highest form of love.  He delineates friendship into three types:

(1) Friendship of mutual pleasure
(2) Friendship of utility
(3) Friendship of respect

He derives these three kinds of friendship from the three kinds of good:

(1) The good that gives us pleasure
(2) The good that is useful
(3) The good that is moral

There are ONLY three good reasons for doing or loving something:

(1) Either it is morally good
(2) Or it is a practical necessity
(3) Or..... it gives you some kind of joy

What better model to use to determine friends.  And remember ........ to have a friend, you must first be a friend.

Earn a point today -  call a friend!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Glimspe of Heaven - Heaven Board #10

Saturday evening (8/1/15) was a very emotional closing of a Father/Daughter journey for Ellen and I at JH. Ranch in Scotts Valley California.  My testimonial was that "At JH Ranch that week I saw a Glimpse of Heaven".

Looking into Ellen's eyes and having REAL solo time with her sitting on the mountainside in Northern California, we discovered the windows into each others hearts.  A week at JH Ranch doesn't just change you and your relationship with a daughter or son - it is transformative.

A mixture of spiritual soul training, parenting vision, outback relationship building, and praise and worship is what makes JH Ranch so effective.  The awesome setting in GOD's mountainous beauty is the canvass that allows those open to teaching to hear, see and experience his love.

Wow - no question this is a Heaven Board entry - #10
"I heard and I forgot. I saw and I remembered. I did and I understood."