Tuesday, 28 September 2010

The Empowering Leader

Enjoy this video preview from the FranklinCovey training session: Leadership: Great Leaders, Great Teams, Great Results.


Emma Braddon, featured in this video is an inspiring and empowering leader who truly makes a difference!

Monday, 27 September 2010

New Job

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's off to work we go....
Starting a new job is always interesting.

It's sort of like starting at a new school. You ask yourself...will I fit in? Will they like me? Will I do a good job? Will they be glad they hired me?

Once you get past your sudden trip back into 7th grade obsession with being liked and step back into adulthood it's really ok. You remember that you are a grown up with adult children and a husband who loves you. You have friends and people liked you at your last job. You were great at your last job, so it is likely that you will do well in your next one.

The next step is learning the new job...one day at a time! The learning curve has begun. Adapting to the new role is going to be an interesting ride.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Blink, Malcolm Gladwell


Blink; The Power of Thinking of Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell is New York Times Bestseller. Gladwell was named as Time Magazine's 100 Most Influencial people in 2005 and is a writer for New Yorker magazine . Blink is a book that combines neuroscience and psychology, making it appeal to all sorts of audiences.
"Malcolm Gladwell's fascinating treatise on snap judgments is sure to inspire a following....The writer is in top form in Blink and the reading here is a real pleasure. As in the best of Gladwell's work, Blink brims with surprising insights about our world and ourselves, ideas that you'll have a hard time getting out of your head, you'll itch to share with all of your friends." ~ Farhad Manjoo, Salon
Malcolm Gladwell:
What is Blink about?
It's a book about rapid cognition, about the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye. When you meet someone for the first time, or walk into a house you are thinking of buying, or read the first few sentences of a book, your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions. Well, "Blink" is a book about those two seconds, because I think those instant conclusions that we reach are really powerful and really important and, occasionally, really good


Gladwell's book takes a look at first impressions and how we can use those to become successful decision makers.

It's time for me to explore his other books. I think that The Tipping Point is next.

Napping


“No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap.”
~ Carrie P. Snow

This is a quote that begins an article on the benefrits of napping on the Riran Project site.

The article goes on to say that we only need as much sleep as the brain will allow. A power nap of 20 minutes can refresh our brains.

A good night's sleep and a refreshing nap can give you many benefits:

  1. Less stress and added relaxation, including decreased stress hormone levels.
  2. Increased alertness and productivity. A 20-minute nap in the afternoon will "do more for your stamina than sleeping another 20 minutes in the morning."
  3. Improved memory and learning. "It looks like napping may protect brain circuits from overuse until those neurons can consolidate what’s been learned about a procedure."
  4. Good for the heart. "may reduce the risk of death from heart disease, particularly in young healthy men, say researchers. It is known that countries where siestas are common tend to have lower levels of heart disease."
  5. Increased cognitive functioning."In a recent study, researchers at NASA showed that a 30-minute power nap increased cognitive faculties by approximately 40 percent!"
  6. Get motivated to exercise."You’re guaranteed to run longer, faster, more efficiently and mindfully when your body has it’s required amount of zzzz’s."
  7. Boost your creativity. "People tend to be more imaginative after a good night’s sleep. Other experts agree that taking a nap or stepping away from a problem or project refreshes the mind and could lead to better ideas later."
  8. Make up for midnight tossing and turning. "Some of the most recent research suggests that a bad night’s sleep can stress the body as well as the mind."  
  9. Protect yourself from sleepiness. "Naps are clearly useful for some people, including shift workers, students, and anyone doing long-haul work, such as pilots on transcontinental runs."
  10. Better health. "Napping in general benefits heart functioning, hormonal maintenance, and cell repair."
Getting the perfect nap

•The first consideration is psychological: Recognize that you’re not being lazy; napping will make you more productive and more alert after you wake up.
•Try to nap in the morning or just after lunch; human circadian rhythms make late afternoons a more likely time to fall into deep (slow-wave) sleep, which will leave you groggy.
•Avoid consuming large quantities of caffeine as well as foods that are heavy in fat and sugar, which meddle with a person’s ability to fall asleep.
•Instead, in the hour or two before your nap time, eat foods high in calcium and protein, which promote sleep.
•Find a clean, quiet place where passersby and phones won’t disturb you.
•Try to darken your nap zone, or wear an eyeshade. Darkness stimulates melatonin, the sleep- inducing hormone.
•Remember that body temperature drops when you fall asleep. Raise the room temperature or use a blanket.
•Once you are relaxed and in position to fall asleep, set your alarm for the desired duration (see below).
How long is a good nap?

THE NANO-NAP: 10 to 20 seconds. Sleep studies haven’t yet concluded whether there are benefits to these brief intervals, like when you nod off on someone’s shoulder on the train.
THE MICRO-NAP: two to five minutes. Shown to be surprisingly effective at shedding sleepiness.

THE MINI-NAP: five to 20 minutes. Increases alertness, stamina, motor learning, and motor performance.

THE ORIGINAL POWER NAP: 20 minutes. Includes the benefits of the micro and the mini, but additionally improves muscle memory and clears the brain of useless built-up information, which helps with long-term memory (remembering facts, events, and names).

THE LAZY MAN’S NAP: 50 to 90 minutes. Includes slow-wave plus REM sleep; good for improving perceptual processing; also when the system is flooded with human growth hormone, great for repairing bones and muscles.
I had a nap this afternoon. It was wonderful.

Read the whole article on the Ririan Project site, here.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Leadership

"A good leader takes more than their fare share of the blame and gives more than their share of the credit." ~ Arnold Glasnow

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The Walk, Richard Paul Evans

I recently listened to The Walk, as an audio book while travelling.

The Walk is the story of a man, Alan Christofferson, whose wife becomes very ill and in the process of caring for her he loses his home and his business, and her. With nothing to live for, Alan chooses life, but without any direction he decides to go for a walk. His walk isn't a few blocks, instead he sets out to walk across the United States.

When I told someone about the book, his walk across the country made them think of Forrest Gump. While both men set out on their journies after they lose the woman they love, it is still a very different story.

The book tells the story of is the main character's struggle to find himself after he has suffered such incredible losses. His journey leads him to discover many interesting people and in his quest to understand himself, he learns a lot about himself. The story has somewhat of a spiritual flair, but it doesn't get moralistic. For that I was grateful.

In some ways, this book is like a 'self-help' book, that does teach a lesson, however. It didn't inspire me to examine my life or to change my way of thinking. It was, however, interesting enough to keep me entertained and awake during a long drive...across my province.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Influence

"To the world, you may be just one person; but to one person, you may be the world." ~ Josephine Billings

Accident Aftermath

In a previous post I wrote about my recent accident. Now that the insurance companies have done all of their stuff, it's time to repair the car.

Most of us have an innate distrust of car repair companies, car salesmen, anything car. This is probably because most of us don't know much about our cars and how to determine who we can trust. It's also likely that this feeling is amplified by the fact that we generally share the bad stories about our experiences. Therefore, we have all heard horror stories about various issues people have faced when buying or repairing a car, and we have rarely heard the good stories. 

When I had my accident, I had to have my car towed. I also quickly realized that I'd need to leave my car in B.C. to be repaired. I wouldn't be able to use a local company that could come recommended by someone I knew.

This is what I do know, however. The autobody shop was actually closed on that Saturday. The owner had come in for a short time to complete some work. He went out of his way to come and pick up the car. Then, he offerred me a courtesy car. While I waited for my aunt to come and pick me up from the shop, he let me make numerous phone calls, some long distance as I sorted out my insurance and determined what sort of a rental car I could get to take us back to Saskatchewan.

Since the car has been there, I've had frequent contact initiated by the autobody shop. I have never had to wonder where we were in the process and what would be coming next. I even received pictures of my car up in the hoist getting ready to be worked on. Now that we are approaching the final stages of the repair, we need to determine how I will get my car. Oliver, B.C. doesn't have a car rental agency and I need to fly into the Kelowna airport. The owner has even offered to drive into Kelowna and pick me up from the airport.

I am pleased I've put my trust in Mike's Autobody in Oliver, B.C. Mike, the owner, has the great competencies and results that make him credible along with the intent and integrity of character all those things that inspire trust. I am looking forward to receiving quality repair on my car. I guess if I don't, I've been gullible, but I believe I really lucked out. If I had to have an accident on my holiday, it is good that it happened there.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Poble Espanyol, Barcelona, Spain

The Poble Espanyol (Spanish Village) was built in 1929 for the Barcelona International Exhibition in order to provide an insight into the wealth and diversity of Spanish cultures. This open air museum features exact replicas of a variety of buildings from different periods of Spain's history. As well, the village has a variety of shops and restaurants.

Poble Espanyol has a small square. You can always find entertainers there, and both times I've been there, preschool children were singing on the steps of a building. They're sweet happy faces as they sang were enjoyable. I also really enjoyed walking through the village, the variety of architectural styles is a smooth transition of interesting buildings. The cobble stoned narrow streets are narrow and curved, giving a sense of old world charm.

There is a small fee to enter the village. From there, you spend only what you want. It is hard to stop from purchasing some souveniers or art work, but not impossible, and there are always some affordable ones.

I guess what I liked the most about this particular tourist attraction, is that it really doesn't seem all that commercial. It retains its grace and charm.

Meetings

Here are some meeting tips I've been working on. Nothing new here, just a compilation of different things to think about:


Before the Meeting
Determine your Purpose
  • Sharing important information, especially that which will be heard for the first time?
  • Updates on organization strategies and management decisions?
  • Providing context for processes/procedures/ changes and how they impact current work?
  • Gathering input from employees?
  • Communicating how unit /branch work impacts other branches/units?
  • Updates on other branch, unit and colleagues’ work?
  • Decision making?
  • Idea creating and problem solving?
Know the purpose of your meeting.

Preparation
  • Do you know have a clear objective for the meeting?
  • Do you have the background information read?
  • Do you provide background information to the appropriate people?
  • Do you advise people ahead of time that a decision will be made and do you provide them with the necessary materials so that they may come prepared to make a decision?
  • Do you have an agenda?
  • Have you set aside enough time for the items on the agenda?
Planning
  • Have you determined the purpose of your meeting?
  • Are you trying to achieve too many objectives in one meeting?
  • Who needs to be in attendance?
  • Does the format of the meeting need to be adapted according to the subject or the attendants?
  • What are the participants expecting from the meeting?
  • Consider how you can get the best out of the participants.
  • Will a change of the time, duration, or location of the meeting to make it more productive?
  • Do you need any tools to make the meeting more effective? (Flip chart, PowerPoint, handouts, etc.)
  • How will you arrange the meeting room set-up to maximize participation?
  • Consider rotating the chair responsibility.
Attendees
  • Do you make sure that the right people are invited to the meeting?
  • Do you ensure that people are not invited unnecessarily?
Timeliness
  • Do your meetings start and end on time?
  • Do you arrive on time?
During the Meeting
  • Do you keep to your agenda?
  • Are you make clear about action items and who is responsible for each of them?
  • Do you get contributions from all of the participants?
  • Before the meeting is adjourned, Summarise each agenda item, what has been decided?
  • When a meeting is longer than an hour, do you allow for a short break (just a few seconds) to stretch, refill coffee, etc?
  • Do you ensure participants return on time?
  • Do you return on time?
Follow Up
  • Do you send a succinct message to meeting participants indicating the requested/agreed upon actions and decisions within the next day.
  • Do you make this information available for those who weren’t able to attend, but need this information?
  • Do you follow-up on the actions for which you are responsible?
Large Group?
  • Since it’s harder to meet as a large group with any frequncy, consider a weekly or bi-weekly Stand-up meeting
  • Keep it to 15 minutes or less
  • Provide important updates (Details can follow in a unit meeting or email.)
  • Have regularly scheduled yearly, quarterly, or bi-annual meetings for longer meetings.
One-on-one meetings
Use to:
  • Provide feedback
  • Review portfolio
  • Discuss learning

Thursday, 16 September 2010

The Martian Child, David Gerrold

One weekend my husband recorded a movie that he thought I might like. The movie, Martian Child, starred John Cussack as a recently widowed man who debates going through an adoption that he and his wife had initiated before her death.

In the movie, John Cusack and his newly adopted son, Dennis, work at learning how to live with one another, how to communicate and how to heal their own tender hearts. Dennis believes he is from Mars, hence the title. For Dennis his Martian background is why he has been abandonded by his family. The movie is a lovely story about these two different characters who grow to discover who they are and the family they can make together.


I've bought the book since viewing the movie. The book is just as good. 

David Gerrold is an award winning writer. He won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for this book. He has also written for Star Trek, Sliders, Babylon 5, and The Twilight Zone. His other novels include The Man Who Folded Himself and When HARLIE Was One. 

The Martian Child, novel is semi-autobiographical. The movie has taken licence and the characters are not the same as in the movie, but they are just as interesting, still capturing your heart.

I don't know which is better, the book or the movie. John Cusack and Bobby Coleman have a wonderful chemistry as father and son. On the other hand, Gerrold's writing is lyrical and really captures the imagination. I guess I'd have to say that this is the case where you want to read the book and watch the movie...even if they are somewhat different.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Body Language and Leadership

Body language, non-verbal communication, includes posture, gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements.

When people communicate, body language makes up 55% of our communication, 7% is our actual words, and 38% is tone (pitch, speed, volume) It is suggested by researchers that about 70% of all meaning in communication comes from nonverbal behaviour.


10 Body Language Mistakes Women Leaders Make
Body language can provide clues for us in our communication with others. It is also important to recognize the messages our own body language gives.

An interesting article, "10 Body Language Mistakes Women Leaders Make" in the Financial Post gives some interesting insights into body language, as well as the mistakes women can make.
Carol Kinsey Goman, Troy Media, Financial Post · Thursday, Jul. 15, 2010
There are two sets of body language cues that followers look for in leaders: warmth (empathy, likeability, caring) and authority (power, credibility, status). Although I know several leaders of both sexes who do not fit the stereotypes, I’ve also observed that gender differences in body language most often do align with these two groupings. Women are the champions in the warmth and empathy arena, but lose out with power and authority cues.
All leaders are judged by their body language. If a female wants to be perceived as powerful, credible, and confident, she has to be aware of the nonverbal signals she’s sending. There are a number of behaviors I’ve seen women unknowingly employ that reduce their authority by denoting vulnerability or submission. Here are 10 body language mistakes that women leaders commonly make.
The article goes on to describe the 10 body language mistakes women leaders make:
  1. They use too many head tilts, which while postive can also be submission signals.
  2. They physically condense (minimize their size and take up less space).
  3. They act girlish. (twirling hair, playing with jewelry, or biting a finger.)
  4. They smile excessively, while positive, it can also be confusing especially when a negative topic is being discussed.
  5. They nod too much. (When a woman nods, it can mean she agrees, is listening, empathizing, or encouraging, it also expresses encouragement and engagement, but not power.) 
  6. They speak “up.” (rise at the end of sentences)  
  7. They wait their turn. (In negotiations, especially, they need to learn to interrupt)
  8. They are overly expressive. (movements are large and passionate, calm and contained movements look powerful)  
  9. They have a delicate handshake.
  10. They flirt. (using the nonverbal behaviors of smiling, leaning forward suggestively, tossing their hair, etc.)
Read more:  Financial Post


Accidents Happen


Well, it happened.

I lost my car bumper in an accident a week or so ago. That moment is one I'd love to have back. I spent the rest of the day, and frankly some time this past week thinking "'What if?" In spite of the fact that the moment has passed, the deed done, it is amazing how much more time one can spend wishing for that moment to come again, to be able to relive it and have an entirely different outcome.

Now my car sits in an autobody repair shop two provinces away. I'm waiting to hear how much the repairs will be, how long it will take, etc.  

Perspective is a funny thing. In the scheme of things, the accident is definitely a crappy event. It wasn't a good thing. However, if I persist in that what if scenario, and in wondering what if it never happened, I also need to look at the flip side. What if someone had been hurt? That what if would have been far worse.

I do have difficulty reminding myself to look at that bright side. I need to, however. I can't change the past and I do have something to be very, very grateful for.

(Besides no one being hurt, I could also be the driver of one of these vehicles...)

Monday, 13 September 2010

Destress

"Stress has a bigger impact on your health than you might realize, according to research presented yesterday at the annual conference of the American Psychological Association in Boston." Scientific American

Stress affects our immune system, increases your risk for allergies and length of healing time. Stress affects our brain function and memory.

I don't know anyone who doesn't have stress. The key is learning how to manage it.

There's a fun site, called Zenhabits. I like their post: 8 Unconventional Ways to De-stress and Release Tension. With suggestions like procrastinate and finger paint, there are some fun ideas. Just reading the post gives you a fun way to destress.

I've had a lot of stress in my life and I really recognize the need to take care of myself in a way that makes things manageable.


My favourite destressors are:
  1. A hot bath
  2. Napping in the sun
  3. Walking the dog
  4. Cooking
  5. Reading
  6. Time alone
I think I need to keep finding good destressors. Maybe I should take up fingerpainting?


It's probably better than this destress 'kit' I found...

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Kelowna, British Columbia

I've just spent a few days in Kelowna, B.C. Kelowna is a pretty city that sits in the Okanogan Valley and wine country. The city is long and narrow, bordering Okanogan Lake.
It has a population of 107,000, which seems to swell during the summer and for rush hour traffic.

Full of lush trees, the city was very warm the first week of September, when I was there. Most days were close to 30 degrees celcius. Luckily the city also cooled down each evening. After a summer of nearby forest fires, the air was surprisingly clear and fresh. A few evening rains certainly helped!


Orchard Park Mall and the downtown area provided lots of great stores for browsing. The neighbourhoods were also nice for walking, making it an easy place to visit.




Betty White

In a world where older people are often set aside and dismissed as no longer able to contribute to our society, it is easy to become jaded and disilusioned about growing older. With a societal prespective such as this, aging doesn't hold any romance or beauty. This disregard toward the senior members of our world by so many people can be disheartening.

I know that in my own life, especially when I was a teenager, I was just as bad. However, I am also happy to have had the priviledge of growing up a bit myself, and recognizing the value in all people no matter what their age.

Perhaps for those very reasons, I have found the 'revival' of Betty White to be absolutely wonderful.


While I am sure I watched Betty White well before The Golden Girls, on her own shows and on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, it was on the Golden Girls where I first got to 'know' her. My favourite part of the day, for many years, was 5:30 p.m. I would cook super and have wonderful destressing laughs while I watched The Golden Girls.

Betty White's new popularity this last year or so has come from her appearances in a number of movies, such as The Proposal, her guest host appearance on Saturday Night Live, and her new tv show, Hot in Cleveland

Before her appearance on SNL, she chatted with Ellen on the Ellen Degeneres Show.

Betty White's appearance on SNL was prompted by a much publicized Facebook campaign.

It is a beautiful thing to see Betty White so happy and enjoying her life and still practicing her art. It is also terrific that a younger generation is finding her to be just as funny and enjoyable. She now inspires everyone with her energy and wit no matter what her age.

Maybe, just maybe a new generation will also recognize the value of people, regardless of their age?

The Speed of Trust

Stephen M. R. Covey's book The Speed of Trust gives insight into the hard facts of low trust and the need for this competency in any leaders' toolkit. This video is a preview of one used in the FranklinCovey workshop: Leading With the Speed of Trust. Here are some figures to show the cost businesses pay when there is low trust.

Friday, 10 September 2010

The Secret Daughter, Shilpi Somaya Gowda

I started writing this post and when I looked for a picture of the book cover I came across this review. It is very well-written and says it all, so rather than write my own I thought I'd share it: 


The Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda is an engaging and captivating novel about adoption, family, and the search for self. Set against the backdrop of India, we share the life of Asha, along with her adoptive and biological parents, from the day of Asha’s birth to her development into a young woman.
Asha is Kavita’s second daughter. Due to the dire poverty and circumstances of her life along with the cultural belief in India that boys are much more important than girls, Kavita’s first daughter was taken from her at birth and killed. There is no money for raising more than one child and that child must be a male one. Kavita gives birth secretly to her second child in case it is a girl. When she finds out that it is indeed a girl, she conceals the infant child from her husband who killed her first daughter. She is determined that this daughter will live. Along with her sister, Kavita walks miles to Mumbai. There, she leaves her daughter, who she’s named “Usha,” at an orphanage. Her next pregnancy is fraught with anxiety for fear this child might also be a girl. Luckily, the child is male and is much loved. A day does not go by that Kavita does not think about the heartrending losses of Usha and her dead daughter.
Somer is a physician in the United States who is unable to bear children of her own. She is married to Krishna, an Indian man from Mumbai, also a physician. They decide to go to India to adopt a child. The child they choose is Usha whose name they change to “Asha.” Asha is 10 months old when she is adopted. She is raised in a loving home and given every advantage and entitlement that an upper middle class American child can have. Somer is reluctant to engage in any conversations with Asha about her past or her heritage. She denies that part of her family that is Indian, creating distance and discord between herself, her husand and her daughter. By the time that Asha is twenty years old, she has not been to Mumbai since the time she was in the orphanage.
The novel does a wonderful job of showing the cultural discrepancies of Indian life, its diametrically polar aspects. Indians live either in dire poverty or with great wealth. The slums are described in vivid detail, such that you can almost smell, touch and taste the florid poverty. There is a much larger population of adult men than women in India and the fact that female children are killed at birth or aborted is shown as a routine event in the lives of the poor. Though India is the seat of great advancements in technology, many people live without electricity or basic utilities. Education is valued highly but the poor have little access to it. Children from poor families either work at home in caretaking roles or are on the streets begging. It is rare that a poor Indian child gets to go to school.
Asha is drawn to her Indian heritage but knows little about it. As a child, she resents her parents for not sharing more of her past with her. She writes letters to her birth mother that she keeps in a treasured box. Any family that has dealt with adoption will appreciate the way this book deals with the subject. As Asha searches for her true self, she learns the meaning of real family and inclusion. She struggles to find herself as she is often the only child in her class with very thick black hair, beautiful slanted golden eyes, dark skin, hair on her arms, and big eyebrows. She asks herself where this all comes from, how do others deal with it, why is she different. Somer is blond and blue-eyed, the prototypical Californian. Krishna is a busy neurosurgeon and is not one to sit down with Asha to discuss these poignant concerns.
The book reads quickly and maintained my interest throughout. The only problem I had with it is that some of the characterizations were not treated with the depth they deserve. While I got a fairly clear picture of Asha, Kavita, Somer, and Krishna, it is not until the end of the book that some of these people and Asha’s extended family really became fleshed out for me. Others remained shallow throughout.
It would not surprise me at all if this book becomes a bestseller. It has all the elements that attract readers, especially women. It is a pleasurable read and the characters are mostly likable and easy to identify with. That, combined with the themes of adoption and the Indian culture will make it a novel of interest to many." Mostly Fiction Book Reviews
The book doesn't try to 'teach' a lesson about the way India should or shouldn't be, nor does it 'teach' the right way to deal with adoption. It simply tells a story. I like that about the book, too.

It is a beautiful book, I highly recommend it. 

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Apologies II

This is part 2 of my post on apolgies.

Read Part 1 of this post here!



42 Additional Things You Should Never Apologize For (And Why)

38. Never apologize for ordering dessert. Especially if the menu offers one of those chocolate volcano brownie thingies. (Insert Homer Simpson drooling sound.)
39. Never apologize for pulling your triggers for joy. Screw it. If it makes you happy, do it. Unless strangling people with Ethernet cables makes you happy.
40. Never apologize for reclaiming what is rightfully yours. There’s a difference between entitlement and basic human rights,
41. Never apologize for rooting for the Yankees. Even if they do buy their way to victory. They’re still the greatest sports franchise in the history of the world. Do the math and show some respect.
42. Never apologize for saying how you feel. That’s like saying sorry for being real.
43. Never apologize for saying no. Especially when you’re doing so to reinforce your boundaries and create a space for the right “yes” to come into your life.
44. Never apologize for self-promotion. It’s not shameless when all you’re doing is transferring your love. That’s what self-promotion truly is: Transference of emotion. Remember: If you don’t make a name for yourself, someone will make one for you. Just don’t be too shameless.
45. Never apologize for setting high standards and enforcing them. Ditch those frightened people who tell you to play smaller just to appease their insecurity. Try telling them to play bigger.
46. Never apologize for sharing your gifts and talents with the world. This is the purpose of your life and the validation of your existence. To take whatever unique gift you’ve been given and re-gift it to the world. Not doing so isn’t just selfish – it’s stupid.
47. Never apologize for speaking your mind. Honesty makes people uncomfortable. Good. Comfortable people rarely take action.
48. Never apologize for sticking to your values. Especially if you’re only doing so to avoid making someone else uncomfortable. Tough shit. If people can’t handle someone who stands up for what he believes, that’s their problem.
49. Never apologize for taking a break. Learning to press your Off Button is the single most important lesson you could ever learn.
50. Never apologize for telling an unpopular truth. Honest trumps comfort.
51. Never apologize for telling the truth. You’re doing people a favor. Especially yourself. Honesty is the single source of all the world’s stress.
52. Never apologize for things that make you laugh your ass off. Funny is funny. Don’t feel bad for laughing. Don’t look to see if the King laughed. Just let the humor wash over you. It’s healthy.
53. Never apologize for things you can’t change. Instead, figure out what you CAN change and get to work.
54. Never apologize for thinking something was possible. That’s what possiblitarians do. They walk around the problems mentally and prayerfully and see what they see. They face problems artfully and lovingly enough to convert them into something beautiful. They believe.
55. Never apologize for treating yourself to something special. I call it a “Victory Dance.” It’s about celebration. It’s about ritual. It’s about rewarding yourself.
56. Never apologize for voicing a reasonable complaint. When everyone assumes somebody is going to say something, nobody says anything. It’s called diffusion of involvement, and it’s the murderer of the collective voice of man. Don’t feel bad for complaining. As long as you suggest three actions for every one complaint, you’re all right in my book. Unless your complaint is about my book. In which case we might actually have a problem.
57. Never apologize for walking away from a relationship that was holding you back from being the best version of yourself. Even when delivering the death stroke causes your partner significant pain. Don’t say you’re sorry. You might feel terrible. You might feel like a horrible person. And you might feel more guilt than ever before in your life. But don’t say you’re sorry. Those words help nobody.
58. Never apologize for what needed to be done. You were kind, honest and true; and it was the right thing to do. Good for you.
59. Never apologize for what you don’t feel. That’s a betrayal of your truth. And saying sorry for doing so compounds your inauthenticity.
60. Never apologize for what you’re about to say. Immediate personal discounting denotes lack of confidence and reduces listenability.
61. Never apologize for what’s important to you. If you do, then it’s probably not that important to you.
62. Never apologize for who you really are. Brag about it. Shout it from the rooftops.
63. Never apologize for your art. That defeats the whole purpose of creating art.
64. Never apologize for your attempts at humor. Even if they’re totally lame.
65. Never apologize for your boundaries. They are limits that promote integrity. And if you don’t set them for yourself, others will set them for you.
66. Never apologize for your brand. Branding is the best, highest version of yourself – (plus) – the way people experience themselves in relation to you. Not everyone will like it. And if everybody does, you’re doing something wrong.
67. Never apologize for your displays of affection. My quota is to say, “I love you” to at least one person a day. What’s yours?
68. Never apologize for your enthusiasm. Next time someone tells you to “tone it down” a little, look her straight in the eye and say, “How about you tone it UP a little?”
69. Never apologize for your faith. You’re entitled to your own definition of God. Just promise not to beat people over the head with it.
70. Never apologize for your fundamental values. That’s who you are. At your core. Your personhood. Your foundation. That’d be like a cayenne paper saying sorry for being spicy. Not cool.
71. Never apologize for your happiness. Especially when people get on your case for being in such a good mood. Just smile and hope it rubs off.
72. Never apologize for your natural abilities. Instead, leverage that which comes easy to you in the service of others.
73. Never apologize for your obsessions. As long as your obsessions aren’t hurting others or the world – have at it, hauss.
74. Never apologize for your own sense of beauty. If it touches your heart, ignites your soul or moves your spirit, it’s beautiful. To you. Doesn’t matter if it’s a bald eagle, a song by The Smiths or puddle of mud outside of Bob Evan’s. Beauty is subjective and nobody has the right to take it away from you.
75. Never apologize for passionately going for what you want. Stop kidding yourself about the things that you “need.” It’s all about what you WANT. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting.
76. Never apologize for your pricing. You deserve to be compensated commensurate with your value. State your feel confidently and shut up. He who speaks next, loses.
77. Never apologize for your success. Instead, figure out the lessons attached to your victory path and share them with others.
78. Never apologize for your taste. Guilty pleasures, schmilty pleasures. If you love reading trashy romance novels that use words like “throbbing member” and have Fabio on the cover, go for it.
79. Never apologize for your value. You worked very hard to establish it and you’ll be damned if you’re going to back down now. Stand up, speak up and sell the hell out of it.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What do you refuse to apologize for?
* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Monday, 6 September 2010

Cooking Shows

I've fallen victim to the cooking show. I am seriously addicted to them.

The problem is that they make me hungry. It can be the evening, and I've eaten a great supper, but I watch these shows and want to eat. I want to cook, but more importantly, I want to eat.

I watch the onions, garlic and mushrooms sautéeing and I begin to salivate. Chocolate makes my stomach begin to rumble and pastries make me run to the kitchen to rummage through the fridge.

Image from The Age
Then there are the cooking challenge shows. The new one this summer is Masterchef. They've taken a group of people who love to cook and allowed them to try out to be America's Masterchef. The winner gets a cookbook deal. The first show featured 50 amateur cooks who prepared their signature dishes for chef Gordon Ramsay, restauranteur Joe Bastianich and chef Graham Elliott. Gordon Ramsay is actually a bit nicer than he sometimes is in his other shows. A kinder, gentler Ramsay is interesting.

This version of the show apparently follows after the successes of this same show in Britain and Australia, and even France, the Middle East, Germany and Sweden. It's a reality show of a different flavour, and I enjoy it.

Each week the cooks are challenged to prepare various dishes in timed tests. When they cook their dish, they have to present it to all three judges for tasting. Often, winners of the various challenges get to choose the main ingredient for the next challenge. One week they had to make an Asian inspired dish featuring mandarin oranges. At least 4 of the contestants had never cooked anything Asian. It was quite the interesting process as they pulled together thier dishes.

By the end of the show I'm starving, especially this last week when they also had a cupcake challenge. And yet, I can't stop watching these shows. They're so interesting.

I also like learning the techniques and getting new cooking ideas. I'd lost that fun aspect of cooking, until recently. Now I'm planning what I want to cook with actual interest. I just need to consider using a recipe. I often watch the show, get an idea and go into the kitchen to try out my newest invention. Most of the time it turns out ok, but every once in awhile there's a dish that bombs. I certainly wouldn't win Masterchef, but it's still fun being the masterchef in my kitchen.

Now if I could only get as excited and motivated by an exercise show....

Sunday, 5 September 2010

42 Additional Things You Should Never Apologize For

This is part 2 of my post on apolgies.
Read Part 1 of this post here!


42 Additional Things You Should Never Apologize For (And Why)


38. Never apologize for ordering dessert. Especially if the menu offers one of those chocolate volcano brownie thingies. (Insert Homer Simpson drooling sound.)


39. Never apologize for pulling your triggers for joy. Screw it. If it makes you happy, do it. Unless strangling people with Ethernet cables makes you happy.


40. Never apologize for reclaiming what is rightfully yours. There’s a difference between entitlement and basic human rights
41. Never apologize for rooting for the Yankees. Even if they do buy their way to victory. They’re still the greatest sports franchise in the history of the world. Do the math and show some respect.
42. Never apologize for saying how you feel. That’s like saying sorry for being real.


43. Never apologize for saying no. Especially when you’re doing so to reinforce your boundaries and create a space for the right “yes” to come into your life.


44. Never apologize for self-promotion. It’s not shameless when all you’re doing is transferring your love. That’s what self-promotion truly is: Transference of emotion. Remember: If you don’t make a name for yourself, someone will make one for you. Just don’t be too shameless.
45. Never apologize for setting high standards and enforcing them. Ditch those frightened people who tell you to play smaller just to appease their insecurity. Try telling them to play bigger.
46. Never apologize for sharing your gifts and talents with the world. This is the purpose of your life and the validation of your existence. To take whatever unique gift you’ve been given and re-gift it to the world. Not doing so isn’t just selfish – it’s stupid
47. Never apologize for speaking your mind. Honesty makes people uncomfortable. Good. Comfortable people rarely take action.
48. Never apologize for sticking to your values. Especially if you’re only doing so to avoid making someone else uncomfortable. Tough shit. If people can’t handle someone who stands up for what he believes, that’s their problem.


49. Never apologize for taking a break. Learning to press your Off Button is the single most important lesson you could ever learn.


50. Never apologize for telling an unpopular truth. Honest trumps comfort.


51. Never apologize for telling the truth. You’re doing people a favor. Especially yourself. Honesty is the single source of all the world’s stress.


52. Never apologize for things that make you laugh your ass off. Funny is funny. Don’t feel bad for laughing. Don’t look to see if the King laughed. Just let the humor wash over you. It’s healthy.
53. Never apologize for things you can’t change. Instead, figure out what you CAN change and get to work.


54. Never apologize for thinking something was possible. That’s what possiblitarians do. They walk around the problems mentally and prayerfully and see what they see. They face problems artfully and lovingly enough to convert them into something beautiful. They believe.


55. Never apologize for treating yourself to something special. I call it a “Victory Dance.” It’s about celebration. It’s about ritual. It’s about rewarding yourself.


56. Never apologize for voicing a reasonable complaint. When everyone assumes somebody is going to say something, nobody says anything. It’s called diffusion of involvement, and it’s the murderer of the collective voice of man. Don’t feel bad for complaining. As long as you suggest three actions for every one complaint, you’re all right in my book. Unless your complaint is about my book. In which case we might actually have a problem.


57. Never apologize for walking away from a relationship that was holding you back from being the best version of yourself. Even when delivering the death stroke causes your partner significant pain. Don’t say you’re sorry. You might feel terrible. You might feel like a horrible person. And you might feel more guilt than ever before in your life. But don’t say you’re sorry. Those words help nobody.


58. Never apologize for what needed to be done. You were kind, honest and true; and it was the right thing to do. Good for you.


59. Never apologize for what you don’t feel. That’s a betrayal of your truth. And saying sorry for doing so compounds your inauthenticity.


60. Never apologize for what you’re about to say. Immediate personal discounting denotes lack of confidence and reduces listenability.


61. Never apologize for what’s important to you. If you do, then it’s probably not that important to you.


62. Never apologize for who you really are. Brag about it. Shout it from the rooftops.


63. Never apologize for your art. That defeats the whole purpose of creating art.


64. Never apologize for your attempts at humor. Even if they’re totally lame.


65. Never apologize for your boundaries. They are limits that promote integrity. And if you don’t set them for yourself, others will set them for you.


66. Never apologize for your brand. Branding is the best, highest version of yourself – (plus) – the way people experience themselves in relation to you. Not everyone will like it. And if everybody does, you’re doing something wrong.


67. Never apologize for your displays of affection. My quota is to say, “I love you” to at least one person a day. What’s yours?


68. Never apologize for your enthusiasm. Next time someone tells you to “tone it down” a little, look her straight in the eye and say, “How about you tone it UP a little?”


69. Never apologize for your faith. You’re entitled to your own definition of God. Just promise not to beat people over the head with it.


70. Never apologize for your fundamental values. That’s who you are. At your core. Your personhood. Your foundation. That’d be like a cayenne paper saying sorry for being spicy. Not cool.


71. Never apologize for your happiness. Especially when people get on your case for being in such a good mood. Just smile and hope it rubs off.


72. Never apologize for your natural abilities. Instead, leverage that which comes easy to you in the service of others.


73. Never apologize for your obsessions. As long as your obsessions aren’t hurting others or the world – have at it, hauss.


74. Never apologize for your own sense of beauty. If it touches your heart, ignites your soul or moves your spirit, it’s beautiful. To you. Doesn’t matter if it’s a bald eagle, a song by The Smiths or puddle of mud outside of Bob Evan’s. Beauty is subjective and nobody has the right to take it away from you.
75. Never apologize for passionately going for what you want. Stop kidding yourself about the things that you “need.” It’s all about what you WANT. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting.


76. Never apologize for your pricing. You deserve to be compensated commensurate with your value. State your feel confidently and shut up. He who speaks next, loses.
77. Never apologize for your success. Instead, figure out the lessons attached to your victory path and share them with others.


78. Never apologize for your taste. Guilty pleasures, schmilty pleasures. If you love reading trashy romance novels that use words like “throbbing member” and have Fabio on the cover, go for it.
79. Never apologize for your value. You worked very hard to establish it and you’ll be damned if you’re going to back down now. Stand up, speak up and sell the hell out of it.




LET ME ASK YA THIS…


What do you refuse to apologize for?


* * * *


Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com