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Archive for December, 2008

Sharing Can Be Fun…And Meaningful! How good are you?

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Our parents tried to teach us this as kids. Probably we weren’t very good at it when we were little but hopefully over time we have gotten better. You are probably asking yourself "what is he talking about?" I am referring to sharing.

Raise your hand:

  • If you sent a really cool proposal to a client in the last week.
     
  • You presented a capabilities presentation recently and you were really excited about a few of the slides!
     
  • If you learned a new way to do something in Microsoft Excel or Word in the past few days!
     
  • If you found out something interesting about one of your clients.
     
  • If you read an article about a company that you believe should be a client of yours!

My sense is that if most people were playing along with this exercise their hand would be raised.

The real question is what do you do with that knowledge or information? I would say that most people do very little with the information. They file it away in their brain and go on and do something else in their busy day.

Before you file it away, all of us should do one more thing and add one more step to the process.

Share the knowledge and information. Send out an email to co-workers that you believe could benefit from hearing from you. Walk over and share the information with someone in the office. Pick up the phone and tell someone about it.

We were all taught about sharing many, many years ago, but do we really do it as much as we should?

How good are you at sharing?

What things do you tend to share? And with whom?

I look forward to reading your thoughts and comments.

No Matter What, It’s All About Teamwork. How Can I Forget THAT?

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

So there I am driving on a brisk Monday night to my softball game, listening to some great music (my opinion, shared by no one else) very loud, getting myself pumped for our playoff game. After my normal stretching it was show time. Since we are the away team, we get to bat first and we come out of the box really quickly by scoring six runs. I bat second in the order and hit the ball over the left centerfielder’s head for a double. My next at bat, I came up and took an outside pitch and drove the ball over the right fielder’s head for a triple. At this point in the game we have a four run lead. The team we are playing is very solid and has won the championship trophy a number of times. In my next at bat I crush the ball fifteen feet over the second baseman’s head and in front of the centerfielder for a line drive single.

As the game went on there was a little more of a breeze which was blowing out towards left field and the temperature was dropping to probably about 50 at this point. We were behind at this point by a few runs but made a nice comeback and took a two-run lead going into the last inning. I was up forth that inning and as luck would have it, all three of my teammates got on, so the bases were loaded.

As I am walking up to the batter’s box, my mind is going in a million different directions: It’s the last inning of a playoff game, perhaps my last game playing competitively, we have a two run lead, the bases are loaded and of course…

Where should I hit the ball?

What should I do?

As I take the slow walk, I recall that I already have a single, double, triple in the game and how cool would it be to add a home run! A grand slam! To hit for the cycle. As a point of reference I want to say that I have been playing softball for thirty years and haven’t hit for the cycle in a very long time. In addition I can remember the last time I hit an automatic home run (not one I had to run out) over the fence. It was six years ago in Boston on my birthday – what a feeling! There is nothing like hitting a home run over the fence. Rounding the bases is so much fun and entails so much emotion.

Anyway back to this game. What should I have done? Quickly here are my choices:

  • Only swing at a good pitch. And if they walk me it’s a run.
  • Hit the ball to right field and score two runs!
  • Try to drive the ball into a gap and clear the bases!
  • Try and hit the ball over the fence

As I said hello to the umpire which I always do (as most of you know I will talk to anyone), I made my final decision. I want the cycle! I want to try and hit the ball over the left field fence which is about 290 feet away. As the first pitch comes in, it’s outside for ball one (never swing at the first pitch). The second pitch was a little inside but perfect for what I was trying to do. I crush this ball. It’s high, long, deep and as the left fielder (a friend of mine who is the best player on the other team) turns and heads back to the fence, I am saying to myself, this ball has a chance to go make it. To go over the fence! For a home run! For a grand slam! For the cycle! Well not exactly. The ball was 18 inches short of reaching the fence, and my buddy Dean caught the ball much to my surprise and unhappiness. No home run, no grand slam, no cycle! The good news is, a run came in and we had the lead 14-11 going into the bottom of the 7th. The bad news is we lost 15-14 with two outs in the inning. Southlake Tavern came back and scored four times to move on to the championship game.

After the game I sat in the stands and watched the first inning of the championship game. I was thinking about the game and my choice. My selfish choice. I pride myself on being a team player all the time, 365 days a year. Not this day, not this time! I was selfish! I made a mistake and went for the personal glory when I should have driven the ball, hit a single and scored a few runs and our team would have been playing in the championship game.

  • What would you have done in my situation?
  • How selfish was I in your eyes?
  • Have there been times when you weren’t as team-oriented as you should have been?
  • How did it work out for you?

I look forward to reading your comments.

P.S. To my teammates: I am truly sorry for letting you down. I know better!

Ok Admit It. You Have A Man Crush On ______?

Monday, December 1st, 2008

TA's MCI get asked often how I pick the topics for my postings. For me it has come very easy, just writing about life. Whether it is experiences I have had, things that don’t make sense or goofy things that everyone notices or does. When I come up with a topic it goes into a draft folder and then when I am ready to write a few posts I look in there and the rest is history. As I write this post I have over 80 topics in my draft folder.

The reason I am telling you this boring story is this posting has been in my draft folder for a very long time. For whatever reason I thought the time was right to toss it out there.

Since I have been at M/A/R/C one of my colleagues (TA) has accused me of having a man crush on someone. At first I didn’t even know what that was, so I needed to look it up. In doing so, one of the definitions of a Man Crush is when a straight man has a "crush" on another man, not sexual but kind of idolizing him.

The question is, do most guys have a Man Crush on someone? I have never had this discussion with my buddies so I gave it some thought.

If I had a Man Crush on someone who might it be?

  • Would it be a successful business person?
     
  • Would it be an athlete?
     
  • Would it be an actor?

I think for me it could be anyone who is successful, thoughtful, creative, giving, different, good looking and is at the top of their game. So the question is who fits that criteria? The few names that came to mind were Jimmy Connors and Johnny Damon. Both of them are winners in my book and are characters. Both appear to be fun loving and really love life. Ok I said it. I think I have a Man Crush on Jimmy Connors and Johnny Damon.

Alright guys, your turn.

  • Do you have a Man Crush on someone?
     
  • If so who is it?
     
  • Is your definition of a Man Crush different than the one I tossed out there?

So who is it? Brad Pitt? George Clooney?

You tell me!

I look forward to your comments.