Continue reading “Science Tells Us The Twelve Keys That Successful Business Leaders Use To Change Games, Disrupt Silos, Shift Paradigms, Leverage Assets, Pick Low-hanging Fruit, Think Outside the Box, Think Inside the Box, Think Without a Box, Dive Deep, Eat Dog Food…In One Sentence!”
In the 1970 film Start the Revolution Without Me, a goofy, comedy set during the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette, portrayed as a sadistic vixen, informs her husband, King Louis XVI, that she has planned a costume party in the palace. That evening, Louis decides to attend this gala affair dressed as a chicken. Feeling quite pleased with himself, he joins his wife at the top of the grand staircase in the palace of Versailles. An uncomfortable hush falls over the crowd as the king comes to the awful realization that he is the only one in costume. Everyone else is in their finest formal dress, including his cruel wife. Too late to retreat, Louis dutifully goes through the receiving line, greeting every guest from behind a ridiculously huge beak with the pathetic whimper, “They told me it was a costume party! They told me it was a costume party!”
In early 2008, my youngest son, Nathan and his girlfriend, Sarah, decided to get married. It was going to be a tough situation because initially they would be living on opposite ends of the country. He was a young marine stationed at a naval base in Seattle and she was in the Navy at Pensacola Naval Air Station. But they were young and in love and so they set the date for March 21 in Pensacola. Very short notice, but it was to be a civil ceremony at the county courthouse in Pensacola with a few family in attendance, so there was not much planning to do.
Five of us arrived in Pensacola on March 20th. Beside my wife, Margie and me, our daughter Elise and son Simon and his wife, Becky had come. Sarah had already been given a base house, so we had a wonderful reunion at her place having not seen them in almost a year.
Life changes fast.
Life changes in an instant.
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.
The question of self-pity.
So Joan Didion’s memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking, begins.
Bats fascinate me. I love the way they move. A flying rodent is such a ridiculous concept in the first place, but they don’t really fly. They don’t glide; they don’t soar. They flit. I’m not even sure what that means, exactly, but it describes perfectly the motion of a bat in flight. They flit. I wish I could flit.
For the most part, my life has been relatively bat-free. Until a few years ago, that is.
With the avalanche of business books these days, it’s difficult to know which titles are worth reading. These are indeed egalitarian times in which any person with any work experience whatsoever can invoke abiding principles and—dare I say— laws, which he or she can, with the aid of a ghostwriter or a patient editor, publish for the benefit of mankind and considerable profit. Although reading business and motivational books isn’t exactly my passion, I have undertaken to acquaint myself with the current and not-so-current literature and to enlighten the loyal readers of this blog as to which books they might find interesting and beneficial.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
As a father, I have not always shown grace to my children. Many times I expected more of them than I expected from myself. Too often I was impatient with their imperfections and their struggles. Not that things were all bad; we had plenty of good times, and I have a great relationship with my grown kids. But there were certainly times when I fell far short of the mark.
It’s 7:25 a.m. and the temperature is fifty degrees. Clad only in our running shorts and singlets, we huddle together like Emporer penguins, desperate to stay warm. We are impatient for the race, the inaugural Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon, to begin, but officials have delayed the start to wait for late arriving busloads of runners. I’m surrounded by bucolic vistas and verdant vineyards, but I don’t even notice them. More than just being cold, I’m a nervous wreck. This is my first half marathon and for some reason I was confident I’d be able to finish–until I stepped off the bus. When my feet touched the gravel and I saw the hundreds of runners waiting to start a 13.1 mile trek through the Virginia countryside, I suddenly realized I was going to have to actually run this thing. My confidence plummeted.