Showing posts from June, 2012

Saturday Dreaming

The Southwest Michigan sunlight today with a soft breeze coming off Lake Michigan perfectly suggests beach, park, dunes or some other time amidst the wonder that is nature around us.  Most weekend posts for me are musically inclined as a breather from the intensity of the work week.   A little Farkle and Scrabble on Facebook very early this morning (a habit) before writing an unfortunately stern response to an offending professional led to laundry and dishes with a visionary background audio.
     There are some who would call what Paul Hardcastle creates elevator music.  That for me would be an instrumental version of, say The Beatles, which I would immediately shut off.  I want the original artists, not some drippy sax version of a classic.  I'll also listen to Mozart, Metallica, Marillion and Methany when the mood strikes.  Here's the link to Hardcastle's biography if you're interested.  In the meantime I find both his instrumental and vocal work perfect for S…

Balancing Passion with Math

Having led and mentored a number of  non-profit entities and as well as entrepreneurial for-profit ventures there is a common thread I see that interferes with our ability to become adaptable, sustainable and innovative in the new global economy.  It is simply the balance of our passions with the algorithms and math required for continued existence.

     From the age of five I have always been passionate about reading. I will freely admit that entering Grand Valley State at age 17 majoring in improvisational theater and broadcasting that my passions mainly centered around self.  America in particular has an obsession, even a disease with self, which is not an excuse for any one individual's behavior or my own.  When I was a child . . .  It may be in part why Dutch Social Psychologist Geert Hofstede added indulgence versus restraint as a sixth dimension in measures of culture after many years with just five dimensions.

     As I became an adult several years later thanks in p…

Living Brain Rules

When we look at where the United States stands in terms of student performance, there is one aspect in particular which stands out for me.  We continue to ignore what science tells us about learning, neurology and brain development in favor of one sized fits all models and standardized testing.

     Watching the John Travolta film Phenomenonthis past weekend I was struck by the truth of one scene in particular where he states to the neurologist "I think you've got this desperate grasp on technology and this grasp on science and you don't have a hand left to grasp what's important... what I'm talking about here is the human spirit.  That's the challenge, that's the spirit, that's the expedition.That scriptwriter gem is also not far off from the work by Sir Ken Robinson.

      Having previously read summaries, viewed PowerPoints and watched videos discussing Dr. John Medina's New York Times bestselling book Brain Rules, (Dr. Medina is n…

Interlude for Fathers

A Sunday morning musical journey in celebration of Father's day beginning with Luther Vandross Dance with my Father Again.

Followed by Eric Clapton My Father's Eyes.

Into Running in the Family from Level 42

 And finishing with The Only Thing I Need by 4Him with Jon Anderson (Yes) for our heavenly father with the following lyrics:

Eyes closed in a veil of tears
When I hear the sound
Once more You've come to me
You've calmed me down
You still the raging sea inside of me
My Lord has come for me, so why....
Why is it so hard for me to see
Why is it so hard to just believe
Show me what it means to be free
The only thing I need I already have
The fullness of Your mercy in my hand
The only one who loves me as I am
The only thing I need I already have

My heart - a companion to my wounded soul
Again You comfort me... You take control
You quell the fear that owns too much of me
As it was meant to be, so why...

When each and every word becomes a war
When there's nothing…

Father's Day

I was honored to talk on the phone briefly with my oldest son this morning for a few minutes only.  It was a conversation about his Jeep and the work he wants done on it this week.  Tomorrow he leaves for Afghanistan having just returned from Iraq last September. He's 22, still finding himself and making his way in the world but already so much  more of a man than I was at his age. The main job of his squad is to find and dispose of roadside bombs and the unit they're replacing handled 2400 in the past year to my understanding.  That may or may not be accurate.  Even with embedded media, documentaries, and television series about those who are serving, it's hard to know the reality from what we hear.

     His younger brother left Fort Bliss on Friday for a different base in Afghanistan where he'll also be for the next year.  We had the opportunity to speak on that afternoon before he flew overseas, and he texted me when they stopped briefly elsewhere in this hemi…

Do Something Today

Recently our congregation participated in our second annual Do Somethingday immediately following a shortened Sunday service.  Since arriving at First Church of God five years ago, lead pastor David Colp has had a heart for community transformation within the overriding vision of transforming lives through Christ.  A thousand or more members of all ages spread out through the area working on a wide variety of projects last year and again this year.  We were asked to keep track of all the hours we volunteered over the course of the year (something I didn't do well) as we reached for over 50,000 hours, near $1,000,000 in time and talent donations to the area.  Treasure gets donated as well by many, but that's a different story and not different from many congregations of varied but common theology.

     I had the honor of leading a group working at the United Way of Southwest Michigan (UWSM) both years. We did landscaping work, improving the grounds, trimming trees and bus…

Future Minds Today

At lunch Friday with one of my mentors we briefly discussed the old adage of those who can't do, teach.  Having grown up through the education system where learning the answers for the test on Friday and completely letting the material go by Monday (standardized testing) I certainly treated some subjects that way.  However, as a new teacher in both undergraduate and graduate levels who came out of 30 years of entrepreneurial experience in both for profit and non-profit I strive to Teach others to do.  Not that I'm alone in that philosophy as a teacher or have achieved a level of mastery in teaching.  I've met hundreds of teachers who feel the same way and are vastly superior (additional mentors) at all levels of education.  By all means life long learning, required in our global economy and information age, is a habit that requires less television and more reading in all of us.

     In a previous discussion on Philosophy, Psychology and Math, we discussed three key c…

The Key 12

In preparing the curriculum and content for the ten week graduate class in Negotiation that starts tonight there's been little time for blogging and lot of other writing recently.  At the same time the presentation I've been preparing for another professor speaking at a conference in Berlin later this week ties into some of my more passionate themes though. Her topic is Generational Differences in Motivational and Organizational Commitment with some accompanying research examples and discussions of Daniel Pink's Drive and the Rodd Wagner and Dr. James K. Harter Gallup book 12: The Elements of Great Managing

     Both lead right into Jim Clifton's The Coming Jobs War.  Given the recent economic data on U.S. employment, the ongoing financial crisis in Europe, and the slowing of growth in many parts of the developed world, waiting for something to happen is a major mistake.  In trying to pay attention to Brain Rules and Presentation Zen I created the two graphi…