Monthly Archives: January 2014

Where Should I Live?


Wife and I are always goofing around on facebook – checking the latest newsfeed, playing games, etc. It’s a way that we chillax. People will frequently post links to interesting little survey things – one being – and I will partake. I took the FindYourSpot quiz, which assesses a person’s lifestyle and suggests some top spots where someone might enjoy living. I took the survey and had no huge surprises; my tops were the pacific northwest, the rockies, and Asheville, NC. Duh. I could have told ya that.

However, I think this test is somewhat wrong.

It’s not wrong on the assessment part. I feel it’s wrong on the principle. If we are really leaders, influencers, and people who create our own destinies, does it really matter that much where we live? I like to think that I could move to Atlanta tomorrow (a spot definitely not on my list of results) and find total happiness- based upon my attitude, my outlook, and my ability to shape my surroundings. Sure, it’s nice having mountains, snow, and outdoor opportunities, but isn’t a person’s own attitude and outlook infinitely more important than extrinsic factors?

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Filed under change management, observation

I’m getting surgery on my leadership



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In a few weeks, I’m getting surgery on my knee. It’s nothing huge – basic arthroscopy to remove some cartilage and meniscus stuff that is causing me a lot of pain while hiking – but surgery is still surgery. I’m most fearful of being down and out for a few days afterward as my knee recovers. I don’t like to sit still and I’ll be forced to do just that. Yuck. But all this has got me thinking.

My knee has been below 100% for a few years, ever since I felt a pop doing Insanity. I’ve still been able to pull off some long hikes and  bike rides but the torn cartilage has torn more…and more… and adversely affected my physical activities. Because of not getting this taken care of earlier, I’m now limited to hikes under half of what I used to do, I’ve lost some muscle mass, and my physical stasis has shifted out of balance. 

Injuries are compounding and systemic. I’ve begun to look at the anatomy of my leadership and wonder “where are my injuries?”

The good news is that I don’t think I have any significant injuries. The better news is that I definitely do have some injuries that ought to receive some surgical attention so that I can improve in my ability. For instance, I have a tendency to think about 10 things at once – and rapidly. This is a gift – but also a curse – because it can be hard to be 100% present. Furthermore, people around me can pick up on it and I can come off insincere, distracted, or emotionally disconnected when my intentions are absolutely positive and genuine. 

So I’m operating on myself for a better future. I’m consciously slowing down and doing less to be more effective at my job and more connected with the people around me. I’m cutting away a part of my leadership anatomy that is impairing my ability to grow into a stronger leader.

What surgery are you planning?

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What being a punk rocker taught me about leadership

matt and todd

I grew up listening to punk music. During my high school years, I spent much of my free time playing bass for various punk bands.

As a 16 year old kid playing my bass guitar, I knew I couldn’t be picky about the shows I chose to play at, the bands I played in, and the “fans” I talked to… so I played shows quite literally everywhere. My bands played in clubs, high school gyms, garages, basements, backyards, graduation parties, and living rooms. There was even one time that my band, Tearsome, played a show with another band, Solid State, that featured both bands wrestling each other during the show “intermission.” I wasn’t choosy… I just wanted to play punk music.

Here’s the funny thing. Some of those bands I was in were actually pretty ok. Others were kinda terrible. But people constantly showed up to shows to see us play. Even when the music was awful, the venue was terrible, the sound system was rag-tag…people came. People were drawn to our shows, to that scene, because we were incredibly passionate about what we were doing.

People can sense passion in others. People are drawn to passion.

As a leader, I am always looking for more things to be passionate about. What I am passionate about comes out in my daily actions and my interactions with others. Last night, after I closed down the store for the night, I led a brief huddle on this totally awesome new headlamp that Petzl just put out (it adjusts its light output based on what you’re looking at!). It’s super nerdy but totally cool to me. I had 6 staff with me for the huddle, who were a bit tired from a hard days’ work and from the Christmas shopping season. However, after geeking out about a headlamp for 3 minutes (a freakin’ headlamp!),  I witnessed my employees laughing, conversing, and coming alive again.

Passion is contagious. Find something that you are passionate about and – be passionate! Pursue that, let others see your passion, and share your enthusiasm! Whether it’s punk rock or headlamps, others will take notice and be intrigued.

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Filed under communication, leadership

My Resolutions

Each year I set out to reach a distant goal. Last year I think I set out to hike 1,000 miles. The irony is that I’ve hiked a lot this year but I don’t remember what my goal even was. Furthermore, there is always the question of “what now?” when one reaches that big goal.

This year I’m trying something different.

I’m trying out keeping daily goals instead of year-long goals with the hope of developing positive habitual behaviors.

1. Resolution #1 – I will compliment each of my employees/coworkers at least once a day.

I believe I’m usually a natural encourager and relatively positive in my role. However, who wouldn’t want to be even more positive in their workplace? Who wouldn’t want to display more respect and care towards their teammates? Seems like a win to me.

2. Resolution #2 – Eat healthier each day

Food is a challenge for most of us. I am almost always eating on the go – whether I’m rushing out the door to work, trying to find food within my 30 minute break window at work, or just getting home from work and eager to lie down and rest from an exhausting day. Resolution #2 requires me to plan much more on a daily basis and is possible…but will be a lot harder than Res #1.

3. Resolution #3 – Get back on track with working out

In the past I’ve loved P90x, Insanity, and other workout routines that last a duration of 30 or 90 days. These are fun and generate results but – again – I’m trying to develop habits. My focus will be working out each and every day and I’ve designed my own little routine that balances weight training, cardio, yoga, and planks. We’ll see how it goes. If it doesn’t work well, I’ll change it. The most important thing is the regularity.

What do you think? Is this a better way to set up resolutions for the new year?

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