Theater And A Bagel

We stopped in at the Flying V Awesome-A-Thon yesterday. 


How can anything “awesome” not be good? 


Flying V mixes it up with the arts and culture. 


They combine theater with wrestling!


Essentially, this group tries to add adventure and combat to the more staid dramatic performances. 


Anything that brings theater more alive is definitely a good thing. 


We got to sit in on the event organizers doing a live podcast and could definitely see their enthusiasm for “Shakespeare and training” and becoming a success story.  


Anyway, they did have some snacks at the event, and this colorful bagel was definitely the standout. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

From Chaos To Order

The world challenges us all the time. 


Yes, the world functions based on the “laws of nature,” scientific facts, and mathematical formulas, and so you’d think everything in our lives would be orderly and work like clockwork.


But, as human beings, our lives are too a great extend a function of what gets thrown at us and how we react to them, and not the constancy of the world context that these things are happening in. 


It’s easy to be surprised, become overwhelmed, or even be stumped by the daily barrage of things that we are new to us or we simply don’t know how to handle.


A world governed by Mother Nature thus, often seems more like a world ruled by Murphy’s Law. 


In a world that we can often experience as chaotic and disorderly, the answer is not to break down and cry or run and hide, but rather to create our own sense of order. 


Thus, the antagonist of chaos and disorder is consequence and order. 


The way to get to order in your life is through planning and preparation. 


The more you plan and prepare, the better you are able to deal with the challenges you are dealt. 


I believe this is the cornerstone of what a good education and training is–preparing you for real life!


Generally, if you plan and prepare for a broad spectrum of scenarios (especially the worst cast scenarios), you won’t be left sitting out there scratching your head when the proverbial “sh*t hits the fan.”


Thinking out of the box and ahead of the curve, and using scenario-based planning and preparation can give you the tools and confidence to leave the anxiety behind and move more swiftly to confront challenges head-on. 


Of course, we’ll never be able to imagine or be prepared for everything that can happen–but the more you can free your mind to think about the “what if’s” and how to mitigate the risks, the better shape you are in to act with determination and decisively when you really need to.  😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Elisa Riva)

Sing Louder

So I heard this interesting saying the other day:

If you can’t sing better, sing louder!


It’s funny that people actually do that type of thing all the time. 


My colleagues boss told someone I know: 

You’re a fake it till you make it type of person


This can apply to all sort of activities and not just singing.


— Public speaking, your job, sports, cooking, etc. 


Often, people have to do things that they really just don’t do very well.


– Maybe it’s not their forte. 


– Maybe they’re just not into it. 


But rather than call it for what it is.


Instead, they pretend and make a show out of it. 


They exaggerate what they think they are supposed to do. 


Or they try to compensate with something tangential. 


Hey, maybe no will notice.


But people eventually catch-on and do know when you’re lip-singing and faking your way through or just screaming out the lyrics to mask how horrible you singing is. 


Better to be honest and admit what you can and can’t do.


Take some classes or get some training.


Practice, practice, practice. 


Or even consider doing something else that you do enjoy and are good it. 


Either way, you don’t want to be the one singing loudly their whole life.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal. Note: this blog is not connected to this or any particular musician)

Think Back, Think Forward

So yesterday I attended a colleagues’s leadership program graduation. 


There were about 20 people in the graduating class. 


One thing that I liked was that when they called up each person to shake hands and get their diplomas, each graduate was given the opportunity to say a few words. 


It was amazing to me how 20 people could give a thank you, what I learned, and what I will do with it speech in 20 completely different ways. 


20 people, 20 personalities, 20 ways of thinking and saying something. 


We really are all the similar to and different from one anther at the same time!


I remember one graduate in particular.


He talked about how the leadership program challenged him, and he said:

It made me think back, and it made me think forward. 


I loved that!


This is really what learning is all about. 


Reflecting back and using that to think forward–how to apply it, how to shape it, and how to innovate from it.


Thinking forward starts with thinking back to where we came from and all the lessons learned in our lives. 


It all starts at the beginning and it goes forward from there. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Training Them To Be Like Us

So I saw this in the supermarket. 


This kid was pushing the shopping cart with groceries in it. 


And a little sign at the top that says:

Customer in Training


His mom is nearby with the big shopping cart full of even more groceries. 


It’s interesting how we teach our kids to be just like us and at the same time to be not like us. 


They emulate some things and they reject others.


The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.


But no two apples are the same either. 


Teaching is an important component of parenting and schooling. 


We need to impart important lessons from the past, so children don’t have to recreate the wheel in the present and future. 


But spitting out little clones is not helpful to innovation and the engine of “what’s next.” 


Sometimes, I envision that there is a really big war–maybe World War III–nukes are used and all our bits and bytes are wiped out, and we are thrown back to the Stone Age. 


All the teaching is evaporated in the vapor of the blasts.


All that’s left in what’s in the soul of the remaining. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Sexual Harassment No, No, No

So I took this training about sexual harassment etc. 


There were some good general tips for managers confronting these challenging situations:


1) Address it quickly

2) Discuss it privately

3) Specify the problem behaviors

4) Get commitment that it won’t happen again

5) Document what occurred


It’s not rocket science, but thought this was useful guidance. 


Unfortunately, people don’t always behave appropriately, but hopefully, individuals and society as a whole can learn to do much better.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Supervisors vs. Team Leaders

Supervisors vs Team Leaders.jpeg

Here is a comparison of the roles and responsibilities of supervisors and team leaders. 


Often there can be confusion over who is supposed to do what. 


This table should help clarify what supervisors and team leaders do in terms of strategic planning, work assignments, resource management, employee training, and performance management. 


I hope you find this a helpful resource, and that you can organize your staff more efficiently and productively 😉


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)