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)

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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)

Those Were The Days

Karate 2.jpeg

Wow, this was incredible.


Check out this photo of me (right) and my teacher and mentor Robert doing martial arts back in the day. 


This was at the Jewish street fair on Johnson Avenue in Riverdale, New York. 


Recently, in the last few weeks, I reconnected with Robert after almost 27 years.  


He made Aliyah to Israel and I got married, but I always remembered how much I learned from him and the fun times growing up. 


It was great to catch up on the phone with him for about 2 1/2 hours and I think we could’ve gone on schmoozing all evening. 


Then just this weekend, I received 3 large wall photos in the mail from a friend from Riverdale–out of the blue–just like my reconnecting with Robert. 


Both events came almost simultaneously after 3 decades!


Time and space are just fabrications, as G-d Almighty is eternal, and for me I am essentially the same person that I was back then. 


My body is getting (a little) older, but my inner self is still me. 


And the people who mean so much to me in my life, after G-d, that is everything to me. 😉


(Source Photo and with gratitude to Sura Jeselsohn)

Running With Parachute

Running Parachute

So I took this photo at the athletic field. 


This guy was running.


But he had a parachute tied to his buttocks. 


A little extra resistance to get into shape. 


While a parachute can be helpful (in fact lifesaving) if you’re jumping from an airplane.


It can also be a hinderance if your trying to run across a big open field as fast as you can. 


Parachute + Air = Resistance. 


I asked the guy how much this running parachute cost and he told me it was about $30.


Not bad to vary up the workout a little and pull not just yourself, but an entire airstream with you. 


It’s interesting how people wanting to excel look for ways to improve their game by challenging themselves.


As if running lightening fast in the hot sun wasn’t hard enough.


Let’s add a parachute or maybe a bag of heavy rocks to the mix.


The problem is that while the training can be good now, we may pay a physical price for it later in life. 


He/she-man can take a lot of physical abuse, but maybe there is also long term wear and tear on the body. 


I think perhaps, the best outcome from challenging your body and soul is the inner strength you get from determination and exercise of your will to succeed. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Better Than A Cadaver

Lying Down

So I’m at the doctor’s office for a checkup.

The doctor tells me to lie down on the exam table. 

There is also a 3rd year medical student in the room as part of her training. 

The exam starts and there are all these devices for checking things out. 

It’s feeling a little tense. 

I jokingly say, “I feel like a cadaver lying here (being studied).”

Then the medical student says, “Oh you smell much better than a cadaver! I just took that class.”

Oh, how comforting is that–smelling better than a stinkin’ dead person whose been embalmed!

At which point, there is some ridiculous talk about dead people and formaldehyde, body odor, and decay.

This was quite a lively visit, but I hope it was helpful to me and to medical science. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)