Summer Time

Summer is a perfect time to put your feet up, relax, and enjoy some sunshine. If you aren’t too busy, that is.

Here in the midwest when the weather gets nice the plans get heavy. Pool parties, barbecues, little league, swim lessons, yard work, vacations, and more yard work. We have to squeeze it all in while we can because next thing you know it’s twenty degrees out and we’re exchanging gifts next to an indoor tree.

No matter how much I try to slow things down during the summer months time simply gets the best of me. Perhaps it’s related to that old saying, time flies when you’re having fun. Summer is incredibly fun despite a busy schedule. Heck, even yard work is enjoyable when the sun is shining.

But let’s be honest, the first thing to get dropped during this busy time is blogging.

Impressive Collaboration: Pyramid of Giza

While putting together a Pecha Kucha presentation about the power of working together, I read a bit about the Pyramid of Giza.

What amazes me most is that of the 4,500 years this pyramid has existed, it was the tallest structure in the world for 3,800 of those years.

That’s crazy.

Also, the heaviest of the 2.3 million blocks used in its construction were transported over 500 miles. That might not seem like a big deal today, but in 2,500 BC?

That’s mind-blowing.

Amazing things can happen when people work together on a common goal.

Five Myths About Leadership

John C. Maxwell addresses some common misconceptions of leadership in his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.

Below are his five myths of leadership. I highly recommend reading John’s book for more detailed information on these myths and further guidance on the topic of leadership.

1. The Management Myth

Leading and managing are not the same thing.

“Leadership is about influencing people to follow, while management focusses on maintaining systems and processes.”

“Managers can maintain direction, but often they can’t change it. Systems and processes can do only so much. To move people in a new direction, you need influence.”

2. The Entrepreneur Myth

Entrepreneurs are not necessarily leaders.

“[Entrepreneurs] see needs and understand how to meet them in a way that produces a profit. But not all of them are good with people.”

“Many [entrepreneurs] find it necessary to partner with someone skilled at the people part of the equation. If they can’t influence people, they can’t lead.”

3. The Knowledge Myth

Possessing an abundance of knowledge and intelligence doesn’t make you a leader.

“You can visit any major university and meet brilliant research scientists and philosophers whose ability to think is so high that it’s off the charts but whose ability to lead is so low that it doesn’t even register on the charts.”

4. The Pioneer Myth

Just because you’re out in front of the crowd doesn’t mean you’re a leader.

“Being the first isn’t always the same as leading. For example, Sir Edmund Hillary was the first man to reach the summit of Mount Everest. But that doesn’t make Hillary a leader. He wasn’t even the official leader on the expedition when he reached the summit.”

“To be a leader, a person has to not only be out front, but also have people intentionally coming behind him, following his lead, and acting on his vision.”

5. The Position Myth

Leadership is not based on a person’s position.

“In 1994, institutional investors of Saatchi & Saatchi forced the board of directors to dismiss Maurice Saatchi, the company’s CEO. What was the result? Several executives followed him out. So did many of the company’s largest accounts…”

“Saatchi’s influence was so great that his departure caused the company’s stock to fall immediately… Saatchi lost his title and position, but he continued to be the leader.”

More on this topic…

Again, John C. Maxwell’s book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is a great read for anyone seeking a better understanding of leadership. Hopefully this snippet inspires you to read it.

Mr. Rogers on Caring People in the World

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.”

–Fred “Mr.” Rogers

Taking the Easy Route

This is a follow up to my last post.

I’m sorry to report that the Hummingbirds were defeated in the championship by Something Different. Yes, that was my opponent’s team name.

It’s bad enough losing to an idiotically named team, but what really burns is that the “manager” of Something Different used the easy button then walked away.

What does this mean?

Strat Instant Draft
Strat-O-Matic Online Baseball has a button that will instantly draft a team for you. I can accept this. Give me a random roster to manage. It’s a way to quickly get things underway.

I get it. The easy button is there for a reason. Use it if you want.

What’s hard to swallow is that the championship went to the one person who let the computer make every decision possible during the entire season.

Our league had eleven managers that actually played the game. They managed their players and had fun doing it. But they all lost.

Taking the easy route can be viewed as lazy or genius depending on the situation. The jury is still out for which is the case here.

Either way. It’s a game and I had fun. Congrats to Something Different.

Elias Canetti on Personal Growth

“I would like to become tolerant without overlooking anything, persecute no one even when all people persecute me; become better without noticing it; become sadder, but enjoy living; become more serene, be happy in others; belong to no one, grow in everyone; love the best, comfort the worst; not even hate myself anymore.”

– Elias Canetti