Game 1: Don’t Jump to Any Conclusions

Tonight is the 2015 MLB season opener between the Cubs and Cardinals at Wrigley Field. The Cubs go into this season with high expectations, so many Cardinal fans will be waiting to jump to conclusions based on the outcome of this game. They best be careful.

I remember going to St. Louis for the 2012 Cardinal home opener, which also happened to be against the Cubs. This was a special game for Cardinal fans as they celebrated their 2011 World Series victory. However, it didn’t take long for the festive atmosphere to die down.

By the top of the fourth inning the Cubs were ahead 9-0. They went on to win 9-5 and I went on to be harassed as I made my way out of the park. I recall a drunk idiot violently expressing his feelings about how Theo Epstein wouldn’t be able to save the Cubs.

The Cardinals went on to the NLCS in 2012 only to lose in game seven to the Giants. The Cubs? They may have rained on the Cardinal home opener parade (actually real rain did that too) but they finished dead last in the Central Division in 2012.

We’re yet to see whether Theo’s efforts will ultimately bring a World Series victory to the Cubs, but we do know Cub fans have plenty of reasons to be excited. One of those reasons is tonight’s MLB opener at Wrigley.

Lester, Rizzo, Maddon and company will be front and center under baseball’s spotlight at one of the best baseball cathedrals on Easter Sunday.

Win or lose for the Cubs tonight, it won’t matter. This is going to be a fun season either way.

Cheers to a great opening game. Go Cubs!

Google’s Royalty-Free Images

Free stock photography may be limited, but it’s good to know there are places you can get a free image when you need one.

Google has an advanced search that allows you to find images with varying levels of restriction. The image above was found by adjusting these settings and searching using the keyword “man.” This image is actually the first result in the search when the usage restrictions are completely lifted.

It’s an excellent way of getting a quick, free, royalty-free image.

And if you’re wondering, the image above is a portrait of Daniel Friedman.

The Pietasters in Red Vinyl

Last night my first Ska record came in the mail: oolooloo, by The Pietasters.

I fell in love with Ska music in the ’90s when CDs were popular. Rarely do I listen to CDs anymore.

But I love listening to records.

I thought it was appropriate to make The Pietasters my first Ska vinyl since they’re my favorite Ska group. And, oolooloo was available as a reissue in red vinyl. How cool is that?

Hopefully this is one of many Ska records that will make it into my vinyl collection.

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