Path

It is interesting to look back and remember.  There is part of me that wants to think that everything I touched worked out for good in the end.  As I open my eyes, my actions have left a marked on stories that worked as well as ones that did not.  For most, the story is still incomplete.  When I look for clear marks of success, I often find that success is fleeting.

Two questions emerge from the view.  The first is one of evaluation; did I make a positive difference and if so, how do I measure it?  As time lengthens the question becomes more difficult.  How long did I expect my touch to last?  What did I do that reached the heart? read more

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Replays

Replays are integral to modern sports.  While they began as a way to improve the entertainment proposition, increasingly replays have become an additional referee to ensure that the points won were really won and on the field calls made in the moment are accurate.  While replays are increasingly used, they are still controversial.  Do they show what some think they show?  What if the opinions of those reviewing the video differ?

As I watch football with a friend, I find replays bring our conversation into focus.  The video, slowed down, highlighted by experts, takes us to a specific point and invites each to form a view.  Team loyalties, the score, game momentum, and one’s insights influences how one understands what is being replayed.  Two people can see things differently even though they are watching the same video and listening to the same commentary. read more

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Mix

I picked up the kailan that had been soaking.  They looked and felt fresh, with vibrant green leaves and crisp stems.  As I trimmed the base, I looked for random yellow leaves hidden in the mix.  The process was going smoothly until I encountered a string bean.  It took a moment to realize that I was soaking the greens in the same water as I just finished soaking a pot of beans in.  Somehow one had lost its way.  The stray was quickly united with its mates.

As I continued working on dinner, my mind stayed with the random bean.  The discovery echoed my experience with teams.  In working with others, it is exciting to see the ways they buy into a dream and learn to work together.  Along the way, one often discovers someone that is different.  Without comment as to her/his character or skills, you know that they are very different from everyone else on the team.  It is often something so fundamental that you wonder how they got into the mix to start with. read more

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Pursuit

If there is a single word to describe a key mantra of living and leadership, it is pursuit.  One must pursue More.  Whatever is happening, it is never quite enough.  More love, compassion, and community are good things.  The act of reaching for service, excellence, and quality is not one that has a final destination.  There is always more that we can do.  Satisfaction comes in giving our all to the effort, not in reaching a particular place or status.

I feel pursuit like an itch.  It is something that I feel if I am not doing it.  When I am pursuing what is right, a sense of purpose brings a unique kind of peace.  It is as if my body knows it is doing what it was created to do.  When my pursuit is selfish, everything is on edge.  I can feel the tension, as if I am fighting with guilt. read more

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Stress

Holidays and stress always seemed to be connected.  Last night there was a choice of locations for dinner.  One option was in a remote location in Singapore where people that love to ride often gather.  It is quiet, away from the crowds, and has a view of distance lands.  The other was on the street Singapore always decorates for the season.

We choose the former.  As we came back by the second choice, the bright lights, crowds filling the streets and shops as far as the eye could see, and police reminded me that I was very happy with our choice.  The idea of letting myself be buried in crowds during the holiday season was not on my priority list.  The hustle and noise would have been interesting for a few minutes at best.  The idea that I would willingly spend my evening in it was beyond anything I could imagine.  It was a living nightmare that I could see before my eyes!  Music, noise, and confusion dominated everything. read more

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Labels

I belatedly unpacked my bag.  A week after the fact, I came across a stack of Christmas card covers.  To the uninformed, the stack of used covers without writing could have been confusing.  There was no connection with anything except the season. I saw a stack of potential labels that one could use when wrapping presents.  Each card could be cut into shapes and, with the addition of handwritten initials or a note, attached to a present with someone’s name.

It is a tradition that began in the family more than thirty years ago.  I do not remember why it started.  I do know that this act will forever remind me of people that care enough to give gifts with another’s name on it from the inside out. read more

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Obvious

It is the time of the year for holiday messages.  In the spirit take care of the world that we live in, I am a fan of email based cards and messages.  I find that the content is as important as the medium, especially when there is distance between the parties.

I will confess that I do not always have the patience to listen to a musical e-card.  In fairness, I do not always listen through the jingle when it plays from a paper card either.  My focus is on what the individual has to say.  What happened in the past year?  Where are things now?  Are they sharing anything from the heart? read more

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Inclusive

Communities are at the heart of living engaged.  Small, medium, large, complex, and simple – each has a role in how we experience the journey of being human.  Life often reminds us that our deepest experiences are rooted in relationship to the other.  Our souls thirst to for acceptance and a sense of belonging.  As core as this is to our being, we live with a contradiction.  Unconditional inclusiveness does not seem natural.  It is easy to include others that agree with us and make us feel better.  When others are different, ah, doubts and barriers quietly emerge. read more

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Focus

It has been a long time and yet I still remember.  It is an odd memory.  I was in a management meeting with my team.  It was as if the air was crisp and everything was clear.  I knew that there was one sitting at the table that did not agree with anything we were saying.  While others believed, wondered, and doubted, there was one that did not believe.  His words, actions, and body language said that he did not want to ever believe.  At the time, I wondered, reflected, and did nothing.

I have said since that I wished I had transferred or fired him then.  It would have helped everyone, including the individual. read more

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Personalized

As I thought about the homework I was going to assign, I reflected on what I hoped the students would take from the experience.  I knew that I did not need to see their responses.  Whatever they were, it was not going to impact me.  There were no grades for the class, so scoring was not relevant.  The goal was learning and doing more because of what I had to share.

From what I could see, for a group of young individuals starting their own companies in the technology space, it would be critical to get them out of their comfort zones.  Each needed to be away from her/his keyboard, screen, or touch device.  No scribes were allowed.  Dictation was not going to be accepted.  The only form of communicating the answers to the homework would be pen and paper. read more

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