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Leadership

The 5 Things Those in the Driver’s Seat Want You To Know

Being in control ALL the time can be exhausting.

Who are the strong leaders in your life? Those you can count on to be decisive. That uncanny ability to cut through a mess to bring the light shining in. We all know someone we love to hate because they always seem to have their s@#t together. But deep down we don’t hate them. We appreciate having them in our lives. They are our solid wall, firmly grounded, and we know we can throw any ball at the wall and it will bounce back to us in a way we can catch it. Read more

Words We Should(n’t) Live By

Proceed with caution when using common clichés.

Protect yourself from potentially harmful clichés.

Clichés are so popular in America that there’s hardly a day you don’t say or hear one. I read hundreds of clichés in preparing this post and their value is apparent.

Used to validate, encourage, dismiss, or explain behavior, clichés are catchy language crutches that justify intention.

We need them. Their overuse is useful. Everyone knows what we mean without explanation. Listeners accept our word jingle as a condensed proclamation of our current state of affairs.

But watch out. Some clichés can be dicey.  Read more

The 5 Directives of Friendly Debate

Disagreement can enhance a friendship if you handle it the right way.

Debate doesn’t have to get personal.

Facebook has had me shaking my head the last few weeks. Silently witnessing discord between “friends” with words driving wedges between them. Social media has that unique ability to make people feel protected while being exposed. Much like an outraged driver who’s inside his car yet completely visible.  Some contributors forget that the internet is not a cloak but a spotlight.

During the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, Facebook reminded me of a hurricane. While hurricane Isaac was threatening the RNC, another storm was brewing on Facebook. The more comments and “likes” on brutal political commentary, the more the storm gained momentum. Like fanning a fire, posts turned to vicious personal attacks. Not toward their enemies. This was friendly fire.

I believe debate can be constructive, beneficial and enjoyable. Especially amongst friends. Disagreement can stimulate ideas, widen your horizons, and help solidify strong relationships.

An evening out with another couple where conversation goes beyond “Who won the soccer game?” to “What do you think about a flat tax?” creates an engaging discussion that enriches friendship.

We don’t compromise our values by respecting others’ views.  As long as we follow these directives. Read more

Arriving at Excellence

You are better off improving your strengths than improving your weaknesses.

You are the only one who can use your ability!

When my husband and I started our business 28 years ago, neither one of us knew much about entrepreneurship.

My husband doesn’t like to talk on the phone, interview job applicants, or close deals. He’s best at design and production work. On the other hand, give me a mechanical task and you’ll find me holding a white flag of surrender before I even start.

It didn’t take long to reveal that his 10 fingers and my mouth were the keys to our business succeeding. Instead of me learning production tasks and him speaking to customers, we divided up responsibility based on our individual strengths. Read more

Spare the Hammer But Not the Wrench

Spanking should be abolished entirely.

I was spanked as a kid. I guess I turned out ok.

Think you needed a good whippin’ to learn your lessons when you were little? I imagine a lot of heads shaking with a “Yes, ma’am”. There’s a good chance you “Yes, ma’am’ers” believe your children deserve the same. Read more

Should You Workout on Vacation?

It's up to the parents to make fitness a family affair.

A recent trip to Austin, Texas to celebrate our daughter’s 21st birthday included a few family style workouts. Including exercise when you’re away from your normal environment and routine is a challenge for even the most steadfast athletes.

Consider these 5 FIT tips when vacationing with the whole clan. Read more

Sid’s Sense- Lingo & Laughter

Use humor and the right vocabulary to snap tension, ignite fellowship, and cope with life’s stings.

View previous posts in this series, Sid’s Sense.

Around the year 2000, my mother was diagnosed with a progressive illness called multiple system atrophy. It started with severe bouts of hypotension (low blood pressure) and progressed to the point she could not walk or take care of herself. It was heartbreaking. My father, her husband of 52 years, knew this might just be the biggest fight he would ever endure. Determined to find a way to cope, ease the stress, and remain proactive in her healthcare, he chose his words carefully. Read more

Under the Mask

A Dedication to Father's Everywhere

Under the mask is a first time Dad holding a newborn wondering how he is going to be a good enough father.

Under the mask is a single Dad trying to figure out what a Mom would do in this situation.

Under the mask is a devoted father praying his little leaguer hits the ball so he won’t have to convince him he’s still a winner.

Under the mask is a strong man in uniform, filthy from dirt and sweat, yearning desperately to see his family again.

Under the mask is a jobless father in despair telling his family it will be alright and things will come around real soon.

Under the mask is a salesman worn out from working under the pressure of a monolith when his wife and kids just want him home.

Under the mask is a distraught father comforting his broken-hearted daughter telling her the boy didn’t deserve her anyway.

Let’s face it. We appreciate our Dad’s masks.

This certainty that they will be there to lean on, to look up to.

        This knowing that they will remain strong when we fall apart.

This faith that they’ll throw the rescue line when we’ve fallen too far.

        This expectation that they have the map if we just follow their directions.

This belief that when we don’t feel good enough, we’re good enough for them.

To all the Dad’s out there, Thank You.  You matter.  A lot.

You are our anchor that only lets us drift so far.

"Fatherhood doesn't build character. It reveals it." Skitz

Training The Unchaperoned Mind

The number one lesson to teach your kids.

If I had to narrow down just ONE piece of advice for raising responsible children, this would be it. Read more

All Boggled

Are you choosing your family's priorities or are they choosing you?

Have you ever played the game, Boggle?  It is a word game that comes with a set of dice with letters on every side.  You place the letters in a container with a lid and shake.  The letters fall randomly in slots on the base and you try and create words out of adjoining letters.

So many families operate like a game of Boggle.  They throw tons of stuff in the container, shake everything up, see where things land on any given day, and then try to make sense out of the chaos, and of course, try to come out winners in everything they do by bedtime! Read more