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Archive for September, 2008

Calendar age = Just a number

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Age seems to be an issue these days.  I was recently at an awards program honoring those under 40 years of age.  Someone commented that in the city I live within, after 40, you fall off the map.  There aren’t a lot of awards for those over 40 was in essence what he was trying to say.

Here is what I think about age.  Your calendar age is just that–a number.  But your real age is your state of mind.  I see some students who are barely 21 and who are far more responsible than some 60 year olds that I know (according to calendar age).  Also, I know some 21 year olds who act older than some 60 year olds that I know.  Is it calendar age related to accomplishments that we should honor, or is it essence the state of mind at ANY age that should be honored?  

I’m not totally sure, but I do know this:  we are all each individually here for a reason.  And as I’ve stated before, it is up to each of us to figure out what that individual purpose in life is. (Yes, I ended a sentence with a verb.)  Think about it – among us could be the person who invents a new alternative fuel, or is an economist who figures out how we can all have enough to survive and thrive, to a physicist who figures out our place in the universe.  

What are you here to do?  Age aside, it is a burning question that all of us should seek to answer.


Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Man, I got asked the infernal question today: “What do you do?”  

Ugh. I’m not a fan of that question.  I’m sure everyone who asks has good, honest, noble intentions of learning more about others by asking it.  But how can one sum up what he or she does in one word, in one sentence, in 30 seconds or less?  So, I thought about it all day, and here is the best one word summary I can come up with for what I do: Thanksgiving.

Think about it – what is Thanksgiving all about?  Two ideas come to mind:  1.  variety (how many dishes do you actually get at Thanksgiving dinner?) and 2.  abundance.  I have been blessed with the variety of things I’ve done and continue to do in my career, and actually grow strength from the variety itself, which leads to abundance.  I consider the writing part of my Thanksgiving career the gravy that holds the entire dinner together.

Don’t get me wrong – there have been people throughout my career who never ‘got’ me or this idea, and that’s OK.  There needs to be a variety of people with a variety of career management ideas – some go deep and narrow, and others go shallow and wide.  Different strokes for different folks.

So, next time you get asked that question – can you come up with a one word answer?  If not, don’t sweat it.  Just reply to the person asking, “How much time do you have?”  Or, if you do a lot of things (and who doesn’t these days?) feel free to use the term “Thanksgiving” too!

Dream Team of the Future

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

I’m a little tardy with this idea post-Olympics, but as I was driving home from the library this morning, I was thinking what the most off-the-hook-futurist-dream-team panel discussion would look like.  (So, if you are in conference management, get your pens out and get ready for a great panel idea…)  

If someone really wanted to have a one-of-a-kind panel discussion on the future, work, and globalization, here is the dream team: Malcolm Gladwell (his new book coming later this fall is around the future workplace), Daniel Pink (the writer of Johnny Bunko and A Whole New Mind), Alvin Toffler (the granddaddy of all futurists–in to discuss the 3rd wave), Marci Alboher (her perspectives on the worker becoming the new Renaissance person and how to work with this type of individual in a business would be a great fresh perspective), Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi (author of Flow, who can tell us how to get there) and of course, Richard Florida (so he can share with us what the cities have where the creative class are migrating to…)

Sign me up for THAT conference!

Walking into the different…

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Yesterday was an odd, but equally fun day.

First, I had the opportunity to attend an IT conference.  As someone who knows very little about IT, it was fascinating to be around this entire group of professionals who share a very different language and have different concerns regarding their work.  It was interesting to watch as an ‘outsider.’  As I sat and soaked in the language, I slowly realized that what the IT professionals were discussing are things that all of us should be concerned with – things like teamwork, communication, and organizational effectiveness.

Equally bizarre, I parked at the mall and walked right into Christmas when leaving the conference!  It is not yet Halloween.  It is still September, last time I checked.

IT and Christmas – what do they have in common?  Well, they are both very different for me.  And this is my wish for you in the coming days, weeks and months:  may you, too, be surrounded by the new, the different, and the future, because it works your brain in different, good ways.


Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

…I finally get the whole sports thing.  It is spatial bonding.

2 Awesome things intersecting

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

I love it when some of my favorite things intersect.  In this case, it is neuroscience and creativity!


Saturday, September 20th, 2008

shades of familiarity.

$17,000 per hour

Friday, September 19th, 2008

So I read in a certain east coast newspaper about a CEO of a company not doing so well used to “earn” $17,000.00 per hour.  (Yes, I typed that correctly.)

I remember the first time I made $17.00 per hour.  It was after I finished 5 very long, laborious years in undergrad cranking out science.  I was stoked, because I had a lot of debt to pay off, and I wanted to get on with my life.

I wonder, if we flipped the pay of all those who currently make $17,000.00 per hour with those who make $17.00 per hour, just for an hour, how it would effect our economy, and more importantly, the lives of those who usually make $17.00 per hour.  Yes, I’m thinking about the teachers, the not-for-profit leaders, and those who are generally killing themselves to make the world a better place and sacrificing the big bucks and not selling out just for a phat paycheck.

Don’t get me wrong, I know plenty of business leaders and CEOs who earn each and every penny they make…but if just for an hour we could honor our “CEOs” of the real world, who are busting their chops each and every day to make the world a better place, and actually doing a GREAT job rather than just a mediocre one, for just ONE hour…what a cool world this would be!

A Generation Apart

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

I was teaching today and having the students focused on becoming good investigators….super sleuths….people who ask a lot of good questions, which is part of being a good healthcare professional in order to make correct therapeutic choices for patients. Anyhow…I used the analogy of Kojak. I suddenly realized after I said it, no one knew what the heck I was talking about. I then worked with one of my co-instructors to come up with Carmen Sandiego as the next best choice, and the students finally “got” my analogy.

I forgot this was a different generation.

Here’s my homage to generation X and Y. I’m in X, the students are in Y. Here are some of the translational differences (other than Kojak and Carmen):

X                                      Y
Atari 2600                       X box or Wii
D&D                                Harry Potter
Strawberry Shortcake      Bratz
Shaun Cassidy                John Mayer
Betamax                         Blue Ray
VCR                                DVR
Walkman                        iPhone
paper notes in class       IMing
card catalogs                 internet
books                            youtube/facebook

Jeez, I’m old!

The C word

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

As a first year law student, this word is currently the bane of my existence….personally and professionally. It is: consideration.

For those of you who have been through law school, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of contracts class, suffice it to say that consideration is a required element of an enforceable contract.  (Trust me, you probably don’t want to know more beyond that.) Now, the legal definition is different from the real world definition, and I kind of prefer the real world definition of “careful thought” rather than, “something that makes a promise legally binding”, but I suppose one has to be thoughtful in order to understand consideration in either realm…be it the real world or the legal world.

See?  This is what happens to law students on the slow ascension to the city of ‘crazy’.   Population: me.

Thank you for your consideration.