Procrastinate— or not!

I’m supposed to be packing for a Maui trip right now, but I took a break; another way to say I’m delaying the inevitable” is that procrastination?

I’m really looking forward to the Maui coaching and the great people I’ll be with there, it’s the 4-hour airport dance for what should be only 20 minutes of in-the-air time which I’m not looking forward to.

My two buddies over on have a couple of posts up today on procrastination, and it gave me a good chance to dip into my own archives for those of you who are new to Talking Story [Mahalo to Steve for the coaching] This is a habit I still have which has been absolutely golden for me: I am still doing it.

Easy, Cheap Procrastination Killer

Fits in well with our Le‘ale‘a value of playfulness this month!

Don’t forget to visit Leon and Chris at too:

Leon starts off with
Design your own anti-procrastination plan

And Chris jumps in with Procrastinate a bit

Very nānā i ke kumu Chris.

I have a full 7 days of travel ahead of me and posting will probably be light here, so if you want more archive highlights, I’d recommend you go to The Best of Talking Story: Scroll a bit down the left column, right under the Recent Comments heading— or stop there and talk story with the rest of the Ho‘ohana Community.

[Oh; my own archives are all kept on the left column of – mahalo to Leon for the Word Press real estate!]

Maui no ka ‘oi”
here I come. Have a great week :-)

Aspire to Aloha instead

At the time I write this, Google News is tracking 1,787 related news stories about the foiled plot by seven would-be terrorists to stage a bombing at the Sears Tower in Chicago, our nation’s largest building.

The most frequent quote running through the articles I’ve skimmed, seems to be the one by FBI Deputy Director John Pistole to assure us that,

“This group was more aspirational than operational.”

Sir, that doesn’t make me feel any better, for how very sad that such things are what some feel they must aspire to.

It was such a troubling thing for me to read as I opened my own morning paper, on a day when I awoke feeling very joyful: Both my children are home today from college, and my family is together. While there are a lot of different discussions which can be had about this news story, perhaps that is why the other quotes that have been jumping out at me have to do with family. My heart aches for the parents of these seven men who are making their own heartfelt statements to the press, saying they simply cannot believe what is being said about their sons, and what they are accused of.

When we are parents, we cannot assume our children will hold our values central to their belief systems forever; values can be influenced, and values can change. What we can be sure of, is that the values we hold will influence our behavior as sure as the sun rises tomorrow morning.

Tonight, we will discuss this news story around the dinner table amongst our family. Initially, my two children will probably roll their eyes and think, “Oh boy, here goes mom again.” However they will engage, they will debate, they will get as passionate as I will, and as their father will, about the values we hold dear as a family. Among them, about the sanctity of human life, and our core belief about aloha and the value of universal love.

On the chance you have not yet seen the news, here are two samples:

From ABC News: Would-Be Terrorists Sought Help From al-Qaida in Plot to Blow Up Sears Tower.

From the Boston Globe:US warns of rise in domestic terror cells.

And here is a link I much prefer to end my post with for you:
My Aloha Virtue List.

Joy at Work; There’s something in it for all of us

With Joy At Work, Dennis Bakke got me with the first two sentences of his Preface:

Principles are the bottom line.

My passion is to make work exciting, rewarding, stimulating, and enjoyable.

Frequent readers know his words would have sounded only slightly different if coming from me in Managing with Aloha. Something like,

Values lived are the bottom line.

My passion is reinventing the workplace as we know it, by making work worthwhile, fulfilling, and gratifying.

Bakke continues:

Most books on organizational life and work focus on top executives and the strategies they use to guide their organizations to success, which is usually defined by financial results. This book is aimed primarily at the working life of the other 90 to 95 percent of people in large organizations ” for them, the crucial measure of success is the quality of their work lives.

With Managing with Aloha, I was aiming for a different, and more specific audience; managers. I see that managers have a responsibility for leadership, and MWA was written in my mission to help managers understand that they can, and should do more to effect the change we need in today’s workplaces.

That said, I do think of myself as one of the biggest advocates managers can have. I’m always cheering for them and encouraging them to strive higher. While I can see the shortcomings they may demonstrate, I prefer to look deeper to the potential managers possess to improve and do better; to be better.

I see that managers sell themselves short, and that they are capable of getting more done than they think. A large part of my coaching efforts have to do with stripping away and knocking down the self-imposed barriers and obstacles many managers have assumed are standing in their way, so that they will charge ahead and go for it. I freely admit I have counseled many of them to seize their opportunities, act with a far greater sense of urgency, and then ask forgiveness instead of permission should it become necessary.

Therefore, while I loved much about Bakke’s book, throughout my reading I often found I asked myself, what’s in this for managers?

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Play to Teach and Coach: Draw it!

I went to a seminar a couple of years ago which had a huge effect on me. The material presented wasn’t new, but up until I took that course most of it had seemed very lofty and academic to me. Even though I agreed with the course content, I hadn’t applied most of it to my everyday work.

However after that seminar I did.

We arrived to find we were grouped around round tables that at first glance looked like they belonged in a preschool. In the center of each table was

  • an assortment of colored markers, highlighters, charcoal pencils and crayons
  • sheets of various sized Avery labels and stars
  • three different sizes of Post-its
  • and three stacks of paper: blank for mind-mapping, graph paper, and large-grid storyboard sheets


I was among a group who were very corporate business serious, and there were quite a few eyes rolled to the ceiling as we took our seats, with people mumbling, “Oh great, what silliness will this be? How long are we trapped in here?”

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