Reflections on Old Men and McDonald’s …


CoffeeTHE COFFEE AND THE CONVERSATIONS FLOW FREELY …

Every once in a while, a woman or a slightly younger man shows up, but this is almost exclusively an old man’s world.

Men of a certain maturity sit and chat, about the weather, about goings-on in their lives, their children and grandchildren, the state of the world, sometimes about politics, but that is often restricted to the local level or a chorus of people who all see things pretty much the same. 

Every tongue is loose and words flow freely … I wonder if they are this verbose in other situations or at home.  I imagine not …

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Some Thoughts On Social Media …


Facebook Logo 2016 - Wikipedia Public Domain 

Yes, I have been “wasting time” on social media …

Just visited Facebook as part of my daily social media ritual, which includes wishing a happy birthday to people with whom I have connected over the years.  This simple gesture takes a few seconds for each one and I enjoy a brief reminder of how this person has affected my life.

Today was unusually plentiful in this regard, at least for me – here’s a quick run-down of who I was thinking about a little while ago:

One of my earliest friends from my childhood … and an early adolescent crush …

Three people who share social media work … but whom I have never met, since they live in two other states and one other country …

Two former co-workers from two different companies …

Three ministers or religious workers … one a former student at a college where I worked, another who guides an online call discernment group I participated in once upon a time, and the last who is an active leader around social justice issues through our shared denomination and current town …

So that was today’s larger than usual bu representative roundup, which still does not include every aspect of my life that my varied connections symbolize. Continue reading

Best of the Best …


Best of LWG 2016

Yes, it’s that time of the month again …


WHAT …

Lead With Giants is one of the most active and valuable online communities for those interested in leadership and personal development.  Among many other activities across several major online platforms, this group provides us with a monthly compilation of some of the best leadership and personal development thinking going.

… and just like when I was a child, the big kids let me play with them:). 

Click the image above or GO HERE to read the posts for February and get to know some of these folks.

WHY …

LWG visionUsing my experience over the past several years participating in the LWG group in various ways, I have determined three reasons why I can comfortably sing the praises of Lead With Giants:

Active Practitioners:

The authors are mostly folks who actively work in leadership development every day, stopping now and then to write books, speak to groups, and do other awareness-spreading activities.

Everyday Leadership:

The topics are mostly about aspects of leadership you can use now wherever you are.   While some posts focus on the 30,000 foot view of corporate leadership, the majority are about how people relate to and influence other people.  The ideas, concepts, and techniques are scalable to the personal level.

Approachable People:

While many of these folks are known internationally, are successful in their fields, and some have even written books about what they do, I have found them approachable, warm, and welcoming.   You can reach out to any of this tribe without fear or concern.

A perfect example of this is the leadership force behind Lead With Giants:  Dan V. Forbes (Click to visit Dan’s LinkedIn profile).  Dan is simply one of the good guys and a true evangelist for leadership and community.

AND …

One other way to learn more about this community is to engage in one of our weekly Tweetchats (generic – click link to learn more). 

LWG Tweetchats are fast-paced and fascinating learning and sharing events where some very thoughtful people get together online to share their experiences and perceptions around important leadership topics.

Oh, by the way … there’s one tonight:)

image not displayedHere’s the basic information:  #LeadWithGiants Tweetchat Monday, Feb 1 at 7:00pm ET Leading Innovation with host @ZacharyJeans and @WBCG_Ruth

Use the hashtag #LeadWithGiants to find the Tweetchat.

I’ll be there, on a platform also called Tweetchat (application) which greatly simplifies following and participating in the discussion.

Join us … you should find value, openness, and connection.

Getting ready to learn at the speed of the Internet in the Heartland ….

John

 

 

 

 

 

Debunking an Illusion …


Illusions Quotation - Wikipedia

I have used the above quotation from a book I read long ago many times over the years to help others grow and learn.  I share this quotation by asking those present to think about each line and what it represents to them. 

The resulting discussions were usually rich and valuable for both me and those who are participating.  Many folks would accept the implied wisdom in this fine-sounding statement at first, but as we continue to talk, often come to a different perception of what is being said. 

Illusions are like that … we think we see or hear one thing, but upon closer inspection, we were mistaken.

Assumption:  Teaching, as I use this word, is a function both in the academic world and in the work environment.  Teaching may be part of a recognized department (Training, HR) or as part of a job function (Leader, Manager, Director, Supervisor). 

Whatever it is called and wherever it occurs, teaching is a critical part of business success. If you cannot effectively pass on current knowledge and stimulate new learning, you are pretty much caught in a rut … and ruts only help you stay where you already are.  This applies equally in life to our personal and professional growth.

I do not use this bit of wisdom because it is so absolutely true, because it is not.

Let’s unpack this quotation a bit …

 

“LEARNING IS FINDING OUT …”

If we only learn what we already know, we will never learn anything new.  This is a closed loop concept and my experience tells me that we continually learn new things which we did not know before.  I understand that the learning process usually includes incorporation of new information with old information, but that is not the same in my mind as learning something we already know.

Now the value of discovering connections between what you already know and what you do not yet know cannot be underestimated.

“DOING IS DEMONSTRATING …”

No argument here … this is a reasonably straight-forward statement of the difference between “knowing” and “doing”.  Knowing is passive, while Doing is action-oriented.  When you do something, you are demonstrating what you know about that thing you are doing.

“TEACHING IS REMINDING …”

Hmmm … not  as simple as Bach makes it out, but effective teaching IS as much about coaching another to come to an understanding or awareness, as it is sharing your own knowledge.  I remember learning the phrase “Sage on the stage” early in my career, and it always reminds me of the majority of my undergraduate college learning experiences, which were pretty much someone else talking, me listening and writing.  

Nothing wrong with either activity as part of the learning process, but they are leaving out some important elements, such as:

REFLECTION:  The act of thinking about what you have heard and written to come to new understandings.

TESTING:   The act of trying out a new learning to see how well it fits into your concepts and perceptions.

QUESTIONING:  Taking issue with the knowledge you are given.  Looking for logical lapses and non-congruent points, considering the source for potential bias, asking the questions that were not addressed … you know, being quarrelsome;).

So why do I like this quotation so much and use it so consistently?

Simply stated, It makes me think more deeply about how we learn and how we help others to learn …

What quotations about learning and teaching inspire you?

How do you use these quotations to help others learn?

What elements of learning did I leave out above?

Remembering some dreadfully tedious one-way classes in my first college experience in the Heartland …

John

Image:    “Illusions Richard Bach” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Illusions_Richard_Bach.jpg#/media/File:Illusions_Richard_Bach.

 

Give Till It Heals …


Giving Tuesday 2015 - morguefile

Since Giving Tuesday is seen as rather complicated by some, I thought I would offer a short Cheat Sheet.  If you follow these directions in the order given, you should be able to navigate this day just fine.  If you have any questions, please give me a holler and I will happily coach you through:

Giving Process - 2015

Please feel free to let me know if I left anything out or if you want to plug your favorite “Good Guys” organization.

Feeling rather benevolent and charitable toward all in the Heartland ….

John