NO, you will not learn how to bounce safely on an inflated ball…

YES, you will learn some very helpful things about how to search for work in a challenging environment

From the website: 
Come learn the roadmap and get the tools to conduct an effective and successful job search.”

Reservations are required, so send your message to:

LOCATION:  Webster Groves Christian Church, 1320 West Lockwood, Webster Groves, 63122.

Disclaimer:  I am a satisfied past participantSmile.

Are You Wandering or Are You Traveling?

Suitcase“The difference between wandering and traveling is that you can wander with no particular purpose, but you travel to fill the greatest desires of your heart and soul.”

Source:  Unknown

Sounds like travel as defined above is the better choice. Well, maybe, maybe not …

Wandering can free us …

You can set out with no particular goals or expectations in mind, open to what comes down the road, and completely free to change direction, go somewhere or leave somewhere when you choose.

You might stumble across your heart’s desire or something magical that you did not dream existed.

You might also find yourself at the end of a life where you never quite experienced anything of value or worth.

Traveling can exhaust us …

You set out with goals and aspirations, steadily moving toward those things you want.   Each step is carefully planned to move you toward that to which you aspire.   When plans go awry or obstacles arise, you carefully recalculate and adjust your plans.  

You never stop moving toward that which you want.  This takes energy, but at the end of your life, you might find that you have worked hard to achieve that which you desired.  

You might also feel a tinge of regret for what might have been.

Both wandering and traveling can provide benefits … maybe the best way forward is to do some of both. 

Knowing where you are going is good, but so is letting chance take you to other places as well.

Making sure my travel plans include a few off-route adventures in the Heartland ….


Drop Dead …

Of course, the name alone of this meeting had my attention …

“You are cordially invited to attend the Drop-Dead Conference”


The setup was simple.   Each director and vice presidential level person was to attend and invite one person who was the answer to this question:

Who would step into your place if you God forbid died…?

The harder questions came next:

If the answer is “Nobody”, what are you doing about this?

If you can name someone, how ready are they?

What do they still need?

What are you doing to make sure they can succeed?

This was our introduction to succession planning, a very important and often misunderstood aspect of leadership.  In fact, most of us put all our effort in this regard to using a very straight-forward process:

1)  Identify one person to take over “some day”.

2)  Pray that they learn how to lead and manage by osmosis or magic.

3)  Focus on what you’ll do next or when you retire.

4)  Act surprised at the “unexpected” outcome.

Sound familiar?

When I was a young worker, I learned a valuable lesson:  How you leave a job says a lot about you.  The lesson was learned while watching a parade of other people quit or get fired from relatively low-paying jobs in retail over a period of years.  Some people were responsible, mature, and covered their bases, while others vented, stewed, simply split, and so on.

At the time, I thought it just applied to my personal behavior when leaving a position or an organization.

It’s about how you leave your responsibilities.

Are they in good hands?

Bonus:  The same questions work for individuals and solopreneurs, with a little tweaking:

What would you do if everything you have went away today?

What do you need that you do not currently have in order to cope with this possibility?

What are you doing about this?

So many questions, so little time … get busy:)

Putting a plan in place in the Heartland ….


Excuses and Explanations …


An excuse describes something that happened to prevent you from accomplishing a task. completing a process, or achieving an objective.


An explanation provides the reason that I did not accomplish a task, complete a process, or achieve that objective.

Knowing the difference between the two is essential to two other things:  Goals and Fixes.


What task you are trying to accomplish, what process you are attempting to complete, or what overall objective you wish to achieve.


What you do to make sure you accomplish that task, complete that process, and achieve that goal.

Nothing complicated about the above, aside from our very human tendency to do the following:

1)  “I gotta get to work on time.”:  Fail to clearly describe the goal.

2)  “I ran out of gas”:  Provide only an excuse when you fail to reach your goal.

3)  “I dunno …”:  Ignore or provide only a partial explanation for your failure.

4)  “I gotta do better tomorrow”:  Do the same thing tomorrow and expect different results.

Try this instead:

The Goal: ” I will systematically drop those things which would prevent me from arriving at work on time or early, and reduce those which I cannot eliminate.”  

The Excuse: “I ran out of gas”

The Explanation:  “I forgot to check the gas level in the car before I took off.”

The Fix:  “Until I make it second nature, I will keep a 3×5 card on my dashboard reminding me to check the gas first.”

Keep Everyone Close …

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

Mario Puzo   The Godfather, Part II  

Footnote from Often misattributed to Sun Tzu, it is actually spoken by the character Michael Corleone in The Godfather, Part II. The quote begins, “My father taught me many things here…he taught me in this room. He taught me…”

Ahhh, The Godfather … as Tom Hanks so memorably tells us in “You’ve Got Mail“:

Joe Fox: The Godfather is the I-ching. The Godfather is the sum of all wisdom. The Godfather is the answer to any question. What should I pack for my summer vacation? “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.” What day of the week is it? “Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday.” 

… and the featured quote is simply more evidence of this.

Keeping our friends close is probably a no-brainer.

We need the support of those who we trust and draw energy from the closeness of intimacy.  When you already consider someone an ally, shared moments only bring you closer to them, for the most part.

It’s easy to keep our friends close, because we seek that closeness.  Facebook allows us to reconnect and stay in connection with friends from long ago and far away.   This is a major part of the appeal of social media networking in general.

Keeping our enemies closer is somewhat more counter-intuitive.

We usually do not enjoy close contact with our enemies.  We may respect them in some ways, but we do not like being around them.  So why should we do so, based on advice from a fictional character in a movie?

1)  Closeness can provide opportunities to learn about others and to develop more nuanced relationships.  Interacting with others in proximity provides valuable lessons in the range and variety of behaviors and emotions which exist in every human.   

2)  Keeping everyone in your world close breaks down the myth that friends are close and others are not.  We live in a world of change and yesterday’s enemy is sometimes tomorrow’s valued ally.

3)  Doing so challenges the traditional perception of what an enemy is.   While I think it simplistic to say things like “A stranger is just a friend you have not yet met”, we do have to acknowledge how getting to know someone changes your perceptions of that person, often in positive ways.

After all, getting to know people who are different from you is a basic tool in fighting stereotyping, prejudice, bias, and discrimination, isn’t it?

Trying to make room for everyone in the Heartland ….