A Stand Up Guy

I never take it for granted that I’m able to work from my home. But be forewarned, it does take discipline, and challenges exist within. Here’s a quick tip from me #BehindTheScenes. For the lion’s share of the day, I’m working Han Solo, just me, my laptop(s), a phone, and a faithful puppy dog. One of the biggest challenges for me (full disclosure here) was the mid-afternoon “drowsies” ~ sometime after lunch, put me in a chair, listen to the hum of the A/C, and it won’t be long bef…zzzzzzzzzzzzzz So, about 10 months ago, I decided to stand up. A couple of boxes stacked on top of the desk, and voila! I’m a stand-up desk guy. It’s crazy how much this one shift in my workday has changed my productivity. You know what you can’t do when you’re standing up? Sleep! (my audience of reading horses should ignore this comment). Energy levels increase, circulation improves, you tend to focus more, “drift away” less, and most importantly – I’m KILLING it. For those of you in a corporate environment, prepare to have a few double-takes if your colleagues see you standing behind your desk all of a sudden, but take heart – Ernest Hemingway and Charles Dickens are a few notables who followed the same practice, and those fellas seemed to have done fairly well for themselves. It’s Newton’s 1st Law of Motion; “an object in motion continues in motion;” the Mrs. and I are now going to take it up a notch and get the desk treadmill. One more way to overcome that nagging thought about “wasting away behind a desk.” Not me, man, I’m walking. Stand UP!

Stand Up Guy

I never take it for granted that I’m able to work from my home. But be forewarned, it does take discipline, and challenges exist within. Here’s a quick tip from me #BehindTheScenes.

For the lion’s share of the day, I’m working Han Solo, just me, my laptop(s), a phone, and a faithful puppy dog. One of the biggest challenges for me (full disclosure here) was the mid-afternoon “drowsies” ~ sometime after lunch, put me in a chair, listen to the hum of the A/C, and it won’t be long bef…zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

So, about 10 months ago, I decided to stand up.

A couple of boxes stacked on top of the desk, and voila! I’m a stand-up desk guy. It’s crazy how much this one shift in my workday has changed my productivity. You know what you can’t do when you’re standing up? Sleep! (my audience of reading horses should ignore this comment). Energy levels increase, circulation improves, you tend to focus more, “drift away” less, and most importantly – I’m KILLING it.

For those of you in a corporate environment, prepare to have a few double-takes if your colleagues see you standing behind your desk all of a sudden, but take heart – Ernest Hemingway and Charles Dickens are a few notables who followed the same practice, and those fellas seemed to have done fairly well for themselves.

It’s Newton’s 1st Law of Motion; “an object in motion continues in motion;” the Mrs. and I are now going to take it up a notch and get the desk treadmill. One more way to overcome that nagging thought about “wasting away behind a desk.” Not me, man, I’m walking.

Stand UP!

NFL, “Not Feeling Lucky”

Ray Rice, meet the Bonfire of the Vanities.

Challenged by public outrage and “new” video footage, NFL leadership reversed an earlier decision for a 2-game suspension, and instead they just knocked his ass to the elevator floor.

TMZ, easily the king of American paparazzi got possession of said “new” video footage and let the world see exactly what it looks like when a professional athlete cold-cocks a female. In this case, the female was Rice’s fiancee, now wife, Janay. In a twisted sense of irony, Janay now stands as the sole supporter for Rice, while the sheep with the purse strings all head for the hills.

The league suspended him “indefinitely.” The Baltimore Ravens released him. Nike cut him. Refunds are being offered to fans wanting to return his jersey. Even Madden NFL 15 will remove him from the uber-popular video game.

Smells like a chicken coop, if you get my drift.

If you think the NFL didn’t know about the details of this incident prior to TMZ’s viral release, you haven’t been paying attention. This is a league that fines and suspends players for wearing the wrong socks; they fine players for celebrating; they fine them/eject them for “violent” hits on unsuspecting receivers (think about the irony of that for a minute.) It’s all about protecting the NFL Brand, and as long as no “proof” was available to the public, the league was not going to over-react to the incident by losing a valuable piece of the product (that’s you Ray, you’re cattle to them). As far as we knew, Mrs. Rice had a fainting spell and the easiest way to remedy her was to drag her by the arm half-way out of an elevator.

But that’s not the point – Rice is being rightfully vilified for his actions, but the league was willing to turn a blind eye as long as the truth didn’t surface.

I’ve been in HR for 20+ years and I’ve seen similar circumstances play out. It’s called a cover-up, meant to protect a valuable asset (again, like cattle.) To then throw Rice to the dogs as a sacrificial lamb is meant to do only one thing – make sure the focus stays far, far away from those who screwed the pooch.

Is it working?

#FireGoodell

(Leave) Behind The Music

I’m sure you’re all familiar with the (somewhat overused) metaphor “rock star,” usually bandied about when someone is trying to quickly summize an unbelievable talent. An interesting metaphor, to be sure, considering the history of behavior by actual rock stars, but that’s another post for another time. The obvious connotation is to describe someone who can set the stage on fire with their very presence (but you may not want them doing your taxes.)

Little known fact ~ I almost chose the path of “rock star.” The only thing that held me back was my complete lack of skill at singing or playing guitar. As bad as I wanted it to happen, as a musician, I stink…so I no longer spend a lot of time practicing chord progressions. Or anything else related to being a rock star for that matter. After two or three experiences with guitar lessons, it became clear – whether I spend 10 minutes or 10 hours developing my skills in this vocation, it just ain’t happening.

I’m not the first person to learn this lesson, simply the latest – but it’s worth reminding ourselves every day of the validity of the Pareto Principle. You have a focused set of strengths inherent in you that have produced 80% of the results you have accomplished…or, rather, they should have produced 80% of your results. But we still aren’t comfortable leaving weaknesses unaddressed, so an inequitable amount of time and effort is put into making ourselves “better” at things which:

  • We don’t like doing
  • We aren’t good at doing
  • We will improve only marginally, if at all

Why? Could be any number of reasons:

  • We’re hard-headed
  • We’re taught to “never quit”
  • We feel a skill is needed

I have to be careful with how this is phrased, having a rather snarky 13-year old who might use this post as an excuse to ignore his Language Arts homework, but…in your personal development, why not focus on taking a strength to the next level?

Or are you still trying to be a rock star?