Thoughts & Tips For June 2018

Kindfolk-703-unsplashPhoto by kindfolk on Unsplash

Technology

I took one of my Wyze cameras on travel in May to Washington, DC with me to watch over all my gear in my hotel room while I was at out of the room.  It worked out well.  No issues.

I am moving from a Windows 7 HP tablet/laptop to a Windows 10 Dell tablet at work by the end of June.  A lot of stuff to do to make that transition happen.

Thankful For

Mother's Day was great and Memorial day weekend was a lot of fun around our house.  We also had a good time seeing the Star War's Solo movie for Spencer's birthday.  The previous week Spencer and I saw the very funny Deadpool 2 movie.

My favorite band CHVRCHES released their 3rd album "Love Is Dead." If you are a crazy fan like me then please listen to the CHVRCHES Fan Podcast.

Future

June is going to be busy: my 50th Birthday Party, a lot of high school graduation parties with friends' kids graduating, and a possible trip to DC at the end of the month.  Plus I am taking two big courses in June - one on Systems Engineering (late in June) and another on Model Based Systems Engineering (early in June).

I also have three more Vital Smarts' new 1-day Getting Things Done (GTD) classes scheduled for the summer at work -- one in July, one in August, and then one in September.

Tips

I really like these instant coffee packets from South Korea -- Maxim Mocha Gold Mild Coffee Mix.  They are great for travel, camping, and mixing it up from standard coffee. And these sugar free sweeteners are great with sparkling water plus your favorite adult alcohol like vodka -- Jelly Belly Liquid Drink Mix.

Quote I'm Thinking About

"Society has arisen out of the works of peace; the essence of society is peacemaking." - Ludwig von Mises


Reflections On Mike Foster's Rescue Academy

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Back in February 2018, I was blessed to be able to take a two-day course taught by Mike Foster at his Rescue Academy live event.  I was introduced to Mike via his Fun Therapy Podcast from the Relevant magazine, and many of the stories in Season One of Fun Therapy deeply touched me.  

I personally try to be pretty aware of my strengths and weaknesses, and having a caring heart for those who are hurting is one of my strengths.  Showing it -- putting it in action -- and doing something constructive with that caring heart -- is another thing.  I know I could use some improvement in that area, especially in one-on-one situations.

So the big attraction for attending this event is Mike's tagline for Rescue Academy is "Helping You Help Others." That is what I wanted and needed.

What did I get out of the event?  In summary, I'll share four things with you here (see my contact info below if you want more):

  1. I learned a lot!  I ended up with 8 pages of notes plus the class workbook, several of Mike's books, and a copy of Five Dates (which Christy and I have been doing). In the end, the best thing from a "knowledge & skills" standpoint was Mike's practical counseling model for sitting down with someone who is hurting, deeply listening, and then helping them without judgement.
  2. I was really inspired by the other people taking the class.  It was a diverse group, but everyone had a heart for service, helping others, and encouraged each other.
  3. As we unpacked where hurt, shame, and pain comes from, I realized that my own inner critic has been one of my biggest personal struggles, and something that I needed to work on, forgive myself for, and lean more on Jesus to heal the damage I've done to myself. 
  4. Mike is a dynamic and well organized presenter! Not only did I take notes on all the material, but I also learned a lot on how to effectively deliver course material to a class of students. This has helped me to better deliver the Vital Smart's David Allen Getting Things Done (GTD) course at work. Double-bonus points!

Mike's next class is May 17-18, 2018.  I highly recommend considering attending if you want to learn how to help others and yourself.

If you have any questions, comments, thoughts, etc. then please let me know via email or connect with on Twitter (@sholden).


Thoughts & Tips For May 2018

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Photo by Tod Seitz on Unsplash

Technology

The new Wyze camera is working out great.  I've also gotten the Android app to run on my Chromebook which makes monitoring at home much easier.

Thankful For

I have completed three Vital Smarts' new 1-day Getting Things Done (GTD) at work and I'm now a Certified GTD Trainer!  I have another class the first week of May. And I'm planning to deliver three more classes before the end of September.

I really enjoyed Infinity Wars.  Great movie. The ending is massive.

Our trip to Disneyland was a blast.

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Future

It looks like in May there is of course Mother's Day, a possible trip to Washington DC, and Memorial Day weekend.

Our church is planning to pack 100,000 meals on May 6th.  This is double the 50,000 we did last year!

Tip

I really like this computer reading glasses.

Quote I'm Thinking About

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill


An Audio Excerpt On Management From "John Brown's Body" By Mark Horstman

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Mark Horstman at Manager Tools has a great weekly newsletter called "Things I Think" (subscribe here).

This past week Mark had a reference to a fellow Manager Tools listener -- Robert Greiner -- who posted a blog post about a great quote about management that Mark has been sharing for years from Stephen Benét's Pulitzer-Prize winning book "John Brown’s Body."

I've loved this excerpt so much that one time, I think in early 2013, that Mark actually read it outloud in a podcast.  So on Feb. 18, 2013, I took that podcast and abstracted the audio of Mark reading the poem.

It's been sitting in my library for only me to enjoy.  So, that ends today.

Here is Mark Horstman reading that excerpt from "John Brown’s Body."

I hope it inspires you as much as it inspires me.


Thoughts & Tips for April 2018

 

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Photo by Hudson Hintze on Unsplash

Technology

I used the Pisen Wireless Presenter Laser Pointer 2500 for teaching my first GTD course.  I found myself using the mouse I had hooked up to my computer more.  I think that when I'm teaching, at least in the beginning, I like being anchored to my workspace with all my references.

I ordered another Wyze camera to do some physical security testing around the home. I think the new upgraded one is going to have better tracking capabilities.

Thankful For

My first Vital Smarts' new 1-day Getting Things Done (GTD) went well and so did my 2nd one.  I have another in April and then I should get my certification.

Easter was on April 1! (TODAY!)  And it was wonderful.  Here is a picture from the top of Mount Helix with your Praise Band playing:

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I really enjoyed re-reading Ready Player One and then seeing the new movie.

Future

My first Vital Smarts' new 1-day Getting Things Done (GTD) training classes at work is scheduled for March 8, 2018.

I think we are going to take a day in April and go up to Disneyland.

And my 24th Wedding Anniversary is coming up on April 9th.

Tip

Get a labeler and label everything.   It got mind from Costco - Brother Model 1890.  I use it for file folders, boxes, cables, etc.  Here is another great testimonial. 

Also these CHVRCHES sessions at Power Station on the Honda Stage are excellent: Mother We Share, Get Out, XO, and Never Say Die.

Quote I'm Thinking About

"A problem well stated is a problem half solved." – Charles F. Kettering


Thoughts & Tips for December 2017

Jamie-hagan-37691-unsplashPhoto by Jamie Hagan on Unsplash

Technology

My primary computer for the last couple of years has been a Chromebook.  I recently upgraded to an HP Chromebook 13 G1, and I'm loving the 16-GB of RAM and Intel Core m7 processor.  I was able to find it on Craigslist, so I got a pretty good deal on it. Review of this chromebook at PC Magazine.

Another great find on Craigslist was a Garmin Fenix 3HR for tracking my runs, swims, and other health data.

Future

I'm really looking to A Holiday Variety Show in Hollywood, CA at the Fonda on Wednesday, December 13, 2017.  My favorite band CHVRCHES is organizing and playing as part of the show.

My family and I are planning to see the new Star Wars movie on Saturday, December 16, 2017.  I'm very excited about Episode 8!

Uncomfortable

Last month I took a today training class from Vital Smarts that will enable me to teach the new 1-day Getting Things Done (GTD) at work.  It was a great experience and it will be awesome to be able to help others with GTD at work. As an introvert this really got me out of my comfort zone. More info on train the trainer programs at Vital Smarts.

Tips

One of the key take-a-ways from the GTD training was looking at my Next Action list before doing anything in the morning like checking email.   While hard to do at first, this has really given me a focus on what was on my plate for the day in a way I've never experienced before.

During the month of December I re-evaluate all the email lists I am on.  I usually unsubscribe to 90% of them.  It makes my inbox for the new year all fresh!


Global Leadership Summit (GLS) 2017 Notes (#gls17, #gls2017)

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I recently attended with many members of Christ Lutheran Church the Willow Creek Association (WCA)'s Global Leadership Summit 2017 (#gls17, #gls2017).  I experienced it via remote campus video streaming at Journey Community Church in La Mesa (@Journey_Church). They are awesome hosts!

My full notes that I took are available in PDF if you are interested.  (Original version posted on 8/18/2017. Updated on 8/19/2017.)

In reviewing the notes before posting this, I've been thinking and contemplating on the following 'big ideas' since the event:

  • We need leaders who do not fight with each, but work together.
  • At the end of each day, list three things that you are grateful for in a journal and reflect on them.
  • There is no correlation between thinking you are creative and being creative.
  • We (as followers of Jesus) have to be with the people who have problems. Be close to people who are suffering.  Go where the pain is. Serve them.
  • Create within your organization a culture that recognizes and embraces change rather than resists change.
  • If you (as a leader) give ‘freedom’ to your employes at a level that starts to make you feel uncomfortable, then you are on the track.
  • WHITESPACE is a ‘strategic pause’ taken between activities, and we all need more pause in our lives.
  • Studying "Failed Teams" is not going to show you how to build "Best Teams."
  • Consider this: 'talent x effort = skill' and 'skill x effort = achievement'. Effort counts twice.
  • Courage like fear is contagious.

I also have notes from 2014 and 2016. If you have any comments, questions, thoughts, etc. on any of the topics in this post, then please let me know.


Global Leadership Summit 2016 Notes (#gls16)

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I recently attended with many members of Christ Lutheran Church the Willow Creek Association (WCA)'s Global Leadership Summit 2016 (#gls16).  I experienced it via remote campus video streaming at Journey Community Church in La Mesa.

My full notes that I took are available in PDF if you are interested.

Each speaker had a great depth of insight, wisdom, suggestions, etc.  Here is one quote or thought from each one of them:

  • It is cruel to not tell the employee how they are doing. - BILL HYBELS
  • Everyone knows the plan, the status, and areas that need special attention. - ALAN MULALLY (wikipedia)
  • All lives are equal and work on behalf of others. - MELINDA GATES
  • We put a . (period) at the end of our title but God puts a , (comma).  - BISHOP T.D. JAKES
  • Customers want: product is perfect, you serve them timely, and that you care. - HORST SCHULZE
  • The four skills of EQ (Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Management). - DR. TRAVIS BRADBERRY
  • Cultural Mapping is critical to understand if you are working with other cultures or countires. - ERIN MEYER
  • Row row row your boat: Drifting is not going to get you there. - WILFREDO DE JESÚS
  • When interviewing a top candidate you need to get them out of the standard interview scenario and see how they react with people. - PATRICK LENCIONI
  • There will always to be more good ideas than there is capacity to execute. -  CHRIS MCCHESNEY
  • Your negative “TAPES” (playing in your head) hold you back, they need to be put on hold. - DANIELLE STRICKLAND
  • FAITH is from God, FEAR is from Satan. - JOSSY CHACKO
  • People have uphill hopes and downhill habits. - JOHN C. MAXWELL

In reviewing the notes before posting this, I think the following big ideas are worth highlighting:

  • Everyone wins when leaders get better.
  • Leadership is moving people (energizing them) to a preferred future (from here to there).
  • Deal with reality and trust by work together.  Move RED to YELLOW to GREEN status reporting.
  • When in empowering: #1.) Build their character. #2.) Empower through relationships; and #3.) Agree to the right outcomes with measurable metrics.
  • Are some people better team players? Yes, and they (universally?) have these values: Humble, Hungry, and Smart.
  • Work on only 1-3 Wildly Important Goals (WIGs) at one time.

I've also attended in the past and notes for 2014 are available if you are interested.

If you have any comments, questions, thoughts, etc. on any of the topics in this post then please let me know.


Short Introduction To David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD)

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On Sunday, July 17, 2016 I did a little presentation at my church about David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD).  Here are the references I used to prepare:

The focus of the presentation and the hands-on exercises included:

  1. Mindsweep
  2. Two Minute Rule
  3. Project Brainstorming

Here are the PDF copy of the presentation+notes.

Other material highly recommended for additional personal development (not in any particular order):


Google Keep Tip - Getting Things Done (GTD) Workflow Lists Via Colors

For the last couple of years I have had my personal* implementation of David Allen Getting Things Done (GTD) deployed in Google Keep.  

Google continues making very useful updates to Google Keep: Self Organizing Notes (via Tech Times), Diagrams (via The Verge), and Improved Labels (via Google). These have made doing GTD (Wikipedia) in Google Keep even easier.

Here is how I am doing the major GTD Workflow Lists using the Color feature in Google Keep (great support site) for items:

image from sholden.typepad.com

It would be great if you could rename the colors but that currently isn't a current feature.  So I created above categorization, and through the course of using them this way I've been able to remember them by color and position.  I also printed and laminated the above graphic, and have it positioned easy to read in my desk area.

The Google Keep search function lets you search by color (just two clicks on my Chromebook, tap-slide-tap on Android) so I can see all my Next Actions by searching on RED.  Or all my Projects by searching on BLUE. 

These are all pretty standard workflow list categories.  The one that I've added that might not be familiar to you is Dashboard (YELLOW).  This concept also came David Allen from a conversation that he had on a podcast when he was writing his Making It All Work book that came after the Getting Things Done book.

In that podcast, David described a MindMap he was using called his Dashboard that was anchoring him to his big ticket items for any given moment.  Since things were moving very fast for him at the time it was a great way to stay focus and prioritize his attention.  I've used this concept at work for years with my work* MindMap/Outlook system, and just moved it to Google Keep isn't it really isn't MindMap specific.

So I check my Dashboard regularly.  These change day-to-day and sometimes by the hour. The top part of the YELLOW search are notes that I want to see on a very regular basis and the items that are archived are actually my Dashboard references:

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I also created a Label called "+colors" and have made this handy reference that is always one click away via Label selection or search:

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 If you have any questions or comments then please let me know: @sholden on Twitter.

*Yes, I have two separate systems which is not recommended by David Allen but works for me.  One is for work using only work resources (computers, software, etc.). And one for home/personal that uses my own personal resources.  When I need to bridge them I usually use email.