Jan 14 2011

Most days, everyday actually, my heart aches. And I ask, what do I do about that?

Somewhere along the way, in my opinion, things have become askew. The health and welfare of those around us are lost in mean spirited, self-serving conversation.

I’ve been interviewing for jobs lately. And I find myself saying, I’m a stickler for accountability. But I know in my heart, in my brain that most people are not and won’t be accountable for their actions or words. That they will tout it is a personal responsibility for people to not act violently or act out in anyway because of something they said. Pointing their finger, they did it I didn’t do it.

Words and actions have consequences whether we like it or not. If you have ever been influenced by someone, good or bad. You then have to understand that your actions, your words can and will be used in some manner to justify someone else’s actions.

Some one sells a box of ammunition to someone. They plug it into a semi automatic gun take it to a grocery store and spay 15 or 33 bullets into a crowd. Who is responsible?

I don’t think guns should be so easily obtainable. I think they should be sold at a police station. And if they are going to be sold, do we really need semi-automatic guns that shoot’s 100’s of bullets at the single pull of a trigger?

And I certainly question a place selling bullets, but not birth control. But then there’s that pro-life/pro-birth conversation. If people truly believed in “pro-life” then they would do something to improve the resources to help care for the child after birth instead of letting them, go hungry and with out health care. That’s not pro-life! If life starts in the womb, then it certainly shouldn’t stop at birth.

If guns are for sport, then the sport should be to have to be a good shot and not be able to just spray the fucking land and by chance hit something. How about a bow and arrow? How about a shot gun that you have to reload after one shot.

What is the purpose and need for a semi-automatic weapon?

I have 4 small children in my life. They aren’t biologically mine in any way. But I am enough part of their life that I am more than worried about their future.

At 3 & 4 we worry now that they watch to much TV. Or that they don’t eat the right foods. Or that they don’t understand consequences and that their actions are of no consequence.

In 10 or 15 years will we be worried that they are carrying the right gun to school with them so that they won’t be teased because it’s too small or too old. Will we have to worry that they can do anything they want to anyone because there are no consequences to anyone’s actions. That we live in a world were we no longer value each other, the value of life and the value of community.

I used to be able to say, “boy am I glad I don’t have kids.” Well I can’t really say that anymore, but what am I to say or do to make a difference?

It overwhelms me like when I think about the stars and space and what is out there. I have to shake myself back to reality. But I don’t think I like very much the reality that is around the corner.

The Daily Show


Nov 1 2010

Communication (a ramble, a vent if you will)

I don’t remember the name of the game, but you might? You sat in a circle and one person started. You whispered something in the ear of the person next to you and then they in turn repeated what you said to them in the ear of the person next to them. Not you again of course, but the other side.

Did you play that game?

Did your story make it around that circle in tact? I’m going with, no.

Maybe not enough people played that game when they were young. Maybe I and the small group that did play that game were the only ones? Because at almost 50 years old, I am still amazed and surprised that some think that the best way to communicate.

This recently happened to me and it involved a very complicated process that I had about 2 hours worth of training 6 month ago for. A process that according the the training, if not done correctly “can result in massive fines and criminal exposure”. Yet those in charge think that a couple hours of online training and a power point deck can protect them from massive fines and criminal exposure.

Two years ago I had a situation, two actually. A he said, he said and a she said, she said. Right, a couple of my favorite things. So I gave everyone the opportunity to clear the air. Two of them sitting in front of me, opening the opportunity to be fair and not point any fingers. Yeah, that didn’t work either.

Some how it’s a smart thing to do, to put someone in the middle who has half the information and communicate for the other’s in the mix. You know so that it can get even more cloudy and removed from what is really being said or needs to be done.

Basically what I am saying is I am more than willing to communicate what I am doing to all involved. But I can not know what one person is thinking or why the other person isn’t on the same page, then step in and try to communicate the first persons message to the second person.

See!! CRAP, that doesn’t even make sense! Fastest point from A to B? A TO B!!!

Now I’m thinking about that quote, “the buck stops here.” I’ve always been that way. Maybe because I’m from Missouri and grew up not far from Independence where Harry Truman lived. Maybe I should pass it more? Even when I know what the hell is going on.

Mickey, if you and Minnie had conversation and you then you told me one thing and Minnie told me something else. Mickey is it really my responsibility to tell Minnie what you said? Or maybe shouldn’t you have that conversation again, the one I didn’t hear so that you are on the same page?

If it has the potential to damaging, or costly, I suggest you two talk again and leave me out of it.

Let me just say this. If you are a business and have a process that can open your company up to fines and criminal exposure. I suggest you hire experienced trained individuals to do that work. At the very least send them to training that last’s longer than 2 hours and require they get some kind of certification.

Call me crazy, I’m just say’n.


Nov 29 2009

value

Last yesterday afternoon Twitter, at least here in Portland, heated up with the urgent announcement for people west of the Willamette to boil their water for a minute because E. Coli was found in a random test of a water reservoir.

The Mayor’s tweet;
@MayorSamAdams
I guess that story about whether or not to let those who guard those reservoir’s to carry a gun will be put on the shelf.

As I watched the stream the word value was in my head.
Screen shot 2009-11-29 at 1.04.27 PM
At least, it appears the Mayor is trying to take advantage of a tool that makes communication easy, quick and effective. Yet so many just don’t understand the potential impact of this easy tool. The value. Did we even know that water had a Twitter account?
Screen shot 2009-11-28 at 11.29.42 PM
Now I’m the first one to say that everyone needs a break. Everyone should take a vacation and you should walk away from your desk at least once a day for more than a bathroom break. But Carri’s point is right on.

Do you hear the world value a lot? How often have you heard it at work? Maybe you don’t? How often do all of us fall short of bringing to the table and showing up with value?

How do we define value? Here is the Dictionary.com. Good thing is a substantial definition and covers not only, meaning and a monetary concept. It speaks to music and light.

For me the issue is that with value comes, accountability and responsibility. And who has time to be responsible and accountable to everyone they tell they will do something for? No really! Companies talk about value, the value-add of this, and the value we bring to our customer’s. And very often companies staff their departments so inadequately that they can’t actually deliver true value. That value they so eloquently spoke of to convince you to choose them.

I think the reality, it’s one of those words that get’s overused and at the same time underused. In other words, talked about in every staff meeting, conference and un-conference but never actually realized, lot’s of talk, no action.

I grabbed a few lines from some old work documents.

We seek customer relationships that share common values and where true, long-term partnerships are valued and nurtured.

provides the following “value-added” services as part of our offering.

Adding Value to Our Solutions
Adding Significant Value through Focused Savings

Together, we gain a clear, common understanding of the process and the value in completing each step.

And the big one!

A Strategic Value Add

All I can say; say what you mean and mean what you say. Be real. Pay attention and be present. Don’t forget what you say and what you do can have an impact on other’s. Like I tell my little friend, “Think about it, would you like it if your brother did that to you?” When she says, “No.” Then I say, “Then let’s not do that again.”

Now she is four so she is just learning. But hopefully she will start to understand consequences and the idea that things we do and say have consequences. And will take that into her adulthood. Sometimes they are happy, fun rewarding consequences. Other times they can have a negative impact.

Just pay attention! Awareness can be enlightening. And consider what the value of value is. What is it worth to you or you and your organization.