Three Heroes in One Day

The real heroes in this world are those who deal with personal challenges every day and WIN.

At the community center today, while swimming laps, I met a man who was in his 3rd year of recovering from a stroke.  It took him 18 months to get back on his feet.  Now he is swimming laps and exercising 5 days a week.

Another man wheeled his adult son into the pool and helped him get on his feet and then walked him around the lazy river for exercise.  The younger man obviously had physical and mental challenges…cerebral palsy perhaps.

The strength of these two men is inspiring.  Most of us have it so easy.

A coworker told me about her 28 year old severely autistic son who after many years at home was finally admitted into an assisted living facility.  She told me about the day at 9 months of age, he woke up and was staring blankly into space, averting his eyes and avoiding hers.  She cared for him for many years and at age 28 was still in diapers and non-communicative.  The boys father died about 12 years ago leaving her with no help to care for their autistic son. 

These are the real heroes in the world.

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Aqua Aerobics

One should try AquaAerobics for the great 60’s and 70’s music if for no other reason; The Youngbloods, The Fifth Dimension, just to name a couple …and, oh yeh, that song you always here but can never name the artist….Nah, Nah,,,,nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey, good bye…..

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OSU vs Michigan 1971, I was there…

who could forget that cold saturday in the big house before it was called the big house?  cold, sleet, then sunshine, sitting behind the OSU bench in my low cut converse tennis shoes…probably without socks…freezing our butts off….Tom Campana running back two long punt returns, both called back on penalties, Randy Gradishar getting knocked goofy and Vic Koegel having to tell him what to do on every play the rest of the game…thom darden climbing all over dick wakefield (i think) late in the game as we were driving for the go ahead touchdown and Woody going berserk on the sidline markers because there was no interference called.  it happened right in front of us…and then afterward going to some party at someone’s house…some michigan student with whom we had struck up a conversation and accepted their invitation to join the victory party at their house.  that was cool but  i remember being reluctant, almost scared, to go, but it turned out to be a good time.  the details are fuzzy but no one mugged us or beat us to a pulp…and i was just glad to be warm after a cold afternoon in Michigan stadium, as it was simply known back then…..one of my most indelible memories of our time at OSU.

Return of the Native; Leaders never quit and quitters never lead…

Lebron comes home to Cleveland tonight. He’s not really a native of Cleveland…more like a native of northeast Ohio. Truth be known, he probably doesn’t even like Cleveland much. Akron is his hometown.

He left Cleveland in July. but he quit on Cleveland last spring during the NBA playoffs. He pretty much just said “to hell with it, I can’t win here and I’m tired of leading this band of vagabonds all by myself” (cue Barry Manilow music) and he pretty much stopped playing at that point.

It’s pretty tough carrying a team around on your shoulders all the time. Lebron decided it wasn’t worth it anymore so he packed up his talents and moved to South Beach.

It’s not that he left or even HOW he left. It’s that he quit. He quit before the fat lady sang. He quit before the last out was made. He quit before the last whistle had blown the play dead. He quit. plain and simple. He gave up on himself, on his teammates, and the entire city of cleveland.  And that is why the city of Cleveland is so upset.  It wasn’t the decision to leave.  It was the decision to quit. 

Instead of yelling or laughing or cursing his presence tonight when he starts sprinkling powder on his hands, we should just shake our heads and pity him.  Nobody is saying that though.  Everyone is focusing on his return and his ‘decision’ to leave when we should recognize him for what he is.  He’s a quitter.  The rest of the sports world might not know it, but we here in Cleveland do.

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Largest Wind Turbine Company to Provide Free Wind Energy Training Online

Vestas a world leader in providing Wind Energy Solutions has installed over 39,000 wind turbines in 63 countries on five continents and in 2008, the company installed a new turbine every three hours worldwide. These new turbines generated more than 60 million MWh a year, enough power to provide electricity for every household in a country the size of Spain with its population of 45 million. E-learning is used internally%

via Largest Wind Turbine Company to Provide Free Wind Energy Training Online.

Something we can all use a little more of…

 

I attended a job search / career workshop today and was able to come away with a tip that wasn’t part of the workshop material.

It came from the instructor without her even knowing it.

The instructor announced that after taking some basic information from each of us, she would be dismissing the class due to the fact that she wasn’t feeling well.  Not a problem.  This happens to us all.

What happened next was the inspiration for this post.

The instructor must have had a shot of adrenalin.  She persevered and pushed through the malaise and continued to present some of the information in the workshop manual, saying “We might as well get as much of this done as we can today.”

This is notable because as I have said, we all have bad days.  This instructor found the strength to push herself through the difficulty and get even more accomplished than even she herself thought was possible.  It wasn’t much, but it was a lesson I hope all of us in attendance were able to recognize and use.

Tressel on the Hot Seat? He should be…

 

Maybe it’s time to put Jim Tressel on the hot seat.

Since the undefeated National Championship in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, Tressel has failed to produce a single ‘big game’ win.

Oh, don’t talk to me about the 6 straight victories over Michigan.  Ohio State fans are the only ones who think that annual rivalry game means anything anymore.  Sure, it usually has something to do with the Big Ten title, but, frankly, who cares?

Since that unlikely victory over the Hurricanes in January of 2003, the Buckeyes have been embarrassed in TWO more BCS title games.  And in case you forgot, Tressel’s defense couldn’t stop Texas’ offense late in last years Fiesta bowl either.  And then there was Texas in 2005, when Vince Young and the Longhorns ate up 12 of the 15 minutes in the 4th quarter. 

The Penn State game last year at the ‘Shoe was another game where Tressel couldn’t put the ball in the end zone enough in a game that would’ve virtually clinched the Big Ten title.  And do I even have to remind you what USC did to us last year at the L.A. Coliseum? 

Tressel is old school.  Kicking game, field position, smash mouth football.  Three yards and a cloud of dust, Woody vs Bo.

For you die hard Buckeye fans, those days are over.

This is the 21st century.  Passing game, a stable of big, fast tailbacks who run past giant linemen and linebackers who just aren’t quite fast enough to keep up with the thoroughbreds who get a 7 yard running start from behind the quarterback.

The college game isn’t about the kicking game and field position anymore.  It’s not even about rivalries.  It’s about big games and TV money and putting the ball in the end zone.  If you have to rely on Terrelle Prior to engineer a drive TO THE END ZONE, you’re in trouble.  He runs like Robert Smith (but can’t take the punishment like Robert), but throws like Cornelius Greene.  If Prior is the best we’ve got at quarterback, we’re in for 3 more very long seasons.

The upside is that will give us time to scout around the country for an innovator who can come in and REALLY restore some pride to the program.

And beat Michigan while he’s at it.

5 Things Managers and Supervisors Can Learn From Eric Clapton…

 

Eric Clapton has been recognized as one of the greatest blues/rock guitarists for over 40 years.  In concert, he is calm and says very little to engage the audience.  He lets his performance and his guitar do his talking.

Here are 5 things we can learn from this rock legend.

  • Never Forget Who Your Friends Are.  Clapton has collaborated with many of his former band mates and made appearances at many charity concerts; B.B.King, J.J. Cale, Steve Winwood, John Mayall, Cream, just to name a few.  Often, these collaborations serve to resurrect their careers or benefit others. 
  • Lesson: Managers must be willing to help those who have helped them.
  • Go With What Got You There.  Not unlike other musicians, Clapton mixes in his old material with his new material and it’s the delivery of his previous work that gets the most applause.
  • Lesson:  Managers need to draw on all their experiences to find resolutions to problems.
  • Bounce Back From Adversity.  Few among us have suffered the adversity Clapton has endured.  Much of it has been self imposed but that doesn’t detract from the accomplishment.  Drug addiction, depression, loss of a child, have all touched Clapton’s life.  Still, he climbs out of the rut to give back to society in the form of the Crossroads rehab center for Drug and Alcohol Abuse.
  • Lesson:  Never let a bad performance deter you from moving forward to meet the next challenge with a full tank.
  • Recognize Your Support System.  Clapton’s concerts include relative unknowns in his backup band.  Nathan East, Steve Gadd, Andy Fairweather-Low, Doyle Bramhall, Billy Preston, Derek Trucks—all fine musicians in their own right—enjoy the spotlight during each concert as Clapton encourages them to showcase their talents in solo segments, then makes sure to introduce them to the audience in recognition of their contribution to the show.
  • Lesson:  Give credit where credit is due.  Make sure everyone who contributes to your success gets credit for theirs.
  • Don’t Be Afraid To Change.  In the early 1990’s, Clapton ‘changed the world’ by introducing a new arrangement of his classic love song, Layla, to both older fans and a new generation of fans.  He challenged his older audience “to see if you can spot this one” on his MTV Unplugged special.  The new arrangement grasped his new fans and the song went on to Grammy Award status.  Old fans were amazed by this creativity.
  • Lesson:  Sometimes change is a good thing.  It can turn good things into better things by just being different.

Five Things Managers and Supervisors Can Learn From The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan

 

Patience:  Cesar never gives up on his clients.  He rehabilitates dogs and trains people to practice patience and perseverance.  Managers who have patience can rehab their operation and train their people to achieve greatness and stability.

Insight:  Cesar uses his instincts and experience to recognize the root cause of the problem almost immediately.  Managers who use their experience and best judgment to guide their decisions will have an impact on their organization’s success.

Positive Energy:  Cesar always encounters a situation with a positive result in mind.  Managers who are ‘reactive’ rather than ‘proactive’ almost never achieve success.

Fearlessness:  Cesar faces every challenge knowing the risks involved and visualizes the steps he needs to take to get the job done.  Managers who see obstacles as opportunities approach each challenge with confidence in their abilities.

Get Help When You Need It:  Cesar recognizes when he needs to employ the help of his family, his co-workers, or his ‘pack’ and never hesitates to ask for their help.  Managers who seek out the help of others minimize the risk of not getting it right.