Friday, November 23, 2012


My friend, Mike Ross, said several times as we left the movie yesterday evening, That Steven Spielberg sure knows how to make a movie. After we had a great Thanksgiving dinner prepared by my mom, he and I decided to go see the movie so many people are talking about. 

He was not wrong in his assessment of the movie that will surely be one of the most nominated movies for Academy Awards this year. I would not be surprised to see it take home all the major categories as Daniel Day Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field gave extraordinary performances. I highly recommend it.

One of the things I particularly liked about it was one thing Mike told me as we were driving to the theater. He said Daniel Day Lewis told Steven Spielberg he would be happy to play Abraham Lincoln but he wanted Spielberg to wait a year so he could properly learn all he could about Lincoln right down to his limp so he could accurately portray our sixteenth president! Now THAT IS commitment! If I were put in that position, I wonder how I would have handled it? Would I have had the courage to tell Steven Spielberg to, Wait a year?

Regarding the historical perspective of the movie, President Lincoln was a very hated man by a large number of people, especially in the South where they had formed the Confederate States of America. Obviously, some people hated him, one to the point he assassinated him!

Today, we think of Abraham Lincoln as a very revered, and beloved American President. Many people rank him at or near the top of all our presidents. I find it interesting there are many people today who hate our current president the same way they hated Lincoln while he was in office. I would like to be able to look back in one hundred fifty years and see what historians have written about President Obama and what people feel about him after these next four years.

Our conversation went in many directions, as they always do; but he brought up a fact about the day no one has been talking about. November 22, 1963 mean anything to you?

We found it ironic how we had just watched a movie about a president who was assassinated on the forty-ninth anniversary of the assassination of another president.

I look forward to your comments.



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

I have had this cartoon for several years, and use it in slideshows for openings of conferences when I keynote in a ballroom. I just found it the other day and cannot help but share it with you. It is a classic example of clean humor and creative problem-solving.

Who says, Turkeys are stupid!?

Enjoy your tryptophan nap tomorrow as you try to watch your favorite game or other show through your eyelids!

I look forward to your comments.



Monday, November 12, 2012

Interesting Conversation

I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a wide variety of opinions on the importance of education and how important a college degree and/or an advanced degree was to people. Then, my favorite show, 60 Minutes, ran this piece on the very subject we were discussing. They put the topic in a very good perspective for me. If you missed it, check it out. Just click here:

I find it interesting we have millions of highly-skilled jobs available and not enough people who have the skills to fill them. There are programs available to teach people who are trying to learn these new skills, but they are few and far between. Some of the resistance is coming from an older group of people who are resistant to change. We all know how difficult change can be, but we all need to accept it and adjust to the jobs of the twenty-first century. If that happens, I suggest you get at least one mentor to help you along the way.

Remember, even the buggy whip manufacturers needed to change once Henry Ford and his ilk came along and rendered the buggy whips extinct!

If you are losing your job to downsizing, or robotics, are you ready to step into another job? What if you are over fifty, or do not have the savings to support you while you get training to prepare for that new career, or you cannot live on the salary you will make in that new position? Have you thought about any of those possibilities?

I read a survey of employers several years ago that stated when they look at new hires, they said more important than your GPA were three things: Your ability to be an effective communicator, cooperate well and are a creative problem-solver.

Of course, every job is going to have additional necessary skills, but I believe it is a good start.

I look forward to your comments.



Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tuesday Was A Good Day

Tuesday was a good day for me. It actually started on Monday, as I had to run a few errands that got my trip started late. I put my watch on and quickly realized it was only correct twice a day, so that was one stop I needed to make.

My doctor's office called with two prescriptions I needed to start taking right away for yet another infection I had growing in one of my wounds. Since I was already taking two antibiotics for different bacteria growing in my urine and another wound, that brought the total to four antibiotics I will be taking for an extended period of time. It seems there are several different bacteria trying to take over my body and they are tough to kill.

It took several hours and numerous phone calls to get the nurse and the pharmacy hooked up, so by the time we finally got on the road it was 2:00 p.m. The good news is the antibiotics are winning, I am feeling better and my watch is correct all the time!

I had recently bought a new iPod but did not know how to hook it up to the stereo, so it was another trip to the Superstore where I bought it, and a sales representative came out, got it running and we were finally on the road.

I was taking a new attendant who had no idea what the next twenty-four hours were going to be like. Robert has not stopped talking about how much he enjoyed every aspect of the trip. He has not done a transfer on his own yet, so my good friend, Joel Krekelberg, better known as Krek, came by our room and transferred me into bed that night and into my chair in the morning. He saved the trip!

Now, let me get to the point of this post. Terry Morrison hired me to do a two-and-a-half hour workshop for one hundred sixty social service professionals from agencies all over Southwestern Minnesota. They worked at all levels of those agencies from direct service professionals to agency directors. Terry gave me free range to cover the issues I wanted. He just told me it was their seventh annual feel good fall meeting.

So, I had fun with my opening hour, took a nine-minute break and spent the remaining time doing exercises I had put together specifically for this group. Here was page 1: Click on it to make it larger:

There were several things that made the experience fun. Here are just a few:

• having at least one audience member who was at the game when I got hurt
• several people who remembered that time and followed me through articles in the Worthington Daily Globe
• one woman told me she listened to the game on her tractor radio while she was working in the field
• many people told me they could relate to my story
• reading the Evaluations and Comments on my presentation — there were many good ones

As part of the contract, everyone got a signed copy of my book, and several people bought more for gifts after my workshop.

After a long drive home, I was exhausted. Yes, Tuesday was a good day!

I look forward to your comments.