Thursday, August 28, 2008

Make it home on time, and change the world.

Usually these entries deal with travel in some form or another, but not this time. After writing the entry about my trip to see Bill Strickland, I started thinking about some bigger picture stuff. Bill's model seems to be based on treating others with respect. That is pretty basic, huh?

I am a dreamer, and want to be a "world-changer". But I can't even show up on time for dinner with my wife and kids! With the political discussion and conventions happening right now, I am somewhat discouraged. I still hear, see and smell the same stuff coming out of Washington. I might not be able to impact a world leader, but if I can figure out how to make it home for dinner on time, and do what I say I'm going to do--and lead by example, then maybe I have some hope.

What the heck is going on? We need to get back to the basics! We need to be on time. We need to work on our marriages. We need to instill basic values in our children. We need to take care of our homes. We need to be good to our neighbors. We need to stand for who we are. We need to be thankful. We need to stand for truth. We need to get over ourselves, refocus and get back to treating one another with graciousness, kindness and caring--not because there is a buck attached, but because it is the right thing to do.

If we all could make it home for dinner on time...mow our own grass, instill values in our children, be good to one another, and do what we say...Maybe together we can make a difference. And maybe that difference will come in the form of new leadership choices for the future--not just political leaders, but leaders in the home, in business, in the church, in the courthouse, in the statehouse. Don't get me wrong, I am not doom and gloom with the leadership choices we have, I just think things have gotten too complicated and we are missing the point. If the objective is to raise millions of dollars and somehow spend more than we raise--I think we have that figured out. But if the objective is make something better than we found it, I think we have some work to do.

Pay attention, get involved, take a stand, place your vote, but if nothing else...just make it home on time for dinner.

Making the Impossible Possible (Pittsburgh)

The title of this entry is a rip-off from Bill Strickland's new book. (I haven't read it yet but I will pick up a copy today.) I first saw this guy in Boston, he was the keynote speaker at the HOW Design Conference and he delivered a very inspirational message. He wanted to change the world, and over the past 40 years he has.

I was so impressed by this guy that I thought I would give him a call and request a meeting and a tour of his facilities. Wow! Never thought that would work, but it did. On Tuesday, my friend Mark Burdette and I traveled to Pittsburgh, met Bill and toured the facility. This guy is not just a visionary, but he has brought vision to life and has developed a proven model for positive social change. His model is first class, his financial backing is first class, his staff is first class, and his facilities are first class! I just hope some of his mojo, wisdom, or excess vision rubbed off on me while I was there.

This guy is the bomb, the real deal. One of Bill's beliefs is- "do one hip thing every day". Bill has surrounded himself with art, jazz and photography and believes the arts are the gateway to the human imagination. One of the products of Bill's work is MCG Jazz, a studio and concert facility that have produced over 1200 concerts and won multiple Grammy Awards.

I pulled a lot of this stuff off of Bill's brochure, but you have to make a point to check him out on your own:

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A dog, a jeep, a blog, and a Facebook page

I thought having kids would be enough, but somehow we had to get a dog too. I recently downgraded my slick, black, "old man" car with leather and all the trimmings to a rag-top Jeep (midlife crisis) Rubicon. Earlier this year I started a blog to share my travels, thoughts and experiences with really-bored friends, colleagues, and family members. And now...I have a Facebook page! In fact, I think everyone in the office has a Facebook page.

If I start eating tofu or out!