December 2, 2011
5:05 pm cst
Garrett was able to spend quality time with his uncle the other day. I wish I could have overheard their conversation,
but Uncle Keith summarized their dialogue similar to this:
"I've got a lot of decisions to make," said
"Oh, yeah? Like what kind of decisions? asked Uncle Keith.
"Well, most of my friends
know which Junior High they will go to, but I'm not sure which one I'll pick because if I go with my friends, I'll probably
go one place but if I go with my cousin, I'll go another. Then I'll have to choose a high school, and then I'll have to choose
a college," said the seven-year-old.
"What do you want to be when you grow up?" asked Uncle Keith.
"Maybe work at a bank or a restaurant. I'm not really sure because I haven't decided yet," said the seven-year-old.
"Hmmm, that does sound like a lot of decisions to make," said Uncle Keith.
We "grown ups"
often think about the good 'ole days, when we were kids and didn't have a care in the world. However, kids do have many cares
and concerns, but most of the time, they simply don't know how to express them. I never would have guessed Garrett was concerned
beyond what he wanted for Christmas, but I was wrong. One decision I have made is not to assume I know what my son is thinking!
December 1, 2011
Are Your Intentions Clear?
Our dog Buddy is a boxer-terrier mix: seeing how he can "box" with his front paws while leaning back on his haunches,
I better understand how this breed was given the Boxer name!
5:35 pm cst
Of course, his claws are always in need of being clipped,
which can turn a playful romp into a hurtful one. At seven years old, Garrett simply doesn't understand that Buddy isn't
trying to hurt him; the dog just can't help it.
As is often the case in human nature, we often let our interpretations
of an event dictate our emotional response. We may choose to interpret another's behavior as malicious or rude, when many
cases, that wasn't the intention at all. On the other hand, we are quick to justify our own actions because we know "what
we meant to say." We wonder why other people are so sensitive?
Even though it is clear to me Buddy adores
my son, it's hard to convince Garrett otherwise when first blood has been drawn. Once someone gets hurt, emotionally or physically,
the true intentions become even more blurry. I'm not suggesting we all wear "rose-colored glasses" but maybe we
need to clean our own lenses more often.
November 29, 2011
Power of Networking
8:44 am cst
In my Chamber role, I preach the importance of networking; how it can serve as a powerful tool in developing customer loyalty
as well as expanding your client base. Heck, I even developed an entire PowerPoint presentation on how to network more effectively,
because I observe this being done inadequately so often.
Even when I take off my Chamber hat, I still push this
concept and have incorporated this theme into the FHSU class I teach: Marketing Principles 301. In my opinion, the most important
item every person will sell is ourselves, whether for a new job, new mate, new friend, or some other new opportunity. When
networking is done well, it can open a thrilling and exciting venture. And when it is one of my students who is successful,
all the more thrilling for the teacher (i.e. ME!!!)
Almost two years ago, a then-senior expressed interest in working
at Nex-Tech, where I was an employee at the time. I connected him with several supervisors and managers in the departments
which interested him, and he impressed them with his knowledge, maturity and work ethic. Unfortunately, there wasn't a job
opportunity available when he graduated, so he took another job. When one did come open, he was invited to come interview
and was hired, starting his new role yesterday as one of the latest hirees at Nex-Tech.
The moral of the story?
Networking can be very powerful, but since it doesn't always provide immediate results, people lose faith, interest and/or
energy in the process. Don't give up - keep networking because you never know when this investment will pay off!
November 27, 2011
Ode to Christina
Tonight, I gave a gift to my son. This gift was not wrapped in pretty paper, or even what my son asked for, but he got it
all the same. In fact, I hadn't planned on giving him anything nor did I particularly enjoy the giving on my part, but
give I did.
6:48 pm cst
I gave my son the gift to fail. Yes, fail...make a mistake...go down in flames...whatever you want
to call it. While singing the National Anthem at the FHSU Basketball game, I completely blanked out on the words. I don't
even think I made it to the second stanza when...nothing. So, in front of several hundred Tiger fans, I stopped, turned around,
and asked the announcer to join me in singing. Somehow, I kept my composure, finished the impromptu duet, walked to my seat
and remained posed for the rest of the game, all while fighting the urge to crawl under the bleachers and hide out
until the coliseum's lights turned dark and I could sneak out.
I'm not proud of my very public mess-up, especially
since I know I have sung this anthem perfectly dozens of other times. But I lived through it, and someday I will
try my luck at singing it again. Because I want my son to see me live my own advice - to keep trying even when I am scared,
unsure or lacking in confidence. I want him to know that I am proud of him, no matter his mistakes, because he tried
when so many others didn't have the courage to take that first step. If only I could sing as well as Christina Aguilera instead
of simply making the same mistake as her!