Monday, December 31, 2007
When opportunity and passion line up with our prayers it is difficult to have restraint.
The problem is that our emotions can cloud the situation and opportunities must be weighed against something far more objective than just the circumstances. I always think I know how things are going to play out but I have made decisions (100% convinced I knew the outcome) and it turned out I was 100% wrong. An open door is not always a door that requires us to step through it. Don’t believe me? Read 1 Samuel 24. Three factors should be considered.
Think about it:
1. The Law – There are laws we are not and should not break and no matter how great the opportunity, if it violates the law...it's not something we should be doing. In David’s case, you can not kill a king or rebel against the thrown without breaking the law.
2. Principle – Follow the golden rule. Think about how you would want treated in a similar situations because life has this amazing way where we find ourselves in the shoes of those we have authority over.
3. Wisdom – Seek to be the example and listen to the counsel and mentorship around you. David was in a position to take the thrown by killing the king. If he killed the king what kind of an example would he be?
At the end of the day there have been awesome opportunities that Sharon and I thought were a 'God Thing' that once reviewed and weighed began to take us in a different direction. As a leader I have to remember that forward motion and progress will often tempt us to bend the rules and eventually lose our integrity.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
What a fun movie to sit down with the family and watch. Family friendly, non-violent, and filled with life lessons. In the movie, our main character 'Remy' the rat was asked who is he? His answer was, "I know, I know, I am not a human...I'm a rat" to which the response was, "NO, you are a chef!"
I meet new people all the time and had to laugh because every time I ask them, "Who are they?" the response is always what their profession is (what they do). I think the response should be something like this:
I'm a father and husband!
Aren't these who we really are? Or has our work begun to define us?
Thursday, December 27, 2007
CHANGE in Place +
CHANGE in Pace =
Sharon and I just got back from our 2008 Planning Retreat. Are you thinking that, 'Only companies do that'. Well I think more couples should deliberately try this and see what comes out of it. We left the kids with my parents and went off for a 2 day/1 night get -away to:
1. Strengthen our relationship
2. Have some quiet time
3. Re-charge our batteries
4. Review our 2007 goals
5. Set our goals for 2008
WOW! What a wonderful time. We started the evening off by writing our 50 or more dreams (sky was the limit) and anything goes. We did it seperately and then sat down and shared them with one another. More than 80% of what we wrote was the same but worded differently. It is amazing how much we are on the same page.
BIG DREAMS (just a few of them):
1. Large home on a golf course with an elevator
2. Trip to Isreal
3. Own a professional sports team
4. Attend the World Cup
5. Visit the White House
6. Start a Ministry focused on supporting missionaries & pastors
Before we called it a night we talked about what our priorities are and our plan to detail out our goals for 2008. We reviewed our dream sheets, listed our roles (spouse, parent, student, employee, etc), and then set goals for each of these roles and ties action steps to accomplish these goals. It sounds like a lot of work but the results are worth the investment and so far we have an amazing ability to set and hit big hairy odacious goals 'BHAGs'. SO...here are a few of our 2008 Goals:
1. Lose weight (not telling you how much)
2. Get in better shape
3. Family Vacation
4. A specific $ amount in investments and savings
5. A specific $ to give to church and charity
6. 50 books in one year
Hope this helps...if you have questions about setting goals, having a retreat, or want more insight; let us know.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Hurried - Are you one of the last minute hurried shoppers? The whole season starts in a mad dash on Black Friday or worse yet it doesn't happen at all because of work until Christmas Eve.
Heart Felt - The big family gatherings or quiet intimate moments with the immediate family.
Humbled - A season of thankfulness and joy for all the blessing over the past year.
Hurt - We realize that the holidays can stir up emotions and tension with the family.
There are probably other ways to describe the holidays and maybe you experience more than one. We were 80% done before Thanksgiving and the remaining items are really the harder ones. This is really a result of Sharon's organizational skills (I tend to be the hurried shopper). I think the best gifts we give are these last ones we work on because they are truly heart felt, personalized gifts like the albums with a voice recording narration done by the kids, Sharon, and I for each photo.
No matter what you are experiencing this Christmas...take time to experience being humbled by how awesome life is and what amazing things have happened.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
1. Help in packing/moving to DC & help unpacking on this end
2. My Honda - 230,000 miles and still going
3. Two new employee hires in DC
4. Grace from those in authority over me
5. My wife's support and understanding in multiple areas
6. Sybella sleeping through the night during the 1st six months
7. The opportunity to visit friends in Kentucky
8. Sharon's new ring and my new car
9. Benign tumors
10. Great elementary school for the boys in Vienna
Remember, our focus determines our reality. J. Todd Ferrier said, "We are what we think; as we desire so do we become! By our thoughts, desires, and habits, we either ascend to the full divine dignity of our nature, or we descend to suffer and learn."
Saturday, December 15, 2007
This month as we enjoy the holiday season and a blessed 2007 we are 65 strong and we held our first annual ATS - DC Christmas Part at i Ricchi. Just a quick thank you to Dave Mather, Lacy Dove, and Maresia Johnson for helping make this year special.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
A quick teaser for those of you looking for a good read...here were the big ideas I am walking away with from this most incredible research and book:
1. How the Internet has leveled the playing field, what is driving communities, and how to capitalize as an entrepreneur in the same environment.
2. How and why my company and many other companies will have to change in the next 5 to 10 years in order to grow and thrive.
3. A better understanding of the decentralized nature of an terrorist network and how these organizations are best countered against.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
FSM is a new term I picked up..."Father Son Moment". Sunday night the boys asked me to play BATTLESHIP. You know, the game we all played at some point growing up. As a sidenote, we played on the actual set that my brothers and I played on when we were growing up. It is always fun to watch their mindset, strategy, and how the accept winning and losing. I work very hard to find time every week to sit down and engage one on one with the boys.
I am all for working hard, providing for your family, and putting your time in to be successful; however last time I checked there are 168 hours in the week...do you realize that if we all spent just 1 hour a day with our children that would be less than 1/2 % of our week?
Everyone has time to sit down and engage with children. Take time over the holidays to have quality time with the children.
The boys and I sang, clapped, and rocked back and forth to the Carols. I am not sure how much was for the purposes of having fun and how much was directed at keeping warm :-) While there, I reflected on just how blessed we as a family and as a nation truly are. I was overcome with happiness and joy for all the many blessings we have had in 2007.
This is definitively a new annual family event!
Saturday, December 1, 2007
No exciting cake photos because we decided to wait until her grandparents return from the Dominican Republic for the 'BIG BASH'. Where has the last year gone? She is clearly her mother's child ;-) She has spunk, personality, and an opinion. I let Sharon have an easy day while Sybella had a pretty focused Father-Daughter Day.
As a final note...she decided to take her first step today! One year old and one step. Who knows, maybe by next year we will have a two year old who takes two steps. Something tells me we will have a little one running around the house for Christmas.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
1. What did you do on Black Friday?
I took the boys with their Uncle Phillip down to the Reflection Pool in DC to play football in between the monuments on the lawn and then Sharon & I went to Best Buy later that night to buy her Christmas present. I know, I know...my wife's gift at an electronics store (she asked for it)!
2. Which teams were you cheering for over the weekend?
We watched every game and cheered for any team that might set up the opportunity for Ohio State to play for the National Championship. So we were thrilled to see LSU go down in flames and frustrated to see WV stomp UConn and we are watching MIZZO Univ vs Kansas!
Yes...Sharon actually watches more football than I do :-)
~David & Sharon
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The true foundation of leadership is not power, but authority, which is built upon relationships, love, service, and sacrifice.
The book enumerates the following as the qualities of a servant leader...
1. Patient - showing self-control
2. Kind - giving attention, appreciation, and encouragement
3. Humble - being authentic without pretense or arrogance
4. Respectful - treating others as important people
5. Selfless - meeting the needs of others
6. Forgiving - giving up resentment when wronged
7. Honest - being free from deception
8. Committed - sticking to your choices
All these behaviors will entail you to serve and sacrifice for others. This would mean setting aside your own wants and needs to focus on the legitimate needs of others.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
An exciting game between New England and Houston...I love to be part of any venue where people are at their best. The competitive match, the MLS Final atmosphere, the high 50's temperature, and a great crowd...the perfect date!
Colin and I went to the Baltimore Aquarium on Friday night to ‘Sleep with the Sharks’. Yes that’s right we spent the night in the museum. Now this wasn’t “Night in the Museum” with Ben Stiller, no dinosaurs or exhibits came to life…in fact it was quite the opposite…we saw many a sleeping shark and stingray. Ever seen a stingray sleep? It’s like watching any other lifeless animal lie on the floor only these are underwater.
Now I am not picking on the experience, on the contrary, this was a wonderful event that I recommend for kids’ ages 8 to14. We received a private behind the scenes tour of the entire aquarium and learned all kinds of cool things about the underwater world, rain forest, Australia, and frogs!
As we learned about all the different types of frogs, we of course stopped and hung out at the ‘poisonous frog collection’. Did you know that the most poisonous animal on Earth is the Golden Poison Frog of Columbia? What we found out about most of the poisonous frogs is that the poison toxin is generated based on what they eat and as a result the frogs in the aquarium are not really poisonous because they consume a non-toxic diet. WOW! Talk about “you are what you eat”.
Of course this is a good lesson for all of us. To often our actions, our relationships, and our ability to communicate is based on what we are putting into our minds. I guess it served as yet another subtle reminder to guard what is being pumped into my brain. TV, movies, music, books…they are all forms of media and one has to stop and ask what kind of media are we ingesting and what kind of result is it producing? Over the last 5 years I have substantially increased my reading and decreased my TV time…you know what…my quality of life and income has also increased. I am not the only one who has experienced this phenomenon. Many of my friends have also shared the same experience that by decreasing the TV intake and ingesting more books and CDs focused on personal and professional growth that their incomes have increased.
Colin and I had a blast, this was quality father son time and I was able to hang out with his friends and focus on him for and entire day without the distractions of the job.
I guess we all truly ‘ARE WHAT WE EAT’.
WHAT ARE YOU INGESTING???
Sunday, November 11, 2007
On February 22, 2008 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis we will launch our new business. Committed to the concepts of Michael Dell's 3 C's (Content, Commerce, Community) we will be looking to begin building a commmunity after the 1st of the year.
Let me answer some questions that many of you have asked:
1. Registration - to be invovled in the pre-launch you may invest $15 a quarter or $60 annually. This is the standard access fee so that you can have access to the pre-launch planning, website, and professional development materials. The registration form is on http://www.the-team.biz/ under 'Business Forms'. It is a very simple one page form that you can fax to us.
2. Making Money - During pre-launch you can be paid for being part of the Team if you are a qualified Turbo 5 (this means you plus 10 new members on on the training system).
3. Training System - The team training system is an excellent resource for personal and professional growth. I can personal testify to gaining a better perspective about life, increased communication with family & friends, and increased financial success.
4. Building a Community - We will help you track your team and its growth. When someone completes a form and signs up, please fax the form to us and let us know if this is part of Team 1 or Team 2 for you. We will help you continue to grow the two tea,s so that you can achieve Turbo status and get paid based on the number of people on system.
5. FAX - 610.808.2095 - My fax is on 24 hours a day.
6. Our new distributor will be announced in St Louis and is a nationwide sponsor who will pay 30-50% more money than what was previously paid as compensation for being part of the community.
7. Blogging is the best way to reach us.
David & Sharon
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Of course, all of this activity has caused me to reflect on and ask the question: How often in life do we criticize our peers, friends, or employees for 'trying' but not being successful? To often we all are quick to criticize, complain, and condemn others actions or lack of results. Make no mistake, I believe in results, over time failure to produce results means something else is wrong. But I wonder if we were quicker to clap, cheer, and encourage...how much more productive would people be and how much sooner would those around us move to producing results?
Our children remind us daily of life lessons we need to apply. I guess the author was right when he wrote, "Everything I needed to know I learned in Kindergarten".
Monday, November 5, 2007