Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Deep Thoughts of BlaineUSA: Fazer Pie

The Deep Thoughts of BlaineUSA: Fazer Pie
I'm told it's like Marie Calender's Chocolate Satin Pie

The link above is for an older post with one of my favorite pie recipes.  Thanks to the comment by Ann Garrett (Thanks, Ann), I realized that just before Thanksgiving is a great time to consider a great new pie recipe. Enjoy.

Oh, and one other thing Thanksgiving related:  The BlaineUSA family has decided to take a page out of Uncle Larry's book of great traditions.  We're starting our own pie night.  The Monday night before Thanksgiving, BlaineUSA and family are having a special shared Family Home Evening for anyone interested in coming.  In the annals of the BlaineUSA family history, it will be called: Pie Night.

A quick history and description of "pie night" (as described to me by Uncle Larry)-- What a shame it is to get to the end of your Thanksgiving feast and find there is little to no room in your stuffed belly for the most anticipated part of the feast:  the pie (and/or other fantastic dessert).  Solution:  Pie Night.  The Monday BEFORE Thanksgiving, get together with friends and family, bring all your favorite Thanksgiving desserts, and ENJOY them--as opposed to the "forcing them into your already stuffed gullet" that too often occurs after the Thanksgiving feast.

Therefore, in the interest of giving us all an opportunity to truly enjoy our desserts:  All friends and family are cordially invited to our residence for the first annual BlaineUSA Family Pie Night.  Certainly not intending to compete with Uncle Larry's night--don't ditch his party for ours if your friends or family of us both.  Larry needs as many friends as possible. -ha!  j/k!  ;)

But seriously, Mon. Nov. 22, starting at 6:30-ish, bring a pie (or other desert), and come on over for the pre-Thanksgiving enjoyment of friends, family, and pies!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Do it like you own it.

I have a friend who is an employee at a company that is struggling.  In a conversation with him today, he commented on some of the dysfunctional activities of a few of his colleagues.  As he spoke particularly of one of the management team, I shared a thought that hit a chord within me as I said it.  I told him that in order for a struggling company to have the best chance at success, the entire group must work as though they own it.

Upon reflection, I realized that past team efforts that I've been a part of were successful in large part because the entire group bought into and "owned" the opportunity to win.  To me, the difference bertween an owner and a a 'regular joe' is that the owner will do whatever it takes to give life to an opportunity, while 'joe' simply does what he perceives as his job, and leaves the rest to "everyone else"--not caring terribly much about the ultimate result.

The problem with the 'not my job' mentality at any level (but especially in a team struggling to accomplish their objectives) is that it leaves the important parts of the plan to "someone else", when really there is no one else.  . . .or even if there were someone else, timing is critical to successful performance.

So, how do you "do it like you own it"?  I think the key is believing in success.  An owner feels the lifeblood of his opportunity because he owns it.  He cares at a level that a non-owner usually doesn't get.  Giving that kind of care takes effort, belief, and passion.  It's not easy to get there if you're not an owner, but if you want success, you have to find a way.

The much tougher question is how to help those on your team with 'regular joe' mentalities to change their views to that of an owner.  It's espcially tough when it's a manager who, rather than looking for what he can do to help, looks around for what's "not his job".  How to help?  For me, the answer is to be an example of an "owner" work ethic.  Give all you've got to make good things happen, and simply expect the same performance of those around you. 

Like a wise advice-giving loved one at wedding time once commented:  marriage is not a 50/50 relationship.  If each of you only gives 50%, there will always be an expectation that the other gives something more; and that expectation will often go unmet.  No, marriage is a 100/100 relationship.  The only way it works is if both parties are fully committed.

While a company, project, or objective doesn't include similar vows as a marriage, the commitment necessary for success is similar in nature:  unless the whole team really gives a full effort, it may never produce the success it otherwise could.  I hope to do my best at giving 100% at all that's mine to do.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Follow Intuition - Immediately!

I was in the middle of a conversation with one of our sales reps when the thought occurred to me to contact a particular business associate that has a deal going with me that's looking a little shaky at best.  In fact, the way the deal has been going down, I felt like it has put our relationship on a little bit shaky ground.  Rather than disregard the thought until after the conversation I was having with the sales rep, I (rudely--but my conversation partner wasn't offended) sent off a quick text message to this contact and I coordinated a call with him for after my current conversation.

I called my business contact and had one of the best--most personal--conversations I've had with a business colleague since my employment in this new job (as of about 4 months).  We discussed the purpose of life, best business practices, as well as made great headway towards accomplishing all we hope to in business together.  In the course of our half hour call, the relationship was built at a level I have rarely ever built business relationships--which is saying a lot for a guy who has built a career in building business relationships.

What if, at that moment, I wouldn't have listened to what Thomas Magnum of Magnum P.I. would call "that little voice inside my head"?  What if I wouldn't have called the guy?  At the moment I did call, he and I were both in the right frame of mind to have a real and meaningful conversation that moved things forward at a new level--both personally, and for the business.  If I hadn't called at that moment, I don't think we ever would have had the conversation we did.

I'm grateful for intuitive impulses to do the thing that needs done in any given moment.  I need to get better at recognizing and doing those simple things. 

And that's just the kicker:  I really think that 9 times out of 10, they ARE simple things we feel impressed to do that will benefit us far more than our personal inginuity and "make it happen" plans will ever give us the ability to do.  Immediate action is the key to capitilizing on all that is available from the directions offered by the "superconcious mind" (as motivational speaker/business training specialist, Brian Tracy, refers to these intuitive impulses).  If I hadn't acted immediately on the thought I had tonight, I don't think I ever would have achieved the result I did with my business contact.  For this an countless other experiences--how grateful I am for the intuitive impulses I receive.  Now--if only I can learn to act on more of them.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A few good men speech

Kaffee: Colonel Jessep, did you order the Code Red?

Judge Randolph: You don’t have to answer that question!

Col. Jessep: I'll answer the question!

[to Kaffee]

Col. Jessep: You want answers?

Kaffee: I think I'm entitled.

Col. Jessep: You want answers?

Kaffee: I want the truth!

Col. Jessep: You can’t handle the truth!


Col. Jessep: Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

Kaffee: Did you order the Code Red?

Col. Jessep: I did the job I...

Kaffee: Did you order the Code Red?

Col. Jessep: You’re [gosh-darned]  right I did!

Friday, May 07, 2010

A few things I'm learning

I've been on my MBA foreign business excursion for more than a week now.  I feel I've been learning a lot, and I wrote about some of it in some chats I had tonight w/ my wife, and a good friend, Dennis.  Here's some of what I wrote:

BlaineUSA says:

wow. you're burining the midnight oil too, I see.

Dennis says:


BlaineUSA says:

Dude, I'm growing a lot! The timing of this trip (new job, baby-still not here, but probably will be before I get back, My boy's 1st days at cub scouts, etc. etc. etc.) . . . makes for the perfect storm of good solid growth opportunity.

Dennis says:

cool! like how?

i never can seem to tell when i'm actually growing.

BlaineUSA says:

I think the stress of all I have to think about--on the what's going on at home front--coupled with the mind-blowing things I'm seeing and doing, and the amazing interactions with amazing people (companies). .. . and observing a few personality types of some of my peers that I hope NOT to become like . . . .

I don't know it's all working together to help re-shift a few paradigms I didn't know needed shifting.

. . .and you're right, it'd be hard to put a real finger on WHAT exactly is shifting. . . but I feel like I'll go home a different person than when I left.

. . .hopefully a better person.

Dennis says:

that's very cool!

i love it!

BlaineUSA says:

. . .probably a somewhat more serious person who is ready to start accepting responsibility for what I'm meant to actually DO with my life.

Dennis says:

i guess i kind of fell the same way...but i cant really tell...hard to explain because i NEVER have free time like this.

BlaineUSA says:

Right. . .the schedule is CRAZY. This is the FIRST moment I've had for reflection. (including plane rides--where I've mostly slept, JUST to keep up.

Dennis says:

so it's kind of a weird experience

BlaineUSA says:

One thing I've gained for sure, though, is an appreciation for relationships and people. I mean, I've always felt relationships/people are very important to me, and I've usually found it fairly easy to get comfortable with a group and make a few meaningful relationships ('hit it off') with a couple folks very quickly. . . but I've struggled with that on this trip to some extent.

Dennis says:


BlaineUSA says:

and it's actually been VERY good for me. . . you know how I mentioned the 'chemestry' between Jackson and me not being quite there. . . I've learned how to deal with that a bit. . . .plus I've learned how it feels to not have real close connections immediately at hand for a time. . . and it has been very interesting. . .

I don't mean to sound lonely and I certainly hope you don't feel bad for me. I'm actually telling you all this out of an attitude of gratitude. This is only one of the things that I think has helped mold my perspective a little more to what it probably should be.

Dennis says:

very cool

BlaineUSA says:

. . .so tonight, I felt like I connected with a couple of my peers at a little deeper level, and it was very interesting to feel an immediate difference between how I felt BEFORE that, and how I felt AFTER that, and it helped me realize how very strongly I RELY on my connection with people.

Dennis says: very lonely here. but its just missing my wife.

BlaineUSA says:

I thought your wife was coming. ??

just Robert's Wife?

anyway--yeah. I think THAT vacancy is what opens up my mind to realize how MUCH I rely on that closeness to my wife--and others--for part of who I am.

Dennis says:

yeah...long story, but she couldnt come. just no infrastructure to watch our kids.

BlaineUSA says:

"that vacancy" = my wife not being here.

bummer, dude.

Dennis says:


BlaineUSA says:

Anyway. Good chatting w/ you.

I best be off.

Dennis says:



peace out

BlaineUSA says:

Now, here's my chat w/ my wife:
Lisa says:

hey, hottie

BlaineUSA says:

hey. you around?

It was good talking with you, hottie. I perked up after we talked the first time, and I had a really good night.

Lisa says:

did you?

that is good. you always sound so down, i worry that you are just miserable

which i know they run you down and you can't sleep on planes, i bet you are worn out

BlaineUSA says:

I've been missing REAL companionship of any kind on this trip (my roommate and I just don't click--I don't think he really clicks w/ anyone, though, and that's a little too bad--nother story, though). . . anyway, I got a chance to really just bond w/ a guy. . .

we had a good bro. date, and I think we now have a real bro. mance going on.

so. . . that was what I felt like I've been missing--and I got it.

You musta prayed for me.

Lisa says:

sam will be SO jealous

BlaineUSA says:

Anyway. . .Had a great night. . . I'm MUCH happier.

No. . . me and Sam have a pretty open relationship.

Lisa says:

I am praying for you

BlaineUSA says:

It's actually pretty fun that way.

Lisa says:

keeping your options open?

You're secret is safe with me

BlaineUSA says:

No. . .I'm never leaving Sam. He knows it. We're just open to kindling the 'mance w/ others as well.

Lisa says:


BlaineUSA says:

you're hot.

I pray for you A Lot, too.

Lisa says:


BlaineUSA says:

Seems like church is the hardest thing for me when I'm away from you and the fam.

We had church today, and it really made me home sick.

Lisa says:

in a synagogue this time?

BlaineUSA says:

(Friday's the Sabbath in Dubai, so even though we were in Cairo, we celebrated Dubai's sabbath, since when our sabbath rolls around, it's actually a work day, we wanted to get on track.)

Lisa says:


BlaineUSA says:

We had church in a large meeting room at the Marriot.

WAY cool room.

VERY condusive to church, but a little on the ornate side.

It was awesome.

One of the professor's wives gave a talk on the power of having a true sense of LOVE for our fellow man, and at one point she mentioned how just the simple act of 'Jesus wants me for a sunbeam' to our children bears an impact. . . .and I thought about how my little Bryson man loves that song, and how he asks for me to sing it to him as I'm putting him down. . . and I just lost it.

Lisa says:

that is really cool. did you take pics even though it was church?

BlaineUSA says:

But it was a very good experience.

I got some good pics.

Lisa says:

I bet you did. it made me teary eyed reading this just now

BlaineUSA says:

I even took a small video sample of us all singing the closing hymn.

. . . yeah. . . I'm bawling again.

Lisa says:

in fact, i sang it to him not 2 hours ago for nap time

BlaineUSA says:

But I'm not sad.

In fact--I've come to feel more and more like this experience. . . even this being away . . . is very important for us for some reason.

Lisa says:

yeah,... i have been making up pics for my albums, and i missed a couple things so i have been going through old pics. like j being a little baby. such cute kids. they are so grown up now

BlaineUSA says:

. . . not because I suspect that we'll be away from eachother a lot. . . but because I'm GROWING in ways I didn't know I need to grow.

Lisa says:

me too

i think we are learning a lot....i just hate it

BlaineUSA says:

Lisa says:

BlaineUSA says:

If you didn't. . . it wouldn't be growing, I guess.

But honestly, I have already had life-changing; perspective-altering experiences.

It has been amazing.

Lisa says:

I just hope we are learning what we need too so that we don't have to keep going through this

what kind of experiences. are you writing them down?

BlaineUSA says:

Yes. I agree.

no. I should, shouldn't I.

One thought that was eye opening that one of the business leaders shared with me was this: Someone asked 'how do you dare do business in all these places we hear such terrible things about? (i.e. Syria, Sudan, Iraq, etc.)' . . .

Lisa says:

you really should. it'll be your most important souvenier

BlaineUSA says:

His response was something I've known, but I think forgotten some what. He said. . .what you see on the news in these locations is:

a. blown to as large a proportion as the media feel comfortable blowing it so it makes a good story. . .

b. usually localized to one or two, or maybe a few incidents in a very specific location. ..

the media does not cover the fact that there are acres and acres of soybean fields 30 miles from the location that experience nothing of the fear the media seeks to produce. And those fields have the capacity to bring millions of dollars to someone willing to harvest and market them meaningfully to a country full of people who--for the most part--aren't really even involved in the 'scary things'

you see on TV.

When he said it, (or whatever it was that he actually said that sort of communicated that thought). . . I realized I have been somewhat taken in--and believe--a bit of what I see on TV.

The truth is. . . most people are good people, and opportunity surrounds us no matter how scary others may see the world as being.

Another eye-opener has been how little I care about the little street markets on this trip.

Lisa says:

wow...what a neat thought. and...WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DID YOU DO WITH MY HUSBAND?

BlaineUSA says:

HA!. . . I know, right? I mean that has been the best part of these things for me, right?. . . I don't know if it's cuz I feel the value of the crap their selling is really less than the cost they're selling it for or what. . .

But I've had this inclination to want to get to know people instead. . . and at these markets, how do you do that? All they care about is selling their crap, and all they want me to be caring about is buying their crap. . . .

. . . so when I seek value in getting to know people--or A people, or a person for that matter--the shopping experience offers me little value, because you can't have any kind of REAL interaction there.

I think my interest has shifted a bit from "what kind of crap can I get for cheap at the market" to a bit more of a documentary mentality, where I'd really like to know about people.

Lisa says:

that is good. maybe you are just maturing

BlaineUSA says:

I think the things I'll cherrish most from this trip are a: the things I'm learning and the ways in which I'm growing, and b: the people and relationships I'm building.

Lisa says:

maybe you are getting to know people as part of the growing experience the lord wants you to have right now

BlaineUSA says:

Still--I'm happy to look for stuff in the market. Especially if it's for others. But I haven't really seen anything that I REALLY wanted. . . .

Even the PERFECT leather jacket. . . I found it.

I couldda had it for less than $100 without a doubt.

Didn't buy it.

Lisa says:

no cool purses.. not that YOU would want it anyway!

BlaineUSA says:

It didn't mean anything to have it.

Lisa says:

good. for you

BlaineUSA says:

Yeah. . .It's really wierd.

Lisa says:

materialism is dying in my hubby? never thought i would see the day

BlaineUSA says:

Oh no. . .it's not dying. . .rest assured its not dying. I think I decided tonight that I really DO think I should get a Ferrari some day.

(I'm hoping your LOL'ing right now.)

Lisa says:


okay, maybe now i am

BlaineUSA says:

anyway: Here's a list of people that I want to keep tabs on--new friends: Rafi, our tour guide in Morocco. Jenny and Hassan, the owners of the Jeans Company in Morocco. Amina, the Moroccan belly dancer that wanted to make out with me on the plane (K, maybe I'm exagerating that a bit), Amr, the marketing manager for BMW in Egypt. Maggie Nassif, the BYU contact for egypt program. And who know

knows for Dubai, Abu Dahbi, and Turkey. . .

Lisa says:

huh...those are interesting people to want to keep track of.

i say no on the belly dancer chick...too threatening


BlaineUSA says:



baby. . .she ain't got nothing on you.

Lisa says:

sorry....magnum is eating a cheeseburger, and I think I might run to stephs tonight. it just looks so freakin good

did i mention i'm still pregnant?

BlaineUSA says:

. . .but yeah. . .I'm fine ending that relationship. . .just as soon as I can get some pics and vids to give to Wade. I promised him I would. ;()

Lisa says:

not to make you homesick more, but bryson woke up and is sitting next to me just snuggled up. I love him

BlaineUSA says:


Give him a big huge hug and kiss for me.

Lisa says:

thanks....all the kids are awake and home now. brandon brought me two plants for mother's day, and BJ brought home a present for me for mother's day. i think it is really fun

BlaineUSA says:

How neat.

Lisa says:

did i mention that yesterday i asked brandon if his teacher talked to him about recess, and he said "yes, during recess" freakin' a

she just doesn't get it

BlaineUSA says:

I hope you have a FANTASTIC mother's day, despite my not being there. . .and not really knowing how to DO anything for you for mother's day either.

Lisa says:

but he had a good day

ha...don't worry about it

i know you love me, and that is good enough for me

BlaineUSA says:

You're amazing.

I DO love you, baby. With ALL my heart.

Lisa says:

i know...mother's day will be a good day. BJ has his article of faith all memorized, and my paren'ts are doing dinner for me, andrea, and james and heather.

i think it'll be fun

and, hopefully i'll stay pregnant for at least 8 more days

then, i can be a mom again

BlaineUSA says:

I remember you had B.T. just before Mother's day too.

. . .er "too" makes it sound like I expect you'll have this one before sunday.

Lisa says:

ha...yeah....we were going for AFTER mother's day this time

BlaineUSA says:


got it.

Lisa says:

8 days

BlaineUSA says:

well, keep going for it, as long as the DR says that's the healthy thing to do.

Lisa says:

i will...i see him again tuesday

BlaineUSA says:


that's coming right up.

Lisa says:


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ode to Cherry Coke

Last night at dinner with my wife, art flowed through me--A poem to be precise.  I jotted the words down on a napkin.

This is the poem:

Ode to Cherry Coke
by:  Blaine D. Hone

Oh the cherry smoothness
Drink it down like love
Enjoy the taste
Do not haste
And let the flavor love you back.

Thinking of happy times
It takes me to my place
Happiness there
And everywhere
The Cola Cherry makes my day.

It's a guilty pleasure
The fattening suger drink
But love the guilt
Hope it's not spilt
And enjoy the pleasing soda.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I almost died Friday Night

Seriously!  My friend Dennis saved my life.

Dennis and I pulled out of the parking garage at the Triad Centers onto 3rd West Friday after our EMBA classes.  He was maybe a hundred feet in front of me when he pulled up to a stop light in the North bound lane.  By the time I pulled up next to him, the light was just about ready to turn green.  Just like the football star on 'Remember the Titans' who's looking over at his friends when he gets smashed by a car from the crossing lane, I didn't wait to see if the way was clear as I accelerated quickly into the intersection.

The next few things happened almost instantaneously, but I remember them as though they were in slow motion.  First, I thought it odd that Dennis didn't keep driving next to me.  I wondered if my car just accelerated that much faster than his.  For some reason, I felt that maybe something was wrong.  Even so, I determined to continue forward, accelerating as quickly as I had started.  Next, I heard a loud honk from Dennis' car, which was still parked car at the green light.

At this point, I had about a thousand thoughts in a split second.  Was something wrong with his car, and he needed me to help?  Was he honking out of jealousy that my car accelerated so much faster than his?  Do Volkswagens have a naturally 'strong' horn sound. . . cuz, man that was a powerful honk?

Regardless of the thoughts, there was a feeling of immanent danger that came with the honk.  Rather than consider the questions or thoughts swirling around in my head, I chose to follow the prompting to STOP that I felt in my heart.  I slammed on my breaks.  My first thought was to be proud of my car that had accelerated quickly enough to literally have to 'screech' to a stop after accelerating such a short time. My second thought was:  "Holy cow; I could have just died!" as a large BMW came flying through the intersection about a foot in front of my bumper at what had to be about 50 miles per hour.

Like I said, it all happened in a matter of very short moments.  I didn't see the car coming--not even in my periphery--until he was already passing through the place I would have been, had I not stopped immediately.

After the incident, Dennis and I pulled on through the intersection and to the side of the road where I parked my car and went to up to Dennis to tell him how grateful I was for the warning.  He said I looked quite shaken up--which was a very accurate assessment of my condition.

I have a couple thoughts regarding the whole episode.

First, I'm glad to be alive.  With the speed of the passing car that had come from my driver side, I most certainly would have been seriously injured--or worse.

Second, was it something more than the honking of my friend's horn that made me stop?  I reacted immediately, with great urgency.  It's not like me.  My more natural response would have been to look around to see what was going on--or at least to check my rearview mirror before slamming on the breaks as hard as I did.  But, no.  My reaction was with absolute haste and urgency.  I used the word 'prompted' earlier.  I believe this was the right word.  I think a certain spirit of warning attended my actions that night--for which I am extremely grateful.

Finally, what a joy it is to have great friends.  Both literally and metaphorically, good friends can be a powerful source of protection in our lives.  They can see important things to which we, ourselves, may not be giving adequate heed.  They can warn of pending danger in a way that is truly helpful at a very personal level.  Likewise, less savvy friends might miss such opportunities to warn--or worse, may lead us directly into the path of danger.

That night I learned a few great lessons which I hope to always remember.  First, choose and keep great friends.  Second, always heed a warning spirit (or intuitive cognitive response--as it may be termed by less spiritual intellectuals).  Finally, live!  What a fragile, fleeting moment is this life.  It can end at any moment.  Have I done all I should to this point?  Am I doing all I should in this moment?  Is what I am doing now something that will be remembered well by the ones I love?  I hope I'm living the right life.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Notes from one of my classes today:

In a book called Transitions by William Bridges, icebergs are presented as an analogy of changes/transitions in our lives.

Icebergs float because they are less dense than sea water.  (icebergs: 900 kg/cubic meter, sea water: 1025kg/cubic meter).  This density differential results in about 1/8 of the mass of any given iceberg showing above the surface of the water, and 7/8 beneath the surface.

In Transitions, William Bridges posits that "change", the external part of a shift in our lives equates to about 1/8 of the total experience, while "transition", the internal part, is the substantially more significant part of the experience.

The following are the (primarily internal) "Phases of Change" that Bridges describes:
- disengage
- dismantle
- disidentify
- disenchanted
- disoriented
Neutral Zone
- anxiety up, motivation down
- new weaknesses emerge
- confusion and creativity
New Beginning
- settle in
- sense of security/permanence
- ability to 'move forward'

Transitions happen at many levels (work, personal, children, etc.), and the all three of phases of change are often experienced--to varying degrees--simultaneously.

"Almost anything is easier to get into than out of."  -Agnes Allen

"There's no real beginning, until there is an end."  -Paul Godfrey

"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter into another."  -Anatole France

Four factors to consider about transitions:
- Endings always come before beginnings
- Endings usually recycle old ending scripts
- There is not a specific timetable for endings
- No two endings are alike. (Your ending is not my ending.)

Four Managing better endings (change):
- identify who will be losing what.
- be specific and detailed about what will be different
- be specific about what is not going to change.  ("
- what is the "causal "chain" of secondary causes.  (If we initiate this change, what are the behaviors/reactions we should expect from people going through the related transition?)
- who will have to let go of what?  peer group? roles? promotions? values? expectations?
- What will be over for everyone?

The first task of change management is to help people understand the desired change and make it happen.

The first task of transition management is to convince people to leave home.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Carpe Diem

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.

- Robert Herrick

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Knowing the Truth

Here's the thought I shared in this month's ward (church) newsletter:


In this generation of information and opinion at the speed of thought, there are countless voices—many of which are rational, logical, and indeed quite convincing. While truth is always supported by logic, what is logically valid is not always intrinsically true. As we consider the many voices that assail the values and beliefs that are at the core of the restored gospel, let us not supplant our Heavenly Father’s divine revelations and manifestations in our day with the wisdom of man—which has always been limited and imperfect.

President Thomas S. Monson has said, “Important to remember is the solemn truth: Obedience to God’s law will bring liberty and eternal life, whereas disobedience will bring captivity and death,” (“Decisions Determine Destiny.” New Era. Nov. 1979, 8).

More recently, he has declared, “To those who humbly seek, there is no need to stumble or falter along the pathway leading to truth. It is well marked by our Heavenly Father. We must first have a desire to know for ourselves. We must study. We must pray. We must do the will of the Father. And then we will know the truth, and the truth will make us free,” (“Great Expectations,” CES fireside for young adults. Jan. 11, 2009).

As we desire to know the truth—in regards to the tumultuous societal issues facing our day or any other matters in our lives—we will find that the simple process of study, prayer, and obedience to our Heavenly Father’s plan will be the means of gaining truth, life, and liberty. While we consider the varying voices around us, let us make a renewed personal effort to study and live God’s law, and seek ever more diligent devotion to it.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Quote of the day

I don't remember the exact quote, but it comes from the ghost of Jacob Marley--(in Dickens' A Christmas Carol).  He is talking to Scrooge, and when Scrooge tells Marley his punishment certainly can't be just because he was such a good business man, Marley retorts:

"Mankind was my business!"

. . . then he goes on, and tells Scrooge (and the rest of us) that mankind is his (and ours) business as well.

If Mankind is my business, why do I spend so much time on business and so little on the "mankind" I care most about?  This thought occurred to me as I drove away from my home and family at 7:00am again this Saturday to my MBA classes.  And for what?  . . .to better my career?  . . . to improve my earning potential?  . . .to be better at business? 

Or. . . is there something deeper to my education?  Maybe my MBA interactions ARE the "business of mankind".  Maybe every day with every person--business or personal--is a day of "the business of mankind."  I think it can be, depending on the way I interact.

When I feel the urge to step out of the mindset of 'the business of mankind', I can do the kindest thing you can imagine.  When I feel anger, and wish to place blame, I can take blame.  When I feel upset, I can use kindness to defuse my own emotions.

It's been said that there are two kinds of truths in the world:  the kind of truth that builds people up, and the kind of truth that tears people down.  May I always be cognizant of the truth I share.