Sunday, December 20, 2009

Yes, Virginia, There is a Savior!

Yes, Virginia, There is a Savior!

Perhaps you've heard the story about the little girl who asked if there was a Santa Claus. The answer was published in the newspaper with the famous line, "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus!" (links:,_Virginia,_there_is_a_Santa_Claus and

Just like that little girl who had a big concern at Christmas, we have concerns, too!

What are our concerns at Christmas time? Maybe choosing the right gift? Or getting invited to parties (the right parties)? Busyness? Being ready for Christmas?

I know I've had some of these concerns. I know I haven't felt ready. I haven't felt like it's Christmas yet.

In all the hustle and bustle, when will it feel like Christmas? Among all of this crazy preparation, when will Jesus show up? When will I have the "epiphany"?

Talking to someone other day, I asked if they were ready for Christmas. They said they weren't ready for Christmas. What surprised me was that this was a ten-year-old! Even children feel they are not ready for Christmas, let alone us adults!

So, I thought I should write a new headline in the newspaper, for everyone young and old alike, titled:

Yes, Virginia, There is a Savior!

Christmas is not so much about buying gifts, it's about the greatest gift! God loved us all so much that he gave his only Son! That son later died for us to give us eternal life! That's what the true Christmas is all about! (John 3:16)

So, let's be ready! He will show up! He will break through! Listen! He is knocking at the door of your heart now! Let Him in!

(add a comment below and tell us what your concerns are at Christmas and how Jesus broke through for you!)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Are You in Transition?

I know a bunch of people in "transition" at this time. In other words, they're out of a job.
In all cases, it's not due to their lack of productivity, but due to so many companies cutting costs in this economy.

Today I talked with someone and gave him some thoughts about some ideas for job searching. He asked me to send him an email about it. So, I've put my thoughts here so that other can take advantage of these ideas too.


Networking is the number one way that people find jobs. Here are some ideas of how to get started.
  • International Networking group: Empowering Todays Professionals: - Rod Colon, a good friend, mentor, and past career coach founded this group. Look for great articles and if you join the ETP network (nominal fee) you gain access to great networking meetings, newsletter, phone calls, and more!
  • - Jason Alba (his website has great info too) created this website to track your career. In addition to the tracking tool, it has lots of free information in the blog, library and more. Here's a recent article on his blog titled "Where to Find Network Contacts" - he also hosts free
Places to Look for Jobs:

Books I suggest you read right away:
  • "Never Eat Alone" by Keith Ferrazzi - this will teach you how to network with ease. I hear his new book "Who's Got Your Back" is also very good.
  • "How to Win Friends and Influence People" - This book will teach you principles on how to win a job, win a career, and more than that, how to be a great friend to people. Written by Dale Carnegie decades ago, you can pick the book up for very little money, but you'll find great value in it.
  • "Rites of Passage" by John Lucht - This book has great information for the job search, including one great lesson I learned about interviewing: Whenever asked a question, only speak for two minutes.
  • Vega Consulting - Kim Shand and Maggie DaRonco have been great help to me personally and others in our group. They will be especially helpful to you if you're in I.T., but if you want any general job search or career information they are there to help. They believe, like Zig Ziglar says, that if they keep giving to others it will come back to them.

If you're in New Jersey, you can also take advantage of these opportunities:

  • The Breakfast Club of New Jersey: I've not been to this group, but have heard great reviews of it.
  • Dover Professional Services Group (PSG: This group is open to all professionals who are in the NJ Unemployment system. I am a past member and found the group very helpful. I highly recommend it.
I hope to add more information in this post soon, so keep stopping back!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Thank God for Glasses!

My friend, Amechi, got me started a few weeks before Thanksgiving this year on posting something that I'm thankful for every day on Facebook. I've continued this practice past Thanksgiving. Who knows when I'll run out of things to be thankful for!

Well, today I decided that I'll post tomorrow about how thankful I am for glasses! I don't see well without glasses, so I'm very thankful for them!

Today I went for a checkup with the eye doctor. We had to dilate my eyes. Well, when I came out of there (I hadn't got my sunglasses out of the car yet), I passed the UPS lady who was going into the building. She was such a bright light in the sun that I couldn't even look at her! And they wear brown uniforms that aren't all that bright!

I can still picture how bright she was. It reminded me of the dazzling brightness of the transfigured Jesus (Luke 9:28-35) and the resurrected Jesus as he appeared to Paul (Acts 9). I can only imagine how bright he was and how difficult it must have been to look at him.

I saw star-bursts coming off every glint of light. There were star-bursts of lights shining off the cars and off the Rockaway River. In a way it was beautiful, yet it made it difficult to see.

I couldn't help but think about the wonder of how God created us. If it were not for the exact functioning of the iris in our eye to regulate how much light comes in, we might see things too brightly (or too dim) all of the time!

So, I'm thankful to the Lord for how I am wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). I'm thankful that he gave someone the idea to invent eyeglasses and he gave all those other people ideas to make so many improvements to eyeglasses! Why, I haven't had to use a paper clip to fix my glasses for years!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I Accidentally Deleted My Digital Camera video picture files!

Here's my latest story:

I played my guitar for the first time at the Ocean Grove NJ Crosstown Acoustic Cafe Coffee House the other night. Our good friend, Nancy, took some great videos with my digital camera.

At home, I connected the camera and started copying the files to my computer.

Later on, I stopped by the computer and it looked like it was done, so I deleted the files from the camera. To my surprise, two of the longer videos (the two I wanted the most, of course) were not there! It seems that it must have still been in the middle of copying them when I deleted them. Oh, No!

Well, my daughter brought over my son-in-law's USB reader for my SD High Capacity (HC) card (mine didn't work for these new HC type). It allowed me to read it like a disk drive. It was mapped to K: now on my computer.

A friend at work, Prentice, told me about Pandora Recover, a free program that finds and restores deleted files. (Note: don't take more pictures after accidentally deleting something until after you use this program, otherwise the new photos you take might write over the remnants of what's left of the old pictures or videos).

Pandora Recover worked quickly and easily. I got my files back quickly!

It says it works for USB drives, hard drives, etc. and finds pictures, videos, and other types of files too!

I first scanned the version that I downloaded with Norton Anti-virus before I installed it and Norton Anti-virus said there were no viruses in it. However, you might want to scan it yourself. Also, you may want to skip the optional install of the cnet tool bar.

The tool worked very well for me!

Monday, November 23, 2009

How to make a Travel box and ideas for Car Games

Ideas for Car Games

We've had fun making a "Travel Box" for family and friends when they are taking a long car trip. We just take a box and put a bunch of things wrapped in comics or paper lunch bags.

Label these things with messages like:
* open on the way home after lunch
* Open after 100 miles
* Open after you go through 2 states
* Open after you see the first sign for Florida
* Open after you see the first sign for your Destination (College, State, Town)
* Open after you see the first Palm Tree
* Open when you stop for gas
* Open if you feel silly (or it could read "tired" or "bored") in Georgia
* When you see a license plate from such and such a state

Some silly examples are:
* Open this when you're feeling nuts (wrap up some nuts)
* Open this when you're feeling silly (Silly Putty or Silly String)
* Open when it gets dark (light sticks)
* Open when you're thirsty or hot and tired of driving (Wonka Fun Dip / Lik-m-aids) (or Nik-L-Nip bottles)
* When you need a morning snack (granola bars)
* When you're bored (Wooly Willy - we bought one at 5 Below)
* When you hear a rock song on the radio (Pop Rocks candy)
* When you're low on cash (100 Grand Candy bar)
* When you see an animal (Cow Tails candy)

You can also pack the box with other things:
* Jokes
* Car Bingo (look for the signs or license plates)
* Comics section from the newspaper

We also put some envelopes with game ideas written on them (sometimes with statements like above)
* Song Fest - Take a well known song (like "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and change the words to a silly song or a christian Song
* Open when you need encouragement - put Bible verses or nice words of blessings or the little encouragement cards you get at the Christian Bookstore

You can also put a card in there with a list of the things they need to find/do/reach in order to open the items.

Here are a few websites that I also found helpful:

String Games:
Mad Libs:

What ideas do you have? Please leave a comment!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Twitter for beginners

This is for Bill who wanted to know about Twitter and for others who are curious.

What is Twitter?
  • What is it? Twitter is a online service you can sign up for. It's free to use.
  • What does it do? It allows people to send out short messages (140 characters or less) to anyone and everyone who wants to read them. It works like texting on a cell phone, but it get's sent out and anyone can read it, like a broadcast. You can also "follow" someone's broadcasts (called "tweets"). If you send out "tweets," some people might decide to "follow" you (in other words, they will read your "tweets" in their account.
  • What are the benefits? You can read information from other people (like the news headlines, or your favorite author, or a friend). You can let people know about you, like what you're doing, or the story you want to tell, or information you want to share.
Suggestions for how to phase in your use of Twitter
  • Setup an account (details below) It's easy and Free!
  • Follow what's going on for a while - you can just do this for a few hours, days, months, years...
  • Find people to follow
  • Observe RT, @, #FollowFridays (more on this below)
  • Find out about Hashtags - maybe make one of your own (more on this below)
  • Then, Dive in and start posting messages
Setting up a Twitter Account
  • Web - The basic account is set up so you can use it with the web. After getting an account, you just login and use it. You can look at posts of those you follow, search for people, and post your own "tweets"
  • Phone - You can also set up tweeter to send and receive messages using your phone
Suggestions for newbies
  • Follow first before starting to send out "tweets"
  • Look around at who other people are following, click on those people to see what they are "tweeting" about and then follow them if you like what you see. You can always stop following or follow anyone as much as you want, whenever you want.
  • What it means to have followers - People who "follow" you will see your posts on their "home" page. Usually people follow you to see what you're posting ("Tweeting") about, or because they want you to follow them. You'll see many organizations try to follow you because they want you to follow them. It's your choice though.
  • How to follow someone - You can follow anyone by searching for them or by clicking on their icon in someone else's "following" list and then once you see that feed, there will be a link/button near the top left that allows you to "follow" them
  • Examples of people to follow: @nytimes (news headlines, you can click on a link to get to the details of the news), @zondervan (gives bible quotes). You can also search for famous people (entertainers, politicians, etc.) or authors, etc. You may like to track packages using twitter (see
How to find people and topics
  • Once you set up an account, there is a "find people" link at the top to search for people to follow
  • You can also find people by clicking on anyone in your list of people who follow you or who you follow and then look at the list and click on them to see who they follow or who follows them. Whenever you see someone you like, just click on the "follow" button to follow them.

How to use Twitter to send messages (Tweet)
  • How to "Tweet": Just click on "home" and then type something in the "What are you doing?" box. Then click on "update." You're "tweet" will then be viewable by anyone following you or looking at your profile.
  • Short URLs (links) - If you want to send a link in your "tweet" you will find that shorter links will fit better in the 140 character limitation for "tweets." You can shorten your link (called a URL in tech-speak) by going to (no .com here, just, entering the URL (link with the http:// on the beginning) and clicking "shorten." You will get a shortened link that is something like which should be shorter so it uses up less space in your 140 character "tweet"
Twitter commands
  • DM: You'll like to know that you can also DM (Direct Message) someone if they are following you (this is like sending an email to that person). Nobody but you and that other person will see these messages.
  • @: and you can also send a message to someone that everyone can see by putting @ with their name (like @henrywill) in the message. This allows that person to see what you sent them, but so will everyone else.
  • You can also mark tweets as favorites (see the link to the right of the tweet posting). You can look at favorites later (and others can also look at your favortites)
Special Twitter text (#, RT, @ replies, DM, etc.)
  • # is a special character in "tweets," see the information in the section below about "hashtags"
  • RT = Re-tweet. This is used when someone takes someone's message and decides it is good enough to send to their followers. Example: you see someone post a message, like "Johndoe: Free fries at "Joe's Cafe" this Saturday!" You would like your friends to know about it, so you send out a retweet "RT @JohnDoe: Free fries at "Joe's Cafe" this Saturday!" - You just add the "RT @" to the beginning of JohnDoe's message. You can also add your own text at the end if you want. Note: you'll notice, if you want people to retweet your messages, you need to keep them short enough so they can add the "RT @" and your Twitter name to your message and still fit within the 140 character "tweet" limit.
  • @ - as explained before, this is a way to send a message to someone, but allow others to see it. Example: if your friend "SusieSmith" tweets "John, did you get to "Joe's Cafe" for the free fries this past Saturday?" you can reply with "@SusieSmith yes, Joe's Cafe fries are the best, even if they weren't free!" - everyone, including @SusieSmith can see this. (note: if you don't want others to see your reply, use DM)
Special Twitter hashtags (#FollowFriday,,etc)

  • By putting a # in front of some special keyword text, it allows people to search for that keyword. For example, #PM allows people to search for #PM as a keyword (called a hashtag because the # is known as a hashtag in addition to a pound sign). You can search on all types of subjects in twitter to see what people are saying about that subject. Look at the bottom right of your home page to see the "trending topics" of which hashtags people are using. You can also find a list of hashtags and graphs of how much they're used at
  • One popular hashtag is #followfriday or #fridayfollow - people use this hashtag on Fridays with a list of people they think it would be good for their followers to follow. It's a good way to find out about people to follow.
  • You can find other popular hashtags at
Getting followers
  • How to get followers: First find people you like to follow, many will follow you back. You can also ask people you know to follow you.
  • Good practice when someone follows you - It's best to thank your new followers, tell them what "tweets" you like to read or what you're intersted in, and/or what you like to tweet about.
Great uses of Twitter
  • I mentioned earlier about how to track packages in twitter, but there are new uses of twitter coming on line all the time. Twitter can also be used to update your status in facebook and to read news headlines, jokes and more. Read the followers and following lists of some people you follow or who follow you to find good ideas. Let me know of any good ones you like in the comments of my blogpost here.

  • (track packages via twitter)
  • 9 Scientifically Proven Ways to Get Retweeted

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Five R's of Dealing with Temptation

I was listening to a copy of one of Lloyd Pulley's presentations the other day. He speaks on a show called "Bridging the Gap." He gave this list of the Five R's for Dealing with Temptation.

The Five R's for Dealing with Temptation:

1. R: Remember: Remember who you are. You are the Salt and Light. Matthew 5:13
2. R: Realize: Realize the cost of yielding to temptation and the Reward for not giving in Romans 6:23
3. R: Ruthless: Be Ruthless with your flesh - Make to provision for your flesh to sin - Matthew 5:29
4. R: Renew: Renew your mind Romans 12:2
5. R: Rely on His Grace: His grace teaches us to say "No."

Psalm 138:6

He also said we should get busy!
Spurgeon said: Some Temptations come to the industrious, but ALL temptation comes to the idle

I hope this encourages you to overcome temptation!

Barre Chords, Minor and m7 Chords on the Guitar

I've been learning new things on the guitar this summer and thought I'd post about them.

Barre Chords, sometimes called Bar Chords, allow you to move the same Chord "shape" up the guitar to another fret and form a new chord.

Keep in mind that each Fret is a half step. So, good examples are that the E chord, moved up 1 fret (you need to bar the 1st fret then to do the equivalent of moving up the Nut, the place where the strings go over the top part of the guitar neck) forms the F chord! (Because in half steps, the scale is A, A#, B, C, C#,D, D#, E, F, F#,G, G#, ...)
If you move it up 2 frets from the Nut, it would be the F# chord.

Also, the A chord, moved up 2 frets becomes the B chord!

The guitarforbeginners website shows what I'm explaining with a little animation.

Minor Chords
I also learned how to easily form Minor Chords from the E and A chords.
When the highest string (the highest frequency, the one closest to the floor) being held down is moved down one fret towards the Nut, a half step (to the minor 3rd), the chord becomes a Minor chord.

So, if you take the A chord and move your finger on the B string one fret lower (toward the Nut) you'll have an A minor chord.

For the E chord, you move your finger on the G string (actually playing a G#) down a half step (1 fret) which in this case is the nut (or an "open" string) to get Em (E minor)!

Am7 and Em7:
To get these minor chords to be minor 7th chords, just remove the 2nd finger (counting from the side of the neck furthest from the floor) so an open string is played.

So, to change the Am to Am7, lift your finger on the G string.
To change the Em to Em7, lift your finger on the D string (you'll only have one finger left, it will be on the A string 2nd fret (playing a B)

The same is true for the A7 and E7 chords.

If you look at some chord diagrams, you'll see what I'm talking about.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Guitar with a Capo

Did you know that Capo is short for Capodastra?
Neither did I until I started reading up on the Capo to figure out what some of my friends (who are guitar teachers) were trying to teach me about Capos.

Here are some websites that teach about Capos on guitars. Some of them have tables that you can print. You'll find that they each have a different way of expressing the table of the use of Capos. The basic idea though is back to the "Capo Triangle" that one of my friend/instructors told me about, it has 3 "sides" which are: The Key of the Chord, The chord shape (and where the Capo is), and the root note of the chord.

And for those who want to go beyond, there's chord transposition with some music theory here:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Clock that Lost it's Second Hand

We have a clock that was always a bit behind on the time. It seemed as though the clock was having difficulty lifting the second hand as it made it's way from the 6 back up to the 12.

Well, recently, the clock fell off the wall and I put it back up. A few days later I realized that the second hand had fallen off and was laying inside, but I didn't have any interest in taking the time to fix it.

Then, just the other day, I asked my wife if the clock was keeping time. She said that now the time was correct! The clock is now running on time without the burden of lifting the second hand!

My wife and I talked about how sometimes our lives are like that clock. We each came up with our own lesson. My wife remarked that sometimes we get too busy doing many things, just like the clock trying to tick out every second, and because we are trying to do too much, we get behind. That's a great point!

I had a few thoughts about the clock:
  • Sometimes we try to keep track of everything and schedule things with such precision that we don't leave any margin (this reminds me of the book I read some time ago, that I would highly recommend, titled "Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives" by Richard A. Swenson)
  • We get so bogged down in the "overhead" of scheduling and keeping track of things so closely, that we are slowed down and are less effective
  • Sometimes too, because we're so concentrated on over-managing our time, we miss the things that are most important!

So, I hope you, like me, can take a lesson from the clock that lost it's second hand

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Recently I read a book summary that mentioned the importance of always keeping your top 3 goals written down so you can concentrate on them.

Lately I've been getting lots of messages from the Lord about Focusing. I need to Focus and concentrate on the most important things. And, now this is very important, I need to start removing the distractions.

I was mentoring someone the other day about this subject.

Did you ever notice that when you use a magnifying glass to look at something, it magnifies the area your looking at and at the same time, the area below the glass that you're not viewing is obstructed?

Well, we need to put that same principle into effect in our lives. We need to purposely obstruct all of the items that are not in our focus.

Let me give you some examples:
I realize that much of my email that comes in is from mail lists I signed up for so I could be informed in case I might be interested in something. Well, Gmail lets me create a filter that puts them directly into an archive. So, I don't have to read them, but if I'm ever looking for something, I can just search my email to find them when I need them. It's like having a reference library that only stores things you're interested in!

And, in my personal life, there are THINGS that distract me from PEOPLE. I have to remind myself that people are way more important than things. So, I have to remove the frustrations and time consumption that the things pull away from the people I need to care about!

I hope this all helps you to gain more focus and more concentration on the things that are important to you! Of course, before you focus, you need to establish your goals of what to focus on. I'll have to write about that sometime too.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Continuous Partial Attention (CPA)

This Past Sunday, Dr. Cleophus LaRue, the preacher at the Auditorium in Ocean Grove, NJ spoke about the concept of Continuous Partial Attention (CPA) which was coined by Linda Stone, the former VP of Microsoft.

From what I understand, CPA is the notion that in the current age, people are giving partial attention to many messages all at the same time and therefore we are sharing our attention between these several messages and activities. I can see it occurring at work. There is so much work to do that we all find it difficult to give full attention to any one thing; we are constantly "multitasking" between tasks and what we're listening to. For an example: I have actually been listening in on 2 webinars at once while I was also doing work. It certainly is making it difficult to concentrate on any one subject and I can see that it spills over into my home life as well.

How does CPA effect your work? Your home life?

Dr. LaRue made the point that due to the advent of CPA, it is even more difficult for us to tell others the good news of what Christ has done for us all on the cross, yet we still need to tell the story!

Monday, September 07, 2009

The Big Great Invitation

The Big Great Invitation:

This past Saturday, two of our friends: a father and daughter, were out in a canoe with one of their young friends on a lake. The daughter remarked that it was on the very island they were heading to that she had asked Jesus into her heart. She then asked her friend if he had ever asked Jesus into his life. He replied "no," but that he would like to. Once on the island, he also asked Jesus to be his Lord.

The story helped me to realize that sometimes people might be involved in a church, yet they've never been given the invitation to give their lives to Christ.

I realized from the story that there might be people who read my blog who fall into that same category. So, if you've never been invited, and if you want to give your life to Christ, here it is, I'm extending to you the BIG GREAT Invitation to the most important decision you'll ever make; a decision that will be the best decision you could ever make for yourself: that of giving your life to Christ Jesus.

If you have any questions about it, I'd be happy to discuss it. Just contact me via the contact link at

I like to write to encourage people, well, this is the most encouragement I can give: eternal life now as part of God's kingdom and the assurance of hope for the future!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Raising the Threshold and Getting Things Done

In a conversation with my manager yesterday, I was reminded of the book "Getting Things Done" (GTD) by David Allen (see part of the book here). The book describes having a system to process all incoming information (requests, actions, FYI, etc.). It works for job assignments, monkeys on your back (this is a reference to the Harvard Business Classic "Management Time: Who's Got the Monkey?" by by William Oncken, Jr., and Donald L. Wass), and email too.

In the GTD book, there is mention of how some incoming items should be handled right away if they take about 5 minutes or less to get done. This has worked great for me. Yesterday, my manager mentioned that since I have lots of small work tasks piling up, maybe I should try to tackle some of the small tasks ("low hanging fruit") to get them crossed off my list. It was then that I realized that sometimes we need to "Raise the Threshold." We need to change the 5 minute threshold to 30 minutes or 60 minutes so that we can get some of the tasks hanging around on our list moved off and completed. I'm working on that now. Maybe this idea will help you too!

By the way, if you're interested in GTD, take a look at the links above. You might also be interested in the related information for managing your email.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Take a vacation

Well, I'm on vacation a few days and enjoying it!

Did you know how important it is to take a vacation?

Did you know you can also take a vacation during the day? You can! At lunch, in the evening, or in the morning you can just take a short 5 or 10 minute vacation. If you think about your special vacation place, it will all come back and relax you!

I found some interesting links on vacations. Especially with the economy being the way it is, apparently many people are skipping their vacation when they need it the most!
(note: I can't say that I agree with all principles in these links, but you may find some part of them helpful)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Things to Keep when Your Children are Young

The other night I started pulling out some old notes and cards from when the children where young.

The cards were very encouraging to see what the children (and my wife and parents) had written to me on various birthdays and father's days.

I also found notes where I wrote down some of the things my children said when they were young. One of them I found was that one of the children told their sibling "Santa can't make every kind of toy because some might have patents." Another one wrote "Think about the Guinea Pig, and not just how pretty they look in the store."

I hope to sort these for our children and read them to my grandchildren some day. They'll be worth a laugh!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Are you wound too tight?

Are you wound too tight?
I know I am at times!

It's apparently been proven that "children laugh an average of 300 times per day, while adults only laugh between 15 and 100 times per day."

Sometimes, when someone is very tense and can't "loosen up" and enjoy life, we might say that they are "wound too tight." (We also sometimes say about people "I wonder what makes them tick?" - funny how we talk "clock talk")

Watches and Clocks can be wound very tight, but they need to run in periodic time intervals (for sake of argument, let's say in one second intervals) no matter how tight or loose the spring. There is a very important piece to the watch or clock that regulates the speed to maintain the intervals of time no matter how much pressure comes from the tension of the mainspring. This is called an "escapement." My brother lives near the National Watch and Clock museum. We toured it once and saw how many various escapements have been invented.

We should all take a lesson from clocks, no matter how tightly they are wound, they still get the same amount of work done and the same amount of rest. No matter how much stress they get from the mainspring, they still perform the same. So, let's loosen up and enjoy life a little.

Here are a few ways to "loosen up" and enjoy life:
* Thank God for your blessings - count them!
* Play - do you engage in play? Play is very important to stimulate laughter and to open up creativity
* Spend some time with children, their outlook on life usually has lots of great positive aspects to it. We can learn a lot from their wonder.
* Learn some jokes
* Learn to laugh, especially at yourself - there's someone in my family who's always been good at this, I need to take lessons
* What's your favorite board game? Card game? Get it out and play it again?

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Rule of Thumb for calculating resource costs

I have a good friend, Mike, who works for the government. We were talking the other day about resource costs (we were speaking hypothetically, we didn't exchange any proprietary information). As a Project Manager, I've always thought in terms of resource costs as dollars per hour and sometimes as dollars per day. But, Mike was talking about resources in terms of thousands of dollars per year.

I can see that for PMs, this would be a much better way to measure resource costs on a project.
You can use the rule of thumb of 2000 hours per year to multiply by the hourly fully-loaded rate to get the yearly rate.

Of course, if the resource is only working for 6 months you can easily divide by two. Or, if the resource is only quarter time or a quarter of the year you can divide by 4.

It's all straight forward, but I find it easier to look at resource costs in this $1000/yr view. It also makes it so much easier to add up resources quickly to estimate project costs.

Resource A is $100/hr with 30% overhead. This translates to $130/hr or $260,000/yr
Resource B is $140/hr with 50% overhead. This translates to $210/hr or $420,000/yr
If I have a project (or task) with 2 A resources and 3 B's, the that's $520K plus #1260K= $1780K/yr
If it's a six month project (or task), then that's $890K for the project (or task).

I hope this little trick helps you out like it does for me.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Leadership Summit: Closing Session

Bill Hybels ties it all together with the final session

  • King gets leoparacy. The prophet of God asks him to wash 7 times in the waters of the Jordan
  • He says there are other places with better views and better water to go to
  • His advisors told him that he's done great things, and if the prophet asked him to do something great, he'd do it. But, the prophet only asked him to do a little thing
  • So, he did it
  • Then he realized there is no other God like God
  • The story is in II Kings 5
  • We take the Leadershp Summit with us. We might be thinking we need to do something big, but first be willing to do some simple things every day.


  • 1.Consider establishing a time and place to meet with God every day
  • Make sure it happens in the right frame of mind and on a daily basis
  • There are many leaders out there doing great things, but so often the compromise is the meeting with God
  • He was meeting with God reading Ephesians 6 - Paul was asking for prayer so he can fearlessly proclaim the message of Christ
  • Leaders need something fresh from God every day
  • Somedays the fireworks won't happen, but stay in the routine and God will speak
  • 2. Commit to reading good books at least 30 minutes a day
  • 3. Review your replenishment strategy Rom 8:6
  • 4. Decide to say "yes" to God every time he asks you to do something
  • 5. You've been challenged about innovation and serving the poor, but it's the simple things that you do that will compound the influence and effectiveness of a leader.
  • The simple things are the building blocks of God doing something great in your some day
  • Final word: your life matters. This isn't the pre-game, this is the game. You have one life to live full-out for God and develop your leadership to it's full potential. You have one chance to do something of eternal significance.
  • That's an intentionally personal decision you all need to make: what race are you running, what will you lay it down for?
  • The thing that happens when we submit ourselves to God, our head leader, is just like combustible energy
  • It's like being in recess in school and the bell is going to ring, now I have to go back into the school
  • As you go on your way, do some simple things that will compound

My Take-aways:

  • Apply, Apply, Apply!

Note: I've been posting live from the leadership Summit ( satellite location in Ocean Grove NJ ( which was chartered 140 years ago by the state of NJ "for the perpetual worship of Jesus Christ." It's known as God's Square mile on the New Jersy Shore.

I've also been tweeting live: you can follow (even if you don't have a twitter account) at: To see all the posts on the Leadership Summit, use this link:

Leadership Summit #9 Interview with Tony Blair

Leadership Summit #9 Interview with Tony Blair

Note: I'm posting live from the leadership Summit ( satellite location in Ocean Grove NJ ( which was chartered 140 years ago by the state of NJ "for the perpetual worship of Jesus Christ."I'm also tweeting live: you can follow (even if you don't have a twitter account) at: To see all the posts on the Leadership Summit, use this link:

First, some notes:
Jack Welch (he was CEO of GE) has agreed to come next year!

Interview with Tony Blair:
  • Even though it was against the majority, he did what he thought was right
  • Conventional wisdom is sometimes the easiest thing to do and sometimes you need to fight it for the right reasons
  • One of the toughest things about leadership is that sometimes positions you take are not popular. You need to take the position inside yourself first.
  • It's not to say that you shouldn't be flexible, but you need "it" in your core - you must believe it's right. You must come to the view and then face the fact that it may be uncomfortable for others. You can't hold back. you must stick with it.
  • My duty was to do what was right
  • You must stand by your decision and if necessary fall by it
  • He needed to be prepared to walk away, it matters to me, but it doesn't matter more than doing the right thing. Don't compromise what is right

How did you know when to listen to criticism and when to let it go?

  • You need to listen to criticism and take it into account
  • If facts change, you can change your mind

How does a leader handle doubt? It might be seen as indecisiveness.

  • Doubt is an expression that you don't have a core belief in your decision. So, you need to think it through, don't make a quick decision
  • But, there comes a point at which you take responsibility and you strike out and go with the decision
  • It was never easy, there was always that worry, doubt, and consideration of the criticism
  • But, in the end, you need to make the decisions. Someone needs to decide
  • If you would have told me that I'd need to make decisions in 4 military confrontations, I wouldn't have believed it

What role is faith in your life

  • People ask what role religion is in your political life
  • I find it odd, because if you are religious, it effects all you do
  • But, it doesn't mean you make decisions in a religious way
  • Faith is a potent force in the world for bad and good
  • The single most important thing is that faith performs a progressive role in this era
  • People should keep their own faith, not become one melting pot, but we can work together

With years of failed attempts to sustain peace in Northern Ireland, you were able to work on this. You've been asked to go to middle east. What would you wife say would make you a great negotiator

  • I would be criticized by both sides that I was making concesions
  • We needed to find common ground. there is no way to do it without compromises
  • Great believer in tactics vs strategy
  • Strategy comes from your goals and convictions
  • To get there, you need lots of tactical compromises

Crisis Management. After being granted the olympic games, there was the terror attack. What must a leader do in a crisis?

  • Were we going to react by pointing a finger, or looking at our unity?
  • Single most important thing was to make a statement "we are coming together as a country"
  • We won't allow these people to devide us
  • Get the fact, make the managerial decision, speak to the emotions of the country (do we as leaders speak to the emotions of our team?)

How do you deal with pain and disappointment

  • By counting my blessings
  • I'd be complaining and she'd say "What are you complaining about? It's a priveledge to do this job!"
  • I get up and feel blessed to do the job
  • There is pain and dissapointment, but every so often do a check on yourself and see what you've been able to do

Speak into the eyes of church leaders

  • Leadership is a blessing, it's a gift you've been given to help others
  • It's difficult, challenging, it's worth doing, it's your duty
  • No matter what type of leader you are, whatever it is, in that position, without a leader, things don't get done. The joy of getting things done, it's a blessing and a gift from God.

My take-away from this session:

  • Count my blessings as a leader (as a Program Manager/PMP, as leader of, as a father, as a person) that I'm able to get things done as the leader.
  • Define my core beliefs
  • Work to make a positive difference

live blogging continues...

Leadership Summit: #8 Bono: "The Church, Three Years Later'

Leadership Summit: #8 Bono: "The Church, Three Years Later'

Note: I'm posting live from the leadership Summit ( satellite location in Ocean Grove NJ ( which was chartered 140 years ago by the state of NJ "for the perpetual worship of Jesus Christ."I'm also tweeting live: you can follow (even if you don't have a twitter account) at: To see all the posts on the Leadership Summit, use this link:

3 years ago when Bono was at the Leadership Summit, he was upset that churches were not more involved in the fight against global poverty.
Bono was asked what he thinks about how the church is working on global poverty now 3 years after that initial interview.

  • in 1963, President Kenedy said "we're going to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade"
  • He lead!
  • With just a small piece of that, we can build humanity, we can get clean water - we can't solve everything, but we can make a difference
  • The church is now in the lead!
  • There are pediatric wards without children in them - we're winning!
  • Christians speaking:
  • We have no excuse, we need to reach out to people with AIDS in Africa
  • There are already people doing the work, we need to put resources behind it
  • People already want to give, but it's the leader's responsibility to cast the vision, and show them how
  • We need to make the missionary appeal appealing! Photography and other ways to inspire
  • People see them as unlovable because they feel they are infected, but they go to the field and hug a person with AIDS and realize it's a real person. Mother speaking "I loved my children in a new way and once you go there, you can't help but care for those children over there"
  • Our Savior is going to ask us if we did anything for the least of these


  • When a song comes out, I just feel blessed. Like "The Streets have no name"
  • The lyric isn't really good, I wrote it quickly, I rushed it out. It annoys me that 20 years later that we still have to sing it
  • We're urging people to join the ONE campaign - we put up all the flags of Africa and while I was singing the song, I realized that I wrote the song in Ethiopia.
  • He wrote the lyrics in Agibar in Ethiopia. We was watching people who had walked all through the night. There was a mist. The people put their children down to die, or they were already dead.
  • As smart as someone can be: intuition is better than intellect: we do the best work when we don't know what we're doing

  • Worship Leader was upset when he heard Bono 3 years ago: why is the message coming from a rock star instead of the church
  • Pastor: Here's a rock star, people are you looking to you for leadership and the church had done nothing. They're looking to you for leadership, they're asking what they should do. I don't know what to do, ask Bono. I kept thinking that my daughter said "can't we build a hospital"
  • There was a girl in Malawi Africa who got aids. She became the face of our campaign.
  • Person of that church: we needed to raise $160,000. We couldn't figure out how we could help. Well, we would do little things, like cut back on lunch. Little kids set up lemonade stands "Lemonade for Africa"
  • Pastor: on Christmas eve we made the offering the last part of the service. The Christmas eve service offering was never the highlight of that service. We played Paul Baloche's song "Offering" and asked people to bring and tell what the story of what they did
  • Children: sold toys, sold jewelry
  • The stories were so emotional that the women counting couldn't count
  • $518,000 dollars collected
  • Had to announce it the next Sunday and start with that because nobody cared about anything else. And, more money came in after that!
  • Why did it start with a rock star? Why didn't I have the courage to stand up for the cause earlier?
Bill Hybels interviewing Bono:

  • Why can't countries come up with money to solve global poverty, but they can come up with $700B to solve the financial crisis?
  • Hybels "You said that the church is doing better, but Bono has kept as arms distance from a local church. That's frustrating to me."
  • Bono: "It's probably fear of denomination"
  • Hybels"but you are not afraid of anything"
  • Bono: "I've been afraid of denominationalizm. I've got one parent Catholic and another prostantant. I go where the life is, to different churches where I am. I'm equally happy on a beach.
  • I don't like complicated ceremony. It doesn't have to be inspirational, but has to be were everyone is welcome. Then I feel comfortable. People want you to be honest. They want you to tell what's going on in your life.

Lives Changed By Christ LCBC - Lancaster PA

  • We tell people to tell folks not how to follow Christ, but how we follow Christ, so they can see an example
Story: a soccer coach who built a pitch in Africa and named it after one of their players that died. The parents had given memorial funds from their son's death for the pitch.

Hybels: "do you ever feel like you can't carry it anymore"

  • I was in NY City central park. There was a guy with a plastic bag. He was talking to himself almost. He pulled out a copy of NY Times with headline "Man lands on Moon"
  • Don't take yourself too seriously like it's all dependent on you
  • But, you should realize it will not be easy
  • It's not charity, It's about equality and justice
  • Where does the sphere of empathy end for you?

My Take-aways:

  • The church has to take the lead! We need to reach out to the poor!
  • God is able to do more than we ask or think!

Other blogs on this:

Leadership Summit #7: Chip and Dan Heath: SWITCH

Leadership Summit #7: Chip and Dan Heath: SWITCH
The speakers are authors of the book "Switch" (due in 2010) and "Made to Stick"

Note: I'm posting live from the leadership Summit ( satellite location in Ocean Grove NJ ( which was chartered 140 years ago by the state of NJ "for the perpetual worship of Jesus Christ."I'm also tweeting live: you can follow (even if you don't have a twitter account) at:

Dan Heath: Harvard MBA, Chip is Professor at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. Both have consulted for many top name companies.

Interview format. Interviewer is Craig Groeschel of

First Book, Made to Stick, was also a help to churches

Talking about change:

  • (note: they mentioned a new vocab word: lugubrious)
  • They say that people don't like change. "Switch" is about change
  • Some changes are easy and others are very difficult. Why?
  • Metaphor about Elephant and rider (john Heinz: Socialogist) : The human rider sitting on a 6 ton elephant. The person may not want to move, but elephant doesn't. We can convince the rider, but the rider needs to influence the elephant.
  • Example: Part of us wants to save for retirement, another part of us wants to buy something.
  • The emotional appeal (Chip must have proposed to his new wife with an emotional appeal) is the best, it's how we convince the elephant
  • Teacher (Chrystal Jones) told the 1st grade class that if they listen in and do well, I'll make you like a 3rd grader. Part of the way through 1st grade they had a 2nd grade graduation!

Advice for a church that has 2 programs working well, 5 working alright and 2 not working well?

  • Concentrate on the winner - study it and clone it
  • One branch of therapy studies the problems of the past
  • Solution focused Therapy: They look for the bright spots (e.g. if marital problems, they'll ask: when was the last bright spot in your marrige).
  • As a ministry, look at the bright spots in your work
  • As a person or a leader: what are the bright spots of your work?
  • The idea is that we already have the idea of how to solve it, we just need to clone that method/practice
  • Gerry of "Save the Children" - All of this stuff is TBU (True But Worthless), because he couldn't do anything about it. So, he pulled together some moms to help their children. First they gathered the data. Were there any children that seemed perfectly healthy and nourished? Do any of them not have parents with resources like the rest of parents? They looked at those parents to find out how it was being done. These practices went on to help 2.2 million people in 265 villages.
  • Big problems are rarely solved by a big solution, usually by small solutions: BIG PROBLEM, SMALL SOLUTION
  • Minimize and shrink the solution!
  • Story: High school students' presentation convinced people to spend just 10% more within their county (Minor County), it increased their tax revenues. Now they are increasing the population. A Big change started with a small solution!
  • Pointers from Twitter posts: @tonysteward:make small corrections to get you to your solution, @lrcooper:use your existing skillset and apply it to new technologies

What can we do to keep the Elephant moving in the right direction

  • Tough times may cause people to give up
  • ideaworld? : Cycle :high hopes, Valley of insight, then the height of Confidence
  • Growth Mindset: people believe that with work i can become better. Tiger Woods decided to overhaul golf swing
  • Built into that mindset is a tollerance for failure - leaders need a tolerance for failure
  • You hear the quote "Team: failure is not an option here" - but failure is needed, if you want to be stronger, you'll need to lift weights to the point of failure
  • Failure may an early warning sign for success (note: Audient
  • Some people might be empowered to fail
  • Thomas Watson built IBM to what we know today. At one point an employee lost $10M. Watson pulled him in his office. The employee was ready to be let go. Thomas Watson said "let you go? Are you kidding, I just spent $10M on your education!"

How do we apply this to the church?

  • We should ask "I wonder what it is about their life and workplace that prevents them from serving
  • This is termed a "Fundamental Attribution Error"
  • Seminar students asked to do experiment: they needed to prepare for a talk and give it across campus. They were set up to encounter a student coughing and obviously not doing well. The students were told they have a few minutes: 64% helped the person. Another group was told: you're already late for your talk: in that group only 10% stopped to help the person. The point: leave margin in your life so you have time!
  • More people would tithe if we allow the direct deposit
  • More people would serve if we scheduled the work at lunch time

When change occurs, it's usually due to what?

  • Example: Marriage
  • An emotional appeal is what starts it
  • Change directs the rider - look around and you'll see other people doing it (like the parents are married)
  • Think of what society does to make it easier to get married: family, friends, tax relief!

My Take-aways:

  • Look for the bright spots in people
  • Look for what I'm doing right and expand on it

Leadership Summit #6: David Gergen "Eyewitness to Power"

Leadership Summit (see details and links below) Speaker David Gergen, topic: "Eyewitness to Power" (the book he authored)
  • Every leader is a reader!
  • Don't confuse motion with progress
  • Book: Peter Drucker: The Effective Executive
  • Every 6 weeks, write down what you want to accomplish, then review it in 6 weeks: what did you accomplish, what did you miss?
  • It's like Jacob Wrestling
  • Hybels said "when something went right or wrong, I try to evaluate what was done to make it happen. Did I do anything to contribute?" This is the concept of "Lessons Learned" that we practice in the PM profession!
  • President Roosevelt during the tough time, went fishing a few weeks. That's where he came up with the idea of the Land Lease program to lend destroyers to England

Strengths of the presidents he advised?

  • Pres. Nixon was the best strategist: he could see how history would unfold and could see how to bend history for america's security interests (that's why he visited China to separate them from Russia)
  • Understanding the past helps you to look forward to future
  • Pres. Ford was most decent president, he was the only one you didn't have to watch your back in white house.
  • In today's society we've come to value people who are decent, maybe because they are so rare
  • Pres. Clinton was very bright, quick mind and tactical. He would work on a crossword puzzle while talking to you.
  • He admired Clinton's resilience, he was through a lot, but bounced back
  • Pres. Reagan - strong leader, best since Roosevelt. He was an optimist, he had strong convictions. Gifted communicator.
  • He was another of the 5 presidents that was a World War president, they had a sense of serving the country. They also had a sense of humor
  • Reagan said once "Sometimes the right hand doesn't know what the far right hand is doing"

Weaknesses of presidents?

  • Nixon (he was glad he read Machiavelli before working with Nixon). There was a dark side there.
  • Ford: People took advantage because he wasn't ready for what was coming
  • Reagan: his weekness was his detachment. He trusted his advisors too much and was detached from them. When his best advisors left, he had lots of issues.
  • Lou Gerstner (IBM) said "inspect" is as important as "respect"
  • Clinton: there was a parallel with Nixon: Nixon had fundamental character issues, so did Clinton

Great Leaders and the Great Flaw:

  • We're all flawed
  • Maturity is coming to grips with your flaws
  • Recognition that you have a dark side
  • Christianity brings the challenge to us: how do we come to grips with our flaws?
  • Keep your flaws under control so they don't hurt you and so they don't hurt others
  • Martin Luther King was one of the great leaders, although his private life was chaotic. He worked hard to bring his private life under control. He always told people he was not as good as he thought he was. He always struggled with it. Get up every day and try to be better.
  • If you want to go fast, go alone. But, if you want to go far, go with others

The Images of Leadership

  • The old "ordering" people (command and control) doesn't work. Now leadership is through trust and integrity
  • Images of leadership: Churchill's "V" for victory was a stong symbol
  • Ghandi wearing a loincloth to symbolize his simplicity
  • Mandela: informally clothed, yet one of the greatest leaders
  • Reagan on a horse: He used to say there's nothing so good for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse

Communication of a Leader

  • Listeners bring questions about the speaker: what do they stand about, do they care about people like me, do they have the capacity to make a difference
  • Lots of people are now communicating by blogs and twitter
  • The question is
  • Aristotle was the first to understand about public speaking: 3 elements: logos (the logic, compelling, appeal to logic of the listener's mind), ethos (believability of the message), pathos (the emotion, appeal to emotions)
  • There is research that if a speech goes on more than 30 to 35 minutes, people just aren't listening.
  • The emotional appeal is most important, if you want to inspire, there must be a call to action
  • After Cicero spoke people said "come, let us think" but after demosthenes spoke people said "Come, let us march"

Leadership tips:

  • It is important to be physically fit - Leadership is physical and demands a lot. if you go flabby in your body, you'll go flabby in your mind
  • Spend quiet time - people have long lives if they spend time with those they cherish, it's about your relationships
  • People who are in a relationship with someone who loves them and they love when they are 50 live longer
  • It's important to have a habit of reading every day

About Church:

  • Hybel asks "You're a speech writer and educated accomplished person, what do you hope will happen when you go into church?"
  • 1. I like to find it will be a place to find inner peace, not about you and us, but a sense of well being and peace with the world
  • 2. I like to learn something from Pastor and readings (he goes to church on the Harvard Campus) (he likes to read the Bible in church)
  • 3. He loves the generation in 20's and 30's now, they care deeply on issues, they are on a search for their spiritual well-being. Students realize that their spiritual foundation is a major part of their leadership: it helps you find your moral compass. (Bill Clinton had 360 view of world, but lacked Moral Compass: he's a Christian who's still working on it).
  • You're moral compass is so important too because it gives you an anchor: you need it because as you become successful you loose the view that rules belong to you
  • Faith family and friends are great anchors: there are so many things biger than you that depend on larger sources
  • We're blessed to have inherited this world. Each of us needs to bring a log to the fire

My take-aways from this session:

  • Be anchored in God
  • Read True North (book Author was in last year's Summit)
  • Be honest with self: my weaknesses and limitation
  • Keep working on being physically fit

I'm posting live from the leadership Summit ( satellite location in Ocean Grove NJ ( which was chartered 140 years ago by the state of NJ "for the perpetual worship of Jesus Christ."
I'm also tweeting live: you can follow (even if you don't have a twitter account) at:

Leadership Summit: Session 5 partb: Leveraging your past: Wess Stafford

Wess Stafford is the President and CEO of

He always thought if he would speak, he would speak about:

  • How important passion is for a leader
  • How important integrity is to a leader
  • The gift of leadership - the gift to the leader by those who agree to follow him/her
But, Jim asked him to speak about pain

  • Pain is the inspiration for his passion
  • He was being beaten 17 times per week in a boarding school for missionary children
  • They were told that if they told what went on there they would hurt the Africans around them, their parents and their parent's mission there
  • When he was 9 years old, he "told" and then was punished by being asked to hold a candle burning at both ends
  • This is when he got his passion: we went from Victim to Victor and decided he would defend children!
  • This is so deep and sad, it's just too difficult to post about

Looking forward after the pain:

  • You must forgive those who hurt you, even if they are not sorry, even if they will never appologize to you. If you don't, it will only hurt you.
  • He decided at a camp fire to forgive them even though they will never appologize. He decided that they messed up his childhood, but they won't mess up his adulthood.
  • They mess up your past, but don't let them mess up your day today, don't let them mess up your future.
  • It may be too hard to forget, but if you never forgive, you'll never forget
  • Don't let others live in you rent free - Forgive
  • Christ redeems you, not just from sins, but also from your past
  • May God Bless you and restore you!

I'm posting live from the leadership Summit ( satellite location in Ocean Grove NJ ( which was chartered 140 years ago by the state of NJ "for the perpetual worship of Jesus Christ."

I'm also tweeting live: you can follow (even if you don't have a twitter account) at:

Other good posts on this session:

Leadership Summit: post from sessions 1,2, and 3 yesterday

I've taken the time to pull my twitter posts (tweets) from yesterday and post them here from Sessions 1 and 2 yesterday:
1. Bill Hybels: Leading in a new reality
2. Hiring, firing, and Board Meltdowns: Panel of Bill Hybels, Henry Cloud, Patrick Lencioni, Carly Fiorina, David Ireland
Session 3: Leadership Summit: Gary Hamel speaking: Manage Differently NOW
  • Session 1: Bill Hybels
    You need to have your "replenishment bucket" full to inspire your team
  • book "How the mighty have fallen": need to assess who key leaders are in your org
    what r key leadership positions? are they filled w/right people? Plan to fill with right people? Backup plan for each pos?
    if this economic rogue wave is the new norm, it's adding extra work. How can we sustain the work we do? Discipleship training center is also for your replenishgment is celebrating 140 years, was chartered by state of NJ for perpetual worship of Jesus Christ
    Hybels: interviewed Jack Welch (GE) who said "Cash is King"... It gives time to react. Bus and Personally u need cash reserve

Session 2: Hiring, firing, and Board Meltdowns: Panel of Bill Hybels, Henry Cloud, Patrick Lencioni, Carly Fiorina, David Ireland

Leadership Summit: David Ireland is on panel, he spoke at ocean grove NJ just a week ago
Leadership Summit: Determining if there is a Cultural connection is important when hiring (background checks too)
When hiring a change agent, dont always look at 1st impressions Sometimes you don't have a correct impression
spend time with a person b4 hiring, ask same question multiple times, open ended, take out of environment
When interviewing: ask weaknesses and how they would work in your org. Listen more than talk. Ask about their answers. Open ended q's
Tell them what your culture is to see if they fit. becomes difficult if you dont have well defined culture
interviewing: take time to have conv up front: tell why r we hiring. Find out lots about the person. Have a hiring process
interviewing/hiring: if ur in hurry, better to take time 2 get right person than the pain of wrong person
Board Meltdown: Who is your "board"? your family, your sponsors at work?
Leadership Summit: are you letting your "Board" / ur team / ur upline know what's going on? Communications is key!
your "board" - spend time together, build trust through time together. board "retreats" r different goals than Board mtgs
Leadership Summit: Board meetings: take 10 minutes at end to ask "how did we do?
demistify boards: they are a team! To be functional, it takes work to determine common goals.
Board Meetings: decide ahead: what do we do when we disagree? What is process to decision: concensus/Majority

  • Board members need to have a skillset that contributes to goals. Can they help move the ship forward? Need terms 4 members.
  • need term limits to elimate exhaustion of members and for new and fresh ideas.
  • Terminating someone from the team: it is compassionate and respectful to be truthful: candor
  • Terminating people: let people know feedback in advance. A firing should never be a surprise
  • Terminating people: Can you retrain? Can you re-position? No blind-sighting. Warnings: verbal, written, dev. plan, probation
  • Terminating: in small org, remind them "it's not working, how can we make it work?"
  • Evaluating Employeers: grading system well defined, let them know how to improve and what the grading means
  • Reward process: if all are rated high, then u risk loosing top performers because they dont believe in the system
  • Leadership Summit: Kindest form of management is the truth

Session 3: Leadership Summit: Gary Hamel speaking: Manage Differently NOW

  • We are @ point in history where rate of change is exponential. Many things are changing exponentially
  • many orgs have issues because they cant keep up with exponential change today, paradigm shift
  • Are you taking off like a rocket? keep in mind that rockets have parabolic curve!
  • organization entropy, gravitational pull is downward
  • Are you in Org denial? In your org? in your relationship?
  • Paterns of org dillusion: Dismiss, Rationalize, Mitigation, confront
  • Steps to avoid Org Disillusionment: 1. face the facts. Don't pretend or avoid truth
  • avoid Org diso step2: Question your beliefs: not creed, but practices. invite otusiders to provide input.Look 4 more options
  • need to diverge a lot to create enough input to the innovation funnel to get to successes at end of funnel
  • to get idea funnel, consult others: IBM did this several years ago by looking outside. is used by Dell
  • Very unlikely to create lots of options, unless you deconstruct your model and do business innovation
  • innovation always follows a power curve: lots of ideas, many experiments, some projects, a few successes
  • when everything is changing, we need to learn to be contrarian
  • #1 reason orgs get left behind: when mental models of leadership team depreciates but they still have power
  • Leadership Summit: Gary Hamel "Can your org survive without the stars at the top?
  • Leadership Summit Hamel "Leadership today is: mobilize, connect and support"
  • Intenet is authority of the crowd, change in heirarchy paradigm in effect since the pyramids
  • Hamel "In the internet paradigm, natural leaders are the ones who rise to top
  • Hamel: We need to rethink changing our church orgs if we want to change lives 4 better
  • Hamel "In the internet paradigm, natural leaders are the ones who rise to top

My Main Take-aways:

  • Keep our cash reserve at home
  • Work on EQ, relationships with others, Kindest form of management is the truth

Leadership Summit: Friday session#5: Dave Gibbons: Third Culture Leadership

Leadership Summit (

Friday Session 5: Dave Gibbons: Third Culture Leadership
Author of book "Monkey and the Fish"

  • In most orgs, vision comes from the core and goes out to fringe, but in better orgs, the vision comes from the fringe and is caught by the core
  • your weakness and failures may be God's successes, his strength is made perfect in your weakness
  • relationships trump vision
  • Spend 75% devloping leaders, 25% time executing
  • Medici effect - when multiple domains together, exponential experience
  • How/what he learned:
    1. Priority shifts
    2. Design/space shifts
  • They focus on the fringe.
  • Obedience is more important than passion - Jesus didn't feel great about going to the cross ("if possible, let this cup pass...")
  • 4 acts of obedience in the church:
    1. deeper collaboration
    2. Communal living - learn to walk and talk together
    3. Prayer - all the great movements have prayer as their core
    4. Radical sacrifice for the outsider

My Main Take-away: Develop relationship and prayer within churches

Leadership Summit - Last session on Thursday: POWERFUL!

Well, the battery died in the laptop, so I'm posting this a day after, but this was powerful!

Harvey Carey - started church in Detroit
  • after 6 years, 800 in attendance
  • top %5 of spiritual growth in reveal assessment
  • says "I Am your expresso; no cream, no sugar
  • thought he was rich because his mom took care of them, but he was po (Po looks up to poor)
  • He is pastor in poorest zipcode of poorest city in poorest state
    What do you do when faced with insurmountable odds:
  • #1. Believer God's word is true and he is working miracles today
    Was told by detroit pastors: you've got white people coming to your church, we don't want white people coming back to the city, so we're going to shut you down
  • When odds are brought against you, that's when God shines
  • The fact that you're under an economic crisis is because God is about to show up!
  • For those that have all the resources, you're gonna loose your mind. Join the rest of us already used to no resources.
    We need people on staff to equip others to equip people to reach the lost
  • It's not how many on your staff, it's how many that are effective are on your staff
  • How would you like to go to a professional sports game, pay all that money, they come out, they huddle 10 minutes, 25 mins, 45 mins, 1 hour, then they say a prayer and go home? You'd be very upset, there'd be an uproar. But, that's what God sees us do every week in church. We need to go out and reach the world.
  • He sometimes gives a short 10 minute sermon then they go out and minister to the community. Examples:
  • Giving a Bible and praying to everyone in their neigborhood
  • Having Urban camping in front of a crack house - shut down 6 this way!
Main Take-away: get in the game, apply what God's taught you

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Leadership Summit: Session 4 Jessica Jackley and

Note: I'm at a satellite location in Ocean Grove New Jersey USA ( attending the Leadership Summit ( Even if you don't use twitter, you can see my postings It seems that #tls09 is too much traffic on twitter, so I'm blogging here.

Jessica Jackley: co-founder of

About Kiva:

  • Anyone can contribute to this micro-capital financing enterprise
  • Formed in 2005
  • Global
  • Mission: connect people through lending to eliminate poverty
  • Has financed $83 Million US Dollars
  • Microlending website - has little overhead. Minimum $25 investment
  • on track to finance $100M in US$ by 2010
  • has helped 200,000 entrepenuers in 83 countries

About Jessica:

  • Parents convinced her that she can do anything
  • Started journaling at age of 5
  • First Leadership Summit while in college - had a mini-summit each year with dad
  • From Pittsburg PA - Orchard Hill Presb. Church
  • Passion for fighting extreme poverty came from Church in Sunday School: Jesus said the poor will always be with you. It scared her. Then a few minutes later she learned Jesus said "whatever you do for the least, you've done for me." She then realized she could do something
  • She didn't know what her role could be
  • Later learned about power of small loans: infusion of capital
  • Realized: why don't we provide the funding
  • So, they tried to figure out how to loan to a small business in Tanzania/Uganda

Lender perspective

  • Lenders from 185 countries
  • Anyone with paypal or credit card and internet connection can participate
  • profiles are listed on website
  • The use reps that find local entrapeneurs: They know the local, they're experts in what they do.
  • Lenders will get their money back
  • Avg is $500 to $600
  • Avg lender is $100
  • 98.5% payment rate!
  • It's not just a loan, it's Money with purpose, a Loan with intention


  • One family was able to get a lock to be more secure
  • A woman can buy sugar to put in tea they share with visitors

How did they start:

  • They weren't sure it was legals
  • tarted with $3000 and 7 people
  • 2nd year:$15M in loans
  • now $5M per monthin less than 4 years

Leadership questions:

  • How are you organized?
  • Flat org. Started as a handful of friends. At that point, everyone is equally valuable
  • You don't need to tell people their job is important, it just is.
  • It's not who's in charge, but who can fix problem now.
  • It's trust based, so the values can be perpetuated even though Values go beyond paid staff to volunteers and lenders

believe in co-creation, so need to trust and be open and allow those people to contribute

Keeping on course:

  • Mission which states: What/how/why
  • We make decisions based on the mission statement
  • Build common purpose


  • Innovation and Entrapaneurship are life giving to organization
  • Innovation should be present in the church, that's were life should come from, it should be the biggest place on the planet for innovation

What have you learned about giving?

  • Great poets show, they don't tell
  • People are designed to give sacrificially, that's where joy comes from in life
  • Give people the chance, they will participate

Fears for the future?

  • Connection between fear and safety
  • There is more to loose with each new step as we grow
  • I would hope that fear doesn't cause org to be less nimble and dynamic and pioneering

What would you say to young leaders?

  • 1. Don't appologize for the first step - no matter how small. Don't be afraid to start small. You can talk about an idea, but once you start, it's a different atmosphere
  • 2. Just start - get going

What would you say to more experienced leaders - they want to know how to lead new folks coming into their orgs

  • the idea of co-creation and collaborative is new
  • Working with leaders in both camps: co-creation and the old way of doing things - get them together to brainstorm, learn from each other

Final thoughts:

  • When you believe in a woman living in a hut, you can do what needs to be done
  • When you feel ashamed of wealth in own life, you have to allows you to break out of the false dichotomy of rich vs. poor. It changes the way people work together
  • People from foreign countries can now invest in U.S. micro-businesses as of this year.

take a look:

Leadership Summit - Session 3 with Tim Keller

Tim Keller is the pastor of Redeemer Church in Manhattan (New York City) USA.
He's speaking now at the Leadership Summit (
The church he leads has 6000 weekly attendance in 3 locations, planted over 100 churches.

He is the author of "The Reason for God" on NY Times Best Sellers List.

I'm at a satellite location in Ocean Grove New Jersey USA ( attending the Leadership Summit . Even if you don't use twitter, you can see my postings It seems that #tls09 is too much traffic on twitter, so I'm blogging here.

What others are saying about him in pre-video: His vision is about changing NYC, not about him.

Points from Tim's talk for Leadership Summit:

  • He's always wiling to listen to someone who says "I have the key to Spiritual Renewal" - pastors are looking for spiritually alive people. Only a few people do the work, there is back biting. Pastors are desparate for finding a way to promote spiritual renewal.
  • Prodigal: the meaning is "wrecklessly extravegant" - so God's love for us is prodigal too. The story of the prodigal son is about both sons.
  • Luke 15: Religious leaders were concerned about Jesus hanging out with sinners. Jesus responded with several stories about the lost.
  • The brother that stays home is like the brother that stays home - that part of the story is to address those of us in the church
  • The two brothers show 2 ways to reject God:
  • Younger brother decides he wants everything from the Father (God) now
  • Older brother decides he deserves what God has to offer, he's only giving father lip-service. He's lost because of his goodness. He won't go into the feast. He's obeying God just to get things.
  • Gospel isn't moral or immoral - it's about God's love for you
  • Religion operates on the principle of us trying to be good to get to God
  • the Gospel operates on the principle of us not being good enough and God taking our place so we can have God's Love (grace). We do good for God out of our appreciation.
  • Older brothers: want everyone else to follow commands, and they're a bit uncomfortable because they're insecure because they aren't quite sure they are good enough.
  • Older brothers: not just sad when things don't go well, they get furious with God because they think God owes them.
  • Need to get to a new level of repentance and rejoicing
  • Repentance is not just being sorry for our wrong-doing and turning around (Pharisees did this)
  • You won't be renewed until you look at repenting from the things you do right, and trying to get leverage over God
  • You can't think you're doing God a favor by following him.
  • You need to get to a deeper level of repentance of repenting for our right-doing.
  • We need to look at what it cost the father
  • Since the younger son took half, the only way to bring the younger son back would be to take what was left which was the older son's inheritance
  • The older brother, if he was a true older brother, should have went after the lost brother into a foreign country and at his expense.We do have a true older brother. We need a brother that came from a distant country (heaven) and saves us at a cost (which Jesus did at the cost of his life)
  • How to get spirtual renewal in the church:
  • 1. As leader, need to work this in your heart (don't go into the ministry to save your soul)
  • 2. All of your teaching is Gospel
  • 3. Gather all the leaders together and take them through book (could use the "Prodigal God" book)
  • 4. Work it in your team and followers (congregation)
  • How you'll know when you're reaching people:Gracious disagreements, instead of people leaving or always fighting.When religious people come to you realizing they are not really a Christian

Great notes here:

and here

Leadership Summit - live posting

I'm at a satellite location in Ocean Grove New Jersey USA ( attending the Leadership Summit ( I will be attending both Today (Thur. 8/6) and tomorrow (Fri. 8/7)

Even if you don't use twitter, you can see my postings at:

There is lots of information helpful for all of you who are leaders.
Almost everyone is a leader of one type of the other. If you look around, you'll find that there are people following you!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Posting from Leadership Summit on twitter this Thurs and Friday

I will be posting tweets from the Leadership Summit this Thursday and Friday on twitter @henrywill with hashtags #tls09 and #OGCMA

Follow me on twitter if you want to hear good information on leadership.

I hope to also do some blog posts on the topic!

Project Management is Like a Banana Split

Project Management is Like a Banana Split

My wife and I shared a Banana Split the other evening in Ocean Grove. We try to do that once a year.

I got to thinking (afterwards of course) how Project Management is like sharing a Banana Split.

  • It's a joint effort - you need a team to tackle the project (even if you can eat the whole thing alone, think about the team that brought all the parts together: creating ingredients delivering them, building that banana split, and then eating it!
  • Building (and eating) a Banana Split is a temporary endeavor to produce a product or service (Now, that's the definition of project management and a Banana Split certainly fits that)
  • Projects also have lots of different flavors
  • Project team members come in lots of different flavors too
  • You need to give the cherry to someone else (the cherry tops the Sunday and it's fun to give it away, just like it's best to give the credit for the project to the team and the sponsor)
  • Sometimes when the job is done (like when you're done eating a Banana Split), you're 100% successful, yet there is a sticky mess left behind, but nobody is all too concerned about it!
This reminds me of a team I worked with in another country. We had a tough task ahead of us. It was a hot summer day and the schedule was very tight (requiring long hours). One of the team leads suggested we buy ice cream for everyone. We got management approval and went and bought an ice cream for every member of the team. Now, that's a reward that goes a long way!

I'd like to see your comments about how Project Management is Like a Banana Split!

The Battles We Fight

We know a pastor who would frequently say "Everyone is fighting a battle. No matter how happy they may look, or how well they hide it, everyone is fighting battles."

I often think about that and that's why I try to post every now and then with the label/topic of "Encouragement." (look at the link for "Encouragement" on my blog to see some of the others).

This past weekend we heard Dr. Charles Stanley speak at Ocean Grove on the subject of "The Battles We Fight."

Here are some of the main points that I hope help you in fighting your battles:
  • The story came from the Bible about a King who realized that the battle was God's not his (2 Chronicles 20) to fight
  • 1. There will always be battles (John 16:33), but greater is He who is in us than He who is the world (1 John 4:4). God gives us the Holy Spirit to live inside us (2 Timothy 1:14).
  • 2. We must view that God is in control (Rom 8:28). He is sovereign over all.
  • 3. We must fight our battles in the right way: with prayer. We must depend solely on God and obey Him.
When you realize that God loves us, He is with us, and He has ultimate control, you'll realize that you can have peace by leaving everything in His hands!

Now, that's encouragement!

Garden Back Rub

I'm posting this for all the parents (and maybe grandparents) out there.

I was reminded the other day of the "Garden Back rub" we found in a magazine years ago and gave to our children many times at bedtime.

The idea is to give your children a back rub with various different types of motions based on a bit of a story of how a garden is planted. It also teaches them how a garden grows.

We told our story and gave a Garden Back Rub with each of the following parts:
  1. First, ask what the person wants you to plant - this is a good way to find out what they like. Flowers? What type? Vegetables? Fruits?
  2. Turn over the soil - this was a sort of rotating motion
  3. Use the rake and/or hoe to smooth it down - use the fingers spread (like a back scratch) for a rake or the edge of the hand like a hoe.
  4. Make rows - draw straight lines down the back with a finger
  5. plant the seeds - use your pointer finger to poke, poke, poke those seeds
  6. Cover over the seeds - pat it down with the palm
  7. Water it and let the rains come - gentle taps of the fingers all random, almost like randomly typing keys on a keyboard
  8. Wait for God to make it grow - sometimes you can let this linger until the person getting the back rub tells you it's been long enough.
  9. Pull the weeds - gentle grabbing motion
  10. Pick the garden - gentle pinching motion - you could also ask here what we planted: are they flowers? Vegetables? A little variety?
  11. Eat the vegetables and fruits - take an imaginary fruit or vegetable and put it in their mouth. Ask/tell them what you're giving them. This is the part when I had some fun: after they got used to me giving them the fruit, I'd not say anything and "give them something to eat" then I'd say "that was dirt" or "that was a rock" or "I forgot to peel that one" - It added a bit of laughter and joking.
The Garden Back Rub is also a good lead-in to a story about some of the parables Jesus told of the seeds and the sower from Matthew 13 or Mark 4.


Wordle - see a picture of what words occur most often

Here's the brainchild of an IBM researcher: a website that will take words and show you a picture of the words with ones used most often being larger. This is sort of like a word cloud. You can click create, enter (or paste) text and see what it does.

The website is:

You can paste something you wrote in here, like an email! Or, you can copy and paste a website, or a bible verse from or the Gettysburg Address in wordle.
(hint: try clicking the randomize button to see all different designs!)

Or, you can point it at an RSS feed (like the one from my blog).
Try clicking on "create" again, and then putting in the URL box (the second box on the page) the following:
then click submit


Sunday, July 26, 2009

It all ends up in the trash

One of the lessons I learned this past weekend...

My wife and I helped with the OG Ladies Aux. Bazaar. Part of the Bazaar sales are the items that people contribute (mostly used) that are sold at a great discount (I picked up a used guitar amp for a very good price).

Near the end of the two days, they have a "$3 a bag" sell. People can just fill it up with as much as they can for $3.

Then, much of the better items that are left are donated to the Salvation Army. Almost everything that's left after that is tossed into a big dumpster.

Some of us were talking about what a shame it is to throw away items that some people might need. Then, my friend, Mike, made the point that everything eventually ends up in the trash. You can't take it with you.

It really got me to thinking (those that know me, know that I think a real lot about things). I was thinking how true it is; just about all the stuff we own eventually ends up in the trash. It's just a matter of how long it takes to get there. It makes you realize how temporary things are and how much we should value people more than things.

I think this is one of those posts that is best to keep short and let you think it through.