Kill the rabbits

I live in Texas. In Texas, like in many places, there is an inexplicable population of rabbits. Okay—maybe not inexplicable. We all know how prolific those rabbits are.

When you drive on country roads in West Texas, you see them darting about. Not one or two. Dozens. They raise their ears above the grass, look you in the eyes, and sprint away leaving you watching the tuft of their bums.Read More »

What I learned about decisions from falling off of a jet ski

Each summer my family travels to Missouri to hang our with Uncle Doug. We meet at a lake in Arkansas, where he rolls out his water toys. Among my favorites are his jet skis. I waste hours nimbly hopping waves (when I’m by myself).

His newest jetski reached 81mph the last time I rode it. When I mention that to people, they often give an expression of fear, followed by, “Weren’t you concerned you would fall off.”Read More »

What is a shelter belt, and why should you care?

I traversed the rolling hills of emerald and shamrock grasses. As we coasted at 50 miles per hour, my arm floated outside the window, palm down, riding the wind like it did when I was a child. The air was cool and fresh.

The grass looked soft. The wisps were no match for the wind. It bent variegated rows of mustard flowers and five shades of green. Funny—grass is so boring in the city. But, not here in the fields of the Dakotas. I imagined running my hand across the tops, walking through a field.Read More »

Big Dream Howdy,

It was the first day of school for my daughters. We arrived early, but the doors weren’t quite open. The line of parents and children snaked from the front doors around the building. We stood on the sidewalk in the heat of the rising Texas sun.

As we looked down, we saw sidewalk chalk phrases kindly written by teachers to encourage students as they began the year.Read More »

Praise what you want more of

My first management job was as assistant manager at a 14-Screen cineplex for Cinemark. I worked my way up from fluorescent bow ties, visors and suspenders to a suit and tie in under 10 months. It felt great to know that my Manager Delibra Wesley trusted me with so much.

I was good at many things. There were aspects of management that came naturally to me.

But, there were 2 things I sucked at: giving praise and saying I’m sorry.Read More »

Are young mothers capable of balancing work and family?

As you begin, I ask one thing. Please read this post in full. Then, feel free to react.

And so we begin—

Women simply aren’t equipped for leadership. The signs are clear.

Women are more emotional than men. You can’t ignore biology.

Women don’t make decisions in the same objective ways as men. Their choices are tainted with emotion. Sure, there are exceptions. But, you don’t set policy for the exceptions.

This reality is amplified in young women. Older women at least benefit from a life of experience that prepared them for more objective decisions during emotional business situations. However, young mothers with young children at home make poor leaders. That is a fact.

Being emotional creatures, they are less able to adapt to the demands of work. Imagine a job that requires travel. How can one expect a woman to compartmentalize time with her young children to travel on behalf of a company? Maternal instinct is at odds with the demands of the job.

Simply put, women are not suitable to certain positions of leadership.

Are you angry?
You should be immensely angry.

I am a man from a traditional, conservative, Christian background. I am thankful for life experiences and beliefs that forged who I am today.

I have a wife and three children—all girls. One day my beautiful, smart, creative, assertive girls will find their callings and realize how they will make this world better and brighter.

My wife is a champion. At one point in our 15 years of marriage she was simultaneously pregnant, working full time, volunteering at church, raising young children, and toiling toward her Ph.D. Did I say my wife is a champion?

She was emotional at times. I was emotional at times. There was conflict at times. Emotion and conflict are human—neither male nor female.

Women are emotional creatures. Often, anger and frustration are manifest through tears. Tears are uncomfortable and inconvenient.

Men are emotional creatures. Often, anger and frustration are manifest through aggression. Aggression is uncomfortable and inconvenient.

I started my first management position at 18 years old. Through the last 20 years, I have worked with men and women—each different—each valuable. I have enjoyed the challenge of diversity–the push and pull of points of view. They make us better. They make us stronger.Read More »

Is email holding you hostage? Use these 6 steps.

There you are. You open your email on Monday morning and see the count—hundreds of emails. That badge of unread messages says, “You know you can’t do anything else until you deal with me.”

You spend hours skimming them. You trash some. You keep others thinking, “I’ll respond later.” After all of the new emails are read, you try to move along to other work.

Of course, you leave your email open. Across the organization others are doing the same thing as you as they try to catch up on cluttered inboxes.Read More »

What I learned from a yellow loogie on a windy morning bike ride

It was a chilly morning in Texas. The cloud cover was low. The temperature was around 50 degrees, and we set out on a 42-mile bike ride.

It was a short ride by most accounts. I have completed several 100-milers, and I prefer to stick near the 60-mile range. As I tell people, 60 miles is the dividing line between fun and work.

In my time as a cyclist, I have endured a broken humerus, mended by plates and screws. It wasn’t funny at all. I took another spill when my front wheel was pinched in a crack over a rickety wooden bridge. I slid across the grassy slope and might have ended up in the creek if not for a sapling that I gripped with one hand.

Despite all my stories from cycling, none of those are the ones that prompted a blog post.Read More »

If you don’t write, you’re wrong.

Back in 1995, as the world was beginning to wake up to the potential of the World Wide Web, I sat in a high school computer lab. Rather than spending lunch outside, I would bake in the glow of that RGB screen.

It was heaven — far better than listening to the honk and hiss of our dial-up modem at home.

I spent endless hours in Dos typing commands to download games by FTP.

I found chat rooms to troll.Read More »