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 »

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 »

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 »

What I learned from angry bees in the Valley of Fire.

It was the tail end of a 26-day camping trip that took us from Texas, to New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada and Home again. It was at the peak of the 2017 Phoenix heat wave — 117 degrees outside — and we were journeying toward a place known as the Valley of Fire.

I opened the car door at a gas pump 15 miles from camp. The wind blew the door wide — as if it might rip it from its hinges. I stepped out into what felt like a giant hair dryer. I might have looked like Beaker from the muppets if not for my shaved head.
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Creating a culture of curiosity and inquiry

I want everyone to speak freely. There are no sacred cows. Question everything.

Imagine if that was your company mantra. Your culture was designed for inquiry — beginning at the top, with leaders who are as interested in asking questions as they are in providing answers or direction. Not the basic questions of cost, time, and who is responsible for implementing the plan. Rather, asking exploratory questions – the kind that move the company forward or in a new direction.Read More »

The superpower of praising others

How does it feel when someone praises your accomplishments? Do you suddenly feel inspired, sharp and ready to take on new challenges? Science shows that there are many psychological effects of praise. Used correctly, praise can boost self-esteem, increase performance and supercharge productivity. Used incorrectly or not at all, it can tear down and render the most high-powered team impotent.

So, why do so many managers have a hard time mastering one of the most essential responsibilities of leadership?
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