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Archive for the ‘Cartooning’ Category

Wishing you a perpetual Thanksgiving

In Cartooning, Hallelujah on November 23, 2016 at 4:08 pm
... and thank you, Mr. Schulz, for giving us the Peanuts Gang.

… and thank you, Mr. Schulz, for giving us the Peanuts Gang.

Here’s to the Crazy Ones

In Aha!, Cartooning, Communication, Cool Ideas, Facilitating Genius, Leave Your Comfort Zone, Toastmasters on May 12, 2015 at 6:11 pm
Here's to the crazy ones. Some of whom are meeting together at the District 29 Spring Conference on May 16.

Here’s to the crazy ones. Some of whom are meeting together at the District 29 Spring Conference on May 16.

If at first you don't succeed, then try, try again.

If at first you don’t succeed, then try, try again.

"I hope that we never lose sight of one thing. That it all was started by a mouse." - Walt Disney

“I hope that we never lose sight of one thing. That it all was started by a mouse.” – Walt Disney

What do Albert Einstein and Walt Disney have in common besides being two creative geniuses once featured by Apple in their “think different” campaign?

Consider their impact on the world and how they worked to re-create our view of it.

And if you’re in the Washington DC area on May 16th and would like to experience for yourself a potentially mind-altering event, then perhaps you might drop in to attend the Toastmasters International, District 29 Spring Conference. Conference details can be found here. <— Yes, please do click on the “here.”

And for a sneak peek at my slide deck which will be revealed on Saturday during the educational sessions, here your go!

Discover Your Genius at the D29 Spring Conference 2015. <– John Lesko’s slide deck.

 

 

Toastmasters International – Where Leaders Are Made

In Cartooning, Coaching, Communication, Facilitating Genius, facilitation skills, leadership, Leave Your Comfort Zone, Toastmasters on May 3, 2015 at 6:51 pm
cartoon self portrait and title of my newest book

cartoon self portrait and title of my newest book

Yes, I’m still enjoying the afterglow from the “birth of my book.” Yes, I still feel like a proud papa. Unfortunately, I’ve run out of cigars as too many of my old Army buddies put in early claims for the stogies available.

So what’s new? Why post another story so closely spaced after my last?

Simply put …

Yesterday I was lucky to present a workshop to members of Toastmasters International. Specifically, I was an educational speaker at the District 27 Spring Conference held at the Crystal City Marriott, Arlington, Virginia. This was a “safe” audience in that I’ve been a Toastmaster for nearly two decades. Many of the stories from my book, Facilitating Genius, have been shared with club-level audiences. And for the most part, Toastmasters want a speaker to succeed and to grow. For those not familiar with Toastmasters International, please do check out their website here.

Those in the publishing business suggest that authors talk up their book. They suggest that you promote to as many audiences that will accept you as a speaker. So yesterday, I took this advice and addressed a roomful of people with whom I was comfortable. And do you know what?!?!

I learned a lot from this audience. No one fell asleep. There were a few folks who stayed after my workshop was done to ask more questions. And — lo and behold — there also were folks who wanted to buy a copy of my book.

Wow!

__________________

And at the risk of being chastised for too much self promotion … Since my post of April 26, more on-line book stores have picked up this title.

Available at …

– eBookIt! … eBookIt.com

– Amazon … Amazon.com

– Barnes & Noble … BN.com

– Apple iTunes … itunes.apple.com/us/ genre/books

– Google Play … play.google.com/ store/books

– Kobo … KoboBooks.com

– Baker & Taylor’s … blio.com

– Ingram … eBookMall.

Will I be the HERO or the GOAT ?

In Active Learning, Active Listening, Cartooning, Coaching, Communication, leadership, Leave Your Comfort Zone, Toastmasters on November 17, 2014 at 6:58 pm

A few days ago I had the pleasure to present an educational workshop to members of Toastmasters International, District 36. This was a milestone event for me in my personal and professional development as a Toastmaster. You see, up until now I had presented material which for the most part had come from the curriculum developers who work at the California headquarters (a.k.a., “TI WHQ” or Toastmasters International World Headquarters).

With this event I had submitted several proposals to the fall conference program committee. (Three proposals if the whole story be told.) The conference committee in District 36 then selected the topic which best fit into their program. (And the proposal they selected — “Good grief!” — was the one I thought needed the most time for  preparation and research.) Now I was on the hook. Would I be the hero or the goat?

The title of the workshop was KNOW THYSELF. Yes, this title isn’t very original nor very creative. And I compounded this “error” with a long subtitle: Three Simple Exercises You Can Do When It’s Time to Reflect on Your Personal Effectiveness. Additionally for this workshop I provided a Know Thyself – Handout for the attendees on which they could jot a note or doodle.

I also created and displayed a graphic agenda based on the comic strip characters from the Peanuts gang. During my talk I acknowledged the genius of Charles Schulz as well as reminded the audience of how this session fit the fair use clause of U.S. copyright law.

This graphic agenda helped keep the audience on track as each cartoon represented a story and each line between the cartoons marked where we did an exercise.

This graphic agenda helped keep the audience on track as each cartoon represented a story and each line between the cartoons marked where we did an exercise.

Without repeating here the WHATs and the HOW TOs of the entire workshop, my intention and plans were to simply lead the audience through three interactive exercises. And as each of these exercises evolved, I’d coach the audience along a path that suggested that we can learn from the interactions between ourselves and others much as Charlie Brown learns of himself and of how his behavior affects the other characters in the Peanuts gang.

Themes for this 75-minute workshop included: envisioning success, defining ME-thinking and WE-thinking, thinking like a champion, and the importance of hiring or becoming a coach.

So how did this educational session go? And what did I learn from working with this audience? Yes, I’m going to have to work on creating more impelling titles and shorter sub-titles. Yes, I ran the risk of losing the attention of a few in the audience who don’t read the Sunday Comics. Yes, I probably tried to pack too much information into the time available.

That said, the results of the post-session evaluations suggest that I did well enough to use this material again. The vast majority of the feedback stated I did “Very Good” to “Excellent.” And there were a number of participants who came up to me afterwards to ask a question or share a personal thank you.

As a speaker, it is the people who come up to talk to you afterwards that I most remember. Some asked for me to explain a point in greater detail. A few asked me if I would share the complete citations from the books I held up during my talk. And several folks asked me if they might explore the option of working with me in the future. (Yay, team!)

So in the spirit of sharing my “cheat sheet,” here’s a link to my one-page “SpeakersNotes” that lists the main talking points. And here too (below the bibliography) are a few photos taken to capture the moment and/or illustrate these key talking points. And as for the four individuals who suggested on their evaluation sheets that I next time provide a bibliography with the one-page handout … Well, I hope you visit this blog.

Brene Brown. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. Gotham Books (Penguin Books), New York, New York, 2012

Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard. Management of Organizational Behavior: Utilizing Human Resources (4th Edition). Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1982.

George Leonary. Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment. Dutton (Penguin Books), New York, New York, 1991.

Ralph C. Smedley. Personally Speaking. Toastmasters International, Santa Ana, California, 1966.

The D36 Fall Conference was held on Nov. 14-15, 2014 in Silver Spring, MD. Here is a photo of the Table Topic contestants. This contest was held immediately after the educational sessions. Which, by the way, is a very good reason to end on time so as not to upset the contest master.

The D36 Fall Conference was held on Nov. 14-15, 2014 in Silver Spring, MD. Here is a photo of the Table Topic contestants. This contest was held immediately after the educational sessions. Which, by the way, is a very good reason to end on time so as not to upset the contest master.

Props ... check. Microphone working ... Check (but didn't need it) ... Coach's hat and whistle if the crowd gets out of hand ... check (also not needed).

Props … check. Microphone working … Check (but didn’t need it) … Coach’s hat and whistle if the crowd gets out of hand … check (also not needed).

When a leader pauses to reflect on their behavior ("Me-thinking") and begins to consider others, that's when "WE-thinking" will emerge.

When a leader pauses to reflect on their behavior (“Me-thinking”) and begins to consider others, that’s when “WE-thinking” will emerge.

Here's a small advertisement or invitation for those who'd like to speak more about hiring or becoming a coach. Yes, if upon reading this blog you too would like to learn more. Drop me a line.

Here’s a small advertisement or invitation for those who’d like to speak more about hiring or becoming a coach. Yes, if upon reading this blog you too would like to learn more. Drop me a line.

Here's both the graphic agenda and a few annotations that served as notes from the session.

Here’s both the graphic agenda and a few annotations that served as notes from the session.

In today's day and age of taking "selfies," there's always someone who'll step up and strike a pose with you if you've got your smart phone ready.

In today’s day and age of taking “selfies,” there’s always someone who’ll step up and strike a pose with you if you’ve got your smart phone ready.

And at the end of the session there was a certificate of appreciation signed by the district governor, lieutenant governor education and training, conference chair, and education program chair. Wow! A special thank you to Yining Xie, John Kingsman, Fritzie Leroy, and Pamela Copeland (respectively).

And at the end of the session there was a certificate of appreciation signed by the district governor, lieutenant governor education and training, conference chair, and education program chair. Wow! A special thank you to Yining Xie, John Kingsman, Fritzie Leroy, and Pamela Copeland (respectively).

 

 

 

Arrrrgh! Why this fascination with being a Pirate?

In Active Learning, Cartooning, Communication, Conflict Resolution, facilitation skills, How To, Leave Your Comfort Zone, Tall Tales on September 17, 2014 at 5:51 pm

Edward_Low_Flag

Arrrrgh! Why this fascination with being a Pirate? Simply put, September 19th marks a fun-filled (and unofficial) holiday. To learn more about how to talk like a pirate visit http://www.talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html

I saw my first major league baseball game at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. Fingers (and bats) are crossed that they make it to the playoffs this year.

I saw my first major league baseball game at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. Fingers (and bats) are crossed that they make it to the playoffs this year.

A JPG-version of this document is also available for my facilitator colleagues. See fight-flee-flow (below)

A JPG-version of this document is also available for my facilitator colleagues. See fight-flee-flow (below)

fight-flee-flow <– Click here for a PDF-version of this Jack Sparrow-inspired poster.

The Coach Is In … It’s Official. And Here’s the Certificate to Prove It.

In Active Learning, Active Listening, Cartooning, Coaching, leadership, sharpen the saw on July 31, 2014 at 6:35 pm
Inspired by the artistry of Charles M. Schulz and his running gag where Lucy van Pelt offers psychiatric help for a nickel, I promise to not take myself too seriously while serving my clients as a leadership coach.

Inspired by the artistry of Charles M. Schulz and his running gag where Lucy van Pelt offers psychiatric help for a nickel, I promise to not take myself too seriously while serving my clients as a leadership coach.

It's official and here's the certificate to prove it.

It’s official and here’s the certificate to prove it.

Now I’m not saying where I placed in GMU’s Cohort #7. But I’m reminded of a couple of jokes:

Joke/Question #1: “What do you call the last man or woman who graduates from medical school?”
Answer: “Doctor.”

Joke/Question #2: (The patient can be seen scratching his head as he reads the doctor’s many certificates hanging on the wall.) “So tell me doctor, why do they call this a practice?”

Tell Me About Yourself – 4 words that can trigger terror during an interview

In Active Learning, Active Listening, Cartooning, Communication, Leave Your Comfort Zone, Toastmasters on July 29, 2014 at 6:53 pm

“Tell Me about Yourself,” is often one of the most common things recruiters or hiring managers say in an interview, pre-screening interview, or during networking or job fair events. You may also be asked this question during a public speaking event or by the media. I call it the “TMAY” response … It’s an Icebreaker … (And) as you brand yourself and develop a common-themed message for your written documents (resume, bio, LinkedIn profile, etc.), and other networking requirements, you need to develop a strong, compelling response to the ‘Tell Me About Yourself’ request.

Source: http://www.openreq.com/news/tell-me-about-yourself-tmay/

There are many strategies to overcome the fear or anxiety brought on by these dreaded four words . You can practice your TMAY response in the mirror each morning. You can rehearse your elevator speech time and time again (preferably in an empty elevator before you share one with a potential employer or client). You can participate in mock interviews. You can practice with a friend. You might even visit a group like 40Plus DC or drop into a Toastmasters club.

Recently, I had the pleasure of participating in an event where nearly all of these opportunities came together. A friend of mine, Jim Chamberlin sent me an e-mail asking if I’d like to participate in a Toastmasters’ demonstration meeting for a 40Plus DC event. Of course, I said, “Sure, how can I help?” And that’s when Jim suggested that I give an icebreaker speech to whomever showed up at at 1718 P St, NW, Washington, DC.

Here are a few images from this recent event. My props: 4 small posters measuring 16″ x 20″ …

I spoke of how I use my business card as a miniature canvas to illustrate my services.

I spoke of how I use my business card as a miniature canvas to illustrate my services.

For example, I might draw a simple time line to explain how my career has tracked from "dot mil" to "dot org" to "dot com" to "dot biz."

For example, I might draw a simple time line to explain how my career has tracked from “dot mil” to “dot org” to “dot com” to “dot biz.”

Or I might remind them of our CONNECTION with a doodle of where we met.

Or I might remind them of our CONNECTION with a doodle of where we met.

And sometimes there's time to make the "hard sell" or CALL TO ACTION by sharing a little humor.

And sometimes there’s time to make the “hard sell” or CALL TO ACTION by sharing a little humor.

Other members of the CAST include …

Jim Chamberlin served as the emcee (also known as the Toastmaster of the Day).

Jim Chamberlin served as the emcee (also known as the Toastmaster of the Day).

Scott served as my speech project EVALUATOR.

Scott served as my speech project EVALUATOR.

Rand served as the Table Topic Master, someone who quizzed unsuspecting volunteers with "pop questions" that called for impromptu responses.

Rand served as the Table Topic Master, someone who quizzed unsuspecting volunteers with “pop questions” that called for impromptu responses.

Which were answers by volunteers such as Lawrence Greene. Who in the spirit of full disclosure is a Toastmaster and who did exceptionally well in modeling for others how to play along.

Which were answers by volunteers such as Lawrence Greene. Who in the spirit of full disclosure is a Toastmaster and who did exceptionally well in modeling for others how to play along.

The 3rd Way

In Active Learning, Aikido, Cartooning, Conflict Resolution, How To, leadership, Toastmasters on June 22, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Here are the handouts I promised …

One page summary of my “doodles” … The 3rd Way

One page list of “thorny situations” … Thorny_Problems

Copy of the slide deck I never used but said that I’d share from the 2-hour workshop on CONFLICT RESOLUTION give to the Mid-Atlantic Facilitators Network a few years ago that contains more detail as well as a helpful bibliography … Conflict Resolution-MAFN OnLine-Feb10

For those who still need to attend training, more information can be found at …
http://www.d29tm.org/education-training/TLI—Leadership-Institute

Sumo = Force on Force ... Aikido = Going with the flow

Sumo = Force on Force … Aikido = Going with the flow

We can fight, flee, or go w/ the flow. This illustration depicts the 3rd way to resolve conflict.

We can fight, flee, or go w/ the flow. This illustration depicts the 3rd way to resolve conflict.

Worldwide News: Diets are postponed for at least a week.

In Aha!, Cartooning, Current Events, Tall Tales on April 21, 2014 at 4:57 pm
And in world news ... Diets are postponed for at least a week after Easter.

And in world news … Diets are postponed for at least a week after Easter.

Easter Monday bears
a basket of chocolate.
Diets are postponed.

Think like a ninja turtle or a Renaissance master

In Cartooning, Communication, Toastmasters on April 1, 2014 at 1:03 am
Think like a ninja turtle or a Renaissance master

Think like a ninja turtle or a Renaissance master

 

Think-Like-A-Ninja-Turtle

Several folks asked me at the Division F Evaluation and International Speech Contests if I’d share my slides.

I am flattered by such a request.

Here they are.

Cowabunga!