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Archive for the ‘sharpen the saw’ Category

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?”

Stay calm and make your bed

In How To, leadership, sharpen the saw on May 21, 2014 at 10:25 pm
Good advice.

Good advice.

Here’s an extraordinarily good commencement address.

http://www.utexas.edu/news/2014/05/16/admiral-mcraven-commencement-speech/

Enjoy. And don’t forget to make you bed tomorrow morning.

Make time to clean, mend, and iron out life’s small problems

In Aha!, Aikido, Alignment, elbow grease, High Touch, sharpen the saw, time management on April 29, 2014 at 5:43 pm

The rain allows time
for mending, ironing, and
following the way.

It's time to mend this old gi and find again the pleats in this hakama.

It’s time to mend this old gi and find again the pleats in this hakama.

Cleaned, pressed, and folded as best I can remember how.

Cleaned, pressed, and folded as best I can remember how.

On Certifications

In sharpen the saw, Tips re: Professional Development on January 26, 2014 at 9:51 pm

What does it mean to be certified?

Does having a sting of letters behind your name make you more or less attractive to a potential employer, a purchasing officer, your peers, or the average man or woman you may meet on the street?

Why do we pursue certification in our selected profession?

Some same we are becoming a nation and an economy driven by or dominated by (over) specialization.  What say you?

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CERTIFIED
adjective

: having met the official requirements that are needed to do particular type of work

: officially approved as having met a standard

: real or genuine

1: having earned certification
2: genuine, authentic

Examples of CERTIFIED

You must be certified in order to practice medicine.
The carpentry work must be done by someone who is certified for the job.
The food is certified kosher.
Her boyfriend’s a certified weirdo.

Synonyms

bona fide, certifiable, authentic, dinkum [Australian & New Zealand], echt, genuine, honest, pukka (also pucka), real, right, sure-enough, true

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Some professions require that you become re-certified by demonstrating a commitment to continued professional development.

Some professions require that you become re-certified and commit  to continued professional development.

I hope this certificate isn't discounted by Governor McDonnell's current legal troubles.

I hope this certificate isn’t discounted by Governor Rob McDonnell’s current legal troubles.

Learn Aikido

In Aikido, Leave Your Comfort Zone, sharpen the saw on January 18, 2014 at 5:19 pm
... a new project for the new year. Hope to see you on the mat.

… a new project for the new year. Hope to see you on the mat.

GMU Aikikai Poster = PDF version of this poster.

Leave Your Comfort Zone: Discover Haiku and Write a Poem Like the Samurai

In Active Learning, Cartooning, Communication, Confidence Course Facilitator, sharpen the saw on April 2, 2013 at 6:01 pm

While scanning my e-mail over the Easter holiday, I learned that April is National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo). And since it’s also spring training at The EDGE — a time when the challenge course facilitators re-group to knock off the “rust” from winter break — I thought why not leave my comfort zone and try something new this season?  Why not write a poem (or two) during #NaPoWriMo? And why not start with something “simple” like hiaku?

My hiaku for April 1 …

My fingers are cold, my thinking works through the rust. Spring brings new haiku.

And for April 2 …

Daffodils emerge through Boy Scout supplied mulch. It is 2 April.

Daffodils emerge through Boy Scout supplied mulch. It is 2 April.

Daffodils emerge through Boy Scout supplied mulch.
It is 2 April.

And for those who enjoy a sight gag …

Source: ToothPasteForDinner - Today is Hiaku Day and day 2 of #NaPoWriMo

Source: ToothPasteForDinner – Today is Hiaku Day and day 2 of #NaPoWriMo

Source: http://www.toothpastefordinner.com/index.php?date=122705

Create a personal “hedge fund.” Invest in yourself.

In Active Learning, leadership, sharpen the saw, Tips re: Professional Development, Toastmasters on March 9, 2013 at 8:05 pm
Continue to learn and become a leader in your market.

Continue to learn and become a leader in your market.

This past week we’ve seen record highs on Wall Street and yet we still hear of many folks — large and small — struggling to keep their store fronts open on Main Street. The federal government struggles with political deadlock and those dependent upon government spending wonder how sequestration will affect their cash flow and bottom line. Everyone is looking for ways to trim their expenses. And today’s workers still hope to be trained and empowered as they are asked to do more and more with no guarantee that new workers will be hired into their organization.

This is the time to create a personal “hedge fund” and invest in your continued professional development. Find a workshop or course at a local community college or university that will add new skills to your toolbox. Volunteer for projects either in your workplace or within your community that will add a new “bullet” or achievement to your resume. Join a Toastmasters club, the Rotary, or become involved with a service group affiliated with your place of worship. Network, network, network. Seek out FREE on-line training and/or workshops sponsored by the Small Business Administration.

Visit a local community college or state university to find opportunities for continued professional development.

Visit a local community college or state university to find opportunities for continued professional development.

Invest in Yourself thru Continued Professional Development

In Active Learning, Cartooning, sharpen the saw, Tips re: Professional Development, Toastmasters on January 28, 2013 at 10:05 pm

How are you investing in yourself?  How are you preparing for the future and sharpening your skills?

Recent MAFN Workshop: Retreats That Work

Recent MAFN Workshop: Retreats That Work

Attend Winter TLI

Attend Winter TLI

Photo of Sketchbook ... Working with Perspective

Photo of Sketchbook … Working with Perspective

As January comes to a close I find myself reviewing one of my New Years Resolutions.  Simply stated, I intend to continue to invest in my professional development and make a concerted effort to learn or refine my skills throughout the year.  As a Certified Professional Facilitator I look to attend as many workshops and seminars as I can sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Facilitators Network or the International Association of Facilitators.  As a trainer / professional speaker I try to attend as many meetings with Toastmasters International as I can — this year looking specifically for topics on Leadership, Team-Building, and competitive speaking.  As as a graphic facilitator, I’m making a point to attend the “Draw & Discover” art classes sponsored by the Luce Foundation at the Smithsonian Museums.

Soldiers Training

In Cartooning, Communication, facilitation skills, sharpen the saw, Tips re: Professional Development on December 5, 2012 at 6:33 pm
"Soldiers Training Today" by John Lesko, Dec 4, 2012

“Soldiers Training Today” by John Lesko, Dec 4, 2012

"Soldiers Training" by WH Johnson, circa 1942

“Soldiers Training” by W.H. Johnson, circa 1942

Before there was a “9-11-2001” there was a day that will live in infamy, “12-7-1941” or “Pearl Harbor Day.”  Both these dates represent when our nation suffered & survived from surprise attacks and then rebounded to soldier on and combat an enemy.  Inspired by the painting by W.H. Johnson, here is my sketch of “Soldiers Training Today.”

Whereas, Johnson depicts a unit of riflemen in a segregated army, I chose to create a smaller force depicting a multiracial mix of infantry.  Where Johnson’s force is dressed in olive drab, today’s force wears a uniform that blends more easily with the desert sand. Yes, I chose also to have everyone march under one flag and under the leadership of a commander who is of mixed race.

Who knows what tomorrow’s Army will look like? Who knows how they will be equipped and trained? Who knows if we will be ready for the next surprise attack?

How are YOU preparing for your next surprise?

How are YOU equipping yourself?

Have you “joined a unit” to gain support for your next campaign or project?

Who is your leader-mentor-coach-drill instructor-teacher?

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NOTE: The “Draw & Discover” program hosted by the Smithsonian meets weekly and offers free classes to all who are interested and can attend. Art supplies are available and folks are encouraged to bring a sketchbook. Each session starts with a challenge and students have 90 minutes to then complete their drawings.  The last 30 minutes of each session is used to share and discuss your work with others.

This week’s challenge … Find a sculpture or painting in the Luce Center to sketch that has a seemingly obvious local color.  Use the complement of that color to tone down the color and to create variation.  Don’t forget about tone. Try to match the colors but pay attention to extreme dark and lights to create a more complete drawing.

My intentions … Find a work of primitive art and look to interpret the work and experiment with color.  I chose this piece not only for the historic message about preparing for a surprise but also because of the purple mountains and yellow sand.  I used complementary colors to accent the faces and hands of the soldiers above; selecting a sand-colored paper and working with colored pencils to hone my graphic skills.

Back story … My daughter suggested awhile ago that I might benefit from some art instruction. Having sent her to the Savannah College of Art and Design, I knew that I couldn’t afford to go back to school myself but rather had to find a teacher / coach who was local and — well — cheap. Which begs yet another question — what are YOU doing to enhance your skills and/or add another tool to your tool chest?

Smile. Enjoy. Laugh. Remember.

In Cartooning, How To, sharpen the saw on November 25, 2012 at 10:00 pm

There’s something special about the Thanksgiving season.  If you’re lucky you spend time surrounded by family and friends enjoying good food, drink, playing games (Scrabble tournament, touch football, etc), and/or simply telling stories.  Placing a few telephone calls to loved ones who cannot attend a homecoming meal can lift the spirits too.  And today’s technology allows us all to connect or reconnect with folks who may be located on the other side of the globe.

Simple pleasures are the best.  Count your blessings and make that telephone call to a distant relative or friend.  Take time to do something you enjoy.  Share your talents and look someone in the eye when you propose a toast.  Smile.  Enjoy.  Laugh.  Remember.

Turkey Drawing #1 at the Smithsonian-based Draw & Discover class

Turkey Drawing #2 at the Smithsonian-based Draw & Discover class

Note: The assignment at the Smithsonian “Draw & Discover” class was to find inspiration w/in the Luce Foundation collection and then simplify your interpretation of the art through lines, shapes, form, or colors.  Sketching a couple turkeys just seemed to be the right thing to do a few days before Thanksgiving.  It’s funny that what we learned in Kindergarden serves us well years later.