Archive for the ‘time management’ Category


In Alignment, Coaching, Conflict Resolution, How To, Leave Your Comfort Zone, time management, Toastmasters on December 30, 2014 at 6:37 pm
"You may be whatever you resolve to be." -- Thomas Jonathan Jackson

“You may be whatever you resolve to be.” — Thomas Jonathan Jackson

This is the time of year when many folks are on vacation or they check into work only to realize that their colleagues are still on vacation. So what does one do when the real work, the  collaborative team work cannot be done?

Well, you may decide to dive into that project that only you can do when you’re not interrupted by others. Or, you might pull out a clean sheet of paper and create a list under a title or scribble called:
New Years Resolutions,
Resolve in 2015,
Goals for the New Year, or (simply)

Those who go about making up their minds in a well-researched and organized way, one might GOOGLE the terms: resolutions or goal-setting just to see what’s trending. Nearly every news agency or media house has a feature story entitled “the top ten ____ for 2015” or (if they have one-half the space) “five secrets to success in the new year.”

The persistent folks among us might pull out their list from last year, assuming that they’ve kept these lists and haven’t yet crossed off all that was imagined last winter. 2015 will become an extension of 2014. Alternatively, that which didn’t get done last year may never get done and new obsessions will likely replace old fixations on how to perfect ourselves via healthier choices, stronger relationships, or an uncluttered house.

Regardless the category of people you best relate to, do yourself a favor and try to keep your list short and sweet. You are more likely to accomplish your goals if they are few in number and you can focus your attention and energy on completing one, two, or no more than three goals.

Success in the new year may be based on early victories and creating good habits. And who says that we have to start our year with such lists? Why not pause every couple of months to check on our progress, re-evaluate the costs/benefits of accomplishing these projects, and perhaps start anew.

Resolutions are like plans. It is not the resolution or the plan that’s important but the resolve you bring to your daily planning that ultimately pays off.


Additional helpful / interesting websites: … for those looking to the US government for advice on making their resolutions … for my fellow Pittsburgh Steelers fans looking for guidance on what to do between playoff games … for my Toastmaster friends and those who enjoy reviewing lists of accomplishments from the past year


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.

“Yay!” for Saturday

In time management on April 5, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Thank God for coffee
and for that button marked snooze.
“Yay!” for Saturday.


Democracy in action. It’s a beautiful thing (continued).

In Communication, leadership, time management on November 6, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Today in the United States of America “We the People” elect our next President, Vice President, Members of Congress, and perhaps we’ll be asked to vote on ballot issues that range from constitutional amendments (to our state government) to allowing for gambling or gay marriage or some other issue.  In today’s web-enabled age it’s not too late to become an informed citizen just before you enter your local polling place.  Lines are likely to be longer than usual.  Turn on your ‘smart phone’ and seek out that answer you need to become better informed.  Then VOTE.

Do folks honestly think that signs read just before I enter the polls will influence my decision? Apparently so.

The tourist board says that “Virginia is for lovers.” I’m still a little confused about how we’re a swing state.

Today, make time to vote.

Democracy in action.  It’s a beautiful thing.


On brand management

In Alignment, Cartooning, Communication, Facilitating Business, Luck, time management, Toastmasters on July 17, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Ancient History – In August 1997 FAST COMPANY published an article by Tom Peters entitled The Brand Called You.

By 1999 the Peters business publishing “machine” had cranked out The Brand You 50 as a part of Tom’s Reinventing Work series of books.  Between the pages of this small treasure were “fifty ways to transform yourself from an employee into a brand that shouts distinction, commitment, and passion.”

Roll the calendar forward and today we have a new generation of experts advising us on how we must manage our personal and professional brand via today’s social networks.  Go ahead … Open a new window and GOOGLE, for example, “managing your brand on linked in” and see if you receive at least 11,000+ hits from real and/or self-proclaimed experts.

Yes, it’s down right tough to stand out from the crowd in today’s hyper-reactive marketplace.  The world wide web and blog-o-sphere have simultaneously opened and flooded the marketplace of ideas for all who aspire to launch or expand their practice, business, or on-line store.  Today’s market is crazy.  (Period)  And it’s oh-so-easy to spend hours upon hours working on-line to manage ones identity and brand.

So at the risk of adding myself to the list of folks offering marketing advice, consider …

Spend some time thinking about not only who you are but also think about and decide who you are NOT.  Rather than add another and then another service offering to your professional website, rather than lengthening your resume and/or Linked In profile, consider a strategy based upon subtraction.

What might you eliminate from the on-line clutter or “junk” that dilutes your brand? Here’s a comic that illustrates my point.

Today’s tweet and a comic image on how you must know who you are and who you’re not while managing your personal & professional brand.

@JohnLesko57 is not a good brand for several reasons:

  • The Heinz Food Company has its “57 varieties” and has pretty much captured this brand.
  • Folks might think that I’m 57 years young and mistakenly think that as a Baby Boomer I’m over-the-hill and/or too set in my ways to IN-O-V8.
  • And a few of my friends from Toastmasters may think that I’m dwelling too long on a small bit of history from 2009-2010.

Well, @JohnLeskoDotBiz is at least consistent with my website, this blog’s URL, and my public profile on Linked In.  Inspiring your team at your next event.

Hmmmm … I wonder if the folks in Pittsburgh will be happy with this? Will they or anyone else for that matter take notice?


There’s an APP for that …

In Cartooning, Communication, sharpen the saw, time management, Toastmasters on July 16, 2012 at 12:34 am

Time and time again — particularly in sports — you’ll hear coaches, commentators, and the common fan talk about how the best teams master the fundamentals of the game and then raise the bar to advance to even higher levels of performance.  When a big league ballplayer is in a slump he’ll head for the batting cage and go back to the basics.  Stance, the position of one’s hands on the bat, how high to hold the bat, how long to remain coiled before releasing the power of ones hips, shoulders, and wrists.  Keep your head down.  Keep your eyes on the ball.  Watch the ball hit the bat. Yes, you’ve got to masters the basics before you become an all star.

So after those 10,000 hours of practice on the fundamentals of your trade, then what?  If you’re a Toastmaster, you go and find yourself an advanced club.  Here is where the standards are higher, the evaluations more pointed, and the time spent rehearsing in the mirror, in your car during your commute to and from the office, and then on stage begin to truly pay off.  And when you find a GOOD advanced club, “magic” happens.

When it comes to “presentation magic,” Charles Greene III claims there’s an APP for that. Know your Audience, Prepare, and Practice. Regardless your field or industry, these are the 3 magic keys to improving your presentation skills.

It’s Time to GET MOVING

In Cool Ideas, elbow grease, High Touch, sharpen the saw, time management on January 21, 2012 at 4:43 pm

This morning my neighborhood was blanketed by snow.  Just enough of the white stuff had fallen to close the local recreation center and justify my rolling over, turning off my alarm, and catching a few extra minutes of sleep.  Hot coffee and hot cereal with fresh blackberries made for a delicious winter breakfast. I could easily see a day filled with watching television, posting to this blog, and catching up with e-mail.  Ah, this is what Saturdays are supposed to be like, yes?

Then my wife reminded me that “it’s time to get moving” on a number of chores around the house as well as deliver a box to the post office before it closes.   My leisurely thinking was kick-started into second gear.

Which brings me to the following … Please click on the embedded link below and watch a short video to learn: “What is the single best thing we can do for our health?” =>  The time it takes to view this video is but 9:19 (mins:secs).  I promise it will be time well spent.  And “yes,” the fact that this message is shared using graphic recording techniques is also rather cool.

So what does this post have to do with facilitation or team development or public speaking or any of my other favorite topics?  Simply this — you’ve got to take care of yourself, sharpen the saw, and get moving.  Only 30 minutes of exercise each day will make the other 23-1/2 hours worth while.

You’ll excuse me now.  I’ve got to find a snow shovel and clear the drive.  It’s time to get moving.

PS: Those of us who’ve survived heart-related issues, go slow when shoveling snow and/or performing other strenuous exercise.  Consult your doctor to determine the pace of your exercise.  Alternatively, you can hire those youngster who live just down the road to shovel that drive.  Then go for a walk.

If you think you’re having a heart attack, do not delay. Call the EMTs.

In High Touch, time management on October 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm

On October 22, 2011, I survived a heart attack. Know the symptoms and do not delay.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction or MI)

Symptoms of a heart attack can include:

  • Discomfort, pressure, heaviness, or pain in the chest, arm, or below the breastbone
  • Discomfort radiating to the back, jaw, throat, or arm
  • Fullness, indigestion, or choking feeling (may feel like heartburn)
  • Sweating, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness
  • Extreme weakness, anxiety, or shortness of breath
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeats

During a heart attack, symptoms typically last 30 minutes or longer and are not relieved by rest or oral medications (medications taken by mouth). Initial symptoms can start as a mild discomfort that progresses to significant pain.

Some people have a heart attack without having any symptoms (a “silent” MI). A silent MI can occur among all people, though it occurs more often among diabetics.

If you think you are having a heart attack, DO NOT DELAY. Call for emergency help (dial 911 in most areas). Immediate treatment of a heart attack is very important to lessen the amount of damage to your heart.