Work like you are going on vacation tomorrow...

Do you know what I mean?  Seriously, don’t you feel like you get really productive before you leave for vacation?  I try to keep my desk at the office pretty neat.  But it is never as neat and clean as it is before I leave town.  Somehow before leaving town I always find a way to get a lot of work done.  I become more productive.  Some people that work for me might tell you that I just delegate better before I leave town, maybe so but… 

I really do tend to get more focused and accomplish more right before I know I am going to be away.  Why can’t we work like that all the time?  Why can’t we always run our lives the way we do the week before we leave the office, making decisions, cleaning off the desk, returning calls, getting stuff done? 

By the way, I am currently out of the country for a few days.  Yes, I got a lot done before I left town!


Who am I?

Ten years ago this week I lost my father here on earth.  This MMM is a repeat of the one originally issued 07.02.07.  I will repeat it annually near the anniversary of my father’s passing as long as I write the MMM. This year it just so happens that yesterday was Father’s Day.  If you have not done so already, spend time with your father, hug him, call him, listen to his stories, tell him you love him, and call him again.  If you are a dad, be a good one, understand the importance of your role, love greatly and be present for your kids and family.  

Who am I?

I lost my dad way too early,
Who am I to doubt it was part of God’s plan?

His mother lived to age 98, why couldn’t he?
Who am I to question God’s timing?

He loved my mom and all of us so dearly,
Who am I to ask God why we don’t have him anymore?

He was married for 50 years, had nine grandchildren and a great grandchild,
Who am I to not thank God for the time we did have?

He had wood to carve, golf to play and trips to take,
Who am I to ask God why not?

He was kind, loved and respected,
Who am I to ask God why him?

For his disease there were no more options,
Who am I to ask God why no cure?

There were things I had not done or said,
Who am I to ask God for more time with him?

I never heard a bad word spoken towards him,
Who am I to ask God why not someone else?

He deserved so much more,
Who am I to question that God knows what he truly deserved?

I lost my dad far too soon,
Who am I to question God’s plan?

Barry D. Blanton
In loving memory of Don Blanton

January 6, 1935 – June 23, 2007


Life Balance

"We praise people who want balance in their lives, but reward those who work themselves to death."
-       Roy Neel

What a confusing message, the difference between who we praise and who we reward.  Roy Neel is the former Deputy Chief of Staff for President Clinton who quit that position to take a job that would allow him to spend more time with his family.  It really is funny the way we get things backwards in our society.  Neel saw that and did something about it.  Good for him.  We should all do what we can about these inconsistencies.  How can we expect our children to understand balance when we reward the opposite behavior?  How can we as adults feel good about choices that lead to balance if the rewards are based on different criteria?  In your own world, your home, your department, your company, think about the behavior you reward versus the behavior you praise.  Shouldn’t they be the same? 



It is so important to recognize the efforts and successes of those that work for, and with, us.  Sincere recognition and appreciation can develop deep loyalty and spur motivation.  But when it comes to our own motives we need not be concerned about being recognized.  Great leaders don’t worry about accolades coming their way.  They are focused on the direction, goals and accomplishments of the team.  Recognition will come naturally to quality leaders, they need not worry.  The power of leadership comes in recognizing others and developing them as people.  Consider this quote from a somewhat well know President…

Don't worry when you are not recognized,
but strive to be worthy of recognition.

--Abraham Lincoln