Saturday, October 11, 2014

Stories by My 7 Year Old Son

Jake and Jace

Once there was a boy named Jake and Jake had a brother named Jace. They lived in a village in Mexico. They lived by the ocean.

There was a well. It ran out of water. They went to the ocean.

There was a large dam and it covered the water's edge. It stormed and all their crops and shelter caught on fire. They didn't know what to do.

Then... a tornado came by them. It picked them up... and they went west... over the Pacific Ocean... and then north... and then east to California in the USA.

They were lucky and still alive.

Some people were scared and so they went to a farm.

Jake and Jace knew much about how to farm, but they went back to the city and they dressed like Americans. They got a house and job.

They were not scary anymore.

They lived in the USA for the rest of their lives.


The Ending World

Once in a jungle the air got cool and it started getting colder. It was snowing and the wind was breezing.

In the earth there was a cave going from one side to the other. Someone jumped in and never came back.

The earth cracked splitting one side 52 miles from the other.

One side had just the ocean. One, which was the other side, had everything else.

The one with just the ocean went to a northern galaxy. All the water fell off except for the boats and the people.

The other formed more water from the lake. The other one also had some holes with water in it. It formed water too. The people built buildings and houses too.

But then, there were too many stars that were as big as the star named the Sun.

The people named it Steal. Earth was the one with everything but the oceans. Steal was the one with just ocean.

One of the stars hit Steal. It exploded. It went all the way to the galaxy with Saturn and hit Saturn. A little bit of Saturn broke off. It shot off; it went slower, and slower. It went over by Earth and stopped.

They called it The Year of 1.

They called the big rock the moon. Every year went higher. The moon went gray.

Everybody called it The Ending World.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Pawn No More

no longer do I wear
childhood naivety 
over me
allowing your kind to 
take advantage 
of me 

once upon a time 
smile and 
smooth words 
loss of rational thought
with the drop of a dime 

you were no good for me
fallen pray
to your 
and your 
lack of empathy

to me you were confusing 
when I glimpsed rare behavior 
this was the real you
it for potential

here is the REALITY
those glimmers of hope
you KNEW this was how
could woo 
as I was unaffected 
by your tantrums
you took advantage of 
my empathy

for a psychopath's victim
like me
you let us fully
see who you are
when we no longer 
feed your appetite for 
control and supremacy 

when it's too late 

to you life is your game
that you win by pulling the strings
of those who are your 
acting irrationally 
so you achieve 
self gain 

I often wonder 
do psychopaths know who they are
are they consciously aware 
of their
personality blunder

and if so - do they even care

the psychopath 
from my life 
gets an emotional high
getting ahead by 
using those who care
charm, intelligence, and lies
... a way of life

to the manipulative torment
there is no limit
no one is immune 
whether bound by blood or
only to thy self is
a psychopath true

it amazes me
*keep in mind hind sight 20/20*
how easily you could 
take advantage
use and abuse me
and yet 
I would be 
the one feeling 

there must be an art
to having this 
disordered personality 
to be able to confidently lie
when BOTH you and I 
know the truth part

if this poem were about you
I would be shocked if you even knew 
I'm sure you would say 
I'm projecting myself 
ownership and blame 
two definitions 
you never differentiated 
and when I tried your wrath

they don't care about you 
they don't know how to 
nor are they capable to
there is only so much you can do
to help people 
but for them there is no help
beautiful, intelligent, heartless, 
and cunning 

a walking shell without a soul

Monday, August 4, 2014

TAL•ENT•ED A Lesson in Engagement

What does it mean to be talented? How do we invest in talented people to keep them engaged? 
  1. The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

    "Talent means the skill that someone has quite naturally to do something that is hard. Someone who has talent is able to do something without trying hard. It is an ability that someone is born with. It is a high degree of ability or of aptitudes."

    Gallup recently conducted another employee engagement study in 2013, finding that a mere 13% of the world's employees are actively engaged. 13%. Stark! 

    Everyone has talent and a capacity for success. The secret is to be able to identify this potential in others and to invest in that potential appropriately. 

    We are born with talent. Talent exists in our areas of rapid learning. It would make sense then that holding a person back from exposure and larger responsibility in areas of his or her talent for the sake of gaining more years of experience would be incredibly disengaging. For someone who isn't talented in the same skill or field, sure. That makes sense. 

    I look to the practices of Gifted and Talented children in schools. These kids are academically talented. They aren't required to do the work that they naturally know. If they are able to achieve the result they move on and focus where they can be challenged. Sometimes I wonder if these companies studied by Gallup are making employees do hours of arithmatic when they hunger for calculus. If these companies are forcing employees to complete the required work of a third grader even if they are ready to take on fifth grade level work.

    Today's workforce is populated by Gen Y, followed closely behind by Gen X. What you will find in numerous publications is the importance to Gen Y of investing in unique talent. When you hire for potential and invest in it appropriately, growth and the need for change happens at a more rapid pace.

    As a result, today's workforce values an environment that invests in employees based on their talent, or potential to succeed in the role, combined with the results that are delivered. Today's workforce will struggle to understand investing based on how long someone has been in their role because they are use to learning rapidly and moving on to the next challenge. 

    Looking back even 5-10 years, the environment was different. Just as we study our external customer demographics and adjust marketing strategies to keep the customer engaged and loyal, we must do the same for our employees. Just because the strategy changes doesn't mean that who you are as a company does. It means that you are adaptable to an ever-changing environment. This is how you survive.

    The future success of business today depends on our ability to adapt to how we invest in our people. The survival of the fittest will be won by the companies who are able to evolve. Employee engagement and talent investment will continue to be the biggest and smartest hurdle for every company to focus on. 

    Want more smiling faces? The first step is awareness of how you view people. Do you see your employees the way they see one another? Do you invest in your employees in a way that adds value to their experience? Align your view and act according to reap the rewards of engagement!

    Remember, front-line employees treat customers the way they are treated. In a leadership position, your guest is internal. The next time you have a customer complaint (AKA disengaged customer) ask yourself, "what does their story say about my service to my team?"

Saturday, May 3, 2014

What Makes You Perfect?

Below is a short, poetic story to answer the question "What makes you perfect?" 
I had just found a thread online where people were answering this question. As I was thinking about it the experience described below took place and I really felt that it was contextually relevant.

My personal philosophy has always been "don't let perfect stand in the way of better." Something 'perfect' about me is my conviction that we should each focus on and offer up our strengths to one another in order to compliment each other. It's a philosophy that I've applied to how I raise my children, to my career, and in the advise I offer up to others... 

and so, the story begins... 

Sitting on the porch
My husband and I enjoy a nice, cool breeze.

Suddenly the dogs begin to bark and
We hear a young girl's voice shakily speaking softly,

"Excuse me
my chain fell off my bike. Can you help me?"

I turn and see a young girl with such hidden beauty. 
Her eyes were sweet and her smile was strong from what was probably years of fighting 
through ridicule and "everyone is picking on me."

I quickly scanned her, trying not to let it show.
I didn't want her to know
I was curious how she had gotten burned alive from head to toe. 

I caught her eyes, smiled, and extended a hand full of love.
To help her, we were happy
I asked "what's your name?"
She replied "Gabby"
"I'm Sarah"
She let out a breath of relief.

The chain had only slipped
A very simple fix
Showing her there's good in this world was well worth getting my hands dirty.

She began to leave and the bike was working well
Suddenly she turned asking,
"Do you know Israel?"

Warmth head to toe had begun
Holding tears I said, "yes, he's our son."
I've seen children burned and all sorts of grief
yet something about this girl was hitting me hard.
Hard to explain, hard to put into words... Such sadness & pain...
It was like I could see she was in some cycle of someone intentionally inflicting burns to her
Emotionally and

Glowing, she says "he's my friend. Thank you. Israel is a friend of mine."

Gabby rode away
Enjoying life and a beautiful Spring day.

Emotionally I sat down, looked at my husband and said with resound
"Hearing Israel is her friend is such a relief."

Raising an 11 year old boy
no stranger to popularity
antithesis of bully
poster child for empathy 

This is a measurement of perfection for me. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Harmony and Conflict

It's such a strange predicament
to be both adverse to
yet attracted to

I don't mean to create it intentionally.
When I find myself in the midst of it
the greater purpose is to achieve

We don't say what we think
because we don't want to cause conflict...
We don't want to cause a stink
and yet in turn our need to keep the peace results in

Misperceptions abound
and conspiracy theories are born.
This is when I tend to step in and
see that all of our masks are torn.

You see, we all have these animalistic
instinctual needs.
When our subconsious is hungry
it triggers us that it's time to feed. 

There's something inside each of us 
that is toxic for one another.
Understanding these hidden needs and
desires can help us to see the value of each other.

When our tensions flare up
this is our internal button going off to check in.
Instead of thinking the behavior is about us
try to put yourself in the other person's skin. 

There is a hidden instinctual need
that isn't being fed.
Are you starving someone you care about
by what you have done or by what you have said?

The next time you find yourself having conflict with one another
I encourage you not to stay silent or to run, but
rather to sit down with each other.

Look at the big picture and read between the lines.
Sure, at first it's uncomfortable, but 
I promise you that no one with die and
you will both be fine.

After you have broken through 
the conflict that has been the elephant in the room
for far too long between the two of you
what you will finally see 
is that uncomfortable internal conflict
is the bridge we cross to find


Monday, March 10, 2014

Life is a Complicated, Hot Mess!

I've always started the labyrinth at the end to not hit roadblocks. 

I'd win at pool:  not because I got all my balls in, but because I studied my opponent and would line the balls up so he'd sink the 8-Ball. 

I did well on multiple choice tests. Not because I knew the answers, but because I'm a great guesser and could deduce what the answer wasn't.  

I couldn't tell you the name of the strategy to implement for proper change management and performance excellence. I can flip your company upside down and execute it without batting a lash, just don't ask me what that strategy is called. 

I get so passionate and frustrated when I see others in power make hasty choices. I feel powerless when I can't stop it. I battle feelings to decide if I should trudge on, making do with the pieces, or throw in the towel & shut down. 

I love people, yet I'm socially awkward.

I want to lead, yet I don't wish to be noticed. 

I want rest, yet I don't want to shut my mind off to sleep.

I love the sun and I love music, yet I have an aversion to anything too bright... Or too noisy... 

I'm vegetarian yet sometimes I even feel sad for broccoli if I eat it. 

I praise others for their uniqueness and imperfections. I remind others that low expectations are the secret to happiness. Secretly I'm a closet perfectionist and cry if I don't exceed my own high expectations. Always aware I'm not delivering my full potential.

I know I have purpose here, yet feel lost.

Why does life have to be a complicated hot mess?