Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Here is our monthly contribution from Don Kardux, providing us with the book-of-the-month to read!
Don begins: "I’m Dutch and proud of it. Grew older not up in Holland…. Michigan.
Yes, there are pictures of me at three and four years of age in full Dutch costume standing in a field of Tulips. (Debby's note: now that's an image we should include here!)
I marched in the Holland High School marching band at ‘Tulip Time’ (our May celebration of the mighty Tulip and dollar). I marched wearing wooden shoes and 12 pair of sweat sox (blister preventers).
We have contributed to catchy phrases, “Dutch Treat” (everybody pays) “Dutch courage” (Whiskey) and the famous “Red light” district in Amsterdam. But, we have a positive presence. The Dutch are famous furniture makers.
Holland is twenty miles west of Grand Rapids- “Furniture City” and less than four miles west of Zeeland.
Zeeland is the home of Herman Miller Furniture and Herman Miller CEO (at the time- late eighty’s ) was a Dutch gentleman named, Max De Pree.
Max is ninety years old, now, and the book he wrote in 1987 changed my life. Our company's (Business Navigators) approach to helping managers become leaders echoes his philosophy.
James O’Toole, University of Southern California- Graduate School of Business, in the original introduction wrote:
“I got my first chance to visit a Herman Miller factory, I was give carte blanche to go anywhere and talk to anyone, managers and workers. The only problem was that I couldn’t tell one from the other! People who seemed to be production workers were engaged in solving the ‘managerial’ problems of improving productivity and quality. People who seemed to be managers had their sleeves rolled up and were working side by side, with everybody else in an all out effort to produce the best products in the most effective way. ‘The signs of outstanding leadership are found in the followers, ‘Max writes in this wonderful little book.”
Max relates, in his introduction, “Leadership is an art, something to be learned over time, not simply by reading books. Leadership is more tribal than scientific, more a weaving of relationships than an amassing of information, and, in that sense, I don’t how to pin it down in detail”
Finally, on page 11, Max says, “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between the two, the leader must become a servant and a debtor. That sums up the progress of an artful leader.”
Between the two… it’s the dash following the birth of an idea and followed by the end.
In 148 pages ‘The Art of Leadership’ is more than a good read. It’s a great way to live your life!"
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
A couple weeks ago our one year old Yellow Lab just seemed to disappear into thin air. Hubby, Steve, had taken Gable outside after dinner. Soon I heard Steve calling and calling for our pet. Since we live on 13 acres, Gable does like to go exploring out in the field. After awhile I realized that I STILL heard Gable's name being called. Even though I was trying to complete a project, I decided that I should go outside to help. Steve decided to widen the search by driving around our country block yelling Gable's name out the window of his truck. He asked me to sit at the end of our long driveway to perhaps see the dog coming back home from the west and having to cross the busy road. I sat there for over two hours and it was starting to get dark. Steve was still out in the truck. All of a sudden a mini-van pulled into our driveway and the driver asked if we had lost a dog. Sure enough Gable was sitting there big as anything in her car. She, Kristie, a teacher, was on her way to her school's open house when she spotted Gable out on the road. She stopped and opened her car door and of course our friendly mutt climbed right in. She didn't have time to find out where he belonged because she had to be at school, so she dropped him off at her mom's for the 1 1/2 hours of the open house. Gable had tags, which identified our vet. When Kristie called the vet, they said that they were sorry, but they could not help until the next morning when they went into their office. Not to be deferred, she decided to drive back to the area and stop at a few houses. When she saw me sitting at the end of the drive, she decided to stop. And of course a very happy end to a very scary story. But here's the thought for the day. Kristie really went out of her way to help save this animal from sure death on the busy road. She helped complete strangers and really went the extra mile. My question to you is, how far are you willing to go out of your way to help someone you know?
Are you willing to make ten phone calls to get an introduction that a networking friend wants to someone else?
Would you bring a boatload of friends to an event to help another friend who is hosting the event?
Will you spend your own money to help promote a friend's business offering. Are you a Kristie?
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Don Kardux is back with another fascinating book report. It makes me want to download this book immediately and spent the day reading it!
Here it is!
Here it is!
My good friend and one of my librarians, Kate S, recommended this wonderful book.
Michael Gelb has an interesting premise.
Amazon said it this way, “Genius is made, not born. And human beings are gifted with an almost unlimited potential for learning and creativity. Now you can uncover your own hidden abilities, sharpen your senses, and liberate your unique intelligence—by following the example of the greatest genius of all time, Leonardo Da Vinci.”
I won’t argue with the premise, but this book has opened some very interesting observations.
Part one sets the stage clarifying in 45 pages the “Dark Ages” through the “Renaissance” as well as anything I’ve read before. He ends this part by revealing how Da Vinci was ahead of his time. Just the headings on page 45 shows how he predated the great thinkers of the world.
· 40 years before Copernicus
· 60 years before Galileo
· 200 years before Newton
· 400 years before Darwin
The meat of this book is in the remaining 264 pages.
Michael’s approach is to reveal Da Vinci’s ‘Seven principles of behavior’ and follows each with questions we can ask ourselves so that we might move closer to Da Vinci’s genius.
Here is his summary of the Seven Da Vincian Principles.
- 1. Curiosita-An insatiably curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning.
- 2. Dimostrazione- A commitment to test knowledge through experience, persistence, and a willingness to learn from mistakes
- 3. Senazione- The continual refinement of the senses, especially sight,as the means to enliven experience.
- 4. Sfumato- (literally “Going Up In Smoke”)- A willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty.
- 5. Arte/Scienza- The development of the balance between science and art, logic and imagination. “Whole-brain” thinking.
- 6. Corporalita – The cultivation of grace, ambidexterity, fitness, and poise.
- 7. Connessione- A recognition of and appreciation for the interconnectedness of all things and phenome.na. Systems thinking.
I often relate the quality of books I read to food. From ‘Cotton Candy” to “Steak and potatoes”. ‘Thinking like Leo’ is a feast lasting for several weeks.
The author’s summary at the end of his discussion concerning ‘Mind Mapping’ is illustrative of his approach.
“Look at your life mind map from the perspective of the Seven Da Vincian principles”
1. Curiosita- Am I asking the right questions?
2. Dimostrazione- How can I improve my ability to learn from my mistakes and experiences? How can I develop and independence of thought?
3. Senazione- What is my plan for sharpening my senses as I age?
4. Sfumato- How can I strengthen my ability to hold creative tension to embrace the major paradoxes of life?
5. Arte/Scienza- Am I balancing Arte and Scienza at home and at work?
6. Corporalita – How can I nurture the balance of body and mind?
7. Connessione- How do all the above elements fit together? How does everything connect to everything else?
Thinking like Leo doesn’t have to be read in a linnear fashion. In other words if you want to start with ‘Senazione” you can however, reading ‘Part One’ first is a must.
This is one of the best examples of a ‘Come back to it’ book I can think of using.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
I am so lucky that Don Kardux, Business Navigators, is willing to review a favorite book of his each month. Enjoy and hopefully get inspired to read, too!
Here's the August edition of what Don has read!
In July of 2013 I reviewed Ken and Sheldon’s book “Raving Fans” which focused on helping customers turn into full fledged fans of a company. This book does the same for employees and is well worth the read.
Both books read like short entertaining novels.
In “Raving Fans” the mentor to the “Area Manager” is Charley his ‘Fairy Godmother’ and in “Gung Ho! “ Peggy Sinclair, new General Manager of Walton Works #2, has as a mentor an American Indian department head, Andy, who learned the secret of “Gung Ho! from his grandfather.
You see, first Peggy learns about the ‘Spirit of the Squirrel’ the ‘Way of the Beaver’ and the ‘Gift of the Goose’
Like “The Goal” this story is incremental. Peggy’s fear and confusion at times is ultimately replaced by positive anticipation and clarity of purpose.
The end of the book has some very useful summaries and insights.
On page 169 is the Gung Ho game plan diagram which after reading the story is an excellent visual reminder of what can happen.
Page 170 summarizes ‘The Spirit of the Squirrel’ WORTHWHILE WORK and includes:
A. Knowing we make the world a better place
B. Everyone works toward a shared goal
C. Value guides all plans, decisions and actions
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Below is Don Kardux's newest book report. I always look forward to seeing what Don brings us to think about each month and July's offering, Our Iceberg is Melting, by John Kotter, continues to serve in that way!
Don begins, "See, this book is a fable. It’s not real. It’s about penguins not people.
Well, this story is about penguins who kinda act like people.
That’s beside the point.
Nope, that’s not right, it is the point.
Fred was a penguin who was bit of an odd bird. While diving, under their colony’s iceberg he made the discovery of a cave that shouldn’t have been there. This cave was caused by iceberg erosion which would undermine the integrity of everything, break the iceberg apart killing a lot of penguins and nobody but Fred knew it existed.
How will Fred get other penguins to believe him and feel a ‘sense of urgency’?
What can they do to fight those who don’t want to change?
Is there a strategy that will allow the colony to not only survive but, flourish?
Well, this is a fable so, of course, many good things occur, they live happily ever after and as everyone knows that isn’t the way it is in ‘real life’. It’s just a good story to tell.
John Kotter, the author and storyteller, writes on page 126:
(of the story, but not the book)”
In the following 21 pages, Kotter, shows us that there are connections between Penguins and People.
He believes we can apply ‘lessons learned’ on the ‘berg’ to the ‘business of life’
Beginning on page 130 we see ‘The Eight Step Process of Successful Change’ and two pages later we can explore the roles of ‘Thinking and Feeling’.
This relatively short book reflects accurately my experience of being a ‘Change Agent’ for the past thirty years.
It’s deceitful simplicity masks and then reveals the complexity of change and is best visited several times."