People are crazy

People are crazy. I’m not talking about the clinically diagnosed, needs to be in a rubber room crazy – I am referring to the every day encounter of crazy. Over-dramatic, over-entitled, irrational, take-no-ownership for anything and blame others for everything crazy.


You might be compassionate for a while and even try to extend grace, patience, a listening ear and an open heart. You might be an idealist, bleeding out your time and resources to make the world a better place – trying to help people that don’t seem to want the help.

People are crazy. The more you give the more they take, and the less they remember of any of it! Sometimes it can feel  Please Continue Reading …

Resilience through Beauty

Each year, on November 11, we are given the opportunity to pause and remember those who gave their lives in various wars to protect freedom.


Karen and I like to watch various war documentaries each year on Remembrance Day, especially those that help us get a view inside the lives of the every day people that lived with war as their reality. This year, one of those documentaries was the story of Anne Frank. Please Continue Reading …

The Uncertainty Principle; Practical advice for embracing mystery

Search “uncertain future” in Google and you will receive 56,000,000 results in .04 seconds. If you are feeling the negative affects of uncertainty in your emotions, take heart – others who also are feeling it surround you!


Over the past few months, I’ve been working closely with many people experiencing the effects of uncertainty, and the price they (we) have been paying emotionally, mentally and even physically is significant. Some of these people are going through work-related uncertainty due to role changes and/or the possibility of dismissal because of corporate downsizing. Others are going through health-related uncertainty, such as the second round of cancer therapy or a battery of tests to determine the unknown cause of symptoms they are experiencing.

As I reflect on our collective wrestle with uncertainty, I find myself wondering:  Please Continue Reading …

A Wholehearted Solution for Exhaustion

How do you respond to the questions, How are you doing? How are you? or How is work going?

Curious Question MArk
There are many perspectives we could choose as a basis for response, but which ones serve us best? We could talk about how energized we feel, how others are responding to us, whether or not our goals are being met, and more. However, given that we know so little about what will come our way in the next minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years, I wonder if the most accurate perspective is one of alignment; whether or not we are in alignment within the present moment.

I’m not trying to play with semantics here – hang in there. Alignment is an issue of posture. It is the stance that enables capacity and capability. Think of what happens when you  Please Continue Reading …

Warm Memories: Your living epitaph

My father was just 42 when he was permanently disabled and institutionalized. My mother was just 37 when she died. These two events have forced me to take the pursuit of the meaning of life seriously.


Some have suggested that when we think about the meaning of my life, we should think about what we want our eulogy to be, or what we would want to have on our headstone. While these may be valid, I think there is an additional way. Please Continue Reading …

Vision – The promise of great things to come!

I recently went for a backcountry hiking trip in the Rockies with a couple of good friends. One of these good friends happens to be a master rappeler, extreme race, eco-challenge veteran. I am not. Needless to say, I draw a whole bunch of confidence and courage from him for my backcountry exploits! The picture below looks beautiful to me – it is one of my favorites from the trip. What you don’t see in this picture is the 15-20 kms of hiking with a full pack to get to this point, and you don’t feel the pain in my knees or the ache in my back!

The picture above is beautiful, and the climbing was difficult, but when I reached the top, this is what I saw next… Please Continue Reading …

Aeon Zoe Sky

As I was leaving a meeting today, I quipped to my client that “management is easy, except for the people”. He chuckled and replied, “Yep, people are always getting in the way of the numbers!”

There are plenty of challenges in organizational life. Many times it is the people ones that keep us awake. You can be enjoying a great season of peaceful production, and then “boom!” thunder rolls in.

We are complex creatures…and fragile at that. It is not surprising to me that we have emotional, physical, mental, spiritual or social meltdowns…it seems more a miracle that we don’t have them more often.

Yet, in the midst of this fragile condition, we are tasked with the responsibility of productivity. Productivity is never just about numbers…and always about people in the end. We don’t just produce so that we can have nice things. We live as an interdependent existence. The farmer produces wheat so that someone can eat bread. The oilfield worker produces fuel so that the farmer can grow food.

The ancient Greeks had multiple meanings for the word “life”. One was “aeon zoe”, which related to the simple existence, the breath of life. The other was “psyche”, which related to the temporal seasonality and circumstance of life.

We exist in aeon zoe. We manage our busy-ness in psyche. Aeon zoe is like the sky; psyche is the variation in the weather. Our purpose exists more deeply in the sky, and lived out in the midst of the storm. Until we understand the consistency of the sky, we will always be tossed about by the storm.

This perspective is important, in fact critical to maintain. When we lose this perspective people start to get in the way.

Success: The other side of the mountain

While cycling in the mountains this past week, I was reminded of an important principle: Success is not just about what you accomplish…but also about what you overcome.

During the final day of our three-day route, we had to climb about 9 K of steep (4.4% grade) hill. Approximately half way into the climb I began to feel that I would not make the grade (in more ways than one!)  I was dressed too warm, and began to overheat. My water was nearly gone, and I had no fuel left in the tank. I was also fighting my mind, which seemed to be quite willing to accept the possibility of an extended layover or even a DNF (did not finish) as a final outcome.

I have felt this way before…in life and business. Circumstances have conspired to bring me to a similar place of fearing that I would not “make the grade”, or post a less than flattering “DNF”. To some cyclists a 4.4% grade is nothing. (Indeed, we were passed by a triathlete who was doing the whole 350 K’s in one day!) However, to me it was a mountain.

Thankfully a buddy helped me out, sourcing a bagel and water from a  friendly CPR employee. A brief rest, along with a great conversation (enough to remove my mind from the “mountain” in front of me) and I was back in the saddle with renewed optimism.

We all have our mountains. The size of our particular mountain is only one factor…our resources (capacity, competency, companions, etc) are also a factor.Two years ago I would have scoffed at the suggestion that I could ride 350 K’s through the mountains. The same buddy that handed me the bagel, offered the encouragement and opportunity to begin cycling in the first place. Great companion!

Just a little ways past the 9 K hill I enjoyed an extended downhill stretch, enough to reach speeds of 70+ KPH! Exhaustion quickly gave way to exhilaration! I enjoyed the satisfaction of overcoming a mountain, and enjoyed the reward on the other side of the challenge.

Maybe life and business are not so different from cycling. If we hang in there and face the mountain, surround ourselves with great companions, build competency and capacity, we will survive to enjoy the reward on the other side.