The problem with the story of Jesus and any other Hero stories is that we start looking for them in real people today. We look at famous people and categorize them as either the Hero or the Villain because we're so used to integrating stories into our thinking and communication. The truth is that real people are almost never all good or all bad. Stories try to simplify morality in a way that is easy to understand for many ages. The simplest and most effective parables are directed at children. Stories create context without requiring real turmoil and so can teach lessons "the easier way".Read More
Don't get caught up in other people's emotions. Customers and coworkers will often times act as if they are in the midst of an emergency when they are not. Or they will act childish or rude. Or they will act as if you are the only one who can help them. This is almost never an accurate depiction of their situation. They might be trying to manipulate you into giving them a price break or, worse, they simply have no control over their emotions. Having empathy and sympathy is helpful in understanding and communicating with customers but getting wrapped up in their emotional states means that you stop being in control of your own autonomy and you can unconsciously take on their emotions. If this happens you can find yourself anxious, angry, fearful, hyperactive or otherwise mirroring someone else's emotions unnecessarily.Read More
I spent the last six years working for a large electronics retailer and most of that time was as a Store Manager. In the last year I worked there they changed the title to Store Leader to try to infuse some ownership or enthusiasm into the role. The company was constantly changing terms, role definitions and performance evaluation standards in an effort to create impactful "cultural" changes but it mostly led to inconsistency and confusion. Frequently redefining evaluative tools, job descriptions and philosophies indicates a lack of central vision and understanding of psychology. Ambiguity and inconsistency muddy the waters of an organization's central goals and frustrates managers.Read More
This is the story about the first and the last time I ate magic mushrooms.
It was Halloween, some time ago when I tasted my first magic mushroom. A friend of mine had invited me to a party at his friend's house nestled in the forested hills somewhere near North Bend, Oregon. As the sun was coming down the five of us made our way to the back room where we each took hold of a piece of pizza on top of which lay two or so grayish, dried mushrooms. We ate our slices, some in silence and some with childish glee. My nerves were peaked but I was committed to the experience and I ate my slice with all its foul flavors. As it hit my tongue I was compelled not to continue but I forced it down, the pizza barely masking its rotten impression.Read More
Sometimes I forget the 7 years I spent building film.
When I was 19 I got my first management position working for a three screen movie theater. The man that hired me was a great example of how to be a good manager. He was knowledgeable, authoritative, balanced and had a great sense of humor. His honesty and strong work ethic was admirable and I learned a lot from him. I remember one time I decided to get entirely too high on a lunch break and when I was back on shift he noticed immediately. Instead of reacting with moral outrage or firing me, he made a few jokes and then after I had time to come down and realize how I had put my position in jeopardy, he took me aside and had a conversation about what he expected of me and how once he was done expressing his disappointment he made it a point to not keep a grudge. That's when I learned that you can be a leader by being honest about your expectations and not let the tension create a long lasting problem.
"Your grandfather died on a toilet at work at 55. He had a heart attack because he was a workaholic."
Someone told me that once or at least that is how I remember it. The idea of the dangers of being a workaholic has always stayed with me and I became sensitive to the idea of "working to death" at an early age. My grandfather was a successful businessman and inventor. Supposedly he helped invent the first color printer or something like that. In attempting to write this out I realize that my knowledge of the man is muddled and I am probably making some of this up based on old memories of conversations with my mother. None the less it is a related memory.Read More