The Pressure Our Children Feel

When I was a kid I was told I was going to be gay. Why? Because I walked on my toes, had a stuttering issue and chose to be friends with the girls in my class (as opposed to boys.) I guess looking back now I’ve always had more of a connection with sensitivity and empathy as opposed to the masculinity boys/men are supposed to have. I grew up playing baseball and was in a band but could most of the time care less about sports.

In my twenties, I enjoyed watching the NFL and occasionally going to an MLB game not because I really cared about the sport but more so because of the experience. Over the past several years I haven’t actively watched sports games other than the big Super Bowl or World Series. To be honest I care more about the food and drinks and family than I do about the game. I used to wonder why I didn’t tend to connect well with the men in my life then I discovered myself at age 30 with two girls and a wife that didn’t need me to be a “MAN” they needed me to be their dad, father, husband. They needed me to a human that they could connect with, tell a story to, share a hug with, someone who could and would communicate love and caring for them. This to me is what it means to be not just a man but also a positive influence in their world.

This is what is missing in our children’s lives today, a connection; it’s not the only thing but a big part. The chance for them to connect and be who they want to be and express what they want to express, without negative criticism from others is important. Sometimes their ideas or feelings come out before they are entirely ready like an egg waiting to hatch and it takes others points of view to allow it to come into clarity. We as parents and community leaders should be there for that clarity. There is a difference however between constructive criticism and negativity.

When I was younger, I received my fair share of verbal abuse some of which I continue to battle with every day. Somewhere between the “gay” comments and the “are you stupid?” arose a burning desire to care for others, which I entirely appreciate. In life, it’s almost as if we learn more from others about what not to do as opposed to what we should do. Since I’m not a psychologist or therapist I have no clue on why we do what we do but based on our past experiences. When it comes to this subject I can only state what I went through. Because of this, we choose to raise our children with constructive words and lessons as best as possible. We are not perfect and do falter some days but we also know everyone does. That is the part about being human, forgiveness and loving others, as long as you continue to love and spread your light and inner genius the universe has a way of working itself out.

I met Ashanti last year and he is one impressive dude. If you have children or work with them take some time to watch this movie, it will give you some perspectives on students and children today. The Mask You Live In

Girls: We love you. Mom and dad. #DigitalLegacy

This Cruel Life

This life is sometimes cruel. Yesterday was one of those day11822456_1697777747110270_8347042351707060997_ns that set us back a moment. We try our hardest to work through the tough times and hard pressed mindset that drag us into darkness, however sometimes the waves just keep crashing.

Don’t be too hard on yourself it’s lifes’ way of making you stronger.

Sometimes life……. Well sometimes life is just cruel. Today my heart aches for the mother who has just lost a child, my heart aches forflag the children who no longer have a father who was in this life to serve and protect. My heart aches for a senseless murder of a woman whom I’ve never met; the one with the beautiful smile, my heart aches for a life given up too soon.

How do we find the strength to turn life back on? To start the day and proceed with a heavy heartlove heart but a healthy mind? How? We hug, love, appreciate, enjoy, take our time, gather, grieve, listen, speak, write and stay curious about the things in life that give us hope for safety, comfort and peace. Please listen when I and others around you say to live. We mean it. Live life like you have never done before. Live it with respect, live it with joy and live it with all your insecurities behind you because in the end there is you and those that love you. If you spend your life caring about those that don’t you will surely miss out on those that do. #youbetterbeliving

To New Hire or Promote? The Great Divide

It’s that time again!  You are overloaded with work and the daily tasks of running your business are bogging you down. Just when you thought you had it all figured out you look down at your list and say, “Whom am I going to have run this work? When I look at my work force everybody in the company is busy with their own task. How am I going to get this done? I guess I’ll have to hire someone?”

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 Ah ha! Hiring! What fun! You start to think do I really want to write up a job position and post a “now hiring” ad to receive several resumes to sift through maybe get a couple ok candidates for the position, spend endless hours interviewing and maybe find someone able to do the job? No.

 Ah ha! I’ll ask my business professionals, friends, families and Social Media…What? That didn’t work either? Ok. Who can I bring up from within my organization? Oh, no one is prepared to step up because we never trained and prepared for this to happen. Darn, maybe I’ll just hire from outside?

 And the vicious cycle of hiring for your business starts all over again.

Does this sound like the conversation in your head? In the past it has in mine. Now the real question is how do you break the cycle? I believe training and the overused word “innovation”. Lets start with training.

 Over the years I have seen the best fit is the employee that moves up through the ranks in your company. They have spent years getting on the job training working under and/or for you the owner. That’s how you built your company so that is the best the employee to give a promotion to right? Well maybe.

 Before you promote this employee you first should look at what position they hold and who you will have to hire for that new spot, then look at if they have the right tools to handle the new position, after all they may be the best employee and next in line to promote but if there is no one trained in their position to take care of the front line that could give you an even bigger problem.

 Next I would look at if they even want the promotion, some don’t. Some are happy with where they’re at and don’t want the headache of working with the boss. (As much as you think you’re the best person to work with…you may not be.)

 Finally I would consider one of your employees below the “next in line”. What you ask? Hire someone who is below my “next in line employee?” Yes. If you’re really serious about building your company, you should consider all your employees. From the 15-year employee all the way down to the newest one.

After all they all have special skill sets that may benefit your company best at this particular time. You need to:

  1. Assess the position you are hiring for
  2. Interview all in the company that are interested
  3. Promote the one that best fits
  4. Then for everyone else create a clear and well defined career path

Don’t be afraid to let the other employees that didn’t get chosen know they are important to the company and though they didn’t get promoted today they are on a path to see a promotion in the future.

 Next up Innovation

 The business dictionary explains innovation as:

“In business, innovation often results when ideas are applied by the company in order to further satisfy the needs and expectations of the customers.”

 So what does this mean? When you are trying to get your tasks completed you need to look at the tasks and workload themselves. Are they necessary? Do you really need to hire someone? Is there another way to get it done? You see often times the tasks and jobs we have on our list seem important because we have them on the list to do.

So they must be important right? I wouldn’t ever do something that is not very important and try to pass it off to someone else to get it done… right? Wrong again my friends. We do it all the time. We all have things on the task list that we feel are super important to the company and customer when they really are not.

For this I say innovate first before hiring or promoting:

  1. Review your workload often and see if there are ways to cut down the list
  2. Get them done quicker
  3. Create ways to complete them on your own
  4. Then when you have cut it down as much as possible have all your employees review their tasks and workload and see if they can downsize or stream line.

 That may clear up enough time collectively to get it done. If not then you at least know exactly who you have to hire and/or promote, I’m willing to bet when you do this you will see that you were never really ready to hire in the first place. Now that you have reviewed the workload across the board, you are ready to find the new hire or promote the employee you actually need.

The Great Race

Often times I feel like we are in a race. A race against ourselves, a race against time a race against life, a race to raise our children and a race to spend the rest of our lives together always looking at the next phase or the next step and goal.

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Every time I feel this way I take a moment to do some introspective thinking. We get together and I ask jenny, how did this happen? How are we here? Are we doing the right thing? Are we going the right direction? Are we screwing up our girls?

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The answer sometimes is an easy no this is wrong. We say no with confidence and so we make a change. The yes is where I get concerned. When yes is too easy and confident I have to wonder if our thinking about a situation is too linear. I go into risk mitigation mode.

What could happen? I would love to say we are the only ones that go through the feelings but I know we are not. We often times have conversation with others about how crazy life is and how we are at a new imageadventure and we don’t know really what’s going to happen. Do we zig right or zag left? Do we take that job or not? Do we just succumb to the end or fight to continue?

What you must remember is none of life has an easy answer. This is all new. There is no way for you to be living and it not be a new day everyday. A new situation, a new problem, a new answer. That’s a part of life. That’s why I think it often times feels like a race because no matter how much you want something to stop, it doesn’t, it can’t and it won’t. So we find ways to adapt to them. We have the ability to change their positions slightly but mostly it’s adaption to our new scenarios.

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What we have learned is ……..that’s ok. We want you to know, it is ok. Making the wrong choice is ok. Making the right choice is ok and letting faith choose is ok as well. Either way don’t let the choice freeze you in your tracks while the rest of life passes you by. Don’t let the choice paralyze you and keep you from spending valuable pressure time with your kids. Just do it and see where you end up it won’t be that bad. We promise. -K