Monday, June 28, 2010

The Opposite of Play Is Not Work, It's Depression

When was the last time you "played" during a training session? Hopefully, it was the last time you went to the gym, track, pool, field, or dojo. But, if it wasn't, consider the following blog post from Garr Reynolds entitled The Secret Of Great Work Is Great Play.

Garr Reynolds website Presentation Zen is one of those blogs that should be in everyone's bookmarks.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Commitment Follows Competence (Part II)

This is one of those "I told you so" posts...

Related Squat Rx Post:
Commitment Follows Competence






Thanks to Eric Moss RKC for bringing it to his Facebook friends' attention. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

"Skwat!" T-Shirts

skwat Pictures, Images and Photos

I have three XL-sized "Skwat!" t-shirts for sale, $20 each. If you're interested, send me an email at boris_york@yahoo.com and we'll work out payment through Paypal.

- Boris

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tools & Crutches

As we strive to "keep the goal the goal", sometimes we forget that equipment, supplements, routines, poundages, percentages, and stopwatches are just "stuff". The "stuff" might be related to our goals, but they are NOT the goals.

Hugh MacLeod calls this stuff "pillars". Enjoy.


Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity



Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address on a piece of ordinary stationery that he had borrowed from the friend whose house he was staying at.

Ernest Hemingway wrote with a simple fountain pen. Somebody else did the typing, but only much later.

Van Gogh rarely painted with more than six colors on his palette.

I draw on the back of small business cards. Whatever.

There's no correlation between creativity and equipment ownership. None. Zilch. Nada.

Actually, as the artist gets more into her thing, and she gets more successful, the number of tools tends to go down. She knows what works for her. Expending mental energy on stuff wastes time. She's a woman on a mission. She's got a deadline. She's got some rich talent breathing down her neck. The last thing she wants is to spend three weeks learning how to use a router drill if she doesn't need to.

A fancy tool just gives her a second-rater one more pillar to hide behind.

Which is why there are so many hack writers with state-of-the-art laptops.

Which is why there are so many crappy photographers with state-of-the-art laptops.

Which is why there are so many unremarkable painters with expensive studios in trendy neighborhoods.

Hiding behind pillars, all of them.

Pillars do not help; they hinder. The more mighty the pillar, the more you end up relying on it psychologically, the more it gets in your way.

And this applies to business as well.

Which is why there are so many failing businesses with fancy offices.

Which is why there are so many failing businesses spending a fortune on fancy suits and expensive yacht club memberships.

Again, hiding behind pillars.

Successful people, artists and nonartists alike, are very good at  spotting pillars. They're very good at doing without them. Even more important, once they've spotted a pillar, they're very good at quickly getting rid of it.

Good pillar management is one of the most valuable talents you can have on the planet. If you have it, I envy you. If you don't, I pity you.

Sure, nobody's perfect. We all have our pillars. We seem to need them. You are never going to live a pillar-free existence. Neither am I.

All we can do is keep asking the question, "Is this a pillar?" about every aspect of our business, our craft, our reason for being alive, and go from there...

- Hugh MacLeod (Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity, pp. 43-45)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day for all the Papas out there.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

If it bears repeating then REPEAT IT!

I know many coaches, teachers, trainers, and parents who get sick of repeating the same instructions day in and day out to staff, students,  athletes, and their kids...

"Well, I TOLD them!"

"They should have listened!"

"GAWD! How many TIMES do I have to say it?"

I've been coaching and teaching for quite a while now. It took me a long time to realize that there is no one magical analogy, cue, or drill that guarantees the message will be received and permanently internalized. It doesn't matter how well the lesson is delivered, how eloquent your description, how effective the activation, or how often you've modeled the correct behavior, if it bears repeating then, by all means, REPEAT IT!

When my son was three years old, he was learning to look both ways before crossing a street.  I modeled. I reminded. I praised. I admonished. I cued. I nagged... After months, he was going through the motions - his head turned, but he wasn't seeing ANYTHING. Now, years later, he's much better, but occasionally I still have to model, remind, praise, admonish, cue, and nag.

Here's the deal, giving a lesson or piece of advice once does not absolve our responsibility to see that the lesson has been learned and properly implemented. It's our JOB to repeat instructions when necessary. ...and sometimes, when the occasion calls for it, we need to repeat advice for our own benefit and for our own training.

Related Article:
The Gable Method by Dan John

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Kettlebell Complex For Next Weekend

A short kettlebell training complex from Jason C. Brown at kettlebell-athletics.com:




Great stuff all around!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Energy" Drinks

Have you ever noticed that the people downing all those "energy" drinks, always need to drink more of them? I see students line their lockers with these drinks and their labels, as if they are somehow bad-ass for consuming them...



Folks, "energy" drinks are poison. "ENERGY" DRINKS ARE STRESS IN A CAN.


Seriously, I spend half my time embracing my addiction to caffeinated sodas, coffees, and teas, and the other half trying to avoid them. Stay away from them.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"CULTURE IS THE BY-PRODUCT OF CONSISTENT BEHAVIOR"

"Our major obligation is not to mistake slogans for solutions." - Edward Murrow


Sometimes I worry about things like climate and culture. In my areas of expertise, many people bandy around words like "professionalism", and yet fail to credit sources, point fingers, choose not to look closely at context, and quickly pass judgement on organizations, departments, and individuals. I don't know what the solution is, but this quote from "Rework" is certainly relevant.




Rework


You Don't Create Culture

Instant cultures are artificial cultures. They're big bangs made of mission statements, declarations, and rules. They are obvious, ugly, and plastic. Artificial culture is paint. Real culture is patina.

You don't create a culture. It happens. This is why new companies don't have a culture. Culture is the by-product of consistent behavior. If you encourage people to share, then sharing will be built into your culture. If you reward trust, then trust will be built in. If you treat customers right, then treating customers right becomes your culture.

Culture isn't a foosball table or trust falls. It isn't policy. It isn't the Christmas party or the company picnic. Those are objects and events, not culture. And it's not a slogan either. Culture is action, not words.

So don't worry too much about it. Don't force it. You can't install a culture. Like a fine scotch, you've got to give it time to develop.

Rework (pg. 249)


Are your words and actions, and the words and actions of your colleagues, creating a culture you want to be a part of?