Monday, August 30, 2010

We are what we do, and we do what we read...

Our family went on vacation a few weeks ago to southern California, and seeing friends and family while creating some quiet reflection time provided time to reflect, freed cycles to ponder thoughtful questions  a colleague had shared, and read some ideas of some other very smart people sharing and developing their thoughts on developing and maintaining values.

Do you share a passion for leading your families, teams, companies, and community with a culture around you that breeds strength, confidence, trust and honesty?

I'm recently riffing on this idea with some of you that just because we THINK or INTEND something to be our values, doesn't mean they are. What we INTEND but don't DO are just IDEALS. Only those things we actually DO represent how we really feel about our values. No real new insights any self-discovering adolescent hasn't heard before, but all of us myself included can use the reminder.

Many wise people have chewed on this idea, but here's a simple one that I appreciate because of the source:

"When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier." - Roy Disney

So, the question is, what can I read more of that will help influence what I do, to reflect and refine who I really am and strive to be? I'm always looking for more angles to strengthen my heart, mind, body and soul, so feel free to send or share suggestions. Here are a few of mine, with more to come:

The Bible:  pick your flavor - it's still the purest, leanest and most vetted book on values I've ever read. The way it is designed to cross-reference other Books and lessons is a great precursor to today's hyperlinked learning via the web.

Here are a few others that shaped ways to live consistent values (you can ignore the buying option - just listing these via Amazon for easy reference):

So, what do you read that influences your values?  We want to know...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Is Relational Intelligence (RI) more important than anything else?

I love putting good content in my head, and sometimes an unknown author is a crap shoot.  So after recently reading Relational Intelligence, I have to say it was impressive how something so tuned into how to improve relationships with people could apply to business, personal, family or community lives.

Think "Emotional Intelligence" meets Myers-Briggs or DiSC profiles, focused on relationship skill sets and personas that make leaders great.  Check out the free and simple assessment to see where you fall at:

What I really enjoyed was the frame of reference Steve takes in writing this book.  It wasn't just about RI for the sake of getting ahead, but about developing it with substance and for the right reasons.  It's rare to find tools that encourage us to develop a consistent character and discipline across all of our relationships.

If you are looking for a way to strengthen the impact of your character and consistency across your business and personal life, this is a pretty good tool.  Here's a link to the Amazon summary if you want to check it out:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

So, did Apple learn this time?

Great article in Wired on mobile wars and winners, with even better posts by readers on where the profits are, and where they will likely be.

For all you SAT exam or Mensa lovers:
Apple (Macintosh):Microsoft (Windows)::Apple (iPhone):Google (Android)

Google has model to scale, but there's always going to be a market for simple design and turnkey experience, and with the phone subscription anchoring the model and the potential of server-side cloud offerings, this war is really nothing like the PC.

Begs the question: will RIM even matter in 5 years, and does Cisco have to jump into the space...?

What are your thoughts...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Why the Windmill?

You might be asking yourself, what's up with the Windmill background, Mark? Two reasons, which explain some of the purpose behind this blog:
  1. My entire extended family is from the Netherlands and while I was born and raised in California my first language is Dutch.
  2. The Dutch are the world's most successful international trading people in recorded history (Tulips, Spice Trade, Diamonds, Windmill and Delta Technology), and most recently have done so in an internationally recognized highly regarded way.
I aspire to reflect my heritage through how I respectfully conduct business across borders, always seeking in work and life to find the balance of trade between people, cultures, and markets. Perhaps like you, I've learned that the only way we will get better is to share ideas and explore them with people that will challenge our thinking - that's how the Delta project came together, and now we are seeing the same thing in new-age wind power. People tell me that at least some of what I have learned so far is worth publishing. ;) Let's hope I can extract the good parts efficiently to provoke healthy growth together...

As a start, here are a few topics I would like to share what I've learned and tackle with you:
    1. high-technology marketing and business development
    2. international market development
    3. technologies from IT infrastructure to the apps we use
    4. social media's impact on Enterprise markets
    5. how to avoid future "Tulip frenzies" or " bubbles" in the process (no Don Quijote windmills either)
          • striving to balance life and health across "heart, mind, body and soul"
          • prioritizing relationships, especially life with my family
          • working with people with character as a personal and professional priority
          • living toward my values and not just my ideals
          • ways mobility is changing buying and selling, personal transparency, and productivity
          • tools of the trade in business and personal development that have made a difference
          We'll see where it goes from there. I'll try to avoid the "Jerry Maguire manifesto" and stick to the topics, and I'll try to keep it brief. Keep me honest. :)