Friday, December 30, 2011

7 Everyday New Year Questions

Spend a minute a day with each one.

Seven minutes a day. For seven days.

Write a few words to yourself about how you respond to each question every day.

What do you know?

What have you received?

What do you see?

What touches you?

Who and what do you trust?

To whom and what are you committed?

What will you decide?


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Friday, December 23, 2011


Sometimes you're never sure what you're looking for when seeking a gift.

That's just the time you might bump into an artist named Jodi Hills showing a piece in a knick-knack place accompanied by these words,

If I'm not happy in this time, in this place, I'm not paying attention

Sometimes you get a gift when you're never sure what you're seeking.


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author Love, Your Mother

Friday, December 16, 2011

Santa's Cwabby Chwissmiss

"You're Mr. Cwabby this Chwissmiss!"

So said my kids one holiday season when they were runts once upon a time.

The shopping. The wrapping. The doing. The going.

The neighbors, their partying 'round the food, the music, the wine.

"Fun's no fun," said Mr. Cwabby this Chwissmiss -- Yup, that was my line.

Once upon a time.

A guy in my company -- dorky and elfish -- had a simple question one day.

"I'm taking my team to dinner tomorrow night, downtown at Daytons. It's for families, the kids. You wanna be Santa?"

Oh my what a stupid idea, flashed through my head.

"Yah, sure, love to do it," I said to Dorkus-the-Elf.

"Great, here's your Santa suit. Ho, Ho , Ho."

"Yah. Great!" I said. "This will be fun."

No it won't. Not even close. Mr. Cwabby this Chwissmiss couldn't wait for this Chwissmas to be done.

My mood the next day inspired uplifting words from Mrs. Claus, as I left our home, Christmas Cottage, in a hurry, tripping the trash.

"....and shove it, you and your crappy attitude, you big pain in the ass..."

Her encouragement kept flowing, though -- a lucky husband am I -- none of it penetrated the shatterproof window sealing my Saab four-door on the driver's side.

"Hi Ho. Hi Ho. Hi Ho-Ho-Ho. Off to work I go," I sang. "Just like Santa Claus. Just like Santa Claus. Right down Santa Claus Lane..."

The five o'clock bell rang and I was late.

Gotta get downtown. Turn into Santa. Rush to this dinner. Then get home where Mrs. Claus couldn't wait to have ol' St.-you-come-up-with-any-other-name-that-rhymes-with-Nick walk through the front gate.

But here's the thing I wished I'd knew. There's no rushing Santa.

When you suit up, you're not in charge. Why, you're not even you.

This was my first lesson after popping out the elevator to cross the skyway to walk into Daytons to jump on another elevator to rush twelve stories up to the restaurant up top to appear at a family dinner to get this dang Chwissmiss business over with.

Just then, something began yanking the pinky on my right hand.

It was a little kid looking up at...Mr. Cwabby this Chwissmiss...a guy in a Santa getup...a guy who was no longer me.

I looked back, not sure what to say, except lucky it wasn't what my brain was screaming away, "Aw, what the heck, c'mon kid. I gotta get to this dinner. I'm running late...."

"Santa," said the kid named Clarence, softly, gently in his tiny kid voice, just louder than a whisper. "Merry Christmas, Santa."

Your brain ever go "Ping!" with a DEFCON ONE horn ringing "Danger!" or "Watch It!" or "Dude, don't screw this up or you will ruin little Clarence for the rest of his life!"

It was like Prophet Isaiah raced back through the ages, making a guest appearance inside my head.

Raise your eyes and look about...Then you shall be radiant at what you see, your heart shall throb and overflow...

The prophet's right.

In an instant this little kid made Mr. Cwabby this Chwissmiss something no one would've believed at all.

Clarence, the kid in a skyway, grew me a heart like the Grinch when it grew ten sizes too tall.

"Why thank you and Merry Christmas to you young man," this new Santa said.

Dinner with Dorkus and his families was typical schtick.

Smiley moms and serious dads with their Christmas red velvet wines and their happy holiday purpled lips and their kids like all others, excited little popcorns popping all around a fired-up pan that had lost its cover.

Santa made his pitch that he'd made all his life.

"Ho. Ho. Ho. Remember to be good little boys and girls," he said to all as he wished them all a good night.

On his way out the door and from out of the blue, why another pinky yanked and he wondered, "Huh?"

Which was followed by "Who...?"

And then looking down Santa saw a young lady. Maybe not four. But, yes, she was older than two.

A little kid who looked to be the twin sister of someone he thought he knew.

"Why, she looks just like her," the jolly ol' man said to himself.

"Why, it must be the sister of the infamous Grinchster, Cindy-Lou Who.

"Now what might she," he wondered, "want Santa to do?"

"Santa will you come and meet my family?" this little girl said.

Santa's thoughts raced back to the skyway and to Clarence the kid. And to Prophet Isaiah and back to the Grinch.

All this stuff went fastly, all right through his head and then down through his heart which got bigger again.

"Oh my, yes," said Santa. "Show me your family and your mom and your dad."

There Santa found her sisters and her brothers.

And on either side of a long Christmas table was her father and her mother.

And then looking up and over and beyond the crew sat an older gent, giddy, his face filled with smiles and perfect square teeth as white as the bright on a Christmas tree light.

'Twas someone Santa recognized as someone he knew.

"Could it? Might it? How can this possibly be?" said Santa upon sighting the man heading Christmas table.

He looked his usual fit and trim; looking, as usual, tanner than us upper midwesterners in the midst of December.

So though this fellow hadn't a clue, Santa was certain of who he saw and now what he must do.

"Well, Darrell, have you been a good little boy this year?" asked Santa with cheer, twinkling his eyes into the eyes of this fellow who'd for ages been Santa's financial retirement planner.

Darrell's smile went crooked as his wife shouted "Darrell, WHO'S THIS?"

As Cindy-Lou Who's twin pulled more of my pinky,

As her sisters and brothers and their father and their mother jiggled and giggled,

As all I could say is the funnest thing a once-upon-a-time-Mr. Cwabby-this-Chwissmiss was saying often this day,

"Has Darrell been a good little boy this year?"

My financial retirement planner didn't know what to say, his head bobbing my way, then bobbing to his wife who's head too was bobbing my way, then bobbing to Darrell, us three old knobs at Christmas table bobbing away.

"Darrell, WHO'S THIS?" I heard her once more say, as poor Darrell befuddled like he'd tripped in a puddle and all he could do was struggle.

How hard this must have been for the man who was the planner;

Who was forever fitter and tanner and trimmer than most;

Who'd made a wonderful life cashing in answers;

Who this eve in midst of Christmas could do nothing but...shruggle,

"I'm thinking, I'm guessing, oh my Dear, what do I know?

"It's Santa right here!

"I'm thinking. I'm guessing. I hope."

"Oh yes!" I thought.

Darrell did see too what I myself this eve was seeing.

It was Santa we saw.

Two macho breadwinning men, finally noticing that magic is real no matter the season.

And that was good enough reason for me to believe there's a Santa even if he happens to be the used-to-be-Mr. Cwabby-this-Chwissmiss, yup, the-once-upon-a-time-that'd-been-me.

"Ho, Ho, Ho," said Santa. "Merry Christmas to you and to all a good night."

Then off he dashed. His work all done.

"Fun's again fun," he thought to himself as he retraced his steps down twelve floors, over and across the skyway through the next elevator door when this Christmas night became like a TV movie, whose word from the sponsor said,

"But wait there's more!"

Just as Santa's last lift stopped lifting and opened its gate, why, there stood a pretty young lady alone with her date.

Santa blinked his eyes hard and took one look which was followed then by another, making it a full double-double take-take.

"Could it? Might it? How can this possibly be?" Santa asked under his breath before greeting the happily, holidating young lady he'd known way back to the elementary grade, who had no clue what Santa could do, the trickster chuckling and smiling as he about scared her to death.

"Has Krissy been a good little girl?" asked Santa, his twinkling eyes boring in on the lady who's head then abruptly bobbed like a nervous wreck, bobbing to her date, a fellow named Bob who questioned his lady.

"Kris, WHO'S THIS?!!!!"

Bob needed to know as Kris just grinned straight ahead with her own crooked smile, bobbing at me, as I was bobbing at Bob who was bobbing at Kris; another trio on this night of all nights of bobbing old knobs.

"Ho. Ho. Ho. Merry Christmas, Kris, to you and your family.

"No worries, Santa knows you're a fine young lady. But really I must go as I've been too long in keeping lovely Mrs. Claus awaiting."

As Kris and Bob bobbed away, you couldn't hear their words as loud as you could hear the thoughts inside their heads; sounds of jingle and jangle from all their noodling just as Darrell upstairs.

"We're thinking, we're guessing, oh dear, what do we know?

"It's Santa right here! We're thinking. We're guessing. We hope."

I finally pulled back home into our lane, in front of Christmas Cottage with Mrs. Claus waiting and unlatching our gate.

With her last words still ringing, I thought instead of me speaking, it's best to let Santa have this say.

"Ho, Ho, Ho," he said as she slightly smirked -- Mrs. Claus is well-known for not being easily worked.

She looked long into his eyes, silent, then saying,

"You know, Santa you are always welcome here. You can come in.

"But that other guy, Mr. Cwabby this Chwissmiss, you let that guy know he's gotta go.

"Tell him,

"'Go buy a North Pole ticket in coach on your next flying sleigh,

"And tell him,

"'Make sure your ticket's one-way.'"

"You are right. I'm sorry," I said.

"Three Ho's and many thanks, my Love, for your patience and grace."

And for Clarence the kid who I met in a skyway and for Prophet Isaiah and a little look-alike Who and my financial retirement planner, who like Kris and her Bob, who'd had not a clue.

Tonight showed Mr. Cwabby this Chwissmiss a Santa he'd never knew.

Santa's more than a tale who comes 'round once a year.

Why, Santa's a way. A lesson of living a life.

Santa's not just a story you tell.

But a story you do.

"Yes, it's Merry Christmas tonight.

"But wait, there's more!

"It's Merry Christmas every day for the rest of our life."

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A book is a wonderful holiday gift. Fridays Post suggests LOVE, YOUR MOTHER

Friday, December 9, 2011


My faith scrimmaged itself today.

St. Thomas against St. John.
Tommie against Johnny
Man against Man
Brother against Sister
Screaming their creeds
Every first-and-ten
Through golden veils of char smoke, billowing off the grilling meats.

Church against Church.
Archdiocese against Abbey.
City against Silence.
Management against Monks.
Power against Prayer.
Will against Wild.
Self against Soul.
Winner takes all
The kingdom
The power
And the glory

And forever?

Oh lord,
It wasn't close.

Sixty three and seven and the city rejoiced.
Then there went silence
And the Monks in retreat to the wood
Empty, vanquished, filled with space,
Still champs,
Hoisting the quiet prize,

I was not worthy to receive You
Though Your Life said The Word and the self and the soul healed
In Faith,
The good scrimmage
One golden fall day.


a book is a wonderful holiday gift. FRIDAYS POST recommends Love, Your Mother

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Friday, December 2, 2011

So What Did You Expect

The wise blind Jesuit just looked through him
To his take.
A middle life guy come to the wood seeking life amid loss and life after life
After life as one in a million
Now a million times eight
The new nine point one percent man
Off the job. Strapped. Pressed. Down or depressed.
Who really knew. There's no dough for meds.
He thought he prayed to follow His will, The Commandments, what the Good Book said.

The wise blind Jesuit just looked through him
To his take.
The kids. Their tuitions. The house underwater. The mortgage’s unpaid.
The wise blind Jesuit rolled his eyes.
Around. Around. And around

What might a middle life man see that a wise blind priest would see
Still listening (maybe?)
To his take.
The wife who's afraid. His old man -- he don't know what to say. The friends with fences and their turning away.

Then only one notion from the wise blind Jesuit best he could see.
An answer in a question
He asked
One you’d never forget
His blind eyes rolling
Around. Around. And around

Softly, gently he itched
One soul

So what did you expect?


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A Book is a Nice Gift for the Holiday Love, Your Mother

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What Have You Received

How many times do you ask yourself,

"What'd you do today?"

Try this instead,

"What'd I receive?"

It might be a good customer insight. A sound business model. Or confidence confirming you're on track in a tough project.

Most of us are acutely aware of our everyday grindings. We have our "To Do" lists. Maybe even "Don't Do" lists.

My friend, a wise blind Jesuit priest, once said,

"There's way more going on than we know is going on..."

I'm learning it’s simple to tap this "way more going on" the wise blind priest sees.

Make a new list today.

Call it "Just Received."


author Love, Your Mother

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Jobs and Life

Where's life?

You ever ask yourself that and find a good answer?

Seems Steve Jobs did.

"Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact and that is everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it. You can influence it. You can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again."


Love, Your Mother

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Friday, November 11, 2011


I looked at a guy in a museum.

For a long time. A really long time.

He looked back.

For just as long.

He's an object he says. On loan to the museum.

"With Nothing To Give, I Give Myself" is how this guy, the exhibit, titles himself.

"I am living at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts from November 8 through 17, around the clock. During these days, I am in this corner of the gallery much of the time. I do not talk, use the phone, or use the computer...If you see me, forgive me for not doing much other than maybe looking back at you...I have experienced bliss while practicing this behavior."

This guy, the exhibit, was on display in the Modern Art Gallery.

Naturally, it took a while for the suburban guy to understand.

Sort of.

Yes, eventually it was peaceful looking at that guy. A human. I have never looked at a human so long. And never have been looked back at like that either.

He blinked his eyes.

Me too.

He scrunched his shoulder.

I cleared my throat.

At first, looking at him creeped me out.

Why could I look at Long's Peak or Lake Superior or a late fall Maple endlessly, peacefully? Why does looking at this guy make me nervous?

Humans scare me, I guess.

Soon enough, as this guy looked at me and I looked at him, it started making sense. Pretty soon there was this...bliss.

What if bliss is as simple as you looking at me and me looking at you? And it's all we needed, say, for red states to like blue.

Yes, there was this bliss. I guess.

What didn't make sense though is this.

Why there's just this one guy.

If this is bliss in this museum, then why just here?

And why not more than just him?


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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Occupy The Business Model

"The Occupy movement has no vision..." So says the New York Times.

Maybe. Maybe not.

More interesting than Occupy's own vision is this:

Occupy IS a vision for future business.

Occupy is a movement to many.

What if it's a business model instead?

Imagine businesses as nurturers and curators of communities, i.e. Occupiers, instead of sponsors or spammers of market segments.

A good nurturing, curator with its own version of Occupy The Business Model needs to do three things well in order to do the one thing it must: make money.

First, you need to offer the world something you do well free. And your offer needs to be meaningful. Go big as honchos are saying to one another these days.

Small samples of something free are 20th century stuff and won't cut it. You don't want to give a trial taste. If you want to occupy something, you want, you need people to go all-in.

A year ago the media business I was leading offered a free working trip to cover India to journalists around the world. We spent a few hundred bucks for two weeks getting the word out. We went big. It was a meaningful offer.

Four hundred qualified, experienced Journos responded.

Second thing you need is a set of rules of the road. This is probably what God had in mind with the 10 Commandments when humans started to occupy the planet ages ago.

God doesn't strike me as much of a command-and-control guy. And, in the Occupy Age, we're wasting our time trying to do stuff God figured wasn't worth the trouble.

That's why clearly stated standards are important. A year ago we were clear on what kind of Journo we wanted (experienced in the craft as well as with emerging social media techonologies...). We also were clear on what we expected in return for our fabulous offer then and for those offers we'd be making in the future.

Third thing you need is platform which means chiefly a place. I think of place as if they are parks.

Your platform can be physical like major city parks across the country (but make sure you don't annoy the mayor and chief of police).

Or your park can be virtual (the social tools of the moment are perfect here...).

Or it can be both.

It takes courage to open your park so everyone can play as they wish. But give it a rip. Keep out of the way. Your people will go all-in because they love to play.

A year ago we were fascinated watching how hundreds of Journos connected with each other around the topic of India.

Offers. Standards. Parks.

Do those three things well and you'll be in position to do four things every business needs to do: sell, grow, innovate, profit.

A year ago we had an "eee-gads" moment when we asked ourselves "Are there business partners in the world who would pay us to hang out in our parks?"

It took a few minutes to come up with a long list of global companies that would want to know about a park full of Journos working on India stories.

It took a couple weeks to get a handful of well-recognized names to show real interest.

Not bad for a little experiment.

Whatever you make of kids in parks these days, Occupy The Business Model is a vision worth a look.

As the would be Wizard in Oz once said, "It's as clear as the nose on my face."


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Friday, November 4, 2011


Eight million men
Though voiceless and vanishing will you recall you're silly?

Tell your daughter wondering
All these months you’ve been home
After school riding
Dents the Van side by side
At the crossroads
We call Long Lights Red
Who will you be?

A poet.

A poet?
First she smiles, smirks
Shaking her head


The sweet time two
Souls wiggle out a loud little


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Friday, August 12, 2011

Us People

"We're not unemployed?" she asked. "How's it we're not unemployed?"

"We are not unemployed," he said. "Nope we are fully deployed."

"Not making any money."

"Don't matter. There's stuff to do."

He thought,

Unemployed nope we are fully deployed.

"So what are we then?" she asked.

Their vehicle rattled at the red light. Dents, the family workhorse, and its two hundred thousand and some miles. It was Saturday morning. Downtown. Nearing the farmers market for her fresh fruits, vegetables. Hot, hot, already so hot. Steady steamy seedy sweat on his, her upper lips.

She asked again, "So what are we then?"

He said, "Pre-revenue."

"That's what we are? Pre-revenue?"


"Not unemployed," she said. "How're they different?"

"One's looking up. One's looking down."

The red light turned green.

He thought,

One's hope. One's fear.

Sixteen million of us people.

Pre-revenue people?

Unemployed people?

Berryman just then he recalled.

"Unite my various soul"

Coiled, wound inside and out he wondered alone,

Who are you guy?

Who're us people America?

Rattling Dents past the red light turned green.


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Friday, July 22, 2011

Sitting On The Porch

Quiet summer days this year.

Kids are growing up.

Moving on.

Moving out.

It's just us often alone together these quiet summer days.

These days have been good days to notice what poet Wendell Berry saw as

They Sit Together on the Porch

They sit together on the porch, the dark
Almost fallen, the house behind them dark.
Their supper done with, they have washed and dried
The dishes - only two plates now, two glasses,
Two knives, two forks, two spoons - small work for two.
She sits with her hands folded in her lap,
At rest. He smokes his pipe. They do not speak,
And when they speak at last it is to say
What each one knows the other knows. They have
One mind between them, now, that finally
For all its knowing will not exactly know
Which one goes first through the dark doorway, bidding
Goodnight, and which one sits on a while alone.

(-Wendell Berry)


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Friday, July 1, 2011

Our "All In" Revolutionaries

These words were sent by a friend today in a blast email. Not sure who originated them. But they are good. Timely. And reflect revolutionaries who were All In.

Enjoy and Happy Independence Day. You are a great American!

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors and tortured before they died.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.

Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War. They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year, he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later, he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.

Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.

Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild-eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: "For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

They gave you and me a free and independent America.


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Friday, June 24, 2011

Dog Is Good

(NOTE: This post is from the book LOVE, YOUR MOTHER which may be purchased here)

Harrigan, the family dog, our graying 'round-the-eyes-stinky-sorta-deaf old golden retriever, moves real slow these days. Letting her out when it's way-below-zero on deep-winter mornings in January and February makes me cringe. It's a gamble every morning as she darts into the dark cold snap. Her odds of making her way back to the warm kitchen shorten every day.

"Don't you go out there and drop over in your tracks, animal," I'm thinking those mornings. "There's no sorrow in my bin for you if that happens. Not this winter."

By the time she's finished her business and is back inside, the hound is dancing on hind legs, jumping and huffing and wiggling with her tongue drooping all around. She's ecstatic. Of course she is. She's about to get her bowl of chow. It's the same bowl of round brown pellets of chow she ate yesterday and that she ate the day before that and that she ate every day of every one of the 13 years she's been in our family.

She's like this every morning. Out of her mind ecstasy. This old dog and her brown chow.

I puzzle over Harrigan in the mornings.

"Imagine this," I wonder. "Imagine being this happy every day at the same time of every morning when the same bowl of brown dog chow gets stuck beneath your nose."

I'm learning something here. "You're seeing pure, absolute gratitude in this animal every day, same time, no matter what's going on in the world outside our door," I'm thinking.

And me? I don't remember what I eat for breakfast. Or even if I eat.

"Why's my tongue not slobbering, lapping all around and why's my hind-end not power wiggling when I pour myself a bowl of Bran Buds?" I wonder.

Harrigan's on a joy ride, a shimmy of pure ecstasy. Even when it’s way-below-zero outside. Even though she's almost, what, a hundred years old in people-years. Even though it’s the same brown chow every morning. The stinky, old family dog. On a joy ride. Seeing something I don't often see.

Seeing all as gift.

You are teaching the man something, Dog; teaching me lessons about receiving, gift and gratitude for ALL things in life stuck beneath my nose.


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(NOTE: This post is from the book LOVE, YOUR MOTHER which may be purchased here)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Welcome & Well Treated

Capital goes where it is welcome and it stays where it is well treated.

So said Walter Wriston, the legendary captain of high finance.

Makes you wonder with all the chatter about jobs, jobs, jobs today,

Where is capital welcome and well treated?

Seems pretty simple. If it's jobs you want, then welcome the capital that goes into creating jobs and do whatever you can to treat it well.

Funny how hard we make this for ourselves.

Creating jobs is scary stuff. People are hired into new jobs to expand new markets, launch new products, build new companies.  None of this comes with guarantees. The only sure thing is the risk. And the fear of it all.

So as leaders yak about jobs, jobs, jobs, it's weird you never hear them talk about how they'd welcome the job creators, how they'd make sure this capital is well treated.

This is like the world of technology for most humans. Confusing. Formidable. Intimidating. Mysterious.

When welcoming and treating job creation capital well, why not make it inviting, reassuring, helpful, and inspiring?  

You want to get jobs moving, why not invent The New Jobs Store for inventors, entrepreneurs and innovative managers?  

A-first-of-its-kind kind of store.  

A place where you'd experience the magic of jobs.  

A place that could be a lot like The Apple Store.

Friday, June 10, 2011

What We've Received

What do you suppose it takes to notice all that we've received?

Maybe a moment or two a day, one here, one there.

Asking, wondering not what've I done but what've I received.

Fear loses its grip when I notice that all that I have, I have because, know it or not, it is received.

Yes, we all have this to do, there to go and hurry now to get after that.

But the real gift is a moment or two of noticing the Giver is here inviting me to trust, receive and enjoy what I have.


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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What Guys Do

Guys don't do Sad. Instead they do Mad.

Guys love Glad. To that they drink.

Ask guys to Feel. It'll get em to Think.

Fear. No guys do Fear.

Guys do Mad when they're really Sad and they love to do Glad and to Think when they Feel.

But Fear.

No. Guys don't do Fear.

Guys do everything, anything from going it alone to building great armies to running from themselves and those they love, conniving, controlling, cahooting and lying, whatever they can do that can possibly, improbably, impossibly be done, a lot of guys will do to have nothing to do with Fear.


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Friday, June 3, 2011

Alien Nation

Fear's a big problem across the land these days. But alienation is a bigger one still.

How can I know what I know if I've separated my Source from me?

Would fear have a chance if we knew well that we have what we have because of what we've received?

If you ask, I often don't know what is touching and what I see so apart my soul can be.

Why do we wonder why there's no one to trust or to whom to commit when we've disintegrated ourselves from where there's life in the Life of Someone, Something bigger than us, bigger than me?


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Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Commencement Post

What if our graduates were saluted with words not about getting but preparing to receive?

Words that say living well means not only doing this or making that or going there.

No, among life's most important words are these,

Be aware.

Aware of what's come your way. Thankfully. Gratefully. Minute by minute. Hour by hour. Day by day.

That much is not gotten so much as it is given as gift.

How great if our word to graduates today could be,

Go confidently to trust and commit to what you know. What you touch. What you see.

Ask often 'Where's life?' in your life and don't be surprised when the answer's revolutionary, inviting you to be not 'out for me' but alive with others, arm-in-arm, your sisters and brothers.

And no matter your sorrows and triumphs ahead, know your life, as with all souls in times struggled or muddied or light on their feet, is where there is Life, already good and abundant.

Yes! Be aware. All is gift for you to receive.


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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

White Spaces

One time a chief of a large high tech firm said,

I focus on white spaces...

Those openings between boxes and boxes on his org chart.

Boxes filled with people and know-how and activities to do.

The rest of the place, the white spaces, unknown, mysterious and open, were his.

What would I think?

Where ought I go?

How might I do?

If I was like him, tuned to my white spaces, silent.

Without and within.


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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Just Reaching Out


Just reaching out.

A professional woman, very high up, used these words casually many times the other day,

I'm just reaching out to thank you for reaching out and let you know who the best person you should be reaching out to...

What happened to reaching out as something you don't just do?

But something that'll be noteworthy, uncomfortable, risky, mysterious, full of derring-do?

Funny how now everyone's just reaching out and sounding and looking and thinking alike.


We've lived to see when you get very high up and speak honcho-speak just reaching out is a safe, casual place to be.

-- tim

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Friday, May 27, 2011

The Muse and Poor Me

If The Muse is to reach me, better then I be open, unfilled, in need.

Or, Poor it would seem.

If I am to reach The Muse, better then I quiet and empty myself of myself to receive, be touched, to see.

Or, Poor it would seem.

The Muse and The Poor is where there's gift. Sacred Gift. The Gift of give and receive.

What's left is to trust that there's a touch.

That I see what I see.

Rich is the muse of The Muse.

She loves Poor Me.


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Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Three Deadliest Words

What if I asked if I do what I do depended so much on these?

Riches. Honors. Pride.

Where would I go on my road if my road turned no where near these?

Riches. Honors. Pride.

How many callings have called me to listen only because of these?

Riches. Honors. Pride.

Would shame run me over if I never obtained any of these?

Riches. Honors. Pride.

Why's fear find its fuel in being afraid to run out of these?

Riches. Honors. Pride.

Are the people I follow and who follow with me all following along just cuz of these?

Riches. Honors. Pride.

How much of that stuff that I buy is only bought to bring me one, two or all three of these?

Riches. Honors. Pride.

What if in the end all I can say is all I did ended me up with nothing more than these?

Riches. Honors. Pride.

What's a world look like if everyone in the world didn't try so hard to have so much of these?

Riches. Honors. Pride.

-- tjmorin

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Little Manifesto for A Little Revolution

EDITOR'S NOTE: Today's post comes from guest, Carleton Christianson O'Kristenson, businessperson, fly-fisherman, seeker of the inner revolutionary.

You want to lead a revolution, big or small? The thing you gotta do is surround yourself with great revolutionaries.

People who are All-In People.

Zealots who commit. Who don't think they're a revolutionary. But who know how to act like they are.

People who know they're gonna take a bullet when their boat hits the beach and the ramp crashes open like the greatest of the great generation.

There's no blinking in revolutions.

No "Where's the data?"

No "What proof do you have?"

No "What's the poll say?" or "What am I investing in and can you show me how it's going to compare to the yield my muni-bond fund gets?"

No, you want people who know the world's a revolution. Who know you triumph or you get killed. Who don’t deliberate when the clarion calls. Whose love loves the idea of a good world always becoming a better place.


Whose heart beats to an inner bass drum, booming deep inside them somewhere, pounding to a loud two-count, Boom-Boom, Boom-Boom, as they march in-step with sisters and brothers shouting an anthem succinct, pumping and driving life into your every step.

We Are!


All In!


You want to be a great revolutionary then you better man-and-woman-up with fearless people who get that fear is not just a part of the deal. You need people who get that fear is the whole enchilada for them and everyone around them.

You want, you need, people who’ll look that demon in the eye on the hour, every hour of the day and say, "Yeah I see you're still there you no good, worthless, piss-ant. No doubt about that. Go ahead have your run of my soul but here's the deal demon, you don't matter cuz there's only one way this is gonna work out. I win. You lose. Now enjoy the ride, demon. I’m goin' all in."

We Are!




When you size-up your brothers-and-sisters-in-arms, make sure your vetting gets to the most important question first. That question being:

"You scared?"

"No way," most of folks will say.

If so, you oughta run fast because they're full of bull-shitake mushrooms. They’re not All-In'ers. They'll blink exactly at the wrong moment. And in the end, these frauds don't give a rip about saving your butt or anyone else's butt except their own.

You want sisters and brothers who can't sleep at night. Passionate, disciplined. Intense, self-controlled. "Smash-cinderblocks-in-the-basement-and-anything-else-that-needs-to-be-stomped-on-and-broken-through-without-breaking-a-sweat-or-losing-control-or-losing-faith" kind of comrades.

Yes, you'll also need humor and a group of some-bodies you're gonna be eager to wake up to and look at every morning. And that means eager to be looking at good and close, eyeball-to-eyeball, arm-in-arm, shoulder-to-shoulder. Ask yourself, “Do I really want to get that tight with that brother and that sister?”

If the answer’s not “HELL, YES!!!” then you should move on.

You need people who get that there’s one thing, and only one thing for sure, about the world: Revolution's the thing.

Christ died for it. Darwin made a science of it. Now, lucky us, we get a shot to live it.

Revolution's been going on since we crawled out of the swamp and grew lungs on land.

And guess what?

New living, breathing, pulsing life is growing all around us, always getting pumped full of new energy, fresh purpose, forming in places we never imagined, or worse, hoped would never take hold and worked hard to keep beyond line of sight.

But, there’s no stopping the revolution. So, no sense playing safe now, amigo. We don't save our souls by saving ourselves. No, we save our souls when we give in and get on with it, giving ourselves up to Something Bigger than us, transforming, transubstantiating our substances to that point of no return when we roll over and go all in –We Are. Boom-boom. Fear-less. Boom-Boom. – with and for the love of your sisters and brothers.

Face it, my game and your game will be over before either of us ever know why they started in the first place. Time now to let it roll and get on with it, get on with the revolutionary in you, in me.

Revolutions' big and small are the thing right now. They're saying, "There's only three places to be. Find, join, or start a cause. Then get on with the march!"

We Are.


Boom boom.

All In.

Boom boom.

--C.C. O'Kristenson

EDITOR'S NOTE: Today's post comes from guest, Carleton Christianson O'Kristenson, who was born in March 2011 in a Starbucks in Minneapolis and currently serves as the main character in my soon-to-be-released business parable, THE CHIEF REVOLUTIONARY OFFICER. Har har.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Already Good

Imagine if you thought about me and I about you that we are already good.

What would it be like in the world if everybody thought everybody's already good?

If the teacher believed the student no matter how novice or raw is already good?

If the boss trusted his people to be trustworthy, committed and good?

Would the world have its "isms" and the left and right its deficits if we're already good?

Isn't forgiveness and being forgiven about being already good?

How many jobs might we create if the the banker and VC believed the entrepreneur and her people are already good?

Imagine no shame and no fear in your dreams and your ideas, whether they work or they fail. You may win. You may lose. Either way you learn. Isn't that already good?

What if we all woke up the next morning and thankfully thought,

Lucky us! Lucky us! We're already good!


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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Your Story

My friend, Joe, wanted to know this other day.

Who's gonna buy your story?

"Uh, ya know, people who, uh, like stories," I said.

Dumb answer. Joe tried again.

"Who? Give me a name. Who exactly will buy your story?"

I named a name.

Good, he said. Now answer me this,

What does he want?

What does he do?

What's he gonna get from your story?

What's gonna happen to him if he doesn't buy it?

What's the hook, the reason, in a short line to spend time with you?

"Answer me this, then write it for him."

No matter the product, the service, your story's the thing.

Start naming names. Picture their faces. Their needs. Their fears. How they will triumph from your story.

Say it out loud,

Why does the world, these people need this right now?

Then write them your story, why they should buy it from you.


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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Problem and Mystery

The problem is to solve. The mystery to receive.

Problem and Mystery. Two sides of the same coin. Identical unless you look close. The coin that cashes in on FUD. Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt.

One side responds to doing, working, solving -- someday. If I keep at it.

The other side is silent. It only accepts me being.

Problems want my attention. Mystery, my immersion. Problems want my mind. Mystery, my heart. Problems want my tenacity. Mystery, my trust.

Problems are approachable. They all say "Come, let's figure me out."

Mystery stands off. It speaks without words, "Someday you'll know but not 'til I say."

The problem is a lock, the intellect the key.

Mystery is a doorway through which life is alone, there's nothing to see, nothing for solving, only to be. Where I surrender myself. And peg the key. Fight as I will, where I only receive.


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Monday, May 16, 2011

A New Greeting

I always greet people,

How's life?

Dumb question because it's not really looking for much of an answer.

There's a way better greeting,

Where's life?

A question, when answered, you know will be good.


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Friday, May 13, 2011

The 7 Questions of All In

Will I invest my time, resources, energy beyond when it hurts?

Can I press ahead even if others laugh and think I'm nuts, over my head, foolish, stubborn, maniacal?

Am I prepared to die for the cause and for others around me by surrendering my current career, projects, hobbies, comforts and lifestyle, come success or failure?

Can I admit I'm scared, live with fears and past failures, and move on with the task at hand?

Do I trust others around me?

Will I remain committed, honest, ethical, giddy in the middle of the doubtful dark night?

Do I believe Someone and Something larger and profound are at work right now, leading me where there's life, and calling for my gifts at this very moment to help make the world better for others?


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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rock Star

An HR person said this to me the other day,

The guy's a rock star. He really rocks SEO!

The guy in the company's a rock star?


Don't rock stars break stuff? Make demands? Change rules? Ignore and laugh at honchos? Exceed envelopes? Listen only to themselves and their inner voices? Succeed outlandishly? Fail spectacularly?

All music to my ears yet I wonder,

Is a guy working in a company org chart really a rock star when he all he really rocks is SEO?


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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Lingua Franca of Jobs

My friend Hong, a successful business executive and academic, believes success in a world going global depends on language.

Ask him how you understand China, do more business and create more jobs connected to the world's fastest growing economy and Hong will tell you, "Learn Mandarin."

Making American kids learn Spanish, French, German, Latin, or Mandarin is a basic requirement. Want to create more business and new jobs tied to those markets? Let's up the ante and teach our kids to be fluent in two, even three of those languages.

But wait! There's more.

Today's global world is digital. The Lingua Franca of the age is XML, Ruby, Go and dozens of other programming languages.

Take a look at this story about how to start businesses and create new jobs in a world going digital.

Parents, students and public leaders worrying about how to compete, create and find jobs nowadays ought to do as Hong suggests.

Learn Digital.


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Monday, May 9, 2011

Help Wanted

Here's a job posting that'd be great to see.


-Company in search of new growth, business and revenue models seeks leader with experience in ambiguity, chaos, thinking differently than the rest of us, failure, discernment, trust, long-term commitment.

-Must be willing to understand and acknowledge fear in themselves, others and deeply within the organization's culture.

-Enjoys transformation and communicating.

-Solid forgiveness track record with concomitant ability to utter "I'm sorry...I blew it" and take responsibility for miscues periodically.

-Understands revelation and is expert at being prepared to receive / believe blinding insight and compelling inspiration at a moment's notice.

-Is highly motivated into action by "that's not how we do things here" and "we don't have time for this" and "how can you be sure this will work".

-Places high value on the data and the soul.

-Believes in Something larger than themselves and the organization.

-Must be willing to travel and look out the window (40-50%).

-Sense of humor not required but preferred. Willingness to develop a must.

-Position available throughout 21st century.


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Friday, May 6, 2011

Whaddya Know?

Usually it's a throw away line.

Whaddya know?

It shouldn't be.

Couple it with "where's life?" and "where's the dead zone?" and it's the most important question of all.

Whaddya know about where's life? About the passions. The dreams. The imaginations. The hopes.

Whaddya know about where's the dead zone? The yah-buts. The who-do-you-think-you-ares. The policies and procedures. The fears.

Whaddya know?

It's worth a minute and change everyday.

By itself. Without data. Analysis. Formulas. Templates. Group think. Stuff that looks good on paper.

Just you and the question.

Whaddya know?


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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Innovation Theology

Ever wonder about the spirituality of innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs, leaders of great movements large and small, poets, painters, writers, and revolutionaries all?

My favorite monk, Thomas Merton, gives the best summary for innovation theology in a post to his diary in May 1967,

What is wrong in my unawareness, lostness, slackness, relaxation, dissipation of desire, lack of courage and decision, so that I let myself be carried along and dictated by an alien movement. The "current of the world," which I know is not not going where I am called to go. And only if I go where I must go can I be of any use to "the world." I can serve the world best by keeping my distance and my freedom.

Great words from the monk.

They leave a simple question, when thinking of successful innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs, leaders of great movements large and small, poets, painters, writers, and revolutionaries all who seem to go where they are called to go.

A simple question that lurks,

What do I really know?


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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Revolutionary You!

"You bring out the revolutionary in me!"

My friend said this the other day.

Hard words to shake when you watch places like Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and the Arab Spring. When you watch China building five to ten new liberal arts universities per year (the US might build the same number in the next decade). When you see stubbornly high unemployment here at home.

The revolutionary in my friend raises a big question.

If he can meet the revolutionary within, is the same true of you? And even me too?

If true, what would it take for me, for you? To look and find and scratch this itch, to get up and get out, to do?

What if we started little revolutions?

If I met the revolutionary me and you, the Revolutionary You, would we have the guts to pursue whatever we'd dream to do?


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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The American Spring

There's a lot of talk about the Arab Spring these days. And for good reason.

How great when you get to watch gutsy people revolutionizing a better world with trust, belief and commitment in themselves and one another. And revolutionizing life by taking down oppression, fear, death.

Time now for America to join in. Sunday's heroic action took out an evil guy. Let's pray it'll take down the darkness he embraced.

Time now for America to turn the page on desolation, fear, death. Time now for passion, creativity, life. For trust, belief, commitment in ourselves and one another. For us to rediscover our revolutionary groove.

Time now, America, for The American Spring.


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