Archive for April 5th, 2010

Saturday morning I was supposed to go in to work some overtime.  I went out to the car and started it up.  As I was backing it out, I heard some crunching sounds.  As I got clear of the driveway I had two passing thoughts: it sure is cold in here and the back window sure is clear this morning.  (Usually, when the weather is cold the  back window is frosted over.)  Once the car was in the street, I noticed a black patch on my driveway.  Of course, your first thought is, “Great, the oil has dumped all over the drive!”
Then it all comes together and you realize your back window has been shattered.

Bashed in rear window

Random act of violence by some jerk…

And so you start the process – call the police, call the insurance, call the shop…  The police say it appears to be a random act of vandalism.  The shop says call Safelite.  The insurance says it’ll be a $100 deductible.  So, I’m out my overtime, my $100, and I have to take a day of leave off to get the window replaced.
The good news is I met a nice repairman – Reggie (from Safelite).  He was very professional and seems to have done a great job.  It’s too bad you have to have something bad happen in order to meet good folks.
I took advantage of the time to read:  “The Score Takes Care of Itself“, written by Bill Walsh with Steve Jamison and Craig Walsh.  After reading several books on running, it was nice to read about a different sport (football) and about management and leadership.  The book is sub-titled:  “My Philosophy of Leadership“.  The book is copyright in 2009 and must have come out shortly after Walsh’s death.
I found it to be a VERY fast read and a very interesting one as well.  Of course, being a 49ers fan, it would be hard not to like it.  Walsh discusses some players and some game situations, but mostly he is talking about what he believes it takes to be a great leader.  Namely:  personal expertise in the subject matter, a dedication to teaching and communication, and a commitment to a specifically defined and explicitly communicated standard of performance (strive for excellence and improvement).
The following excerpt is from early in the book and is Walsh’s definition of his Standard of Performance:
Exhibit a ferocious and intelligently applied work ethic directed at continual improvement;  demonstrate respect for each person in the organization and the work he or she does;  be deeply committed to learning and teaching, which means increasing my own expertise;  be fair;  demonstrate character;  honor the direct connection between details and improvement, and relentlessly seek the latter;  show self-control, especially where it counts most — under pressure;  demonstrate and prize loyalty;  use positive language and have a positive attitude;  take pride in my effort as an entity separate from the result of that effort;  be willing to go the extra distance for the organization;  deal appropriately with victory and defeat, adulation and humiliation (don’t get crazy with victory nor dysfunctional with loss);  promote internal communication that is both open and substantive (especially under stress);  seek poise in myself and those I lead;  put the team’s welfare and priorities ahead of my own;  maintain an ongoing level of concentration and focus that is abnormally high; and make sacrifice and commitment the organization’s trademark.
At another point he says, passion, expertise, communication and persistence are the key’s to great teaching and great leadership.  It would be hard to disagree with anything said in the book.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in management or leadership.  It’s also a great read for any 49er fan seeking insight into our glory days.
Yesterday was Easter Sunday.  We all got together (Mom, Carm & Art, Sean and Junior, and Hil, Sarah and me) for lunch at Fresh Choice to celebrate Mom’s and Carm’s birthdays.  It was a great time and we all had a laugh.  Afterwards we all came back to our house to hang out and have a cup of tea or coffee.
Sometimes the simplest family get-togethers are the best…

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