Swimming to end of my yard

With apologies to Sterling Gray.

I find myself thinking about my yard as a lake. From mowing to other tasks I spend a lot of time going from one end of my yard to another. It’s not something I do because I want to, it’s just something I have to do..

So why does my yard go from being a yard to becoming a lake?

First it’s the effort. Every time I go into the back yard I am reminded that I have so many more things to do out there. So one it is a lake because I sink into the muddy bottom of things I am not getting done.

Second like a lake its a single color (green) flowing and rippling with the wind. Kinda cool when you think about it, but then I am probably the only person on earth who does think about it.

Last it is a lake because well it’s the only thing I could think of the first time I thought about it.

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Where did customer service go

When did customer service stop being  critical path for a business? My wife says it’s because people are being asked to do more with less. But there are so many more tools today to simply send an email, a twitter or a text to say “Thanks for your business.”

I’ve had two recent experiences that really cause me to think about this. I have tried to talk to my mortgage company more than 34 times in the past 30 days. I’ve gotten no response other than two form letters asking me to submit the same information that they have asked for now 11 times. I have sent it to them 11 times as well – its just annoying.

The second experience was with my travel company. The person involved in the process of getting my new passport went so far above and beyond the call of duty I was overjoyed with the service provided.

Why is that? The company I am most dependent on is my mortgage company and they are, and have been the least responsive.



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A story of travel and the daily blog

I’ve been trying to update my blog daily since January (it was a new years resolution to blog more). Keeping two different blogs – really trying to separate my person thoughts (here) and my professional thoughts (http://docandersen.wordpress.com ) and adding a podcast (http://docandersen.podbean.com). But as is tradition, the 4th quarter brings more sales and therefore more travel.

So I slipped on Thursday and Friday of this week posting no personal blog. So what do I do? Do I accept that (yes).

So you get this blog instead of something quirky and funny – you instead get something self indulgent and boring.

Anyway – travel makes it really hard to blog. It’s easy to work out when you are traveling (hotels now have great facilities) but it’s not always as easy to blog. The reason for me is that I work more hours when I am on the road – versus when I am working at home (and tend to have to end the day around 6 pm to make dinner for the kids).

My apologies if you were looking for something new the past three days (including today).



Customer service, a lost passport and the final straw

Who do you trust with your important documents?

Recently I waited until the last minute to get my passport renewed. Of course that meant that the company shipping my package had to lose it. They had to, its almost a law of the universe.

Anyway – today I get to run around and recreate a ton of documents that I wasn’t going to have to do before.

and now I have to go to the federal government offices to get a new passport, in person in a major city (by the way Indianapolis is not a major city).



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flying fish and children’s concerts

For the first time in ages my travel schedule will allow me to attend one of my children’s school performances.

For those of you who don’t know I was a school teacher for 7 years and went to many of these events. It was part of the job I was doing at the time so I didn’t “appreciate” the impact of the performance.

Now, when it is my children performing its a very different experience. As one of the teachers there I was concerned about perfection, now I spend my time video taping my children so I can watch it again over and over.

To me it is such a difference. Not sure why i hadn’t thought about it before, but it is such a huge difference that I am wondering why I didn’t think of it before.

I guess its another joy of parenting!


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Measure your understanding, twice

Carpenters always say measure twice, cut once. Why don’t we do that with communication?  why don’t we listen twice, and talk once?

So how do you listen twice? Over the years I’ve been exposed to a number of models for communication all of which propose a method to arrive at “listening twice” but the thing is there are to many variables in the equation.

People communicate the way they are taught to. For example, I frequently work in APAC and LATAM and I have to remind myself to speak at a slower pace.

It’s a thought…and a problem. I have been thinking about the solution for a long time…




its the hardest job you will ever love. Why do we marry? Love is a reason but not the only reason we marry someone. We marry someone because they have in them, things that we find missing in ourselves, be it compassion or humor something that we wish we could encompass in ourselves but are just not able to.

In the movie Jerry McGuire there is the great line “You complete me.” which isn’t really relevant to marriage – its a great line but no human should look for another to complete them. Marriage is the merging of two strong people into one strong unit. It is not a completion rather an addition. Each partner can stand on their own, battle their own dragons, but can fall back to other for support and love, consideration and caring.

Marriage is a friendship wrapped in a romantic ideal. It is without a doubt the hardest job you will ever love.


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