Things that should be "OBVIOUS"… [O]ptimism, [B]revity, [V]ision, [I]nnovation, [O]riginality, [U]sability, [S]implicity


A Day or Two Ago

I’d thought I’d take a ride.

and soon Miss Fannie Bright was seated by my side.

One final gig today to wrap up my caroling gigs for 2021.

Merry Christmas to all!


Wrap Music

Are you as easily entertained as I am by the sound of scissors gliding through wrapping paper?


Who is our mystery guest?

Let me tell you about someone I know and love. The following words don’t exist in the dictionary but should.

VITALENTED – He equips his toolbox full of life, thrives in planning for the journey and the destination, and is exceedingly gifted in helping others live out their potential.

INSIGHTFULOPTIMISTIC – From his vantage point (often from the back of the pack), he can see opportunities that not everyone else can, and is always striving to help others see the finish line, or at least the next pit stop.

NUANCICAL – Where others are focused on one obvious flavor, he can taste and smell and add that missing essence or nuance that makes the dish perfect. I don’t mean in just his cooking, but in everyday life.

Continue reading

Words matter in business writing

Today’s blog read comes from Ryan Lundquist, a good friend with social media prowess and influence, who writes about avoiding subjective language in the real estate appraisal industry.

Ryan hits the nail squarely on the head. The use of subjective language in business writing creates opportunities for miscommunication. The miscommunication can cause a reader to come to a misunderstanding. In the appraisal industry, an extreme example of misunderstanding could result in claims of classism, elitism, and racism.

Check out his blog post “Just say no to subjective language in real estate” to see how he champions the technical communicator’s tools of accuracy and clarity in writing. See how you might translate this to your own profession.

Understand the difference between objective language and subjective language. Examine your own writing for unintentional subjective language.

Words matter. Write on?

I Learned How to Wash my Hands in 2020

Think back to pre-2020. Did you ever follow someone out of a public bathroom, someone who walked out without washing his hands?

Did you remember someone sneezing into their hands and not immediately washing them before shaking your hands?

Did you occasionally forget to wash your own hands before touching food, before touching your face, before holding a baby?

Let’s admit it. Before the pandemic of 2020, some of us had gotten lackadaisical about hand washing.

Then 2020.

During the pandemic, handwashing became top of mind. It was as if we all went back to elementary school and learned it all over again.

  • Palms
  • Between fingers
  • Back of the hands
  • Thumbs
  • Fingernails
  • Wrists

Teachers and parents taught kids to sing twice through “Happy Birthday” as they washed, so that they’d wash for more than 20 seconds.

This is the new normal. Let’s not go back to the old ways of hand washing.

The #thingsILearned

Finishing what I started

Did you know that I struggle with finishing things that I start?

I start a lot of things, but seldom finish them. I have countless journal pages with outlines for posts that I never finished. I have projects in the garage with all the pieces, one or two steps completed, but not finished. I have books on my shelf with bookmarks wedged somewhere in the first few chapters, but not finished.

That’s it. Today I take a stand. I’m committing myself. Today I’m going to fini

The ABCs of good communication just got an “F”

Why the heck do we communicate information? Answer that question correctly and you win. Win your audience, that is.

But waste their time by creating useless, inaccurate, wordy, muddled, ugly, purposeless, and hard-to-find content and you will have bought a ticket to unemployment. So how can you ensure you don’t waste your audience’s time?

Follow these ABCs of good communication:

A is for accuracy – Research every fact and conclusion you make. Rely on SMEs (subject matter experts) and check sources.

B is for brevity – Be brief. Edit ruthlessly. Make every paragraph, every sentence, and every word earn its right to be.

C is for clarity – Eliminate misunderstood words. Write phrases that can be understood by a 5th grade-level reader. (You’re not “dumbing it down.” You’re making sure all levels Continue reading

I was last

Back when “Words with Friends” was the thing, I played simultaneous games with Scrabble tile letter Iseveral different opponents.

I was in a close game with a brilliant opponent, who was challenging me with her strategic placement and clever command of the English language.

I got down to my last set of tiles.

Then he/she won, leaving me just one tile.

The letter “i.”

I was last.

My dad taught the word altruism to all of the kids. Look it up.

That’s sort of indicative of the philosophy and guiding principle that dictates much of my worldly interactions today. My mission is to support others, to encourage others, to facilitate others’ success.
Often that means they go first. First in line. First to get served. First to be heard from.
That’s ok with me.
I was last.

S.a.l.e.s. S.u.p.p.o.r.t.

2009-SacFoodBankIn a team funstorming session today, our department, Sales Support, brainstormed on the question “what is Sales Support?” Like others, our team designed a poster with words, images from magazines, and markers.

Meanwhile, I wrote out these lyrics:


S is for SUPPORT…it’s what we do.

A is for ASSERTIVENESS…I’m talking to you!

L is for LEARNERS…and the word might be “train,”

but what we do is tweak the brain.

E is for EXCELLENCE… we do nothing half-a$$ed

S is for SPEED…and we. mean. FAST!


S is for SIGHT…we help people see.

U is for UNITY…it’s all about …WE.

P is PROFICIENCY…our audience relies on it.

P is for POWER…we supply all of it.

O is OPTIMIZATION…fitting resources to a “T”

R is RESPECT…spelled R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

T is meant to end it on the word TEAM.

put it all together, we fulfill Sales’ DREAM.


(exits stage right. And our team won.)

Kickstarting your career

had the fortune of joining VSP Global’s innovation lab, the SHOP, for a 90-day rotation, using Design Thinking and Innovator’s Business Composer on a fellow employee’s innovation idea.


The fast-paced timetable, collaborative and fluid environment, start-up mentality, empowered decision making, and physical distance from corporate headquarters exposed me to some amazing situations.

I’m back at my day job, but I can say it kick started my personal career, confirmed my personal mission, and helped clarify my personal brand.

Read “how can employees innovate no matter their job title? VSP Global CEO Jim McGrann shares his thoughts with Forbes magazine.” http://shout.lt/bzTzb

What’s your biggest regret?

Blackboard posted in New York prompted passersby to write theirs.

Then, you see the common word in all of them.

Every day is a clean slate. Go reach even further.

%d bloggers like this: