Kansas City, The City of Entrepreneurship

I’m in a room at the Kansas City Public Library branch on the Plaza packed with over 200 people listening to Jerry Moran’s opening address at the Gigabit Challenge. What is the Gigabit Challenge? An entrepreneurial competition hosted by Think Big in Kansas City that generated over 113 submissions from 9 counties. What’s the Challenge? [...]


The Artistic Points of Leadership

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I was just in the middle of daydreaming about the leadership stereotype. You know the type. Fancy suit, mahogany rich office, leather chair, oversized windows, cocktail bar, fancy art adorning the walls. More importantly, I was imagining a conversation with that leader as he or she analogized their life to an overpriced piece of artwork [...]


“Are we there yet?”

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I’m going on vacation next week. Not counting the two separate times my kids were born, this is my first vacation since Cancun 2005. Unlike the times before, this trip includes two kids under the age of three, a case of red bull and a 920 mile trek across four states in a Honda CR-V. [...]


How to Save the Last Tree

We’ve all witnessed people making really dumb decisions. Just in the middle of witnessing someone make such a decision, a colleague shared the Viking decision-making model. Step 1. Drink with your Viking friends until a drunken epiphany strikes. Step 2. If everyone still thinks the solution is sound sober, go with it. Did the Vikings [...]


Remember When …

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According to a report by Pew Research, 94% of Millennials and 89% of Boomers have a cell phone. 83% of Millennials and 68% of Gen Xers actually sleep with or next to their phone. Gartner even thinks smartphones will surpass desktop PC’s in 2013 as the most used devices for web access. At this pace, [...]


Tomorrow’s CSR

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What is CSR? Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Maybe you are still wondering, “Great, but what is CSR?” If so, you and I have something in common. Professor Waheed Hussain of Wharton says “CSR involves initiatives and programs that are designed to fulfill an ethical obligation to some party, such as the local community or the [...]

Chopped with Madison Cowan

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I just got done making Mexican cinnamon rolls al a mode. My daughter, son and I were hungry. What’s the recipe? Throw some butter, sugar and cinnamon in a pan, drop in a tortilla for a few minutes, flip, roll and serve with ice cream. My daughter loves anything that gives her a sugar high. [...]


A Valentine’s Day Business Card

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Recently, my wife and I celebrated our tenth Valentine’s Day. It so happens, I was also just in the middle of printing some new business cards with GreenerPrinter. Whether you are redoing your own business cards or trying to redeem yourself from a Valentine’s Day massacre, here’s an analogy between the two that can help. [...]


Dislikes, Detweets and Checkouts

Our online world is a happy go lucky place. You can’t throw a stick at it without hitting a “Like”, “Tweet”, “Check-in”, “Thumbs Up” or “Share” button. Facebook has “Likes” … why not “Dislikes”? Some bloggers like the idea, other’s don’t. It was my nephew’s first birthday party in St. Louis last weekend. So I [...]


How to Beat Tetris

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At work, I oversee a portfolio of web projects. Maybe you’re an IT person reading this and you know all about project portfolio management. PPM for short. Like most people in the world, you’re probably thinking, “Who the hell cares?” PPM? Pages per minute? Parts per million? Only rich stock market traders and artists have [...]


SWOT-ting Social Media

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For those used to my regular posts applying some abstract analogy to some business or personal lesson, I promise to get back on track next week. This week’s post applies the old school business idea of SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) to social media. On November 15, I attended a Social Media Club [...]


Day 3 Inbox Zero

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If you are just tuning in, this is Day 3 of 3 of our resolution for Inbox Zero. Here’s how this New Year’s resolution got started. Here is my final tally of “Deletes, Delegates, Responds, Defers and Dos” using our Inbox Zero Tracking Spreadsheet. Welcome to Day 3. 8:43am. Checking my blackberry at a red [...]


Day 2 Inbox Zero

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If you are just tuning in, this is Day 2 of 3 of our resolution for Inbox Zero. Here’s how this New Year’s resolution got started. Here is my tally of “Deletes, Delegates, Responds, Defers and Dos” for Days 1 and 2 using our Inbox Zero Tracking Spreadsheet. Welcome to Day 2. 9:02am. I have [...]


Day 1 Inbox Zero

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If you are just tuning in, this is Day 1 of 3 of our resolution for Inbox Zero. Here’s how this New Year’s resolution got started. To help us become inbox processing ninjas, we developed this super duper Inbox Zero Tracking Spreadsheet to tally our “Deletes, Delegates, Responds, Defers and Dos” throughout the day. Download [...]

Inbox Zero

An Inbox Zero Resolution

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“The Story You Are About To Hear Is True. The Names Have Been Changed To Protect The Innocent.” One of my staff members is making her first New Year’s resolution ever. Let’s call her Mary. It’s a resolution we can all relate to. Better living through a smaller e-mail inbox. It’s 2011. It seems like [...]

Bathroom Remodel Deconstruction

Mastering Your Bathroom Remodel

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It’s almost 2011. Like most people, I started thinking, “What did I do in 2010?” We began 2010 celebrating at 2am New Year’s day with a tile saw buzzing and my father-in-law back buttering porcelain tile. We had our second child shortly after in January. Like our child before, the nesting instinct took over and [...]

Christmas Tree Ornament

A Christmas Tree Story

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If you’ve ever watched A Christmas Story or National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, you know how memorable the holidays can be. Maybe you are planning to dedicate your house to the Griswold Family Christmas this year or perhaps your cat just chewed the cord on your Christmas lights and your whole tree went up in flames. [...]

Beekeeping with Blooming Apple Trees in Background

Busy as a Bee

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I read a post by Ndubuisi Ekekwe titled Leadership Lessons of Ants a while back. In a nutshell, the author provided six simple points he applied to a project after disturbing an army of ants. I was in Chicago a few months back and it made me start thinking about those ants again. It was [...]

Business Man Looking at Clock

Theory of Career Relativity

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What time is it right now? Find a clock. Go quick, I’ll wait. Now, ask yourself these questions. Where will you be in 1 minute? How about 4 hours? At 11pm? Pretty easy, right? Where will your career be in 1 month? 4 years? When will it end, or maybe start? Are you looking to [...]

Playground Trust Training

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Here’s a life lesson I learned at the playground the other day. Sometimes the things we make the most complex to understand are easiest taught by a two year old. Are you in the dog house because you forgot to bring home the cranberries for the cranberry jello mold? Or maybe you just got promoted [...]

Whet Your Whistle

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I think I have the same struggles as everyone else. Here’s my typical day and some of my upcoming posts to whet your whistle. The “h” is silent. I’ll explain in a minute. I love my kids and life, don’t get me wrong. I’m one of those that believe the faster the roller coaster moves, [...]

Kamisaki Pachamama!

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Kamisaki Pachamama! Hello World! Welcome to Just in the Middle. A blog that shares unique perspective through analogies, associations, stories and a host of other off the wall drawings, diagrams and illustrations to simplify and re-examine “life in the middle”. I should “role my credits” upfront and thank a host of people for supporting my [...]