Month: May 2015

Big Bear – Memorial Day weekend

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Our first weekend in the new house. Super fun as we invited Amys family and celebrated Sally’s birthday

   
 

   
           

Ideate loudly and Execute violently

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I had almost forgot to post this, as this was our teams theme for the year. Ideate loudly and execute violently was something my team at lynda.com decided would be our 2015 theme.

Some of the great points from this article by Jason Nazar

  • Companies should aggressively and loudly arrive at the best ideas. Yell, scream, or shout. Do whatever it takes to come to the best answer.
  • Don’t rush into strategic decisions. Get everyone involved. Hash everything out. Instead of meeting for an hour, take four or five days.
  • The unhappiest workers are usually the ones who have no say in the company’s strategy or direction. Demand to be a part of the process.
  • Once the decision is made, execute violently. Don’t look back. Focus just on achieving the results you’ve committed to achieving.
  • If you execute violently rather than dealing with passive-aggressiveness, you’re going to get better results every time.
  • As a leader, you have to tell your team: I want you to challenge me, I want you to question me, I want you to push back on everything.
  • You have to create a real environment for the best ideas to surface. Ideation thrives only in a true meritocracy.
  • The senior leaders can’t be the only ones with “good ideas.” You’re either not hearing everyone out or you’ve hired the wrong people.
  • Empower employees to participate and get them excited about the process. They’ll work harder to achieve the outcomes they help decide.
  • Recruit people who are comfortable with disagreement and discussion, but can deliver results after the decisions have been made.

Why TRI?

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Why TRI?

On my most recent race (Wildflower 70.3), I was wondering what attracts me to this sport? Extreme training, time away from the family, early wake-ups, rushed meals, longs hours in solitude, working to the point of physical exhaustion. All while maintaining a high intensity career, and an active family. Sounds compelling right? Well, maybe…..

Here are some reasons on why I keep doing it.

  • Mental – Time spent alone in training helps me work through problems and stress in my life. The process is meditative and provides a sense of clarity to my problems.
  • Health and fitness – Having a TRI on the calendar forces me out of bed on a cold morning to train. There is nothing like a deadline to ensure I meet my goals. It also forces me to second guess what I eat.
  • Leadership – As my favorite professor at Pepperdine (Dr. Wayne Strom) taught me, good leadership starts with “the leader”, this translates to investments in myself map directly to my team and how I support them.
  • Commitment – Sign-up, train, and follow-through, illustrates to my Children and people around me that we don’t quit in life and we do the hard things.
  • Grit and tenacity – Beaten down, bloody, exhausted, but continuing to fight demonstrates a primary tenant in life, which has been a key area of success in my life. Especially as I am very average at this sport.
  • Effectiveness – This follows the old saying “If you want something done, give it to the busy man”. Time is precious, so use it as wisely and efficiently as possible.

These core areas translate back to life and the difficulties that appear. Despite, what my Baseball coach taught me, Its not about just about winning, it’s about fighting when things get hard or what may seem insurmountable. There have been many races where I experience moments of raw emotion, which feels like pure happiness. On the other side of all this work and pain there is a feeling of “Life” and truly how good it is, which can only be obtained by fighting for it.

I people ask me, how do I prepare for a Triathlon. My answer every time is “Sign up”, the minute after you sign up you begin to prepare, and things fall into place. You now have a date (which will not change), you paid for it (committed) and there is a world of information (preparation) on how to train for your upcoming event.

You gotta TRI.

-Michael

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2015 Wildflower (70.3) completed

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Wildflower 70.3

What a journey leading up to this one. Back in the fall of 2014 when Jim L. prodded me (for the second time) to signing up for this event, I decided to “cease the day” and go for it. After signing up, I sent my registration email to Michael and with milliseconds he was registered as well. The three of us were In. Then came the training.

This was all of our first Ironman events and from what I understand is arguably one of the most difficult Half Ironman’s out there. After Saturday’s 7 hours and 36 minutes of racing, I think I now know why. As with any long race there is plenty of time to ponder life and just think about things. I came up with a few fun points on why this race was hard and what I prefer about Triathlons.

  1. I coined this race “The three H’s” which stands for Heat, Headwinds, and Hills.
  2. Half Ironman’s require at least 12 hours a week of training with solid work on bike/run legs (longer rides are critical)
  3. Coastal races are much more attractive to me now. The heat is a major factor.
  4. Late starts (8:50am) are No Bueno.
  5. M&A and Tri Training don’t mix.

The overall race took me 7 hours and 36 minutes to complete (about 45 minutes longer than my estimated time of arrival) this was largely due to underestimating the sheer intensity and climbing of the bike route. The hardest part being starting at Mile 41 (Nasty Grade), then proceeding to climb until mile 45. My legs were shot after this hill. Then some downhill, the continuous bouts of uphills until finished.

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This would have been doable if it was not for the remaining 10.9 miles or run course left. The Run was an absolute monster. I walked a lot, but I finished by running the last two miles.

Why Tri?

On this Wildflower and previous races, I have been wondering what attracts me to this sport? They are extreme challenges, robs from my family, requires missing work events and lunches, spending longs hours in solitude and is overall physically exhausting.

Here are some reasons for why I keep doing it.

  1. Time spent alone in training helps me work through problems in my life and is my meditation.
  2. Maintaining health and fitness, having a TRI on the calendar reminds, gets you out of bed on a cold morning to train.
  3. I have become a better leader, as leadership starts with the Individual (Dr. Wayne Strom) and have been inspired by TRI.
  4. The commitment of signing up, training, and following through with a challenge shows my kids that we don’t quit in life.
  5. We just don’t give up, beaten down, bloody, to the point of exhaustion, demonstrates true grit and tenacity, which has been a primary tenant for me in my success at work.

All these things and more translate back to life and how life can be difficult at times. We just do not give up. Its not about winning its about fighting when life throws you a curve ball. I feel strongly about why this is so important to me. There have many of these races where I have moments of pure raw emotion and I just find myself welling up to an emotional peak of happiness mixed with pure goodness. I cannot explain this feeling to anyone who has not experienced it, but on the other side of all this work and pain there is a feeling of “Life” and truly how good it is, which can only be obtained by fighting for it.

-Michael

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