A Boy 6 – 9 Years Old Is Responsible For His Dad’s Cows…..

May 25, 2013 § 1 Comment

A Story of a Young Kenyan Boy, Richard Turere, who made peace with the Lions.

One Year Ago, I was just a boy in the Savannah grassland herding my fathers cows and I used to see planes flying over.   I told myself one day I’ll be there inside [that plane}…and here I am.  My big dream is to become an aircraft engineer and pilot when I grow up.

There’s so much to this story.  A 12 yr old dreamer.  A problem solver.  An entrepreneur.  The creator of “Lion Lights”.    A story of getting on the world’s stage at a Ted conference and sharing with us all.  A story of making peace with one’s enemies.

My community is the Masai.  We believe we come from heaven with all the animals and all the land.  That’s why we value them so much.  So I grew up hating lions so much…..

An amazing and inspiring story we can all learn from.


Colin Powell: “It’s All About the People”; and his Thirteen Rules

May 15, 2013 § 1 Comment

A book landed on my desk from a fellow respected colleague and growing friend at Mozilla.  Thanks Pascal!   The book was Colin Powell’s:  It Worked For Me – In Life and Leadership.

The core of the book and of Powell are his Thirteen Rules and the stories of the people in his life.    These thirteen rules are self-described quotes or aphorism he had collected over the years (prior to the Internet).  He kept them front and center under the glass cover of his desktop.   I present them here as I can’t land this book on everyone else’s desk who might be reading this blog.  It’s much more efficient in simply sharing this way.

1.  It Ain’t As Bad As You Think.  It Will Look Better In The Morning  (Attitude)

2.  Get Mad, Then Get Over It.  (Attitude)

3.  Avoid Having Your Ego So Close To Your Position That When Your Position Falls, Your Ego Goes With It.

“Disagree with me, do it with feeling, try to convince me you are right and I am about to go down the wrong path.  You owe that to me;  that’s why you are here.  But don’t be intimidated when I argue back.  A moment will come when I’ve heard enough and I make a decision.   Loyalty is disagreeing strongly, and loyalty is executing faithfully.”  « Read the rest of this entry »

Sitting in My Dad’s Study

May 9, 2013 § 3 Comments

Happy Birthday Dad!  I figured I’d celebrate it with a blog post to share a couple of lessons I learned from you!  Thanks!

2 Lifelong Lessons:  Learning and Teaching

I was 12 or 13 years old and sick of school.  Sick of homework.  I hadn’t yet realized learning is fun.   All I knew is there was homework to do and  it felt like a chore.  I couldn’t wait for school to be over so I could start having fun in life. I remember thinking to myself, “Did I really have 6 or even 10 more years of school?”

One day, I walked into my Dad’s study (he was a Doctor and 40 yrs old +/-) and I found him absorbed in a pile of books in the middle of a beautiful day seemingly studying.  I recall saying something to the effect of “Hey Dad, what are you doing?  It looks like you are studying”.

He said “I am”.

I paused in confusion.  “But Why?” I asked.  “I thought that once school was over, you never had to study or do homework ever again?

He paused and then said very matter of factly and very presciently  “You know Jim, you never stop studying or learning in life.  In fact, new books and techniques are developed every year and I have to keep up on all of them”

Again I asked “But Why?”

And my Dad said so impactfully:

“Well, there might be something in these books or new techniques that could help me save somebody’s life someday.  Imagine if I didn’t keep up with all this new material?”

A second conversation with my Dad (in his study) occurred a few years thereafter.  This conversation centered around Teaching.  I remember asking him “Is everyone who goes to medical school a great doctor?”

He explained to me that not all doctors were equal and those doctors that put the effort in and “got A’s” in medical school were probably better than doctors who got “C’s or D’s”   He continued to explain how all medical schools had a very regimented and rigorous core philosophy to ensure all doctors granted a license were qualified to actually be a doctor.

I’ve never forgotten his explanation of this core medical school philosophy and how it consisted of 4 distinct phases all students went through in medical school.

  • Read It and Memorize It – Year 1
  • See It – Year 2
  • Do It – Years 3-4
  • Teach It:  Internship and Residency

The words my Dad used that day have been emblazoned in my psychological makeup ever since:

“You don’t become an Expert at anything until you actually have to Teach somebody else what you think you know”

Knowing my children will be 12 and 9 this year, I’m waiting for the right moment to share with Trevor and Claire what my Dad taught me.

1)  You never stop studying and learning.

2)  Only until you Teach somebody else, do you become an Expert

Happy Birthday Dad!  And thanks again for your valuable life lessons!

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