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Giants, Rangers and Blow Darts

Every inning of the World Series has its own personality. In the second game on Thursday night the San Francisco Giants were in charge. It was a raucous game, a game of strong healthy young men swinging and running and throwing.   As a newby Giants fan, having recently moved to Sonoma County,  I loved every moment of the players rounding third base to home, the orange handkerchiefs swirling in the air, the sense of good times during the tough economic times.   Then the commercials came on. Most were benign, comforting. There are cars to buy and hamburgers to eat. It reminded me of times in my teens when baseball was  the most beloved sport in America.   One commercial, not very long, just very disconcerting would come on every so often. It would show a young guy sitting at a computer terminal. Some bad guy dude comes to the door with a blow gun and shoots a dart toward the fellow. As the man turns around to see what is happening he gets a blowdart in his neck and falls to the floor. Proudly DirectTV lets us know we can get films from them faster than from the competition.   Every time I saw this I knew I would do end runs around getting anything from DirectTV. Their poor taste and lack of judgment did the opposite of what they wanted. They made me a definite non-customer.   Now, here is where it gets really ugly. My daughter who lives in the Bay Area has a husband and two little ones who are bedecked in orange shirts to...

Leadership Development: Breaking the Mold with Giants and Glee

  San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy refers to his team, now getting ready for the World Series as a “bunch of misfits.” Huh? They played super ball in their series against the Phillies. Misfits?   Switch to Glee, the hit TV show that is capturing the minds and hearts of our nation; the story of a high school singing club full of misfits. These kids get along best with each other, having to do end runs around the popular kids.   Back to the Giants; lots of those who played so well in the series that just ended were cast out of other teams. Their visionary General Manager caught lots of flack all the while saying stuff like, “there is a plan, you’ll see” and he had to believe in those he chose to join the team. Not surprising that their informal song became Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin”; and they are doing just what the song suggests!   The common theme is that those who seem at odds with the traditional image of success can make it happen, can come in first; and win our hearts in the process. This is more than merely the David and Goliath saga; it is the beginning of a trend that will become more and more important in the coming years.   Thanks to Wall Street, our celebrity addicted culture, and down and dirty dealings in the political arena we are seeing that what looks good on the surface is not to be trusted. The tide may be turning to those who are real, who have true grit, play their hearts out,...

A Picture is Truly Worth Tons of Words

If you are not familiar with Anne Geddes work, run your fingers quickly to a site that will show you her remarkable photographs with pregnant women and infant. It is heartwarming and amazingly creative. We really do need to reconnect with the sacredness of conception and birth. It has been lost in a society that seems to get cruder and more sensationalistic as the days go by.   In “Don’t Bring It to Work” I discuss the behavior patterns learned in family and culture that form us. Did you know we begin to create our language when we are in the fourth month of development as a fetus? We hear our mother talking, albeit the sounds are garbled, like listening to someone under water. It helps with the development of what is known as “the mother tongue”. Language patterns start early as do all behavior patterns. Instead of the junk that is calling itself entertainment today, maybe we can promote the kind of beauty that Anne provides. Pass it on!     Anne Geddes: What I Learned from Exploring “Beginnings”   I saw a photograph of a bird’s nest, which was an advertisement for what I thought was a photographic exhibition at a small gallery in Sydney. When I arrived, it was a showing of real birds’ nests. I was deeply moved by these little nests, their incredible beauty and fragility, and the mothering instinct at work — the ingenuity and energy channeled into creating a safe place to conceal the young. Everything about them was just so nurturing. And I began to think about these miracles of nature...

Having to Choose

  I used to be an avid baseball fan. Then somewhere between getting a PhD, helping my daughters settle into their young adult lives, and becoming a grandma I just turned my attention elsewhere.   Now, with my new home team, the San Francisco Giants in the playoffs with the Philadelphia Phillies I am re-finding my sports mind is still intact; not that different than getting back on a bike after years of sliding behind the wheel of a car.   So, here is my dilemma. I grew up in the Philadelphia area and even last year when my interest was still minimal I was delighted when the Phillies won.  I have only really lived in the Bay area for less than a year, in Philly territory for over 30 years.   As I was watching the game, the second in the series, I found myself cheering for both teams. Then I decided I would whoop it up for my new hometown. Nope, didn’t work that well. Yet, wanting the Phillies to win; nah, that didn’t work either.   I became fascinated with this loyalty thing. Who do you choose, not just in sports, in all of life? Is it where you are now or is it based on history? I started to think about the dilemma of divorce and remarriage and the dilemma the kids have in finding out how to root for all the parents who share their lives.   I thought about changing schools, or companies, or countries; more complex than at first glance. Of course there is loyalty to the past, yet it can become...

Leadership in Action: The Perfect Pitch

Last Thursday I had a fun time watching my mind make comments to myself and then I learned, once again, about how hard it is not to judge, and to stay open to everything around me.    Here’s the scene: sitting in a middle seat on a totally booked airplane going from Newark to San Francisco, a five and a half hour stint I became an internal drama queen, frustrated that with all the flying I do I missed getting upgraded by two guys who were in the queue before me. How I ended up in a MIDDLE seat was bothersome and while I pleaded with the flight attendant for a better place, he was too busy with a crying infant to bother with me.   So, I got as comfortable as possible and read USA Today, wrote some for my new book about women at work, and drifted into small dreams about sunny beaches and soft sand. Then the man to my left turned on his direct tv totally involved, so it seemed, with a baseball game. I glanced over every so often and must admit I was judging, thinking he could be more productive with his time.   Yea gads! I was really overtired and caught myself in the middle of a thought about how people waste their time. Then I started to watch the pitcher throw the ball. He looked like type casting from Star Wars not a professional ball player. Tall, thin, long dark hair cascading from his baseball cap, he was grace in action.   It was the 7th inning of a game between...