My wife and I recently binge watched all 9 episodes of Squid Games over the period of a week. We were introduced to it by our son and daughter-in-law, when we were visiting them in Boston.
The Squid Games offers three choices that I want to share with you that can shape your life and those around you. These are Take Aways that I encourage you to look out for and to use in life and leadership. These are some of redeeming elements from watching the series – to help you and me live with greater focus and passion – and greater success. I’ll do my best to not share any spoilers, but if I do – I will try to warn you first.
Here are the lessons:
This Squid Games showed me the side of what life looks like when someone is down and out. It’s a biopic of our world in the midst of covid, and unrest. Each of the Green track suited characters in Squid Games (the players), including maybe even the Pink suited PlayStation / StormTrooper like workers...
I will never forget the day. My freshmen year of college, one of my required classes was English Literature. Honestly, I was less than thrilled. English Lit was not on my bucket list.
It was a cold afternoon in Ohio and I hustled from my dorm to beat the train going through the campus. I arrived early enough to find a good seat at the "back" of the room. (Yes, that's right, in those days I was a back seater student. The last thing I wanted was to get stuck in the front :-)
The professor walked in a few minutes late, cooly strolling in wearing a tweed jacket looking a lot like Jack Black would today.
In a passionate voice he introduced himself glancing at his new students in the room. "Welcome everyone! I am your Professor, Dr. Davis. But rather than thinking of me as yet another teacher, think of me as a GUIDE on your journey."
I looked around the room to see...
9-11 was a pivotal point in the life of SimVentions. I’ll never forget the day. I was in Orlando leading a Simulation forum with just over fifty people in the room. The conference chair unexpectedly poked her head in the middle of my session, quietly made her way to me with a clear look of concern.
“Paul. Sorry to interrupt, but the World Trade Center just was hit by a plane, and so was the Pentagon. They believe it was terrorist attack. And they think there are terrorists still in the air.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. “Terrorist attack.” I pondered. Then she added, “We fear that there are still registered attendees flying to this workshop, who may be on some of those planes.”
When she shared that, my heart stopped.
According to my math, our country is only 8 generations old. We're still pretty young. As such, we should never forget the importance of the 4th. It was a significant moment, a bold step of our past that will continually shape our future. We are still the land of the free, and the home of the brave.
But July 4th isn't just a day of independence -- it is also a day of declared dependence too.
Let today be a day of declared dependence. Let's come together connected by our common values:
These values bring us together. They unite us and shape our vision.
It's often a misunderstood word today. But "diversity" is something that has always been us. It's why the USA is called...
Today is father’s day. But my kids never call me father. They call me Dad. I love that word. Being a dad is one of the greatest joys of my life. It’s also one of the toughest roles of leadership I’ve ever had. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Becoming a Dad
I remember the birth of my first son. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life. I cried with joy, as my wife and I gazed at our child for the very first time. But let’s give credit where credit is due. I couldn’t be a dad without my wife (and God's blessings). What she endured for 9 months, and then 8+ hours of labor is unfathomable. I couldn’t do it. I remember her experiencing contractions, and me writing down the times and duration. Helping her breath. She was the bravest thing in the world… and still is!
When we knew it was time for the birth, we jumped in the car in the middle of the night in the pouring rain and headed to the hospital. I had packed a video camera to...
I need to make a confession. I am a recovering reluctant leader, and I'm doing everything I can to avoid a relapse.
The problem started way back when. Probably when I was just old enough to notice classmates (maybe even my older brother and sister) discrediting my unique ideas or thoughts. You know, an idea that disrupted the norm. Like, "What if we built a maze fort out of these cardboard boxes?” Or, “Want to help me build a wall of Legos to blockade mom and dad's room while they're sleeping?”
"No!" My brother and sister didn’t like either one of those ideas from their little brother. Sometimes I struggled with my voice being heard. Being the youngest, you often feel overlooked and ignored. It's frustrating. I remember when I was six knowing exactly what to do to put the family door knocker on the door, but no one wanted to hear my suggestion. I felt unheard and insignificant.
Eventually many of my imaginative...
It wasn't that long ago when outhouses where the norm. For thousands of years, some variant of the outhouse was the status quo. No one in their right mind dared to build their living space with indoor plumbing, even though the toilet was invented hundreds of years earlier in 1596. To use the latrine indoors would be crazy. Imagine the stink.
No, if you had to “go,” then you were required to exit the building, go down the path, watch out for snakes, spiders or alligators, and use the plank wooden shack in the backyard. This was the way it was for hundreds of years.
Finally, smart people like Thomas Jefferson -- yes, one of our founding fathers -- got tired of going outside and broke the mold by choosing to not settle for average. They didn’t care what other people thought about their disruptive indoor plumbing idea. They just figured out a way to make it work. Because of that, eventually indoor plumbing became the norm, despite the initial resistance and...
I love the NASA story. The aspiration we had as a nation in the 60's and early 70's to put man on the moon is an incredible example of perseverance! What seemed impossible at first, was made possible. But it wasn't without some challenges.
One of the most infamous statements in the midst of a challenge, which was used as motivation to help bring the crew of Apollo 13 safely back to earth, was a directive from Gene Kranz. In a moment of crisis, he coined the phrase "Failure is not an option."
Kranz, who's back is depicted in the picture above, was the flight controller for that mission, and many others. Almost fifty-six hours into the Apollo 13 mission, an explosion occurs on board. One of the oxygen tanks blows up, threatening their survival. This not only keeps them from landing on the moon, but jeopardizes the lives of the astronauts. The fear is that they might not come home.
A mix of contractors and NASA personnel representing various...
If you have a passion for personal growth or leadership, then let's stay connected. Occasionally, but not too often. I'll share helpful information and useful resources to encourage those on the breaking average journey.