It was National 4-H Week October 7-13th and my program in Washington County, Utah really represented! I'm very proud of what we were able to accomplish together so I'm going to brag about it for a moment.
First, I was in Washington D.C with one of my teen leader's accepting an award for his 4-H project he did on technology education. Read about it HERE.
Then I flew home and the very next event on my agenda was Farm Field Days. We had nearly 2000 4th graders come out to a local farm to learn about where their food comes from. Read about it HERE.
Every once in a while I read an article that I REALLY enjoy. I like to read content that is FUN, but it also has to teach me something. I don't read a significant amount of FUN - I tend to only read books and articles that teach me something I'm interested in like right now I'm reading about mobile apps and agriculture...yeah, boring I know.
Matthew Herper at Forbes.com recently wrote this piece entitled "Five Career Lessons From Han Solo." This was a FUN read! First I saw the word "Five" followed by "Career Lessons" and thought to myself, "I've got time for five career lessons, probably already heard them before, but it;s from Forbes so it might be something cutting edge...or not...but I got time for five." Then I read, "Han Solo" and I freaking clicked on that!
I watched Star Wars for Han Solo, The Millenium Falcon, and Chewbacca! I thought Luke was a whiny puts and Darth Vader was just washed up, never thought that guy was scary. Han Solo didn't need a lightsaber or the force, he was cool because he had a gnarly ship, blaster, and a hairy friend.
I hope you have time to read Matt's article, here's a quick preview of the Five Career Lessons from Han Solo:
1) Have an ally who will support you no matter what.
“Chewie and I will take care of this. You stay here.”
2) Be a mentor – you might get paid back later.
“That’s two you owe me, junior.”
3) Don’t be too focused
“Jabba, I was just on my way to pay you back, and I got a little sidetracked.”
4) Trust what you know
“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”
5) Shoot first
“Yeah, but this time, I’ve got the money…”
If you like Matt's article you'll also enjoy 5 Lessons In Freelancing From Han Solo.
When I took my first stats class I absolutely hated it because nothing made sense. It was like learning a new language: confidence levels, mean, correlation, standard deviation, poison, probability, z-score, binomial distribution, regression etc.
While I was preparing to fail the class something literally clicked in my brain and I managed to pull off an A that semester.
But beyond digesting statistical methods and tools...I learned something far more important. It can be summed up in this quote:
Or just throw out some made up numbers:
I've realized that there are three types of lies:
I've also realized that sometimes people want you to lie to them, right?
My job is a tenure track position, so I have 5 years to prove I'm awesome before I can be promoted. This will be no problem because I am awesome...but I was recently told by a superior that I should include statistics in my promotion and tenure documentation and to "create charts and graphs that show the numbers going up." Well, if I'm going to be judged by the statistics I choose to provide then this is going to be fun!
My tenure committee may end up seeing a graph like this:
And maybe a few like this too:
This is a cool puzzle that will make your mind boggle. I got a bunch of ping-pong balls and hot-glued them together in these pieces:
If you do it right it should look like this:
Just a fun craft I thought I'd share since I was working on it. Hope someone will pin it on PINTEREST!
As you set your New Year's resolution to lose weight, here's a motivating story.
It was my 2011 resolution to drop 30 lbs. Being immersed in my MBA program at SUU for over a year took all my spare time that I would have used for exercise. I was up to 185 and I needed to get down to a healthy and comfortable 155 (160 would even do).
I'm a fan of Tim Ferriss so of course I was planning to read The 4-Hour Body any way. The moment I downloaded the book on my Kindle for iPad app in January of this year, I noticed the Slow Carb Diet and the promise of dropping 20 lbs in 30 days without any exercise. Sounded good to me!
Basically, here's what I did:
This is how it usually looked before adding salsa, I prefer Jack's Salsa or the Kirkland Signature brand.
I'm pretty much an expert on the Slow Carb Diet. If you ever have any questions about it, like Do's and Don't's etc. just ask me and I'd be ha ppy to advise you.
Welcome to the world Brady Mack Hill!
Born @ 11:31am on December 6, 2011 in Hurricane, Utah
7 lbs. 12 oz. 20"
So here's the story, my wife Katie is superwoman and prefers a completely natural birth...at home.
She woke up at 7:30am this morning and said, "I'm having contractions, they're pretty close together. I think we'll have our baby boy this morning."
I was down with that, so I got the hot towels ready.
Katie called our Midwife, Liz Smith (she has delivered over 1200+ babies, never lost one), and she arrived around 9:45am, by this time the contractions were about 5min apart. Katie was pretty chill, just relaxing, doing some squats.
We checked the heartbeat in-between contractions. It just took a few pushes and at 11:31am Brady popped out. He had the cord around his neck, but that was no problem. Liz knew just what to do. Katie was only in heavy labor for about an hour.
It was a really wonderful experience. We had our first boy at home with Liz early last year and it went just as smooth.
Katie and Brady are doing great. Just relaxing and recovering. Another great birth experience for the Hills!
This week a lot has come at me all at once. The looming question I always seem to have on my mind is, "What's the most important thing should I do next?"
Would you agree that this is not the most the most important decision of your day, but your career even?
I've learned that "What next?" used to be a question your boss or your clients would answer for you.
Today we have a multitude of opportunities, we also have so many constraints. Successfully deciding what to do next will be your moment of highest leverage. Would you agree that it deserves more time and attention than most people give it?
I really liked this thought by Seth Godin: If you're not willing to face the abyss of choice, you will almost certainly not spend enough time dancing with opportunity.
What am I going to do next? Well I'm going to do a lot of things, I'm starting my day organizing 2000 fourth graders so they can learn that their food comes from a farm, not a supermarket. I'm going to lead, serve and have fun doing it.
When making a decision about what to do next. Think about this:
Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.
I believe that a company's job application should reflect its core values. An applicant may be qualified, but if she doesn't share the same core values as the organization, then it's simply not a good fit. That's why I think a standard application is junk - unless of course your business is stiff and boring. Sure there is a lot of legal trash you've got to have in there to protect your business and reduce exposure to litigation, but that's what the fine print is for.
Behold, here's my company's spankin' new job application that I've designed (with a little help from Sell!Sell!) to reflect the core values of my organization.
If you don't like it, tell me why. I like it because it's fun. One thing I've got to say about management is this:
"If you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong."
Last week my family and I went to Cafe Rio and actually got some Sprite (we're totally not soda drinkers), my wife decided to share some with Taft since he's never tried a soft drink before. Here's what happened...
So Sprite, I would say that it's nothing personal, but it really is. My boy doesn't like your product, which just so happens to be your best work. This is not personal about you, it's personal about him. The moral of the story here is to do your best work. So what if some kid doesn't like it!
What other choice do you have?
This is the last month of the last semester of my MBA program at SUU and all of a sudden I have something I haven't had in almost a decade...FREE TIME!
Today my wife was out volunteering with the youth girls at church and I got to stay home all morning and afternoon with my one-year-old son Taft. We had such a fun time eating breakfast (I had the slow-carb eggs, beans, spinach and salsa while Taft had banana and macadamia nut pancakes), then I followed the written routine Katie left for me: Bath time, playtime, lunch, and nap. Taft was so good! He usually runs around the house naked before I catch him and put him in the bath, this time he was such an obedient boy, he didn't even fight me as I changed his diaper.
For playtime I broke out all my old Star Wars action figures. I soon realized Taft is not old enough to play with 3" special edition Han Solo and Boba Fett action figures after he put the mini blasters and light sabers in his mouth and started chewing on Darth Vader's head. So my special toys went back into storage until a later date and time...probably after Taft watches both trilogies and can truly express to me that he appreciates the force, wookies, and ewoks.
When Katie got home we went grocery shopping, something I really never do, but am looking forward to doing more often. Grocery stores are so cool! After having worked at one for my first job I still have this phobia that I'm going to get called on the PA system to bag groceries at register 7. We didn't get much, my primary need was corn chips and salsa. I am on this pursuit to find the world's best salsa. I think I've found it, but I'm constantly looking for something better. I bought a gallon of Wild Coyote - so far so good. It doesn't top Jack's Salsa (which is my absolute #1 favorite) but it will do.
After shopping we went to DQ for mini-blizzards and a drive around our small town. I could tell Taft really liked my chocolate truffle blizzard. It was definitely a binge day from my slow carb diet with the blizzard and the french bread grilled cheese sandwich I had earlier. But hey, what are squats and triceps extensions for?
Ok, so this was a fun blog post. Of course as a newly minted MBA I will be blogging less about the play-by-play of my day and more about the softer side of management (which is my passion). It took me seven years of juggling full-time work and school to realize what fields of business I am interested in. After having applied everything I learned in every class at work (also known as my management laboratory) I realized I don't enjoy the stock market, accounting (unless it's managerial), or any of the boring number crunching subjects. Rather, I love to have fun, be happy, and I really enjoy interacting with people. So much of what I will blog about will involve HR, marketing, customer service, business development, productivity, and the occasional random (and geeky) things I find interesting.