Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Some Thoughts on My Birthday

This morning didn't start out much different that most...I woke up, got a shower, and headed back to our bedroom. As I was getting clothes on I heard Allison in Cooper's room talking to him quietly. I wasn't sure what they were up to, but when I turned around he was standing in the closet doorway with a HUGE smile on his face and his hand behind his back. He said "you know what I have?" I said no and he jumped as he swung his arm around. Unable to contain his excitement, he said "happy birthday!" and gave me with a card. He and Allison made it last night while I was at Bible study and he had written his name and, at least helped with, "Happy Birthday Daddy." It was awesome!

I am the luckiest guy in the world. I have an awesome family that, at least on my birthday, woke up with me on their mind. I have a great job and great friends. What else can a person ask for?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Almost Isn't Good Enough

"World changers aren't looking for a way to feel better about themselves but a way to spread light and joy in places that are dark and dreary." - Wayne Elsey

Recently I saw a tweet about a book that was to be released around Christmas time. I didn't give it much thought and then saw another tweet about some of the work that Soles4Souls is doing in various parts of the world, specifically in Haiti. I read that they had recently given away their 12 millionth pair of shoes and they have a goal of giving away 11 million shoes in 2011. It was at that point that I decided to read the description of Wayne Elsey's book, "Almost Isn't Good Enough." I was told that it was a good road map for how to run a nonprofit, and since I have a friend that is starting a nonprofit soon, I thought it may be a good book to read. Wow, was that a good decision.

Don't get me wrong, this book isn't going to tell you how to run your business or nonprofit, but it does give a general idea of how Mr. Elsey started and runs this company. He doesn't believe that simply because they are a nonprofit that his employees should be willing to work for "the cause," and not get paid market value for the talent and work they bring to the table. He has great expectations of his employees and they are given the margin and latitude to make decisions in order to meet those expectations. Having audited many nonprofit organizations while working in public accounting, I can tell you this isn't the norm. Many of these organizations feel that either their hands are tied or they simply can't afford to pay employees what they could make in the same position at a for profit company. Souls4Soles simply refuses to operate this way.

The best thing, however, that I got out of the book is Mr. Elsey's love for people. His attitude toward making a difference in the world shines throughout the entire book. You really get the sense that he believes he is on this earth for one purpose, to give shoes to the shoeless. From the background of him leaving an executive position in corporate America to the stories of him going to as many shoe distributions as he can around the world, his care for this cause is evident.

If you run or work at a nonprofit this book is a must read. If you work for a company, run your own business, or have any interest in business leadership, this book is for you as well. It is a very well written easy to read book with a great message.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

One Word for 2011

As I was making my list of goals for 2011 I started to see a theme. It wasn't a theme of certain activities, but a theme of what I wanted out of many of the activities on my list. Because of this theme, I decided it would be my word for the year. Now I realize I'm a little late to this party, but my word for 2011 is consistent. That's what I want to be throughout 2011, more consistent. I don't mean in one area or another. I mean in everything I do. I want to be consistent in reading the Bible, consistent in prayer, consistent in improving my marriage, consistent in being a dad, consistent in fostering important relationships, consistent in learning, consistent in blogging, consistent in...you get the point. So that's it. My word for the year. Now I just need some of you to help me maintain my consistency.

What about you? Have you ever come up with a word for the year? If so, what is it?