Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Wilderness Deficit Disorder

Life is slowly returning to normal after the death of my father.

I have a blogging rule to not blog when I am not "up".  Thinking now I may be able to get back to it.  Not that I am not still sad - just that I do not feel I can do anything but let grief take its course.


For some reason, I am thinking I need to escape to the wilderness for a few days.   Perhaps too much hectic life/travel lately.  I am setting up a new business - DDE Media Company (more on that later) and that always takes a lot of time and energy.

There has been a lot written about Nature Deficit Disorder but little written on Wilderness Deficit Disorder (although I do not think I made up the syndrome).

I suspect many people have never really experienced wilderness so there is less research.

I have done quite a bit of canoe tripping - just not enough lately.  Not sure why I would think of it in the dead of winter.


I know it is snow season - not garden season.  I wonder if snow shoveling is the equivalent of gardening from a health view.  I have seen few articles on that but lots on the benefits of gardening.


I find myself stressed.  As I look at it though, I figure out that all of it is stress I am causing myself.  Part of this is by "standards" I hold myself to (EG - up to date on reading, clean den, even maintaining a social media footprint etc.).

In my opinion this stress occurs when the reward to too disconnected from the activity.  Sometimes this can be a time disconnect.   Sometimes it can be because the outcome is not assured.  EG - write an article but it may not get read and even then will it result in opportunities.

I know we choose our reaction to outside happenings so no one or nothing can cause stress if we do not choose to let it.

The same needs to be true of these internal stresses.  Being stressed detracts from enjoyment and does not add to performance.  Now to be zen...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Continued Inspiration from my father - Don Estill

My father died exactly one week ago.  He was 87.

Up to then and this week have been a blur.  Although I have grieved often since his diagnosis with pancreatic cancer in October 2014, I still grieve and actually look for "time" to grieve.

I knew he was dying and asked him if I could do anything for him.  His answer was "no".  And he did not have needs so I thought of only one thing I could do.  I named my new company after him - DDE Media Company.  He alway initialed things DDE and my brothers and I would call him DDE sometimes when we spoke about him.  And he always took a keen interest in business so I thought he would appreciate it.

Dad was a picture of health until his diagnosis and actually enjoyed a good life for almost a year after the diagnosis.  His wonderful health was not an accident.  He worked hard on it.  He worked out daily and tracked his progress.  I asked my brother Glen (the executor) if I could have his workout record which span decades.

He ate almost perfectly.  Everything was home made from scratch.  The bread being the most memorable for me.  When I was young I was jealous of school friends who got "white" bread.  Ours was heavy whole wheat/multigrain.  Now I hardly ever eat white bread and appreciate "healthy" bread.

One lesson I learned from Dad was self discipline (although he was way more self disciplined than I am).

He was the picture of moderation.  I tried to get him to run a 5K when he was in his early 80's but he thought it was "too extreme".  I knew from his workout routine that he could have done it easily.  He was walking 2 miles per day and going on the elliptical trainer in the common gym where he lives for 30 minutes a few times each week in addition to doing some weight training.

I am not sure I learned moderation yet.

The elliptical trainer had been a gift from my brothers and I when my parents moved into Arboretum Village.

He was a life long tee totaller and of course never smoked.

One of Dad's characteristics which I always admired was his humility.  Nothing and no body was beneath him.  He exhibited that in spades when he came to work for EMJ after he retired.  He would do anything from picking up the mail to helping build an office to doing mundane accounting (I have yet to learn his fastidious accounting record ways)

He was highly organized.  On Meyers Briggs he would be off the scale J.  He did it naturally - I do not ,which is why I think I had to write a book on Time Management.  It was my way of learning it.  He did not need to learn it.

His service was well done.  As I listened to the stories by my brother, son and niece, I thought "What will my legacy be".  Dad certainly left a huge legacy and impact on the people who knew him.

To live a life thinking of the legacy left is powerful and inspirational to me.

My son, David, spoke of the "what would Don do" question that could be used to determine action in any ethical dilemma.

My niece spoke about how each of us carry a bit of Dad in all of us.  I was later sent a video that reinforced this thought.   It is comforting.

I was moved that a young friend, Tara Jamieson, wrote a song about Dad.

It is before 7 on a Sunday as I write this so it brought another thought.  I learned getting up early.  Dad always was up early.  Even into his 80's he would never sleep in.  He valued work ethic and this was one of his ways of showing that.

Dad, we will miss you.  

Friday, January 02, 2015

Seven Disciplines of a Leader

I am once again back to posting book reviews.  The way the holidays fell, there was lots of "reading" time.

I read Seven Disciplines of a Leader - How to Help Your People, Team, and Organization Achieve Maximum Effectiveness by Jeff Wolf.

It starts with a few chapters on "What is the job of a leader" including that it is not that easy.

Then it gets into the Disciplines.  The first one is "Initiative and Influence".  The subtitle was the way I like to lead.  It said "Set an Example for Others".

Then it moves to "Vision, Strategy and Alignment" which I thought might be a bit theoretical but it jumps right into the progression from plans to accomplishments.

Throughout the book are examples to drive home the points.  The example given for this one was Mollie Katzen who was starting a new venture.  Her first critical rule was "Capitalize on your past and reputation".  It certainly resonates with what I am doing now.

Discipline 4 was Social, Emotional and Political Capital.  (yes I did skip Discipline 3 - I am not doing a book summary, I am commenting on the book).  I would add Adversity Capital.  I am a big believer in the importance of the Q's - EQ, PQ, AQ and to a lesser extent - IQ.

Discipline 6 - Love and leverage.  There is no substitute for passion about work.

After the 7 Disciplines, it had 11 Practices of Highly Effective Leaders.

Practice 5 was "master communication".  And a Jeff Wolf quote "Listen more - talk less"

Good book - I learned from it and got some ideas.

I almost did not blog today because one of my blogging rules is to only blog when I am "up".

My father is sick and that is overriding much of my thought.

The end of life brings sadness.  The beginning brings hope.  So some grandkid pictures to brighten the day: