Do you have good SOP’s?

While processing an opportunity at a Vistage meeting last week, one member asked if the company had a SOP around the process being discussed.

“What’s an SOP?” asked a Second Member.The group laughed or groaned. >

Does the new California gas tax annoy you, too?

Governor Jerry Brown and the Democratic super majority legislature have swept through a new gas tax of 12 cents a gallon to be effective November 1st. Argh! Every time the price of gas went down in the last few years, I threw a little party in my car and spent that extra $1.20 I got back toasting the oil companies for the gift. >

Are you passionate about your work?

You hear it, I hear it, we all hear that we should find work about which we are passionate. If we do, we will be wildly successful. And yes, we all do know some people who are passionate about their work. It fits them perfectly, and they are super successful. Then, there are the rest of us.

Many of us get to do much that we like to do every day. We may be relatively successful, and we might not want to jump off a bridge when the alarm goes off on Monday morning.That would be most Mondays.We feel a little guilty when we hear about all this passion and might be a little wistful about those who have a perfect fit. Mostly, we change the subject when the topic comes up.

I’ve just starting reading a book by a couple of Stanford Professors called Designing your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived,Joyful Life. They make this marvelous point right at the beginning. “Most people are passionate about many different things, and the only way to know what they want to do is to prototype some potential lives, try them out, and see what really resonates with them.We are serious about this: you don’t need to know your passion in order to design a life you love.Once you know how to prototype your way forward, you are on a path to discovering the things you truly love, passion or not.”

What a relief. Try something, if it doesn’t work,fail forward. Start with an assessment of where you are in work, play, love and health. If one seems behind the others, maybe that is the place to start. Follow a process and assess your progress. My guess is once you see the steps, it will be an organized process to move forward to a happier life. I’ll keep you posted as I read the book.Maybe, you want to read it, too.



How much of your business can you run without IT?

You’ve heard the stories of companies being attacked by a cryptovirus that shut down their computers. They were told to pay a ransom, usually with bitcoins, or their system would not work again. They called the police, who referred them to the FBI. They couldn’t help.  For many companies, their only resort was to pay the ransom.

Not everyone. Some companies were able to locate where the attack came in and isolate that part of the system. With a good back up they were running again pretty quickly with no ransom paid. Which one is you?
IT Security experts say the first step to prevent the attack is how you train the people in your company to use IT. Do they know when they should not open links or attachments? Have you tested them? Some IT departments train, then test their folks by sending a fake phishing email. Anyone who opens the link get a visit from the IT department and retraining. This is serious business and the IT departments are treating it as such.
Also critical is how you structure your IT Hardware. I’m suggesting that you get a review by an outsider to see if what you have will withstand today’s attacks and maybe help you prevent one in the future.
On your own personal computer, do you have at least 2 antivirus programs? And, do you update all your programs whenever you get a notice from Apple or Microsoft to do so?
I know it is a pain, but most people don’t leave their front door or their car unlocked. And, many people have alarms and security cameras on their houses. Isn’t your IT just as important?


Have you played hooky lately?

We all live by our calendar, right? It keeps us mercifully on track and makes us the ultra-productive human beings we aspire to be. Thus, when reviewing my calendar last Tuesday evening, I was shocked to discover a hole, actually a miraculously large hole from Thursday at 9 am until Friday at noon.

The desert bloom at Anza Borrego east of San Diego had been in the news for days. It was coming close to the peak. The weekend would be jammed with people and all the hotels would be booked. Could we sneak out mid week? Assuming a “no” answer from my hardworking attorney spouse, I meekly put the suggestion forth. He looked at me with a very long pause. hmm, I thought, this is a definite no. “Well, work is a little slow, I may be able to do that…..”

“Yes,” I shouted, pummeling the sky with my fist. “I will find a hotel.”

So, delighted, I went through every hotel in the Borrego Springs area. Nothing. On to Julian, where I found a B & B and we were going!

Next morning I shared with my Vistage group that we were sneaking away. Oh, how delicious it feels.

In the middle of the speaker presentation, I got a text from my hardworking attorney spouse that he had to go to a hearing Thursday morning and we couldn’t leave until 11. Argh!!! He suggested that I see if I could reschedule my noon meeting on Friday. Oh, it is a matter of deep integrity to me to keep my commitments. I struggled with that for 3 hours. i finally decided to put it to the duo I was to meet on Friday. They gave me the pass I was hoping for.

Finally, we were off on Thursday at 11. It was almost 4 hours to the flowers and worth every second. We noodled around taking pictures in the 96 degree heat. Never have I seen so many wildflowers. We went back on Friday and spent another 2 hours strolling through cactus fields and flower fields.

Totally refreshed, we came home to work on our taxes all weekend. It wasn’t easy to get away, but it was worth it. Whether playing hooky is one day, one week, or one hour, fitting one in may really refresh your soul.


Photo by hardworking attorney spouse aka Paul Dye – Henderson Canyon Road in Borrego Springs