Archive for the ‘Learning’ Category


December 22nd, 2015 by John Gallagher 7 Comments



2015 is about to come to a close.  The hustle of the end of the year crunch, whether it be at home or work, will make it difficult for leaders to prepare for 2016.

2015 16 switch

For leaders to continuously grow into the future, it is important that they reflect on their past performance.  Deep personal reflection is one of the most powerful tools in a leader’s toolkit.

Find some time to reflect.  You will be glad you did.    Find your favorite chair and your favorite journaling device, block off 2 hours on your busy calendar, and answer these 5 simple questions about your leadership  to wind down 2015 and prepare for 2016:

1. What went well in 2015? – I am sure things went well.  Write them down and recognize those things.  Too often as leaders, we run right to the negative.

2. What could have gone better in 2015? – This list is important, also, and often it is the longer of the two lists.

Don’t rush these first two questions.  Write or type until you can’t really think of anything else.  Review your calendar from the past year to trigger thoughts.  After you feel you have thoroughly answered the first two questions, move to questions 3 through 5:

3.  What do I need to KEEP doing in 2016? There are things that are going well for you.  Capitalize and leverage those things into 2016.

4. What do I need to START doing in 2016? As part of the challenge, there are things that you may need to start doing to improve your leadership.

5.  What do I need to STOP doing in 2016? – Last time I checked, there are still only 24 hours in a day.  If we are going to start doing new things, then we must STOP doing things as well.  This is one of a leader’s greatest challenges.

Try this out and let me know how it goes.  


July 26th, 2013 by John Gallagher No Comments

Is it OK to be reading more than one book at a time?  I hope so because I have a few going.  I need to get through this list so I can jump into my wish list of about 10 other books!  My book reading has slowed a bit as I also try to stay up with about 15 blogs and follow several periodicals on Twitter.  THere is always something good to read.  I wanted to share with you  the books I am currently reading:

1)  runners worldI am training for my first Half Marathon in October.  Pretty excited and anxious about that, but I needed a plan.  The Runner’s World Big Book of Marathon and Half-Marathon training is a great resource.  I am reading this on my iPhone through iBooks.



mastering seven decisions2) I am reading Andy Andrews’ Mastering the Seven Decisions as a follow-up to The Traveler’s Gift.  It is a workbook of sorts that gives exercises in each chapter on how to deploy each of the seven decisions outlined in the Traveler’s Gift.



lean turnaround3) I am a big fan of Lean.  I am a Lean consultant, so I try to stay up with some of the new stuff that comes out on the topic.  The Lean Turnaround by Art Byrne has been a nice refresher on the true nuts and bolts of the challenges of implementing a Lean transformation from a Leadership perspective.  I have already taken a few tidbits and shared with clients and others.


Personal Development is important for me.  These are 3 books that help my development, all in different ways.

So, what are you reading right now?  Have you read any of the books I am currently reading?


January 3rd, 2013 by Gallagher John No Comments

Luke 12:34 says: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (NIV translation).  I wonder if Twitter would have existed nearly 2,000 years ago, if this might have also read, “Where your Twitter lists are, there your passion will be also” (social media translation)… Maybe not… But, I do think that the types of folks you ‘follow’ on Twitter and the types of tweets you publish are indicative of your interests/passions.  They certainly are for me.


I tend to use Twitter as more of a personal development tool to follow topics (lists) that interest me.  Today, I am following these types of tweeters:

1) Lean tweeters – There are 68 people in my list who generally post tweets about Lean (Toyota Production System).  The current vocation I choose is as a Senior Consultant in the implementation of Lean.

2) Leaders – I have a list of folks(abut 60) that I follow who write and tweet about the topic of leadership.  Leadership and personal development have been a passion for me over the 20 years of my working career.

Other lists that I have are folks who tweet about 3) WVU football, 4) Sports in general, 5) Health Care organizations, 6) political figures, whether they be politicians or media, and 7) Fitness tweeters .  I use Hootsuite to browse these lists periodically.  It allows me to “at a glance” see the topics of interest so I don’t have to go through all the noise associated with a jumbled list.

Do you use Twitter?  If so, do you use lists to follow topics or tweet on those things you are passionate about?  You can follow me on Twitter by clicking on the logo above, or CLICK HERE 




October 28th, 2012 by Gallagher John No Comments

I have often heard and quipped that the definition of discipline is  “what you need to do, when you need to do it, even though you don’t want to do it.”  One of my disciplines that I enjoy is going to church on Sunday mornings.  Today was a great message for me about the ‘fruit’ of discipline.

In Romans 15:31-32 Paul urges us to Pray(discipline).  As leaders, we need to have disciplines such as reading, coaching, writing, etc.  Where the pastor clarified the message for me today,though, was in the “so that” statement.  We were urged to pray(discipline)…SO THAT we may be rescued, SO THAT we may be acceptable, and SO THAT we may be refreshed.

So, leaders are our hearts in the right place when practicing our disciplines?  Do you just read, or do you read SO THAT you can become more knowledgeable?  Do you just coach, or do you coach SO THAT you might develop others?  Do you just exercise, or do you exercise SO THAT you may live longer and leave a legacy?

I believe it is very important to have disciplines and goals in your life, but it is even MORE important to understand the “SO THAT” in order to realize when you are practicing those disciplines, you understand WHY you are making the investment.

Fill in this sentence for me:

I ______________________ SO THAT I may _____________________________.


September 24th, 2012 by Gallagher John 2 Comments

Well, this week, my iPod gave me challenges.  On Saturday morning, I usually am out doing a long run and one of the important tools I have is the iPod, which has some playlists and podcasts that make the run a little more enjoyable.  This past Saturday, the iPod locked up on me…I was distraught…How would I do my run without one of my most important tools?

It was either wait around for the battery to die and reset the iPd, or venture out without it and ‘endure’ the silence.  Well, I dragged myself out to run, and much to my surprise and delight, it was refreshing.  I was able to generate 3 benefits without the ‘noise’ of the music in my ears:

1) Be ‘Other’ focused – There are many other people out on the trail.  I found myself engaging more with others.  A simple “good morning” to each runner or walker was generally met with a smile.  I also found myself wondering about ‘their story’.  Were they battling some of the same challenges I was?  What concerns did they have?

2) Thinking time – My mind was able to ‘hear’ more about what was going on inside!  I was able to reflect on the previous week and think about conversations I needed to have with others

3) Prayer time – I found myself wanting to fill the time with conversation.  Since I was running ‘by myself’, I found it easier to have a silent conversation with God and ask him for some big stuff!  Pretty cool.  I made sure not to converse out loud, though.

So, sometimes, changing up your routine can have some unintended, positive consequences.

When was the last time you shook things up, and were rewarded for that change?