Can books REALLY save us?

May 15th, 2011 by Gallagher John 1 Comment

Today, I read a post from Mark Sanborn titled Books Can Save Us.  I posted a lengthy comment as it generated a lot of thoughts in my head.  Then, I read a post, Seven Types of Blog Comments and How to Respond to Them, and found I was guilty of #2 – being long-winded.  Oddly, I had just minutes before thought it was long-winded and I should post about it, so…here I am! 

Now, I don’t know that books will really ‘save’ us, but I do find books to be therapeutic, thus, I believe they have a way of extending our lives.  So, here was what I expressed to Mark, and now to you, about books:

1) I envy personal libraries  with the wood paneling to the ceiling and the walls of books, including out of print, first editions, and favorites that have been read.  While I stop short of making this type of personal library a ‘goal’, it would definitely be nice to have.  I would want it to be interactive, though.  When friends come over, I want them to pull the books off the shelf, read through my notes, and generate discussion/fellowship for the content as well as the aesthetics!

2) I think that books can be ‘attractive’.  When I finish reading a book, I remove the fancy cover and see how attractive the book’s binding is.  Then, it goes on my ‘shelf’.

3) Touring of bookstores is something I often do.  I wish I had the time to read all of the wonderful books that are there.

4) Life is too short to read a bad book(or drink a bad wine).  I will stop reading a book part of the way through. I don’t do this often as most of the books I read are suggestions from trusted sources.

These are a couple ways that books are therapeutic to me.  What about you?

4 ways to stay out of the weeds when team problem solving

May 1st, 2011 by Gallagher John No Comments

You know the story.  You are in a meeting working on a problem as a team.  You start the meeting and before you know it, you are debating for an hour and you check in and forget why you were having the meeting(“in the weeds”).    Here is what it looks like:

You can’t see a thing because you are so deeply mired in personal agendas that you can’t see what is possible.

So, how do you ensure you stay out of the weeds?  Here are 4 ways to do that with your team: Read the rest of this entry »

4 Internet Apps I use to be more productive

April 25th, 2011 by Gallagher John 1 Comment

To stay productive, there are some specific Internet technology that I use.  When I open up Internet Explorer each day, here are the tabs that I see:

 YouVersion is a free Bible app that I use for daily reading.  Currently, I am going through the New Testament in a year.  I also have this on my Blackberry.

Hootsuite is a tool I use to compile of multiple feeds including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  I can review the feeds quickly and also make lists of people I want to follow so I don’t have to look at ALL the people that I follow at once.

I use Google reader to compile the blogs that I follow so I don’t have to remember each web page and it also helps to keep my email cleared out.  Anytime a blogger I follow puts out a new post, the RSS feed is pulled into Google Reader.  I currently follow about 75 blogs.  Of course, I don’t read EVERY post, but it allows me again to quickly peruse the list.

LoseIt is a free Internet app that I use to track my calorie intake and exercise calorie burn.  Since using this app, I have lost 12 pounds in about 8 weeks!!  It makes for a great accountability tool!

These are the apps that I use on a daily basis to be more productive. 

What apps do you use to be productive?  What else should I be using?

Are you approachable…or do you change like the weather?

April 1st, 2011 by Gallagher John No Comments

I was in Boston this week and the weather there this time of year can be a little inconsistent and volatile.  On Wednesday evening, the view from my hotel room looked like this:

Just 36 hours later on Friday morning, it looked like THIS:

Hard to believe that things could change that rapidly.

This reminded me of the importance as a leader of being consistent and approachable.  When your team or your colleagues approach you, can they expect you to be consistent, or are they concerned that your ‘mood’ is going to change like the weather?

As a leader, approachability is such an important characteristic.  When you are consistently approachable, the following results occur:

1) Your colleagues are more likely to bring you issues with confidence

2) Your colleagues will share bad news with you sooner and thus, you will be able to identify and solve problems before they turn into a storm!

3) Mutual respect is built, thus increasing your effectiveness, and subsequently results.

So, are you approachable consistently…or do you change like the weather? 

The hotel stairs are NOT just for fire escapes!

March 31st, 2011 by Gallagher John No Comments

Do you want to change up your exercise routine while traveling?  Getting tired of the treadmills being taken when you want to exercise?  Have you ever seen this sign before in a hotel?:

Well, the stairs are NOT just for fire escapes.

Recently, I posted on the stairs being “my friend” when traveling.  Here is another ‘twist’ on taking the stairs for a good cardio and/or strength workout.  My basketball brethren will get this one real quick.  (Remember the “monsters”?) Read the rest of this entry »

5 tips for being”In the zone” as Leaders

March 24th, 2011 by Gallagher John No Comments

As a basketball player, there is no better individual feeling than being “in the zone”.  Shooting the ball into the hoop is no longer a challenge. Getting open is easy, the defense seems to moves slower than normal, and most importantly, there is an extremely high level of focus and confidence that is a part of being in the zone.

My question is, as leaders, can we be “in the zone”?  I believe we can.  Here are 5 tips for putting yourself “in the zone” as a leader: Read the rest of this entry »

My Nook after 90 days…

March 5th, 2011 by Gallagher John No Comments

 

Because I travel regularly and I normally have a few books going at once, I decided to purchase the Barnes and Noble Nook.  Here are my observations after the first 90 days I have had it.

Pros:

  • I only have to carry one ‘book’ to have all of my books on it.  I have read 3 books so far and I have my Bible on it as well.
  • The screen is clear and easy to read
  • It has Sudoku on it as well!
  • The highlighting and note features are both easy to use after a short training period.
  • Love the ‘Lookup’ feature for when I don’t know what a word means.  This was VERY important when I read ‘Mojo’ by Marshall Goldsmith.  A really good read, but some of the vocabulary he used was well-advanced!

Cons:

  • The web browser is just OK.  Of course, I am not a fan of touch screen keypads due to my large fingers. 
  • When using on an airplane, my reading time is reduced since I must turn my ‘electronic device’ off during takeoff and landing.  I cringe when seeing other people continue to read their print books!
  • While I find the note taking feature easy to use, I find it very difficult to navigate through the notes after I am finished.  On the ereader vserion on my laptop, I can easily see the comments, but am unable to copy and paste them into Evernote

So, after a few months, I am still not ready to completely retire my hardback books.  Until Barnes and Noble is able to make it easier to manage the notes and highlights (as the Kindle IS able to do), then I will only consider the Nook an OK tool for the novel reader, but it lacks the necessary tools for a business book reader looking to add to their personal development.

Do you have an ereader?  What do you consider to be the best and worst features of your ereader?  Have you completely switched away from print?