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 




December 30th, 2012 by Gallagher John 1 Comment

The end of the year is a great time to rest and reflect on the accomplishments and challenges from the past year.


I have a very simple process that I use for my year-end review.  It consists of 3 steps:

1) Goal review –  I review how I did relative to the goals and disciplines I targeted for the year.  The tool I use to track this is the Life Plan.  You may have a different method of tracking, but the important thing is to track.  If you don’t track, then maybe that should be one of your goals for 2013…to track your goals!  What you measure, you control.  What you don’t measure, you accept.

2) The simple “+/-” tool.  I make a T-diagram on a piece of paper and list the things that went well (+) on the left and things that could have gone better (-) on the right.  Try not to over-think it.  Just blurt.

3) K,S,S – After listing out the pluses and minuses, I review them and reflect.   I then list out the things I need to KEEP doing (things that went well), START doing (to take the things that went well to the next level, or to remedy the things that didn’t go well), and most importantly, what I need to STOP doing.  Too often, we take on new goals and don’t stop doing things that are getting in the way.  Be aware of the habits you have developed that could get in the way.  There are many distractions.  I also take time to pray about this list as well.

That’s it.  It took me a couple hours and I feel much better about going in to 2013!  I am really looking forward to what’s in store.

So, do you use a process to review your year? What steps would you add to this process?



November 20th, 2012 by Gallagher John No Comments

Growing up, mom and dad would take me to visit Aunt June.  The drive was about 45 minutes to her small home in WV and there were so many things I could count on:  Her yappy dog, Ginger…playing Chinese checkers or bunko…her sweet tea… Before we got out of the car to go inside, mom would somewhat jokingly say “When we get inside, start saying goodbye because it takes a couple hours for Aunt June to let you go once you say you need to leave.”  Goodbye’s were hard for Aunt June.  She loved the company.  We said goodbye always with the intention of returning again in a couple months to do it all over again.

Last week, I got to visit a great friend and mentor in my life, Stan Buck.  Stan had been battling a brain tumor for 18 months.  I was going to say goodbye, but this time I knew that it would be the last time I would say goodbye to him on earth.  It was a celebration at church.  The church he planted was celebrating 25 years AND they were celebrating his life.  Selfishly, I didn’t want to leave.  I really enjoyed those last few minutes I got to spend with him.

I watched Stan from afar fight this battle for 18 months.  I always prayed for a miracle.  My faith tells me that the miracle was that he would live eternally after his time on earth and I would see him again…

I could write more of all the times I shared with Stan when my family lived in Fort Wayne and attended the church that he pastored.  At some point, I probably will.  But, there is something to learn from this.  What was unique about this last chat I had with Stan was that I KNEW it would be the last time we would chat.  He passed on a week after my visit.  How many relationships do I have that when I leave (like seeing Aunt June) that I DON’T KNOW if it will be the last time I will see that person?  It really was a blessing that I could say goodbye.  I shouldn’t take other relationships for granted.

I usually finish with a question, but I just wanted to share what has been on my heart for a few days.  I will just finish with some words told to me years ago by another friend:

“When you see someone, say hello to them like it was the first time you had ever met them… and say goodbye like it was the last time you might ever see them.”

I need to do better here.

Until we meet again, Stan.



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? 



September 6th, 2012 by Gallagher John No Comments

This summer, I completed The Big Miss by former Tiger Woods golf coach, Hank Haney.  Like many, I was curious about the Tiger Woods’ ‘story’ from his coach’s perspective.  When I read the book, though, I was fascinated by the challenges that Hank Haney faced in his years coaching Tiger Woods.  I found some of the challenges to be very similar to the journey I am on as an executive coach implementing Lean in Health Care.

I thought the author (and coach) did a good job detailing some of the approaches he used to get Tiger Woods, clearly the best and most polarizing figure in golf, to improve.  Here are 4 takeaways for me from the book to improve your coaching ability:

1) Help coachees see where they need to improve – Tiger Woods is the BEST golfer in the world.  How do you improve on that?  But, the fact is, we all need to get better because the competition is trying to close the gap.  If you are not getting better, than you are falling behind.

2) Help coachees develop a routine (standard work) – For Tiger, Hank Haney instilled the idea of “Nine Shots”.  This was a practice routine that gave Tiger a leg up on competition.

3) Help coachees develop a discipline of reflection – Self-reflection is an important discipline.  In coaching we must get those we coach to ask themselves “What is going well?” and “What could go better?”

4) Know when to listen – Often, the most valuable time in coaching is just listening.  Often, your coachee will systematically talk their way through a situation based on the previous 3 coaching techniques.  When this occurs, the student improves exponentially.

As a coach, you may not get the chance to coach the #1 golfer in the world one day, but you can have an impact on others.  Employ these 4 techniques and your impact will be greater.

The story of the complexities involved with being a part of Tiger Woods was a big part of the book sales.  The techniques that the coach employed are valuable tips from which you can learn

Have you had the chance to read the book?  What are your thoughts?


September 3rd, 2012 by Gallagher John No Comments

Last week, I posted about the 7 most important tools on my running journey.  A few of you approached me and told me that I was missing a very important tool!

Webster defines a tool as “a device that aids in accomplishing a task”.   There is also equipment or “the fixed assets other than land or buildings used to accomplish a task.”  For runners, I have found that the most important equipment is the shoes. Do you remember this from 20 years ago?

If you are having trouble viewing the video in your browser, CLICK HERE

I think Mars Blackmon was right!

I am on my 3rd pair of shoes.  When I first got started, I bought a cheap pair of shoes.  If you have thoughts of being even a somewhat serious runner, you need to invest in a good pair of shoes.  There will be less aches and pains, and you will also minimize the risk of injury.  My current shoe is the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12.

My friends at a local running store helped me to choose this shoe for my flat arch and running style (Not to mention the fact that my first pair wasn’t even the correct size!).  If you don’t have a local store, you can also use the Runner’s World Shoe Guide (CLICK HERE).

So, while there are many important tools in running, the most important equipment you can invest in is the shoes.  Just ask Mars Blackmon.

What other running tools or equipment am I missing?