3 Ways Air Travelers Can Insure They are OFF my Christmas card list

October 29th, 2011 by Gallagher John 4 Comments

I am a frequent traveler.  I don’t necessarily like to be, but it is needed considering my regular work is 700 miles away from home!  As a result, there are many opportunities for me to encounter pet peeves while traveling.  Some of these things I shrug off, but others really test my patience.  Here are 3 pet peeves of mine that will guarantee you are off my Christmas card list this year:

1) Put both of your bags in the overhead bin – When you put both of your bags in the bin, you ensure a slower boarding process.  Just because you have a right to do it, doesn’t make it right.  Use the space below your feet!

2) Let your backpack swing wildly as you walk up the aisle – I like an aisle seat.  But, when you  are boarding with your backpacks, must you allow it to bang off of my shoulder when you walk by?

3) Block the moving sidewalk so that walkers cannot pass – 8 words people — Walk to the left and stand to the RIGHT!

What travel pet peeves do you encounter?

5k Leadership Lesson – It’s not about me!

October 10th, 2011 by Gallagher John 2 Comments

On September 24, I completed my 3rd 5K.  I ran another personal best:  29:11.  I almost didn’t run in this race.  I originally had it on my schedule, but had come down with a cold, so my prep was ‘off’.  I didn’t think I would be able to do it…too hard…

Then, I got a call from a great friend whose wife was going in for surgery due to the onset of breast cancer.  Her life was changed forever due to this daggum ‘c’-word.  I wondered what I could do.  Certainly, I could pray…and I did.  Then, I was reminded of the upcoming race just days away…”Fired Up for a Cure”…a cure for breast cancer that is!  Suddenly, my cold didn’t seem so limiting anymore.

In the past 6 months, the ‘c’ word has popped up with no fewer than 4 close family friends. 

Each time I find myself complaining while training/exercising by running (which I hate!), I am reminded of the pain these friends are enduring in their race to beat cancer.  30 minutes of heavy breathing is NOTHING.  I should be honoring them. 

A personal best is not about me…it’s about me honoring those friends.  Thank you for being an inspiration to me.

So, what is that small item that you want to regularly complain about that, if you really think about, you could honor someone by completing that task with excellence?!

5K Leadership Lesson – “Go slower to go faster”

August 22nd, 2011 by Gallagher John No Comments

Last Sunday I completed my second 5K.  While I am still not ready to run a marathon, I DID improve my time to under 30:00 (29:37 to be exact!).  I have learned personal leadership ‘tips’ as a result of this new journey I have been on.  After my first 5K, I wrote to “Never Say Never”

For this 5K, my lesson learned is that sometimes you have to “go slower to go faster”.  My ‘running coach’, Adam Ward,  said this to me one day when I was telling him about my training.  He said I was running too fast during my training runs and had to go slower so that I could go faster.  I was skeptical, but he is training for an Ironman, so who better to listen to.  Sure enough, I was able to reduce my time by nearly 7% in just a 5-week span by…you guessed it…running slower!

Often as leaders, we get impatient.  We want to get to the answer/solution FASTER, and we sometimes forget that the learning process of getting there is even more valuable.  When we go too fast, we often get somewhere fast, but find that we are unable to sustain the results we achieved. 

As leaders, we need to be aware of when this is happening and slow down…so that we can go faster…and, as a result, be more ‘fit’ as a leader.

Do you remember a time you went too fast to a solution…only to find out that your results were not sustainable?  Share it with me below.

So, what’s YOUR excuse?

August 8th, 2011 by Gallagher John 2 Comments

I am not sure how I came across this video on YouTube.  It was another of the motivations/eye openers for me when I was considering my first 5K:

If you can’t see the embedded video in your reader, click here.

Did you catch all 56 of the excuses?  In case you missed one:

I’m Too weak…Too slow…too big…ate too much for breakfast…I got a headache…It’s raining…My dog is sick…I can’t right now…I’m not inspired…It makes me smell bad…I’m allergic to stuff…I’m fat…I’m thin…It’s too hot…I’m not right…I’ve got shin splints…Headache…I’m distracted…I’m exerting myself too much…I’d love to really, but I can’t, I just can’t…my favorite show is on…I got a case of the Mondays…the Tuesdays…the Wednesday…I don’t want to do this…I want to do something else…After New Year’s…Next week…I might make a mistake…I got homework…I feel bloated…I’ve got gas…I’ve got a hot date…My coach hates me…Mom won’t let me…I bruise easily…It’s too dark…It’s too cold…My blister hurts…This is dangerous…Uhhhh…Sorry, I don’t have a bike…I didn’t get enough sleep…My tummy hurts…It’s not in my genes…I don’t want to look all tired out…I need a better coach…I don’t like getting tackled…I’m not the athletic type…I don’t want to get sweaty…I have better things to do…I don’t want to slow you down…Do I have to do this?…As soon as I get a promotion…I think I’ll sit this one out…and my feet hurt…

So, have you used a few of these excuses?  I know I have.  Maybe after seeing this video, you will reduce that usage significantly.

Never Say …Never

August 3rd, 2011 by Gallagher John 6 Comments

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a runner.  For as long as I can remember, I would scoff at the idea of running any distance at all.  In fact, I found myself saying often, “I will never run a 5K.”  What’s the point?

Well, recently, I completed my first 5K and learned a lot about myself in the process.  Why did I decide to run a 5K?  Many reasons, including the following:

1)      I am overweight – My current exercise/nutrition was resulting in slow progress to achieving my desired target state

2)      I was not a good example to my kids with regards to their fitness – Do as I say…not as I do!

3)      I needed a ‘target’ – My workouts were not intentional.  I found myself going to the gym without a purpose, and, as a result, not seeing improvement.

4)      I needed a ‘process’ – There are many great resources out there and the one I found was www.c25k.com.  Many thanks to Dan Foster for this suggestion.  This gave me standard work to be ready for my first 5K in 9 weeks.

5)      I had people in my life inspiring me to do ‘more’ (I will write more about them in a future post.)

  1. Adam Ward
  2. Dan Foster
  3. Stan Buck
  4. My family – Chris, Brendan and Joseph ( my mom, too, who just had her knee replaced!)

I will write more about them in a future post.

Well, I completed my first (note I say first) 5K in 32:09.  Not fast, but the key word for me is “completed”.  What’s next?  Another 5K in late August.  Shooting for a 5% reduction in time.  After that?  Who knows?  I do spend a lot of time in Boston, now…

So, what do you NEED to do that you have said “I will NEVER do that.”?

5 Things to Love about a week-long vacation

July 8th, 2011 by Gallagher John 1 Comment

The 4th of July week is one of my favorite weeks of the year for many reasons.  One of the biggest is that I generally take that entire week as a vacation week and head to Myrtle Beach, SC.  Taking a week away from ‘the grind’ is necessary to re-charge the batteries and relax.  There are many reasons I look forward to a week of vacation.  Here are my Top 5:

1) The first Monday morning – Are you kidding?  Isn’t a great feeling to wake up on a Monday morning of a vacation week and exclaim with joy:  “No work today or this week. Back to sleep!”

2) Time with family – My current job requires me to do a significant amount of travel.  Prior to this week, I was on the road at least part of 11 straight weeks.  It is great to get to spend focused time with family.  Here is a shot of us enjoying lunch one day:

3) The Food!!! – I just love to eat well when I am on vacation.  Down at Myrtle Beach, there are ALL KINDS of great spots we hit each time we are here.  Here is a shot of a dozen oysters I dusted off and washed her down with an ice cold beer.

4) Early morning quiet time – Aside from Monday mornings, I like to get up early each day.  It is time for me to do some reading, work on my blog, or simply sit out on the porch with a cup of coffee and listen to the uh-uh birds while my family is still sleeping.

5) Afternoon naps – Oh, how I LOVE that afternoon nap while on vacation.  They should be a requirement of the work week, too!

What are some favorite things YOU like to do to re-charge during a week’s vacation?

Leadership Lessons from the Airport

June 11th, 2011 by Gallagher John 2 Comments

I get to spend a good bit of time inside of an airport.  If I am paying attention, there are leadership lessons to be learned throughout the confines of the miles of concourses, moving sidewalks, and ultra-uncomfortable waiting areas:

For the past couple months, I have been experiencing a sore shoulder.  Could be dragging the suitcase around for miles, could be the too-soft pillows in the hotels, but it has been a real ‘pain’.  I found myself with a few extra minutes this week after the red-eye and decided to take advantage of the spa treatment services in the airport.  When I go to the counter, I see a choice of “Swedish” or “Deep Tissue”.  In so many words, the girl at the front desk told me that meant “wimpy”, or “something that will hurt but you will actually feel better later”.  She was also challenging me in so many words, so I chose the ‘deep tissue’ shoulder massage.  That really was 10 minutes of ‘dis-comfort’.  However, today I awoke without the shoulder pain I have been experiencing over the past couple months.  So, what is the leadership lesson?

Too often, in leadership we are presented with 2 options – 1) the easy way – “swedish massage”, or 2) the right way – “deep tissue massage”.  Choose the easy way and you will feel better for a little bit, but likely, your problem will be even bigger in the future.  My friend, Kim Chaney, has referred to this as ‘peeing in a wet suit’.  Or, we can choose the arduous path.  The one that is more painful in the beginning, but likely solves the problem so it doesn’t happen again.

I know that I sometimes choose the easy way and, as a result, feel ‘chafed’ with the solution.  Yesterday, I chose the “something that will hurt but you will actually feel better later”, and, as a result, feel better today.

How do you manage this selection process in your life?