What Is Connection?

We’re gathering input for a new project on connection and need your help!  Include your Twitter handle, and we’ll give you a shout out, too!

A funny thing happened on the way to Dumas, TX…

After a bit of a hiatus, I traveled this week to Dumas High School in Dumas, TX to deliver a couple of presentations to the Junior and Senior classes.  I’ve been a presenter for Monster.com’s Making It Count Programs for about three years, a relationship I’ve had much fun with!  We had a great time, and the students there were fantastic!  ( CLICK HERE to link to the video montage of the presentation created by the folks at the local online paper, High Plains Observer-Dumas.)

Watching the video, I found myself smiling, laughing, and re-enjoying the time I spent there…at work!

Sure, when I headed to the airport the day before, it was just like one of those days when you aren’t looking forward to the commute.  Once in the air, though, I opened up the blank, leather-bound journal my wife gave me not two weeks ago on our wedding day.  With the gift, she’d included a note of instruction that I was to use that journal to capture the plans and dreams in my head, and begin putting them into action. So I started writing…

As the sun set over the horizon (it’s a beautiful sight to watch through the window of a plane at 31,000 ft), I was settled in with my iPod, pen in hand, and before I knew it, I’d written about 6 pages of ideas which have become the early draft of my business plan for the coming year.

The next time find yourself dreading your commute, turn up an old album you haven’t heard in a while, settle in for the ride, and open up your mind to ask, “How can I make today count?”.

Unconscious Competence – A Lesson from Sesame Street

One of the topics I often lead for organizations is Teambuilding. During this class, we discuss the Four Stages of Learning, annotated here with my own descriptions (more detail here):

  1. Unconscious Incompetence (You don’t know what you don’t know)
  2. Conscious Incompetence (You KNOW what you don’t know)
  3. Conscious Competence (You know what you know)
  4. Unconscious Competence (You don’t even have to think about what you know…it’s automatic)

It’s funny to me how as a youngster, I was able to teach myself to read by watching Sesame Street. This morning, a friend of mine (@gggena) said she had this song stuck in her head, which I recognized from my past. When she sent the link and I again watched this classic tale unfold, I was reminded at just how deep the lessons can be learned from something disguised as “children’s programming”. Hmmm…Maybe everything I needed to know I really DID learn (before) Kindergarten!

Watch “Dear Henry’s” learning style evolve. Who is the “Liza” and “Henry” in your OWN organization?

Which one sounds more like you?

Ultimate IT Guy selects Cooksey Connects as Training & Education Services Provider

Ultimate IT Guy, LLC has selected Cooksey Connects as its preferred, affiliate provider of training and education services to its rapidly expanding client base.

“With the confirmation from the Fair Trade Commission that municipalities are subject to the Red Flag Rules as outlined in the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act of 2003, it seemed natural for our firm to connect with an I.T. provider already involved in the compliance effort. The training deadline is rapidly approaching and many municipalities have found themselves behind the curve. That’s where we can help.” says Scott Cooksey, Owner of Cooksey Connects. “We are excited to have been chosen by Ultimate IT Guy as the provider for delivery of training and education services to their customers.”

FACT’s Red Flag Rules require municipalities to have in place policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the new guidelines no later than November 1, 2008. This requirement is to help address important issues related to fraud and identity theft for services provided by Oklahoma municipalities.

“Properly designed and implemented information technology systems can be very effective in the effort to curb fraud and identity theft,” says Cleatus Davis, President of Ultimate IT Guy, LLC. “Proper training of the people who represent our municipal customers, however, is also a powerful front-line deterrent. Our company’s focus is on servicing Oklahoma’s municipalities. We felt the addition of a training affiliate to assist in this effort made perfect sense.”

Cooksey Connects is a leading provider of corporate training, messaging, and custom educational solutions for its clients. Learn more about the company at www.CookseyConnects.com.

Ultimate IT Guy, LLC provides leading information technology consulting, monitoring, and system solutions for businesses and rural municipalities in Oklahoma. Learn more at www.UltimateITGuy.com.

Accountabilty Matters

See Coach Gundy’s Rant Here!

Perhaps there is another way to drive home his point, but I have to tip my hat this week to Coach Mike Gundy of the Oklahoma State Cowboys for defending a player.

While I appreciate the attention and research conducted by most of the writers involved with the media, let’s face it. It isn’t all that uncommon to find some degree of misinformation or quotes taken out of context in a report from any media source, on a given day.

To see a football coach, however, call out a reporter for gross inaccuracies in a newspaper report in defense of a player recently moved from his season start at quarterback to a different role on the team, is something else.

Coach Gundy is known as a “players coach”. To any parent wondering about the Oklahoma State coaching staff’s dedication to players, I think that was solved with the video clip you just watched. In full disclosure, I’m a graduate and long-time football season ticket holder at Oklahoma State. Sure, I’ve watched a coaching staff bring in talented recruits in recent years, only to fall short of the “spectacular season” we always seem to be promised. Hey, I’ve never played a down of football in my life, nor have I coached. I am a fan of the game, however, and I do like to see my team win.

Well, this weekend the OSU Cowboys pulled off a spectacular win over a talented Texas Tech football team (led by standout quarterback Graham Harrell). I’m hoping we’ve righted the ship for the season. We’ll see.

As for today, Coach Gundy, thanks for standing up for our players and showing your passion, fire, and dedication to team. Reid isn’t a failure, he’s a student-athlete who still supports, contributes, and plays on our team. Thanks for correcting the reporter. Can you do something about the ticket prices? Go Pokes!