Monday, May 12, 2008

Maintenance Monday and Makeshift Mailboxes

We are a busy group. If you are new to this site, you should know this. The philosophy... For those who much is given (fun, friends, and creative ideas), much is required (participation, input, and even new referrals).

So a quick update for all those... new and returning...
  • If there are any Leadershapers out there... HI and thanks for joining us! In the next couple of weeks we will embark on a selection process to determine which of 13 dedicated students we will support in his or her work toward achieving the vision statement developed last week at Leadershape (for some sample visions check out Vision Showcase (5/8) .
  • Mark, if you're out there check out the picture below. Read it and weep! Yes... I've been home for LESS than 24 hours and Harvestwood Court has already had its inaugural "Open Grill." For those of you just tuning in, Mark's Colorado neighborhood is the ultimate community. I recently shared (The Value of One, The Power of All - 5/7 ) examples of fun activities shared by he and his neighbors. The concept of an "Open Grill" was one of the many. If you do something fun, let us know so we can feature (and possibly copy) your neighborhood.

  • We've had lots of new people post in the recent past. Welcome... Dawn, Beekayroot, Dr. Russ, Jennie, and the others who I might have missed. As for some of our loyal readers... Cassie had her surgery and is in recovery; cspgradstudent graduated on Saturday; Stacie returns to Louisville with her beautiful two-month old baby boy after six successful weeks in Maryland; and sending positive thoughts Heather's way.
  • Jennie asked last week what title was for someone who worked with college students at a university. A quick note and invitation to Jennie. Jennie, if you think you might be interested in learning more email me at and we can talk in greater detail. In the meantime... The position I most recently held was Dean of Students. The work I did at Leadershape was that of a Lead Facilitator, through the Leadershape organization. It is great and rewarding work! Many of the readers, in fact, are in a similar line of work (or will be soon). If you post questions, I am sure you will great lots of helpful information and insight.
  • Taste of USA will be starting very shortly. Cheryl and I will meet one day this week and with a little luck, we will kick off the contest next week. Last I looked, we still need representative readers from North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and West Virginia. If you know anyone in those four places then please, please, please pass our site along. Our goal is to start the contest with at least one reader per state.
  • Flat Stanley is in the house! Yes, Helena has had quite an adventuresome month or so with our beloved Stanley. We will hear all about it tomorrow when I post a summary of her adventure and the ONE surviving picture (the explanation is all part of her great adventure). What YOU need to know is that Flat Stanley is up for grabs. The first person to reply TODAY will serve as his next host.

And now for Makeshift Mailboxes....

Yet another great use for paper bags (see This is Your Bag Lady Speaking).

This morning I was unpacking my suitcase from Leadershape and out came my makeshift mailbox. One of the Leadershape traditions is to post a brown bag with the name and picture of each participant on front. Throughout the week participants are encouraged to jot short notes to one another either paying a compliment, making note of an insight one shared; thanking someone for a kind gesture; encouraging someone; or just providing a pick-me-up. I stopped what I was doing and took time to read the notes people wrote me. Fifteen minutes later, I felt GREAT... set for the rest of the day.

I was quickly jolted from the day dream of me standing on a stage, thanking all the people who helped make it possible when Jack hit me over the head with his toy fire engine. But that was ok, because at that particular moment, according to my new found Leadershape friends, I was superwoman!

Maybe I'll try it at home in the next couple of weeks. Each of us will decorate our own brown bag, hang them in either the kitchen or laundry room and for one week we will leave treats or encouraging notes to one another. You can argue... What do you need a brown bag for? Why just a week? Why write down the compliment when you can just open your mouth and just say it? All good, legitimate questions. So, I ask you... when is the last time you took out five minutes to formally acknowledge the things about your family members for which you are proud and appreciative? Our lives are busy and sometimes more time passes between thoughtful gestures than we think.

So, how about it? Brown bags... $1.99, tape for posting bags... $1.00, markers to write with... $4.99, knowing your family is proud of you... priceless.
Signing off until tomorrow...

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