Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What's your BHAG ?

I was first introduced to BHAG's during my graduate work in administration @ Central Michigan University. Although I was just starting out as a school administrator, I felt that I needed to step out of my comfort zone and step into the business sector. It was my attempt at becoming a Renaissance man to some small degree. In many ways I learned that the education sector is a lot like the business sector in regards to dealing with people, but it also opened my eyes to a great deal of organizational and behavioral practices.

The phrase Big Hairy Audacious Goal ("BHAG") was proposed by James Collins and Jerry Porras in their 1996 article entitled Building Your Company's Vision. A BHAG (BEE-hag) is a form of vision statement " audacious 10-to-30-year goal to progress towards an envisioned future." A true BHAG is clear and compelling, serves as unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a clear catalyst for team spirit. It has a clear finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal; people like to shoot for finish lines (courtesy of wikipedia).

Although BHAG's are more focused on a team approach, I still like the idea. Besides saying BHAG is pretty cool. Try saying it three times fast.

As runners, we all need a goal or finish line to run towards. The potential pitfall is ending up on the Couch of Doom talking about what could have been and if I only. My BHAG at the beginning of 2008 was my self imposed D.D.M.C. A marathon a month. Given that I the most I had run was 3 marathons in a year, 12 seemed like a real long shot. In my head, I thought that if I could accomplish this, that a potential 100 miler in 2009 was a real possibility. I was only able to muster 10 marathons in 2008, but I ran faster then I ever have, qualified for Boston, and learned more about myself on the roads then by reading any book. And yes, I think a 100 miler is on the table for 2009 since I can't race Boston this year.

A finish line or goal gives a sense of purpose to our training, motivates us to get out the door when it is still dark and cold, and unknowingly seeps into our everyday life. I tell a lot of my students that you just can't turn on and off your behavior. It is much like the effect running has on our lives. Showing that dedication and fortitude in training unknowingly pays dividends in your own personal and professional lives because you have a sense on how to focus your effort when there is a goal or finish line in front of you.

So what's your BHAG for 2009?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Connect Four

After physically exerting myself this morning, I returned home to Little Dirt Dawg asking, "Dad, can we play? I want to beat you!"

Who needs a Wii or one of those other handheld computer game gizmos, I ask? What's wrong with a good old fashioned board game to stimulate the neurons in that tiny little squishy sponge a top your frame?

Nothing. Nothing at all. And I've got to tell you that for just being a few months shy of 5 years old that Little Dirt Dawg gave me all that I could handle.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Peek N Peak

A Google mapped trip of 5 hr and 8 min, clocked in at just under 8 hours today, as we drove from our home base in Meechigan to Findley Lake, NY home of Peek N Peak Resort ( Probably not the smartest thing to do today as we drove straight into a winter mess that glazed the highway and saw us watch cars spin off the highway and endure a near hour standstill on I-75. All of this with a near two year old in Dirrty Feather riding in the backseat.

However, upon arrival, Dirrty Girl and I took Little Dirt Dawg, who had helped his Bub negotiate the slick roads via the backseat, out tubing and coached him in the car to say at the ticket window, " I five" and enjoyed a great time. Dirrty Girl and I dropped him back off with the grandparents and promptly headed for the slopes for some night time skiing. Dirrty Girl true to form much like her running is slow and steady and makes her way down the slopes with her snowplow method. I on the other hand, want to think I am better than I am which is why I end up on my rear end, or near trees, or just stopping. FUN.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What else have you got Mother Nature?

With Mother Nature dumping nearly a foot of fluffy whiteness on us and an accompanying bitter wind, in the Metro Detroit area, I have been forced to take refuge in my basement and call the dreadmill and trainer my new training friends. There is nothing to be gained out there in the frozen tundra except injury. A simple training mantra for now of maintenance will pay dividends when the roads thaw and the air is warm.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


In pursuit of carrying things that are light and functional, I ran across the RedFly which serves as a larger terminal for my WinMo smartphone. It has no memory, no CPU, and a low TCO, but does have 2 USB ports, a VGA monitor hookup and perhaps most importantly charges my phone as I work! Last Xmas, Dirrty Girl got me an ATT Tilt which is like a mini laptop and is what I use in conjunction with my Redfly.

With an 8 inch screen and much larger keyboard, I am now able to bang away for longer than like 15 words and actually get some work done. It is also no bigger than a large paperback and can run for 8 hours on a single charge. Although, I would really like another Apple Macbook, I am being practical and since my smartphone already has applications that I use, WiFi, and an unlimited data plan, this seems like the perfect little companion to make me more productive. I was even able to download a program called LogMeIn which allows me to have remote access to my desktop at home. Sure did freak Dirrty Girl out one day when I was sitting at Starbucks and took over control of the PC as she was trying to do some online banking.
She was not impressed.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Sounds of the season

"Crunch, Crunch"
Ole man winter has finally decided to grip the Midwest and I was welcomed with some accumulation this morning as a I rambled out for an easy 5 miler. With fresh snow, brings fresh tracks and the inevitable sounds of my shoes compressing the snow.

"Clop, Clop"
Even as I enjoyed the slightly uneven regularity of the snow, whenever I hit a spot that someone had salted or finally running through town, I would have to stomp/slap my shoes to free up the snow that had packed itself into the innermost crevices of my Nike Air Pegasus ESC.

"Ew! What is that, clean that up!"
Exclaimed Dirrty Girl, as I trudged snow onto the landing and down the steps and she stepped in the melted residue.

Welcome winter.