I maintain a principle while travelling. I like taking vacations as an opportunity to ground myself in self healing, continued education and growth both professionally and personally. This trip includes some professional development in my advanced sports nutrition book, and my self growth includes a book I’ve revisited many times in the past few years. Basically, when I decided the fitness industry, personal training and the management of people was the career track for me. That book is the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey.

In reading Covey en route to Maui, I have already taken away countless strategies that I can apply in all aspects of my life. I would like to share some of these strategies in my writings over the next few days. I originally wanted to play scrabble on my ipad, but it apparently wasn’t uploaded from the cloud successfully in YVR. Dang. Guess I just gotta get learned and smart or something. So here goes folks, this is what I took away from a section regarding Private Victories and the art of successful delegation. Do enjoy, and feel free to discuss!

Gofer vs. Stewardship Delegation

Covey writes that we have two basic styles of delegation. Gofer – designate a team member a task, get them to report back when it’s done. Super common among the workplace. But fails to engage the delegated party. From what I got from this, it’s argued that to truly get buy in from your team, you need to find a way, a powerful way, to intrinsically involve those that are part of your cause. You should infect them with a reason to invest in the end result.
That’s another point in itself. Results.
It’s argued that there’s not enough attention towards results, and instead full focus is on the methods on how to do, what to do, what not to do and all the rules in getting there. See the dilemma?
How I understand it is that people do well when empowered. Trust is the highest form of respect. Once you gain respect as a leader you have buy in from your following. Task delegation setup with multiple rules on how to achieve the desired result stems away from the whole point of getting your team behind you, in my opinion. Covey supports this argument fully, citing it’s more beneficial long term to invest time in coaching the delegated task before giving full creative control away to ensure desired results. This allows the delegated party a sense of ownership, a sense of pride and more buy in for the team as a whole. Undoubtedly, more of your following will buy in to this process and your single action effort multiplied productivity tenfold. Pretty effective and efficient, even though it will take more of a time investment in the early stages. Short term inconvenience for long term gains.
That brings me to the final point I would like to make on this section. Efficiency vs. effectiveness. The argument is based around a central theme of scheduling in your priorities instead of prioritizing your schedules activities. I totally agree. You need to know what is important to your whole grand scheme before you can go ahead and decide what you are going to do first, right? That’s efficient. The German blood in me loves this.
I’ve definitely been in this position before – ever had a one on one meeting with a manager or an employee that ran overtime? Maybe you were going out for a coffee with a friend you hadn’t seen for a long time. Strangely enough you were late for whatever you may have scheduled after the HOUR you might have allotted for said friend?
People that operate off of principle cannot work with efficiency when it comes to other individuals. There are emotions. There can be unforeseen circumstances that delay the process. There may be variables that cannot be predicted when dealing with people. When dealing with people, it’s best to utilize effectiveness over efficiency, because we are not objects.
Next time you want to have a good meaningful experience with someone, clear you schedule. Both literally and as far as your expectations go for the outcome. That’s going to be more effective, maybe not efficient. But you can look back and know that that conversation, that meeting or that opportunity to grow was most effective for both sides.
Cool, eh? Just my thoughts. Feel free to discuss.

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So this is pops’ weekend, and unfortunately I’m away on vacation (one of 3 to the islands in as many years, as my father will not let my wife and I forget…). But, my reflection on today applies to all in a leadership position. Fathers now and soon to be fathers should pay attention. And I have a lot of both of the target audiences in my immediate circle, so listen up!
I took a lot from my dad, including his name, Robert. But what I managed to take from him above all was how to set yourself apart as an individual and how to truly lead by “making it happen” rather than “waiting for it to happen”.

That saying stuck with me, clearly. While in the context it was directed to hockey, in being where the play will be not where it is or was – I think it holds a pretty strong case for a win-win mentality in life.
Competitive team sports naturally give the once winner, one loser type of setup. A win-lose outcome by nature. Great for competition. Poor for results where true cooperation drives success. Applicable to me, I like to think win-win – what’s good for me will also benefit you. Not cost you. It does me no good to train like an animal, gain a following, perhaps find some sort of success across the finish line and poo poo the sport, the training and the man hours that the other athletes I compete against have put in. Many of which have doubled, tripled or exponentially multiplied the rehearsal hours as I have to date. It’s simply not a good system to measure with.
I’d prefer to look at my training and accomplishment from a personal view. This is something I feel is a journey and that in itself is a win. I am doing. The ultimate win will be skating for Canada in 2018, but I think of that as an opportunity towards ultimate success instead of seeing it as an obstacle. I’m not going to be defeated on the chance that all things don’t work out. I’m not afraid of failing that.
However, instead if seeing a me vs. them – my sport, my competition etc. I see them as a cooperative front to bring awareness to sport, Canadians, folks that have drive to success, any sort of limitations and anyone that can connect with the emotional part of the story. Can you imagine if we based our relationships on win-lose? I think Christy and I would both be losing if that’s how we worked.

So why’s it so acceptable in sport? Is it always the best mindset? I’d argue certainly not in a team atmosphere, which is what I’d like to cultivate with my sport of long track speed skating.
Originally I wanted to segregate and really define who this story was for, because in school we are taught to isolate our audience. Just like in sport we are taught that there’s a winner and a loser. Beating = best. I am here to challenge that theory and think about making things happen.
Thank you, dad. You may have helped me curb a thought that’s been ingrained in our youth – it’s actually not always about the scoreboard.

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It’s incredible how some things just happen. The timing of events in our lives, the words that just roll off your tongue. Perhaps they don’t.

I believe some of the most powerful lessons can be learned by just hearing what others have to say. The creative process of learning from experience cannot happen if you refuse to expose yourself to outside experience. How we gain these experiences can be very intimate, very personal. But I think we can all do better in learning from each other.
How?
Listen.

You never know how what you don’t say could do for someone.
You might save a life.
-M

Unfortunately I was hit with a nasty bout of Acute Bronchitis over the weekend and it’s kicking my ass today. Fortunately, I have the wherewithal to know when my body is jeopardized and when my state will negatively affect others around me. So, I was working from home basking in the Vitamin D Monday, pulled it together yesterday – felt great and then today the “bronx” laid in on me. More sunshine, research, rest, reflection and program design. Also, got to walk my cute pooch Maggle-Roo up to Sobeys for the sick day essentials – Mr. Noodles, coconut water and Cold FX.

So here’s my bit of the week:

Success is a very touchy subject. Some people (often unsuccessful in many ways) take great offence when they’re scrutinized on what deems to be successful. Oftentimes, these same people are the ones posting to their Instagram about how you need to “find a way” and “battle through the wars” in order to achieve success. Oftentimes, I want to scream at these same people to take heed their own advice.

Ironically enough, I’m writing this article on what exactly it is to have a level of success in life, but one of the major differences between this post and the next shared Instagram sweaty chick picture captioned “Find a Way!” is that I understand I am not successful. Yet.

I think most people aren’t. It’s like the saying “If you find yourself as the brightest person in the room, you’re standing in the wrong room…” Success to me doesn’t have an endpoint. I think if we say we are successful, we have given in to ever accomplishing more. We are content. Complacent. Non-inspirational. To me, that’s all bullshit. I don’t ever want to be deemed un-motivating or ever seen as anything but an inspiration to the folks I surround myself with and those who are following this story that I haven’t yet met. This whole reason I am doing this is based on the grounds of passion, inspiration and success and the pursuit of all of those!

But maybe that’s just me. I think a lot can be said about how a person seems find luck all the time. Ever stop and think that that person works harder than most? Creating opportunity that others sitting back on the sidelines waiting for things to happen, don’t. Hmm… food for thought.

Well now, how does this all fit in? Me. This story. This dream I have. Tall order, yes – I want to compete in a sport I’m brand new to at the highest level possible in a relatively short amount of time. I am not at all trying to downsize the amount of dedication, training, practice and ultimate passion the athletes I will be competing against (with any luck/hard work!) have put in. No, they are aspirations and motivation to make this dream reality. I hold so much respect for them. The Junio Gilmore’s, the Denny Morrison’s, the Catriona Le May Doan’s and Clara Hughes’. The Cindy Klassen’s. The Jeremy Wotherspoon’s. All of these folks in my new found community are the epitome of success. I want to follow their lead on passion and work my tail off in hopes of creating a little luck and inspire others to challenge their own limits. These superstar athletes have consistently proven to their peers through performance, attitude, and passion that success is what we make of it and we are all capable of creating that success. It starts with passion. 

And that brings me full circle to how I deem success. It’s a journey. Much like my journey of this 4-year dream, I envision success as consistently providing results, both on and off the ice. Delivering on the goals I set out to achieve. Working hard, to create that luck that incites success. End goal isn’t necessarily to skate for Canada. No, because life continues after that. There will be many success along that way. Who knows what’ll happen.

Focus on this: Go out and make things happen. Create opportunity for success. Do it as though you are not seeking financial, personal or any other sort of gain asides from the satisfaction of knowing that you accomplished the task at hand and then strive towards the next.

It all starts with passion. So what’s yours?

That my friends… that is success.

Today was… Rushed. Legs are way tight. Need to break up the lactate. Had a death by massage experience in Thursday. Thanks Sara, but holy hell – 90 minutes of just unbelievable pain. And I should sleep more. Dry land conditioning, once I hauled over (28 minutes from Tuscany to Varsity on my Trek hybrid) was sweet. Here’s what we did
3 rounds of
60″ low walk
60″ jog
60″ dry skate
60″ jog
60″ skate jumps
60″ jog
60″ x-over uphill
3′ Rest
Thanks Kits! And Erin, you were great too. Good PIC. Can’t wait for ice! Should get on inlines tomorrow. Or rest? Hmm.. I still gotta fit day 3 – week 2 in…
Thanks for reading!

20140531-170624-61584946.jpg this picture is my pre game. Thanks Wifey😘 – egg n pepper face😊

To have an offseason, I guess you first need an “In-Season”.  Well, I got 2 races in on my first week on blades in March. I will be much better this coming ice season. I feel so strong. But it’s not like I had anything to really compare against… I played some hockey, some real high level shit a few years ago  and I’m in much better conditioning now. I’m excited to have my new Bonts (which are my inline semi-race boots) as my ice boots now too.  This is because they’re far more comfy than the Maples I’m in. If I need to I’ll go and buy the right chassis too. There’s such  difference.

Well, that was a tangent.

I started this post thinking about all the crazy work I’ve put into something I really have no idea how I’ll compare at. There’s so much work to do and I admire all the athletes that have trained most of their lives for the same dream I am chasing. Not to make a mockery of the training at all, but I truly believe that I will be able to contend. Surround yourself with awesome. Fail. Fail again. And again. Learn. Train hard. Skate fast. This is what I’m set on doing. Give me a few years. See what’s up then. This is my story.