Archive | January, 2012

El Paso

30 Jan

Injury, apathy and potentially misplaced priorities prevented me from completing my virtual run across the state of Texas last year. I made it from the far western border to somewhere east of San Antonio before bingeing over the holidays. This year I have vowed to complete the journey and, after a somewhat slow start, am picking up the pace. I’ll check in from time to time with updates from points of interest along the trail. Starting to the west of El Paso, the town is now behind me, but since there is nothing too interesting out here in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert, I am going to tell you about the city.

The home of Rose’s Cantina exists in most people’s minds as a place in a song with whirling Mexican maidens and jealous cowboys. Or it is often pointed out by informative pilots while cruising at 35,000 feet on your way to somewhere more important. But El Paso has character and history. Nicknamed “The Sun City,” it is the fourth sunniest city in the US and Franklin Peak at 7,192 feet above sea level can be seen for sixty miles in all directions. Largely ignoring history, culture, and geography, El Paso was officially ceded to Texas by the US Senate in the Compromise of 1850. The city is closer to Arizona’s capital of Phoenix than its own in Austin, almost 600 miles to the east.

I like having El Paso in Texas. It allows us to claim Stevie Nicks, who first joined Fleetwood Mac in the city in 1975. It is also where Billy Joe and Molly Sue “ran into a great big hassle” before they decided to “take the money and run.” This is exactly what this Billy Joe intends to do now. Next stop is Van Horn, Texas, population 2,435.

Crazy in Cuero

28 Jan

Jobs at Kalypso are often inherited.

My standard response to someone who is leaving the organization is that they have to hire their replacement before they can quit. The theory is that no one knows the demands of the position better than the person doing the job. This strategy has never failed to yield a superior result. One of those results is Kailey Slone.

I thought I knew Kailey. She was the little niece of my daughter’s first grade teacher. She was the bossy middle-school kid living in a travel trailer on the rodeo circuit. She was the smart, studious, if not a little too straight-laced, student leader with the really loud voice. But I didn’t know the real Kailey Slone.

I love this young lady very much. She is still bossy, but also fearless, competent, reliable, funny, optimistic, hopeful, and fun with an infectious personality and tanker truck loads of energy. Kailey’s job is to help all of us become better professionals and she does that job very well. She is one of my favorite Kalypso characters.

Probe a little deeper and see what you find in this week’s Character with Character profile of our crazy little friend from Cuero, Kailey Slone.

Know Thyself

27 Jan

Today we launched the second edition of the Stelos Alliance’s principled leadership program delivered in memory of our good friend Kevin Housley. The program is designed to give talented young people the opportunity to learn more about themselves and what it takes to influence others to action through principled leadership practices. The curriculum launches twenty-four super star students on a journey toward a life of consequence. Their goal is not just to lead, but to matter.

Session One is all about self-awareness. How many of us find ourselves well into adulthood without a true understanding of what motivates us, our attitude toward life, or how we are perceived by others? Human beings are terrible judges of what will make us happy and mild to moderate delusions help most of us get through our days of chasing elusive goals that are not really that important. The gift of honest introspection must be cultivated by the principled leader. If you have been to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, then you know that this is ancient wisdom (you also know that it is one hell of a hike up). One of the inscriptions on the temple wall says simply, “Know Thyself.” Wise old Greeks.

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