Camping Season Over – Relaxation Unit Close Up.

While camping season technically goes until next weekend, due to Homecoming activities with the kids and the like we had to close up the relaxation unit this last weekend. This has been our first year “camping” and I’ve gotten some interesting learnings from it:

  • Social networking is a lot more fun when the community congregates in person on a regular basis. We met a lot of really nice people this summer and have made friends that we would not have made otherwise.
  • I never realized how much of my weekends were spent working until I stopped doing it to go to the camper. This was probably the first summer in my career that I did not have a computer with me during the weekend. I have to say it was nice, even though it was a grim reminder of how much I used to get done on the weekends due to lack of time during the week. Scheduled time with Jonna and the kids was definitely something I don’t want to miss out on anymore though.
  • I’m lucky in that I have inlaws that I really like hanging around with. Half the fun of the summer was being able to spend quality time with them.
  • I’m more prone to do stuff around the house if the scale is smaller. Totally didn’t mind mowing the lawn at the camper this year.
  • I suck at building fires. If I was the Tom Hanks in Castaway I would have died the first week.
  • No band sucks that bad if you have enough beer around.
  • The Beer Hammer is probably the best invention since the wheel.

Calacanis Interviews Evan Williams, Co Founder of Twitter

I really enjoyed Jason’s interview with Evan Williams (co-founder of Twitter, Odeo, and Blogger) especially Evan’s “lessons learned” about entrepreneurism:

1. Focus
2. Small things can become big.
3. Don’t go too wide.
4. Trust your gut.
5. Don’t do anything you aren’t absolutely passionate about.

Now I’ve Heard It All: Management Lessons from RoadHouse!

One of my favorite “bad” movies that I just cannot switch past when its on is the movie “Road House“. As a matter of fact, we went out and bought the DVD so that when it is on TV, I can pop in the DVD and watch the “unedited” TV version of the movie – thats how addictive the movie is to me for some reason. I just cannot “not” watch it when its on.

So imagine my surprise when the latest episode of Manager Tools used Roadhouse as one of their examples when discussing Handling Peer Conflict When Your Directs Are Involved. The example was around one of their steps in handling conflict, which was “Turn the other cheek”. In the movie, there is a scene in which Patrick Swayze is laying down the rules for working in the bar now that he has been hired as a cooler. Oddly, the scene really does illustrate the point Mark was making quite well:


1. Never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected.
2. Take it outside. Never start anything in the bar unless its absolutely necessary.

3. Be nice.


If someone gets in your face and calls you a <bleep>, I want you to be nice.


DALTON: Ask him to walk, but be nice. If he won’t walk – walk him – but be nice. If you can’t walk him, one of the others will help you – and you’ll both be nice. I want you to remember that its a job. Its nothing personal.

EMPLOYEE 2: Uh, huh. Being called a <bleep> isn’t personal?

DALTON: No. Its two nouns combined to elicit a prescribed response.

EMPLOYEE 2: [laughs] Well what if someone calls my mama a whore?

DALTON: Is she? [pause with employee laughter] I want you to be nice until its time to not be nice.

EMPLOYEE 3: Well, uh, how are we supposed to know when that is?

DALTON: You won’t. I’ll let you know. You are the bouncers, I am the cooler. All you have to do is watch my back – and each others … and take out the trash.

See video below.

I guess it just goes to show you that there are leadership lessons everywhere, you just have to be looking for them. Road House, honestly, would have been the last place I would have looked, but damned if they aren’t there as well.

As an aside, I’ve just started reading a book called Leadership Sopranos Style: How to Become a More Effective Boss. Again, another place I would not necessarily look for leadership lessons. The book is pretty good so far. I’ll probably write something up on it when I finish it.

I like books and lectures that use pop culture to make the concepts more accessible. We need more of this in the world, rather than the dry theory of most leadership related material.