Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tough Experience as a Young Boy

I'm sure all of us can relate experiences that were challenging and difficult. Whereas not all such experiences may be appropriately shared in public, here's something that happened to me which helped me appreciate the small things in life and made me count my blessings.

As a young teenager I participated in a Scout Camp here in Norway. I was excited to be a part of the program. I've always loved being in the woods and going on long trips. Much of my childhood was spent outdoors doing all sorts of activities enjoying "mother nature" both summer and winter with friends and family.

However, this particular trip turned out to become quite an ordeal. Why? Because my leaders were misinformed and thus did not prepare neither our group nor me for what would take place. The others in my group ended up doing OK, simply because their part of the program took place in the main camp.

On the other hand, my small group of peers, was sent out on a two-day assignment without food and gear. I was told it would be "a survival quest". Of course, the others were prepared and ready to go. I was not! No one had told me anything.

Going without food for longer periods of time is OK. I'm fairly used to it. Whenever occasion requires me to do so, I can stretch pretty far. But getting soaking wet without the right footwear and clothing wandering through swamps and in the cold was not only irresponsible. It became, looking back in retrospect, nothing but a painful and unnecessary trial. I spent all night trying to stay warm without success. From beginning to end this trip was nothing but suffering and pain.

The long journey home made me reflect on the small and simple blessings of everyday life. I thought about people who suffer like this daily, maybe for the majority of their lives. My suffering was but a shadow of what many people experience every day, even now.

Lessons Learned
Once home, I decided to remain positive about the experience and the group of people involved. It would've been easy to feel resentment towards those who claimed my friendship. Also, one more important decision was made that day: Once a leader myself, I would always make sure to take care of the people I'm in charge of, helping them be a) informed and b) prepared.

This experience has motivated me to always prepare, not only for bad times, but also live "preparedness" in general. How thankful I am for such a valuable, but painfully acquired, lesson!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Street View of Mail and Paper Route

As a fulltime student I had four part-time jobs keeping me busy. Here's where I used to either make money for a growing family or prepare for exams.

Move around pretty much any street in this area and see where I used to spend the first half of every Saturday on my bike as a mailman.

Here you can see my pick up spot for newspapers every morning at 03.30 am. I served a double paper route many years on both sides of this busy street.

Here's the high school where I was asked to help out with computers and student homework every Tuesday and Thursday evening.

Here's the campus of the local college where I was asked to help out with computers and student homework every day while studying there myself.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Chewing Gum Wrigley's Extra

Did you ever buy a particular chewing gum only to discover that it did in fact contain some bites of the wrong flavor?

I want to know: Am I the only one who has experienced a pack of chewing gum containing the odd bite of the wrong flavor? Here's the deal. I usually buy the green Wrigley's Extra.

However, as of late I've experienced several cases of Wrigley's blue Extra mixed in between the "green bites".

At first I thought my taste buds were playing up on me, but the flavor is very distinct and I'm positive it's a production error. Somewhere along a chewing gum production line every so often a piece of gum will find it's way into the wrong pack. Tell me, did you ever experience the same? Has or how frequently did this occur to you?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

3E Sales Training Teaser

Yesterday I uploaded a YouTube video with brief quotes from some of my contacts.

It strikes me... how nice it is to have people around that willingly share their positive impressions about one's work. I'll gladly admit; I get a kick out of knowing this short 30 second 3E clip had more than 200 viewers the first 12 hours online. With this blogpost, maybe the number of viewers might grow..?

You wanna have look, too? Thanks folks! ;-)

What's Leadership About?

The one thing widely discussed must be the topic of "Leadership"...

Why are we so much into "Leadership"? Is it because a lot of us aspire to be a leader? Is it because it's such a complex and challenging matter? Is it because it's so important?

Is "Leadership" an interesting academic area to explore and therefore the subject of research and questioning? Is it because there are few answers and such a vast array of different approaches? Is it because failure is costly? Is it because so many have so many opinions about the subject and have witnessed so much failure?

Maybe it's all of them, or even none of the above. Can you think of anything I didn't mention you think should be listed?

Here's a quick poll on Leadership you may want to participate in if you feel like providing some statistical answers to what we believe about "Leadership" and what it's most of all.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tribal Wars - Online Strategy Game

A few months ago our oldest son, Eivind, introduced me to Tribal Wars - an online strategy game. We ended up doing this together. It's been a wonderful learning experience for me, especially when it comes to doing something I've never done before - online gaming.

Here's what I'm thinkin': A lot of parents today are prone to criticizing their kids for spending time playing games on the web. Instead of just banning it, why not help our kids learn to control this important new aspect of daily living by participating and getting involved. (Below a screenshot of our main city, completely finished!)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Never Update Contact Details Again

Last week I made some predictions about the future. The post received quite a lot of interesting feedback. Well, here's another quick one for ya'...

Today I was reminded of another basic change I believe will come very soon. A growing pain of mine: "Maintaining contact details of other people". How long do you believe we'll keep putting in phone numbers and email addresses into our cell phones and address books?

I mean, how less effective is that?! Why would we maintain or update the contact details of anyone else than our own? I believe less than two years from now it's another change everyone takes for granted.

Did you ever lose your contact database on your cell phone or in your e-mail client? Well, the future is bright. The problem will no longer exist. Anyway, that's my guess... and I'm willing to bet it'll come from one of the key players in the information market, e.g. Google or even LinkedIn. You think so, too..?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Does Left Wing Politics Eliminate Long Term Freedom of Choice?

Long term research reveals how the press and media in general are heavily influenced by the left wing in politics. Does anyone have any idea why this is so?

Statistically, the way it should be, at least how I'm thinking; the people's collective voice should be reflected in how journalists are prone to vote as a body, too. However, this is not the case. Political press coverage and content proves to have a heavy left wing bias. Considering the power of the media in today's society, this is thought provoking.

(E.g. Democratic progress in the U.S. always receives favorable attention in Norway, but when the Republicans are gaining ground it's hardly ever mentioned!)

The same goes for many of the labour unions in existence today. Here in Norway, this is almost completely on the wild side. For instance, any employee accepting a position in the public sector is encouraged by a number of different incentives to sign up for membership in LO (i.e. Landsorganisasjonen i Norge).

How it works? Well, if you want the most important benefits work has to offer, you will need to sign up for a formal membership, regardless of your political standpoint. Some of your salary is thus automatically deducted in support of this organization, who just happens to be the most critical partner to the Norwegian Labour party. Is this how it should be?

Even if I did vote somewhere in that direction, I would not accept such a corrupt democratic failure. Please, if you have a different opinion on the subject, I would love to hear it! In my opinion, true democratic supporters should work hard to abolish any type of bias, such as this, in a political system.

I get the impression that a growing support to the left wing will only limit our long term freedom of choice..?! (And I should quickly add, right wing exstremism seems to have the same effect.)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Are You a Calvin and Hobbes Reader?

Are you among those who could somehow identify with Calvin and Hobbes? I did, and still do every so often.

Did you know that this Monday Bill Waterson, the artist behind the famous Calvin and Hobbes comic strip gave what may be his first interview in appx 20 years to the Cleveland Plain Dealer?

I really admire this guy. Bill Waterson could've made a fortune by going on "forever" or by diluting the concept with all sorts of "stuff", but in stead he stays true to his art and conviction and moves on with his life. That takes integrity, wouldn't you say?!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Five Years Into the Future

Some years ago I made a number of predictions about the future among family, friends and colleagues which have come true. To me and many others, these predictions made perfect sense. In fact, to any informed person they did not seem like predictions at all, but were simply self evident "weather forecasts" based on trend observations. What about the coming five years?

I'd like to share a few observations that I almost take for granted, but that may, to some people, be startling statements sounding almost like "prophecies".

I wonder what you're thinking when you consider my thoughts about some of the exciting things the future might bring us..?

Five Years Ago
Let's first take a quick look back in time...

For instance, only five years ago I pictured my entire family with online cell phones and instantly shared calendar updates. To me it was self evident. When I shared the vision of this, not many people believed it would come so soon, let alone comprehend why this would be so significant or even necessary. I said it would make sense and improve the quality of my family's life and interaction. Today it's a reality and my peers take it for granted. Interesting phenomenon!

Like the above example, I could share a number of many other predictions I made at the time, but my purpose is not to prove that I was right back then. Rather, let's repeat the exercise of making predictions. Why don't we share some thoughts about the future? The future, as we believe it will be five years from today!

Here are some of the things I believe about the future. (Are you prepared to share some of your beliefs, too..? ;-)

Five Years Into the Future
I'd like to take the web as my stepping stone, as it seems to be an interesting starting point for some of the really BIG and significant changes we'll be witnessing in the years ahead. Here's a quick list of spontaneous examples of what I think we might see:

Individual Privacy Challenged
From today and at least five years ahead in time I believe "an educated person" without one or more maintained online profiles will be rare (exept for "the oldest generation"). Sharing of personal data will increase dramatically. Serious mistakes will be exploited. People will learn and awareness will grow. Security will become an increasingly important isssue. Schools will integrate the social web both as a teaching and collaboration tool, combined with an ongoing warning to be careful.

Growing Collective Genius of the Masses
More and more people will be online around the clock. Human interaction will become increasingly transparent. Enormous amounts of free content will not only increase, it will explode. And to such proportions that it will affect every aspect of our lives (socially / emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally). We will continuously be surprised about what can be found online and how it can be used.

Innovation Speed
Lifestyle changing innovations will appear more frequently by how the world makes information and content available to us in smart and adaptive ways. An educated person becomes more and more someone not only with knowledge, but mostly wisdom to find and apply what's in the cloud. (i.e. One that knows how to find and utilize helpful online information in daily living and good decision making.)

More Conflict
This will in turn feed existing challenges, such as an increased gap between rich and poor countries, as well as rich and poor people domestically. On the other hand, it will also enlighten the people and put an end to grand scale manipulation and "tyrannies will fall". E.g. a) big companies with malfunctioning hierarchic structures and b) corrupt nations with controlling and dishonest leadership, to name a few examples.

Growing Entertainment Industry
The media will become highly interactive. Realistic scenario testing will prevent potential disasters and make possible enormous and ever bigger, more sophisticated and risky projects. More and more people will have to deal with virtual reality, where effective people use technology to improve the quality of life and ineffective people become victims of addiction and the loss of a social life.

These are just a few examples of what I believe we'll see more of...

Unconscious Living
...and can you see how this is just the beginning of a lengthy list of fascinating thoughts and ideas about the future? Why not carefully reflect back on history and forward on the future? I believe it makes living in the present much more interesting and rewarding.

Like I said, if you're looking out for some of the basic trends in society you'll probably consider most of these so-called "predictions" I've just made to be pretty self evident. However, and this is my point; surprisingly many people are living in "isolation" or unconsciously, as it were, by how they seldom reflect on neither history nor the future. They're not up to date... To them, these trends and events gradually appear, but they are stripped of opportunity and value by the way that it reaches them just a little bit too late... (i.e. futuristically) and with little appreciation for how things now can be done so much better (i.e. historically).

Last but not least, if you share your thoughts about the future the majority of people around you may regularly either consider you a "prophet" or a lunatic.

Your Turn to Share
Help me learn from the past, live in the present and look to the future, folks. Share with us your insight and opinions of what's coming around the next bend..!

p.s. It'll be interesting to revisit this blogpost in 2015 ;-)