I’ll have a Yogi Berra please

Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra (May 12, 1925 – September 22, 2015)
Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra (May 12, 1925 – September 22, 2015)

While I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Mets (well, and Yankees) legend Yogi Berra this morning. I felt compelled to share a conversation had on my Facebook page during which Yogi gave us one last chuckle.

One commenter suggested that Yogi was the “Arnold Palmer of baseball” to which I responded that we needed to create a drink in honor of him. I came up with the following:

  • Half club soda
  • Half seltzer
  • Half carbonated water

My plan is to order one at a restaurant in the near future. Here is how I envision the conversation:

Me: I have a Yogi Berra.
Server: Never heard of that sir. What is in it?
Me: Easy it is half club soda, half seltzer and half carbonated water.
Server: Okay… Wait… what?

As a youth I proudly wore number 8 in honor of him. He was the manager of the Mets at the time.

Yogi is truly a hero of mine. Not only is he the only person I can think of who bridges the Met-Yankee divide, but his legendary reformulations of quotations are always inspirational.

When speaking I often refer to him as “that great American philosopher, Yogi Berra.” In my book he is up there with Walt Whitman, Mark Twain and Will Rogers.

My personal favorite quote: We made too many wrong mistakes.

Much wisdom in that.

RIP, Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra (May 12, 1925 – September 22, 2015)

On Jesus and Redistribution

The following meme was posted on a Bernie Sanders Facebook site:

As a Libertarian and a church-going Catholic I see zero contradiction in this. I personally believe the best way to “justly distribute the fruits of the Earth and human labor” is via the free market or what I prefer to call “market tested innovation and supply” in deference to Dierdre McCloskey.

The Church is a private institution. As long as government is not involved, members of a private institution can work toward whatever goal they wish, so long as they do not impose this belief on others.

In the parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:13-14) Jesus says:

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?”

This is a pretty specific rejection of the notion that Jesus (or the Gospel writer) calls for “just redistribution” via coerce force.

Do we as a society have a moral obligation to help our fellow humans? Yes, we do. Furthermore, we get to decide what the best way to do that is for each of us.

Should government be the mechanism to insist upon this obligation? Hell, no!

On Floccinaucinihilipilification

As many of you already know, I am sesquipedalian.

However, what I really love is a great word, long or short, in a proper context. To my amusement, a word that is both sesquipedalian and fits into the context of a subject (value or lack thereof) about which a regularly speak popped up in my Facebook stream last week. Many thanks to Shawn Slavin who posted the original link.

For the past few days I have been practicing saying it trippingly on the tongue. With any luck I will be able to break it out this morning as I speak at the AICPA PSTech conference.

Here is my practice sentence – “Timesheets are a great example of floccinaucinihilipilification.”

Creating a new future – Podcasts

This year at Sage Summit, I served as the emcee for a session entitled Creating a new future: Partnering in the age of the cloud.

We assembled a great guest list of Sage Partners and team members. In addition, we recorded the session and the podcasts for each are available by clicking the links below.

Slides from MAX-558 Healing Leadership

Below are the slides from my session at Sage Summit 2014 entitle Healing Leadership. I am indebted to both Howard Hansen and Steve Geske for their remarkable work on this topic and their willingness to allow me to present it. I hope I did it justice.

For more  this topic and to join in the conversation, join the Healing Leaders Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/healingleaders

In addition, you can by their book, Healing Leadership – A Survival Guide for the Enlightened Leader at Amazon. I give it my personal guarantee, if you do not like it I will buy it back from you.

Sage Summit 2014 Speaker Podcasts

For those of you who have been listening to the Sage Summit Speaker podcast I thank you.

In case you missed any episodes here they are for easy reference in reverse order of appearance:

  1. Laurie McCabe
  2. Geni Whitehouse
  3. Susan Solovic
  4. Chelsea Krost
  5. Melinda Emerson
  6. Mike Michalowicz
  7. Rieva Lesonsky
  8. Lisa Zamosky
  9. Tracy Carlson
  10. Josh Altman
  11. Ron Baker
  12. Ken Thoreson
  13. Barry Moltz
  14. Paul Ziliak
  15. T. Scott Gross
  16. Doug Sleeter

In addition, there are three partner podcasts which speak directly to go to market strategies for partners. They are:

  1. Apryl Hanson from Blytheco
  2. Bill Delgado from Keystone Software Solutions
  3. Susan Klein from L. Kianoff

Lastly there are two Sage executives who recorded podcasts as well:

  1. Gabie Boko
  2. Joe Langner

Something Ralph Kiner Taught Me

Screen-Shot-2014-02-16-at-10.48.31-AMHad he not passed away last month, today would have been the first game of the season where Ralph Kiner would have joined Gary Thorne and Ron Darling in the broadcast booth at CitiField in Flushing.

To honor his memory I share with you the following poem he taught me:

These are the saddest of possible words:
Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double –
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”



Who Are Your Heroes?

At the Academy Awards, Matthew McConaughey gave the most talked about speech of the evening upon receiving the Oscar for Best Actor of the year. The speech begins about 45 seconds in.

Matthew McConaughey – Acceptance Speech…

At about 2:40 in, McConaughey answers my favorite interview question. In fact, if I could only ask a candidate one question, it would be “Who are your heroes and why?” I guess that is actually two questions.

My reason is that it is the best question in order to get to know someone. Most people answer family members, spouse, parents, grandparents, even their kids.

While there is no right or wrong answer to the question, the answer I like to hear least is, “No one, I do not have heroes.” To be frank, if I am the interviewer and someone answers the question this way, it is highly unlikely I would recommend hiring that person not matter how qualified they were for the position.

I thought McConaughey’s answer was excellent.

What are your thoughts on the question and McConaughey’s answer?

The Boss for a Day: Another reason to love my job

In July I had the honor and privilege to deliver 14 sessions at the  customer and partner conference held annually by my company, Sage. In addition to my speaking duties at Sage Summit 2013, I had the opportunity to participate in the third and most likely last performance by an band consisting of Sage business partners and employees. The band was aptly named The Usual Suspects, due to the fact that many of the same performers have returned each year.

UsualSuspectsThis years line up included our fearless band leader David Boothby on lead guitar and vocals, my long-time friend and colleague Apryl Hanson and Jennifer Parkinson as the lead female vocalist, Jeff Gregorec, Greg Tirico, Bill Parkinson and Sage EVP Joe Langner alternated on drums, Renato DeGasperis on rhythm guitar, Bob Reinking on bass, Ken Kennedy on keyboards, and Joe Carroll on bongos and other percussion. In addition, we were joined by a few professionals including a three piece horn section we dubbed The Bad-Ass Brass.

As a guest vocalist, I sang the lead vocal on two Bruce Springsteen songs, Born to Run and Tenth Avenue Freeze Out. Videos of these two follow:

The closest we came to trainwrecking was just after the sax solo, but we pulled it together. I felt a little bad about this until I saw a professional act actually do it. I give Fun. credit cause man, it is a tough song.

Lastly, here is our rendition of Tenth Avenue Freeze Out which was just too fun for words to perform.

Don’t worry, I am not quitting my day job!