About Me

Who am I?

Here are some short statements that describe me:
My name is David.
I believe actions driven by love are the most sustainable.
Jesus is my primary role model for behavior.
I’m from the Midwest, USA and I appreciate the hospitality for which that region is known.
I like proper grammar, but I prefer effective communication.

Here are the parts of my background that relate to this blog:

Personal effectiveness

This has been a subject of interest for me since my early twenties. I think failing out of undergrad had something to do with a desire to learn how to “get the right things done”, as Peter Drucker would say. Since then, I’ve tried to pay attention to both the things that led to failure and success in my life. This became especially important as I progressed into full-time employment as a restaurant manager (after getting back into school and graduating). In this role, people depended on me for effective leadership. Thus, I had to learn to lead myself before having any hope to do so for them. I first tried to understand what Christianity and modern philosophy had to say about “how to live”. This was interesting, but really difficult to discuss at bars (fortunately this mattered little considering a restaurant manager’s free time is 9am to noon). After that I started reading business books–Execution; First, Break All the Rules; Love is the Killer App; Never Eat Alone; The Seed; and Who Moved My Cheese are a few of the classics that provided the first principles I tried to practice. Many of those principles worked and drive me today. Finally, wise professors and managers taught me how to behave properly in the workplace. For one in particular, JD, I’m most grateful. His patience and relentless coaching are the only reasons I’m aware of my strengths and weaknesses (the first step toward personal effectiveness). I was blessed to have learned a few lessons early in life. Because I’ve seen those lessons work over and over, I want to share them with others who haven’t yet discovered their own books and mentors. That’s what the “personal effectiveness” part of this blog is about.

Health

My interest in health stems from my experience working in restaurants, where I spent my first 10 years of employment. I genuinely enjoyed guiding people to a meal they ended up loving, especially when it introduced them to food they’d never had before. I also was exposed to a variety of foods via consistent menu changes. This led me to search for new foods on my own.

As I discovered more foods, I got interested in nutrition as a result of having friends in the medical community. I continued to learn about what I was eating and serving at work, and realized certain foods were “considered” ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’. However, I couldn’t really explain whyIn other words, I felt pretty sure mac and cheese was an unhealthy dinner, but I felt inadequate when trying to describe what effects it had on the body. Still, I felt that too many kids were being fed these ‘unhealthy’ dinners, so I was encouraged to learn. Plus, when I have kids, they’ll depend on me for nutrition. That’s why I started a blog called “The Healthy Mob”, which was the precursor to the health portion of this blog.

One ironic lesson I’ve learned is that, the more research I find, the more questions I have. Each new study seems to bring more uncertainty about commonly held beliefs. Furthermore, research is only as good as technology allows. As a result, I don’t think we can know every little physiological effect of any food, no matter how much research we do. There’s always an immeasurable, sub-atomic, long-term, etc. effect to discover, it seems. But I do think there’s enough evidence to predict good/bad effects of eating certain things (we’re fairly certain broccoli is healthy and crystal meth is unhealthy). Since we can’t be certain, we have to find as much information as possible (within reason) to make our predictions well-founded.

My first post on health describes how I feel about our responsibility to seek good health.

Management

On this site, “management” refers to “managing people” rather than management of departments or organizations–is something that I would love to see taught in business school. We will all have and many of us will become managers! Why is it not taught? That’s a question for a blog post, but I discovered it is teachable once I became a manager myself. The podcast referred to countless times on this blog, called “Manager Tools”, was what led me to realize effective management is simply a series of repeated behaviors–namely, the behaviors which lead to results and retention. So many of their recommendations which I’ve tried have proven reliably effective over time that I can’t help but beg anyone I meet who’s in a teaching role to consider checking them out. If I can be more emphatic–I’ve seen more value implementing Manager Tools’s guidance than I have from my Bachelors degree, MBA, and other work experience combined. That’s why they’ve been around as long as they have, and have thousands of managers following them globally. Beyond them, there are other principles of management that go untaught which I’ll seek to share. Together, I simply hope to provide managers the ability to bring out the best in their direct reports. For the non-managers reading this blog, I hope you’ll learn from my experience how to cultivate a healthy relationship with your manager that enables you both to thrive.