Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team - Patrick Lencioni

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick M. Lencioni

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Great rehash of standard teamwork principles told as a fascinating story of a CEO who has been hired to turn a high tech company around.

Our company used to provide a team building seminar to all departments. Budget cuts have put that on the shelf for the last few years, but the concept of what makes up an effective team remains the same.

One phrase I pulled from the old seminar that has made a major impact on my personal and professiona life is "assume innocence". It just makes for a more pleasant way of living to assume that people are trying to do the right thing.

In the Five Dysfunctions, the first is Lack of Trust, which is explained as assuming innocence. The other four dysfunctions are also important to understand, but without the foundation of trust are difficult to correct.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Chambers Bay

We finally did it. Golfed at Chambers Bay, home to the 2015 U.S. Open. It's similar to Bandon Dunes; caddies available, no golf carts, links style. We're used to carrying our clubs so we thought, no problem. Wrong. So hilly, up the mountain, down the mountain, sheesh.

We played some great golf and some not-so-great golf, but overall it was fun. Beautiful views from every hole. Lovely sunset. We'll be going back soon.

From 2008 Summer

From 2008 Summer

From 2008 Summer

From 2008 Summer

From 2008 Summer

From 2008 Summer

From 2008 Summer

From 2008 Summer

From 2008 Summer

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bel Canto - Ann Patchett

Bel Canto Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Loved this book. Unlike many I've read lately, this one started out just ok, then about 100 pages in it became fascinating. One of the best books I've read, couldn't put it down.

The premise is a hostage situation in Argentina involving an Opera Singer, Japanese businessman, Vice President, inept kidnappers, Red Cross negotiator, translator. The situation continues far longer than anticipated and the story is about the relationships developed during their time together.

Read it.

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Rise and Shine - Anna Quindlen (Audio book)

Rise and Shine: A Novel Rise and Shine: A Novel by Anna Quindlen

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
Another audio book for the long hours spent in the car. Surprisingly entertaining , the story is about a famous TV personality whose life seems to fall apart and who escapes to Jamaica. In the meantime, her single sister stays in New York and has to live with the fall out.

The lives of New Yorkers, wealthy and not so wealthy, is explored. There's a bit of a twist about 3/4 of the way through the book which keeps it interesting until the end.

I'd recommend this as an engaging light read.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

High Maintenance Dogs

Old dogs...Rosie has a little leakage problem which we are solving by medication and doggy diapers. Check out the cute outfit with suspenders. Found it on the internet at Fancy Nancys. So easy to use and fashionable. We also put her in a newborn onesie to help contain the diaper. As for Sassy, the Biter gave her another leg wound which is slowly healing.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Hot Trip to the Southland

The red-headed grandchildren, Jackson & Hermione.

It's been awhile since I visited southern California, so I scheduled a trip in late August and invited Darla along. So great that we all get along so well. The weekend started with a cancelled flight from Sacramento bot Ontario, but never fear, a later flight had room and we were only an hour late.

While Jill worked, the rest of us went golfing at Shandin Hills Golf Club. It was very fun on a nice inexpensive course, and Nathan had a great round. Afterward, we had a nice lunch at Panerra. The afternoon was spent relaxing and watching the Olympics.

The next morning, we went to Loma Linda church. The sermon was a one-man drama which was quite good, but the highlight was a fantastic song by a 6th grade girl; "Were You There".

What to do on Sunday, Jill's day off? We decided on a waterpark: Raging Waters in San Dimas. It was a very hot day and the cool water was a welcome sight. Although the park was crowded, we had time to enjoy all the slides except the Dragon's Den. Especially fun was the first slide, so fast, disorienting, WET!

Afterward, dinner at Lucille's. Gotta love a good BBQ. Gumbo, ribs, brisket. Yum!

On our final day, Darla and I went shopping at Victoria Garden while Jill & Nathan worked. So sad. It was nice to enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee and do a little shopping before picking up Nathan at work and driving to the airport. All in all, the weekend was too short, but lots of fun.

Shrek The Musical

We were lucky enough to obtain tickets to Shrek the Musical at the 5th Avenue Theater here in Seattle. The play is being rehearsed, efined and performed in Seattle prior to its debut on Broadway.
We watched the first performance in front of a live audience. It was very fun. If you have the opportunity to go before it moves on, I would recommend it.
My favorite character in the movie was the donkey, unfortunately, I wasn't as impressed by the live donkey, but really enjoyed the Prince. He made me laugh everytime he was on stage.

Whidbey Island

A few weeks ago we decided to take a road trip to Whidbey Island. It was relatively uneventful other than the dog fight in the car, so here's a few pics

Monday, September 01, 2008

To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (Audio Book)

To Kill a Mockingbird To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Another audio book for my long Seattle-Portland weekly commute. I haven't read this book since the requisite high school English class assignment. What a difference 30 years makes.

One of the most interesting things I noticed was Harper Lee's ability to portray all the characters so well. I especially appreciated hearing Scout's voice and the innocense of her impression of her father. She took for granted his simple greatness, as most children do.

I recorded the movie and can't wait to watch. Anyone who hasn't read this book as an adult is in for a treat. The audio book is read by Sissy Spacek and is a great option if you have time.

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Invasive Procedures - Orson Scott Card et al

Invasive Procedures Invasive Procedures by Orson Scott Card

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I love Orson Scott Card,that's why I was excited to see a new book in the airport bookstore. It should have raised a little red flag that there were two authors. Seems like whenever accomplished authors write with another author, the books are never that great (like Clive Cussler).

This book reminded me of a Robin Cook story, but not as good. I gave it 3 stars because it did keep me entertained even though it wasn't great.

Genetic engineering, hotzone -like virus, action, psychopath. What more could one want? Maybe a more clever, less predictable story.

I'd say, if you don't have anything else to read and you need to read anything OSC writes, go for it. Otherwise, there are lots of better books.

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