Blog

I hope you find these entries as enjoyable to read, as I find them enjoyable to write…

Owning Up

Posted by on Jun 3, 2019 in Blog, Featured | 13 comments

Owning Up

I’m feeling the need to own up to something. This has been a difficult period in my life and for the most part I’ve kept quiet about it. A few people I have shared this with but not many. I’m not sure why I’ve kept quiet but maybe I’ve been protecting myself. I’ve used this blog as a way to focus my attention on other things and that’s helped me remain positive. But I guess I’m ready now to open up.

Almost three years ago, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, which is cancer of the bone marrow.  I quickly got accepted into a clinical trial and started chemotherapy. Fortunately, doctors caught the cancer early and I went into remission two years ago.  But the chemo took its toll. I had severe side effects – swelling and then neuropathy in my hands and feet, loss of my ability to taste food, feeling disoriented, and other things. Some of these side effects are with me today, others have diminished.  I have my blood tested every month. I go to my oncologist every three months, and hope the cancer remains in remission. It’s an incurable cancer, so at some point it’s likely to return. But for now, that’s all I can do.

I’ve also struggled with Congestive Heart Failure.  I have a strong heart but I have a thick muscle surrounding it, which is something I’ve known about and lived with for many years. As I’ve aged, my heart has become stiff and has a tendency to retain fluids. This makes hiking, and sometimes even walking, difficult because I lose my breath after just a few steps. My cardiologist has put me on a diuretic to control the build-up of fluids.  Thus far, that has worked. I guess I’d rather be peeing all of the time than struggling to walk.

Lastly, I’ve also been diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, which is dangerous since testing shows I stop breathing 33 times an hour when I’m asleep. So I recently got fitted for a breathing device to wear at night. I sat in a room with a couple of old women who were being fitted as well. They were probably my own age but I thought of them as my father’s age. Weird how that happens! We all had to try on our masks and get instructions on how to use them properly. These are huge, plastic masks, connected to a machine that blows air into your mouth and nose.  I looked like Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs. We were all embarrassed about how we looked wearing these monstrosities. I just hope my grandkids don’t come in to wake me up some morning. They’d be scared to death!

Just to be clear, I’m not feeling sorry for myself. I’m managing all of my health issues now and I’m doing fine. But I miss hiking in the mountains. I miss running after my grandsons while we play tag. And I miss being more alert and less in a fog. Some of this is simply my resistance to getting old and acknowledging my new limitations.  I still see myself as a vibrant, young, athletic man.  Occasionally I am shocked when I stare at myself in the mirror. But generally, deep down, I still feel young and alive. This has probably been my most important anchor during these difficult few years.

Not Coaching

Posted by on Apr 27, 2019 in Blog, Featured | 1 comment

Not Coaching

When I was consulting, I was never hired by an organization to coach a manager. Instead, I was brought in to strengthen a team, improve a process. or change the culture. The work often led to coaching, but not always.

(more…)

Theater of the Absurd

Posted by on Mar 31, 2019 in Blog, Featured | 8 comments

Theater of the Absurd

My wife, Farn, and I were reminiscing about our early years together recently and all of a sudden remembered an incident that we hadn’t thought about for years. It’s a funny story and I’m in the mood for capturing something with some humor in it.

(more…)

Family Dynamics

Posted by on Feb 26, 2019 in Blog, Featured | 7 comments

Family Dynamics

I was recently chatting with a friend and she asked me what led me into organizational consulting. I thought about it for a few moments and then responded…

(more…)

Tapestry of Thoughts

Posted by on Jan 29, 2019 in Blog, Featured | 8 comments

Tapestry of Thoughts

I recently created a book of all of my monthly blogs that I’ve written going back to February 2012. There are 84 of them. I spent several hours reading through the book. As I was reading, I began to discover that the book is like a non-sequential memoir. These blogs contain my values, what I care most deeply about, and who I am. They are just captured more in stories than teaching points. So, as I was reading, I decided to pull out statements that did a good job of defining me.  Here is what I came up with…..

(more…)

Toughest Jobs

Posted by on Dec 31, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 5 comments

Toughest Jobs

I got together with some old friends recently and introduced a fun game for us all. I asked everyone what were the “toughest” jobs that they have ever had in their lives.  (more…)

Grappling with Groups

Posted by on Nov 30, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 4 comments

Grappling with Groups

Back in the 1970s, I was trained to run sensitivity- training sessions when I was in graduate school at UCLA. (more…)

Enough Being Quiet

Posted by on Oct 28, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 6 comments

Enough Being Quiet

I’ve always been reluctant to share my political views. I tend to keep quiet. But right now I’m about to burst. I think my reluctance came out of childhood. (more…)

Both Sides of the Coin

Posted by on Oct 2, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 3 comments

Both Sides of the Coin

I’ve been thinking back over my consulting career quite a bit lately. It’s because Tony Petrella died recently in a boating accident. (more…)

Looking Through the Lens of Family

Posted by on Sep 4, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 5 comments

Looking Through the Lens of Family

I lay in bed this morning thinking about both my immediate family and my extended family. (more…)