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Seven Things You May Not Know About Me

Posted at 4:11 AM on Sunday, December 14, 2008

If you've read blogs for very long, you've seen these things before. A blogger posts "seven things you don't know about me" and in the chain letter tradition, urges seven more bloggers to do the same. Of course if everyone did that, by now even those without blogs would have had to start blogs in order to complete the cycle. But I digress . . .

I have gotten these requests before and thought they might be fun, but I haven't done it (perhaps I've been the cycle breaker?).

Why then, am I writing this post today? For reasons, that I believe are instructive (beyond the coming seven bullet points about me). . .

1. The person that tagged me is Mike Figliuolo of the Thought Leaders blog. It is a great blog and I have recently become acquanited with Mike through Twitter (he's @figliuolo) and our mutual friend and colleague Jim Canterucci (@canterucci on Twitter).

2. I recently did a webinar with Michael Stallard on the importance of connecting with others (here's the link to the webinar).

3. Because of that webinar, I wrote an article that was posted earlier called Get Connected.

Do you notice a theme?

I decided to write this to build my connection and relationship with Mike. And because of my recent work on the subject, I felt I could make the post more relevant to you, and lastly, I hope the seven things about me that I am about to write will help form or deepen the connection between you and I - which is one of the best reasons for me to be writing this blog anyway.

So here we go.

1. My Grandmother was my fifth grade Homeroom and Social Studies teacher. Mom and Dad told me I had to call her Mrs. Eikenberry, and on the first morning, Grandma told me, in fron of the whole class, that if I didn't call her Grandma I would flunk. She won. By the end of the year, half the class called her Grandma.

2. I played the tenor saxaphone in the Purdue "All American" Marching Band for two football seasons. The band was as big as my entire High School. I tried out because I thought it might be fun, and I would have better seats for the football games (that isn't the case for the band now). It also allowed me to play at Northwestern, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Michigan, a Detroit Lions game, the Liberty Bowl and the Indy 500.

3. I'm not a big vegetable fan. I grew up a picky eater, and while I am much better now, I still don't need any cooked spinach, broccoli or asparagus (among others).

4. I like most music, but Country Music is my favorite. I grew up on quartet gospel, which drew harmonies from country music, I love stories, and well, country was the easiest to find on the tractor radio (where I spent MANY hours). Barbara Mandrell sang a song "I was Country When Country Wasn't Cool." I identified with the song then and I still do.

5. My favorite fiction writers are James Michener and Og Mandino. I've read everything Og Mandino wrote and most of Michener. I read Centennial as a eighth grader and loved it - the idea of historical fiction was new to me at the time. And Og, well, someday, I hope to write as powerfully as he did.

6. I have 7 bookshelves full of books in our offices (a.k.a. the Remarkable House). And probably enough books in boxes to fill two more. And Lori, my wife, is still waiting for me to move my books out of the house.

7. I love auctions. I guess it comes from going to so many as a kid. It doesn't matter what they are selling - I like them. Someday I plan to get my auctioneer's license.

7.A I'll bet I own the only BMW with a Purdue license plate on the back, and a John Deere plate on the front. I collect antique tractors -yes the real ones - and 8 of the 10 in the current collection are John Deeres (this hobby is one good reason to go to auctions). Let me know if you want to see pictures, or have one to sell. :)

Regardless of what you learned about me, or if you feel more connected to me, I hope the meta-message of this post is clear - do what it takes to build deeper connections with those you lead, teach, work with or who are otherwise in your life. That investment may not be repaid immediately, but you will be richly rewarded in the long run.

Here are seven other bloggers who I'd like a deeper connection with, so I will tag them.

Michael Stallard
Pam Slim
Rajesh Setty
Steve Roesler
Kyle Lacy
Shama Hyder
Jose Castillo

Thanks Mike - writing this post was more fun, and hopefully more valuable to others, than I thought it would be.
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