Chiefs trip to Whiteman

As Head Captain of the Kansas City Chiefs Red Coaters, today I got to travel with the team to Whiteman AFB to meet with members of the 509th Bomb Wing (B-2 Stealth Bomber) and their families.  Whiteman is home to about 5,000 people including spouses and children, and has over 750 airmen deployed at this time.  What an amazing experience to spend time with these brave people and their families. 

The visit to Ft. Leavenworth was made possible through the Chiefs partnership with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation through its Return the Favor campaign.  We traveled with Todd Haley, Matt Cassel, Thomas Jones, Brodie Croyle and several other members of the Chiefs offense, as well as Chiefs Hall of Famer Deron Cherry, NFL Hall of Famer Bobby Bell and several VFW executives.  As the bus pulled on base, the players were fired up to get out and meet the military personnel and their families.  The Chiefs players took pictures, signed autographs and answered questions until everyone was satisfied.  They literally had to drag the coach and the players back to the bus when it was time to leave.   In an address to the troops, Chiefs head coach Todd Haley said “We just want to return the favor to all of these women and men who make the ultimate sacrifice so that all of us as Americans can live the life that we live.  They do a great job and we’re grateful to them.”   Later, he added “You always hear comparisons between football and these guys, which are totally unfair.  They are playing real life; we’re playing a game.”

The Chiefs actually spend a lot of time during OTAs making visits and appearances like this.   I’m proud to be a part of such a first class organization.

Social Media – Newsletter Blog 5/21/2010

May marks the 19th anniversary of Network Innovations!  For a technology company, that’s a pretty good milestone.  I started with NII in 1992 when I was 17 years old, so this year also means that I’ve been here for 18 years or more than half of my life.  This seems like a good time to thank you all for supporting us for all of these years.  All of us at Network Innovations realize we are lucky that we get to wake up each day and work with such wonderful companies.  We love being a part of your team, and we’re glad that you’re a part of ours.  Stay tuned for more details, we’ll have a big party next year for our 20th. 

I got some great comments from last month’s newsletter, so I must have touched a nerve with the Social Media topic.  Social media is certainly changing the way we will all do business in the future, but “experts” in this area are hard to find.  We will all have to figure this out together.  If you are interested in social media, you MUST watch this video – Socialnomics by Erik Qualman.  I promise after you see it once, you’ll immediately watch it again!  There is more information and additional videos on his website.   See our newsletter for an introduction to social networking.  Let me know what you think!

For more of my rambling thoughts, check out my blog.

Welcome to my Blog

I guess it’s time I start my own blog.  Certainly there are several blogs that I keep tabs on, and I hope that mine will have some value for you.  I am NOT a professional writer, so I will be using my conversational, casual style – journalism majors avert your eyes!

I spent this last week in Dallas in meetings with my Heartland Technology Group peers.  HTG is a group of 250 IT companies from across the US, Canada, UK and Australia.  We break into groups of 12 non-competitive companies, and we serve as each other’s Board of Directors.  We meet for two full days each quarter, and this was my 6th quarter of participation.

I must say, this experience has been life-changing.  Rather than being a business owner out on an island, I have 11 great friends that know exactly the challenges that I face every day.  We share best practices, help each other with challenges, and give unselfishly to each other in the spirit of the Go-Giver (more on that another day).  Finally, we hold each other accountable to set and meet our goals. 

HTG sees to it that we have not just a vision and business plan, but all 4 plans necessary for a successful life:  A Life plan, a Business Plan, a Leadership Plan and a Legacy Plan.  I’ve benefitted more from my peers than I can put into words.  If you feel alone out there running your business, search out a peer group or simply another business owner.  I’m happy to help or answer questions.  We’re all in this together!