Monday, December 5, 2016

The Wrong shall fail, The Right Prevail

I love the old Christmas carol, I heard the bells on Christmas Day, which is actually a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  I especially like the final stanza.   We always sing the final stanza louder and with much enthusiasm.  

GOD IS NOT DEAD, NOR DOTH HE SLEEP

Everything is going to be ok.   The nation will not fail under Trump.  I will not fail under my current circumstances. God is good and has a plan for me.

And in despair I bowed my head;

"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

We, not I

Here’s one of my favorite leadership lessons from "the founder of modern management" Peter Drucker;

“The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say ‘I.’ And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say ‘I.’ They don’t think ‘I.’ They think ‘we’; they think ‘team.’ They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but ‘we’ gets the credit. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.”

From an article at mashable.com
http://mashable.com/2016/10/26/25-leadership-lessons-you-cant-live-without/#UgVMFTWvQsqd

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Roy

Facebook post from my good friend Tom Webster today, Wednesday November 9th.  The day after the election:

"I am in Houston on Business today. Roy asked if he could shine my shoes. I said Roy these aren't the shining type. He said I can clean em up for you. I said okay. Roy was retired United States Army Veteran. He was shot in Vietnam, and Desert Storm. He was forced into retirement because they had to perform surgery on his back. He went to work driving a truck for United Van Lines until he retired. He now shines shoes so he doesn't sit alone at home. He outlived 3 wives, one from cancer, one from Helicopter crash(she was in the service) one from lupus. Roy didn't seem to care about last night. He did care to ask me my name. He did want to tell me his story. And he smiled a lot. Gave him my money and he gave me a hug and said God Bless. I am glad that happened today."

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Big problem. We are leaking great employees.

From an article posted on Linkedin by Oleg Vishnepolsky regarding why good employees leave:

Three workers are working by the side of a road, breaking stones. A passerby notes that one of them is very unhappy, another is ok and the 3rd one is very happy. Curious as to what is going on, the passerby asks each one. 

The first one, the unhappy one, says I am breaking stones. Hard work, hot.

The second one, contented one, says I am making a good living. I have a family to feed.

The third one, the happy one, says I am ....... building a temple.
........................

Make sure you can tell your team what temple they are building.

If you can not answer the question, they will answer the call of a friendly recruiter.

Left or Right? Just do it!

I have a new leadership/life maxim to add to my list:

Never camp at the fork in the road.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

God has a plan!

I am listening to Dave Ramsey's book, The Legacy Journey, on my 30 minute drive to work. It is a great book. In the chapter I listened to this morning, Dave reminded me that all worldly possessions are God's and we must be good stewards of what is His. And then he quoted this verse...
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

BeEarly

Saw on Twitter today:

Everyone wants to work with a team where everyone can rely on each other.  It starts first thing every day.  That's why we all agree that, "When you're early, you're on time; when you're on time, you're late; and when you're late, you're lost."


Friday, August 12, 2016

Friends are priceless

Received this Facebook private message from a true friend tonight:

Character and faith prevail. Sometimes it is hard to stomach until you look in the eyes of those that love and care about you. Knowing you haven't let them down morally will allow you true perspective. You are a great man and they can't take what you have worked you ass off to build.....a GREAT REPUTATION!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Doing wrong!

Today from FaceBook friend John Hyden Sr

If you do wrong because others are doing wrong you're always going to be doing wrong because there is always someone doing wrong. 
A saying by my father(E. Lee Hyden) given to him by his mother(Doshie Freeman Hyden).

Saturday, July 23, 2016

I am that I am

This past week I attended the monthly meeting of our local Vistage group.   Our leader, Bruce, told us about an exercise that he had been through at some seminar called "I am".   The idea is to write down who you are using the phrase "I am.....".   To be honest, I thought it was pretty hokey.   Bruce told us about it and then read us his.   He then asked us to write ours.   So over the next 15 minutes I wrote down who I am.   I hesitate to say that the experience was life changing but it might be close.  It was emotional.  I couldn't  read it without tearing up.  A couple of days later I tried to read it to my son, Sam and teared up all over again.   I am not sure where the emotion comes from but "I am" probably an emotional person because both of my parents are always up for a good cry.   I love them for that.   So, since I can't seem to read this out loud, I thought I would share it here on my blog.

I am who I am because I was born on a Rock.

I am from Reed Mack and Opal Anita
and James and Erin
and Velma
but I am mostly who I am because of the 16 years I got to spend with Ray.

Ray, and Reed, and Greeley and the rest are the reason that I am a Cardinals fan.

I am an accountant today because David Wilson taught me to love math.

I am a razorback because I didn't want to be an Indian like my sister Brenda.
Oh yeah.  I am a younger brother and I am a better person because of that.

and now

I am a husband of 35 years to my sweetheart Sandye who likes me most of the time and loves me all of the time.

I am a dad because father sounds too formal.
I am also a better person because of Sara & Sam who have given me more than I could ever give them.

Sara now has Justin and they have Molly and Nate.
I am a granddad and I hope that I am the granddad that Ray was for me.
I am a boss and Justin happens to be one of the best employees I have ever had and I am better for that also.

I am a mentor and I am being mentored.

I am a Cumberland Presbyterian because all that came before me were CPs back beyond Steven Perryman from whom I get my name.

I am a Christian who believes that it is simply about the saving grace of Jesus Christ and nothing else.

I am pissed because all there is is Trump and Clinton and some dude name Johnson.
I am a proud American living at the greatest time in the history of our great country.

I am a contradiction.

and here is the rest of the list....

I am a son-in-law,
I am a brother-in-law.
I am a uncle.
I am a trustee of Bethel University.
I am a partner.
I am a dreamer.
I am a student.
I am a teacher.
I am a innkeeper.
I am a entrepreneur.
I am a pilot.

and when I get lost I head back to the Rock.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Things Mike Tyson said.................

I thought today would be a good day to catalog a few Mike Tyson quotes.   All of these from BrainyQuote.com:


Mike is a complex guy.   He once said "I'm going to gut you like a fish."  But he also said, "My biggest weakness is my sensitivity.   I am too sensitive a person."

Here are a few more.......

  • God let's everything happen for a reason.   It's all a learning process, and you have to go from one level to another.
  • Some people try to get you out of slavery for you to be their slave.
  • When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books.  That Tolstoy crap-people shouldn't read that stuff.
  • I'm not Mother Teresa, but I'm not Charles Manson, either.
  • Real freedom is having nothing.   I was freer when I didn't have a cent.
  • I feel like sometimes that I was not meant for this society.

And then there is my favorite, and maybe the most repeated quote of Mike's.   There are a couple of versions of this.  Here are both.

  • Everybody's got a plans.....until they get hit.
  • and
  • Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Change is coming....................

This past January I began my 34th year of being a CPA. Over half of my career has been spent in public accounting. I believe that this profession is about to have a major disruption that will be led by the millennials.

First I would like to state the it is my opinion that this generation, the Gen Y'ers, is the next greatest generation. I will go way out on a limb and suggest that they may even compete with my grandparents generation. I hope they don't have to prove that by surviving a great depression or winning a world war.

Back to the disruption of my industry. The millennials are not lazy. They just want to know the outcome and they challenge every accepted norm.

Those of us in public accounting believe that we have to work crazy hours to meet the tax filing deadline of April 15. Us insiders don't call it tax season. We call it busy season. "Busy Season" is a major understatement.

Millennials will not work crazy hours just because us "olders" say they have to. And we are finding it is harder and harder to find and keep good help. So the disruption will be that the millennials will demand we do it a different way. They will demand higher quality clients paying ever higher fees. And they will demand that we work smarter, not harder. As proof of this, there are multiple consultants now offering Lean training for accounting firms and they are teaching us to think of faster, cheaper and more efficient ways of getting our work delivered to our clients.

The federal and state governments will be forced to catch up.

The archaic notion of an annual filing deadline will be eliminated and we will move to a more automated dynamic income reporting process. It will be a highly automated process not fixed to an annual reporting cycle but quarterly, monthly or maybe even weekly.

The millennials will demand, from our elected officials, tax reform and simplification and they may just succeed in getting it.

Look how many of them are supporting Bernie Sanders instead of the Trump/Cruz/Clinton machine.

According to the "young ones", Bernie stands for the common people. The middle class. Them. The other candidates stand for something else. Maybe establishment, money, rich, business. Not them.

I am not sure I agree with this conclusion but stop and listen to a millennial tell you why they support Bernie and then compare what they say to that of a Gen X or Baby Boomer who will tell you why they support one of the other candidates.

The millennials have the passion and that counts for a lot. 

Yes, disruption is coming to my industry. The millennials will not "work for the man" 75 hours a week unless they really believe in the cause and preparing tax returns or financial statements or audits is not it.

Maybe disruption is coming your way too!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Dr AM Grasse - physician, friend, teacher, theologian, grandfather

Words shared by Mariah Martin, granddaughter of Dr AM Grasse at his memorial service in Calico Rock on Saturday February 27, 2016


To my knowledge, I was Dr. Grasse’s patient only once. On the day I was born, he was the one to catch me.

According to my memory, I was grandpa’s patient many times.

After all, a doctor teaches.

So I got lessons on nutrition, though probably not the same kind he taught his patients, as he handed me the turkey leg at Thanksgiving dinner, when I was still in a highchair and the piece of meat was about as big as my head. Or when he dipped my finger into the icing of my birthday cake, which I have no doubt I was eager to follow along with. Or when we stood at the stove, measuring out butter and sugar for peanut brittle.

I got lessons on anatomy at the yearly pig butchering, as we would all gather around the table where he was dissecting the heart and showing us the atriums and ventricles, veins and arteries.

I got lessons on operation – of machinery – as I sat on his lap on the tractor, clinging to the wheel, focused intently on steering toward the bale of hay that we were going to pick up and feed to the cows.

A doctor prescribes.

So I was prescribed books. Whether it was the Baby Blues comic book that I read through at least once every time we visited, or the children’s bible that he and grandma gave me for my birthday.

I was prescribed movies. From “The Wizard of Oz” to “Charlie Chaplin”, he would draw from his vast library in the basement, always seeming to have a particular one in mind, which he would find amongst the countless VHSs.

I was prescribed a jean jacket for each year of my life, graduating from small to slightly larger as I outgrew them one by one – though each stayed in the closet in case another tiny farmer came over to visit. Rubber boots too, from one size to the next, so that I was always equipped to tromp out to the cows or the chickens or the rabbits, garbage dish in one hand and a container for eggs in the other.

A doctor examines.

So I sat with him one evening in the pool of a hotel as he examined his life, prompted by my intermittent questioning. We examined his boyhood, his college years, his travels to Ethiopia and Nigeria, and his work here in Arkansas. I was amazed by the places he had been, the things he had accomplished, the lives he had impacted.

A doctors consults.

So I saw him, over the years, consulting a power much higher than his own. In his morning devotions with grandma, in his regular attendance to Calico Rock Mennonite, in his readiness to admit, whenever asked about his admirable life, that it was not with his own strength, but God’s, that he had come so far.

A few months ago, we sat with my grandparents at the kitchen table in grandpa and grandma’s apartment at Menno Haven. During a lull in conversation, my uncle absent-mindedly stroked his jaw. Grandpa, who had been silent during the conversation, suddenly looked up and said “does your jaw hurt?” We all chuckled and my uncle assured him that it was just a mindless habit, but it made me realize something.

“Doctor” is not a job. It is not a profession. It is not a way to make money. It is not something that you do during office hours and leave at the hospital when you come home. It is a calling, a way to live your entire life. Grandpa, Dr. Grasse, Meryl – whoever you knew him as, you knew him to be a doctor.

He spent his life teaching every kind of lesson, prescribing - from antibiotics to literature - , examining his own experiences and those of others, and consulting the Great Physician on how to best care for the people that he encountered at every moment in his life.

Now, as he finally rests, I can only be grateful that I had the fortune to be one of his many, many patients. And I can’t help but picture him standing next to some heavenly exam table, asking an angel “So tell me, how long has that wing been sore?”

 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

God has a sense of humor

There is an old Hebrew proverb that says if you want to make God laugh make your own plans.

Reality - complex technology is hard

From Deep Work by Cal Newport:

The complex reality of the technologies that real companies leverage to get ahead emphasizes the absurdity of the now common idea that exposure to simplistic, consumer-facing products - especially in schools - somehow prepares people to succeed in a high-tech economy.  Giving students iPads or allowing them to film homework assignments on YouTube prepares them for a high-tech economy about as much as playing with Hot Wheels would prepare them to thrive as auto mechanics.

Foot note on page 31

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I am not into politics

I believe that one day I will be judged for how I lived my life. I am sure God will have a long list of items for me to explain and questions to answer. He is a forgiving God. I believe in the saving Grace of Jesus Christ and I know I am a sinner.
 
I do not believe that one of those questions will be for me to explain why I was a liberal or a conservative as it was defined by the self-proclaimed liberals and conservatives in the early part of the 21st century. 
 
You don't have to know much about the history of the United States to know that how liberalism and conservatism is defined today is different than how it was defined in the 1930's, 1950's, 1960-1970's, and 1980's.
 
I am not a self-proclaimed liberal or conservative. 
 
I just don't think God cares about that. 
 
That's it. No politics. No judgment of others. No hate.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Where were you when........?

It is an unusual phenomenon that people remember where they were when certain big events took place.  When the topic came up, a very long conversation ensued as each person would describe exactly what they were doing, who they were with, what they were wearing, how they heard the news, etc.

December 7, 1941 was the date of the event for my grand parents generation.

November 22, 1963 was the date for my parents.

For my generation, it might be January 28, 1986.  That was the date that the space shuttle Challenger blew up.  The 30th anniversary of that event was just a couple of weeks ago.  Seems just like it was yesterday.   I was auditing the books at Modern Builders in Mtn View.  They had a big screen TV on display and we all stopped to watch the blast off.   Instead it blew up and the image will be forever tattooed on my brain.   You can watch it today on YouTube, but I can't

Now the good news is that not all dates that we vividly remember were disasters.   We all remember our graduation, our first kiss, our first..., well you know.   Some might remember something like a vacation.  Brenda loves to tell a story about a family vacation to Colorado the summer before her senior year in high school.  (Oh wait, that was also a disaster).   I remember going to St Louis in about 1968 to see my first Cardinal game.  I think dad might even have a Super 8 movie of Lou Brock stealing second base.   However, I can't remember the date or much else about that vacation.

The purpose of this ramble is to say that tomorrow is one of those dates for me.  February 13, 1986.  Happens to be 30 years ago.  I was in a Shoney's Motel in Little Rock.  I bet you didn't even remember that the Shoney's Restaurant Corporation had a short lived venture into the motel business.  Anyway,  Ed Deskin, Bob Hughes and I were in the motel.  We were in Little Rock because we were on an audit of a home health agency client of Bob's.   Sandye and I lived in Batesville at the time but I was upset because I was not in Calico Rock.   The reason I was upset was because there was a significant event happening in our family and I was not there.   You see, Brenda and Jack had been wanting a baby for a long time.    And finally on February 13, 1986 at about 11:40 PM, Ross Ward arrived.  A bouncing baby boy.

The newest addition to our family and I was in a motel with Ed Deskin in Little Rock.

I remember it just like it was yesterday.

Jeremiah was a bull frog!


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Powerball


It amazes me how anti-tax this nation has become.   Almost no one is willing to pay more taxes to fix our roads, improve our military, support our fellow citizens to improve society as a whole.   And yet, millions of people, mostly the less fortunate of us, are buying power ball tickets like crazy.   The chances of winning are nearly impossible and yet someone will win and for $2 you can at least be in the game.   A government ran lottery is just another form of paying taxes.   It makes me very sad.   BTW – my numbers in the power ball drawing last night were 24,31,39,54,57 and the PW was 50.   Crap, I didn’t win.  Oh well, neither did anyone else.   Maybe Wednesday.