Goof Sentiments: Sawyerhood from the West to the East

CLEVELAND 2011 (repost) – It’s hard to put into words when people ask (or tell) you to talk about your experiences and life in general.
Because what you’re asking about is magic.

I can tell you; I can show you by experiencing and sharing life with you, but it’s the individual way we perceive, think about and process the world around us that makes perspective “deep, magical or surreal”. Perhaps because I’m bipolar I; I don’t just see black and white; I’m captivated by the spectrum and everything in between. That being said,
This is for the geeks. Goof, dork, dweeb, ham … (insert nerd jargon ___  here.)

Growing up between Rochester, NY and California; dreaming, Disney and similar shenanigans were commonplace in our household.

As a hyperactive kid, there was always something to do: reading, movies, getting lost in the woods, climbing trees, catching alligator lizards at my Grandpa’s cabin in Grant’s Pass, OR and essentially anything that would move. Typical Sawyer-ish nonsense.

One of the best things about summer is time, or perhaps the absence of caring about it. Always a good time for reconnecting with old friends, family and some much-needed travel.

I remember Cape Cod, seafood, sand and surf…the smell of NO-AD 4SPF dark tanning oil (which I still use) and sun lotion in general.

Heading over to Sunday School in Dennis for a banana split or pistachio ice cream. Nom nom.

ice cream Dennis Massachusetts

Dennis, MA

Watching my family steam live lobster fresh from the pier (while us kids had french fries and chicken nuggets), and the smells wafting through the cottage as the adults imbibed over euchre, gin rummy and miscellaneous family card or board games (that quickly become a sort of heirloom).

Waking up in the morning to sunny-side up (and over-easy) eggs, hash browns and the fixins, climbing down the ladder that led to the kitchen and living room from the overhead loft, where my sister’s and my Harry Potter-ish twin beds lay adjacent.

I’m impartial to Backgammon, Scattergories and Scrabble –and naturally have become a bit of a Jekyll about winning. Okay, I’ll err on the side of modesty:

I don’t lose. If I do, it clearly must have been someone else’s fortuitous luck lol.

I remember those arcane trilobite creatures that were both fascinating and creepy: horseshoe crabs. Fish, slider turtles, barnacles and the sounds/muskiness of marine life and seashells. I could spend all day snorkeling and finding starfish; other random treasures.

ocean creature critter horseshoe crab beach Massachusetts


We would also frequent relatives in southern California where I was born, from Del Mar to Laguna Beach, and would roadtrip through the hills and wine country to visit grandparents in Fairfield, San Francisco and as far up as Oregon.

I remember the magic of looking for and seeing humpbacks breaching on the coast, and the whale watch in Cape Cod.

Traversing the Redwoods and wilderness near my Grandpa’s in Oregon; the solitude of cabins in Ontario and the 1000 Islands.

river nature outdoors Oregon wilderness


I remember tents and storytelling in front of the fire, marveling at the wildlife and the elusive, chilling call of the loon (or is it heron?). Canoeing/kayaking out to an island and grilling out fresh catch, s’mores, corn on the cob and brats.

Staying up all night telling scary stories, talking about girls and fighting the endless debate of USA versus Canada. (Coke’s better than Pepsi…Hockey sucks! Lol).

Listening to the pitter-patter of the rain and wind against the tents, seeing how far we could rock the hammock before it flipped –and trying to hold on. And of course, as mentioned in the last post, King of the Raft.

A sense of comfort came with the unfiltered, unknown wilderness: a sense of belonging and discovery that stays with you. Through the crossroads, turning points and valleys along the way, remember to remember.

Pretty cool thing about life: there’s always something or someone that can knock you out of your lens and show you something new, something crazy, something poignant.

We just have to be receptive and ready.

Media, movies and entertainment had their place too: They were reserved for the road and on flights. Though I’ll save that for another day/post, I’ll leave you with boyhood sentiments via Max Goof:


Crisis Communications and PR: Fail Quickly, Fail Often and Inexpensively

CLEVELAND – Ever feel like you age a century within a week? That’s been my luxury of late, at the cusp of a new month for good measure.

Stupid bunnies. Like my endearingly cantankerous friend Jim Gaffigan says, what exactly do rabbits have to do with Easter and the birth of Jesus? Perhaps they presided at the Last Supper? (Disclaimer: I honestly harbor no ill-will toward animals…in fact, I trust them more than most humans).

I digress. This isn’t about carpenters, comedians or rabbits — it’s about crisis communication and its relevance not only for entrepreneurs or PR and marketing folk, but for anyone interested in effective business management.

So you tripped and fell flat on your face. In front of thousands of friends, followers — fans in an inscrutable arena called Facebook. Or Apple, or the Colosseum, whatever. And quite honestly, you’ve been sick and tired of being sick and tired, so it was just easier to share it with unsuspecting friends, family or colleagues. Thoughts?

Err on the side of humility and honesty. Forget semantic fluff or melodramatic spin; it won’t work. Ironically, margin for error when you publicly fail, miscalculate or overextend as a leader does not exist.

Crises are a challenge, a turning point –a proverbial adrenaline rush for entrepreneurs because it affords the opportunity to rise, reinvent and deliver results (versus spiraling into cyclical fear, anxiety, or self-pity and eventually irrelevance). There is no time for whining or wallowing; only action. Think Rivera in the 9th inning — rise and close.

Confused George W Bush

Less like This

whine snivel crybaby LeBron witness traitor betrayal pussy pansy wimp coward

Or this

stoic power influence articulate highbrow maturity sophistication Genteel gentleman wise wit composed collected

And More like This

Here are five things all great leaders have in common when confronting failure, challenges and obstacles — whether monumental or seemingly trivial (if they’re truly great it always seems trivial…):

1) Own it. It’s not the intern’s fault, not your mother’s or your twice-removed uncle. It’s yours. Don’t wait for someone else to throw you under — you’re already there. Acknowledge it publicly and move forward.

2) If necessary, apologize. There is nothing more disingenuous (and unattractive) than a perfunctory, patronizing sore loser. An honest mistake is one thing, but if you were a blistering jerk than the best recourse is to make sincere amends. You’ll feel better, too.

3) Respond. Reacting only exacerbates the issue. Failure’s usually the quick and easy part. What you spend months, even years building can be gone in a click, an isolated nanosecond of egregious oversight. Gauging the timing of your response is critical. Don’t wait too long, either. Remember to plan the plan.

4) Implement. Anticipate and apply SWOT to your action plan, analyzing potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats:

>  What got you here?

> What could you have done differently?

> What policies or guidelines could have prevented the error?

> How will this shape direction and strategy for the future? Take a proactive approach to reflecting and responding with a win-win solution for all involved.

5) Move forward. All that matters is today. Though it may be difficult not to pine for what was lost, force yourself to dwell in the now and next. Be present and apply that same longing toward the future.

Fail quickly. Fail often. And fail inexpensively.

Keep Moving Forward

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