Author Archives: Jan Radcliff

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    Turning 18 – Looking Forward To That Day

    Category:EducationTags : 

    Turning 18 – Looking Forward To That Day. Turning 18 is a milestone in any young person’s lifetime. It is a time of celebration and joy. You will have met one of the longest challenges we adults face, K-12 education. You will be able to mark that off your bucket list as DONE! However, the road doesn’t end there. Neither does your bucket list.

    GRADUATION! Turning 18 – Looking Forward To That Day.

    That list branches off instead. There are so many more roads to travel. Picking that next road right out of high school is often the one that will truly lead us to that person we will eventually become someday. It will be that road that is one of the first adult crossroads you will encounter in your lifetime. Not the last, far from it, but maybe one of the most transformational ones.

    I just went to my 40-year class reunion. Talk about a time warp! Wow! Nevertheless, getting the chance to listen to many of them talk about the paths they had been on over the years was enjoyable. There were a number of successful people in the group, a few sad moments as I learned of those that had passed away, and a few ho-hums. Some never left our hometown, yet here we are; just glad to be back, for this one special day. Together we have one connection, one bond – our youth. We didn’t stop being friends because we went to college, or started working – we were still bonded. Bonded in those friendship sealed years ago.

    Looking back at all those goals we set.

    College is a very short educational journey that helps set us up for the right path – and encourages us to choose better directions for ourselves and our future families. This is a decision that is NOT solely guided by our parents or our peers (friends). They aren’t going to take the tests for us, or turn the corners of pages either – that is left up to us. Only we, ourselves, can make those decisions, and take those actions. It’s a decision we choose for ourselves based on goals we set in K-12. Just having a “goal” back then, that was the first step in our journey. We didn’t know then what we were creating. We were creating our own futures.

    We were creating our own futures

    The time you will spend in college is very short, even if you ultimately go for a master’s degree or higher. When it is over, you will wish those college days were back!

    I get it – not everyone wants to go to college

    I understand that some are just work bound. They can’t wait. There is too much going on in their own heads to spend time in the classroom. To those, I say “good luck”. I’ve known many successful individuals who opted to not go to college, and they have done very well. There are others who are still not getting started in college or work. If you still can’t get started – go back to school! I do not care how old you are, or where you are in your life. Do it for you. Education will change you – for the better. Maybe it’s a certificate program, a construction trade training, associates, or 3-month training. Whatever – just do it for you.

    So much fun to look forward too.

    Did you know that most people develop many of their lifelong friendships while in college? It’s true. Those people, friends, your working network will be established while in college. It was true for me too.

    The things you will be able to do while in college should both astound you and inspire you. There are so many events and fun happenings on campus. I wonder sometimes how much work goes into just keeping events going. There are lots of activities you can get involved in. You just have to be willing to participate.

    Career minded

    AAMAAQDGAAgAAQAAAAAAAAt4AAAAJDM2YTcxMzNjLTIyMDUtNDNmYy05ZjhlLTkyY2EyYzBiZDVkMA Turning 18 – Looking Forward To That Day

    The best time of your life will be while you are in college. You will be free to be that person you always thought was hiding under the surface. It’s an exciting time! Yes, there is homework – but its more directed toward your career now. That’s the difference.

    The educational experience while in college isn’t like high school. There is freedom on the campus’. It’s the freedom you have been looking for. It’s the freedom to become that person you always wanted to be. Chances are, you may even meet your lifelong partner there. That isn’t such a bad thought when you think about it. Having someone who is just as likeminded as you are about their goals – is a win-win for your both your futures. Think about it.

    Letting go – beyond high school

    Anyone who keeps you from your goal is not your real friend. Your real friends will encourage you to get your education and reach your goals. Go to college, or technical training, and have some fun while you are young! Those college years are the best years of your life – don’t let anyone steal that from you.

    Hopefully, many of your friends will go to college as well! You should encourage them.

    College is a well laid out path. A good path. A fun path. Who doesn’t like fun?

    Some little-trivia about college:

    • 54% of students live at home for the first year while attending college (free food | free rent)
    • The closer you live to campus, the more successful you will be in college
    • Many students don’t even have a car or a computer. They use public transportation and computer labs on campus
    • Meet their lifelong friends and/or partner while attending college
    • Launch some of the most successful careers through networks you build during your college years. Use those networks years after you have left college
    • Make better lifelong decisions | you become better long-term thinkers
    • Enjoy your social life more
    • Are more productive workers | learn discipline
    • Have more money (to buy things like new cars)
    • Family relationships are better – because “YOU” matter in the decision-making process (you have a say)
    • Travel more in the summer when you learn about new places and events
    • Social experiences are more enriched (games and activities) It’s huge at college
    • If you work and go to college – you are amongst 70 or more% of those attending. If you are taking a full load, don’t work any more than 20 hours if you can. I understand that isn’t always the case – but shoot for that number if you can (20 hours). Many college students work on campus, doing campus jobs
    • Internships are available to help place you in jobs outside of campus that meet your degree requirements. So be looking for those opportunities

    The number one thing to remember when you walk into your college or university is that “they were expecting you”! They were expecting you, and you are accepted there with all your faults, dreams, and aspirations. They will help mold you, and fold you into the person you will become.

    At the crossroad. Examples of friends

    Are you a real friend? Then encourage your friends to follow their dreams. Not your dreams – but their dreams. If you do this, you may end up one of those lifelong friendships I spoke about above. Your friend will remember your encouragement to do the right thing. They hopefully should also encourage you to follow your dreams, but regardless, they have to follow the path that leads toward their goals. If they want to be a teacher – their teaching skills are needed now. There is a young student in their future who needs your friend now. So you will be encouraging not only your friend, but helping someone else you don’t even know.

    The reunion

    At your 40-year class reunion remember that you got there because someone in the crowd told you “Follow your Dreams”. That is your lifelong friend. Greet them with open arms, friendship, and love.

    For Taylor. Follow your dreams! Go Mavericks!

    A Maverick!

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    Business Walks for Creativity - All Seasons.

    Business Walks for Creativity – All Seasons

    Category:BusinessTags : 

    Business Walks for Creativity – All Seasons. I watched a Ted Ex video the other day about chat walks. Taking your business meetings and making them outside meetings. Inspired by this talk, one has only to think about some of the following items:

    • decide on the location of the walk
    • the length of time available to walk
    • whom you will meet with
    • what you will discuss
    • and the weather of course.

    The amount of stress alone saved in taking a chat walk is worth its weight in gold. It also helps to cut your blood pressure down, beef up your cardio, raise those happy endorphin’s, and bring a level of wellness to your entire body. Many exclaimed that walking and creativity go hand and hand.

    Many exclaimed that walking and creativity go hand and hand.

    Save a back – your own! You have to get up away from that desk, put the mouse down, lace up a pair of tennis shoes, and head out the door. Find someplace, any place, where you can take your meetings to another level; one that risks going outside and breathing in fresh air, and feeling the warm sunshine on your skin. Walking has been proven to enhance your mental health as well as your physical health.

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.

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    Change how you think - and you will change your life

    Change how you think – and you will change your life

    Category:LifestyleTags : 

    By nature, you are happy, caring, respectful, and have a deep appreciation for those around you. You are a good person. Yet some days you feel like “meh“.

    It’s a jolt to your happy-go-lucky self, to have to put up with other people who don’t feel good about themselves; or anything in general. In fact, they feel so bad about themselves and their plight in society, that they want to make everyone around them feel just as miserable. They like to control, their bossy, whiny, vindictive, and they want to be YOUR friend.

    Don’t pay the ransom – I escaped!

    I escaped from the “meh” mindset – and so can you. Change how you think, and you will change your life. Getting caught up in “thinking” about what others say and do really isn’t in your best interest. By doing that, you end up becoming paranoid, defeated, you lose creativity, and your peaceful way of life gets disrupted. The “meh” can wear you down over time.

    I drive mean people nuts – I know that. But that is really not my problem, it is theirs. I am able to articulate the positive emotions that bring me joy. I say it to their face. I am able to move on quickly when face-to-face with mean people. I do it deliberately and with no remorse. The less space (time) I spend with them the better. By giving up more space to them, I wouldn’t be making any headway with them – so it is just as easy to nip the conversation in the bud and move on quickly.

    I drive mean people nuts – I know that. But that is really not my problem, it is theirs

    The chances are that mean person in your life, will continue to be mean. If they were mean when you first met them, they will continue to be mean; while looking for ways to bring you to their level of “meh“. They want to know what you are doing. Don’t tell them. Not unless they have a “REAL” need to know. But I would still hold back. Less is more.

    Yes, they will think all kinds of cruel and untrue things about you. Yes, they will close their doors, and with others who have been sucked into their “meh”, laugh and talk about you.

    Still – don’t tell them anything. Just stand your ground, far-far-away from them. Are you feeling better yet? You should! There is an old saying “What other people think about you, is none of your business”. It’s true, and the sooner you learn to ignore it the better you will feel. I’m going to tell you why.

    I’m going to tell why!

    Start to fill your mind with happy thoughts. Who knows, you may be one of the very few who are escaping the daily torment, while your co-worker is getting hammered by this guy or gal. Ever hear your co-worker complain that they go home each night feeling anxious, worried, and defeated? It’s because they made the decision to stay and listen to “meh”. They don’t know how to get out. They would rather be laughing with you – the happy one.

    You need to be surrounding yourself with happy people. Do things for yourself. Things that make you feel important. Because you are important. Be open to others who are also open. Take walks, or look out the window and view the world outside. Call someone special, listen to a nice song. Pet your dog, travel, go out to dinner with friends, and laugh a lot! Factor in these type of behaviors into your daily routine, and practice them religiously.

    If you change how you react, plus your response time around mean people, you will start to gain back your positive mojo again. Once you have finally shut the “meh” up – don’t look back. Don’t feel sorry for them either. Not unless you feel a “meh” coming on.

    Change how you think, and you will change your life. You will be happy at your job, or with a relationship again. You will feel more creative, and full of pep. You will be glad to greet new challenges with a willingness to be active and helpful. Life is what you make of it – so, change how you think – and you will change your own life.

    Change how you think, and you will change your life.

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    How to keep from falling behind, when you are already ahead – STOP

    Category:BusinessTags : 

    How to keep from falling behind, when you are already ahead – Stop.  A lot of us live our lives like this. Meeting deadlines, negotiating deals, setting up operations or systems. Once you are caught up and on track, you still sense a little nagging thought in the back of your mind that says “I gotta keep going”. “I can’t relax”.  I’m all caught up, but why do I feel like I’m late?

    I’m all caught up, but why do I feel like I’m late?

    Just recently I finished a project that was eating up a lot of my time, and left me feeling on the edge of my seat. If I finished the project early, someone would think I didn’t have enough to do. If I finish late, some might think I’m not staying on task. You can’t win in this scenario. When you experience this phenomenon enough times, you’re body and mind learn that, business, work, and life, are all done in constant distraction mode.


    It’s one thing to work hard, it’s another to balance that hard work with a good measure of life balanced activities; including downtime. Many have been in distraction mode for so long, they don’t know how to de-escalate, and build in life balance measures for their lives.


    The old saying that failure to plan on your part does not mean action on my part – that often sneaks into the equation when dealing with other distracted co-workers. As the cycle of the day runs its course, people will ride the working wave at different times, locations, levels, and mindsets. A lot of times the mindsets don’t equal each other. We all have our high and low points during the day.

    How is your stress today? Stressed much?

    Stress plays a big factor in your overall health, and I think we all know that. There are a lot of experts out there, which give us any number of remedies and cures for how to deal with stress. Finding which remedy works for you is a process. My hopes are that you have others around you who will act as a support team to help you find just the right remedy or process to gain and keep your health on track.

    Just the word stress, can be a trigger for some people

    Stress has a lot to do with our body’s vital organs and the health of those organs. It is important to tell your doctor about changes in your mood so that you can discuss treatment options best suited for you. Working on your own internal senses to build yourself up and maintain a healthy state of mind, is so important to the quality of your life. Did you know that the very act of caring creates resilience, and in turn helps the body to not overreact to stress?

    Talk Therapy is also a great way to talk through those situations that you might be holding onto unnecessarily. Talk Therapy is also great for creating new conversations and opening up doors to collaborations; about things you might have wanted to explore but were always afraid to try.

    How to keep from falling behind, when you are already ahead – STOP

    The fight or flight mechanism which is a built-in survival tool becomes unhealthy for our bodies when we are subject to it in a never-ending cycle. Taking control of our stress and making it your friend, gives you the upper hand, and helps you keep your body chemistries more in line with those of a healthy lifestyle.

    If you are stressed over past events or situations you had no control over, you have to learn to let go of that negativity. Holding onto that toxicity will only create an unhealthy outcome. For those who suffer from health issues, gaining the upper hand over your emotions and thoughts could extend your life. Even add years.

    I know that by just being kind when you have it in your power to do so, will give you strength in your personal life; that includes your health. The benefits are rewarding.

    Don’t let work rob you of your life. Put stress on notice, as well as any difficult co-worker. Be willing to speak up, out, and overcome the stress. Find that niche where you feel comfortable. Buy yourself a stop button and start using it.


    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.

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    Is Effective Leadership missing in the Equation?


    Is Effective Leadership missing in the Equation?

    I was reading an article this morning from Harvard Business School called American Idle: Workers Spend Too Much Time Waiting for Something to Do. It was cute, to the point, but had one thing I thought that was missing. Effective leadership was missing from the equation.

    Effective leadership was missing from the equation

    This is the type of topic that authors write about. You find one disgruntled employee who had a manager or supervisor who turned out to be the devil him or herself, and you have a story. How that story is spun will determine the type of outcome you will have. I know the problem, I want the solution. Are you that type of leader? Are you tough enough to tell the old devil where to go?

    Leadership verbiage is probably way overused by many. Leadership has to deal with taking a lead role in a project or endeavor. Leadership is not teaching someone how to fill out routine reports or turn on a computer, that’s training or guidance. It’s not leading a meeting where all you do is discuss the same thing over and over again – that’s training. It’s not filling out the same forms or collecting samples, or even answering the phones. Leadership is working with a group of people to see a project or endeavor through to the goals end. You work with everyone.

    Leadership is working with a group of people to see a project or endeavor through to the goals end.

    While your manager/supervisor may know the job well, they may not have the people skills necessary to motivate their staff. They often get by with either a micro-managing style and/or have a laissez-faire attitude toward others. That is not leadership.

    To avoid ending up with a culture of micromanaging employees trying to scrape together work from the bottom of the barrel, keep your communications open and active. Be active, and help your employees develop their own work ethic – by modeling those same good ethics you want to see. Show them a leader they can work beside. Notice that I didn’t say follow – I said, work beside.

    Show them a leader they can work beside 

    Outcomes are what matters to the client or your future prospects. As long as you are meeting their goals, they’re happy. Are you also happy? What about your employees?

    Leadership, management, community outreach, research, training, they all mean very different things to different people.  What I know, is that you need to be able to show your work. In any working relationship, you should be able to reflect on your leadership skills and provide guidance in the direction you want your team to go. Some examples:

    1.    Show me your teamwork, and how you manage challenges together

    2.    Show me leadership that moves others into motion

    3.    Tell me how you perform community outreach

    4.    Show me how you motivate your employees to increase productivity

    5.   While doing research did you actively engage in experimentation that provided you and your team with factual data that could be useful to your organization or business? What was your teams feedback?

    6.   Training usually has some long-term benefit, plus you provide your team with material or backup data. Where do you store your assessment data? How does your team use that data?

    7. Do your employees enjoying engaging with you?

    Leaders know that we can’t all be managers or supervisors. You have to be able to delegate and let go of some of the controls in order for your vision to manifest itself. Nor can we thrive in a constant environment without some form of monetary benefit keeping us afloat. We need to learn to pace ourselves – and offer others the same pace. Different jobs/tasks require different paces.

    As stated above: Leadership has to deal with taking a lead role in a project or endeavor.

    Leadership is more about directing others and assuming a role of authority and taking responsibility for that position. When you do community outreach, that generally entails that you have many contacts and work through those contacts to form some sort of alliance that has a similar goal. It is a bringing together of large circles of people, employees, businesses, and community leaders for the common good or goal.

    You have a completely different ideology about what constitutes leadership skills. For instance,  I have an aversion to those who claim certain skill sets that are not unique to them. On-the-other-hand, I enjoy those professionals who are willing to discuss even the more basic skills they possess. Basically, unless I know you personally, the only thing I can pretty much assume is that you can type, talk, or maybe turn a wrench. I can probably glean a fair amount of information from your writings, but there has to be more. Details tend to matter, so those basic skills might just be the ticket.

    I am a professional who looks for those out of the ordinary individuals who just want to work. Individuals who want to be a part of the team. They feel good about accomplishing something, and being a part of something more.

    If you know the problem, focus instead on a solution. Lead by example.


    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.