You inspire others more than you know

A story was run recently in the Sherwood Park News about Hal Souster, the athletics director of Bev Facey High School, who is retiring after more than 30 years of teaching. I had the privilege of being in Mr. Souster’s phys ed class in grade 10. Up to that point I hated gym: I wasn’t as good at sports as other kids, I had no confidence, and I’d pretty much written off phys ed (electing to only take the mandatory minimum 3-credit class for my high school diploma). Then Mr. Souster showed me that sports and phys ed aren’t just about ability, they’re about team work, attitude, and heart. And he made sure our grades reflected that (I got my first 80% ever in gym in his class). I doubt…
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How cool are your jeans?

How cool your jeans were is one of the ridiculous things - amongst many - that I remember from my teenage years. I think everyone growing up in the '90s remembers the pursuit of brand-name jeans: Guess, Levi's, B.U.M. Equipment, and Bugle Boy are a handful of brands I can remember. You could easily tell who had Guess jeans by the red-outlined, white triangle on the back-right pocket. Wearing Guess jeans was probably the biggest deal among the girls, especially red ones (why red mattered, I'll never know). Among the boys, I vividly remember the great debate about the colour of the tab on a person's Levi's jeans. Yes, a folded piece of coloured ribbon was the make or break for a person's social standing. If a kid at school…
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The Ridiculous Ardbeg Tasting

The Edmonton Scotch Club held an Ardbeg scotch tasting on Saturday, February 3. It was the first time I'd been to an official club event. The last tasting I went to with some of the club members was the Millstone tasting at the Keg 'n' Cork (which was great by the way). For this tasting, we started with the first four whiskies, took a brief intermission, and finished the last four. It was an incredible night and my hat's off to Travis and the rest of the club for putting on a hell of an event. Notes and a few pics from the night are below. Kildalton Age: NAS ABV: 43% Nose: Light and sweet, I get caramel and vanilla. Palate: Soft on your tongue, there's a subtle smoke amidst…
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Whisky Advent 2017

I've been waiting for months (11 to be precise) to dive into Secret Spirits' fourth edition of the Whisky Advent Calendar. This year is bound to be exciting as I'm off to explore 25 different expressions of whisky including those from 10 independent bottlers. Jonathan Bray publishes his tasting notes over at singlemalting.com so please head over there to see what he has to say about each one. Onto the whisky! (more…)
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Levels, Roles, and Leadership Throughout

Something I've been chewing on recently is the notion that hierarchy and titles are antiquated concepts, especially for organizations looking to keep pace in (as Thomas L. Friedman has termed it) the age of accelerations. From my perspective, structuring a work force according to a hierarchy impedes the movement of people. A hierarchy implies that you work in one area for someone on certain things and need to take a new job in a different area for someone else to work on other things. When it comes to title, they tend to be narrow or skill-oriented (like "project manager, "customer service representative," or "accountant") and rarely reflect the reality of what a person really brings to the table. These sorts of titles lead to assumptions about a person's ability to contribute…
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Singularity U in Canada is something to celebrate

On October 11, 2017, Singularity University kicked off its Canadian movement with the inaugural SingularityU Canada Summit. What I'm most encouraged by is that more and more people are having the opportunity to attend Singularity University events. As I was listening to stories of people who attended in Toronto or via the webcast, I was reminded of the day I spent at Singularity in April this year and how fortunate I was to have that experience. I took a lot from that day including the concepts of abundance instead of scarcity, carrying a growth mindset, and embracing exponential thinking. I re-read my notes and a number of things stand out that I think are worth sharing: People Firmly establish your purpose in the minds and imaginations of people Crowdsource ideas…
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The result in front of us

One of my leaders shared what a former leader of his told him: if you’re happy with the result in front of you, then it must be the one you’re willing to accept. This statement cuts right through all the bluster and BS we tell ourselves as to why something didn’t land or turn out. You know the truth when you look in the mirror and ask, in your heart of hearts, if this is your best. Those who are always striving for better will know it’s time to head back to work; the rest will shrug and move on. I read the article, Mediocrity Is A Virus, by Benjamin P. Hardy and it reminded me of how easy it can be to shrug and move on. Take these statements from the…
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