Saturday, October 30, 2010

A good goal makes you stretch!

The whole quote is: “A good goal is like a strenuous exercise – it makes you stretch.” Soccer Stretching
Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, said that. I didn’t know much about Mary Kay until I started digging for a good quote to fit the picture above. When I found this one, I wanted to learn more about her, so I went to Wikipedia. It turns out she was an amazing woman. So I bought her book, The Mary Kay Way, on my Kindle. It’s an easy, fun and inspiring read. Mary Kay’s view of running a business is refreshing. She used the Golden Rule – treat others as you would like to be treated – as the founding principle of her company. I think that’s awesome.
When I first became a manager, my boss told me that the people who reported to me were no longer “my friends” and that my primary concern was the welfare of the company, not them. What he was missing, and I think what many managers miss, is that there doesn’t have to be a conflict there. I agree with Mary Kay that the best way to succeed as a company is to treat people (all people – your clients, your vendors, your contractors, and your employees) like you would want to be treated yourself. Also, work is more fun when the people with whom you work like you and enjoy working with you, so be nice and be kind. :-)

Back to Soccer

All this, by the way, is a tangent, so back to the photo. That’s me in red and next to me is Rovin Rodriguez, a former professional soccer player in Guatemala. This fall, my wife and I moved from Upstate NY down to Panajachel, Guatemala for a school year so that our three boys could experience Central America and learn Spanish. We also looked forward to a year filled with soccer as my two older boys are really into it. I played through high school myself and even into college a bit. Although I was never a superstar, it always meant a lot to me and I still crave to play every year when the leaves start to change colors.
Shortly after arriving in Guatemala, I was lucky enough to meet Rovin and watch him train. He runs a sports program under a non-profit group called Mayan Families that provides assistance and opportunities to the indigenous people of Guatemala. Now, every Saturday morning, I’ve been helping Rovin train these kids. It’s very different from volunteer coaching in the States where we have 2 or 3 parents coaching teams of 8-10 kids with some of the other parents hanging around for the whole practice and almost all of them showing up at the games. Rovin is pretty much on his own with as many as 60 kids at a time, ranging in age from 4 to 14. But somehow, he’s able to manage them 1-on-60 better than we do at home when we’re 3-on-10.
Due to the high level of poverty and to some recent weather-related catastrophes here, it’s hard to find funding for a sports program. But I think it’s really important to provide these children with some fun and play in addition to food and clothing and shelter. I hope to raise enough money for the program so that we can find others to work with Rovin and make sports an ongoing, positive part of kids’ lives here.
As such, my wife and I just donated $1,000 this month and Webucator is ready to put a lot more money into it – up to $10,000 in the next 12 months. To kick it off, we’ll donate $1 for every new Facebook fan (likes) we get before the end of 2010. At the time of this writing, we have 860. We’ll also match every $25, $50, or $100 donation made by a Webucator fan until we have hit our $10,000 goal.
To donate, go to and fill out the fields as follows (enter 25, 50, or 100 as the dollar amount):

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