Monday, May 30, 2011

Going home!

Audrey makes the trek home today to meet both Grandmas and be introduced to pets. I have to give the hospital staff here at Methodist Hospital a shout out. The nurses have been especially wonderful. Tracey and I joked around that besides our picturesque view of the third floor parking ramp, this stay has really felt like a B&B weekend... with an 'challenging race' to kick it all off.

While here the hospital took these baby pictures for us. If you'd like any of these, or to see more, just throw a comment below and I'll email them to you. (we bought the rights to the whole lot).

As I look over these pics and the last few days, a quote from a Mary Oliver poem seems wonderfully appropriate. 

"What are you going to do with your one wild and precious life?"

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Introducing Audrey

Yesterday Tracey and I welcomed Audrey Elizabeth to the Campbell starting line up. Tracey and baby are both doing well. There are many thoughts and learning moments that I wish to share about the entire experience, but for now I'm going to hold, sing and dance with my baby girl.  Here are a couple pictures to tide you over. Stay posted for new pics as we take them.
She has a very easy going, fun loving demeanor, despite her  'tough guy' looking swollen eye. 

Mom and baby a few minutes after her intro.

Very proud pappy

Long and lean.  Definitely got my hands and feet. Hopefully she got her mom's sharp wit!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

'Tigger' Immersion

This past week has been a whirlwind of family, friends and weddings. Sometimes seeming so stressful to try to fit everything, and everyone in, although I am truly happy to have seen so many great friends. Saturday, Tracey and I left our house, which was full of her mother, sister and nephew to go to the first of two weddings that day.  The peaceful outdoor wedding of one of my great college friends was a welcome oasis in our helter-skelter whirlwind of a weekend.

I first have a confession to make. I was paying little attention to the ceremony and way more attention to the birds, the scent of the recent rain mixed with nearby lilac bushes and warm sunshine. That is until the pastor, now into his sermon, spoke of “one of the great gifts of marriage”.  I zoned in, well-knowing that Tracey may be quizzing me once we were driving to the next wedding.  The pastor’s message was simply that marriage allows the couple to take risks that they would not have been able to otherwise. Point taken.  Cue the birds, fragrant flowers and sun… I floated off on my own thoughts.

The love and support are there as a safety net, yes, and also as a slingshot! Because of this synergistic union one can go further. This has been extremely important in our marriage. I am lucky and grateful I have Tracey. She has been there for me along our journey, allowing me to take many chances. I’d like to believe that I have provided equally as much support, although I know there is always room for more.   As the clouds blocked out the sun and the vows were exchanged, I realized that this is not necessarily exclusive to marriage. It has been present in every great team I have been involved with.

Our success (defined however you see fit at this point) is largely determined by who we surround ourselves with.  As a coach and professor I cannot tell you how many times I have heard;

“I want _________ __________ as my teammate. They are so  _________ .(fill in the blank with competitive, hard working, dedicated…)

Conversely, for every time I’ve heard the prior statement, this next one easily trumps it.

“Our group would be so much better if _______ ________ would carry their own weight.”

Do you have certain people that inspire you? They add energy to your ideas sometime merely with their attentive presence? A great friend of mine refers to these energy sources as “Tiggers”.  Do you know a Debbie Downer, Negative Nancy (I apologize to all the uplifting Debbies and Nancies out there) or energy vampire?  Their demeanor becomes an energy sink. These are the “Eeyores”.

The challenge will be to limit your time with Eeyores. Realize that these energy sinks may not be your type of person.  Not everyone is made for each other.

By loosening your leash on them they may find someone else who is their type. This will allow them a better chance at success.  Now, if you find yourself sporting a pinned-on “woe is me” tail, that’s a whole new ball game that I we should talk about.

So why not fill our time with Tiggers?  If we are truly a product of our surroundings then one of the easiest choices on our journey should be to gravitate to those energy sources.  Connect with these people on Facebook or LinkedIn today. If we are not already connected, feel free to seek me out on LinkedIn.  If there is not already have an existing relationship with someone you want pair up with, ask them to grab a cup of coffee or lunch. Once you recognize these energy sources and connect with them, start selflessly pumping in your own energy. If you’ve developed your mastermind group well, the energy you put in will pale in comparison to what you eventually receive… much like marriage.

It was very fitting that I was pondering these thoughts as we pulled up to our second wedding of the day. One that was absolutely brimming with bouncing Tiggers. 

To your success,


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Perception is reality.

Today the thermometer in Iowa topped out around 90 degrees... in early May!  In my opinion this is wonderful, despite the sweaty shirt and sticky air. Others may despise this unseasonal heat. The funny thing is, it is still 90 degrees. Like it or not, the temp, like many other things, is not going to change.

As I gave my final exam in marketing research, I looked across the room of students who I've known now for three years. "Perception is reality when you are a marketer." I would tell them over and over. This past weekend it occurred to me that I have been forgetting, or at least ignoring, that fact.  While out at a restaurant to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this past week, a previous graduate came up, sat at our table and after small chit-chat, she turned to my wife. She matter of factly stated that I had a big impact on her and that she still uses what I taught her years ago. Now I don't think that I am special in this regard, but what is special is the impact that we can and do have on others. What I taught her was important. Yet, more significantly, her perception of me and how/what I taught impacted her in a positive way. That is very important.

This is wild and scary. Scary because we don't realize the full impact we have on others. Wild because we just found out the full impact we can have on others! 

I know that I am toeing a line here. We are taught (rightfully so) to not worry about what others think of you. I whole-heartedly agree. Don't worry, but be aware of the impact you have, or can have.  I am not suggesting to create a false identity of yourself to others. In fact I triple-dog dare you to try and keep up a facade without losing your mind.  What I am suggesting is to let your true self flow and know that you are a model for others. If you are 'Midwestern Modest' it will be easier to flow when you realize that others' perception of you is most likely higher than your perception of yourself. Coming full circle, people's perception of you will be higher when you are flowing.  Here is a simple case-in-point. I had the honor of coaching a wonderful young freshman basketball player who was the epitome of modest and humble. She often wouldn't play up to her potential because of this. One day in practice I inserted a 1-on-1 competition. She hit an early shot over an upperclassman, and she slowly became a different person. She drove hard, attempted and completed difficult turn around jump shots over much more veteran players. Every possession was more impressive than the last. She dominated! This young gal at this moment forgot who she thought she was supposed to be, and became her true self.  She let it flow. Everyone around her became better because she found her zone, and she obviously benefited as well.

I realize some may read this with hesitancy. If they let it all hang out, they are at risk. They are open to ridicule or alienating some people around them. Here is what I say to that: There may be others who are not your people, but guess what, not everyone is your people.  If you cater to everyone, your impact will be marginalized. You'll be coaching to the bottom of the class and your results will be marginal. Coach to the top and you will hit your zone, flow, be at the top of your game and make the biggest impact on those around you.

So here is my advice to all my players out there, my future lil' player (who is now 4 weeks out!) and anyone else interested in making a positive impact in your world. Confidently put your best foot forward, do it with gusto, and do it now. The people in the world you are meant to lead will perceive it like you mean it and your impact on them will be great.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Become the Cornerstone

I will keep this brief. Today I started doing "the small things" that are required to bring about great change. One of those small items is to pray and meditate daily.  I decided to focus on today's reading from Church. It hit home, hard. 

Here is an interpretation of a portion of Psalm 118. 

18 The LORD has chastened me severely,
   but he has not given me over to death.
19 Open for me the gates of the righteous;
   I will enter and give thanks to the LORD.
20 This is the gate of the LORD
   through which the righteous may enter.
21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
   you have become my salvation.
 22 The stone the builders rejected
   has become the cornerstone;
23 the LORD has done this,
   and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 The LORD has done it this very day;
   let us rejoice today and be glad.

I realize each person takes something different away from each experience, so I am not trying to tell you that my perception is the correct perception. I believe faith is individually, wonderfully unique. 

What I have come to realize after reflecting on this passage is that I have just been chastised. After my most recent set-back, I feel like the stone that has been rejected. Now the choice what I do from here is mine (as it always has been, it's just difficult to realize it). Do I react naturally and recede  quietly in the shadows. Should I become bitter and jaded towards an unfriendly world?  Do I roll-over in self-pity over what has happened to me? Or rather, do I reflect, grow, be glad, fight on and be thankful for this lesson that I chose to take.

This episode has been an incredibly challenging life lesson. The more challenging something is, the better it is, the more value it has. Right? That's the way I view my drills in basketball practice. 

To roll over and be filled with anger and self-pity is easy and natural.  The challenge is to grow from this so to become the cornerstone. Rejoice today and be glad. 


Coach Campbell