Last Friday morning I decided to ride to Nashville, TN for lunch. It's 260 miles so I made it right around 1:00 pm. I love Nashville and the ride there and back on the coutry roads was incredibly relaxing.
On my way back I added up the miles I’ve ridden on a motorcycle… around 160,000 (about 260,000 km). Not a lot by some standards but a ton more than people who buy a bike and leave it in their garage.
Whew! I just finished recording the most comprehensive Drupal Explained course I've ever made. It's a "beginner's" introduction to Drupal 9 - 81 videos in all. I'm pretty excited about it. You'll be able to take the course at OSTraining.com.
I’m at the spring “Get Energized” event for the Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce (that’s Indiana... not Michigan). It could be entitled “Lessons in Leadership”.
I've had the joy of knowing Sarah Watz for about 5 years now. We served together on the Joomla! board, Open Source Matters for almost three years. Sarah runs a web design and internet marketing company in Stockholm, Sweden called PixPro (they do a lot more than that...).
Sarah interviewed me on her Facebook Live show on February 26, 2018.
On Monday February 5, 2018 the PixPro Inner Circle was introduced on the Pixpro Labs LIVE Show. The Inner Circle consists of Sarah Watz, Joe Sonne and myself. We talked about our new mastermind group for like-minded small business owners which starts this month on February 15th.
View the PixPro Labs Live show Introducing the PixPro Inner Circle here:
At the time of this writing, I've been an American citizen for just under two weeks. Two days ago I flew to Washington DC to surprise a friend of mine, Bobby Litchge.
Bobby is a 90 year old veteran of World War 2. He's as tough as they come and still incredibly active. He's someone I really admire on so many levels.
One of the fun things in my career is hearing from people who have appreciated the training I've done over the years. Currently, my Drupal 8 videos on YouTube have over 1.2 million views. The Mautic channel is gaining viewers and our videos at https://mautic.com/help have tens of thousands of views.
I had a friend ask if I could create a donation/membership page for their non-profit using PayPal. The site is built in Joomla! 3.x so I naturally thought of an excellent extension like JoomDonation. However, they wanted a number of tweaks that meant modifying the extension which I hesitate to do. Enter RSForm! Pro. It's pretty much been my go-to form builder on any Joomla! site I've built over the years.
A few months ago I was riding my motorcycle through town when a guy turned into my lane from a side street and almost hit me. I'll admit - I was angry. I swerved, hit the horn and was determined to give him a piece of my mind. As we came up to the next intersection, he got into the left turn lane so I pulled up beside him and glared.
This is the third in a series of posts from a talk I gave at the Joomla World Conference in 2013. This is the issue of integrity in leadership. The higher you rise in an organization, the more likely you are to fall if you do not have a strong moral compass. The bigger the chair - the more likely you are to fail... be afraid of the big chair.
In my last corporate gig, I reported to the Vice President of Marketing. One of my most important functions was to translate the "geek". He wasn't a programmer, or a designer. But he needed to understand what was going on so he could run the business. That's where I fit in... I translated the geek. I was his "Universal Translator".
So, I'm on a plane heading to San Francisco for a week of training with OSTraining. I picked up the new Macbook this week as I prepped for a trip to San Francisco. I spent about 30 minutes playing with Apple's newest ultra-light laptop a few weeks ago and wasn't quite convinced. The new keyboard is definitely an acquired taste and the new trackpad has a ton of hidden tricks that I wasn't sure I'd ever use. The computer feels under-powered for anything beyond basic presentations, email, web browsing and hand-coding CSS or websites.
I am in the middle of producing some marketing videos for OSTraining's YouTube channel and I thought I'd post one here. Our marketing department is using them as lead generators for both live and online training, depending on the time of year. They're all around one minute long and I'm calling them "Pro Tips for Drupal Site Builders".
When the stakes are high, great leaders can rally people to a cause with just a few words. On October 29, 1941 Winston Churchill spoke to the boys at Harrow School. "Never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."
As readers of this blog know, I create a LOT of training video for OSTraining.com. I'm up around the 400 mark these days. Last week I cranked out 30 new videos for an update to our Drupal Intermediate course, first published over two years ago. The microphone I used back then was a pretty good Logitech headset (no longer available) and I thought the audio was decent enough for screencasts. I'm now using the MIC from Apogee. While this is still not a high-end"podcast" quality mic, it only cost $199.
Leaders influence people at every level. Some lead thousands or even millions, others lead one or two. The success of their leadership isn't found in the number of people in their "chain of command", but how they influence those for whom they are responsible.
In 1989, I attended a Pastor's conference at Muskoka Baptist Conference, two hours north of Toronto. At the time, I was an Associate Pastor in a church in Toronto, ON. The speaker was the pastor of a growing church in La Mesa, CA. I'd never heard of him but I remember one of the first things he said: Leadership is Influence. Period.
At a glance, "Leadership" seems to be a vast and complex topic. Its been the foundation of thousands of studies, hundreds of thousands of articles and more than a few hours in classrooms from MBA's to Seminaries. Opinions on what leadership is, how to exercise it and how to "fix" it abound. In the words of General Stanley McChrystal - "'Leadership' was the single biggest reason organizations succeeded or failed."
Imagine 30 years of notes, files, academic papers, articles and other miscellaneous paper. Imagine the drawers of filing cabinets and boxes piled up in the attic. Imagine the receipts and paperwork that accumulated just last year with almost 85,000 miles of air travel and over 100 nights in hotels.
Last year I flew almost 85,000 air miles speaking in the US, Canada and Europe. After all those miles, I've gotten pretty good at packing - especially the technology I use when I'm doing training.
Last weekend I attended the Joomla World Conference in Boston. I was one of 9 keynote speakers (see my talk here). On Sunday afternoon, we were treated to a keynote from Matt Mullenweg (wikipedia article) - the founder of WordPress. (Yes - this was the JOOMLA World Conference). WordPress runs about 20% of the entire web, making it the largest open source content management system in the world. Matt is 30 (as of this writing).
I presented the Friday afternoon keynote address at the 2013 Joomla World Conference this week (http://conference.joomla.org). (video after the break)"Live Long and Prosper - 10 Business Tips from Star Trek" was really inspired by the room we were meeting in at Harvard University. Really great venue!
I had the privilege of delivering the Saturday night keynote at the JandBeyond 2013 Conference in Noordwijkerhout, Netherlands (#jab13) on June 1st.
J and Beyond, is one of two big international Joomla conferences every year, with the Joomla World Conference being the other and it's back for a fourth year.
From May 31st to June 2nd, Joomla! developers and site builders from over 30 countries will gather in Noordwijkerhout, near Amsterdam.
Once again this year, OSTraining has been selected to provide the "Absolute Beginner's Guide to Drupal" at DrupalCon - this will be our 4th time! (Chicago, Denver and London being the others).
Here's the video I created to promote the training... (video after the break)
They're Not Just Stories
This is a talk I've done for the past 30 years. I learned it from M.A. Butler, a fantastic Bible teacher and missionary. The presentation hasn't changed significantly - its a timeless journey through the greatest book of all time. Shot on location at the Demolishing Strongholds Conference in 2006 (at 8:00 am on a Saturday morning!) it became a DVD called "They're Not Just Stories".
As I sit here relaxed in my favorite chair on a Saturday morning, 26 families in CT are grieving over the loss of their children and loved ones. Yesterday, a 20 year old kid walked into the kindergarten room and started shooting. Whenever something like this happens – people ask the inevitable questions – I know I did – and my daily Bible reading took me to Psalm 11.
Kyle Ledbetter and Mark Dexter are presenting on Joomla 3.0
Kyle works at EBay – and they push things to the limit. They needed a new UI – so they chose Bootstrap from Twitter – an awesome open source UI LIbrary that's really taken the world by storm… (I LOVE bootstrap)
I’m in the middle of an 18 day extended trip – Chicago, D.C., Toronto and Boston. I’m writing this from my seat – 10A on an Airbus 320 – sitting on the tarmac in D.C. – we’ve been delayed an hour by weather in Detroit. (Today’s flight is DC->Detroit->Toronto). They’re saying an hour… but we’ll know more … in an hour!
I had the privilege of seeing up close a number of amazing historical aircraft this week. I had an extra day in Washington DC – so I headed over to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM)’s annex at Washington Dulles International Airport) – an excursion I had long wanted to take and anticipated very much.
Yesterday was exhausting. (:)) Arranging and changing flights for this month has been kind of strange. But I think it’s almost done.
This month – Washington D.C. 2x, Chicago, Toronto and Boston… I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to pack… and hoping for hotels with laundry service! Teresa’s meeting up with me too… the joys of having older kids!
All in all – I’ll be teaching over 100 people how to use Drupal (9 days), Joomla (2 days) and visiting my mom in Toronto for 4 days (2nd anniversary of Dad’s death is 7/31).
What a great week at DrupalCon Denver!
Monday started with 34 students in our classroom learning the “Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Drupal” with OSTraining. Steve and I had a great time interacting with some very “keen” people. The fun came when several students came up to us during DrupalCon and thanked us for the excellent introduction. They had a firm foundation set on Monday so they could understand Tuesday through Friday!
This will be my 4th DrupalCon – the 3rd one at which I am teaching – check out – the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Drupal – its going to be a lot of fun as usual :)
If you’re heading to Denver for DrupalCon – let me know!
I had the privilege of spending a day with the staff and faculty of Sussex Christian School last Friday – talking about the iPad2 in education – here are some links and the pdf of my presentation.
I made this presentation on November 5, 2011 at DrupalCamp Indy - (Conference Page)
I gave the same presentation to over 100 people a few weeks later at DrupalCamp Ohio. Its a trimmed down version of our full-day course with OSTraining.com