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Take the time to pause, reflect, listen, learn, and apply

Kevin J. Goodman

Every year at this time, as the calendar year comes to a close, I enjoy thinking about year-end reflections along with lessons learned. The consideration usually includes the current year and times of the past.

This morning I was going through pictures and writings in my journal from December of 2012. These next two photos and few excerpts are from my journal mid-December 2012:

dannys flute solo“6 a.m. Bikram Yoga to kick off my last work week of 2012. Then off to the Chagrin River with Danny for a few hours.”

“This photo captured my son Danny Boy and his magical flute solo down by the Chagrin River yesterday. The moment caused me to pause in awe and consider his imagination and innovation. Danny’s flute is made of hollow plant material found by the river. Then, with childlike wisdom, imagination, and play, he fosters innovation and creation. Indeed I was in awe of his creativity as I listened and watched him play. He managed to play parts of a song he performed with his school days before with a recorder. Yes, it’s true if we show our children the things we love, they will thrive. It’s in their DNA.”

dannys recorder“His play helped me turn positive thoughts toward my daily work. They say the child can be teacher to the parent or that to teach is to learn. Our playtime in the woods reminded me that this week and always, I am called to use what I have at my disposal as my resource and make it a strong finish to the end of the year. I can cultivate creative collaboration and relationships that connect me in a deeper way to community, foster innovation and invention and launch sustainable ideas at home, work, and in the world.”

The journal went on to talk about practical questions, expectations, and exploration. I have asked our team and myself many of these questions in a deeper, wider way since that magical morning. The results have been amazing.

Here were the questions I wrote and have made a discipline to ask since then. Those around me have heard these questions repeatedly as a result of my son’s flute solo:

  • How can we reinvent this?
  • Can we imagine this done differently?
  • Why not? How come?
  • What will this look like in a year, three years, and five years from now?
  • Where does the market need us to be?

Can I find that piece of plant material, hollow it out, and make music? How can I make it happen? What do we have to invest in? Sacrifice? Give? Risk? Surrender? How can we move the linear to exponential? Let’s explore how to get there? What will that look like?

Whenever I reflect, I am reminded that, as in most things, lessons learned are a universal reality, and they tend to repeat themselves in various forms and manner. Some lessons are indeed learned from our mistakes. We are moved to learn alternatives and never repeat them. And some lessons are affirmations of just how to get something done successfully. As a result, we repeat and intensify those actions. This is a piece about going back to the basics for sure. Yet we can vision, explore, and find new and better ways of delivering and serving in all we do.

Take the time to pause, reflect, question, listen, learn, and apply. All the best in 2016 and beyond. Wishing you a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year! Onward …

Kevin Goodman is the managing director, partner with BlueBridge Networks, a downtown Cleveland-headquartered data-center cloud computing business. He can be reached at (216) 367-7580, , or


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