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Nothing like a hard fought soccer game under the open Vancouver sky. This weekend, I got to experience it first hand as the Vancouver Whitecaps took on DC United in their third game of the season. Coming off a two game winning streak, first at home against the Montreal Impact and then (miracles!) on the road against Chivas USA, there were big expectations and a heady sense of optimism about a winning streak that’d last to three games in a row. In the end, we got a tie (certainly better than a loss) – but that’s not all that we witnessed that night.

Equally powerful was the sense of community (particularly in the first part of the second half) when the Whitecaps really turned the electricity on!

It started outside the stadium. Unlike BC Lions games or even Canucks games, the community built by the Whitecaps tends to be young, diverse and the total opposite of “rough around the edges” turkeys that were made famous last summer during the Vancouver’s most disgraceful night.

Milling around the outside of the stadium, thousands of fans clad in blue and white meandered towards the gates. Few were ridiculously intoxicated or surely. Hundreds had goofy grins on their faces.There was a young family vibe to it all.

Once in the stadium, we set up close to the Whitecaps goal next to three dozen fanatical fans equipped with jerseys and dozens of multi-color flags. The super fans included a big burly Scots as well as French, Koreans, Filipinos and even a group of guys who appeared to hail from the Middle East. It’s part of what I love so much about soccer – the multiculturalism of it all. Together we sang a dozen uniquely Vancouver chants inspired by the great European clubs.

On the field, our team mirrored the diversity of its fan base. Players hailed from Brazil, Spain, China, Korea, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, the US and Canada. When Long Tan ran on from the sidelines in the late stages of the game, a group of Chinese fans a few seats away gave a mighty cheer.

Talk about a terrific community building event.

January 19, 2016

Whitecaps Build Community with Flags and Families

Nothing like a hard fought soccer game under the open Vancouver sky. This weekend, I got to experience it first hand as the Vancouver Whitecaps took on DC United in their third game of the season. Coming off a two game winning streak, first at home against the Montreal Impact and then (miracles!) on the road against Chivas USA, there were big expectations and a heady sense of optimism about a winning streak that’d last to three games in a row. In the end, we got a tie (certainly better than a loss) – but that’s not all that we witnessed that night.

Equally powerful was the sense of community (particularly in the first part of the second half) when the Whitecaps really turned the electricity on!

It started outside the stadium. Unlike BC Lions games or even Canucks games, the community built by the Whitecaps tends to be young, diverse and the total opposite of “rough around the edges” turkeys that were made famous last summer during the Vancouver’s most disgraceful night.

Milling around the outside of the stadium, thousands of fans clad in blue and white meandered towards the gates. Few were ridiculously intoxicated or surely. Hundreds had goofy grins on their faces.There was a young family vibe to it all.

Once in the stadium, we set up close to the Whitecaps goal next to three dozen fanatical fans equipped with jerseys and dozens of multi-color flags. The super fans included a big burly Scots as well as French, Koreans, Filipinos and even a group of guys who appeared to hail from the Middle East. It’s part of what I love so much about soccer – the multiculturalism of it all. Together we sang a dozen uniquely Vancouver chants inspired by the great European clubs.

On the field, our team mirrored the diversity of its fan base. Players hailed from Brazil, Spain, China, Korea, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, the US and Canada. When Long Tan ran on from the sidelines in the late stages of the game, a group of Chinese fans a few seats away gave a mighty cheer.

Talk about a terrific community building event.…

January 11, 2016

Time Management for Guys… A Six Pack for Success

Grandma used to say, “Some people can fall into a bucket of crap and climb out smelling like a rose”. As we grow older, we start to realize the wisdom behind those words. Why do some people have a ton of excrement in their lives and still keep it together while others fall apart? Men, it comes down to 6 simple rules for beating the clock:

1. Don’t half-ass 2 things. Whole-ass 1 thing.

Multitasking doesn’t work and it certainly doesn’t work for guys. Figure out what’s important, what gets results and do it. If you spend all your time jumping from one thing to the next, maybe it’s time to ask yourself if there’s a way to simplify your work.  Start asking yourself, “Is there an easier way to get the same result?”    If not, “Who can I delegate this too?”

2. Take it if it’s easy.  And if it’s easy, take it twice.

Reach for the low-hanging fruit, gentlemen.  Focus on what you’re good at, on your strengths, and don’t waste a lot of time on things that you suck at.  It’s a simple rule, “If it’s easy and it gets results, do more of it.”  Use the KISS system “Keep it Super Simple”

3. Something not not worth doing isn’t worth doing well.

This is the most pivotal lesson I learned in high school.  Our best friend said this and we never forgot it, although we think he might be in jail now.  By now, you should see a simple theme emerging: “Work to your strengths, not your weaknesses.”  If you continually work for employers that have you spend more than 20% of time on busywork or things at which you suck, maybe it’s time to go in a different direction.

4. Work with people you like.

It’s a myth that you shouldn’t have friends in the workplace.  You’re going to be spending 50-70 hours per week with them for the next couple of years, so it helps if you can have friendship in addition to a semi-professional working relationship.  Sometimes you have to draw the line and kick some butt, but that happens in friendships too.  There’s no reason why people can’t be friends at work as long as they both realize that results take priority.  Friends have an easier time deciding what those results should be and how to streamline processes to make room for other creative pursuits.

5. Giggedy, Giggedy.

Have fun always.  Guys are hard-wired for fun mischief.  It’s science.  Life should be fun, work should be fun.  If your workplace doesn’t allow you to get up to a little no-harm mischief now again, you work in the wrong place.  All managers should be forced to read Dave Barry’s “Complete Guide to Guys.”  Productivity will skyrocket.  And if it doesn’t, no one will notice.

6. No Pissing Around.

Gents, true productivity is a responsibility that each of us must must man up to when things skid sideways.  NHL legend Bobby Clark once drank beer for thirteen straight hours without leaving his bar stool to drain the pipes.   Impressive, yes, but endowed with same human anatomy as the rest of us, it was Clark’s absolute focus and appetite for greatness that separates him from ordinary mortals. Each of us has this level of bladder control if we want it badly enough. It’s a matter of blocking the disruptive thoughts and unwanted distractions that creep into each workday.

If your stock hasn’t improved after making this six pack of changes… consider changing brands.…