Putting the Pieces Together for Better Communication and Execution

January 31, 2011

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More on my vacation in Israel… While on the Golan Heights in a town called Katzrin (check it out for the Golan Heights Winery), I visited Boaz, the son of a close friend. Though his primary language is Hebrew, he learned English at home from his father. His wife, Leah, is a native Russian speaker from Moldova (actually a part of Rumania), who learned Hebrew when she arrived in Israel at age 17. They have three wonderful children. Boaz speaks to his three children in English, while his wife speaks to them in Russian. Boaz and Leah speak to each other in Hebrew. The kids usually answer their parents in Hebrew, but will occasionally answer in English or Russian, especially with guests that have particular language abilities. It’s not uncommon in Europe and the Middle East for people to grow up with 2-3 languages. These kids usually become so brain wired as to eventually pick up 6-7 languages.
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Overwhelming Force and Patience

January 31, 2011

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On day 8 of my vacation in Israel, we visited the Golan Heights, where we arrived at a stunning historical site called Gamla. Perhaps some of you are familiar with a place in the southern Negev desert called Masada (a strategically located mountain fortress), where Jewish resistance held up against the Romans for three years, from 67 C.E to 70 C.E. Gamla is a similar location on the Golan heights, where the Jewish fighters held off the Roman legions for a year in 67 C.E. The location on a lone peak, can only be approached from one direction and only with extreme difficulty.
Gamla has one of the most amazing views of the Kinnereth (the Sea of Galilee).
You needn’t be Christian to appreciate the spiritual beauty of the surrounding locations and understand how inspired one could be, while standing or sitting here, listening to a spiritual message.
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More of the Same or A Surprising Difference?

January 31, 2011

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In San Diego we like to compare Mexican food outlets. To be honest, I usually can’t tell the difference. There are some higher quality Mexican food restaurants, but mostly it’s a matter of restaurant cleanliness, volume of food and location that makes the difference. So too in Israel, my teenage memories were of seeing one falafel fast food stand after another. At the central bus stations, it was possible to have 5-10 falafel stands on one block.
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The Oblivious Customer Service Error

January 21, 2011

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Yesterday I headed up the coast of Israel on my vacation in the north. Before talking about bad customer service, I am obligued to say that I loved two restaurants located side by side in the town of Nahariyah, on the northern coast.
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Don’t Worry, Be Happy

January 20, 2011

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Ok, I should know that no news is good news, but I do worry more than I should, which cuts into the happiness. But, my son is calling into the Hearts pest control team and he assures me that the team is getting the pest control inspections, selling the pest control inspections (which is even better), and is now getting caught up on paperwork. Ok, so I log in and see that the paperwork is already done! That means the money is posted and I needn’t worry about payments already scheduled. My confidence goes sky high that the team is as good as I thought, maybe even better, as they rise to the challenge running the show without me. (Perhaps they’ll ask me why I need to come back. LOL
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No News is Good News

January 19, 2011

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Three days into my vacation and still no word from my management team at Hearts Pest Management. So the pest control business doesn’t need me. That’s good, because every business owner needs to get away. There is nothing like a little R&R. For the pest control team, pest control managers and pest control line staff, this is the time they truly prove their value.

Meanwhile, we had a wonderful time in Tel Aviv with my cousins. A hightlight was a trip down to the old city of Jaffa, which retains a strong Arab presence. There, my German Jewish Israeli cousins from the upper crust of academic life and we Americans mixed warmly with the local Arabs for a fine evening of dining at “The Old Man,” a
flavorful restaurant by the sea.

In Israel, there are always stories to tell, so many that you don’t have to repeat the old ones. My cousin tells us, “We have always lived with wars.” We think about ’48, ’56, ’67, ’73, ’82 etc. But he tells me that one of the earliest memories he has was hiding out during a bombing raid by the Italians on Tel Aviv during WWII.

On the way to visit my cousin, I stopped at a very fancy shopping center, on par with the richest communities in the U.S. We in the U.S. are making such a to-do about air line security. But in the U.S. it is pretty much limited to the airport. So as I enter the underground parking lot of the shopping mall, I come to a security stop. They ask to see my identification and want to know my purpose in Israel and if anyone has given me a package. Then they ask that I pop open the trunk of the car so they can check there too for bombs. Risk is always present and that risk is well managed and taken as a given. I am happy to assist them.


My Alternate Universe

January 16, 2011

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In about six hours I’ll be boarding an El Al flight to Israel. This trip is very special for me. Between ages 15 and 26 (1970-77) I spent a great deal of time in Israel, mostly living on kibbutzim, in various sections of the country. Since then, I was back in ’82 and ’97 for short visits. This is the first time I’ll have totally free movement, with a rental car. It’ll just be me and my wife, with our own private schedule of visits, sites, excursions, hikes… with stops at a few local wineries.
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