Most of the time I am actively reading a suspense novel… and whenever I discover new authors, I’ll dive into every one of their tomes. Thus, I quickly made my way through all 11 books in Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child’s Pendergast series after I stumbled upon “Dance of the Dead” at an airport bookstore in 2006. (Can’t wait for the next one in December!) I also read many of the novels they wrote individually.
Historical thriller films – like Nicholas Cage’s “National Treasure” – also are great entertainment for me. There’s something about the mix of history and fiction blended with suspenseful drama that creates a few hours of diversion from the challenges of everyday life.
Many of these storylines date to the American Revolution, which provided a lot of subplots as George Washington continually outflanked the more seasoned and better supplied British military officers with ingenuity and sleight-of-hand. (The best historical fiction writer is my friend William Martin. Read “Citizen Washington” for amazing insight on our nation’s greatest leader.)
If I ever get around to writing the next great American fiction novel, I think much of it will be encrypted. In the meantime, in case you’re curious what reading it would be like, here is a famous quote from the other greatest American president. Have fun deciphering:
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Since we moved to Houston in 1998, the only local sports highlights were when the Astros played in the National League Championship Series twice and made it to the World Series once. Rockets? One playoff series win in 13 seasons. Texans? Still mired in mediocrity after nine years. Meanwhile, in the past eight months, my hometown – DFW – has seen the Rangers play in the World Series and crowned the Mavericks as NBA Champions. That’s great for my family and friends there… and I’m enjoying it from afar.
Listening to and reading commentary of media experts this morning about what happened to the South Beach dream team – for instance, Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio said, “I honestly thought Miami was better last night with LeBron James on the bench” – it’s clear Dirk Nowitzki and the deepest roster in the league outplayed the Heat’s three highly paid All Stars.
Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron joined together last summer with the goal to win multiple championships. Number one will have to wait another year. As Michael Rosenberg wrote on SI.com: “The self-proclaimed King wanted it to be easy. His company’s logo should be a cart in front of a horse.” LeBron disappeared in the fourth quarter of every game. He’ll have the next four months to develop his post play and figure out how to do more when the basketball is in someone else’s hands
The Heat proved it’s hard to buy your way to success. Its travails serve as a lesson to business leaders that you need everyone on your team working together to become a champion. It took Dirk 13 years to lift that trophy. Time will tell whether the Big Three ever stand on the podium with smiles on their faces… or if this great experiment turns out to be the Big Mistake.
Note: Tomorrow at 1 p.m. EDT, I’ll appear on Insights Live, an Internet radio show, to share how to get everyone on your team pulling in the same direction. Here’s a link if you’d like to join us: http://bit.ly/keUIj4
You may have seen the series of insurance commercials in which a Rod Serling-type announcer asks, “Could switching to Geico really save you 15% or more on car insurance?” In a current iteration, he then inquires, “Is the pen mightier than the sword?” After a ninja displays some slick sword work, the camera cuts to a man in martial arts clothing signing for an overnight delivery. He opens the box, pulls out an electronic device and zaps his adversary to the ground.
Posting a comment in 140 characters on Twitter doesn’t take much longer than that television spot. Unfortunately, sometimes the person tweeting doesn’t pause that long to ask, “How will this look if it shows up on the evening news?” Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall caused quite a stir last week – and was dropped by sponsors – after he tweeted comments questioning Osama bin Laden’s guilt in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In this fast-paced world of instant communication, it’s easier than at any time in history to state an opinion that quickly circles the globe. Unfortunately, not having the discipline to consider in advance the potential impact of your comments could lead to big regrets. The Moral of the Mendenhall Mess: Think before you tweet. Otherwise you might end up in full-contact self-defense.