Craig C. Sroda Just Seeking Well Done Wed, 04 May 2016 17:54:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How You Are Doing in Your Life Domains? Wed, 04 May 2016 17:53:38 +0000 My wife and I recently completed our life plans by a certified life coach from the Patterson Center. Life Wheel - CCS Branded v2It is a rigorous 2-day process that challenged us to think deeper than we have in a while. Thinking about our legacy, our passions, our natural wirings, and documenting how we got to become who we are today is a rewarding exercise. Part of our plan is to get LifePlan certified in April this year so we can help others live intentionally and on purpose.

Reviewing and planning for all the domains in your life is something that I feel everyone should do. There are a few variations on the number of domains of life but I think most of them fall into major categories with a few subcategories for clarification. It’s a good idea for you to measure how you are doing in each of them just to get a visualization on where you are. If one of the domain scores is low, your life may have a flat spot which will eventually affect you. I did some research on the wheel of life assessments and below is what I found from a comparison standpoint.

I did some additional digging and it turns out the wheel of life originated with Buddha in about 500 B.C. to assess a person’s inner psychological state. The Wheel of Life has had a few names over the years like wheel of balance, wheel of happiness, etc. Bottom line, it can help you gauge if you have a flat spot in your life.

My Wheel of Life comparisons are below:

Action Items

  • Click on the above picture or here for the Wheel of Life Assessment.
  • Mark a dot on the line of your rating for that life domain.
    • 10 = Great/High
    • 1 = Low/Bad
  • Draw a line from dot to dot.
  • Assess if you have any flat spots.
    • If you do, set some goals to fix them.
    • Your ideal state is as round as it can be 🙂 – heading toward all 10’s.
  • If you have severe flat spots, it might be time for a life plan and a life coach.

Good Luck and enjoy the Wheel of Life assessment!

What is Gods Will for My Life Thu, 05 Dec 2013 04:39:25 +0000 Just read this and wanted to get this filed for my archives.  Very interesting article for sure as I am thinking of this often.  His purpose, my passion, and making sure I am creating space to listen.  Check out this link to read the article.

God wants us to experience His will so much that he actually live in us to accomplish it.

Gods Will for Your Life



STROKE – IDENTIFICATION Sun, 24 Nov 2013 23:20:25 +0000 StrokeI was talking to my wife about this post below and she said oh yeh, that has been out for a long time now.  I said what??  Where have I been??  Anyway, I decided to post this as a reference for me as I must be in the dark.  If this helps anyone, please comment as I would like to know if I totally have been in the dark.

I saw this article and thought I should post it for quick reference and to share.  I have heard this story many times.  Like this one

Strokes –  Now Have a Fourth Indicator – the Tongue!!!

STROKE: Remember the 1st Three Letters…..
S. T. R. 

During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall – she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) …she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes.

They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening.

Jane’s husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital – (at 6:00 PM Jane passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today. Some don’t die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.

It only takes a minute to read this.

A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke…totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.


Thank God for the sense to remember the ‘3’ steps, STR. Read and

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:
S *Ask the individual to SMILE.

T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A
(i.e. Chicken Soup)

R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

New Sign of a Stroke ——–
Stick out Your Tongue!

NOTE: Another ‘sign’ of a stroke is this: Ask the person to ‘stick’ out his tongue. If the tongue is
‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the otherthat is also an indication of a stroke.

Let me know if you have hear this before or not.  Thanks

Problems are Opportunities Mon, 20 Aug 2012 11:45:32 +0000 Don’t think “If I’m in the right job, I won’t have any problems.” 

This is certainly not the caseWithout problems, there aren’t opportunities.  And without opportunities. you can’t grow, take on more responsibility, or make the impact you want in your life (all aspects of life).  There is not such a thing as separating work / life “balance”.  There IS the strive for sharing the time appropriately and trying to have hard stops, but they just overlap too much. I used to keep 2 separate priroity list, 1 for work and 1 for personal/life.  I was discussing this with a collegue and he said there is only 1 YOU, how do you really prioritize the things you have to do today.  I had 2 lists for things today, which I have not been succefully been able to get them done as there was always the constant tension of which one goes first.  This initially is a problem, but further investigation  and  in the proper mind set – it is an opportunity to yet improve again :).  I am still working on merging the today activities, but then keeping the “things I only can do” list separate.  I think eventually this will have to be merged, but will keep working at it.

Meaning quote from management consultant Robert Updegraff:

You ought to be glad for the troubles on your job because they provide about half your income. If it were not for the things that go wrong, the difficult people with whom you deal, and the problems of your working day, someone could be found to handle your job for half of what you are being paid.

So start looking for more troubles. Learn to handle them cheerfully and with good judgment, as opportunities rather than irritations, and you will find yourself getting ahead at a surprising rate. For there are plenty of big jobs waiting for people who are not afraid of troubles.

Don’t forget the “I” in IT Wed, 25 Jul 2012 18:35:16 +0000 I think people have forgotten what the “I” in IT means:  INFORMATION.  When you put the “I” and the “T” together, people usually think about computers, servers, networking, and so on.  For me, it’s about DATA, which is the information.  And when you bring information and technology together, you have something powerful, something more than just making things run faster (of course newer computers, networking, internet, do make things faster.)  When I talk with clients and prospects during systems whiteboard strategy sessions, I usually start by asking this question, “Where is the DATA?”  Usually, I find DATA in several places: in an accounting system, in a CRM system, in some type of Line of Business (LOB) system, and then of course, you have “the spreadsheets”.

This is where the danger lies for companies but also where some real opportunities can take shape.

Yes, we usually conduct a detailed whiteboard, complete with pictures, visio diagrams, etc. with some recommendations for improvements we call a Technology Roadmap, but for purposes of this article, let’s just focus on the DATA in the BIG 4:

Accounting (makes sure you are making money and staying out of jail)

  1. CRM (now called XRM)
  2. LOB (applications usually specific to your industry)
  3. Spreadsheets (all the stuff you don’t know where to put)

There are always improvements that can be made to any of these systems, but something everyone should perk up and start paying a lot of attention to is the duplication of effort by employees to maintain data accurately across the systems.  Fortunately, most of the time, you can setup integration points between the systems, which we do a lot at Pinnacle; but more often than not, we find companies are paying people to maintain data manually.

The RISK here is inaccurate data which leads to reports that are inaccurate and that don’t match across systems.  IT departments can’t control this because it is in the end users’ control.  This is usually where the breakdown occurs and why companies fall into the spreadsheet abyss.

Spreadsheets have their place.  I see them as good analytical tools for pivot tables, quick sorts, groups, graphs, and so on, but the data should be delivered TO the spreadsheets – not maintained IN the spreadsheets.  The systems we implement allow us to “live link” the spreadsheets and refresh on demand.  This is a one way to securely pull the data and refresh the spreadsheet with the current data.

I could go on and on about this, but watching out for what is being entered into spreadsheets vs. pulled would be something I would keep my “right” eye on J.

So what should you do?  Below are just a few items to consider, but having a whiteboard session to layout where your data is would be the place I would start.  I simply love doing that because it’s almost like going hunting or solving a mystery …


Quick Technology Tips to get on your Technology Roadmap

  • Discover where your data is – we have a four step data discovery process we use
  • Whiteboard (process map and diagram the interconnectivity of your systems
  • Determine how open your systems data is and what kind of tools you may have
  • Centralize your data into the BIG 3 (The BIG 4 minus the spreadsheets)
  • Integrate across the BIG 3

Sounds easy right?  If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, hire someone to whiteboard your system for a day.  It is a great investment because then you will know where the DATA is.  Then you can rough in your plan to integrate your data, reduce duplication, and gain insight into your business through graphs, dashboards, key performance indicators, and business alerts.  These tools will save you time and help you make accurate decisions about where the business is REALLY.

Fall in Love with the Process Wed, 25 Apr 2012 00:37:33 +0000 Don’t Fall in Love with the Results, Fall in Love with the Process.

The Importance of Crossing Daily Finish Lines Wed, 28 Mar 2012 23:56:51 +0000

I needed to file this one in the “sroda” blog for reference so I can re-read and see if I am applying this.  Pretty good stuff for maintaining focus..  Again from Michael Hyatts blog..

One of the most memorable moments of my life was crossing the finish line of the Comrades Ultra-Marathon.

Photo courtesy of ©

After eighty-nine kilometers (fifty-six miles), and a grueling eleven hours and thirty-four minutes on the road, hand-in-hand with my mom, I crossed the finish line. We gave each other a hug and each shed a tear. It was a powerful moment I will never forget.

And it got me thinking about finishing lines—about how we don’t need them just at the end of a long hard race, but at the end of long hard day, too.

Something you never see an athlete doing is going back over the line to run some more. Of course not; the race is over!

Yet, so often in my own life, even though the “race” of a workday is over, I continue to “run”—to check email, answer calls, stress about problems at the office—when really I should be resting, relaxing, and giving my presence to my family.

That’s why this year I have started to intentionally create “finishing lines” at the end of everyday.

This is a space where I draw an imaginary line in the sand and choose to put the day behind me, shifting my attitude, heart, and thoughts towards the next part of my day—whether that’s exercise, recreation, or family time. Here’s how I do it:

As the final activity before leaving work in the evening, I set aside twenty minutes to take stock of what’s happened today and decide the most important tasks to accomplish tomorrow.

I do this by asking myself a series of questions:

  • How did the day go? What success did I experience? What challenges?
  • What did I learn today? About myself? About others? What do I plan to do differently, or the same, tomorrow?
  • Who did I interact with? Anyone I need to update? Thank? Apologize? Ask a question? Share feedback?

Taking this time to reflect allows me to clarify my thoughts, collect myself, refuel and renew my mind, and make conscious “course corrections” that ultimately save time and energy. And it’s made all the difference.

Since I have started this practice, I am far less grumpy when I arrive home. I feel more in control, and am more clear about what I still have to accomplish.

Most importantly, it enables me to “switch off” from work when I’m at home and engage fully with the people I love most.

Crossing your finish line, whether at the end of a race or at the end of the day, is something that not only leaves you feeling satisfied and fulfilled, but motivates you to finish well.

Happy You, Complainers, Change, and Self Awareness Wed, 21 Mar 2012 12:05:02 +0000 I read this post this morning and really liked it because it applied to a lot of people I know and how I think about things so I wanted to file this on my blog.  Here are a couple of thoughts from Michaels post with action items that I wanted to comment on.

  • Being Self Aware – I am around a lot of people daily and I don’t think they realize what “vibe” they put out.  Are you frowning, sitting up straight, engaged  because it matters what others see.  Complainers are one of my biggest things because it is such a drain.  If there is a problem, state it with some solutions as this is WAY better in my mind vs. just complaigning.  I don’t think people know how much they complaign a day and the affect it has from a self talk standpoint…  My back hurts, I ate too much, too much to do around the house, etc….   I challenge myself and others to take tally of this and reduce it until it is gone.  Just Decide to Change.
  • Shift Your Identity – This one is pretty cool.  You have to see yourself as who you want to be then you get there.  The professional athlete that wins, see’s themself as winning.  This happened with one person I work with who was an account manager in the sales department, but saw himself as a technical consultant. Today, he is rockin as a technical consultant – it just works.  See it, then Do it.  You don’t plan to fail, you just fail to plan…. – right?
  • Smile – Simple, Easy, and Works.  Affects you and others more than you know..
  • Catch them doing something right OR how I think is Pick them Up when they Fall – I like this one and have heard this before.  Complimenting good is always good in my book.  The other additive is pick them up when they fall.  In this world we know we are all going to fail.  It is our natural nature (don’t have to like it), but it is where we are.  As when I fail, it is really nice when people are there to catch me, dust me off, and put me back in motion.  Try it with someone, if fuels your soul and nothing will feel better than giving.

Those are my quick thoughts on Michaels post below as I recommend reading it.  He is the author, I am just the doer which is what we all should strive for…


From Michael Hyatt – Becoming a Happy Person…

7 Steps to Becoming a Happy Person Others Want to Be Around

Several months ago, my wife, Gail, and I attended an industry mixer at a conference we were attending. Almost immediately, I was cornered by an author who proceeded to complain about all the incompetent people in his life.

Two friends laughing in an outdoor café - Photo courtesy of ©, Image #15345841

He grumbled about his literary agent, his booking agent, and his publisher. No one, it seems, measured up to his standards. I tried to change the subject, but he persisted.


The conversation made me feel very uncomfortable. I finally had enough and excused myself. I felt a little rude, but I didn’t want to steep in his brew of negativity.

As I thought about this, I realized how destructive complaining about others is. My author friend didn’t make me think less of the people he grumbled about; it made me think less of him.

Complaining about others has the potential to hurt you in four specific ways.

  1. It trains your brain. I remember when I bought my first Lexus. I never really noticed Lexus cars before. But suddenly, they seemed to be everywhere. This demonstrates the principle that you see more of what you notice. If you focus on people’s faults, you will find even more of them.
  2. It makes you miserable. My author friend was not happy. His humor was biting and sarcastic. He seemed entitled and discontent. His attitude was highly toxic—which was why I felt the need to get away from him. He was contagious!
  3. People pull away. One of the consequences of complaining is that healthy people don’t want to hang around you. They avoid you. As a result, you miss scores of great opportunities, both social and business ones.
  4. People don’t trust you. This is perhaps the saddest consequence of all. As my friend was complaining about others, I began to wonder, What does he say about me when I am not around. I then instinctively thought, I don’t trust him.

After I left the presence of my negative friend, I bumped into an agent friend, who is one of the most positive, encouraging people I know. He told me about all the great things happening in his life and business.

Whenever he mentioned someone’s name, he raved about them. He exuded gratitude. I didn’t want to leave his presence. It was like balm to my soul.

My second friend was such a contrast to the first, it made me realize these are two entirely different mindsets and approaches to life. The good news is that if you are a negative person, you don’t have to stay that way.

Here are seven steps to reversing this pattern and becoming a happy person others trust and want to be around.

  1. Become self-aware. Are you a negative person? Do you tend to see the glass half empty or half full? If you are in doubt, ask your spouse or a close friend for candid feedback. Negativity is costing you more than you know. Frankly, it’s like having bad breath or b.o.
  2. Assess your needs. What need are you attempting to meet by complaining? Perhaps the need for connection? Maybe a need for significance? Are there better, more healthy ways to meet these needs?
  3. Decide to change. Complaining is a habit. And like all bad habits, change begins when you own your behavior and make a decision to change. It doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out process. It will take conscious effort at first, but it will become automatic over time. You can start today.
  4. Shift your identity. The most powerful change happens when we modify our identity. When I declared myself an athlete, daily exercise suddenly became easier. What if you said to yourself, I am a positive, encouraging person? How would your behavior change?
  5. Greet others with a smile. According to health expert Ron Gutman, “smiling can help reduce the level of stress-enhancing hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, and dopamine, and increase the level of mood-enhancing hormones like endorphins.” While smiling has this impact on you, it also has a similar impact on others. This is one reason they unconsciously want to be around you.
  6. Catch them doing something right. The corollary to the principle “you see more of what you notice” is “you get more of what you notice. If you catch people doing what is right and complement them for it, guess what happens? They start doing more of it. This is not manipulation; it is influence. It too is contagious.
  7. Speak well of others. I’m not saying you shouldn’t deal with bad behavior by confronting it. I’m saying you should deal directly with the people involved rather than complaining about it to those who are neither part of the problem nor part of the solution. Your mama’s advice was right: “If you don’t have something positive to say, don’t say anything at all.”

While complaining about others may hurt them, ultimately it hurts you the worst. By becoming more aware and more intentional, you can become a person others seek out and want to be around

What do you wish you knew THEN that you know NOW? Mon, 29 Aug 2011 20:45:04 +0000 I think about this a lot.  I have discussed with a few colleagues on how to bring down knowledge 10 years.  I have drawn circles within circles, my picture of generational knowledge and have pondered how to bring the knowledge down 2 or 3 generations.  Michael Hyatt did the poll below and found some key things to know NOW.  I love it.  I will keep thinking of my idea (probably some type of mentoring), but really want to NOT make the same mistakes that others have made.  That is one of my things :).  Mistakes (or failures) are ok to make because that means we are growing, we just don’t want to make them over again (and really not 3 times).  Anyway, this is a great blog post from Michael Hyatt and I wanted to log it for myself.

From Michael Hyatt – What do you wish you knew then that you know now?

As I turned the corner from my 20s and entered into my 30s I
realized how much I thought I knew, when in reality I knew nothing. I began to
find myself as the fool repeating his folly in so many leadership decisions I
was making.

It was a humbling realization to say the least, but I would not be defeated.

Rather than accept the fact that folly was inevitable, I spent
the past twelve months polling fifteen respectable men I admire—men that have
lived lives of integrity, men who are faithful husbands, and have been deemed
successful in their chosen vocation.

The list of men I asked included President’s of Nationally known
Ministries and Corporations, Authors of best-selling books, CEOs, CFOs, a
Division 1 basketball coach, and even a man listed on the Forbes 400.

Many of these conversations were face-to-face, while a few were
correspondence via e-mail. Listing their names is not nearly as important as
listing their responses.

The question I asked these fifteen men was this, “What are three
things you know now that you wish you knew when you were thirty?”

I was hoping that these men would share the folly they had
experienced as leaders and in life, so that I might not repeat their mistakes.

The forty-five responses I received from these men were packed
with wisdom, humility, and truth that struck me to the core. I printed them
out, laminated them, and placed in my office where they serve as a daily
reminder and encouragement to lead well in all areas of my life.

Learning from the mistakes of others will help me avoid my own
mistakes and, therefore, be less likely to be “a fool who repeats his folly.” I
took the list of forty-five responses and reduced it down to the top fifteen.
Some of the men had similar answers, so I took one answer from each leader, so that
the list was not repetitive.

  1. The most important person you can lead is yourself.
  2. Nothing is more valuable than relationships.
  3. Maximize the moments with your children.
  4. Listen—you will never find the pulse of your family or
    organization if you don’t learn to listen.
  5. Worrying is temporary atheism. Rid yourself of worry.
  6. Become a better steward of your financial resources
    through investments and wise decision-making. The older you get the more
    you’ll want to give away, being able to do so begins with the financial
    decisions you make today.
  7. Balance—the words “No” and “Not now” are empowering
    when accompanied with wisdom.
  8. Spend time reading and receiving the Truth every
    morning, because the world will only lie to you the rest of the day.
  9. Saying “I’m sorry,” when spoken from a genuine heart,
    has great healing power.
  10. Character should always trump talent.
  11. Retreat and Rest—if ships don’t come back to the
    harbor, they’ll eventually sink.
  12. Don’t stop learning—you’re not as smart as you think.
  13. Learn to value patience. You’re likely to learn more
    while you wait.
  14. Time management—without it time will control you.
  15. Develop authentic and deep relationships with men who
    will sharpen you and see through you.

I hope that for any of us that aspire to be great leaders, we
can look at this list that was compiled by men in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and even
80s, and learn from their lives well-lived. May we heed their wisdom as to
prevent folly in our endeavors to become better spouses, parents, and leaders.

13 Ways to Frustrate Your Employees Thu, 30 Jun 2011 23:16:48 +0000 This is another post from Michael Hyatts blog.  My blog is a collection and organization of thoughts and articles, so it may feel like a copy and paste (which could be at times), but really is just good stuff I want to organize, track and implement – thats it.

Any way, below are the bullets from his blog, if you want more detail, go to 13 Ways to Frustrate Your Employees from Michael Hyatt. If all of us can make this common practice and always get in the mind set of who is next and who we should be building, our lives would be a lot better.  However, you will need to let go of EGO, and let GOD lead more.   I really don’t know how that is a bad thing.

  1. Don’t Be Responsive
  2. Cancel meetings at the last minute
  3. Reprimand them in front of their peers
  4. Change your mind frequently
  5. Dont bother stating your expectations
  6. Always ask for what they don’t have with them
  7. Focus on superficial things rather than substance
  8. Assign them work, then micromanage the process
  9. Do all the talking
  10. Never recognize your people
  11. Catch them doing something wrong
  12. Communicate that you are the fount of all wisdom
  13. Be Moody