The Voice of An Empowered Generation

Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Over the last few days, I have been convened with a little under 1200 grandparents pursuing legacy. There are people of prayer here. There are people of faith here. They have wisdom and they want to be heard. They have a voice. It says. Cherish family. Protect and value life. I will finish strong and loud. God matters. Be prudent and reasonable in government and community and business.

One of the visions cast is to go to national media with the message. This quick video says much of it. Envision a super bowl commercial. Envision bill boards. Envision the magazine. Envisions social media. Envision the message loud and strong and NOW.

Our days are numbered. The countdown to eternal destiny shortens by the day. Our time is now.

This generation of senior adults will live longer than any before. The boomers will be around for a few more decades. In those decades the voice must be heard. The message must be spoken loud and clear.
Cherish family.Protect and value life.I will finish strong and loud.God matters.Be prudent and reasonable in all you do. is the core information and training site for the National Association For Grandparenting headed by the chief visionary, Dr. Ken Canfield. For 17 years, Ken and I have worked together in the National Center for Fathering (NCF) ( and now the NAFG.
Be a joiner. Be a supporter. Watch this video and imagine many such with the core underlying message.

Inspiration for Others

Wow.  Read through this article.  This amazing woman and her friends are taking advantage of their good health and trekking.  A cross country trip promises to inspire all of us.  After you finish this story, zip over to the notes from Dr. Ken Canfield on modeling a strong and healthy marriage as part of a strong and healthy lifestyle.

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Grandkids Need You to Model a Strong & Lasting Marriage

Jeese… even in the Philippines

Get tired of scams and spams?

Even in the Philippines, it takes intervention to protect. See article below.

If you are on Medicare, remember you have rights. The United States has a Center for Medicare Services where you can get tons of information and file grievances, appeals, and more… Keep it bookmarked.

New Days and New Ways

Phil and SOLUM are on a new adventure.  After almost two decades of working with Dr. Ken Canfield first at the National Center For Fathering ( and now the National Association for Grandparenting (, we lauched an insurance benefit initiative for you, the grandparents and parents of generations.

Our non-profit outreach SOLUM Community Transformation Initiative is thriving ( and fixing fractured families.  Now we are here for you to help you build your solid financial foundations, secure important relationships, and launch your legacy into generations through benefits development with NCF and GKM.

Join us on the adventure.

We are leaving all of our blog content on management and wanderings for you to peruse.  No use throwing out. We will reorganize a bit to make it easier, but there it is.

Engineering Sanity

As a process engineer this story is just too real to ignore.

My wife gets great service at Big O tires. I appreciate that a lot. So I use them, also. Auto work is always long no matter where you go. Price is normal, but if you take care of my wife, I like you.

I get mediocre to bad service from Big O tires. It is always a hassle of change orders, out of stock surprises, and long waits with a whiney TV in the foyer. So I bring a computer to get work done. But they serve my wife well and I appreciate it.

The biggest frustration has been being told each time for a decade that I don’t exist and have never done business with them before. I have spent thousands of dollars with them. Tires, brakes, alignments and more get done there. But they serve my wife well.

Today, here we go again. I went in a week ago to get warranty on an alignment and two new tires on the front. They as usual are out of stock. I made the appointment for 7:30am for today in hopes I could get on with my day. Two days ago I confirmed with the salesman. It is 11am as I write this. 4 hours for a 30 minute job. They did not have the tires and had them brought from another shop. These are not the tires ordered, but they will work.

As usual each time the told me my truck and I are not in their system. I was rested and ready for the wait, so I thought for a minute. How can they be so lost? So I went out to my truck and got out a past warranty and looked at every identifying field. There was VIN, model, year, date, address, and my wife’s name. All this time, they are looking for my name and I don’t exist. Apparently their system can’t look up all the other identifying information. The adept front desk worker offered to put my name alongside my wife’s so they could find me in the future.

Processes are designed to enable ease and allow you freedom to think versus make the simple decisions. Think. Think. Think. Your customer will appreciate it.

Service still is long and drawn, but they serve my wife well and now I have a name and the next time they might serve me better. I hope it doesn’t affect her being served the next time.

Cat Skinners 

The bright post on the outside office wall catches my energy eye each whistling morning. Cat Skinners titles the picture of an animated lion on hungry hunt. What department is Cat Skinners? Not IT or Mail or Imaging or Client Sevier or Marketing or Print Production or Finance or Planning but Cat Skinners. PETA is mad somewhere. Do they really skin cats behind the doors of this office complex?
There is more than one way to skin a cat. I think of that motto as I imagine a modern day cat skinner. Is this the problem solving department? Do they take complicated issues and make them simple?

Maybe, being a cat skinner is like being a mule skinner. These early day truckers hauled and worked with mules. They could get the onery critters to do the work. Stubborn, mule headed beasts of burden resistive to direction and taming were tamed and taught and made functional under the care and cajoling of the mule skinner. What others could not do, they did.

Both is the answer. Do you have a Cat Skinner department? Are you in it?

The original poster was in our client services team of grafacceńt, a digital print publishing group born of innovation. It was a joy birthing and developing and leading this powerhouse team. They found solutions where solutions could not be found. Love the product. Love the client. Love the team. That was our motto. We lived it.

Yesterday, I put the poster up again. Our team at SOLUM is doing it. Love the program. Love the clients. Love the team.  Allie, Danny, Danny, Matt, Dawn, Ashli and Phil. Here we are at it. More are joining the team.

A judge and a businessman came to me at separate times yesterday. Both commented, “Tell me about the Hope Program. People are telling me how much they appreciate it.” One was on the phone from another state. 

We did not have a title for what we do, we just do it. The streets have given us a title, the Hope Program. People have hope restored and families healed. I like that. My title came from the streets. The Think Doctor came from those we serve. That is stronger than a university acclimation. We love the people. Our Cat Skinners love the product of good thinking and hope. Our Cat Skinners love the people we serve. Our Cat Skinners love each other.

Get a Cat Skinner attitude. Prod problems into possibilities. Coach calamity into calm. Anchor anxiety into assurance. Find a way where there is no way. Get a few folks in your work place to walk that walk and you will find new joy in your journey.

The Press of Work: A little Monday Motivation

The Press of Work

Work takes the amount of time allocated to it.

Emblazon that truism on your computer screen, smart phone, and tablet.  Get it in front of you.  Write it on your forehead and scribe it on your heart.  Work takes the amount of time allocated to it.

Now let us handle arguments.

It changes while you are working on it.

If you can’t in a few minutes write out the process by which work is done, you do not know what you are doing.  Get to know what you are doing.  Examine it.  Make allowances for variances.  Allocate the right amount of time. Tighten up the scope and practices.

Other things come up.

Priorities change because you do not have priorities that are communicated.   A customer comes in and you shift the job at hand.  You lose time starting and stopping.  The work still takes the amount of time allocated to you.  You just keep changing the allocated time and it takes longer.

Something breaks.

Okay, fix it.  While it is down you are not working on the job.  You are working on the fix.  When you get back going, guess what.  Work takes the amount of time allocated to it.

It is harder than I thought.

Think more.  Examine.  Plan. Organize.  Become better at accurate allocation.

Some people are faster and some are slower.

Design jobs for Joe and Jane Average.  Quit designing work for Wonder Woman and Super Man.  Quit designing work for sloths and snails.  Design to the middle and the slow will step up and the super will take on other jobs because they can’t stand to not be busy.   Allocate right.


Okay, get to work.  Get it done.  Prove yourself valuable.


Help someone Stand Up and Stand Strong:

Character is Built in The Night

Psalm 16:7 I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.

The hidden man of the heart decides most actions. Among the mental health solutions most recommended for depression, anxiety, PTSD, and both process and substance addictions is a regimen named CBT.  CBT stands for Cognitive (Thinking) Behavior Therapy. Address your thoughts and your actions will follow.  Follow with your actions. You are what you think. You become that on which you mull and meditate.  Your actions come from the inner man, the heart, the soul, the mind, the will, and the emotions.

Character Guides Profit

The product of business is profit.  Profit is a good thing unless it is the only thing.  Why do I want to profit?  Have I built a character base to guide my gain? Two good friends come to mind.  Both are wealthy.  Both focus all gain/profit on expanding the kingdom. Yes, they live fulfilled lives, but not over spending lives.  The amounts they give to kingdom works and benevolence is outstanding as a percentage of profits. Another, “Christian”, friend spends his profits on himself.  He travels extensively and posts all over Facebook of his travels and love for family.  His gain is his gain. He shares some of the wealth, but his focus that he shares is himself first and God when convenient.

The first two friends fulfill this proverb of the seventh verse. First, they bless the Lord not just with words, but action.   They recognize that God gave them wisdom and access to wealth.  In gratefulness, they give back and bless Him and His work.  Second, they are extremely prayerful men.  They take everything to heart.  They are persistent disciples of Christ and run their businesses with compassion and Christian disciplines.  Their hearts (mind, will, and emotions) are guided even when they sleep and especially in hard times (night seasons).  They do not become a different person under pressure because their heart is secured to His heart.

Character Guides People

The product of a community organization is people.  Whether you are the Salvation Army or a church or the local women’s shelter, you are focused on people.  You need finances, but that is not your product.  The same questions apply.  Why do I want to touch people? Have I built a character base to guide community gain?  A conversation with the mayor of a community we reach revealed his heart. We spent hours discussing how to develop the hearts of the people in the community alongside all the economic growth and infrastructure changes.  Discussions with other community leaders takes the same direction, but not all.  Some want to tear down old houses to “clean out the rats” or “take away places for crime”.  Others want to tear down old houses to deliver kinder, gentler neighborhoods and encourage growth.   There is a difference of heart.

Character Comes in the Night

Struggles reveal the deep meditations of the heart. Profits will be challenged.  Our people touch will be challenged.  At those moments, we go back to character built in other moments to make our decisions.

Character is built by quieting our fears with faith.

Character is built by quickening our faith in the face of risk.

Character is built by quickness to turn to God when nothing seems solid.

Character is built by quietly meditating on His wisdom in His Word when all is well and our thoughts are clear.

Character is built in the inner man to be exposed by the outer man of actions.

A few years ago, my wife and I had major decisions to make concerning our future contributions to profit and people.  For days, we locked ourselves in prayer.  Intense hours were spent reading scriptures and prayerfully considering our future lives.  Each option in front of us had risks and gains.  Today as I look back, the choice was made from a life of handling risks and gains in God’s grace not just the few days of prayer.  Our

impact is many fold what it had been.  Our finances are nowhere near where they were, but our people impact is exploded. Deep character is built in the night.


Phil , thethinkdirector



Pleasant Places

The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance. Psalms 16:6 NKJV

Know Your Partners

“Everyday your competitor gets up to take away your business.”

A mentor and partner spoke that to me at a critical juncture. Later his competitor nature surfaced and he took away the business. Daily, I served the partnership in expectation of continuing reward. I should have listened more closely.  I thought he was talking about someone else. He was warning me of his nature. I was duly warned. My bad.

In Aesop’s fable he tells of the duck and the scorpion.  The scorpion convinced the duck to give a ride across the water, promising he would not hurt him. With caution and compassion the duck agreed. As he jumped off the duck’s back at the end of the ride, he stings and kills the duck.  The duck astonishingly asked, “Why?”, as he dies. Scorpion replied, “I can’t help it. It is my nature.”

After dealing with such, we find it hard to trust a faithful and good God. He defines a great path for those under His grace and protection. It is His nature.  He also has a nature of justice and just retribution, for those who live outside His path. We need to understand both and chose the path of greatness that appeals to His protecting and providing nature. Once we become family, He stays with us.

The beauty of God is His unchanging good nature.  We might shift, but He does not shift. He puts us in a world of reward and growth. Our defining lines of strength are given and He does not change. Yes, we choose to live in them or not, but He does not change. When He commits, it is forever.

Know Your Swing

 I didn’t learn how to swing a golf club until late in my career. And even though I won all those tournaments, I still struggled with consistency, and I relied on my strengths, which were hitting the ball long and high, and I could chip and putt with the best of ’em. Tom Watson

Watson gives great insight. Gold is not my thing.  I play for fun and friendship. When I take out a new ball, I paint a smiley face to remind myself why I am playing.  Each has ability and strengths.  Weakness is hard to fix. Cover it with strengths. Adjust and play to your best side. Early in my career, I found a ready and excellent skill to fix broken processes and develop others.  Those skills serve me every day. I enjoy them. They have served me in retail, print-publishing, discount, non-profit, community, and healthcare concerns. The skills are adaptable.  What are your skills?

 Three Hats Check this out.

Know Your God

In business and community, God is faithful to give me good.  Companies have folded and sold. Partners have shifted and shafted. In all, my contract with God has held solid. We always stay together and the situations always work through to good benefit. My lines have fallen for me in pleasant places. They can for you, also.

Never Fails – Supply Chain

Lord , you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. Psalm 16:5 NIV 
Businesses come and go. Fortunes are made and lost. Communities crumble and triumph. Organizations develop and deteriorate. The Lord protects His own.

Serving the Lord of Creation for four decades, I have never seen Him fail my family, friends, finances, or community.  He is faithful even when we fail to follow.

Yes, I have seen horrid and untimely death. I have seen people lose home and property. Yet, these were not the Lord’s doing or desire. He is a Father Protector for those that allow.

“I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.” Sigmund Freud

All need protection and leadership.  You need fathers in faith and life. Father God works direct and through others.  I am gratefull for the mentors and fathers that have watched over me and coached. Men in business, community, and faith have exampled strength, character, and faithfulness. If you only follow self, you are walking in circles. None stays fully faithful, except THE Father.

He is a portion and supply.  A good mentor walked into my office with a sizeable, surprise bonus. According to company rules, I was not eligible.  He went to bat for me and got it done. He taught me gratefulness comes bearing gifts. My portion was increased.  The Father increases my portion. Faithful in little becomes trusted with more. He is my portion and He is huge. He increases me.

He is a cup and vision. Most business professionals have a favorite cup. A mug sits on the desk for coffee or water or tea. Me? I rotate my cup based on current project. A Dad’s University cup and a grandpa cup are my current favorites. And I have many others given as gifts from kids and friends. The cup is a sign of blessing and focus. The Father is my cup, reminder, blessor, builder, focus and vision.

He makes your lot and assignment secure. A group of executives under which I served for a season gave me a good lot.  Then they shifted vision and offered me a bad lot. A lot is a place in which to prosper. In the good lot I could prosper them and me.  In a bad lot, they prospered and I did not. Win lose propositions are always lose lose. I had to leave and they lost all the prosperity. The Father makes our lot secure, solid, longlasting.  He does not shift the terms so quickly we can not adjust. He watches and builds. When I have hit rough times, He enters with new and consistent opportunities to be supported and grow. They can be tough, but they will prosper you. He is not a trickster.

Portion, cup, and lot give us a track on which to grow. Supply, vision, and assignment might be another way to say it. Be strong in these three. Cover yourself with stability through established mentors. Depend on the Father to be the core supply and security of all three.