Monday, May 26, 2008

Cindy Crawford, Revisited

I have an "old" friend who recently asked no one in particular, "Have you ever wondered who is looking back at you from the mirror, then realized it is you, old and wrinkled?" Sadly, she finished her ponderance with, "Ya, it's a bad day."

Oh, my. As a 40-something somewhat ravaged by time myself and the Dad of two young ladies who will someday face this same kind of societal aging challenges that my "old" (though younger than I) friend is feeling, I felt compelled to reply with a perspective built on a quixotic celebration of real life ...

My reply:

Cindy Crawford, a supermodel born in 1966 (around our age), has a famous quote that says "Even I don't wake up looking like Cindy Crawford" and has admitted that she became a regular visitor to a cosmetic surgeon at the age of 29 -- so she's a bit of a cartoon character. That's fine, but it creates unrealistic expectations in other women because they're trying to do what she's done, without having the benefits of cosmetic surgeons, makeup artists, publicists, clothes designers, and most powerful of all, airbrushing!

I've found f you've ever wondered who is looking back at you from the mirror, then realized it is you "old and wrinkled", and then coyly smiled at all the joy you've had with your friends and your kids as you aged and earned those wrinkles and scars, then it's a great day -- and the warmth and confidence that radiates from that thought is the foundation of true sexiness ... at any age and at any dress size. Enjoy the day!

And that's what I wish for all of you -- my girls included -- the chance to enjoy every moment without the stress of mirrors, models, and glossy expectations ... a chance to live a healthy, wonderous existence while celebrating every wrinkle and scar that comes from that grand adventure.

Indeed, Enjoy the day!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Making "One & Done" Meaningful

The NBA introduced "One & Done" to make sure high school hoops prodigies play one year of college ball prior to turning pro. Hmmm. To ensure youth are properly educated? To make sure all their players can drink when they go to strip clubs? To make sure colleges continue to reap the millions generated by their hoops team?

This is a case of a well intended but horribly executed intervention. Yep, intervention was needed, but the current "One & Done" solution solves nothing -- except keeping elite colleges rolling in dough. There's more to accomplish than that.

Even the infamous Hall-of-Fame win-at-all-costs Bobby Knight rails against the structure of "One & Done" as players without academic abilities are getting free rides to DI schools, taking 6 credits of independent phys ed, failing all of them, getting in their year of hoops, and going pro ... and in the process, making a mockery of the entire situation.

That certainly is a jaded view of "One & Done", but it is too familiar a pattern ...

Here's what I'd do.

I'd evolve the arbitrary "One & Done" by expanding the job description requirements for an NBA/NFL/MLB/Etc player job to include "a two-year Associates' Degree in Pre-Professional Sports or a Bachelors' Degree in any field with a minor in Pre-Professional Sports." Each DI school would offer the programs in Pre-Professional Sports: made up of practical classes in public speaking, money management, human sexuality, basic injury care, coaching strategies, the sociology of leaches and possees, etc. Players would have to pass to play ...

This would send all pro-wannabees to college for a meaningful program with an actual and applicable credential. The colleges would still reap the millions for a couple years -- and the league wouldn't have to babysit uneducated teenagers. For the kids, it would mean two years of opportunity to learn and mature while earning a relevant credential to open the door to their professional dream job ... just like the rest of the professional world.

Friday, May 9, 2008

A Bit Above Average

Yep, I realize there has been speculation that it might be me - not Mick Jagger, James Taylor, or Warren Beatty - that Carly Simon was singing about in "You're So Vain." Still, despite my joyfully delusional enjoyment of myself, it did come as a bit of a surprise earlier this week when I learned I was now, officially, a bit above average at something else.


One statistic I've never been above average in is "age at work". I came to my current employer when I wasn't yet 25 -- arriving as the youngest member of the leadership team, the youngest manager, and younger than more than 90% of the organization.

Well, after nearly 19 years of determined service, I've finally crested the bell curve. Our latest employee demographics show the average age to now be 43 -- and at 43 years and 5 months, I'm just a bit above average.


Hey, Carly -- how do you like me now?