The burden of being an extrovert (or… Team Leaders please pay attention)

Energy Levels Approaching Maximum. @Over

It’s not just Caffeine that picks up energy levels 

I’m an extrovert… a ‘people person’… I love being around people, in fact I’m actually energised by people.
If I don’t get a chance to really communicate with people… if I don’t get the chance to connect with people… If I don’t get the chance to relate with people, I actually start to find my energy levels drop.

I’m the kind of person who loves the chatter, the sounds of talking… I like music in the background… I really love the buzz of it all… it really picks me up… it really gets me going – I love the sound of a positive working environment.

Now I know for some people, a noisy work place would frustrate them… but for me it’s the opposite, I love the hubbub.

So when today I found myself separated from my team I found myself slowly fading… I got grumpy… I got tired… worse of all I got quiet, which for someone like me who is a natural talker starts to get people worried… I felt isolated.

Here’s the crazy thing… I was moved to my position because a manager wanted me to not get distracted (which is fair I can be distracted easily) however they didn’t understand how energy levels of an extrovert can be determined by the people around them. You see it was fair for my manager to want to make sure I didn’t get to distracted, as a creative, people oriented person like me can be easily distracted… however is it really for the best?

So what can a manager (or any team leader) do with an extrovert that gets distracted easily?
What they shouldn’t do is put the person in a place where they feel isolated.
I can understand the urge to want to separate them from a group, however quite often you find that the person is more productive in a place that is right in the middle of the business, they are more creative, their mind is engaged and they seem to find their natural rhythm.
What you should do however is put them around people who are organised… putting two people who are easily distracted together is a recipe for disaster… however putting them in a place where they can distract when it’s quiet (and help keep the communication of a team together) but when it’s busy and time to get back to business, the people around them are focused and force the extrovert to do likewise.

You don’t need to do much to keep energy levels up… fun emails, just checking up on them… talking to them… keeping them in the middle of the buzz… and you will have a productive extrovert.
You see for someone like me… an extrovert… I don’t even need to be talking… just listening… just hearing the fun environment energizes me.

So please, leaders of teams… don’t be tempted to segregate an extrovert, but manage them by surrounding them with people who can keep them grounded. It actually does two things… it grounds the extrovert but quite often can pick up the vibe of a team in a positive way.

Have fun managing your extroverts.



Album Review: Tasman Jude ‘El Norteno’

Tasman Jude "El Norteno"

Tasman Jude “El Norteno”

I live in  New Zealand, it’s a small place in the bottom of the pacific that is a melting pot of great music.
One of the things that works the best with the pacific musical blend is Dub and Reggae vibes, with bands like The Black Seeds, Tiki Taane, Salmonella Dub and Fat Freddys Drop pushing the boundaries. So its fair to say I know what great reggae, dub and roots sound like.

So I was excited when I heard the vibes around the group Tasman Jude, a reggae based group made up of Bravehart (from Trinidad & Tobago) & Al Peterson (From Canada) an unusual combination on paper if you look at just the countries of origin you would have to admit – however what I heard was something fresh, and I liked it.

‘El Norteno’ starts off with an acoustic reggae based groove that reminded me of Jack Johnson, until the vocal came in with a Matisyahu type of flow and sets the rest of the album up with the track ‘Fountains’… it was great to hear people taking reggae back to it’s roots more.
I loved seeing pictures of Bob Marley early in his recording career with an acoustic guitar surround by his band all circled around one mic. That to me symbolizes the essence of great reggae music.
Our radio-waves are filled with over produced reggae with hundreds of dubbed over tracks and beats and while they might be what people are calling for it takes away the innocence that reggae resembles… rebels with peace and love and truth in their voices with the promise of a new revolution based on these things.

‘El Norteno’ is filled with this vibe.  Tasman Jude are cutting across the grain to give you something that others aren’t giving you… reggae with heart.

‘Take You Away’ is the perfect example of great acoustic grooves with a reggae vibe that Tasman Jude lay before you… it’s the way Canada and  Trinidad & Tobago work together… great catchy melody’s and sunny island attitude that’s relaxed and feelin’ great.
It’s the essence of this combination that makes Tasman Jude’s sound work so well.

The track ‘Whoa’ is certainly the standout track on this album, and starts to push Tasman Jude’s sound to a place that becomes a bit more raw, and gives a really good example of how the band would sound live. It almost brings some harder elements into the sound reminiscent of groups like Sublime.
An album with more tracks would hopefully highlight some more of these sounds,  as it’s a fine balance with Tasman Jude’s type of sound between too much of the same and trying to fit too much in which can make the sound seem cluttered.

I love how this album is raw, not over produced and highlights the basics of what this group represents, great melody, a fresh relaxed vibe and clean sounds.
This is the best of what acoustic sounds are on the radio at the moment…
Its great to hear bands not just bragging about going back to their roots… but actually doing it.

How would I know you love me?

Love for Arts


So I’ve been thinking about how do I show, my friends, my family my loved ones I love them…
And also how do the people I love show how they love me?

I posted the question on Facebook and got a few different kinds of answer from Gifts to kisses, from doing things for me to neck rubs, spending time together and even telling me “I love you”
There are even websites dedicated to it… one of my favourites is a great way to find out what way you like to be shown love (there’s a simple 3 minute test that is really handy to have done).

For the record they way I like to be shown I’m loved is in this order:

  1. Words of Affirmation 

  2. Quality Time 

  3. Receiving Gifts 

  4. Acts of Service 

  5. Physical Touch 

In fact it’s often a combination of the top three for me  that really get me going.
I like to be told I’m doing well, that I’m loved, that I’m appreciated… communication is BIG for me.
However I also love being able just to ‘hang’ with my loved ones, just to talk… just to be there with them just laughing goofing around, we can even sit in silence and I would be happy with that, in the knowledge that my friend is spending their quality time with me.
And finally I love people giving me stuff but here’s the thing… it could be a piece of string or a pebble or a leaf… it really could be anything as long as someone has put the time into thinking why they have given me this gift.

And so from the above list I would usually show I love people in the same way… the way that I love to be loved.
That can be hard because, well we’re simply not the same… we’re different. The way YOU show you love someone isn’t the same way that I show I love someone.
It’s handy knowing what someones ‘love language’ is, and when you know what spins their wheels it makes things a lot easier… If I like to be told “I appreciate you …” but my loved ones like me to give the hugs, then it’s really easy for me to say to them… “I tell you I appreciate you all the time”
To which they reply… “yes but you never SHOW me you love me!!!”

So if you don’t know what someones love language is where do you start?

The answer is 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud  or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Now you see this verse a lot in weddings… but it’s actually a really good view on relationships in general.

Love is patient… it means there’s no hurry “One Day …” I’ll wait for you…

Love is Kind… why be mean or nasty or  talk behind backs, what does that achieve?

Love is not jealous… I’m going to support them in the time they spend with other people

Love NEVER gives up… it’s seems so easy just to throw in the towel sometimes, however sometimes we just need to work through things.

Love never loses faith…

Is always hopeful… even when things look far from it

You see it’s not just about marriage… or  just about our friends… it’s about relationship.

In fact Jesus made it even MORE clearer than that.

He said this:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. – John 13:34-35

So I guess at the end of the day our job is to LOVE one another…

The Bible even says “Love your enemies”







Death of a Ragamuffin

The Ragamuffin Gospel

Sometimes there are books that come to you at EXACTLY the right time… you read them and large parts of the book seem to resonate with you.

For me one of those books was ‘The Ragamuffin Gospel’ by Brennan Manning.

I grew up in a Christian family and I knew about Gods grace however I never really ‘got’ it… I knew the theory of it, I just don’t think I fully understood it.
It wasn’t until I was probably in one of my lowest places spiritually and mentally that this book was placed into my lap and for the first time I think the switch clicked for me… for the first time I had a glimpse… a look into the fact that God gives his grace no matter what we have done or how bad we are now… or how screwed up we feel… God’s grace is enough to cover ALL of that.
He loves me… ME!
Even when I know that I’ve screwed up… even when I’m in the middle of screwing up… ME… he loves me.

“Jesus spent a disproportionate time with the poor, the blind the lame the lepers, the hungry, the sinners, prostitutes,  tax collectors, the persecuted,  the captives, those possessed by unclean spirits, people who knew nothing about ‘the law’, the crowds, the little ones, the least, the last and the lost sheep of the house of Israel”

The book ‘The Ragamuffin Gospel’ changed the way I viewed God in a lot of ways…
Now I can’t say I agree with everything Brennan has to say, however I can honestly say that Ragamuffin Gospel gave me the direction I needed, the tools I needed and the breath of life into the Gospel that I needed, and it all happened just when I was getting tired of the same old Church routines.

And so… it’s sad to hear that Brennan passed away yesterday (12/04/2013)
Thank You God for allowing Brennan into our lives and I know through this book specifically he touched many many lives, not just mine.

One Day …

One Day (created by Chris Geldard)

One Day (created by Chris Geldard)

One Day …
wo simple words but they seem to be so packed with meaning.

You may have heard them used in every day conversation:
Used to describe a sense of laziness “I’ll get round to it one day…” or “He’ll get round to it one day!”
Used to describe excitement for the future “One day we’ll be married…” or “One day we’ll have kids of our own”
Or of hope “One day I’ll get to Paris”

You see they’re just two words, but they’re packed full of so much meaning.

However when you say something like “One Day …” to a Christian and it seems to change EVERYTHING for them.
I posted a picture I made simply saying “One Day …” on it and posted it to my Facebook page.
Almost immediately someone replied underneath it “We will all be in heaven, praise The Lord!”
You see it seems to me it’s more than just a pipe dream “Oh well, one day…” it’s knowing that what God has placed on your heart he has placed it there for a reason. We need to hold on to those dreams that God has placed on our hearts… and pray over them… keep them in our thoughts… why?
Because by doing that it keeps us on our knees… it keeps us depending on God… because we know that without God we can’t make them happen.
Remember Joseph? You know the guy with the  coat of many colours?
God gave him dreams that seems far fetched… dreams of his brothers bowing down in reverence to him.
I understand why his brothers were a bit jealous of him (especially as his father Jacob already made it clear that he was the favourite!)

The point is… God placed the dream in Josephs heart, there wasn’t anything that Joseph could do about it but have faith that God has given him that dream for that reason.
What you have to remember also is it wasn’t easy for Joseph… he was sold by his own brothers, he was made a slave, he was thrown in prison and waiting to die, before God started to unravel his plans. In the story of Joseph it talks about him having God’s favor upon him it’s even retold in Acts 7.
It sometimes seems that we’re going through a whole lot of pain and anguish for nothing… but Gods favor is upon us when he has placed a dream in our hearts that only he can fulfill.

That brings us back to “One Day …” it brings us back to having faith in God who has a plan far greater and grander than we could ever think of, and because of that it means that we have to stay humble and focused on God because we can’t do anything to make it come to pass apart from being obedient to him (the Author of Life).

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see – Hebrews 11:1

One Day …

One Day …

One Day …