Monthly Archives: September 2014

Consistency and Leadership: Thy name is Derek Jeter!

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What can I say about Derek Jeter that hasn’t already been said?


Since the beginning of the Major League Baseball season, the viewing public in America has been treated to the final tour of a great player. There I said it: A GREAT PLAYER!

What is it about this man from Kalamazoo, Michigan that sets him apart from everyone else who has played his position and the game?


As I have stated before in many a blog post, I am unabashedly a Yankee fan and have watched Derek Jeter play shortstop for his entire 20-year career. I’ve gone to spring training to see games, I’ve traveled to different cities to see games, and I can tell you without reservation that his greatness lies in the intangibles. The numbers speak for themselves: 3,465 hits, .310 batting average, 260 home runs, 1923 runs scored, 544 doubles, 358 stolen bases, and postseason stats that would be an MVP season by themselves (since he played 158 games in the postseason).  These statistics are all merely numbers.


The greatness of what he has accomplished lies in the fact that he played 20 years in a city that nonchalantly chews up and spits out sports heroes like yesterday’s bazooka bubble gum. He was reserved with the media and always said the right thing, but that was the sign of ultimate leadership. He knew that if he deviated from the script, it could be catastrophic for the team. He was a guy who had in his fundamental DNA an imprint that said there was no “I” in team. Like his friend and teammate who retired last year, Mariano Rivera, accolades for self were secondary to what you could accomplish as a team. Ultimate humility was the touchstone for this man originally born in New Jersey.

And oh those Yankee teams over the past 20 years did a heck of a lot of winning. I can still say without any qualms that the World Series Championship in 1996 is still one that I am celebrating. When the Yankees lost the first two games to the Atlanta Braves at home, and then had to travel down to Atlanta to play three games there, I knew they had a mountain to climb. In the middle of everything was Derek Jeter.


He was a young phenom Shortstop who was just playing in his first season. He had come up and played a few games in 1995 and was on the roster for the Yankees playoff experience that ended with a heartbreaking loss in Seattle, but the shortstop position was his throughout 1996. He won the “Rookie of the Year” award in 1996, since renamed the Jackie Robinson Award.

I can talk about many different aspects. Baseball is more than just a game. For someone who is not a fan of the game, or the fan of a team, I don’t think there is a way to convey what baseball means. To me baseball has always meant walking into the huge granite façade of Yankee Stadium on an early spring day. As you walk through the bowels of the stadium, you see an entrance way that ramps up. You walk up the ramp into the light, and it is at that particular moment that you see the green of the field and smell the cotton candy and everything is right in the world. Then over the PA system you hear the voice of God, or Bob Sheppard at Yankee Stadium, booming with angelic intonation the words:  “Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Yankee Stadium!”

Bob Sheppard’s voice has now gone silent from Yankee Stadium. Derek used a tape of Mr. Sheppard’s introduction for the past 6 years.  Bob Sheppard announced his last game in 2007, and died at the age of 99 in 2010.  Another piece of childhood life fabric has gone away.

The real construct around Derek Jeter’s retirement is one of mortality. When our sports heroes retire we can only look in the mirror and say,” Did 20 years go by that quickly?”


Thank you George M. Steinbrenner III for giving this kid a shot and giving us fans 20 years of great memories!

To paraphrase another Yankee captain: “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth because I got the chance to see Derek Jeter play!”

Good luck with everything in retirement Derek!

I know you are starting some publishing ventures and if you need a hand this Yankee fan is ready and willing to help out. I believe in TEAM 2!

Click here for more information  ——->

Twitter:  @thebookkahuna


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The Book Kahuna


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The Seinfeld Paradigm: A Blog About Nothing (but Dishes!)

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The day was cold and blustery. No, that’s not a good way to start.

The boy stood on the burning deck. I don’t really think so.

It was the worst of times, it was the best of times. It was lunch-time at the watch factory.

Sometimes there is no input that strikes you to start a new blog post. I recently did a blog post about my 7000 mile journey. During the course of that journey I had to pack some of my belongings that were still at my mother’s house. In going through all of the essentials that she still had in her attic and basement, I came across one old friend or actually a few old friends that I decided needed to come to Colorado with me on this journey.

Dish 3

It seems like only yesterday when George, Elaine, Kramer, and Jerry left the scene for the last time. There were no more discussions at Tom’s Diner. No new interactions on Van Delay industries in Jerry’s apartment. No more interactions between George Costanza and the back of George Steinbrenner’s head. The show was over, and NOTHING had changed.

Dish 2

The reason why bring up all of this Seinfeld imagery, is because of the very special bond that I had with the show. In 1993 I moved out into my first apartment. Now you might say I was a late bloomer in getting out of the nest (or shoved out), but in his capacity of moving out into my first new place I needed all the essentials that someone would need for a new apartment. I needed shower curtains, I needed glassware, I needed silverware and everything else that you might need as a young man moving out on his own.

Dish 4

One of the things that I was given by my sister to help ease the transition was a set of dishes. Now these dishes were not fancy, they were not ornate, they did not have flowery patterns, they were minimal. Minimalism was king with these dishes as they were just a dark shade of blue. To me they were the classiest dishes ever imagined because they were mine. There is something to be said for pride in ownership in whatever you do. Something that is yours is always set on a pinnacle and nurtured and respected. It did not matter to me that these dishes were probably from Walmart, it mattered to me that I now had the tools that I could use to eat my breakfast, lunch and dinner.

To pull back to the Seinfeld imagery, the show had been on for about two years when I moved into my new place. As I started watching the show, there were more and more interactions between Jerry and the cast in his apartment. On several different occasions Jerry was seen to take dishware out of a cabinet. And since this was a show about nothing, the dishware had to be the height of minimalism. They were the same dark blue dishes that I was using for my daily meals.

Dish 1

From that point on, I always referred to my dishware as the “Seinfeld” dishes. They acquired quite a following within my family and even became a conversation piece whenever they showed up on the show. You can look back at some the old episodes in syndication, and still see my old friends starring in some of the episodes. It may have been a show about nothing, but my minimalist dishes let me eat many a breakfast, lunch and dinner in my NOTHING apartment, and that is SOMETHING.

I could write much more about my dishes, but yada,yada, yada!

Click here for more information  ——->

Twitter:  @thebookkahuna


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The Apple Surprise!

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I just read the article on the dbw website by Jeremy Greenfield, Apple’s Big Move,  that talked about how the new operating system that’s being released by Apple is including iBooks and roughly 34 books for free. I took a look on my iPhone and iPad, because I had already downloaded the new operating system for both of them. Unfortunately I couldn’t really see a difference, and I’m not exactly sure how the apps are set up. I could not tell if there was anything different on either one of my devices.

What I do see in this turn of events is the possibility of Apple becoming a larger player in the e-book competition with Amazon. The devices are where the line is drawn. Every time Apple releases a new product in the realm of the iPhone six or the new generation of iPads, they immediately sell millions in a few weeks time. This ability to crush it with sales can have crossover effect once people realize that they can also use the iBooks app to quickly and efficiently purchase books and e-books. The ability to gain market share through hardware sales is one that Amazon has actually perfected.

Whereas Apple is selling a high-level technology device that everyone wants with an added bonus (iBooks), Amazon is selling a device that is not technically superior to the one that Apple produces, but the delivery of content through the KDP model is the preeminent sales structure within the competitive marketplace. This could actually turn into the heavyweight battle that was foreseen years ago between these two corporate giants. Overall I see this is a good thing.

Competition is something that keeps all corporations on their toes. If there is no competition than individual corporate structures are less likely to be on the cutting edge of innovation. Competition keeps people guessing. Competition makes research and development a needed function. Looking through the corporate history of the United States you can never have the Ying without the Yang. For Henry Ford there was Chrysler who was building cars at the same time. For Coke there was Pepsi. For Westinghouse there was GE. The best minds need to be pitted against each other to keep new products and new process innovations updating the given markets.

It will be interesting to see if this additional exposure through iBooks has an impact on e-book sales through Apple. The possibility exists that the iPhone 6 and iPad are too technologically advanced to steer large quantities of dollars in the e-book direction. There are so many different apps and things to do on these devices that reading may be something that is relegated very far down the list of functions for customers to use.

Whether Apple becomes the player that grabs more market share from Amazon has yet to be seen, but having the app and some free books could be a step in the right direction for customers yearning for another sales portal worthy of a challenge to Amazon.

Click here for more information  ——->

Twitter:  @thebookkahuna


Empower Blog:

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The Book Kahuna

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Team-Building via Tracey Walker!

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When you try to get your words out
you need to be connected to mentors
and those who have blazed a trail in the
area you are cultivating….

In the Empower Network, Dave Wood is the
preeminent voice that gets the message across.
Along with Dave, there are mentors like Lawrence Tam,
Aaron Rashkin, Tony Rush, and Dr. Tracey Walker.

I am currently reading the book Dr. Walker wrote on
Team Building, and since I am The Book Kahuna, this
fits in well with my focus on books, authors, blogging and book reviews.

I am building a team based on the precepts laid out in Dr. Walker’s
book and will be blogging about the chapters as I go through the book.
Please join me on the journey.  Here is the link to join my team if you are
interested in finding out more information:

Click here —–>


The Book Kahuna

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The 7000 Mile Odyssey

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It was August 13, 2014; it was a beautiful day in

the Denver suburb of Broomfield. Things were stirring

and there was an air of expectancy and immediacy that was palpable.

The car pulled up at my house, and immediately

I knew that my adventure was about to begin.

The driver was friendly and asked a lot of questions,

but as with all Enterprise personnel, was not a Colorado native.

We had our 10 minutes of chitchat and Smalltalk as

we headed to my local Enterprise outlet. It was there

that my chariot waited.


I’ve taken this trip before. Maybe not as long as this one,

but I have done the same trip in the wintertime. As I got to

the Enterprise rental counter I found out that my chariot was

going to be a brand-new Chevy Tahoe. This would be my

command-module for the next 3 to 4 weeks. My copilot and

able assistant would be Derek, my three-year-old Corgi.

As I climbed into the Tahoe and headed back to my house

to load the supplies I would need for this journey, I knew a new

page of adventure was about to begin.



Now the Tahoe had some very interesting safety apparatus installed

for operating pleasure. The first thing I noticed was that there was an

icon in the middle of one of the radial meters on the dashboard that

was monitoring whether I was driving between the lines or not rolling

down the highway. If you stray over the lines, you would get

a nudge in the seat from the side that you had drifted. In other

words the car was monitoring whether you were asleep or not

and actually nudging you back to reality. The first times I felt

this I had no idea what was going on. It was the most amazingly

wacky sensation I ever felt while driving a car, but I did appreciate

having this innovation during the course of my trip.


The trip itself would encompass 7000 miles. Now the 7000 is

actually a nice round number. The actual total mileage was 6940.

It’s always nicer to round-up the number, sounds more official.

During the course of this trip we passed through many cities:

we started in Denver, we went through St. Louis, we went through

Chattanooga, and we went to Atlanta, on the first part of the journey

ending up in Tampa. On the way north we went through Savannah,

Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and finally through

New York City and out onto Long Island.


Someone asked me, “Why did you take this trip Don?” And I

answered them this way, sometimes in life you need to take the bull by

the horns and do the right thing to take care of family members.

I am still in that process as of right now. The trip was the beginning

of a journey that will be continuing for months and months to come;

it was not the end-all be-all trip by itself. I had to go retrieve some

things from my mother’s house, as she had been moved into



I may have to take another trip to New York in the near future.

It is possible that I may be able to fly this time, but I do believe

the driving aspect open since I’ve been able to do this without

any problem or trepidation. Derek and I have become adept at

sleeping in truck stops. Whenever we feel tired, we pull off to the

nearest rest area and take a cat nap for about an hour or two. Then

we fire up the engine and head on down the highway eating up

more miles toward our eventual destination. Trips like this are

very cathartic and can be an educational process as well.


For this particular trip I had loaded all of the Inner Circle podcasts

from the Empower Network onto my iPod and turned the Tahoe into

my own private business training ground. I started at the beginning,

and listened to hour upon hour of information relating to the marketing

aspects of any entrepreneurial business venture.


Take a trip, take a chance, and take your dog! The road awaits those

who are hearty enough to take the adventure. I may have driven 7000

miles, but I imparted to myself millions of miles of data through the

information I played.


 Click here for more Information:  —->

The Book Kahuna

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