Book App – Who Moved My Cheese?


“Cute story”… Was  what my 6 yr old, Hannah, said as I tried to explain the book. But my application of this book was far from cute. 

As a business classic, the ideas in this small book (nice for us non-readers), were anything but small. Change is inevitable but for lots of reasons we are reluctant to see if and even more so to do anything about it…until it’s too late. 

Spencer Johnson creates a ‘cute’ story of 4 individuals in a maze trying to find cheese. (Real cheese in the story but ‘cheese’ in theory of many kinds…success, obedient children, $, power, etc… ) Johnson chronicles their attempts to deal with having their ‘cheese’ moved elsewhere in the maze. 

The “cheese” had been running out for a while in my last role and I felt discouragement at not being valued in the same way as I had previously. It wasn’t fair, it wasn’t comfy, but it was avoidable. Had I read the book earlier I would have monitored the cheese regularly, been prepared for the cheese move, & jumped into the maze earlier.

Some of my applications…

  • People need a healthy vision for change and the tools to overcome fear when change happens
  • Always monitor the incremental changes in your cheese to know when it’s getting old
  • Adapt quickly when change happens
  • Enjoy the adventure
  • Anticipate change & be better prepared to change & enjoy it more next time….

Have you read the book? How have you handled them moving your ‘cheese?’


Book App – Do Over

 My book application for Jon Acuff’s book Do Over:

I love Jon Acuff, and I love this book (lots more about this later) , but I acquired the book during what Jon calls a “Career Bump” (a negative and involuntary job change) and I wasn’t ready for the book.

The book sets out a great matrix of seasons when a Career Savings Account (CSA) is necessary (hint….it is Always necessary.) He defines the CSA in the following equation: (Relationships + Skills + Character) * Hustle = CSA.

The 4 seasons in particular are related to the 4 quadrants of a chart plotting the voluntary/involuntary and positive/negative continua (or is it continuums?!?) AND best yet, gives an action area related to the 4 seasons.

This book is very helpful in reminding us all that our CSA is more critical to have than even an IRA. I think the target audience should be those folks that have a solid idea of their preferred job/industry. It provides a great pathway towards maximizing that idea.

That’s why I’m not ready for it yet. I’m still working on the ‘solid idea’ so hustling or building skills applicable to every area seems impractical. I feel like the actions areas of relationships & character are in place so the book was helpful in validating those priorities.

I’ll definitely be coming back to this book in the future.

If you’ve read it and think I’ve missed something, please comment and let me know.

Book App – The Dream Manager

 I hate reading. There.  I said it. I obviously CAN read, I would just never choose reading as a ‘hobby’ over most anything else…like dusting. However, my wife is an amazing Learner and avid reader. Luckily, when we travel she reads to me…and our kids if course. I love ideas and learning but separated from people they aren’t as engaging to me as they are to other people. So, here’s my agreement…I will read books and post about how I can apply them hoping that YOU’LL engage with my info and tell me how you’ve benefitted from this book or my ‘Book App.’ Agreed? Here goes. 

I love this book. Ok, based on the info above, you know that I really don’t love the book but I DO love what it has enabled me to release in my teams. It is a cute business parable that none-the-less creates  an awareness in ourselves and our teams to regularly develop our “why.” When people are encouraged & empowered to chase their goals/dreams they become addicted and will chase professional goals/dreams too. Managers that help that process (encouraging, training skills, & accountability) gain comrades in work goal accomplishment. 

I have launched people off my team after dreaming big with them and feel like they, I, and even the company all benefitted in the process. 

Have you been a dream manager?

Morning Success Routine

coffeeEveryone has a routine in the morning.  Maybe you stumble out of bed, prep asap, & grab coffee on the go. Or maybe you’re the gym rat at 5:15 every morning. Or maybe you’re the normal person that just gets up and has a casual routine of necessities…then off to work for more necessities…back home to deal with more commitments…and bed.

Selah Hirsch, from , shared with me a few years ago a vision for a better way that I still use. Instead of stumbling into necessities, she recommended planning small habits set to start every morning with that can just be put onto auto-pilot. Overtime, these small habits are revolutionary in the value & success they produce.

My wife and I take pilates together and my morning success routine consists of some basic exercises to keep a strong core & avoid back pain. Other parts of my routine are encouraging my kids as they head out for school, stepping on the scales to make sure I’m on track with my goals, COFFEE of course, reading & prayer time.

What are your routines for success?

Contraband at School?!?

That’s right, even at a classical christian school there are times when the administration has to make a strong stand to prohibit items creating a challenging learning environment.

From my son’s teacher…”At yesterday’s staff meeting, the decision was made to ban Legos school-wide at Veritas.  I feel so blessed that the most “distracting” item that Veritas students are bringing to school is tiny plastic people with rectangular limbs.  However, the Legos are creating a distraction to student priorities and causing money to change hands which is not a good thing.   Please share this new policy with your students and make sure all Legos are removed from backpacks, coat pockets, and lunchboxes.”

Little capitalists doing some lego-bartering amidst reading the Hobbit, writing fables, diagraming sentences, & learning about the Boston Tea Party… Industrious for sure.

Thompsons to Haiti!

That’s right…we are heading to Haiti to see a country transformed…one life at a time!

God has been so good to us in providing great family times in Colorado this summer, a great home for hosting our small group & lots of visitors, a new job for Alison (teaching 3rd grade at our kids’ school), AND an opportunity for us to invest in Haiti this Fall.  Most of you know that I led a mission trip to Haiti in 2010 alongside fellow Journey Pastor Bryan Waldenville.  Now, we are excited to now be returning as a couple to see how we can partner with God in His plans for the people of Haiti.

We’ll be working with Mission of Hope (MOH) again and are so blessed to see practical & spiritual help through MOH to a country desperate for both. MOH was one of the first responders after the earthquake providing medical care to the injured, along with food, water, and shelter to those displaced by the disaster. In the first year after the earthquake, MOH delivered over 15 million meals, began feeding 50,000 children a day, treated 27,000 patients at the Clinic of Hope, performed 266 orthopedic and plastic surgeries, provided 75 prosthetic limbs, constructed 18 village homes, started building a 500 home community, expanded the School of Hope to include over 2,500 students, equipped over 200 family farmers with agricultural training, and saw over 1,000 people make first-time commitments to follow Jesus. To learn more, please visit: .

On October 22-29, we will travel with incredible people from Journey Church on a mission trip to Haiti to partner with MOH. While we are there, we will be doing some light construction in the mornings, village ministry in the afternoons, and building relationships with the children living in the MOH orphanage in the evenings. All of these activites have the deeper value of furthering the important work of Mission of Hope. God has really opened up some great opportunities for MOH.  Its work is endorsed by not only the government and new President of Haiti, but by numerous international aid organizations.

We would greatly appreciate your prayer support for the team as we prepare and travel to MOH. Please pray for the team’s safety, our unity as we serve together, and that we will graciously follow God’s direction in meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the people of Haiti.

Have you been a missionary before?  We’d love to hear your advice, lessons learned, or best practices!!!