BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PUT ON YOUR PROFILE

January 10, 2016

Shortly after all the revelry on New Year’s Eve, I was stopped on Kingsway by the police.

“Have you been drinking?” the cop asked.

“No.” I said.

“Prove it.” He said.

I was thinking that he had all the equipment at his disposal. He had the breathalyser, and if I failed that he could shoot me or zap me with a tazer.

But he wanted to gather his evidence in another way – one that I never heard before. “Tell me a joke,: he said. “ … And make it a good one too.”

“It was 1973,” I started. “It was back when I was a world-famous archaeologist. I was driving the University of BC Department of Archaeology truck through the streets of Vancouver. I was near the intersection of Main Street and Terminal Avenue with a small crew, and we were off to investigate a party at a Simon Fraser University – a rival university on the other side of Greater Vancouver.

I saw a flashing red light in the mirror so I pulled over. As I rolled down the window, a uniformed cop said, “If tou don’t think I’m going to give you a ticket for driving 35 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone, you’ve got rocks in your head as well as that truck.”

Apparently the joke was good enough to make the New Year’s cop’s day. “Not bad,” he said as he walked back to his cruiser.

I wondered what made him think I would be able pull off a good joke. He didn’t have a copy of my resume, and I don’t think that my resume would have anything about being funny on my resume. That would be a horrible place to put something like that. If I was looking for a job, an interviewer might be tempted to ask for an example of a joke. There is, however, some mention of me being a “Fitness Humourist for Alive Magazine.  That would been that he would have to get my name from my licence plate, Google my name to produce either this blog or my Linked In profile, and deduce that I might offer a moment of rib-tickling  January 1st entertainment.

It’s a good thing I didn’t have how sexy I am on my profile.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

WHERE TO BEGIN WHEN THE BEGINNING OF THE BEGINNING IS GONE

December 21, 2015

This morning, as usual, I started my 9:15 Step Class on time. I tied my shoes, slipped in the CD that has “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” on it because I planned to use a contraindicated move, fired it up and began the precautions and warm-up. About three minutes into the warm-up, a new person came in. She carried two steps with her. It looked like she was about to stack one over the other and proceed to break her ankles.

Over the years, I have developed a form of non-verbal communication or ESP that seems to work well in my fitness classes. I learned that if I raised both eyebrows and bite my fingernails it signals the class. “There’s a woman in the class who is intent on breaking her ankles.” The signal says. “I’m a little busy right now. Can someone help her.”

Within seconds, a participant corrected most of her mistakes. I could teach her how to make the rest of the mistakes once the class was underway.

It is hard to please thirty participants when you grind a class to a halt and start app over again. Sometimes you need to develop delegation skills. People are helpful. When offered the opportunity to help by a nail-biting instructor, They can be helpful without being know-it-alls.

This sort of thing happens all the time in job search. Last week, a client told me who was raising his eyebrow and biting his nails told me, “I put out three resumes last week and nobody called.”

“What, “ I said. “You only put out three resumes in a week? No wonder nobody called. We’d better put out another.”

Five minutes after we pressed ‘send,’ he had a call on his cell.

“Answer it.” I said.

“But we’ll interrupt the meeting”

“It might be a job,” I said. “You don’t want to miss out.”

It was a job. It was the last one we applied to. Now if I can just get him to say yes to an offer, I could close his file.

Here are some other things job seekers can do after they’ve begun to improve those chances of getting a call.

  • Go to job fairs and be seen by employers hob-knobbing with other job seekers. “Wow,” they’ll think. “What a team player. We need players. Why won’t she come to chat with me.
  • Join social networking sites such as linked in so people can see your profile.
  • Join groups that cater to your interests or career aspirations, and make comments, ask and answer questions, and ask for job hunting advice. I learned long ago that if you ask for money, or a job, you get advice. If you ask for advice, you get money and jobs.
  • Practice your writing skills and write articles for your groups. I’m not the only one who is licensed to dangle participles.

Finally, although it may seem out of place to say so, try to have fun on your job search. It’s an opportunity to meet new people, discuss new ideas, and to stay updated on what others are doing in your field. You might even find someone that can teach fitness with ESP

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

 

LAUGHTER: A REASONABLE ALTERNATIVE TO MINDFULNESS

December 7, 2015

The other day I was asked to get ready to do a presentation on something that might be helpful to members of my Rehabilitation and Recovery team at Fraser Health. My team is a large one covering regions from Burnaby to Boston Bar and incorporates Recreation Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Managers Support workers, Concurrent Disorder Therapists, Family Workers   and Vocational Therapists such as yours truly.

The presentation should be helpful to the everyday work of my co-workers, and should inform the work that we do with our clients.

Tall order, eh?

In previous years, I experienced lots of workshops on something called mindfulness. Mindfulness is part meditation and part group gided imagry. It is a method of getting in touch with one’ self, and hopefully remain relaxed while dealing with clients.

To me, mindfulness provides an opportunity for a nice group nap. My problem is my fearfulness of disturbing the ambiance of the room by snoring. A good rumbling shoring session calls my competence into question, and my mindfulness nap is hardly restful. I have never achieved REM sleep in a mindfulness session.

I wondered wqhether I could find an opposite of mindfulness, and if I could, could it inform my team’s work?

About 4 years ago I was asked to write a story on Laughter Yoga for Alive Magazine. I did, and they paid me $500 for it. The joke was on them, as it was altogether too much fun to do. Here’s an example of Laughter Yoga:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR-QM7RA-4c

I know it seems a little cornball, but here are some benefits of laughter I uncovered in my article:

  • Laughter increases the diameter of blood vessels thus lowering blood pressure (Science Daly, August 28, 2011)
  • Lowering in systolic blood pressure (Robson, 2011)
  • Lowering of cholesterol (Robson, 2011)
  • It may have a positive effect on psyche making us sexier as people respond well to humour (Ayan, 2009)
  • Laughter is relaxing and may ease anxiety and pain (Ayan, 2009)
  • Cheerfulness, a trait that makes people respond more readily to humor (Ayan, 2009)
  • Laughter may enhance the ability to keep a level head in difficult circumstances (Ayan 2009)
  • Life satisfaction may increase with the ability to laugh.
  • Positive effect on arthritis, (Gerloff, 2011) cancer, (Gazella, 2011) and a substitute for chemically induced highs in addictions (Bourg Carter, 2011)

Here are some benefits of Yoga:

After Pizer 2011

  • Improved flexibility in the hamstrings back, shoulders and hips
  • Improved strength from slowly transferring poses
  • Yoga helps shape long, lean muscles.
  • Improved flexibility, body alignment and strength can help prevent the causes of some types of back pain.
  • Focus on breathing through yoga leads to better use our lungs, which benefits the entire body
  • Mental calmness
  • Stress reduction
  • Body awareness
  • More recently:
  • It was shown to have a positive effect on people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (Science Daily. May 26,2011)
  • It can be beneficial in low back pain (Science Daily, October 24, 2011)
  • It can improve mood (Science Daily, August 19, 2011)

References:

Ayan, Steve, 2009) “How Humor Makes You Friendlier, Sexier“ Scientific American

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=laughing-matters

Bourg Carter, Sherrie (2011). “Want to Get High? LOL: The Natural High of Laughter.” http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/high-octane-women/201111/want-get-high-lol

Gerloff, Pamela (September 2011) “ Are You Meeting Your Laugh Quota? Why You Should Laugh Like a 5-Year-Old“Psychology Today. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-possibility-paradigm/201106/are-you-meeting-your-laugh-quota-why-you-should-laugh-5-year-ol

Gazella, Karolyn (September 2011) “Rewire Your Happiness Circuitry: How Joy and Laughter      Can Help You Prevent Cancer“  Psychology Today.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-healing-factor/201109/rewire-your-happiness-circuitry-how-joy-and-laughter-can-help-you-pre

 

Pizer, Ann, (2011) “What are the benefits of Yoga?” About.com. http://yoga.about.com/od/beginningyoga/a/benefits.htm

Robson, David (July 21, 2010) “Laughter’s secrets: The best medicine?“ New Scientist

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727691.700-laughters-secrets-the-best-medicine.html

 

Science Daily (May 26, 2011) “Siginificant Benefits of Yoga in People With Rheumatoid     Arthritis, Study Shows” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110526064641.htm

Science Daily (August 19, 2011) “New Study Finds New Connection Between Yoga and Moodhttp://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100819112124.htm

Science Daily (October 24, 2011) “Yoga Eases Back Pain in Largest U.S. Yoga Study to Date

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111024164708.htm

 

Science Daily (August 28, 2011) “Laughter Has Positive Impact On Vascular Function,”  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110828101806.htm

 

The participants of a weight room interval/weight training  Fitness class I teach at West Point Grey Community Center have demanded that I include a Last Laugh thing right after (or now part of) my final streatches. I call it “The Last Laugh.

Do you think we could design a show based on this. Heck, the first 20 minutes have already been done.

This could be followed by a discussion. Has anyone tried to incorporate humour in their practice? What has been the result?

How can humour be introduced to the client ?

  • Open ended of questions
  • Listening and watching responses

What are some pitfalls of using humour as part of therapy

  • Clients might miss the point
  • Humour may be viewed as sexual harassment in this world of poli speak
  • Clients might internalize humour and say that they were the brunt of it
  • Humour has to be tied in to the goal of the session (Example, how to cheat at your interview)

I can envision this taling us yo to the first break in the morning. I now realize that I would even pay money to attend a workshop like this. I would love to see the expression on my managers’ faces as a group of professional bum their way across the floor as a team of rowers as seen in the above example.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

 

LEARNING THE LANGUAGE OF WORK

November 22, 2015

This week, I attended the Job Developer’s Consortium and Network. Actually I chaired part of the meeting where I had invited a speaker, Cormac O’Reiley from the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association to speak about their Workforce Skills Development Programs. I took notes.

One of the programs is Communications in the Workplace. http://bc.cme-mec.ca/british-columbia/programs/communication-in-the-workplace-30-and-40.html

Its purpose is to teach practical language skills for immigrants in the workplace. That could be a rather exciting prospect. There are some very particular phrases in the workplace to learn. One is to  “… keep your ass out of the bight. You probably know what an ass is, but bight could stand some explanation. Robson Bight on Vancouver Island, famous for Orca watching, is called that because it is a bay with parallel sides. On a ship, the bight is where two sometimes parallel ropes tend to cross under load.  Tow topes on tug boats are famous for this, and worse, they sometimes snap. If your ass is in the bight (between the two ropes) when the rope snaps, you may as well kiss it goodbye. There is enough kinetic energy there to make Armageddon look like a Sunday school picnic.

I learned another one when a longshoreman foreman asked e to “Get that lazy guy there and shackle it to that cleat.“

I suppose I misunderstood him incorrectly as I walked over to Larry who was having a smoke while leaning on the hatch and walked him over to the cleat. I picked up a shackle on the way.

“Broderick,” the foreman scowled. “The Lazy guy is that rope that is only hanging from the spar over there. There is no tension on it. I want you to make I working guy so we can operate the crane.’

My wife had an interview to work as a care aide in a place in Providence Health in Vancouver at an eating disorders clinic. She told me she had a good interview up until the time they asked, “And what else do you bring to the table?” My wife is from Jamaica, where they have their own idiomatic expressions (such as, “Go to the place and get the thing and put it on that.” Jamaica survives quite well in a world without vowels). “Do you mean I have to feed them too?” she asked.

She didn’t get the job.

I used to be an ESL instructor. I spent a lot of time trying to motivate kids to learn stuff beyond conjugations of the verb, “to be.” Take them on tours, other teachers would say. Take them to the museum.

I took them to Iona Island Sewerage Treatment Plant and lost my job for my efforts. Yhe principle argued that his school has no interest in infrastructure.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

 

PREVENT PROSTATE CANCER

November 11, 2015

About three months ago I was commissioned to write an article for Alive Magazine for November: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. They wanted a reader-friendly article that would help people keep a critical eye on their own health.

That meant the wanted some of my light-headed humour.

I tried. I even took a week off to try to think up some appropriate humour for the subject. I could only think of one, and they didn’t use it.

It went like this:

I have a friend who worked out a system for making sure he goes  to the doctor once a year. He goes on his birthday. Then I learned his birthday was on December 25th.

I don’t know about your doctor, but if my doctor was summoned on Christmas Day to do a digital rectal exam, he would do it with the toe of his boot – not his finger.

See PREVENT PROSTATE CANCER at http://www.alive.com/health/prevent-prostate-cancer/

 

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

FITNESS IN A BOTTLE

October 5, 2015

Over the past nearly 30 years of teaching fitness, I have been ruing the day when modern science would try to relieve me of my lively. So far we have wearable computer chips that would coach the wearer into better shape. That may or may not have lasted. It’s harder to spot a chip than a wedding ring, so how would I know.

I always tld my participants that you don’t need a computer to tell you when you’re sweating.

Then there was a brief encounter with fitness mindfulness. It wasn’t just used for relaxation at the end of the class. People were asked to concentrate on different muscle groups and visualize them getting bigger and stronger. Blind studies showed the effectiveness of imaginary fitness. I doubt that most fitness participants could identify the muscle groups let alone get them involved in an imaginary exercise.

This weekend I read an article in Science Daily reported we would soon be able to reach for a pill bottle to get fit. In the article, they identified about a thousand reactions that could be mimicked pharmacologically. Soon they would be able to use drugs to mimic the results of exercise. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151001222221.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_science+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+Science+News%29

I shared this information with the participants pf my Circuit Training Class in the weight room of the West Point Grey Community Centre.

“How are you going to defend your livelihood against that one?” asked a participant ingolved in doing a set of preacher curls and showing veins in her biceps. “I don’t think you’ll be able to use that computers and sweating line. There are no computers involved in a pill bottle.”

“How about if I convinced people that that pharmacological charley horse in their leg was obtained fro trying to open that child-proof bottle.” I said

“That’s a little better,”  she said.

How about if I tell people about fitness being a journey, and all the fun is getting there.

“You mean that this is all we have to look forward to?” asked another.

“No,” I said. “Strike a pose – how about a lat spread.”

“There,” I said. “That’s what you’re looking forward to.”

“I guess that’s as good as it gets.” He said.

While I couldn’t exactly grasp the significance of the last comment, but it did give me a chance to think up the perfect defence – at least for the short term.

I could convince all my participants that the drugs were designed by Volkswagen engineers.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

MINDFULNESS AND THE ZEN OF FITNESS

September 13, 2015

In recent years, I have had occasion to suffer through many presentations on mindfulness. They’re embarrassing for me. Usually after the first thirty seconds of guided imagery I get placed in a choke hold by the arms of Morpheus and all I get out of it is a nap and dirty looks from the presenter and all the other participants for ruining the ambiance by snoring.

“I dare you to do that while you’re driving,” I said on more than one occasion.

That brings us to last Saturday morning when I had a class of 16 people – 8 of whom were on cardio machines and in need of some coaching.

“Come on you guys on cardio.” I shouted in my most effective coaching voice. “Put a little oomph into it! Go after it! It’s not going to come to you! Drop that mindfulness and get busy.”

“You know,” said Erin, who was doing concentration curls on a bench and making veins appear on her well defined biceps. “In Zen, the opposite of mindfulness is ‘Active Doing.’”

“‘Active Doing,’” I repeated to myself. Suddenly a theory of fitness, which I have been teaching for most of the past 30 years, snapped into focus.

I always thought that there are two types of fitness classes. One of these are freestyle classes. These are ones that have participants running on the spot for long periods of time with your knees up around ear level. These are classes that are purely physical.  Most of the tunes are in 4/4  or sometimes 6/8 time signatures, but it doesn’t matter. They give people the opportunity to have your mind think about anything else but fitness. I once wrote an entire play while taking a freestyle class, and earned $1,000 for my efforts. These are ‘Active Doing’ classes.

The other type of class is the patterned class, which relies on teaching participants complicated choreography which, in the end, becomes a performance. Everyone strives to get the class without making mistakes. Step classes are like this. There is so much time spent on getting it right that the hour passes very quickly. The only thing that breaks the concentration is the music where there all the tunes are in 4/4 time signatures. If a 6/8 or 3/4 time signature is thrown into the mix, people think they’ve grown an extra leg and they’ll hate the instructor for it.

There is something completely hypnotic about the concentration involved in patterned classes that is reminiscent of the naps I’ve had in mindfulness presentations.

Most of the classes I have taught over my career have, ironically, been of the mindfulness variety.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “What kind of class did Mission, BC’s Calree Lee Jepson take before she wrote this:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWNaR-rxAic ?”

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

LEADERSHIP: THE CAPTAIN IS NEVER WRONG

August 10, 2015

Leadership is the final skill is attainable through employment – if you want it. The problem is you have to want it. If one wants a management job, one generally has to apply for it. By contrast, leaders grow into the job by taking on responsibility and inspiring others to do so as well.

My old man was a tug boat captain. He was responsible for the command of a ship that was all engine. There was only room aboard for five crewmembers.  He never applied for the position. He came up through the ranks. He began as a deck hand, then a second mate, then a first mate, then a captain.

“I could never figure out how he did it.” said his first mate at the old man’s funeral. He was talking about his skill at docking the boat regarded as a critical part of seamanship.  A mistake could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in dock and hull repair. “He took the walkie-talkie and scampered to the stern.” The mate continued.  “Then he started telling us to increase or decrease the RPS of either the port or starboard engines. We would just walk the boat in then tie her up. It was like our hands became extensions of his brain.”

“I never could figure out how he did it.” He said.

“You mean he didn’t tell you?” I asked.

“Tell me what?” The mate asked. “You mean there was a trick to it?”

“You could call it that,” I said. “Do you want me to tell you?

“Sure.” He said. “I might want to be a skipper some day.”

As I told the mate, the old man came up through the ranks, just like you did. That means he learned how the boat ‘felt’ when it was running smoothly under command. That means that he knew what the crew felt like when running smoothly under his command. That’s 90% of the work. The 10 % comes from a problem – such as docking.

He could have had all the controls moved to the stern and conducted the whole operation by himself, but he didn’t want to do that. He wanted the crew to be active participants.  “After all,” he used to think to himself, “If the company finds out that the first and second mates were redundant, they wouldn’t have jobs, and if they didn’t have jobs, where on earth would the supply of skippers come from?”

The fact was that he really didn’t have a clue what the changes in RPMs of the engines would do, but he had to do something. He used to start off far enough from the wharf that if he didn’t like the direction the boat was going after he gave his first order; he had time to change it. He just had to do it in such a way that iot didn’t appear he made a mistake, because the captain is never wrong. He might be misinformed, but he’s never wrong.

Therefore, there are three rules of leadership:

  1. If there is a problem, you have the distance from to the wharf to make a remedial decision
  2. You need to involve the crew – not so much to help, but so they can witness leadership
  3. You have to be prepared to take responsibility for your action. If the ship sinks, you need to go down with it.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

YOU CAN LEARN TO BE PART OF A TEAM FROM WORKING

July 5, 2015

You will likely recall from my last blog, I am looking for reasons that someone with a disability might consider working as part of their recovery. There is more to work than just a paycheque. Work provides opportunities to develop skills that you can’t get anywhere else. One of these is developing  an ability to work as a part of a team.

During the height of the last Ice Age, there was a whole collection of critters that w sometime called mega fauna because they were big. There were sabre-toothed tigers and American lions to contend with. The short-faced bear that was roughly the size of an elementary school that could rip apart bison the size of box cars, and gigantic camels, ground sloths woolly mammoths and, of course, horses.

All of these animals became extinct by the end of the Ice Age. These included the horse and camel who may have migrated across the Bering Land Bridge into Asia and Europe. Some of the camels went to South America to be llamas. There were no horses in North America after the ice age until the arrival of the Spaniards.

Horses kept heading West just as the First Nations people headed East. Apparently their paths never crossed. In any event, it took 5 – 10 thousand years for the horse to become domesticated. The date for this was learned when traces of mare’s milk was recovered from a flask. The date of 5000 years has to be the early date for this because you can’t milk a wild horse.

First Nations people on the Great Plains developed a tradition of hunting bison using teamwork. The would find a herd and dress up a team member in bison skins and have him mingle with the heard. Other members would make piles of rocks and hide behind them. The piles of rocks would outline a passageway that would decrease in breadth – ultimately leading to the edge of a cliff.

When everything was in place, the guy in the skins would begin to overact, causing a small stampede, As the heard headed for the rock piles, team members would pop up and focus the herd to their ultimate demise at the bottom of the cliff.

When the Spanish came, the horse made this operation easier. In fact, the team skills they developed hunting translated to the teamwork they developed to defeat Custer at the Little Big Horn.

Another example of team work may come from some of the nursing homes. A Care Aid spots a resident on the floor and deduces that something has to be done. She notices that the resident outweighs her by a significant amount. If she does it herself, she will hurt herself, and likely drop the resident again. She assembles a team, “You two take the knees, you two take the hips, and I’ll take the shoulders.” She says. “Okay, one, two three lift.” The problem is solved, and everyone got to feel they were a contributing team member.

I believe there are three skills that let one become a member of a team: listening (for the bison hooves and for the count in the care home), problem solving (applying the team) and negotiation. (You wear the skins this time).

You can only learn this stuff at work, but once you have, put it on your resume.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

WHY BOTHER TO WORK?

June 29, 2015

About 25 years ago I interviewed for a vocational rehabilitation counsellor position at for an insurance company. The owner of the company had a PhD in Psychology while my undergraduate degree was in Archaeology. I thought that put me a decided advantage. His first, and as it turned out, last question in the interview was, “Why would anyone who is being paid disability  benefits, which can be quite generous, be interested in giving It all up and go to work?”

“They have a need to improve their economic situation.” I answered. “They want to pay more taxes and contribute to their RRSPs. With each embellishment of this theme I dug myself deeper and deeper into my self-excavated hole of despair. Finally, he ended the interview. Come back when you find the answer.

The bastard never gave me the satisfaction of answering the question. At least he didn’t call me grasshopper or try to get me to snatch a pebble from his hand. What a show off.

Over the next 25 years I developed a career for myself as a vocational rehabilitation counsellor. Luckily, no one ever asked that question again. Nevertheless, it haunted me. It was a riddle that demanded an answer.

That’s why last fall I was thrilled to be asked to speak to a group of people in Burnaby to try out some of the answers I thought might at least open a discussion on why a person with a disability might want to work a part of their recovery.

My original answer still stands. It’s good to have money. Money lets you do things beyond survival. But there is more to it than that. The good doctor was right after all.

The first of these is workplace comradery. When you find a job, you’re thrust into a position  of relating to strangers. You begin to form relationships with them. You may even find yourself socializing with them, which is probably better for your wellbeing than hanging around the house watching reruns of Hogan’s Heroes on the cable network. Having relationships means gaining support, expanding your network, and generally getting yourself into trouble.

My audience  liked this reason for working. In fact I could have left it there and had a good question and answer period afterward. But I felt freeform. I had more to say. Next week will bring my understanding of archaeology, paleontology and driving a tug boat to show two other ways employment can benefit people recovering from a mental illness.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

 

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

 He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

 He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,271 other followers