Recent Posts by Joseph Dworak

If at all possible: REMAIN CALM!

Parking Gararge   A few weeks ago I was running right on time for a client engagement at the University of Minnesota and drove up to this parking garage.  Parking garages more and more are moving away from cash and are only taking credit cards.  So as I rolled up to this parking garage I realized I had neither - cash or credit.  My margin for being on time was low and I immediately felt my anxiety start to raise as I did not want to be late.  What was I going to do?  How would I park?  Would I be on time?  How could I remain calm and solve the problem? This could have gone a lot of ways.  In my youth for sure I would have blown my top and just gotten really mad and been blinded by pure emotion in a way that would not have helped me solve the problem at hand.  At any time in my life my anxiety over stress could have pushed me in a direction that might not have been helpful to solve this real problem.  Thankfully the last couple of years I have really pressed into the concept of emotional intelligence, or 'EQ.' All of us are familiar with the concept of 'IQ,' intelligence quotient.  What is your 'IQ?'  IQ is interesting to talk about, but many studies have shown that your IQ has little to do with how successful you might be in life.  What does have much more to do with how successful you will be in life?  EQ What is EQ, or emotional intelligence? "the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically." Do your emotions control you?  Or, do you control your emotions?  When I realized I had no way of paying for parking that story could have gone a lot of ways.  Getting mad or anxious would not have solved my problem, it only would have left me with the problem and no solution.  On top of that I would have ended up late to my client engagement - something we just do not do. If you are not controlling your emotions it will have an effect on your interpersonal relationships.  This has happened to me more times than I would like to admit in my own life.  These are lessons I can only learn...
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Announcing My New Project: MSPBiking.com

I am excited to announce a new project. Earlier this week I registered and launched MSPbiking.com - A few years ago I began biking more regularly and absolutely love it. It is something I can do by myself or with friends and family.  Just amazing, and helps my legs after 15 years of running. The site is not much to speak of right now, and the Twitter is just getting going @mspbiking Why did I do this? Biking in  the Twin Cities is exploding. Biking in the Twin Cities is among the best in the United States because of amazing trails and a bike culture. There are many good resources for biking, but they fall into smaller niches and there is space in a growing bike culture for another good resource. What have I learned? I learned starting this website and other things associated with it are much easier than when I relaunched this website.  Things like setting up MailChimp, designing the site, etc come more naturally now. I have also been inspired by my coworker Nathan Freeburg who started MinneapolisRunning.com which is becoming the spot for information on running in Minneapolis. You are who you hang around?  I guess so :) This new project will hopefully help other people who love biking in Minneapolis and St. Paul. This new project will teach me what works and what does not work in that space. It may work. It may not. In the end I will learn either way, and maybe help a few people out. Sounds like a great formula. Hope to see you online, or on the trail. photo (4)...
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5 reasons to love Minneapolis

After living in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis - St. Paul for over 15 years, and in Minneapolis for over 10, I wanted to share some of the great things about living in this area, specifically Minneapolis.  Here goes, here are my top 5 reasons to love Minneapolis: 1.  Minneapolis has an amazing food scene that has nothing to do with chain restaurants.   My wife and I love to eat at new places.  Minneapolis always has new places popping up with great chefs and there is almost no way you can get to all the places, so you never run out of great places to try!  Some of our recent favorites include Nico's Taco and Tequila bar, Amore Victoria, Sea Salt Eatery, Shuang Cheng, to name a few.  I travel a good amount for work and so many cities are dominated by chain restaurants and that is just not the case in Minneapolis.  (Thankfully) 2.  Minneapolis has an amazing art, music and theatre scene that is unparalleled for a city of this size. Any of these points deserve their own post, but the art scene here really blows me away.  From museums, to theaters, to orchestras and more Minneapolis has it.  Again, comparing Minneapolis to other medium sized metros, there is no lack of things to go and experience in the art and music world.  I just wished I lived here in Uptown when Nirvana used to play at the Uptown Bar back in the early 90's.  (Both Nirvana and the Uptown Bar no longer exist sadly.) 3.  Minneapolis consistently goes back and forth with Portland for being the most bike friendly city. I am so glad RT Rybak was mayor of Minneapolis.  RT made sure we had the best bike trail system anywhere.  There were a lot of other community advocates who helped build the system as well, but we can go hundreds of miles on our bikes here around amazing lakes and parks and never leave the trails!  It is something you really have to experience for yourself to truly appreciate.  I am so glad I invested in a road bike and can get out and see the city and region. 4.  Minneapolis almost always ranks as the top, or a top, fittest city in the United States. This follows #3, people in Minneapolis take care of themselves.  You will see so many runners, bikers, and more in this city than almost anywhere else I...
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I always used my strengthsfinder themes; not always for good

I read somewhere recently you should write, "The parts of your story you least want to tell, are the parts people most need to hear."  - Jeff Goins. So, here goes. I do realize that someday my son may read these blogs and then ask me, "Dad, what was the deal with......." I realize some of you may say, "Wow, really?" I doubt I will add as many intros and caveats in the future, but here goes. The whole story needs to be told, the good and the bad and how I used my strengthsfinder themes and personality from a young age to have influence in good and bad ways. Social Media Perfection The trend in social media is for all of us to focus only how we want to be seen.  So, sometimes viewing someone's facebook profile or twitter feed, you might think they never have an off day.  Look, I confess to not like putting out pictures of myself that are less than glamorous.  We all do it.  We self edit to try and put out the best possible version of ourselves. I want to step outside of that box more than I usually do and tell you a few stories from my high school days.  The stories my wife rolls her eyes at and wonders how I am still alive in some cases. My StrengthsFinder Themes My strengths have always allowed me to organize, execute, lead, delegate, market, sell and produce gatherings and events.  In high school these talents were used to have parties when my parents were at our summer home in Wisconsin for the weekend.  (Mom, I know you know this story already, so....)  I went to high school in LaGrange, Illinois at Lyons Township High School.  "LT," was a school of about 4,000 students divided into two campuses, north and south, south being for freshman and sophomores and north for juniors and seniors. It started at south campus, but my ability to pull off events, 'parties,' was refined during my time as a junior, (for the first and second time), and as a senior.  The marketplace tells you all the feedback you need in order to be successful and having parties at my house gave me a lot of feedback from people who attended the parties, to how I had to clean up, and how I might make a profit. High School Dropout My first junior year of high...
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5 Signs You Are Stuck in the Wrong Job

80% of you reading this either hate your job or, at best, neutral on what you do for your employment.  You may or may not think about this very often, but if you pause and reflect, do you disagree?  How do you know if you are stuck in the wrong job?  As someone who has managed lots of people over the years I want to share my five signs that you are stuck in the wrong job.  Here goes: 1.  You are a salaried employee but act like an hourly employee You are paid to get the job done, but you count the hours every week and make sure that you do not go over 40 hours.  If your mindset is that you only get paid for 40 hours and then you can just go your merry way, you are off.  Look, I am all about being efficient but the point of being a salaried employee is that your organization has trusted you to get the job done and you agreed to a salary to get that job done.  Over the years I have heard people who are stuck in jobs that they have outgrown, or were never a good fit for anyway, become jaded at their employer because of a job they are choosing to stay in. If you once were a highly engaged salaried employee and at some point you started acting hourly, look yourself in the mirror and be honest about why this happened and what you can do about it - you may be stuck in the wrong job. 2.  The first thing you do when you get to work is go to get coffee and then proceed to catch up with other people at work for 20-30 minutes before you do any actual work. This goes back to the first point - if the majority of your day you are finding ways to not do your job, or do the minimum to get by - you are stuck in the wrong job.  Side note, if your 20 - 30 minutes of catching up and drinking coffee is followed by checking Facebook for another 20 - 30 minutes you either have a really interesting work ethic or you are stuck in the wrong job, or maybe both. Understand:  Getting along with your co-workers and investing in their lives is important, but should not take up the...
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