The Outstanding Ohioans show, Episode 56-Interview with Heather Shumaker, author of “It’s OK To Go Up The Slide”


This show brings the audience great things Ohioans are doing to make their communities, the state, the region, and the world a better place as entrepreneurs, leaders, historical and popular culture figures.

For episode 56, I had the pleasure of speaking with Heather Shumaker, author of It’s OK to Go UP the Slide… Renegade Rules for Raising Confident and Creative Kids It’s OK NOT to Share… and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids

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The two books that Heather Shumaker has written provide great insights and ideas on how to raise children to be responsible, creative human beings with the ability to communicate.  Many of her thoughts counter the current culture of overprotective parents & practices within the school system.

Here were the topics we discussed in our conversation:

  • growing up in Columbus, Ohio
  • the background of her mother and father, who both recently retired as educators
  • attending the School for Young Children, founded in 1969 in Columbus
  • why she structured specific tools & ideas in her books that parents could use
  • her two central parenting themes
  • street smarts and stranger danger
  • sharing
  • calendars & clocks
  • homework
  • recess
  • reading
  • conflict resolution
  • reading for pleasure vs. forced reading
  • technology temptation
  • kid evaluation/resolution vs. adult intervention
  • fairness & justice
  • establishing boundaries

Listeners can connect with Heather in the following ways:

Thank you for taking the time to listen to the show.  Please leave a review on ITunes or Stitcher, or email me at  Please refer any recommended future guests to my email.

If I Got Hit By A Bus-Video 12-Sadness and Joy

pick up

If I Got Hit By A Bus-Video 12

Based on on work schedules, I am often in charge of dropping the boys off to their designated care giver (school, camp, sitter, etc.).  This is often a time of great sadness.

I NEVER am happy to say goodbye to the boys.  I get no greater joy than spending time with them.  I recognize the value of my other commitments, it is just hard to say goodbye to them.

It’s REALLY tough when Ryan and/or Sawyer cling on to me and are screaming “I want to stay with you daddy”.  I’m in complete agreement….I want to stay with them too.  We have such a blast exploring our world together.  We have our challenging moments, but most of the time we have an incredibly powerful connection to each other.

As tough as these goodbyes are, it is a 360 degree flip when I get to pick them up.  We are often so happy to see each other.  We run to meet each other and greet with hugs.  It is an incredibly powerful feeling of joy and validation.

What speaks to me the most is simply the thought of being present and engaged with them when we are together.  Working through distractions and trying to single focus is challenging.  There is also a balance between trying to actively do things together and then simply letting them go explore on their own.

Hug your kids, kiss your kids, and tell them you love them.  It is a blessing that they want to be around you.

Thank you for reading and have a great day!


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Legacy Living-Sawyer’s Bedtime Routine

I am participating in this routine every chance I get, because I know one day he’ll outgrow it.  It’s Sawyer’s bedtime routine.

From the time they were born, Jen and I have actively read, sang, and talked to the boys when they are getting ready for bed.  We believe the benefits are tremendous, and will foster a deep appreciation for reading and learning.

What I enjoy most is when the boys curl up on my lap and follow along.  It’s one of the greatest rewards I get as a father.

I am sadly aware that one day, they won’t want to do this anymore.  I’ll have my memories, and this blog post.

Sawyer’s routine goes like this:

  • I finally corral him into his room to get ready for bed.  Sawyer rarely goes to bed willingly, but he will go into his room to read.
  • He’ll say, “Let’s read a book, daddy.”
  • We’ll negotiate on the number of books we’ll read.  It’s based on length of the books he wants to read, our energy level at the time, and how late it is.  The average is two.
  • Sawyer says, “Sit in the chair, daddy.”  I sit in the easy chair, and Sawyer pops out the leg rest so we can stretch out.
  • Sawyer then grabs his blanket from his bed and lays it across my lap.  He climbs up, grabs his book(s), and snuggles into a position he wants.
  • After we read the books, he either gets tucked into bed, or he demands that I stay in the chair so we can fall asleep together.  “Sleep here, daddy.”
  • If we sleep together on the chair, I wake up at some point, and put him into bed.

We have such a mutual connection when this happens.  While it won’t last forever, I am confident I am sowing the seeds for a strong future relationship.  Sawyer knows I support him and love him.

Enjoy your moments that may not last forever.  Thank you for reading and have a great day.


Check out my podcast Outstanding Ohioans.

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The Outstanding Ohioans show, Episode 50-Interview with the Learning Leader Ryan Hawk @RyanHawk12

ryan hawk webpage cover

For episode 50, I had the pleasure of interview Ryan Hawk, who hosts an incredible, highly rated podcast called “The Learning Leader Show“.  Ryan is an amazing business leader who shares his message in many ways.

To connect with the show, here are a few ways:

Here were some highlights of our conversation:

  • growing up in Centerville, Ohio with two amazing parents and two brothers…he was given space to grow and learn
  • the impact of his football coaches
  • his thoughts on youth sport specialization vs. year-round competition
  • why he attended Miami University to play football, and why he transferred to Ohio University
  • what he learned about himself competing against Ben Roethlisberger
  • his professional football experience, and challenging transition from professional athlete into the business world
  • In his current work, why he embraces nervousness, anticipation, and competition
  • how a dinner with Todd Wagner changed his life
  • “Don’t follow your passion, have your passion follow you”
  • why the podcast medium is gaining in popularity, and the profile of podcast listeners
  • Developing his avatar for his podcasting platform
  • how he prepares for a conversation
  • how prospecting is important in sales and podcasting
  • developing your platform and leveraging it
  • his personal philosophy of leadership
  • People who “Kiss Up” & “Kick Down”
  • the importance of routine and 5-minute journaling
  • “My success only follows the success of my customers”, and why referrals are so valuable

Connect with Ryan at and

Here were some of the resources mentioned during this interview:

Keep on Keepin’ on, the Hell with the Naysayers….

In writing this post, I am making many assumptions about the thoughts and feelings of others…..

As quickly as people get inspired by their positive action, some will get discouraged and discontinue even quicker if they heed the “naysayers”.  If the results are not immediate, additional discouragement may follow.  Be proud of your action, and look to praise others when you see it.  Think about how you have improved compared to where you started.

Yesterday, our family was coming back from the Oxford Community Easter Egg Hunt.  The weather was outstanding, just a great day to be outside (sunshine, clear sky, gentle breeze)….a day that makes springtime so great.  We noticed an overweight college student slowly jogging on the sidewalk (I don’t say overweight to be mean, but it was clearly an unhealthy situation).  Jen said “You go girl”.  I silently acknowledged her affirmation, and kept driving on.  I didn’t think anymore about this…until this morning.

During my 5a dogwalk, I was listening to a podcast interviewing Larry Winget, one of my favorite authors.  Two of Mr. Winget’s themes are personal responsibility and taking action.  As the walk progressed, I wrapped my head around this student’s action and how inspirational I found it.

Here was an individual who:  (a) recognized an area of self-improvement; (b) was taking positive action, not just talking or wishing about it.  This type of action DEMANDS OUR RESPECT!  Sadly, I am sure she encountered some resistance instead.

Her jog was conducted in a public, so there were probably naysayers and a-holes that passed her with comments such as:  “she needs it”; “is that as fast as you can go?”; “it’s about time”; “she’ll never stick with it”.

My hope is that this young lady takes enough pride in her work to continue on her journey to improved health (if that was indeed her goal).  I hope she realizes the following:

  • her story of incremental improvement to reach her goal serves as inspiration for others; she stopped complaining and wishing in favor of doing something about it
  • this won’t happen overnight….focus on the improvement from previous days
  • realize the naysayers and smart ass comments are from people who aren’t important in her life, who don’t really want her to succeed
  • improving her fitness improves her overall health and contributes to a healthier society
  • she creates a legacy of action

At various times, we all get stuck with lack of motivation and taking action.  Look for and use examples of action to push yourself to your goals.

Have a great Easter!  I would love to hear your stories about taking action!


Here are a couple of my most viewed posts.

Click here for my book review of Toughness:  Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by Jay Bilas

Click here for my book review of The Power of Negative Thinking by Bob Knight

Click here for my book review of Bo’s Lasting Lessons:  The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership

Brothers should bunk

-I am the author of The Basketball Match Up Zone and Multi-Purpose Basketball Offense ebooks.

A problem, or something more?

Last Friday, I was fulfilling my normal Friday routine of listening to Dan Miller’s Online Radio Show.  During the show, he gave what I consider one of the greatest quotes of an optimist.  “A problem is an opportunity to create a solution.”

These boys teach and give me opportunities to teach lessons everyday.

These boys teach and give me opportunities to teach lessons everyday.

Today, a “problem” occurred that gave me an opportunity to provide a foundational teaching moment for Ryan.  During our morning snack time, Sawyer had grabbed the snack cup from Ryan and dumped the delicious contents all over the floor.  Ryan began crying because he felt “Sawyer ruined our snack.”

Rather than lecturing Sawyer or trying to pacify Ryan, memory of this podcast clicked in my brain.  I calmed down Ryan by telling him I had an important lesson to teach him.  He said, “Ok, Daddy”.

“Ryan, a problem is an opportunity for a solution.  What’s the problem?”

“Sawyer spilled the snack on the floor Daddy.”

“Who in the house is really good about eating food off the floor?”

“Sawyer is Daddy.”

“Probably, but we want him to break that habit.  Who else in the house is really good about eating food off the floor?  We see them do it all the time.”

“Woody and Lucy are Daddy. (our black labs)”

“Ryan, that’s right.  Go call them in to eat the food off the floor.”

“Woody and Lucy, come eat our mess!”

“Ryan, what is the solution to replace your snack?”

‘Put more in the bowl Daddy.”

“That’s right Ryan.  You solved the problem!  A problem is an opportunity for a solution.”

We all know people who seem to rise to the challenge and take the chance to solve it.  They don’t always succeed, and they are often criticized when they “fail”.  If the critics really analyzed their feelings honestly, most of them try to avoid the moment and defer to others.

The folks that often do succeed in coming up with solutions often become the leaders of the organization.  Problems are a fact of life, you need people to step up and try to solve it!

I believe one of my greatest values to my organization is that I do often deliver solutions.  Becoming a “go-to” person increases your value and creates new opportunities for solutions.  I don’t believe I always looking to deliver the solution, but as my self-confidence increased in adulthood, I have become more comfortable with the fear of failure with the chance to let the team succeed.  I am willing to make the tough decision when others defer.  During softball games, I want the ball hit to me, or I want to be up with two outs and the winning runs are on base.  I want to take the last shot playing pickup or intramural basketball, not because I am the best player, but I like the pressure.  Sometimes I fail, sometimes I succeed.  I would rather take action than do nothing.  I want my boys to look to solve issues.  This will keep their attitudes positive, increase their self-reliance and resourcefulness, and avoid complaining.

I would love to hear your stories “about taking the last shot”, regardless of whether you won or lost.   Celebrate the problem solvers!  Have a happy Monday!