Lessons I Learned from Disney – Part 1 (When to Praise – When to Coach)

career success Jan 21, 2015

Anyone that knows my family and me, knows that we are huge fans of all things Disney. Besides just being a guest at various Disney destinations, I was privileged to be a cast member for the Walt Disney Resorts in Florida.  No, I wasn’t an on-stage performer. I was one of five Network Designers. However, Walt Disney saw everything in his park as a show, and as part of the show, employees were to be called “cast members.”

The Walt Disney World (WDW) network was made up of over 500 Cisco routers (counting Route Switch Modules (RSMs) in some of the multilayer switches), and thousands of Cisco Catalyst switches. When I was there, they had about 56,000 cast members, and they were the largest single-site employer in North America.

Recently, my family and I took another trip to WDW. During our stay, it occurred to me that much of what I know about Cisco networking, management, and entrepreneurship was learned from Disney. Some principles I learned during my...

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Certification vs. Degree: My Take on the Age-Old Debate

career success Dec 18, 2014

For years, the debate has raged about which is better. Is it better to focus on getting certifications or to earn a college-degree? Excellent points are to be made on each side of the argument. This is the type of question I hear frequently, and I wanted share my thoughts. Now, the next time somebody asks me this question, I can point them to this blog post ;-)

The College of Knowledge

Let me begin by saying that I’m a big fan of academia. I worked at a university (as the Network Manager) for about eleven years. My bachelor’s degree is in Electrical Engineering (BSEE), and I earned about 30 credit hours towards a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree. My oldest daughter just finished up her first semester of college. My other daughter is a senior in high school and has already been accepted to the university she wants to attend. My wife and I started a college fund for each of them when they were born, and it feels like we’ve reached a major...

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How Can a Tomato Help You Study for Cisco Exams?

career success Dec 08, 2014

You’ve got a massive Cisco Press library; you’ve bookmarked key websites; and you’ve even subscribed to my blog :) Hopefully, you are super disciplined, and you’ve carved out dedicated chunks of time for study and labbing.

The bad news is, not everyone falls into that category. Some Cisco certification candidates have the resources, but they are so overwhelmed at the magnitude of the task of preparing for an exam, they put it off. They say, “I need to make time for that.” Have you ever been there? I have. So, what’s the answer?

There are lots of time management techniques out there, and a lot of experts who argue time is something that cannot be managed. I’ll not enter into that debate here. Instead, I want to give you a little trick I picked up somewhere in my reading.

This little study “hack” can help you overcome that initial inertia. In fact, I’m using it right now as I write this blog post. So what is it?

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