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35 Years In: 12 Months In Review

Nathan Driver 35 YearsSo here it is. My official year wrap-up, not to be confused with end-of-the-year. It’s something I’ve done for some time now that I’ve used as a reflection and look forward to in the coming year.

These past few months have been quite interesting. I went from working in an agency to the news industry. Something I never would imagine I’d be doing but thankful for the opportunity and continue to learn and adapt daily.

Nonetheless here’s my life in the past 12 months (in no particular order)

  • I was able to coach mini-me’s basketball team – this meant a lot to me.
  • Help co-organize the 2nd Dayton WordCamp and privileged enough to help teach WordPress with Brian Retterer to 100+ people.
  • Lost some weight and got healthy (for the most part) thanks to Katie.
  • Spoke at a few WordCamps around Ohio and Michigan.

Yeah, the last 12 months have been quite busy.

I’m going to do something different for 12 months of what I plan on accomplishing and not.say.a.word.

I just know the next 12 months are going to be interesting and look forward to

every

single

day

My question to you: how do you make sure that every day counts?

 

Global Leadership Summit Part I

Global Leadership Summit1I was privileged enough to attend the Global Leadership Summit last week and am finally getting around to all my notes and since it was two days, I’ll break it down in two parts.

 

 

What is Global Leadership Summit (GLS)?

 

Great question and one I asked myself continuously when debating if I should attend. Willowcreek, the church organization behind GLS describes it as:

The Summit is a world-class experience for leaders who want to get better. Everybody has influence and the responsibility to lead well. When cultivated in a culture of Christ-centered leadership, your influence can change lives and the organizations in which you lead. Leaders worldwide leverage the Summit to sharpen their skills and to unleash the full potential of their teams.

…and I would agree with that 100%.

Bill Hybels (@BillHybels): Founder and Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church – gave the opening session to start the summit.

5 Intangible Aspects of Leaders

  1. Grit: Passion and personaverance
  2. Self-awareness: Be aware of your blind spots; Growth DEMANDS honest feedback.
  3. Resourcefulness: FIGURE.IT.OUT. You can become resourceful by putting yourself in difficult positions.
  4. Self sacrificing love: Love never fails. The story of David and his militia and the water they stole for him.
  5. Sense of meaning: create a sense of meaning.

Wow.

Next up was Jim Collins, Nationally Acclaimed business thinker; best-selling author “Good to Great” who spoke on:

Seven Questions: Beyond Good to Great

  1. What cause do you serve with level 5 ambition? Having a sense of commitment to sever
  2. Will you settle for being a good leader, or will you grow to become a great leader? Can you scale your leadership?
  3. How can you reframe failure as you growth, in pursuit of BHAG
    1. Big
    2. Hairy
    3. Audacious
    4. Goal
  4. How can you succeed by helping others succeed? What.a.great.question!
  5. Have you found your hedgehog, your personal hedgehog?
  6. Will you build your unit – your minibus into a pocket of greatness? Focus on your unit – not your career.
  7. How will you change the lives of others?

…the hits keep coming!

Next up Bill Hybels interviewed Ed Catmull, the co-founder of Pixar and President of Walt Disney Animation Studios to talk about creativity.

I loved this quote during the one-on-one:

Art is not about drawing but seeing

In the discussion Ed spoke on the neccessasity of having a brainstrust to stay creative.

4 Principles of Braintrust

  1. Peers to peers
  2. No power structure
  3. Vested interest in each others success
  4. Give and listen to good notes

Ed  also spoke on failing and to embrace it, then broke down that there are two types of failures:

  1. To learn from
  2. You didn’t do a good job

In order to embrace failures we have to remove our self from #2, which is our automatic reaction.

In the end, “stories will change the world.”

There were a couple more speakers to wrap up the day:

Adam Grant (@AdamGrant): Professor, Wharton School of Business; Best-selling Author spoke on “Give and Take: A New Perspective on Leadership”

This was great as Adam dove into:

  • Takers
  • Givers
  • Matchers

You can take the assessment at www.giveandtake.com to see where you are.

Dr. Brene’ Brown (@BreneBrown): Research Professor, University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work; Best-selling Author.

Sallie Krawcheck (@SallieKrawcheck): Chair, Ellevate Network; Former President, Bank of America’s Global Wealth & Investment Management.

Albert Tate (@AlbertTate): Founder and Senior Pastor, Fellowship Monrovia in Southern California.

 

Case Study : WordPress Top Ten Part I

Awhile back I purchased a domain: wptopten.com with the goal of putting my top list of WordPress themes, plugins, resources, etc. Well, like a lot of things life got in the way and side projects such as this got pushed to the back. There was no reason to push this ahead in my daily, weekly, monthly work-flow. I had no intention of trying to make money off or anything like that. It was an idea that I was hoping to bring to fruition sooner than later.

Thus the reason for this post.

I plan on doing monthly status updates complete with analytics with detail instructions on how everything was done.

So, let’s start at the beginning.

Domain: wptopten.com

Hosting: WPEngine

Theme: Woo Themes – Canvas child (Woo Child)

Plugins:

  • Askismet
  • Features (Woothemes)
  • Google Analytics by Yoast
  • Google Sitemap by BestWebSoft
  • Gravity Forms
  • Icons For Features
  • Image Widget
  • Really Simple CAPTCHA
  • The Events Calendar
  • WordPress SEO (Yoast)

Google Analytics: Check – used Yoast analytics to connect with my account

Google Webmaster Tools: check – submitted sitemap (xml) that is created by the plugin “Google Sitemap by BestWebSoft”

Connecting analytics with webmaster tools: check

Create pages:

  • About: A quick write-up that will be more developed as the site grows.
  • Contact: A quick contact form (using Gravity Forms with CAPTCHA to weed through the spam)

Categories:

There will more in-depth as I develop the site more.

Content: Top 10 WordPress SEO Plugins

Case Study: WordPress Top Ten Part IIv

Updating all pages and home page with custom SEO write-up (Meta description / title ):

WordPress Top Ten SERP

WordPress Top Ten SERP

Create more dynamic content and show a ROI on improvements in Google Analytics

'WordPress Top Ten Google Analytics

‘WordPress Top Ten Google Analytics

What would you like to see in this “Case Study” as it progresses?

I am opening up all analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, seo tools – let me know in the comments below.

WordPress Decoded: The Missing Manual

On Friday March 20th Brian Retterer and myself were able to speak to over 100 individuals about WordPress for WordCamp. It was a thrilling experience walking through WordPress yet with the amount of people there was a disconnect.

So, Brian and myself created WordPress Decoded: The Missing Manual. On April 4th we will have our first workshop limiting it to only 20 people. This full day hands-on training will cover:

Lesson 1: Foundations of a WordPress-based website
Lesson 2: Introduction to WordPress Dashboard
Lesson 3: Working with WordPress Themes
Lesson 4: Creating and Managing Content
Lesson 5: Managing Multimedia with WordPress
Lesson 6: Finding and Using WordPress Plugins
Lesson 7: WordPress Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

It will include lunch as well as an in-depth manual of everything we cover.

I am excited about this WordPress for beginner workshop and looking forward rolling out the next two levels in the near future.

If you have any questions about it let me know.

WordPress Decoded April Workshop

WordCamp Dayton Check

WordCamp Dayton 2015 LogoIt’s official WordCamp Dayton 2015 is in the books.

All the stress.

All the headaches.

All the sleepless nights.

Done.

First off I want to thank a few special people that without their support this event would not have happen.

My wife. We have three kids (10 / 4 / 1.5) and taking the time to watch them while I work on logistics, get on Google Hangouts with the WCDayton team, and then there is the actual event. Two days straight where I’m away from my family isn’t easy for either one of us.

Brian Retterer. The main co-organizer of WordCamp Dayton. Who, when I was getting no feedback and delayed responses, took the lead and without him there would not have been a WordCamp at all.

Organizers and Volunteers.

Heather: The event coordinator who ensured everyone was taken care of.

Lesley: Designer for the awesome logos for the event and great helper.

Chris: Rocked out this year on sponsorship reaching quite a bit of small businesses. Not to mention a huge help throughout the camp.

Jeff: A terrific helper getting all the cameras set-up and  ensuring everything ran smoothly.

Dustin: A local Automattician who helped picked speakers and came up with the Automattic Q & A (first of its kind).

There are quite a bit more but if I were to list all those that helped and what they mean to me….

Here are just a few of the highlights from WordCamp Dayton:

Brian - Nathan - Chris - Jeff

Brian – Nathan – Chris – Jeff

Brian - Nathan - Chris at WordCamp Dayton

Brian – Nathan – Chris at WordCamp Dayton

Then there is this:

#WCDayton trending during NCAA

#WCDayton trending during NCAA

Thank you all for the great memories and already looking forward to 2016.