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What’s Your One Thing for the 1st Quarter? GVHD Update

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Thu, Jan 10, 2013

I’m excited.  When my clients respond and do something that is powerful and gets them excited I am too!   Yesterday I got a PowerPoint from one of my client’s sharing their theme for the company for their first trimester of 2013!  It was incredibly well done, simple, powerful, clear and concise!   Fleck One Way Ticket   2013 1st Trimester Theme resized 600It’s their first effort to establish the Rockefeller Habits theme process although we’ve been working together for some time.  That’s often a good idea.  Start simple with the process of Strategic Discipline.  Less is More!  Get your leadership team fully understanding the fundamentals and then move forward with your theme to the company fully when you have your sea legs. 

I’m not opposed to starting immediately, however it’s often prudent to invest 90 days getting familiar with just the meeting rhythms, priorities and metrics before launching a theme and then having it provide less than optimum results due to lack of focus or understanding of how all the components come together. 

Have you determined you’re ONE THING for 2013?

Have you determined your ONE THING for the First Quarter?

A compelling reminder of this was my Wednesday visit to the University of Iowa Clinic for a doctor’s check up on my Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Bone Marrow Transplant progress.  The week between Christmas Eve and the weekend after New Year’s was challenging.  I was constantly at a low level of energy, stomach issues, diarrhea, lost appetite and general a lousy disposition.  I lost ten pounds in about 7-10 days. 

The definition of Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a complication that can occur after a stem cell or bone marrow transplant in which the newly transplanted donor cells attack the transplant recipient's body.

The chance of GVHD is:

  • Very low when a person receives bone marrow or cells from an identical twin
  • Around 30 - 40% when the donor and recipient are related (Example is ABC Newscaster Robin Roberts)
  • Around 60 - 80% when the donor and recipient are not related

I’m in that last 60-80% category.  My doctors seemed concerned when I wasn’t developing any symptoms.  I explain more on this with a story my wife wrote on caring bridge to offer why.  Seems that I may have been doing too good, which in this case is not good.  They were concerned that my immune system would be re-trenching itself, which would not be good for my long term survival.  So they dialed back on my medications and BOOM!  What should appear!  GVHD symptoms!  Stage II.

I now have minor GVHD rash, however by re-administering medications and adding some new ones most of the other symptoms have diminished or been eliminated.  I’ve been feeling much better.  In fact I feel like a new person again.

For those of you confused by Graft-Versus-Host Disease, my wife offered a simple although not historically accurate analogy on our caring bridge page:

Let's pretend that Christopher Columbus is Doug's donor. Doug is America.

Christopher Columbus (Donor) and his people (cells) sail to a foreign land (Doug). When they arrive, they are not discovered right away. One day, the Native Americans (Doug's cells) are out hunting and stumble across these new visitors. They see Columbus and his people as a threat to them because they have never seen anybody like them. Different hair color, skin, eyes. Wanting to protect their land, they (Doug's cells) wage war on these intruders (donor cells).They does battle for a very long time. The Native American's weaponry does not compare to the newer more advanced weaponry of Columbus and his peeps, so eventually the Native Americans tire out and their land is taken over. After smoking the Peace Pipe(Drugs)for a very long time, they come to an agreement that Columbus and his people are allowed to take over and run things, and also because they outnumber the Native Americans by a large margin.

America lives on happily ever after!

What’s my ONE THING for the first quarter? To ensure my transplant is successful! i survived a bone marrow transplant card p137695865554144095envwi 400 resized 600I have a number of company goals, yet no other priority is more important than maintaining my health and recovering so I can do what I enjoy most. 

A reminder again from Strategic Discipline and the Four Execution of Discipline.  Make sure your measurements include leading indicators in a two to one ratio of lagging indicators.  Meditation, exercise and eating the right foods are leading indicators for me that I’m staying healthy.  I have specific measurements by day and week that I keep to make sure that I can influence and predict my outcome is going to end of right.

I promised more on disposing/exposing the shadow in your leadership abilities in Versatile Accountability Tool: Topgrading Job Summary Scorecard.  We’ll explore why It’s an important part of ascending the leadership ladder for you and your executive team and why Strategic Discipline and specifically meeting rhythms work so well to enable growth.


Topics: Strategic Discipline, One Thing, themes, Businesss Disciplines, Bone Marrow Transplant, Graft-Versus-Host Disease, GVHD, 4 Disciplines of Execution

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Doug Wick, President

Positioning Systems


The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

- Priorities
- Metrics
- Meeting Rhythms

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