Sunday, January 01, 2017

Top 10 Moments of 2016 (and, as always, honorable mentions)

No clue if anyone is still interested in what's going on with our journey but if so, here we are again, posting another crazy year of old life experiences in a completely new context, as well as, brand new moments.  This has become far more of a public journal for myself but I hope it is at the same time inspiring to others to keep moving forward with goals and dreams no matter what life throws at you.  

I honestly didn't think it could get any crazier BUT sure 'nough... This year I learned a ton, spending countless hours experiencing a whole new business, new aspects of life and a new season for our family.  As we move into 2017, the Berg's have the same goals and dreams (help people win) but in a totally new paradigm than we could have ever imagined.  I truly believe this will be the biggest year of change we've had and we're very nervous but extremely excited at the same time!  Get out there and "change things" this year!

Now on to the top 10 moments of 2016... Reminder that not all moments are great but they are the "moments" of the year that have shaped this season.

Honorable Mentions:
*) THE DALLAS COWBOYS (It's been a great season but if we make it all the way to the Super Bowl, you better know that will be a top 3 moment in 2017)!!

*) Gay Pride Parade (Crazy new experience for me, encouraging and sad)!!

*) Spending Time with Jeff Foxworthy (Semi-Long story, but very solid and down to earth man)!!

*) Wifey Perfecting the Chocolate Chip Cookie (No, Seriously)!!

*) More Certifications (Food Safety, Football Coach, FEMA Emergency Response, etc.)!!


Top 10 Moments of 2016:
10) Having the Best Wedding Date Ever (I still have the privilege of officiating weddings but this is the first time just Rae joined me)!!


9) One Full Year with the Largest Retailer in the WORLD (And getting to be on TV SEVERAL times representing all of our Tulsa area stores)!!


8) Rae having to have Surgery AND in a Wheelchair the whole Summer (Not only was she an amazing trooper in this but so was my Amazing wife, she was so strong for our unit)!!


7) Jock (Yes, we finally gave in...Here's to hoping he will be around for a long time)!!


6) Football & European Football (Jax started his first season ((Starting Center)), Rae joined a competitive team ((after surgery I might add)) and Bear totally dominated)!!


5) Birthday DDW: Fly a Plane (Oh Yeah, that's me... FLYING A STINKING PLANE)!!


4) DDW: Route 66 (At least the Oklahoma part of it for now)!!


3) The Spartan Code becoming an Official Registered Trademark of Surge Leadership, LLC (This was an expensive and stressful one, but we made it and is already opening some very exciting opportunities we hope to share very soon)!!


2) Berg Family Fun Days (This particular one was our Devil's Den Camping Trip)!!


1) Falling more in Love with My Wife (Tons of Great Dates)!!


I'm so thankful I take the time to do this each year... It's so good for the soul to reflect!!
Want to take a look back to the previous five years?  Here you go201120122013, 2014 & 2015!!

Want to connect?  Catch my new account on Facebook or as always at SurgeLeadership.net and/or TheSpartanCode.com!!

Monday, January 04, 2016

My Top 3 Favorite Leaders


A good friend of mine is currently working on his masters in leadership and recently asked me who my "top three great leaders" were.  When thinking about who are the greatest leaders of all time, literally, hundreds of leaders come to mind... Though I’d like to talk about all of them, I will give you the answer I gave him, my top three (in order of era).

King Leonidas (480BC)… King and leader of the Spartan Army (the most elite and disciplined soldiers the world has ever seen). With many stories of Leonidas’ passion and leadership the one that stands the test of time was also his last one (Battle of Thermopyle). In 480 BC, facing the largest army the world had ever seen (Persia), King Leonidas rounded up 300 men, whom had sons, to head to battle and stop the Persian army just long enough to allow a bigger army to gather and defeat the Persians. He chose men with sons because he wanted their names to be past on for generations, Leonidas knew he, and those men, would not return. Even when given the option to surrender and in return be made rich, Leonidas held to his convictions and fought to the very end. 

Jesus (32AD)… Born to a single mom and step-son of a poor carpenter, Jesus would grow up learning about his heritage, purpose and developing a plan that would literally change the world.  At thirty years old, Jesus selected a group of twelve men to train and teach all that he had learned from experiences and his God.  After three years of living with this group, seeing the them grow both numerically and in life, Jesus would pay the ultimate sacrifice for his convictions.  Being nailed to a wood cross, the worst punishment Rome had came up with, Jesus left his small group of followers to carry on the name and teachings.  2,000 years later, his followers continue to pass on his teachings and stories to billions around the world.

William Wallace (1305AD)… Though William was a “commoner” he didn’t grow up like one. With the loss of his parents at a young age, William traveled with his uncle and learned about life, politics and even war. As an adult, he came back to the village he was born in and began to raise a family. Cut short of this hope by England’s reign and forcing Scotland’s submission but in so doing causing pain to many. William began to speak of rebellion and freedom. At the battle of Sterling he would become famous using tactics and strategies never before seen in battle. Ultimately, though being offered release, he would choose to sacrifice his life to the cause of freedom of his people.



Three different men, hundreds of years apart, but a common thread is found in all of them.  Discipline and Integrity of self, plus Sacrifice and Courage for others... These four characteristics is what separates them from so many others.  I believe that every great leader must have all four of these characteristics... Are you ready to carry the DISC!?

What to find out more about DISC or we call it 'The Spartan Code'!?  Visit our website: www.TheSpartanCode.com (there's even cool Spartan Code gear).

Friday, January 01, 2016

Top 10 Moments of 2015 (and honorable mentions)

Crazy... I have been doing my top 10 moments of the previous season for five years now!!  Can't believe so much time has gone by and more importantly to see in pictures/moments how much has evolved.  If you are interested here's some links to the previous years: 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014!!

Now on to the top 10 moments of 2015... Reminder that not all moments are great but they are the moments that had the biggest impact.

Honorable Mentions:
*) Driving a Lamborghini (Huracan)!!


*) Being a part of the first Bixby Football Championship (Leadership Coach)!!


*) C.L.E.E.T. Certified!!


*) Rifle School (Yes, I passed)!!


*) Teacher Certified!!


Top 10 Moments of 2015:
10) An Appendectomy!!


9) Speaking at my Alma-mater (Ottawa University)!!


8) Man Night (Jax's 10th Birthday Milestone)!!


7) Coaching SOCCER (I'm still not sure how that happened)!!


6) Finishing a Spartan Race (Court after breaking her wrist)!!


5) Cashing in the Yellow Jeep Wrangler Fund (And NOT for a Jeep)!!


4) Anniversary/Birthday/Time-Away Trip!!


3) The Spartan Code Workbook going public!!


2) Losing GP 


1) Starting a new career (Really crazy story... But the ending is going to be epic!!)


Starting 2015, Courtney and I had made a conscious choice that it was going to be better than the last half of 2014.  However, with the start of the new year we realized nothing really changes because of a date on the calendar only working through seasons.  It is absolutely crazy that I can say with honesty that this past year was the hardest year yet (because looking back we had some hard seasons).  That was not the plan but that is what played out.  God showed us many new things and ultimately took us back to the beginnings where we had to choose to start building again... But this time something new, something with a renewed focus and vision, something with over a decade of experience in who WE are together and not twenty years of who we were apart.

God is still good and continues to reveal Himself in new and different ways.  Selfishly, I hope 2016 isn't as hard but we're ready for whatever comes down the pipe.  Now, get off the computer and go "change things"!!

Want to reach me? Try me at: www.SurgeLeadership.net or www.TheSpartanCode.com (click on the 'contact' link).  Also check back, right here, each Monday for a new posts about leadership, life or just a good old fashion story with a lesson!!

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

The Three Questions (Akbar & Birbal)

King Akbar was very fond of Birbal. This made a certain courtier very jealous. Now this courtier always wanted to be chief minister, but this was not possible as Birbal filled that position. One day Akbar praised Birbal in front of the courtier. This made the courtier very angry and he said that the king praised Birbal unjustly and if Birbal could answer three of his questions, he would accept the fact that Birbal was intelligent. Akbar always wanting to test Birbals wit readily agreed.

The three questions were

1. How many stars are there in the sky

2. Where is the centre of the Earth and

3. How many men and how many women are there in the world.

Immediately Akbar asked Birbal the three questions and informed him that if he could not answer them, he would have to resign as chief minister.

To answer the first question, Birbal brought a hairy sheep and said, “There are as many stars in the sky as there is hair on the sheep’s body. My friend the courtier is welcome to count them if he likes.”

To answer the second question, Birbal drew a couple of lines on the floor and bore an iron rod in it and said, “this is the center of the Earth, the courtier may measure it himself if he has any doubts.”

In answer to the third question, Birbal said, “Counting the exact number of men and women in the world would be a problem as there are some specimens like our courtier friend here who cannot easily be classified as either. Therefore if all people like him are killed, then and only then can one count the exact number.”

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Fox & the Goat

A Fox fell into a well, and though it was not very deep, he found that he could not get out again. After he had been in the well a long time, a thirsty Goat came by. The Goat thought the Fox had gone down to drink, and so he asked if the water was good.

"The finest in the whole country," said the crafty Fox, "jump in and try it. There is more than enough for both of us."

The thirsty Goat immediately jumped in and began to drink. The Fox just as quickly jumped on the Goat's back and leaped from the tip of the Goat's horns out of the well.

The foolish Goat now saw what a plight he had got into, and begged the Fox to help him out. But the Fox was already on his way to the woods.

"If you had as much sense as you have beard, old fellow," he said as he ran, "you would have been more cautious about finding a way to get out again before you jumped in."

Look before you leap.

- Aesop's Fable

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Poison

A Chinese girl named Li-li got married and lived with her mother-in-law.  Since the mother-in-law was obnoxious, Li-li decided to kill her.

Li-li went to her doctor to get slow-acting poison.  The doctor said, "Just so that people don't suspect you, treat your mother-in-law very nice, as you'd like to be treated."  So Li-li was nice to her mother-in-law as she slipped a little poison into her food each day.  
Now a funny thing happened: the two started getting along much better and became best friends.  So Li-li went back to the doctor and said, "I now love my mother-in-law and don't want to kill her; please give me something to counteract the poison."  The doctor replied, "I gave you ordinary vitamins; the only poison was in your attitude."

Original Author Unknown


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Monkeys & the Fish

The rainy season that year had been the strongest ever and the river had broken its banks.  There were floods everywhere and the animals were all running up into the hills.  The floods came so fast that many drowned except the lucky monkeys who used their proverbial agility to climb up into the treetops.  They looked down on the surface of the water where the fish were swimming and gracefully jumping out of the water as if they were the only ones enjoying the devastating flood.

One of the monkeys saw the fish and shouted to his companion: "Look down, my friend, look at those poor creatures.  They are going to drown. Do you see how they struggle in the water?"  "Yes," said the other monkey.  "What a pity! Probably they were late in escaping to the hills because they seem to have no legs.  How can we save them?"  "I think we must do something.  Let's go close to the edge of the flood where the water is not deep enough to cover us, and we can help them to get out."

So the monkeys did just that.  They started catching the fish, but not without difficulty.  One by one, they brought them out of the water and put them carefully on the dry land.  After a short time there was a pile of fish lying on the grass motionless.  One of the monkeys said, "Do you see? They were tired, but now they are just sleeping and resting.  Had it not been for us, my friend, all these poor people without legs would have drowned."

The other monkey said: "They were trying to escape from us because they could not understand our good intentions.  But when they wake up they will be very grateful because we have brought them salvation." 

Traditional Tanzanian Folktale

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

The Dog & Chain


Once there was a dog that barked and snapped at people all the time.  On one occasion, the dog actually bit a man.  Many people in the neighborhood were afraid of the dog.  The owner of the dog realized people were afraid to come to his house, so he had no choice but to restrain the animal by putting a collar and chain on him and tying him to a tree.

For weeks, the dog strutted around the yard with his new collar and shiny chain.  One day some of the kinder and gentler dogs in the neighborhood came to pay him a visit.  While proudly showing off his “new duds,” one of the older dogs told him, “I hope you realize your chain and collar were not given to you as a reward, but as punishment for your lack of self-discipline.” 

The dog went back to his tree; finally realizing his lack of discipline had cost him his freedom.

Author Unknown

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

The Wooden Bowl

There was once a very old man, whose eyes had become dim, his ears dull of hearing, his knees trembled, and when he sat at table he could hardly hold the spoon, and spilt the broth upon the table-cloth or let it run out of his mouth. His son and his son’s wife were disgusted at this, so the old grandfather at last had to sit in the corner behind the stove, and they gave him his food in an earthenware bowl, and not even enough of it. And he used to look towards the table with his eyes full of tears. Once, too, his trembling hands could not hold the bowl, and it fell to the ground and broke. The young wife scolded him, but he said nothing and only sighed. Then they brought him a wooden bowl for a few half-pence, out of which he had to eat.

They were once sitting thus when the little grandson of four years old began to gather together some bits of wood upon the ground. ’What are you doing there?’ asked the father. ’I am making a little trough,’ answered the child, ’for father and mother to eat out of when I am big.’

The man and his wife looked at each other for a while, and presently began to cry. Then they took the old grandfather to the table, and henceforth always let him eat with them, and likewise said nothing if he did spill a little of anything.

By the Grimm Brothers

Saturday, August 01, 2015

1-year... And starting!!

Well, we’re here… It’s been exactly one-year since we stepped away from all we ever knew as adults.  After 12+ years in full-time vocational ministry we knew we needed a season off (Click here to read the original post), but even then we had no clue how bad!!

 The long story short is we essentially uprooted our former life and rearranged it until we found our new normal.  So much has happened this year... Lots of highs with our little family and even more lows from all over.  We have all grown in ways we didn't know were needed or necessary.  We have lost a lot both emotionally and physically but in weird and interesting ways gained new things.  Like I said, that's the short story... Still want more!?  Then keep reading.

We have come a long way.  And honestly, I sat down to write so many times over the months.  Some of the posts I kept and maybe I'll post them at some point because I think they could be helpful to others.  But some of those posts just needed to be trashed (and were, everything does not always have to be said... new lesson for me)!

So if you're still reading let me take you back to the beginning.  As of August 1st 2014, I was a husband, father and man without a job for the first time, in maybe... ever!?  And let me tell you, the first month was amazing!!  With all that extra time (Court working full-time with a dynamite Adoption attorney and all three of the kids going to school, Click here for that first post) I started several things I had always wondered about but never jumped on:
Trying out to be a Police Officer (Oh yeah, fitness test, agility test, intelligence test, psych test, department interview, etc.).  With dozens of other applicants I was pretty concerned but some how made it through and sent off to C.L.E.E.T.  After graduation in April I started patrolling the evenings (11p-3a) with an FTO for my Field Training, which if I do my math right, I'll be done in 2024 (Kidding on the year but seriously it's 540 total hours, it takes awhile).  Recently, I decided to not pursue police work in a full-time capacity, which was definitely on the radar, but remain in a Reserve Officer capacity with the department.  I love being a part of the brotherhood we call "the thin blue line" (And being able to say: I'M BATMAN)!!

Starting my own LLC (Surge Leadership) and began speaking "full-time".  Though this was slower than I expected, we met a lot of new people and places I had never (to be honest) thought about.  We really thought '10 Things' was the direction people would want but in the end, by default, I was able to develop a fun assembly style message on Social Media.  It all started in a small school in western Oklahoma and then all of the sudden I was visiting places all over (Some I had heard of and others that I hadn't).  With a pretty full August and September, we are having fun with 'To #Selfie or Not to #Selfie'!  

Working with even more teens as a study hall supervisor and creating a new "thing" we called: the Leadership Coach.  In the end both were exactly what we needed to both fill some gaps in time each day but more importantly giving us more vision for the future.  Thus, I checked with the state board of education and found out that all I needed to do to get my teaching certificate was pass two tests (since I had only not completed my student teaching during my undergrad).  With that in my tool belt I began looking at new full-time options (University of Tulsa, Bixby Public Schools, etc.) but knew we were missing the bigger picture.

Through all three of these avenues I was able to gain new opportunities for learning, growing, ministry, and serving.  And looking back, each one was an absolute necessity in the steps towards the dream (the cool part is I still get to be involved in ALL of them).  This is a great spot to say that Courtney has stayed super busy with opportunity after opportunity to impact the lives of both children and families through adoption (literally hundreds this year).  The kids are all doing well and loving summer (Court & I are currently coaching all three different basketball teams right now) but ready to dive back into school and friends and activities and schedules.  The doctor said that Jackson will be taller than me when he gets older... Which I don't doubt but crazy that I have a 10-year old (The Agoge begins now)!!  Creighton is the fastest girl I know and continues to make me laugh because she just kicks the ball (in soccer) or throws the ball (in basketball) down the field/court and then just legs it out past everyone!!  Charleigh has gotten very picking about food, clothes and anything else but still loves cuddling with me and is always my first hug and kiss when I get home!!  


So here we are (If you're still with us)... And I'm so excited to tell you about what I have been working on for a very long time.  Though the original concept came out of a meeting years ago, it has evolved bigger and bigger each day.  As of today, Surge Leadership has just launched its newest arm called THE SPARTAN CODE.  At first glance it's a leadership curriculum that we implemented and saw work at Bixby High School over the past couple of years.  But as the description says: "The Spartan Code isn't just a curriculum for athletes, it's a way of life for leaders. You can't simply learn the code... You have to live it!!"  The Spartan Code is built around four leadership principles found from the ancient traditions of the most elite warriors to ever walk the planet... You guessed it, The Spartans!  We refer to those as "DISC" and they are the true 'Characteristics of being a Spartan'.  Within our curriculum we challenge student-athletes to not only develop personally but as team leaders.  We believe, because we have seen it work, the Spartan Code can literally change a student, then a team, then school and prayerfully a city, a state, a country and the world!!

So how will that happen with curriculum for student-atheltes?  I'm glad you asked...

Quick side-note (it's actually a huge note): We are not and will not be "all things to all people."  The Spartans were the best because of their strict selective process and extreme ethics (virtues, rules, feelings, etc.) they lived out, no matter the cost.  We will be doing the same.

  • Phase One: Establish our name and see The Spartan Code used in multiple schools in our region (This will be done by not only selling shirts, stickers, posters and obviously curriculum but also coming alongside coaches to help develop leaders among their student-athletes and teams).
  • Phase Two: Continue offering updated Spartan Code Workbooks to current schools, Implementing Online Training for coaches and expanding into new schools across the country (With contact and interest already made from schools on both coasts, as well as, training videos being story-boarded, this phase is only a matter of time).
  • Phase Three: Publishing our first Book and launching our online Men's Training Course (Chapters are already being written, real-time stories are being collected and most importantly some foundational meetings have taken place for a sold publication to pick us up).
  • Phase Four: This is a secret, at this time, but will be announced alongside phase three (I'm so stinkin' excited about this phase and what it could mean for men and our society).
  • Phase Five: Publishing our Father-Son Edition Book (Though I cannot share all of the details, what is in current development has not been produced before and, believe, will help father's raise men).
**There are more dreams on the board and ideas in the works beyond phase five but we believe this will keep us busy for the next couple years.  Our question now is... Will you join us!?  

There are several ways to help and I'd like to formally invite you to take part:

  1. Visit our website: www.TheSpartanCode.com and 'Follow us' on Social Media (Facebook, Twitter & Instagram)!!
  2. Tell your family/friends/school about the dream, the curriculum and the plan!!
  3. Support us by purchasing something from the Store!!
  4. Let us know your thoughts and share some words of encouragement!!
If you can't tell... We're really excited about the future not only in Bixby but in so many schools, towns and families to come!!  Thanks for taking this journey with us... I can't wait to update you along the way!!  (God is good... All the time)