This is longer than I like or wanted to be, yet I believe it may be advantageous for you to know something about where I came from, and what my point of view is based on my life path. I am a so called “People-Person” like my Mom, with a mechanical engineering bachelors degree, and an ability to use “analytical logic” as needed like my Dad. A guy who can sense other people’s emotions and can see where people hurt, but also follow a detail schematic to understand how a system operates. I am a Myers Briggs type ENFP trained as a mechanical engineer, who grew up in the town where the adults around me were busy working to put men on the moon. To help you understand the skills based I have developed over the years, here are some of where I have been and what I have done – each me important insights, some of which I resisted at the time:
Trained Mechanical Engineer (Bachelors of Science/University of Central Florida) – my day job is as an engineer. For twenty one years I worked “manned space flight” working to ensure the Space Shuttle Thermal Protection System did its job during the mission to low earth orbit and back.
Volunteer and Associate Director of R.O.C.K. Camp – American Cancer Society’s Reaching Out to Cancer Kids summer camp – in different roles from 1987 – 2012. I got to work with children with cancer for over a dozen years in the summer, and they taught me a bunch of good things about life, living and dying. They taught me about love, courage and not letting an overwhelming threat to our life, become the sole focus of one’s life – they were too busy trying to find joy in the next moment, to outwardly worry about needle sticks, chemo and the specter of a shortened life. This wonderful lady in the red R.O.C.K. Camp shirt is Linda Wilkinson – she and my Mom were the two greatest mentors in my life. She is a dear friend. We used to get together for a week every summer and have fun with about ninety kids and our counselor family/team. She was the Director and visionary of R.O.C.K. Camp for seventeen years. A truly remarkable person.
Thermal Protection System Engineer – a job that made me learn to face conflict – because “TPS” had no back up system, there was no room for error. This work taught me that we have to defend boundaries, attitude about our work matters, and the importance of a well timed, but difficult, “no.”
Certified Franklin Cover Personal Coach (2002) – taught me the fundamentals of personal coaching, and that “there is no coaching without permission.” I have built on that simple foundation each day since. I am grateful for their kick start in my coaching and personal life.
7 Habits of Highly Effective People Certified Instructor - at the Kennedy Space Center as part of my day job I worked with a good friend, Chaz Wendling, to teach the workforce about the powerful tool set that is the “7 Habits.”
Project Manager – Human Error based Failure Modes and Effect Analysis – as a result I began to think differently about human error in the work we do around us, by asking the following question, “As people do this specific task, what are the likely human errors that can happen based on each of the work steps involved??
Recorded and Co-Produced my CD “Legends Free” with a genius, and good man, Sergei Kossenko. Some of you may not even know I sing and write songs constantly, and have been doing it for years. That is my twelve string Seagull brand guitar, photo taken by Kristin on the Condor Pass in Ireland, a good and happy while a go. It was between breaks at the Barretstown Gang Camp (now called Barretstown)
Student of my Father – a math major from West Virginia, an Air Force weatherman, and who came to Florida to work the Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle Programs all or in part. Dad worked as lead Guidance and Navigation Engineer on the Command Module on the Apollo 11 mission – for younger readers – that is the mission Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon. Dad can still remember the schematics from his system even today. He taught me how to think logically – even when emotions sought to distract from the task at hand. Dad and I did not speak for many years after my parents divorce, yet in time we were able to build common ground, and find a friendship I am very grateful to have. Dad lost his own father when he was twelve, and through Dad I have learned much about how to live, and the mistakes we can make when we have found our power, but are not using it wisely. Dad’s journey has been a remarkable one, and in his eighties, he sees things quite differently than he did when he was younger. I am so grateful for him in my life, even though it has not always been easy – together we had our tough conversations, and le
arned from each other. I stood up for my Mom’s values and insights, and he listened. I listened to what he needed, and gave him room to be himself and grow. We just drew healthy boundaries and became good friends. Which is a huge blessing.
Student of Psychology, Motivation, Conflict Resolution and in general Human Interaction – because this is where weget control of ourselves, learn to work well with others for mutual and lasting success, and overcome the fears and hesitations that keep us from becoming we are destined to be, and from helping those who need our kind words and deeds to inspire them towards their best selves.
Volunteer / Cara at Barretstown (95, 96, 98) – Barretstown is a summer camp in Ireland for European children fighting/facing chronic and acute illness. Like R.O.C.K. Camp, those sessions in camp were some of the most amazing times of my life. I was a counselor, and managed a cabin full of kids from one of the fourteen different countries I was blessed to get to visit with in session. These days abroad taught me many things, including the fact that the best way to communicate with the children who did not speak English, was to talk to them as if they did – that way they could hear my tone, see my body language and gestures, that helped them see my intent. It taught me to listen for what their intent, not just their words.
Development of The 21 Wells of Life™ Conceptual Model – allows me to help people to see how logic and emotion are inextricably linked in our desire to “go somewhere, get stuff done and get along with others.” This conceptual model took me six years to develop, and represents that metaphorical world on which The 5 Coins of the Helper-Learner™ walks each day.
Book: “Look No Further You Are The Reason Your Life Sucks – 216 Lessons Happy People Learn” – [Amazon.com] This book is a list of things we do to undermine our lives. Specific behaviors and ways we think about ourselves and others when we make mistakes. It sat on a shelf for five years until a friend read it. She said, “You need to publish this!” I said, “Ok,” and did. It is only $2.99 on Kindle at Amazon.com. You can read it on your computer if you do not have a Kindle Reader. Mom painted those flowers with such beauty and emotion that I chose to use them for the book cover – fire and beauty…
Student of Project Management – because PM is the act, tools and mindset of getting things done. One of my best friends/brothers is Mike Taylor from Innovative-e.com, and he has taught me more about project management, project governance and Sharepoint architecture, let alone life and how to live a good one.
Development of The 5 Coins of the Helper-Learner™ Conceptual Model and Coins – which at this time I have worked five years to create and share, since the decades of study and driven curiosity to find them.
A Christian who was not raised in church, but who lives each day to the best of my ability to live in alignment with the core values and intents of my faith – each moment of the day, in each interaction with those around me. Mom told me long ago that I would find my faith, and a church that would fit who I was, and she was right. Our method of expressing our faith is not fire and brimstone – while that has its place, we simply try to live in ways that help people, and inspire a desire to more often than not, to do the right thing, even when it is difficult.
Student of Nature – if there was one thing I loved in my life from an early age it is nature.
Student of my Mother – perhaps the finest street smart psychologist I ever met. Trained by life experience and her own wits, she knew people’s hearts, and saved herself with her quick thinking more than one – as in the case of The Door Mat Murderer. She was an artist and a great friend. Junie inspired this journey I have been on for over three decades – to build a bridge between her set of sensibilities I now call “emotional logic,” where she saw the map of human emotions and needs with great clarity, and my father’s set of beliefs driven by analytical logic, those of the technical mind, those driven by the forces that build the systems that make life possible, those of the engineer, the doer, the problem solver and the facer of tough technical realities. How do we know when Mom’s logic was wisest to use, and how do we know when Dad’s logic should prevail? The Keenan Life Curriculum™, is how I explain that bridge to people on both sides of it, or already squarely on the middle of it. It continues to grow in its ability to help people in stressful situations find better questions, instead of expecting the same old answers – all in the name of bringing a little more joy and understanding about this amazing world, its difficult realities, and their life living in it.
I appreciate your time and interest,
P.S. This is my first and only video. It is a tribute to those who made manned space flight a success.