What an historic occasion! Through the electoral process, we have elected the first person of color to the highest office in the United States. That, however, is only part of the story. While I am truly ecstatic about this, I am also excited for some other reasons. These relate to the possibilities that I see on the horizon. Barack is, above all else, an outstanding inspirational leader. He has tremendous presence, clarity, conviction, and superb skills.
Prioritization for the Ultra Successful Once again California has been ravaged by wildfires, driven by the intense winds that come in this time of year. What a combination, hot dry weather, high winds, and tinderbox dry countryside. It has added up to some fairly devastating fires. We were close on the last Santa Barbara/Montecito fires. It was so fast.
It is early January, and most western businesses are returning to activity after the lull of the holiday times. This marks a fresh start for many, with all of the typical new year's resolutions as well as fresh budgets, new business plans, and a set of year ending or year starting activities to handle. This is a good time to look at the support you will need for the first quarter, and a time to get your goals moving.
In today's world, there is a lot going on to which you can have all sorts of responses. Ideally, we will live our lives from a place of confidence, trust, and commitment to create our own path and destiny. However, sometimes each of us can "forget" what we are truly capable of accomplishing and give our power up to circumstances around us which can be totally outside our control. In my work, I often hear people describe their responses or strategies in physical terms.
One of my friends recently asked me why anyone would want to hire someone to create change in their organization. His perspective was that a business would want to be stable and reliable, not in transition and change. There are the old adages of "why upset the apple cart" or "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". So, his question is quite valid. Why support change? Here's what I have learned about this.
Change, in itself, is just a process, and a natural one. When you think about larger systems, it is clear that change is actually a constant, and happens whether we want it or not.
Last weekend found my wife Justina and me at Comic Con in San Diego. What an experience that was! It started out with our good friend Matthew inviting us to go to the conference to see his sons' business Radical Publishing and their booth at the convention. Now, I have not been much of a comic book fan, but I am a fan of family and seeing people succeed. I am also a great fan of creativity, and was this ever a place to see that! Top it off with a party on Saturday night, and we were good to go. Now, what does Gene Simmons (yes, the one from Kiss) have to do with this?
Most of us have now seen the news covering Sarah Palin and her decision to step down as Governor of Alaska. While we can question her motive, agree or disagree, what I would like to talk about today is simply the leadership action involved. First of all, as anyone who has listened to me for very long will know, I am a huge advocate of stepping into a desired state of change.
The are many references to storytelling in leadership journals, and to the importance of using stories to capture the attention of groups of people. Stories are the oldest form of teaching that we know of in human history. This oral/aural tradition of communication has fueled us and given us a collective sense of meaning. Stories teach us in every arena of life. When I look back over the years of my education, the storytellers stand out. They made everything real.
Years ago I worked as a process operator in an oil refinery.
Last week I talked about stories, and the power they have to engage people. It was one of my most popular offerings to date. One thing got more attention - both in comments and questions - and that was the part about how engaged people can become in the awful story and what we can do about it. Many of you know that I am a pilot. Part of that journey through aviation involved becoming a flight instructor. One thing I learned about people who love to fly is that the next best thing to flying is talking about flying.
Here's a bit of trivia. The Wright brothers' historic first powered flight traveled a total distance that is less than the wing span of a 747. That was in 1903. In 1911, the Wrights' Vin Fiz was the first airplane to cross the United States. The flight took 84 days, stopping 70 times. Now, the last time I was in a 747, I was traveling to Hong Kong. Those are dramatic increases in the space of 100 years.