the blog Synergy

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Write an Elevator Speech...For someone else

Adrian Trenholm writes today about a dinner he had with Jason Womack. Jason has taken the idea of an elevator speech to an entirely new and cool level. Jason says we should take the time to craft a 30 second elevator pitch… for someone else, so you can properly introduce them when they are in your midst. Jason mentions doing this for your loved ones, which is a great place to start with this brilliant idea.

Another great thing to do would be to determine your list of friendlies that you want to feed, and take the time to craft a pitch for at least 5 of them a week. Then, after you've crafted your pitch for them, send it to them and ask them how they would tweak their introduction. Keep doing the process until you've got a nice introduction that is in your words, and contains the important information your friendly wants to share with others.

It takes some work to do this right, no doubt about it, but it'll be so worth it when you're done, to have in your pocket a great way to introduce those special people in your life.

The Power of We!

Phil Gerbyshak
http://makeitgreat.org


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Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Part in the Orchestra

Reading through one of my quote of the day subscriptions, I came across this quote and thought it would be PERFECT for the blog Synergy:

"It takes generosity to discover the whole through others. If you realize you are only a violin, you can open yourself up to the world by playing your role in the concert." – Jacques Yves Cousteau, marine explorer

As a violin, I am glad to play the part I do in this orchestra. While I can only guess what instruments the rest of my team plays (Rosa - a harp, Trevor - the triangle, Steve - the cymbals, Troy - the bass drum, Felix - the clarinet), I realize that without any one of us, the team is not as strong as it is with all of us playing together.

The Power of We...All instruments in the same band, making beautiful music together. Won't you join us as we work together to unleash the Power of We? Leave a comment, tell us what you think, and help us play even more beautiful music. After all, we're missing so many parts that although the music we make is sweet, with you, it could be even sweeter!

Make it a great day!
Phil Gerbyshak


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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Happiness is not something that happens

From Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's Flow, The Psychology of Optimal Experience

What I "discovered" was that happiness is not something that happens. It is not the result of good fortune or random chance. It is not something that money can buy or power command. It does not depend on outside events, but, rather, on how we interpret them. Happiness, in fact, is a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated, and defended privately by each person. People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy.

The individual can choose to Lead or Follow, Walk into fear or walk away.

If we choose to follow the Lesson of the geese, we can increase the power of I to the The Power of We.

If we choose to control ourselves, we can find our happiness.

Choice + Synergy = Happiness


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Sunday, January 22, 2006

Introducing: The Power of We

Greetings!

Phil Gerbyshak here, the author of Make It Great! This week, I was invited to become a part of Team Synergy. There are 7 of us in the community: Trevor Gay, Felix Gerena, Rosa Say, Steve Sherlock, Troy Worman, Rocky Noe and Phil Gerbyshak.

7 of us, with very different styles and voices, with 1 common ideal: to cheer each other (and others) on to do great things in our thoughts, words and actions, by offering the positive encouragement we all desperately need to get where we are going. As Steve mentioned in Lessons of the Geese, we are here to honk each other on, as geese do, in order to all achieve more than we could alone. That is the definition of synergy: where 1 plus 1 equals 3 or more, not 1, not 2, but 3 or more.

The Power of We. That's what we're all about.

I look forward to experiencing this journey together with YOU, the reader, offering comments, suggestions, thoughts, and ideas, challenging our thinking in ways we could never have thought of alone. I expect 2006 will unleash the Power of We inside each of us, and I hope you will unleash it with us, and share what you know and what you want to know. After all, the Power of We is far more than than the power of me. It's the reason why I'm here, and why you'll want to bookmark us, subscribe to our RSS feed, and come back here often.

I believe in the Power of We. If you don't already, I believe you soon will.

Honk if you love Team Synergy!

Honk Honk!

Lessons of the Geese

Rosa's posting on Will you lead or will you follow? got me to draw upon something I now realize I should have brought forward here before. Ah, but no idea before it's time or something like that is in effect I guess.
 
Anyway, I found the Lessons of the Geese somewhere along the way (2001/2002) before blogging anyway. Also before rediscovering a piece of it in Gung Ho! by Ken Blanchard, although it was written in 1997, I did not read it until it was referenced by a manager at work as we went through a re-organizational team building activity early in 2003.
 
Here are the Lessons of the Geese:

In the fall when you see geese heading south for the winter flying along in the "V" formation, you might be interested in knowing what science has discovered about why they fly that way.

As each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

Quite similar to people who are part of a team and share a common direction get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the trust of one another and lift each other up along the way. Whenever a Goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go through it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the power of the flock.

If we have as much sense as a Goose, we will stay in formation and share information with those who are headed in the same way that we are going. When the lead Goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wings and another Goose takes over. It pays to share leadership and take turns doing hard jobs.

The Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep their speed. Words of support and inspiration help energize those on the front line, helping them to keep pace in spite of the day-to-day pressures and fatigue. It is important that our honking be encouraging. Otherwise it's just - well .. honking!

Finally, when a Goose gets sick or is wounded and falls out, two Geese fall out of the formation and follow the injured one down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead, then they launch out with another formation to catch up with their group. When one of us is down, it's up to the others to stand by us in our time of trouble.

If we have the sense of a Goose, we will stand by each other when things get rough we will stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. The next time you see a formation of Geese, remember their message that: "IT IS INDEED A REWARD, A CHALLENGE AND A PRIVILEGE TO BE A CONTRIBUTING MEMBER OF A TEAM"

Author Unknown

Google helped me find a site that actually proves out most of this scientifically as well as identifies the author as Dr. Robert McNeish.
 
So in the spirit of the geese, Honk! Honk! for Team Synergy.
 
For a musical rendition of the lessons of the geese, check this out!
 
 
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Will you lead, or will you follow?

Tomorrow will be a defining day for people everywhere.

Tomorrow is January 23rd, the fourth Monday of the month, in a year where we have five of them, Ekahi ka Pō‘akahi o Ianuali, i.e. the force of five Mondays for Ka lā hiki ola, i.e. our dawning of a new day in a brand new year. Ianuali is the Hawaiian word for January, Pō‘akahi the word for Monday. Ekahi is 5.

It may have been a bit difficult to read that first paragraph with all the Hawaiian thrown in, however I did so because of the strong language of intention within the words:

—Monday is thought of globally as the beginning of the week: the resting ball starts rolling again everywhere.
—Beginnings are powerful: they set the stage for all which will follow.
—January is doubly powerful: it is the beginning of a whole new year.
—And in this year, in this already doubly powerful first month, we have the gift of five powerful first starts. First launchings of the ball rolling toward synergy as it builds momentum, going faster, and faster, and faster.

Ekahi ka Pō‘akahi o Ianuali. The force of five Mondays.

Do not resist: allow the energy of this time to work for you.

This is the time when New Years resolutions fall to the wayside for many, and I urge you to consider this: They fall to the wayside for those who are content with following and subconsciously have chosen not to lead.

There is self-leadership as much as there is self-motivation and self-determination. Are you seizing an opportunity for leadership in 2006, at this very ripe time, where people are in that mindset to choose: Will I lead this year, or will I follow?

And if you choose to follow, is it only because another leadership initiative has emerged that you are excited about and energized by, one you have deliberately chosen to own and put your signature on as you follow another’s lead— at first.

Here on the blog Synergy, we are back in the canoe and paddling to the dream. We are challenging each other offline (in our conversations and relationships) and online (blogging in our network of provocative thought) to lead with intention.

Pick up your paddle and get ready for your tomorrow.
Is it the paddle of the steersman?

Tomorrow can be your defining moment, your best first start, your Ka lā hiki ola.

Yes, the beach is nice, the sun strong and seductive. But it is time to launch the canoe, for an ocean of opportunity awaits us.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Walk into Fear

From Patti Digh at 37Days comes this:
Don’t we die a little everyday if we don’t walk toward that fear that holds up back, reduces us, makes us less than what we really are?

Stand up and walk toward your fear. Expand into it, embrace it, own it and name it, make it your pet, take it on walks, feed it, groom it, train it to heel, learn to love its mongrel face. That’s the only way you’ll stop it from yipping all day and night, and nipping at your toes. It’s the only way you can take your daily walks in the world without being dragged along by a wild, untamed fear.

Read the full posting here.

What is your fear?

Are you walking towards it?

 

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The symbolic force of words

I have read an excellent quote from my friend Walter. He lives in Shanghai and in his blog he tells many of his everyday experiences with chinese people. Some of these experiences reflect the particular wisdom of their millenary culture. A perfect example of it can be the advice of a man to a child on how to read a text:

First, study the characters, then the words, and finnally, the sentences; after that, you will be able to read and understand Confucio.

I like it because it reflects on the fact that human communication is not just a problem of information transference. Our words bear a poetic purpose, as important as the communicational value of them. That´s why I like recovering poetry for management and for leadership. I would like to explain this with a brief example. Let´s take an story from an old storyteller, Stesichorus, whose fables set the example and values for the Greeks of his time.

A horse had a meadow to himself. When a stag came and quite damaged the pasture, the horse, wanting to avenge himself on the stag, asked a man if he could help him get vengeance on the stag. The man said he could, if the horse were to take a briddle and he himself were to mount on him holding javelins. When the horse agreed and the man mounted, instead of getting vengeance the horse found himself a slave to the man.

"Thus you too", said Stesichorus, "Look out, lest while wishing vengeance on your enemies you suffer the same thing as the horse".

I think western way of thinking, educating and talking has let aside the beautiful side of words. A beauty that is not a passive quality but a fuze for action.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Aloha Rosa

Cracklin' Rosie rewritten with apologies to Neil Diamond

 

 

Aloha Rosa, we’re on board

We're gonna read till there ain't no more to go

Ho’omau

Kuleana

Workin' with ho’ohona

 

Switchin' on the internet train

Plenty there that I need to take along

Rewrite a song

To sing when I want

Don't need to say please to no man for a happy tune

 

Oh, I love my Aloha Rosa

She got the way to make me happy

You and me, we go in style

AlohaRosa you're a Talking Story woman

You make me sing like a guitar hummin'

So hang on to it, girl

Your song keeps runnin' on

 

Say it now

Say it now

Say it now, Rosa

 

Aloha Rosa, help me 'Imi ola

Aloha is an attitude, that's all right

We got all night

Ho’ohanaohano

Find us a dream kulia I ka nu’a

 

Oh, I love my Aloha Rosa

You got the way to make me happy

You and me, we go in style

Aloha Rosa, you're a Talking Story woman

You make me sing like a guitar hummin'

So hang on to it, girl

Your song keeps runnin' on

 

Say it now

Say it now

Say it now, Rosa

 

Aloha Rosa, help me ‘ike loa

Aloha is an attitude, that's all right

We got all night

Ho’ohanaohano

Find us a dream kulia I ka nu’a

 

 

2006 Sherlock's Foolish Music, Inc. (MADCAP Records)

 

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Everybody can be great

Click here for the audio version
 
"Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's "Theory of Relativity" to serve. You don't have to know the Second Theory of Thermal Dynamics in Physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love, and you can be that servant."

 

Excerpted from "The Drum Major Instinct", a sermon by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1968. Available on CD and print in A Knock At Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

 
 
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Back in the Canoe, and Paddling to the Dream

Aloha mai kakou!
Back from my holiday hiatus and back to work — wonderful, glorious, this- stuff- is- important- and- I- love- it- work!


January simply rocks. Resolutions, new commitments, trends and predictions — whatever you call them, they are stuffed in minds and hearts, and new energy is oozing from our every pore!


That’s how it is for you too, right?


I have a lot of catch up to do, especially with the inspirational reading my fellow synergizers here have offered us, (mahalo Troy, Steve, Felix and Trevor for keeping the fire burning!) yet I am looking forward to it — all of it.


Once the holidays are officially over (my “officially” is January 2nd) I finish off my Strategic Plan for Say Leadership Coaching (my business), for when you love your work as much as I do, Strategic Plans are about dreams getting closer. Working the Plan = Working the Dream, and that isn’t yuck-work, it’s fun-work, liberating-work, and energizing-work. I am excited!


If there is the slightest possible chance you do not feel that way about what you’re doing, pick up a paddle and get on board with us: Plenty of room in the canoe!


In fact, there are a few canoes to choose from:
1. This one at blog Synergy: comment to challenge and encourage us, let us know what’s on your mind, even if different from what we write here.

2. The 100Bloggers still have seats open, and we welcome you there too, with arms open wide.

3. And if you want a taste of my 2006 Strategic Plan for yourself, join the MWA Jumpstart movement, (MWA stands for Managing with Aloha) my new online coaching program.


Imua! (Paddle forward) for Kala hiki ola, it is the dawning of a new day.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

forgotten or remembered

 
If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead & rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing. Benjamin Franklin
 
 
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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Why do you try?

From Wil at ThroughTh3Wall comes this:

Victory is heavy in the scales, but so is ease, so is my life with all of these demands of time, energy and stamina, it would be easy to stop here. Or would it? I am ten people for what seems like ten-thousand people, and this is exhausting enough on most days. But I can’t give in or let up or things will spin loose, and I’ve worked too hard to build this world. I’ve worked too hard for the impossible, and it’s mine for as long as I can keep the reins.

That’s what Ironman is for me. It is the culmination of my statement to this world that no matter what comes for me, though I don’t invite it, I will survive it. I will beat the odds and surmount all obstacles, and I will have it all be damned what the magazines say, what the news says, this is my life. And it is what I make it.

I think athletes have it easier to set a goal and reach it than most working folk. The time or distance of a performance is out there for all to see and compare to whomever has ever competed in that event.

But the office worker, the knowledge worker... crafting a spreadsheet, or preparing a memo, or marketing campaign... I'm sure there are dozens of examples, how are they comparable?

So why do you try?



Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Quotes and Links

Ronni Bennett has an excellent posting at A Time Goes By from which this snippet should entice you to go read the WHOLE thing.

So there seems to be an abstract land of happiness somewhere that we are incessantly urged to find. But I think we may already be there if we ignore the outside directives and define our own happiness.

Rocky Noe has a good posting on What is Passion? and concludes that the two key attributes are gratitude and grace.

Passionate people tend to be winners and always seem full energy and life. They are fun to be around and tend to challenge you in personal and professional pursuits. They have a purpose that is bigger than lifes problems.

Passionate people tend to be full of grace. They have a calm knowing that they will meet their objectives. They are confident and want to give that confidence to others.




Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Green Eggs, Ham and Synergy

I balked at blogging here at the blog Synergy, waiting for some flash of inspiration, or some profound brainchild about teamwork or collaboration or synergy. I dined on RSS feeds and Technorati searches and gulped down blogrolls in long draughts hoping the fare would spark my synapses and begin them popping, but for days, seeming weeks, nothing happened. My patience waned. I began to feel guilty. I started this, I thought. I can't not blog here.

I hurt my back, again, this past week-end. I don't know what I did. Nothing, I think. I don't remember. I think I woke up in pain. It was ridiculous. I couldn't bend over to put on my socks.

"You back hurt?" My son said.

"Yeah," I replied. I wanted to roll back under the covers and go to sleep, but for some reason I couldn't. Perhaps, it was Julia and Andrew jumping on the bed or the cartoons blaring from the T.V. set on the dresser. Maybe it was the smell of bacon.

Bacon? Interesting. Not yum! Not wow! Not yipee! Just interesting.

I'm a geek.

I got to my feet and hobbled into the kitchen. Alisa was standing at the stove making scrambled eggs. She called over her shoulder to the children, "Breakfast is ready!"

I sat down at my regular spot at the kitchen table. Julia and Andrew ran into the room and jumped into their seats.

"We having green eggs and ham!" Andrew smiled.

"Everyone helped," Alisa said as she dished the eggs. Julia made the toast and set out the plates and Andrew set out the forks and napkins.

It was teamwork, each person contributing according to their ability. After breakfast, I managed to help Alisa with the dishes and as I did my synapses began popping.

...

Monday, January 09, 2006

"Inspired posts" Tour early 2006

It seems like the new year has brought inspiration to the work of many of our blogger friends. I have really enjoyed these days reading some excellent pieces.

If you want to start a tour and have fun you should visit Bernie DeKoven´s blog. He is a very special personality and if he is almost always a big source of fun sometimes he is really outstanding. I have enjoyed reading his "The laugh metric" post.

Following the path of irony, Trevor Gay has offered us a piece full of common sense and fine criticism. Read his Simplicity -10 practical tips.

And to reach the end of the tour, Guy Kawasaki has also added irony to his "true" experiences with entrepreneurs / venture capitalists. Read both pieces:

Entrepreneurs
Capitalists

Friday, January 06, 2006

Vanity fair and the blogger condition

I talk about my blogger condition as others can talk about their gay condition. Yes, I see in my environment I am different. I am a blogger, I am distinct. None of my close friends blogs and in my business environment blogging is seen as "an american fashion trend".

Last week I had a business appointment with an important local Recruiters Firm associate. They had heard about me and were interested in collaborating on Leadership issues, particularly workshops. In our conversation, I mentioned the fact that I blog. He looked surprised by the word. " a Blog?". "What´s that?" If he was surprised I was scared.

He started telling me he works with some important pseudo-gurus, and that in few years he could even become a guru himself. I inmediately thought: but man if you don´t even know what a blog is how will you become a guru in today´s economy? You will be an expert on history, but not in XXI century´s business. That´s impossible.

After this first contact he also told me he wanted to see what the quality of my consulting work is like. I showed him some of my results and he was enthusiastic. He hadn´t seen such an innovative work for a long time. "I´ve been searching for something new, but there´s no way with our current providers". "This is clearly innovative. It´s clear you have done a big effort to achieve these results" (He was right on this). But all his enthusiasm was like a pastiche. He inmediately turned out talking about the gurus and the prestige and that I was very young for some of his clients.

The impression I got is that many business relationships in my environment still depend on a series of factors I would describe as Vanity Fair. It is this vanity fair that has a priority over work and quality. And it is this vanity fair that concocts a business world of closed relationships, absolutely away from our blogging world of opportunities.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Another opportunity to encourage Simplicity

Check out Trevor's posting on the email he received from Dan Ward.

Dan has a proposal for a manifesto at ChangeThis that is looking for votes.

If you are interested in simplicity, your vote would be appreciated.




Tuesday, January 03, 2006

MIT Imagines City Cars as Stackable "Shopping Carts"



A group of Architects and Engineers from MIT is working to reinvent the city car for future cities.

Read The Gaurdian: Robot Cars.

Thanks to Peter Davidson for the link.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Do or not do, there is no try!

Yoda's phrase caught my eye as I was catching up with Patti Digh's writing at 37Days. She posted two gems last week (she usually does just one a week) and I find these appropriate to start the new year:

We know there are sixteen ways to avoid saying “no” in Japanese. In the United States, “I’ll try” is one of them. What’s another? The ubiquitous “we’ll see.” Neither demonstrates much intention or direction, do they?

"We'll see" is part of my regular lexicon. I find myself using it often. I felt no issue with its use until today. I realized that unless I more fully expressed myself on the options I had thought about and were considering, the listeners would not have understood how definite I felt the "we'll see" really was.

I do take a determined approach to life's matters. I know I want to do things in just such a way to achieve a good experience. Much of this approach, while heavily thought out, is completely internal. I realize that unless I take the time to express these thoughts and options, the others would not be on the same page with me. Would not be able to understand the rationale for the "quick" decision. Would not be able to follow me with the same intention as I had.

Hence forth, more sharing.

More expression of intent.

In addition to more seeing, there will be more saying!


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year

Welcome to 2006!

Check back often, there will be a lot to write about this year.