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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thought Leaders Now Being Replaced By Feeling Leaders

I'm not talking warm and fuzzy. Nor am I diminishing the thoughtfulness of the presenters at the World Innovation Forum. They were. Thoughtful, that is. Very.
But it wasn't so much their thinking that moved me -- as it was thefeeling behind their thinking.
No matter what business you're in, the engine of innovation is really about being moved. That's what movements are made of -- the heartfelt, intrinsically motivated effort to get off of dead center and accomplish something meaningful.
This is the crossroads all of us are standing at these days -- the intersection between this and that. What the newspaper industry is going through. And the music industry. And the television industry -- just to name a few.
My heroes, these days, are the people who don't just stand at the crossroads, but dance -- inspired individuals who find great delight in the paradoxes, get juiced by the challenges, and realize that "innovation" is not a program, initiative, or model, but a way of life.
That's the main reason why I enjoyed the World Innovation Forum so much.
Because that was precisely the mindset of the presenters -- and the people who attended -- no matter what industry, pedigree, or astrological sign.
As I watched the WIF presenters do their conference thang, I got some unexpected insights into the art and science of delivering a memorable presentation to a global audience of innovation-hungry patrons.
So, for all of you conference keynote wannabees out there, take note. Here's part 1 of your tutorial.
1. Be in tune with your purpose: If you're going to hold an audience's attention for more than 10 minutes, you've got to begin by holding firm to your purpose... your calling... what gets you out of bed in the morning. If it's missing, all you could ever hope to deliver is a speech -- which is NOT what people want to hear.
If your purpose is clear, you're home free and won't need a single note card.
Mark Twain said it best: "If you speak the truth, you don't need to remember a thing."
2. Be passionate: Realize you are on the stage to let it rip. Completely. People are sitting in the audience because they want an experience, not just information. They want to feel something, not just hear something.
So play full out. Pull the rip cord. Jump!
3. Connect with the audience: You may know a lot of stuff. You may have a double Ph.D, but unless you know how to connect with the audience, your knowledge ain't worth squat.
If you were a tree falling in a conference room, no one would hear it.
So tune in! Establish rapport! Connect! And that begins byrespecting your audience and realizing you are there to serve, not preach.
4. Tell stories: That's how great teachers have communicated since the beginning of time. Storytelling is the most effective way to disarm the skeptic and deliver meaning in a memorable way.
"The world is not made of atoms," explained poet, Muriel Rukyser. "It's made of stories."
No bull. Parable!
5. Have a sense of humor: There's a reason why HAHA and AHA are almost spelled the same. Both are about the experience of breakthrough. And both are sparked when the known is replaced by the unknown, when continuity is replaced by discontinuity.
Hey, admit it. At the end of the day, if you can't find the humor in business, you're screwed. So, why wait for the end of the day. Find the humor now.
6. Get visual: It's become a corporate sport to make fun of power point, but power point can be a thrill if done right. A picture really is worth a thousand words.
If you want to spark people's imagination, use images more than words. The root of the word imagination is image.
7. Have confidence: Do you know what the root of the word "confidence" is? It comes from the Latin "con-fide" -- meaning "to have faith." Have faith in what? Yourself.
That's not ego. It's the natural expression of a human being coming from the place of being called.
So, if you're about to walk out on stage and are feeling the impostor syndrome coming on, stop and get in touch with what is calling you.
Let that guy/gal speak.
8. Trim the Fat: When Michelangelo was asked how he made the David, he said it was simple -- that he merely took away "everything that wasn't."
The same holds for you, oh aspiring-keynote-presenter-at-some-future high-profile-conference (or, at the very least, pep-talk-giver to your kid's Junior High School soccer team).
Keep it simple. Or, as Patti LaBarre, the delightful MC at the World Innovation Forum put it, "Minimize your jargon footprint."
9. Celebrate what works: If you want to raise healthy kids, reinforce their positive behaviors -- don't obsess on the negative. The same holds true for conference keynotes.
If you want to raise a healthy audience, give them examples of what's working out there in the marketplace. Feature the "bright spots," as Chip Heath likes to say. Share victories, best practices, and lessons learned.
Save the bitching and moaning for your therapist.
10. Walk the Talk: Good presenters are genuinely moved. Being genuinely moved, it's natural for them come out from behind the podium and actually move around the stage -- as in, walking the talk.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sayings about Life

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
               - Confucius
One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.
                 - Eleanor Roosevelt
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
                  - Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama
Courage doesn't always roar.
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice
at the end of the day saying,
"I will try again tomorrow."
                   - Mary Anne Radmacher
Life is an exciting business, and most exciting when it is lived for others.
                     - Helen Keller
Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.
                   - Helen Keller
As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
               - Carl Jung
Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Choose with no regret.
Appreciate your friends.
Continue to learn.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.
- Mary Anne Radmacher
Nothing happens unless first a dream.
- Carl Sandburg
I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was joy.
               - Rabindranath Tagore
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
                - Mahatma Gandhi
Begin each day as if it were on purpose.
                 - Mary Anne Radmacher
…when the task is accomplished,
the people will say
"We have done it ourselves."
                   - Lao Tzu
The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.
                     - Oprah Winfrey

Windowless Soul

Pressure at work?
Betrayed in love?
No reebok shoes?

Unnerving exams?
Lost in contest?
Unpaid dues?

You think you’re the only one in misery
That God doesn’t answer to your plea
Well, he doesn’t answer to my simple query--
I ask him how different is blue from green?
The rainbow colours unheard and unseen

And why they say spring is so colourful?
That poets, lovers, artists muse and cherish
I want to rhyme, kiss and paint dreams on canvas
Unmotivated, I ink about a dreary life, an unfulfilled wish
As my mind is trapped, God forgot to create windows
Canopied from inspiration and beautiful visions to relish

The ocean waves kissing the shore
Is it a sight worth dying for?
Twinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder how you are!
In my mind’s eye, I do imagine, the ocean and the night
But am I doing justice to its beauty by envisioning it right?

Acknowledging the world by feel and touch
I feel the warmth of a loved one’s hug and cuddle
The velvet petal’s silkiness they call a daffodil
Walking barefoot on grassblades the dewdrop’s tickle

Mirror, mirror on the wall, tell me do I look like a doll?
They say that I look so pretty…
Do they really mean it or say just to keep me happy?
I don’t understand how different beauty is from lack of it
That butterfly be admired, and caterpillar be trampled?
Is a rose so aesthetically different from a thorn? 

They say my twinkling innocent eyes 
glimmer like molten gold
Oh but of what use? Lifeless vestiges, 

numbed to the perceptions of the outside world 

Blind love

The only colour I know is black
They say grass is green, sky is blue
You should tell me…is it really true? 

I hear the ringing innocent laughter of a child, oh so pure!
Is his smile genuine reaching eyes? I wonder
I smell the lingering fragrance of newly drenched earth
And wish to witness the sky pouring out silver shower
I hear the melody and tune of the humming bird
And wish to see it sucking nectar out of perfumed flower

Trapped in a murky dark inferno
I close my eyes, all I see is stygian black
I open my eyes, I still see shades of the same
Keeping my four senses open,
With every step I take, venturing into the mysterious
Being beware of the ensuing hurdles,
Foraying into chasm of obscure shadows
I tripped, I was knocked, I was hurt and hit,
I bled to sanguine liquid drops they called blood

And you say you’re the only one in misery?
That god was unfair to you?
Yes, you are not as gifted as I am!
I’m spared to see the aversion mounting among mankind
Where the innocence of a child is stripped and cashed.
Reverence, candour, integrity --the words of yesterday
Kindness, compassion, civility --the virtues of history

What’s left in the world to see?
Deteriorating values and ethics of humanity?
Fraud and deception taking over fairness in quality?
Discrimination and discord wiping out unity?

Behind money and fame, on a wild goose chase
To appreciate small joys you don’t slow your pace
The rose, sky, butterflies and sun rays 

A person’s negativity over his goodness is all that you see
I pity you! That way, pretty rotten place the world would be
You think you’re the only one in misery?
That God doesn’t answer to your plea?

Yes how true! 

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