Showing posts with label generations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label generations. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Celebrate Success With A Reboot

Success! We all crave it and love to celebrate it. But after the party ends, perhaps that's an ideal moment to reboot and hone in on what you can do better yet.

Rebooting offers us the opportunity to discover better strategies to improve our lives and our relationships. Consider the movie version Tony Stark from The Avengers. He goes from carefree, burger-gorging playboy, to growing through the many phases of just being IronMan, and, ultimately, into the blueberry-eating, sustainable design-building hero of The Avengers.

But the story doesn't stop there. Tony continues to re-define himself, his team, and relationships. Each success becomes a jumping off point for the next venture. Individuals like Richard Branson and Elon Musk do the same, and global enterprises like Google and Amazon are no strangers to this way of continuous improvement. Continuous improvement exercises are at the core of many successful organizational models globally. Strategies like Kaizen (改善) are also often employed and embrace activities that continuously improve an organization's complete infrastructure involving all employees, from the CEO to the people on the assembly line or in the field.

Celebrating the win is never more important than the action that led you there and certainly not as critical as what you do next - this being as true for science and business as it is for politics and sports. But, if your main objective is to win, well, then, you've already lost. 

Winning is only a stepping stone. If you're not talking about the next big thing, then you're talking about the wrong thing. It's about the long game. It's about healthy, sustainable living over brand and personality. It's about standing on the shoulders of giants and reaching ever higher. It's about change. Progress takes change.

So at the end of the day, by all means, celebrate your successes - frequently and happily. But when you get the chance, reboot and set the tone for our shared lives tomorrow.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Good Speaking is Good for Business (and Our Humanity)

Stand up comedians are great role models for speakers. I recently read Still Foolin' 'Em by the comic giant, Billy Crystal, and I have a newfound appreciation for stand up comedians. Making people laugh is one thing, but truly great comic geniuses have a profound grasp of the human condition and the world around us. They take what's real, put their funny spin on it, and throw right back at you - in your face.

Thinking about these comedians reminded me of what it takes to be a good speaker. The better speakers:

  • Are confident and prepared. They know themselves, their topic, and most importantly - their audience. 
  • They know what's relevant ahead of time and switch gears as needed - they're dynamic, innovative, and motivating. 
  • They never stop listening to and watching the audience for queues. They know when to ask questions (if not just rhetorical), listen, and then move on - timing is a definite key to a great presentation.
At the end of the day, generations alive right now have most recently lost Robin Williams, and over the last few decades we've lost other great ones, George Carlin, Joan Rivers, and Jonathan Winters to name a few. But what we really lost was someone to remind us of our faults. We still have Billy, Bill Cosby, and others to keep the truth coming though, and I look forward to the comic geniuses of tomorrow to keep me on my toes.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Social Good of Young Innovators

A while back I was attending a professional organization meeting where there were about 60 or so attendees; primarily members and some guests. The chapter leader asked everyone to stand. He then proceeded to ask everyone that had been a chapter member for a year or less to sit; a small portion sat down. He asked for people that had been in three years or less to sit; a slightly larger portion sat down. He proceeded to ask about 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, and so forth up to 50 years.

After the 20 year mark there were only a few people standing. These were older folks that had been with the organization for some time, and the chapter leader asked that the chapter commend these folks.  This particular organization has an average member age of 55+ and is diligently working to bring in younger members. And, while I do applaud showing gratitude for so many years of service for one organization and its efforts, I couldn't help but think whether the chapter leader shouldn't have gone the other direction and started at 50 years.

Why are we, as nations and as a world, obsessed with celebrating the past through events and figure heads? Shouldn't we be celebrating the young, our future, with every waking moment?

To quote a brilliant person, and a man my family adores (particularly my son):
“Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not.” 
― Neil deGrasse Tyson

I am, by no means, implying that we should discount the tremendous efforts of individuals or specific monumental achievements & events. But I do think we need to spend more time, money, and attention on younger generations. Whatever concepts or actions a previous generation creates, it is inevitably up to younger generations to advance them or even start anew.  This is true for every aspect our lives including our:
  • Personal & familial relationships
  • Business & organizational relationships
  • Communities, Markets, & Industries
  • Global relationships
With each facet of life, we stand on the shoulders of giants and reach ever higher. But we also find new ways to support each other; new ways to grow & evolve that may not include the past. In fact, we may flat out dismiss the past in favor of a better way. This is the nature of innovation. And with technology at the heart, and with the internet in particular, progressive thinkers can connect, engage, & collaborate like never before.  

I say this as a father, an organizational leader, a business person, a global citizen and an advocate for the Social Good. We should embrace young minds in our communities and industries. We should work to create one human voice celebrating the young & the innovative spirit for the Social Good of all.