Showing posts with label humanity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label humanity. 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.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Meeting Climate Change Demands Is a Global Effort

Not so long ago, on a planet your feet are currently planted on . . .

. . . the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held the 2015 conference in Paris. This was not the first global conference to address our focus on climate change, nor will it be the last. But, it was a pivotal moment for humanity. For the first time, in our history, we decided to act as a united world of various governments to combat as many climate change challenges as possible.

Although the Paris Agreement that came out of this event was adopted, the actionable outcome won't fully be realized until 2020 and is not expected to be signed until April 22nd, 2016. It is, however, an indicator of impactful thinking that will change how we address climate change in our day-to-day lives and world commerce. Corporations, in particular, linking our global commerce efforts, will be forced to investigate business model changes that 187 countries producing 99% of global greenhouse gas emissions are asking, and will continue to ask, them to do.

Now, not all of us have the time or money to be as proactive as Richard Branson or Elon Musk, or have as much unrestrained, self awareness to act like Kumi Naidoo or Jane Goodall. But, we are all responsible to make this change sustainable. How? I'm glad you asked . . .

Individuals - Do you practice daily efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle? Do you shop at local businesses, grower's markets, and food co-ops? Do you compost daily? Carrying reusable bags for every shopping excursion as well as gardening & composting (I recommend vermicomposting) in your back yard, isn't as big of a task as you think - at least once you get started.

Businesses - Does your business embrace recycling efforts, from the top level down? Do you purchase or sell products and services derived from sustainable programs? Does your business have a Corporate Social Responsibility program built into the Business Plan? If businesses are updating their business models no less than yearly, making sustainable, meaningful change shouldn't be such an arduous task.

Industries - If individuals and their business models are the trains of thought that motivate us to change, then industries are most definitely the tracks that unite us and get us there. From small government to the UN, global policy change is driven by the industries that create the civil engineered roads we drive on, the architecturally structured buildings we live and work in, and the products & services that are the foundation. 

An industry that continues to surprise me is the film industry. Global in scale, it has moved far beyond Michael Moore's and Al Gore's valiant efforts to talk about the things we have deliberately chosen to ignore. Leonardo DiCaprio's awareness campaigning at the Academy Awards, not to discount his involvement in the People's Climate March or presentation to UN delegates, brought to light a changing tide in how we view & address global climate change. Celebrities as advocates for social change is nothing new, but addressing it through an industry like film, and then allowing public media, and especially social media, to run rampant with the notion, is phenomenally awesome.

What sustainable efforts do you embrace every day? Because one thing is certain - there is no fence riding on this one. It's up to us, all of us, each and every one of us, worldwide, to keep the momentum going. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Of 'isms, 'ists, & Issues - Paying Respect to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our opinions shape who we are, and who we want to be. The below blog is an opinion piece meant to celebrate one man's courageous spirit and honest opinion about humanity. Thank you, Martin Luther King, Jr., for teaching me to be a better person.

I was born into privilege. White. Male. Privilege. I don't identify with it, I don't like to say I possess it, and regardless of my choice not to identify with it or exploit it, I still have it. In fact, if you are any given white male in the world today, of any age, guess what?

This is a particularly tough thought process for me because, just like so many other white males who frown upon racism, sexism, and the countless other negative 'isms and 'ists that exists today, I still can't escape this deplorable, unfathomable truth. A more unfortunate truth is that 'isms and 'ists simply shouldn't be truths. And they most certainly shouldn't be issues, yet here we are.

So, today, as I take a moment to honor a man, who fought and died for human progress, Martin Luther King, Jr., I'm stuck asking myself, what makes an issue an issue? And who decides which 'isms and 'ists are arguable issues? 

By and large, the one that impacts every human being is gender. So let's talk about gender issues first. This is particularly salient point when you consider that women make up nearly half of our population. I think it's safe to say that most people think that sexism is wrong. I'm sure you're thinking right now, of course it's wrong. But then why are there are so many someones out there, right now, who think that feminism, the rational advocacy model driving gender equality, is an over-the-top and unnecessarily rash stance to combat sexism? 

Worse yet, we keep letting this particular issue go on, spiraling out of control. It's become so polarized that we let it happen at home on our televisions, we let it happen at school in our history books, and we even let happen at work. We let it happen to each other without even thinking about it. How many times do you write (or taught to write) 'he' before she? How often do you say (or even just hear), 'Hey, you 'guys'? Heck, even our base hu'man'ity suffers. Okay, maybe that's a reach . . . or maybe it's not.

Racism falls victim to this same faulty logic. Too many people tell us to say #AllLivesMatter instead of #BlackLivesMatter. It's a rational thought. All lives do matter. But it's not our reality when so many people of color are profiled, victimized, and killed, every day, world wide. Or, why do so many people take issue with those of us who feel we should no longer say derogatory slang terms like 'Redskin'? Or 'alien' when referring to immigrants? Are they really that different, that far out there?

I think the biggest hurdle is when a per'son' (ok, now I'm really reaching) wants to call something an issue because their personal beliefs say it's a grey area:  'I don't agree with gay marriage or a gay 'lifestyle',' or 'I think it's okay for me to take away a woman's right to decide what she can do with her own body, when she can do it, and how she needs to dress (or cover up) doing it.' There are no grey areas here. It's very simple:  if it's not your body . . . well, you know the rest (and, if you don't, Google it). 

A huge problem with ill-founded issues, 'isms, and 'isms' is the waste. Wasted time, wasted energy, wasted money, all because some people want you to know that their personal opinions (I mean issues) are more important than real issues like, oh, say, homelessness or obesity in a world that also has millions starving.

It's easy to say what you're against. What do you stand for? Therein lies the difference between a conservative mind and a progressive, proactive one. I'm reminded of watching and listening to Obama talk about his thoughts and proactive stances on gun control. I'm not talking about agreeing with his politics, just his thoughts.

We can start with just simple, common sense gun control measures. All opinions aside, the cold, hard (deathly) fact remains that gun control (particularly in the U.S.) is a necessity so long as we have so many massacres of our children and other citizens not expecting to be catching a bullet. I watched Obama's presentation, felt it, finished it and cried. Did you watch this? 

There are so many other negative 'isms and 'ists. Too many for a single blog. Issues found in movies, books, ads, marketing, mass media - everything we see, and our kids see every day, reflects the inequalities of issues. Rich over poor, thin over fat, and in each of these circumstances, one is always expected to aspire to be the presumed 'better' one.

Unfortunately, people don't want to talk about 'issues' in the workplace for fear of what their peers or employer might think or that it just creates a hostile work environment. We can't talk about it on facebook for fear of losing 'friends'. We can't talk about it at the park, the market, or the game because, well, that's not fun. So where can we talk about it?

The takeaway is that we can't let this topic of issues go on any longer and expect to evolve as humanity. World hunger, clean water, climate change, these are our real issues. But if we really want human progress, we have to rid the world of the faulty issues that drive 'isms and 'ists to begin with. Which 'icms and 'ists are top of mind for you?

Friday, January 1, 2016

We Are All Leaders of the New Year

We are all leaders. We choose to take lead of some, if not hopefully every, aspect of our lives. And although each of us is completely accountable for our individual actions, our actions ultimately serve the greater good. 

So this year, and every year . . . 

Make your interactions the most they can be. Instead of just meeting someone new or rekindling an existing relationship, find each and every way you can work together to make a difference. 

Read books, articles, & blogs that focus on innovation that matters. Not innovation that only serves to boost you, your brand, or even your industry, but rather innovation that makes a difference for human progress. 

Write. I know this is a tough one for some. Heck, it's tough for me. But you don't have to call yourself a writer to write. Just write, and I think you might be surprised by what comes out. 

By the end of this new year, we want look forward into the next, not backward, and realize that our choices matter. Because we only grow when each of us has recognized that leadership is a choice, not a fate.

How will you lead this year? What difference will you make? 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Why Being the Best Is Irrelevant

Be good, be better, be great in life and business, and you will discover that being the best becomes irrelevant. Now success on the other hand . . .

Success is not defined by being the best or winning. When you excel at something, anything really, you will find happiness AND success.
And when the individual succeeds, the team succeeds. Whether it's a large matrix of teams under a corporate umbrella, teams of active players in an industry, or even our world commerce, success is driven by people advocating for causes greater than themselves.
People that find success drive for change that improves the social good. Social good represents the best our humanity. Hillary Clinton, Peter DiamandisLaci Green, these are people who have succeeded by being advocates for the social good of humanity, each in their own way but all for the greater good.

Sir Richard Branson is one of the greatest examples of advocating for the social good. He rose beyond his dyslexia to build an enterprise of companies. But he didn't stop there. In addition to promoting social good within each business effort, he fights for human progress through endeavors like Virgin Galactic. Then, taking it a step further he became an ambassador of hope & human prosperity through founding humanitarian efforts like The EldersCarbon War Room and The B Team.

Think of all the successes you've had in life. Which are the most meaningful to you?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Social Change: The Human Condition Of Business Modeling

Gazing upon the world we have built, and tripping on the stumbling blocks of the haves and the have nots, does the world of business and economics have it backward? As a whole, our commercially driven world creates & sells products and brands first with a secondary focus on volunteerism, social change, and adequate responsiveness to real world needs.

Certainly honest efforts are being made to make a human capital drive more sustainable. TEDTalks, STEM programs, and other similar organized efforts are the inspiration of so many of tomorrow's global business, organizational, & political leaders. But even with all of this tremendous effort, the players in these situations know if they don't maintain public interest, then they, and the people they inspire, will eventually falter.

So how do we avoid creating our own social change villains while maintaining the costly weight of worldly needs? What do I need to do and how do I get there become critical questions, but they focus too much on the individual.

What if, instead, we followed the lead of social change leaders like Richard Branson or Elon Musk and explored the human condition of business modeling? What if we spent more effort supporting entrepreneurial mindsets focused on changing the world and making it a better place without that ever-glowing dollar sign being the ultimate signature of profit?

What questions are most important to you when addressing social change?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Be Engaged, Be Social, & Be a Leader

Spending time at work, with family & friends, and volunteer efforts makes up a big portion of our lives and are often intertwined.  We're all busy, but we're never too busy to be a leader.  Leaders have an unrelenting desire to look past personal agendas and into the heart of the collective whole - humanity.

We are all capable of being leaders. So, how do we hone our leadership skills and become the leader we're destined to be?

When we interact with each other through our career, our family & friends, or volunteer efforts, we do it to feel a part of the collective whole.  Whether we engage others in-person or through social mediums, our engagements help us grow as people.  Leaders realize that none of us are alone, and that everything we do is for each other.  

Being Social vs. Being Engaged

Being engaged is a critical component of being a leader, but being socially recognized through our engagements is quite another.  It's been said in various ways by various people, but if you're not part of the solution then you're part of the problem.  Becoming part of a group with a specific mission and vision is a great first step, but, for a leader, it's not enough.  A leader actively participates to make the vision a reality.

Everyone is a Leader  

Even a leader needs a break every now and again.  Since no one is born a leader, and we are all capable of being a leader, we should all strive to carry the torch for the collective whole - humanity.  Act well your part.