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This September I had the pleasure of speaking at, hanging out in the pool, and MCing the Royal LePage National Headstart conference. I didn’t have any expectations going in other than I knew Realtors liked to have fun, and well I like to have fun so I thought we may just get along!
I was blown away.
The people were incredible. I’ve only spoken at a couple of conferences, this was by far my favourite. I basically made 300 friends that week.
As I was reflecting on an amazing couple of days it was it dawned on me, these Royal LePage folks really get it, I learned a TON. And here is what I learned.
1. If it’s not fun it’s not worth doing!
Supermensch, the legend of Shep Gordon. So I’m listening to the Timothy Ferriss Podcast and this guy who Tim’s about to interview has one of the coolest introductions, Shep’s done a lot. He’s cooked for His Holiness the Dali Lama, entertained who’s-who of Hollywood, and managed some of the most amazing musical acts, then the most amazing chefs in the world. He was a brilliant story teller and had accomplished so much. He seemed content, I wanted to know more. So i bought the book, They Call Me Supermensch: A Backstage Pass to the Amazing Worlds of Film, Food, and Rock’n’Roll. This post is inspired by the book. I highly recommend it. Entertaining, funny, and thought-provoking, one of my favourite books this year.
This quote pretty much sums up Shep.
Shep Gordon is one of my hero’s, here are a few reasons why.
Don’t wait for it to happen, you can create history. Most people believe all you have is what you’re dealt, like you can change your future if you want to. What a lie! Create history. When Shep first started managing his first artist, Alice Cooper, these were his marching orders, to create history. Quite literally working with Alice they didn’t try to “market” Alice Cooper, he didn’t “advertise” Alice Cooper. No that’s what the other managers would do, if he really wanted to stand out he needed to create history.
Whether it was wrapping an album in Panties or shooting Alice Cooper out of a cannon, Shep tried nearly everything. The first time Alice was to play in the UK they needed a really aggressive stunt as ticket sales were nonexistent. Shep got a flatbed truck with a giant billboard on the back displaying Alice wearing nothing by a large snake. Oh and he paid the driver handsomely to ensure the truck “broke down” several times in Piccadilly Square downtown London during rush hour. The driver was subsequently arrested, but they sold the show out! Create history.
Or the time that they promised to shoot Alice out of a cannon on stage in Pittsburgh. The problem was the cannon didn’t work. The night before the big show, Shep invited media to a “pre-concert party” where they were going to demo the cannon shot, how exciting! Shep was up to something, because when the cannon fired, Alice (or a dumby, who knows!) fired but only went ten feet. Panic strikes, the star is injured! Rush him to the hospital!
On the news you’d hear of the “accident” and how Alice was hurt with “non-life threatening” injuries. He played the show the next night in a wheel chair with hospital staff on stand-by if anything should go wrong. But how could it? It was all staged, Alice wasn’t hurt at all. It worked perfectly.
Create history, don’t wait for it to happen.
We all have come across those winners in meetings that love to use the latest business buzzword. You know the ones? They recite words and phrases you know they just heard for the first time while watching the Dragon’s Den last night.
You realize soon after school that the vocabulary you use has very little to do with your life and is more so correlated with pretentiousness. Yet the words below are used everyday, some times more than once, in offices and during meetings all over the world in hundreds of different languages. Well I’m sure other languages have their own overused meaningless terms that tend to follow the commerce crowd.
Before you start remember these are just opinions, please don’t be offended. Instead add your own overused word or phrase. Heck lets make this list longer!! Comment below with yours!!
The obvious one. Just stop it. Nothing says I’m a first year business student than using Synergy on purpose in a sentence. The exception to the rule you say? There is only one. Unless you work in the Easton Hockey stick Museum and you’re referring to my gold 2001 Easton Synergy Hockey stick you should never ever use the “S” word in a sentence.
Just a fancy term for people who don’t know how to make friends. Pro tip, stop networking and start doing things that matter. Volunteer, run for a board, help a non-profit, coach, be a big brother, do something that isn’t easy. Just showing up to an event and putting on a name tag isn’t hard. Volunteering countless hours for a great cause is a brilliant way to make new friends.
Do ANYTHING other then go to specific events just to “meet” people for the sake of a business relationship. Yuck. Read more
If you were Seth Godin you would say it needs to be remarkable! You know, your “Purple Cow” idea that will spread like wildfire.
If you were Jim Collins’ you’d start with a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG). Cities like Las Vegas, Austin, Amsterdam, Paris, even Victoria, all have a created visionary cities by doing something big, hairy and audacious. (they’re all REALLY good at something, or have something they are known for).
If you were Hugh MacLeod you would come up with a social object. Something people would have to talk about, have to share with their friends, it’d probably be really cool. Read more
“No matter what business you’re in, to thrive you must fight the presumption that you know your customer.” As soon as you claim to “know your ideal customer” you’ve lost. You no longer try to impress, you develop a standard operating procedure, you try and stream line your operation at the detriment of your customer. […]
John Cleese’s advice is so perfect for creatives, “if you do something a bit original nobody gets it at the start”. You can’t be discouraged when someone doesn’t like your new idea. They just don’t get it yet.
I used to have the wallpaper on my computer of a Seth Godin quote: “All the creativity books in the world aren’t going to help you if you’re unwilling to have lousy, lame and even dangerously bad ideas.”.
No one understands an original idea in it’s first form, that’s why you shouldn’t get discouraged when people don’t like your ideas. The trick is to keep coming up with ideas, that way, when someone doesn’t like one of your ideas that’s just fine, tomorrow you’ll come up with another and the day after that another. As long as you keep creating, keep trying, and keep pushing yourself to get to that “one” person to say, “I get it”, you’ll be just fine. It’s that endless pursuit that makes it fun isn’t it?
People before profits. People before policy. People before everything else. Read more
Why is it so rare that employees look up to their boss? Why is it that most senior leadership are referred as more of the senior part and not so much the latter? How come more people don’t look up to the leader of the organization? Why is it so rare to find a visionary, humble, head of an organization?
In the future we’ll look up to leaders who understand and act upon these 3 must do’s.
If your staff don’t know where you’re going it’s going to be very difficult to follow you. If your vision isn’t simple most people won’t get it. If your purpose can’t be summed up in a short phrase, you probably haven’t drilled deep enough. If everyone on the board is comfortable with the simple vision, it’s not provocative enough. If you let a committee come up your purpose it isn’t going to get far. If you think the executive suite are the only ones who can come up with your purpose, you’re wrong. Purpose should be shared just as much with the top row and the front line employees. More often than not front line employees have a better grasp on what the company “actually” does than the executive row.
Business strategy that’s written by mbas is business strategy for mbas. Real people want simplicity, they want to know you care and they want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
Don’t just say you care about people, that’s cliche and every company says they care about their people, very few actually show it.
You can tell what people and organizations care about by how they allocate their resources.
You show people you care with your actions and how you spend your time and your money. Every company says they care about their people but how many create a bottom up feedback system? How many leaders actually have an open door policy? How many leaders would actually encourage employees to speak up when they disagree with a decision?
You show employees or members that you care when you listen to them, when you actively seek their feedback, when you truly want them to be a part of the decision making. If you truly do care about the people you work with, you’ll try to help them. When employees feel their voice will be heard and that they can make a difference, it’s like they’re working with a super power.
Anything becomes possible when the people we look up to empower us to achieve more than we are capable of.
Leadership is service. Leaders work harder than everyone else, they rarely take credit and they put more fires out than anyone else. Leadership isn’t glamorous, it’s hard work.
Having people look up to you, rely on you, being a part of your team, is a small reward. The larger reward in this situation is watching the people under grow into a better leader, manager, and team player than you ever could be. Leadership is the humble act of always putting others first. When you find you’ve groomed a candidate that people look up to, are inspired by and that works harder than you do, you know you’ve done your job.
The goal of leadership is not to be indispensable, it’s quite the opposite. The goal of leadership is the day you don’t show up, everyone knows exactly what to do and the sustaining work to keep the organization is done.
Leadership is the highest form of service. Never forget that.
From 8 of my favourite books comes these inspirational quotes. From shipbuilding to eating order, you’ll find a beautifully selected cross section of smart, inspiring and quotes that simply make you smile. Enjoy.
I love this quote because I think most people are driven to shoot for the moon. They’re told to have a modest life, sit in a row, do what your told, don’t talk out of line, and hopefully after 13 years of this they’ll want to work in a factory taking orders from people in big offices. Well it turns out that’s no fun, especially for those just starting at the bottom of the totem pole.
Have a vision, have a big hairy audacious goal, have something! Go on now, create your wild and crazy expectation.