"say it forward"

Insights on Innovation,
Leadership, Culture, Service...

Kevin & Jackie Freiberg

Archive for February, 2011

What Moves You?

Ever heard the story of the boy who fell out of bed?  When his mom asked, “what happened?” He said, “I’m not sure, I guess I just stayed too close to where I got in!”

Leaders never stay too close to where they get in, leaders move!

Funny, we just returned from Sundance, over the last 15 years Sundance has become our home away from home.  It is a place where we cannot stay to close to where we get in!  Why? Because it’s a place of reflection—a place where the best of life; family, friends, fitness, faith, fun and focus blend to create a refreshing opportunity to adjust, recharge and move.

What about you, are you moving, or staying too close to where you got in? For an honest answer, rewind your personal and professional clock.  Go back one, two even three years… Now ask yourself:

How have I changed, what have I learned?

What have I done, accomplished, how have I added value?

Have I stretched, grown and developed much in the last few of years?  What is different; better about me today then two, three years ago?

FAMILY? Think about your family, 10 being highest, what’s your current level of fulfillment and is it moving in the right direction?  We’re fond of saying marriage is not about finding the right person marriage is about being the right person. Think back over the last month, how would you score on “being the right person” to your spouse or significant other? Are you in search of Mr./Ms. Right?  Or are you working on improving you?  How about kids, what are you doing to engage them, not nag, not transport, what are you doing to be present—to be intellectually and emotionally involved in their lives? Are you noticing, asking…. Listening?

FRIENDS? Still hanging with the same crowd, still having the same conversations, doing the same stuff? Leaders do not tolerate boredom; leaders do not tolerate superficial, mindless conversation. Leaders confidently pull the plug on selfish arrogant monologues. Leaders network with other movers and shakers. They reach out, they challenge the conversation-as-usual trap and initiate discussions. They ask questions that go deeper, add value, and challenge others to think, explore and dialogue around meaningful issues. As an example, recently we were invited in to  be a “dialogue facilitator” for a group of 6 couples who have been meeting once a year for 14 years to dialogue about timely and timeless world issues, play, break bread and learn together.  They meet in different places and all come from different parts of the country. They all share a passion for learning yet they will tell you what really makes the group work is their different and sometimes conflicting perspective to the dialogue.  This year they are touring the Medical Examiners Office, Sailing Dennis Conner’s America’s Cup Experience and finally breaking bread and dialoguing around the principles in NANOVATION.

FITNESS? Still leaning on “I’ll start tomorrow”?  If not, bravo, you must be one of those people who gets more freaked by missing a workout than planning one.  If, on the other hand, you tend to let life get in the way of your fitness, health and wellness, its time to move!  Every little bit helps.  Park farther away. Stop sitting, its highly overrated.  Host a walking meeting and bring an iPhone to record your “to dos.” Walk the track or the field while your kid plays soccer, rugby, or baseball.  Find an accountability partner, someone who will help you stay committed to a fitness or wellness routine.  When we know our neighbor is in the driveway waiting at 5 AM we don’t hit snooze and lean on “I’ll start tomorrow.” We get up and move.  When we know our family is committed to nutrition we make a collective agreement to eat healthy, say “no” to that bottomless order of chips and salsa, keep junk foods out of the house and choose what makes us feel better. We love the way we feel after a workout. We hate the way we feel after a self-indulgent big meal.  We’ve learned to choose what makes us feel better!

FAITH? Where and when did you get in?  What have you done in the last couple of years to grow your faith? Bible study? Prayer group?  Mission trip?  Spiritual retreat? Compared to two years ago, is your spirituality declined, stalled, are you feeling hopeful or hopeless?  Are you learning, questioning, and growing? In our lives, it seems like the darkest moments call us to choose—faith or fear? More times than not, fear wins in the short run but fear never proves fruitful in the long run.  We’ve learned that when we’re smart (AKA desperate) and we choose faith, our faith is what moves us through fear and difficult times.

FUN? Professionalism, seriousness and intensity are also highly over rated.  Fun is healthy.  Fun and laughter should be our drugs of choice.  When we laugh our bodies produce endorphins (the body’s natural morphine) and when endorphins flow our immune systems improve and our stress is reduced. When we were writing NUTS, we spent two years on site with Southwest Airlines’ executives and employees.  After a day of interviews, often times, our faces hurt from smiling and laughing so often.  It was an adjustment for us when the book was finally finished; we actually experienced Southwest Airlines withdrawals because we missed our daily contact with so many really fun people. Hang out with people who laugh and you’ll benefit big time, laughter is highly contagious.  Are you contagious, do you inspire laughter; do you add to the fun or put a damper on it?

FOCUS? Where is your focus, do you see the glass half full or half empty? Do you listen to the good wolf or the bad wolf?  Is your focus on the future or the past and where is that focus taking you, back or ahead?  Are you focused on what you can control or what you can’t?  Are you looking for the possible in the impossible or the opportunity in the ordinary? Monitor your focus and where it gets you—how does your focus impact your mood and performance over the course of a week?  What you focus on determines what you see. Is your vision for the future bigger than you? Is it bigger than ordinary, is it bigger than impossible, is it bigger than where you were three years ago?

In the words of the great contemporary philosopher, John Mellencamp, “Your life is now!”

…This is your time here to do what you will do


Your life is now…

In this undiscovered moment

Lift your head up above the crowd

We could shake this world

If you would only show us how

Your life is now!

Never stay too close to where you start.  Your life is now, discover the moment, shake the world and through your example show others how.

Leaders move.  So what are you going to do to recharge family, friends, fitness, faith, fun and focus in your life now?

Rollover… Think big… Act bold... and give the world a shove!

No Comments »