Tag Archives: video

Modern Day Superman: Making the Impossible Possible

BIRDMEN from Team Thirteen on Vimeo.

About once a year I have a dream about flying. Not in a plane, but just my lonesome self flying through the air just like Superman. Often I am trying to get around some kind of obstacle, like power lines that are blocking my flight into clouds. When I wake up I think about how wonderful that would be if I could actually fly. Then this video clip came along and made me think: would I do it? Would I make the impossible possible?

There are many things today that we take for granted, but not too long ago it seemed impossible. For example, in a recent article in The Atlantic about technology of the 1800s, there was a big concern and doubt about the possibility of one day being able “transmit voices over wires!” Today, we don’t transmit through just wires, but through the AIR! What seemed impossible then has not only taken place but jumped beyond anyone’s imagination at the time.

My answer to the question would I do what these BIRDMEN attempt? Probably not. But it did make me think about how we all are limited by our own thinking. As Sir Ted Robinson said in a TED talk, “If you aren’t prepared to be wrong, you won’t come up with anything original.” I might build on that and say, “If you aren’t willing to dream the impossible, you will never make your dreams real.”

Would you attempt to fly?

Wisdoms of My Father the Father: To Be All Used Up

Defining a Prodigy on Vimeo.

Author’s note: My 88-year-old father is also a Catholic priest.  As a widower, he entered the seminary at age 62 after running his own business for years.  At age 65, he graduated with his master’s degree in theology and was ordained a Catholic priest.  His experiences of growing up in the depression, serving in WWII in China, raising six kids, having 18 grandchildren, and running his own business have given him insight, wisdom, and a great sense of humor about life.  Here I share short wisdoms from my father the Father.

Sitting at his kitchen table, my dad and I were discussing how to live one’s life.  I said to him, “At the end of it all Dad, how do you want to feel about how you lived your life?’

He sat quietly for a bit and then said, “I want to feel all used up.”

This was his way of saying he wanted to feel he did everything he could with what he had all his life.  I think this belief in being “all used up” was a driving force for him to enter into a whole new 20-plus year career at age 65.  I remember him at age 85 returning home exhausted after visiting a nearby prison where he had just completed a religious service for inmates.

I said, “Dad, you might want to slow down a little bit.”

He replied, “As long as I can do this I will.”

In the video the narrator says, “I want to be used.  That is your greatest wish.”

I think to myself, “What does being all used up look like for my life?”

How about you?  What does that look like?

The Secret to an Effective ‘To Do’ List

To Do List from Yaniv Fridman on Vimeo.

The TO DO list is one of the most used and powerful self-organizing tools. We use this tool in companies, and we use it when we wake up on a weekend morning. With all of this organizing, why do we often feel like are lives aren’t full of the things we want or hope for?

This Vimeo video clip shows that we need to make better decisions choosing what we put on our list. While this is true, there ends up being a secret to creating effective TO DO lists. You must first create a STOP DO list.

Often, our To Do lists end up adding more into an already busy lives. Instead, we need to take stock of what is going on in our lives and figure out what we need to STOP DOING in order to put into our lives what we want to START DOING.

A STOP DO list might contain:

  • Stop spending time in relationships that aren’t healthy and begin to put time into positive relationships;
  • Stop watching TV in order to start a hobby or pursue a latent passion;
  • Stop lying in bed in the morning when you could get up and activate your mind, body and spirit;
  • Stop spending money on your morning java and put it toward a goal;
  • Stop being in a job that doesn’t use your strengths and take a step toward the future you want.
There can be some inconvenient truths that must be faced when we take action on a STOP DO list.  For example, I wanted to incorporate exercise into my life. The only way that I could do it on a daily basis was to stop being in bed at 5 a.m.
Now THAT is inconvenient!  But I will tell you, after four years of “stop being in bed” during the wee hours of the morning, and instead, starting my day with some exercise has been oxygen for the mind, body and soul.

This doesn’t need to be rocket science, but you do have to be intentional. What has worked best for me is to take one thing on my STOP DO list and work on it.  I have more success in putting a check mark next to the big priorities in my life  because I created room that wasn’t available before.  What should be on your STOP DO list?

The Power of the Collective

Murmuration from Islands & Rivers on Vimeo.

In an organization, leaders must strive to have everyone in the same hymnal, singing the same song. Inevitably, not all things go that way. Like an orchestra, the music never hits the right spot unless everyone is contributing his and her part to the whole. If one musician is off,  the rest of the orchestra can begin to wobble.

When I watched this video of a flock of starlings, I was struck by how those birds had a keen sense of themselves and each other. Why wouldn’t they just fly into one another? How can they move with such speed and grace? I am sure scientists have clues, but it is deep in their DNA. This murmuration of starlings gets described as scale-free correlation — if any one bird turned and changed speed, so would all the others.

Getting this right inside of organizations — the ability to move with speed and grace in relation to each other — is both an art and a science.

But it often comes down to three key things:

  1. Power of the Collective:  This is a core belief; there is genius in groups.  The research tells us that when we leverage the strength of the group, we get farther than if we just go it alone.  A flock goes farther than a single bird.
  2. Know Yourself: Teams work well when each individual has high self-awareness.  They know what strengths they bring and where they could use help.  A sign of heath and strength is having enough self-awareness to ask for help.
  3. Know Your Teammates: High performing teams always understand how to leverage each others strengths in order to reach the desired outcome. This usually requires an investment of time to “seek first to understand, before being understood.”  Knowing the person on your left and ring wing gives you confidence to soar.

These starlings seemed to create this great spectacle of motion by understanding what they could do individually. They have a keen sense of awareness of those around them — even centimeters away — and the unique ability to move toward their goal in a collective instead of 1,000 individual paths.

The starlings elegantly demonstrate what is so difficult to achieve with groups and institutions.  Maybe we ought to be careful to use the term birdbrain in the future!