I’m at the Windsor Court hotel in the Big Easy. (N’Orleans.) (Nawlins.) I’m an Annapolis Boy, a Chesapeake Bay Boy. But credit where credit is due: The … WINDSOR COURT’s … CRABCAKES … are the best I’ve ever eaten! Also, I was lucky enough to end up with a 17th floor room … WHAT AN INCREDIBLE VIEW OF THE MISSISSIPPI! That Ole River does indeed keep Rollin’ Along!
Archives: February 2005
I have a new ritual. During the last half hour before a speech I watch a Cirque du Soleil DVD. Today … “DRALION.” My standard (for my speech) is the “CdSstandard” (CdS = Cirque du Soleil.) BBall coach extraordinaire John Wooden said “Make each day a masterpiece.” The “CdSstandard” is my version of Mr Wooden’s … Towering Challenge.
Adopt the Wooden/CdSstandard!
Make each day a masterpiece!
Is your “next act” (presentation, goal statement for your current project) up to the Cirque du Soleil Standard? Is today a “Masterpiece”?
Writer-editor-historian-man of the world Harold Evans has problems with Aviator. He thinks the Main Man in the airline revolution was not Howard Hughes, but PanAm boss Juan Trippe, and he makes a good case:
“What drove Trippe? A fury that the future was always being hijacked by people with smaller ideas—by his first partners who did not want to expand airmail routes; by nations that protected flag carriers with subsidies; by the elitists who regarded flight, like luxury liners, as a privilege that could be enjoyed only by the few; by the cartel operators who rigged prices. The democratization he effected was as real as Henry Ford’s.”—Harold Evans on Juan Trippe, the PanAm boss who brought the B747 to life (WSJ/02.24.2005)
I believe, in general, that the Mother of Innovation is … FURY. Anger at the way things are coupled with a Vision of the way things might be. Find me someone with equanimity about life’s turmoil … and I’ll find you a loser! (Harsh words, I know. And hardly fair. Oh well.)
Stay “furious.” Turn your “fury” into your next WOW Project … or the basis for your Super-cool Biz Plan!
My college fraternity brothers have a wonderful ritual. We have an annual newsletter that we all contribute to. (NB: As always … ONE PERSON … has kept it alive for 40 years, the estimable Mike Smith.) Many of my fellow 62-year-olds are in partial or total retirement. In my contribution to this year’s newsletter, I vented about the “retirement bit”:
“You’ve all doubtless heard the Churchill yarn. The old man was transiting the Atlantic by ship. An aide made a mental calculation and turned to WSC, ‘Sir, I’ve calculated how much brandy you’ve drunk,’ he said referring to the cavernous ballroom in which they were seated. ‘It comes to about here [pointing to a spot about halfway up the wall].’ WSC leaned in toward the chap, pointed to his marker on the wall, and purportedly said, ‘So little time, so much to do.’
“I am a troubled 62. Why? SO LITTLE TIME, SO MUCH TO DO.
“I have no idea whether this brief missive will attract contempt or mere indifference. Just let me say that I am appalled by the idea of retirement … or slowing down in any way, shape or form. I write from New Orleans. It’s 5 a.m. I’ve been up for 3 hours, working on today’s speech.
“I AM BLESSED. I HAVE A CHANCE [in just 4 hours] TO INFLUENCE 3,500 LIVES. I DARE NOT F*** IT UP.
“I am often tired (I’m 62, not 22), but I Love & Appreciate the Opportunities I’ve been granted to take part in the Universal Dialogue about the Meaning of Work & Life & National Purpose.
“PUT SIMPLY, ‘RETIREMENT’ TO ME MEANS BEING DRAGGED OFF A STAGE AND SLIPPED INTO A SIMPLE PINE BOX INSCRIBED WITH THESE WORDS: ‘HE GAVE A SHIT.'”
Change the World!
Never give up!
Never give in!
With HP’s visible troubles front & center, there’s much talk about “corporate culture.” Steve Jobs has his own perspective, re Apple. Apple’s Good Times these days, he says, are a product of the world … FINALLY … catching up with Steve & Apple. (I agree.)
“The great thing is that Apple’s DNA hasn’t changed. The place where Apple has been standing for the last two decades is exactly where computer technology and the consumer electronics markets are converging. So it’s not like we’re having to cross the river to go somewhere else; the other side of the river is coming to us.”—Steve Jobs/
One Friendly, Mid-size Pioneering Customer!
If you keep repeating something enough times, you come to realize you believe it! Got in a discussion with Tech Execs about some new technologies that users are slow to adopt. I heard myself chiding them in a familiar (to me) way:
“For heaven’s sake, quit trying to sell GM or P&G! Enormous companies are invariably ‘late adopters.’ (I.e., useless, sluggish twits.) The far, far better idea is to scour the world in pursuit of 2 or 3 or 4 mid-size, ‘cool,’ pioneering customers who will ‘join up’ with you to … Make Miracles Happen. Call these pioneers … Demos. Once you have a passel of mid-size ‘cool’ Demos … then and only then you can go to the Big Guys and say, ‘Don’t miss the Party, dimwits.'”
This I Believe! Change in “big” places is mostly a result of showing off “demos” from modest-sized “cool” places!
To succeed with “new stuff,” you must find … Kindred Spirits … those who will … Play with You (and your “cool stuff”) … which in turn provides you with … “Demos” … that you can Tout Far & Wide.
I call “it”: THE WAY OF THE DEMO.