I have referenced Seth Godin before, but bear with me one more time because last week one of his posts struck me as relevant to our community.
Let me explain my relationship with Seth. When I wake up at 5 am every morning, the first thing I do is read two emails. One is inspirational from a good friend in our industry– Proverb of the Day. The other is Seth Godin’s daily blog posting. And without fail, both are great starters for me, professionally and personally.
This was Seth’s blog post on Thursday, Valentine’s Day.
Open, Generous, and Connected
Open to new ideas, leaning forward, exploring the edges, impatient with the status quo … In a hurry to make something worth making.
Generous when given the opportunity (or restless to find the opportunity when not). Focused on giving people dignity, respect, and the chance to speak up. Aware that the single most effective way to move forward is to help others move forward as well.
and connected. Part of the community, not apart from it. Hooked into the realities and dreams of the tribe. Able and interested in not only cheering people on, but shining a light on how they can accomplish their goals.
Paradoxically, the fancier the conference, the more fabled the people around the table, the less likely you are to find these attributes. These attributes, it turns out, have nothing to do with fame or resources. In fact, fear is the damper on all three. Fear of failure, intimacy, and vulnerability. Fear closes us up, causes us to self-focus and to disconnect.
When we find our own foundation and are supported in our work by those around us, we can get back to first principles, to realizing our own dreams and making our own art by supporting others first and always.
When I read this, I felt an instant appreciation for so many people and organizations in my life.
I am fortunate that I get to work with a team at Classic Exhibits that truly is Open, Generous and Connected. Egos are checked at the door and as a group, we try to move forward while raising each other up and listening to each other’s ideas and real intent. Mel in particular. I am very fortunate to get to co-manage our organization with him. Lord knows I am not the easiest guy to to work with each day.
These same characteristics can come in your personal life, whether from a friend who is willing to listen to your latest business idea and willing to give you honest feedback from a real outsider’s perspective. Or it can come from your spouse who says, “The kids on your basketball team are really improving every week. Your hard work with them is showing on the court.”
Professionally, it makes me appreciate my fellow EDPA Board members. They are constantly challenging me to be better in business — sharing ideas, listening to my hair-brained ones, and always willing to give me encouragement.
Anyway, like I said, every morning I read these two emails and get something from each of them. If you are not following Seth, I would recommend that you do. It may not always apply, but most of the time it does.
Lastly, on a totally different subject, I want to give a special shout-out to a good friend. Chuck, congrats on five years of being cancer free my friend. That news was the highlight of my week. Livestrong Brother!
Hope you had a restful weekend.