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My 10 Favorite TED (and TEDx) Talks

#1 Juliet Doherty "Be Great!"

It still amazes me how many people have not heard of TED or TEDx. TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

Be_Great___Juliet_Doherty_at_TEDxABQ__Video_at_TEDxTalks

Here are my 10 Favorite TED or TEDx Talks:

  1. Juliet Doherty: Be Great!
  2. Joi Ito: Want to innovate? Become a “now-ist”
  3. Steve Jobs: How to live before you die
  4. Sir Ken Robinson: How schools kill creativity
  5. Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability
  6. Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius
  7. Jill Bolte Taylor: Stroke of insight
  8. Daniel Pink: The puzzle of motivation
  9. John Wooden: The difference between winning and succeeding
  10. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness

I hope you will find some spark of inspiration in these talks. Please share your favorites and help spread these ideas.

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DISCUSSION QUESTION:  What are some of your favorite TED or TEDx Talks and why?

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EMBRACE THE WOBBLE™

The Key to a Stable and Balanced Life

If we accept that chaos is the “new normal” and that “VUCA” (Volatility–Uncertainty–Complexity–Ambiguity) is a reasonable framework to recognize the nature of the conditions that we operate in, then that begs a question: “How can we best operate in this VUCA environment?” I believe that EMBRACE THE WOBBLE™ will unfold as an extraordinary solution to a stable and balanced life.

Embrace_the_Wobble

VUCA

Common usage of the term VUCA began in the 1990s in military strategic planning and has been subsequently used in a wide range of situations. VUCA is an acronym used to describe or reflect on the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of general conditions in the world… the chaotic “new normal.” The acronym stands for:

  • V = Volatility. The nature, speed, volume, and magnitude of change.
  • U = Uncertainty. The lack of predictability and the prospects for surprise.
  • C = Complexity. The confounding of issues and the chaos and confusion that surround any environment.
  • A = Ambiguity. The “fog of war”, haziness of reality, the potential for misreads, and the mixed meanings of conditions.

VUCA PRIME

I’ve already shared one way to counter the VUCA environment… VUCA PRIME (first introduced by Bob Johansen, a distinguished fellow at the Institute for the Future). It’s a method to counter each of the elements of VUCA with a counterpart. I just don’t find the four counterpart methods, matching the the acronym VUCA to be complete enough. VUCA PRIME substitutes VISION–UNDERSTANDING–CLARITY–AGILITY over Volatile–Uncertain–Complex–Ambiguous. I’m really interested in your thoughts on whether VUCA PRIME adequately provides a solution to mitigate the conditions of VUCA.

  • VISION over Volatility: Begin with the end in mind (Stephen Covey’s HABIT #2). View today from the perspective of the desired future and have a clear intent.
  • UNDERSTANDING over Uncertainty: Seek first to understand, then be understood (Stephen Covey’s HABIT #5). The deliberate ability to “stop, look, and listen.”
  • CLARITY over Complexity: It’s about thorough and rapid problem solving and decision making.
  • AGILITY over Ambiguity: Try hard, fail fast, and learn. Maximize the Power of the Network in every way possible.

EMBRACE THE WOBBLE™

I’d like to introduce EMBRACE THE WOBBLE™ as my solution to “How can we best operate in this VUCA environment?” EMBRACE THE WOBBLE™ is a phrase that encompasses several key components to help you on your path to LEAD FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION®.

Consider…

STABILITYMASTERYSIMPLICITYCLARITY

Over

Volatility—Uncertainty—Complexity—Ambiguity

  • STABILITY over Volatility: the process of understanding and mastering the attainment of INDIVIDUAL STABILITY, STABLE PARTNERSHIP, to STABLE COMMUNITY (where true SERVICE occurs).
  • MASTERY over Uncertainty: Take the journey to mastery and avoid being seduced by the siren song of a consumerist, materialistic, quick-fix society that only brings the illusion of accomplishment and the shadow of achievement.
  • SIMPLICITY over Complexity: The KISS Principle (Keep It Simple Stupid).
  • CLARITY over Ambiguity: Clarity is freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity.

LEAD FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION®

The three key phases of LEAD FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION® are:

  • Self-Development: Individual Stability; Mastery; Be-Know-Do; Be-Do-Have; Virtues Over Values; and Flow.
  • Partnership: Stable Partnership; Collaboration; Power of the Network; Flow.
  • Service: Stable Community; Counterpart Leadership™.

INDIVIDUAL STABILITY

Simply put, I believe INDIVIDUAL STABILITY is the most fundamental and essential requirement in life. Other people can tell you about it, demonstrate it, and even try to teach you with tips, tricks, and short-cuts. But I believe it’s an inside-out process that’s best attained through Self-Development (the first phase of LEAD FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION®).

In order to be highly effective… in fact, EXTRAORDINARY, we must seek to master INDIVIDUAL STABILITY. Yes, it’s a lifelong journey. But, like learning to fly a helicopter, your first major task is to HOVER… to firmly establish yourself on the path to master INDIVIDUAL (aircraft) STABILITY.

One of the first magical things that occurs when you find that “hover button” as a helicopter pilot is that you, in essence, “EMBRACE THE WOBBLE™”. I say “in essence” because I didn’t develop the phrase or fully understand why we must EMBRACE THE WOBBLE™ until many years later (through flying and life lessons). In fact, we all lost and refound the hover button repeatedly for a brief period… and then, like riding a bike, balance and stability just seemed to happen. And like most things in life, the more we try to force it to happen the more difficult it is to achieve.

Again, like flying a helicopter, flying formation is very difficult (impossible) without INDIVIDUAL STABILITY. But we don’t wait until we achieve perfection in individual flight before we move on to formation flight. We must attain a certain degree of proficiency (while still pursuing mastery in individual flight) before we take on formation flight. So it is in life with PARTNERSHIP. We must also attain a certain degree of proficiency (while still pursuing mastery in INDIVIDUAL STABILITY) before we take on PARTNERSHIP.

And then the process repeats itself as we move from formation flight to operational flight (numerous formations and types of aircraft operating in the same battlespace). So it is in life with moving from STABLE PARTNERSHIP to STABLE COMMUNITY. This is the essence of LEAD FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION®… the process of understanding and mastering the attainment of INDIVIDUAL STABILITY, STABLE PARTNERSHIP, to STABLE COMMUNITY (where true SERVICE occurs).

EVERYONE HAS THE POWER TO ACHIEVE GREATNESS

You see, I believe that everyone has the power to achieve greatness and that the world is calling out for our genius. Each of us… no one left out!

But life doesn’t always provide straightforward choices and the path to success isn’t always clear. This is why I stress the VUCA environment. Amidst the paradoxes and hypocrisy of life, we experience challenges that consistently test our will and our determination. That is until we realize that they aren’t really challenges, but simply the “conditions” of life.

Perhaps you’re feeling that there must be a better way.

I NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE

As the founder of LEAD FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION®, I’m seeking to foster innovative and agile thinking through purposeful leadership – leadership that energizes and mobilizes individuals “to contribute to environments where others flourish” (my definition of LEADERSHIP). And I need your assistance and participation if we are to make progress in this inquiry on what it really means to LEAD FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION®.

I’m passionate about helping individuals, groups, and communities refine the skill sets necessary to developing an extraordinary leadership culture.

I also invite you to explore and participate in my site to see how we can assist each other connect the dots in achieving success.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: What are your thoughts about EMBRACE THE WOBBLE™ (STABILITY—MASTERY—SIMPLICITY—CLARITY) as my solution to “How can we best operate in this VUCA environment?”

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The LFYCP® One Week Challenge

“The Top 4 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Every Day to LEAD FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION®”

I’d like to provide you with a basic framework that will help you refocus and achieve extraordinary results each an every day. I call this framework: “The Top 4 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Every Day to LEAD FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION®”. The world is calling out for your genius, but the noise and clutter of your world may deafen that call.

A Sign Along the Journey!

Try answering these four questions every day for just one week and see what a difference it will make… and let us know what kind of results and insights you have below.

Four Questions

The four key questions you should ask yourself every day to Lead From Your Current Position® are:

  • What is my primary responsibility as a Leader?
  • What is the ONE thing I should create, cultivate, and encourage in my environment?
  • What is the ONE thing I should eliminate in my environment?
  • Are there additional questions that would give me insight into how I can lead from my current position?

Sign up for the FREE “Leader’s Guide” on my homepage if you haven’t already done so.

Challenge a Friend

Forward this link to a friend or loved one and challenge them to complete the LFYCP® ONE WEEK CHALLENGE. Ask them to sign up on my homepage to receive the FREE “Leader’s Guide” with “The Top 4 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Every Day to LEAD FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION®” and three free bonus tools:

  1. The Personal Brand Equity Evaluation by Tom Peters
  2. A Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard
  3. Youth by Samuel Ullman

DISCUSSION QUESTION:  What did you create in your environment so that others could flourish during the ONE WEEK CHALLENGE as you set out to LEAD FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION®?

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Extraordinary Putting: Transforming the Whole Game (Perigee Trade; Reprint edition (January 2, 2007))

The co-author of the classic Extraordinary Golf offers an innovative approach to improving the overall game by focusing on putting, which accounts for more than one third of the strokes in a typical round. Not just a tips-and-techniques book, Extraordinary Putting features a series of illustrated exercises that will help golfers:

– Develop the inner freedom to trust themselves and recognize self-imposed barriers
– Find the peace of mind that comes from letting go of mental chatter and self-judgments
Increase awareness, allowing golfers to pay attention to their experiences
– Understand the differences in those experiences from stroke to stroke – Master the art of self-coaching

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VUCA Prime

How to flourish in a VUCA World

If we accept that chaos is the “new normal” and that “VUCA” is a reasonable framework to recognize the nature of the conditions that we operate in, then that begs a question: “How can we best operate in this environment?” Some suggest that the best response to VUCA is VUCA PRIME (first introduced by Bob Johansen, a distinguished fellow at the Institute for the Future). It is a method to counter each of the elements of VUCA with a specific counterpart.

VUCA Prime

Consider this unique approach.

Every organization must be prepared to abandon everything it does to survive in the future.” Peter Drucker

VISIONUNDERSTANDINGCLARITYAGILITY

over

Volatility–Uncertainty–Complexity–Ambiguity

VISION over Volatility: Having a vision is an important first step in individual stability. Begin with the end in mind (Stephen Covey’s HABIT #2). In the Army we call it the “Backward Planning Sequence”, where we plan a mission from the end first (actions on the objective) then step-by-step back to the beginning of the operation. Also, try viewing today from the perspective of the desired future and have a clear intent (with a very clearly stated Purpose, Method, End-State, and Acceptable Risk). “Life is a journey”, so emphasize a direction over a specified route… or as Joi Ito, the Director of the MIT Media Lab, calls it:  Compass over Maps.

UNDERSTANDING over Uncertainty: Exercise and encourage listening, empathy, and sensing. Then, beyond awareness, understanding will also contribute to stability. Seek first to understand, then be understood (Stephen Covey’s HABIT #5). Practice the deliberate ability to “stop, look, and listen.” Be flexible. Get fresh perspectives. Be able to learn, unlearn, and relearn. Maximize the Power of Pull and Strong Ties and Weak Ties. Exercise and encourage listening, empathy, and sensing.

CLARITY over Complexity: Simplicity rules. It’s about thorough and rapid problem solving and decision making. Critical and creative thinking must be highly developed and encouraged.

AGILITY over Ambiguity: Try hard, fail fast, and learn. Maximize the Power of the Network in every way possible. Being able to communicate across the network… collaborating, maximizing the talent in the network, and having fully engaged team members is vital. Seek to be a Learning Organization in the true spirit that Peter Senge fully intended.

Again, VUCA represents the CONDITIONS that we are operating in… and those conditions will only increase in intensity in the future. As my good friend Andy Dean says: “There’s no such thing as bad weather… just poor clothing.” So like the weather… VUCA isn’t bad… it simply is. So consider VUCA PRIME and adequate antidote for the conditions and a useful framework to counter VUCA.

In the days to come, I will discuss the tools, models, and frameworks that I find useful and vital to stabilize myself and my partnerships in this VUCA world. Both individual stability and stable partnerships are necessary to achieve stable community… all three are the fundamental principles of LEAD FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION®.

DISCUSSION QUESTION:  Do you have another method or framework that you use to guide you in this VUCA environment?”

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Adjust the action steps--Confucius

Extraordinary Golf (Perigee Trade; Reprint edition April 1, 1997)

Most golfers approach the tee with a complex mental package: worries and judgments about their swing, the other person’s swing, the course, the weather, looking good, looking bad. They think about what’s wrong instead of what’s possible, and this is what Extraordinary Golf teaches: the art of the possible.

Drawing on his experience teaching both amateurs and professionals for more than fifteen years, in his clinics around the country, in his Golf in the Kingdom seminars at the Esalen Institute, and at his own School for Extraordinary Golf in California, Shoemaker shows how extraordinary golf can be coached, learned, and practiced, with results not only in people’s scores but in their sheer pleasure in the game.

Combining a host of practical exercises with an entirely new point of view, he demonstrates how to focus not on the voices in your head but on the reality of golf: the club, the ball, your body, the course – the elements that actually make up your game. He shows how to approach shots creatively, instead of mechanically; how to read greens simply by staying awake; how to develop a powerful and consistent swing by rediscovering trust for your instincts; and how to improve yourself in competition by determining what you’re competing for. He also gives simple guidelines on how to coach yourself, your spouse, and your children successfully.

Fred Shoemaker, who began teaching golf in the seventies, is the founder of Extraordinary Golf®, named one of Golf Magazine’s “25 Best Golf Schools” in America. He lectures and conducts workshops around the world for such organizations as the PGA and the LPGA and for major corporations, including Apple Computer, Oracle, and Pfizer.

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VUCA

The chaotic "new normal"

We are constantly reminded just how fast-paced life is… and that the rapidity of life and change will only increase. Additionally, that chaos is the “new normal.” Does a simple framework to recognize the nature of the conditions that we operate in exist? Can it help us better cope with, or even thrive in, these conditions. Well, the one that I use is “VUCA”.

VUCA

VUCA is an acronym used to describe or reflect on the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of general conditions in the world… the chaotic “new normal.” Common usage of the term VUCA began in the 1990s in military strategic planning and has been subsequently used in a wide range of situations.

Instead of trying to identify anticipated PROBLEMS in the environment or situation you are operating in, or renaming them as CHALLENGES, I ask that you consider using the VUCA acronym as a way to better understand the nature of the CONDITIONS.

     V = Volatility. The nature, speed, volume, and magnitude of change.

     U = Uncertainty. The lack of predictability and the prospects for surprise.

     C = Complexity. The confounding of issues and the chaos and confusion that surround any environment.

     A = Ambiguity. The “fog of war”, haziness of reality, the potential for misreads, and the mixed meanings of conditions.

The particular meaning and relevance of VUCA often relates to how people view the conditions under which they make decisions, plan forward, manage risks, foster change and solve problems.

Bottom line… VUCA is a great way to analyze the conditions that you will be operating in, in any situation. Try it.

DISCUSSION QUESTION:  Do you use another acronym or rule of thumb to better understand the potential for chaotic conditions in your every day life?

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