At the July, 2012 First Friday Book Synopsis, I presented my synopsis of Abundance. The handout included a selected number of my “highlights” (direct quotes from the book, which I highlighted as I read the book). Here is a more complete selection of the passages I highlighted. Everything that follows is a direct highlight/quote from the book. You can purchase the book at Amazon – click here to purchase).
Note: I did no “formatting” here. I simply pasted from a Word document. I apologize for the “look.” This is intended to be “supplemental reading” for those who attend my presentation.
By Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler.
New York: Free Press (A Divison of Simon & Schuster). (2012)
(note: the “#s” following each quote indicate the Kindle App for the iMac “location”
of the quote in the book)
We will soon have the ability to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman, and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp. 28
…four emerging forces-exponential technologies, the DIY innovator, the Technophilanthropist, and the Rising Billion—are conspiring to solve our biggest problems. 37
These are turbulent times. 126 •
evolution shaped the human brain to be acutely aware of all potential dangers.
this… has a profound impact on human perception: It literally shuts off our ability to take in good news. 129 •
But we are not so naϊve as to think that there won’t be bumps along the way. Some of those will be big bumps: economic meltdowns, natural disasters, terrorist attacks. During these times, the concept of abundance will seem far-off, alien, even nonsensical, but a quick look at history shows that progress continues through the good times and the bad. 131 •
…infant mortality decrease by 90 percent, maternal mortality decrease by 99 percent, and, overall, human lifespan increase by more than 100 percent. 136 •
My favorite 4th of July was in 1976 when our family (wife Marcia, four small children, and I) lived in Sudbury (zip code 01776), a suburb of Boston. We decided to drive into downtown Boston, camp out with a picnic dinner along the Charles River, and listen to Arthur Fiedler’s last concert as conductor of the Boston Pops. (KERA-TV still schedules that memorable telecast.) One of my ancestors, after whom I was named, was among those who signed the Declaration of Independence so July 4th has special significance for me.
That said, I still think the best way to celebrate the 4th of July each year is to update one’s own “declaration of independence.” It should be a written document. I will not share the details of mine, except to say that I have certain dependencies that are not in my best interests. Presumably you also have a few. They’re cunning devils, difficult to resist and even more difficult to eliminate.
I’m not talking about resolutions such as those many people make on New Year’s Eve and then forget about soon thereafter. Most of mine are patterns of behavior.
I always sign my own document each year to strengthen my sense of commitment but the given issues are obviously insignificant to those addressed in a document signed in Philadelphia 236 years ago. Robert Morris and the others who signed the Declaration of Independence also signed their own death warrant, had the thirteen colonies lost the war.
Think about it. If you have any dependencies, write them down, and then declare, “That’s it! I’m done with you!” Something like that. You get the idea.
Without mutual respect and trust, “communication” is BLAH BLAH BLAH
Two of the greatest (of many) benefits of the World Wide Web originally envisioned by Tim Berners-Lee are that those who are connected with it can then connect with anyone or anything else also online, anywhere, anytime…and then when the connection is made, interact with each other.
As in all of John Maxell’s several dozen other books, he provides an abundance of information, insights, and counsel in this one that will help his reader to communicate more effectively by connecting more extensively. Specifically, Maxwell explains how becoming a Connector will help to achieve strategic objectives that include these:
o Enhance visibility and increase influence
o Serve the best interests of others as well as those of one’s society
o “Talk the talk”…and then walk it
o Renew energy sources
o Master skills to complement natural talent
o Locate common ground, mutual interests, and shared values
o Follow Albert Einstein’s admonition, “Make everything as simple as possible but no simpler”
o Create shared experience that everyone enjoys
o Inspire others
o Ensure alignment of affirmations with actions
As I began to read this book, I was reminded of passages in Maribeth Kuzmeski’s The Connectors: How the World’s Most Successful Businesspeople Build Relationships and Win Clients for Life. The examples she cites indicate that almost anyone can establish and then sustain mutually beneficial relationships within and beyond the workplace. She asserts that “true connections” between and among people must be made and then sustained with feeling and purpose and honesty. Bill George would invoke the term “authentic,” insisting that it is imperative to be true to one’s self (to one’s True North) as well as to others.
These comments who wholly consistent with the observations and values that Maxwell shares in his book as he explains the defining characteristics of High, Average, and Low Achievers before shifting his attention to explaining how to connect with people at all levels, connect one-on-one, and connect with an audience. He devotes Part II (Chapters 6-10) to explaining in detail how to become a Connector and then, hopefully, help others to complete the same process.
Again, I want to stress how much importance Maxwell places on personal integrity. Some of the most despicable leaders throughout history were – at least for a time – highly effective Connectors. They attracted huge numbers of followers who were enthralled by their charm (i.e. “charisma”) and presence as well as by their eloquence.
The leadership that John Maxwell advocates does not preclude any of these qualities. Indeed, Jesus of Nazareth, Abraham Lincoln, Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King, Jr. possessed them. However, Maxwell insists that the values great leaders affirm are the same that determine their behavior, that they are committed to what Robert Greenleaf once characterized as “servant leadership.” Principled behavior always communicates more and more effectively than words do.
“Freedom Is Never Voluntarily Given By The Oppressor” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for the 4th of July
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963
When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was sitting in a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama, he penned his response to a letter from some clergymen who objected to his demands. He had led a peaceful march for freedom, but some objected, including some local church leaders. Those clergymen wrote, in part:
We recognize the natural impatience of people who feel that their hopes are slow in being realized. But we are convinced that these demonstrations are unwise and untimely.
Dr. King wrote his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in response to their call to be “patient.” It is, in my opinion, must reading for any American who cares about our long quest for freedom for all people. Here are some key excerpts from Dr. King’s response:
16 April 1963
My Dear Fellow Clergymen: While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities “unwise and untimely.” Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms…
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”
We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights.
If we should have learned anything about the centuries long quest for freedom, it should be this: people (peoples) who don’t have freedom are seldom given it freely. They have to take it. Our very Declaration of Independence reminds us of this:
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
Whatever else we celebrate today, we celebrate this: that people longing to be free have risen up, time and again, and asked for what is their “constitutional and God given rights.” And any attempt to withhold such rights, such freedom, such freedoms, from any people (peoples) is downright un-American.
Enjoy your freedom. Remember the long struggles that got us here. And ask, who is deprived of this freedom today? And, what can we do to speed up the process for them? For, “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”
Happy 4th of July.
An interesting note: this is a rare photograph of Dr. King dressed not in a suit and tie. Taylor Branch chronicled Dr. King’s decision to go to jail, and described the shocked look on the faces of his friends as he stepped out of his bedroom in “dungarees and a work shirt.” Ir’s been years since I read this, but I’m pretty sure it was in Parting the Waters by Taylor Branch. As his friends debated the wisdom of Dr. King himself participating in the demonstration and thus being arrested, Dr. King stepped out in attire that signaled “I’m ready to go to jail.” The adds to the poignancy of this line from his “I Have A Dream “ speech, delivered some four months after this arrest:
“With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.”
Here is an excerpt from an article written by Valerie Pelan for Talent Management magazine. To check out all the resources and sign up for a free subscription to the TM and/or Chief Learning Officer magazines published by MedfiaTec, please click here.
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Half the battle in dealing with tough office personalities is identifying their individual quirks. The rest requires a cool head and a sound, customized strategy.
Imagine the following office scenario. Bill, the engineering manager, and Mary, the accounting manager, are discussing an interdepartmental meeting where nothing was accomplished because of two other managers who tried to derail the meeting with negative actions and comments.
Sam, the operations manager, walked out when no one agreed with his “it won’t work” attitude. Jonathan, the vice president of marketing, tried to delay the project by not making a decision on the marketing collateral and suddenly disapproving of a well-positioned supplier.
“It was good you decided to end the meeting and reschedule it for tomorrow,” Mary said to Bill. “I want to hear your solutions on how to manage these two. The project needs to stay on timeline and in budget.”
On the way back to his office, Bill recalled a communications workshop he attended last year. It helped improve the accounting team’s cohesiveness and understanding of different people’s communication style.
The facilitator used DISC assessment, which focuses on behavior and how a person communicates. DISC is a group of psychological inventories developed by psychologist John G. Geier and is based on the work of William M. Marston. From the assessment report participants learned how to recognize four different communication styles and how to effectively communicate with types different from their own.
Communication is critical for leaders and employees working on global and diverse teams. When employees understand their communication style, they can modify and adjust to improve their situational effectiveness.
DISC is about how a person behaves and prefers to give and receive information. It does not offer information on how intelligent people are, their background or experience. There are no good or bad styles, and people can be a blend of more than one.
The DISC Assessment is known for these communication and behavior types: D (Dominance), I (Influence), S (Steadiness) and C (Compliance):
• D: How a person responds to problems and challenges. This style is a bottom-line organizer, forward-looking, challenge-oriented, initiates projects and is innovative.
• I: How a person influences people and contacts. This style is optimistic, enthusiastic, creative at problem solving, team oriented and can negotiate conflict.
• S: How a person responds to pace and consistency. This style is dependable, team oriented, patient, empathic, logical, loyal and will support a leader and a cause.
• C: How a person responds to procedures and compliance. This style maintains high standards, is conscientious, clarifies information and tests out directives, asks the right questions and focuses on task completion.
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To read the complete article, please click here.
Valerie Pelan is president of Integrated Focus, a management and leadership consultancy. She can be reached at her firm.