Meaning trumps all…

Today, during practice 260 with a team choosing to be crazy, we talked about why we’re here. We shared our purpose for choosing to be employed by Choice. Amazing stories. Crazy clarity. We had a few first timers join our practice and we didn’t even take the time to introduce them. We played and they played along. We were a team of 27 and had a handful of newbies (first time BTLers). We didn’t tell them anything. We didn’t slow down and bring them up to speed. One newbie who had only been with this team for two weeks wept as she described how blessed she felt being somewhere she finally felt at home.

Today, during practice 227 with k-dev krazies, we shared our thinking with each other and it inspired many of us including my son Taylor. We were a team of 33 and had more than a few first timers. They felt right at home and said so. One commented she usually “out passions” everyone wherever she’s been. She said for the first time she felt out passioned by almost everyone around her. So freakin’ good.

Today, my son Tay, took all this in and shared how blessed he’s been being around this stuff this past year. God has blessed me with this time together. God has blessed us all, hasn’t he? I’ve been around this crazy experiment called BTL for sixteen years now. The peace and purpose I enjoy doing this labor of love is better than being a billionaire (I’m not one but my God I feel more blessed than any I’m betting). You could not pay me enough to get me to do anything but this labor of love, friend. Peace and purpose are powerful, huh.

Money talks. Fact. Meaning, however, shuts dinero down. I suggest you search for meaning, my friend. Wanna try talking me into anything? You won’t have much luck talking any of my krazy clients into anything either. Try talking Grappy out of grappling. No chance. Try talking Durp out of choosing Choice. Try making FD an offer he can’t refuse, you’ll see. Money talks. Meaning trumps money. Meaning trumps all…

What could we talk you into, friend?

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Mind your own…

Yesterday, during practice 17 with a team learning to talk truth, we heard some communications between teammates. The communications left us “reading between the lines,” if you will. This is normal. We are a very normal sounding team. The aim of BTL team practice is to make us weird. Extraordinary teams are always a bit weird. Isn’t it funny we’ve tried to fit in all our lives just to now finally start to figure out it’s the wrong aim. Funny, huh…

We talked through the root of speaking your mind and holding your tension, not anothers. This is a huge problem with so many. Don’t speak for others. Only speak for yourself. Make others own their stuff and speak up for themselves. I mean come on man, do you think it makes sense for your mind to rep somebody else’s business?

Mind your own.

The best teams speak their mind and it comes out of their mouths as truth in love. This is kind, not always nice. We need to remember that kind is defined as love in action. Nice is love in appearance. Be kind, teammates. Mind your own business and encourage others to speak their mind. Do not make the mistake of thinking you’re helping them by putting words in their mouth. Mind your own. Simple, not easy…

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Loosening your grip…

Unintended consequences are an amazing part of history. Here’s but one of many. Back in 1780 when Benedict Arnold betrayed America for his love of money, it wasn’t what Clinton or Lord Cornwallis bargained for. Instead of Benedicts intelligence turning the war further toward the Brits, Benedicts betrayal woke us up.

You see, prior to his unthinkable lapse of judgement, the Continental Congress was all hung up on money. George Washington was begging and begging the politicians to pay our warriors. Nobody wanted to pay for a standing army. So, we let our finest starve! We turned against George III because he was taxing our bunnies but couldn’t quite see the irony in not paying our warriors. Yeah, before Benedicts betrayal, the American people were divided and acting like 13 colonies, not one. Nobody wanted to be inconvenienced till Benedict went and did the unthinkable. Do you see any parallel to us today?

Today, during practice 44, we went where young Ricky wanted us to go. We went all kinda different directions and none of them were according to my plan – kinda felt outta control too. We wrote our thinking on multiple occasions. I intended for people to get much different messages than they received. Didn’t matter. They got what they were supposed to get, I guess. The best BTL team practices do not go where I want them to go and rarely achieve some preconceived outcome I’m shooting for.

Unintended consequences often are the result of flow moments. Today we tasted some flow and the consequences are coming. Maybe, leader, you might benefit from loosening your grip – loosening your sense of control. You still with me?

Good…

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Titanic, CompuServe, and Worldcom…

Healthy, vibrant systems expand. The best grow organically and increase in proportion to their ever expanding capacity. Challenge keeps them reaching beyond the comfort zone and into the far edges just this side of chaos. Systems headed toward extinction contract. The root reason you don’t see the Polynessian people today is because they failed to see the symptoms of slow death until it was too late to reverse the tide. This same root is the reason the fortune 1000 is on average less than 40 years old. The reason there is no longer a system called CompuServe, or Worldcom is no different. All of ’em ignored the early warning signals and, like Titanic, slipped from sight suddenly even though their demise was anything but. I didn’t have a seat on the Titanic, but I was sitting near the top when both CompuServe and Worldcom disappeared. Not good…

So, my friend, when you extrapolate this learning to you and your system remember some history. Healthy, vibrant systems expand. And, when these healthy, vibrant systems experience a hiccup – no biggee. They learn and move on. Hiccups, however, don’t last for years. Healthy, vibrant systems calculate the trend before it’s too late to reverse. They get busy turning well before the iceberg is upon them. Leaders, do not experience a failure of nerve when facing facts. Instead, call ’em out. Make sure we course correct. Good…

Leaders, this is your job. You’ve got to read the tea leaves and anticipate the next move before the competition does. Leaders gotta know when to comfort and when to push. Today, we tend to coddle a bit too much. Tough and tender, remember. Tough and tender. Your systems longevity just may depend on your ability to sound the alarm before an iceberg impact is imminent. Your problem, most likely, is you’re too worrried about what others think and about being too extreme. Leaders call ’em out, anyway.

Leaders are decisive when it matters most. Are you?

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Always better together…

Today, nine of us departed my house at 6:33 and rode ourselves into the ground for 65 miles and 3 hours 15 minutes. Before we had reached the halfway point, one of my buddies (PJ) who kept falling off the pace, asked me if the road we were on would take him back home. I reminded him it was the road to hell. He shut up and kept going. We made sure he did what he could. He made it back with the rest of us. He did more than he thought he could…

When we study great accomplishment, remember, there’s a team involved. Don’t try to go through hell alone. You gotta do hard things but you don’t always have to do ‘em alone. Today, the team carried me along as my legs felt heavy, my lungs were gasping, and my mind was talking trash. Today, we pulled PJ along. Today, the team pulled me along too. Sometimes you lead from the front, sometimes the middle, and sometimes just by holding on for dear life. You don’t have to always be out front.

You can do more than you think, especially when you surround yourself with tough mothers who make you do what you can. Life is hard and oftentimes hurts like hell. You will not get better turning around and taking the easy way home. You get better by going through whatever stuff the universe throws in your way. The best way to get through it, friend, is to keep going. Like PJ, you gotta keep going. Good work today, PJ. Keep working, friend. And, remember it’s always better together.

Always together. Together we transform. Good…

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Fix ‘em…

So, friend, you want to help your loved one. They seem to want your help too. I mean come on man, they love to unload their day’s stuff when you share a Chardonnay at the end of the day. You know what they need too and are willing to lend a hand as well as your opinion. This aint your first Rodeo, you know. So, it’s only natural to fix ‘em, isn’t it?

Nope, it’s not.

Here’s the truth. Ninety nine out of one hundred times, your partner does not need you to fix them. Ninety nine percent of the time your partner needs you to understand them, listen to them, offer to help them, and support them by simply hearing them. Your partner, just like you, needs someone who gets them. So, friend, remember to stop trying to fix those with whom you’ve taken up residence. Simply be with, ask them how you can help, acknowledge their pain and suffering, share in their joy, enjoy their presence, get lost in learning about their day, and hold your two cents to yourself.

Your partner does not need fixing. Your partner needs a hand to hold onto, a shoulder to lean on, and a human who gets her/him. Funny, when a person has another such person beside them they tend to figure it out. Today, like most everyday, I was reminded of this truth.

Hope it’s helpful, friends…

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The right fight…

Recently, we had a fight during team practice. The fight was to prove a point. Do not fight to prove a point, friend. I have mastered this unproductive way of fighting and have had to work really hard to stop proving I’m right, and of course you’re wrong. Nobody wins when teammates fight to prove points.

You and your team get better when you master the fight to improve performance. These fights don’t feel at all similar. You know when your aim is to make you and your teammates better and you know when you want blood, when your aim is getting even, you know man, when revenge is on your mind. These are unproductive fights. Stop trying to prove your point. Fight, instead, to improve performance. I’ve written this rant a million times (exaggeration, I know, Jigglemuff) and will write it a million more.

Revenge, remember, is the oldest motivator of humankind. Evolve beyond this primal motive, my friend. I’ll be right there beside you trying to evolve as well. Ain’t none of us arrived at the virtuous state of rising above it. Keep working. Endure. Keep repairing. Grace. Peace. Keep moving forward, friend.

The best teams have conflict – lots of it. The difference is in how they handle it. The best teams don’t fight to prove a point. Instead, they fight to improve performance. These fights don’t feel at all alike. The latter feels like it’s aim is to find the highway, make another do what they can, and push forward even when it’s a painful push. Conflict is not going away. Master the right fight, friend.

I feel calmer already…

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