Three Lessons from the Disney Coast to Coast Challenge

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IMG_1579If you’re not familiar with the Disney Coast to Coast Challenge it is a pretty slick marketing scheme whereby Disney convinces you to run a minimum of a half marathon in Florida and one in California in the same calendar year in order to obtain the coveted Coast to Coast medal. Up until recently there were a couple options in Florida, the biggest  being in January and only one in California, that being over Labor Day weekend.

We’re pretty big Disney fans here in the Fletcher home and we have a lot of family memories at Disneyland in particular. The Coast to Coast medal, as you can see here, depicts Walt and Mickey holding hands, a representation of a statue that is in front of the castle at Disneyland. That statue has been “the meeting spot” for us since our boys were four and five. If you get separated in the park, you go to the meeting spot.  I mention this because it is a large part of what makes this medal special for me.

  • I first found out about the challenge about seven years ago. I had done a couple triathlons then but I’d never run anything longer than a 10K. (6 miles).
  • Six years ago I decided I would go for it and try to run a half marathon in each location.
  • Five years ago I missed the registration date.
  • Four years ago it wouldn’t work in our schedule.
  • Three years ago the half marathon was sold out by the tie I checked.
  • Two years ago I missed it again, it sells out fast.
  • Last year I was determined not to miss the registration and got to the web site in time, called my wife to confirm it was in the budget, and it sold out before we decided.

I was seriously disappointed! You see if you don’t get the January race in then running the one in California in September doesn’t matter. In a moment of crazy deep frustration I looked to see how much it cost to run the full marathon…after all we’d agreed we could budget for the half…and lo, it cost the same amount.

I signed up.

I would never have agreed to try a full marathon. I was pretty sure I could struggle through 13 miles but 26 was insane. And yet I wanted that Coast to Coast.

Before last year at this time I had only ever run 6 miles in a stretch and frequently said I wouldn’t run even THAT far unless I was being chased.. Since last October I have run three half marathons, including the one at Disneyland, and one full marathon, at Walt Disney World. I have run through the soles of three pairs of Vibram Five Fingers through hundreds of miles of training and I have convinced my wife to run HER first half marathon.

So what did I learn in the process?

Here’s three lessons I learned about achieving goals:

1. Don’t give up on your goals.

It would have been easy to give up on the idea of completing the Coast to Coast. Year after year it seemed to elude me. But I persevered because I had a emotional connection to what I wanted to accomplish and I didn’t give up on it. Circumstances will often conspire against you when you’re going after a goal, sometimes it requires a new strategy or a greater effort but many times it just requires that you soldier on and don’t give up.

2. Recruit a team to your dream.

Yeah, sounds cheesy, but it makes it easier to remember. My wife first got behind the idea of me running in Florida because I was going to try to do the impossible. Her support through the process and then the weekend was awesome. Even bigger though was her commitment to run with me in California. That meant we were training together for months. On days when I was too tired or too sore she’d pick me up, and vice versa. I also convinced my buddy Kurt to run with us in California after he’d done the half in Florida. The occasional check in via phone to see how training was going kept us honest too. Having a team sharing your goal with you provides the motivation to keep going in those times when your motivation lags.

3. Focus short to go long.

I REALLY learned this in the marathon. I couldn’t think about running 26 miles or mentally I would collapse. I COULD think about making the four or five miles between parks. I COULD focus on making a couple miles between water stations. In the months in between races we dealt with bad weather, multiple nagging injuries, and schedule conflicts any of which could have derailed us. By just focusing on the next opportunity to train, rather than worrying about how a miss might effect the big picture, we took the little steps that got us to the starting line ready to go on race day. Sure we set a goal time but our BIG goal was to finish a feel good about it and by focusing on the little goals along the way we accomplished that is stellar style.

By persevering over seven years, recruiting a team, and focusing short I finally achieved the dream. When they hung that medal around my neck I have to confess I got a little teary and man, did it feel good.

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What goal do you have sitting on the shelf? How can you apply these strategies to achieve it?

Gandalf vs. Saruman: Runner, Manager or Leader?

gandaldandsaruman Lord of the Rings fans can easily tell you the history between these guys. In Tolkein’s Middle Earth the wizards are sent to help mankind battle the evil of Sauron. In the initial stages Saruman, the guy on the right here, is established as the “leader of the white council”. So he is decidedly the guy in charge.

 

If you know the story then you know he eventually succumbs to evil and effectively becomes a lieutenant of Sauron. Gandalflf, meanwhile, goes from being a sort of #2 wizard, Gandalf the Grey, to being head honcho, Gandalf the White.

So how do you rate them on our personality scale?

 

If you recall we also loosely defined our three leadership personalities as follows:

Runner: Knows the top line goal, knows the bottom line performance needed to stay viable, often changes strategy mid race in order to accomplish the one or stay ahead of the other. We RUN organizations.

Manager: Keeps the processes running like clock work and thus can be invisible until problems arise, solves problems, likes things to run smoothly. We MANAGE processes.

Leader:Thinks people development first, often is less adept at managing upward, can sometimes less process slip. We LEAD people.

Sauruman:

  • Chosen to lead, responsible for strategy to defeat Sauron
  • Begins to study the enemy through use of the seeing stone (palantir)
  • Becomes convinced the enemy cannot be beaten
  • Raises his own army
  • Begins to support Sauron
  • Tries to convince Gandalf of this “wisdom”
  • Winds up headed in the opposite direction from where he was chosen to lead

In a modern business sense you could argue that Saruman studied the competition and realized he could not compete and so chose the corporate buy out or merger path. Clearly those who had elected him to lead did not agree with his diagnosis nor his prognosis but he went there anyway. In the end his “enterprise” was destroyed.

In this regard he is almost pure Runner.

He radically changes direction leaving his “staff”, the other members of the white council, first confused then dismayed. He sets off on a course only he agrees is right and we then only ever seen him in the company of lackeys and yes men.

I believe the phrase “It’s lonely at the top” originated with a Runner.

Gandalf:

  • Willing to serve as a individual contributor
  • Goes about doing what appears needing done
  • Sets others in motion
  • Is maddeningly absent from time to time
  • Eventually takes on the mantle of “executive” leadership

In a modern business sense here we get the idea Gandalf is like the guy in charge of an independent business unit. He motivates his people and gets them moving with just enough instruction to allow them to maneuver on their own when necessary. He seems to understand what it takes to motivate each of his different types of followers.

In this regard he is almost pure Leader.

Interestingly enough he also illustrates one potential weakness in the Leader personality, an inability to or a lack of regard for “managing up”…but more on that later.

Did you label them as I did?

Which personality types did you pick, and why?

Aragorn vs Denethor: Runner, Manager or Leader?

Denethor vs Aragorn

Denethor vs Aragorn  I have to confess that I am fascinated by the leadership profiles that Tolkien provides in his books. My original listing of some of those profiles can be found in a previous post here.

Today I wanted to look at these two characters, each vying for the leadership of Gondor. If you’re not familiar with the story… well, this won’t mean quite as much to you, so I won’t go into too much background detail. But read on and see how you decide.

Suffice to say that Denethor has been ruling Gondor as Steward for years. Aragorn is the  rightful heir to the throne and while he does not come to claim that throne outright he does have his sites set on restoring the kingdom.

I previously listed their leadership profiles as follows:

Denethor- Steward of Gondor

  1. Leads out of a fortress mentality
  2. Leads out of ancient traditions
  3. Leads out of militant participation ( I gave him credit for possible past performance. We do NOT see this in LOTR)
  4. Leads out of an ego that forgets limitations and boundaries
  5. Succumbs to temptation and evil in the end

Aragorn- King in exile

  1. Leads out of patience and longsuffering.
  2. Leads with an acute knowledge of the mistakes of his predecessors.
  3. Leads with a sense of timing and purpose.
  4. Leads as a decisive participant.
  5. Inspires others to greatness (I gave him credit for where he ends up)

 

If you recall we also loosely defined our three leadership personalities as follows:

Runner: Knows the top line goal, knows the bottom line performance needed to stay viable, often changes strategy mid race in order to accomplish the one or stay ahead of the other. We RUN organizations.

Manager: Keeps the processes running like clock work and thus can be invisible until problems arise, solves problems, likes things to run smoothly. We MANAGE processes.

Leader:Thinks people development first, often is less adept at managing upward, can sometimes less process slip. We LEAD people.

So, with what you know about Denethor and Aragorn which personality would you say they each work out of most often?

Denethor:

He rules Gondor with a bit of an iron fist but he has too in the time when we meet him due to the demands of war. He states that he wants things to remain as they always have in the days of his fathers before him. He is quick to act even spending the lives of his own sons in defense of the city. He reacts to what he “sees” in the Palantir and eventually succumbs to the threat on his border, committing suicide and attempting filicide. (killing of his own son)

He knows the ultimate goal, defeat Sauron. He knows the bottom line, things the way they used to be, and he radically changes strategies in order to cope throwing his people into chaos. I’d label him as a Runner.

Aragron:

He starts off quite aloof seeming to merely be following Gandalf’s instructions to look for and aid the hobbits. It is almost as though he doesn’t want to be bothered but would rather maintain his anonymity until he is told it is time not to by either Gandalf of perhaps Elrond. Eventually he comes around to showing a different side of himself as he comes closer to resuming his throne.

He has managed process for years and stayed invisible. He’d rather not be bothered with people (hobbits), he waits patiently for the time to be right to solve the problem. Clearly he starts out as a Manager.

But…

What is fascinating to watch in Aragorn is his transformation from Manager to Leader. The shift that happens in how he relates and thinks once he starts operating from this new perspective. By the time we get to the end he is clearly working from a Leader personality indeed!

Try reading the book again, or watching the film, through this lens and see if you can spot all the ways in which Aragorn goes from working out of a Manager personality and shifts to s Leader personality!

Did you label them as I did?

Which personality types did you pick, and why?

 

 

 

Three Leadership Personalities

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What kind of leader are YOU?

  • Do you manage up as effectively as you manage down?
  • Are you a visionary who paints grandiose pictures?
  • Are you a plan and process guru who regularly nails forecasts and execution?
  • Do you have a loyal following?

In this episode of Leadership we’ll look at three personalities that emerge when leaders are asked:

What do you do?

Excellent leaders know they must keep these three personalities in balance, but what happens when one of the three becomes predominant?

Take a look:

 

Leadership Styles in Tolkein

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jacksontolkeinWith the release of the second chapter of Peter Jackson’s version of The Hobbit this week I thought it might be appropriate to revisit some old friends from the Lord of the Rings.

It seems to me that leadership conversation are wending their way into my day with ever increasing frequency. With that in mind I use the observations below, which I have in fact posted previously, as the start of a new series on leadership looking at several of these characters as well as several from The Hobbit. See if you can find yourself in the list below

 

Elrond- Elf Lord, bearer of one of the three elven rings.

  1. Leads from a base of wisdom: “counted chief among the wise”
  2. Leads from a safe haven: Rivendell, “the last homely house”
  3. Leads as a counselor, not as a participant.
  4. Leads out of enough experience to have become somewhat jaded.
  5. Provides a sense of big picture direction

Galadriel- Elf Lord, also a bearer of one of the three

  1. Leads out of a safe haven: “Lorien, a place where time seems to have stood still”
  2. Leads rooted in an ancient traditional past.
  3. Leads as a counselor not as a participant.
  4. Leads out of specific commitments rather than overall purpose
  5. Provides potential operational direction: “The mirror of Glaldriel”

Theoden- King of Rohan, the horse lords

  1. Leads from a deep association with his people.
  2. Leads out of militant participation.
  3. Leads with compassion.
  4. Leads with a sense of his historical place within his organization.
  5. Is the prime example of redeemed leadership.

Denethor- Steward of Gondor

  1. Leads out of a fortress mentality
  2. Leads out of ancient traditions
  3. Leads out of militant participation
  4. Leads out of an ego that forgets limitations and boundaries
  5. Succumbs to temptation and evil in the end

Boromir- Eldest son of Denethor

  1. Leads with a sense of his own strength.
  2. Leads as a militant participant.
  3. Leads with fervent passion.
  4. Leads by putting the world on his shoulders.
  5. Succumbs to ego and temptation.

Faramir- Youngest son of Denethor

  1. Leads out of a sense of duty.
  2. Leads out of a love that inspires.
  3. Leads as a militant participant.
  4. Leads with a sense of nobility.
  5. Leads out of a humility that is almost his undoing.

Treebeard- An Ent (talking trees)

  1. Leads out of long tradition.
  2. Leads out of deliberate thought not sudden emotion.
  3. Leads out of a commitment to purpose and his people.
  4. Leads as a militant participant.
  5. Is the prime example of a long dormant leader rising to meet a new need.

Frodo- A hobbit, ring bearer

  1. Leads out of reluctance.
  2. Leads out of a sense of purpose.
  3. Leads out of compassion.
  4. Leads for a project, not a period or a program.
  5. Retires from leadership after having accomplished his “task”.

Sam- A hobbit, Frodo’s “man Friday”

  1. Leads out of devotion.
  2. Leads out of humility.
  3. Leads only reluctantly.
  4. Leads without knowing it.
  5. Easily moves back and forth from servant to leader.

Merry and Pippin- Hobbits, cousins of Frodo

  1. Lead out of a desire for something better.
  2. Lead as militant participants.
  3. Lead out of organizational and inspirational strength.
  4. Lead through crisis and on into stability.
  5. Are the classic examples of leaders being “grown up”.

Gandalf- A Wizard

  1. Leads out of wisdom.
  2. Leads as a steward.
  3. Leads with a fervent passion.
  4. Leads as a militant participant.
  5. Occasionally allows his passions to overrule his compassion..

Aragorn- King in exile

  1. Leads out of patience and longsuffering.
  2. Leads with an acute knowledge of the mistakes of his predecessors.
  3. Leads with a sense of timing and purpose.
  4. Leads as a decisive participant.
  5. Inspires others to greatness

I love looking at leadership styles using these characters because we’re given a view of them in the context of an epic story. Your life is an epic story, even if you don’t have to battle orcs, nazgul, and evil wizards. So as you read the above descriptions ask yourself the following questions:

Did you find one that matches your style?

Try watching the film that features the character you chose (or reading the book). What are that characters strengths, weaknesses, blind spots?

How is that character tempted?

How do they respond?

Any parallels in your real life?

Three More Reasons to Run a Marathon

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marathonheaderI said, “There’s no good reason for me to run anywhere unless someone is chasing me.”

I said, “There is no sane reason to even attempt running 26 miles!”

I said, “I feel pretty confident that I will NEVER try that, nor ever feel the need to try that.”

And then, in January of this year, in Orlando, I ran the marathon I said I would NEVER run.

Now listen, you’ve probably seen any number of posts where people try to convince you you can do this (which is why I call it three MORE reason…) so I’m not going to promise some new secret sauce. What I will tell you though is that:

  1. I’m 52 and the longest distance I had run before signing up for this race was 6 miles.
  2. When I started training for the race I was about 35-40 pounds overweight.
  3. I’ve had two knee surgeries and now have one pretty badly arthritic knee.
  4. My ortho told me I probably shouldn’t run much at all.

So compare YOUR excuses to those before you continue.

Ready to continue? Ok.

The process of HOW I conned myself into this is the subject of another post. For the moment though let me tell you why you should give a marathon a go.

Reason 1: Because you CAN do it.

No really, you can. It is as much a mental thing as it is a physical thing. There are any number of training programs out there that can get you from couch to marathon in less than a year. The two I used primarily were an app called GIPIS and a combination of app and training program from Jeff Galloway. His run/walk/run approach really does work and you can tune it to you.

So ok, doing something just because you can isn’t all that great a reason so…

Reason 2: You will become part of an ELITE club.

According to a couple of studies from 2011 less than 1/2 of 1% of people IN THE WORLD has ever run a marathon. In what other categories can you claim to be in the 99.5th percentile? Talk about bragging rights! People will call you crazy, they will shake their heads, and they will secretly wish they could accomplish something as unique as what you have done.

Of course it doesn’t seem like the percentage is that small when you’re running in a crowded race but you’ve surrounded yourself with a group of folks who are going after something incredibly unique and that alone feels incredible.

Reason 3: You will believe in yourself in a NEW way

When you finish the race you’ll have to deeply philosophical and life changing thoughts:

  1. Crap, I’m never going that again!
  2. Dude, I can do anything!

The first of those two changes within the first 30 minutes simply because the strength of the second is so all encompassing.

I ran my race two months ago today and I am still feeling the motivation, the encouragement, the sense of accomplishment, and the power of that experience.

Will it be hard? Yes.

Will it take some concerted effort in terms of training? Yes.

Can you find the time, the strength, and the will to do it? Yes.

I’m already planning to go back to Orlando next January with an ever crazier scheme in mind than JUST running a marathon. Why not start planning now to join me?

What is it about you that makes you think you couldn’t do this? Are you willing to try?

 

 

What is CX?

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Customer Experience, or CX for short, is the sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods or services, over the duration of their relationship with that entity: from awareness, discovery, attraction, interaction, purchase, use, cultivation and advocacy.

While most organizations now how to find, acquire, service or retain customers they rarely take the time to create an organization wide story around the look and feel of a customer’s entire life cycle.

You don’t have to dig too far to find some pretty incredible evidence for the efficacy of excellent customer experience. By way of example:

In order to find out more about how to create customer experiences that can drive satisfaction, increase attraction, and convert customers into advocates subscribe to the customer experience feed and get regular blog posts on building a better customer experience.

A Reminder to Christians About Noah

noahheaderAs most of you are no doubt aware Darren Aronofsky’s film version of the Noah story came out this week. I actually thought it came out weeks ago given all the flap over it but there you go…that’s just me not keeping up. With all the furor over the film I find myself sometimes amused and other times annoyed by what I read.

 

A couple non-spoilers here:

  1. I’ve not yet seen it.
  2. Aronofsky himself claimed it would be the least biblical film ever made, or some such thing.
  3. Christians viewers of the film seem divided on whether the faithful should attend or no.

My intent here is not to come down on either side of the see-it-or-not argument. There is merit in not wanting to put your money or support towards something you believe may go against what you hold to be true, strong merit.

On the other hand there is merit in wanting to be culturally relevant. Even if there are those who too often use this as an excuse.

If you read anything about Darren’s other movie, The Black Swan, then you had to guess this film would come replete with shock value. So why are we all so up in arms when the guy claimed it would not be biblical and we knew ahead of time it would be shocking in some shape or form? Come on man! We’re better than that!

So as you, my Christian friends, try to determine if you’ll go and watch this film I want to offer you a couple reminders:

1. We believe this is a true story.

It may be portrayed incorrectly, even if I like the idea of a Russell Crowe-like Noah, but we believe in a version of the same story and we believe it is true. AND, isn’t part of what we’re called to as Christians is to speak the truth in love?

Ephesians 4:14-15As a result, we aren’t supposed to be infants any longer who can be tossed and blown around by every wind that comes from teaching with deceitful scheming and the tricks people play to deliberately mislead others. 15 Instead, by speaking the truth with love, let’s grow in every way into Christ,

So whether you see it or not be prepared to speak the truth, intelligently, and in love.

2. We believe we win in the end.

Sometimes it seems like the bad guys always win. I have a number of Christian friends who get violently upset when they feel that the Gospel message has been attacked. There is nothing wrong with a little righteous indignation. But at what cost when it gets too heated?

One of my favorite moves as an athlete, when I was winning a game and the opponent started talking trash, was to smile at point at the scoreboard. Even sweeter than that was enduring trash talk when we were behind and then being able to smile and pat them on the head when we won.

Not to trivialize in any way anybody’s eternity. But let’s remember that we believe we win in the end and we want to do our best to be sure that even the producers of non-biblical versions of bible stories, and perhaps more importantly, those whom they influence, win too.

So whether you see it or not remember to speak boldly, kindly, and with confidence.

Funny how the secular world isn’t up in arms, divided in the mindset, over it all. Just those of us who are supposed to be unified. Come on guys, we’re better than that. I, for one, hope some good conversation comes out of this film so I’ll probably see it at some point. Whether you do or not just remember, we win, and while it appears that we’re momentarily losing we get to speak the truth in love.

Will you go see Noah?

Three Switches That Can Get You Off the Couch

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switches 3This past Saturday I ran a 10k with a good friend helping him train for a half marathon coming up in May.

If you would have asked me a year ago to go run six miles for fun I would have told you you were insane. At that point 6 miles was the furthest I had ever run in one go in my life.

But in July last year I started training to run the Walt Disney World Marathon, which I did run in January.

How did THAT happen? How did I go from, “I will NEVER run a marathon!” to “I could do that again” ?

For me it all started with a medal.

Switch #1: A Worthy Reward

Disney has a marathon weekend in Florida (which includes a 1/2 marathon) in January and a 1/2 marathon weekend in Anaheim in August. If you run in both you get a very cool coast-to-coast medal. Those that know our family know we’re HUGE Disney fans…the parks in particular…and the medal depicts a statue of Walt and Mickey that has many memories for us from our trips to the parks. I have wanted that medal for five years.

But every year for five years I have dallied. Told myself I’d get around to registering for the January event but always getting around to it after the 1/2 marathon is sold out. Which has meant I have to wait until the following January to get in the cycle.

That happened again in 2013. I was bummed.

I stared at the now sold out 1/2 marathon in disbelief. I had missed it AGAIN! Then, and I still don’t know why I did this, I looked at the marathon and saw it was the same price. Hold on…you’re not thinking what I think you’re thinking.

Switch #2: A Fair Cost

Traveling to Florida is expensive and that expense had been one of the causes of my dallying year after year but now I had come to the doorstep of acceptance, ready to pay the piper, permission from my wife even! The cost was no greater for the full than for the 1/2 ?!?! I could still get the medal?!? I’LL DO IT.

Almost as soon as I had signed up I started to question my sanity. Twenty six miles is a long way. I had ridden my bike that far but never imagined traveling that far on foot. But I had done a could of short triathlons. I had used an app from Jeff Galloway to train myself up to a 10k and he did have a marathon app as well. Maybe it was doable?

Switch #3: A Motivating Plan

My thinking started like this:

  1. I don’t have to be fast, I just have to finish
  2. They require a 16 minute max pace, I can walk at about 14-15
  3. In my shorter runs I’ve been aiming for an 8 minute pace, this is twice as slow
  4. So it’s just a matter of not stopping

Breaking it down like that made this herculean task seem achievable. On top of that Jeff Galloway teaches a run-walk-run approach which means I didn’t have to think about running even a mile. I only had to think about running the next three minutes.

If you’ve been contemplating taking on an physical challenge such as running, biking, swimming, triathlon, climbing a 14er…whatever it is…look for ways to flip these three switches:

  1. Set a worthy reward out there…sometimes finishing isn’t quite enough, you need a tangible goodie.
  2. Compare the cost to something you DO consider reasonable. It’s helps remove that as an excuse.
  3. Come up with a plan that breaks down the big challenge into manageable bits. You may need help on this one. I’m glad I found Jeff Galloway’s plan.

In a coming post I’ll talk about the race experience itself but for the moment:

What challenge have you been considering for way too long? What is your biggest obstacle?

 

 

 

Do You Want To Be a Better Speaker? Read This!

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speakerpantsYou’re headed into one of the larger session rooms at the Denver Convention Center. You’ve worked through conversations with customers all morning and now you’re hoping to catch your breath while you listen to your boss regale them.

Suddenly two of your cohorts come flying out of the room.

“Fletch! Dude, where you been? It’s standing room only in there and you’re up to speak!”

Raising one eyebrow you reply, “Um, no, not my session, Gary’s session.”

Heads shaking in unison like some demented imitation of synchronized swimming.

“Nope, yours.”

How do you handle this potentially disastrous moment? Argue? Panic? Flee?

None of the above.

You calmly ask to borrow one of the guys laptops with a single Powerpoint slide, that you know he has, you calmly walk into the room and wow 250 customers with one of the highest rated presentations of the conference.

How is it that you can handle a situation that close to 3/4 of the population list as one of their top two fears?

Simple.

You’ve been to the SCORRE Conference!

We’ll teach you a method for organizing your thoughts and information that allows you to present with crystal clarity and pin point focus. A method that gives you the tools to put together a memorable talk using the information you already carry around in your head. A method that comes in handy when faced with the surprise assignment of walking up in front of hundreds of people all expecting to hear something of value.

We’ll equip you with skills can give you the confidence you need to overcome your fear of public speaking and train you to craft stories that drive home your point in meaningful ways.

Does this sound like a commercial yet? You may think so but wait…there’s more.

In my ten years of youth ministry and more than twenty years preaching and speaking at youth camps I’ve never found a better tool.

In my corporate career I’ve used the tools we’ll teach you to train literally thousands of sales and marketing people, to develop go to market strategies, and to craft countless presentations…some in as little as 5 minutes.  :)

You won’t find a more valuable tool for people who have to communicate to an audience.

So here’s the deal…

Early bird registration ends Saturday for the conference happening in Orlando May 5-8. Click on the pic below and, when you register, be sure to enter the coupon code: CURTIS

If you register by Saturday, AND use my code, I’ll give you another $50 back in your pocket as a rebate at the conference.

scorrecurtis

After more than 20 years teaching SCORRE I can say without hesitation this will be a valuable experience.

Go ahead, click on my face. It’ll take you to the registration page.

To Be ( a better speaker) or Not To Be. The choice is yours.

 

Throwing Down the Christian Social Media Gauntlet

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lentGot your attention didn’t it ? Yeah, probably a bit more of a provocative title than was really necessary. But true nonetheless.

For those of us who don’t go by some of the more Catholic traditions surrounding Easter lent may seem like something “the other folks do”. No matter your persuasion toward lent though, if you claim to be a believer in Christ then I would like to offer up a challenge as to what we might all give up for the lenten season.

Ready?

Here it is: Let’s all agree to give up ANYTHING in social media that is aimed at telling our Christian brothers and sisters what they should NOT do.

Whether it is five theological fallacies we need to reject, or the one thing we must stop doing, or the eight reasons we should not be excited about an Oscar acceptance speech, let’s all agree, that for at least the period of lent, we’ll only be supportive, encouraging, a positive in how we choose to “instruct” one another in social media.

Don’t get me wrong. In private you can have a go at whomever and whatever you like, just not in a public forum.

Yes, I do appreciate the irony of this challenge. But in the spirit of lent I thought it was ok.

Why do I throw down this particular gauntlet?

Ephesians 4:

The Message (MSG)

4-6 You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.

Or maybe it is more…

John 13:

The Message (MSG)

34-35 “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

Or perhaps it’s just…

Colossians 3:13-14

Living Bible (TLB)

13 Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Most of all, let love guide your life, for then the whole church will stay together in perfect harmony.

So what say ye brothers? How cast ye thy vote sisters?

Just for lent, nothing but unity and encouragement in social media. What would a united body look like in the public eye? What difference might it make with those who choose to come to church that one Sunday out of the year? What might the lasting impact be on those who are watching?

Can we, for 40 days, present a unified loving reality? If you like the idea pass it on.