Partner with me to love people because people matter #LovePDX

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On September 28th, I am leading a team of 6 in the Bridgetown Inc., bowl-a-thon. In this, we are raising funds to help support the amazing work of Bridgetown Inc. (See what I did there in my team name?)

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you will have probably seen my weekly posts about Nightstrike or BTown Kids. These are definitely highlights of my every week.

A couple of years ago, I was asked to serve on the board for Bridgetown. It has been a complete honor.

What I love about Bridgetown is the motto… Loving People Because People Matter. And let me tell you what… this is what I see every week in the stories of those all around me. From those coming down to serve to those being served.

Last year alone, we saw 14,000 people served. In this, we have seen countless stories that reflect what can happen when we seek to love people… just because.

From Nightstrike under the Burnside Bridge each week, to BTown Kids, to Transformation Trips, Bridgetown Inc., is making a difference.

And now, people from other cities are following suit and seeking to do the same in their cities.

If you know me, I have been involved with a lot of causes over the years. What I can say about Bridgetown is that this is a cause you can support. Bridgetown gets it done.

With strong and sound leadership along with an amazing team, loving people because people matter is a reality… each and every day in and through those touched by this organization.

With this, will you please consider supporting my team with a gift? Every dollar counts and WILL make a difference.

As a team, we have set a goal of $1200. Will you help us meet it? You can, by making a contribution here > http://bit.ly/1kFgNpE

For more information on Bridgetown Inc., please visit the website at www.bridgetowninc.org

Thank you for your consideration!

G

The last laugh

@gunnarsimonsen:

Worth reading regarding the death of Robin Williams. My dear friend John wrote this and it has touched a lot of folk. Especially those who too, are wrestling with such.

Originally posted on John Fischer The Catch:

th-20Today, the world mourns the death of its funniest man, who, in the end, couldn’t find that last laugh that might have prevented him from taking his own life. He assumed so many personalities except the one he needed the most — himself. He was uncomfortable in his own shoes, so he got used to everyone else’s, and for that reason, he had a huge amount of compassion for people from all walks of life, in all situations. No one could stand in someone else’s shoes better than Robin Williams.

He left so much of himself all over our pop culture that it will be impossible to not encounter pieces of him everywhere. Even down to his rendition of The Night Before Christmas with the Boston Pops Orchestra that is a centerpiece of our Christmas music every year, or his audio version of the legend of Pecos Bill that we…

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Leadership: Do people own your story?

shutterstock_114280546The game of telephone stops when someone doesn’t own the story. I have always said, you got to own it, to sell it. Therefore, it is always so critical in a culture to develop a strategy that seeks to ensure people don’t just know your story, but rather own your story.

The more people who own your story means that more people will then organically hear your story. The more people who hear your story from those who own the story means that more people will then want to become… a part of your story.

In his classic book, A True Believer, which was written in the 50’s about the psychology of mass movements, author Eric Hoffer talks about the passions of the masses.

People want a sense of belonging and equality.

The more people who are telling your story because they too, own your story, will in turn translate into more people wanting to be a part of your story.

It seems more and more these days we settle for simply getting as many people as possible to just know about our story. And certainly awareness is good. But what would it look like if we settled for nothing less than getting as many people as possible to own our story?

For me, it would look like how effectively I am at taking people on a journey from ignorance to ownership.

What does this journey look like? It looks like taking people through each one of these following components along the journey towards ownership.

  • Ignorance
  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Participation
  • Experience
  • Ownership

How do you get people to own your story and not merely just know about your story? The path to ownership requires sweat equity that one has made the journey from ignorance to ownership.

Now, it would be very easy to make these thoughts about one’s marketing message. And these thoughts certainly are transferable. But, what I am thinking more about is not one’s marketing message, but rather one’s team culture. I’m thinking about leadership. I’m thinking about unleashing upon the world a game of telephone about what you do that never stops.

Are you in leadership? What does your culture look like? Do your core people just know your story, or do they too.. own your story?

If you sat down with your core people and played a game of telephone around what it is that you do, what would that look like?

Where does it stop? If it stops at just awareness, great job. But, realize there are still yet a few more steps until you reach ownership.

Is your culture filled with owners, or rather just interested story tellers? How can we get the interested to become the participants so that they can truly experience the story?

When you can do that, know this… ownership awaits.

And when ownership awaits…

Back Surgery with Dad: Circa 2001 #FathersDay

hand-reaching-bwThe summer prior to first learning of my dads cancer was a challenging one. For 30 days, I struggled with what we thought was a torn hamstring. But not committing to that, the doctor continued to order further ultrasound therapy on it along with specific stretches. After a month of extreme pain that kept me awake most nights along with a limited ability to move freely…they finally ordered an MRI.

The discovery was that I needed back surgery. My L5 disc had pretty much blown out and completely compressed the sciatic nerve.

But, I write this not to highlight my back surgery experience but to recall a special moment between my dad and I as they wheeled me from my temporary hospital room into the prep room just prior to my surgery.

Being nervous due to the fact I had never experienced surgery where I was fully under followed by a one night stay in the hospital…I remember the calming influence dad had on me. As they wheeled me away, my dad stood along that path and held out his hand for mine. Wheeling by, I took his hand and held it for a brief moment as he shot me a look that I will never forget. It was a look that said it was going to be ok.

You see, what is significant about that was that dad was never the touchy feely type and though you never heard him say I love you…you knew he did. It just was not a typical trait from his generation.

So, for him to initiate this contact meant the world to me and in this…he modeled that of Jesus when He reached out His hand and said…”Take courage…it is I.”

Of course, I made it through that surgery and he was there when I got out and was there that next morning to pick me up.

With dad…he saw me through and with our Heavenly Father…He will too.

__________

My back surgery was on August 6th, 2001. Yet through all the pain and build up to such a time in my life, this one moment still remains one of the most impactful memories of my entire life. I miss my dad. But as I grow older, I find him in the many lessons he planted forth within me that I never knew until now.

This all reminds me and causes me to ponder, how often am I teaching when I don’t even know it? What moments will my daughter carry with her throughout life? Am I teaching right things yet reflecting the wrong things?

Ponder..

I am a Dad now. #parenting

A pink and purple kite swirls in the late afternoon sky as the sun shines brightly through the white and grey clouds. Bundled up from the cold wind, I’m sitting pool side watching my daughter wade through 3 feet of water in the “kiddie” pool. Occasionally glancing up, her eyes are never far from me as she turns and looks at me with a smile. Splashing herself wet she sits alone in the shallow end. All around the sounds of children playing, water splashing, and parents talking, but she… she sits alone as if she is a part in a one-person play on stage. As she looks over at me…dipping side of her head in the pool, she smiles. And it is this smile that tells me that I am the audience and she is the performer. “Watch me!” she says as she performs a most significant “leg stretch” as graceful as the now distant kite dancing above the ocean waves. This audience can only applaud this feat with a look and a smile as it [smile] dances across the now glimmering pool from the sunlight far above. To be on the other side of that look is nothing short of amazing. And now…now it is my turn. I hope I do it well, I hope I do it often… I guess I’m not too bad…as I look over at her, she’s looking back with a smile as wide as the moon and as bright as this late afternoon sun. ______ It has been several years since I first wrote this. I hope I have and continue to… do it well.

My 6-Year-Old Daughter Introduced Me to Sex Trafficking #FathersDay

557686_10151082325734747_856822376_nI was asked this week to write a guest blog post for the non profit organization Shared Hope International. Their mission is to prevent, restore, and bring justice in the fight to eradicate sex trafficking. Here is a portion of that post…

When my daughter was little she received $30 for her birthday that she could spend on whatever she wanted. Of course, we thought she would want to spend it on a stuffed animal or toy.

But we were wrong. Very wrong.

When her mom asked her what she wanted to spend it on, she asked for the catalog we received from a non-profit humanitarian organization. It was the kind where you could purchase things like goats, chickens, food, and clothing for people in need throughout the world.

We figured she would want to buy some chickens for a family or clothing for a child, tangible items she was familiar with. But as she looked through the catalog, she kept turning the pages until she found what she was looking for.

What she did next, we’ll never forget.

To read the full post, click here.

 

May 18th, 1980… Where were you?

Where was I on May 18th, 1980? Yakima, Washington

It was 8:30 am…

It was already a dark morning as clouds filled the sky over Yakima. By the time we left McDonald’s a few short moments later, the sky on the western horizon was filled with more than clouds.

Stopping to fill the tank before our drive home along the Columbia River Gorge, the man at the gas station said he had heard there was a very large storm coming.

What was coming was black as night as its darkness was quickly filling up the sky as it rushed across the state.

As it drew closer, I remember seeing lightning bolts from within this dark cloud that was racing towards us. As a ten year old… this was a little scary as our car raced its way to the border and out of this cloud of darkness and its line of sight. We stopped several times to take a picture. By the time we arrived at Goldendale, we knew this was no ordinary storm. This was Mt. St. Helens.

Pulling over on the highway outside of Goldendale to take some pictures, we were not the only ones doing the same. Remarkably, there was a t-shirt vendor there hawking shirts that said… “I’m a Lava Lover… Mt.St.Helens, May 18th, 1980!”

Even to a ten year old, I thought that was amazing that someone had shirts already printed up along the highway not 45 minutes after the eruption.

Driving along the Columbia River Gorge that morning was a sight I will never forget.

Happy to be out of the ash clouds path, I was enamored at the sheer power of what was before my eyes as it seemed to like hover in the distance over what was already majestic setting within the gorge.

In a weird way, or maybe it was because of the enormity of it… life that day seemed to be lived in black and white. I don’t remember any color in the landscapes that painted my day. Maybe if I tried hard enough, I could remember the yellow in the golden arches over that McDonald’s we stopped at? Or, maybe I could see the green in the farmland between our stop to take a picture and buy a shirt between Goldendale and the Gorge?

If I could, they would be faded I am sure.

There are certain moments in life that warrant the question… where were you then?

This was one of those moments. Where were you on this day?

Why I (as a @TrailBlazer fan) respect the @HoustonRockets

POR-TRAILBLAZERS-vs.-HOU-ROCKETSThe sport of competition can be brutal. From the days of the loser leave town matches of pro wrestling’s heyday to the best of 7 playoff basketball series, if you’re lucky, they won’t be for the faint of heart.

If you’re lucky, every moment will be spent on the edge of one’s seat with nails wedged completely in between one’s teeth all the while your heart is beating at the speed of light.

In Portland, as we celebrated our first playoff series win in 14 years against a team no one gave a shot at even having a chance against, the same applied. The entire series was nip and tuck.

As a lifelong Portland resident, it felt good to have a basketball team back on the floor that I can get excited about. It’s been too long since our heyday of the early 90’s when the Blazers made multiple runs.

But something was different about this particular playoff series. To be certain and in the eyes of many, each team had their own set of heroes and villains. Just watching the games while scrolling the Twitter feed made that apparent. But isn’t all that part of the sport of competition?

Certainly, I too made my share of posts in the heat of the game about Howard, Harden, Parsons, Lin, and others. Just stop them already I cried.

But something was different this time. For every virtually impossible shot James Harden made, I couldn’t get mad. With every second chance board Chandler Parsons got… I just couldn’t bring myself to completely lose it. How can this be? Right then, in this series and in that moment… they were my sworn enemy. (Wait, I thought this was just a game?)

But why? What held me back? Why do I (as a Blazer fan) respect the Houston Rockets? Is it the unstoppable force of Dwight Howard? The beard of James Harden and his knack for making shots when it seems there were no shots at all? Is it…

Meet Sam.

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This is the entire Houston Rockets team hanging out with a young man from Portland that they have taken under their wing. His name is Sam. Sam has been battling a form of cancer called Ewings Sarcoma.

It is a rare pediatric sarcoma that affects thousands, but gets lost in terms of funding and support among the many other “big” cancers. Sam, now 12, has been battling this since the age of 9. Recently the cancer has returned. (Info credit from Sam Day Challenge)

The sport of competition can be brutal. But to a young man fighting cancer, this isn’t a sport. This is real life. Knowing the Houston Rockets have been a huge support to Sam long before this series took place sealed the deal for me. What’s even more special is that in a world of trumpeting causes to boost one’s image, you haven’t seen anything on this story from the Houston Rockets. This is not about boosting their image. This is about relationship. This is real. Not a PR campaign.

Time out..

Before you read further. I want you to take just a few brief moments and get to know Sam. Please watch this…

All I could see was….

As a lifelong diehard Blazer fan cheering for them and getting emotionally drawn in by the games, all I could see in my mind was the Rockets hanging out with Sam the whole series and thinking about the wonderful support they have given Sam and his family. In the end, how can you root against that? In the end, how can you not be inspired by that?

Certainly, I was in the mix of social media rooting for the Blazers, but for every post I made, Sam always crossed my mind. And if I had made a post in the midst of sheer emotion that I felt was not okay, I pulled it. As emotionally wrapped up in the game as I would get, I would get even more emotionally wrapped up from posts made by Sam’s mom with regards to Sam’s heartbreak for every Rockets loss and excitement for every Rockets win.

I want to thank the Houston Rockets for their support of Sam and I want to invite anyone who might read this blog post to follow suit. Watch the video, take action, and share the video with your family and friends.

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I love this picture of the Rockets with Sam. I saw this in my mind the entire series. I couldn’t shake it. It got me thinking, what if we all were on the court with Sam?

The sport of competition is brutal, but it wouldn’t have a chance if each one of us stepped onto the court in support of Sam.

But then again, this isn’t a sport. It’s real life. You can make a difference.

Also, if you feel so inclined, I would invite you to please consider..

  • If you got here from a tweet, please consider retweeting
  • If you got here from a Facebook post, please consider sharing the post

***not for me, but for Sam and all those battling Ewings Sarcoma

#TeamSam

** The two pictures of the Houston Rockets with Sam were used in this post with the permission of Sam’s family.

 

5 Simple House Rules for Watching 24

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With the highly anticipated return of 24 coming up on May 5th, many have been dusting up on their 24 skills by re-watching previous seasons. Much of this, however, has been done in private and on one’s own pace or schedule.

On May 5th, everything changes. With social media being much more than it was even in the last season, the same house rules do still apply to Live Another Day.

1. If you DVR 24 because you cannot watch it with the rest of us, DON’T tell me not to talk about “what happens” while I watch it. ‪#‎Priorities‬

2. No dialogue allowed while the show is airing. Commercials only. If show comes back on while you are typing mid sentence. Stop typing.

3. If you don’t like 24 and find it too violent, DON’T choose to use my thread as a platform of guilt bombing or questioning one’s convictions.

4. If “you just don’t get the appeal of 24″ …good for you. Keep it to yourself or post it on your own wall.

5. If you call me while the show is on, I will not answer. If during the commercial I will. But if show comes on while we are on the phone, I will hang up.

What would you add to this list?

24 trivia..

The last episode of 24 aired on May 24, 2010. Nearly a year later on May 1, 2011, it was reported that Osama Bin Laden was killed. Obviously this was the top trending topic on Twitter that night. Guess who else was on that list of trending topics the same night? If you guessed #JackBauer, you are correct!

For more updates on the return of 24, visit the official website, here.

Follow me on Twitter, here.

TWEETMAY1


					

We are the Headline Nation!

Headlines

Wait, what? Local dog arrested? Okay, I’ll bite.

Have you ever clicked on a link because the text in the post caught your eye, only to feel ripped off and used because the story didn’t really add up to the intrigue of the headline? Welcome to the headline nation where all one needs to do is create intrigue regardless of fact or fallacy.

WE ARE THE HEADLINE NATION

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” – David Ogilvy

A recent survey found that only 44% of Google news visitors scan headlines, but don’t click through. The habit is similar on Twitter. You scan the feed for interesting tweets. Now granted, you are following certain people for a reason and you trust the content they publish is something that is legitimate for your taste and speaks your language. However, you are unlikely to open every link they post unless of course, it intrigues you.

I recently came across a story about Ryan Holiday, a 25-year-old marketing director for American Apparel . The 25 year old styles himself as a “media manipulator.” Conducting an online search as to what this means,

I found this definition: Media manipulation is an aspect of public relations in which partisans create an image or argument that favors their particular interests. Such tactics may include the use of logical fallacies and propaganda techniques, and often involve the suppression of information or points of view by crowding them out, by inducing other people or groups of people to stop listening to certain arguments, or by simply diverting attention elsewhere. (Wikipedia)

He essentially made stuff up to see if anyone would print it. Guess what? They did. What a mess. I read another headline that sought to tie a mass-murderer with a particular political group. Intrigued, I clicked the link to the article. As I read through, I learned the headline was mere speculation, and the source even admitted that the person they were focused on may not even be the same person. Think about the number of people who won’t ever click that link. Many people will take the headline and run with it without knowing the full story.

In a world where stories are broken in 140 characters or less, all it takes is one effectively written message to set sail into the minds of millions of people around the world. Maybe we don’t have time anymore, but does this mean we don’t care about the validity of headlines? We are busy people, and we need content in consumable bite sizes. Even YouTube videos become long winded around the 3 minute marker. People may never get to your link let alone click through to find your message.

Point: Get to the point

The way to create a headline that will truly meet the importance of your message and position it to get in front of as many people as possible is to:

Be creative Be factual Be focused Be intriguing

You could also ask a question in the headline; point to a section in the article, video, podcast and ask what others think. In our world where knowledge is doubling every 72 hours, the headline is vastly becoming the bottom line.

I spoke with a friend of mine who was struggling with getting any traction for their blog posts, even though the content was solid. The first thing I looked at was their titles, or headlines, for the posts they were casting into the Twitter and Facebook world. I encouraged them that when they tweeted specific blog posts or posted them on Facebook to pull out the best line of the article and posting it with the link.

The results?

“When I started posting quotes from my articles that spoke to the main point of the message— the ‘golden nuggets’ so to speak—all of a sudden people started responding . My quotes were getting reposted and shared; I received comments on my blog, and I gained new followers as I engaged back in response .”

They found new traction that not only reached people with the headline, but also pulled them in to get to the bottom line. Make your headlines count. Understand that many will click on your link and many will not. With this understanding, you will control the “game of telephone” that’s playing around the world and within the headline nation.

My aim with my book  Strategistics is to lay out an infrastructure based on what I see is absolutely critical in understanding the psychology of our audience and those we seek to reach beyond our audi- ence. In the chapters ahead, I will build upon this infrastructure with application that will help you drive your message in this fast paced headline nation.

To begin, I want to introduce you to one  of the most important concepts I have learned in the past decade… the concept of the frozen perception. You can read this chapter in its entirety, by clicking here.

So, what about that dog? Was a dog really arrested? Hmm.

What you just read was an excerpt from my book Strategistics. Download ebook today by clicking here.