Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Just Reaching Out


Just reaching out.

A professional woman, very high up, used these words casually many times the other day,

I'm just reaching out to thank you for reaching out and let you know who the best person you should be reaching out to...

What happened to reaching out as something you don't just do?

But something that'll be noteworthy, uncomfortable, risky, mysterious, full of derring-do?

Funny how now everyone's just reaching out and sounding and looking and thinking alike.


We've lived to see when you get very high up and speak honcho-speak just reaching out is a safe, casual place to be.

-- tim

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Friday, May 27, 2011

The Muse and Poor Me

If The Muse is to reach me, better then I be open, unfilled, in need.

Or, Poor it would seem.

If I am to reach The Muse, better then I quiet and empty myself of myself to receive, be touched, to see.

Or, Poor it would seem.

The Muse and The Poor is where there's gift. Sacred Gift. The Gift of give and receive.

What's left is to trust that there's a touch.

That I see what I see.

Rich is the muse of The Muse.

She loves Poor Me.


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Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Three Deadliest Words

What if I asked if I do what I do depended so much on these?

Riches. Honors. Pride.

Where would I go on my road if my road turned no where near these?

Riches. Honors. Pride.

How many callings have called me to listen only because of these?

Riches. Honors. Pride.

Would shame run me over if I never obtained any of these?

Riches. Honors. Pride.

Why's fear find its fuel in being afraid to run out of these?

Riches. Honors. Pride.

Are the people I follow and who follow with me all following along just cuz of these?

Riches. Honors. Pride.

How much of that stuff that I buy is only bought to bring me one, two or all three of these?

Riches. Honors. Pride.

What if in the end all I can say is all I did ended me up with nothing more than these?

Riches. Honors. Pride.

What's a world look like if everyone in the world didn't try so hard to have so much of these?

Riches. Honors. Pride.

-- tjmorin

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Little Manifesto for A Little Revolution

EDITOR'S NOTE: Today's post comes from guest, Carleton Christianson O'Kristenson, businessperson, fly-fisherman, seeker of the inner revolutionary.

You want to lead a revolution, big or small? The thing you gotta do is surround yourself with great revolutionaries.

People who are All-In People.

Zealots who commit. Who don't think they're a revolutionary. But who know how to act like they are.

People who know they're gonna take a bullet when their boat hits the beach and the ramp crashes open like the greatest of the great generation.

There's no blinking in revolutions.

No "Where's the data?"

No "What proof do you have?"

No "What's the poll say?" or "What am I investing in and can you show me how it's going to compare to the yield my muni-bond fund gets?"

No, you want people who know the world's a revolution. Who know you triumph or you get killed. Who don’t deliberate when the clarion calls. Whose love loves the idea of a good world always becoming a better place.


Whose heart beats to an inner bass drum, booming deep inside them somewhere, pounding to a loud two-count, Boom-Boom, Boom-Boom, as they march in-step with sisters and brothers shouting an anthem succinct, pumping and driving life into your every step.

We Are!


All In!


You want to be a great revolutionary then you better man-and-woman-up with fearless people who get that fear is not just a part of the deal. You need people who get that fear is the whole enchilada for them and everyone around them.

You want, you need, people who’ll look that demon in the eye on the hour, every hour of the day and say, "Yeah I see you're still there you no good, worthless, piss-ant. No doubt about that. Go ahead have your run of my soul but here's the deal demon, you don't matter cuz there's only one way this is gonna work out. I win. You lose. Now enjoy the ride, demon. I’m goin' all in."

We Are!




When you size-up your brothers-and-sisters-in-arms, make sure your vetting gets to the most important question first. That question being:

"You scared?"

"No way," most of folks will say.

If so, you oughta run fast because they're full of bull-shitake mushrooms. They’re not All-In'ers. They'll blink exactly at the wrong moment. And in the end, these frauds don't give a rip about saving your butt or anyone else's butt except their own.

You want sisters and brothers who can't sleep at night. Passionate, disciplined. Intense, self-controlled. "Smash-cinderblocks-in-the-basement-and-anything-else-that-needs-to-be-stomped-on-and-broken-through-without-breaking-a-sweat-or-losing-control-or-losing-faith" kind of comrades.

Yes, you'll also need humor and a group of some-bodies you're gonna be eager to wake up to and look at every morning. And that means eager to be looking at good and close, eyeball-to-eyeball, arm-in-arm, shoulder-to-shoulder. Ask yourself, “Do I really want to get that tight with that brother and that sister?”

If the answer’s not “HELL, YES!!!” then you should move on.

You need people who get that there’s one thing, and only one thing for sure, about the world: Revolution's the thing.

Christ died for it. Darwin made a science of it. Now, lucky us, we get a shot to live it.

Revolution's been going on since we crawled out of the swamp and grew lungs on land.

And guess what?

New living, breathing, pulsing life is growing all around us, always getting pumped full of new energy, fresh purpose, forming in places we never imagined, or worse, hoped would never take hold and worked hard to keep beyond line of sight.

But, there’s no stopping the revolution. So, no sense playing safe now, amigo. We don't save our souls by saving ourselves. No, we save our souls when we give in and get on with it, giving ourselves up to Something Bigger than us, transforming, transubstantiating our substances to that point of no return when we roll over and go all in –We Are. Boom-boom. Fear-less. Boom-Boom. – with and for the love of your sisters and brothers.

Face it, my game and your game will be over before either of us ever know why they started in the first place. Time now to let it roll and get on with it, get on with the revolutionary in you, in me.

Revolutions' big and small are the thing right now. They're saying, "There's only three places to be. Find, join, or start a cause. Then get on with the march!"

We Are.


Boom boom.

All In.

Boom boom.

--C.C. O'Kristenson

EDITOR'S NOTE: Today's post comes from guest, Carleton Christianson O'Kristenson, who was born in March 2011 in a Starbucks in Minneapolis and currently serves as the main character in my soon-to-be-released business parable, THE CHIEF REVOLUTIONARY OFFICER. Har har.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Already Good

Imagine if you thought about me and I about you that we are already good.

What would it be like in the world if everybody thought everybody's already good?

If the teacher believed the student no matter how novice or raw is already good?

If the boss trusted his people to be trustworthy, committed and good?

Would the world have its "isms" and the left and right its deficits if we're already good?

Isn't forgiveness and being forgiven about being already good?

How many jobs might we create if the the banker and VC believed the entrepreneur and her people are already good?

Imagine no shame and no fear in your dreams and your ideas, whether they work or they fail. You may win. You may lose. Either way you learn. Isn't that already good?

What if we all woke up the next morning and thankfully thought,

Lucky us! Lucky us! We're already good!


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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Your Story

My friend, Joe, wanted to know this other day.

Who's gonna buy your story?

"Uh, ya know, people who, uh, like stories," I said.

Dumb answer. Joe tried again.

"Who? Give me a name. Who exactly will buy your story?"

I named a name.

Good, he said. Now answer me this,

What does he want?

What does he do?

What's he gonna get from your story?

What's gonna happen to him if he doesn't buy it?

What's the hook, the reason, in a short line to spend time with you?

"Answer me this, then write it for him."

No matter the product, the service, your story's the thing.

Start naming names. Picture their faces. Their needs. Their fears. How they will triumph from your story.

Say it out loud,

Why does the world, these people need this right now?

Then write them your story, why they should buy it from you.


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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Problem and Mystery

The problem is to solve. The mystery to receive.

Problem and Mystery. Two sides of the same coin. Identical unless you look close. The coin that cashes in on FUD. Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt.

One side responds to doing, working, solving -- someday. If I keep at it.

The other side is silent. It only accepts me being.

Problems want my attention. Mystery, my immersion. Problems want my mind. Mystery, my heart. Problems want my tenacity. Mystery, my trust.

Problems are approachable. They all say "Come, let's figure me out."

Mystery stands off. It speaks without words, "Someday you'll know but not 'til I say."

The problem is a lock, the intellect the key.

Mystery is a doorway through which life is alone, there's nothing to see, nothing for solving, only to be. Where I surrender myself. And peg the key. Fight as I will, where I only receive.


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Monday, May 16, 2011

A New Greeting

I always greet people,

How's life?

Dumb question because it's not really looking for much of an answer.

There's a way better greeting,

Where's life?

A question, when answered, you know will be good.


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Friday, May 13, 2011

The 7 Questions of All In

Will I invest my time, resources, energy beyond when it hurts?

Can I press ahead even if others laugh and think I'm nuts, over my head, foolish, stubborn, maniacal?

Am I prepared to die for the cause and for others around me by surrendering my current career, projects, hobbies, comforts and lifestyle, come success or failure?

Can I admit I'm scared, live with fears and past failures, and move on with the task at hand?

Do I trust others around me?

Will I remain committed, honest, ethical, giddy in the middle of the doubtful dark night?

Do I believe Someone and Something larger and profound are at work right now, leading me where there's life, and calling for my gifts at this very moment to help make the world better for others?


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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rock Star

An HR person said this to me the other day,

The guy's a rock star. He really rocks SEO!

The guy in the company's a rock star?


Don't rock stars break stuff? Make demands? Change rules? Ignore and laugh at honchos? Exceed envelopes? Listen only to themselves and their inner voices? Succeed outlandishly? Fail spectacularly?

All music to my ears yet I wonder,

Is a guy working in a company org chart really a rock star when he all he really rocks is SEO?


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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Lingua Franca of Jobs

My friend Hong, a successful business executive and academic, believes success in a world going global depends on language.

Ask him how you understand China, do more business and create more jobs connected to the world's fastest growing economy and Hong will tell you, "Learn Mandarin."

Making American kids learn Spanish, French, German, Latin, or Mandarin is a basic requirement. Want to create more business and new jobs tied to those markets? Let's up the ante and teach our kids to be fluent in two, even three of those languages.

But wait! There's more.

Today's global world is digital. The Lingua Franca of the age is XML, Ruby, Go and dozens of other programming languages.

Take a look at this story about how to start businesses and create new jobs in a world going digital.

Parents, students and public leaders worrying about how to compete, create and find jobs nowadays ought to do as Hong suggests.

Learn Digital.


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Monday, May 9, 2011

Help Wanted

Here's a job posting that'd be great to see.


-Company in search of new growth, business and revenue models seeks leader with experience in ambiguity, chaos, thinking differently than the rest of us, failure, discernment, trust, long-term commitment.

-Must be willing to understand and acknowledge fear in themselves, others and deeply within the organization's culture.

-Enjoys transformation and communicating.

-Solid forgiveness track record with concomitant ability to utter "I'm sorry...I blew it" and take responsibility for miscues periodically.

-Understands revelation and is expert at being prepared to receive / believe blinding insight and compelling inspiration at a moment's notice.

-Is highly motivated into action by "that's not how we do things here" and "we don't have time for this" and "how can you be sure this will work".

-Places high value on the data and the soul.

-Believes in Something larger than themselves and the organization.

-Must be willing to travel and look out the window (40-50%).

-Sense of humor not required but preferred. Willingness to develop a must.

-Position available throughout 21st century.


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Friday, May 6, 2011

Whaddya Know?

Usually it's a throw away line.

Whaddya know?

It shouldn't be.

Couple it with "where's life?" and "where's the dead zone?" and it's the most important question of all.

Whaddya know about where's life? About the passions. The dreams. The imaginations. The hopes.

Whaddya know about where's the dead zone? The yah-buts. The who-do-you-think-you-ares. The policies and procedures. The fears.

Whaddya know?

It's worth a minute and change everyday.

By itself. Without data. Analysis. Formulas. Templates. Group think. Stuff that looks good on paper.

Just you and the question.

Whaddya know?


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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Innovation Theology

Ever wonder about the spirituality of innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs, leaders of great movements large and small, poets, painters, writers, and revolutionaries all?

My favorite monk, Thomas Merton, gives the best summary for innovation theology in a post to his diary in May 1967,

What is wrong in my life...is unawareness, lostness, slackness, relaxation, dissipation of desire, lack of courage and decision, so that I let myself be carried along and dictated by an alien movement. The "current of the world," which I know is not mine...is not going where I am called to go. And only if I go where I must go can I be of any use to "the world." I can serve the world best by keeping my distance and my freedom.

Great words from the monk.

They leave a simple question, when thinking of successful innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs, leaders of great movements large and small, poets, painters, writers, and revolutionaries all who seem to go where they are called to go.

A simple question that lurks,

What do I really know?


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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Revolutionary You!

"You bring out the revolutionary in me!"

My friend said this the other day.

Hard words to shake when you watch places like Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and the Arab Spring. When you watch China building five to ten new liberal arts universities per year (the US might build the same number in the next decade). When you see stubbornly high unemployment here at home.

The revolutionary in my friend raises a big question.

If he can meet the revolutionary within, is the same true of you? And even me too?

If true, what would it take for me, for you? To look and find and scratch this itch, to get up and get out, to do?

What if we started little revolutions?

If I met the revolutionary me and you, the Revolutionary You, would we have the guts to pursue whatever we'd dream to do?


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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The American Spring

There's a lot of talk about the Arab Spring these days. And for good reason.

How great when you get to watch gutsy people revolutionizing a better world with trust, belief and commitment in themselves and one another. And revolutionizing life by taking down oppression, fear, death.

Time now for America to join in. Sunday's heroic action took out an evil guy. Let's pray it'll take down the darkness he embraced.

Time now for America to turn the page on desolation, fear, death. Time now for passion, creativity, life. For trust, belief, commitment in ourselves and one another. For us to rediscover our revolutionary groove.

Time now, America, for The American Spring.


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