I was just flipping channels, saw the ad below, and smiled. I for one would love to live in a world where all materials we use become food for the natural systems that keep us all alive, or for industry–and no mixing between the two cycles!
Imagine living in a world where all the materials we use become food for the natural systems that keep us all alive (biological nutrients), or for the industries that created them (technical nutrients)–with no mixing between the two cycles.
[I should respectfully note, however, that the best way for a [car] company to to have an impact on the environment is not “to have as little impact as possible”, but rather to have a positive impact. Less Bad is No Good]
JERUSALEM — Israel, tiny and bereft of oil, has decided to embrace the electric car.
On Monday, the Israeli government will announce its support for a broad effort to promote the use of electric cars, embracing a joint venture between an American-Israeli entrepreneur and Renault and its partner, Nissan Motor Company.
[click here for full NY Times article. It's not just about the cars, but a holistic approach to providing the service of electric cars. Excellent article.]
Given the absence of ‘excellence’ in many of our current leaders, it’s obvious why so many are left behind. Since Americans are about to choose who will run for the office of the President, it is a fitting time to consider what qualities make someone a good leader. And what our own role is in the process.
Leaders yield great power. They also shape the leaders of tomorrow. If future leaders are taught by current leaders to look out for only their own interests, then who exactly are they leading? A better question would be: why do we keep following such leaders, and accepting such behaviour.
Back in March 2004, I attended a conference on Leadership. We were told that, fundamentally, leadership included leading by example or exhibiting behaviours for others to mimic and aspire to. During the conference, an ‘Excellence in Leadership’ award was presented.
To describe the recipient, we were regaled with an anecdote that embodied his entrepreneurial spirit and leadership qualities. Decades ago, the recipient was a student in university. After a certain class, dozens of students would dash to the library. Their goal? One of three reserve copies of the course materials.
Having faced similar situations myself, I began to wonder how one could use entrepreneurial spirit and leadership qualities to solve this dilemma. Did he make more copies and sell them to his classmates? Did he get his peers to pool their funds to make additional copies? Nope. The problem was solved by a mound of Laura Secord’s finest.
The recipient and a friend purchased some chocolate for the librarian. Thereafter, to the bewilderment of their classmates, these two “entrepreneurial-minded” students then had one-third of the copies reserved for them.
This anecdote clearly demonstrates qualities that would get an individual or small group ahead. But is it not equally clear that excellence in leadership means getting everybody ahead? If this anecdote embodies the qualities and spirit that make one an “Excellence in Leadership Award’ winner, I hope I never win one.
Oh, but it was harmless, many would say. Not when you consider that others directly suffered as a result of this ‘ingenuity’. Or that this anecdote was recounted by the Dean of one of Canada’s leading business schools (a current leader), to a room full of MBAs (tomorrow’s leaders). This anecdote was used to illustrate the positive qualities an award winning leader possesses.
The problem goes even deeper than just one individual—the dean who shared the tale—who may have misspoken. The audience laughed and clapped loudly. When asked, some attendees said it showed “ingenuity” and “being in tune with one’s constituency”. Others said sometimes you have to “grease things along”. Yet another said business is “all about relationships”. What the students did was “improve the relationship between themselves and a supplier”. Besides, that’s the “how the ’system’ works”, others said. To me the whole thing sounded like bribery.
The most disturbing and common reaction was that the anecdote was a poor one because it was not memorable—it did not make much impact, positive or negative.But by not being memorable, such behaviours become acceptable. And then mimicked.
It is no wonder how the ’system’ continues to perpetuate itself. Perhaps we, the citizens of the world, could demand, foster, and support better leaders. Ones who will lead us, to quote William McDonough, to “a renewably powered world full of safe and healthy things, economically, equitably, ecologically and elegantly enjoyed”.
We can’t keep passing the buck and waiting for others to grow a world we’d all like to live in.
The Rick Mercer Report (think of Rick Mercer as Canada’s Jon Stewart) shares a Made in St. Jerome (Canada)electric car that is only sold in the USA! This is a funny (in an satirical sort of way), informative, and hopeful video. One day, all cities will have silent, clean, practical transportation.
The ZENN (Zero Emmission No Noise) car and the Tesla Roadster show what’s already being produced by upstarts (ie: NEW companies).
I saw the video below on my buddy Kevin’s great (blog).
My 2 cents: Yes, Shift Happens. Yes, it’s happening faster and faster. Yes billions (yup, that many) of people are currently being “plugged in” and joining the collective global communitty. Of this there is no question.
The question remains: Now that we can do anything, what will we do? My vote is to direct this awesome brain power towards growing a world 6.6 billion people would want to live in. Excite, Inspire, and Enable large numbers of people to do so. That’s what REBEARTH is all about. Using our tools, intelligence, and talents to grow a desirable future. Intentionally. The alternative is to continue to bounce through time, endlessly reacting to the consequences of our short-sighted, disconnected pursuits.
USS New York — It was built with 24 tons of scrap steel from the World Trade Center.
That was the title of the email I received…the text read:
It is the fifth in a new class of warship – designed for missions that include special operations against terrorists. It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft.
Steel from the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry in Amite, LA to cast the ship’s bow section. When it was poured into the molds on Sept. 9, 2003, “those big rough steelworkers treated it with total reverence,” recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was there. “It was a spiritual moment for everybody there.”
Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand and the “hair on my neck stood up.” “It had a big meaning to it for all of us,” he said. “They knocked us down. They can’t keep us down. We’re going to be back.”
The ship’s motto? “Never Forget”
How did the email end?
The final line was: “Please keep this going so everyone can see what we are made of in this country.”
AND SO THE CYCLE CONTINUES…Violence begets violence.
HOW ABOUT SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE REFRESHING AND INSPIRING…
The video below is an interesting tapistry of our world’s diverse people’s.
The video is also an example of Leadership harnessing and directing mass collaboration.
From Google’s website:
We asked you to help us imagine how an email message travels around the world. All it took was a video camera, the Gmail M-velope, and some creativity — and, wow, did you get creative!
The clips you submitted were amazing and it was hard to choose selections for the final video featured here. You can check out all of the submissions we received on YouTube, and read more about it on the Official Gmail Blog.
Thousands of people, dancers or otherwise, all around the world, will learn and dance to the Thriller video–SIMULTANEOUSLY!!! (OCTOBER. 27-28, 2007). You or someone you know can be one such person, and be counted into the Guinness World Record.
This fun global event is being organized by a friend of mine, Ines Markeljevic, after the success she had doing one in Toronto in November 2006. Thrill Toronto made it into the Guinness Book of World Records, and got great press coverage. Ines then decided to take it global.
So, to support her and this exceptionally fun endeavour, I emailed this to everyone I know…and to many people I don’t know! Call it my small contribution to a headline making, people connecting, smile generating global event. (I cc’d 663 people in total…something I’ve never done before)
If you’re inspired by her guts and sense of play, please feel free to do the same.
Several months ago, Jeana and I started having a scheduled date night during the week. Every Wednesday, we set aside the clutter of daily life and do something together.
Last night’s date was enjoying bake-at-home pizza, and watching Emilio Estevez’s brilliant film Bobby.
The range of emotions that welled up inside of us was wide. We were painfully angry that such a bright light was killed. We were impressed with Emilio’s skillful writing and direction, and the superb acting. We were shaking from the frustration that everything RFK spoke about is still occuring.
All in all, great film, and we look forward to the day when more people see such films and actually join hands with others and endeavour to hlep grow a world we’d all rather live in.
PS: It’s interesting to note that it took Emilio Estevez seven years to get the movie made. At one point, with only 30 pages of script written, he had such a case of writer’s block that he lbegan lying to people about his progress. (His brother Charlie Sheen read the 30 pages and convinced him to finish.)
Jeana and I are happy Emilio persevered. (And Charlie, thanks for being a good brother. I know first hand what having a good brother means!)