During November 2014, I took a “Communicating with Power and Presence Workshop” put on by the TAI Group in New York City with several colleagues. On the second day, we gave a five minute business presentation and then received extensive coaching and focused practice. After each of us gave our talks, we then gave our talk using the TAI “What’s the Point” elegantly simple Powerpoint outline.
The following is the talk I gave with the “what’s the point” slides:
“Wake up! Come on Skippy get out of bed!” my father cajoled. “We’re going to see the Detroit Lions today.” It’s Thanksgiving 1957. We’re going to go with our next door neighbor, Joe Falls. to the stadium to watch the Lions play on Thanksgiving Day.
“Oh right. It’s morning. OK, Dad let’s go.”
I was so excited to go see the game and my boyhood hero, Bobby Lane, throw the ball all over Briggs Stadium. But we were in the Press Box. I discovered something so powerful that day which was finding a new world. I thought I was going there to see a football game. What I found instead was this whole profession called sports writers. I heard how they worked together to describe the game that was on the field for those who couldn’t be there. I thought I was going to see one thing, but I saw another. I woke up twice that day.
Two months ago, my colleague, Scott Parris, said “you know I think it is time we go back and find out about Gary Kasparov and what has happened to him since he lost to that computer thing, Deep Blue.” It turns out Kasparov has been running competitions of the old way with grand masters against grand masters, and new ways with grand masters against computers, and humans and computers working together against technology or other humans. They found out it was the combination of humans and technology and great process that were the winning teams.
It wasn’t one or the other. It was putting both together. And Kasparov said a really interesting thing. The computer is now my partner that keeps me from doing the stupid stuff. Now I can spend my time thinking strategically.
Wow, what if I had that kind of tool. What if I had that kind of capability. Something that was watching what I was doing and helping me get better at getting better to serve my clients.
Some 50 years after my first NFL game, I watched a Seattle Seahawks game on TV. I started noticing something that had been there quite a while. It was how technology has started permeating this very physical, collision heavy game. And it occurred to me that football has now become mostly mental.
Yes, it is physical. That’s the game I watched for 50 years. But now it is mental. Not just for the players. But now there is one coach for every 2-3 players. A strength coach and a nutrition coach. And position coaches that are working with all of this video technology to analyze all the moves on the field. And to understand specific situations so the players can go look at them. The coaches point out what is it that a given team does or that the player should be doing in a particular situation.
Every day the sports teams across all professional sports have this focus on getting better at getting better.
I woke up. I haven’t had that capability except for those few times when I have the time to spend a couple of days like here with very expensive coaches, who at the end of the day really don’t know me and don’t know my business.
What if we could combine the best of human beings, of technology and of processes so that every day I could get better at getting better AND I could help my clients get better at getting better.
The TAI “What’s the point” simple outline is to give your talk with just these five slides (in any order):
- One word summary
- An image
- A quote
- A date
- A number
I am stopped in my reading tracks with this quote he shared from Carrie Necomer:
“I know when the world feels anything less than miraculous to me, I’m probably not paying attention.”
That’s it. That’s the same feeling I have when I stop and remind myself to “Wake Up!”
Who is this Carrie Necomer? Turns out she is a singer and a poet. I check the footnote and see that the quote is from her book, the beautiful not yet. I then see that she has a Youtube version of her song, “the beautiful not yet.” The imagery in the video is mesmerizing:
I remember the moments of nature yesterday that I was awake enough to capture:
From my chair, I delight in the dance of the internet and my kindle ebooks where I can wake up to a phrase or an idea or an author and immediately track down the links and be surprised by joy.
I may be in self-quarantine, but I am awake.