15 Apr 2008

Composting Ideas

This week I heard one of my new Facebook friends use the term “composting ideas” and the longer I let it stew the more I like the metaphor. (Thanks Bill!)

In case you are unfamiliar with the idea of composting this is where you pile up organic/plant wastes and let them “stew” as they break down into rich fertilizer-like soil. The same principle can be applied to ideas: throw them on the heap and let them enrich over time. This is where the metaphor becomes really interesting.

No one creates compost for the sake of creating compost. They always want to use the compost as fertilizer to help something else grow. Even the fertilizer is not the end goal. Then the plants must be the end goal, right? Nope. The flowers and vegetables? Not quite. The real end goal of creating compost is to gain the emotional rewards from having grown and harvested your particular plants.

In the same way, when we compost ideas, we aren’t just looking for the broken down ideas, the creative “fertility”, or even the wonderful theories. We might argue that the fruits of our thinking, in the form of behaviors, are not the end goal either. I suggest that the real goal of idea composting is also that emotional reward. This time it is embodied in the feedback we receive from implementing the composted ideas.

What behavioral fruits are growing out of your idea composting?
What emotional feedback are you receiving from actions you taken today?

Posted by Wayne Buckhanan at 11:08 PM   No Comments Yet »
11 Apr 2008

Patience Young Padawan

I am amazed at how much difference the role we play makes in our style and quality of interaction.

This week I was listening to a Q&A session where I was playing the role of student. The person playing the role of teacher spent five minutes at the beginning laying out the ground rules that basically boiled down to “stay on topic” and “respect everyone’s time”. Within 10 minutes someone took the floor in the guise of asking a question only to admit she hadn’t read the materials then spent five minutes thanking the teacher for all that he has done. I was incredulous. Four hours later after many similar distractions I was yelling at the recording in disbelief at a particularly passionate set of people who had spun the conversation off topic for a good portion of the call.

Once I recognized the futility of my state I was able to step away from the situation and analyze what was really happening. I then realized that when I have been in the teacher role I have demonstrated as much patience as this teacher was demonstrating. I realized that I responded to the same basic behavior differently depending on my role. I had a tendency to respond

  • gently when it came from one of my students,
  • brusquely when it came from family or friends, and
  • harshly when it came from a student peer.

Here is where you could start digging to find “causes”, “reasons why”, and other rationalizations. I prefer to skip all that and focus on changing any unwanted behaviors directly, then check whether anything else is warranted. In this situation it has been enough to become aware of this disparity and allow myself to take a moment and consider how appropriate my reaction is (or is not) — independent of the role I am playing.

Where today can you allow yourself (and others) a moment of consideration?
What resources do you have available when you are in a different role?

Posted by Wayne Buckhanan at 2:09 PM   1 Comment »
07 Apr 2008

Blue Booties and Pink Ribbons

The past week has been full of surprises, both great news and not so great news.

Happy, Healthy Family of FourThe best news is that I have a healthy, happy son to complement my happy, healthy daughter and wife. Elijah came out to play about three weeks early but was still a respectable 20 inches long and 6 lbs 14 oz. We are still adjusting and doing very well as a family of four (much better than a pregnant family of three!).

The worst news is that my mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer. (Not that I did not say she “has cancer” — the installation pattern is not one I want to run in a situation like this.) I wonder at coincidences like this following so closely on my friend Drew’s post on hating cancer. While I’m not ready to personify and crucify the disease I am beginning to understand more of what Drew was expressing. I can already feel the emotional numbness towards this situation, my defense mechanism, taking over. If it was just me that might work. Instead, I am going to have to rally my full range of state control skills to be appropriately supportive for the rest of the family.

How have you expressed your gratitude for big blessings in small bundles today?
What small decisions are you making today towards a healthy tomorrow?

Posted by Wayne Buckhanan at 7:58 PM   Comments Off on Blue Booties and Pink Ribbons
30 Mar 2008

Conversing with the “Cool Kids”

  1. Yesterday The Age of Conversation bum rush went well with the book peaking at #262 overall and #36 in Books > Business & Investing. I’ll have to ask Chris why they scheduled it for a weekend…
  2. AoC 2k8 has been unveiled and includes a stellar lineup of authors and the overall theme “Why Don’t They Get It?” As an added twist the 275 (yes, two hundred seventy-five) authors will be cordoned off into 8 sub-sections. I’ve claimed my spot in the “Accidental Marketer” section. Look for me to share how teaching and marketing are two sides to the same coin. And remember the proceeds are going to Variety the Children’s Charity.
  3. As an interesting side effect of participating in this project I’m now considered more “popular” by Technorati. It is just like in high school when the freaks and geeks (like me) would gain some social legitimacy by the “cool kids” saying nice things about them. By way of sharing the love and loving the sharing the full list of cool kids authors is below.
  4. I’d love to connect with you, especially if you’re on the list below. My social networking drug site of choice is Facebook. (Point of fb etiquette: if you send me a friend request please include a note to tell me how you found me!)

Without further ado — The Age of Conversation 2008 “Why Don’t They Get It?” authors list:
Adam Crowe, Adrian Ho, Aki Spicer, Alex Henault, Amy Jussel, Andrew Odom, Andy Nulman, Andy Sernovitz, Andy Whitlock, Angela Maiers, Ann Handley, Anna Farmery, Armando Alves, Arun Rajagopal, Asi Sharabi, Becky Carroll, Becky McCray, Bernie Scheffler, Bill Gammell, Bob Carlton, Bob LeDrew, Brad Shorr, Bradley Spitzer, Brandon Murphy, Branislav Peric, Brent Dixon, Brett Macfarlane, Brian Reich, C.C. Chapman, Cam Beck, Casper Willer, Cathleen Rittereiser, Cathryn Hrudicka, Cedric Giorgi, Charles Sipe, Chris Kieff, Chris Cree, Chris Wilson, Christina Kerley (CK), C.B. Whittemore, Clay Parker Jones, Chris Brown, Colin McKay, Connie Bensen, Connie Reece, Cord Silverstein, Corentin Monot, Craig Wilson, Daniel Honigman, Dan Goldstein, Dan Schawbel, Dana VanDen Heuvel, Dan Sitter, Daria Radota Rasmussen, Darren Herman, Darryl Patterson, Dave Davison, Dave Origano, David Armano, David Bausola, David Berkowitz, David Brazeal, David Koopmans, David Meerman Scott, David Petherick, David Reich, David Weinfeld, David Zinger, Deanna Gernert, Deborah Brown, Dennis Price, Derrick Kwa, Dino Demopoulos, Doug Haslam, Doug Meacham, Doug Mitchell, Douglas Hanna, Douglas Karr, Drew McLellan, Duane Brown, Dustin Jacobsen, Dylan Viner, Ed Brenegar, Ed Cotton, Efrain Mendicuti, Ellen Weber, Emily Reed, Eric Peterson, Eric Nehrlich, Ernie Mosteller, Faris Yakob, Fernanda Romano, Francis Anderson, G. Kofi Annan, Gareth Kay, Gary Cohen, Gaurav Mishra, Gavin Heaton, Geert Desager, George Jenkins, G.L. Hoffman, Gianandrea Facchini, Gordon Whitehead, Graham Hill, Greg Verdino, Gretel Going & Kathryn Fleming, Hillel Cooperman, Hugh Weber, J. Erik Potter, J.C. Hutchins, James Gordon-Macintosh, Jamey Shiels, Jasmin Tragas, Jason Oke, Jay Ehret, Jeanne Dininni, Jeff De Cagna, Jeff Gwynne, Jeff Noble, Jeff Wallace, Jennifer Warwick, Jenny Meade, Jeremy Fuksa, Jeremy Heilpern, Jeremy Middleton, Jeroen Verkroost, Jessica Hagy, Joanna Young, Joe Pulizzi, Joe Talbott, John Herrington, John Jantsch, John Moore, John Rosen, John Todor, Jon Burg, Jon Swanson, Jonathan Trenn, Jordan Behan, Julie Fleischer, Justin Flowers, Justin Foster, Karl Turley, Kate Trgovac, Katie Chatfield, Katie Konrath, Kenny Lauer, Keri Willenborg, Kevin Jessop, Kris Hoet, Krishna De, Kristin Gorski, Laura Fitton, Laurence Helene Borei, Lewis Green, Lois Kelly, Lori Magno, Louise Barnes-Johnston, Louise Mangan, Louise Manning, Luc Debaisieux, Marcus Brown, Mario Vellandi, Mark Blair, Mark Earls, Mark Goren, Mark Hancock, Mark Lewis, Mark McGuinness, Mark McSpadden, Matt Dickman, Matt J. McDonald, Matt Moore, Michael Hawkins, Michael Karnjanaprakorn, Michelle Lamar, Mike Arauz, Mike McAllen, Mike Sansone, Mitch Joel, Monica Wright, Nathan Gilliatt, Nathan Snell, Neil Perkin, Nettie Hartsock, Nick Rice, Oleksandr Skorokhod, Ozgur Alaz, Paul Chaney, Paul Hebert, Paul Isakson, Paul Marobella, Paul McEnany, Paul Tedesco, Paul Williams, Pet Campbell, Pete Deutschman, Peter Corbett, Phil Gerbyshak, Phil Lewis, Phil Soden, Piet Wulleman, Rachel Steiner, Sreeraj Menon, Reginald Adkins, Richard Huntington, Rishi Desai, Beeker Northam, Rob Mortimer, Robert Hruzek, Roberta Rosenberg, Robyn McMaster, Roger von Oech, Rohit Bhargava, Ron Shevlin, Ryan Barrett, Ryan Karpeles, Ryan Rasmussen, Sam Huleatt, Sandy Renshaw, Scott Goodson, Scott Monty, Scott Townsend, Scott White, Sean Howard, Sean Scott, Seni Thomas, Seth Gaffney, Shama Hyder, Sheila Scarborough, Sheryl Steadman, Simon Payn, Sonia Simone, Spike Jones, Stanley Johnson, Stephen Collins, Stephen Cribbett, Stephen Landau, Stephen Smith, Steve Bannister, Steve Hardy, Steve Portigal, Steve Roesler, Steven Verbruggen, Steve Woodruff, Sue Edworthy, Susan Bird, Susan Gunelius, Susan Heywood, Tammy Lenski, Terrell Meek, Thomas Clifford, Thomas Knoll, Tiffany Kenyon, Tim Brunelle, Tim Buesing, Tim Connor, Tim Jackson, Tim Longhurst, Tim Mannveille, Tim Tyler, Timothy Johnson, Tinu Abayomi-Paul, Toby Bloomberg, Todd Andrlik, Troy Rutter, Troy Worman, Uwe Hook, Valeria Maltoni, Vandana Ahuja, Vanessa DiMauro, Veronique Rabuteau, Wayne Buckhanan, William Azaroff, Yves Van Landeghem

Posted by Wayne Buckhanan at 10:44 PM   No Comments Yet »
27 Mar 2008

Join the Conversation – Learn Language Patterns

If you’ve missed it so far head on over to FreshPeel to find out about the rush. We are rocketing “The Age of Conversation” up the charts at Amazon Saturday March 29, 2008.

There are several reasons to do this Amazon rush, the most important of which is to increase exposure for the book because proceeds go to Variety the Children’s Charity.

To do my part and increase sales I am offering an “ethical bribe” if you purchase at least one copy Saturday. I still have a few open slots for our latest online course. We just started, which means you can still participate in the live portions of the course.

To take advantage of this offer and help the kids:

  1. Buy AoC at Amazon Saturday, March 29, 2008
  2. Head over to AoC.LifeLoveAndLearning.com
  3. Submit your name, email, and Amazon receipt number
  4. Instantly join the 5-week online course “Language Patterns for Resilience”

And just to make this weekend fully Conversant: watch for more info about the 2008 volume of The Age of Conversation that I will be co-authoring (with 274 of my “closest friends”!).

Posted by Wayne Buckhanan at 10:02 AM   No Comments Yet »
18 Mar 2008

Best-Sellers On The Brain

Here is the low down on several different aspects of becoming a best-selling author that I’ve been observing recently.

  1. Motivation – Rise of the Author
    Joyner presents explicitly as a futurist and explains some of the factors that have lead us to where we are and how volatile the situation is for becoming a best-selling print author.
    He also extends a challenge that inspired my writing contest video (still sounds strange). While I was not on the list of winners I did manage to get an “honorable mention”.
  2. Guidance – Conversations with Bestselling Authors
    If you have been inspired by RotA and are looking for some guidance on becoming a bestselling author yourself check out this audio program (with transcripts) of several authors’ attainment of the bestseller moniker. (I hear rumor that the only way to get MJ’s Bestseller Blueprint at the moment is by way of this program…)
  3. Acknowledgment – FeBeNe
    If you aren’t ready to write your own book this might be a baby step towards bestseller status. Paulie Sabol and Ben Mack are sharing their “3 Simple Steps To Never Ending Profits” in the context of Guerrilla Information Marketing – the book with Jay Conrad Levinson that is targeting NYT bestseller list in January 2009. Ignoring the awesome content in the FeBeNe coaching you can take advantage of one of their bonuses to gain authority by association — you will be acknowledged in the book they are taking to NYT bestseller status. And you’ll spend about $30,000 less to do it than Paulie did a few years ago. Either way, go listen to their interview with the original guerrilla marketer JCL.
  4. Collaboration – Upping the Downside
    Maybe you want more than the acknowledgment but you don’t want to shoulder the burden of authoring and marketing your bestseller on your own. A collaborative effort can get your book on the Amazon bestseller list like Upping the Downside did last Friday. Does it take the 20 years of experience that were poured into this book? No, but it will take as much resilience as you can muster. Go check out the book to boost that resilience and while you’re doing that watch the process they used to get their bestseller status.
  5. Coordination – The Age of Conversation
    So maybe you’re not ready to submit a chapter length essay to a book like Upping the Downside. Think like you’re on the Internet: lots of people contributing a little bit each. The Age of Conversation is exactly that. Drew and Gavin collected one page from each of a hundred authors and created AoC. The interesting twist is that the proceeds are all going to Variety the Children’s Charity. And in the spirit of Conversation there is a “social media bum rush” planned to push AoC into bestseller status on March 29 (like Upping the Downside did on pi day, March 14). This gives you a chance to observe in real time the effects of concentrated effort since you’ll be on Amazon buying a copy of the book on March 29 anyway.
  6. More Mass Collaboration and Coordination – The Age of Conversation 2008
    If you are not among the 275 authors involved in this year’s AoC volume you can still live vicariously through me. I will keep you abreast of what is happening as Gavin and Drew draw together AoC2k8. And you can bet your buttons I’ll be putting to good use all of what I’m learning from MJ (Mark Joyner), MJ (Mike Jay) and this month’s AoC bum rush in order to push AoC2k8 as high up the charts as I can. And that is truly win-win-win — I (and 274 others) become bestseller, you get great content on “Why Don’t People Get It?”, and the kids get the proceeds!

What was keeping you from attaining goals like being a bestselling author?

Posted by Wayne Buckhanan at 11:21 PM   No Comments Yet »
07 Mar 2008

Upping the Downside with Self Knowledge

I’ve always been a fan of personality tests, mostly for entertainment purposes. Occasionally a test like the Kolbe A will reveal aspects that I hadn’t noticed before. More often I confirm things I already knew about myself such as when I played with the Myers-Briggs test enough to toggle my Introvert/Extrovert by changing one answer that could go either way. Beyond the fun of identifying myself as an ambi-vert (how many ANTP’s do you know?!) these tests can give some useful insight into how to play to our strengths.

Upping the Downside: 64 Strategies for Creating Professional Resilience By Design (Resilience By Design, Volume 2) Take various ideas like Gallup’s strength-based development, a world of uncertain economic outlook, and a healthy dose of slack. Mix in the brain pan of a professional’s professional. Marinade for 10,000 hours of business and executive coaching. Toss with essays from eleven authors. Pour into the metaphoric mold of professional resilience. Serve Upping the Downside warm.

What I have typically been missing in the past is the next step, the application of this new knowledge to affect my behaviors. While I wouldn’t quite consider Upping the Downside to be a personality test it does encourage self-reflection around the 64 core concepts and more importantly it guides and encourages changes in your systems and network rather than attempting to change your personality.

I’ve been working my way through a pre-release copy and am consistently impressed by the depth of the chosen metaphor of professional resilience. The book is split into two distinct, yet interrelated, sections. The first section is a collection of essays from eleven other authors on the topic of professional resilience. The second section is Mike Jay spiraling us deeper into the rabbit hole of self-reflection — all the while maintaining the focus on resilience and how to develop it while maintaining our own identity, talents, and strengths.

So what is resilience? Resilience is the ability to continue in the face of unexpected challenges. This is different than planning for every eventuality by virtue of the unexpected aspect. One of the keys presented in Upping the Downside is slack, and not the lackadaisical avoidance of responsibility popularized by the Church of the Subgenius. Jay presents the concept of slack in more of an engineering frame: the difference between the level at which a system is operating and its current maximum operational capacity. If you are running near your maximum capability then you don’t have much slack left in order to respond to unexpected situations. And the more efficiently a system performs the more likely there will be enough slack to respond appropriately.

I have not yet reached the full depths of my own resilience rabbit hole, especially considering this is a lifelong mindset change rather than a single event. Even with only having made it through five of the eight sections in the survey I have identified several areas of improvement in my own systems — not my self. I’m quite excited to fully experience working within my strengths and talents. I’ve already begun developing the systems and networks to shore-up the areas that are not my strength or talent.

How much slack do you have in your life?
Where could you use more support in order to live your life more fully?

Oh! I barely remembered. The book is launching on March 14 and there will be bonuses and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities available. For more information check out the Upping the Downside membership area which has a special report based around the book and a ton of great resources for resilience. As I understand it the membership is only free until the book launch, so check that out soon, maybe even right now!

Posted by Wayne Buckhanan at 3:04 PM   12 Comments »
28 Feb 2008

Three Types of Action

All distinctions like this are artificial, but they often help us to respond in more appropriate ways.

When we act there are three (nearly) distinct modes in which we can approach the action: learning, practice, or performance.

Learning – As we progress from unconscious incompetence into the realm of conscious incompetence we are learning. We now know what we didn’t know and are observing others to begin understanding their actions. Once we have the basics down and are developing conscious competence we tend to change over to practice mode.

Practice – When we know how to do what we want to do and just don’t have the behavioral flexibility to execute on that knowledge we spend time practicing. This is where athletes and musicians spend 95% of their time. Practice takes us from conscious competence into mastery mode.

Performance – This is where we execute the behavior “for real”.  We are exercising our mastery and performing to the best of our abilities. Ideally the performance mode is preceded by substantial practice so that our current best is well into the competence stages.

What have you learned and are performing without adequate practice?

Posted by Wayne Buckhanan at 9:29 AM   11 Comments »
25 Feb 2008

Best-Selling Author (How Not To)

I created a video entry for a writing contest (sounds weird, I know) and you should too. Well, if you have any interest in becoming a best selling author you should enter.

Go invest two minutes right now and make your video. Then submit your entry and collect a prize just for entering. While you are there grab a copy of Rise of the Author. It is a paradigm shifting report.

And now for the “How Not To”. Here is my entry:

What is no longer preventing you from becoming a best-selling author?

Posted by Wayne Buckhanan at 4:53 PM   1 Comment »
20 Feb 2008

Knowledge, Will, & Means

Warning: This post refers to MJ’s recent report Rise of the Author. I do not believe there are any significant spoilers below. Even so, you will want to read the report to get the full effect and the full benefit available.

While the report is intended for authors there are several patterns that compliment what we cover here. Today’s topic is what MJ calls Knowledge, Will, & Means. This parallels my Knowledge, Awareness, and Behavior model and extends the ideas in a slightly different direction.

The basic idea of MJ’s trio is that in order to make any significant change to the world we need to apply all three of these key aspects at one time. If you are somehow missing the knowledge of what to do there isn’t much hope for making any impact on the world. If you have the knowledge but no means by which to bring it into existence then, again, you will have a hard time making improvements in people’s lives. And even if you have the knowledge and the means if you aren’t willing to apply that knowledge and those means you will not affect those changes in your world.

Now MJ talks about how having all three of these factors in play at once creates what he calls the Great Nexus. The Great Nexus is the only place that these significant changes can take place. There is also some great background on when previous Nexii have formed and some of the changes affected. This is all building up to crescendo with the Great Window for print authors that may shut at any time.

I can not stress enough how much you will benefit from reading the whole report for yourself. If you are in a time crunch you could start with the executive summary/action plan and then go back and start from the beginning for the full briefing. In the mean time:

What do you need to generate your own personal Nexus?
Knowledge? Means (Time/Energy/Money)? Will or intent?

Posted by Wayne Buckhanan at 11:58 PM   3 Comments »