Unique Perspectives

The end of the year marks a great time for some me time.   Let's face it, if we don't make it, someone or something else "takes" it.  Today I attended the UP Experience     The format is very much like TED.   The beauty is each speaker has 20 minutes so they are severly limited in the use of PowerPoint (bonus).
A few notes summarized below:
Alison Levine is a fearless woman who set out to climb to Everest's summit in 2002 and failed.  Nearly 200 feet from the summit she and her team decided to go back to base camp because of weather challenges.  Alison's main message about the climb was about emotional resilience and knowing "when" to exercise good judgement.  "Fear is okay, however complacency will kill you."  Alison says you can have the best plan but be prepared to adjust the plan and make judgements according to the situations around you.    Levine also says "Know when to turn around and walk away."  The goal is always there but sometimes you have to know when it's time to go do something else.
She met that same mountain again in 2010 and got to the summit.  On getting to the top she reflects that once there the accomplishment didn't seem to matter as much.  Afterall, this was just ONE of SEVEN summits she's climbed!  (I think I'll stick to my marathons, thank you!)  More on Alison here . Two words:  tough chick.
Daniel Pink, behaviorist and best selling author spoke about innovating something the world doesn't know it needs and motivating people to do great work outside of their daily "work".  Pink spoke about how the world is about creating categories, not enhancing them.  He spoke a lot about the lack of "non commissioned" work there is today.  We all work because there's a means to an end, however Pink describes non commissioned work more likely to be creative and innovative than the stuff we have to do. 
Consider Atlassian - Once a quarter they let their software developers do what they want.  The only rule is they have to SHARE with others the next day what they came up with.  What started as a small exercise in giving space for "non commissioned" work began a movement called "FedEx Days".  These have allowed Atlassian to thrive into the most innovative technology company in 2011.  Read more here. 
My takeaways from Alison and Dan?
  • How many times were so you so close to the finish that you had to turn around and go in the opposite direction?  Life's dealt me a few of these situations.  Sometimes I've had to start over and in some cases I've had to slow down to speed up.  Each experience has taught me about how to handle situations regardless of the plan I had!
  • Have you ever reached your goal only to realize it was the lessons you learned and people you met along the way that really shaped the outcome?  We want something so bad that when we do achieve it, it gets the check mark.  For me, I'm learning that achievement is far greater than the finish line.  It's about the people I meet or the challenges I face that provide meaning.   
  • What time are we creating to do non-commissioned work?  I spoke about making time to attend today.  I simply delegated a phone call to a colleague and switched off my commissioned work.  It was that easy.  An outcome of this work was sharing it with you with the hopes you'll seek some 'unique perspectives from unique people'.

Check out what's "UP" by clicking here.  As always I'm curious to hear what you think...

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