His name was Forrest ... Forrest Gump
Well, I just returned from a 9-day, 8-night working engagement in the Windy City - what a great town! I met some of the most interesting and engaging people and feel the need to tell you about two incidents in particular.
I work in Chicago with an innovation and creativity company called SolutionPeople (check them out at http://www.solutionpeople.com), and, on occasion, I'm called to Chicago to work in the Thinkubator, their creative meeting space, facilitating and coaching groups of business people to think outside the proverbial box.
Well, on this trip, I had a weekend stay, so I did the touristy thing on Sunday and took the city trolley tour. One of the stops was at Navy Pier, so I got off the trolley and decided to walk around for a while. I found myself at Bubba Gump's Shrimp Restaurant, and, wanting to take advantage of the beautiful weather, asked for a table outside. I was told it would be a 25-minute wait. Since I was by myself and had thought to bring a book along (Rich Karlgaard's "Life 2.0" - check it out at http://www.life2where.com), I was perfectly content to sit on the bench in front of the restaurant and read.
As I opened the book, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, that someone had taken the seat next to me on the bench. I didn't really think too much of it until I got to the right-hand page of my book and happened to see those white Nike tennies with the red swoosh - the kind Forrest Gump wore. I followed the shoes up to see Forrest himself sitting next to me! (Well, maybe not the REAL Forrest, but a pretty darn good imitation!)
I proceeded to have a really interesting conversation with Forrest, and learned a lot about Forrest, Junior and about Lt. Dan, all the while trying to get this guy to give me some "real" information about who he was and what he did in "real life." He never once went out of character, but I sensed he was answering some of my questions a little more thoroughly than he might have had I not been so persistent.
As I left him to go get my table and have lunch, it occurred to me that Forrest really has some pretty profound messages to share with the world, so I asked my server to have Forrest come back over to my table and answer a few more questions for me. I told him I was a speaker and had a presentation to give in a couple of days. He told me, in his wonderful southern accent, that he did some motivational speaking of his own, and that he would be happy to e-mail me some information.
So I'd like to share with you some "GUMPtion" direct from Forrest himself, as presented to me by e-mail, direct from Chicago, by way of Tennessee (where the "real" guy lives). This is just a SHORT summary of some information he is putting together for his own book, so I'll share more nuggets in the future.
GUMPTION is a word from the Scottish dialect that can be defined as commonsense, initiative, courage and enterprise. When Winston Groom chose “Gump” as the surname for Forrest, he was summing-up Forrest’s character traits. Forrest Gump has GUMPTION!!!! His I.Q. may be lacking, but this deficit is more than made up by his God-given abundance of commonsense, initiative, courage, and enterprise. He is not bogged-down in a negative vision of the way things are. Instead, he sees them optimistically as they could be. He looks for the good, and he finds it!!!
I'd also like to share another blog for you to check out. It's http://brandautopsy.typepad.com. I met these guys at the class I facilitated in Chicago. They're a lot of fun, and people to stay in touch with. If you're at all interested in marketing and branding, you need to check them out.
Thanks for hanging in there with this long post - I'll work on brevity next time.