Saturday, January 27, 2007

Fireside Chat With Lisa Haneberg

Lisa Haneberg at Management Craft interviewed me for her latest Fireside Chat. It was a blast to talk to Lisa and to talk about my book The 100% Factor and also my business Bock's Office Transformational Consulting.

Head on over to Lisa's website - the interview is available as a podcast for download or just to listen to. You'll want to check out Lisa's other resources including her books (I've pre-ordered her latest one, Two Weeks to a Breakthrough and have her others, too).

Thanks again, Lisa!

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Friday, January 26, 2007

What's RIGHT With You Today?

Ever notice that people are quick to ask someone else - or think to themselves - "what's wrong" much more often than they ask or think "what's right"?

I wrote a post last March called "How's Your Head?" which kind of talks about this topic. We are so conditioned in our lives to notice what isn't working, what we don't want, what we don't like that that's what is always at the forefront of our minds. I admit, thinking of what I really DO want is not that easy for me. But if we can start noticing the times/places/people who really cause us to feel joyous and engaged, we can start thinking about setting ourselves up to be in more of those places than the ones that drag us down.

My friend Dave showed me his mindmap earlier this week for a new book he's working on and just seeing that diagram (it was on a sheet of flipchart paper, so it was huge!) was very inspiring for me. As he was able to trace his thought patterns and physically show me the connections, his engagement and inspiration just naturally called forth those same emotions in me. We talked about the Sigmoid Curve (see the previous post reference for that info, too), and flow, and energy, and money, and abundance, and the past, and all kinds of great ideas were generated. We spent a good portion of our after-dinner time trying to name his new book, which was a blast in itself.

I really understand - no, I really KNOW - what Margaret Mead meant when she said:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

And I would add "engaged and passionate" to her "thoughtful and committed." Invite someone else to join you in a new level of dialogue. A good place to start is with:

"Tell me what's RIGHT in your world today."


Speaking of mindmaps, here is a great example of a mindmap (I'll have to write more about this technique in the future).

I took the liberty of publishing Graham's mindmap here under the permission granted to Wikipedia. (Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. Subject to disclaimers.)

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Thursdays with Jodee

In honor of my 2007 intention ("Listen and Allow") and my relatively newfound life mission ("Inviting Bigger Small Talk") and my also relatively newfound but very similar genius ("Inviting Dialogue"), I have decided to create a new weekly post to engage readers in a meaningful dialogue, by introducing a conversation starter here.

I had dinner with my good friend Dave last night, and he gave me a book called What's Your Story? and told me to pass it forward. I started reading it this morning and realized, not coincidentally, that it is perfect in support of this idea of this new Thursday post.

Here is today's very first Thursday Dialogue topic:

"What did you want to be when you grew up? Why?"

If I am inviting dialogue, I guess I first have to tell you about me. I really have no recollection of what I really wanted to be, but I knew I wanted to be in an office with windows. I spent a lot of my childhood playing library (I still have books from my childhood with writing in the back that says "Do June 12") and school (my mom was a teacher). But I knew I didn't want to be a teacher - I wanted to do something corporate. And here I am ... a speaker/trainer/facilitator - basically a teacher but in a business setting, not a traditional classroom. So maybe some of it is genetic and some of it is conditioning. Either way, I feel I've found what Jim Collins calls my Hedgehog Concept (watch for a future post about the Hedgehog Concept).

So, what did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Why Don't We DO What We KNOW?

Better yet, why don't we be what we are?

These are questions that have been rattling around in my brain for many years - going back to my days as a corporate communicator who was very interested in what wasn't working in people's careers (including my own). I often found myself a square peg trying desperately to fit into the round hole of my job, and really believing the only way to do that was to shave off the corners that made me me.

It should have been easy. It was a great job with great benefits and a pension and a great road to retirement. It should have been easy to follow the status quo. After all, isn't that what so many people in Corporate America are doing? Why should we go against that easy rut? When we can start to realize that the only difference between a rut and a grave is the dimension, we might be ready to have a new conversation about how our lives are really working.

I think we've become so conditioned to the familiar zone - we used to know it as a "comfort zone," but if we're honest, it's not so comfortable anymore - that we forget there might be another way to look at our own lives.

I think the greatest distance in our whole lives is the distance between our head and our hands - or the distance between what we KNOW and what we DO. And I'm very committed to discovering - and allowing - some answers to shortening that gap. I think the first step is to ask ourselves several questions, and to be committed to being honest with ourselves about the answers.

Here are the four questions I ask myself all the time - and give to each of my clients, whether individuals or teams.

1) What do you want?
2) What are you doing to get it?
3) How is it working?
4) What might you do differently?

The first question seems rather simple on the surface. But if we get really serious about finding the answer, it may not be that simple. We can be rather passive about that question if we choose - sitting on the couch with feet up on the coffee table, we could want a million dollars. When we ask the second question, and we're honest about the answer, we might find that we're not really doing much to actually get what we want. So Question #3 is an objective way to check in with our results. If we're finding that what we're doing isn't working to get what we want, we can ask others in our lives to help us with the answer to Question #4. It's not so easy to find that answer on our own, because we're in the story and can't be objective.

The way to really jumpstart results is to go back to Question #1 and reframe it by asking not "What do I want?" but "What do I intend?" That question kind of makes us sit up straighter - and maybe even get off the couch altogether. When we can set an intention, the results are much more likely to be achieved. But even more effective, in my experience, is to reframe the question again by asking "What do I commit to?" Now we're talking about what Napoleon Hill calls "a burning desire," in his 1937 classic Think And Grow Rich.

How might those questions allow us a different way to look at the effects our lives are showing us? In order to alter the effects, we need to get to the root cause. And asking Question #3 is a great way to start.

Taking the judgment out and asking these questions objectively offers a really straightforward opportunity to shift from what's not working to a new perspective. As we start noticing what works and what doesn't - instead of what's "right" and what's "wrong" - we can start allowing ourselves to accept what we already are, instead of what we might someday become.

And that's a much more happy place to be.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Now I'm an S.O.B.!

I never thought I'd be proud to have someone call me an S.O.B., but when it comes from Liz Strauss, it's an honor! Liz has named me one of this week's Successful and Outstanding Bloggers.

Here is how Liz describes an S.O.B.:

When the SOB program started, I was looking for a way to encourage the sense of community that Successful-Blog stood for. We’re all about relationships and conversation here. The conversations are fun, fast, and sometimes irreverent. Discussions on the blog often brought up good ideas, and I wanted to make sure those ideas continued and become more out in the blogosphere–everyone making everyone a little bit better. It’s the only way that we can make ourselves strong here in what they call “The Magic Middle.” We talk to each other and we listen too.

Blogging makes the world very small and really does prove how we are all connected, whether we live in Denmark (Alex) or England (Nick) or Canada (Greg) or Wisconsin (Phil) or Illinois (Liz) or Washington (Lisa) or Connecticut (Terry) or Texas (Chris). I consider all these people friends, even though I've never met them in person.

So thanks, Liz, for making me an S.O.B. I'll display my badge with pride!

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Friday, January 19, 2007

The Meaning of Life - REVEALED!

Two weeks ago on my radio show (Sundays at 11 a.m. central) I played two very important songs which cleared up a lot of mystery for me. There are no accidents and everything happens for a reason and all that jazz - so it's no coincidence that both songs were called "The Meaning of Life" and each was performed beautifully - one by Monty Python and one by the totally under-appreciated group "Those Darn Accordians."

I'm telling you - I was enlightened!

So it's no coincidence either that MyBlogLog is also answering this important question. So here's today's insight from MyBlogLog:

What's the meaning of life?

What we've come up with can be reduced to two fundamental concepts. One, people are not wearing enough hats. Two, Matter is energy. In the universe, there are many energy fields, which we cannot normally perceive. Some energies have a spiritual source, which act upon a person's soul. However, this soul does not exist automatically, as orthodox Christianity teaches, but has to be brought into existence by a process of guided self-observation. However, this is rarely achieved due to mankind's unique ability to be distracted from spiritual matters by everyday trivia.

You heard it here first, folks!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Breakthrough on the Horizon

So, I've just been inspired (yet again) by Lisa Haneberg's upcoming book (and current blog) called Two Weeks to a Breakthrough. In her current post she talks about how breakthroughs are not just business as usual - they are like turbocharged surges. She says it's more like A to D or A to G or A to R, but not A to B. She says "breakthroughs can be wee surges forward, but they are surges." I'm reminded of how I need to play bigger - take bigger risks, both with my business and the rest of my life.

Interestingly enough, yesterday I got an e-mail from Phil telling me about an upcoming Oprah episode where she'll feature The Secret, and she's looking for stories about how The Secret has changed your life. So, that's my intention.

I filled out the form and submitted it and got the notification that they had received it.

I also found a cool web tool called Intention Engine which helped me create an intention and affirmations to actually use what I've learned from The Secret to manifest my intention to meet Oprah. I invited my posse of friends and advisors from Fargo to think about how each of us might tell Oprah about how The Secret has affected all of our lives and our work. Things are brewing here in Fargo ... and Oprah needs to know about it!

Check out the icon on the right side of my blog (below the blogroll) to go directly to the Intention Engine site and read about my visualization. Feel free to leave a comment there, too!

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Why Is There A Michael Jackson Song in My Head?

For some reason Michael Jackson's "BAD" is going through my head right now ... could it be because Liz Strauss has made me a B.A.D. Blogger?

Yes! I'm honored, Liz! When we talked on January 1, we found we had so much in common (no surprise there) including our Make It Great Guy buddy Phil Gerbyshak (the king of blogging) and Steve Farber (the king of Extreme Leadership).

I'm looking forward to more connections and future projects with Liz ... "because I'm bad, I'm bad ..." :-D

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Shifting the Focus

Although I don't do a lot of set training anymore - by that I mean training that follows a specific curriculum - there is one program I've been conducting a lot lately. At the end of January I will have delivered Job Relations, a 5-day program, five different times in the past 2 months, so I'm getting many chances to learn from the various audiences.

This Job Relations training is part of the Training Within Industry program that was developed by the U.S. government during WWII to keep production up when the workers went to war and we had to train new workers quickly. Consequently, it's not new training by any stretch of the imagination, but it's new (again) to us in the U.S. because we exported it to Japan as part of the war recovery effort, and then essentially forgot about it until the past 4 or 5 years.

So, although this training is set to follow a script, I've noticed in the past 6 months or so of delivering it, that the people in my classes have been ready for a deeper conversation. The training gives supervisors a 4-step method for solving problems with people they supervise. But as we focus on the problems, we keep bringing the problems up. The training also includes another focus called Foundations for Good Relations, which sometimes gets overlooked as we try to solve the problems. The people in the classes recently have been much more open to talking candidly and openly about the coaching aspects of their supervisory responsibilities and thus are much more open to sharing ideas, and the foundations are what we spend more time talking about.

It's proof positive that we can shift the outcome of the class if we shift the focus from what's not working to what is working. Last week one of the comments on the feedback form was "I wish I would have had this training years ago."

I'm excited to be presenting my observations and the outcomes the attendees have seen in their own organizations at a national TWI Summit in Orlando in June.

What are you noticing as you shift your focus from what's not working to what is working - in your business and in your life?

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Matter of Perspective

As the thermometer dips into seasonable temperatures here in North Dakota, I’m noticing the equally intense dip in the conversation around here. Why is it the weather is always such a huge topic of conversation?

It’s North Dakota. It’s January. Why does it surprise us that it’s cold?

If we didn't have cold, we couldn't see this:

Although I didn't take these pictures, these are typical scenes in North Dakota in the winter. And cold is cold (even in Seattle Lisa!) - but it merely gives us something to compare with (we wouldn't appreciate warm if we didn't have cold!).

Thank you to Mieke Vos for the beautiful snow photo and Wenspics for the amazing sundog photo and StarrGazr for the fun sledding photo.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Dick Richards Endorses The 100% Factor!

Dick Richards over at Come Gather Round has so graciously offered his take on my book The 100% Factor: Living Your Capacity. Here is a taste of Dick's review:

"Jodee’s suggestions and checklists reinforce another key message of the book: knowing the stuff isn’t enough, it is what we do with what we know that truly matters. She summarizes this in what has become my favorite passage in the book:

By stepping into your own personal power, you can celebrate your own authentic beingness and support others in doing and being the same for themselves. Live the life you’ve been blessed with.


I feel very fortunate to have connected with Dick when I first began blogging back in 2004 and even more fortunate to have met him at the Genius workshop I attended in Minneapolis in December. Putting a name to my genius has given me an added dimension in my training and coaching I couldn't have provided to my clients before. If you haven't read Dick's books yet (especially Is Your Genius At Work), I'd highly recommend you put that on your 2007 reading list!

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Going to War - OR Standing for Peace

I just had to write tonight after spending the afternoon with a friend of mine who recently found out she has the "garden variety" of breast cancer. She had a biopsy and doesn't need a mastectomy - they think they got what they needed to get. She recently went back and had 14 lymph nodes removed just to be safe. They found just a tiny spot in one of the 14, so that was good news. She's also had all of the tests she needs to have to make sure this estrogen-receptive cancer hasn't found its way to the liver or bones - two of the most common places it goes.

Her prognosis is good, but she's having a heavy dose of chemotherapy just to be safe - it's 4 days on and 3 days off for 4 months. She said by the time you usually find cancer, it's further along than if you kill it off before it shows up. She said she doesn't want to take any chances and that she's "going to war" against this cancer. She knows she will lose her hair and is well aware of the side effects of this aggressive treatment.

I admire her resolve; however, a part of me wonders about the "going to war" part of her plan. Does fighting against something give it more opportunity to fight back? Is there a way to stand for health instead of fighting against cancer?

Sure, it's easy for me, the one without cancer - but this makes me wonder what I would really do if I found myself in this position. She's willing to fight, so maybe that's the most important thing. Whatever it is we have the most faith in appears to be what shows up most for us, so if she believes strongly enough that going through 4 months of aggressive chemo will make her healthy, then that's what will work.

In some way this reminds me of the training I'll be doing all this week and all next week. It's training in a 4-step method for solving problems with people you supervise. The attendees get a 2-sided laminated card as part of the class. On one side is the 4-step method and on the other side is a list of ideas for building the foundations of good relationships. In other words, one side of the card shows what to do when there are problems, and the other side helps the focus shift from what's wrong to what the class calls "preventive medicine." If we can focus on what's right - and catching people doing things well, we shouldn't have as many problems to solve.

If we can stand for health, and for positive work environments, and for happy employees, then we shouldn't have to be against cancer, or against bad attitudes, or against crabby employees.

I guess what it comes down to is realizing that maybe it's not about what's wrong or what's right - it's more about what's working and what's not working. Choose what's working and do more of that - regardless of what anyone else thinks or says.

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Friday, January 05, 2007

Flipping the Switch

Nick Smith at Life 2.0 has written an eloquent post called Why Are Our Leaders Messing Up So Badly? As I read his post and the comments by some very thoughtful readers, it occurs to me that perhaps we are seeing leaders as "messing up" because that is what we are looking for. Nick talks more about this in his post when he says

"... maybe the problem is not with our leaders but with us. I don't think it's so much that we've made poor choices in electing our leaders, but that we seem to have developed a greater willingness to project the blame for our ills on others, so as to relieve ourselves of our own responsibility. It's as though 'blame' is the purpose we subconsciously want to give to our leaders, and that is the one they are fulfilling for us.... and perfectly so."

As I commented on Nick's blog, I believe what is causing the distress and dis-ease we are witnessing can be culled down to fear and I believe the first step to eliminating fear is to shed light on and acknowledge 1) that that's what it is and 2) that we actually do feel it. When I was a little kid, dark rooms were very fearful because my imagination made up all kinds of stories about what could be lurking in the corner or under the bed. But as soon as I turned on the light in the room, the fear went away. Light shines away darkness - or, as Nick points out in his original post, "forest fires start from just one match, and all the darkness in the world cannot put out the light from just one small flame."

I'm reminded, too, of Edith Wharton's quote: "There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." If I'm committed to the light, I don't always have to be the candle - I can sometimes be the mirror. Both situations result in light.

When I remember that there really is no "out there" "out there," and there is no "us" or "them" only "we," I can bring my own light to the government, to education, to religion, and to business and commerce whenever I notice. What I realize is that my attention begins to shift from what is "wrong" or "right" to "what works" or "what doesn't" and the energy automatically shifts from judgment to observation. My seemingly inadequate or insufficient attitude or thought now becomes my commitment to BE the change I wish to see in the world.

I heard Deepak Chopra once say leaders are elected or appointed by the collective consciousness of those they represent. If that is true, then we really have no one to "blame," but have an outstanding opportunity for dialogue - suspending assumptions for the purpose of learning something.

And to me, that's like flipping the switch - helping shift the focus and bringing the light - shining away the darkness and the fear. What would our schools, our churches, our goverments and our businesses look like if we flip the switch and turn on the light? I can BE that change. I WILL be that change - I AM BEING that change.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
- Marianne Williamson

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Z-List in Living Color!

Sandy Renshaw over at PurpleWren has taken the Z-List a step further by creating a graphic representation of some of the listers.

I wish I knew how to show you all the work Sandy has gone to - but trust me and visit her creation here. (I'm honored to be included in the collage! Can you match the pictures to the blogs?)

Doug Karr also has a very interesting top 50 (or is it 100?) things he's learned in 2006. Don't be intimidated by the list (100 of anything in a list is a lot!) - you'll be glad you did ... and you'll see another collage of the Z-List at the bottom.

I'm grateful for all the work that has gone into introducing lesser-known blogs to the world. I've learned so much already from all the new contacts I've made through this project!

Miracles Abound!

I just started a new blog on January 1 called A Miracle A Day and it's amazing what a shift in focus will create and allow!

Check it out - and please feel free to share where you're seeing miracles in your own life. Let's create a powerful dialogue around what's WORKING in the world instead of what's NOT WORKING!

Watch for updates on the Bock's Office Transformational Consulting progress, too. We're creating something big and you won't want to miss it!

Monday, January 01, 2007

I Made the Z-List!

I was looking longingly at The Z-List - a list of lesser-known blogs roaming the blogosphere - and to my surprise, there was You Already Know This Stuff at #73.

It's great to see that many of those blogs on my blogroll also made the list, described by Elana Centor at Funny Business (currently #44) as follows:

They're known as the A-listers -- those elite group of bloggers that seem to garner the lust, love and attention of other bloggers and most importantly, main stream media. The A-listers are invited to speak at conferences and share their wisdom . The A-listers names pop up everywhere. Other bloggers want to link to them in hopes that some of the A lister's blogging dust sticks to them.

When the mainstream media decides to invite a blogger to share their opinions, they go to the A-list.

That's where the Z-list comes in. See in blogging, you get on the A-list by having a ridiculous number of people linking to your site -- its not necessarily about the number of people who visit your site, its about the links.

So the Z list was created to help the non A listers increase their link power. As they say "there is no A list so there can't be a Z list. Just Good Blogs."

Call it blogging envy or revenge of the bloggers but this is a list designed to challenge the status quo.

The Z-list was created on December 12,2006 by Mack Collier at Viral Market decided to create a meme called the Z-list. As he wrote

Here's the deal: In an effort to bring more link-love to those blogs that I feel aren't getting their due, I've created a small list of blogs below that I've linked to. The idea is to create a meme built around giving link-love to the blogs that deserve it, and hopefully turn Technorati's system of using a blog's # of links to determine its 'authority', on its ear.

Tonight the list is nearing 500. As Elana noted, the list is now being hosted on Squidoo where it has become a 'lens" where you can go to the list and vote.

If you decide to vote, a click on the up arrow is a good thing. A click on the down area drops the entry to a lower ranking on the list.

Thanks for your vote - (note: this is as close as I'll ever get to a campaign speech!)