Thursday, September 18, 2008

Why not, really?

OK. So today: 
  1. I rode my scooter to work, which happened to be a creative symposium at Liberty Memorial. 
  2. We were challenged by several different speakers from inside and outside the company to think and behave up to our potential. 
  3. Matt Sax stole my scooter and taught me how to beatbox, and I rode my scooter off stage in front of my boss, my boss's boss, my boss's boss' and the CEO of the company.

I followed this adventure with three beers, after which a friend drove me back to my house so there would be no scooter-related concussion. 

Molly and Mike were two of the featured speakers—and reminded me I work with freakily talented, incredibly smart, unnaturally perceptive people. Then there was this guy: Ron Caruuci

Here's what he made us do: 
  1. Think of someone you respected and admired who's no longer with us. If you could ask that person a big life question, what would it be?
  2. Then, much later: If you could write one or two sentences about the legacy you want to leave, what would it be?
At the end, he asked us to read both to the person next to us. I chickened. HARD. On either side of me were two of the smartest, most creative guys I've ever worked with—two guys I would have thought I could share anything with—and I chickened. At the time, it felt too vulnerable—too naked. 

Then there were those three beers. 

So my question. I thought of two people: My grandmother, Wese, and Del Close. Wese was the woman I want to be...and because my grandfather died before I was born, lived kind of like I do. From the time I knew her, she lived alone. Controlled her own world. Made her own decisions. The question: Did you ever get lonely?

And my legacy. Ron said to think big—to write about who we want to be. Our best potential self. So I wrote: She taught us to be fearlessly collaborative and generous with energy and ideas. 

It's probably easy to see this coming when you look at both those things at once. We answer our own question. 

Another thing they talked about today was being authentic and vulnerable. I know it works in improv, but it's much harder to do in an unmeasured, non-calculated way in real life. Like I said, talking about the question I asked and the way the wiser, smarter self who lives some time in the future answered it, felt naked. I wasn't ready for that at 10am. 

But seriously. After beatboxing and being outed as a scooter rider in front of God and everybody and having three beers, there's no sense covering anything up.

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