Friday, May 3, 2013

Get in the Wheelbarrow

May 2, 2013

Last year around this time I was invited to an IIDA (International Interior Design Association)Leadership Breakfast where the keynote speaker was amazing... you can read that post HERE if you are interested. A co-worker and friend of mine were invited be the same rep that we have worked with many times to attend for a second time this year. After the positive results last time we gladly accepted (even it it meant that I have to miss the AM session and hit the 5:30pm class at CFW, always good to change things up every now and again). 

We all know how speakers can be. Totally hit or miss. Occasionally, you get a total flop where all you hear in your head while the person is talking are sounds like the teacher in Charlie Brown Cartoons... "waaahhh wah, wooow, waaaa, wooow," you look at your watch 1000 times and hope to god you can be put out of your misery soon... awful.

The IIDA has proven to me now for the second time, that they are terrific at picking their motivational leadership speaker. This man, Chester Elton, was completely engaging, very emotional, passionate, relate-able and had a perfect mixture of fact, humor and seriousness. The time flew by while he was talking and before we knew it he was wrapping up... I didnt want it to end, and I wanted to go hug the man for the inspiration he gave me.

He was there talking about a book that he co-wrote called "All In." He explained that he and co-author Adrian Gotstick thought long and hard about their sub title; "How the Best Managers Create a Culture of Belief and Drive Big Results." They wanted to be sure they were attracting the correct audience and engaging your mind as to how to achieve these results before you even picked up the book. I am fortunately a proud owner of this book now (thanks to our rep Sarah from Teknion) and I cant wait to read it.  

Ches (as he called himself), talked about many things in the time he had, but I wanted to talk about one of the topics that he covered that keeps sticking out in my head. There is a chapter in the book that covers this called "Get in the wheelbarrow," but the quote that he said while speaking that stuck with me is "there is a difference between believing and actually getting in the wheelbarrow." Let me outline the story (I'll try to make it short).

In 1859 a French tightrope walker called the Great Blondin attempted to cross Niagra Falls on a three-inch chord. Twenty five thousand people showed to watch him... and of course he succeeded. The book says not only did he do it "without a stumble, but even paused to perform a back somersault on his way back." As Ches was telling the story he pauses at this point and says, "can you do the same trick 100 times and expect people to be impressed?" Of course not. The Great Blondin had to come up with something new each of the 8 times he crossed. Ches told us that one time he showed with a wheelbarrow and stopped in the middle of the rope and took out a grill and cooked an omelet (and added a joke that it was because he was french).

Finally, one day he showed with his wheelbarrow, with all his loyal fans watching and this is what happened...

"Do you believe I can cross the falls with this wheelbarrow?" He called out.
"Yes!" they yelled as one.
"Wonderful," he said. "Than who will get in?"
Many in the crowed laughed but than fell silent as they realized he wasnt joking. Blondin waited as the seconds ticked by...
... There were no takers. Blondin had hoped his fans would believe, as he did, in his infallible prowess on the high wire. They said they did, but they really didn't."
The story goes on that Blondin's manager steps up to voulenteer, however he passed on the offer. Blondin never actually intended on having anyone get into the wheelbarrow, but he wanted to see how much trust his loyal fans had in him.

So, clearly the book (and seminar) were not all about The Great Blondin... but the message that was put across through the story. It is one thing for the people who you are around and sharing your life with (in a general sense) and working with (in a business sense) tell you they believe in you and your ideas, few of them may actually have the "all in" attitude. However, when the perfect match comes a long and that person/people truly believe in your ideas and goals and you are given that extra push, the result will be extraordinary.

In a nutshell, the Chase talked about culture, the way culture impacts our performance and understanding really how big of an impact it really has. He talks about culture in the workplace, but clearly, I am going to talk about the crossfit culture for a second (realistically this can apply to life in general... but hey its a CF blog right)...  

When I walk into CFW the culture is crystal clear to me. Its positive, strong, motivating and friendly. When I am there I feel like I am on top of the world. People there, whether for their first workout or 100th workout are sucked into the atmosphere and are motivated to just keep going. You feel as if everyone around you believes in you, wants you to succeed and will give you every ounce of push they can to help you do so. What you are doing there matters... no matter what. The focus is positive reienforcement and more often than not you hear someone mention to a noobie "the people here are great." They say nothing about "its cheaper here than that other place" or "you will be lifting 300lbs in a month," its not about that... its about the culture that has been created at CFW. The people matter. The energy matters. That is where success is born.

On the other hand, if people came in there and the energy was low, focus was kept on those in the limelight, noobs were ignored and it was combative and dysfunctional... do you think people would return. Absolutely not.

Culture matters... trust matters... now, get off your butts and get in the CFW Wheelbarrow.

Check out Chester Elton HERE
Buy the Book HERE

3 Rounds
- 10 Inchworms
- 10 Abmat Situps
- 10 Jumping Squats
- 10 Ring Rows
- 10 Scorpions

5 X 1 High Hang Snatch (65)
*really worked on form and moving my feet, getting rid of the "jump"

WOD: Bar Complex
EMOTM for 20 Min
- 3 Deadlift (115)
- 3 Squat Clean (115)
- 3 Jerk (115)
*score is how many completed rounds
(19 Rounds)



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