Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Out with the old, In with the new

I am getting this overwhelming feeling that we are finally seeing the era of focus on individuality, form over content and image over authenticity finally coming to an end! Finally! It seems people are just tired of plastic people, maybe? I don't know, but I do know that I am excited about this shift and am ready to re-focus my time and efforts on community, content and context. This is a return to everything that I value.

I had the opportunity last week to spend some time in one of our many national parks. What an amazing experience. I was so glad that our Government had set aside the time, money and resources to allow me, almost 70 years later, to explore an undeveloped area of the Rocky Mountains, wildlife and all. While I was there, I got to talking to a very nice gentleman at the park office, not sure if he was a volunteer or a park employee, about how we have been so focused on individual legacy in the last decade. The 2000's will go down for me as the "me" decade. The National Parks were all about our National legacy. What we, as a community of people with common values such as freedom, liberty, entrepreneurship, etc, leave behind for our children. It's about time we return to our emphasis on national legacy, community legacy, organizational legacy, rather than individual legacy. Someone very wise once said, "we are only as strong as our weakest link." I am feeling good about the fact that we are returning to era where we CARE about our weakest links in this Country, as opposed to exploiting these weak links for financial gain.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Open Mind or Just Quicker than Most

It is so funny. I have found for the last 20 plus years of my career that I am typically a step ahead of the rest of the market. Today, I learned that the new entrepreneurial trend to fund business start-ups is called bootstrapping. Do you know what bootstrapping is?? It is what I have been doing in business development for the last ten plus years of my career. How about that. Way ahead of the curve. Bootstrapping, though I would typically call it growing an organization endemically, is about innovation with NO budget. It is about getting creative and looking for partners, peers and (my favorite) enabling customers that will take a risk on a new, ambitious company to get in early on the learning and the potential. I was doing this while venture capital firms were handing out bundles of cash for more a more formal new business execution. Who knew? Now, because of this recession, this less sexy, I would argue, more accountable approach to business development, is now in style. Well, as an expert in bootstrapping, there is hope for me. My days of big wins and lively recognition are still to come, right?? I finally get my day to do it my way.

Was I just ahead of the curve? Or am I sorely lagging in my adaptation to market trends. I am learning something about myself...I often find myself playing the devil's advocate. Observation...when the market leans toward a trend...it leans. Not just a little, but a lot. Almost to the detriment of balance. Could my approach be a natural instinct to balance out market imbalances...heavy, almost fanatical, adoption of market trends? Almost like a fulcrum? Is this what leadership is? Is it the voice of reason, as opposed to the voice of the masses?? HMMM??