Breaking Out Of A Broken System: Change Begins With Me

Seth-and-Chandler1A few weeks ago I had an opportunity to interview Seth and Chandler Bolt via Google+.

  • Seth is the bass player for the internationally renowned band NEEDTOBREATHE.
  • His brother, Chandler is a decade younger, a very successful entrepreneur and a college student.
  • They look different.
  • They have different interests and different strengths.
  • They hang out in different circles.

Prior to the interview I had just a few hours to take a brief look at their new book.   I was hooked instantly because:

  • Of the electricity these two generate together.
  • Their WHY reflects so much of my own WHY.
  • Of their playfulness, and their deep respect for each other.
  • Of their pay-it forward thought process….
  • They get it.  You can’t break out of a broken system until you realize that Change Begins With “Me”!

How it all started:  The two of them were visiting one night and realized that the successes they’ve experienced are rooted in lessons their parents taught them.  (Lessons they did not always appreciate, lessons they sometimes took for granted, and lessons that many of their friends never received.)

As that realization sunk in, they decided to write a book to share those lessons with others and to give their parents a lasting legacy.  What they’ve created is as unique as they are.  Half of the book is written on a black background with white text, the other half is a white background with black text.  The pages are filled with pictures and doodles and links to music.  (They call it A.D.D. friendly and have written it with millennials in mind.)

The Spark That Keeps Organizations Growing: The Invitation

Years ago I was in a new role and at the last minute discovered that one of my “other duties as assigned” was to lead a service project at a summer camp before it opened each year.

The InvitationSo I made a few phone calls to invite some people to join me.  One of the calls was to a young mother that I had just met.  Two years later as I prepared for a move, that woman came to see me.

She emphasized the importance of that invitation and stressed that it was the spark that ignited her fire.

Prior to that call she had been thinking about changing her membership, and going somewhere else.  After being invited to participate and making one personal connection with someone, she got more involved.   As more time passed her sense of belonging and her ownership in the future of the organization increased.

And it all started with a personal invitation.

Engaged By A Stranger In The Midst Of Change

Three months ago my husband boarded a flight that would take him across the world to a place he’d never seen, to start a new position, and to prepare for the rest or our little family to join him.

After that flight took off a little boy toddled down the isle of the plane, stopped at my husband’s seat and lifted both of his arms in a sweet gesture that communicated his desire to be held.  

Will you stand next to our veterans?

Today is October 11, 2012.  In one month our nation will celebrate Veterans Day in honor of those who have sacrificed precious time with their families, their physical safety and often their mental well-being, and so we can live in a free country.

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Over the past several weeks I have had many unexpected conversations with mothers of returning veterans, with spouses of returning veterans, and with people who provide services to veterans.  In every case they have emphasized the enormous struggles these men and women are facing: