Time Traveling

June 4, 2010

I love time traveling. I’ve done it most of my life. I’m finding the older I get, the easier it becomes. I don’t have a time machine… I just read, think and mostly use my imagination to propel me. Sometimes I travel back in time; other times I project myself into the future. The biggest benefit of time travel is returning to the present with wisdom.

What started me time traveling was realizing many of the people that influence my thinking had left this world before I ever arrived. Compelled to meet and understand my influencers, I started visiting them. After several trips, patterns started to emerge. I found many of my heroes weren’t heroes at all… at least not during their lifetimes. Some were rejected by society. Many were considered radical, dangerous, or even insane. Traveling forward from these places in time, I observed how it took future generations to start understanding the courage, brilliance and insight these individuals possessed. Looking back from the present, it’s hard to believe these people weren’t celebrated. Then again, future generations will see us in the same light… and wonder the same.

During one of my journeys, a great hero of mine from the 1400s explained that expending too much time and energy trying to convince people from your own time period is unproductive. “Think, write and create for the unborn,” he said. “They will come to understand and value your insight and effort.” In his case, no truer words could be spoken… and I told him so. I appreciate his advice and often heed it.

The more you travel, the clearer one thing becomes… time exposes the truth. As it turns out, many past “heroes” weren’t heroes at all. They were popular charlatans, people of privilege or barbaric leaders driven by self-serving agendas. These individuals weren’t whom they claimed to be… or what they were perceived to be during their time. Many were truth twisters and propaganda creators on a mission to gain power and prestige in their lifetime… and were willing to achieve it at any cost. Whether it’s past, present or future one thing remains consistent—leaders need supporters and followers to succeed. Read more

What Meaning Do Your Words Carry?

November 11, 2009

BA-2Within minutes of meeting Scott Beare, I liked him. The Blue Angels stories he shared with me over lunch, in his honest and straightforward demeanor, were exhilarating to say the least. Not only is Scott a straight shooter—he’s modest, too. It wasn’t until weeks later he happened to mention that he was the first enlisted Navy man to become a Blue Angels pilot. And it wasn’t until we were nearly finished writing The Power of Teamwork together, that I learned Hasbro had based its GI Joe Blue Angels Action Figure on Scott’s likeness. In light of Scott’s accomplishments, some people may find this point insignificant… but having had GI Joe’s as a kid, I think it’s awesome.

As we worked together, one thing became clear to me—what the Blue Angels consider “normal” teamwork is probably outside most people’s scope. To say it’s above average seems understated; better put, it’s abnormal… well outside the teamwork bell curve. The challenge: How do you convey this “abnormal” level of teamwork in a book?

050527-N-0295M-002My idea… Sigmund Freud believed by studying the abnormal, we could gain a better understanding of the normal. That’s how I approached The Power of Teamwork… perhaps by studying the Blue Angels’ model of teamwork, we could gain a better understanding of “normal” teamwork as it relates to our own lives.

One evening, about a week before the manuscript was to be sent to the publisher, I cleared my head and planned to re-read it from start to finish. In less than 25 pages, my brain started racing and I felt my heart sinking into my stomach… then I stopped reading. Read more