Helping Others Can Be Fun – What's Not to Like?

This Saturday, Robin Crow’s Dark Horse Institute will host an Open House from noon to 3pm. We’ve been planning this for awhile, and there will be BBQ,hotdogs, Hamburgers, refreshments etc. It should be fun as always, and you can tour the place, ask any questions etc. BUT, this Saturday we all get to help out a worthy cause as well, and THAT’s what makes me truly tick. We’re super happy to be teaming up with Souls4soles.org in collecting gently used, and new shoes for the victims of the Japanese Tsunami/Earthquake disaster. Covering ones feet is nearly always a pressing need for those in disaster recovery areas. It helps cut down on injuries and prevents diseases and infection from spreading. Souls4soles does this (providing footwear) better than anyone out there, and we’ll be a drop off point from March 19-29 kicking off AT our Open House this Saturday. Please dig around in your closets for those 1 or 2 pairs that you rarely wear, and bring them along.

Meanwhile, Wolfhaven is in studio working on their album with our students at the Institute manning the board for their final project! It’s sounding GREAT so far.

Thanks and peace from Dark Horse.

www.darkhorseinstitute.com
www.souls4soles.org

 

Playing In the Creek

Well, after a week full of rain and storms, the small gully meandering through the back part of Dark Horse Campus became a really nice, healthy creek for the better part of a week. Robin being out of town for several days, I had my dog “pack” on-site helping me watch over the place, and I’ve got to tell you, that creek may as well have been Space Mountain at Disney World as far as the dogs were concerned. How many times they turned into a game, the process of trying to jump over the creek, only to land 2/3’s of the way through it with a big, muddy splash…well I lost count. Tongues hanging out, smiles on their faces…you could see that they achieved their desired results of not quite making it to the other side. That sheer joy is something dogs understand how to acquire. Pick something simple to revel in, the now.

Robin Crow is immersed currently in a string of dates that has him speaking in various parts of the country approximately 20 x over the next 6 weeks. In the past, we’ve always tried to book his travel as tight and close to the vest as possible. Robin likes to use time wisely and waiting around for that next flight, or spending a lot of time at the event site after he has spoken, doesn’t always make sense. BUT, in recent times he has enjoyed spending a bit more time with the clients, getting to know their conference attendees so that he can hear their concerns, get a feel for what ALL of them are going through and let them know that here at Crow Company and Dark Horse, we’re going through it too.

More than ever, We have to work as a team. With a only half-dozen of us on staff, we’re a mom and pop operation, wearing the hats of 25…or so it seems. We have to support each other, argue with each other, stretch each others ideas, thoughts, goals and dreams into practical and actionable items. Constant Empathy is what I like to call it…every time we pass through the doorway, that portal needs to be our trigger device to being ultra-aware of the NOW..especially what that means to our teammates. They may have had a bad night last night, worse perhaps than ours. And conversely, the opposite may be true as well. If we take the time to celebrate the good times with each other, and be intensely empathetic of the tough times, we will all be amazed at how much more productive and enjoyable our workplaces and homes will become. Remember, here at Dark Horse and Crow Company we really and truly believe in the concept of a Triple Bottom Line Business Philosophy. Robin talks on this subject a great deal in the 2nd half of his book “Evolve or Die.” Step 6 of this portion of the book is all about Triple Bottom Line People, Planet, Profit. In that order…People..People..People…is what I’m talking about today. Have a great weekend.

A GREAT Team at Indiana University, KNOWS How to Get Things Done

After watching the Public Affairs Department at I.U. run this conference, all that comes to mind is the phrase “well-oiled machine.” From the way they took care of Robin Crow during his brilliantly received keynote yesterday, to the way they accomplished all of my quirky needs and requests for my team-building workshops…it all ran without a hitch. The team-building workshops were intimate, so much fun, and productive that I can’t wait to do it again. We’ll be editing the video footage soon and putting up a website. A few notes about I.U. They were such gracious hosts and I now consider myself an honorary Hoosier. Had a GREAT steak dinner of Filet Mignon and Merlot with Nancy and Kelly at historic St. Elmos Steak House last night AND I.U. served Dunkin Donut’s coffee all conference long! Also, to quote Steven S. Little.. I had a Milkshake Moment at the hotel bar at the IUPUI Conference Center hotel two nights ago. Incredible Chocolate shake. If you’d actually like to know what a “milkshake moment” is, I suggest you read Steven S. Little’s book of the same name. Meanwhile,  Robin Crow’s book, “Evolve or Die” continues to be ULTRA popular as a keynote topic and conversation focal point at many, many conferences and we’re just trying to keep the ball rolling. The audio book is slated to release late spring. Now that I’ve thrown in these team-building workshops I’m hoping we can collaborate on more events from time to time with a wider variety of clients. Looking forward to seeing more snow in Nashville tonight. Miss the dogs.

CONSTANT Empathy

Without this, we’re up a creek, a tree what have you without a paddle. We won’t succeed as a business, as an organization, as a family, a couple etc..etc.. The other person has nearly always got similar dreams and challenges at home and at work as we do. So why do we so often not think of the other person when we enter through the front door at work, or at home? Early on in the relationships that Paul McCartney shared with John Lennon, and Mick Jagger shared with Keith Richards they all agreed that no matter who wrote what, or how much or when they would split the credit for ALL the songs they wrote 50/50. They figured this was best for the team,and for that matter would all come out in the wash at the “end of the day..” Can you imagine how much better our work and personal relationships if we did things without any expectation of credit, but just because we wanted to do good, and do what was right? Now don’t get me wrong, just because there is no expectation of credit does NOT mean that we should not give credit where credit is due. Most of us need that sense of appreciation, it’s healthy and necessary to give it as much as possible, and to receive it. And that will all come, if we work and live in a state of CONSTANT Empathy.

361 days until New Years

Joy to me last night was sitting on the couch, after having worked on a new arrangement of a song for nearly 3 hours.  On the left with his head on my lap was my dog Bernie, on my right with his head in my lap was my dog Ringo, to his left… butt to butt with him was Tzippy the Beagle.  It was quite cozy, quiet and calm.  I almost felt as though I were in a meditation chamber or some such thing.  Meanwhile, back here at “The Horse…” Robin Crow is hard at work on the manuscript for the new book with Lee Iacocca, and we’re working on some exciting non-profit alliances that would really be beneficial to all parties, and the best part would be the impact we could possibly have on some communities here and abroad.  More to come on that.   Dark Horse Institute kicks off it’s first session here at the complex on January 10th, with additional sessions starting approx. every 4 weeks after that.  The first fully electric car rolled off the assembly line here in TN. this week, The Leaf.  While this type car, which does not use a drop of gas, and gets approx. 90-100 miles a charge may not yet be a perfect solution or alternative to our energy/resources problem, it is a good start….Here is my shared thought of the day from the USA TODAY Best-Seller “Evolve or Die” by Robin Crow.  “Taking the Long View…” There seems to be a direct connection between societies and cultures that take the long view and those who enjoy long-term survival.  The Japanese are an old society with roots that go back thousands of years.  Compared to other modern nations, they tend to take a long view of economic problems.  The British are long-view people as well, with an “Empire” that is nearly 1,000 years old.  The Jewish people are another ancient culture- with more than 5,000 years of cultural heritage…all of them survivors who tend to think in the long term.  Americans, on the other hand, are the people of NOW.  We are the instant gratification population who thrive on fast-food, and we work for companies whose idea of the future is the “quarter after next.” The British may have invented microwaves, but we invented the microwave oven.  U.S. consumers tend to buy products based on “what will it do for me now” rather than “how long will it last.”  If long-view cultures survive and instant gratification cultures perish, the United States is in for a hard future.

Change Can Occur Overnight

From the book “Evolve or Die” By Robin Crow…..Throughout recorded human history some 3, 825 societies(that we know of) have collapsed.  In many cases, those societies had found ways to exploit every conceivable natural resource and then feed off the local ecology, thriving only while they grew.  Once they were no longer able to expand, they became victims of their own success.  The Roman Empire for example, continued expanding until the very breadth of it’s borders proved impossible to defend…..

A White Christmas Morn' at Dark Horse Recording & Institute

Well, I’ve had a cup of coffee, fed and exercised the dogs, fed the horses and now am back in bed at 9:30 in the morning.  This happens LESS then never these days.  It’s pretty outside with a coating of snow over the mud and brown grass.  Despite no clouds showing up on the local radar, it’s snowing a bit again.  Some of these flakes are big.  Being out here in the country on site of a typically busy recording studio and the newly formed Dark Horse Institute, when all is quiet and dark is always a pleasant feeling.  One of the best things for me, a Jew on Christmas is the feeling of nearly everything being shut down…as things typically are supposed to be if you happen to be someone of any faith who subscribes to the concept of keeping the Sabbath.  It is largely like this in much of Israel on the Sabbath…A time to pause, be one with nature, reflect quietly…Peace to all. jeff

A Day in the Life – Christmas "Eve" at Dark Horse Recording

The Horses are fed, the coffee is brewing fresh yet again, even though the studio is basically dark… and I sit here on my lunch hour working on organizing emails into make sense mailboxes. All so that when “Everyone” returns to work a bit next week and especially the week after I can begin the journey again, of spreading the work about one of the best business and sustainability speakers in the country Robin Crow. His USA TODAY best-seller, “Evolve or Die” is getting the highlighter treatment from me this second time around the reading-go-round. Meanwhile, the dogs are curled up around my feet dreaming of squirrels and rabbits. Snow forecast for tonight and tomorrow, the first time in nearly two decades that Nashville may have a “White Christmas.” Looking forward to seeing “Country Strong” tomorrow. My step-daughter is an extra in the film…for all of 5 seconds probably, but exciting nonetheless. Here is my thought for the day from the book “Evolve or Die”, by Robin Crow : As we kick into gear to start off 2011, the world continues to be in an ever more precarious spot as far as economy, global warming, healthcare, poverty, terrorism. “Globally, we bicker endlessly and fight wars over ideology and oil. In the United States. we focus on trivia and drama. If we can’t find a way to focus on the “big picture,” we aren’t going to have anything to fight over anymore. It’s as if we are rearranging the chairs on the deck of The Titantic, even though the ship is clearly sinking…”