Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ja'M~ike and the Winter 2009 Stickin' Wid It Tour

Today is the start of the US Snow Scuplting Championship in Lake Geneva, WI. As a champion snow scultor I have to say that I'm sad I can't be there to defend my crown.

OK, so I was kinda messin' with ya there.

Here's the deal...last week a friend turned me on to Facebook. So, just to humor him I put up a page...and started getting tons of emails and links and postings from folks I haven't seen or heard from, or of, in decades.

That got me to thinking. So I tried a little experiment. I came up with an alter ego, named Ja'M~ike (pronounced "jam icky")...and created a little story about the name, and zapped an email about it to 10 friends...mostly college fraternity brothers.

Within a couple of hours I had gotten 23 emails. My first thought was, "don't these people have lives?!" I thought that if they are so bored with what they are doing that they could spend time responding--quite creatively in many cases--they need to find something else to do.

But, the more I watched the evolution of the experiment (and it's still evolving...I'm getting emails this morning) the more I realized two things: First, most people are wonderfully creative if you give them a chance to show it. Unfortunately, many folks are hesitant to show their creativity in their workplace, or they aren't given the chance. They need outside motivation...which I was all too glad to provide.

Second, Seth Godin is right. Godin is the author of Tribes, the best book about leadership I've read in the last 10 years. He says that tribes are basically groups that have a similar interest and a way to communicate. He adds that leading a tribe often takes only one person to stand up and say, "Let's go this way," and then others with like interest will follow. My experiment was a great example of that.

What could you be creative about today? What issue in life...personal, spiritual, work-related, physical, family, financial...whatever, could you be creative in and show others the way. Facebook has created a tribe. Ja'M~ike is a fun experiment that took off.

Step out and lead. You may be surprised who will follow.

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