Jon Acuff’s WDS Keynote – 3 Vital Takeaways

Last weekend, Chris Guillebeau’s WDS conference welcomed 3,000 global citizens living remarkable lives in a conventional world to downtown Portland, Oregon.

World records were made. Ideas, insight and inspiration were shared. (And, I’m now on a first name basis with Bacon. So…success.)

Perspective changing thinkers, doers, leaders, writers, digital media outlaws, magicians, founders and entrepreneurs all gave the participants much to consider.

Here are my favorite takeaways from Saturday morning’s first keynote speaker, best-selling author, Jon Acuff.

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Two Questions You Must Answer Today

How you answer two simple questions will lead you down two very different paths in your career.

The first path is filled with growth, clarity and fulfillment.
The second path is a thorn-filled trail of misused time and energy.

1) Is there someone (at work or school) who encourages your development? 

2) Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?

If you can’t answer yes to either question, that’s ok—for now.

You’re not alone. Millions of people can’t answer yes to both questions.

As Gallup Executive Director Brandon Busteed demonstrates in his commencement speech at Augustana College, getting these questions right is crucial to your success.

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How To Collaborate Like The Beatles

Spring, 1967 – Abbey Road, Studio Two

As even casual Beatles fans know, Paul McCartney’s lyrics lean towards glass-half full optimism: “It’s getting better all the time,” “I’ll follow the sun,” and “We can work it out!”

Paul supplied an upbeat, hopeful lyrical ethos to the greatest selling band of all time. John Lennon, on the other hand, was a bit of a cynic…

This juxtaposition and the beauty of its outgrowth is wonderfully illustrated on the first day of recording “Getting Better” on March 9, 1967.

As McCartney tells it: “I was sitting there doing, ‘getting better all the time’ and John just said in his laconic way, ‘It couldn’t get no worse’ and I thought, ‘Oh, brilliant!’ This is exactly why I love writing with John…It was one of the ways we’d write. I’d have the song quite mapped out and he’d come in with a counter-melody…”

Paul sang, “It’s getting better.” John sang, “It couldn’t get no worse.”

The yin and the yang. Partly sunny and partly cloudy. Jab, Hook, Repeat.

Collaboration at its finest.

What can we learn from one of music history’s most prodigious examples of teamwork and how can we apply it in our own lives?

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One Game, Two Coaches–Super Bowl XLIX

Same Subject, Different Treatment

The late Roger Ebert once gave this bit of foundational film criticism insight: “It’s not what a movie is about; it’s how it is about it.”

In other words, the subject matter is one thing, but the treatment of it is another thing entirely. The “how” of a film is what gives the film its meaning, its identity, and what causes it to either succeed or fail.

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2015–The Year Talent Management Strategy Changes

If best-selling talent specialist Marcus Buckingham and HR thought leader Jason Averbook prevail, talent management will look very different and vastly improved compared to 2014.

In a recent thought-provoking webinar (now posted for all here), Buckingham and Averbook urged viewers to get ahead of five key fast-moving trends to better engage their organization’s talent. Not only are these trends currently changing the talent management landscape, they are rapidly evolving as well:

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Is Your Definition of Entrepreneurship the Same as Gallup’s?

According to “Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder,” Gallup defines entrepreneurship as “the art of turning an idea into a customer.”

I think Bezos, Ford and Drucker would probably agree.

With technology changing how we work and live more rapidly than ever before, our need to harness entrepreneurial talent is urgent. Jim Clifton, Gallup Chairman, concisely presents the high stakes of getting our country’s entrepreneurial act in order.

Simply put, we need to start and grow more successful businesses.

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