As you all know, karavan is a storyteller. Specifically, Kennel.’s storyteller. Storytelling is a very human endeavor; it is both a conduit and product for and of culture, tradition, and human emotion. For us, it’s our way of bringing Kennel. to life.
In this part of karavan we seek out people who we feel embody our values, and who we love for their passionate creativity. They are people who we want to continue knowing and following over the extended narrative of their lives. And so, instead of a single article, we’ll be checking in with them at major signposts in their journey, telling their stories through words, a video, or even just a photograph.
What you’ll find here is not really an interview, more a meaningful conversation with a friend that we pick up and leave off, exploring their experience and passions.
So who better to kick this off than a storyteller himself?
I have to admit, when I first saw Johnny Gillett – with his wild hair and crazy goatee/beard – I was already curious. The guy looks like the Pied Piper (at least in my imagination). But when he introduced himself saying ‘I’m a storyteller’, I was intrigued, and hooked. I had to talk to him. My reaction was twofold: a childlike thrill of excitement and anticipation, mixed in with a trained dose of grown-up skepticism. What do you mean, you’re a storyteller? I tell stories, he said simply, giving me a card that said ‘The Journeyman’ on it.
And so a few days later we sat down over a Korean dinner, before The Journeyman got on a plane back to England. The conversation meandered into nooks and crannies, and each question only carved a deeper question mark into the valley of our understanding. Those are the best kind of conversations: no agenda, no predictable course, just a dialogue of interest, the kind that leaves you wanting to know more.
So we're supposed to be in hibernation for december but then our dear friend Johnny Gillet from the UK is passing by so we just had to do a workshop! Here's his website : http://www.thejourneyman.org.uk/index.html Johnny is old school / new school, as in he's doing something totally cutting edge but its also something been done since we lived in caves. Storytelling my friend. Johnny speaks at a number of Schools / Universities ad agencies and other business all around the world on the power of storytelling. This is a pretty intimate and powerful session so we're only limited to 30pax, we hope you can let us know if you are interested as soon as you get the go ahead from your soul. You can either reply to me straight away or email@example.com as our dear Ren is exploring Europe for Christmas. If you know a friend or someone in your family who would really benefit from a session like this please forward this and invite them along! The Pink Salmon
What are you good at?
Think about it.
Some would list items like writing, illustrating, creative direction, visualization, storytelling and so on. Most would even struggle a little before identifying what they’re good at. According to Rick and the team at Gallup, most of our answers are wrong.
Below are the main takeaways from our 3 hours with Rick, who first did a workshop with those who had taken the Strengthsfinder test, and then spoke to us about his research into the entrepreneurial spirit.
1. In order to be successful:
- Know what you do welxl
- Know what you don’t do well and manage it
- Know what you do well and take it into new areas
2. When you’re doing what you do well:
- It is energizing
- It feel easy
- Time flies, as you’re highly engaged
3. Most times your answers to what you’re good at are not your strengths. They are outputs or results of your strengths.
4. The results of the Strengthsfinder tool are situational themes, not your talents:
- For example, connectedness, ideation, developer are situational themes that are transferable to any situation
- The environment draws strengths, i.e. putting yourself in different environments will draw out different themes
5. Talents are not Strengths, not yet:
- Talents = Potential, Strengths = Performance
- Talents are what you do without thinking; strengths are what you actively use. It’s like working out
6. Converting talents to strengths requires:
- Step 1: Awareness and Feedback
- Step 2: Application and deliberate practice
- Step 3: Achievement and identification
7. Small changes every day are what is required for any behavioural change
- Talent migration is being able to move your talents into new areas
8. Exceptional performers do the following:
- Store information differently, functionally and practically
- Have multiple models
- Act situationally
9. The Strengthsfinder tests work based on a cluster theory:
- As opposed to an exclusionary or compartmentalized personality theory like the Myer-Briggs
- The results of your top 5 themes can change, and do not represent the totality of who you are
10. Strengths do not determine your job or your role. How well you use them determine your performance.
In short, your strengths do not determine where you should be functionally in life; how well you use them and are aware of them do however determine how exceptional you perform in whatever area you choose. Strengths are the way you see the world. The amount of impact you make, is the result of using your talents to their maximum, applying your character to the situation, and having the right source of motivation.
Impact = Talent + Character + Motivation
And on the entrepreneurial spirit, Rick took us through a comparison between entrepreneurs and military generals, an analogy that increases in aptness the more you think about it:
1. The common trajectory of an entrepreneur and a military strategist:
- Plan –> Resources –> Objective
2. Lessons from a successful military strategist, Napoleon:
- Flexibility is key to success
- Have primary and secondary objectives at least
- Plan around your resources
- Have multiple models to do something
- Know that no model works all the time
3. Explorer vs Conqueror models:
- Usually, explorers are entrepreneurs, corporations are conquerors
4. The Conqueror mode:
- Works well with a known market and known product/service
- Highly directive style of leadership
- Is where failure is fatal
- Looks to the past to evaluate what went wrong
5. The Explorer mode:
- Works well with an unknown market and unknown product/service
- Flexible style of leadership that is alert to other resources
- Thinks, how much can I lose instead of how much can I make
- Creates the market and the future
6. The difference between the Explorer and Conqueror mindset:
- Is between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset
- A fixed mindset avoids failure to preserve identity
- A growth mindset seeks to learn through failure
7. The Explorer/Entrepreneur have these in common:
- All you have are resources
- The same principles can be applied to different situations
- Do not have stereotypes or fixed models
- Recognise opportunity
- Have a unique decision making system
- Have the ability to extrapolate from the past into the future
- Is about making what you have work for you
8. The key differentiator is in the framework of thinking:
- The Conqueror thinks linear, the Explorer thinks systemic
- A linear mode of thinking = proportionate change
- A systemic mode of thinking = exponential change
Ask yourself, ‘If you were not afraid of failure, what would you do?’ And then, do it.
Ren, Ken and Mark saying hello to all our friends and Kennelists out there in the wild, It was a great last Kennel Night for 2011. Our hearts and souls go out to all the ones fighting for creativity, values and peace. In just our first 3 months of being live its a privilege to have brothers and sisters cooking for love, biking across the globe for justice, being the voice to the voiceless, fathers to the fatherless, making new wine for passion, sustaining the earth we've been given and housing the homeless. This is Kennel. xxx