Dominoes Episode Thirty-Four

Charley had mixed emotions as this day began. There was the high from the amazing presentations of the plans for value shaping events. Today, he planned to share with the interns some guidance on sustained action. He realized that this would be one of his last in-person sessions with the interns, and he was saddened to realize that they would be leaving soon. All that remained was a wrap up session and some fun outings.

“Today I want to share with you some guidance for how to sustain the cause you will be undertaking. Sorry that this will be more of a presentation than a discovery learning experience, but I hope you will be able to internalize each of these principles.”

“Principle number one is to develop your cause as a bottom up effort, not a top down one. I know you are very passionate about this cause, but your efforts alone can only take this effort so far. You have to invest in developing others and giving them a voice in the future direction of the cause.”

“Principle number two is to focus on building acceptance. Rarely does a cause succeed if your activities to ‘get in the face’ of the general population. Build acceptance through your story framing. Tears change more minds than confrontations.”

“Principle number three is to make your cause one that everyone can join in some way. Think of the things that you do regularly that were once a cause of an individual. Blood transfusions were once a medical miracle of the privileged, and now everyone can contribute blood.”

“Principle number four is to capture stories of success that are told from a human perspective. What you want to do is to create a sense of that ‘that could have been me’ with your stories.”

“Principle number five is to think ahead. You should always be thinking about what’s next and what if. What’s next will sustain the cause by keeping the challenge fresh. No actor ever wants to be known for performing a sequel. Your believers want to be pioneers, not followers. What will be your plan B should your original efforts not succeed as you would like?”

“Principle number six is to create an agile culture. I’ve given you some basic principles for making a difference. But as boxer Mike Tyson wisely said: ‘Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth’. By being agile, you are able to adjust on the fly as needed.”

“Principle number seven is to think of your exit strategy. No matter how committed and energetic you are now, there will come a time when you will wear down or want to move on. You need to think of an exit strategy. That’s not just thinking of who will replace you, but how will the legacy you created be sustained?”

“The final principle is to make it fun. You’ve picked some very serious challenges to confront. There will be times when you will feel beaten up by the challenge. But you need to maintain yourself with the memories of the good times. Those memories will keep you energized. I always try to capture one fun memory every night when I go to sleep.”

“We only have a few days left, but what I would like you to do now is to reflect on this experience so far and tell me how this effort can be sustained in future years.”

* * *

“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” – Benjamin Disraeli (British statesman)

How To Use

Useful guides for incorporating messages into discussion.