I’ve Never Been In Def Leppard’s Airplane

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Not unlike a blind pig stumbling upon an acorn, I recently defeated the laws of percentage chance.

Well, implying I’m in direct, active, conscious competition with percentage chance may be a slight overstatement. If I choose to do battle with cosmic entities, I prefer less formidable ones, like pop-up advertisements.

Why do those still exist by the way? Are there documented cases of purposeful clicks on those things? 

Ahem…so being on an endless quest for self-improvement and possibly a dash of fulfillment, I take part in a webinar by Simon Sinek. I realize I may sound like a one-trick pony constantly bringing him up – rest assured, I have more than Simon on my mind. I’m not a slobbering, crazed, obsessed fan. Not very much of one at least.

88 people in this webinar. Zoom. 

Are other companies freaking out about Zoom? Microsoft Teams seems to be second in line despite their sizeable advertising push, which likely bums them out. What about Skype and FaceTime and…oh never mind. It’s just weird how Zoom became ubiquitous with our New World Communicative Order. If someone wants to explain that to me (with actual knowledge of how Zoom became the market leader) I’m game. 

88 people, with several breakout sessions. 1:1 breakout rooms.

My breakout room peer is a woman named Anna. Super smart, confident, open, good sense of humor. 

One of the questions posed for our discussion involves childhood memories, and despite an urge to relay completely fictional yet fantastical stories about growing up amidst screenwriters and professional musicians, constantly being on-set or on tour and experiencing elementary education sitting on the floor in Robert De Niro’s dressing room or in the cockpit of Def Leppard’s airplane, I tell the truth.

Anna deduces, from one simple (true) story about me visiting my Grandmother’s farm, we are related.

Her dad is my cousin, so Anna’s my first cousin, once removed. Or something like that.

A data scientist could figure out the percentage chance of Anna and I:

Both being interested in professional development

Following Simon Sinek

Signing up for this (ongoing) webinar on the same date

Being kicked into a Zoom breakout room together

Facing a seemingly random question about childhood memories.

I imagine it’s less than 1%. 

Normally I’d dive right into an attempt at a humorous observation regarding how this less-than 1% chance can better serve me financially, `a la my neighbor gifts me his Tesla or perhaps realizing I own 500 shares of Amazon stock, circa 1996.

But really the point is how connection – not networking or a calculated self-serving connection, a blind, trusting, open connection – call it giving or caring, how this leads to something great.

Not finding a lost relative. 

But making things better by giving, relating and growing, rather than pursuing complete and utter self-interest. Anna and I work through this webinar together, and although total stranger/relatives, through her I realize the importance of creating confidence, connection and community.

Optimism. What if that’s the operating principle that governs our work, that governs our organization?

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Engaging irreverence, occasional coherence, often pointed, mixed with enough indelicate humor as to create a want, a craving for more.