Honoring the Illustrious Mister Maxwell

Last April, Bob Burg and I presented the great, legendary speaker Zig Ziglar with the very first Annual Go-Giver’s Lifetime Achievement Award. We wrote about it here, and shared a video of the event here. Well, it’s a new year — and time for the next Award! So who would we honor this time? As it turned out, this was an easy decision. On Friday, January 21, at “The Big Event” in Palm Beach, we presented the second Annual Go-Giver’s Lifetime Achievement Award to the universally beloved and respected leadership authority John C. Maxwell, author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. On the plane over to West Palm Beach airport that morning, knowing that I would be the one actually doing the honors (since Bob was the one who introduced Zig last year, and hey, we take turns), I sat and wrote out a 4 1/2-minute introduction, then rehearsed it a few times so I would get it right. After all, it isn’t every day you get to introduce John Maxwell. Alas — the video clip we got after the fact is severely edited, and cuts out most of my remarks. We’re working on getting a full version from the AV people at the event — and if we do, I’ll post it here. (If we don’t, I’ll post again and share the gist of my remarks herein...

The Meaning of Oops

You may have seen the trailer for the movie 127 Hours, the true-life story of Aron Ralston who, while hiking out in the starkly beautiful and forbidding desert landscape of Utah gets himself stuck in a deep, narrow canyon, a fallen boulder pinning his arm so tightly that he cannot get out. And the only way he does finally get out is by cutting off his own arm. (With a very dull knife.) There is a famous moment in the trailer, where the lead character, surveying his situation, says, “Oops.” But it was not until I saw the film itself that I realized the meaning of his “Oops.” It wasn’t that he’d fallen. It wasn’t that the boulder had pinned him. It wasn’t that nobody happened to be around, so there was no one to hear his screams for help. It wasn’t even that he’d gotten himself into a situation that looked so bleak as to most likely end up being fatal. It wasn’t any of those things. The “Oops” comes after a stunning scene of self-reflection, when Aron realizes that, because of his own flippant attitude, he had ignored a phone call from his mom (one of many, we get the sense) and casually blown off a number of other key points of human contact during the day leading up to his trek — any one of which, had he but taken a moment to connect and tell them what he was up to that weekend and where he was going, would have resulted in someone knowing where he was, and people coming eventually to rescue him once...