Tears flow as my 10-year-old daughter struggles to find the keys on my wife’s computer. It is 11:00 PM and the report is due in the morning. She had three weeks of Christmas break to work on it, but many of the final touches are taking longer than she ever anticipated. My wife stands close-by with smoke coming out her ears and “I told you so!” written all over her face. We discuss the best parenting options: Do we step in and save the day, tell her to go to bed and turn it in late, let her take the reduction in her grade, or do we go to bed and let her struggle alone? We calculate the options: She is our emotional child, she stresses about stuff, she looks like she learned the lesson already, our own 2012 Christmas cards have yet to be mailed and… we love her. We think more: Are we bad parents because we didn’t push her more or help her sooner? What is the big lesson we want her to learn? Should we let her fail on her own? AHHHH!
20 years of madness and inspiration, what is next?
This is my 20th year as part of the Odyssey family. It is also my 20th year being married to my amazing wife, Jean. I had no idea then how critical and important those two beginnings would be in my life. Is 2013 another important year that 20 years from now I will look back on as a turning point or the beginning of something big? I hope it is. I am however conflicted with emotion as I begin my trudge to the summit for this year. We had our best year ever in 2012 and we have many amazing things on the horizon for 2013, but I am still struggling to get back in the swing. I wonder if many of you are feeling the same? Last year was great, but it was a lot of work, struggle, balance, sacrifice, long days and sleepless nights. Can I do it again?
Odyssey Teams partnered with Rotarians in Bangalore Peenya India for their annual Mega Jaipur Limb Camp, which is going on now. On day two of camp, there have been 586 beneficiaries and the distribution is as follows: 211 Limbs, 227 Calipers, 128 Crutches, and 20 LN-4 Prosthetic Hands. Rotary Bangalore Peenya was chartered in 1983 with a group of 24 dedicated Rotarians as chartered members with an objective of implementing service projects. LN-4 Prosthetic Hands, a joint project of RI Dist 5160 and 5110, have been introduced for the first time this year. This hand can enable beneficiaries to hold a glass, eat with a spoon, and even write with a pen or control a steering wheel. 100 LN-4 Prosthetic Hands were provided for this camp.
The Mission continues…
The Playhouse Challenge is flat out fun! I just delivered our Playhouse Challenge to a hundred Shell employees in Edmonton Canada. This was the fourth, quarterly leadership development program that we’ve delivered with them and it sure was fun. The first quarter we coupled our Helping Hands program with modules from FISH. The second quarter it was Life Cycles, building bikes for children, the third was the Board Meeting, which yielded 33 skateboards for a local youth agency with a skate park in their back yard. Lastly, it was ten Playhouses that were delivered to ten families with kids who were long time patients of the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton. Leadership concepts brought to life through Shell’s commitment to their community. I loved the year-long process and finishing with these super cute Playhouses.
I often struggle with the question of whether Odyssey’s work really makes a difference on the bottom line of business. It’s a cynical tension inside of me. To make the question harder to answer, I am also deeply skeptical of metrics that attempt to link soft-skills training or change in behavioral traits to bottom-line business results.
There is a quote that loosely says: “don’t try to measure things that don’t lend themselves well to measurement”. I like that, but still I struggle. It sure would be nice to have pure, non-biased, scientific proof.
It seems that many business leaders share in the desire for proof and many never call or work with us because they can’t see a black and white link on their investment. When they ARE bold enough to call and ask the question, we can share a response that Lain gave one day: “If you have a metric that you used to warrant calling us, we can use that same metric to determine if it worked”.
On October 26th Corproem (Corporacion Red de Promatoras Empresariales Microfinancieras), and GE united in Colombia to assemble 30 prosthetic hands from Odyssey’s Build-a-Hand Kits. Through the joining of Corproem, LN-4 Foundation, and Rotary, 30 GM executives got together to build the LN-4 Prosthetic Hands, which were then distributed to recipients in Colombia. Odyssey Teams would like to thank Luis Norberto Lopez G. and
Rotary Colombia for making this event happen.
“It is the first time that this wonderful activity has been developed in Colombia, besides undoubtedly strengthening teamwork, it sensitizes and allows us to dispose of armed prostheses and more volunteers for future campaigns prosthesis delivery. Besides the experience with the GE executives, it was very rewarding for the team Corproem to support the activity because it is the first link of an humanitarian work that returns the autonomy and dignity of so many people in need around the world. Many thanks to GE executives especially to Juliana Prieto and Ana Luisa Perez coordinators of so laudable an initiative for convening us as support in developing this altruistic and transcendental activity.” ~ Luis Norberto
“The right attitude with one arm will beat the wrong attitude and two arms every time.”
One of the privileges prior to leading an Odyssey philanthropic team-building workshop such as Life Cycles (bike building) or Helping Hands (build-a-hand kit), is getting a glimpse of our clients’ world, their desired outcomes for their team. We then get to craft an experience for the participants to see how they respond to people and situations. Often times they will call upon their strengths, shift their mindset and deal with the challenge at hand.
We all have a wall in front of us to climb. My friend’s nephew recently completed this beautiful, compelling, inspiring 8-minute “Sundance worthy” movie. Watch it!
With stunning cinematography, a captivating story and authentic dialogue, (A pot of gold worth of sound bites), he does what in some aspects is an inherent by product of Odyssey Teams leadership, teambuilding, and philanthropic workshops.
As a past Odyssey participant says…
“It really makes you think about not only what life has dealt you and what you are doing with those cards, but also about what kind of people you choose to surround yourself with on a daily basis.”
We pride ourselves on bringing our clients’ values to life and providing positive tangible results to extend beyond the session. We are grateful for the magic of the human spirit and how it so often flourishes during these partnerships
Go Gimp Monkeys!
Odyssey’s programs provide a ‘double shot’ of inspiration and life changing moments for teams of all sizes. From time to time, all teams need to wake up and be reminded of what is important to them, the power of collaboration and that they make significant differences to those near and far.
A new Odyssey teammate has a screensaver that says in Big Bold Font – COFFEE FIRST. I smile every time I see it. I’m not a coffee drinker, though I’m quite familiar with how coffee can be such an integral piece of a person’s (such as my wife’s) day.
Time to wake up, start the day, get your afternoon second shot/wind, just a little pick me up etc. This is how people roll to get the most out of themselves and their day…or for some to simply survive the day. Either way a good cup of ‘Joe’ can provide valuable emotional and physical support…for teams too.
Odyssey Travels to Brazil with One of the Top Five “Fortune 500″ Companies – Part 2
I was struck by their ability to apply the Odyssey philosophies in the moment. They transferred the training content to specific work challenges with ease; I felt their hunger for the secret formula to world-class performance. They dove into the concepts and experience like a hungry pelican for a fish. They took notes with a feverish desire to grow and learn, asking questions of me and each other to be sure they understood and felt ready to apply. With the aid of an interpreter booth and my headset, English and Portuguese blended into a steady stream of learning and enlightenment. As we closed the session with our Philanthropic Bike-Building module, the impact of the entire experience was palpable. We ended with a sense of accomplishment and celebration.
Odyssey Travels to Brazil with one of the Top Five “Fortune 500″ Companies – Part 1
Calling what I just did in Brazil with the CEO and his top 45 people just plane old “Team Building is like calling the iPhone just another cell phone. I did a Team Building program for a Brazilian leadership team with 90,000 employees and billions in sales, yet for the past three years they have not achieved their goals. The words for the day from the President and CEO were: “motivation, inspiration, vision, alignment, strategy, values, decision-making, prioritization and culture”. This was a tall order for a 9-hour Team Building program that led into a two-day strategy meeting. I stepped in front of the leadership committee in our pre meeting with a promise that I could and would deliver! I needed their commitment to apply the concepts of the day towards every behavior following the meeting. This was a warning that if they did not follow through, the entire meeting would be a waste. If the Team Building concepts are lost, the team mentality will also be lost.