5 Ways to Soar with Ravens, Walk Forward, Lead Innovative Change

When I worked in the High Arctic in the 90’s, I met a wise Inuit elder who told me that ravens on Baffin Island surprised everybody when they began to walk one-day in the 80s.

“Before that, ravens hopped along clumsily,” he said. “Then they learned to take one step at a time, and everything changed.”

What do ravens stepping forward have to do with strongholds that limit you personally and professionally?

5 Ways to Soar with Ravens, Walk Forward, Lead Innovation

When you change focus by adding feet and wings to your best ideas, you begin to walk and fly past limitations.

Not an expert in arctic ravens, I’ll admit to being unsure if this raven story is myth or fact. I do know, however, that it takes courage to exchange any deep-seated habit for an improved approach. Fortunately though, change that walks you away from failure or limitations, often prepares you to ascend with highly successful leaders.

Your brain requires a step-at-a-time-action in order to rewire new neuron frameworks – away from failures, to get ahead, the way effective change agents rise above constraints.

What drawback has you running backwards, or colliding with walls at the moment?

You may well believe as Einstein did, that to do the same things, in the same ways, gets the same results.  But are you aware that whenever you act in a different way, or draw from multiple intelligences that lie dormant in your gene pool, you open new opportunities? You also narrow the gap between limiting strongholds, and the innovative change you seek to lead. Not that you’ll progress past all obstacles at once.

Ravens in Arctic Bay, the size of small dogs, still act as scavengers. The difference is they now no longer fly South to survive.  You too can endure winter chills that come with change. Ravens withstand frigid temperatures well below freezing, and subsist on a tundra that’s far too bleak and barren for most creatures to make it alive.

Here are 5 surefire steps that add feet, wings and life to your next innovative change:

  1. Look beyond what you see. It’s a bit like looking beyond a waterfall to catch radiant colors of its overarching rainbow. To settle for what the masses see, is to remain stuck in mass mediocrity. The media may pipe bleak news into your office like BP piped oil into the ocean, or managers may vent about a shrinking corporate purse. But if you focus on media bombarding bad news or if you fixate on corporate complaints, you’ll  simply create neuron pathways for more of the same problems. Your brain is much like markets that rise when good news rallies, and plummet when stories hit the skids. It produces serotonin, a chemical for well being that fuels innovative growth when you look past problems to see possibilities.The opposite is also true, it shuts down basic brainpower through harmful cortisol chemicals when you fail to look beyond where you stand, to map out where you hope to arrive. The key is to set your vision on a site that challenges and inspires you, and then hitch your wagon to a nearby star that will lead you there. At least take one step in a new direction, and you can expect your brain to lead you there like a lighthouse guides a ship to its destination.
  2. Laugh at the little things. Not surprisingly, failure overtakes many who feel they must endure daily encounters within a toxic workplace, that fosters cynicism rather than healthy humor. Research shows that those who can laugh at themselves often find winning responses to pressing problems in their own brains and in others. Humor, when it’s the kind everybody can laugh at, releases endorphins into the brain so that people are distracted from difficult situations, and prepared to focus on winning solutions. To laugh is to alter chemicals within the brain, in ways that reduce stress. Lift emotions and add motivation by building new tools from past mistakes. Laughter opens your mind to operate more from your working memory where you design new approaches to solve old problems, and less from your basal ganglia, where ruts are stored and repeated.
  3. Focus with background music. Rhythm holds an immense power over the brain once you recognize how it shifts brain waves up or down for focus and innovation. Unfortunately few workplaces  benefit much from addictive musical sounds that can calm  thinking in one moment, and focus people on innovative change in the next. You can ratchet up brainpower with Makeba’s, Pata Pata, to reconfigure a part of your job that is not working, or discover the best cadence to create an amazing mental landscape for your next innovative project. On the flip side, certain musical genres can make you moody, edgy and anxious – so that you slip into guilt over past mistakes. How so? Music literally shifts your brain waves, impacts focus, and controls how neurons talk to one another.
  4. Gaze forward – glance backward. At 14 I found myself on the street after my 38-year-old mom died of cancer. When I discovered the hard way that females often don’t get financial perks for their talents, I assumed the role of victim. Without family support of any kind – I often hit the dust – as I focused on failures and setbacks more than on progress beyond shortcomings. Can you relate to times when you gazed at an overwhelming pool of problems? Or you forgot to run after possibilities? It’s like driving a car forward at full tilt, while gazing out the rear-view mirror to steer. No wonder I headed for repeat collisions in any efforts to get ahead.  The lesson learned? When we gaze  at a lofty goal, and spot assets, such as those special people who support us,  human brainpower often bends to advance our forward trek.  It’s opposite of mental meltdowns in toxic workplaces, where cynics stomp out creativity, and it awakens new intelligences as well as opens diverse perspectives you otherwise miss.
  5. Run with ravens but shoot from the sand. Just as ravens learned how to walk rather than hop sideways like crabs, you too will move forward when you step one foot in front of the other. Start where you stand at the moment, regardless of limitations that challenge you. When problems persist and overwhelm your plans, hit the ball out of the sand trap , like golfers hit wayward shots from sand to the green. Let me illustrate further. Barry Burnett, who leads BDR, has already reached the top of his game in many areas. As a multi-millionaire who mentors other leaders to scale higher peaks, Barry inspires change because he moves forward from wherever he stands at the moment. Innovation embodies brilliant solutions in pools just outside of prevailing thought, where people build beyond limitations.

It’s that solid first step forward that triggers sustainable innovative change. It’s a step forward to laugh at the little things, and inspire others to laugh with you. It’s a step forward to ratchet up brainpower for peak performances by music you listen to while you work. It’s a step forward to gaze at assets and merely glance back at errors as a way to track progress forward. It’s a step forward to run with ravens and shoot from the sand, whenever you find yourself in its trap.

Why not try walking past one stronghold today, add wings to your best idea, and lead change that beats winds of the upper air.

Five Ways to Soar with Ravens, Walk Forward, Lead Innovative Change

When I worked in the High Arctic for 2 years in the 90’s, I met a wise Inuit elder who told me that ravens on Baffin Island surprised everybody when they began to walk one-day in the 80s.

“Before that, ravens hopped along clumsily,” he said. “Then they learned to take one step at a time, and everything changed.”

What do ravens stepping forward have to do with strongholds that limit you personally and professionally?

When you change focus to adding feet and wings to your best ideas, you begin to walk and fly past limitations.

Not an expert in arctic ravens, I’ll admit to being unsure if this raven story is myth or fact. I do know, however, that it takes courage to exchange any deep-seated habit for an improved approach. Fortunately though, change that walks you away from failure or limitations, often prepares you to run with highly successful leaders.

Your brain requires a step-at-a-time-action in order to rewire new neuron frameworks – away from failures, to get ahead, the way highly successful change agents do.

What wall has you running on the spot, or colliding into walls at the moment?

You may believe as Einstein did, that to do the same things, in the same ways, gets you the same results. But are you aware that whenever you act in a different way, or draw from different intelligences that lie dormant in your gene pool, you open new opportunities? You also narrow the gap between limiting strongholds, and the innovative change you crave. Not that you’ll progress past all drawbacks at once.

Ravens in Arctic Bay, the size of small dogs, still act as scavengers. The difference is they now no longer fly South to survive. You too can survive winter chills that come with change. Ravens withstand frigid temperatures well below freezing, and subsist on a tundra that’s far too bleak and barren for most birds to endure.

Here are 5 surefire steps that add feet and wings to your next innovative change:

1. Look beyond what you see. It’s a bit like looking beyond a waterfall to catch radiant colors of its overarching rainbow. To settle for what the masses see, is to stay stuck mass mediocrity. The media may pump bleak news into your office daily, for instance, or managers may vent about a shrinking corporate purse. But if you focus on the media’s bombarding bad news or fixate on corporate complaints, you’ll simply create neuron pathways for more of the same problems.

Your brain is much like markets that rise when good news rallies, and plummet when stories hit the skids. It produces serotonin, a chemical for well being that fuels innovative growth when you look past problems to see possibilities. The opposite is also true, it shuts down basic brainpower through harmful cortisol chemicals when you fail to look beyond where you stand, to map out where you hope to arrive. The key is to set your vision on a site that challenges and inspires you, and then hitch your wagon to a star that will lead you there. At least take one step in a new direction, and you can expect your brain to lead you there like a lighthouse guides a ship to its destination.

2. Laugh at the little things. Not surprisingly, failure overtakes many who feel they must endure daily encounters within a toxic workplace, that fosters cynicism rather than healthy humor. Research shows that those who can laugh at themselves often find winning responses to pressing problems in their own brains and in others. Humor, when it’s the kind everybody can laugh at, releases endorphins into the brain so that people are distracted from difficult situations, and prepared to focus on winning solutions. To laugh is to alter chemicals within the brain, in ways that reduce stress. Lift emotions and add motivation by building new tools from past mistakes. Laughter opens your mind to operate more from your working memory where you design new approaches to solve old problems, and less from your basal ganglia, where ruts are stored and repeated.

3. Move forward to music. Rhythm holds an immense power over the brain once you recognize how it shifts brain waves up or down for focus or rest. Unfortunately few workplaces  benefit much from addictive musical sounds that can calm thinking in one moment, and focus people on innovative change in the next. You can ratchet up brainpower with Makeba’s, Pata Pata, to reconfigure a part of your job that is not working, or discover the best cadence to create an amazing mental landscape for your next innovative project. On the flip side, certain musical genres can make you moody, edgy and anxious – so that you slip into guilt over past mistakes. How so? Music literally shifts your brain waves, impacts focus, and controls how neurons talk to one another.

4. Gaze forward – glance backward. At 14 I found myself on the street after my 38-year-old mom died of cancer. When I discovered the hard way that females often don’t get financial perks for their talents, I assumed the role of victim. Without family support of any kind – I often hit the dust – as I focused on failures and setbacks more than on progress beyond shortcomings. Can you relate to times when you gazed at an overwhelming pool of problems? Or you forgot to run after possibilities? It’s like driving a car forward while gazing at the rearview mirror only. No wonder I headed for repeat collisions in any efforts to get ahead. The lesson learned? When we gaze at assets, such as those special people who support us, the human brain often tilts to advance our forward trek. It’s opposite of toxic workplaces, where cynics stomp out creativity, and it awakens new intelligences as well as opens diverse perspectives you otherwise miss.

5. Run with ravens but shoot from the sand. Just as ravens learned how to walk rather than hop sideways like crabs, you too move forward when you step one foot in front of the other. Start where you stand at the moment, regardless of limitations that challenge you. When problems persist and overwhelm your plans, hit the ball out of the sand trap , like golfers hit wayward shots from sand to the green. Let me illustrate further. Barry Burnett, who leads BDR, has already reached the top of his game in many areas. As a multi-millionaire who mentors other leaders to scale higher peaks, Barry inspires change because he moves forward from wherever he stands at the moment. Innovation embodies brilliant solutions in pools just outside of prevailing thought, where people build beyond limitations.

It’s that solid first step forward that triggers sustainable innovative change. It’s a step forward to laugh at the little things, and inspire others to laugh with you. It’s a step forward to ratchet up brainpower for peak performances by music you listen to while you work. It’s a step forward to gaze at assets and merely glance back at errors as a way to track progress forward. It’s a step forward to run with ravens and shoot from the sand, whenever you find yourself in its trap.

Why not try walking past one stronghold today, add wings to your best idea, and lead change that soars.

7 Comments

  1. GenniK says:

    Such good ideas included in this blog. Thanks for posting! Our school’s motto this year is “Spread your wings – Make your Mark – Make a Difference” Our mascot is a hawk, but I will share this about the ravens. A good way to start the school year. :o)

  2. eweber says:

    Wow Genni – you already inspire the rest of us! Thanks for your kind words.

    If you were to name the top innovative change you will lead in the coming year, what would that be?

    What results do you predict from the change you have in mind? Thanks Genni for your courage to lead!

  3. Hi Ellen,

    A voice inside told me to read your blog today. I couldn’t get half way through this post without getting bombarded by personal connections. Too many and too personal too elaborate, but it was like WOW!

    So I read a bit more and see your reference to Barry from BDR. I spent twenty-five years in the industry that his company serves. About twenty years ago I became so frustrated with this industry, that I shifted my research and study almost totally outside of it, although most topics were applicable.

    In short, my frustration amounted to the overall inability (or lack of desire to) of people to get off the island. The neural pathways were dug so deep and covered with so much grease, there was no hope for escape or change. If you looked up rut in the dictionary…

    Anyway, over the last twenty years I’ve read thousands of book, subscribed to an average of twenty publications a month, and of course there’s the Internet. I can count the times on one hand (and still have two fingers left) that I’ve seen someone reference anyone in this industry.

    To make this morning even more interesting for myself, I actually worked for a company that used BDR.

    I know that there is a lesson and or message for me here somewhere. It’s almost impossible for the Universe to throw out any more “signs” in one essay. As soon as I catch my breath, I’ll dig back in.

    Thanks for being my golden conduit this morning Ellen!

  4. eweber says:

    Thanks for stopping Dave, and thanks also for the references to ruts that hold us all back. I appreciate your insights!

    As we look today at the recession that we cannot get past – we also see ruts that dig us in daily, and thankfully people like Barry Burnett and you who work to help us out.

    The brain is amazing as a tool to take us past recessions ruts, and yet it will be people who have integrity and a willingness to lead better pathways – who inspire others there.

    Three things that come to mind instantly would be: 1). It’s time to take risks in the direction of change that solves problems in new ways; 2). We’ll need to look to people like Barry with proven ideas that work, rather than to corrupt leaders who are bought and swayed by special interests; 3). Each one of us will want to take our unique talents to the front lines and use them to build more curious and caring communities that seek change to improve.

    What do you think?

  5. From a general viewpoint Ellen, your points are right on.

    Btw, I am still connected to this industry in that I have a relationship with a large online contractor support group. This group has been going strong for eight years. It is lead by bright, brilliant people. Matter of fact, there isn’t a stronger group of contractor leadership in the entire world within this industry. You cannot find a more progressive collection of leadership anywhere within the entire industry. And to top it off, their greatest strength might be marketing. So they are very well known.

    They have been trying to move forward with the very points you make – from the beginning. Given their business (and pricing) model, they should be busting at the seems with business. But they’re not. And it’s for the exact same reason that folks who are no longer (and some who still are) doing business with Barry, have slipped back to their old ways. The onus is put squarely on the business owner. And generally, this person allows himself to be distracted away from profitable growth, not to mention necessary change.

  6. eweber says:

    One interesting point Dave, change is that the brain changes itself when we do certain things, and since I have spent a lifetime with change and renewal, I continue to get excited about those – like you – who embrace change that leads to growth.

    Recent research shows how our daily actions will change the structure and function of our brains. This key breakthrough in neuroscience has yet to hit most industries.

    At MITA we create strategies with organizations to help them find higher motivation and achievement – at all ages and in all stages of their career — based on the endless adaptability of the human brain.

    People have to want to change and we only work with those who express their openness to achieve mind-bending performances. We now know that toxic workplaces – tend to work against brainpower. But we concentrate on ways to reboot brainpower and zap innovative growth plans with a few jolts from brain sciences.

    See http://www.brainleadersandlearners.com/working-memory/blame-it-on-the-brain/ and we attempt to inspire change in those who run in ruts. http://www.brainleadersandlearners.com/general/inspire-change-in-those-who%E2%80%99d-rather-run-in-ruts/

    Renewal work is rarely easy – yet more and more innovators like those you described have tossed their talents into the ring to make it happen in their own circles! Sounds like you are doing it too.

  7. techniques says:

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know
    so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.

    I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is magnificent blog.
    An excellent read. I will certainly be back.

Rss Feed Tweeter button Facebook button Technorati button Reddit button Myspace button Linkedin button Webonews button Delicious button Digg button Flickr button Stumbleupon button Newsvine button Youtube button