INNOVATION & How a bishop and a mathematician wife instilled in their children a desire for curiosity and innovation, not profit. #WrightBrothers

By Shilo Brooks, Scientific American Magazine, 3/14/20.

… The Wright brothers’ success at solving an engineering problem that captivated the human imagination for millennia was not a fluke. Flight is far too complex an undertaking merely to chance upon. To see what made the Wright Brothers successful and what we can learn from them today, we must consider what made them different. What qualities of character, curiosity and temperament did the Wrights possess that enabled them to conquer the air when specialists couldn’t? And what kind of problem was the problem of flight such that unique minds like theirs were required to solve it?

Thirty-one years after their famous first flight, Orville Wright reflected on what made the Wright brothers different. A journalist told him in an interview that he and his brother embodied the American dream. They were two humble boys with “no money, no influence, and no other special advantages” who had risen to the heights of fame and fortune. “But it isn’t true,” Orville replied, “to say we had no special advantages. We did have unusual advantages in childhood, without which I doubt we could have accomplished much…. The greatest thing in our favor was growing up in a family where there was always much encouragement to intellectual curiosity. If my father had not been the kind who encouraged his children to pursue intellectual interests without any thought of profit, our early curiosity about flying would have been nipped too early to bear fruit.”

The Wrights’ father, Milton, was a Protestant bishop with a zeal for books and inquiry of all sorts. His wife Susan was a mechanical whiz who studied math, science and literature in college, and who often built toys for the Wright children. The bookshelves in their home were filled with novels, poetry, ancient history, scientific treatises and encyclopedias. They encouraged their children to read widely and to take responsibility for their own education. When the Wright brothers were asked about their early interest in flight, they always said they got interested in it “for fun,” and that they wanted to use their profits to fund future scientific explorations.

In his late 20s Wilbur Wright began reading books on the anatomy of birds and animal locomotion. These investigations would eventually lead the Wrights to develop their innovative three-axis control system, which mimicked the torsional movement of bird wings. Wilbur soon wrote a letter to the Smithsonian Institution to request pamphlets published by Samuel Langley and Octave Chanute on aerodynamics. “I am an enthusiast, but not a crank,” he said, “in the sense that I have some pet theories as to the proper construction of a flying machine.”

Shortly after the brothers began conducting their experiments in North Carolina, they discovered that the tables of air pressure data provided by Smithsonian scientists were “unreliable” and riddled with errors. They promptly set about building their own wind tunnel to acquire accurate measurements. “We did that work just for the fun we got out of learning new truths,” Orville said in retrospect. They also built their own motor with the aid of their chief bicycle shop assistant when no engine manufacturers responded to their inquiries about building one small enough to fit the flyer…

The Wrights’ insatiable curiosity and love of truth enabled them to bring to bear on the multifaceted problem of flight the full range of their capacities as human beings in ways that others could not. They began to see that it was, as Wilbur put it, “the complexity of the flying problem that makes it so difficult.” It was a problem that “could not be solved by stumbling upon a secret, but by the patient accumulation of information upon a hundred different points some of which an investigator would naturally think it unnecessary to go into deeply.”

Read more at … https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/why-did-the-wright-brothers-succeed-when-others-failed/

ADVERSITY & An executive summary by missional coach candidate Mark Collins of “OPTION B: Facing Adversity, building resilience & finding joy” by Sheryl Sandberg

by Mark Collins, 2018 Missional Coach candidate, 4/17/18.

Sheryl Sandberg is most notably the COO of Facebook. Her previous book, “Lean in,” was a bestseller and encouragement to many women. In 2015, her husband Dave died suddenly while on a Mexican vacation, her world was devastated in ways most people could never imagine. She extended her pain to a friend, Adam Grant, a psychologist, author and great friend. He helped her to put the shattered pieces of her life back together. She also credits her boss and friend, Mark Zuckerberg with helping her in the melee. OPTION B: Facing Adversity, building resilience and finding joy is Sheryl’s story, her insights, and her emotions too. She combines her own narrative with research and information gathered by Adam Grant about the strength that people summon in overcoming devastating events and rediscovering their joy.

Very early in her journey, she recognized the importance of facing the elephant in the room and dealing with the realities and emotions face on. Two weeks after losing her husband she was preparing for a father-child activity. “I want Dave” she cried. Her friend Adam replied, “Option A is not available,” and then promised to help her make the most of Option B.

She reached out to her many friends and family and got solid advice on how to be prepared to answer questions about death. She entitled Chapter 2, The Platinum Rule of Friendship.

Sandberg painfully writes how they continued to work together as a family to be there for each other throughout all the emotional difficulties and in doing so, she describes that as the discipline of Bouncing Forward.

Perhaps most striking to me is her discussion about the importance of resilient communities and how much more organizations can do, and should do, to allow people time to grieve and to provide important support when their worlds become broken. 

She notes the response of Emanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston where eight parishioners were gunned down during a Wednesday night Bible Study, just a month after her husband died. The Pastor and the congregation made a determined effort to forgive the White Supremacist shooter. They forgave him and prayed that God would have mercy upon him. She writes how crucial it is to find strength together and then quotes Rev. Jermaine Watkins: “What unites us is stronger than what divides us.”

This book is a guide for an individual, family or even an organization who have suffered loss to be used a reference on how to be human. Death is utterly expected. However, most struggle with it when it happens to someone close. 

Through out the book she does not pull any punches and allows her inner voice to scream through the pain. As she writes; Some people say nothing, fearing they will say the wrong thing, or offer up statements like “I can’t imagine” (try) or “I don’t know how you do it” (as if we were given a choice).

It is filled with wisdom, from how to ask for help to how can I help and be more sensitive.

Grief is paralyzing and personal—facts Sandberg acknowledges throughout the book—but it has the power to weave us into the tapestry of human experience, if we let it. “I felt connected to something much larger than myself—connected to a universal human experience,” she writes. It is a silver lining none of us would choose, but one that is an inevitable, and eventually empowering, consequence.

She wrote this Facebook post in June 2015 “I think when tragedy occurs, it presents a choice. You can give in to the void, the emptiness that fills your heart, your lungs, constricts your ability to think or even breathe. Or you can try to find meaning.”

I read this book looking for answers. What happens when Plan A doesn’t work out. Many of the leaders that we coach are asking themselves this same Question about their own dreams and those aspirations of the organizations that they lead.

This book brought to light one key reality for me. That no one ever gets to live out their Plan A. So learning to adapting and embracing the reality of Option B, or C, D, E and F…is likely how life is going to play out. 

LEADERSHIP & Inspiring Presidential Quotes on Leadership for #PresidentsDay

by Marissa Levin, the founder and CEO of “Successful Culture,” and author of “Built to Scale: How Top Companies Create Breakthrough Growth Through Exceptional Advisory Boards,” Inc. Magazine, 3/19/18.

On Mindset:

“If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“Pessimism never won any battle.” ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” ~John F. Kennedy

“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.” ~Abraham Lincoln

On Community & Circles of Influence:

“Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for ’tis better to be alone than in bad company.” ~George Washington

“Never waste a minute thinking about people you don’t like.” ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then you are a leader.” ~John Quincy Adams

On Persistence & Resilience:

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins.” ~General Ulysses S. Grant

“In the time of darkest defeat, victory may be nearest.” ~William McKinley…

“The harder the conflict, the greater the triumph.” ~George Washington

On Ethics & Taking a Stand:

“An honorable defeat is better than a dishonorable victory;” ~Millard Fillmore…

“Unswerving loyalty to duty, constant devotion to truth, and a clear conscience will overcome every discouragement and surely lead the way to usefulness and high achievement.” ~Grover Cleveland

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power” ~Abraham Lincoln

“Life is never easy. There is work to be done and obligations to be met – obligations to truth, to justice, and to liberty.” ~John F. Kennedy

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/marissa-levin/22-presidential-quotes-on-most-important-aspects-of-great-leadership.html

RESILIENCE & These 3 words helped Nick Foles succeed under pressure & win the Super Bowl

by Scott Mautz, Inc. Magazine, 2/5/18.

“It’s just football.” (Text message to Super Bowl winning quarterback Nick Foles before the game from friend and fellow Christian Drew Brees.)

Even on the biggest stage of Foles’ life, with literally millions of armchair quarterbacks waiting to throw their beer cans at the screen, it’s just football. Given what Foles has been going through with his wife having serious health problems and a terrible prior year with the St. Louis Rams that nearly made him retire, it’s just football.

Foles went on to say that the sentiment of the text was true and that it settled him down. A settled Foles meant he leveraged one of his greatest strengths, what fellow Eagle players have called “tremendous poise”. That poise led Foles to Super Bowl MVP honors.

Read more of the article “Nick Foles’ Pre-Game Text From Drew Brees Is a 3-Word Secret For Succeeding Under Pressure” at https://www.inc.com/scott-mautz/nick-foles-pre-game-text-from-drew-brees-is-a-3-word-secret-for-succeeding-under-pressure.html

TURNAROUND & They Are About Direction And Consistency, Not Speed Or Size

It’s called a turnaround for a reason. It’s more about the direction you’re heading than the speed you’re going.

By Karl Vaters, Christianity Today, 8/25/17.

…Almost 25 years ago, I was called to help a church turn around from a decade of numerical, emotional, spiritual and missional decline.

There were about 30 very discouraged people when I arrived and, while I wasn’t expecting to go “from 30 to 3,000 in three years!” I did expect a lot more than we got. The church is situated on a busy street in a very populated area, after all. Onward and upward, right?

If you had told me that the church would still be under 100 and worshiping in the same small building after ten years of pastoring, I probably would not have taken the assignment.

And if you’d told me that we’d be under 200 and in the same building 25 years later (as in, today) I’d have been out the door so fast there’d be a Roadrunner cartoon trail of smoke behind me.

But here I am. In exactly that spot. And I’m so profoundly grateful to be here…

Read more at … http://www.christianitytoday.com/karl-vaters/2017/august/church-turnarounds-direction-consistency-not-speed-size.html

grit consistency tenure

GRIT & The less talented you are, the more successful you may become

Want Your Kids to Succeed in School and Life? Science Says to Instill This 1 Thing Above All Else

by Melanie Curtin, Inc. Magazine, 10/23/17.

…Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University came up with this concept, and it’s basically the belief that you can improve your ability to learn–that it’s not fixed. Thus instead of “I’m smart” or, “I’m dumb,” (fixed states), it’s, “When I’m challenged, I get stronger.”

The reason this matters is that if a kid believes they’re “dumb” because, say, they got a wrong answer, they tend to stop trying. They become afraid of failing. But when kids in Dweck’s research studies read and learn about the brain (particularly how it grows in response to challenge), they become more brave, more resilient, more likely to try even harder things, more … gritty.

Why? Because they start to see that simply doing the hard thing helps them expand. That it doesn’t matter whether you get the answer right–it just matters that you try, and keep trying.

It’s a lesson we can all take to heart, especially since grit research showed something else totally fascinating: there is no relationship or an inverse relationship between grit and talent. Hang on and make sure you got that last part — inverse means the less talented you are, the more gritty you are likely to be … which may be exactly what leads to your success.

In other words, data backs up the fact that you truly don’t have to be the best in the class, or get into the most prestigious tech accelerator, or be the most talented graphic designer at your firm to succeed.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/melanie-curtin/according-to-science-this-1-thing-predicts-a-stude.html

grit DMin

GRIT & How do you instill perseverance? #AngelaDuckworth #YouAreNotDumb

Want Your Kids to Succeed in School and Life? Science Says to Instill This 1 Thing Above All Else
by Melanie Curtin, Inc. Magazine, 10/23/17.

As she (Angela Lee Duckworth) explained in her TED talk, the research question was always the same: “Who is successful here, and why?”

As it turned out, there was an answer. One trait rose above all others. In contexts as disparate as West Point, the National Spelling Bee, private companies, and low-income schools, the one characteristic that emerged as highly predictive of success wasn’t IQ. It wasn’t social intelligence, nor was it good looks, physical health, or socioeconomic status.

What was it?

Grit.

As Duckworth defines it, grit is, “passion and perseverance for long-term projects; having stamina; sticking with your future, day in, day out … and working really hard to make that future a reality.” (my emphasis)

How do you instill grit?

According to Duckworth, part of the answer lies in establishing a “growth mindset.”

Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University came up with this concept, and it’s basically the belief that you can improve your ability to learn–that it’s not fixed. Thus instead of “I’m smart” or, “I’m dumb,” (fixed states), it’s, “When I’m challenged, I get stronger.”

The reason this matters is that if a kid believes they’re “dumb” because, say, they got a wrong answer, they tend to stop trying. They become afraid of failing. But when kids in Dweck’s research studies read and learn about the brain (particularly how it grows in response to challenge), they become more brave, more resilient, more likely to try even harder things, more … gritty.

Why? Because they start to see that simply doing the hard thing helps them expand. That it doesn’t matter whether you get the answer right–it just matters that you try, and keep trying.

It’s a lesson we can all take to heart, especially since grit research showed something else totally fascinating: there is no relationship or an inverse relationship between grit and talent. Hang on and make sure you got that last part — inverse means the less talented you are, the more gritty you are likely to be … which may be exactly what leads to your success.

In other words, data backs up the fact that you truly don’t have to be the best in the class, or get into the most prestigious tech accelerator, or be the most talented graphic designer at your firm to succeed.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/melanie-curtin/according-to-science-this-1-thing-predicts-a-stude.html

DMin

GRIT & 5 Ways to Develop It : The One Trait That Scientists Think May Lead to Success

by Brian DeHaaf, Inc. Magazine, 6/14/16.

…So what is grit, exactly?

Grit is defined as the ability to rebound from challenges, self-reflect, and work even harder next time. You may know it as persistence, endurance, perseverance, or plain old stick-to-itiveness…

If you are a driven individual pushing for success, the question is not “Do I have grit?” Instead, you likely are more interested in what you can do to strengthen and sustain your already persistent nature. The good news is that grit is something you can work to improve

Contextualize your goals

If you can align your goals with a vision and purpose that is greater than yourself it can be easier to keep going when you are not doing as well as you hoped. If you find a disconnect between your goals and your accomplishments, reevaluate what you are striving for and why. Life is short and without purpose-driven goals, it will be difficult to summon strength when challenges arise.

Assemble a support team

Find a mentor or peer group who understand your goals and who can offer honest feedback and encouragement when times get tough. Do not be afraid to ask a leader you admire to grab a cup of coffee — you will be surprised at how many people will want to share their knowledge to help you achieve your goals. Seek out peer groups on LinkedIn, through alumni organizations, or networking groups that relate to your field.

Visualize your success

When faced with a roadblock, take a moment to envision the end result you desire. When you visualize success, you are actually training your brain for that outcome. Athletes have used this technique for years, but you can apply it to your own goals. Practice mental imagery daily. To reinforce the positive message write down in detail how your success will play out.

Make backslides impossible

Beware the tendency to slow down once you have made some initial strides. It is all too common for people to see some progress and lose momentum. Commit to progress checkpoints. Schedule conversations with your support team. Write a letter to yourself about why you want to achieve this goal to be read in the event you lose steam. Do whatever you can to make backslides impossible.

Establish good work habits

There is no getting around it — you have to put in the hours if you want to see a payoff. Eliminate procrastination, time-wasters, and disorganization. Prioritize your most important tasks and set aside time to tackle less pressing matters. Use your goals as your north star. Quickly analyze requests and do not be afraid to say no to something that does not add value.

Read more at … http://www.inc.com/brian-de-haaff/the-one-trait-that-scientists-think-may-lead-to-success.html

GRIT & Angela Duckworth’s 5-elements of GRIT (& her seminal TED video)

by Eric Barker, Wired Magazine, 12 May 2016.

Ever feel like you just wanna give up on something? How can you develop the inner strength necessary to achieve your long term goals?

Turns out that grit — the perseverance that keeps us going — is a lot more important than you might think. In fact, it’s the best predictor of success among West Point cadets.

From Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us:

The best predictor of success, the researchers found, was the prospective cadets’ ratings on a noncognitive, nonphysical trait known as “grit”—defined as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.”

Stanford researcher Catharine Cox studied 301 eminent historical figures. What conclusion did she come to?Persistence beats smarts.

From Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance:

“…high but not the highest intelligence, combined with the greatest degree of persistence, will achieve greater eminence than the highest degree of intelligence with somewhat less persistence.”

So we all need more grit. But how do we get there? I decided to call an expert…

In 2013 Angela Duckworth was awarded the MacArthur “Genius” Award for her work on grit.

She’s a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.

Here’s her TED talk:

…Here’s what Angela says will build that inner strength and make you gritty:

• Pursue what interests you: You’re not going to stick it out if you don’t care.
• Practice, practice, practice: It’s not just how you get to Carnegie Hall. We love doing things we’re good at.
• Find purpose: How does what you do help others? That’s what makes a job into a calling.
• Have hope: No “wishing on a star” here, pal. Have hope because you are going to make it happen.
• Join a gritty group: Mom was right; spend time with slackers and you’ll be a slacker.

So you do all of these things and become a Tyrannosaurus of grit. Awesome. Know what else you will be?

Happy.

Angela surveyed 2000 people and the results were clear: “I found that the grittier a person is, the more likely they’ll enjoy a healthy emotional life.”

And it’s not some lazy, starry-eyed contentment. Gritty people strive every day and enjoy new challenges. That’s the exciting kind of happiness. Here’s Angela:

I was talking to Brad Stevens who’s the coach of the Boston Celtics. He said, “I’ll never be the coach I want to be, but it sure is fun trying.” It’s not that gritty people are necessarily content in the comfortable sense, but they are content in the sense that they enjoy the pursuit of excellence and there’s nothing they’d rather do than keep trying to get better everyday.

Everyone today is concerned with work-life balance. It’s nice to know that the same quality that can make you a success in your career can help promote happiness at home.

You should never give up on being happy. Or better yet: never give up on yourself…

Read more at … https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/05/5-research-backed-steps-to-increase-your-perseverance/

PESERVANCE & How to Develop “Grit” in Your Kids: 3 Rules by #UPenn #psychologist #AngelaDuckworth

“A UPenn psychologist uses the ‘Hard Thing Rule’ to teach her kids to take control of their success” by Shana Lebowitz, Business Insider Magazine, 5/8/16.

…Angela Duckworth, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania whose new book, “Grit,” offers research and anecdotal evidence on how passion and perseverance lead to success.

Towards the end of the book, Duckworth gives readers a glimpse into how she applies her findings on grit in her own life, specifically with her two daughters…

The Hard Thing Rule has three parts:

1. Everyone in the family has to do something that’s hard.

Specifically, Duckworth said, it has to be “something that requires practice, something where you’re going to get feedback telling you how you can get better, and you’re going to get right back in there and try again and again.”

2. You have to finish what you start.

“…Or if I’ve paid the tuition for your set of piano lessons, you’re going to take all those lessons and you are, as you promised your teacher, going to practice for those lessons.”

3. No one gets to pick the hard rule for anyone else.

“Even when my kids were five [and] six years old,” Duckworth said, “they were given some choice in what their hard thing was.”

“I think it’s very important to send the message that, while parents are needed to remind you to practice and occasionally force you to finish things … they also need to learn to respect you. You as an individual ultimately are the captain of where you’re going…”

The point is for parents to help their kids find something they’re interested in and then help grow that interest, while at the same time modeling grit and showing how far it can take you.

Read more at … http://www.businessinsider.com/angela-duckworth-the-hard-thing-rule-2016-5

GRIT & A TED on Why It is More Important to Success Than Intellect, Personality or Training

Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success (previous is quoted from the TED Talk introduction).

PERSISTENCE & How “Grit” Helps You Develop a Growth Mindset

“It’s not self-control that makes gritty people so awesome. It’s their ability to persevere and maintain hope in spite of setbacks, invisible progress and even their own poor judgment. How are they able to do this? One word: optimism.”

“How to Learn Grit at Any Age”
By Joe De Sena, INC. Magazine, 4/19/16.

We talk about grit all the time here at Spartan Race but Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth is the woman who literally wrote the book about it (or at least she will be when Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance is published May 3 by Scribner). You probably know her from articles in The New York Times and her TED Talk. She is THE expert on the subject of grit…

It was amazing to talk to the woman whose work has inspired me so much. Angela is a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, the founder of Duckworth Labs and a MacArthur Fellow (sometimes called the “genius grant”). You’d think with all of these credentials, Angela would put a lot of emphasis on smarts. Not so.

Angela says that the thing that predicts success far more than intelligence or a privileged upbringing is GRIT, which she defines as sustaining interest, passion and persistence for a goal over the long term. She’s been studying this for more than a decade and doesn’t think she’ll ever be done–there is so much more to study and she feels she’s only brushed the surface. Talk about grit…

“Grit and self-control are related, but they’re not the same thing,” Angela said.

You might have heard of the self-control test that Angela has given kids she’s studied. She gives them a choice between a small pile of their favorite treat, which they can have immediately, or a huge pile they can have if they wait 10 minutes. Kids almost always say they want to wait for the big pile, but that’s when reality kicks in–can they really wait…?

Angela was impressed, but she pointed out that although people who are good at overcoming temptation tend to be grittier, it’s wrong to think high achievers have great self-control. “What’s true of the most eminent individuals in society is that they have the capacity for zest and sustained hard labor,” she said.

For Angela, it’s not self-control that makes gritty people so awesome. It’s their ability to persevere and maintain hope in spite of setbacks, invisible progress and even their own poor judgment. How are they able to do this? One word: optimism…

So how do we become gritty if we’re not? Teaching optimism is a good start, but just as important is a growth mindset. Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck defined a growth mindset as the belief that your abilities are changeable. Too many people think they can’t climb a rope or scale a wall because they’ve never been athletic, but believing you can learn and grow builds new skills, and grit. And not just in childhood–adults can learn new abilities, too. Angela said science proves this over and over again…

Read more at … http://www.inc.com/joe-desena/how-to-learn-grit-at-any-age.html

In His Grace;
Bob W. <><

www.ChurchHealth.net
www.ChurchHealth.wiki w/ weekly additions to a library of 1,000+ leadership articles curated by Bob Whitesel PhD.
www.WesleyTour.com
www.Wesley.Indwes.edu

(Typ@s by Siri.)

STUDENT SUCCESS & The Importance of Perseverance

by Anya Kanenetz, National Public Radio, 3/8/16.

… The science shows … Students who believe they can do better with more effort, who try harder, who can delay instant gratification and control their impulses, who take feedback well and know how to work on teams, are likely to become happier, healthier, more successful adults.

What’s missing right now, though, is a consensus on how best to cultivate those qualities…

Read more at … http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/03/468870056/is-grit-doomed-to-be-the-new-self-esteem

GRIT & The One Personality Trait You Need for Success: Grit!

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “When evaluating church planters, I often look at their history of ministry and employment. If I see persistence in that history, I know that usually they will be successful in planting a church. And this research confirms it: tenacious, positive, persistent people are the best planters.”

Read more at … http://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/the-one-personality-trait-you-need-for-success.html