More colorful pictures of our journey across Iowa with over 10,000 cycling enthusiasts …
More colorful pictures of our journey across Iowa with over 10,000 cycling enthusiasts …
More amazing pictures of the Moxie in Motion team’s adventure in Iowa!
Click here to see how yesterday went, and for more information on RAGBRAI.
Today’s wonderful images of Iowa. Today was the largest day in RAGBRAI because we were so close to Des Moines. We rode with over 30,000 cyclists today!
To see more about our journey, click here.
Check out Team Moxie in Motion during today’s century ride (108 miles!) to Perry, IA!
Want to see what Team Moxie in Motion was up to yesterday? Click here.
Today was the longest distance. We cycled an “Iowa-century” which in the cornfields means 108 miles. Check out these great pictures of Team Moxie in Motion!
Since I’m in the middle of a cornfield with only an iPhone, I can only take pictures this trip. Fortunately Chrissy, the Director of PR/Marketing at LifeMoxie, will take all of the pictures I send via text and post them here each day. I’ve set up the blog posts in advance and she’s making sure you get the great pictures. Thank you Chrissy!
Here is the proud Moxie in Motion Team!!
Some more pictures from Day 1:
Read more about Team Moxie in Motion’s RAGBRAI adventure here.
While I’m not cycling across the country or up the coast this summer, I am cycling across the state of Iowa. Unlike my other adventures, this one has attracted over 10,000 people to traverse the same cornfields. Wish I could say I had something to do with it, but it’s all about the legacy of RAGBRAI. We’re just pedaling it forward.
Here are some interesting facts:
How the Legacy of RAGBRAI Applies to Leaders
Imagine Iowa is a company. Two people – John Karras and Don Kaul (pictured here) – worked for Iowa and decided to do something different to bring some energy and enthusiasm to Iowa (the “company”). Do you think they set out to create such an epic legacy for Iowa intentionally or inadvertently?
At first the ride was just a pilot, held at the end of August. But people gave feedback – they were taking their kids back to school and could they hold the event earlier in the summer? So the ride was moved up earlier and earlier until one year it landed on the last week of July. 2013 marks the ride’s 41st birthday. Its reputation for being one of the best adventures is magnetic. People from all over the world descend upon Iowa to participate. That was one helluva successful pilot!
Imagine the towns are like departments. Each year they apply to serve as the “host communities” because of the honor of carrying on the legacy and because of the economic boom for their residents (“employees”). Imagine if the legacy you create today kindled actions in leaders in departments or teams everywhere and their actions fueled the organization’s legacy with great pride.
The Legacy of Leaders
Did John and Don have any idea they were creating a remarkable event? Did they set out on their bikes to create their legacy as leaders? Probably not.
But remarkable leaders and remarkable legacies are created only through remarkable experiences. And we can intentionally create those every day – at any moment we choose. That’s what John and Don did. That’s what you can do.
What remarkable experience are you going to create today, this week, this month, or this year? Share with the Moxie in Motion community
This entire week I’ll be sharing pictures of the remarkable experience Team Moxie in Motion is intentionally creating through the cornfields of Iowa. Stay tuned!
“What do you think?” This mantra was cited by the last two CEOs interviewed for the “Corner Office” section in the Sunday New York Times.
J.W. Marriott Jr.
For J.W. “Bill” Marriott Jr., executive chairman and former CEO of Marriott International, the phrase he uses is, “What do you think we should do?”
Bill learned this from President Eisenhower. Ike was visiting one Christmas when Bill had just completed school. The adults were deciding whether to go quail hunting in the cold or to sit by the fire. Eisenhower turned to the young Marriott and asked “What do you think we should do?”
In that moment Bill recognized the President’s strategy for getting along with others and executing as a leader – by including people in his decision-making process. Marriott quickly adopted the President’s question “What do you think we should do?” to foster his own inclusive decision-making throughout his career as a leader.
For Jenna Fagnan, president of tequila manufacturer Tequila Avión, the question is, “So what do you think you should do?”
Fagnan learned this from one of her first mentors – her boss. Early in her career, Fagnan worked for a man who always challenged her with this question. She would go into his office and dump a situation on his lap. He would invariably ask, “So what do you think you should do?”
She realized that in those moments, her boss was wearing a mentor hat. He could have easily said, “Here’s what I think you should do.” He knew the answer, but by including her in the process, he forced her to think for herself and grow as an individual and as a leader.
Susan Docherty, the head of the US Sales, Service, and Marketing team at General Motors, shared a similar approach in her interview a few years ago in the Corner Office of the Sunday New York Times. She intentionally involves others in decisions, even when she already has an opinion and knows where she wants the decision to go. She relentlessly inquires, “What do you think? What would you do?” She is often rewarded with a fresh perspective and new insights from people who are not as close to the situation as she is.
Why does “What do you think?” work?
Because people support that which they help create. They crave control. They want to be respected and heard. And they want to make a difference.
When we dictate, mandate, and command others, people lose interest. They are not vested in the success of our decisions. They often have a different idea or perspective, but we were too busy railroading them with our decision to ask. By dictating the outcome, we, in essence, reveal that we don’t really care what they have to contribute. And by not asking, we communicate that we don’t really respect or appreciate their perspective enough to stop and listen.
Alternatively, by simply asking the question, “What do you think?” we share the decision with other people, offering them the opportunity to help create the outcome. This inevitably fuels engagement and enthusiasm, not to mention, ownership and accountability.
Ultimately, people show up every day hoping their work matters. When we stop and ask people “What do you you think?” we are communicating to them, “You matter. Your perspective is important. You can make a difference in this decision.” As leaders, this is our job.
What do you think? What would you do? I’d love to hear your perspective.
The Impact of a Mentor
Following business school, Ilene was responsible for acquisitions at Tenneco when a self-appointed mentor saw potential in her. He recognized her intellect, ambition, and focus, and challenged her to run those businesses she was acquiring. He put her in a job bigger than her and committed to helping her hone her business skills. Today she is on Fortune magazine’s list of 50 Most Powerful Women in Business as the President/CEO of a Fortune 500 company with $6.2 billion in net sales.
Ilene’s Commitment to Being a Mentoring CEO
Ilene excites people with opportunity as her Mentor did for her. She is committed to:
Her Belief in the Lasting Impact of Mentoring
Ilene believes that people carry their mentoring experiences with them. “I’m not just hiring the person sitting there. I’m hiring the four people who mentored him. I don’t think there’s anybody who’s successful in their role today who hasn’t been mentored by somebody.”
In each interview, she asks:
What can we do to become a Mentoring Leader like Ilene?
It takes a true Mentoring Leader to leverage the NY Times spotlight to mentor aspiring, inspiring, and expiring leaders everywhere. Thank you, Ilene, for influencing each of us to make a difference by leading with a mentoring manner.
Ilene’s message is beautifully encapsulated in Author Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s powerful quotation:
“As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it.”
Leaders get people talking. Great leaders challenge our perspectives and create the controversy that kindles change. And the best leaders intentionally embrace the risks that accompany such controversy.
That’s exactly what the COO of Facebook is doing.
Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In hits the bookstores this week and it’s already causing a commotion. Here’s the hullabaloo: she advocates that girls and women are responsible for embracing leadership opportunities as soon as possible, but many women are upset that she is setting unrealistic standards and letting corporations off the hook.
Without even seeing a copy, here’s what I like instantly: Sheryl’s intentional leadership.
But she chose to take action on a significant issue. From her perch at the top of Silicon Valley, she sees a dearth of woman in leadership. And for that to change, Sheryl is cognizant that she needs to challenge our perspective, in the face of inevitable criticism and denigration. And she is in a perfect position to do so.
Thank you, Sheryl, for taking action where others don’t, for embracing risk where others won’t, and for showing us what great leaders do: intentionally spark an important dialogue for change.