Thursday, July 24, 2008


This here is an excerpt from a book you might know, D. Seidman's HOW. I'm including this piece here to inspire you my team: when I read about Krazy George Henderson just now and how he 'invented' the Wave, I couldn't help but think of how excellent a symbol this story is for Captain Enzo and the Regulars' endeavor. Seeing how the Wave works I'm positive that the 10mountains10years project is doomed to success!
(You can find the complete Prologue - which is where these passages come from - here.)

"The Wave is an extraordinary act. All those people, spread out over a vast stadium, with limited ability to connect or communicate, somehow come together in a giant cooperative act inspired by a common goal: to help the home team win. It defies language and culture, occurring with regularity throughout the world at Tower of Babel events as diverse as the Olympics and international soccer games[...] It transverses gender, income, and societal status. It is a pure expression of collective passion released.

What does it take to start a Wave?

If you consider the Wave as a process of human endeavor, you realize immediately that anyone can start one—an enthusiastic soccer mom, four drunken guys with jellyroll bellies and their bare chests painted Oakland green, or eight adolescents who idolize the team's star player. You don't have to be the owner of the stadium, the richest or most powerful person there, or even a paid professional like Krazy George. No one takes out their business card and says, "My title is the biggest; let the Wave start with me." Anyone can start a Wave; it is a truly democratic act.

So, how do you do it?

First, you need people's attention. Starting a Wave requires an act of leadership, so you must be willing to stand up and lead. You have to stand up, communicate your idea, and inspire others to help you achieve it. But how? Krazy George uses his drum, but the security guard at the metal detectors made you leave yours in the car. You could, perhaps, turn to the guy next to you and say, "Hey, here's 20 bucks—let's stand up." He might go along, but really, unless you are Bill Gates you will probably run out of money before you get all 60,000 fans to buy into your plan[...]
To create a great and powerful Wave, one that can make a difference to your team, you need enthusiastic participation[...]

Clearly, how you communicate your vision—how you connect with those around you—directly affects the outcome. The essence of a Wave, what makes it such a forceful expression of human desire, is that it is powered by a common passion to help the home team win. That value lives larger than any individual's actions and unites all the fans in the stadium. No one followed Krazy George's idea because they thought it was about George; a Wave is leadership, but the most important thing about a Wave is that you forget where it started—Section 32? 64? 132? The fans followed because he got everybody enlisted, and when you get everybody enlisted, it doesn't matter where your Wave starts. It just goes.

And no one followed Krazy George's idea because people booed (that was just a good-natured way of getting attention in a big stadium). They followed because they liked what he stood for and the way he banged his drum for it. To start one, then, you need to reach out to those around you, to share your vision with them, to enlist them in a common purpose. You must lead this Wave not by wielding formal authority, punitive power, or the threat of a small thermonuclear device under the stands, but with a touch of charisma. To get them to join you, you must be earnest and transparent, hold nothing back, and earn their trust. "Hey!" you might yell, charged with passion and commitment, filled with the unbridled emotion that you want to uncork in others. "I've got this idea! If we all stand up, wave our arms, and yell, I think it might help us win!" Who doesn't want to win?

I like the Wave as metaphor because it is about what a diverse group of people can accomplish when united by a common vision. It illustrates the power that moves through a group of people when they perform at their best, their most unbridled and passionate."

Hugs to all,

1 comment:

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