Beginning the Legend’s Journey at NODA’s Region 8 Conference

Dare to be first – a theme that turned into the palpable vibe that lasted the entirety of NODA’s Region 8 conference at the University of Delaware.

“Each and everyone of you is a Legendary Instigator. This is a person who works vigorously and selflessly for what they believe in, motivated by conviction and not recognition,” said facilitator Chris Barba to the participating Orientation Leaders.

Beginning the Legend’s Journey is our premier orientation program initiating students on a journey bringing the very best out in themselves.

Look at every Legendary story and the most prominent thing you remember is what they believed in.

Mother Theresa believed in helping the poorest of poor.

Gandhi believed in fighting through nonviolence.

Nelson Mandala believed in ending apartheid.

Martin Luther believed in the dream of equal rights for every individual.

Steve Jobs believed in challenging the status quo, and thinking differently constantly.

“What do you believe in?” Barba asked. “As orientation leaders you will be the first people incoming freshman meet, and you will make a lasting impression on their college careers, and what they will remember most about you, is what you believe in.”

Orientation Leaders from across the region learned the concepts of being Legendary Instigators, and were encouraged to use these ideas to leverage their ability to help students in Beginning the Legends Journey.

At this conference, these Legendary Instigators learned to open their awareness to a world of opportunity, cultivate their beliefs, and have the courage to take action based on those convictions.  Through dialogue, interaction, and some courageous acts, these Orientation Leaders began to reacquaint themselves with idea of Be Legendary.

Instead of an accolade of prestige they began to see it as a journey of working vigorously and selflessly for what they believe in, motivated by conviction and not recognition.

“The world needs more of you in, the very best of who you are, and that my friends is simply legendary,” concluded Barba.

Novartis’s reCreation Event Supports Indian Summer Camp


On January 8, 2012, Novartis kicked off the new year with more than just good intentions.  Donating $9,500 and 120 One World Futbols to Indian Summer Camp, a place for children who are going through or recovering from cancer, this company took intentional actions to make a difference in the lives of others.

Taking team building to a new level, these 850 participants were challenged with some unique tasks.  Split into 60 teams these individuals were challenged to take something of little or no value to us and turn it into something remarkable.

Each team was given a bag of trash and two goals.  Create a product that will change the world and build a soccer ball that kids will enjoy.  Items that you or I might see as worthless were the pinnacle building blocks to these creations.

Clothe and water bottles manifested into an H20 filtration systems and rubber tubing and plastic bags morphed into durable soccer balls.  It is truly amazing what is possible when you shift your perspective.

These individuals of Novartis were not only shifting their perspective on cross-functionality with a bag of trash, they were also shifting their perspectives on the possibilities of themselves.  James Carter, founder of Be Legendary, posed the thought, “If you could change a bag of trash into these amazing products and soccer balls in 60 minutes, imagine what is possible to change using the resources of the world.”

This thought-provoking discussion culminated into the idea of intentional action.  Making our actions intentional draws a very distinct line in the way we can make a difference in the world.

This event was the cornerstone for a life of intentional action.  A touchstone reminding each participant to redefine what’s possible and take meaningful steps forward to achieving those outcomes.

The first step these 850 participants took together as one company, showing what amazing outcomes the power of teams can create.  One hundred and twenty One World Futbols were donated to Indian Summer Camp.  These soccer balls are indestructible, you can run one over with a car and still have the same ball you had 10 seconds earlier.

Along with the soccer balls, Novartis donated $9,500, to the camp. Board President Jon Dubins and Exectuive director Shelby Dehner came to be part of this remarkable event.

“This camp gives these kids an opportunity to be a child again,” said Jon Dubins, “Your donation will give an additional 15 children the opportunity to be a part of this experience.”

These individuals left that afternoon with a new perspective on innovation and a profound sense of impact, but most importantly these individuals left with the idea that each and every single one of them holds the potential to Be Legendary, every single one of them has the capacity to change the world.

Sole Purpose

This past Thursday we brought our legendary intent to 900 very extraordinary SFL employees in Quebec City with the launching of our Sole Purpose event.  Partnering with Soles4Souls, we are taking a joint effort to get shoes to the 300 million inhabitants of developing countries who have no such luxury.  But instead of just shipping out a bunch of shoes, our goal was to empower people to make a difference.  To be the change creating a lasting impact.

What a day! This past Thursday we brought our legendary intent to 900 very extraordinary SFL employees in Quebec City with the launching of our Sole Purpose event.  Partnering with Soles4Souls, we are taking a joint effort to get shoes to the 300 million inhabitants of developing countries who have no such luxury.  But instead of just shipping out a bunch of shoes, our goal was to empower people to make a difference.  To be the change and create a lasting impact.

So we quite literally put the creation of impact in the hands of each SFL employee.  Walking into a room of tables and chairs, they gazed upon hundreds of transparent bags containing ambiguous pieces and parts.  Armed with their ingenuity and guided by a sheet of instructions, this group of people were going to construct sandals that were then going to be shipped off to children in third world countries.

Wow! Talk about impact.  These legendary people were assembling sandals with their own two hands, which, in a couple of weeks, were going to be on a child’s feet. Those very pair of sandals were going to vastly improve the life of another human being. The sandals that they made! Impact rarely comes more direct then that.

CEO of Repario and creator of Sole Purpose, James Carter, spoke to these truly special people before constructing the sandals.  Imagine a world filled with legendary people and legendary actions, that would surely be a world I would love to see.  But as impossible as it seems to you or me, this is the journey of James Carter, and the theme of what he talked about.  Control your awareness, command your beliefs, and harness your courage.  The three components of Be Legendary.  The beauty of it is, and what James spoke so passionately about, is you do not have to go out and find these ingredients, we already have them.  We just have to relearn how to make use of them!

If someone was to tell me I could be legendary I would definitely say, “no way, me legendary? Na-uh.”  But now if someone was to tell me I already am legendary, that would be a whole new perspective that I automatically look at with disbelief.  But James challenged these SFL employees to think of themselves in legendary ways.  Legendary was simply not reality to them, lets face it, it really isn’t to any of us, but our beliefs shape our reality. So it then comes down to – what do you choose to believe in?

Clearly this group of people believed in making a difference.  They assembled pieces, attached laces, helped others, and in the end, built a pair of sandals.  As the event dwindled down, something quite amazing happened.  We saw people walking around the tables gathering unassembled sandals.  They would come up to us and say, “Can I take these sandals that no one has used and build them to be sent out?” James and I just looked at each other, both knowing the same thing – this, was legendary.

And so our kick off Sole Purpose event went wonderfully.  To see people break from their limits simply by realizing that they can, is an astounding and inspiring site to see.  Every time it happens, it helps me break through a few of my own limits.

“Think of a list of legendary people in your life. Do they consider themselves legendary? Probably not. Regardless, they are legendary because you think they are. Oh, and by the way, you’re on someones legendary list too.” – James Carter.

Make Sure Every Aspect of Your Meeting Serves Two Purposes

The old days of silly ‘team building’ is over.

There is a time and place for bonding, but with meeting time precious, make sure any time you spend is serving at least two purposes.

Years ago I was First Mate on an 80-foot sailing vessel and there were a couple of simple rules:

  1. Every item on the boat MUST serve at least two purposes.
  2. If an item did not serve more than two purposes, it must be absolutely critical to safety or well-being of the crew.

Every single item was examined and many were discarded. This was done intentionally to create a better quality of life aboard. Previously, we spent 70% of our time in beautiful tropical locations just fixing stuff.

After we examined everything, we found that we were able to cut a huge number of items from the boat, creating more space (very limited even on a big boat).  Also, we found we were very creative and invented a few items that have become hugely popular among sailors.

Most importantly, the amount of time spent on the deck, spent diving, spent enjoying the great locations went up dramatically.

This same idea, in some form, must be translated to meetings.

Spending time building towers, building boats, racing go-carts, , while occasionally fun, is a waste of money and more importantly, time.

Make sure every aspect of your meeting is serving another at least two purposes.  And if it isn’t, chuck it.  Or find a way to make it serve another purpose.

I have used ‘team building’ as an example because it is abused so badly in meetings.  However, this idea can and should be applied to every aspect of your meeting.

Just like our quality of life on that boat, the quality of your meetings will go up dramatically.  Your clients, and the attendees, will LOVE your meetings.