Daily Inspiration: 24 Strategies for 2024 #16 – “Fail at fewer first impression failures” – Futurist Keynote Speaker Jim Carroll: Disruptive Trend & Innovation Expert

Daily Inspiration: 24 Strategies for 2024 #16 -

“Fail at fewer first impression failures” – Futurist Jim Carroll Futurist Jim Carroll is running a series that began November 27, 2023, and will end on January 1, 2024 – ’24 Strategies for 2024.’ Rather than running a trend series for the upcoming year as he has previously, this series will examine a number of his personal beliefs on how to best align yourself with the future. There will be a post each weekday, excluding weekends and holidays, until the series runs its course. You will find it on his blog at https://blog.jimcarroll.com, or on the website https://2024.jimcarroll.com The people you meet are often not who you think – we all suffer from stereotypes, bias, and quick judgment. In doing so, we often miss out on the opportunity to meet some truly remarkable people, discover fascinating trends, or get in touch with new opportunities for innovative thinking. That’s why I will often spend time striking up conversations with people working away in the world around me – an agronomist working at a golf course, by which I can learn more about agricultural science; a ‘liftie’ at the ski resort, where I can discover someone who is doing advanced graphics design work in the summer season; or a young lady doing advanced AI research with her Master’s degree while working part-time with the AV crew that manages one of my events. Through this process, I’ve discovered much of what drives the world around us. Consider my video clip, Farmers and Truckers – where I tell the story of how I’ve learned these are two of the most innovative industries in our world today. We can learn much about how industries evolve and change over time, particularly when we consider to be rather unskilled professions are managing quite well with the rapid introduction of new technologies, ideas, and concepts. Much of what I have learned by preparing for keynotes in these industries has come from …. spending a lot of time talking with farmers and truckers, and in doing so, I have learned a LOT. People never are who you think they are , and over the years, I’ve managed to use this type of thinking to learn more about the world around me. With that in mind, here’s a wonderful story. During the year, I had the chance to meet one Lawi Sultan Njeremani, a groundskeeper working at my home golf club Cutten Fields in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Remember that phrase “ You never get a second chance to make a first impression ” – meeting Lawi reminded me of the corollary to this phrase: “ We always have a second chance to fix a failed first impression!”  With that in mind, that’s strategy #16 of my 24 Strategies for 2024 series. Fail at fewer failed first impressions! Here’s the story – I’m an early morning golfer, often heading out for the first tee time of 7 am during the summer months, right after sending out my Daily Inspiration post. It’s the best time of the day to do a round – moving fast, with no one in the way, with most days involving the glorious days of sunshine as the day begins. There are a few playing partners who will join me on these days ; my son Tom, a retired lawyer John, and a retired chemical engineer, Gary. Some might call us the ‘rabbits.’ When you golf this early, you are often running up against or hitting into the grounds crew – the folks who take care of the course and keep it in top shape. They start their day a few hours before you do, cutting the grass, raking the bunkers, cleaning the course, and doing the daily maintenance. I and my playing partners try to be very respectful to them; they’ve got a job to do, and we need not be idiots by interfering with their process. They will often wave us through, knowing that on many days, there are few other of us ‘rabbits’ eager to chase the first round of the day. Thursdays are ‘Men’s Day’ at my club – I’m not a participant, playing on Seniors Day instead. But on Mens’ Day, many other young fellows might join me on the front for a fast 9-hole round – they can get their score into the ranking for that day and then head off to work. This often means that I end up playing the back 9 holes on my own since I don’t have to rush off to work. And it’s on these days that I will often strike up a longer conversation with the various grounds crew working on the course. One day, I was teeing off one hole when I saw this young fellow working away in the distance. I’d often see him out there, working away on his own, watering, moving, doing repairs. On this particular day, I struck up a conversation and introduced myself. Since no one was golfing with me on this day and no one was following close behind, a longer-than-normal conversation ensued. I quizzed him on his daily responsibilities, and quickly learned that he was a student in the Guelph Turfgrass Management Program at our local university; it’s a world-renowned program providing education in the science, technology, management, and best practices of golf course maintenance. You might not think about such university degree programs much as you make your way around your local course, but it’s a very complex degree program – your local golf course superintendent and staff do so much more than just ‘mowing the lawn.’ I will often tell the story as to what I’ve learned about what is going in the industry of golf and what it can teach us about other industries and the future; here’s a clip in advance of a keynote I was doing at Torrey Pines: As these things go, our discussion inevitably got around to the question as to what I do for a living, and I mentioned that in addition to often speaking at events and meetings around the world, I also happened to be a bit of an author, having penned some 39 titles during my careers. Lawi’s eyes lit up at that comment. “ I’m an author ,” he said, “ and I’am trying to get published .” I will often get comments like this, only to learn that in most cases, this is merely an aspirational idea, not a fact. This certainly proved not to be the case with Lawi – I quickly learned that he had actually already written not just one book but two – and to go with these books, he had also put together a short cartoon version. He was merely looking for a way to get them into print . And with that, we were off – I explained to him the unique process of self-publishing, which has been the path for my last four of my books. I described what was involved, how long it can take, the intricacies of cover design and interior formatting, how to go about getting an ISBN, and the basics of listing on Amazon (which is just about all that matters in todays’ world of publishing._ I offered to line him up with some of the folks in India who did some of this work for me; he indicated that he had a digital team in his home country of Kenya that he wanted to get involved in the process. (Much of the rest of the technical work on my books is done by my wife and business partner Christa – she is my digital publishing expert! ) Over the next few weeks and months, I continued to provide him guidance on the intricacies of the process, answering his questions along the way. And one day, just a matter of a few weeks ago, Lawi let me know that the books were in print, and available on Amazon. Not just volumes 1 and 2, but also the comic. It turns out that the books he had already written by the time I met him out on the golf course early that morning weren’t merely abstract ideas – they are deep, rich, and complex tomes on a complex topic, coming in at 532 and 470 pages each. And he literally managed to get them into print just about 3 months after we first met on the course. To say I was impressed is a bit of understatement. The story also reinforces for me a powerful lesson I have always tried to follow – we should always go beyond our first impressions because we can learn so much more about the world around us. It would have been so easy for me to dismiss Lawi as just another person on the grounds crew at my course – instead, I’ve discovered a rather fascinating individual. Consider the topic of the book – from the cover. i have yet to read the book, but it is certainly a topic! The Trouble with Kenya is a microcosm of any given country’s social and justice pillars. These pillars have been subordinated to the political and economic pillars in many societies with politics and the economy being deified as the all-encompassing enablers of the advancement of Nations. With the world becoming more connected, happenings in far-flung places are increasingly becoming risk factors locally, precipitating issues of local concern and increasing the impediments to collective human development. All these may appear to be abstract concepts in daily life where making the next pay check, putting food on the table or securing a comfortable future for oneself and family is an exhausting endeavor but those who ignore the harbinger flicks subject themselves to ongoing or future succumb. The story of the founding of Kenya as a country and the continuous strides towards nationhood is similar to many countries globally that have had a monarchy in their founding DNA. Indeed, some countries have excelled in building institutions that ensure an equitable society, while some continue to struggle with cartelization and usurpation of independence of instit utions and commensurately experience unjust societal confluence where only a few enjoy the benefits of a nation-wide toil. The symbols on the cover? They too tell a story, told in the opening section of the books, where he proposes a link between what he is learning about the link between the science of turf grass management and global geopolitical and economic challenges! Those who study pedology and agriculture know that one of the cultural means of lowering soil pH and increasing soil nutrition is turn over the soil through tilling and cultivation. This exposes the soil to air (aeration) and moves immobile macronutrients and micronutrients like calcium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, boron and molybdenum nearer the surface where they are likely to be available to plants. The Preface of this book’s Volume One may be considered a strong rebuke of the Kenyan psyche but is founded on the principle above-to elevate the consciousness of a critical mass of not only the Kenyan citizenry but of all nations of the world through the cultural practise of tilling through heavily compacted anomalies in the respective societies and allowing for enabling environments for all human beings to thrive and live dignified lives. Talk about a complex mind! Motivational author Dale Carnegie once observed that one of our most important traits is to spend more time discovering other people: “ You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you .” With that in mind, here’s my spin on it – you can learn more about the world around you by taking the time to learn about other people and spending less time trying to learn about yourself. What I have learned this year, by meeting Lawi, is a re-emphasis of that lesson, something that I have long tried to do in understanding the future, creativity and innovation. And that’s why this is strategy #16 of my 24 Strategies for 2024! Learn more at https://2024.jimcarroll.com.