August 20, 2018
Hiding in Plain Sight?

Big thanks to Scott Cronin for the heads up

More about the power of context
Storytelling for the Revolution

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August 18, 2018
Tips, Tools, and Techniques to Build Your Business and Your Brand

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If you are available on August 20th at 4:00 pm PST and want to learn more about the power of storytelling to help build your business and your brand, click here. Nicolette Stinson will be interviewing me on the topic for 30 minutes. It's free. And if you register now, you will also have access to another 30 interviews with thought leaders in the realm of entrepreneurship, brand strategy, and healing.

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Storytelling for the Revolution
Idea Champions

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August 17, 2018
50 Awesome Quotes on Vision

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1. "If you can dream it, you can do it." - Walt Disney

2. "Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, and magic and power in it. Begin it now." - Goethe

3. "The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it." - Michelangelo

4. "It's not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?" - Henry David Thoreau

5. "You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case." - Ken Kesey

6. "If you want to build a ship, don't herd people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

7. "Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside awakens." - Carl Jung

8. "The empires of the future are empires of the mind." - Winston Churchill

9. "Vision is the art of seeing things invisible." - Jonathan Swift

10. "Management has a lot to do with answers. Leadership is a function of questions. And the first question for a leader always is: 'Who do we intend to be?' Not 'What are we going to do?' but 'Who do we intend to be?' - Max DePree

11. "Vision without action is a daydream. Action with without vision is a nightmare." - Japanese Proverb

12. "The best way to predict the future is to create it." - Alan Kay

13."Where there is no vision the people perish." - Proverbs 29:18

14. "Vision without execution is hallucination." - Thomas Edison

15. "Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality." - Warren Bennis

16. "If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise." - Robert Fritz

17. "Create your future from your future, not your past." - Werner Erhard

18. "To the person who does not know where he wants to go there is no favorable wind." - Seneca

19. "You've got to think about big things while you're doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction." - Alvin Toffler

20. "To accomplish great things we must dream as well as act.: - Anatole France

21. "A possibility is a hint from God. One must follow it." - Soren Kierkegaard

22. "A leader's role is to raise people's aspirations for what they can become and to release their energies so they will try to get there." - David Gergen

23. "The very essence of leadership is that you have a vision. It's got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can't blow an uncertain trumpet." - Theodore Hesburgh

24. "Determine that the thing can and shall be done and then we shall find the way." - Abraham Lincoln

25. "Dreams are extremely important. You can't do it unless you can imagine it." -George Lucas

26. "Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements." - Napoleon Hill

27. "Pain pushes until vision pulls." - Michael Beckwith

28. "Vision animates, inspires, transforms purpose into action." - Warren Bennis

29. "The master of the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which; he simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both." - Buddha

30. "Rowing harder doesn't help if the boat is headed in the wrong direction." - Kenichi Ohmae

31. "It's not what the vision is, it's what the vision does." - Peter Senge

32. "In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield." - Warren Buffett

33. "A leader will find it difficult to articulate a coherent vision unless it expresses his core values, his basic identity. One must first embark on the formidable journey of self-discovery in order to create a vision with authentic soul." - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

34. "The best vision is insight." - Malcolm Forbes

35. "You have to know what you want. And if it seems to take you off the track, don't hold back, because perhaps that is instinctively where you want to be. And if you hold back and try to be always where you have been before, you will go dry." - Gertrude Stein

36. "The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge." - Albert Einstein

37. "I try to learn from the past, but I plan for the future by focusing exclusively on the present. That's were the fun is." - Donald Trump

38. "Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world." - Arthur Schopenhauer

39. "People only see what they are prepared to see." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

40. "The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision." - Helen Keller

41. "Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion." - Jack Welsh

42. "A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more." - Rosabeth Moss Kanter

43. "If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants." - Isaac Newton

44. "The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious." - John Scully

45. "If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours." - Henry David Thoreau

46. "Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

47. "Looking up gives light, although at first it makes you dizzy." - Rumi

48. "You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." - Mark Twain

49. "In order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles." - - David Ben-Gurion

50. "The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

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August 15, 2018
The Syndrome Syndrome and the Rise of the New World Disorder(s)

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Here's a fun test for you: If you can read the rest of this paragraph without logging onto Facebook, tweeting, or thinking about crop circles, there's a good chance you do not have ADD, ADHD, or any other recently-identified medical condition.

That's the good news. The not-so-good news? The overwhelming number of disorders, dysfunctions, and syndromes popping up daily make it almost impossible to understand exactly what condition you actually have.

As a concerned citizen, humanitarian, and Johnny Depp look-a-like, I've decided to go beyond my SAHS (Social Activist Hesitation Syndrome) and actually do something about it.

Below, you will find my guide to 14 of the most recently identified medical conditions. Study them carefully. If you have one of them, please check your health insurance policy immediately to see if it will cover the cost of the medicines you will soon feel compelled to buy.

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1. FSGDD (Five Star General Distraction Disorder):
The involuntary tendency of high ranking military officials to throw away their careers and share classified information with well-dressed socialites looking for diplomatic immunity so they won't have to pay their parking tickets or wait on line at Wal-Mart.

2. CFSUD (Chronic Facebook Status Update Disorder): A debilitating disease that shuts down the immune system whenever a person's need to change their Facebook status update supersedes their need to change their underwear, breathe, or have a meaningful conversation with another human being.

3. RAQS (Reflexive Air Quote Syndrome):
The simultaneous extension of the index and middle finger, of both hands, to signal to anyone in one's visual field that the word or phrase about to be spoken is either inconsequential, hyper-inflated, or attributed to someone from an opposing political party.

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4. TGRES (Teenage Girl Rolling Eye Syndrome): The upward, lateralized movement of eyeballs in the presence of parents, teachers, or guidance counselors in the still forming cerebral cortex of teenage girls. Or like, whatever.

5. CPD (Compulsive Photoshop Disorder): A distortion of the visual field in which people, objects, animals, or natural expressions of Mother Nature are perceived to be deficient, requiring immediate digital manipulation.

6. MPS (Marital Projection Syndrome):
A compensatory nervous system reaction triggered whenever a husband or wife believes so strongly in their own concepts of right and wrong that all they can do is criticize, judge, and wallow in self-righteousness for extended periods of time, resulting in high therapy bills, the sensation of walking on eggshells, and the cessation of sex for 30 days.

7. PID (Premature Intervention Disorder): The hallucinated belief by war-mongering American politicians that invading and occupying other countries for ridiculously long periods of time will increase national security, distract people from thinking about the economy, and lower gas prices.

8. (VCD) Virtual Connection Dysfunction: The involuntary flapping of opposable thumbs, accompanied by the sudden, compulsive search for the nearest Smart Phone during early or late stage lovemaking.

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9. RCOD (Remote Control Overload Disorder): A state of bi-polar catatonia triggered by the inability to make sense of all those tiny, misplaced buttons on one or more remote control devices, none of which correlate to anything in the known universe.

10. ITILLJDD (I Think I Look Like Johnny Depp Disorder): The irrational belief by men over 40 that just because they have a wispy mustache, slick their hair back, and have seen Pirates of the Caribbean twice, women will want to have sex with them.

11. MGITOGD (My God Is the Only God Disorder): A fanatical mindset in which one's certainly about their own belief system can only be validated by making others wrong and, depending on the need for more oil, real estate, or power can lead to the death of thousands of innocent people.

12. FMYS (Four More Years Syndrome): The sudden, song-like repetition of the phrase "Four More Years, Four More Years" by straw hat-wearing, overweight, ridiculously optimistic followers of incumbent presidents at political rallies held in convention centers, state fairs, or parking lots.

13. CLS (Compulsive Like Disorder): The involuntary need to ask everyone you know to "like" your Facebook Page even if they don't like it, don't like you, or have already liked your page due to your incessant badgering and self-promotion.

14.BYHFSWAYTWSMLBBIAITHYSYACTHTLFSKOTOEWARLNEBATBOHND: (Blaming Your Husband For Snoring When Actually You, the Wife, Snore Much Louder, But Because It's Almost Impossible to Hear Yourself Snoring, You Are Constantly Telling Him to Look for Some Kind of Treatment Or Else Wear a Ridiculous Looking, Nostril-Expanding Bandaid Across the Bridge of His Nose Dysfunction.) Just what it sounds like.

Storytelling for the Revolution
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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:34 PM | Comments (1)

August 13, 2018
THE INSIDE STORY on a Fantastic, New National Holiday!

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I am happy to announce that today has been declared "INTERNATIONAL DAY OF DOWNLOADING MITCH DITKOFF'S NEW BOOK ON STORYTELLING." I am both humbled and honored that this is now official, even, of course, if I was the one to have declared it. A minor detail. If you are interested in the power of storytelling to build community, inspire, transmit wisdom, elevate the conversation, and spark action, this book is most definitely for you. The Kindle version is a mere $9.99 -- the price of three cappuccinos. If you are old school, the paperback version is $19.95.

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11 Amazon Reviews
Radio interviews, videos, and cool stuff

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August 10, 2018
What Business Leaders Can Learn from Sitting in an Orchestra


Roger Nierenberg - Living the Classical Life: Episode 47 from Elyria Pictures on Vimeo.

This is brilliant stuff. As it turns out, the creator of the Music Paradigm (Roger Nierenberg) and I went to elementary school, junior high school, high school, and summer camp together. We reconnected a few years ago after a long hiatus. If you are looking for a way to help the leaders in your organization make a quantum leap, consider The Music Paradigm.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:24 PM | Comments (0)

STORYTELLING FOR THE REVOLUTION available as an ebook

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GOOD NEWS! My new book, Storytelling for the Revolution, is now available for downloading as an ebook from Amazon. $9.99. Paperback also available.

If you are interested in the power of personal storytelling to build community, open minds, transmit wisdom, and elevate the conversation on planet Earth, this book is for you.

#1 rated in Kindle books for Performing Arts
The book website
11 Amazon Reviews
The media weighs in
A fun excerpt

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August 09, 2018
The Power of Context and Timing to Deliver a Memorable Message

So much of our experience of life depends on context and timing. The above video is a delightful, surprise performance of Ravel's Bolero in a shopping mall. Even for shoppers who are not aficionados of classical music, the experience was a positive one. My first experience of Bolero was not a positive one -- mainly due to the fact that I was forced to listen to it blindfolded, for 14 hours in a roomful of sweaty 18-year old boys. Here's the story.

What are you attempting to communicate these days that can be accomplished with greater impact if you tweak the context and timing of your expression of it?

Another example of the impact of context
The full story + video + Joshua Bell playing
My Bolero story excerpted from this book
About the author

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:21 PM | Comments (1)

August 08, 2018
SPEAKER TUTORIAL: How to Stop Saying "Um", "Ah" and "You Know"

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Very useful article from Harvard Business Review on the power of longer pauses when speaking in public.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:58 PM | Comments (0)

August 07, 2018
THE ART OF MAKING YOUR CASE: The Launch of the i-Phone and i-Pod

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What follows is a slightly edited transcript of Steve Jobs' four-minute launch of the iPhone, how he transported his audience from what is to what could be. Notice how he used two classic elements of compelling narrative -- villain (old smartphones) and hero (Apple's new large screen, multi-touch technology). Also notice how he begins with the problem, then introduces the solution.

CHALLENGE: "The most advanced phones are called 'smart phones', so they say. The problem is they are not so smart and not so easy to use. What we want to do is make a leapfrog product that is way smarter than any mobile device has ever been and super easy to use. That is what iPhone is. So we are going to reinvent the phone and we are going to start with a revolutionary user interface."

QUESTION: "Why do we need a revolutionary user interface?"

STRUGGLE/NARRATIVE: "Here are four smartphones -- the Motorola Q, Blackberry, Treo, and Nokia E62, the usual suspects. What's wrong with their user interface? The problem with them is the bottom forty. It's this stuff right there (pointing to the keyboard). They all have these keyboards there whether you need them or not. They all have control buttons that are fixed in plastic. The buttons and controls can't change. How do you solve this?"

RESOLUTION: "What we're going to do is get rid of all these buttons and just make a giant screen. How are we going to communicate with this? We don't want to carry around a mouse. We're going to use a stylus? No. Who wants a stylus? You have to get them out, put them away, you lose them. Yuck. Nobody wants a stylus. We're going to use the best pointing device in the world, a pointing device we are all born with. We'll use our fingers. And we have invented a new technology called 'multi-touch.' It works like magic. You don't need a stylus. It's far more accurate than any touch display that's ever been shipped. You can do multi-finger gestures on it. And boy, have we patented it."

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And here's how Jobs used analogy to communicate the value of the iPod. "1,000 songs in your pocket."

In just five words, he translated technology in a way that people could understand in a personal way. He didn't talk about megabytes, gigabytes. or bandwidth. He talked about "songs in your pocket" -- a visual, memorable meme that everyone could relate to.

FOR YOUR REFLECTION: Think of a new product, campaign, or initiative of yours that you want to communicate in a way that ensures buy-in. How would Steve Jobs do it? In other words, how can you communicate the essence of what you are trying to say in a simple, compelling, memorable way?

Storytelling for the Revolution
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:00 PM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2018
You're Right!

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There is a scene from Fiddler on the Roof that has taught me more about life than most holy books I've read.

In it, two men are heatedly arguing over the age of a horse. When they see Tevye, the town milkman/sage, walking by, they begin passionately pleading their case.

"Tevye!" blurts the first, "I've been cheated! Last month a bought a horse from this sorry excuse for a man. He told me the horse was six, but it was 12!"

Tevye listens carefully, strokes his beard, nods his head, and smiles. "You're right!" he says.

"What!" screams the second. "No way! Not true! The horse I sold him was six years old and I have the papers to prove it!"

Again, Tevye listens, strokes his beard, nods his head, and smiles. "You're right!" he says.

A third man, who'd been watching the argument from the beginning, boldly steps forward.

"Tevye... with all due respect for your great insight and wisdom, how can he be right" (pointing the the first) "and he be right" (pointing to the second).

Tevye listens, strokes his beard, nods his head, and smiles. "You're right!

Then he starts dancing like a madman.

Next time you think you're right... remember Tevye.

Life is full of paradox, contradiction, and seeming dissonance. See if you can dance your way through it without making anyone wrong. Look for the sweet spot -- or what Rumi once referred to as "the field beyond right doing and wrong doing."

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