Why I get up every morning

May 11, 2020

Members asking for help with what’s keeping them up at night – that’s what gets me (and my team) up every morning. 

And once-in-a-while a member asks for help on something personal or family-related and that motivates us to get up out of bed even on a weekend morning.

In fact, just this last Saturday a wonderful member, mother, and leader whose daughter is struggling with depression asked her fellow leaders for help. She’s drowning, her family is drowning, and she doesn’t know what to do.

*15* mothers and fathers who also have daughters struggling with depression came together on Saturday on a Peer Coaching Call (PCC) to share their stories, their learnings, and their tears – and to be sure this member did not walk alone.

Here’s what this member wrote to everyone after the call:

Words cannot adequately express the gratitude I feel for all of you who joined the call on Saturday. It is both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time to know that so many others are struggling in similar situations with those we love most in the world. As much as I wish there were an easy fix for this, I realize that I am on a journey that may last a very long time and hearing your stories helps me feel so much less alone. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Readers of this newsletter know that that’s my mantra: never walk alone, especially in a crisis like this.

We’d love to help you get some help.

So, tell me – what business, career, or personal/family issues are keeping you up at night during Covid-19?



P.S. We have lots of great talks coming up and archives worth watching. See below. Email Britany if you’d like an invite.

  • The 4 EQ Pillars of Well-Being – Tue, May 12 @3pm ET
    Teresa Quinlan, Executive Coach
    Longtime CG member, Pete Anderson, has been on a personal journey of exploring Psychological Safety, Humble Inquiry, and Emotional Intelligence (EQ) with the ultimate goal of unleashing the unrealized potential of teams across US Bank. As part of that journey, he employed Teresa Quinlan as a personal EQ coach, found a ton of value in the process, and is eager to share relevant content with the rest of the CG crew. Email Britany if you’d like an invite to this session with Teresa Quinlan and Pete Anderson.
  • Product Mgmt & Covid-19: Product Preparedness – Wed, May 13 @12pm ET
    Ron Pessner, Product Leader, Microsoft
    Longtime Council member Ron Pessner, who is responsible for transforming Microsoft Office into a tool for collaborative work, will present a case study on product management and the coronavirus — or how his team’s product investments in Office – and his cultural change work – have enabled better collaboration just in time for the massive need for remote work brought on by the COVID-19 crisis. Email Britany if you’d like an invite.
  • Stoic Philosophy – begins Thu, May 14 @8pm ET
    Reading Odyssey Reading Group
    The Roman statesman and philosopher Seneca (4 BCE–65 CE) recorded his moral philosophy and reflections on life as a highly original kind of correspondence. Nothing could be more relevant during this pandemic than Stoic philosophy and Seneca in particular. The first reading group is full but there’s a waiting list for a second. More Info and Registration here.
  • Diversity, Inclusion, and the Museum Experience – Tue, May 19 @2pm ET
    Jack Becker, Ph.D., Executive Director & CEO, Joslyn Art Museum
    Over the last several years Jack Becker and his team at the Joslyn Art Museum have prioritized a diversity initiative – ranging from special exhibitions to diversifying the permanent collection (including acquiring works of art from Kehinde Wiley, Mickalene Thomas, and Maria van Oosterwyck). Jack will take members on a behind the scenes Zoom tour of the Museum’s ‘evolution of access.’ (Note: this was originally scheduled as an in-person “adventure” for Council members meeting in Omaha). Email Britany if you’d like an invite.
  • The Gender Gap in Film – two-part session on Thu, May 28 at 8pm ET for the Watch Party, and Fri, May 29 @12pm ET for QnA and Discussion
    Diana Martinez, Ph.D., Film Streams’ Artistic DirectorFirst, we’ll host a watch party on Thu, May 28 at 8pm ET and watch the documentary ‘Half the Picture’ individually on Amazon Prime, while chatting about it live on a special Slack channel. Then, on Fri, May 29 @12pm ET, Diana will join us for a QnA based on what you’ve seen. (Note: this was originally scheduled as an in-person “adventure” for Council members meeting in Omaha). Email Britany if you’d like an invite.
  • ‘Animals Included’ at the Zoomaha Zoo – Wed, June 10 @4pm ET
    Tina Cherica, President & CEO of the Omaha Zoo Foundation, and Cheryl Morris, Ph.D., Vice President of Conservation, Omaha ZooMost don’t know that Omaha is home to one of the top 3 zoos in the world. Further, it holds this position largely because of its intense focus on conservation and user experience – including that of its 4-legged, winged, aquatic, and amphibious customers.  Tina Cherica and Cheryl Morris will talk about how the Zoo has built a vigorous program of scientific investigation in the fields of molecular genetics, reproductive physiology, nutrition, and conservation medicine. And then they will take us behind-the-scenes with some of the zoo’s residents. (Spoiler: one of them is from the Indian subcontinent, the other from sub-Saharan Africa. One more hint: one has a prehensile lip and the other teams up with her cousins and sisters to hunt. Can you guess which animals you’ll be meeting?) Email Britany if you’d like an invite.
  • Getting Started with Visual Methods – Thu, June 18 @12pm ET
    Summer Koide, Senior Director of New Ventures, TargetIf you’ve ever seen Graphic Recording live at a conference, or been the benefactor of a visual facilitator for an offsite or workshop, you may have seen the power that visuals can bring to any group setting. Join this adventure to get started with the basics of visuals. Council member Summer Koide from Target will talk about why visuals work, how visuals can appear in your work, and instruct you through some hands-on practice. This session is designed for beginners and those interested in clearing the first hurdle in your visual journey. All you need is paper and a pen – bonus points if you scrounge up drawing utensils in multiple colors. Email Britany if you’d like an invite.

Recent Talks and Activity Recordings

  • How Buffett Built a Pandemic-Proof Company (YouTube)
    Phil Terry, Founder & CEO, Collaborative Gain

    I teach a number of key concepts and values including what Buffett calls Noah’s principle: “Predicting rain doesn’t count; building arks does.” And what an ark Berkshire has become. I walk listeners through a brief history of the company, its culture and values, and show how Buffett has designed a pandemic-proof company.
  • Fireside Chat with Don Graham (No Recording)
    Don Graham, Chairman, Graham Holdings
    Don Graham was the longtime CEO and Chairman of the Washington Post Company (now he is the Chairman of Graham Holdings). Graham and Buffett have been friends for almost 50 years and both joined the board of the Washington Post Company at the same time in the early 1970s. Buffett became a longtime mentor to Graham and has publicly said Graham is one of the smartest people he’s ever met. Phil adds that Graham is also one of the most humble and genuine. We spent 90 minutes in a fireside conversation with Don. Terrific.
  • Leading the NBA during Coronavirus (YouTube)
    Mark Tatum, Deputy Commissioner and COO, NBA
    Mark Tatum is second in command of what is now a ~$9 billion multi-media, content-streaming global juggernaut with a 215 country footprint. Tatum has been instrumental in many historic initiatives including the first NBA game in Africa, the launch of seven NBA Academies around the world for youth and elite development, and the debut of the Jr. NBA World Championship, a first-of-its-kind global youth basketball tournament. His portfolio includes the league’s accelerating new-technology push, which has gained momentum since the crisis. Mark joined us to talk about what he’s learned in real-time about leading during this massive upheaval, including thoughts on how technology may change the game and when the league might re-open.
  • 2008 vs. 2020 – Financial Crisis vs. Pandemic (YouTube)
    Dean Cecilia Rouse, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton

    Professor Cecilia Rouse is the Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and one of the top economists in the world, as well as one of very few African American women in the upper levels of the profession. A member of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers in 2009-2011, she spoke with us about the difference between the crisis we face today and the financial crisis of 2008.
  • How COVID-19 Changes Consumer Behavior (YouTube)
    Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University
    Dan Ariely, the best-selling author of Predictably Irrational and other books, is an Israeli-American professor and global authority on behavioral economics. He advises governments and a range of corporations on behavioral economics and policy including now during this global pandemic, and on this webinar he shared how COVID-19 may affect consumer behavior now and in the long-term. Special thanks to member Doug Claffey for inviting the wonderful Dan Ariely to speak to us.
  • Virtual Wine Tasting (YouTube)
    Anthony Giglio, New York-based sommelier, journalist, and author 
    A Virtual Wine Tasting with Anthony Giglio, one of the most entertaining wine and spirits authorities on the planet. He is a writer, educator, curator of the Amex Centurion lounge wine program and raconteur who motivates countless imbibers to trust their own tastes and relax the rules. Anthony led us through a tasting using what most of us have in our wine cabinet already – something sparkling.
  • Brainstorming on Zoom (YouTube)
    Elizabeth Peaslee, human-centered design practitioner, educator, facilitator, and coach, and CG Councils moderator
    While you have some of the basics of remote working down, you probably are finding it hard to brainstorm, ideate, and innovate with everyone on your team working remotely. If that’s true for you — and it’s for most of us — then watch to this session where CG Moderator Elizabeth Peaslee ran training on tools and frameworks you can use to brainstorm remotely.
  • Managing Pressure​ During the Covid-19 Crisis (YouTube)
    Dr. JP Pawliw-Fry, President and Co-Founder, IHHP
    Everyone is feeling the effects of these uncertain times. Tough decisions need to be made; difficult conversations need to take place. Emotional intelligence expert Dr. JP Pawliw-Fry explained how to use emotional intelligence to best manage your team and the tough decisions and conversations you face through this challenging time.
  • See talks from the last month and beyond here.

About the Author

Phyl Terry

Phyl Terry, Founder and CEO of Collaborative Gain, Inc., launched the company’s flagship leadership program – The Councils – in 2002 with a fellow group of Internet pioneers from Amazon, Google, and others. Thousands of leaders from the Internet world have come together in the last 15 years to learn the art of asking for help and to support each other to build better, more customer-centric products, services, and companies.

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