3 “MAKERS” Secrets: What I learned from Social MoversPosted: June 4, 2012
I teach 2nd graders how to play the Ukulele. One day, I asked them, “Who can show me how to play the C Chord?” Now this would be considered a freebie question, because my left hand was already in the C Chord position on the fret board, and I’m trying to get them to notice it.
To my surprise, one of my students (we’ll call him Paul) raised his hand and said, “Richard can! He takes lessons and he’s been doing it for two years!” Paul said it with so much enthusiasm, pointing at Richard, looking at me in the eye, turning and looking at his classmates, nodding his head. Right there and then the whole class nodded with him and exclaimed, “Yeah, Richard can do it!”
3 Traits Inherited by Social Movers
- They are problem solvers.
- They know their people and their talents.
- They’re infectious in gathering support.
Who was the most talented student in my class? Undoubtedly, it’s Richard. But this article is not about the one who knows the most or who has the most talent (there will be a place for them in later articles). This article is about the Social Movers. The ones, like Paul, who was able to solve my problem, who knows his classmates, and who got everyone to agree and root for what he knows and believes in.
The following are 3 Makers Women that inspire me, not only by the talents they have, but also by the purpose and message they profess from their example.
Underlined are the secrets I learned, italicized are quotes from their interviews, and their bolded names are links that lead you to their makers.com sites.
Only you can dictate your passion. “I guess I was just kind of gender oblivious.” ~Marissa Mayer
I loved hearing that from her, because it shows that it was all about her passion. It never dawned on her that a girl being good at Math and Science would be odd. So, naturally she just pursued what she loved to do. You get a feel for this during her interview, especially when she said, “I’m not a woman at Google, I’m a GEEK at Google.”
How many of us have this type of “zeroed-in” focus? When we go for what we love to do and ignore the status quo, the stereotype, and the expected road map. How many of us would take the path that has no formula, no recipe, and no room for memorization? Not even just take it, but to PREFER it. When you find yourself in a place where there is no step-by-step guidance, no space for bias, and no society distinguishing who you are, ONLY YOU CAN DICTATE YOUR PASSION.
Marissa Mayer encourages us to “push through the feeling of being scared, that feeling of taking a risk”, because real amazing things will happen. In other words, DEFY BEING HACKNEYED! Don’t know what that means? Well, GOOGLE IT.
Look beyond numbers. “Once you start thinking about the way the world works today, it becomes pretty clear that it can be designed better.” ~Robyn Beavers
Robyn Beavers got the POWER. Literally! She was responsible for installing 10,000 solar panels on the Google Headquarters (“at the time that it was weird and no one understood why we’re doing it”).
When it comes to sustainability design, the first thing that comes to mind is concrete measurement: “The amount of kilowatt hours produced or the amount of clean kilowatt hours added to the grid.” But through the course of her projects, she realized that hard metric measurement wasn’t enough. How to design better lives took precedence. When communicating takes more precedence than the number of likes on your Facebook page, or when making other people happier becomes the source of your happiness instead of the followers you produce…you did it. YOU LOOKED BEYOND NUMBERS.
Robyn Beaver’s example prompts us to look at the true clean energy that supplies the projects we take: The energy that provides oxygen through our brain to be innovative, the energy that provides the blood coursing through our veins to pump muscle, and the energy that keeps our heart beating for our passion to make lives better.
As things collapse, YOU RISE. “You either accept the future and where it’s going, or you resist it and stay behind.” ~Kara Swisher
You hear her saying this with utter confidence, because not only did she accept the future, she went ahead of it. She covered story after story of once accessible no names that became powerhouses of digital innovation today. She said that they were accessible, since “no one was interested in them.” Names like Steve Jobs, Steve Case, and Bill Gates, ring a bell?
She started out writing stories for the business section for the Washington Post. She approached it differently by ignoring the numbers and wrote about people instead. She mentioned that she treated business like a novel, but my take is that she treated it like an organism. Just look at what is involved in it: “Emotion, money (need), failure, success, attempts, and innovation.” It’s a living thing. And this approach distinguishes her from other journalists. She sees something out of what others consider nothing and writes about it. She used the same approach with technology in “All Things Digital”. In the digital world, it is ill advice to underestimate anything. It grows, it thrives, and it also dies. How many of us still carry the first prototype of an iPod? How many of us still carry a Blackberry?
Kara Swisher reminds us that the world of technology doesn’t stand still. “As things collapse, things rise…and that’s really exciting, constant destruction and creation is sort of an exciting way to make your living.” Since the world of technology doesn’t stand still, neither should we. You’re an organism. When you face destruction, choose to create. When you find yourself back in the beginning, choose to grow…YOU RISE.