Monday, February 16, 2015

#Failure: What #ErikSteiner Does Makes Him #HotterThanfire4Others / #socialgood #entrepreneur #executivefunctioning

What is it about failure that sends chills down the spine of almost anyone? 

In thinking about my thinking, which is the working definition for metacognition, a creme de la creme executive function skill, I have experienced that it is healthy to go through the process of understanding just how scary failure is.. and how I can get better and better at recovering from it swiftly. It can be pretty scary actually depending on what it means in that moment for you. Failure for big wave rider Laird Hamilton on a fifty foot wave could spell his death. He has had mishaps, but the guy is a master at what he does. Once he dropped out of a helicopter into a storm raising sixty foot monsters of dark shark-infested waters off Kaena Point on Oahu. The guy surfed it. Foolish man? Probably, yes. Before that and since then he has surfed moving buildings of water that would boggle the mind of anyone. 

The message is that failure is simply a trial on the way to a goal. Success for a student is not the destination or end goal, but the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of their ‘goal-directed process.’  

Mr. Laird Hamilton has gotten pummeled by unknown pounds of water with no end in sight pushing him down against an ocean floor, but it did not stop his desire to continue to follow his passion with vigor and enthusiasm.  Learning from failure with surfing as the executive function skills activity context then becomes a tactical intervention parents or an individual can integrate as a natural executive function skill lifestyle activity. It is an incubator-activity allowing one to simulate failure again and again in a controlled environment of constants.

I recommend starting with a 9-10 foot long board first.  As I have said in past posts, surfing requires every single executive function skill online and working vigorously alongside the right/ left hemispheres of the brain. Children and adults with gross and fine motor deficits, catapult their development in these areas the more they surf. If that were not enough, they naturally get habituated to failure (falling off the surfboard) and learn to shirk it off by just getting back on the board, goal directed persistence, focus and sustaining attention.

This topic of failure is an overarching theme that weaves into the lives of everyone (and everything), thus it should be unabashedly taught as part of the U.S.A’s  K-12 public school systems. It would also not be remiss to say that scholastic social entrepreneurship programs have to come together immediately in order to impact the socio-economic reality of at least 16 million American children who are reported to be living on food stamps.  

Would widespread entrepreneurship programs enacted in school classrooms over night lead to massive positive change for America in 12 months, in 24 months, in 36 months? Across ten years? Do we wait for Batman or can we self-deputize ourselves as parents and Educators, as individuals to do something cool for a community AND also motivate us to self express through the venture? Nobody said you have to make a gajillion dollars right off the bat. Money doesn’t have to be the only motivator. 

Money is important but so are the reasons we work for.

A person’s inner drive showcases itself in the work they do, so likewise young students of school age can become acquainted early on with the concept of social entrepreneurship, or community entrepreneurship. Is this not a grassroots idea? It’s like creating guerrilla business warriors on ‘Wartime CEO’  footing.

Let me introduce you to a person whom I believe is #HotterThanFire4Others and I had the honor to interview live on Twitter. Mr. Erik Steiner is VP of SHI, and co-founder of NYSE: MODN, and a serial entrepreneur/ innovator with a pedigree that harkens from Stanford.  His social media content focuses on failure, strategy, innovation, growth hacking and entrepreneurship. 

I first came across his content early last year and realized how poignant his message on failure is. But his message on failure is actually eclipsed by his delivery of that message… and that makes him professionally #HotterThanFire4Others. 

An Educator may understand content perfectly well but to what use is it if he or she can’t effectively deliver instruction that is absorbed, processed and..dare say I.. acted upon?  For example, on Twitter, Mr. Steiner models (and tells us he is modeling) growth hacking left and right by his visual presentation layout, his word choices to generate optimum impressions, his timing, his consistency, his sociability and  his penchant for collaboration. He’s ‘open’…scrappy, and focused on open sourcing a hybrid of very important life skills that you need to totally understand, process, and gargle. Mr. Steiner may not know about executive function skills development either, but his content runs dangerously close to being accused of prompting others to develop dozens of executive function skills… on the double!

My own late-Father brought me up on a weekly dose of the Wall Street Journal and I was always interested in how the journalist fleshed out and brought into a focus a part of someone and what they were doing. Slowly, one line here, one line there, ones story here, one story there we can learn about success and failure, about the things that one business woman did right, and the things one business man did wrong, or the way a group of people focused on a goal and created something else not possible by one alone. Mr. Steiner is very relevant on Twitter and adds to the growing voice of open source intellectual property being streamlined for our empowerment. 

Given that understanding, dealing with, learning from and deftly overcoming failure is a part of the life process replete with required executive function skills firing off simultaneously. These frontal lobe skills include problem solving, foresight, time management awareness, impulse control, goal-directed persistence, short and long term planning ahead, prioritization, short and long term working memory, focus and sustaining attention.

Mr. Steiner is an entrepreneur, tactical and ‘scrappy,' just like other entrepreneur ladies and gentleman. We NEED to be scrappy, lean, ready to shift, adaptable, insightful, observant, listeners, critical thinkers, dreamers, goal-makers, STUBBORN & mentally flexible, passionate and always keen to put the shoulder to the plow. Erik Steiner puts it succinctly below in our interview at the crossroads of failure and executive function skills development.

. Steiner on Failure @stnr_on_failure Jan 13
@CoachBill007 #fAilure 2 an #entrepreneur: opportunity 2 leverage learning & innovate > 2 risk creating something even better in the future.

. Steiner on Failure @stnr_on_failure Jan 16
@CoachBill007 Coach Bill please clarify what u mean by #fAilure mindset - can understand in 2 ways - one who thinks he will always fail
. Steiner on Failure @stnr_on_failure Jan 16
@CoachBill007 matter what he does i.e. a "loser" - or one who is prepared to fAil because considers stepping stone on way to #success
. Coach Bill MA SpEd @CoachBill007 Jan 16
@stnr_on_failure Great double answer on #failure mindset. Thx! Next question coming up..
. Coach Bill MA SpEd @CoachBill007 Jan 16
@stnr_on_failure What did u learn from #Dad about #perseverance in the face of big challenges?

Steiner on Failure @stnr_on_failure Jan 20

@CoachBill007 we're being paternal eh? Ok will answer shortly.
. Steiner on Failure @stnr_on_failure Jan 20
@CoachBill007 My father is a bedrock of conservativism.He never took on #risk-didn't risk #fAilure-didn't create or leverage

. Steiner on Failure @stnr_on_failure Jan 20
@CoachBill007 (cont.)He could've gone far-but didn't.I learned 2 take #risk, 2 risk #fAilure, 2 grow to the max in pursuit of #success #opportunity

. Steiner on Failure @stnr_on_failure Jan 23
@CoachBill007 1/ Absolutely. American kids are already kings of the lemonade stands, participate in parents' garage sales from a young age -

. Steiner on Failure @stnr_on_failure Jan 23
@CoachBill007 3/...from a young age. This in turn will create a tidal wave of biz & job creation when those kids join the work force.

. Steiner on Failure @stnr_on_failure Jan 23
@CoachBill007 2/ ...formalizing #entrepreneurship #education beginning in K grade will provide kids w/the tools to build great businesses...


. Coach Bill MA SpEd @CoachBill007 Jan 23
@stnr_on_failure Next question: What is an integral 'must do' in your daily routine process you do to #StaySharp? / #entrepreneur #business

Steiner on Failure @stnr_on_failure Jan 25
@CoachBill007 The 1 thing I have 2 do daily is #learning.
A day w/out learning something new is a bad day.
Otherwise I feel like a #fAilure.

Last Interview question was done in long format for this blog post..

Erik, how do you go about planning ahead for the short and long-term? Many of my students with ADHD or attentional concerns find it challenging to plan ahead for the long-term until they shift their outlook on it. It involves being clear on goals, timing and how one paces oneself.


Honestly, I wish I did a better job of planning ahead.

Routinely I use ToDoist, a great app and I've been with them more or less since the getgo several years ago - but I wouldn't say I'm a consistent or efficient user. Could do much better.

I also use alerts and tasks on Outlook, and have recently installed Clear Context, which is a superb Outlook add-on that really helps in managing my deluge of email. It also gives amazing stats so if previously I only thought I was probably among the world's "most inundated" with email - I now know I'm in the top 5% of receipients and the top 1% of responders by volume... So at least I'm in touch with reality...

Among other things Clear Context allows you to turn a message into a task + add tracking capabilities etc.

And then occasionally I just revert to good old pen and paper.

I would sum by saying that I'm not a "planning ahead" role model...
But I keep trying!

All the best

Great answer, Erik! I like the sincerity. Pen and paper is good. Simplicity is golden. Im much the same way. Could be an 'entrepreneur' thing. I plan out in different ways also but not daily.  Its an organic process.

Im gonna look into the tools/ apps you mentioned.

It has been an honor to chat with such a distinguished gentleman.

Onward and upward!

@CoachBill007 MA SpEd

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