CouchSurfing (CS) in Venice

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I wanted to say thanks for a fantastic 2013! To celebrate the start of 2014, I got to spend some time with some amazing people from the CS community in Venice. A strong and so friendly bunch!

Highlights of the night for me: 

– Random dancing in the group
– Everyone sharing champagne, when I was in need of a corkscrew.  
– Help with the corkscrew problem. Result = open bottle 🙂 
– More random smiles and general joy! 

Keep in mind that until meeting these people, they where complete strangers to me and I to them. CS attracts some pretty amazing people and I got to see several of these! 

Below a picture of high CS spirit! 

Best wishes for 2014, 
Christian  CS White Venice

2013 in review

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The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 18 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Is the MBA useless?

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Managers Not MBAs: Debating the Merits of Business Education

A Canadian (Henry Mintzberg) and a Brazilian (Ricardo Semler) are giving their two cents on MBA’s to a class of MBA students at Sloan School of Management in MIT Leadership Center.

Hostage or captor?


How are you separating yourself from your peers? Someone already said you are a team of very different individuals, but are you adjusting to your team or being resilient in standing out? So here is my challenge for you – look inward and analyze yourself. What skills are you happy with, where will they most likely take you? Do you want to go there? What is your dream, what skills do you have that fits this and what skills do you need? Do the right people know and how are they currently helping you in this direction? How are you making it easy for them to push you into the direction you want to go into?
Something think about and attempt doing everyday.

Life of a Head Goose.

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Quark, quark, quark…

Geese are interesting creatures. One particular aspect recently was brought to my attention, as an example of team leadership. Have you ever wondered why geese fly in V-shapes?

It is very straightforward. They do so because it gives them better aerodynamics and allows them to fly longer distances while spending less energy. It requires one goose to step up and become the head goose. What is appealing, is that this role switches all the time. Even indication of altruistic behaviour can be observed (E.g. when one goose drops out V-shape due to health, 2 geese will stay with the sick to ensure it will have a V-shape formation to fly in).

It is a compelling analogy giving insight in how a group can rotate leadership. As one steps up and toils away the others will ride along – now you might say they feel peer pressure and obliged to follow or motivated and willing to follow. The underlying condition is that it gives us a few things to consider

– Can teams leverage this for their performance?

– If leadership becomes distributed this way, would everyone become managers?

– How can you ensure this is a motivational factor and not a stress factor?

– How can this be communicated if at all?

– Is this type only suitable for introverts or extroverts?

More of these questions has already been raised in the Leaders Everywhere Challenge.

Paraprosdokians – guest post by jyjchen

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Paraprosdokians are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous. Winston Churchill loved them.

1. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.

2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on my list.
3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
4. If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
6. War does not determine who is right – only who is left.
7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
9. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
10. In filling out an application, where it says, ‘In case of emergency, Notify:’ I put ‘DOCTOR’.
11. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
12. I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure..
13. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

14. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.

World record ticked of the list.

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World record

You know what day it is today?


You know what day it is today?

We often forget that today is our favorite day.

Today we relish and memorize the past.
Today we are excited about the future.
Today we think about the once we care for.
Today we ache for friends we miss.
Today we crave for a piece of cake.
Today we dream and these become true.
Today we meet yet another challenge with a smile.
Today we face a new lesson to learn.
Today is now, not then or to be.
Today we be formidable, because
Today is our favourite day.

Pep talk

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Yo guys – follow the word of the migthy leader. Stop sitting around here (well read a little more) and go make something awesome for the world. Boring is easy, awesome needs travel every day!
– Did you write that one sentence yet?
– Did you put on your shoes yet?
– Did you read that first page of the book yet?
– Did you brainstorm that idea of yours for five mins?
– Did you ask that question to a peer yet?

If you think about it, you probably already got the “some”. Right? Time to add the “awe” and complet it.

Her comes the sun

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I just saw this video and had to share this. It is an amazing gift and use of talent. Show up in this place of despair and spreading joy.

For all who does not know “oficina de empleo” is the place you go when unemployed. Spain currently has one of, if not the, most unattractive unemployment rates.

Enchanting people and inspiring them when times are rough might be one of the most human gifts you can have. I just wish there would be a way to put such treats into words – because I cannot think of any way that would be as true as the genuine experience itself.

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